Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We are all watching the economy tank. Helpless. Frustrated. My mother commented on it this morning. Then Athena. Now I know it is serious. So, being a Registered Republican* I did what all patriotic citizens of the United States were supposed to do when we recieved our fabulous Presidential Tax Rebate earlier this year. Today I stimulated the economy. Oooh, yeahhhh... I stimulated it.....
Yes!!! I am now the proud owner of a new D90! Lots to learn and experiment. So far I am in love with this camera, although my computer seems to have a strange reluctance about viewing the files. Vista is not playing well with Nikon tonight. Hopefully they will learn to get along soon.

Little Ms. Eris was more than ready to pose for me this afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to negotiate a computer/camera truce and post them!
Update: Truce successfully negotiated after required software was installed. Duh...


*Registered Republican last year in order to be able to vote in the state primary. Also, it provides me with a little bit of deja vu by going undercover. There is an evil grin each time I remember that my name is on their list and how confused that must make them.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Last weekend I posted about attending the scrapbooking festival in the Big City to the south. I got my inspiration and then came home to get my books updated.

Two days ago I met my sister Paula downtown where we went to the annual quilt show of the Utah Quilt Guild. Motivation struck and the Bernina is now humming along again. We also wandered through the vendors mall where I fondled some fabric and checked out the newest gadgets that I don't need. I found a piece of lacrosse fabric that I have been searching for over a year. Two yards came home with me. In the spirit of stashbusting I mailed a package to Kara with over two yards of strips and some yardage. She has also been in a lull with her quilting so there is a cross-country challenge going on to see who can get a top done first. They are the same simple pattern, although I am working on a twin size (20 blocks) while she will work on a baby size (4 blocks). Considering that she is also working up to 70 hours per week I probably still have the advantage. Okay Kara, on your mark, get set, GO!

Yesterday I did the 5k run. Another hobby, this time with resulting sore muscles. (You don't want to see a photo of my gross shoes, trust me.)

The next indulgence was photography. Two tickets for a private Nikon showing were given to me by the local camera store. They know I have been salivating over the recently introduced D90 so I was a prime target. Zeus and I drove to Park City where I walked into a room filled with every Nikon on the market, as well as any lens you could imagine, all just waiting for me to pick them up and do a little camera caressing and experimenting. I could take any of them out for a test drive just by leaving ID and a credit card. Whoaaa! Well, I left Zeus instead (he had my driver's license) and took the D90 and a couple of lenses outside for some test shots. Again, whoaaa. Came back in for some little techie talk with the Nikon guys and then walked out the door. The camera is now available in stores. Zeus doesn't understand why I'm waiting, and frankly, neither do I. Requests for family portraits are coming in so I'll probably take a deep breath and go get it soon.

It's been a good week with only one thing missing. Does anyone know where they are demonstrating candy making? I just found out that Paula is not doing her yummy hand-dipped chocolates this season. How dare she? The holidays just won't be the same.

$12.99 (I love finding paper!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Negative $14.98

Yep, we did it. Eris talked me into running a benefit 5k (that's 3.1 long miles) with her. This is not something that I particularly enjoy. My legs are short and I'm not fast. It took about a half block out of the starting line to convince Eris to kick her long legs into high gear and leave me eating her dust. This was her first time racing and she did very well. She loved it and will most likely want to do more.

I'm a solitary runner and don't enjoy the pressure of competition. My dreams last night were about wearing the wrong shoes, old heels that broke and then my leather boots. Also, for some unknown reason I wore my heavy full-length coat. Nightmare times two. The benefit, which included an auction, was organized by my next door neighbor for a local woman who was struck while on a bicycle by an uninsured driver and faces years of rehab.

My total today is -$14.98. This represents the cost of the race minus the two cents that Eris found during the race. I'm sure I would have spotted those two pennies had I been at the front instead of the middle. She was kind enough to give them to me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The old is new again

I love old photos. This is not a surprise to any of you. Most old photos have gone through years of being bent, exposed to excessive light or unkind elements. Countless treasures have been ruined because they have been pasted in books that eventually turn them yellow or disintegrate them.

