June 2008

I realized that I never got around to posting the video of Kiddlebiddle’s (BalletDaughter) performance in the talent show.  She may not have won, but she’s the queen of ballet in my opinion.  She choreographed this herself at the ripe old age of 11.  Enjoy!



So…it may have taken me along time, but I’m finally posting about the annual camping trip to Patrick’s Point that Kiddlebiddle (BalletDaughter) and I took this year.


We’ve gone, just the two of us, every year since she was six – the first year we moved here to Humboldt County.  It was a fluke the first time…just a wild idea.  But she loved it so much and frankly so did I, that we decided to make it an annual event.  We talk, eat yummies, hike, enjoy the beauty.  This year was the best yet, even if we didn’t get our favorite campsite.

It was graduation weekend for both Humboldt State and College of the Redwoods and I guess that meant folks coming from out of town and campsites booked.  This was the first time we were able to reserve our site online (www.reserveamerica.com).  I actually drove up a couple of weeks early (it’s only about 30 minutes away!) to check out the sites ‘cuz I couldn’t remember our favorites.  But once I got online, the ones we had picked weren’t available.  No worry.  Everything there is great. 

What we hadn’t counted on was the weather!  It was Goooorrrrrgeous!  HOT!  Very unusual for our area.  And we had ended up with probably one of the only sites that didn’t have tons of redwood trees!  That first day and a half we spent moving our chairs into the shade all around our site!

We have some traditions on this trip.  The first night MUST be hotdogs cooked on sticks (barbeque forks) over the fire. 

The second night MUST be “Polka-Dot Chicken.”  This scrumptious dish was so named because the holder in which you place the chicken to cook it over the fire, has holes in it that produce “dots” on the chicken itself.  I don’t know what we’ll do if this device ever gets lost!  Baked potatoes (roasted in the fire) accompany the polka dot chicken. 

This year, because of my recent weight loss and desire to continue said weight loss, we still had our traditional foods, albeit light versions.  Turkey hot dogs; grilled chicken is low fat so it was OK.  I made whole wheat pita chips to satisfy my “chip need” and gave myself permission to have other treats. 

Part of our “standard activity” is to climb into bed at night and read, while munching chocolates.  This year I wasn’t going to go the chocolate route.  I had Jelly Bellys which are low fat.  HOWEVER….chocolate is chocolate and I just can’t do without.  So M&Ms were consumed amidst giggles and stories and good books.  Kiddlebiddle read for six hours one day because she was so engrossed in her book (Meg Cabot’s Mediator series) and I actually started and finished a book myself!   She couldn’t even put her book down to eat!  can\'t be bothered to stop reading in order to eat!


We both had lots of fun with the camera:

 a self portrait….

Because this trip is done during the school year it has traditionally been only a 2 night visit.  Last year we had such a delightful time, we stayed Sunday night as well.  This would never happen if Kiddlebiddle wasn’t such a good student.  She can afford to miss a day of school every once in awhile.  And I look at this time as a special addition to the mother/daughter bonding that I hope will see us through the teen years ahead.  It’s just the two of us and there is prime opportunity to talk about anything and everything.  And we do.  Even if she does get goofy sometimes!   Anyway, this year we went ahead and booked the three nights ahead of time and cleared her absence with her teacher.

Also because of my weight loss, I was feeling much more energetic and actually looked forward to our activities.  We hiked all the way out to Wedding Rock    where a wedding was actually taking place (sure wouldn’t want to make that hike in heels!).   We even got a kind soul to take a shot of the two of us and we took photos of each other (people keep complaining that I never have pics of me.  So there!):


And the next day (Sunday) Kiddlebiddle and I hiked part of the Rim Trail.  It was overcast, but there was so much beauty.

UkeHusband came out to join us for lunch that same day as he had to leave town Monday and we would miss seeing him.  From Palmer’s Point we could even see the sea lions.



