Monday, December 2, 2013

And then I forgot how to blog.

Once upon a time I was a single mama, working eleven hours a day in a tiny room stuffed to bursting with other people’s obscenely sugar-ified children.  (Seriously, if all you feed your kids is a breakfast of marshmallow Peeps before leaving them with their teacher / nanny / babysitter, you are evil.  And you know it.) 

One day, for no reason, I started a blog.  I don’t even know why I did it.  At the time there was a snotty little voice in the back of my head saying, “Really, asshat?  You think you have time for this?!” 

The voice had a point.

Minus the asshat part.

I had the workload of two parents and a laundry basket piled so high it was threatening to dent the ceiling, where did I think I was going to squeeze in the time to blog?  Yet, I did….  until I got married and moved across the country.  Then—pffft!—I dunno, it was like my old vibrant bloggy motivation just woke up one morning and dropped dead.

Kind of like Smash.

Honestly, there are so many other things I would rather be doing.  Reading The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson with my kid.  Talking about everything and/or nothing with my hubby.  Ebaying (I made $70 on a skirt just the other day.  Yeah, $70 on a stupid, ugly skirt!).  Walking my neighborhood with my camera in tow.  Working on my photo albums.  Getting friendly with Ben & Jerry.  All the usual stuff. 


Over on Facebook (where a lot of our former bloggy buddies are these days) my hubby, Scope, challenged us all to do a post today.  Just one itty bitty little post on Cyber Monday, just to say we did.

One post?  I can handle that.  Probably.  So, here’s a quick update (with pictures!  WHEEEEE!) of what’s been going on around here since I last did a real blog post:

We spent Spring Break in St. Louis….

….where we hung out with Gwen from Everything I Like Causes Cancer.

Wednesday started driving lessons.  Here she is after a successful stint at parallel parking.

We grew strawberries in our deck garden this summer.  (Lettuce too!)

We watched fireworks from our rooftop on the 4th of July (and our 3rd wedding anniversary).

In Summer, Wednesday cut about 8 inches off her hair and dyed it dark red.  It looks AMAZING! 

We spent two weeks in Seattle in July, seeing family….

….and Wednesday’s Seattle-y friends….

….and Scope finally got to meet Skyler’s Dad!

In August, our neighborhood was weirdly invaded by a gang of really pervy looking mushrooms.  (I mean, really, hubba hubba.)

Wednesday started her Junior year in high school in late August.

For Halloween, Wednesday was Edward Scissorhands….

….I was Batgirl….

….and Scope was a mad scientist clown, terrorizing Chicago in the dark!

In the Fall, Wednesday turned 17.

For her birthday party, we took her and one of her best friends to the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives museum exhibit where we saw some pretty spiffy stuff.

And we even learned how to draw Mickey Mouse.

And then about a week ago, we sent our bloggy guest pig Fernando Von Bakonstein back home to his owner, McGone. Fernando kissed Wednesday goodbye at the bus stop before school, then he walked to the post office with me, climbed bravely into a box, and off he went.

And now, well, we’re just trying to get a grip on the holidays.  I’ve got a new 7.5’ spinning (yes, SPINNING!!!!) Christmas tree that just ain’t gonna decorate itself.  So, you know….

I’m not sure if I’ll be back blogging regularly anytime soon, but this was fun.  Yes, really. 

I guess I didn’t realize I was kind of missing it until now.  :-)

© Coracabana

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to look like a garden gnome (And other stories from 1974)

So, enough with all this slacking, agreed?  Agreed.  I believe I promised The Internet pictures and stories from 1974, right?  Well, okay.  I can do that.  Here’s what I’ve found out from scouring my mom’s hoard of old family pictures….

When 1974 began, I was about one and a half years old (and still mostly bald) (of course).  I used to go on lots of rainy wintery neighborhood walks with my Mom around our gray Seattle suburb.  But, hey, check out my snazzy red walking suit!

Yeah, go ahead and say it.  I can take it.  I looked like a beardless garden gnome.


Apparently, I was a dog person from the very beginning because I unearthed several shots of me running waddling through the streets with random neighborhood mutts.

