Sunday, December 28, 2008

Taking the easy way out...

I have been planning on writing a post-Christmas update but every time I sit down to type it out I fall asleep. Is it carbon monoxide from the constantly running heater? Post holiday narcolepsy? Too much rum? Nah.. just Gina being a lazy ass. Anyway, I'm going to take the easy way out and simply answer a few questions and comments and call it a post.

Jason at The Jason Show asks: So what happened? Did you ever make your way out to finish shopping? Was Christmas saved?

We were essentially snowed in for about six days although I did escape between storms to do some shopping. On Dec. 23rd we thought the storm was over and the kids and I unburied the truck (there was at least a foot of snow topped with a half inch of ice on it) and headed out to Target. It was a harrowing experience. The roads were partially clear but the parking lots were treacherous. We managed to buy presents and the Christmas roast. The liquor store, however, was virtually impossible to approach. In Washington you can't buy hard liquor in the grocery store, you have to go to the state run store. At a ratio of approx. 1 store to 30,000 citizens you can imagine what the lines looked like. I was forced to ration my rum... Christmas Eve brought us another storm and five more inches of snow but I had to go out to pick up my eldest.. thank heaven for four wheel drive.. and bring him home for Christmas. So, yes, Christmas was saved!

Vallen at Queenly Things offered her help: "Have a cozy holiday - and let me know. I can always ship in more rum - the USPS supposedly can get through any weather." Alas... this was the year we learned that the USPS does not deliver through any weather. Although they are better than the garbage service. The mail was missing for several days but the garbage truck missed two pick ups.. that's 15 days without garbage service! When that noisy truck finally came slipping and sliding down my street I was so excited.

And finally Debbie at ETC.,ETC.,ETC., asks:

*Did the rum last? Yes, but I was forced to drink an occasional Washington state approved Irish Cream "wine beverage" instead of the demon rum.
*How long did it snow? Ten days, then it started raining... and raining... now my back yard is a giant puddle with a few icebergs.
*Who was sent out to get more provisions? Since I am the only licensed driver in our house who is currently capable of operating a motor vehicle.. that would be me!
*Did you all survive? We did.
*Who was the winner of the games? I think we would have to declare Zane the big winner. On the night we played Monopoly a few of us begged him to just foreclose and end the misery.
*Did that oldest ever make it? This is our Christmas miracle story...

On the 23rd Ian got a phone call from the owner of a restaurant he had applied to. After many probing questions she asked if he could come in on the 26th for an interview. He agreed. Two hours later she called back and asked if he could come in on the 24th instead. A little bit later she called again and asked for his shirt size. The next morning he walked in and they handed him a shirt and asked if he could work until 3. (This restaurant is next door to a liquor store... so they were busy despite the terrible weather) So, Ian's best Christmas gift was a new job. I picked him up after work and he was happier than I have seen him in a while.

Christmas day was quiet and lazy for us. We were up early to unwrap presents and spent the afternoon watching children nap all over the living room. We've done almost nothing since then either. I've been slowly sliding into post holiday doldrums but that ends today. My Mom and Stepdad are arriving this evening so there are beds to change, floors to vacuum, laundry to hide, and cookies to bake. The holidays aren't over yet! (I really need to come up with a plan to escape the yawning black hole I keep seeing lurking at the end of this season though...)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spike the Eggnog

I know that in many parts of the country it isn't astounding to look out the front door and see a foot of snow. I spent five years in South Dakota, where a few feet of snow was considered a mild storm, and remember months and months of snow on the ground. I'm not a snow wimp. However, this is Washington and it rarely snows here. People don't know how to drive in snow, cities don't have enough plows to deal with day after day of falling white stuff. A foot of snow is crippling and we are inching toward a foot and a half.

There's still shopping to be done but if the weather reports are correct there is a good chance we won't be going anywhere soon. Tuesday may find me hiking the three miles to the grocery store to buy our Christmas dinner. It's okay though. We have electricity, food, games to play, and movies to watch.

... and the rum's not gone...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sometimes it's not easy...

On December first I made a commitment to enjoy this Christmas season. To focus on the positive and pay attention to the beauty around me during this month. To remember that Christmas isn't about gifts or expectations but about loving. However, sometimes the world makes it very hard to stay positive and the last few days have been a little harder than most.

