Friday, November 30, 2007

I love Mousies! Mousies what I loves to eat...

Bite they little heads off; nibble on they tiny feet!

I'm sewing a new table cloth and chair scarves today. Up this morning at 5:30 so I can get it done before meeting with the other gals I work with. We have to go shopping today for mice! Well, the ingredients for mice.

Next Saturday is our Christmas dinner for the single adults over 32. It's a big huge deal every year and it seems the older singles (60+) really look forward to being treated special and having a great time. This year we are in charge of the food. (last year was decorations and entertainment) We're serving roast beef, rosemary potatoes, roasted garlic green beans, euro greens with candied walnuts, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette, quick breads, and cheesecake with raspberry or chocolate sauce and a mouse sitting on top. (cheese cake...mice....???)

So today we shop for mice, Monday we'll make them, and Friday we'll shop and prep the food for Saturday. Another busy day! Another busy week!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

When batter goes bad....

I had the small assignment of making some banana bread for a leadership meeting tonight. So I thought to my clever little self, "Why not make it in the bread tubes? It always comes out so cute and in those festive shapes! Just slice it up in even pieces and there you go!" Well, until it decided to be Satanic banana bread from heck! Check that top photo!

During the baking process the batter began to seep out from the bottom of the tube and mound up on the baking sheet. That and another tube decided to erupt like Kilauea 1990! Holy Hannah! That second photo shows the volcanic drain!

But alls well that ends well. The bread was salvageable for the most part. Just to be safe though I am making a trip to the local bakery and grabbing a few loaves as back up!

Update: It's really weird...the bread that drained or exploded from the tubes tasted great. But the bread from inside the tube and pretty had zero taste. Ze- Ro. Like you were eating non flavoured bread. I wonder if quick breads get all there great taste from the caramelization? It's either that or all the taste molecules got scared of the dark and just ran for their lives! Chronicler?

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Painting Mermaids in watercolour.

A work in progress.

All my life I have loved water colour paintings. All my life it has eluded me. I work in pencil, oils, acrylic, pen and ink, chalk, heck I have even worked with crayons and made them "professional". But water colour? I have never done a water colour that I like when it was done.

I have been working this one piece for months, seriously. Drawing it out with a pencil, no problem. But getting the paint on the page and not looking funky..big problem. Little hint: this isn't the original, it ain't the first. I hope this is the last one, so far just a minor blooper that I hope I can fix along the way, but who knows? It's a definite learning process for me, but I think it's finally progressing in a positive way.

This is for a friend's nursery, so I want it to be good. I think after a few tries I am learning what to do and what not to do with the paint. This one may not be the last, but I'm getting close!

Cross your fingers folks. I'll post the finished painting, if I ever get it done!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


A friend of mine asked me if I would paint letters for her grand daughter's bedroom. These have been sitting on the shelf for quite some time, but I finally had a day to get them finished. The paint is matching a pillow she sent along, an Asian print, pink deep dark brown, and gold. Although the photo doesn't show it well, they picked out the perfect matches for paint. I hope they were worth the wait.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

It seems I keep reporting on things that have happened one day prior, and here I go again!

Thor and I went over to my best friends daughter's, also a good friend of ours and had such a fun time! She and her hubby had prepared all traditional Thanksgiving foods and it was fabulous. We enjoyed the company of great people and renewed friendships. After dinner we all sat around, admired the sweetest little baby girl, a true reason to be thankful, and then played "Catch Phrase".

Catch Phrase uses a small plastic box with a tiny screen that exposes a particular word. The player tries to get their team to say the word or phrase with other words, descriptions or gestures. The game is begun when the player sets a timer on the box which begins a beep...beep...beep which gradually goes faster and faster and then at last dings to indicate the time is up. The team pass the box back and forth as they guess correctly. Whichever team is holding the box when the buzzer goes off loses and the other team wins a point. There are two team buttons on the box that you press to give your points to the correct team. At the end of each round the box voices who has how many points and eventually which team wins.

The teams were pretty evenly divided, two young couples, two old ones, women against men. The constant beeping sets your brain on fire as you try to think up ways to get your team to guess correctly. Some of the hints were less than helpful, which was the most fun to watch. We were all laughing so hard by the end of the games! My best friend, as pointed our by her son, used the same words and gestures for almost any word she was given to describe. After hearing that we all just about keeled over!

So for the past two days all I have done is play games and eat. Now I am trying to catch up on LOOOONG over due projects for three friends so that I can get my Christmas up. Project one was worked on today and is almost finished, yeah! See you all tamale!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving III, yeah you read that right! THREE!

O.k. so today is Sunday. Yesterday was by far one of the best days I've had all year. ALL the kids were here and the two little ones, and we had a BLAST!

#2 and his wife brought over their wii, and we all got to play with that -for hours! And then #1 and his wife brought in their Guitar Hero, which again we all had to play. OH MY HECK that was fun to watch. We have an especially quiet daughter in law who spanked everyone with guitar hero...that alone was worth whatever amount of money the thing cost. Watching her just quietly playing the game and hitting the high scores was FUN! Imagine the most shy quiet person you know turning into a rock star.

The food was great. Those ribs were history in about 15 minutes. Seriously not one left. I buy the best ribs I can find, strip the funky membrane thingy from the bone side off and then cut the rack into manageable pieces. I use a dry rub and massage it in to both sides and place the rack in a ziplock to marinate over night. In the morning I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, lay the ribs bone side down cover with more parchment, and then seal the pan with foil. Into a 225 oven for at least 6 hours, yesterday was 7, and the last half hour coat the ribs on both sides with a 50/50 blend of Mesquite Barbecue sauce and Pure honey. Back in to caramelize for 15 minutes, another swab of sauce and back in for the last 15. The ribs come completely off the bone and are so tender you can cut them with a banana. YUM.

