Friday, September 30, 2005

faery tales can come true

When #3 was in fourth grade her teacher gave the class an assignment: "What I want to be when I grow up." A paper that would research careers, the need for those professions, the method of becoming the profession- i.e college, apprentice, artisan, etc., and a back up plan for a second career with the above justifications as well.

#3 wrote her essay. Choice one: Prima Ballerina. She researched several dance studios and found out they all had the same opinion: "Art Saves Lives!" A campaign that was just beginning during that time, also the same time when fine arts were being dismissed from school curriculum in favor of other more "serious" subjects, like computers. The need? Culture and the fine arts are necessary to any successful nation. She would take classes until she was old enough to audition for a national company and then as she grew out of her prime she could either teach or choreograph. (by the age of eight she had auditioned and was in a professional company, hand picked by the Canadian Royal Ballet's Choreographer.)

Second choice, the backup: Good Faery. Her research had been from birth. When a baby is born a good faery goes to the baby and kisses him or her. This is a special blessing that makes the baby sweet and nice and good all their life. The need? Well this was pretty obvious. There were plenty of mean people in the world and so there must not be enough good faeries to kiss all the babies in time. She felt confident that she could learn to fly and kissing babies would not only be fun, healthy exercise, and cool, but a good overall thing to help the world out. A noble and selfless calling as it were. She searched and searched but she couldn't find a college for faeries, but she knew she would some day.

As she grew older she came to understand that becoming a good faery might not work out for her. She began to look into other careers. There was a brief stint in fashion design and art school. Then after much study, fasting and prayer she decided on becoming a Dental Hygienist. Her search for colleges began. Believe it or not she actually found a school that nicknamed them selves "Tooth Faery Tech" She knew it was a done deal. She could be both a D.H. and at last a Good Faery!

She served a mission, worked and saved and as of today she is on her way to becoming what she has been destined to do. She came home happy and content, lugging a huge hard rolling cabinet of tools and instruments, and an equally heavy rolling luggage pack full of books. She informed us she has already pulled her neck getting them in and out of the car, but she is very happy. So are we. After she graduates she plans on working in an office. But she also plans on designing a uniform complete with gossamer wings, so that she can work with little ones and help them smile prettier.

I am very thankful to whatever Good Faery kissed her. She turned out pretty good and now she wants to return the favour.

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Carlton's log - day three

Well we headed for home this afternoon and wahoo! we're here! It's always nice to get back home and sleep in your own bed!

I am SOOOOO looking forward to conference tomorrow, what a difference in attention that will be! (Getting hair chopped off in between sessions.) Then after the last session we have a wedding. After Sunday's last session we head back to Vegas for another conference, this time at the Paris.

Paris is quite pretty, but by far (in my opinion) the most smoky of all the hotels. So I will be out and about. Sis in law will be there with her hubby also and so we will hit the other (Thor has many siblings...hahah) sis in law for another visit. After that I am not too sure where to go. My niece has given me an art assignment (working on tonight!), so there will be a drop off of the work and some more chatting. Fun!

A temple trip again on the agenda and probably figuring out something else to do. Any suggestions will be appreciated! Thor has meetings all day and bin'nuss at night, so from about 8-5 I am the wandering nomad of the desert!

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Carlton's log: day 2 in Vegas

O.k. So today I dropped Thor off at his meeting and headed out to meet my sister in law and see their new digs. Brother in law is a FBI Agent (yeah, so don't mess with S'mee), but outta town on TOP SECRET stuff. Well maybe not top secret, but it sounds better.

She gave me directions and I headed out, and out some more and then took a left and a right and drove for about 30 or so minutes (at 80mph thanks you very much) and finally got to where they live. I had NO IDEA Las Vegas was like a zillion square miles. They actually live in a little part of "Vegas" that looks like normal home town neighborhoods. Lawns and curbs and normal traffic, no signs, no neon, weird Vegas. Nice Vegas, who knew? (evidently the FBI knew... but then again, they know everything.)

We had a great chat while her first kid was at school, second sat under a table (for 2 hours) and the baby sat in my lap grinning at this crazy "new" lady. We discussed the usual stuff, paint, grass, what to do with the dog doo while her hubby is out of town. It was cool. Normally when I meet with this s-i-l it is a family event and there are about 35 other people there and you never really get an opportunity to sit uninterrupted for 2 and 3 hours with just one person.

