15 August 2009

Finally, A new post

Just a quick note to let you know I am now blogging at my own domain. Find me at Earthbound Chronicles. It's an amalgam of all my blogs, I hope you'll follow the link! See ya there!

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20 May 2009

3/50 Project

Main street American's could use your help. I've long been a supporter of home town businesses. I still run to the hardware store a few blocks away even though we have a couple of the big box stores in town. The local hardware guys have been there through thick and thin. They still call you by name, and answer questions about that dohickey thingy I'm trying to explain to them.

They're part of home town businesses. Along with the local florist, the small cafe across the way. We need to remember when we spend money in their establishments, it stays in the community.

That's where 3/50 comes in.

The 3/50 Project is founded on these principles:

Think about which three independently owned stores you'd miss if the were gone. Stop in and say hello. Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Your contribution is what keeps those businesses around.

If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned stores, their purchases would generate $42,629,700,000 in revenue.* Imagine the positive impact if 3/4 of employed Americans did that.

For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

The number of people it takes to start a trend...you.

Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.

Like this idea? Share it with others by going to the 3/50 Project website and registering as a supporter. Pick up a few badges for your websites, counters, or flyers for your neighbors.

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15 May 2009

34 years ago today...

I walked into the temple and married my one true love! Both of us were almost 22 years old, yet still ready to make a lifelong commitment to loving each other. We've succeeded so far! We've raised three daughters, seen four new grandchildren enter the fold and have the best English Bulldog granddog ever! Our sons-in-law are really great guys that we are so proud to have in the family. It's crazy to think of all the things we've done together, knowing most people going in never thought it would last.

Some of the things happening around the world thirty four years ago:

Gerald Ford was president. He tripped and fell a lot. Then he retired a stone's throw from here. His wife opened a HUGE drug and alcohol recovery center in Palm Springs.

The merchant ship U.S. Mayaguez was recaptured from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge did not lose power in Vietnam until the birth of our first child some three years later in 1978.

The Vietnam war was coming to an end. Saigon had fallen just a few short days ago, April 30th. War was on all our minds. Edited to add: How strange is it that the photographer, Hugh Van Es, a Dutch photojournalist who covered the Vietnam War and recorded the most famous image of the fall of Saigon in 1975 — a group of people scaling a ladder to a CIA helicopter on a rooftop — died this morning?

Trini Lopez, Laini Kazan, Paul Rudd, Emmitt Smith and Brian Eno were celebrating birthdays. Frank Zappa's son turned one.

The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals 4 to 2.

Junko Tabei was almost to the top of Mt. Everest. She became the first woman to ever reach the top on May 16th.

Inflation was on the rise: As quoted by consumer reporter: "I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00." I remember the first weeks worth of groceries I bought for us as a newlywed couple was $10 a bag. I bought three bags worth of groceries.

Gasoline was 65 cents a gallon.

Freddie Prinze was starring in Chico and the Man.

May 15th, 1975 was a Thursday.

We ate lunch, after our wedding at McDonalds on Santa Monica Blvd. We met Jack Carter the actor there. I have his autograph.

The number one song that day was a Tony Orladndo and Dawn song called He Don't Love You (Like I Love You). I don't even remember the song!

Our song was Day after Day by Badfinger. It was released the month we began dating in 1971. We are still that cheesy couple that has to make eye contact and smile when we hear it on the radio. Yes, my heart still skips a beat.

I was wearing a wrap skirt and yellow french t and sandals. He was in his navy seafarers denims and a 70s style polo shirt (not an Izod)and Frye boots. We had changed in anticipation of the reception later (didn't want to have to press my dress again). At the reception I was in my gown with a fully beaded bolero (hand beaded by my mom) and he was in a tux with top hat and tails. It was a crack up. My attendants were my sisters, a cousin, and a friend from high school. His attendants were guys he knew from church.

My colors were white and (Navy)blue. The flowers were bachelor buttons for their lovely blue and white roses. I carried a single white rose for my bouquet. One love - one rose. I wanted my attendants in navy dresses but my mother would have none of it. She stated it was to funereal for a wedding. Yeah, I got in to FIDM (didn't attend, that's a regret!) because of my sense of fashion, but what did I know? They ended up in cream colored dresses with small blue flowers. Just one of the compromises between my mother and I.

Our reception was held the same day. We had over 400 guests present. There was a full buffet dinner with a five tiered cake and seven satellite cakes in all different flavors. I got the bite of cake my groom served me. The rest was eaten by guests. We were at the reception until 10 p.m. The next day we went to Disneyland. Our real honeymoon wasn't until three weeks later.

We climbed into our 1966 Volkswagen Van and camped throughout Utah and Idaho for three weeks, rarely sleeping in the same city for a night. It was a great western adventure. We had a blast! Waking up to see the sunrise in Zion National Park was beautiful. Then seeing the clear blue water of Bear Lake in Idaho a few days later was awesome. I had never seen a lake with such clarity in my life. Wow.

I was working at Alpha Beta, a grocery store, as a clerk/bookkeeper. He was in college and working part time but I can't remember where. He was in a band. He's a bassist.

We've made our own little history in these 34 years. Let's hear it for another 34! I'm up for it sweetie, how about you? (he says "I should live so long!")

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08 May 2009

C is for Congratulations!

We are at the fulfillment of hard work and dreams today. The culmination of many hours of study and prayer and just plain hard worked have come together. Today the ceremonies of graduation begin for our son-in-LAW Alan. He is graduating with his Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University. Alan received his walking stick just a few hours ago. Tomorrow he'll walk with his class and receive his diploma. Sunday they begin their journey back to California!

We could not be prouder. Alan and his wife forsook all family and comfort of being close to everyone they knew to pursue his degree in the small town of Lexington, Virginia. Together they set the goal, and together they accomplished it. All while adding two small children to their family.

Congratulations Alan! Congratulations Smith family!

We are glad they will be returning home to California to take the bar and then join a firm here. It's not in our city (thank goodness!) but in a wonderful beach side community a bit north of here.

We are filled with glee awaiting their arrival. Most of all we are happy that Alan is Alan. He's such a great guy, we love him so much. (I must say the fact that he and I can enjoy a good piece of chocolate together really makes me happy!) Here's to the next few years of more goals and fun things for the Smith family!

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05 May 2009

High School Meme

I saw a meme about high school memories. Being that I don't have a facebook account, just so I wont have to reunite with "friends" from high school I thought I'd give this meme a try. I went to two high schools the first being my favorite and I will always be a pirate at heart. It was the closest thing to having a hometown experience ever. Then my parents took that away by moving to the "country". I refer to that period as the time our teen lives ended. Thank goodness for my brother, or I'd have never met anyone after that point.

1. Did you date someone in high school? At the first high school(OHS) I had several crushes. One of them I would have died and gone to heaven if he'd have asked me out( again a best friend of my bro's). However I couldn't date until I was sixteen and that put me at the new high school(HHS), so no dating at OHS unfortunately. Because if I could have gone out with the OHS crush I could possibly be married to a record producer who is quasi famous right now! Yeah like that little fantasy would have come true. At HHS I did date a couple of my brother's friends - sorry Randy, I really didn't mean to call you by the wrong name! But then I met the bass player and fell in love forever.