Ahh, good ol’ 1974, when dogs could just roam the ‘hood without pesky hindrances like owners, leash laws, and litigious neighbors.  Those were the days. 

But anyway….

Our tour through 1974 is skipping Spring and jumping face-first right into the middle of Summer due to an absence of pictures.  Apparently, my parents misplaced their camera for six or seven months…. or they were just preoccupied with other things.  Like my soon-to-be-born little sister.  So,  here is my preggo mama (still rockin’ her bouffant beehive wig!) and me on my 2nd birthday.

I got lots of Noddy books and a Noddy doll that birthday, which were sent over from my relatives in England. 

Oh God, I will never forget those Noddy books!  I ended up with a whole bookshelf full of them and I remember feeling really uncomfortable about them.  In a nutshell, they could have been written by Paula Deen after a bank robbery, okay?  (What?  Too soon?)  The books were populated with “Golliwogs” in racist blackface makeup who lure Noddy into the woods and then steal all his stuff.  One of them was even named N*gger.  Yeah, his name was N*gger!  Unbelievable.

My mom wouldn’t read the books aloud to me and I remember her pulling them all off the shelves and hiding them whenever I had friends over, so, even really young, I definitely had the idea that they were bad books.  I just wasn’t sure why when I was little, but I supposed it had something to do with all the scary pictures of Noddy being robbed in the forest.  When I was about seven years old, I stumbled upon the old Noddy books and hid under my bed sheets with them, like a boy with a stack of stolen Playboy magazines, reading bits of them to myself when my mom wasn’t looking—and I was shocked at what was in them. 

These were children’s books????

In 2009, Noddy was, apparently, given a makeover and the Golliwogs were removed from the newest stories.  (It took until 2009 for that to happen????  Really????  Wow.)  I can’t seem to find my old Noddy doll on eBay or anywhere to tell you how much he sells for these days (although I’d really love to know), but you could buy the old Noddy books on eBay anywhere from $1 to $14 each, if you’re so inclined.

Okay, enough about Noddy….

For my birthday, I also got a huge orange baby carriage which, obviously, made me feel like hot stuff strutting around with it on the parquet floor.

My birthday cake, like most cakes in the 70’s, had a big, scary rubber clown head on it. 

Why oh why did people feel the need to befoul perfectly good cakes with gruesome clown heads in the 70’s?!  I’m telling you, I just don’t get it.  Nope.  Here’s a closer picture I borrowed from Etsy of some 1970’s cake topper clown heads.


As the Summer of 1974 rolled on, I could be found looking quite movie star-y, digging in my sandbox in my shades, handmade outfit, and Salt Water Sandals.

Did you grow up in the 70’s?  If you did, I’d bet my Bee Gees lunch box that you had Salt Water Sandals too, am I right?  Every kid I knew had them.  I had a red pair and a white pair. 

And if you grew up in Seattle in the 70’s, I bet you wore socks with your sandals too!  ;-)

According to my baby book, I was talking up a storm in 1974.  I said “bunnit” for bunny rabbit, “tombut” for bottom, and “alligator” for escalator.  On a related note, I accidentally asked my kid to “plat in the flug iron” instead of plug in the flat iron just two days ago, so at least I’m consistent. 

In early autumn of 1974, a very bizarre series of events took place which left me with no choice but to conclude that my parents had lost their wig-loving minds.  But…. we’re going to have to probe through those questionable moments in an upcoming post because—*sniffle*—I’m out of bloggy time for today.  I’ll be back soon, swearsies!

Wanna relive my discoveries of 1973?  Click HERE.  Or for 1972, click HERE.

© Coracabana

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Three is a magic number

So.  Apparently, I am just not coordinated enough to both be a blogger and…. well…. do anything else at the same time these days.  What with my eBay selling, plethora of photography projects, trying to keep my city deck garden alive, and all my fun daily life adventures with Scope and Wednesday, somehow blogging just always seems to find its sad, neglected self crying at the bottom of my to-do list. 

Just pitiful. 

