Wednesday, April 30, 2008

100 Things | As the World Turns

9. Okay I am going to admit this - I like
As the World Turns.

This is a 100 Things about me post but also asking everyone to help out. The American Family Association who is trying to get Proctor & Gamble who owns As the Worlds turns to stop a Gay story line

I hadn't watched in probably 10 or more years until recently if I am cleaning around that time or have mounds of clothes to fold you can see it on in the living room. It is a rare occasion maybe once a month. We didn't have local TV until just shortly before Fall 2007. So now that we do and I have started to watch more network TV (such as Moonlight and Oprah).

I feel like
As the World Turns
and I grew up together. I know that sounds really silly but it is a family-thing. My Mom watched it with her Mom and I watched it with my Mom and both my paternal and maternal Grandmothers. My Mom works for the school systems so in the summer it was very much the part of our normal routine that my Mom and all 3 of her daughter sitting down to watch
As the World Turns
. So I turn it on now mostly because it does have sentimental value to me. Now I can laugh at some of the same plots I saw when I was in high school - oh the drama. But I also remember times I have shared with both my Grandmothers, my Mom and my sisters. Such as I remember all my Mom, sisters and I all watching Holden and Lily getting together as teens. And until just recently they were both still on the show (Lily just left and being replaced). My Grandmother couldn't stand Lisa and you could see her getting annoyed with the character. I have a really strong memory where I am sitting behind the rocking chair playing barbies and my Mom is sitting on the couch folding clothes and watching As the World Turns. I am I think about 6 years old in the memory. So as I said it is a family thing and does have weird sentimental value to me. I am glad it is still on and going strong.

So as I said at the beginning of this post --As the World Turns has a gay plot line. And I am THRILLED they that do. Posting story lines such as it makes it more mainstream and hopefully bring it more awareness and acceptance. Noah and Luke have gained some attention and been called repulsive and immoral which is just silly. The American Family Association wants P&G to stop the story line. P&G has a phone poll to ask if they should keep it or get rid of it and even if you don't watch the show I would like to ask that people call and do the poll. It is touch button you don't have to talk to anyone. Even if you don't watch As the World Turns -- giving them a call to let them know Gay story line is acceptable - shows support. Phone number and buttons to push detailed here. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yummy Muffins!

I made muffins for breakfast yesterday since we didn't have bagels in the house...which is our usual weekday breakfast. Recipe and more pictures of on my cooking blog.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What would you do?

I watched Oprah one day last week where she featured Primetime's What Would You Do? series with John Quinones. They set up actors to perform scenarios and see how people reacted to them. Such as they had teenagers in a park - one girl being picked on by a bunch of girls. And then they saw what people did. Men didn't respond and women did. Women would just start out trying to talk to the bully girls and then started acting like the teenagers. Calling the teenagers losers with the attitude of teenager.

Of course all the scenarios bothered me but there were a few that brought tears to my eyes as it just hurt to see others being treated so poorly and no one doing anything. One of the scenarios reminded me of a situation I encountered a month or two after 9/11.

One situation that brought tears was an African American couple arguing in a park - they were the actors. And many men that came up to them said take this out of the park. They didn't say this isn't right -- how the man was talking to the woman and how he was grabbing her. But said take it out of the park. And they would say things like..."these people" shouldn't be using the park like this. But they didn't really help the woman of the couple. It was amazing to me because the things the man was saying to the woman of couple were very offensive. He was grabbing her by the arm swinging him back to her saying don't walk away from me and he even slapped at her bottom a few times. And yet no one was stopping. But one woman finally stopped and wouldn't leave. She didn't have a cell phone and kept asking passersby for a cell phone to call 911 but wouldn't leave the woman alone. The actors did this for 5 hours before a woman that stopped. It makes me sick to think that so many people passed them by and didn't help her. When Primetime's John Quinones interviewed people after the men said they thought it would just escalate it and they might get hurt. That thought just boggles my mind. Then go to the nearest phone and call 911 - stop someone and say call 911 and then go over to the couple so you can get involved now to stop what was happening to her. Benjamin Franklin said, "He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither." To me no man is free if they can really stand by and watch something like that.

The woman of actors/couple said after doing that for 5 hours having that kind of offensive language and behavior used on her - although she was an actor - it did affect her. She was feeling defeated and then finally that woman stopped and she said she felt like finally someone saw me. When she was asked why she stopped she said how could I not stop.