The chicken is essentially the same routine. I buy good quality whole wings. Rinse/wash well and pat dry. No marinade. In the morning, lay the wings on a parchment covered cookie sheet. I brush the chicken with melted butter and sprinkle them liberally with garlic... no salt, nothing else, just the garlic. Cover with parchment and then seal the pan with foil. Bake at 225, for 6 hours. The last half hour coat the wings with the b-b-q sauce and caramelize for 15 minutes twice. These are great. You can also leave the sauce off and they taste great that way too.

I biffed on the pineapple upside down cake, we had so many desserts that it seemed silly to keep making more, so maybe next week.

Sunday lessons at church today were awesome. Just one point then I'll let you go. How about making a daily gratitude / blessings journal? Every night before you lay your head down take a few minutes to remember the day and acknowledge the blessings and good things that came your way during the day. When things go bad you have a reminder of just how great things have been. I have a d-i-l who did this all through her younger years. She swore by the results.

And the Thanksgiving Three? Yeah baby, a young couple, dear friends have invited Thor and I over to their home this evening to join their Thanksgiving celebration! This year rocks!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Part Deux

Today all the kids are coming home to do Thanksgiving here at the house. Everyone will be here , plus the two little boys!

We're having ribs and chicken wings, both slow roasted over 8 hours. They're amazing when they finally get done! Plus a baby greens salad with feta, cranberries, and walnuts, baked beans, home made rolls, and a fresh fruit salad. We'll munch on fresh veggies and a cheese plate while we're waiting.

One of my favorite appetizers is toasted baguette slices spread with roasted garlic and topped with goat cheese and dried cherries. I can wait for those! The girls are looking forward to their brie, and the guys love just plain cream cheese with home made chili sauce and crackers or wheat thins. We're covered.

Dessert is sugar free lemon meringue , sugar free peach pie, vanilla bean ice cream, and also a pineapple upside down cake, loaded with sugar!

I rearranged the furniture for the holidays in anticipation of more bodies in the house and also trees beginning to go up on Monday. Thor put up the lights yesterday, and we are both getting excited!

So that's the post for today. Happy shopping, if you're still out there after yesterday! Whew! See ya tamale!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Your Bo*bie Schedule, when and how to check.

Pea wondered when/if she should go schedule a mammogram. In order to answer her question and maybe someone else's inquiries, I checked with the
National Cancer Institute. Their comments are those within the quotes, mine are italicized.

I am not by any stretch an expert; but from what I understand, every woman from teens on should give herself an educated monthly exam; establish a base line for shape etc. I use my birth date each month to check, it's an easy date to remember.

"Getting a high-quality mammogram and having a clinical breast exam (an exam done by a health care provider) on a regular basis are the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early. Like any test, mammograms have both benefits and limitations. For example, some cancers cannot be detected by a mammogram, but may be found by breast examination.

Checking one’s own breasts for lumps or other unusual changes is called breast self-exam (BSE). Studies so far have not shown that BSE alone reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer. BSE should not take the place of routine clinical breast exams and mammograms."

At about 35 her doc should get involved on a yearly basis with a more thorough exam, more so than the regular exam you should be getting from your doc.

At 40 you and your doc can begin to discuss mammograms and whether or not one is needed. Many times a doc will schedule one to get a base line image. If there is anything suspicious then there may be follow ups as regular as 6 months or yearly.
  • "Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years.

  • Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them.

The risk of breast cancer increases gradually as a woman gets older. However, the risk of developing breast cancer is not the same for all women. Research has shown that the following factors increase a woman’s chance of developing this disease:

  • Personal history of breast cancer—Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop a second breast cancer.
  • Family history—A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases if her mother, sister, and/or daughter have a history of breast cancer (especially if they were diagnosed before age 50).
  • Certain breast changes on biopsy—A diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia (a noncancerous condition in which cells have abnormal features and are increased in number) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) (abnormal cells found in the lobules of the breast) increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Women who have had two or more breast biopsies for other benign conditions also have an increased chance of developing breast cancer. This increased risk is due to the condition that led to the biopsy, and not to the biopsy itself.
  • Genetic alterations (changes)—Specific alterations in certain genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, and others) increase the risk of breast cancer. These alterations are rare; they are estimated to account for no more than 10 percent of all breast cancers.
  • Reproductive and menstrual history —Women who began having periods before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have their first child after age 30 or who never have a child are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy—Women who use combination estrogen-progestin menopausal hormone therapy for more than 5 years have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Breast density —Breasts appear dense on a mammogram if they contain many glands and ligaments (called dense tissue), and do not have much fatty tissue. Because breast cancers tend to develop in the dense tissue of the breast (not in the fatty tissue), those older women whose mammograms show more dense tissue are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Abnormalities in dense breasts can be more difficult to detect on a mammogram.
  • Radiation therapy ("x-ray therapy")—Women who had radiation therapy to the chest (including the breasts) before age 30 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer throughout their lives. This includes women treated for Hodgkin lymphoma. Studies show that the younger a woman was when she received her treatment, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
  • DES (diethylstilbestrol) —The drug DES was given to some pregnant women in the United States between 1940 and 1971. (It is no longer given to pregnant women.) Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. The possible effects on their daughters are under study.
  • Body weight—Studies have found that the chance of getting breast cancer after menopause is higher in women who are overweight or obese.
  • Physical activity level —Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Being active may help reduce risk by preventing weight gain and obesity.
  • Alcohol —Studies suggest that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk of breast cancer.
  • AND I am adding a rash, see the * below, this is extremely rare, but very DEADLY and hits young women, African American more than any others, but every time I see or hear anything about it, it has been a young white women, so it does happen. Check it.
  1. What are the chances that a woman in the United States might get breast cancer?
  2. Age is the most important risk factor for breast cancer. The older a woman is, the greater her chance of developing breast cancer. Current rates suggest that 13.2 percent of women (or one in eight) born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives. This statistic is based on population averages. However, the estimated chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer for specific age groups and for specific time periods may be a more informative way to consider breast cancer risk. Estimates of developing breast cancer in 10-year age intervals—as shown below—take into account that not all women live to older ages, when breast cancer risk becomes the greatest.

