28 February 2007

Some vinyl cutting

I recently was hired by a local women's group to cut some vinyl for them. They are having an enrichment night and one of the projects chosen to do was a wall plaque. S'mee mentioned to the lady in charge that I cut vinyl and could probably cut what they needed. Yay.

So this is what I cut. (yes, i noticed in the pic that I need to weed out the center of that "a") I have given them the decal and they will adhere it to their medium of choice. I am now thinking of doing some things for the shop. Rather than make the plaques, I think I'll cut the vinyl and allow people to choose where they want to put them. Be it their wall, their cars, a picture frame, or even a slab of slate or other stone.

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27 February 2007

Set the politics aside

I heard that on Oscar night that an award, the gold statue itself, was awarded to Al Gore for the movie An Inconvenient Truth. AaaaaacccK!

I sit here an old style hippie, raised in the sixties and seventies. Milk fed the pablum of kumbaya and peace. Willing to take upon my share of waste and dedicating myself on a daily basis of greening up the spot I live in and taking care of mother earth.

This dufus, and yes I mean dufus, is not willing to give an inch. At one point he even said that it is okay to lie about global warming to get people's attention to the problem. That's when I turned a deaf ear to him. And then this news. He gets the statue because people thought it was the best documentary. Please. Iraq in Fragments, or My Country, My Country were worthy of the statue. It's a shame Hollywood couldn't see it.

Today I read this story:

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431

I will continue to be dedicated to caring for mother earth. I will no longer entertain the thought that Mr. Gore knows anything about the planet, or cares to. By their labors you shall know them.

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26 February 2007

The Latest Dwell Mag

I picked up a copy of the latest issue of Dwell today. I have spent the better part of two hours going over some of the articles and ads found inside the magazine. I bought it specifically for the article on going solar.

You see, when we build in Arizona we will be completely off the grid. We are about 4 miles from the nearest "pole" and Arizona power wants $32,000 to bring one to us, and then we have the privilege of paying them monthly for their service. I don't think so. We will be using a variety of power sources. Once being a whole house generator. It will cost us about 1/3 of the cost of the pole and once it's paid for it's ours for good. It will run on propane. Then there is the solar panels and the wind turbine that will combine to provide the power we will consume.

Just a quick note to all: we are not wealthy Californians taking advantage of the real estate run up in prices. We cannot sell our home to build the Arizona house because we need somewhere to live. We will be boot strapping this venture and it will be long in coming. I only hope we can do a lot of the finish work ourselves. My wonderful sister has volunteered her husband and one son for the electrical work. The big guy was once a drywaller, so that will get done by him and sons-in-law. (yes if you're reading this, and want to come visit, you will heft a slab or two of drywall, guys) The biggest portion that we will not do is the framing and slab work. It will be something we can be proud of in the future, but we're not building a mansion by any means. We are building to meet our needs. I do not, nor have ever, needed to clean more space just so I can call it big. It will be larger than our current home, but mostly because we will be inviting all family to come stay if need be. There will be room for all of us, eventually.

So back to Dwell. It is a good magazine for information. There are many vendors in the magazine that I won't even be giving a second look. You see, I am frugal. I cannot ever see the value in paying $400 for a plastic chair designed by the next big "designer". I am perfectly happy with knock offs and pure form furniture from good sources. I am just not into "names or labels". In fact, Ikea has some of the best kitchen and bath resources around. Their bathroom designs are spot on and I love the wood counter tops they have available.

Favorite find this month in Dwell: Tex-Cote paint. It is 10 times thicker than regular house paint and can reduce the outside temperature of your home by tens of degrees. That's pretty good for desert dwellers. I would say a coat of that paint on the exterior of a home would pay for itself inside of a year. Good find.

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25 February 2007

The Caveman got us

You know that commercial that says "So easy a caveman could do it". Well, I just got our bill for insurance. I decided we had been paying our current insurer long enough without a comparison. We are BYU Alumnus that receive a special "alumni" price with Liberty Mutual. Well, isn't it nice to find out that being a BYU alumni means nothing to the cavemen guys. It still got us a better price than the guys claiming to give us a great deal. How much of a difference?