Then the other scenario that really got to me was a woman with a headcovering came into a bakery and the guy behind the counter was an actor and the woman in the headcovering was also. She said she had a question about the apple pastry and the guy behind the counter started saying he didn't serve her kind that she wasn't an American she was a terrorist. He said extremely offensive anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs. And most people just literally looked the other way by turning their faces to not look at her. Some even stepped in front of her to order. There was one man that thanked/commended the guy behind the counter and agreed she was a terrorist and not an American. She said I was born and raised here. That didn't matter to him. She asked people in line to buy her an apple pastry and they wouldn't. There were a few people that stopped and stuck up for her. One man had a son in Iraq and said that this woman shouldn't be treated that way. He said that he stopped in the bakery every time he passed by it and now he wouldn't again. Then there were two young women that really got angry and one said she wanted to see the manager right away that if anyone needed to leave was the guy behind the counter. That it wasn't right to treat anyone the way he was and so on - she was great!

It made me remember I was coming out of a grocery store maybe a month or just bit longer after 9/11 and there was a woman with a little kid and holding a couple sacks on the way her car a little ways in front of me. She was wearing a headcovering and also a long dress. She was basically covered - except for her face. And a man and what I assumed was his son went up to her and spit on her and knocked her groceries from her hands. They were telling her to go back home that she wasn't wanted here in the USA anymore. I ran over to her asked her if she was okay. I helped pick up her groceries. She had tears streaming down face. And the man told me I shouldn't be helping a terrorist. I was like she isn't a terrorist...and went on to say that she looked like a mom shopping for groceries to go home and make dinner just like I was and he probably was too. He just rolled his eyes at me. He told all of "them" are terrorist and he walked away. I helped her get to her car and asked if she wanted me to call 911. She said no. I felt so sorry for her. She thanked me several times. I told her that they should be apologizing and although it wasn't the same I was apologized for their behavior. She said that it was not necessary that it has been happening quite a bit -- but she can't hide out in her house for the rest of her life. I told her I hoped she wouldn't because not everyone was as ignorant as those two men. She said I proved that to her.

"Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander." From the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out. (one version of the famous words by Martin Niemöller)

I will not be a bystander and I will not remain silent.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The wayward travels continue

It's been a very busy time around here lately. I just got back from a week over in Denver on a video production that went about as well as a herd of horses spooked and running on an open terrain. In another words: it wasn't very good.

I started off being very sick and couldn't travel over until very early the next morning. Canceling wasn't an option because I had to make the event. It's in those times that my folks reminded me that "it would've been different if I were still employed by the state: I could just call in sick."



Very true though. Sick time and vacation time is a concept that's been foreign to me for the last couple of years because when you're self-employed, you don't have that luxury of being able to "call in" when you're feeling well under the weather. And I really could've used the time this past week as it was evident that I needed some rest and recoup time to get over my stomach crud.

But - the show goes on and so does the business. Thankfully I got better as time went on and eventually we got the footage shot. Was it as good as last years? I'm afraid not - a multitude of problems existed which made it virtually impossible to capture each speaker as we wanted. Still - we did the best we could and will hope for the best.

Now I'm home for at least a week, maybe longer. It's been a roller coaster ride and I hope things can settle down for a bit so that we can catch our breath.

For now -- I'm grateful to be home. Darby treated me to a splendid home cooked dinner last night and we spent the majority of the day together. I'll probably start answering emails tonight and get busy on the next round of projects, but this is all good -- it's for the betterment of the whole process and I'm grateful.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh my....

"He looks at me like he's the spoon, and I'm this dish of ice cream." — From movie The Jane Austen Book Club

I really liked this movie. It isn't counted as a favorite but it is a feel good chick flick. Of course it made me put some Jane Austen books on the top of my library list. I have actually only read Sense & Sensibility. So think it is about time I read others.

Oh Look at the Pretties!

A friend is having a sale on her beautiful jewlery until the end of April.

Buy 1 get 1 half price!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the Movie....

The Painted Veil:

"When love and duty are one, then grace is within you."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is that drool....?

Oh..I need to make these cookies....Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread. I don't think I have any bittersweet chocolate right now. I usually do but I made the chocolate chip scones not too long ago and used the rest of my bittersweet dark chocolate in it. Drats!

Oh and these....Green Tea Shortbread with White Chocolate. We don't have Whole Foods here in Junction so it is something I would need to put on my list for when we head to Denver as I am sure I can't find Green Tea Powder here. Michael is in Denver this week but I know it would be easier if I could go and pick it up. And well going into Whole Foods....means I am sure I could find a few other things I need to come home know.

I would also like to remember this recipe for Christmas possible as gifts. The ones with cranberries in them. I think that would look very pretty at Christmas.

Do you see a pattern? Yes I have an obession with Smitten Kitchen right now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time

Friday - Dinner with friends went really quite well. I still always get nervous around Michael's friends even though I have been here for 5 years. But the two couples we shared the evening with are without a doubt some of my favorite people here in Junction. Our host and hostess can make anyone feel at ease. And then the other friends are just so down to earth and have been really good friends to us. I know that I can call them while Michael is out of town and they would be here to help me out with anything.