When Bob's company announced upcoming lay-offs...

We prayed and then decorated the tree.

The tree is beautiful and I only had a teeny tiny melt-down when I used the pruner to trim the very top in order for the spire to fit... and accidentally cut the light wire in two.

When our oldest son's girlfriend called hysterical because they had been fighting... and when he screamed that he wasn't going to talk to his mother about anything because she doesn't care anyway and hasn't for years... and when he called back later and apologised but said he needs money... and when he called one more time to say he and the girlfriend were going to work things out but can they come over tonight and get money...

I prayed and cooked a nacho fiesta. Then we watched some really bad Christmas Cartoons.

And then when they didn't show up or call for the rest of the weekend...

I prayed some more and photographed a very exciting chess tournament.

Which ended with a wrestling match between Green Mrs. Claus and Red Santa... and two very giggly girls.

When worry about the future tried to shake me I grabbed a fluffy puppy... and prayed again.

And when I felt like I had reached my limit and just couldn't find anything positive and didn't want to pray anymore...

A huge group of complete strangers knocked on my door, sang me a song, handed me a plate of cookies, and invited me to visit their church.

Which I guess should remind me that God is listening... and unpredictable.

(I was too shocked to photograph the carolers and the cookies went really fast!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


by Anne Porter

When snow is shaken
From the balsam trees
And they're cut down
And brought into our houses

When clustered sparks
Of many-colored fire
Appear at night
In ordinary windows

We hear and sing
The customary carols

They bring us ragged miracles
And hay and candles
And flowering weeds of poetry
That are loved all the more
Because they are so common

But there are carols
That carry phrases
Of the haunting music
Of the other world
A music wild and dangerous
As a prophet's message

Or the fresh truth of children
Who though they come to us
From our own bodies
Are altogether new
With their small limbs
And birdlike voices

They look at us
With their clear eyes
And ask the piercing questions
God alone can answer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread Memories

When Zane was in fifth grade we had been homeschooling, with some help from the public school district, for a few years. It was an arrangement that my more experienced homeschooling and unschooling friends found too restrictive but I really needed the structure and reassurance. I chose the curriculum and the district supplied the textbooks, some enrichment classes, and teacher support. All they asked was that I agree to teach to the district standards and check in with an education coordinator for a review once a month. However, by December of the year Zane was in fifth grade things were changing. We had an arrangement... I wrote out a daily agenda with a detailed explaination of the work I wanted him to do. He would sit down for breakfast, quickly scan my carefully prepared list, and then tear through the work as fast as humanly possible with as little help from me as he could manage. I wasn't really teaching, most of the time I was just verifying that he learned what he was supposed to. Usually he was done by lunchtime and the rest of the day was spent goofing off. But, the one thing that would slow down and really concentrate on was history. He loved history and, in the fifth grade, California expects children to do a history unit on the California Missions. I saw an opportunity to do something more interesting than just flipping pages.

At the beginning of December I told our education coordinator that we were already halfway through the textbooks for the school year and we were going to take a month off to study missions. She was super supportive and we had an amazing month. Looking back on it I can say without a doubt it was my shining moment as a "teacher". We read about adobe construction, studied maps of California, learned how ocean currents effected the Spanish colonization, learned a little Spanish, talked about the Catholic church, read Island of the Blue Dolphins.. which was probably a strange choice but he liked it and it was the right time period and location, attended mass at a real Mission and toured the grounds, and we finished the month with the construction of a model mission... out of gingerbread.

I'm not sure which of us learned more but it sure was fun. This year I'm hoping to have enough time before Christmas to work on another Gingerbread creation just for fun.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tree Wranglers

Today was Christmas Tree Day. In a normal year it would take most of the day to stalk a wild tree, take it down, and drag it home. However, this year we needed to get done fast so we chose a nice, docile, precut tree. A friendly boy scout wrapped it up tightly...

and when we got home we discovered that even a domesticated tree needs a little wrangling to get it ready for Christmas.

Eventually it was subdued.