We got some great photos, including Kiddlebiddle posing as if she was a model.  (She’s really in to fashion right now!)  The beauty of Patrick’s Point can’t compete with the beauty of my daughter.


  It was a delightful camping trip and I’m really looking forward to next year.








It’s the end of the school year and papers start coming home.  Some I’ve seen, some I’ve not.  Kiddlebiddle had a fair amount of poetry writing this year (5th grade) and a couple have made me cry.  I’m most impressed with this.

Ode to my Pointe Shoes

By Emma Jones


My pointe shoes make me fly

Turning, in a painful fairyland

The most difficult struggle

Of beauty

Tough gracefulness,

How can you keep me

At such an achievement

Softening a hard fall

Blood, sweat, and tears made fun

Canvas, glue, and satin

Have never been so exciting

Without you, how can I feel so high above

You are awesome

You let me push through pain

Onto Strong Beauty

Into an open door for creativity.

Some of you know that my husband is a musician.  He plays bass guitar but lately (over the past couple of years) has been playing ukulele.  He and some friends formed a band, Ukesperience (www.ukesperience.com).  (Oh yeah…there’s a whole blog post about their trip to Hawaii! duh!)  Anyway, he also has started MAKING ukuleles.  He’s made a couple of bass ukuleles, and lap/slide ukulele and he recently finished the one he made for Kiddlebiddle (BalletDaughter).  Tonight he gave it to her and began her ukulele lessons.

First, she learned to tune it!

Then she learned a few chords:

Then they played a bit! 

She’s a very happy young lady!    Also pretty lucky.  It’s a very cool uke.  ‘Course, the others in the family weren’t too impressed:

Kiddlebiddle’s dance teacher has the most amazing ideas and choreography.  The show this year promises to be fantastic!  It’s not a “kids dance recital” but more of a themed dance concert, including adult professionals as well as the children from her school.  (She’s building her own dance company!)

This season it’s “Seascapes” and promises to be as fantastic as we can imagine.  Kiddlebiddle has three dances, one of them a solo.  She’s also appearing briefly in a couple of other scenes.  In her Latin dance class she’s a flying fish; in her ballet 4 she’s a lionfish, and her solo is as a manta ray. 

This time I am only involved in the design and construction of ONE set of costumes.  But what a doozy. 

 The ballet 4 girls are lionfish.  A lionfish is gorgeous! 

 So…how do you translate that into a costume?  You hand paint a white leotard (If there had been more time, the artist part of me would have liked to do more shades of red.  But farther on you’ll read why it’s pretty stark red and white.):

In order to paint on the leo, I had to stretch it over a mannequin and pin out the skirt to maintain tension.  Thank goodness for my blocking board and pins!

And how do you translate the spines of the lionfish?  Well…first I came up with the fins for them to hold (in class they had been holding paper plates).  Then…Erin wanted them to have a “mohawk” but couldn’t figure out quite how to make it work.  While I was putting together the fins, (and after DH cut tons of thin little pieces of wood – Michael’s didn’t have enough of the right size!), I realized that I should be able to set them in to foam; glue a horsehair strip on the bottom and provide some place for them to pin them to their hair.  The final piece of the “puzzle” is that I’m inserting some nude stretch mesh in the back of the costume (it has a deep “V” back) and then using velcro to add a spine down the back.  We rigged up a modified version for rehearsal today and boy…I must say, the costumes look fantastic!  (the spines in the following photos haven’t been painted yet.)  The choreography is strong and pretty amazing.  What’s going to be super cool – part of the dance is in black light and the white areas will glow (that’s why they’re as big as they are!)  I’ll post video after the show.  But these photos I took today will give you an idea.  Forgive the quality.  The lighting was dim and they were moving so much it was hard to get a shot.  But you’ll get the idea.  (Unfortunately, like the cobbler’s children…Kiddlebiddle’s costume wasn’t ready today!)  Enjoy!  (And wish me luck on finishing them tomorrow!)