Thor and I met with a co-worker and had dinner at P.F.Chang's and a nice conversation also. The main topic was the co-workers new washer and dryer, and how now everyone wishes they had one just like it...although I can't see Thor and I ever paying close to $3,500.00 to wash and dry clothes, however efficient. He had a pretty good time telling us all the gory details and yeah, I wish I could pull jeans out of the washer almost dry, grr, but well why buy a dryer then?

Phone calls to all the kids and a quiet night watching Thor's "Smallville".

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Originally uploaded by Delizia.

Thor's company has sent him to Monte Carlo for a seminar! Unfortunately it is not the Monte Carlo in Monaco, but rather the one in Las Vegas. Ugh.

I think I am perhaps, the only person in the world who truly despises Las Vegas. But getting away is getting away and so a free hotel room is tempting. Thor's company pays for the room and travel expenses for him to get there and he gets a food account. S'mee rides in the car for free and, because we took S'mee's car instead of the company car, I can drive around town if I want to. I pay for my side of the meals and whatever I use/do and so it all comes out pretty cheap. The problem is that it is still Vegas and the cheese factor is always there.

We have a lovely room on the 28th floor, overlooking the "strip", with all the lights, etc, it is pretty to see it glitter at night; although it still can't hide the funk underneath it all; nor the less than family appropriate advertising from the larger than giant screen t.v.s in front of the other hotels. Nothing says, "RUN! Run for your mortal souls!!!" like 50 foot an air brushed, plasticized, and silicone filled 23 year old show girl showing her buns via a sequin thong, dancing and encouraging you to get all the pleasure you can. I need to be steam cleaned. Speaking of cleaning, we have only been here about 28 hours and I have already washed my hair three times. It looks somewhat like Whitney Houston's fro during that nasty "cocaine" episode of hers in the late 90's. Hopefully I can get my doctor to prescribe a nicotine patch when I get home, the second hand smoke is killing me.

Our window opens up about two inches, I assume so that when the patrons lose their fortunes they don't jump out in a fit of depression. When Thor opens the window we get a distinct aroma - of all things- mac and cheese. If you look downward, directly below our room is the roof top of the front portion of the hotel. I thought at first that it was a parking structure or some such, but after the constant climb of macaroni fumes, I now think we must be over the all you can eat buffet.

We drove out to dinner tonight and then down the strip to see all the sparkle. There is a new hotel, supposedly "the biggest, the best, the most luxurious" yada yada yada. To me it is sad. This is what this man perceives as the best of everything. This is as good as it gets. For him, probably, it will be.

This morning however, I was surprised to hear from my niece, who invited me to join she and her sister for the day and visit. It was very fun. They live out of the city in a smaller community away from all the "stuff". I can tell that these two gals don't associate too much with, nor venture too close into their more notable city neighbor. They have somehow remained sweet in this bazaar world. Giggly children, happy babies and lots of family photos on the walls of each of their homes. Not too much glitz and "glamour", but it seemed to me to be as good as it gets in this world and with an eternal promise for even better as time goes on.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

"Fred's Dead, Baby"

"Fred's Dead, Baby"
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

In the "spirit" of Halloween, I spent the afternoon in quiet solitude and carved up some fun! The undertaking? Tombstones!

This is the first of the new tombstones for this year. This one is 24" wide by 16" high and is made from 1" thick foam board insulation that comes in a variety of sizes. I chose the 4'x8' sheets. About $12.00 out the door and into the minivan.

tombstone tutorial
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

If you are like S'mee, you will need to have the guys on the floor cut it into 2 pieces for you (so it can fit in your vehicle). As you can see in the photo, there are indeed "lines" that one could follow -if they wished to do so- the guys I was working with at the time were less than cooperative and decided to "freehand" it on the totally white side without marks and guidelines. UGH! and GRRR!

Make sure you stress the first cut along the lines, otherwise, like S'mee, you will lose one inch, or more, when they cut it diagonally. again UGH!

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

the front porch

sweet alyssum
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

I have to tell you that lately, just walking out onto the porch in the morning makes me very happy!