The food as always was excellent. Grapes and candied walnuts on the salad and then barbecue ribs with an Asian bbq sauce were my favorites. When my dessert was served you literally could of heard a pin drop and then a moment after that first bit there were happy food noises (a wonderful phrase given to me by a good friend.) I am thankful it turned out so well.

Saturday - Michael had some work to do in the morning and then after we went for a brief stop at the Arbor Festival. And then we came home to have some lunch before heading to a nearby town to the Dollar Tree. It is a nice drive so just a nice time spent with Michael talking. On the way back into town we stopped at the liquor store and picked up a take-n-bake pizza. We had a nice relaxing evening.

- Brunch which is something we do together. While cooking, we sang to Across the Universe soundtrack. And then unfortunately we had to get some work done so we worked the rest of the day. Stopping for a quick dinner and then back to work. I watched one of my favorite movies while working - Giant with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. That was the last movie James Dean did before dying. They wrapped up shooting and 3 days later he died in the car accident.

Today - We had quite a few errands to do before Michael leaves tomorrow for Denver. As always with Mondays - they seem to be the day Michael thinks will go slow and then he gets lots of odds-n-end calls. A friend called with computer problems and these are good friends so Michael said since we were out and about anyway we would stop by. He got that working again and then we finished up our errands. While at the friends, they had another friend stop by with their new puppy. He was SO cute! It was a lab so the huge paws and just so darn cute. Made me miss having a dog. And of course made me think of Cali quite a bit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

100 Things | Cooking

8. I like to cook.

My Mom, her Mom and her Mom before her and several more generations back all cooked and are known for being great cooks. And now I cook. You would think with a line of wonderful cooks in my family that I pretty much would have been cooking all my life but I do have to say my Mom's kitchen is HER kitchen. And I don't think I just ever got "it" -- how enjoyable food was until I was an adult so I never asked her to teach me. My Mom can cook without is just a part of her. And although I like to cook and have become a fairly good cook I am not a natural like my Mom.

It was a bumpy start to learning to cook. When I first started to cook when I was dating my ex-husband, I had frequent phone calls to my Mom. Or consulted Betty Crocker cookbook as it is GREAT for basic such as just cooking vegetables. After we were married, we moved and for a bit I became a housewife. And so I tried to have dinner on the table when he came home so that is really when I started to teach myself to cook. I still wasn't good cook but I was working past my fears of the kitchen. Up until then I was scared of the kitchen. Scared of messing up. But the more and more I used the kitchen - cooking and experimenting the more I enjoyed the process.

When I moved to Ohio, I became burnt out on cooking. And really this is going to sound very selfish but I hardly ever got feedback about what I cooked. If the person enjoyed, wanted it again, could have used more salt or whatever. And so I stopped cooking for a while. I mean I cooked at times but otherwise it was quick things not real meals. When I cooked for Michael - from the start he was all about telling me if he liked it or what it needed. And so I started to really like to cook again. We both enjoy food and so cooking and experimenting with new recipes is something Michael likes as well as I do.

I still don't feel I am a great cook like my Mom and Grandmother but I can cook. The food I cook is enjoyed. I go through phases where I experiment, play and create and then other times when I just pull out what is easy. But over all I like to cook.

(links to recipes over on my cooking blog - photos top to bottom: Chocolate Chip Scones, Maple Fudge, Cheddar Cheese Bread, Chicken and Dumplings)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gratitude Friday

5 things I am thankful for....

1. A fantastic meal and wonderful conversation with friends tonight
2. That the cheesecake was a hit (because I always worry about these things ya know)
3. A trip down memory lane - looking through a box full of old letters, diaries and other odds-n-ends
4. Seeing some incredible art this week that has really given me the itch to create
5. hair dye....I dyed my hair this week and it is amazing what a bottle of hair dye can do for a girls self-image.

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Toffee and Caramel Cheesecake

We are going to friends for dinner tonight and we volunteered to bring dessert so I made a Toffee and Caramel Cheesecake. Recipe over on my cooking blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

thoughts meander like a restless wind

The second day in a row that I was up before 7am. Yesterday we ran to a nearby town to deliver some work Michael did for a client. Today the water is supposed to be turned off for repairs in the area so I needed to be up to get a shower in and such before they turned it off. At the moment I am feeling very tired and out of it. And slight headache but that might be from being over tired as I didn't sleep well last night.

The wind here yesterday was horrible so it caused me to have 3 asthma attacks with everything floating in the air. And my inhaler isn't really working. My asthma has changed over the years but this year it seems like it was when I was first diagnosed with it. It just feels the same. So that means I need a different inhaler yet it probably won't be covered so just annoys me to think about it.