Whenever I come across images that are precious to me my first task is to preserve them, both in books as well as digitally. Sometimes this means giving that image a makeover. This afternoon I found myself with a few minutes to spare so I got out one of my old photos of Mom. The original was about 1.5 by 2 inches and looked like Dad had carried it around in his wallet for years. In fact, the first time Mom saw this photo she didn't remember it.

This image had been worked over two years ago but not quite to my satisfaction. After two hours of cloning, bandaids and levels this is the partial transformation of Mom when she was in high school. There is still much to be done with the clothes and the background, but that is for another day.

Here is my pleading for anyone who might be reading this: If you have any photos stored in those old magnetic albums that were popular in the 70s and 80s please carefully lift them out and put them in an envelope to preserve what is left of them before they turn to dust. And while you are at it, you might want to identify them in some way. Who knows, maybe someone in the future will want to see where that curly hair or crooked smile came from. There in that envelope will be the photo of great-aunt Talula with that same smile.

Ahhh, it's Thursday!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quilter's block

The scrapbook stuff is all put away. Now it is time to twist away from the computer and get some sewing done. A few weeks ago, or was it a few months ago, I spent some time cutting fabric into strips. Mostly these were primary color that would play nicely with some larger pieces of focus fabrics that are waiting patiently to be assembled into quilts. The photo doesn't look like much, but I figured that it totaled about eight yards of over 120 different fabrics cut into 2.5 inch and 3 inch strips, each measuring 21 inches long. Writers suffer from Writer's Block where they can't seem to compose a complete sentence. Quilters suffer from Quilter's Block. The fabrics are ready to go but the desire to get them finished is not. Probably part of my problem is burnout after getting all of my UFOs finished last year. I have managed to get a few projects done this year but certainly not enough to make a dent in the fabric stash, which by quilting standards is very modest. Before starting on my next sewing project I need to make the simple little curtains for the Little and Littlest Ms. The poor girls have been sleeping without anything covering their window for three months. These will be started, and hopefully finished this morning. My schedule is clear today with the exception of a lunch date with Zeus. No excuses. No excuses.

I will post this now and keep updates on my progress.
To self: Take a deep breath and step away from the computer.....

10:50 AM: Curtains are finished! Two hours. That's all it took. Now to pick out some of those strips, start sewing them together and cutting them apart again, sewing, cutting, etc. Crazy?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Keep on scrappin'

If you walked in my front door tonight this is what you would see. Binders everywhere that are holding the stories of my life and those around me. If I have ever met you there is a darn good chance that your image is matted, pasted and journaled in one of these books. They are categorized in chronological order (most of them) so it is easy to find exactly what I'm looking for when I need it.

I've been working for the last week to get them updated and finally stuck the last embellishment on the last page about an hour ago. The mess of paper pieces and assembling paraphernalia is now cleaned off the island and has been moved downstairs to be sorted and put away in the morning. There are three covers to be created and hopefully they will get done this week. I like to wait until the books are put together and then pick out a fabric that goes along with the major content for that scrapbook. The water fabric and portrait fabric is already on my sewing machine waiting to be put to use. (Don't worry Eris, the curtains will be done first, I promise.)

Last night I spent a fun evening with Eris, The Duchess and some other ladies in the Big City to the south at a HUGE scrapbooking exposition. Yeah, Utah is big on scrapbooking. BIG. Some of the details that go into these pieces of art are amazing, not to mention expensive. I've been to this expo before but I am always amazed at the gizmos and gadgets that are just waiting to be put into those big rolling totes that were being wheeled all over the place. Big bucks get spent at this expo and I will admit that I woke up in the middle of the night wondering where that $50 went. It cost $12 just to get in the door to spend your money and $3 for a Coke! I'm sure I spent far less ($21, I think) than most others in that auditorium, and my guess is there was well over a thousand scrappy women there with credit cards!

Most of you have seen my books so you know that they are basic: photos, mattes, computer journaling of one or two lines, all stuck on cardstock or printed paper. These papers are then put into plastic sleeves so that when the kids (that includes ALL of them) come over they can pull them out and squeal when they see their photos and relive the memories. Hey, yesterday Mom was here for a few minutes and she asked to see the latest book!

Anyway, I can now revel in the fact that I'm up to date, although it will only last until next week when the next batch of images is picked up at the lab. I average three binders a year and the shelves are full. Guess some of them are going to have to go back downstairs where they will be more accessible to the scanner for posting.