2. What kind of car did you drive? For the first two years of high school it was the city bus. Then I hitched a ride from my bro who got to drive the various forms of cars my family owned (Rambler, Corvair, 50s style ford we name el cruzerio, a near dead karmen ghia, all from the scrap heap). I actually refused to get a driver's license until I was 17 because I didn't want to drive any of them. I was a car snob even back then. Well hey, maybe that's why! There's nothing like sitting on a dark country road at 14 watching your car burn to the ground while knowing you were supposed to be at a very important meeting of teen aged girls. Yeah, that's just one of the cars we owned. Not a nice car in the bunch. Once I started dating the bass player I got to drive his car. Then I finally got my own, a little turquoise 65 VW bug. I wish I still owned it.

3. Did you pass your driver’s license test the first time? Yep. Just barely. Being the sister of the "I taught myself to read at three" child prodigy I had no desire or ability to score a perfect 100 on both the written and driving portions like him. However a 70 was passing the driving part, and you could miss 5 questions on the written, and I did just that! No need to have a halo I figured. Just give me the keys to my bug and I'm happy!

4. Were you a party animal? Oh no. I was and still am a social nit wit - my family moved about every 8 months as I was growing up, I didn't develop any social skills to save my life! Oh well life goes on. When all the other kids were experimenting with drugs in the 70s I was just trying to get my eyeliner on in one thing line. Gave that up eventually also. I was a nature girl it was the early 70s.

5. Were you considered a flirt? Still am. It's weird but the husband says I'm a flirt. hmmm. didn't know I was.

6. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? ugh. at OHS I wanted to be on the dance squad. However, that was my goal for Junior year. Until we moved to FFA headquarters, HHS, that year - well actually half way through my sophmore year. I had to choose an elective so I once again followed my brother into choir. UGH. The only thing close to that being a great choice (I couldn't sing!) was at lunch my senior year I met a friend of my brother's who was in Chamber Singers (the best of the best of the best group) who was also in a rock band. It was kismet. Yes, nature girl (tiny dancer) met her musician and made my mother crazy at the same time!

7. Were you a nerd? No I'm classified as a social nitwit (see question 5).

8. Were you on any varsity teams? what's varsity? Oh yeah that was for boys. Girls were still considered the weaker sex back then. I liked running. Girls were not allowed on formal track teams back than. Yes, I'm old.

9. Did you ever get suspended or expelled? Oh did I tell you I have amazing powers of blaming all my corrupt little actions on others? I learned it when I was seven (just ask my sisters about the spanking nap time incident) and by high school it was a well honed skill. I never got into any trouble.

10. Is there anything you wish you would have done or participated in during high school, but didn’t? Yes, the DANCE TEAM!! I'm not bitter though. Not at all.

11. Who were your favorite teachers? Mr. Taylor. He was the best foreign language teacher ever.

12. Where did you sit at lunch? At OHS we had open campus so at the Sizzler across the street, mostly. It still cracks me up that at a high school in a beach city - you know like four blocks from the beach - we had open campus! Then we the transition to HHS where we were only close to farms and drug traffickers, we had a closed campus. I just hung out around the quad watching kids traffic their favorite drugs of choice. I once saw a girl hide a tab of acid from the dealer she was talking to when he dropped it. He was so out of it himself he didn't even notice it was gone. Please note the fact that I was a social nitwit and had no intention of engaging in a conversation with either of them about what just went down. You would have thought the school at the beach had available drugs everywhere - no, they were around I'm sure - but the country school was where the pharmacy was running like a well oiled machine.

13. School mascot: OHS - Pirates!!!! HHS, bulldog. Name me one person who'd rather be a dog than a pirate!

14. School colors: Green and White!!! Red and gold and white

15. Did you go to homecoming and who with? Um. no. Dances accompanied by your brother don't count.

16. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Not on your life.

17. What do you remember most about graduation? Oh just that I coudln't believe that we were having it outdoors in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of June. I got heat stroke just before the procession and ended up having to walk into the outdoor arena by myself. Yeah that was fun. Oh and our senior song was Imagine because we were cool like that.

18. Where did you go on Senior Skip Day? It was called Senior Ditch Day, and no it really didn't exist - according to the faculty - but I decided to go to the beach. It was the best day at HHS!

19. Were you in any clubs? Yep. I'm a joiner. I was the president of the French club.

20. Have you gained weight since then? Oh yeah. I've gone from ribbon as a nickname to oh wow that's you??!!

21. Who was your prom date? We were too cool for prom. I was dating a bass player in a real live band. He made music, he didn't dance to it!

22. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? hehehe that came and went a long time ago. If it had been for OHS definitely yes, but the HHS one no, and never will go to one.

23. Did you have a job while in high school? Yes, of course. Fast food. Then I moved on to bigger and better and got a job in a camera store. That was the best and the beginning of one of my true loves. Photography. Thank you Mr. Holt!

24. Worst class? I still don't know what n stands for.

25. Favorite class? French! and geometry, go figure.

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26 April 2009

Indie Biz Chicks

For those of you trying to establish yourself as a business owner, I have one recommendation: Chrissy Herron.

As you all know I've been working a few businesses for a few years. I stumbled upon Chrissy's site a few month's back and it has made a difference. She is hosting a very nice webinar soon: Indie Biz Chicks Conference I've signed up - it's free! and there will be all kinds of great information on a spectrum of topics. If you haven't checked her out, and you want to run your own business, you should!

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24 April 2009

Love is all around

Success. Most define it in terms of wealth, position, or power. Mine was defined today in a way. One of my daughters graciously told the world she had inherited my hands. And was to have inherited them. Whenever someone I love pays me a compliment, enjoys a measure of fulfillment through a childhood teaching I count it as success.

“Do we exemplify [a] legacy of love? Do our homes? Bernadine Healy, in a commencement address, gave this counsel: ‘As a physician, who has been deeply privileged to share the most profound moments of people’s lives including their final moments, let me tell you a secret. People facing death don’t think about what degrees they have earned, what positions they have held, or how much wealth they have accumulated. At the end, what really matters is who you loved and who loved you. That circle of love is everything, and is a great measure of a past life. It is the gift of greatest worth’ (“On Light and Worth: Lessons from Medicine,” Commencement address, Vassar College, 29 May 1994, 10, Special Collections).”

How is success defined for you?

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The Cab Ride

Recently a story has made the rounds of the internet. I saw it a day ago on Grow a Brain. It went around the bend with some infusion from Zen Moments and of all places dooce.com last September. It is a story titled The cab ride. I've read it along with 100,000,000 other people over time. It is a striking story about human interaction.

The first time I read it was in 2003. I read on a blog called Indigo Insights. (it's the third story down) I remember being struck by the story instantly, and evidently I'm not the only one. I emailed the author of the blog and asked her permission to reprint the story. She, of course, told me no problem. I thought she was the author. After googling around a bit I could not really determine who the author actually was. So when I began blogging I set it aside and didn't blog about this very moving story.

The link at Grow a Brain explains who penned it. Now I know who penned it, Mr. Nerburn explains, more about it and how it has moved its way around the internet for years. You'll notice his explanation is from September 2008. I'm not sure how it came to be at Grow a Brain.

I like his explanation of BlueMoments. I call them something different - prompting of the spirit. No matter what you want to call it, it is proof we each have our link to the Divine and if, we are listening (sometimes - bonked on the head!), gifts come our way that can light up a dark hour.

So if you have a moment like this share it. Mr. Nerburn shared his moment over 20 years ago and it is still touching people, reminding people of the goodness in each of us. And we can all use a bit of goodness!

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22 April 2009

Awe on a Bicycle - Danny MacAskill

Most of us get on a bike and ride, get some exercise and go home. Not this guy. He really gets some exercise. This is truly awe inspiring. It could be a corporate recruiting video for a firm looking for the best, of the best, of the best!

