Archive for April, 2008

Ever since Grandma Penny skipped town, Ava has played Plane-Ride-to-Paris. This consists of packing up ponies, barrettes, books, dolls, socks, and flashcards into a gypsy assortment of purses and bags, then dragging these bags along with her animal entourage out the living room. She loads them up on the brown, velvet 747 that is taxied in our living room and then proceeds to fly them non-stop to Paris.

Of course by the time she has arrived at her destination, it looks more like plane wreck.

So in the evenings we play an equally fun, but not as enthusiastic game called, sort-all-your-toys-and-put-them-away. It’s nearly as exciting as pretending to travel to Paris, but not quite.

After nearly four months of transforming the living room into an airline hanger, Ava is well versed in the interworkings of transatlantic flights and how to prepare for them.

And if anything, Ava is confident. Confident in all the things that she is confident that she knows. And she knows how to pack for a plane ride to Paris.

So when Grandma Penny needed to refill her suitcase after her much-too-short visit home who better to help her than the expert.

Now Ava and Grandma hit a challenge that neither were prepared for or experienced in. Grandpa Lyle had left a sub-woofer in Grammy’s bag. It was not only large, but heavy. Ava and Grammy had to squeeze her things around the speaker without exceeding the fifty-pound limit.

After two attempts to fill, zip, drag, and weigh the suitcase, it was clear that somethings were going to have to be left behind. As the consultant, Ava tackled the problem with the intesity of a captain deciding who gets to ride on the lifeboat.

“But Grammy, you need your umbrella! It rains in Paris.”

“There’s no room for it.”

“But Grammy, you need it. It’s important. It fits right here. See.”

When Grammy pulled out her make-up bag in an attempt to rearrange, Ava bounded over to the bag and quickly rescued it.

“Grammy! You can’t leave that! You have to bring it. It’s very important. I’ll get it in. See. There.”

“See Grammy, it fits. You have to have your make-up! It’s very important.”

At three-and-a-half, Ava perceives that outer beauty is only skin-deep, so it’s best to have a good make-up bag on board.

Editor’s Note: Ava consulting services extend beyond packing and involve most aspects of domestic life, including but not limited too: pie-dough rolling, bread kneading, cookie cutting, plant watering, bath bubbling, clothes matching, dog feeding, furniture arranging, baby naming, and paper cutting. If you are in need of an “expert” on any one of these or other duties, please contact Ava at badgersontheloose@gmail.com. Rates vary on perceived experience.

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Today when I saw the short hand nearing the fifth digit, I thought I might be nice to transition from bathroom scrubber and laundress to pretty wife before Hungryman made his appearance.

I traded my hooded sweater for a sleeveless top with ruffles and my tennis shoes for open toed heels. I stepped in front of the vanity in hopes of masking the fact that I’d been cleaning all day. My shell earrings jangled as I returned to the kitchen to peel potatoes.

Ava skipped in and took a long sniff in my direction.

“Oh Mama, did you take a shower? I like when you take a shower.”

From the inflexion in her voice you would concluded that this was a monumental occasion.

“No honey, I didn’t”

Another long sniff.

“But you smell good!”

Evidently, Nate’s not the only one who benefits from a little personal grooming.

Speaking of showering, I’ve been asked to work on another educational video.
This one is on personal hygiene. Clearly, I’m the right person for that job.

That was to be the end of my story. Thirty minutes later, however, HungryMan stepped into our home clutching an equally fragrant bouquet of tulips. We were both delighted with our surprises. And I was reminded that a sweet-smelling, pretty wife at the end of the day is as lovely to my husband as a handful of brightly colored blooms is to me.

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would smell as sweet.”

Perhaps that’s true, Shakespeare, but I contend that no one would have heard of it. Given another name, a rose would be as forgotten and overlooked as these beauties.

They have all the subtle beauty and delicate refinement as their cousin bloom, but lack the poetic name that inspires dreamers and lovers.

I have lost untold minutes watching the metamorphosis from tightly fisted buds to sunbursts of paper tissue petals. If I had been Georgia O’Keefe, I would have painted these.

The poor dears have been condemned to a life of obscurity due to the most unfortunate of monikers.

Can anyone guess the name of my favorite flower?

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“Honey, why do you keep pointing at that brownie mix?”

“Cause, look.”

“You are seven years old! You do NOT need to worry about low-fat!!”


Moms of seven-year-olds or older or younger, how do we protect our girls from this?

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Perhaps I need to invest more time in grooming Ava’s hair.

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remind me that my wardrobe is missing



and this.

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On Tuesday night after my long day on set I put my weary, happy self to bed. Right as my dreams were beginning to wisp over eyes, I was startled by a great deal of moaning in the kitchen.