Sometimes I wonder where my brain ends up. Yesterday after getting back in town we went grocery shopping. I made the list the night before. One of the reasons we needed to go grocery shopping was so I could pick up ingredients for the cheesecake I am making to bring to a dinner party on Friday. So we are in the grocery store and what do I realize I didn't put on the list - any of the ingredients for the cheesecake. And it is a cheesecake I haven't made in a while so of course I can't remember what was needed off the top of my head. Grrrr

Michael has to pick up some paintings from an artist to photograph so when we go out to do that we will pick up the ingredients I need for the cheesecake.

We also need to go by the library as I finished Specials last night. The end reminded me kind of The Matrix. Tally's little speech just reminded me of a couple of things Neo said. I requested 3 books through the library's website but only 2 books are ready. The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe is ready and probably the book that I will read next. I want to read that and Prince Caspian before the movie comes out. I haven't read that series since I was 8 or 10 - I can't remember when it was for sure but I remember liking it as a little girl. I liked the Narnia movie too so thought I might as well re-read that series at least those first 2 books before the next movie comes out. (I still need to read the 3rd book in His Dark Materials series but was frustrated with the 2nd book that haven't gotten around to it.) I also requested the next two books in the Earth Children series. Of course the 3rd one is ready and the 2nd in transit.

Ever since watching Across the Universe I have had Beatles songs stuck in my head. Michael got me the soundtrack and we listened to it yesterday. I wanted to sing with it and did a little bit but with the asthma attacks I really wasn't able to. But it hasn't stopped the songs from playing inside my head all day long.

Michael is teasing me because I made sure all the water bottle were filled and have extra water for washing hands and brushing teeth available too. He says things like no more water for us ever know we live in a desert...feeling a little parched...and so on an so forth teasing about the water being off. He is playing like a perfect drama Qu...umm...King. ** edited to add: The cats are acting frisky today playing and such nothing and Michael said they are rioting because of the water. ***

I suppose I should try to get some more work done. Bah.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dear Diary....

In July I picked up a box while visiting my parents. I looked through it a little bit when we got it home but really it has just sat in my studio. Well tonight I was making room in a closet and decided to just take a peek in it again.

Wow the stuff in it....

I found the cut out bow with my name on it that the RA in my dorm put on the dorm room door. I am not kidding...why on earth did I keep that? I also had a big folder of cut outs from magazines with Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Matt Dillon, Tommy Howell and lots of others too - some that I don't even recognize now. I have a ton of letters from a friend I had in Junior High that moved away. But was the most fun looking at was my diary from 1979 to 1982 so I was 12 when I started it and 15 when it ends. Now it isn't a daily diary it is here and there during that time. But it is so one entry I talk about how we got cable and all I said "I am excited we got cable." That was the whole entry. Then the next entry talks about I am not sure who I like and list 7 boys. But 4 days later I narrow it down to one.

(photo of the diary - what can't be seen is that I had keep out wrote on all the sides ink but the edges of the diary were gold so some of it is faded.)

Another amusing entry that I had to show Michael is the one that it says in HUGE letters..."I got my first kiss! YEAH! It was GREAT!" And then it has his name added too. You can tell that I added that later as I am sure I thought someday I might not remember who I kissed so added it to remember. Of course I remember.

My favorite parts of the diary are when I talk about Brian - who is someone I liked on and off from 7th grade all the way through high school. I "went with" him during Junior High for a month. Anyway in one of the entries quite a while before I "went with" him, I wrote about that a friend of mine liked him. And I say that I didn't understand why she liked him.

The entries of when we "went with" each other in Junior High are so sweet. I talk about the dance we went to before he asked me to "go with" him. He asked me to dance and we did 3 dances together. He held me really close. I talk about how tight his arms were around me and how he smelled so good. We then stopped and sat on the bleachers to talk with friends (Kerrie & Mark.) He then went somewhere but told me to stay where I was because he was coming back for me. When he came back we spent the rest of the dance together.

The next day I have entry talking about that I called him to ask him to go with a bunch of friends to pizza hut. He says no. But then a little later calls and tells me yes he will. I was so excited. I talk about how much fun we had even though he ended up being the only boy there as all the boys said no or maybe and then didn't show. Later, years later, we talked about going out in Jr. High and that group outing to pizza hut. He had wanted to go but didn't have any money. So he called a friend to see if he wanted to buy some Dungeons and Dragons stuff so that he could go be with me. I thought that was very sweet that he did that - just to be with me.