You'll never ride your bike again without thinking of this video. Hope. Strength. Endurance. Hat tip: Amish Robot,

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There is just something about the word "dude". We use it a lot around the 1963 remodel. I am not advocating Bud Light. Heck I've never even had a bud light. However, my compliments to the agency, DDB Chicago, that created these commercials.

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17 April 2009

Cutest Kid in a commercial EVER

This is another commercial playing in California that just makes you smile.

I just love that kid!

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Doe, a Deer

This made me smile for about an hour.

I'd love to be able to witness something like this in person!

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09 April 2009

Retinal Detachment

I am learning all I can about retinal detachment. Babe has one. He was going through his day on Monday and his vision got worse and worse. Finally we called urgent care about 2 and they said to come in at 5:30...

Then we got a lecture from the doctor about waiting so long. Who knew? After we reemed him about not knowing what was happening... we got appointments for the next day (yesterday) to see an opthomologist. After seeing him we went to a retinal specialist. Today we are going to the surgery center to have the detachment re-attached. I'll let you all in on the details soon.

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06 April 2009

Music - First and Last

I love copying memes from Susan because they always have something to do with music or photography. This one is all about music.

1. What is the first song you ever remember hearing? How old were you?

I was four. My brother got one of those funky little record players with the lid that hinged on and off and could play forty fives. He bought El Paso by Marty Robbins. He must've played that record a hundred times a day. In fact I think I still have it in my stuff somewhere.

2. What was the first album you ever bought on your own? What format?

Oh hmmmm. I remember the first forty-five I ever bought easier than the album. It was Help Me Rhonda by the Beach Boys. I was in fifth grade. My brother, who is a year older than me, was already a record club member and he was buying all the albums. I do remember now! That same year I had have him order me The Dave Clark Five. Vinyl, of course, no other choice at that time.

3. (If you’re old enough) What was the first CD you ever bought?

I remember being ticked off that we had already purchased albums in vinyl, then 8-track, then cassette and now they wanted us to buy CDs???!!! (Just ask me about how I feel about the RIAA) Then like everyone else we jumped on that band wagon pretty quick - first CD - probably Phil Collins (No Jacket Required) or Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon).

4. What was the latest album you’ve purchased?

Does anyone buy albums anymore? We mostly buy songs. The latest songs I've downloaded have been oldies for my iPod. Girl Watcher by the Okaysions was the latest. And a Nickel Creek song.

5. What song takes you straight back to grade school?

Help Me Rhonda and Stop in the Name of Love. I can still see a girl from the sixth grade standing on the play ground pretending she was Diana Ross (I was a lowly fifth grader).

6. What was the theme song of your 8th grade dance and/or graduation?

Oh wow. I remember 7th grade dances better. Our Valentine's dance was Good Vibrations. 8th grade we didn't do graduation just a school dance. I think Hey Jude got played a lot for slow songs.

7. What was your first real concert?

Jimi Hendrix, San Diego Sports Arena I was 14. I always say 15 because I turned fifteen that year but I was only 14 when I saw him. It was in May, my grandmother bought the tickets for my brother and I got to go with him, basically by default as his friends' parent wouldn't let them go. We rode the bus to San Diego and it was a great concert. People were dressed so differently. Some in tuxes and evening gowns (old people) and kids in jeans and tie dyed t shirts. Hendrix talked a lot about the war during the set.

There's an article floating around the net saying that the tickets were anywhere from $2.50 to $5.50 but ours cost $15.00 each. I think in an old scrapbook of my bros is the ticket stub. My grandmother thought it was highway robbery, but still it was a birthday gift for my brother so she didn't complain all that much.

8. What was your latest real concert?

I can't recall. There goes that memory thing. It's been a while. I know there was an Aerosmith concert in Austin, but Babe and middle daughter went to that. I do remember seeing an impromptu concert at Waterloo records with Lyle Lovett in 1993 (i think it was 93).

9. Best concert?

It would be easier to tell you worst concert. Best? Hmmm. I do know best band ever in concert. It was Captain Beyond. They opened for Alice Cooper in San Diego. We were stunned at how good they were. Clean, sharp, in tune and man oh man - tight. We bought their album the next day. The piccolo snare was amazing.

10. What was your song with your first girl-/boyfriend?

Good Vibrations, John. Valentine's dance. Became our song. We went steady for six weeks I think. I moved on to Grant leaving John in the dust.

11. What was your favorite band in high school?

I have to say it changed as music was progressing pretty quickly. Not that I no longer liked the band but I moved through artists pretty quickly. Freshman year it would have to be Cream, then Deep Purple. Then on through the rest of high school were the Beatles as they broke up, and Black Sabbath. Alice Cooper became an all time favorite along with Uriah Heep.

12. What albums were the soundtrack of your senior year?

Senior year Imagine was our senior song. But I'm thinking Pink Floyd Meddle was usually in the cassette player and got exchanged out with Under My Wheels by Alice Cooper quite a bit.

13. What was your first musical discovery at college?

College. Queen and Uriah Heep. Not really a discovery but they were hot. And anything had to be better than my roommate's country and western crap she played.

14. What song(s) did you/do you want played at your wedding?

Oh ugh. I was married in the 70s. Weddings were still like "ruled by parental units back then" We had yet to break out and think for ourselves or at least win the arguments back then. I remember wanting my bridesmaids in navy blue - you know the dark, dark blue on the flag - yeah that blue. My pics reveal my moms ruling, a light blue flowery print. ugh. So I didn't have music at the reception that I can remember at all. I was such a cupcake back then!

I have to chuckle though, I think there was a rendition of Saturday's Warrior at my brothers wedding a year later.

15. Do you have a favorite band now? If so, who?

Favorite band now. Hmmm. I always take a nod from the girls now. The Tall Kid seems to be presenting some good stuff. Right nikugow Rise Against has found its way into the play list.

16. What’s the last thing you listened to?

Yesterday's drive to San Diego included a lot of Hawkwind.

17. What do you want played at your funeral?

Not sure. Let me think about it while I tell this story about my brother's funeral. He was a HUGE Emerson Lake and Palmer fan. The guy loved them. On the Works 1 album they have Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copeland. Bro always said he wanted it played at his funeral. We found a lady in the stake willing to play it and it was perfection. I can't listen to ELP without tearing up to this day.

My funeral on the other hand hmmm. I do know I'd like "I believe in Christ" sung at the memorial and I'll Fly Away.

And at the ash spreading (somewhere the bluebonnets bloom in the hill country of Texas, I'll be home) a good old rendition of Tiny Dancer and Sunshine on my Shoulders possibly.

If you, like me, would like to share your musical memories go for it!

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30 March 2009

What the frack happened?

Okay so a couple of weeks ago I went to the post office. On the way home, I was in an accident. I was traveling towards an intersection, where I have the right of way - no stops sign in my direction, when the driver crossing my intersection quickly stops then goes. I notice he is on the phone. I slam on my brakes and veer to the right in hopes of not hitting him. Unfortunately that is not the case. I come in contact with his right front wheel well. There is no damage to his car. Mine on the other hand is messed up to the tune of almost $2000. I did call the police. They came out logged the accident in their system, however did not do a report because as he stated "the damage is so minor". The driver admitted to the police officer that it was his fault and when the policeman heard that he said "well you've exchanged information that's all you need to do."

His insurance company is SAFECO. They sent me a letter today denying my claim and telling me their driver is not at fault. How is that possible? I am so tired of insurance companies. Anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed?

Safeco if Evil. Looks like I will have to go to small claims court.

