27 November 2008

Happy Thankgiving all

I too, like many others, are thankful for the usual things like family, friends, and home and hearth. You know those things that make life livable - people, pets, full tummies on a daily basis...

As I sit here in the early morning, VH1 is running a Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd special. I'm thankful for those guys too. For the talent and music they've given the world. A simple melody can take you back to good memories and make more along the way.

Musicians in general are truly reason to be thankful. What would we all do without Mozart, Beethoven, Handel or Ravel? Or John Denver, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Alan Parsons. Megadeath for those times when you really need to relieve some stress. And Rammstein. Eddie Arnold, Clint Black, The Four Seasons and many many others that can take you on a journey in your mind.

Even the small sound of a flute playing a familiar tune can fill you up in an instant. I hope your day is filled with wonderful melodies with reminders of good days long past.

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26 November 2008

2008 Fused Glass Ornament

2008 Ornament

Yes, there is actually going to be glass at Christmas again around here. With al lthe changes around here I have just not had a lot of time to do glass work. But then one of my husbands co-workers asked what kind of ornament I was making this year. I thought I better get myself in gear and get one made.

I have seen this design for plates and really thought they were cute. But then again I love bows. Not to wear, unless it's a piece of jewelry though! I thought they'd work out to be a cute ornament and here's the finished project:

2008 Ornament

I am not sure if I am going to add them to the website or just take orders from here. I'll let you know. If you are interested leave a comment!

Type rest of the post here

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25 November 2008

Martha Stewart Holiday 2008

Oh yes, I'm a sucker for a holiday magazine. I saw this one and just had to add it to the cart. (Then I saw it on eBay for $3 more than I paid - do people really not get out?) So flipping through it I found some really neat things to round out the holiday and add just the right touch for the 4 year old.

The issue covers keepsake for everyone, gifts from the kitchen, handmade gifts and wrappings and cards. My favorites include, the beaded star ornaments, the glittered candle holders and the painted china.

We will definitely make the beaded start ornaments. Of course, we'll have to watch those little fingers - that they stay out of ears! - but I think she'll have a fun time making these.

Also the glittered candle holders I think we'll do but use embossing powder instead of glitter. I've done it before and really liked the results. And, you don't have glitter everywhere when you're done!

I've been wanting to try the simple version of china painting for a long time. Maybe we'll start with some cocoa mugs and work our way up to plates!

What is nice about this issue is that they have included all the templates need to finish a project! I'll post pictures of our results as we get them done.

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20 November 2008

Proof that 4 year olds have more fun

This morning when Dad went to get his shoes. This is what he found:
Barbie and dads shoes

My response was to take a picture of course. Then to caption it. "I'm not sure what dad was doing last night, but his shoes sure had fun!"

The four year old is such a blessing around here. There is very little she does that makes you want to holler. Mostly she just add a dimension that you find yourself smiling and laughing at the simplest things.

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18 November 2008

Fundraiser and Christmas shopping in one!

If you have made the handmade pledge, meaning you will buy handmade fro Christmas and other gifts, you must go over to The Ruefners blog. Abbie is holding a fundraising auction to help defray the cost of a heart transplant for Baby Mia. There are all kinds of neat things to buy including Swiss CHocolate, Christmas cards, and a really neat doll made by Liz Hanson (using a Black Apple pattern)! If you haven't begun or finished you shopping, go take a look and make a bid. You know you'll feel great about being a part of this fundraiser!

I'm bidding on a couple of items, see if you can outbid me!

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17 November 2008

Firestorms a great metaphor

The fires have taken their toll on everyone around SoCal. The internet is suffering. The connection time is so slow, this post will be picture-less. The fires, after spending like um two seconds to think about it, are a rgeat metaphor for the U.S. right now. It's like we are stuck in this horrible place with only one way out, and it's scary, and hot, and frightening, but we have no choice but to soldier through it. Hopefully things will be better on the other side. But it will never be the same.

That said, I like very few other people in the IE, have just gotten a real full time job. Yep. I decided rather than suffer through this financial meltdown quietly hoping for a miracle, I could get a job and do something about it. Easier said than done for most people. I know. I have two sons-in-law, both fresh out of a university education, brand new shiny and ready to go to work who can't find a decent job. Aaack.

