Tag Archives: flat

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…….

My dear friend from college put out a request on Facebook to see who might be interested in taking her daughter’s Flat Elizabeth on an adventure.

If you have never been entrusted with a Flat Stanley and do not have any idea what I am talking about, you should really consider what kind of friend you have been. For those of us who are trustworthy and creative and just spectacular in general, sometimes our friends will send us a Flat Stanley (or other cutout doll named after their child).  There is a children’s book about a boy named Stanley who gets smushed by a blackboard and accidentally sealed in an envelope and he ends up on a grand adventure. And some teachers think it is a great idea for kids in their class to create their own cutout doll and send him/her on his/her own grand adventure.

It is a really fun way for the kids to learn about the world.

Being so competitive willing to help another mother out, I raised my hand immediately. And, no I did not knock three other mothers down in the process – remember it was a virtual competition – I behaved myself quite nicely. After all, I am a civilized competitor – but I might have shouted “me, me, me” into the web-o-sphere once or twice. Maybe. And maybe not. But maybe.

In fact, lots of people offered (to no avail) to play tour guide to Flat Elizabeth. My friend is a delightful person and so it makes sense that a lot of friends would offer to help her. And I am not at all suggesting that they are losers in the Flat Elizabeth campaign – but you can see where she ended up. 😉

On a slow train to Ranthambore – the tiger preserve in India. Oh, yes, in case you have forgotten, India is where “I” live. Flat Elizabeth came to visit me! Yahoo! Not the other losers friends who offered to help out. I’m just sayin – I won, I won. tee hee.

She was a delightful travel companion. She didn’t each much and never had to stop for potty breaks. She didn’t even fight with her siblings – of course, that might have something to do with the fact that she does not have any siblings – but she did not fight once. And, yes, she is absolutely adorable. My friend friend’s daughter  is no slacker. She would never send a ragtag Flat Elizabeth to visit.

So Elizabeth went on a tiger safari and saw real tigers.

She went to an Indian classroom and found her initial on the board.

She saw forts and monkeys and learned a lot about the emperors of India.

She also rode a camel and an elephant.

She played in a band.

The only snafu that we hit was that security was tight at the Taj Mahal and they would not let dolls in. Yes, I know you would think the real threat would be guns, knives, or other expl*sives. But apparently, dolls are also on the no-go list. I tried as hard as I could to get them to change their minds. I explained it was for a school project – that Flat Elizabeth is really not a terr*rist and meant no harm to the Indian people. But it seems to have more to do with advertising – they do not want people taking pictures of the Taj with dolls and using them for advertisements. And, yes, I did my best to explain that in the west, we do not consider a piece of paper a doll. No offense intended to Flat Elizabeth – as I mentioned, she is the bestest Flat Elizabeth e.v.e.r –  but she hasn’t actually been offered a modeling career and her intentions were purely academic.

But we did not let that stop us. We found a picture of the Taj and took her picture in front of it and checked the Taj Mahal off our list.

She also had her picture taken with a member of the royal family.

Okay, now you are just being picky. He was a member of the royal family and he is sadly no longer with us – but once we stretched our imagination with the Taj Mahal, anything went. So, yes, that is a picture of her with a king. Truth be told, I think he was actually flirting with her. Don’t laugh – they have a lot in common you know – being made of paper is just one of the fine qualities they shared. Although I think she is from better stock than he is – or was.

She even wore a makeshift sari.

She also got all the diet coke she wanted. Shhhhh. Don’t tell my friend that part. But we loaded her up on caffeine.

Flat Elizabeth also got to stay in a palace. And enjoyed every second of the royal treatment.

And her bath at the end of the day was nothing short of divine.

Somewhere along the line, poor Flat Elizabeth lost an eye. I have sworn myself to secrecy on this one – mostly because I have no idea how it happened. But my dear friend understands that traveling in India can be dangerous. She has assured me that she knows of a very reputable eye surgeon in the U.S. who will keep it all on the down low.

Unfortunately I did not take a picture of her with only one eye because I did not want any evidence of the mishap should I be asked to testify later simply forgot. But I assure you, she was the cutest dang one-eyed “doll” e.v.e.r.

All the votes are in and it is o.f.f.i.c.i.a.l. – I am the best Flat Elizabeth hostess ever. Me, Me, Me.

