29 January 2008

The cruelest of ironies

I have a friend that I have known since I was about 17. She came to the US in search of a new life, a husband, and to teach. She is the sweetest thing. As the years went by she established herself here and began teaching.

But the years went by. No husband. No family. As she got older she took the opportunity to help and assist others providing the loving care she would have given to a family to her friends. She is well loved by most who meet her. Way into her fifties, a man who had recently become widowed fell in love with her. They quickly married and she was finally living the life of her dreams. He showered her with love and affection and her life became that of fairy tales. You see, he is a prince, and her desire was his will to fulfill. She still did not have children, but that would be okay. She knew he loved her and that was good. She was happy.

He is now very aged. And in the next few weeks he will probably pass away. She is saddened at the thought of this loss, but realizes his has been a life well spent. A business man respected in his community. A philanthropist helping everyone in need. A well loved uncle with a large extended family. His has been a good life and it is time to pass on. She accepts that and will mourn his passing with fond memories knowing he gave her his everything.

Enter the cruelest of ironies. This past week my friend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That which she yearned for children, never coming to her, then acceptance. Now that which would provide life betrays and will seek to take hers. She is in for the fight of her life. Losing her only love and now possibly her own life. She is having surgery tomorrow. She won't be sure of her prognosis until after the surgery. But she goes in worried. Who will be there for her loving husband? Will he pass away while she's in the hospital? Will she survive to be there for him in his final hours? Ugh. She says her timing has always been off. I can understand how she could see her life that way.

I will be spending a few nights with her dying husband while she is in the hospital. He is not aware of his surroundings, not in a coma, but still not here. She has asked that I come and be with him so she can be at the hospital and know all is well at home. I told her I'd be honored. It's the least I can do for her.

So blogging, which I though would pick up this week, will actually stall once again. Check back in a couple of days I'll be back.

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27 January 2008

Released: Gordon B Hinckley

We are a mostly volunteer church. We will be asked to serve in various capacities such as, a leader over primary age children or a Sunday school teacher, for a period of time. It is called a calling and then after a time we are "released" from that obligation and someone else takes over. Unless you are called as the Prophet or president of the church. Once you are called to the leadership of the church it is a lifetime calling. President Hinckley, passed away this evening at the age of 97. He has fulfilled his calling with honor and was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with him.

I will share a few words from a talk he gave in 1995. It has helped me to be a better person, to stand a little taller and strive to be my best.

"The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"This is a time to be strong.

"It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth and the importance of our mission.

"It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow.

"It is a time to be found keeping the commandments.

"It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain.

"It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike."

Rest in peace President Hinckley, give Marjorie (his wife who predeceased him) a hug for me!

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26 January 2008

Winter trees

Winter trees, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

I love the colors of winter. The blue grey in the sky, the dark browns and bright pinks. Here are a few shots of the area around me.

A big bird in the sky, headed for Phoenix and parts unknown.
Winter sunset

Under the shadow of this mountain my husband was born. Indian legend says he'll never leave this valley. Hmmm. What is that in Arizona?
The shadow of the mountain

Evening sky. So beautiful.
Winter sunset

This is a picture I showed you in the summer leading to fall.
Summer and fall

Now we've had just a slight, and I mean slight ~ less than a half inch ~ of rain. It always amazes me what such small amounts of water can do to bring forth life. Such a type and shadow.
Just a bit of rain

If you click on the pictures it goes to the flickr account where you can see the whole picture, larger.

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25 January 2008

I know these things are silly...

I go around taking these little personality profiles around the internet and I save them to a file on the computer. I rarely will show the results anywhere. Lately someone told me I am a bit intense and I've been rolling that comment around in my head a bit. Then I took a couple more of those tests and in the beginning paragraph of each of them I was told I was intense and it put people off a bit. MY husband laughed and said that's why you shouldn't put a lot of weight in silly tests on the net. I know he's right, as there is only so much information one can derive from a simple q&A but it does make me wonder. I guess I need to lighten up a bit.

What Your Name Means

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

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21 January 2008

Oh truly neat!

The above images are from the US Postal Service website. These are just my favorite stamps that will be released this year! There are many more that will become part of the collection but these will be in duplicates. Stamp collecting is such a fun and inexpensive hobby. And there are so many different ways of collecting them. If you are interested you can check out the USPS site for a bit of information and The American Stamp Collecting Society for more information.

Why are these my faves? Well, Eames, that one is pretty self explanatory. And my love for Steamboat Willy began when I was just a young girl. I loved seeing him on the tv with his boat and his true friend Pluto. The first cat I ever owned on my own was named Pluto. The last stamp is a tribute stamp to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. She was the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Yearling. The book was adapted to film in 1946. The director of the film was Clarence Brown (he one an Oscar for the film). When I was a broker his daughter was one of my clients. She was and is one of the most wonderful people around. Humble and kind. I really thought she was great. That's why that stamp goes into the drawer.