We live on a little half acre that is comprised of lousy soil. Hey, it's the desert and I don't expect too much. Our "top soil" is 1 1/2 inches deep of sand with the layer underneath being clay. Hard, solid clay. Lots of pebbles, small rocks and weird bugs, ants and cute bunnies that grown into jack rabbits.

The wind blows pretty much everyday, water is scarce, and unless you treat the soil (read: totally add new top soil with literally tons of new soil and fertilizers) not too much grows. Not even weeds on our little parcel.

Every year I sacrifice to the plant gods, throwing about $50.00 or so into the dirt and pray something pops up. I have treated tiny sections over the years, adding fertilizers, garden soil, all kinds of potions and homemade remedies from many different resources. My only success has been alyssum. I planted it the year we moved in and it flourished and reseeds itself and blooms all year. In the heat of the day the perfume is amazing and wafts into the house. yum.

There have been other successes on a strict on year time line - sunflowers, desert blooming succulents, marigolds, etc. but the only mainstay is my sweet alyssum.

Last year I took a chance and planted a wysteria up along side the post near the front door. It didn't die, but it didn't really take off either. #1 brought his puppy over during Thanksgiving and he ate the wysteria down to a nubbin. The nubbin grew pretty well over spring and now we have a "nice" little vine growing up the side of the post.

The week #5 graduated I also through some Morning glories into the ground near the other post on the porch. They took off and now cover the entire post on all sides and up to the roof. Every morning they bloom and it takes my breath away to see actual flowers growing right there on my sandy old dirt!

morning glory
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

the front porch
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

It may not look like much to you, but I just get a smile looking at it! If you look closely you can see the sand and river rocks. I have a few palms in pots that are getting new fronds (YES!) and mixed in with the alyssum is some mondo grass, one lonely little survivor from a pack of flowers I now forget the name of, and a few sprigs of rosemary. There a few more palms awaiting ground planting and the locust tree in the rear.

Poor mr. locust will be rooted out as he has a fondness for the septic system and needs to be relocated. Palms will take his place and then the rest of the property might have a chance to grab a few live plants. We are aiming to xeroscape because of the desert conditions, so there will be plenty of pathways, patios and only minimal plants that cannot thrive in drought conditions.

The desert environment and ecosystem has changed dramatically since we moved here 25 years ago. Now city folk have moved up, planted every imaginable plant and watered the hooie out of them. Putting in pools and water scapes also adds to the humidity and eventually will add to even more drought conditions as the air will push any and all clouds to the east and dump the water further out. This is happening already and it's sad.

I admit that if I were wealthy and had the wherewithal I too would have a pool, expansive lawns and lots of trees to try and keep the house shaded in this unbelievable heat. Inside though, I would still feel guilty, because I know better what the desert needs to remain healthy, and it ain't man made humidity and water. It does best on what Ma Nature provides.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Boy gets hit by Fire Truck!

Originally uploaded by S'mee.

Today was the family surprise party for #1 given by his wife at their home. After a fine lunch, chatting, stories and a dip in the pool we all headed out side to watch the babies take a whack at the fire truck pinata.

There's just something odd about this tradition that I will never understand. Blindfold a bunch of little kids. Spin them until they are dizzy. Give them a hard bat of some kind. Allow them to whack away at anything they can find!

The three little ones involved today topped out at 3, 2 and 18 months. The tool of destruction was a rather small broom handle and if the truth be told, most of the whacking came from daddies.

This picture is my grand baby, the middle of pecking order for age, but the only BOY! You could tell he knew what to do with that broom handle. He gave a few good whacks, but not much happened. I love this picture because it looks as if he has managed to whack the pinata right over his head and onto his body. Not really so, just perfectly in front of his body making a pretty good photo illusion.

It cracks me up every time I look at it.

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He's Hot!

fire fighter
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

As of September 18 our #1 is an official Fire Fighter! He has gone through the riggers and tests and has earned the right to remove the green "rookie" tape he had to wear on his helmet during probation.

His Captain and crew at the "Big House" threw him a terrific surprise party, complete with amazing barbecue and a tour of the fire house. Just before we were to sit down and enjoy dinner the call rang out and #1 and his crew were in the engine and off to a traffic collision. The Cap' invited his wife along for the ride and to see her hubby in action, which was pretty cool. The rest of us stayed behind and soon we were all digging into fabulous fire house food!