So what do I do? I waltz into a local corporate environment, on a dare mostly, and land a really good job. And, it involves chocolate. It's the best of both worlds, they pay me to work, I work hard, and then they pay me to be around chocolate all day long. Oh. my.

I figure that since no one is going to bail me out, you see I'm not three months behind on my mortgage, I still need to pay my credit cards off before I have one chance in hades to build a house in AZ, so I better do something about it. Contrary to popular belief not everyone in SoCal makes money in real estate. In fact, every single real estate transaction I've ever made in SoCal has been timed so well, that it is fight or flight. We've flown a couple of times and now we're going to fight. Probably around the time sit gets turned around, I'll be ready to go to AZ and then the fires will hit this neighborhood. Just keep moving forward.

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13 November 2008

Elton John, my Hero

Last evening Elton John was in NYC. He was hosting his Annual AIDS benefit. Of course, the press wanted to get his take on the whole Proposition 8 issue. Well, Sir Elton caught a few people off guard. And I loved it.

This is what he had to say: In December 2005, John and Furnish tied the knot in a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor, England. But, clarified the singer, "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage. John and Furnish, and their two cocker spaniels, Marilyn and Arthur, were in town for Tuesday's annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships." as quoted from this article.
Now can we all just listen to him, if we won't listen to reason any other place?

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10 November 2008

Sunrise, Mogollon Ridge

Mogollon Ridge sunrise

When we started out toward California yesterday morning it was dark. As we drove through the Mogollon Ridge the sun was rising. We had to pull over to take this photo. It was breath taking.

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09 November 2008

The American Way of Life

For the recent past, I have been doing my best to hold my tongue and not say something I will regret as I have a long history of speaking first. But enough is enough. Sometimes you just have to say something.

I grew up in the Cumbaya era. Free love. Sex, drugs and Rock-n-Roll was the mantra of the day. Loving our Mother. One Way. Set it Free...blah blah blah. All a bunch of poetic rhetoric that as soon as most of us had a big bunch of money waved in our faces we decried our "love is all you need" attitudes and jumped on the "me first" band wagon.

It is hardly unexpected. We didn't want to be our parents. We were told to question authority and question ourselves, our values and everything we came in contact with. However, we also needed to pay the bills, have a few kids, buy a McMansion, and then grow a new conscience (as defined: the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good).

A conscience to return to the earth, to recycle, to love the earth and take care of it, to allow the actions of another - as long they didn't interfere with our own. To be socially responsible. However, some people thought that writing a big fat check took the place of actual action on their part. But still a conscience is good, it moves people to action.

Then the big one. To love without abandon. Even if it meant abandoning everything you had been taught about being moral. And you know what? It has made life more burdensome for everyone. The "if it feels good do it" lifestyle hurts a lot of people. I know from personal experience. My real father chose to worship at the alter of alcohol. Others in my family have made choices that put some of us in danger at times, all with the excuse that they couldn't help their behavior and that they were born that way. You know what, that is the worst possible excuse for anything. What you are saying (and please spare the emails in explanation - I've lived this) is that you matter more than anyone else. You care more about yourself than you do anyone else, because you won't even realize that this trial you've been given is too hard to overcome. Yeah. I know how much you love me, you've shown it.

Now all of this has spilled over into politics. In America we all have the right to vote. Each votes our conscience. Each goes into that little space we're given to vote in and casts a ballot. Let the votes be tallied and there are winners and there are losers. Someone's choices are not given the go-ahead and others' are. Some people are told they have to take better care of the animals they raise for food. Others are told it's okay that a teen-aged girl can have an abortion without her parents consent. Others are told that a woman and a man are the only people that can be joined in "marriage". And so on and so on.

What bugs me is when people think because the vote doesn't go their way they should find the people that voted the opposite way, hunt them down, scream at them, four inches from their faces, riot, wreak havoc in the streets of cities across the nation and generally acting nothing like the people they say they are - loving people who just want to love. Rioting at another person's spiritual centers is not a way to get them to change their way of thinking - have we forgotten 9/11 and the attacks on mosques in America - did that work? Does it work ever?