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Corners of my home

Close up dome, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Another corner. This is the new table. With the dome and one of my tin toys on it. It adds a bit of color to the corner and allows me to show off a few trinkets. This is just the beginning of this corner, but I thought I'd show you the progress.
Domed corners

I'll add a few more items and call it finished for now.

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Oh that's depressing...

I got up this morning and of course, the news was on. The first story I listened to, once all the political pundits quit thrashing about, was one on January 21st. Yep today. What's so special about today? Well, it's is MLK day here in the states, but that's not it. Because MLK day is a floating holiday so it is not always on the 21st. So what is it about the 21st?

Well, January 21st has been deemed the most depressing day on the calendar! Oh my. I got up felling pretty good this morning. In fact i had a dream about a new glass sculpture and I am heading out to the shop (read garage) to get started working on it. If you are one of those who agree with the television report, take the day off. Go do something just for you and pay no regard to the calendar.

I'm wondering if this is an indication of how out of step I am? It would explain a lot.

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18 January 2008

It'll do

Table top, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

I have been looking and looking and looking for the right table for a corner in my home. It is behind one of the couches in the living room. It is a small undecorated corner, just begging to function as part of the room. So I set out to look for a table that would be large enough but not to large. And small enough but not too small.

Some tables were too short. Some were too tall. Some were too square, others too round. I didn't think I would actually find the right one. While I was in San Diego, I thought I would take advantage of the time and stop by IKEA and take a look around.

This is what I found and I think will be fine for now.
Why buy a table that will only do for now? Well, they are having their yearly sale and this table was only $9.99. Yes! only ten dollars! Yeah I think this will work until I find the perfect table and then this one will be assigned a place on the patio!

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14 January 2008

Home and a short post...

When I first began blogging I found a few gems. A few of my very favorite people surfaced in the small group of bloggers back then. I reached out and made contact and they contacted back and we shared a few laughs and smiles and heartfelt stories. And we shared some emails back and forth along the way.

One of those bloggers is Meggiecat! Meggiecat has had to take a break from blogging while dealing with life in general and has been missed! Well, good news! Meggiecat is back!!!!

Welcome Back, we're so glad you have returned to blogland! Go over and say hi and see why we all missed her so much.

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12 January 2008

Food, food , food and a movie

I have been consumed (so to speak) with food for a week! I am getting ready to go to the Fancy Food Show, see my food blog for the link, and am really neglecting things over here. Sorry guys!

The month of January is always food though. The Fancy Food Show and then Westpack at the end of the month. I love going to Westpack and seeing what neat things packagers are doing to attract the human psyche. Sometimes it is the same old thing but then you get surprised by some new packaging that amazes you.

I know, I know, I can get excited about the weirdest things. Packaging. But...last year I went and I ran into a firm that made teflon shields for heat shrink machines and such. I asked if I could ask them about supplying me with a piece of teflon that I could use when I sewed my sunspots. The guy smiled and said let me introduce you to this woman. And I met this woman, she's the nicest person! She laughed because her male colleagues probably thought she'd never sell her invention. Well, who is it you ask?

I won't give you her name, because she doesn't mention it on her website, but here it is: Sew Slip I needed something that would allow a clingy material to move along without sticking to the presser foot and arm of the machine. She developed the Sew Slip to do just that! One side is tacky and sticks to the sewing machine and the other is teflon coated to allow the fabric to glide along unfettered. It works great. All you quilters out there should have one! It is worth the money.

That is why I get excited about going to trade shows. You never know who you'll meet!

Oh and then yesterday afternoon I took a break and went to see National Treasure with the husband. It was great! We really enjoyed it and do recommend it to everyone too!

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09 January 2008

What am I up to?

Well, the same thing as everyone else! Organizing. I showed you last year my Martha Stewart magazine collection. I have been working on it religiously trying to get it all scanned and in a workable format.

I am setting up an excel spreadsheet of all the items, recipes, how to's, did you know?s, and all the things I kept out of the magazines as I cataloged them. If there is an old project you have lost the directions to, or a recipe you need, let me know. I just may have it and can send you a copy!

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07 January 2008

Angus profile

Angus profile, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Yep, a profile. Then a full face.

Angus, guilty

He is guilty as sin in these photos. Guilty of what? Hating to have his picture taken. This is a cat who is not camera friendly. He was in the best pose for all of you to enjoy a couple of days ago and as soon as he saw the camera he got up and walked away. I did hear him mumble something about the paparazzi.

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Another Idaho gift

Another Idaho gift, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Another thing I got in Idaho! A huge crack in the windshield. Aaack. Hwo it happened, well, not being the really smart person I usually am in warm weather...

It was 8 degrees outside. I had just cleared off all the snow (10" or more) and started up Justa. She was warming up but the windows were fogging up quickly. So I turned on the defroster and as the car heated up quickly, and the windshield not warming as fast, I heard a crack! and then another. Eeeck. The understanding of the principles surrounding the coefficient of glass will tell you that glass heats slowly and when rushed will cracks! My car is now a living example of warming glass too quickly.