Tomorrow we will attempt to saddle it with lights.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crazy Busy

Friday was a teacher "in-service" day for our district and we had such a busy and fun day at home. Taylor has been bugging me to color her hair again so Friday morning we both picked out new colors and had some fun sprucing ourselves up. Taylor really wanted to get rid of her natural red highlights (why? I don't know.. because she's 13 and beautiful but doesn't know it?) so we picked a color with that goal in mind. It didn't work. Her hair still has lovely red highlights even though it's now a shade or two darker than natural. I covered up all of my gray with a nice reddish brown (because I like my red highlights!). I think we both went a little bit too dark but it's temporary color so it will fade fast. I have a friend who is a bit scandalized that I change my hair color on a whim and actually allow my daughter to do the same but if it washes out in a few weeks then what's the big deal?

In the afternoon we hosted an impromptu Pokemon tournament for Zane's friends. Six fifteen and sixteen year olds who spent the day pretending to be ten again. They battled with their Pokemon cards, played video games, and turned Zane's entire bedroom into a fort with sheets draped over strategically placed furniture. Of course, while they were all in the fort, one of them farted and they all had to come running downstairs to tell me about it. It was truly hilarious to see these big boys having so much fun acting like little boys. I don't think they planned it that way.. it was a spontaneous mass regression. For dinner we made "build your own" pizza. The boys ate ten of them and were still looking for more.

Taylor left for a sleep-over and Delaney was a little sad to have nothing to do so we invited the girl next door over to bake and decorate cookies. They did a fantastic job cutting out snowmen and Christmas trees but frosting them was a pretty messy. Then the boys came back downstairs and devoured the freshly frosted masterpieces.

By ten everyone had gone home and it was just me and my dirty kitchen.. and the realization that I didn't take a single picture to document all of the fun. I guess we'll just have to do it again...

Today I should have done laundry and at least vacuumed but instead I went Christmas shopping for awhile and then came home and painted gifts for my neices and nephews. I guess it's been a rather productive weekend. Tomorrow we will go to get our tree and I promise to take at least one picture!

Friday, December 5, 2008

On the fourth day of December...

my true love showed to me...

Four titanium screws, Three more weeks in the neck brace, Two healing vertebrae, and a tricep ready for physical therapy.... lalalala...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Activities - Day Three

In the box today we had fun foam Santa craft kits to do but poor Santa is just going to have to wait for another day because everyone was too busy to sit down and work on a craft. I should have just put candy in the box today but I didn't have any and I didn't want to go to the store. Laziness thy name is Gina...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Burden of Proof

Two months ago Bob was run off the road by another driver. The car rolled, my man got broken, the other driver didn't stop, months of medical fun ensued... but you know all of that. What you don't know is that, a week after the accident, a letter arrived from the State Patrol and in that letter was a ticket. A ticket for "speed unsafe for conditions". Not speeding, he was travelling at the speed of traffic, but unsafe driving based on the interview the officer did at the hospital while Bob was heavily sedated. I'm surprised he wasn't cited for being under the influence of a mind altering substance... the whole situation was just wrong. Poor Bob. He has always enjoyed driving and he is a safe driver. Only two accidents in almost thirty years of driving and the first one was a fender bender twenty years ago. But in an instant so much was taken from him. His health, his confidence and a car he loved... so that little yellow slip of paper that said the accident was his fault was more than an insult.

Today he had his day in court to contest the ticket. He was well prepared with graphs showing the path the car took, a witness, and twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one* (ok.. maybe not that). My point is that the man was prepared to stand before the judge and argue his case. He didn't have to work very hard to convince her though. The officer did not come to court but he sent a five line narrative. The judge read this statement aloud, listened to Bob's testimony and Ian's testimony, and then said some of the nicest judicial words I've ever heard... "The officer has failed to provide significant evidence that a violation occurred" and she dismissed the case.

So at least this one little issue has been completely resolved. It won't make Bob's neck hurt less, or take the place of his ever present knee brace, but in a small way I think this small victory makes him feel better. Ultimately it's small victories, a few hours without the neck brace, walking the dog, getting down on one knee and getting back up again, that will lead to complete recovery.

Today, we are happy.

* Does anyone remember Arlo Guthrie?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Countdown - Day One

Many years ago my Sister in Law, Anne (Hi Anne!) gave us an Advent cabinet with a drawer for each day of the month leading up to Christmas. I love the cabinet but every year I forget to put it out until the kids remind me. So imagine how surprised they were when they came home from school today and not only was it out but it even had a project in the first drawer.