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28 March 2009

Yet another reason to love technology

i love technology This is my newest technological love. It's a simple voice recorder with fantastic recording quality.

It plugs into my iPod and records anything I want it to. I love it. It's made by Belkin, found it at Amazon. Lists for between $60 and $70 and picked mine up for $30. I can use it to record Little Miss or my end of a phone conversation or even a podcast - maybe we'll do a tutorial soon! Neat stuff this technology!

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24 March 2009

I love Steve

Some of you may have noticed the I love Steve button on my sidebar. No it isn't Steve from 8th grade. Yeah I still love him too, but the Steve I'm talking about is Steve Jobs. He is definitely my favorite Steve. The website that the button takes you to is so you can wish Steve a speedy recovery. I'm not sure who it belongs to, or how they're going about advertising it, but currently there are only 413 people who've sent a note of wellness to Steve.

I'm not pushing the get well thing. I just wanted to brag about being a Mac lover. We fell in love with Macs shortly after making the wrong choice and purchasing a PC junior. OUr neighbors were cooler than us and bought the first version of a Mac. We quickly converted, testifying to all who'd listen, and began being apostles for all things Mac. Our first Apple was a Wozniak IIGS. We owned it up until about two years ago. I regret not keeping it. Think of how much I could have made on eBay with that one! Especially now that Steve "The Woz" Wozniak is on Dancing with the Stars! Sigh.

Oh well. We got iPhones shortly after the new year this year and I am again impressed. I remember when I used to say "I don't want a cell phone!" and my husband mentioning that with all the solitary driving I do around this state if I didn't have one they'd find me dried up and eaten by wolves in the desert if I didn't have a phone. I relented and got a phone.

A phone that made you want to open a window while you were driving and pitch it as far as you could! It had fun stuff like voice recognition on it. You could just say the name of the person you wanted to talk to and it would dial the number fast and efficiently. Yeah right. I'd say call Babe (my husband's nickname) and it would dial my mom. Seriously.

In January when Babe said to "go down to the AT&T store and pick up a couple of iPhones" the door did not hit me in the behind as I darted down to the store. And boy am I ever happy I got one. There are so many features! My favorite is the maps program. It works like my own personal GPS device. Forget Garmin, I've got the iPhone! Then there's the hold button - talk to two people at once! And the Safari browser and email so you can check your email and find out the latest financial news. Did I mention the games? Yep when I don't have reading to do, you can download a Kindle app for your phone now!, I play games to kill time between appointments.

All this neat stuff because of a guy named Steve. Well, maybe two guys named Steve. I love ya, man!

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23 March 2009

Chihuly in the desert

I'm going to Arizona!

Saturday our newest issue of Sunset Magazine arrived. There were all the usual coastline enticements for travel. We are waiting for May to come so we can travel to the coast to see family so I paid the ocean air invites no mind. I was on my way to the chicken story!

Then I turned the page that changed it all. Page 34. The beginning of a list of the top ten botanical gardens. hmmm. I love me some botanical gardens. The arboretum in Arcadia, the giant gardens and pools at Balboa Park and now this! Chihuly in the desert!

Dale Chihuly has done for glass what Christo did for fabric. He's taken his art to the people and the land. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is hosting Dale Chihuly through May 31st of this year. Not an average exhibit mind you. A Chihuly exhibit. Large glass sculptures throughout the 145 acre garden. The Garden are limiting attendance, you must have reservations. Time available will be from 8a.m. to Noon, Noon to 4 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can read more about it here. Make sure you take your camera. Like Christo, this art doesn't last!

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18 March 2009

Interesting Meme - Album Cover

I think I could do this all day. I love old album covers and this way of naming a band, an album, and using a photo is really quite interesting. You should try it.
The rules are here:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click


The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3

The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days

Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post on your blog, facebook or where ever you want.

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12 March 2009


Jim Collins said it best:

“They do see us as a threat and actively try to take action and publicity to try and negate our positive effect on the market.”

Seems like Hollywood is ticked and will spew what ever they think they need to in order to put people in their rightful place. Tom Hanks and the Big Love drama this week is evidence of that. Tom Hanks stated then later retracted that the people who voted for Proposition 8 were anti-American. Now as an executive produce of the aforementioned television show he has chosen to attack the group, he feels was primarily responsible for the passage of that piece of legislation, by mocking their sacred rituals.

What a grown up he is.

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10 March 2009

Raymond Blanc's Restaurant Wars

Can I say how much I am loving this show. It is on BBC America, Tuesday evenings at 6p.m. here. It is a much more refined presentation than anything they've done here in the U.S. I very much like Raymond Blanc. He is a good teacher, throughout the entire series. He shows the competitors what he would like to see and it is a test of whether or not they were listening most weeks. The opportunity to actually work with Raymond Blanc, running one of his flagship restaurants, proves to be quite intimidating for most of them. Crushing self esteem seems to be the rule of the day.

But that's not Raymond's fault. There are some people who have no business thinking they can run a restaurant. You see, they are in a partnership. It's not one competitor, but a two person team - husband and wife, best friends, Mom and son, Dad and daughter, and other combinations of teams. However, when someone says "You should open a restaurant!" they are usually saying it to one person who cooks well and has a passion for being in the kitchen.

In this show the team is one BOH and one FOH. An FOH is the person who runs the front of the restaurant. You do not want a person who has difficulty talking to other people! If they cannot multitask it is probably not a good idea either. There is a lot of work involved in running a restaurant and just because you love the person you're working with doesn't mean their passion can rub off on you!

It is sad to watch week after week, someone's dreams be crushed because their partner just couldn't cut it. Sometimes it's not the FOH, it's the BOH - back of the house person. If you bake the best apple pie in nine counties, open a pie shop! Don't think you can cook prime rib at a moments notice because Raymond Blanc told you to do it.

All in all I love the show. Cringe through the cringe worthy sections and feel bad when they are eliminated. It's way better than having to listen to Gordon Ramsey scream his guts out at a person who never belonged in a kitchen in the first place.

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05 March 2009

Be Honest from Jane

Spring has obviously sprung. At least in blogworld. All around us are stories of cleaning, or the lack thereof. Some people hate it, some perople are resigned to it, me I just do it, occasionally. At What about Mom? she's put up a post about home and hearth. And, asking you all to be honest in your answers. I decided to copy it. Sortof like a meme (plagiarism at its finest). heh. So give it a go.

1. How big is your house? How many people do you have living in it?

2. How many hours a day do you spend cleaning?

3. Do you work for money in or out of the home? Do you clean more/less if (now that) you have a paying job?

4. Are you successful at getting hubs (or wife, my two, dear male readers) or kids (what age?) to help? HOW?

5. Do you clean frantically before guests (your mother-in-law) come?

6. Does housecleaning/house-messiness/housecleaning-inequity affect your daily contentment?

7. Have you discovered how effective blogging is at procrastinating/blocking out messes?


I'll be interested in the answers from everyone. Another sort of the eavesdropping on your lives I enjoy so much. My answers:

