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bikini power vs. the ratty sweater

First the backstory.

I was the chubby, poorly dressed, semi-ugly girl in my Hawaiian high school. Sad but true. I was NOT one of the slim, popular, Asian girls with their perfect skin and gorgeous thick, straight, hair. They had no butts, and no body hair, while I had plenty of both, and while booty has come into fashion lately (thank you J Lo), that was the eighties and back then, booty was just called fat.

[Cue 80s teen angst soundtrack]

Okay. Fast forward fifteen years. I used to have a job in South Beach Miami, a place where people grocery shop in their thong bikinis and everyone looks fabulous, even the people who really, really don’t. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true. I could take off from my NC airport feeling blah, and at touch down in Miami, wearing the same body and the same clothes, I’d feel like a million bucks. Is it something in the air? Inquiring minds!

But, anyway, one of my co-workers was this totally hip, mid-40ish, gal from Spain who had that European comfort with her body that astounded me. I think she was used to going topless on Mediterranean beaches, so she was actually covering up for Miami in her tiny bikini. She was just so comfortable in her skin, playing volleyball in said bikini, for example, heedless of any…um…flopping that may occur. I was amazed. “You have to coach me,” I said to her one day. “I want to be fearless like you.”

So she playfully started helping me mimic how she moved. She’d say, “no, no, no you have to sit with your legs apart, be loose in your joints, not stiff. Don’t act like you have anything to hide. Hiding is shame, and you want to be shameless, right?” To which I would answer, “I can’t do that! What if, like, [stage whisper] a hair pops out?!” And she would roll her eyes and say, “So what? If you’re worried about it, get it all waxed off.” To which I would shriek in horror, and she would laugh, and I would laugh, and it was great time, all around.

But under her tutelage, I eventually bought one of those tiny, brazilian, string bikinis. No kidding. So there I was one day, walking along South Beach with my friend, wearing my new, expensive, emperors-new-clothes, and it’s okay, I’m on a beach full of similarly dressed folk, so it’s cool, I’m managing my anxiety using hardly any medication at all, okay, maybe a daquiri, but that’s it, just one—

—when, whammo, the totally hot, also Brazilian, jet-ski instructor, the tanned, muscled guy that all the single gals had been trying to bed, or at least seriously flirt with, caught sight of me and stopped what he was doing. “Maya!” he called out, open admiration and surprise on his face. And then he jumped up and beat his chest. And growled.

Can you say Full Body Blush? But he was serious! All of a sudden, I was the girl in that soda ad, you know the one, she climbs out of the pool in slow mo, all dripping and tan and perfect, and all the guys watching drop their jaws, and their plates of food, etc. while she walks by like a goddess. Holy shit, was I her? I was her? No freaking way! No. Freaking. Way.

My friend, sly smile under her sunglasses, said, “See? I told you you had it in you.”

Can you imagine? Me, the dorky, bookish, chubby girl had just been handed a nuclear weapon.

And THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, another guy, this gorgeous, shirtless, pitch-black dude with dreads, riding by on his bike, watching me walk down the beach, hit a rock or something and fell over. That’s right, my momentary bodaciousness caused a guy to fall off his bike.

“I promise not to use the Power of the Bikini for good,” I said. “Not at all.”

“The power isn’t in the bikini, my little idiot,” said my Spanish friend. She really said that! She was so cool.

Every woman should have a moment, somewhere in her life, when she feels beautiful and invincible. It’s a rule.

But let me be perfectly clear: it wasn’t the guys. It was how I felt, what I was willing to believe about myself, that was the potent part of that moment. I mean, we’ve all received compliments, totally sincere appreciations, that we have let roll off our teflon shields of denial. The Bikini Moment was the opposite of that. No teflon. It felt amazing.

Okay. Fast forward another six years. And two babies. And well, I look at the dental floss that is that bikini and let’s just say, I doubt I will ever wear it again. That’s okay. Things change. But here I am, and as any mother of small children knows, working out is a thing of the past, I can’t remember if my hair got washed yesterday or the day before, and my clothing is graced with food smears, mud, and probably boogies.

From Dorky Teen, to Goddess, to Frump Monster. Life is a roller coaster, isn’t it?

But here is the question at hand. Do I accept entropy, or do I fight it?