The project for tonight was construction paper Christmas countdown chains for their bedrooms. There isn't always a project in the drawer, some days it's just a couple pieces of Christmas candy. Other days I will put a note in the drawer announcing a special event, like cutting down the tree, or a pizza and Christmas cartoon marathon. It's one of the few traditions that I manage to keep year after year.

December is not my favorite month. It's too busy, too full of expectations, too expensive, and it ends with me turning a year older. But this year I'm going to try very hard to just relax and enjoy it... and I'm going to keep blogging daily to drag all of you along with me. However, like the cabinet, some days I'm just going to toss some candy in the drawer... other days I might manage something a little more special.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Can I get any more boring?

Today, while all of you were out fighting the hordes for the last digital picture frame ornament at $9.99, I stayed home. I didn't do anything exciting. I spent three hours cleaning bathrooms. Yep, three hours! I cleaned every single inch. Tonight I think I have the cleanest bathrooms on the planet. I'm sure by tomorrow they will be filthy again.

Then I decided to get creative and quickly discovered that I can't use these....

Without these...

... and now my head hurts.

This post has been brought to you by nablopomo which is fully responsible for it's pathetic content.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Xanax should be available without a prescription, alcohol should flow from the kitchen water taps, and chloroform should be sold at all convenience stores.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baking Frenzy

Last Thanksgiving, after some spectacular kitchen mishaps, I vowed that I was done cooking orange vegetables. So, tonight instead of baking pumpkin pies, I taught Delaney how to make them. Yes, my ten year old made the pumpkin pie this year. And she did a great job! Actually the are the nicest looking pumpkin pies to come out of my oven in years.

Then I taught her how to make pecan pie and that turned out nicely too. Things were going so well that we moved on to a recipe that her teacher sent home.

Left over pie crust and chocolate chips make some really rich cookies!

And, since the oven was still hot, we made Shrinky Dinks too! It was a fun and successful evening. Tomorrow I am subbing the yams out to Zane so there really is a chance that I might get through this holiday without setting anything on fire...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Bottom of the Bag

It's time to end Bad Bag Tuesday. There are hundreds of bad bags on the market but I've lost my passion for ferreting them out. In addition, today I discovered something that I find truly embarrassing... and I'm even more embarrassed because I am betting that a few of you discovered it long before I did. You see, today I realized that 40% several of the bags I have chosen for my blog were featured on Sex and the City. I never watched the show and I didn't see the movie but apparently I have some sort of mind meld with the costume designer. So, I'm done. It's been fun but I'm going to have to find another feature.

Maybe Silly Sweater Saturdays?

Bad Bag Tuesday

Ferragamo Large Pheasant Bag

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Thanksgiving

This is a joke.. there is no way I'm going to stick to a menu plan this week but I need a post for today, especially since I missed yesterday!

So.. This week we will be eating:

Monday - Mini-burgers and Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday - Pasta Fresca

Wednesday - Taco Bell. Yes, I said Taco Bell and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday - Turkey, Tofurkey, and all the fancy fixings

Friday - Leftovers for everyone else. Pie for me.

Saturday - Leftovers or grilled cheese and tomato soup

Sunday - Probably Pizza!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This afternoon I took the girls and a friend to see the movie "Twilight" and was pleasantly surprised. I have heard so many women, and I mean full grown, mature women, not fourteen year old girls, gush over the books... in fact I know one woman who just named her newborn daughter Bella because she loved the series so much. So I read all four books, and while it was an engaging story, I just didn't see what the hype was about.

One of the things that bothered me most about the book is that it is set in two states that I know well, Arizona, where I grew up, and Washington, where I now live. Both are incredibly unique and scenic states that suffered from a complete lack of description in the book. Arizona was "dry and hot" and Washington "Wet and cold". The movie didn't suffer this problem because the photography was just gorgeous. The aerial shots and use of natural scenery throughout the whole film helped to round out a story that had been lacking descriptive depth.