1. 1100 square feet. 6 currently and a very large cat.
2. Um. less than one most days. Then I spend a day a month really cleaning.
3. I did work out of the home for three months recently. I did absolutely nothing at home when I was working, thus this past weeks drive to get things in order. I can't imagine working full time away from home like I did recently.When the girls were young however, I did work full time away from home, and keep the house in order. I have one daughter who thinks I was superwoman. However, we have a rule in our house: "You're part of a family, help out. Bus your own plates from the table, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher if it's empty, on the counter if not. My sons-in-law are finding this an interesting rule. Also, if you made the mess, clean it up. And yes, occasionally you can do something to help with general cleaning, it's your home too."
Keep in mind that I run three individual businesses right here out of my home too. Doing that, and working full time was too much. The three here and cleaning is a much better fit for me.
4. See house rule in question 3. Yes, we're in this together. If you can't keep your room clean, keep the door closed. Mine is closed most of the time, beds are never made, unless there's a party or I go on vacation. Speaking of vacations. That's when my house is cleanest. Because you never know if you are going to die away from home, like my great aunt Vera, and then some random stranger is going to go to my house and go "oh wow!" Silly. yes, I know.
5. Growing up, we'd ask my mom who was coming over any time we cleaned. It was not very often. So this week was a mad dash to make up for the lack of deep cleaning over the last three months (and hoping for a remodel laziness) in prep for a party. But usually if my mother, mother in law or anyone else for that matter, usually gets what they get. I am over trying to make someone think I'm something I'm not.
6. Not in the slightest. My husband on the other hand, it bugs him to death most of the time, so we compromise and try to keep things tidy. He does understand a time crunch and always helps out. Except with laundry. It cracks me up when he does laundry. His clothes are the only dirty ones he can locate.
7. Not messes per se, but worthy endeavors. I could be making money right now, if I'd just get off the computer. sigh.

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Oh my! It's Thursday?

Wow. I can't believe it's already Thursday. I probably wouldn't have noticed but the sound of the garbage trucks woke me up. Ah, five hours of sleep, it's enough to function on isn't it?

I've been spring cleaning. Yep. Fun. Well, actually to me it is. That "wowzer I can't believe I let stuff get this bad before doing it, and now it's done" feeling. Sense of accomplishment and all that Stephen R Covey stuff. Check it's done! I can feel the endorphins flowing like the time I got a check for $3400 (after taxes) working as a new stock broker feel. Not really.

My kitchen is really small, as is the main bathroom of the house. We keep saying we're going to remodel and then something like the clutch on my car goes out and then the fuel pump on the truck, and the remodel gets that much farther behind schedule. Because you know, driving beats a good tub soak any day.

The problem with saying you're going to remodel though is that you get really lazy about cleaning. You keep saying, "well, we're going to demo this in a month, so I don't have to worry about the base boards being clean...

Not until you schedule a party at your house. Then you turn on the lights and scream just a bit. I don't have before picture, because I'm all about the illusion that it really wasn't that bad, but here's the well, cleaned kitchen (because the build up on this is so strong I knew you were dying to see it):

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23 February 2009

Just another sign we should all work for the government.

But wait a minute! If that happened who would pay us? One city in America growing, and with plenty of jobs! In an era of declining real estate values one city hasn't suffered. When Barack Obama opened his speech this evening he mentioned that "if you have not suffered from the economic recession we are currently in, you know someone who has". Well, no one in the room with him does or has.

Amazing but DC has become the stable city in the states. Hmmmm. Government growing bigger at our expense. And they think they can sustain it with zero population growth. Does this concern anyone else?

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22 February 2009

Chris, Love, Charity

Saturday as I walked down to get a hot chocolate while waiting for my tire to be repaired, I took this picture with my iPhone. My first thought was I wonder if Chris still loves Charity. The sidewalk has been there a long time. Chris felt deep emotion about Charity back when it the cement was poured, enough, to etch his message in "stone".

Then as I continued to look at the photo over the course a two days, the thought came to me that a simple addition of a letter could change the whole meaning of the message.

Adding a "t" at the end of Chris changes it completely. Christ, Love + Charity. The message is on the sidewalk in a distressed part of town. I have seen many homeless and downtrodden people walk that sidewalk. The simple message to them could be that through love and charity they see Christ. He is in our actions when we sacrifice ourselves for others. The giving and receiving of "gifts" are the things in life that make us better humans. Henry B Eyring has a great talk on the concept here. The talk is worthy of your time and possibly a bottle of cherries some day.

Even in the small bits.

If you wish to read further, I am pasting an excerpt from the talk that illustrates the concept of whole talk:

"Here it is: The Eyring Theory of Gift Giving and Receiving. I call it a theory because it is surely incomplete. And calling it a theory means I expect you will change and improve it. I hope so, because then it will be yours. But at least I can help your theory building along.

My theory comes from thinking about many gifts and many holidays, but one day and one gift can illustrate it. The day was not Christmas nor even close to it. It was a summer day. My mother had died in the early afternoon. My father, my brother, and I had been at the hospital. As we walked out, my brother and I went to the car together, smiled, and looked up at the mountains. We remembered how Mother had always said she loved the mountains so much. He and I laughed and guessed that if the celestial worlds are really flat, like a sea of glass, she would be eager to get away to build her own worlds, and the first thing she'd build would be mountains. With that we smiled and got into the car and drove home. We went to the family home, and Dad met us there. There were just the three of us.

Friends and family came and went. In a lull, we fixed ourselves a snack. Then we visited with more callers. It grew late and dusk fell; I remember we still had not turned on the lights.

Then Dad answered the doorbell again. It was Aunt Catherine and Uncle Bill. When they'd walked just a few feet past the vestibule, Uncle Bill extended his hand, and I could see that he was holding a bottle of cherries. I can still see the deep red, almost purple, cherries and the shining gold cap on the mason jar. He said, "You might enjoy these. You probably haven't had dessert."

We hadn't. The three of us sat around the kitchen table and put some cherries in bowls and ate them as Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine cleared some dishes. Uncle Bill then asked, "Are there people you haven't had time to call? Just give me some names, and I'll do it." We mentioned a few relatives who would want to know of Mother's death. And then Aunt Catherine and Uncle Bill were gone. They could not have been with us more than twenty minutes.

Now, you can understand my theory best if you focus on one gift: the bottle of cherries. And let me explain this theory from the point of view of one person who received the gift: me. As we'll see, that is crucial. What matters in what the giver does is what the receiver feels. You may not believe that yet, but trust me for the moment. So let's start from inside me and with the gift of the bottle of cherries.

As near as I can tell, the giving and receiving of a great gift always has three parts. Here they are, illustrated by that gift on a summer evening.

First, I knew that Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine had felt what I was feeling and had been touched. I'm not over the thrill of that yet. They must have felt we'd be too tired to fix much food. They must have felt that a bowl of home-canned cherries would make us, for a moment, feel like a family again. And not only did they feel what I felt, they were touched by it. Just knowing that someone had understood meant far more to me than the cherries themselves. I can't remember the taste of the cherries, but I remember that someone knew my heart and cared.

Second, I felt the gift was free. I knew Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine had chosen freely to bring a gift. I knew they weren't doing so to compel a response from us. The gift seemed, at least to me, to provide them with joy just by their giving it.

And third, there was sacrifice. Now you might say, "Wait. How could they give for the joy of it and yet make a sacrifice?" Well, I could see the sacrifice because the cherries were home bottled. That meant Aunt Catherine had prepared them for her family. They must have liked cherries. But she took that possible pleasure from them and gave it to us. That's sacrifice. However, I have realized since then this marvelous fact: It must have seemed to Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine that they would have more pleasure if we had the cherries than if they did. There was sacrifice, but they made it for a greater return: our happiness. Most people feel deprived as they sacrifice to give another person a gift, and then they let that person know it. But only expert givers let the receiver sense that their sacrifice brings them joy.

Well, there it is--a simple theory. When you're on the receiving end, you will discover three things in great gift givers: (1) they felt what you felt and were touched, (2) they gave freely, and (3) they counted sacrifice a bargain." Henry B Eyring, BYU 1980, Gifts of Love

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21 February 2009

We were listening to music this evening. One of the family's favorite songs came on and everyone took a chance to pause and sing along. We love Rob Thomas and his These Small Hours...