50% Less!!!! Yes. I'm falling for the caveman. That's what you get when you're an alumnus of a university and believe that an insurer and your alumni group are getting you a group deal. They think you're more educated than the caveman and then take advantage of your devotion to your school. Caveat Emptor folks. The caveman has convinced me to use my liberty and persue happiness with him.

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22 February 2007

Magnolia Blossoms

Tree in bloom
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
Five years ago, this month, our middle daughter got married. It was in March and we went looking for special flowers for the celebration. We drove down to a favorite nursery in Montebello, CA to see what we could find. This would be the first of three weddings in four years for us, and at this point we were just having fun with the anticipation of the celebration.

We looked around and knew we wanted something quite different. We would be using iris' and tulips for the centerpieces and wall ornaments. We looked and looked and stumbled upon the most unusual tree. It was covered in small little white flowers. I asked the proprietor what kind of tree it was. He said a Magnolia. I had never seen this variety before and was instantly in love. We purchased the tree and it became the welcome portion of the hall.

We set the tree in its pot on a stand next to the guest sign in area to block off a hallway. It was beautiful. The celebration was a success and memories were made to last an eternity.

The little tree joined our collection of plants at the front door. In five years, I think we have had 5 blossoms. It has been frustrating to see this gorgeous little tree go without blooms. It is always covered in leaves but no flowers.

Until this year. We have had quite a cold snap this year. It has been below freezing several mornings and several of the neighbors are stunned at the amount of plant death is in the neighborhood. Then as a small miracle the tree has chosen to blossom! It is full of beautiful white multi-petaled flowers! I guess we needed a good freeze to get this tree blooming. I am so glad, it has brightened my day for a couple of weeks now.

Magnolia Blossom

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21 February 2007

The farm, Arizona

The farm
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
So we went on a weekend out to the farm. It looks as though we should be building this year and getting a bit of lavender in the ground. Yay!

Along the way out there we spied a few interesting things:


This is a scorpion statue in Mesa, We stopped there searching desparately for a Starbucks. I need hot chocolate! The statues line Main Street. Very cool.

We then moved on to take some shots around town and ended up at the Mesa Temple. There were some very nice photos waiting to be captured all over the grounds.

Fall tree

Proof that sping has not yet sprung in Arizona.


They have two really great reflecting ponds on the grounds. This is just one great reflection. I love palm trees!

We then hit the road to traveling 3 hours northeast. This is what is on the way:

sbarro cactus

They were everywhere in one part of Arizona. Other parts had Elk and pine trees but before you reach those, you pass through the cacti.

The farm is pictured above. Once you get there, you can drive another 15 minutes up the 80 and find the entrance to the Petrified Forest. Our land is covered in petrified wood. This picture is from the forest:

Petrafied Wood

We don't have logs this large laying about on the farm. We have not yet turned the earth so you never know we may stumbled across a large log or two. We do have lots of small pieces though. If you've never seen it up close or would like a piece let me know, I could probably send you some.

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19 February 2007

They really know how to to party

In Arizona! We were there for the Pesident's Day holiday (not at the cabaret). A good time was had by all. ;-)

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16 February 2007

Medication that makes you go huh?

I have been watching a bit of daytime tv. I have been working on some new items for the store and have had the tv on while creating. Yesterday there was a commercial on a few times that I finally had to say "how dumb is that?" After listening to the commercial extoll the virtues of this wonder drug I began listening to the disclaimer. "This medication should be taken after 48 hours of your first symptoms. You may expect to experience side effects of nausea and vomitting..."

Okay yeah, I have nausea and vomitting. I think I'll take something to give me more of that!

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14 February 2007

Sending Love

Here's wishing all of you out there in blogland have a nice Valentine's day. It's not just for couples you know. Go to the airport, sit in the terminal and you'll find love is really...
all around you!

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13 February 2007

Just a little heat

We went for a drive a couple of weeks ago. We decided to see the effects of the Esparanza fire had on the property we almost bought about 6 years ago. The drive took us along the path of the fire. It stretched for miles and miles. I am amazed at how much acreage the fire covered in such a short time period. We finally came upon the street where the land was located. It had been consumed. Not just consumed but burnt to a crisp. There was one home completely lost and a few others that had been in direct harms way. If we had built a home there it would have gone in the fire as the land was completely burned. This is a picture of our would be next door neighbors' home:
The fence was melted. It was one of those beautiful no maintenance fences made of vinyl. I wonder if the fence was sold with a disclaimer about fires? The fence illustrates the heat in the area and also gives you an idea of the rest of the area's destruction.

