Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's never too late..

There is an insurance company on our main street that I pass in the mornings on my way home from the pool. They have a billboard on which they post funny, inspirational or thought-provoking phrases. Yesterday the post was all three combined into one.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

I've spent some time in the last few days editing images from another outing to Chuck E Cheese (CEC) that was taken on Thursday afternoon. The original plan was for the girls to meet for our usual play date with the kids. Amy is in town so that seemed like a perfect plan. Until... noises from the guys started coming from all corners about being left out of all the fun. Okay, okay, since Don and Amy were here we decided to include them with the understanding that it won't happen every time! Zeus even joined us and had a good time.

I don't think there is enough fabric in the world to entice me into going to CEC on a Saturday afternoon. However, we have discovered that weekdays at 11:30 a.m. are actually quite pleasant and uncrowded. There is plenty of room for the little ones to enjoy the games without waiting or being run over by bigger kids. Also, that early there isn't the unmistakable smell of sweaty children. It is fairly quiet and the pizzas usually arrive before we are finished playing.

The guys had a nice time and got in their share of basketball games and skee ball. I will admit that it was nice to have them join us. The only problem that came up was what to do with the prize tickets. The guys were all opting for the cool helicopter that shoots missiles while the girls had their hearts set on the fancy tea set. No decisions were made. I have the voucher saved for the next trip out there.

For further proof that it is never too late to have a happy childhood you can go to the Shooting Blog.


(Note: the boys and girls that I mentioned are the adults, NOT the little children.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009


(Sorry, another money post.)

Last Saturday Zeus and I paid a visit to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. While we were there the BIL handed me an envelope. Inside this is what I found.

Apparently, quite a few months ago while working at his desk he picked up an envelope and sent it through the shredder. Immediately he knew that he had shredded the wrong envelope, one that contained two $20 bills. Too late, it went all the way through. Whoo boy, I'll bet there was some blue air that day!

I took the envelope and strips home and thought for awhile about the easiest way to reconstruct them. Later that night I put some double-sided tape on a piece of paper and started to reassemble the bills using an intact $20 as a reference. At first I was pretty confused because they just weren't fitting correctly. Then I realized that those two bills were different, one was the old style and the other was the new one. Only two slivers off the top one were missing. The serial numbers were perfectly visible. It took about an hour to get them all put in order.

Took the taped together bills to my bank. No questions asked, they exchanged them for new ones.

An interesting thing popped up on my computer when I tried to edit the above photos. Apparently my new PSE7 editing program has a feature that detects images of currency. I was able to edit but it will not allow these images to be printed. To err on the safe side I was advised by legal counsel (thanks, B) to convert them to black and white and also to mark the images with these red Xs. Sorry, no printing allowed. What will they think of next??


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Twenty-three pounds of coins

Before.. and after...

Total: $184.87

Collection time: 8 months 11 days

Zeus has a serious case of cabin fever and is sending me all kinds of travel information. This will buy us a few sweatshirts from wherever we end up. For sure I will be bringing home a Berkeley sweatshirt.

$.84 (The jars look so empty!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a good thing..

Warning: Political rant ahead. Proceed with caution.

It's a good thing that the people I love are here in Utah. Otherwise I would be spending time packing boxes and prepping my home for potential buyers. A warm climate sounds very attractive now. Maybe somewhere in the Caribbean? Molokai? Berkeley?

But today the bigger reason is this: I am continually appalled at the leadership in this state that keeps getting reelected again and again. The blather that continually spews from the mouths of these people makes my head spin. And it is the same ones over and over.

I listened to the complete 15 minute interview. Should have known better but it was kind of like watching a train wreck about to happen. In slow motion. Next time I will just jam dirty bamboo sticks under my toenails. It would probably be less painful. And I could take an antibiotic to get rid of the resulting infection.

I am a registered Republican. Oh, that is excruciating to admit, but it seems to be the only way that I can make my vote count. I finally realized that in this state, and particularly in my district, there is no way a Democrat will ever be elected. In order for my vote to count at all I must vote in the primary for the least offensive R candidate. It worked in November and the new guy is slightly better than the old one, although he still seems to have blinders on.