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

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The happy dance is being done!

Yes, I quit! My brother died at age 32. One thing I learned from his death is that life is too short to do something you hate. So today was my last day at Godiva. Yay!!!!!!

Someday I'll tell you all the reason why, just know now that I am on to bigger and better things! I've been to hell, survived and returned a better person for it.

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19 February 2009

Yes, we will continue with the discussion.

I mentioned in my last post corporate greed. Please don't misunderstand me to think that I am a socialist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I like America. I like the fact that a person can work hard, be inventive and make it all the way to the top. But also, let's not forget that sometimes hard work just doesn't pay off. If it did the Mexicans on the planet would rule the world. Most I know are very hard workers!

The problem lies in that little bitty word - greed. Over the past few decades we have witnessed the death of integrity, personal integrity, honesty, and basically the "do what is right" choice of self sacrifice for the greater good. We even sat by and allowed the definition of is to be challenged.

When the highest ruling body in the world, ie our government, sets an example of allowing votes to be purchased instead of earned, it tells the world that money is the rule of law. Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, General Electric, Peanut Corporation of America, all thought that they could skirt important issues because they had a lot of money to give to politicians to make their problems go away. Our government has become Vito Corleone so to speak.

Large corporations have an obligation to the public. Many would argue with me over that thought. However, I really think they do. If the public chooses not to use their products or service they suffer. Take Disney for example. When I was a girl, we would go to Disneyland maybe once every three to four years. You would get a specific number of tickets, each with a grade, when you used that ticket, you were done or you could purchase additional tickets. The grades were from A to E. E tickets were for the best rides. Only you didn't get enough to go on all the best rides, just a few. You had to make the choice which ones you were going to go on and which would have to be ridden on another visit. It was a good way to teach the concept of decision making and good choices. There weren't huge lines to stand in, there were crowds but not like the crowds of today. Today one price gets you into the park, on all the rides, and as many times as you choose. Sounds like a great deal! I can go on Splash Mountain until the cows come home! Well, that is if I didn't mind standing in line for eight hours to go on the ride four times. You see now Disney also sells as many tickets in a day as possible. No longer is the park and adventure for the day. It is an exercise in patience, futility and frustration. Unless you choose to go on a rainy day, or a random day that for some reason the park on has a few visitors like 15,000 instead of the usual 25,000 (all vying for the same 12 rides).

Is it wrong that Disney has chosen to manage their park this way? Well, no, people flock to it still. However, would it be a better choice to limit attendance and make the experience all that much better for their patrons? Of course it would. The rule of economics is to offer an excellent product, at a fair price and the people will flock to your door. And, if you limit the opportunity, people will usually stand in line to get a chance to be a part of it.

All I'm saying is it is time to prudent. Think about your customers and the experience they have at your business. Are they really just a mass of people that give you money and you don't care if they are there or not? Or does it matter if they return again and again because it was a great way to spend their money?

Think about it. Comment.

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18 February 2009

Oh Gosh, just when I thought we were getting a handle on things.

When I chose to go back to work, I thought it would be good to help out our personal economy. I could help get the truck paid off sooner, pay off a credit card I'd overspent on and those kinds of fun things. Then I wake up this morning to a headline at Yahoo that says something like "Lower standard of living is probably going to be permanent". Well, heck, if we're going to have a lower standard of living, why work? This Forbes article isn't makiing feel any better about it.

Why shouldn't we all just go to work for the government. Get a government job, become part of a union that choke holds the economy and have a great pension. I knew I should have gone to work for the government years ago! Unfortunately that didn't happen.

Instead some lunatic talked my husband into getting his social work degree along with his license and he's work for a public entity his whole career. I've worked in the food industry. Believe it or not, the food industry has a better pension program. The husband has not been able to join a union in his field of study. All around him, nurses, PTs, and all those other hospital workers have had union representation. And because of that, his pension has suffered - meaning been non existent - throughout his career.

We have paid our way through life. On occasion the bridge loan from his parents has helped but it was never more than a few hundred dollars. The minor amount of money we were able to put in a now defunct 401k plan (defunct in my world is no longer are we receiving any matching dollars - it's all us babe!) has shrink to less than half it's value. Thank you Corporate America!

So instead of paying off the truck adding to the retirement plan, my car needed a new clutch and his truck needed a new fuel pump. Yep. Life is getting worse. Our home's value has shrunk to about half it's value from three years ago. Any chance of refinancing it is laughable. Equity? yeah right, not in California's real estate market. So much for remodeling, maybe we could burn it down. (just kidding!)

Maybe we should just chuck it all and move to the ranch in Arizona. Purchasing the land was the best decision we ever made. I know some people don't even have land and I'm sorry for you. However, if you're one of those people whose home is paid for, has a nice retirement going to be provided by the taxpayers of this nation because of your union's skilled arm twisting in government, or you got a nice inheritance, don't even think about judging me because I'd love none other than to hand it all back at this point and try my hand at living off the land.

Maybe I just shouldn't read the news.

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16 February 2009

Mm, K - 10 things meme

S'mee took the challenge from a blogging buddy and I was at a loss for things to post. So I decided to join her in her random list that begin with the same letter meme. Random because she chose the letter K for me. K???!!

S'mee says that I can easily name ten things I love that begin with K. Well, not counting my two darling, make that three darling nieces (sorry Pea - I love you too!) whose names begin with K, and of course, Kooshgal too, I'll try my best to name ten things that I love that begin with K.

Well, the obvious K is up first. Yes, Kissing. Count me in as one who loves to kiss that man I love. Our first kiss still makes the two of us giggle. Let's just say I was the most experienced kisser out there - and leave it at that. Still, after 33+ years of kissing the same guy, I still love to snuggle up to him and make out. (yes, I hear my daughters!)

Phew! Now let's see what else we have that begins with K?

2. Knives. Yep I love me some good knives! You can't cook without them, and if you know how to maintain them they don't even have to be name brand knives.


Keepsakes. Little pieces of life that I have saved for years. Each piece simple in its own right, yet filled to overflowing with wonderful memories of people, and places. The pics are a couple of shelves in my crafting room of some of those keepsakes.

4. Kindergarten. Yep, everything I needed to know about life I did learn in kindergarten. Even that when you push boys to the limit, they react differently than girls. I ended up bugging a kid so much that he poured his entire bucket of red paint all over me one day. I learned that kindness, like kindergarten begins with me. It was then that being kind was instilled in my paradigm and have tried to be kind to others. That's not to say, I don't go ballistic like my school buddy on occasion!

5. Kneading. I love the satisfaction gained when kneading a few ingredients together like flour, salt, sugar and yeast and the result is the best loaf of bread ever! Such a simple process, that has been experimented with and challenged and perfected over time, with grand results that bring the staff of life to a table near you. Such satisfaction that someone can learn to do it easily and provide such comfort to those around them.Finished Breads

6. Kneeling. While I must admit the actual process of kneeling has eluded me for a few years, as my knees don't work so well anymore... But the very act of finding somewhere quiet and without distraction to calm oneself enough to petition God. This act is a sacred time for me to talk to the only Father I really know. If I did not have so many examples of those prayers being answered I could scoff and say God is a myth that people use to comfort themselves when they are in the midst of trials. But not so, He is not a myth, and has intervened for me and many I love, and even random strangers, that I cannot deny His existence.