It's still a romance and the female lead is still under-developed. I still felt the need to talk about independence and self respect... because I really do have a problem with girls thinking that a woman in love should be willing to do anything, including give her life, for a man. But, in comparison to the other romantic films targeted to the teen market, this one is pretty darn tame. Plus, I had the rare and valuable opportunity to have a great conversation with my daughters. It was a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today is our 21st Anniversary and I find it hard to believe. In some ways it seems as though I have been married my entire life and yet I remember marrying Bob as if it was yesterday. Actually, I remember meeting Bob as if it was yesterday. He bounded into my life like a half grown puppy and has stayed despite my growls and even an occassional bite. Without him I don't know that I ever would have known real joy. Marrying him is the smartest thing I have ever done.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


When a storm is coming I run around getting prepared.
There's no time for fear or worry.
I'm busy getting ready... calm, controlled, I can handle it.
During the storm I just hang on.
There's not much to do during a storm if you've prepared well.
I find a safe place, gather information, wait for it to end.

When it's all over I cautiously survey my surroundings...

And then I just fucking fall apart.

Don't worry the weather is fine... but today my mind is a mess.

Photos by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton, The Joy of the Mundane and Lamppost

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Six Secrets / Six Tags

I've been tagged by Lilly Rose Chen to tell six secrets about myself. Anyone who reads my blog probably knows I'm not a big secret keeper. I tend to ramble on about all sorts of things and forget that I'm supposed to have any dignity... then I panic later and unpublish my embarrassing stories. So, it's a little difficult for me to come up with six real secrets but I will try...

1. Despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, I believe that I can learn how to do anything if I read enough books.

2. I dream of moving to a cabin in the mountains somewhere far from civilization and spending my days gardening and playing the hammered dulcimer. I don't currently garden or play the dulcimer... (see item 1)

3. Mail gives me anxiety attacks.

4. I like my nose. It's too large for my face but I like it anyway.

5. I always feel like I am an outer satellite in groups and I don't know how to get closer in. I can have enjoyable conversations and work with other people when there is a goal but on my own I am shy and awkward. I am amazed when someone introduces me as their friend.

6. My alter-ego is a mid level wizard named Fiameta in the game Maple Story. She has pink hair and can kill monsters that are a lot bigger than her.

Ok, I have to tag six people so I'm going to choose a different way to tag... Look to the right ------>
If your name is in the bottom twelve on My Blog List then it's been too long since we've heard from you and you should consider yourself tagged! If you aren't on the list then please see item 5 above.. are you like me? How do we solve this problem?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

I know very little about Buddhism but, based on what I've read this morning, it seems to me that this bag is bad in more than a few ways...

  • Karma Buddha in multi colored Austrian crystals with gold accents.

  • Includes matching satin gold coin purse and double sided mirror.

  • Length: 4.6", Height: 5.4", Depth: 2.6"

  • $3895.00

Available at and Saks 5th Ave

"As for those at the top -- even if they have a hundred million or a thousand billion, they are still in poverty -- but their poverty differs from that of the grassroots poor because instead of being poor from a lack of resources, they are poor because they never know enough."

From Buddhist Economics at

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday again

This morning Bob had the staples removed from his incisions. He continues to heal but it's going slowly.

"Your husband should feel much better now that we have removed these pesky bones."

Delaney stayed home sick today. Fifth disease has been going around her school and she has the bright red rash and cold symptoms. She isn't feeling too bad but didn't seem to mind having a day to hang out with George.

That's about all that's going on around here. Happy Monday everybody!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Felt... what?

More interesting discoveries while browsing crafting websites.

This is 100% wool felt. It's pretty nice stuff but I'm a bit concerned about what the crafting store suggests you do with it...

  • 100% Wool felt fabric perfect for reproductive costumes and apparel projects!
  • 100% Wool
  • 36" Wide; Cut in Whole Yd Increments

It would have been wiser to say "historical costumes" or even "period costumes" but "reproductive costumes" just sounds awful. I did a little searching and, frighteningly enough, I did indeed find some reproductive costumes... and they weren't pretty. I don't think any of them were made of wool felt either.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rock, Paper... trimmer?

Considering the current state of the economy, both personal and in general, and the fact that we are housebound for the foreseeable future, I am seriously considering making quite a few Christmas gifts this year. When we were young and poor and I had a lot more energy, I really enjoyed making presents for my family and friends but in the last few years it has been hard to do that. Instead of planning ahead I have ended up doing a mass order at Harry and David or Jackson Perkins. I don't think there's anything wrong with that but this year I'm just not going to be able to do it.