    A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is:

    from ages 30 to 39. . . 0.44 percent (often expressed as "1 in 229")
    from ages 40 to 49. . . 1.46 percent (often expressed as "1 in 68")
    from ages 50 to 59. . . 2.73 percent (often expressed as "1 in 37 ")
    from ages 60 to 69. . . 3.82 percent (often expressed as "1 in 26 ")

    Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. The number of cases is especially high for women over age 60. Breast cancer is relatively uncommon in women under age 40.

Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. The number of cases is especially high for women over age 60. Breast cancer is relatively uncommon in women under age 40."

*There is also a lesser known breast cancer that isn't lump, but rather Inflammatory Breast Cancer or a rash; which is extremely deadly.

So ladies, unless you have a specific reason, such as one of those listed above, you shouldn't need to worry about any thing more than self exams until you are well into your forties.

However, we should all be in the habit of monthly exams, even if we don't fall into any of the marker or high risk groups.

WE NEED TO KNOW OUR BREASTS! If anything seems different form one month to the next get it checked out.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Normally I would never be posting on such a fun family day, but I committed to NaBloPoMo, so here I am. I'll be honest, I am actually writing this the day before and anticipate publishing it before I scoot out the door.

Every year we go to Thor's folks' home. A sunny green acre filled to the brim with 4 generations of people all having a great reunion. Nothing ever fancy, nothing ever planned (except the food...too many people to avoid that), but always a good time.

The men usually head out back and sit in lawn chairs and talk about work. The women usually chat all over the house. And the kids chase each other all over the place, in and out of the house, making their mothers crazy.

I enjoy Thanksgiving. I try to live it every day. I try to give my thanks each day with a humble heart, knowing full well that I am one of the truly blessed. I live in a free country, I practice a true religion, I am surrounded by all my family. I have love in my life. I want for nothing.

I learned long ago that everything good and ill that happens in this world will somehow benefit me in the long run. The good things are easy for us to be thankful for, but do we really graciously and deep in our hearts have true gratitude? I hope so.

Those things that aren't much fun, that make me cry or hurt inside; well, I know that if I look on them with perspective I can see the ways they have helped me be more compassionate, more giving, thoughtful and loving. Perhaps the best thing I can learn from bad things is forgiveness. I learn from those experiences, they make me a better person...I hope!

So as we go through this day of thanksgiving, perhaps we can make it a daily habit. Just living here is a gift to be appreciated daily.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins

Today, at 9:00, I will be doing my routine squish-o-gram. It's not October, but hey, I'm getting it done. A while back there were a few reasons for me to get on a call back list and so -lucky S'mee!- I get preferential treatment now! (read: they call me, and I get a gown with an actual working tie, not two ties, but one string. yeah that stinks.)

So as you are out and about today, pinching tomatoes, thumping melons, and being extra careful not to smash your freshly baked buns....remember somewhere, there in the dimly lit, funky chemical smelling radiology department of my uber medical center...there on that cold slab, in a less than flattering, less than modest dress, I will be flattened within a (literal) inch of my life and screamed -um screened- once again. yea. : [

If you have flat out forgotten your appointment this year, go make a call. Misery loves company!

UPDATE: It wasn't as bad as I remembered. The center where I go has been remodeled and they did a great job. The room where the actual exam is done was large, warm (who knew that was possible?), and the gal had this Native American flute type music playing...not my thing, but I think most of the other ladies would like it. The lights were dimmed and I think they were going for a "let's calm down the frightened animals" mood. The tech was very nice and talked just enough. I was in the building a total of 20 minutes and it was DONE! Whoooot!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tree Tutorial

O.k. the $40.00 Tree!
tutorial is up! Click that link for the info and have fun!

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NaBloPoMo Day 20: a meme!

Krishanna is a NaBloPoMo buddy that I have in one of my groups. She's new to my blog and so she wants to get to know me and a few others via a couple of memes. All you regulars know I love spillin' and navel gazin' so, of course, I said "yes". Her memes have a few similarities as some of the ones I did recently, so I thought I try to come up with even more S'mee goodness for you all. Here we go!

Name six guilty pleasures no one would suspect you of having: (I already told you about the fresh food, fresh flowers and chocolate...)

1. Bathing soaps and shampoos. Yeah I like the good stuff. If it doesn't smell a certain way I can't use it. It also has to leave my skin feeling a perfect balance between squeaky clean and still moisturized or I freak.

2. Long, seriously, long HOT showers. Sometimes 2 and 3 times a day. I need to keep my muscles warm or I ache like the mother I am, so I take showers. I don't have a lawn, I don't have pretty trees. I shower. Sue me.