The evening culminated with the removal of the green tape, a small speech and presentation of a plaque, and the "top honour"- the handing over of a remote for the t.v. and being allowed to actually sit in the t.v. room. It didn't last long and they were off to another call.

Here's to the new guy in the Big House! Congratulations, we sure are proud of you!

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rain at disneyland

rain at disneyland
Originally uploaded by S'mee.
Proof that it rained like crazy the day we went to "dinneylan". Proof that I actually have a grandson. Proof that he's a "Fun Gi".

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Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm moving to Denver

It's official!

Now just yesterday I had a long conversation with Chronicler. She advised me to rethink the way I portray myself to others... The whole "You shouldn't go around telling people you're dumb..." good sister stuff.

Then I have to call her back to reload my page, like 4 times! After the hard stuff was done, all I had to do was put in the information. Point and click a zillion times.

Seems I should have caught on earlier that perhaps saving each section right after adding it would save me having to rewrite each section after it would get "mysteriously" deleted. But success! It is finished.

Only problem now is that the side bar, which does have nice little diamonds (thanks for noticing Lisa! : > ) is crooked. Yup, check it out. I don't know why and I don't know how to fix it, but right after "think links" they move one space to the right with each new section. That's weird! If I could fix it I would make them all go over to the right, I think it looks better towards the bottom where they are all closer to that right edge. ( I'm still sleepy) Oh and I somehow made it impossible for S'mee to use her own comments box! hahaha! So it's back to the drawing board.

(where's Johnna?)

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Thursday, September 22, 2005


I just spent about three hours trying to redo this blog. Thanks to Chronicler who has helped me with MUCH of it!!! But then I wanted to update the side bar. Make some additions and delete some others. Then the whole shebang decided to freeze on me and I lost all the changes. So until tamale you get to view the old stuff. I would continue to work, but it's 3:00 and I am still in my bathrobe! I need to get off of this thing and gear up for my class tonight.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I put the FUN in funeral...

The Lost Member of ZZ Top
Originally uploaded by zodmczod.

I haven't blogged in a few days because it's been very busy around here. One of the things which took some of my time was a funeral.

An elderly lady friend of mine lost her second husband and asked if I would, once again, sing at her husband's funeral. (This is an offer I get on occasion. It's not that I sing particularly well; more like, "hey they're mourning already, if they are crying you won't know if it's because of you or the deceased...") She picked out two hymns, "Abide With Me, 'Tis Eventide" and "How Great Thou Art". Not perky numbers, but good for getting your grief on. Which they did. Afterwards there were the obligatory compliments on the vocals, and a few -let's say oddities...

This funeral was attended mostly by the elderly. The elderly who are part of a grief support group named "Widows and Widowers". They get together once a month to eat, visit and dance. I, because of the church ward I live in, have many elderly women friends, most of whom belong to "WOW" (I know, it should be "wAw", but I think they thought they sounded to much like WAH! so they went with WOW! -which sound likes they are happy 'you know who' kicked the proverbial bucket, bought the farm, well, you know.) Many of my friends were there. Many other ladies and gents were there whom I had yet the "pleasure" of meeting.

One such gal approached me after the funeral, teary eyed and obviously grief stricken. She said she thought I had a nice voice and then asked "do you have a car?" "Thank you and, um, yes. " "Are you going to the grave side services?" Well at this point, no I was not going to go, but she looked so helpless so I lied and said "yes" anticipating her request for a ride. One thing led to another and, yup, she needed a ride. Seems she was dropped off at the funeral home and yada yada yada she was my new "friend" for the day. Before we left however, there was some down time and post funeral visiting. Other folks came around and we chatted about this and that and waited for the procession to gear up. While chatting with a girl friend of mine an elderly guy -similar to the photo above - came by and gushed about my voice and how pretty it was. "Thank you, you're very kind." "No, not really, I'm old (like 90) and I been around. I know what I like and I like you." "Well, my. Thank you again." and then he left.