So, I've been looking at websites and perusing magazines looking for gifts that meet the dual requirement of being easy enough for me to make and don't look like a fifth grade art project. Not the easiest thing to find considering my considerable lack of skill. I've got a few ideas but I won't be writing about them because that would kind of make wrapping the gifts rather pointless. (To my friends and family... Please know I love you even if I do send you silly presents.)

Anyway, while questing about this morning I found something that I just have to comment on. I know that scrapbooking is very popular and that some people spend lots of time and money creating truly amazing pages to display their photos on. However, since my wedding photos are still in a ziploc bag, in a box, in my garage, (yes I know it's not good for them!) with the millions of other photos that were taken before I got my first digital camera, I don't think I caught the scrapping bug. I'm holding out hope that one of my daughters will decide to organize everything for me when I'm too old to bar the door to the garage anymore. Oh.. back to the thing I wanted to comment on... So, I'm looking at paper trimmers because I like sharp things even if I don't do any scrapbooking and I saw this.

It's a paper trimmer with an ipod docking station and built in speakers. Now I ask you.. why do we need this product? I have a paper trimmer and I love it. It cost me ten dollars because I used a 50% off coupon to buy it. This one costs $99! Obviously there must be a market for this because a quick check of YouTube gave me several videos demonstrating it's functionality.. and none of them were produced by Fiskars. So, Dear Readers, enlighten me. Is this a fantastic new direction in paper cutting technology? Or is it a gadget designed to attract the gift giving impaired husband?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have to admit I have rather eclectic taste in movies... and my husband is just as strange as I am. So when we had the unique opportunity to see a pre-release of an independent film, without even leaving our living room, we were thrilled. The movie is "Special". It's about Les, an unfulfilled parking enforcement officer, whose dull life has left him apathetic. At the beginning of the movie he admits that something must be wrong because instead of dreaming about flying he now dreams of riding elevators. When Les agrees to be a test subject for an experimental antidepressant things start to change. Suddenly he is developing super powers... or is he? Les enthusiastically embraces the idea that his super powers make him special but can't seem to see the people to whom he really is special.

"Special" is a movie about the very human desire to be more than we are. It's a thought provoking movie that blurred the lines between reality and fantasy just enough to leave me questioning what I saw. As soon as it was over I wanted to watch it again. "Special" is currently running as a pay to view special on Comcast and will be released to theaters in New York City and Los Angeles on November 21st and 28th. If you have a chance to see it I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Get Off Of My TV... please.

Seriously, all politics aside, it's time for her to go back to Alaska, govern her state, and prepare herself for Grandmotherhood. I don't care about her future position in the Republican party. I don't care about her role in the Presidential campaign. Surely she must have something important to do in Anchorage...

There is something about this guy that makes me very uncomfortable. I wonder what he has in his portfolio and why he can't have a press conference without a bottle of water to hide behind.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

Anyone who regularly reads my Bad Bag posts will already know that the easiest way to qualify for "Bad Bag" status is to produce a bag that is superficially environmentally friendly but fails to actually BE environmentally friendly. I can't help it... it annoys me to see people making money off of the ideals of others without even attempting to embrace them. It's this petty little hang-up of mine that makes the choice of this weeks Bad Bag particularly difficult.

Fifteen years ago Littlearth began with a good idea... to produce fashionable purses and belts with recycled materials. Their handbags are made from used license plates and have straps made with the rubber from old tires. The products are approximately 50% recycled. It's a pretty cool concept. However, I have chosen the Littlearth FenderFlair Handbag as the Bad Bag of the week.

The bag is made with two license plates plus chrome ends, and a recycled rubber strap. It's a little bigger than a rolled up August issue of Vogue and sparkles with hundreds of Swarovski Crystals. It's also lined with velvet. Truly, this is a license plate that would look good mounted on a Maybach 57. But the $280 price tag was just pricey enough to earn it a Bad Bag award.

Littlearth has hundreds of other products, some of them priced as low as $20, and they can also make custom handbags and other fun stuff using your own license plates. Littlearth is a leader in Ecofashion and they are a pretty cool company despite being featured in my silly blog... if I had some extra money I would probably be supporting their environmental efforts with a little blingy bad bag of my own.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Eligible for Nablopomo Prizes!

