Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

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Bubble, Bubble, Toil’s No Trouble

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In fact, sometimes toil is downright FUN.

As I patiently wait a day to give a little more time to read Chapter 10, Present Past, I’ll give you a glimpse into what I do in the evenings…

Once again this year, I’ve decided to make a new creature with leftover duct tape from critters past. This is not the first time. Every year, I’d like to make a new one and I’ve even gotten a good start – but I don’t always finish. Even as I type, there are a pair of legs in my basement that will never ride again. A creature riding a unicycle! Too ambitious! Lesson learned.

The inspiration(s) for this year’s attempt:

monherr1monpea             AND

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the guy on the right, Mr. Peanut, but do you know the guy on the left? The rabbit is Mr. Herriman from “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” Adam and I loved that show! It ran from 2004 to 2009. The graphics were wonderful. They were so retro and in that way they bridged my childhood and his. Not unlike how Chapter 10 bridges the childhoods of Hazel and Ruth!

Lucky me that my son happened to be the right age at the right time, otherwise we might not have discovered this show.

The sketch (on the back of an envelope. I’ll grab whatever’s handy with a little blank space available when I draw):


The beginning (as it is right now):


I decided he’s not quite fat enough, so yesterday I picked up a few leftover newspapers from our local post office where my sister Julie works.

I’ve made his knees a little knobbier than the sketch with toilet paper rolls and wooden balls on dowel supports.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHis feet are two flat rocks I found at the back of my house with curled wires attached with hot glue and cardboard cones to assist in the transition from rock to wire.

Two things I hoard:


Chip board and wire hangers! I’m constantly afraid that they’ll no longer get manufactured! Sweet sister Julie saves the backs of paper tablets for me, and whenever I spot wire hangers at thrift stores, I pick them up. Because indeed, last time I saw wire hangers at a department store, they were covered in plastic! Plastic covered wire, this will never do!

In addition to the occasional creature, I use them to create tools for doll repair, or to replace the stringing hooks that go into dolls whenever they’re missing. I NEED those hangers. I can’t live without them!

Heaven help whoever’s around when I use them, because I do THIS scene at least once:

MonhangIt never gets old! Thankfully, I’m usually alone…

I’ll show you the finished product when I’m finished.

Tomorrow: About Chapter 10…’til then!

*I wonder if anyone will get the significance of the gallery shot at the top of the page? Hmm….*

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About Chapter 3

EPSON scanner imageIn Chapter 3 Freedom, Fear & Fireworks, Hazel’s experience on the train at night and how once friendly things can take on an ominous tone mirrors my own experience driving to Iowa for the final move. As usual, I had underestimated my packing skills and all that needed to be done, so by the time we were finally ready to begin the seven hour drive, it was nearly dark.

Everything looks different in the dark.

Adam was riding separately with his dad who was helping us by driving the moving truck, and I followed in my car a good distance behind after cleaning up a few odds and ends back in St. Louis.

By the time I finally crossed the border into Iowa, it was pitch black. There were none of the endless fields and quaint farmhouses that had so enchanted me before. They were there of course, I just couldn’t see them. When I encountered a detour, it was game over. I was hopelessly lost. It made me question my sanity a little. What the heck I was doing, leaving a secure life and destroying a family?


YUM. Am I right?

I desperately wanted to call my then husband and say, “I’ve changed my mind! We can make this work!” or “Put cheese sauce on the broccoli! Everything  tastes better with cheese sauce!”

But a tiny part of my brain told me that I was doing the right thing, and that’s the part I listened to. So my cell phone stayed on the seat beside me and I turned up the music of my favorite *cd, and I eventually found my way back to the right road.

It was definitely an altered state I was in at that time, going into the abyss of the unknown. Hazel’s doing the same thing, just in a different mode of transportation. And she doesn’t have the option of turning around.

*Ch3twwwI’ve loved this album since I was a little girl. Once, when I had the house to myself I mixed up a batch of flour and water to build up a nose and I attempted to do my make-up so I could look just like Barbra Streisand and I painted my nails red. When my family got home, I posed in profile with my nose in the air and waited for them to walk through the door to see my likeness. They looked at me kinda funny.

I was an odd child.

Anyway, growing up I had listened to this album over and over and was so excited when the movie “The Way We Were” came on TV. Finally! I could see the context for all those beautiful, heart-breaking songs!



“Boy, they sure are skimping on the music!” I said to myself when the movie was halfway over. “When’s it gonna start? Where’s ‘Summer Me, Winter Me’? Where’s ‘What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life’? When are they finally going to make an appearance, are they going to cram them all into the second half?!”

Turns out this isn’t actually the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. I know! They fooled me, too! I still love this album, but the movie, well, it disappointed.

I hadn’t listened to it for years but ran across it when I was packing my things. It was a warm and familiar friend on that long, dark, lost ride.