But never mind all that.  Today—TODAY—is a very special day, so, dammit, I’m dusting off ye olde bloggity skillz because, you see, there’s this:



Three years ago today, I married my very best friend, my dear, sweet, precious Scope.  *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!*  It was a truly amazing, delightful day and, honestly, each and every day since has been more wonderful, like a warm, fuzzy blanket we can snuggle up in (or pull over our heads on those more difficult days) and I wouldn’t trade this life we’ve made together for anything.  So….

To my dear, incredible Hubba Hubba Hubby,

Before I met you, I didn’t know how to trust anymore.  What could be more dangerous than trust?  Nothing.  I didn’t, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t trust anyone.  But, most of all, I didn’t trust myself. 

When I saw my reflection in the mirror, all I could see was a mistake in my past.  I could never shake it.  I sometimes felt like I was nothing more than that mistake.  It was me; I was it; we were one—just one big mess.  I couldn’t forgive myself for what had happened and I was determined to never risk it happening again.  Never. 

I knew my Mr Right was out there somewhere in the world, but I couldn’t see how I would ever recognize him or be capable of trusting him or myself enough to allow him to get close.  I remember saying aloud that “the universe is just going to have to be blunt and drop the perfect guy right into my lap” or else I’d live out my life alone, because I there was no way I was going to go out into the world looking for him and risk crossing paths with another Mr Wrong.

The universe must have heard me loud and clear, because one amazing day—BOOM!—you dropped right into my lap, just like magic.  You made trusting you feel so easy and safe.  You made trusting myself feel easy and safe as well, and I’m still trying to figure out how on earth you did that.  (Seriously, how did you do that?!)

You swooped in like Superman and changed both Wednesday’s and my lives in all the most wonderful ways and every day I am thankful and still in awe that we met.  Your smile lights up my whole world, just like it lit up the whole airport on the day we first met.  Every time you hug me or kiss me or make me laugh or make Wednesday feel loved, I fall more and more in love with you.

You’re simply perfect, Scope.  You’re sweet, smart, handsome, hilarious, sexy, silly, cuddly, and all the most marvelous things all rolled into one.  You're such a great husband and father and I can hardly remember what life was like Before Scope.... or B.S. as I like to call it.  (See what I did there?)  I love you to pieces!  Happy Anniversary!  :-)


© Coracabana

Monday, April 15, 2013

When NOT to play horse-y with a baby. (And other adventures from 1973)

Yep.  I’m still stuck in the 70’s, people.  So, all aboard the time machine!  Today, we’re voyaging back to 1973….

(For a refresher of my 1972 discoveries, click HERE.) 

I was about five months old when 1973 began.  According to my baby book, that’s when I started talking.  My first word was “hi”.  I was about fifteen pounds and I had no teeth and virtually no hair.  Oh!  And I lived in a house with hip bright red shag carpet and a faux midget polar bear skin rug on the living room floor.  You know you’re jealous.

My mom was still in her ridiculous wig phase.  Clearly.  *snicker*

Despite my mom’s frightening wigs, I was kind of a happy little thing.

Okay, fine.  Make that VERY happy….

….unless I was having my passport picture taken.  Then I was just freaking confused.  Apparently.

(Funny, I still make that exact same face when I realize we’re out of ice cream!)

That passport picture wasn’t just for craps and giggles either.  When I was about ten months old, my parents took me on a trip to to England to meet all my relatives there.  The flight from Seattle to London was over nine hours long.  Let’s pause and let that sink in for a moment….

A nine hour flight? 

With a baby?!?!  

I don’t know if that makes Mom and Dad really brave or just really stupid. 

But anyway….

During our three week vacation in England, I was Christened.  Here’s a shot of me outside the church with my parents.  (Yes, I’m grinning up a storm.  Again.)

And here’s one of me at the church with my Dad’s parents, my aunt, my uncle, and my newborn cousin.  (Uh-huh.  Still smiling.)

Here I am with my mom’s parents in their home.  They had a huge chocolate Easter egg for me, which I just couldn’t wait to get my little hands on.  (On a related note, I just ate half of Wednesday’s Easter M&M’s this morning while she was in school, so at least I’m consistent.) 

But our England trip wasn’t all church and chocolate.  No, no, no.  I also got to sit on my grandpa’s motorcycle!