3. I talked about this the other day, but NICE sheets. High thread count. Although I am smart about where and how much I pay. But trust bed is heaven on earth.

4. um. I also like myself some bath sheets instead of jr. high hand towels. I like a bath SHEET, you know those gynormous towels you and two of your cats can wrap up in? Yeah those. I don't do small do "regular" bath towels anymore.

Miss Otis may regret, but I do not. I always keep my lunch appointments. I am one of the "ladies who lunch". I am one of a small group of women who volunteered together and we meet once a month to yak it up and eat over a few hours. It destroys the day, but keeps the friendship alive.

I don't need to work so I can leave any time to see/visit/help my kids whenever I want. And I do that a lot. I am really really blessed.

Name six guilty pleasures you wish you had the courage/time/money to indulge*:
1. A sewing studio.*
2. A ceramic studio, complete with a kiln.*
3. Welding and metal smithing classes.*
A painting studio that was kid friendly and huge.
5. Weekly pedicures.
6. Personal chef and kitchen staff.

* I stole these from Krishanna, however I would have written them anyway! Who knew we had so much in common?
Name six pleasures you once considered guilty but have now either abandoned or made peace with:

1. Being angry. I used to be much angrier than I am now. I accepted that it was o.k. to be angry and then realized how it wasn't going to resolve anything anyway, so I let most of it go. Most of it.

My yearly pass to Disneyland. It's o.k. that I have a good time. It's o.k. that I like going there without kids.

3. Expensive shoes. I am old. I deserve shoes that feel good. I am talking shoes that are still only about $60.00, but for me, that may as well be $600.00.

4. Expensive clothes that fit. I'm short and I'm fat. I gave up tanning and/or nylons a long time ago. I have certain requirements for clothing that must be met. This takes more money than buying my clothes at Target. Again, I don't think I have ever pain more than $79.00 for anything other than a heavy winter coat, but that is still big money. But I'm old, I take care of my clothes and I am worth it.

Being funky and arsty fartsy. Wearing glasses and or clothes that are not age appropriate. Like jeans or the "old man" rims that make people stare sometimes. I'm

6. Blogs. I read lots of blogs and always look for new ones. I am still a bit bad about commenting but I am getting better. (I'll keep this one from Krishanna, it's true for me as well.)

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8 things I am passionate about:
1. Family
2. My Church
3. Friends
4. Being Creative
5. The Beach
6. Flowers and Green things
7. Learning/Growth
8. Change

8 things I want to do before I die
1. Change/Learn/Grow
2. Live as a Scriptorian
3. Live on the Coast, any warm coast
4. Learn Spanish fluently
5. Be a Missionary
6. Be a successful artist.
7. Throw one good, well attended, knock out, unforgettable, quotable, hilarious party.
8. Burn a mortgage.

8 things I say often
1. “Holy Hannah!”
2. “O.k. Don't let me forget this...”
3. “STINK!”
4. “Can I get a witness?”
5. “Hey Babe!”
6. “Do you have time to talk?”
7. “Do I need to bring my purse?”
8. “What are we doing this weekend?”

8 books I’ve read recently
1. Secret Life of Bees
2. Glass Castle
3. My Sister's Keeper
4. Geisha, A Life
5. Peculiar, In A Good Way
6. Reading Lolita In Tehran
7. The Polar Express (This very morning)
8. How I Became A Pirate! (also this morning...both to the cutest little boys on the planet!)

8 songs I could listen to over and over
1. “Come Thou Fount”- Jordon Bluth
2. “Minimum Wage”- They Might Be Giants
3. “Hell”- Squirrel Nut Zippers
4. “San Fransisco Days” - Chris Isaak
5. “School Out” - Alice Cooper
6. “Young Turks” - Rod Stewart
7. “So In Love” - k.d. lang
8. “My Old Addiction”- k.d.lang

(actually anything by k.d. lang and/or Chris Isaak)

8 things that attract me to my best friends
1. honesty
2. intelligence
3. graciousness
4. humility
5. service
6. kindness
7. caring
8. loyalty

(not in that order)

Tag 6 friends to play:

I would like to see NaBloPoMo folks do this. Please, if you read this blog and you are participating in NaBloPoMo this year, comment, let us know who you are and where to find you, and then play along! Thanks!

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Monday, November 19, 2007


Whoooo Hooooo! We just found out that our son and his wife are having a baby girl! Due date: April 1! WaaaaaaaHOOOOOOO!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

heavy metal?

Well I thought I'd dig through the ol' photo box and put up a few from the metal department. I am on the road again this morning, off to see my daughter in law and the boys. I'm sure my son will be there too! (duh) Any who, I have a loooog drive ahead of me so enjoy all the metal and see you tonight or tamale!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

The $30.00 Tree:

Both the same tree, same position, just different light trying to get the tree to look like it does in real life. You tell me...which picture do you think looks best? I just finished the tree in the foyer, and then pulled it into a spare room until Saturday night for the toy drive dinner. After Thanksgiving it will probably go in front of the window that is providing the lovely glare in the photo. I'll reposition the furniture so it fits better.

Speaking of furniture. (cue Psycho knife slashing scene music!!!) This building, although very nice and I can say many positive things about it, the furnishings are less than well done. The carpeting is a deep greyish navy blue with emerald specks. The walls are covered in a heavy corded jute/grass cloth that is like a faded forest green. In the foyer the couch and chair are covered in a lovely beige background with deep rose, deep turquoise, and blue-ish hunter green floral designs. If one wanders into the chapel they would find the same carpet and walls and the pews are covered in a bright sea foamy-teal. It makes your eyes bleed. Sweet Mercy! This is why I chose the monochromatic gold theme for the tree. It was either that or go with purple and finish off all the congregates with a mind exploding fusion of death inducing colour. (fyi: This is the new remodel colours! Somebody's niece obviously just graduated from decorating school.)

