Sunday, March 14, 2010


I've decided to call myself a sociologist this month. . . I didn't know if this fits so I googled the word. I found a rather stuffy definition, which follows: 
"Sociologists study human society and social behavior through the prism of group formations and social, political, religious, and economic institutions. How individuals interact with each other within given contexts, the origin and development of social groups are important indices by which the sociologist conducts his research and draws conclusions."


And a more casual one:
"Sociology is the systematic study of how human societies shape the lives of people who live in them. People make lots of decisions in the course of living every day. But we make these decisions within the context of "society;" our family, school, nation and the larger world. The essential wisdom of sociology is; the social world guides our life choices just as the seasons influence our selection of activities and clothing."

The definitions mentioned family and studying human behavior, so I think it's a fine profession to choose as I document and, perhaps, invent some family traditions. My goal is to make an 8x8 photobook about our family traditions. I've begun by writing out all of the holidays and what we do so far to celebrate them. I am already at 16 events with traditions. What I think I need to examine or invent are non-holiday related traditions. Something that we did last June that was SO fun was on the last day of school, we had the car packed and we picked the children up from school and drove 3 hours to a hotel with a great pool and slide and spent what was left of the evening enjoying that. Then we went to the fantastic Calgary Zoo on Saturday and drove home after supper. It was such a celebration of school ending and summer starting what with the excitement already inherent in school ending and summer starting. We could make that a family tradition.

[Yup, that totally is a hippopotamus butt on the right.]

[The twins staring down the gorilla.]

[I know - why does the little train make them so happy?!?]

Please leave me one of your favorite family traditions in the comments section. I'll be randomly drawing from those who comment, and the winner will receive a handmade glass bead bracelet from the Bead Tree. . . Not really, but that's what a really popular blogger would do. You can click on the link and see what you might win in my imaginary world. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Measure twice. . . correctly

February is over and I am (almost) finished G's bedroom. I didn't take before pictures (What can I say? I just get so eager to begin that I can't stop to take a picture) but imagine a room that IS a queen size bed (there's only room to walk around one side and the foot of said bed) and a closet that is at the foot of the bed and runs close to the width of the room. Not even room for a dresser. That was the 'before'. NOW the bed is in what was formerly-known-as-the-closet, but is now an alcove for the bed. It was a perfect opening for the bed, even allowing for space on each side to make it (not that my 12-year-old would ever consider doing THAT!)

Here's the "after" pictures (yes, I made the bed) minutes before I put up the valance. I measured for the side shelves (twice, each side separately noting that there was a 0.5" difference between the sides yet just told the guy cutting the shelves the ONE shorter length so I would trouble him with TWO numbers and now have some short shelves. . . ), and then my dear daddy came over and put some 2x2 brackets up. Then I had a piece of rough plywood cut for the top shelf and put it up by myself (I did get some bruises on one shoulder, and my lip sweat.) I covered the bottom of this faux ceiling with fabric that I already had, and put a remnant of vinyl flooring on top. It felt so great to use up existing supplies/clutter. Most everyone in the family helped by painting (4 coats later - never painting with red again).

Now with the valance that I sewed tonight and hung with the help of a staple gun. I'm going to have to take it down when I paint the trim. . . it could happen; especially since I've looked at these 'after' pictures and seen how terrible the unpainted trim looks. Imagine it being a crisp white.

And finally, some extraneous shelves inspired me to get shelving cut for the hallway closet. Again, no 'before' picture, so just imagine a pit of despair trapped in a closet, but now. . . 

Brilliant! This is the first time that we've had a home for our vacuum. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it is much. I need to get back to the never ending work of decluttering.