My new friend came back to hitch her ride. She was in her late 70's if she was a day. Wearing a hot pink floral print knee length skirt, hot pink tank top with spaghetti straps and platform (you guessed it) hot pink sandals with sequin straps and a huge pink daisy on each toe. She had several tattoos; one on her right calf of a "native style" hula girl holding a martini glass. (late 70's!) Her hair was a toss up of gray and bleached blond and somewhat antigravitorial in poof. She got into the car and tells me she is grateful for the ride - "because most women don't like [me]." "Oh, I can't believe that! You seem really (what's the word here....?) fun!" "Well they don't like me. I know that much. I know the men do, they're friendly enough, but the women have always just shunned me." -Changing the subject- "So how did you know (the deceased)? Are you family?" "No. no. I knew him through the WOW. He would dance with me, but the ladies all hated me. I was in show business and they just hate that." (we interrupt this clever repartee to ponder why S'mee didn't see this coming and avoid it altogether.. Oblivious to seeing that train coming she goes ahead with her question...) "Were you an actress, or did you sing, or were you more in the production end?" "I was an exotic dancer." (did you hear that train derail? Did you see the mayhem?How 'bout the destruction at all? Call for back up! Do something girl!) "Oh, well, um, well, I'm sure you did just fine. Oh look the traffic is piling up!" "Yeah, I made tons of money and gave my kids ponies and whatever they wanted. It was d*mn good money." Realizing that S'mee has caused the wreck herself she tries to set up a triage... "Well, I guess we are going to have to wait here for a few minutes. Look how pretty the day is. I just love this part of the valley, very peaceful. A good resting place." and the conversation just went, well, um, more exotic as we waited to get our space and see the dead honoured via bugle.

As I dropped her off back at the funeral home she said, "Thanks again. My name is Cindy, with an S." (crickets chirping while S'mee puts it all together...) ohhhh. SINdy. Got it. right.

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

The funeral luncheon back at the church. S'mee shows up a tad late to help set up, but there are a few church ladies out in the hall waiting for me. I explain about being needed by a "little old lady who didn't have a car" and left it at that. Low and behold my gentlemen friend (ZZ TOP) is coming down the hallway in time to hear one gal ask why she didn't see me for the set up at the church. "I had to sing at the funeral. " "Oh, that's right." ZZ TOP comes up and says very loudly (and a bit televangelistic), "This woman, NO! This angel from God sang! She has the voice of the peaceful doves, and it was so beautiful! I almost cried!" YIKES-OLA! brother - get a grip! "Thank you, again." "NO!" (holding his hand up as if to stop traffic) "NO! You are a grace! Give me a hug!" "Thank you." (hug) um, time to let go now, oakey dokey HuUuuGGgss OOvver! I get out of this old geazer's hug but he STILL has his hand firmly around my waist. The gals in the hallway are now in a combination of out and out laughter and gross out, as am I. "O.k. well then! Thanks again, now you better get in there and get some lunch now! Thank you." and I peel myself away from creepy old guy. "Only if you come with me honey" and then the "I think I'm going to barf right here and now phrase of the day": "GgggrrrriiioooowwwLLLllllllll!" yup, he growled like Roy Orbison on crack. (Can I take hot shower now?)

Nice to know I still have it.

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Indian Jones and the Rainstorm of Doom

Not a very clear picture (new camera, still trying to figure out how this one works), but trust me when I say it RAINED yesterday at Disneyland... the wettest place on earth. O.k. a bit exaggerated, but it was raining like crazy.

One thunder clap and anyone not inside was immediately drenched in huge rain drops that went on for hours! We happened to be in the line for Dumbo when it first started. After five minutes we were completely soaked through to the skin, making sweatshirts into 10 lb. water containing devices. Riding on Dumbo was intense. Not because of the height for little ones, or the slippery seats, but because we were pelted as were flew through the air! It was crazy!

Most people would have had the sense to come in from the rain, but when you pay that entry fee - you stay and hope for the best. The down pour was applauded by thunder and then the lightning began to come. My daughter in law and I were the last ones on the Thunder Mountain Railroad before they shut it down. We didn't know this until we got back from the ride. The signs on the entrance: "Big Thunder Mountain Railway is closed due to dangerous weather conditions."

Tom Sawyer's Island, Tea cups, Monorail, Bobsleds, most of Toon Town, Jungle Cruise, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan (of course you do fly into the clouds on that one), Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, The Casey Jr. Train, and that horrid Whale were all shut down due to rain and "dangerous weather". I was disappointed that the Haunted Mansion was down due to decorating... I was too early, dang.