One more thing, you all know that I totally idolize Sister Dottie S Dixon. While working hard this afternoon I came across this post where she gets right to the heart of scrapbooking in our wonderful state. If you have a couple of minutes you can listen as she discusses her hobby by clicking here.

Ta Ta!


Sunday morning addendum: I'm very upset this morning. Check out Athena's blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ahhhh, it's Thursday

It is three weeks (or is it four?) into the new school year and the kinks in schedules are finally worked out. Oh yes, there are still worried calls about who is picking which kid up from what school, last minute soccer schedule changes or someone coming down with flu cooties. By now we just take the adjustments in stride and hope that all get fed, clothed, homework finished, diapers changed and no little ones tumble down the stairs. So far, so good.
Yesterday we added two more to our Wednesday chaos when Jodi and Keegan joined us for the afternoon. Keegan is pretty quiet compared to Littlest and the Princess. It was an incredible fall afternoon so a trip to the playground seemed like the logical thing to do. The kids all had a ball swinging on the swings and just enjoying being outside and free to run and play.
It has been fun to watch Littlest become "the big kid" instead of the baby. Yesterday I sat back and listened to her and the Princess shriek with laughter as they rolled some little cars back and forth across the floor.

Now it is Thursday morning, my Ahhhh time. Zeus is at his class and the house is eerily quiet. No alarms go off to nag me to get ready to run. No children to caution "don't step over the line with that juice". Just blissful quiet. I need to straighten up the house but it will be done at a slow pace and when I feel like it. I had a leftover brownie and a Diet Coke for breakfast. Sometime in the next few hours there will be a shower. It will be a long, leisurely one, you can count on that!

As usual, more photos at the Shooting Blog.


I had no choice.

I gave her a chance. Twenty four hours was ample time for her to post the link, but noooo, she chose not to do it. So now I have to do the work for her. She will be mad because I did this but I really have no choice in the matter. Anyway, what kind of mother would I be if I let this one slide by? So, here it is. (Click on the video.)

Sorry, Eris.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Threat Level Orangish Red

This afternoon at 2:40:30 PM someone logged onto this website from the Naval Network Information Center located in San Diego, CA. They looked at this page.

You are probably all now on the Homeland Security Watch List. Good luck with your future travel plans.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Me and my Arrows

About seven years ago my dog Sadie, a little black cock-a-poo got her last treat of Cheez Whiz with a pill tucked inside it. She had been my companion for 11 years. My marriage to Zeus brought tough adjustments for her, the most difficult one being banned from sleeping with me. For some reason Zeus felt that there was only room in that huge king-sized bed for two! However, Sadie quickly learned that as soon as his feet hit the floor in the morning she could sneak in and curl up into the small of my back. I still miss her.

Throughout my life there have only been a few dogs. Speck came to my family when I was in grade school and lived about 14 years. In the end she was a crotchety old woman. (I could accurately say bitch here but that might not be very nice.) I believe that she got her name because she was such a small little thing when she came to our home.

Olaf was a gift from a Swedish friend from Minnesota (hence the name Olaf) when Athena and Eris were little. He was a weird combination of dachshund and cocker spaniel. He also was a little crazy. Okay, a lot crazy. He was with us for six or seven years until he tried to eat my condo, one chunk of sheet rock at a time. The poor thing suffered from severe PTSD after a neighbor plowed his truck through the side of my condo one day while I was at work. After that poor Olaf had a panic attack whenever he was left alone and tried to gobble his way out lest another vehicle crashed through the brick wall.

Angel was my Dad's dog. Blame Athena for the name. This was probably the funniest looking mutt in the world. Angel and Sadie were best friends and often had sleepovers at each other's houses. This photo was on one of her "bad hair days", but she was usually kept trimmed and looking nice. Too bad the doggy dentist couldn't do anything about that underbite. She and Dad left us 13 years ago.

These days we are dogless, with the exception of Gomer, who lounges in his dog bed at the bottom of the staircase. He doesn't bark, shed or poop, without a doubt the best dog ever. His only real purpose in life is to make visitors stop instantly in their tracks the first time they see him from above.