And me a glass artist. Who knew.

It's kind of like a mini version of the Tetons with me all the time.

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04 January 2008

One of my favorite daily reads

I put her in my sidebar so y'all could click on her link, but then I got to thinking...
I enjoy reading this blog first thing everyday and so I feel she deserves her own post!

Bambi has captured me! Her site, Le Pen Quotidien is really great. She is one of the best illustrators around. I enjoy every one of her drawings and then to read the stories along with them, it is just too good to ignore. I don't think it will be too long before we read of her signing a book deal. Heck, I'd love to sign her up as an illustrator. Not that I am currently in need of one, but her work is just my style. In fact, my son in law is an illustrator, so I think he may get some work from me before Bambi, but she is my second choice after family.Bambi is also a fan of Danny Gregory who is also in my sidebar. Each one is unique and bring a smile to your face just by dropping by.

I will one day own one of her prints. Her animal photos make me smile and this one is my favorite! Go take a look, let me know which one you like best.

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03 January 2008

Muted colors = Muted Lives

New homes, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

I drive by new sud-division after sub-division. They have built 70,000 new homes in our small community over the span of 18 months. And they are still building. Aaaack. Not only does this make our small community too big, it also adds 140,000 new cars to the area. Driving is insane. But that's another post.

What I'd like you to notice is the color of the homes. One beige house after another. And mine is not any different. It was built in 1963, but still painted the glorious color of white. Ugh. I always wanted to live in a yellow house. On Maple street. Instead I've joined the masses and live in a whit ehouse with an interior from restoration hardware's line of muted browns.

Of course the colors are tasteful. But muted all the same. Then when you go inside this is what you see:

Living area 2

Living area

The only room that was a "color" in one of the homes was the laundry room. It was blue.

So out here in the burbs we live muted lives. I think of the pictures I see from all over the world with people dressed in bright colors and living in brightly colored homes, with color seeming to adorn their lives. We seem to be so afraid of emotion that we "hide" ourselves in muted tones. Where is the passion people? Have we become so consumed by our 40 hour workweeks that we don't have time to be "us"? Are we just drones that have lost our passion for life, living, or fun?

Well, I am no longer going to be the muted person I became when I became a home owner. For so long, I tried to "fit in". I never really have, but I tried to anyway. So another resolution of mine this year is to add color! The house will be painted, tastefully, but with touches of color to show what passionate people we truly are. We will also be painting the inside of the house. Gone are the muted tones of the middle american! Gone is the buttered tones of toast! Don't get me wrong, I love toast, but I nibble at toast. I only eat it up quickly when it is dribbling with strawberry jam or raspberry preserves! I want to devour something! So let's see what colors I'll discover!

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02 January 2008

WooHoo! Things will be great in 2008!

A new year. A new opportunity. First up? Resolutions. Are they made to be broken? Or am I just making the wrong ones? I think for a long time I have been making the wrong ones. So this year it is going to be a resolution list of small steps. Small things evoke great things over time. Keeping that in mind my resolutions are going to be more general in nature and as I attack them, I will define them more specifically.

Such as, I want to start doing some strength training this year. I believe a strong body is at the heart of longevity. I look at my grandmother who lived into her nineties. I can see her my minds eye and watch her doing her arms lifts and circles, her knee bends and toe touches at 85 and 90. She always said that a body in motion continues to do so. She had terrible arthritis in her back and had a devil of a time standing up straight, but still kept her legs strong and her arms moving. Those exercises helped her stay active and spoke to her quality of life.

I see other family members who have basically just quit moving, exercising or being physically active. It is truly a shame. To see one stumble around due to lack of exercise is not a fun thing to watch. I am aging and refuse to go down quietly. So I have begun a weight training program. It is a simple effort on my part. I am beginning with strengthening bands and will work up from there. I use a series of photos to assist me in my efforts and I will not abandon this resolution. It will be easy to do anywhere I am and will keep it up daily.

Another resolution is to schedule my time better. I will begin scheduling my crafting, glass work and yes, even computer time. Rather than work away a day in the garage doing glass and neglecting all else, I will have a glass working time, a crafting time and a computer time. This will be a flexible schedule so to leave time for visits with friends neighbors and family, yet structured enough that people will know they are interrupting specific tasks.

One thing that will ease this schedule along is my purcahse of a headset for my phone. I can talk on the phone right now, as I hold it up to my ear. A task that shuts down other activity on my part. Not just because I have to hold it, but because I have such difficulty hearing if it is on speaker. I am suffering a loss of hearing. Not due to age, but from genetics. We have a history of hearing issues in the family (could be why s'mee knows how to translate for the deaf) and I am among them. As is my youngest daughter. It is getting worse and the doctor tells me I will probably not be a hearing person in the span of ten years. Hearing aids will help but not forever. So the headset will help me hear better when I am talking with people on the phone. It will also help me be more productive. Yay.

Those are just a couple of resolutions I will share. Now, back to the decorating tear down!

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