Hungryman: Oh man, I’m starving. I need a hamburger. Ahh, I’m sooo hungry. [Opens and closes several cupboard doors.] I need a hamburger! What am I gonna eat? [Opens refrigerator]. Ah, sweet. Rach! Rach! There’s leftover Chipotle in here. Is it yours? Can I eat it?

Me: Ah, we had Chipotle for lunch. It’s not mine. There should be a name on it.

Hungryman: [runs into bedroom and flips on bedside lamp]

Me: Dude!

Hungryman: Whose is this?

Me: Read it. It’s says “Jeremy.” It was Jeremy’s.

Hungryman: He was the sound guy?

Me: Yeah.

Hungryman: Hmmm. [walks back to the kitchen] Ah man, I’m so hungry. [Opens the refrigerator] Rach! Rach! Nica left a whole taco! [Opens microwave] Ah Rach!! [Puts it in microwave] It’s loaded. [Starts microwave] It’s huge. [Takes it out of microwave and carries hot taco to bedroom] Should I eat it?

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it’s a wrap

Oh man, oh man! That was so much fun!

I was going to post all about my day as a reality-tv-host last night, but I was so tuckered out that I went promptly to bed. And apparently the movie business has gone to my head, because this diva slept in until 9:00 this morning. Thanks in large part to Grammy’s ability to run Ava right out of energy.

So, here’s the story about how I hosted a reality show for a day.

I have these great friends, Wes and Nica, who have this little production company, HappyFunTime.

They were working on a project in which they needed someone to teach proper ettiquette to kids getting ready for prom, so they called me, the never-has-been actress that I am. I enthusiastically agreed to join their band of merrymakers and promptly forget that I really don’t really have a clue.

Then at 7:00 am yesterday, their crew, as in a real crew with real equipment and other actors, as in ones with agents and headshots, arrived at my doorstep. And I panicked.

“Dang, I’m really doing this. What am I doing? I don’t know what I’m doing. Ah great.”

But see, here’s Wes. He’s a fine director. He knows how to put everyone at ease. And he even gives you good pointers.

See, right now, he’s saying: “Okay, Rach, it would be really great if you could wait until I say ‘Action’ before you start talking.”

Since the premise was a reality show, there wasn’t a hard script. At each take, Nica would look down at her clipboard and say something like, “Yeah, in this next shot I need you to talk about what do do with your hands during the meal. Here’s the points you need to cover: hands stay on your lap, hands don’t sit on the table, no elbows on the table, don’t gesture with your utensils, don’t fidget or tap your class, and don’t reach over and take other peoples food. Got that?”

You want me to “what?”, I can’t even remember to bring my keys out to the car.

“Ah, yeah, got it.”




“….Uh, what was the first thing again?”


Eventually my sleepy brain would kick in and I shoot out all the necessary information. Then Wes would clap his hands together and say, “Ah, that was great! Let’s roll it again from the top.”

Somehow between my lack of lingo, absence of a short-term memory, and the 747’s that land in my neighbor’s backyard, Wes somehow managed to capture the footage he needed in a surprisingly efficient manner. I was very impressed.

Filming is seriously hard work on both sides of the camera. It’s amazing how much work goes into a single shot, and how much footage is needed for a short film.

Being a part of that whole creative process was so fun! I loved it! Plus playing make-believe with adults has the added benefits of edible food, good jokes, and costumes that actually fit. Oh, and I got to hang out with Nica, she’s great!

At 8:30 last night, little Ava came bounding onto the set with all the energy of a day spent with Grammy, immediately bringing me back to the reality of my sweet life with her.

Right now Ava’s setting up a picnic of goldfish and water in the dining room and wants me to ward off the monsters. Ah, the life of an actor. There’s always a new role to play.

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Yep, there’s a movie crew in my living room.

And my dining room.

I’m hanging out with the Talent in Ava’s room.

Ah, we’re shooting again. Gotta scoot. More later.

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Ever since Grandma Penny landed on U.S. soil, Ava has been asking when she could sleep at Grandma’s house. She has been literally counting down the days to when she can have a “sleepover–all by myself!” And I think that she may possibly have told every single person that looked her direction today that she was going to grandma’s house tonight!

After dinner she filled her backpack with Bubba, Bubba’s friends and an assortment of blankies. She added in an extra change of clothes just in case “Grammy let’s me stay two days.” When I told her that I would miss her too much if she stayed two days, she reassured me that I had daddy and that she would come home again.

There she goes. I think she’s going to miss me.

And while that little mouse is away, this cat is going to play.

I’m helping my friends out with a little filming project tomorrow. It’s been an extra long time since I’ve gotten to play in front of cameras, so it should be great fun. If you think of me tomorrow, please pray that I’m of some good use to my friends.

Well, I’m off to sleep. I’ll let you know if any sleep was had at grandma’s house.

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