I often miss some canine companionship and occasionally think about how nice it would be to have another Sadie greet me at the door with her tail wagging her entire back half. That yearning leaves and sanity returns quickly when I watch the endless parade of dogs walking their owners (?) up and down our street many times a day with the owners carrying little baggies filled with yesterdays Alpo. I can always go next door to pet Harley, the little tiny chihuahua or go to visit one of my four adorable grandpuppies. Anyway, Zeus is a darn good snuggler.


The title of this post is another song from my favorite movie The Point. If you would like to see a video click here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bushels of Fun!

A rainy day at the State Fair with Littlest Ms. and the Princess ended up to be great fun for all! The drizzle thinned out the crowds but didn't dampen our spirits in the least. The girls were fascinated with the animals and all of the people walking around them. The lights and noises of the carnival barkers kept them looking in all directions. We also stopped at the entertainment stage where an a cappella quartet was singing some Elvis Presley tunes. That was a good time to get out of the stroller and do a little dancing.
Littlest especially enjoyed the magician who wowed her with magic rings and disappearing knots on a rope. The Princess was fascinated with the large kitty (tiger) who paced around the cage in front of her but wasn't impressed with the goats and sheep who got a little too close for her comfort.
The girls also got a taste of State Fair food. We had to search for the cotton candy vendor but it was worth it. Littlest dug right in. The Princess wasn't sure about the texture but once I convinced her to taste it she decided it was delicious and grabbed a large fistful. As I was paying for the treat I turned around to see a cameraman from our local news station filming the girls. There are only a few seconds of Littlest right at the end of this news clip but you can see how much she liked the pink spun sugar! And no, we didn't try the fried peanut butter. Maybe next year.These two little ones usually go down for naps around noon. They were having such a grand time that they didn't fall asleep until after two when we were on the way home. I'm sure they both slept well last night!

One more thing, these two sing awesome Disney duets while riding in the back seat!

To see a few more photos from our Field Trip cruise on over to the Shooting Blog.
$.78 (Zeus complained about this low total and told me I'd better go out again!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hadron Huh???

Is anyone else out there thinking about what those crazy scientists are doing with that Large Hadron Collider? Is no one even worried about the universe being swallowed up by a huge black hole? You haven't wondered, if it happens, will you even know it?

"Once the machine is in full operation, two streams of invisible protons will be whipped up in opposite directions around an underground racetrack to 99.99999 percent of the speed of light. When the two waves of protons slam into each other, scientists expect particles to melt into bits of energy up to 100,000 times hotter than the sun's core - a state that should replicate what the entire universe was like just an instant after it came into being." (msnbc)

You can read the full article here.

There a lots of things I want to do before the world ends. Here are a few:

1. Go back to Parson's Bakery for more cookies since the dozen I got this afternoon were all seized by others as soon as they were seen.

2. Get that fabric stash down to a reasonable amount. That has been slowly taking place over the last few years but still have a ways to go.

3. Aperture. Damn it. It's almost there, but not quite.

4. Lose ten pounds. Oh wait, it won't matter. If the world has ended no one would notice.

Never mind.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Safety first

This is the back seat of my car. I have just spent 15 minutes installing car seats in the appropriate cars for the day. I would go back to bed for a nap but instead will be heading out for a Grandma Wednesday Field Trip with Littlest Ms. and the Princess.

Back in the 70's (aarrgghh) I bought a rear-facing infant seat, a device that was so new on the market that I had to order it from the car dealer. It was very basic, a plastic shell with a thin liner that strapped into the seat belt. A lot of people thought I was nuts to spend $49 (a lot of money back then) on something that unnecessary. As Athena grew I bought a big upright seat and again there were those naysayers who deemed it waste of money.

Here I am, 35 years later with car seats lined up around the garage, ready and waiting to be put into service. They are much different now with lots of straps and buckles, most with instruction manuals stuck inside of them. Some have cup holders for the little tykes. Books are available in the seat pocket in front of them. On longer trips the DVD player is strapped to the front seat for their viewing enjoyment.

I drove a great little Prelude until Bubba was born. Realizing that a car seat wasn't going to fit easily in the back seat I changed to an Accord. Holy smokes, I miss that Prelude. Now hear this loud and clear: I wouldn't ever trade all of my car seats for another sports car!