The Monday after the dance the entry was very odd. I was in class - a full class and the teacher in front of all the class asks me if I had fun at the dance. I just blushed and a boy said "yeah she danced with David all night" and then another boy Tad said, "no she didn't she danced with Brian all night." And the whole class cracks up except Brian and I. Later after class Tad teases me and Brian tells him to lay off. Isn't it weird the teacher did that? And I named the teacher in my entry but I don't remember him or the incident at all.

I really should throw most of the stuff in this box out but it really just hard to part with it and I am not sure why...well one reason is my memory at times sucks so reading the entries, letters and other odds-n-ends brought it back more easily. I know the diary is something though I will always hang on to even if I throw some of the other things in the box away.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

100 Things | Pack Rat

7. I am a pack rat

I just have trouble throwing things out. Before I moved to Colorado, I had a couple moves in Ohio so I really went through things but I still have quite a bit. When I was in Ohio going through things, I was surprised by the things I came across such as quite a lot of of school work. I had papers from high school and college. I had the index cards that I used to quiz myself before art history tests. I had even research notes that were scribbled all over in no order that I could make out now so many years later. Why did I keep that stuff?

In July I picked up a box when visiting my parents and again it had stuff in it that I am so surprised I kept. I had letters from a friend that I barely remember now. It took me a lot to finally recall her and then I was upset I didn't remember her as we were really good friends. And reading through the letters it is quite evident. Also in the box were decorations that I hung in my dorm room. I had a few old diaries. And a box that I used to put special little treasures in (that only had a naked troll doll in it now). It was just amazing to look through all the stuff I kept.

I am also a pack rat when it comes to art supplies. I have so much ephemera in my studio that I know I can't use it all in my life time. But I keep it for a just in case I might need it. Granted I do go through stuff and mail out some stuff to artist friends at times but still not enough obviously by the looks of my studio. I just was cleaning it and trying to reorganize it and label all my containers so I could find things easier. And it really opened my eyes of how much "stuff" I have sitting in here.

Magazines are another thing that I hang on to forever. I finally went through quite a lot of them during spring cleaning this year. But I still have quite a bit in my studio but the magazine I had the bedroom and the living room were filtered down quite a lot. I ended up throwing out 2 heavy duty trash bags of magazines (they probably could have fit in one but I couldn't have lifted it to get it to the trash.) I went through and cut out recipes and things I thought I might use in art. So I still have a pile of stuff but instead of have stacks and stacks of magazines I have a fairly small pile of things tore out of the magazines.

Clothing and books are my other areas of being a pack rat. I am actually really good about giving clothing to good will if I haven't wore it for 2 years then it is given away. But I have an exception to this rule. When I lived in Cleveland I went to quite a few parties and dressed up. I have some really pretty dress up clothes that I just can't part with even though I don't get very many chances to wear them here in Grand Junction. Shoes is the other again I do get rid of them but the dressy shoes I do have a hard time donating. I have some red patent strap-y heels that I bought in Germany for like $6 dollars American and I can't let them go. Will I ever wear them again...well maybe. I can hope right?

Again before I moved to Colorado I got rid of a ton of books. When I lived in Topeka someone very close to me would go through books quick and she would give me paper sacks FULL of paperback books. And I hung on to my favorites. Because I am one to reread good books. But I finally just had to let some of them go. And I am at the moment regretting it as I have been wanting to reread the Earth Children series again as I never read the last book. I had all the books but the last. In one of my moves I gave them away. I am reading them through the library now but it would have been easier to of course just pull them off my book shelf and read them.

In the years, I have had a few times of regret of letting go of things. I gave so much away when I moved from Cleveland in with friends in a small town in Ohio. I gave away my fostoria china my Aunt gave me and I REGRET that so much. I actually thought I hung on to it but when I moved things to from Ohio to Colorado I couldn't find it. I also had some antique china that had wheat stocks on it that were in the same box as the fostoria so that is gone too. I had some really great fabrics that now living with Michael and having a home I can see a million uses for but of course when I was moving so much I knew I didn't have a use for it so got rid of it all. So maybe these are the reasons I hang on to things because I regret some things I did lose through my moves.

On thing I have to say I am a fairly organized packrat. Things are labeled and boxed neatly. Thank goodness!