I have this sweater, olive green, wool, full of moth holes and tears and stains, it’s pathetic, really. I’m guessing just about everyone has an item of clothing like this, something you wear frequently, but that your spouse would like to burn. I really should retire the sweater, and I keep thinking I will, but then it’s morning, and I haven’t had my coffee yet, and the laundry is piled up like mountains I have to climb, and I’m cold and there it is, my faithful sweater, ready and willing to warm me up as I shuffle into my day. So I keep it another year, and another, and it gets rattier and rattier and, I fear, so do I.

Because, wearing that sweater, I feel a million miles from the Bikini Moment. I figure my inner Bikini Girl is still in there somewhere (maybe), but the sweater is kind of an Anti-Attractiveness-Cloak. With Self-Esteem Draining powers. I know, my friend said the power wasn’t in the bikini—which, by extension, means the power isn’t in the sweater, either, right? But still, maybe it’s time for the sweater to rest in peace…? Am I succumbing to the fraying effects of domestic life and ‘letting myself go?’ Or am I getting older and wiser and realizing that being a Soda Ad Girl isn’t where true happiness lies? Choices, choices….

Or maybe I could find a pretty, funky, cool version of the sweater to replace it with….? I mean, there have to be options here I haven’t considered.

I was describing the sweater to another friend of mine on the phone the other day. In fact, that conversation was the inspiration for this post. Her response? “Maya, you need to get out more.”

I said, “No way, this is universal, everyone’s got one of those sweaters.”

“Maya, if you blog about that sweater, it’ll be the red zone that tells us we are just about to lose you. We’re going to have to do some kind of emergency extraction. Red Alert, she’s blogging about the sweater! Get her out of there before her mind completely liquifies!”

“That does it! Now, I HAVE to blog about the sweater.”

“Don’t do it!”

“I’m doing it, you watch me!”

Extraction team, stand by!

(You know, as I type this, I’m wearing the sweater.)

(No, I will not be including a photo.)

happy birthday, sophie!

Sophie turns 5 today. Wow!

I asked her if there was anything she remembered learning as a four year old, anything that marked being four for her, and she came up with this amazing list. The year Sophie was four she learned how to:

  • post on a horse and hold the reins with one hand
  • count to 100
  • snap her fingers
  • whistle
  • swing on the swing without me pushing her
  • write her name, and Luc’s name, and my name, and Daddy’s name
  • make oatmeal
  • swing [hand over hand] on the monkeybars
  • do a cartwheel, and a backwards roll
  • walk a log on her toes
  • play Go-fish….

And then she ran off to do something else, done with my lists. I could add a hundred more things, but I love that these are the things she thought of. Here she is a few days ago, in the last days of being four, hanging out in the yurt:

She is so cool.

cool felt picture fun for kiddos

Kids dig crafts. Want to hear that engrossed silence of kids making stuff? Here’s a quick and dirty project:

Get a stack of felt squares from a craft store and a bunch of scissors. Designate a few of the felts ‘backgrounds.’ You might be able to get a few stiff pieces for this. Set the kids to cutting things out from the other felt pieces, or, if your kiddos are a bit too small for that, let them tell you whatever they want, and cut it out for them. Sit down on the floor with them and get all into it, cutting things out, arranging bits, offering suggestions. The little felt bits stick to the felt backgrounds, allowing them to make pictures that they can be adjusted and changed endlessly.

Here, look:

Arrange and rearrange….

The kids adore being able to ask for whatever they want, and they’re so happy to get a YES to every request. “Mom, can you cut out a pig?” Yes. “Mom, I need a big orange fish.” No problem. “Hey, Mom, I want a spooky tree. Can you do a spooky tree?” Absolutely!

Here’s a portrait Sophie did. She was extremely pleased at her scissor-work here.

And pretty quickly, stories start to come out of the pictures, and the little felt people start to enact little felt dramas.

This picture became a whole saga about the lonely, spooky tree and the little person who lived across the river. After many misunderstandings, they became friends. That’s when the addition of the bridge was cut out. “Mom, they need a bridge so they can visit each other.” Got it. One bridge coming up.

Don’t be limited to the backgrounds: after making pictures for a while, the kids took various pieces and built up fancy ‘cakes,’ palm sized piles of elegant felt designs, for a dinosaur tea party. Perfect.