I'll have a tutorial with all the gory details on Tuesday. The tutorial will be posted as a $40.00 tree. That's how much it would cost if you didn't have as many "freebies" laying around the house as I did. Any who, you get the idea.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Tree Update:

I finished the tree! Whoot! I got up with Thor so I could get down to the church before the "cemetery" kids* left for school, which means I was there at 6:15 a.m.! I put the last bulb on the tree at 12:45, so it was a loooong morning!

Then the phone began to ring and ring and ring and ring! Seriously. For 45 minutes I got one call and then another sometimes overlapping! A small emergency with one of the kids, nothing terrible, just an emergency.

After getting that all sorted away I needed to get some shopping done for tomorrow. Shop shop shop, stop to make a 3 more phone calls in the grocery store!, then head home. I just put the groceries away and got on the computer to post for today.

I will try very hard to get photos of the tree up tonight or maybe for tomorrow's post, but I am not making any promises! This day is outta control!

Now I am off to make soup for the masses (potluck dinner at church tamale!) and then dessert for (about 50???) -my daughter in law's baby shower; also tomorrow. So busy afternoon ahead! See ya later! (cross your fingers!)

*seminary is an early morning religion class that all high school students can attend. It begins at 5:45 a.m. each school day and ends at 6:45 so they can go to school. YAWN! (to think that I used to teach seminary...holy yikes!)

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Anonimity around the blogosphere

Since the inception of this blog I have been 99% anonymous. I know there are a few hints out there and I have even gone so far as to meet some of the other bloggers out there. A few folks know a bit of my history and even more gory details. But for the most part I think I would be hard to pinpoint.

I have my reasons. One is that I personally know what can go wrong and just how wrong it can go. As a little kid there were things that could have been avoided had I been a tad more protected. As an adult, I, along with Thor, had some issues that lasted over 5 years involving someone "secure" getting and using our credit card...not fun. So far so good on the internet, however a few years back an old high school flame found me in real life just by using Google search. That was weird.

Another reason being that creeps abound. Check out your state's Megan's Law sites and see how close you live to creepy guy. And there are those who have yet to be caught. Freak Parade wrote a (very interesting, and hard to stomach) post where she tells of her researching the net and found actual pediatricians who are creepy, "but are allowed". "This with mom (read YOU) right there!" That's the point for me, we aren't sure who we can't trust until it's too late. I will error on the side of being over protective, over cautious, borderline paranoid- thank you very much.

Mormon Mommy Wars had a great discussion, which prompted Hollywood Flakes (maybe others?) to go under ground. It's interesting because she opened it up to all to go anonymous for a day and comment without fear of reprisal. That was one 48 hour period of True Confessions! She meant it very tongue in cheek, however, once the ball got rolled right down hill!

What do you have to say about being anonymous, where do you draw the line, and what would you say if given the opportunity to comment ala Post Secret?

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maren was really sweet and gave me the following award!
If she didn't already have one I would give her one right on back. So instead I will just say she is really sweet, nice, pretty and yeah, she makes me smile.

Nows it's my turn! And let me tell you there are some blogs that I turn to just for that every day upturning of the lips. I nominate Kim from "Something to Say", whose fantastic links are always inspirational and motivating. I also just like her as a person. She the type of person you want to go to lunch with.

Rynell is like the best friend you'll never meet because she is stuck in another state. But I swear, if she lived anywhere near me I would totally hang out with her. She has a quiet grace in her words and yeah, she makes me smile.

Not like she needs anymore praise, the girl has readers coming out the wazoo, but Hollywood
does make me smile. She doesn't take herself too seriously and I check her blog a lot for updates and giggles.

Lastly, my kid, 'cause he does make me smile. I am really really pleased with the way all my kids have turned out. I got very lucky and extremely blessed. He's the only one (so far) that blogs, so he gets the award. Whoot!

Please take some time to check out these lucky winners, I guarantee they will, indeed, make you smile!

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Yes it's that time of year again when S'mee gets busy gearing up for Christmas. But it's not even Thanksgiving yet you say? Well here's the deal:

Every year we have a church dinner, potluck this year, where all the congregates gather together and are "required" to set up the tables and decorations, and then pay to eat potluck food they brought in an effort to glean toys for anyone in our area who may need them.

Thor and I have been asked to provide a tree with decorations. We have plenty of trees, but because this is a tree for inside the church it needed to be "better" than my normal theme trees.
Today I am in the process of turning $20.00 worth of Dollar Tree fixins in to an elegant tree worthy of the event and the foyer! Stay tuned! More photos to come. In the meantime I am going back to my golden little orbs. A whole garbage bag of them!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coiffure. It's interesting when you see your son use that word in a sentence.

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The Miracle Worker!

Hey! How cool am I? (this is where you all say "reeeaal cool!")

Did you notice? I changed the blog up a bit; and this time I did it without Chronicler sitting beside me, in her best Annie Sullivan, holding my hand as she pressed my fingers to the keyboard repeating her words of instruction as if she were working with Helen Keller. Well, a really stupid Helen Keller. Yup, she just took me over to the well and gave me a link and after banging on the table and screaming for my mommie a few times, I actually got it back up and running! Whoot Hooo!

W A T E R !