I noticed Grandpa is wearing his helmet and riding jacket in that picture up there.  Umm…. yeeeaaaahhhhhh.  That makes me somewhat suspicious that this might not have been just a posed picture on that motorbike, that maybe he might have actually given me a quick little ride down the driveway on it.  Grandpa was a troublemaker and it seems like the sort of thing he and my dad would have cooked up.  (Hey, it was the 70’s after all!)  But if they did, I know it was totally behind my mom’s back.  Grandpa lost an eye in a motorcycle accident a few years earlier and was sporting a spiffy glass eye in that shot up there, so if—IF—he gave me a ride on it, it would have been while Mom was in the shower or something so she’d be oblivious and couldn’t have relieved him of his other eye.  Because she absolutely would have!!!!  I’m soooooo going to ask my dad about it the next time I call him.

Speaking of Grandpa’s troublemaking, there’s also this picture.

That’s me on his shoulders in his backyard.  It looks innocent enough, doesn’t it?  But, no.  No, it’s not.  You see, I had just had breakfast five minutes before Grandpa flung me up onto his shoulders and started galloping around the yard like a horse.  Both my mom and grandma told him that was a bad idea and pleaded with him not to do it, but he did it anyway….  only to end up wearing my upchucked breakfast all down his face about two seconds after this picture was taken.

Yes.  Yes, I threw up on my grandpa’s head.  And Grandpa learned a valuable lesson on when not to play horse-y with a baby.  Just trying to do my part.

In later years, Grandpa was without a doubt my favorite grandparent.  He nicknamed me “Carrots” because of my red hair, and even though those sorts of nicknames offended me when anyone else used them, for some reason when Grandpa did it, it felt like a badge of honor.  And, yes, he forgave me for vomiting on his head.  That takes a lot of love, you guys. 

A.  Lot.  Of.  Love.

Well, anyway, when we got back to Seattle, Summer was in full swing.  As you can tell by the previous picture, I had four teeth now.  And still no hair.  I also had a friend (let’s call him Jesse) whose sandbox I got to play in.  Jesse poured sand on my shoulder, so I retaliated by stealing his cookie. 

Seems fair. 

I liked cookies.  A lot.  I’m told that my favorite kind of cookie at the time was Arrowroot by Nabisco.  Here’s a picture I borrowed from Google that shows what the Arrowroot box looked like in the 70’s. 

I remember five or six years later, I would drool like Pavlov’s dogs every time my mom pulled that box out of the cupboard to give a cookie to my baby brother.  I would beg her for one—just one!—because they were sooooooooooo delicious.  Mom would always roll her eyes and tell me it was baby food and I wasn’t a baby anymore, but deep down inside she knew I was right that those suckers were pure heaven and she’d give me one anyway. 

Sometimes two.  :-)

In July 1973, my first birthday rolled around.  According to my baby book, my parents had a party planned for me, but then my sandbox friend, Jesse, came down with measles, so at the last minute the party was cancelled in case I was coming down with it too (since I stole and ate Jesse’s cookie and all).  No-one wanted to risk any other babies catching measles, so everyone was told to stay away. 

(Seriously?  What the hell?  What kind of 70’s attitude was THAT?!?!)

So, I spent my first birthday with my parents.  My mom was rockin’ her beehive wig for the occasion, and I just wanted to get a taste of the cake.

Which I did.  And I liked it!

After cake (and maybe a bath!), I opened one of my presents.  It was a Dorable Daksy dog.  Dorable Daksy’s tail would wag when his leash was pulled, and he barked and sniffed as well. 

Daksy was so well-loved that he, sadly, didn’t survive my childhood.  I remember being about five years old and Daksy’s fur had fallen half off his plastic and metal body, and was just hanging on by a mere thread or two.  Mom always wanted to throw Daksy away, but I would never go for it.  But I guess Mom won that battle at some point while I wasn’t paying attention because I have no idea what happened to him.


Daksy dogs are really, REALLY hard to find these days, but they do pop up on eBay every now and then.  I once replaced my long gone Daksy on eBay for about $10, but, sadly, my replacement Daksy doesn’t work—no barking, no uber-cute tail-wagging—however, he’s still freaking adorable.  And he has all his fur!  See?