The grand baby fell asleep so mommy and daddy went on Indian Jones. I headed inside to try and dry off. The one rain slicker we had was draped over the stroller in an attempt to keep the boy from drowning. I thought, "To heck with all this!" and I whipped out the credit card and bought slickers for everyone and a couple of umbrellas. Mommy and daddy came off their ride and we headed for new territory. Baby woke up about 2:30 and we went for lunch. The rain stopped about 3:30, and so all the weather gear was no longer needed. Figures. Real money could have been made in dryers!

We took pictures with many characters, they stayed as most of humanity left. Baby's favorite was "Winnie the Poop". The Buzz Lightyear ride was rode/played? several times - a walk through; and Mommy and Daddy got to ride the new Space Mountain. SPOILER: It doesn't have any drops anymore, just (cue echo effects) one big huge freaking spiral in space!

We had a pretty good time anyway. I got home about 11:00, still wet in places and damp in most. My feet are still cold this morning! I can't wait to go back in a few weeks to see what Jack Skelington has done!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Psyching myself up...

This is Halloween!
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

O.k. So this is the first run of cupcakes! I wasn't prepared for the decorations with special candies or frostings, but went ahead and came up with these little beauties with what we had on hand:

Dunked in Jelly Bellies, You're Bugging Me!, Spike, & Don't Forget to Floss.

Jack Skelington, Oogie Boogie, Sally, & Stock

High Anxiety, Buck, I only have eyes for you, & Miss Spider.

All cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla or chocolate frostings. I used Mega M&Ms, tiny M&Ms, Jelly Bellies, Life Savers, Sour Patch Strips, Green Apple Gum, Eclipse Gum, Jolly Rancher Rocks, and black Jimmies.

Frosting was applied via a zip lock bag snipped at one corner or with a butter knife. I also used a bamboo skewer to aid in the placement of many Jimmies! I am sure when I actually get out the cake gear and use the pro stuff they will come out even better. In the mean time, we're eatin' cupcakes for dessert tonight!

To view cupcake details more closely, click on the photo above. This will take you to my photo page at Flicker! Find the photo stream st the top right of the page and click the "next" photo, it should be titled: "I'm ready for my close up!" double click. It will come up full screen and with much better detail.

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This is Halloween!

The early morning chill that lingers into the afternoon is hinting that autumn is definitely on its way. The air conditioner hasn't been turned on for a week; and I am actually using more than just a sheet to sleep with at night. It's my favorite time of year. I get filled with the anticipation that all the holidays bring and Halloween is the big opener. Every year I try to add to the collection of decorations that invite little people to beg for candy.

Unfortunately, the times, they are a changin' and little people with responsible parents no longer go from house to house in search of decay inducing fun, but stick to the school carnivals and church "trunk and treat" festivals. This saddens me to a point, but I still hope and so the thrill of design spurs me on.

The last few years (meaning like 10) only the crack moms in their mid 30's, toothless, but carrying a 3 month old soundly sleeping baby, loudly proclaiming there desires for a fun sized milky way seem to grace our Halloweened halls. Oh, and the 24 year old gang bangers that scare the bujeebies outta me as they demand they fair share and then kick my carefully carved pumpkins out into the street. But I digress. I still love halloween.

Not the creepy guts and gore, eyeball and intestine stuff, more along the lines of creepy silly "Nightmare Before Christmas" (N.B.C.) type of stuff. So I steal ideas and design as best I can within certain budget restraints. This usually includes the obligatory (read: good excuse to go there) trip to the Haunted Mansion to get pumped and also new ideas.

This year I will be blogging the progress. It will begin with a trip to the shed out back to inventory previously made decor and the condition its in. Then the goals will be set. Some of which are:

New additions to the tombstones.

A wreath with eyes and teeth similar to the one in the story and N.B.C. mansion.

Gates with that "New Orleans" look to frame the theme set.

A back drop with themed characters.

Luminaries with characters from the theme.

For inspriration and to get me kick started, scary cupcakes. So stayed tuned and wish me some luck.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

in case of emergency: open this blog!

pirates are hot
Originally uploaded by autodidactic.
o.k. in light of this new "habit" I am trying to achieve. S'mee (also a pirate) decided to make a back up plan in case she woke up cranky or whatever. So I popped over to the Flicker! boards and came across a photo that will definitely make me HAPPY! Two of my favorite pirates, and as the photographer titled this shot: Pirates are hot! I am not willing to debate this matter, art is in the eye of the beholder. That said, I would like to be holden...never mind, now I am just going crazy. But happy!