I totally got it! Thanks Annie!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blog Roll Update!

Hey everyone, I have added two new blogs to the ol' blog-roll and would be so happy it you all gave them some bloggety love. Both are newbies to this world and need lots of encouragement.

Go ahead and click on:

Unadventurous Adventures- fruit of my looms, my #1 kid, my get the idea. His blog! If he never ventures further than his childhood his blog would be a good read. If he takes you into his adult life it should be a fantastic daily read. This guy has live a LOT in his almost 30 years and he has the stories (and scars, although not as many as #4, who frankly beats pretty much everyone in the "accident" department) to prove it!
The Middle Hip Sister exactly what it sounds like, the middle sis, my big sis, the talented one, the one with the good hair, the pretty one, yeah, her. She's hip, she's trendy, and now she's bloggin'!

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Pay no attention to the hot glue behind the curtain...

The interior of my home has been, interesting, over the years. Our first apartment was decorated in 'Early Mother-in-Law' with touches of 'Salvation Army' here and there. There are still many things in my house that have been handed down from someone!

We went 'country' there for quite some time. When you have kids it made a lot of sense. It was both practical and inexpensive, and it looked cute enough. I didn't have the cool store bought things, but much hand made. I remember wanting curtains in our first home. But NO money. I went down to the fabric store bought $2.00 a yard cotton country fabric and then hand sewed strips. I couldn't afford curtain rods, so I actually used push pins and a staple gun to get those strips onto card board and looking like a valance. I used small grapevine wreathes as corner accents for the fabric to drape through and down the sides of the windows. I was freaking creative to get the job done with no money. For years our head board was thick batting covering an old mattress box and then covered with fabric that matched the bed linens. Like one of those fabric covered photo albums in the 80's...remember those? No? Ask your mom, I'm sure she has one somewhere. That was my head board; only without the lace. I made gynormo piping instead!

When I went to a more beach-y theme a few years back, again, no money for the things I really wanted, I had to improvise. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought tiki torches. I sawed off the torch and used the long bamboo poles as rods for my curtains, again hand sewn from fabric from the $2 Fabric Store.

What's interesting about this is I always felt ridiculous for using staple guns, card board, and hot glue to get the look I wanted when I couldn't afford anything else. Then I went to work for an interior decorator.

The model homes we decorated were full of staples guns, cardboard and hot glue. Some of the schmancy window coverings and bed linens/designs were literally glued onto cardboard or the actual wall/etc. We did one bathroom in a home (now) valued at $500k+ that had a shower curtain rod made from a tree limb the designer broke off a dead tree on the way to the job. She saw the dead tree and thought it would fit perfectly in the Northwest theme the house had. Good luck finding a dead tree rod in Macy's.

We hot glued pillows together at the last minute. We stapled Velcro to wood and then Velcro-d other things to that wood. We stretched sheets over cardboard and put them int frames for art. Heck, a lot of the art we did in those homes were huge pieces of whatever we could find that would match. Rarely did we "buy" art. We decoupaged, we salvaged, we altered, we faked it up the wazoo.

Next time you walk through a model home you will see things that are store bought. Not too many folks look under the valance, under the bed, or behind the wall art, etc. This is where decorators can save time and money hiding 'evidence'. But the challenge is to look for ways where the designers and decorators have done just what you would do if you had to come up with a creative solution with limited funds.

Candace Olsen and her clients have the financial means to do it up right. However the majority of us need to be creative and more like the folks on 'Design to Sell' or 'Design on a Dime'. We can still have a nice look that didn't come with a large price tag. The trick is to hide the evidence.

So spill. What have you created that gets the job done without the big tag?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12th... 31 years

You ask how much I love you; must I explain?
I need you oh my darling like roses need rain.
You ask how long I'll love you- I'll tell you true...
Until the 12th of never I'll still be loving you.

Hold me close, never let me go.
Hold me close; melt my heart like April snow!

I'll love you till the bluebells forget to bloom.
I'll love you till the clover has lost it's perfume.
I'll love you till the poets run out of rhymes.
Until the 12th of never; and that's a long long time...

Until the 12th of never and that's a long long time!

Happy Anniversary to my high school sweetheart. Today we will have shared 31 years of marriage. Whoohooo to us!

See all you readers tamale!

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another short post.

Just went to a church conference this morning and it was pretty great. We presented a power point to the all the women. Thor went to our regular ward and came home with an assignment. I will be putting up the Christmas tree again this year. A few years back I got the assignment and we had a budget for the tree and ornaments.

The tree looked fabulous and was a great addition to the foyer through the season. However over the years a few others wanted the opportunity to dress the tree and who am I to say not to that! However, because I was not involved I didn't have control of where the tree and decorations were store or how. Last year the tree was in shambles and no ornaments were to be had. This is extremely disappointing as they both should have lasted for at least ten more years.

I don't think the church has the funds available this year to repurchase everything they need, so Thor and I decided we should just offer up one of our trees and the decorations to go with. It just seems like the easiest solution this late in the game. We have a toy drive dinner at the end of the week, so this week I will be gathering what I need to get the hall looking Christmas-y.

Each year our congregation collect new toys for the children and families who may need them locally. Ages and names are available also if there is a specific need so that other items may also be purchased. The Bishop collects all the items at the end of the night, distributes what he can to the locals and any left overs are then delivered to Deseret Industries to be given freely to others who may need them.