When they’re done, all the bits and backgrounds go into a bag, to be pulled out for new pictures next time. Ta Da!

I am endlessly amazed at how creative these small people are!

triple chocolate pudding goop, or, this way lies madness

I have discovered the most amazing-gooey-triple-chocolate-orgasm recipe in this universe. Maybe all universes. Except for that weird one with all the shrimp. Anyway, this is chocolaty madness in a bowl, impossible to resist, instantly fattening, gross and wonderful, in the way eating cake batter can make you feel sinful in the best possible way. This is NOT some nifty desert to make for a party. This is something to mix up in the middle of the night to ward off depression. Best eaten warm, out of the pot, with a spoon, while talking to your best friend on the phone. It’s kind of like fudge pudding, or maybe liquid brownies, or maybe some kind of gooey, chewy, crispy ice-cream topping. But however you do it, I kid you not: this is the real thing.

Get ready. Get set. Go!

1- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

2- Beat together:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3- Melt 1 stick of butter (I use the microwave)

4- Add to the melted butter, 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the best cocoa money can buy. Or the cheap stuff. Whatever you’ve got at two in the morning will work.

5- Add the cocoa/butter mixture to the other stuff and mix well.

6- Finally add 1 running over teaspoon of vanilla.

Now, a decision, and the answer will depend on how badly you are suffering. Eat it now, raw? Or wait 50 minutes for it to cook? Some of both? (That’s usually my choice.)

7- Pour whatever batter you can manage to separate yourself from into a loaf pan and place the pan into another pan with an inch of water in it. Then put this whole pan-within-the-pan arrangement into the oven.

It will take 45-50 minutes for the top to reach optimal crunchiness to contrast with the oozing chocolate goo of the middle. Don’t over cook! You want the middle to be gooey, trust me!

Ding! The oven bell goes off. Thank the Diva of Chocolate and all her Attending Goddesses!

But now, the hardest part. Waiting for it to cool enough to eat. Don’t burn your mouth! I will not be held responsible for burned mouths!

Okay, prepare for your eyes to bug out of your head on that first bite. Put a clean bowl nearby to catch them. Go ahead and order a larger size of pants, so that they have time to arrive by the time you are scraping the pot clean with your fingernails. Don’t be like me and start sucking it off my children’s dirty shirt fronts on the way to the laundry basket, because that’s just gross. But do prepare for losing your mind. If you like chocolate. And if you don’t like chocolate, I don’t want to know. Some kinds of perversity are just too far.

And no, I don’t have a photo. Taking a picture would require that I have some of this stuff sitting around that I am not currently eating. Not possible. And besides, this isn’t about presentation. It’s about need. Now, go forth. Triple chocolate orgasms await you.

the incredible hulk invades the yurt

It all started with the arrival of a little lego Hulk, one of a hundred million legos, purchased in a tub from the thrift store.

” Mom,” said Luc, “Why is this guy’s pants all ripped up? And why is he green?”

Well…

Off to google! Where, like Godzilla before him, we found a million images, youtube clips, and pop-culture histories of this amazingly durable character.

There is the comic, of course, from master Stan Lee, first penned back in the early 60s,

and then the late 60s animated show (hilarious theme song!),

and the 70s live action show with Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk,

and the 80s animated show with Spiderman (odd combo, if you ask me),

and then the 90s animated show with Lou doing Hulk’s voice.

Next the Hulk moved to the big screen and we had the Ang Lee live action movie,

and now, 50 years after it all started, another live action movie with Edward Norton.

I saw “Hulk,” the Ang Lee movie, when it came out (that was pre-babies, back when I actually went to the movies) and I have to say, it didn’t work for me. I also Netflixed the new movie back in October, before (or as a prequel to?) the current Hulk madness, and liked it better, though the Edward Norton sections felt only lightly connected to the Hulk sections. And the bulging muscles of the green guy are just too over the top for me. His head isn’t big enough or something. But I digress, because the real point is this:

A story has to be pretty freaking compelling to call to so many people, in so many iterations, over such a long period of time.

And my 3 year old Luc is completely entranced by it, like so many little boys before him. “Why does he get angry? What does he eat? Would he be stronger than an apatosaurus? What if the Hulk fought a bull dozer?” Imagine small, cutie-pie, sweetheart, Luc, standing on the sofa, legs apart, arms outstretched, HURLING a sofa pillow to the floor with a huge ROAR and yelling, “I am the Incredible Hulk!”