My friend was so grateful that she sent this note…

Dear Queen of all things Flat Elizabeth,

Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to Flat Elizabeth. Your adventures with her far exceeded our highest expectations. You are just amazing. Our project will be so much better than anyone else’s. You are a rock star. It is as simple as that. We are hereby nominating you to the highest order of Flat Elizabethness and crown you supreme hostess and tour guide. It is with humble hearts and grateful friendship that we thank you for all that you have done for us. Even Mother Teresa herself could not have done such justice to this project.

Okay – what it really said was …

Dear A Reason 2 Write

Flat Elizabeth had a great time. Thanks.

Oh sure, the real version was more toned down than what I imagined it might be. But I know in my heart the Academy will be calling soon. Don’t doubt me. 😉

Pictures please……….

I got a lot of requests for pictures of our new house, so here they are…………..

This is our new little family of cats. They are so skinny and adorable that I just had to give them food and water. Don’t worry, they are not allowed in our house and the kids know not to pet them. In fact, Angel told me that I was not allowed to pet them. She knows me well. Flower asked me if I could take them to the vet and get them checked out so we could adopt them. That would be “no”. They are not exactly the kind of souvenir I am hoping to bring back from India.

You might wonder why I am showing the picture of these cats first. Well, besides the fact that it is the first one I have taken so it is the first in the queue, they are part of why I love this house so much more than the other one. We have a little outside space and these cats feel comfortable here. They lounge in our chair and hide in the shade of our plants. It makes our house feel more like home.

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This is where we eat. In our old house it was also our entrance way and the center of the house. It is very nice to have a space kind of isolated away from the rest of the house for homework and family dinners. It’s a mess because – well because it’s a mess.

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Next up, family room. See that window over there – awesome – the sunlight actually comes through it! Yahoo!

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This is the center of the house – you go up a few stairs to the kitchen, dining room, and our room. Down a few stairs to the family room and office. Marvelouso!

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Rooftop Patio. Loverly.

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And, remember I love doors. This is ours. The best thing about this door is that it is not up a dark, narrow hallway and no one else uses it but us. Smile, smile.

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This is the new home for our stray kitties front patio. It is so nice to be able to let the kids paint with chalk or jump rope or just bounce a ball.

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Kitchen – self explanatory. It is so interesting that in India most kitchens do not serve as the center of the house. They are tucked away on the side usually with a door and guests do not gather in them. They are meant for the staff. This is where our driver and cook hang out when having a tea break. Bizarro. In America, guests gather in the kitchen.

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This my little home away from home closet – yes we have storage space now.  And, yes, I know that most of these items are available in Delhi – but they are imported and outrageously expensive here. So, I loaded up. Some of these things are not available – triscuits for example and teddy grahams and combos.

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And here is where it all happens. The nerve center – my writing oasis. My office.

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I did not show you the bedrooms because I just do not know you well enough yet. 😎

A Change of Scenery………..

If you are new to this blog, please let me give you a little background. (If you have been following along for awhile, please feel free to skip on down to the 4th paragraph.)

Last August my husband asked me if I was willing to move our family from the Eastern United States to India. He said it with a straight face, so I figured I better at least find out where India is. What I discovered is that it is really far away from home. After throwing up, I said yes. He left in September, which was just too soon for me. So the kids and I followed in late January. We were in Delhi for 4 months and then back home for 2 months this summer. We just returned to Delhi this week.

When we lived here before, we lived in a flat. A small flat. A very small flat. Did I mention that it wasn’t very big? That was the second hardest part of moving here – the first was, of course, leaving behind the people we care most about. We went from a house on a cul-de-sac that had more than one level with a backyard full of neighborhood amenities – like a pool, playground, basketball court, and tennis court (oh yeah and grass) – to the middle floor of a house with absolutely no outside space. None. It was claustrophobic. We didn’t have much living space either. Like I said, it was claustrophobic. People lived above us and people lived below us. We felt squished. Have I mentioned how small it felt? Maybe I should really explain that better.

Now, I am not saying that we could not have lived in that small apartment for another year. We absolutely could have. But thankfully, we don’t have to. Number One Hubby found us a house. We are still close to the school and are actually closer to some of our new friends. Bonus. Bonus. We have a rooftop terrace filled with lovely potted plants. And a patio. With a family of stray cats who comes to visit eat the food I put out. There is a park across the street. And no one lives above us or below us. We have our own little space that is just ours. It is just fabulous.

Now we have room to invite friends over. Room to sit outside. Room to have one child study and one child watch t.v. – at the same time – without interrupting each other. Room to have one child read before she goes to bed and room for the other child to turn the lights out early.

This change of scenery is nice and we are really appreciating and enjoying our new space!

In celebration of our change of scenery – I changed the scenery on my blog too. You Like???