So that's the report for today! I am off to bed. Yesterday I was exposed to a heavy smoker and ever since I have had a migraine...ick and yeeeowch! So me and some frozen peas have a date!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


I just got up, it's about 5:30-ish. I am still at sis's house and I can hear the Big Guy snoring so I assume sis is still asleep...although frankly, HOW? That Big Guy can SNORE folks, whew! lol

Still not convinced that I have anything to offer the craft fair buying public, I am not giving up! Yesterday I had a few nibbles on an outdoor tree, lawn ornament if you will, but even that, no one actually purchased. Oh well. They look dang cool and if no one buys them my yard is going to be AWESOME come December 1!

I think the situation is that when folks see the tree they think "That's really pretty, but I can make it myself." which they could. But it's a drag and it costs more than it looks. So in the long run, I am staying firm on the price and if they sell they sell, if not oh well.

I'll let you know if anything changes this afternoon...stand by!

Afternoon Update: Well, we sat there for two days and I finally said "Uncle". Even though they were in a store, in a strip mall, there was zero foot traffic. Yesterday we had about ten or so buying customers and today there were about eight walk through-s and two buyers. Ugh.

The best thing was spending a couple of days with my sis and yacking it up while waiting for shoppers. lol

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Dorothy got it right.

There is no place like home!

After spending the last week on a very expensive mattress in a very expensive hotel, I came home to heaven! My back was killing me slowly and by the end of the trip I was walking stiffly and using a lot of heat therapy.

Once home things were wonderful! A few years ago Thor and I decided to make our bed as comfy as possible. We finally got to a financial point in our life where we could actually make choices. Limited choices, but there you go. We shopped around and found a good pillow top for about $350.00 at Costco. I went to Overstock dot com and purchased a feather bed and put that on top of the pillow top. On top of the feather bed went a quilted pad and then 450 tc sheets. Topped with a thin quilt for the summer and a thick down comforter for the winter and we had a nice comfy bed that rivaled any bed we had ever slept in.

Let me tell you that after a 5 or so years it is still SO nice to come home to. I slept like the dead last night. Wonderful!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Today's list of things to do:


Drive home.


Do three loads of laundry.

Wrap and decorate three donation boxes. (we're collecting personal items for a women's shelter)

Make dinner from nothing.

Repack a small bag

Sleep in a good bed.

Tamale I am staying with Sis to try and encourage shoppers to buy a Dr. Seuss tree.

Hope reigns supreme.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Baby Care Center, Safe Harbour for Some, Tip of the Iceburg for Others

One good thing about Disney is they have thought of just about everything. For instance, a baby care center where mommy can safely go to nurse the baby, change a flooding diaper, and also little ones can use a tiny toddler potty sized just for them.

As you can see from the photo, daddy can not. (Is this the saddest photo ever? These guys look as if they have just sent their wife and child down the life boat shoot and into the dark waters of the Atlantic!)

Trust me when I say, depending on the day, the trusted employees can be easily named "Master and Commander", as they will not, even under threat of death, allow anyone save mother and child "under a specific height and age", into the sacred inner sanctum of comfy sofas and changing tables.

I was there this summer with my d-i-l and they would not allow me to go with her to watch her 4 year old while she nursed the baby; I had to take him outside. "Tough noogies". Not even a child crying for his mother would soften these guardians of diapers, bottle warmers, and pint sized porcelain.

So we wait; the forlorn and hopeful. We persons without working mammary and empty diaper bags. And we stare at the seemingly innocent brick facade of separation and loneliness.

Hopefully, like rescue ships on the horizon, our loved ones will return to us. Until then we must console ourselves with a fresh churro from across the street.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Has it occurred to anyone else that the writer's strike is in direct opposition to NaBloPoMo? I feel kind of guilty writing everyday.

I guess the big brouhahas is over three main points: a regular raise, dvd sales, and dvd downloads. Essentially they are asking for .04 more than they already receive. I understand that to most of us 4 lousy cents isn't a lot either way to o to get, but we are really talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One may be thinking these writers are greedy, that they all ready make more money than we'll ever see. You're probably correct. However, it was explained to me that the folks who make the cardboard inserts for the dvd makes more off the dvd than the writers. I am not talking the artists, I am talking about the card board . And yes the cardboard folks deserve their share as well, however the whole dvd would not be there if not for the writer in the first place.

Yesterday I was talking with a bio-hazard waste treatment manager from Canada. (Yeah, the line was that long.) He understood (his statement) perfectly why they are fighting for .04. He also said we are a world of skewed perceptions. For instance, his job. If he were to stop doing his job - for one shift - the entire town where he works -and the surrounding areas- would shut down for weeks.

Which brought to mind all kinds of jobs that deserve a better paycheck than those who write, produce, package and benefit from dvd sales.

What is the most important job in your opinion? Who deserves a huge paycheck?

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Mickey Mouse Monday! Retirees, Basketball and Anne Geddes

Alrighty folks! I woke up early today, partly to have some time with Thor before he went off to spend the day in a basement, and partly because we got an early entry into Disneyland.

Upon arrival, the registry desk told us we got a few days that we could go into the park an hour early...whoot! Today was the big day. I walked around for a bit then went to stand in line. when I saw just how many other people got in early I was amazed. It seems that if you stay in any one of the hotels you get in early. That's a lot of people. But hey.

Another surprise, the last time (years ago!) I got in early we only got as far as Main Street. This time we got to go into Fantasy Land and Tomorrow Land. The other lands were closed until regular opening, but some folks were a bit upset about that.

I learned that the last employee to be hired by Walt still works in New Orleans Square, Ernie the guitarist. I actually took his photo last week or so, scroll down and you can see Ernie. The folks at Guest services weren't sure if Ernie was the longest current employee, but they all were betting on it.