The Hulk story is like some medicine he is taking in, exploring what it’s like to be massively huge and powerful—but still a good person.

Me: “Why do you like the Hulk?”

Luc: “Because he’s really, really big and really, really powerful and really, really, really, really green.”

A quick trip through the tv listings and we had full eps of the 1996 show, which, it turns out, we all are totally into. This show introduced new elements to us, such as She-Hulk!

a green vixen with the “kelly-green abs of steel”, aka Jennifer, Bruce Banner’s cousin, who had to receive an emergency transfusion of Bruce’s gamma-infected blood in order to save her life. Unlike Bruce, who seeks a cure, Jennifer approves of the transformation. She’s got a different gig, though, because her mind remains intact. Poor Bruce transforms completely, triggered by his anger, and so has little control over what he does when he’s all Hulkish. Jennifer, on the other hand, is basically herself, only with bigger, greener, hair, and super strength. An interesting variation on the theme.

We also got Gray Hulk (I totally couldn’t find a picture of this guy except this, from the comic):

a scary Evil Hulk, the result of a split-personality situation with Bruce and the separation of Bruce and Hulk in some kind of nutrient bath…or something…um, anyway, this guy gave Luc a whole new set of questions: “Why is he gray? When will the Gray Hulk come? Is he a bad guy? Why is he a bad guy? Maybe he needs to eat something so he will be less grumpy.” And, “I want to see the one with the Gray Hulk again.”

The center of the story (as you probably know) is a good man who, through no fault of his own, finds that his anger transforms him into a creature of great destructive power. Because of this, he loses his old life and is hunted by the military (who want to either kill him or use him as a weapon), and by The Leader, an alien (I think?) who wants to manipulate the Hulk’s DNA to take the Hulk’s power for his own—or maybe make a Hulk army he can control.

Poor Hulk, he’s quite the tragic figure, using his power only defensively against those that would hurt him or hurt his friends, Betty, Rick, and Jennifer. And this, I think, is why the story endures: despite his destructive tendencies and scary appearance, the Hulk is a good guy. Bruce is wrong—we DO like him when he’s angry, because he has a big, green, heart. Just goes to show you can’t judge by appearances.

Occasionally, watching the show, Luc gets nervous. It’s pretty intense with lots of bad guys, explosions, fighting, and a dark plot line. We sit together and watch, talking about what’s going on, him asking lots of questions and me explaining as we go. I try to give him power (what the Hulk is all about) over the tv, explaining how to pause, or fast forward, offering to watch and tell him what happens so he can know for sure that everything turns out all right before he watches himself. He can look away and just listen, and, of course, just turn it off. These are all the things that I do when I want to watch something that might be too scary for me. For example, I really enjoyed the marvelous “28 Days Later,” but only because I had my finger on the fast forward for the worst bits (like that freaking tunnel scene—forget about it!). If I put it out there that he is too little to watch, or the show/tv is too scary for him, then he is disempowered—the opposite of what he wants with all the Hulkness. But if I help him have power over his watching, so he can watch, or not watch, in a way that works for him, I figure that’s what the Hulk is all about. Doing it your own way! Hulk not smash the puny humans!

I guess it’s working because he asks for the show, again and again, and talks about it during the day, making connections between things on the show and his life in ways that tell me he is really working with this material, exploring anger and power and what it means to have either, or neither. The Hulk is a clear extension of Luc’s other interests, dinosaurs and construction machines—things that are big and strong. And no wonder this interests him—he is so little, this cute tiny guy who barely hits 3 feet tall and can just pick up a five pound weight. Just like I trusted him as a baby to know when he needed to eat or sleep, I trust him to know what stories he needs. And right now, it’s stories about power (and size!) and the Hulk is nothing if not an exploration of that. So we watch, and talk, and he plays Hulk and throws the sofa cushions. “Hulk angry!!!!”

In one of those great coincidences, with no a clue about this whole Hulk invasion, an aunt gave these shoes to Luc over the holidays:

And guess what? The teeth and eyes glow in the dark. No kidding! See how he’s wearing purple pants with them? “Mommy, Mommy, I’m busting out of my clothes!”