Now I had better get going. My precious cargo awaits and we have lots of fun things to do and see at the State Fair (report to follow).


Additional note: Zeus just reminded me that he needs to have Little Ms'. seat put in his car so he can pick her up after school today. Yep, he looks cute with it in his back seat and he loves it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blue or Red?

For the last two weeks the air has been filled with politics. I've monitored all of the comings and goings of both parties. My favorite website (don't let the name fool you!) has been nearly consumed with Democrat vs. Republican opinions, all of them just as biased as my own. Most of the blogs that I regularly stalk have had some kind of post dealing with the recent developments in the coming election. Even Athena referred to the RNC in her latest post.

About six months ago I quit watching the national news broadcasts. I just couldn't take any more of the ridiculous blather that came on each night, opting instead to read various sources of blather via newpapers, newsmagazines and the internet. However, I broke down two weeks ago and watched addresses by the major candidates.

I will not blog about the election. If you know me personally you are already aware which way I lean (nearly tipping over leaning). For the rest of you who drop by, all I will say is that my favorite show on television is The Daily Show. I love Jon Stewart.

The adorable little guy on the tricycle is Bubba in 1996 riding in the Grouse Creek Parade.


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Our bedroom has turned into The Little Shop of Horrors! This is the story of Audrey....

Three years ago we wanted to bring a little bit of Hawaii home with us. What better way than to grow a plumeria, the one that they use for all of those beautiful leis that greet tourists and the Hawaiian ladies wear behind their ears. (I never could get it straight, left side=available, right side=taken, or the other way around?) Anyway, we started out with a six inch stick of plumeria and lovingly placed it in a pot of soil. There were no leaves and no roots, nothing to indicate that it would grow at all. We were skeptical.

Audrey found a place in the living room window and three weeks later it started to grow, quickly. Big shiny new leaves appeared and it soon was about 18 inches tall. As long as I kept it watered it was happy. Then in the fall the leaves began to drop and it turned into a longer stick with just one or two leaves at the top. Realizing that this plant must be deciduous I just left it there and continued watering. Spring came and it started to grow again, this time, FAST! Not only that, but an amazing thing happened, Audrey bloomed! (I think it had something to do with the bees in the grill... another post...) For three months that plant produced one amazing white blossom after another, filling the room with luscious scents and fond memories of Kauai. Once again, the leaves all dropped and because of the large size I had to move it to a corner in the bedroom. This year it didn't bloom but it doubled in size and limbs. Audrey is now an amazing 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall. With winter approaching the leaves are yellowing and will soon start littering my carpet.

Like Seymour in the Little Shop of Horrors, I have grown attached to Audrey and don't know what to do about it. The options are 1)to discard it with the rest of the fall prunings, 2)let it grow one more year and hope that it doesn't completely take over the bedroom, 3) cut it to pieces, thereby creating Audreys III, IV etc. or 4) board that plane and go get a new six inch cutting.

Any suggestions from my kama'aina friends for this confused haole about what to do with this tree? Talk story. Mahalo.


Note: If you are unfamiliar with the musical Little Shop of Horrors click on the link in the first line to see a clip.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The footprint

Four years ago, the day after moving into this house Athena and Eris were here helping me unpack boxes, along with Little Ms. Eris who was not yet two. We were working in the kitchen when Little came in from the direction of the bedroom, accompanied by the unmistakable odor of fingernail polish. Uh oh, that's never good. As we looked her over there were no telltale signs on her hands but there was some clear polish on the bottom of her feet. I hurried back to assess the damage. I crawled around on the new carpet expecting to find a sticky puddle. Nothing except the upright bottle on the counter in the master bathroom. Whew. Thinking that we escaped potential disaster we went back to getting the house in order.

The next morning I found what has become my most cherished part of this house. The morning sun shines in our bedroom window towards the bathroom and when I sat on a particular "stool" (putting on my makeup of course) and looked east towards the doorway there reflecting up at me was a full little footprint. My first intention was to remove it but just didn't get to it that day. Or the next week. Or the next year. Now I have become very protective of that footprint. It brings a smile to my face each morning and reminds me how lucky I am to have all of my grandchildren so close and that they are such an important part of my life.


Congratulations to Mr. Eris, Jr. on scoring a fantabulous goal at the soccer game tonight! Awesome!