Browsing Archives for October 2010

I have been trying to write a post about a debate I attended last week on Intelligent Design vs. Evolution featuring Michael Shermer and William Dembski, but I am having a hard time ‘fuckusing’. Please – if you don’t know why I just said ‘fuckusing’ it is not because I am a potty mouth, it’s because I am deranged… and a potty mouth. Actually I am not really a potty mouth, I am more of a loud mouth that occasionally chooses a colorful word just to make myself feel more alive, but I don’t make a habit of it. And in truth – I am not really a loud mouth either. Though sometimes I am loud, but it’s usually because I am just trying to speak over the ear puncturing lung capacity of my third child Drew. That kid has VOLUME!  Did you know that Drew is named after Nancy Drew? Yes, he is.  Nancy is and always will be my one true hero.

Speaking of names, last night I went to a middle school band concert and I saw a woman I sort of know who had recently given birth. We chatted for a bit and I got to hold the baby and then she told me that she named her baby after a person in the bible.  Then she went on to tell me why she named her baby after this person and I can’t be totally certain, but I think I might have fallen victim to the age old scheme of  ‘baby name witnessing for Jesus’.  It made me wonder how many times throughout his life that kid is going to have to listen to his mom use his name as a springboard to evangelize. I also wondered how many souls she is going to save just by telling the story behind her son’s name. She didn’t save mine, but my soul is a hard, blackened cinder and also… I am kind of a hard sell.

Speaking of babies…

I went on a field trip with Jack’s class to the Manhattan, Kansas zoo last week.  We saw a 56 year old chimpanzee mother who gave birth this summer to a healthy baby girl (chimp).  Did I mention that she was 56 years old?!?  In the wild, chimps only live to about 40.  Did I tell you that her last birth occurred 22 YEARS ago.  The father of the new baby chimp is twenty five years younger than his baby momma and her pregnancy was not even discovered until one month from her due date!


The zoo staff had taken the mother chimp off of birth control a few years ago for health reasons.  They were confident that she was too old to have any more babies.  Turns out they were wrong!  Susie is the oldest mother chimp known to have given birth.  Her daughter is lively and spends her days swinging on a rope right over her mother’s head.  It was really fun to watch them.

One of the activities the kids participated in involved identifying animals by the things that uh… drop off (or out) of them.

In this photo the boys are trying to decide if the fur and the uh… droppings belong to a camel or a lion.

Jack said camel

The other two boys in his group said lion.

Jack said, “no -  it’s a camel”.

The other two boys said lion.

Jack said, “I am not going to go with you guys.  I think it is a camel.”

Everyone in my family is a contrarian.


Even the baby.

Speaking of contrarians…

While we were at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival last weekend, we fell under the spell of a hypnotist.

He invited anyone who wanted to try it out to come up on stage.

So the Country Doctor and I gave it a try.

We weren’t allowed to sit by each other as the hypnotist said we would distract each other.

You can see the lady to my right (your left) is pretty relaxed.

You can also see that the CD and I are the most upright (or is that uptight?) on the stage.


The lady beside me however was extremely hypnotized.  So was the guy in the blue ball cap, but he ‘came to’ and got nervous and left the stage.  The hypnotist however got the woman beside me to eat an imaginary ice-cream cone and she licked her hands when the hypnotist told her that the ice cream was melting all over her.  Later, when we were finished he made a particular statement and right on cue she stood up and yelled, “Somebody stole my purse!”  And then she got this scared, blank look on her face like “Why did I say that?”

I always thought that I would be easily hypnotized. I have a tendency to day dream and I love to stare off into space.  Evidently these thing are not pre-cursors to being hypnotized.

The Country Doctor said, “Rechelle – you are the least hypnotizable person I know!”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because you don’t do anything that ANYONE ever tells you to do!”

Which is of course, a bit of an exaggeration.

But just a bit.

The House of Eliot

October 12th, 2010

I have been watching the House of Eliot via Netflix lately and I am enjoying the heck out of it.  Set in the 1920s, this show follows the lives of two sisters whose father dies leaving them in dire straits while controlling relatives take advantage of their small inheritance and cheat the girls out of what little remains.


The sisters are both gifted seamstresses having learned to create their own clothing and copy their favorite designers while living under their father’s miserly rule.  So after struggling through a variety of occupations to feed themselves, they eventually begin to sew for other people and their lives start to change.

The show is so well written that it seems like it came from a great book, but it didn’t.  It was created for the small screen by the collaborative team of Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins -  the same two people who wrote Upstairs, Downstairs.  Ginnie Hole was the screenwriter for the show.

Aside from the two actresses who play the sisters (Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard) the biggest star of the show is the 1920s fashion that the characters wear.  Not only are the clothes beautiful, they also symbolize the crumbling conventions of the day.  Out goes the corset and in comes the loose fitting gown and tailored trousers.  Women and fashion have never looked back.

The show is nicely balanced between grit and glamour with a great cast of bohemian characters and interesting side stories.


And they are constantly drinking champagne!  Every time I sit down to watch another episode I always wind up thinking -  There they go again!  Drinking more champagne!  How come I never drink champagne?   Why are these poor, helpless sisters drinking so much champagne and Rechelle is drinking zero champagne?  What is going on?

I have decided I just need to redefine my idea of cause celebre’ so that I can drink champagne more often.  I need to celebrate that entirely civil conversation I had with my fifteen year old.  I need to mark the anniversary of surviving yet another week in a house full of males.  I need to hoist a glass because my kitchen just happened to be clean when the stove repairman showed up.


I need to get an artsy photographer to open a studio in my basement who always happens to have a bottle of bubbly and a pair of narrow stemmed glasses ready to celebrate the smallest of victories.

That should do the trick.



Mums and Morning Glory

October 12th, 2010