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Winter's back!

It's a cold and blustery day here. I have been baking and enjoying the indoors. The cat has been in and we're having a white trash dinner. Green beans and tuna casserole. Not my favorite, in fact, niether one of us could remember that last time we had it. It must've been when the girls were all at home. That was a good 10 years ago. Don't ask me why we're having it tonight.

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10 February 2007

The best I've read on Anna NIcole

Tony Woodlief, author of San In The Gears, and my favorite writer on the internet, has written a compelling post about the death of Vicky Lynn Hogan. She is best known as Anna Nicole Smith. It asks us to examine ourselves, and our actions, everyday and become better than we are. To become who we were born to be.

I bring you,Sand In the Gears. Please if you've never read another link I've put out there, this one is worthy of you and your time. Thank you Tony. It made me think. I've got plenty of glasses, and an unlimited supply of water, I'll be ready next time.

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09 February 2007

New way to get to Ozzfest this year

It has been announced by MTV news (not that I watch MYV anymore, I got this story from Ad Age) Ozzy Osborne has announced that this year's Ozzfest will be free to concert goers! Yes, that's right, Ozzfest, if you attend, will be free to go.

He says that bands won't be paid to participate, instead he is relying on sponsor ads to foot the bill for the concert. In order to get these tickets, you will have to go online to the Ozzfest website, then the fun begins. He said it's free to get in, but it will cost you to get out. This means if you are willing to jump through a few hoops of advertisers on the net, you get the tickets. Get your aliases ready!

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07 February 2007

February's Hansel and Gretel

Okay, I have been perusing the blogosphere recently and come across a February theme. I am not sure if it the prolonged winter cold or the fact that St. Valentine is looming in the future. Occasionally all we need is a bit of inspiration. Let's go see if we can inspire each other.

What we'll do. Go to someone, or two someone's on you blogroll. Tell us who they are. Why you've blogrolled them. Then go to thier place and click on something in their blogroll that you're unfamiliar with, but suddenly awakens your faculties. If there are two or three that's great! Leave a comment everywhere you go, letting them know that you're trying to turn up the heat and demolish the February doldrums with their help. While your on your journey keep a list of where you've been and how to get back home ala Hansel and Gretel. A bread crumb trail so to speak. Then come back to your place and lead us along the path, inspire us!

I'll start out for you. This morning I was looking for inspiration. I clicked on all the usual suspects, made a comment or two and then said, I must be inspired! Along the my sidebar are some very talented people. Inspiration abounds! This morning inspiration came by way of In a Minute Ago. Unfortunately, I cannot make a comment at her blog! Arggh. Sharon B is certainly an inspriation. She is a stitch maven. She hosts an online class teaching people how to build a stitch libray. She is also a crazy quilter. Go see her stuff! The post on the Algerian Eye stitch is worth a half days' read alone.

At Sharon's I clicked on Ullabenulla. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but anyone who could take a childhood name game and make it their blog title had to be someone I'd like. Well, I was right! What a wonderful blog. Fresh, fun and visual. I love it.

At Ulla's I went one more place. I chose Two Lime Leaves. Kirsty is an Aussie and her pictures are gorgeous! She has a button on her side bar that says she's having fun with a year of color. It intrigued me. I am going to join that flickr group!

Okay, okay back to work I must go. So will you take me on your Hansel and Gretel trip? Leave a comment here and I'll come see where you are finding ispiration.

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06 February 2007

Way Cool!

Styledash made my day. The traffic was up here at Cooper Chronicles and I went to my site meter to see who was tipping people off to me. It happened to be a really nice pice done by Deidre at Styledash. I was about half way down today's page just above Jeffrey, the designer who won Project Runway.

But alas, fame is fleeting. I hope everyone keeps coming by, and thank you to all of those who purchased nice little heart necklaces. The actual credit for the necklaces goes to Lisa. She was my inspiration!

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01 February 2007

Heart Pendant

Heart Pendant
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This is just one of the heart pendants now available in the shop. Just click on the link in the sidebar. Lots of hearts for your valentine.

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