(top picture of cookbooks something I have problems with letting go of and also I like collecting them. I get that from my Mom. I have 2 rows of cookbooks and recipes. The folders have recipes I have printed from the Internet. There are also all my cooking light magazines and those little Pillsbury recipe booklets that are at the supermarket check out -- 2nd picture from the top is a little coupon holder that I got at the dollar tree and it has little bits for art - quite a few stamps that I cut off of mail we get plus tea bags that I use for little pockets in altered art, 3rd picture is a stack of misc. paper - coffee filters that I dyed with tea, tea and coffee stained paper, mini paper sacks, the waffle paper from a coffee cup, gold paper from the inside of an invitation and so on and the last picture is just a little shelving unit that is in my studio with just a FEW of my book and see how those are overflowing on that unit the rest of our shelving units are really the same way - overflowing with books. Oh and yes that is a photo of my love of my life. It is one my favorite photos of him.)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Migraine Cycle

Well I didn't have a migraine for almost 2 weeks (which was almost short of a miracle for me), but then this last week I was struck with a cycle that I am still kind of having. The migraine itself is gone it is just after having really bad string of them like I did -- I feel off for a few days after. It is like when you have the stomach flu and although you aren't sick you still get a little nervous eating and your stomach acts like it is not sure what to be doing with the food you just ate. And your body feels like you have been sick for days. Well same thing with my migraine, my body just is trying to recoup from being in the cycle but still nervous it might start back up again.

Because I have been in the cycle I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to this week but luckily I kept up with the house pretty good. Pretty much just washed after the dishwasher decided not to work for me the other day. Michael came home, took a look at it and then started it and guess what...of course it worked PERFECTLY for him. He kept teasing me that maybe the cats could verify my story that it was smoking and giving off a horrible smell. We went to price/look at dishwashers last night though just in case.

I am so happy Michael is home. I always miss him when he is gone but this time seemed harder on me then usual.

Not much else going on because of the migraine cycle. Since I don't sleep well when he is gone, I am extremely tired today. I feel like I could sleep all day.

Why haven't we heard from Michael??

Well - the answer lies in the fact that I really haven't had much of a chance to sit down and type anything out for the last several weeks. Thankfully though - I can sit down at the keyboard this morning to type out a few things because Darby is still sleeping and the java has entered my blood stream. :)

Speaking of Java -- I came across a brand that I have fallen in love with: Peet's Coffee. A friend of mine introduced me to it a long while back and thankfully I've been able to find it in the stores here locally. I did find a few dedicated Peets Coffee and Tea stores in Denver that I'll have to check out. The coffee itself is simply impressive -- a rich flavor, but not overpowering, it holds it's flavor throughout each sip and doesn't leave a bitter after taste. It's robust, but not nearly as strong as some of the other espresso flavor coffees I've tried. Nevertheless - it's become a favorite.

My projects have really been keeping us busy lately. I just spent a week in Denver in court on a high profile case over there. There were parts that were frustrating though -- mainly because of some certain parties that chose to make things a lot more difficult than was really necessary. It was their way of ensuring that their "point" was being made, which only made them look incompetent and silly.

As Darby wrote about -- the dishwasher started smoking the other day. And like all good appliances and computers -- the moment I showed up and started it up -- it behaved. There must be something about me because the same thing happened with my folk's television after I left. It was behaving the entire time I was there, but the moment I left -- it went screwy. I think I need to have my cosmic aura checked -- maybe I could market this and sell it. *laughs*

The weekend will be spent partly recovering, partly working, and partly getting organized as to what's on the plate for the coming week. So much going on right now - we have several "to-do" lists and the calendar reflects a really wide assortment of things on tap. Being busy is good when you're self-employed, but sheesh -- I wish there would be a larger break so that I can get my feet to touch the ground every so oft.

Not much else to report -- if I can encourage Darby to get out of bed, we may venture down south to the Dollar Tree -- just to get her out of town for a bit, enjoy the bright sunny day and hopefully relax a bit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gratitude Friday

5 Things I am Thankful for/that...

1. the dishwasher isn't really broken - at least it seems that way now.
2. clean sheets...always smell so good and just feels nice to slip into a freshly made bed
3. simple pleasures - Jelly Beans
4. the package I received this week from my family.
5. Michael is HOME! I always miss him when he is gone but this time it seemed harder so I am very glad he is home.

I recognize that I have much more to be thankful for in my life.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oprah and A New Earth

Oprah had people on yesterdays show that have had their lives change because of reading Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth." I haven't read it but want to read it. She also answered some questions people had about the book. These were just a few notes I took during Oprah.

Interfere with Religion
One question if the book interferes with your religion. But Oprah answered that question - saying it was like the honey in tea. It only enhances/sweetens the tea. The book only enhances your religion. It doesn't change the basics of your beliefs but might help make it easier to understand and apply to your life as a spiritual person.

Jesus' Death & Life
One of the people that Oprah talked to said it has helped her with her understanding of Jesus. I believe this person was a decon in church also. She said she always thought that the importance of Christ in Christianity was about his death - his dying for our sins. But she came to a Christ-consciousness that is about being fully human. That to be fully human is to be Christ-like. She said when you don't follow your spiritual calling/self, you are being a lesser human and not being Christ-conscious. Oprah said she got that a long time ago after reading Discover the Power within You by Eric Butterfield. She said Jesus was here to show us how to do it - how to be - how to live - to show us Christ-consciousness he had - and that his consciousness resides inside all of us. She said she had always thought it was about his death too but it wasn't - Jesus was about to live life. And frankly I had never looked at it that way.

