Of Apples and Trees

You’ve heard this idiom, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  What if two similar trees make an apple?  I suppose the apple may inherit whatever those trees have.  In the form of actual inheritance and inherited characteristics.  What the heck am I waxing on about?  Sorry, it’s been a day.

I’m talking about Cyan and her toys, or more specifically, her Monster High dolls.


Growing up, I loved Barbies.  I would brush their hair for what seemed like hours and talk to myself (I’ll get back to this later) making up storylines.  My dad bought a Barbie Dream Cottage from the flea market and it was literally a dream come true.  I secretly hope think we still have it up in the garage.  I played with Barbie’s entirely too long, probably middle school.  And if Cyan asks me to comb one of her dolls hair, it’s incredibly therapeutic.



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And in case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll share that Allan likes loves toys.  Action figures. Always has.  Collecting them.  Creating them.  Modifying them.  Selling them.  Trading them.  in fact, we have a room dedicated to toys art in our house.  This picture is a few years old, but imagine this wall to wall.  We’re working on a 360 image, but it was not available at the time of publication.


So last year Cyan stumbled onto Monster High on Netflix.  Oh Netflix, so many things to thank you for.  Actually, Monster High isn’t that bad.  At first I wasn’t a huge fan because I always liked “pretty” dolls.  I thought the dolls were kind of scary looking.  Allan graviated toward it because he’s always liked dark figures.  Skeletor was his favorite.  Monster High is a spin on classic monster stories with the main characters as the offspring of the original monsters.  Characters like Frankie Stein (Frankenstein’s Monster and Bride), Clawdeen Wolf (The Werewolf), Cleo De Nile (The Mummy), and Lagoona Blue (Creature from the Black Lagoon) go to Monster High.


Allan bought one.  Then two.  Then he’d pick some extras up for when Cyan gets her blood drawn.  Then he’d find some on sale at Ross.  Then he’d buy a few for Christmas and before we knew it, we had enough Monster High dolls to fill a shelf.  This is how it always goes with toys in our house.  We even had some of the boy dolls.

I got to thinking that this Monster High thing is really me and Allan.  It’s the fashion of Barbie meets the macbre of Allan’s world.


I mentioned that I “talked” to myself as a kid.  I didn’t actually talk out loud, but man was my inner monologue (or dialogue?) going.  At first, I did it with toys.  As I got older, I would go off by myself to a random swingset or hill and make up an entire story in my head.  Much like the Barbie’s, I did this for entirely too long.  In college, I would walk around campus and pretend it was some other time in history.  The older I get the harder it is to do because adults think too realistically.  But I bring this up because my kids do it too.  Only they actually do talk out loud.  They make the most interesting stories.  Sometimes they even sing.  And heaven forbid you listen in and interrupt.  Especially Atticus.  He’ll yell at you, “I’m talking to myself!”  My sister laughs when they do this because she remembers how I use to do it.  Most everything I have read about imaginative play and self talk is positive.  Phew, we are not that crazy.

The last thing I wanted to share while we’re on the subject of inherited things is that the Monster High crew sit happily on my old desk/bookshelf.  That’s right.  My childhood bedroom furniture which served me for way too long, then went to my little sister Sarah, has found it’s way to our home.  Allan and I refinished the desk/hutch and matching dresser/vanity.  We didn’t keep the bed or the other chest of drawers since Cyan already had those.  And we still need to get a chair, but otherwise they are back in action.  With a bright white finish, they fit nicely with her shabby chic room.  See if you can recognize them.  #StrawberryShortcake


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So yeah, the apples haven’t fallen very far:)

P.S.  I really hope we can skip Ever After High.  It is not as cool.


Rock Bottom

Every four years or so I write a political post.  When Bush was elected, I was bummed. Twice. But that pales in comparison to all of the feelings I’m having now.

Guys, I am so devastated/disgusted/disappointed/heartbroken/terrified/embarrassed/angry. I have cried, had a panic attack and felt sick. How can so many people be okay with hate?  Misogygeny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism.  Those shouldn’t have a champion in this country.  But they do.

We are literally going from the classiest first family to the trashiest. We’ve heard them curse, seen them naked, seen them bully, seen them killing defenseless and endangered wild animals, seen them display their ignorance on the daily.  I don’t even want to write that vile man’s name.  He has insulted countless women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities.

I feel like we let our kids down.  I don’t know who will address climate change and other environmental issues.  I’m terrified of the composition of the Supreme court.  I feel like I didn’t do enough.  I’m embarassed in the eyes of the world.  I’m a citizen and will acknowledge that person is the president of this country, but he’s not my president.  I don’t respect him and I have a hard time respecting those that support him.  The economy tanked this morning.  Hmm, wonder why.

I always struggle with optimism, but let’s look for silver linings.  New Mexico, my home state, was and is blue.  The President doesn’t have that much power.  We have the legislative and judicial branches to balance that.  Oh wait, who is there to stop him?  Allan told me we will be okay.  I have to believe him.  I’m praying this is rock bottom for the republic and that there is no where to go but up.

This was super stream of conscious.  Anyway, I guess we have to move forward. Take care friends.


I’d like to file a complaint

I came into tonight’s meeting all ready to drop the mic. #ArmentaOut  Didn’t quite work out that way.

I seriously can’t remember how long I’ve served on our HOA board, but I’m ready to tap out. Except somehow I keep getting a two year term. What the? I think our community manager is lying about this. Not on purpose, but she’s probably lost track too. I could quit at any time, but I’d feel bad. #VolunteerProblems

Serving on the HOA board is really not that hard.  The last two years I went in thinking I was done. It’s a bad version of Groundhog Day.

To continue my rant complaining, it is like pulling teeth to get people to participate in THEIR community. There are a hundred and forty some odd homes in our neighborhood. We had a whopping total of eleven residents represented. Two by proxy. Six neighbors representing five homes plus four board members plus our community manager plus Allan (the first gentleman of Story Rock) for a grand total of twelve people. I’m no math whiz at two in the morning, but I believe that is definitely less than ten percent and about twenty shy of the number we need for quorum.

The good news I guess is that I won’t be president next year. So while my mic drop wasn’t as epic as President Obama’s, it is at least a transition to a new role and a step closer to retirement.
Back to complaining. When our community documents were written (probably before I’d even reached home owner status), some brilliant mind decreed that our annual meeting be held the first Tuesday in November. Hmmm, that sounds oddly familiar. I feel like we have something going on that day.

Oh yeah, ELECTION DAY.  Wonder why we rarely meet quorum? We usually compete with local, state and national elections. Kind of important stuff. This year we finally didn’t have to compete with Election Day. Instead some folks were attending church for All Saint’s Day, while others were attending the church of Game 6. After all, sports is religion to some people. The Cubs won by the way. In case you were busy being involved in your community or anything.

While we’re on the subject of not participating, my final complaint is related to elections, or rather people who tell me they don’t vote. Aside from a flawed system and candidates you aren’t head over heels for, how do people not vote? For me, I’m grateful for the opportunity. Apathy is wack, be a grownup.

Okay, I think my complaint is over. I feel better.