attack of the closet gremlins

I am absolutely positive that Closet Gremlins exist. What is a Closet Gremlin, you ask? Well, as the name implies, they are little gremlins who invade my closet at the beginning of every new season and steal all my clothes from the season that just ended so that, when that season rolls around again, all of the essential pieces of my wardrobe that are appropriate for that season are gone. Just like that.

I know this is true because every time I go digging for clothes at the start of a new season, I have absolutely nothing to wear. And I think, “How can that be?” Because I clearly recall going shopping and making purchases. And, I definitely recall wearing clothes every day. I also recall being in an outfit routine. You know – rotating things in and out – trying to space them out appropriately so I don’t get caught walking down the hall and having someone think, “Um, didn’t she just wear that the day before yesterday??” (Because zoo staff can be tough on fashion, let me tell you.)

As you might guess, I’m writing about this now because the Closet Gremlins have struck again. October in Portland has come in like a lion. Sunshine? Gone. Clear days? Gone. Rain? Check! Fog? Check! Apparently Mother Nature decided that Halloween was just too late for the crappy weather to start, so she’s getting a jump on things this year. Because of this, I suddenly have the need to reacquaint myself with all those lovely items I purchased last year. Except that I go in my closet in the mornings and I haven’t a clue what I wore last winter because it’s all disappeared. Sadly, this is why I am forced to go shopping again. It’s the fault of my Closet Gremlins, really, well dressed as they are.

Continue reading


she’s crafty

I hate picking out store-bought cards. Many of them are so stereotypical: the Father’s Day cards about golfing, fishing or something involving a remote control; the Mother’s Day cards about taking a break from cleaning the house; the anniversary cards that profess undying love for your spouse…except that one, of course. 🙂

We have a Michaels craft store that’s spitting distance from our house (not that I’ve ever tested that, or that I could personally spit that far if I did, but I bet someone out there could). Now come to think of it, I believe I’ve blogged about this before in a previous version of Burpo Banter, but I do think it’s worth talking about again. I don’t go into this store all that often, but when I do, watch out! Michaels’ company tagline is “Where Creativity Happens” and boy, they aren’t kidding! Because let me tell you, if there’s anyone in this world less creative and crafty than I am, I challenge you to find them and bring them to me. Because I bet you can’t. But when I walk into Michaels, it’s like something steps inside me and takes over. I’d say her name is Martha, but honestly, I’m not worthy. More like Martha’s disowned sister.

Continue reading

tulle skirts and painted toenails

Jeff and I decided with both Ian and Elena that we did not want to find out their sex before they were born. While there were different reasons we chose this path for ourselves, one of my personal reasons was that I didn’t care to have all the questions, comments and stereotypes that would come along with it:

Oh, you’re having a girl! How exciting…you’ll have one of each! And now you get to buy all those cute clothes! (or insert female stereotype of your choice here) 

or, conversely

Oh, a boy! How exciting…boys have so much energy! (or insert male stereotype of your choice here)

That said, I admit that before Ian was born – I wondered sometimes that if it was a boy (which I highly suspected from the beginning, by the way), would I relate to him as well as I would a girl given that, well, I am indeed a “girl” myself? But this was also part of the reason why I didn’t want to know. Because I didn’t need that extra time to second guess how I’d be as the mother of a boy. And sure enough, when Ian was born at Virginia Hospital Center the afternoon of January 10, 2006, he wasn’t a boy. He wasn’t a girl. He was my firstborn child and he was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen.

Continue reading