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Obedience and Agency

We had a great Stake Conference today. All of the talks were interesting, but one really held my attention. We have an E.R. doctor in our Presidency and he began his talk personally. This guy can speak very well, kind of like listening to your brother go on about his daily life at Thanksgiving, very folksy and relaxed. He gave some background which explained why he chose his topic: How does one find happiness, even within the Gospel? His answer was two things: Obedience and Agency.

I like it. Simple, direct, truthful statements that require very little except acceptance of what we hear. There were the scriptures to back up his case, "...wickedness never was happiness..." and others; but what I liked the best was the agency part of it. Truth is nasty things will and do happen everyday to each of us. He pointed out the history of a couple who were among the pioneers. The family lost a baby on the journey, a grandfather, and most everything they had owned before the trip. As time went on the husband in the story eventually fell away from the gospel bitter and angry at the Lord, feeling the rewards for their obedience was unjust and trial filled. The wife, however, grew more strength in the Gospel with each obstacle and hardship. She chose to find the lesson, earn the knowledge and be happy with her situation.

This gets me thinking. I think of those folks who get up every morning in less than perfect situations and just flat out decide to be happy with their situations. Not that they are complacent or dull, just that when they realize the choices are taken away, they find something to be joyful about, they have that talent for seeing good in everything.

We all have challenges, and hopefully, S'mee can begin to better adopt this habit of seeing the good and finding more joy.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Enough of the gloom! Let the silliness begin!

In an effort to rid myself of the realities of recent events, I went in search of Science! Well, perhaps not; but I do find enjoyment in taking these silly tests.

I have often written about how I am a true split personality. Yet another test (albeit via the net) that proves my point:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (50%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (50%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

In light of the critisism of world leaders I wondered if I would have done any better. According to this I am more like Ghandi, who knew? Emaciated do gooder! You'd never know it from looking at me!

And lastly, which Classic Movie would I be?

Well this sounds just like S'mee if the foundation they are talking about is marshmallow creme with crushed almonds and chocolate!

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

my opinion

And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

And all things shall be in commotion; and surely men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people. (D&C 88:91)

As I watch telecast after telecast of the coverage of this past week's devastation, I am being told what I see is worse than a war zone, worse than the Tsunami, worse than the Twin Towers. All this is being blamed on "Katrina" and her coup de main , when in reality perhaps the chaos and real damage is a little more home grown.

Children being raped and then shot and left to die and rot in front of their parents. Elderly neglected. Abuse by hoodlums. The near dead being taken to the morgue so that they can die, without aide and alone, but with some form of dignity is hard to wrap my thoughts around. The dead being left to decay in the buildings, streets and waters so that the living can be attended to with basic human necessities. The survivors living in human waste, dying literally of thirst.

I see elderly men openly crying because they left their own families to try and help others and now cannot find anyone they even know. Babies under blankets lay dead in the street. Bloated bodies buoying in the water, marking the flood level with their death, float by the homes they dearly loved.

Mass confusion from those who should (did?) have plans in place, left standing wondering what to do, and where to go, and how to start resolving this overwhelming situation. I hear the accusations and see the fingers pointing to ill prepared officials. I hear the remarks of hurting people who feel they were led to slaughter because they were the poor or "non white". I see folks trying to help only to get verbal abuse for not doing enough or being less than adequate. City leaders and protectors who saw too much and whose hearts failed them to the point of suicide make me cold inside.

I hear their stories. The good people, who through inability or pride (does it really matter now?) stayed and were hoping to ride through this storm and trusted in their neighbors. I am sure they understood the danger and some even knew they would never go home; however none went into shelter knowing they would live through such "friendly fire" terrorism that was inflicted upon them via the gangs who were confined with them. Thousands of people, even military in helicopters, controlled by less than a hundred teenage/early twenties young "men" who joined together in their quest for evil and delayed help when it did arrive. Gangs who turned on their own people shooting and looting and fighting to take over the city which gave them birth so that they could prosper in rage and iniquity. Callus minions who have succumbed to the most base of behaviors.