7. Knight in shining armour. Yes, that's my man. He is my Knight. I wasn't a damsel in distress by any means, but he arrived in his white stallion 1966 Ford Wagon way back when and swept me off my feet. It wasn't the car, or the fact that he was in a rock band that drew me in, no it was those gorgeous long legs, and the fact that he thought I was the only girl around worth looking at. He's still my knight and I'm still his princess. He even made me a plaque for a wall in my bedroom that reads "As you wish". *flutter*

8. Knowledge. I will be a student forever. I love the act of learning something new and strive to daily learn. Sometimes, I find learning difficult, others not so much. We live in this HUGE world and there are so many things outside of our small corner of it, how can you not want to learn more about it. I worked with a man a few years ago and he told me once that he had never been more than forty miles away from where he was born. I was shocked and dismayed.

9. Kodachrome. I learned to take pictures while working for a camera shop just out of high school. Film is not the easiest way to take photos now days, in fact it is a dying art. However, once you've shot film, developed it yourself, and then printed it, there is no greater satisfaction. Learning to work with light is challenging, but the results are magnificent and simple.October Sunset

10. Last but not least. The Kookaburra song. I sing this song in my head more than one would think I should. It takes me back to about third grade when my brother learned the song. Pretty soon I had it down too and we would sing this song as we walked to and from school in San Diego near the zoo, where we actually saw a Kookaburra!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Stop, Kookaburra! Stop, Kookaburra!
Leave some there for me!

We weren't all that gay back then, and dreamed of a place like Australia where life could be carefree and and simple. Little did we know then that my brother would spend two of the best years of his life in Queensland when he was 19. It was a dream come true for him.

Now, if you want to try your best to name ten things that begin with a random letter, let me know, I'll send one your way!

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14 February 2009

I heard an interesting statistic

The bailout of the banks back in Novemeber? Yes, we've all heard about it. The bankers still going on spa weekends. Insurance companies and banks paying huge bonuses to fat cat CEOs. Waste. waste. waste.

So this is news you say? No this is:

The amount of money given to the banks via the American taxpayers (you and me) would have paid off all the mortgage debt in America! Yes, the government, if they really wanted to stimulate the economy and help individual citizens, could have written a check to pay off our mortgages. Not that I am asking that to happen, but wouldn't it have been a better idea than what they did with our money?

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13 February 2009

Other secret places on the net.

Oh yes. I have all kinds of them. Funny though, several of them are up for blog awards from one source or another so they must not be just my secret places.

Here are just a few random places I spend time:

Many of these people fascinate me. But then again, one of my very favorite things to do is to people watch. So most of these bloggers are "my people". I watch and learn and go hmmmm sometimes.

I stumbled upon Deborah Roby, of A stitch in Time a few months ago. All I can say is I think if we had to travel together, we'd have a great time!

Kate will also be on another post soon. Kate was my very first blog bookmark. I keep up with her life and smile. She is very Courageous!

My newest find, yet top of the list currently is Big Hollywood. As most of you are aware to me celebrity does not equate smart, intelligent, witty, or worthy of other than my entertainment time. Big Hollywood helps that cause! I love them. Some of you gentle readers will think I'm silly. sigh.

I have difficulty with color matching, coordination, and just knowing what goes with what. So what to do? I cannot always go to S'mee's so I have to go to Color rules of thumb. It is not a blog. But it is a learning portal. It will help you too if you are color challenged.

I cannot tell you how long I have had Anna Marie bookmarked but it seems like forever. She's so creative she's now making a baby! Wow!

I love Turkey Feathers! I found her long ago at her other website (which I love) and have been keeping up with her forever.

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11 February 2009

Secret places on the net.

Are you like me? Do you have favorite places bookmarked on the net that you love to read but never put them in your sidebar? Yeah. I do that a lot. I find these great people and love them, and get involved in reading about their lives, and then I don't want to share them. Like no one else will find them. Gah. I am such a dweeb.

Well, my most recent find is at Matt, Liz and Madeline. This is a heart wrenching story and unless you are willing to get sucked into drama, don't go there. Oh come on, you know you love drama as much as anyone else.

Matt tells his love story, the birth of his lovely daughter Madeline and quickly the death of the love of his life. It is a tragedy to the highest level. Two loving sweethearts bonded for life, starting a family only to have it torn to shreds in a quick beat of the heart.

Good news, Matt and Medeline were on Rachel Ray this morning. There's a picture of Madeline meeting Selma Hayek on Matt's site. How cool? If you have a few dollars and want to share them in a good cause, donate to the Liz Logelin Foundation. I don't know about you, but I know a family that certainly could have used the help of this worthy foundation a few years ago. It could have alleviated a few problems for my sister in law and my nieces and nephew.

Why are you still here? Go!

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09 February 2009

Random pieces of life this past week...

Well, little Eden Sidney made her debut in Virginia this week. She is beautiful and perfect. Just like her brother. Mom is doing fine. Dad is in his last semester of law school and will soon be a full fledged lawyer. They will all be living much closer to us sooner and I will be very happy!

The rest of the past week goes something like this...

My car died on the way to work. It wouldn't shift. There was a burning smell. I knew it could not be the clutch it was just a $25 part that the husband changed out. Then it still wouldn't work. It seems the mechanic that we finally towed it to said the only thing that would make it shift gears again was a $1500 clutch. ouch!

Then the husband's car decided to stop in the middle of no where the next afternoon. It seems it did not want to be upstaged by some foreign model. It got towed to the nearest dealership and they wanted $1000 for a new fuel pump. Good news is that this one has a lifetime warranty on it! It seems to me that if the auto industry really wanted to help America that lifetime warrantied product would have been built into the car as it was put together first time around. Yeah, when pigs fly!

I am hating my job. Yes, the glorious job handed to me on a platter is not so glorious. The $2500 car incentive has me thinking I can't quit just right now, but I don't think it will be for long before I realize my own company needs me to work harder in it and therefore make me master of it instead of someone else's. If by chance you happen into my place of business, even if you absolutely love those frozen chocolate concoctions in a glass, don't buy one. Buy something that doesn't make me get all sticky and gross and feel like I did when I worked at Del Taco when I was 16. It's a chocolate shop, not a malt shop!

It's actually raining in Southern California. Yes, we've had three wonderful days of the stuff. I'm good for possibily another two and then we need to bring in the sun aqain. We dry stater's can only take so much water. Unless of course it is salted and comes in waves of gleaming teal with sunshine and sand.

Go ahead, tell me about your week.

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05 February 2009

Cute Dolls to embroidery from Allsorts!

Okay, I love to embroider. Untill recently I haven't done any for quite some time. I'm in the mood and Jenny from Allsorts has given me the perfect inspiration!

I have been thinking a set of these dolls around the hem of a skirt, sounds like the perfect way to bring them to life! There are two sets available at her etsy site! I'm buying both when I get paid. I see plenty of embroidery work in my future. Oh! Wouldn't a cute little set of dolls be the perfect thing?

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04 February 2009


I have spent a few years of my life watching tv. Not a lot of TV, but some. It usually revolves around TLC for a good dose of What Not to Wear or some other random fashion related show because you know my life is fashion and all. Well, it could have been if I'd just have followed through with my FIDM acceptance way back when...

Yeah, I could have probably been Lauren Conrad's boss at Teen Vogue if I'd just listened to my mother. Sigh.

Instead, I didn't. I do other stuff that takes up time. So I have to be selective in my TV viewing. So There is a lot of things that get TIVO'd (best invention ever!) One show I do not miss, even if it is late at night and I'm watching all alone, is The Big Bang Theory. I heart Leonard! And Sheldon. And Raj! Then there's Howard. Howard reminds me of a kid who crushed on me in school. I have to giggle every time I think of him.