The now measles-free Jesse and my other baby friends came over for my rescheduled birthday party about a month later.  (And, no, I never came down with measles too.  Whew!)  Jesse, it appears, was still sore from the whole cookie-swiping incident and attempted to murder me with the elastic on my party hat, but—whatever—I was WAY too enthralled with my new toys to even bother to notice.

Mom and Dad, for some reason, waited until some point several days after my late-birthday party to let me open the gifts sent from my relatives in England.  Mom was in a black bouffant wig and fake eyelashes that day and was looking a bit like Amy Winehouse.

One of my favorite new toys I got that day was a Fisher Price Chatter Telephone.  Here’s a picture of one that I borrowed from Google.

I, obviously, had lots of important calls to make, so I got right down to business.

These days, 1970’s FP Chatter Telephones sell on eBay anywhere from $1 to $40.  And FP Chatter Telephone Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments (jeez, that’s a mouth full) are hocked on eBay anywhere from $55 to $149. 

(Yes, really.)

Around my first birthday, I really started getting into music.  I loved listening to the radio.  I even had a favorite song that would make me drop whatever I was doing, hold onto the coffee table, and sing, dance, and totally rock out to it every time I heard it.  Here’s shot of me doing just that.

So, what kind of song would make a one year old drop all her toys and get her groove on that fiercely? 

This one.

Yeah.  “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics.  Oh, I knew how to party, people.  Definitely.  I loved that song so much that my parents bought me the record album. 

Eight or nine years later, I would still play that record whenever any of my Barbies were dating or getting married.  (In fact, I’m pretty sure my Starr and Shaun dolls conceived a baby to that song once in 1982.  But that’s a story for another time.  Moving on….)

In addition to dancing my ass off, I also liked going on walks to the park with my mom.  Although, why Mom wore a half-shirt, mini skirt, and stilettos to the park, I’m not quite sure.  (????)


When Fall rolled in, Mom and Dad took me to a reunion with their Lamaze and Baby Care class buddies now that all the babies were one year olds.  For some reason, there was a newspaper photographer at the reunion and, maybe because I was the only girl and all the other babies born to the class were boys, but the photographer was quite smitten with me.  Some pictures of me at the reunion ended up being published in the newspaper and in a Red Cross newsletter.  Here are a couple of them.

When Halloween hit, my mom made me a pumpkin costume and I went to a party with Jesse and my other friends.  Always the jokester, Jesse tried to poke my eye out….

….so, I ate a cookie and watched a poodle’s tail wagging (which probably reminded me of Daksy’s).

As 1973 came to a close, my parents took me to a Christmas party at my dad’s coworker’s house. 

My earliest memory is of that party.  I was only one and a half, but I definitely remember those other kids in the picture up there and that I knew they all thought I was little and cute, and they kept trying to tickle my neck.  I remember looking at their huge, glittering Christmas tree and knowing I shouldn’t touch it and then, when their mother told them to, the other kids took a present out from under their tree and gave it to me.  I remember how surprised I was that there was something for me under their tree!  Kind of sweet for a first memory, huh?  :-)

What I don’t remember is that I somehow made a horrendous mess in their house with a box of packing peanuts, but there’s photographic proof that I did.  Whoopsie!

(Oh, looky.  An eBay Seller in the making!)

For Christmas that year, one of my favorite gifts was my new Fisher Price Music Box TV.

The FP TV played two songs, London Bridge and Row, Row, Row Your Boat, while the pictures on the screen moved and changed according to the songs.  My TV is long gone.  I have no idea what happened to it, but here are some pictures of one just like it that I borrowed from Etsy.

These days Fisher Price Television Sets like my old one sell on eBay anywhere from about $10 to $30. 

And as 1973 ended and 1974 began, I saw my first ever dusting of snow.  And I mean dusting.  (Hey, sometimes Seattle goes a whole year or two without any snow.)  It’s kind of hard to see it in the picture, but it’s there.

In the next post, I’ll be telling you what I’ve discovered about 1974—the year I became a big sister, got into Kraftwerk, and watched my scary little cousin eat a whole stick of butter and then climb on top of my fridge.

©  Coracabana