It makes me look back a year when Thor and I were guests of this city. We stayed in the Hyatt Regency that is literally linked to the Super Dome. During our stay we took a drive to see the city. We took our New Orleans Tourist Guide book as a resource of where to go and what to see. We were curious about the cemeteries and thought we'd go for a look. According to the Guide book published and distributed by the city, warnings were given to avoid going into certain cemeteries -even during the daylight hours- because they were frequented by persons who were known to beat, rob, and "worse" anyone who they came upon. Cemeteries are a high risk tourist stop and they recommended tourists and others stay away from Cemeteries #_, #_, and #_ without secure escorts or with a small controlled group and professional and certified guide. 2 of these cemeteries were located quite near the Super Dome.

Thor and I thought that perhaps driving by them would be o.k. as we wouldn't be going inside and would not be in harm's way inside a moving vehicle outside the gates, in the street. Not so. As we drove down a particular street (not at the cemetery yet) at 10:30 a.m. we were immediately greeted by young men with bats and other rods who began to gather in from of our car in an intimidating manner. By the time we reached the center of the block 10-15 men had already begun to block the street ahead of us, the street behind us already being blocked . Thor mentioned that we would not be going anywhere further but directly out of this area and began to drive quite fast as we almost hit the men as they refused to move out of the street, some actually banging the rear of the car as we past. It was meant to scare us and it did.

These are the neighborhoods from which many refused to evacuate before the storm and are refusing still. These are the neighborhoods from which we are hearing the stories of gang rapes and child abuse as the norm prior to the storm. (such as in M*'s comment #15, "Barbarians" post) These are the neighborhoods that have subjected themselves to years of dependence upon social aid and lack of education and self-reliance. The same neighborhoods where police and fire refuse to go after the sun sets because of the violence and lack of respect for the law. These are the people who choose violence as a way of life and lawlessness as a creed. These few are controlling the many. Drugs, alcohol, lasciviousness, lewd acts, and lack of respect for anything or anyone rule these few people. They have no faith, no God, no higher power or authority to answer to.

These people's hearts have waxed cold and dark and seem fixed upon the ill things in this world. They thrive on the confusion and fear. They are like roaches that come out in the dark to feed upon the scum and scatter in the Light. These are they, "who did infest the land; for so strong were their holds and their secret places that the people could not over power them; therefore they did commit many murders, and did so much slaughter among the people." (3 Nephi 1:27) "Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insosmuch as he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the Doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing." (3 Nephi 2:2)

I am not saying "prophecy has been fulfilled", or that "the end is near!"; however, the Book of Mormon has shown us the cycles and we are in the midst of them. Again today, I hear that snipers are shooting at those who would take people to safety. This has nothing to do with race or economic favoritism. These "people" are lost of any human Spirit and they have nothing but evil running through them.

The media is focusing on the problems and calling the blame Katrina or political neglect. The good people of New Orleans (and elsewhere) have been relocated. Yes some of them complained about their situations and were less than thankful. However, they are using verbal weapons to vent their frustrations. I am more concerned about those who still refuse to leave, to allow volunteers to clean up their homes and rebuild their city, and who continue to try and kill anyone who comes to close.

Surely we are headed towards that day when men's hearts will fail them; and if we are not more Spiritually prepared we will fail as well.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Safety First!

Safety First!
Originally uploaded by S'mee.
While we are on the subject, the legal department at Disney have strong hopes that the intoxicating music combined with the trance-like lyrics of "It's a Small World" don't lull you and your children to dancing the "Freddy". Doing so would prevent your limbs from staying within the boundaries of the boat.

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Let your conscious be your guide!

I took this photo a while back and because I have nothing pertinent to proclaim this Sabbath morn, allow me this:

Obviously standing side by each (as dear ol' ma used to say) on a prime piece of Disney property. Jimminy would prefer you recycle; but if that's not your cup 'o tea, then go ahead and waste -please!

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

You've Had A Birthday, Shout Hooray!

Birthday candles
Originally uploaded by Elena777.

According to "They Might Be Giants"...

"You're older than you've ever been.

And now you're even older.

And now you're even older.

And now you're even older.

You're older than you've ever been and now you're even older.

And now you're older still.

Time is marching on! And time - keeps marching on!

You're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older...

and now you're older still!

Happy birthday sis!

Isn't it nice to know I will always be younger?

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