Here is Sophie’s rendition of the whole thing:

Hulk…friend!

ETA: For further Hulk conversation, go here.

diggers watch tv, too

Luc is enthralled with big machines. Bull dozers, backhoes, excavators, trenchers, dump trucks—driving past a construction site these days causes the backseat to erupt into squeals of “It’s a crane! Mommy, a digger! Mommy, Mommy, a front loader!” A couple of weeks ago, I ran across an ad for a construction site video for kids, which I promptly nexflixed. We popped it in the dvd player and whammo, our very own construction site machines to stare at in the comfort of our own home. SEE the big cat crawl to the top of a mountain of garbage at the city dump! OBSERVE the sheer tractor tear apart an old building! WATCH as the cement truck fills wall molds for a 30 foot high rise! Become SO BORED your eyes roll back in your head!

But not Luc—he is entranced. “Mom, I want to watch Mighty Machines!” Is it the image of so much brute strength that makes these big machines so wonderful to my little guy? Is it testosterone? I admit that I just don’t get the appeal. But that’s cool. He loves it, and that’s enough.

Here he is, watching a mac truck haul some gravel out of a quarry. See how he got all his diggers out and lined them up beside him on the couch? He told me he wanted them to be able to watch, too. I love the generosity of that.

the TOOL shed

Paul has reached the 80% done point on his tool shed. I joke with him about how it’s where he keeps his tool. [insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here.] He’s been really happy working on the it because he’s finally building something with no time pressure (the baby is coming! the goats are coming! winter is coming!) or inspection requirements (now you will pay thousands of dollars for engineers to say that yes, this building will not fall down—bend over please). Ahem.

I think it has turned out delightfully.

Come on over for a tour….

The bottom half is masonry, the top half cordwood. Everything in it is recycled. Timbers were cut from when the land was cleared for the yurt. The doors, windows, hardware, etc, are all from the local used building materials store. The cement was free from Craig’s List. Paul estimates that the whole thing has cost a couple hundred dollars.

A detail from the front wall….

Here we go around the corner.

Can you see all the little tiles the kids and I pressed into the mortar? That was surprisingly fun.

Here is the same wall from the inside.

And the same wall down near the floor. More of Sophie’s tile work.

The back wall is made of blue glass bottles and more of the little blue tiles.

The front wall from the inside.

The floor is recycled brick.

Here it is, tucked away in the woods….

Every man should have such a nice place to play with his tool. I mean tools.

ETA: see some ‘making of the tool shed’ posts here.

go, go, godzilla!

The yurt was totally trashed yesterday. I mean, toys spread in a thick crust on every surface, obscuring the floor, the table gone in a heap of stuff, the beds lost under mountains of toys, everywhere an explosion of toys toys toys. I said, “I can’t stand it! I’m going to become Godzilla and stomp on all this stuff!” And I roared a huge roar and stomped just exactly like Godzilla.

And Luc says, “What’s Godzilla?”

Oh. Popular culture reference lost on the three year old. Allrighty then. To the computer!

A moment later we were looking at scads of pictures of Godzilla. Stills from movies, Godzilla action figures, inflatable human-sized Godzillas, Godzilla theme parks, Godzillas made out of legos, Mechagodzilla robots. This led to a discussion about the difference between characters and toys, how different stories can use the same characters, remakes, and how Godzilla was not, actually, a dinosaur, because dinosaurs were real, but are extinct, and Godzilla is not real, although we can see pictures of him now. Whew.

And then good-ole Youtube provided us with movie clips including a death match between Godzilla and Mothra with a stunning example of Godzilla using his Atomic Fire Breath. Wow!

And Luc, sounding a little concerned, says, “Who would be big enough to kill Godzilla?”

Seconds later we were reading an article listing all of Godzilla’s various enemies, with movie stills, including a discussion of when Godzilla was good and when he was evil. I decided not to describe how Godzilla was a powerful story for the Japanese because he was an unstoppable force of destruction from across the ocean, just like the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki—time enough for a discussion on nuclear war later. When they’re older.

Instead, Luc says, “What’s Tokyo?”