Big Bang Theory is wonderful. It's funny, with my kind of humor. The kind of stuff that is funny for a few, and then a few others join in, and then everybody gets it. I love laughing first, I see where the nuances are going and it tickles me to see it happen again and again.

My favorite episode is the "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" so far this season. But choosing one is like picking a favorite child. It's impossible, because as soon as you do, another one of them does something so great like win the science fair, and you've got a new favorite. So go online if you must and watch an episode or two. You'll have a new crush every week. Do not miss an episode!

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03 February 2009

And she emerges, a shadow of her former self...

That's right. Six and a half pounds of a shadow. Not sure if that's the weight of a shadow or not, I should check with Peter.

I discovered the key to weight loss! Not counting calories. Not evaluating all the nutrition information and making sure you are in some sort of balance. Not all protein. Not all carbs. Not sugar free even! It's a little known virus. It will make you feel as if you are truly going to die.

Yes die. Your skin feels as if you've been on some tropical island (without the rest of you) and you fell asleep on the beach. You've awakened to find you've bathed yourself in so much sunshine that even the thought of clothing, or anything for that matter, close to your skin will make you scream like a newborn who has just found out that they live no where near the beach!

Then you won't remember the last time you ate. It won't matter because you're going to die. Chicken tortilla soup from your favorite restaurant is just a fond nod to all those enjoying it without you. No pouting that they didn't bring any for you, even though they did. It doesn't matter. You have no need for food. You just want to sleep. Sleep the sleep of the undead. Well, maybe not the undead, they only wake at night. Hmm. maybe that is right, because that's the only time I was awake during the past few days.

When the fog lifts, you'll find you've lost six to seven pounds. You'll jump for joy and wish they could bottle the virus. You'd be rich beyond your wildest dreams. Because we all know most of us would do anything to lose six or seven pounds!

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30 January 2009

The Flu.

Everyone around me seems to have had it. I've been working and thought I had avoided it all together.

Until Monday. I am now in full blown flu mode and if you don't here from me again, I died. At least that's how I feel. bleh. I'm sure I'll live (I know it's not funny to joke about death) but right now, I just want to feel better. ugh.

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24 January 2009

Changing your stars, Part 2

Okay, so the sis and I had a phone conversation yesterday while I was on a break from work. She asks, "What brought on the changing your stars post?" Simply put, the four year old granddaughter.

As I was sittin gin the living room watching her play I suddenly realized I was her same age when I witnessed my mother and brother being beaten and left for dead. The same age! There was such peace knowing I had made big changes and decisions in my life to alter the course of hers. She will grow up in a non-violent environment. She'll never know, as will my other grandchildren, that people live in families where they hit each other and their lives are surrounded by the chaos of violence.

She may see so,e of that on TV, or hear about a school friend who's family is having trouble, but won't be one of her secrets.

So to all of you living in those circumstances, or something equally as challenging, know that you have the power to change things. Time out works, there is no need to strike a child, or any other member of the family. You can do it, just like I did and s'mee did too.

I am not seeking out shock and awe, or even comment about how strong I am. Or how bizarre I am (I already know that one!) ;-) It was just an awakening moment for me and I thought I'd share.

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21 January 2009

You can change your stars

A favorite movie of mine is "A Night's Tale". It's a good movie with a good message. No matter who you are, what your circumstances are, if you choose, you can change your path, your stars or the direction your life is going.

Tonight As I sat in the living room with everyone around me I took time to look around. I find peace in the view. My four year old grand-daughter is playfully rattling large papers with crayons. Earlier she pretended they were fall leaves in big piles to rolls in. She is safe.

I tell people the most important thing you can do for anyone is help them feel safe. Four years old. By the time I was four I had witnessed the beating of my mother more times than anyone at four should. I witnessed my brother, just a few months older than myself beaten as well as myself.

I vowed at five, yes five, I would never allow anyone to ever make me cry. I became rigid and strong from within. You could beat me, but I would not cry for you or anyone else. Through the next few years I was never safe. No one in my family was. I tell people stories from my childhood and they have one of two reactions. 1. I am really good at exaggeration. 2. I should write a book. Choice two was taken when Glass Castle was published. I read it without putting it down almost two years ago. Finally I learned there were people in the world who lived like I did.

Growing up in the late fifties and early sixties was an interesting time. As people look back they are referred to as the good old days. In a way they were. In my home it was a dream or idea I wished for often. We moved so often, there was no "home" and I knew if we would just move to one of those streets - you know the ones - the tree streets, Elm, Maple, or Oak street our life would be perfect. It was in the Dick and Jane readers. It was the life I wished for. However, it was not to be.

I told myself at twelve I would never hit my children. I kept that vow, except for the first daughter. Yes, she was spanked a few times, but she had as strong a will as I, and easily reminded me of my oath. We turned to a different method of parenting and improved life for all. I vowed violence would not be a part of my life when I became an adult. Not mine or any children I had. I also vowed I would not marry, unless, it was a choice made with commitment. A commitment that come hell or high water (which both has) we would not divorce. There was no way I would put a child in that situation. It was just not safe for a child to be raised in that world.

I will celebrate 34 years of marriage this year. 34 violent free years. 34 years of keeping my daughters safe. And myself. As I watched my four year old granddaughter this evening play, carefree and happy, I breathed a sigh of relief. I have changed my stars. I have chosen a new path. My legacy is to those who follow me, safety. Safe in a home where love abides and violence is only something you see on the news (if it's ever on at all).

Those of you who think you don't have control or you can't change where you are. You can. It's easy and hard at the same time. But it is certainly worth the work, and there's a nice return on the investment you make in the change.

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20 January 2009

Tom, when we want your opinion...

This article caught my eye last night. I have enjoyed several movies starring Tom Hanks. I have paid hard earned dollars to him by seeing a few of them and buying others. In fact, one of my all time favorite movies is "Big".

But just wait a minute Mr. Hanks. Read on, especially the two updates!

The important part of being American is the right to freedom of expression. You can express yours, and I am free to express mine. You do not have the right however, to tell people who supported a cause they believe in, un-American for that choice. That is unAmerican.

No matter what issue there will always be at least two sides. Usually there are four or five. My grandfather said it best "I may not agree with you, but I'll fight to my death to allow you state your opinion." That's what living in a democratic society is all about.

Now if you will, go back to doing your job which is entertaining the world. I don't tell you what movies to make, how to act, or if you maybe should try a few more comedies. Entertain me. Please don't confuse yourself into believing that you can change the world with your voicing an opinion. You get one vote. I get one vote. We all get one vote. Don't confuse celebrity with leadership.

Here's another great article on the subject. The comments are worth the read.

Update 2:
Here's the money quote: "Tom Hanks came out last week and called people who used their democratic vote, “Un-American,” and in this down economy he’s come up with a way to help you save money with a form of free speech that’s not only silent, but deadly to most entertainers.

Let’s vote these people out of the cinema, off our I-Pods and into a lower tax bracket with our wallets. Money is their god, Al Gore is their Pope, Barack Obama their new star and the Global warming scare is their church. To these people, money talks louder than words. Let’s stop funding the hate speech of people in the entertainment industry who insult Americans and then charge us for it.

Stand up and be heard with a closed wallet. If these people produce it, write it, direct it, act in it or even lend their voice to it, stay away from it.

It’s our rights as consumers to not buy things that are morally broken." Joseph Lindsay, Big Hollywood

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