I am releasing a few back-dated posts today. This is not because I'm desperately hoping to win a Nablopomo prize and I'm willing to cheat to get it. No, it's just a matter of motivation for me. Nablopomo is important because it allows me to prove to myself that I can write something every single day... even when I don't feel like it. If I ignore the two days that I did not post this month it will be easier for me to ignore another and another... and before you know it I will be back to posting every five days.

So... this is my official notice. I will definitely be completing my thirty posts in thirty days but I'm playing by my own rules here and the only prize I want is a sense of accomplishment at the end of November.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The List

Laura at CenterDownHome posted this meme and, although I think her answers are more interesting than mine, I borrowed it.

Bold the things you’ve done and will admit to:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
(much to the discomfort of my audience!)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (One portion of our honeymoon was an overnight train trip through the Canadian Rockies.. in November. I was beautiful)
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (and yet I wasn't satisfied because money really doesn't bring happiness... I'm more satisfied now with less money)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
(Bob and the kids climbed it but I had a sore knee so I just took pictures)

39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (My mother in law told my daughters that they shouldn't look at the naked people in the museum... but they did anyway. Good girls)
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (one toe.. repeatedly!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (don't tell my mother)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (lobsters, mussels, and clams)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous. (I used to live in the same town as Keena Turner, who I met at the bank, and MC Hammer, who I met at the gas station)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Room with a View

Oddly enough I picked up E.M. Forster's "A Room with a View" in the hospital used bookstore while Bob was in surgery.. and then spent the next couple of days reading it while looking out at this beautiful view from his hospital room.

The room was nice enough but I'm glad to be home.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hospital Food

Complaining about the food is almost a requirement of any hospital stay and I feel sorry for all of the dieticians and food service workers who really do try to make it palatable. The food services department at this hospital is a little different. They don't have a regular meal service. Instead they have room service. It's an interesting idea but there are a few drawbacks. First, when you are recovering from an illness or injury you really don't want to be bothered with deciding what to eat. Getting Bob to choose a meal was like pulling teeth three times a day. If I hadn't been there to bug him he probably wouldn't have eaten anything. Second, the food is hot and fresh but during busy times it could take over an hour to arrive. When you are taking care of a patient who's medication is bothering their stomach an hour is a long time to wait for food to take it with. Third, it's still hospital food. Cream of Wheat and dry scrambled eggs, soggy sandwiches and fruit cups, meat in gravy with instant mashed potatoes. There's just not much you can do to make it appealing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's over

Bob's surgery ended just as CNN was declaring Obama our new President. Now the healing begins. Life is good.

Surgery went well and they didn't find any nasty surprises. We have great hope that Bob will regain full nerve function in his left arm and can get back to living his life normally (or as normal as he gets!) I spent the night in the hospital and have just come home for a shower and will return for another night. Hopefully he will be coming home tomorrow. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bad Bag Tuesday

Looking for bad bags seemed mighty trivial today so this one will have to do. It's not really a bad bag but no one wants to carry one. Sometimes they are useful though.

Bob will have surgery at 2pm today to fuse the 6th and 7th cervical vertebrae.

Prayers and healing thoughts would be thoroughly appreciated.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Autumn Movement

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck
of the copper sunburned woman,
the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow
on the northwest wind,
and the old things go,
not one lasts.

Carl Sandburg

Sunday, November 2, 2008

200 Posts

This is day two of Nablopomo and this is my 200th post. Coincidence? Perhaps... It certainly is convenient because I haven't been able to think of anything to write about today. I was actually trolling through my archives looking for something to repost when I noticed the number and decided I needed to write about that. Yep, I'm grasping at straws... I don't know how I'm going to actually get through this month without resorting to posting grocery lists but I promise I will try to keep it at least moderately interesting.

A few bloggers that I admire have started the month with a request for questions from their readers. This is a great idea, especially if you have a large fan base, and possibly the surest way to come up with ideas for a month of posts. I don't have a huge number of people reading my blog but I truly appreciate every single one of you who keep coming back here even when I have very little to say. So to you, my friends and family, who keep me writing, I offer an open invitation to direct my blog for a day. Ask me anything. This is probably your best chance to ever get an answer because I'm a little desperate here...

Saturday, November 1, 2008