Maybe we should all recognize what it means to be an American. We get to vote. We get to disagree. We get to bring forth new proposals and vote on them. Let the chips fall where they may. We do not have the right to make life miserable for everyone just because we didn't get the results we'd hoped for after we voted. And remember, Cumbaya folks.

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07 November 2008

I love technology

I am in the middle of the desert traveling at 80 m.p.h. in my husband's truck. We are headed to the ranch this weekend. We cannot get a radio station on the radio that's how far we are away from civilization. However, I did say I love technology...

That's because if it were twenty years ago, posting on my blog while driving would be an impossibility. But I'm not just writing a post, I'll be publishing it in a few minutes all courtesy of a Sprint wireless card my husband has just received from work. Yahoo!

I think of how much our lives have been made convenient through technology. A mere 20 years of progress in the field of computers and electronics is amazing to me. I think of my brother a lot when I experience these things. He was the ulitmate Star Trek fan. He embraced music on every level. I even remarked the other day to my daughter about how much he would have loved an iPod. The boy at 15 recorded music off the radio for his cassette player! He was a record club member at 13. I think of him and music and technology combined and I miss him and the possibility to experience these things with him. My husband and I will go to movies are sit and watch a DVD at home and he'll say to me "you know, Mike would have loved this". I know babe, he would.

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06 November 2008

Ozzy came to visit!

Ozzy in dress up mode
Yes, and can I tell you how fun he is? His "parents" came too. They were down to attend a Rise Against concert Friday night. So we got to take Ozzy with us trick or treating.

We first tried this costume on him. Pig?
No. Ozzy just looked well, um, the youngest one said "like he's being raped by a pig", and I guess that says it all. So we decided to go with the orange shirt stating "this is my costume" on it. He was the hit of trunk or treat. Everyone just loved him.

Saturday was spent at Balboa Park with a group of English Bulldog owners. Lunch was at El Indio's. mmmm. Next time they come, they'll probably join us in Arizon. Time for everyone to be at the ranch!

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04 November 2008

Voting 08, observations

I went to vote this morning at 8 a.m. The lines were a bit long, but not too much.
Lines at 8am
Lots of voters

The parking lot was full of voters on one side and school parents drop off on the other. The polling place was at a local church, that also housed a Christian school.
Voting day It was nice that they had a bit of reserved parking this time. What surprised me though was the rain! I didn't know it was going to rain today.
Voting day 11-4-08 rain
I now know for certain that all I should do is wash my car and it will rain in SoCal!

A few interesting observations about the vote this year though.

1. For the first time ever, my polling place had black precinct workers. I live in a predominantly white community (historically), I've never seen a black person at the polling place, much less black workers. It seemed odd.

2. A mexican man was trying to vote. They could not find his name on the rolls. It was finally decided that her would be allowed to register and vote today. He was given a form to fill out (He filled it out on a table right next to me as I waited in line) with a 1 inch banner across the top in english stating something about falsifying a registration record being a felony. I noticed the form also had spanish translation on it. The man filled out the form with great difficulty. He was copying what the driver's license he was carrying had on it for information. He was not sure at all about putting the info in the right places and had to ask twice about what should go where. When he got up to ask questions he left the license at the table. Would this be classified as an abnormality at the precinct?

3. The lady, who seemed to be in charge, handed me my ballot and said she had mistakenly torn off the verification barcode and handed me both the ballot and the bar code strip. I asked her if it was a spoiled ballot, she emphatically stated no.

4. The poll worker that checked me in did not have a good command of the alphabet. I told him my name, and then stated my address. He began looking up my first name and told me I was in the wrong line. I told him no, he needed to use my last name to look me up. I gave him that name and he proceeded to look in the wrong portion of the alphabet, I told him the letter was between this letter and that letter. Oh. He then asked me if my name was x. I told him no. It was x. and pointed to my name on the list. aaaaccckkk!

5. I think it is weird that polling places, where I live, are always at churches. I guess there is not a problem for the separation of church and state when you need a free place to vote. I do wonder if there are people that vote by mail because they won't enter a church building.


Just some random observation for this day in November, history making or not.

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This is how I feel about Hollywood, and celebrities

No other words needed.

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