In the above story about Jesus the reason the woman came to the conclusion was because of a story that Eckhart told in one of the online classes Oprah and Eckhart are doing for the book. He told a story of a zen master watching an archery competition and one competitor was really concentrating on winning. But he was doing very badly and someone asked the zen master why the person was doing badly and he said "his need to win drains him of power." That focusing on winning is putting energy to the future instead of just putting his energy into the now and just doing the competition.

Turning 40 has made me think of death more. I think about that I have 40 to 50 years left and it seems so short to me considering this 40 years has went fast. And I am scared of what happens when I die. And that I haven't done all I wanted to do with my time. I think about all I screwed up too. I am giving lots of energy and power to the future and past....instead of living the now - I realize that. But anyway one thing that was said today about death was that we are all made of energy. Eckhart says that energy can't be destroyed so there is no death. That energy goes on to other things/places so we really don't die.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


It is great day.....

SMOKE and burning smell coming from the dishwasher. I turned it off when I realized hmm something smells like it is burning. And now I am coughing. And it is freakin cold out, but I am needing to open windows.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Camping Oh Joy!

My family sent me a package and there were 2 Ann Taintor button pins as well as a few others things. One pin says "born to be wild" and the other says, "I love not camping." I think my lovely family was trying to tell me they fit me. Okay so maybe they do fit me especially the camping trip. We had a family camping trip we took in 1982 that was quite a memory maker. It is a memory we recalled for my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary video and I remember us all laughing quite a lot while filming the story.

Anyway Thank you guys! You are the best!

Monday, April 07, 2008

10 Things about John McCain...

This is from

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4

5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5

6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

Sources: [1] "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008
"McCain Facts,", April 4, 2008

[2] "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

[3] "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

[4] "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007

[5] "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008
"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

[6] "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008
"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

[7] "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008
"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

[8] "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008
"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

[9] "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008
"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008
"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

[10] "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008

Michael Moore's Sicko

This is seriously not intended as a pun but I feel ill after watching Sicko. I knew lots of things Moore talked about such as so many Americans without health insurance (waving hand to be included in that number). And I have heard of people dying because their insurance refused to pay for care for them. I hadn't heard about hospitals calling cabs for patients to be dropped off in front of missions because they weren't insured or ran out of insurance money for the hospital stay although clearly still in need of medical attention. But it all makes me physically ill really seeing it. We live in a seriously screwed up country. I don't believe universal health care is probably perfect but it can't be worse then our just can't. It can' just can't.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Review of Eat Pray Love

This is the review I did for my account...

When I first saw the book out, I will admittedly say I didn't pick it up because of the word pray in it. I am a spiritual person and I pray but I assumed that because it had the word pray in the title it might be overly conservative Christian in a way that doesn't appeal to me. I don't mind some things I read about Christianity but there are others that really irritate/annoy me (which can be said about many things - politics, movies, books and so on.) Then a friend read the book and did an really good review on it that made me want to read it but I still had that lingering feeling from the word pray. But that was really unfair of me. Although instead of buying it, I waited 5 months before my name was on top of the list at the library. And then of course after just being a few chapters in I was wishing I would have my own copy because I wanted to much to underline and mark passages in the book.

In reading some reviews, I wasn't surprised by many people saying that Gilbert is self-absorbed or whining like she is the only one in the world that has went through pain. But what I am not sure I understand is what you expect when you pick up someone memoirs. It is about that person and their journey. From the beginning of the book, she says this is about her. It is self-absorbed but for me it was in a way that I still could relate on a personal level. And it wasn't overly self-absorbed - she shared history of the areas she was in, she shared stories of friends and family so if was completely self absorbed we wouldn't have saw those things in the book. And again her self-absorbed passages I could relate too.

The other thing complained about was she was rich - got to travel for a year on her advance and then gets the guy in the end still. That it all seemed so easy for her. I think she does a good job of being very grateful for the gifts life has given her. The gifts that come her way. I am not a rich person and only traveled a little but her journey is still one I could appreciate. I am not sure I understand being upset by her good fortune.

As I mentioned above that she wrote about the history of each area too. That was another complaint as many felt it was boring. I liked it but I like history. I am horrible at remembering timelines and dates but I enjoy reading it and learning about it even if I can't retain it in an accurate timeline with correct dates.

This year has been a journey of re-evaluation of my life. And so many of Gilbert's thoughts were like she was inside my head. I enjoyed her style of writing - the honesty, the humor, the stories all touched me. I enjoyed it so much I started to reread it before I returning it to the library. And now I have my own copy and it already has quite a few little flags sticking out of it. I know it is a book I will pick up often. I know I will see knew things in it each time. And I am glad I have it on my bookshelf.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gratitude Friday (on Saturday)

5 things I am thankful in my life....