I was also told that former employees/retirees meet once a month, wear their badges and hang out to reminisce about Walt, the old days and working with the guests.

In the waiting time I talked with one of the guys who works in Adventure Land. He told me a few secrets about Indiana Jones, and also that, "No", there are no secret tunnels or a town under Disneyland, only a few access tunnels for maintenance. However, there is a basketball half court in the upper section of the Matterhorn. It was built as a favour to building and maintenance crews, who still, occasionally, use it after hours.

Later I was out in Down Town Disney in the Anne Geddes store. This is the only Anne Geddes store in the world, so far... Soon Anne Geddes will have stores within a store at Dillard's across America. Also if you are in SoCAL during the weekend of December 8-9, Anne will be in the store to sign books (limit 5). (8th: 4-6 p.m., 9th: 2-4 p.m.)

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

it should just about pay for the burial of what's left.

o.k. wow. Ate at Downtown Disney last night, Tortilla Jo's or whatever, seriously I can't remember the name. Have you ever had one of those meals that kept giving you little signals to run and yet you didn't?

When we walked in, the place had people, but there was no line -on a SATURDAY NIGHT- and the hostess said she needed to get a table ready. A few minutes later we were sat down in what seemed the exact middle of the restaurant. Our waiter was slow, the food came one person at a time with a nice ten minute interval, and when I saw the cod fish taco I ordered it looked raw and smell like skunk. The chicken taco was definitely made of canned chicken because it tasted like tuna and was about dry enough to use as packing material. On the flip side the salad was huge and delicious, so I filled up on that and the chips and salsa and after one bite of the chicken taco stopped.

Thor enjoyed his steak burrito, but said his tortilla soup tasted more like a vegetable soup. meh. The big kicker here is, as I was reconstructing the chicken taco to see what the heck was wrong with it, I found what I thought was "evidence" of one of Mickey Mouse's friends. That was it for me. I couldn't eat a bite more. I was kind of sick just thinking about it.

Thor tried to tell me it was just a piece of burnt rice, but in comparison the rice was thicker and longer. (and frankly, I noticed that he too had decided to stop his eating...)

A few hours later, right when the fireworks began, I was in a fetal position doing a great reprise of Godzilla Attacks Tokyo. Yes, I was Tokyo and the Japanese were leaving, scared, and screaming for their lives, running away from Godzilla, who was in the core of my body. It was a great 1 1/2 hours. (and a great visual for you, right?)

Poke me with a stick later t see if I am still alive, o.k.?

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

evidently, I'm a little bit "rock-n-roll".

Well, I went with sis down to Riverside. Helped her set up and after a little bit I was able to walk around and scope out the competition. Let me just say that the majority of the crafters had one customer in mind: Marie Osmond.

If there was one tole painted snowman there was a blizzard of them. You want a wooden nativity made of small geometric people with dots for eyes and rosy cheeks? They had hundreds. Christmas trees full of twinkle lights. Red plaid moose, rusty tin stars, and woodsmen kneeling by a manger.

Duck and chicks and geese better scurry, Santa and reindeer and little snow flurries! All kinds of pillows and throw blankets -furry- with some fringe on top!

And I brought lime green cones that bend at the top reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. Yeah. What is they say about knowing your audience? The chance of me selling a thing at that craft fair is about the same as Donny Osmond moving in with Willie Nelson.

Now I want you to know that I think the country offerings were beautiful and lovely. It's just that I assumed all too wrongly that the "country" look was over. I can tole paint with the best of them I just thought there wouldn't be a person out there who would want it. Man was I wrong!

So, Marie, if you are out there and you're still feelin' a little bit country; have I got a sale for you!

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Friday, November 02, 2007

So this is what we have come to....

This is my life today. Kind of boring and running in circles. I am driving to meet Chronicler in Riverside for a craft fair. I am going to help her set up and get things ready before the big start, at which time Thor will scoop me up and off we'll go to his business trip. Yeah for me then!

In the mean time I ask for all good vibes! If all goes well at he fair I will make enough seed money to secure a long time goal. That goal would then motivate me to gear up and craft more. This is my time.

#3 has pretty much left the house, I mean she's here twice a week, but between her job and her social life, she only sleep here. The house guest also decided to jettison the house three months earlier than expected , so there is currently an echo in the hallway. Technically when you listen closely enough you can here that echo saying "No more excuses...excuses....excuses..." The craft room is empty. The bedrooms are empty. Heck, even the bathroom is empty.

So there is a half finished oil painting in the "studio", and about 5 other projects that are commissioned that have been put on hold for ev er. I need to get crackin'!

Long story short (yeah I know, too late for that) seed money would be great right about now.
Cross your fingers for me!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Better late than never. Not so much.

O.k. Show of hands...How many of us are procrastinators? One, two....(mumble mumble...) yeah, um, alrighty then. Well, I was advised, over three months ago, that today would be the last day to submit items for a craft fair. So of course I went back and forth with way too many ideas and then came the main road block: questioning myself and my ability to come up with anything that would be marketable. So I procrastinated. Big time.

But I kicked it into gear and worked for the last two weeks and got a few (and I mean a few) items ready to go. Now all I need to do is transport the items down to my sis, who will take over the sales.

Thor and I will be in Anaheim this week. He for a conference, and I for "research", ahem; so my dear sis will bargain this weekend for me, and hopefully be able to talk someone into taking my Dr. Seuss type trees, and some other items, home.

Anyone out there want a lime green tree this year? Next year?

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