Boom, Google Earth delivers us a bird’s eye, and then a street view, of downtown Tokyo, followed by an examination of, and comparison with, the buildings Godzilla is actually stomping on (we couldn’t identify any, but it didn’t matter). The street view was very interesting to Sophie who zeroed in on the signs—in Japanese, of course. She whips out a notebook and starts writing in ‘Japanese.’ Which led me to the bookshelves where I knew I had a book about kanji, and sure enough, I did. So she started copying them out, an art project, and we talked a bit about what a few of the kanji meant and how they are whole words, instead of sounds, the way our letters are. She copied several out and then announced that the complicated ones were sometimes made up of smaller versions of others. Wow, cool observation. And while we were busy looking up kanji….

Luc was building Tokyo.

I wish I had a photo of the giant T-Rex stuffed animal stomping the heck out of it all a few minutes later, but my camera died. Suffice it to say it was awesome. Including Luc’s rendition of the Atomic Fire Breath. Time to rebuild! And here comes Godzilla again! Oh, No! I’d say this process of construction and destruction was repeated, oh, at least eight or nine times.

Go, Go, Godzilla!

Eventually, it all wound down, the whole thing lasting an hour, maybe two, and we were on to the next thing. Lunch—sushi, of course—and then the sandbox. The yurt did get cleaned. Sort of. Eventually.

Godzilla + Google leads to everything.

the source of my power

It’s in my socks.

Okay, these are not my thighs. I had a thigh double brought in for this blog entry.

But these are my socks! I got them from Sockdreams.com, the dealer for sock junkies everywhere. It all started, innocently enough, with the red and white pair in this picture. I had no idea how wearing them would ignite my imagination! Before I knew it, I was adding to my crazy sock collection. A pair here, a pair there. I now have a dedicated Crazy Sock Drawer. Holy music plays when I open it in the morning. I swear.

Some go to the knee…

Some go just over the knee…

Some go all the way up.

No, I’m not showing you my own legs in my thigh high socks. Just get over it.

Sometimes I wear them with skirts, all out in the open and people can’t stop commenting on them, which is pretty fun. But mostly I wear them tucked away under my daily uniform of black yoga pants. It’s like having my superhero costume on under my Clark Kent exterior.

Just remember, this…

might be concealing this…

the amazing emu

The other day we went to visit Christiana, a friend of ours who has a bunch Toggenburg goats. She also has chickens, geese, a turkey, some pigs, horses, and—surprise!—emus. What the heck is an emu?

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Christiana makes the most wonderful goat’s milk soap. Although I have dabbled in making goat cheese and goat milk yogurt, I have no interest in trying to make goat milk soap because hers is so creamy and soft and delightful, it gives me a distinct case of the why-bothers. I’d rather just use hers. And, in fact, we’ve been using her soap for years.

There was one visit, when Luc a newborn, when Christiana’s turkey chased Sophie and scared the crap out of her. She still remembers it! Whenever she sees that turkey now, she yells, “Shoo Turkey!” and runs away. Smart girl! That turkey is terrifying with this long drippy nose-skin-wattle thing and a shrieking gobbly-gobbly and an aggressive stalking walk… Okay, Sophie wasn’t the only one scared of the turkey. I have found, however, that in other contexts, saying, “Shoo Turkey!” makes both Sophie and I giggle hysterically. Clearly a case of post traumatic stress disorder from a Mad Turkey Attack.

But we were talking about emus.

The coolest thing about emus is not their weirdly alien faces:

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Or their strangely dinosaur like feet:

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The coolest thing about emus is the sound they make. I kid you not, an emu sounds just exactly like giving a tabla drum a plunk. That’s right, thumping a drum. I have no idea how they do it–it seems to come from some place in their chest. I looked for a sound file to link to here, but couldn’t find one. However, I did learn, in my brief googling, that the sound can be heard, should the emu wish it, for MILES. And that it is called ’emu drumming.’ I’m telling you, it is so bizarre and compelling, this tribal and mysterious thump, thumbthump. THUMP.

The second coolest thing about emus is the color of their eggs. They come out this shockingly deep teal. Here is a picture of Sophie with the emu egg (hollow) that Christiana gave us on this visit:

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And here is a close-up of the egg color, which hopefully will come through on the monitor:

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Amazing. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this egg is the size of both my fists put together. My aunt Carroll once made an entire quiche with just ONE of these eggs. A BIG quiche. She said it tastes like chicken.