1. Michael....He is just always so good to me. This week I had a really bad migraine and was just not feeling well at all and he took care of me. He spoils me with cherry limeades, books and jelly beans. He is there always just to share with...I am sure he is getting sick of all the Eat Pray Love talk but he still goes with the conversation. There are so many amazing things I could say about him....I am just very lucky to be with such a wonderful man. I love you very much Michael!

2. Eat Pray Love....I was resisting reading it but so thankful I finally decided to read it. It is a very good book full of humor, good stories and insightful dialogs that touched me.

3. Prescriptions by mail....I get one of my prescriptions by mail and it is always so nice to have it delivered right to my door after just picking phone and calling in the refill.

4. is spring now and I can wear sandals all the time. It is close to being barefoot which I enjoy.

5. Simple pleasures....such as eating chocolate chips straight from the bag.

Friday, April 04, 2008

somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly

Yesterday and today were really productive. I have a few more things I wanted to do today, but I think it is going to have to wait until tomorrow. I have been busy cleaning mostly. I have been doing some work and helping Michael out with paperwork too but spring cleaning is still going on for me. This afternoon I went to our "junk drawer" - you know the draw many people have in the kitchen that has everything under the sun in it. Well I went to the draw as I thought I saw superglue in there once upon a time and needed it to do some surgery on a lampshade. But of course I couldn't find anything because it is a junk drawer. So that made me empty it all out and used the spare little bins (that I had picked up for my studio actually) to organize it. So now everything is nice and neat. I wish I would have had taken a before picture. And maybe post it somewhere as reminder that I don't want it to get that bad again (umm crossing fingers as I type that) - I can dream right?

This morning we were getting ready to go grocery shopping and Michael suggested I go by the library to get the book that was on hold for me and also return Eat Pray Love. Well I was having a hard time parting with it so Michael revealed that he was going to surprise me by getting the book for me but to lessen the trauma of returning it to the library he decided to tell me. Before grocery shopping we ran to Sam's to get it. So now I have a copy I can highlight and underline to my hearts content. Thank you Michael!

I also have been craving jelly beans but we didn't get any during Easter. So of course it is harder to find them other then Jelly Belly beans and although they are very good I was just craving a regular jelly bean. But Michael found a bag when we were grocery shopping so he picked those up for me too.

In addition to the book and jelly beans, something else was on the calendar for today to make it a good day. BSG! From 6pm until 9pm we have been in front of the tv. We watched the last 2 episodes of the last season of Battlestar Galactica and then of course the first one of this season aired tonight so we had to watch that too. I am just so damn excited about this season. We watched a couple little special they had on Sci-Fi last week about BSG that made me think about the first season of BSG. Michael was watching it by himself at first as I really didn't think I would have an interest in it. Michael is hard of hearing so our tv is usually fairly loud so even though I wasn't watching I could hear it in the next room so I listened. After several episodes, I finally had to start watching as it just really got my attention. So I became a Battlestar Galactica fan. A week seems like such a long time to wait for the next episode. A WHOLE WEEK! Grrr!

(title line is from a Beatle song - I am kind of obsessed with them again since watching Across the Universe - I am so tired tonight I feel like I am answering quite slowly)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Zen Habits

ZenHabits is one of my regular reads. I have always enjoyed the simplistic advice it gives. Yesterday's was about being content with ones life....The Incredible Power of Contentment

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wilbur Beans

Michael and I don't go out to eat very often. It is just not an expense we can justify. Our big splurge usually is getting take out Chinese which is a lot of food for $10. But a few weeks ago we went to an art exhibit opening and after were starving so we decided to check out the new BBQ place....Famous Dave's BBQ. It is a national chain that I have eaten at when visiting my parents in Minnesota. It is kind of funny because the place they built it was a BBQ before it but went out of business. Anyway, we had dinner there and it was very good. Both of us really liked their Wilbur Beans.

I was digging around in the freezer last week and saw we had some ribs so I put that on the menu. I then of course thought of the beans we had at Famous Dave's and decided I wanted to make something similar to them as they would be so good with ribs. I scoured the web for recipes. I had a can of Bush's baked beans that I just wanted to doctor. I didn't really follow a recipe but got some ideas.

I took 1 can of Bushes baked beans, 2 cans of pinto beans - rinsed and drained, a small can of diced green chilies, brown sugar, BBQ sauce, mustard, garlic, chopped onion and some smoked sausage as I didn't have any bacon. I threw it all in the crock to cook for a couple hours. They turned out so well that I am sure I will be making them again.