Sorry folks. It was either write this down or break a plate. And I'm running out of plates.

$2.67 (love the car washes after a good snowstorm)

P.S. I warned you..

Friday, February 20, 2009

So proud..

(No, this one isn't about my kids or grandkids.)

Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from Eris' sister-in-law, "JJ". By the way, this is a gal who I admire and really love to visit with. It is amazing that she will even talk to me after I unintentionally insulted her a few years ago, an episode that I will regret forever. Anyway, she said that she was calling to ask me a question about "found money etiquette" (I think those were the words). She had found some money and I believe was feeling a little guilty about putting it in her pocket.

I asked her where she found it. Grocery store parking lot. Okay, so far, so good. Was anyone else close by? No, nowhere near. Still in the clear. Did you look around to see if there was any more on the ground? Yes, she did and that was all she could see. Excellent.

I also asked her what her options were at the time. Go up to strangers, show them the money and ask if they dropped it? No way. Leave it on the ground? Huh? Absolutely no way.

After she successfully answered my questions I told her how proud I was of her for picking it up and that I was sure that she should spend it all on herself. No need to claim it as taxable income ("Found Money, Schedule C?) and for sure someone had already paid tithing on it so she didn't have to.

Each time someone tells me that they have picked up a coin I feel like a mother who has watched her child take her first step! There is a lump in my throat and my heart burns with pride. Way to go!

Last week there was a news clip on one of the national new stations about a family who picked up coins and saved them. After doing some googling I found a couple of other blogs where people are keeping track of the amounts that they find.

And you thought I was the only one?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Snowed in

Yesterday was one of those wonderful times when Mother Nature forces me to stay home and do something that should have been done a long time ago.

Zeus, 1961

Zeus and I have been married for 17 years and during that time I have been through nearly every box of photos and memorabilia that he has collected. The unruly envelopes of images were put in chronological order, prints were made of many and the rest were put in a box ready to be culled on a future snowy day. One box that had been avoided was full of slides from the 60's through 80's decades. We don't have a slide projector so it was easy to put it back in the closet. The nagging problem was that I knew that there might be some photos in there beside horse backsides and scenic mountain vistas that family members might like to have.

MA, Zeus' mother at Jackson Hole, WY

Jodi and Keegan were here for a visit on Monday evening (yay Jodi!) and we pulled Zeus' family album. When I mentioned those slides she encouraged me to tackle them. So when I looked out the window yesterday morning and saw four inches of white fluff on the ground there were no excuses left. By the time the day was over we had over 12 inches of snow and the boxes of forgotten family photos had all been explored. Many slides had been scanned, edited and were ready for printing.

Sedona, AZ 1967

Probably the most exciting finds were the groups from the late 50's and 60's that included many of Zeus in his high school and college days. But the best box contained photos of his and Bev's 1967 wedding in Sedona. He didn't recognize them at first and I now wonder if anyone else has ever seen these.

Gomer 1975

My emotions were varied as I worked throughout the day. Zeus' parents and Bev had passed away before we met. As I looked through the memories captured in those tiny slides I felt sadness for not having had the opportunity to know them, happiness in being able to share the memories, and pleasure in the discovery of these mementos. Strangely enough, I also felt what I can only describe as sweet envy of a woman whom I never met and the fact that she shared 25 years with my husband that I didn't.

Prints were made today, ready to be shared on Friday night when Nancy and Anna are here. And Jodi, now that you have me working on this again I expect you to come down and spend a day with me soon. We can pull out that large box of prints and find all those cute photos from the 80's when you and your sister were those adorable little granddaughters that came in the package deal when I married your grandpa.

$$$ Twelve inches of fresh snow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Utah ice storm

Last Friday morning shortly after arriving home from the pool I got a phone call from Mom. She said to grab my camera and then directed me to an intersection about five miles from our house. I was skeptical about what she was telling me but went anyway. Wow, was I surprised!

Sometime earlier that morning a water main had broken on this corner and shot water high into the air. The temps were below freezing and there was a canyon wind blowing causing the water to form incredible icicles all over the trees and the side of the building.

The spraying water produced feathery icicles all over the bare trees. But the unusual thing about them was that the added effect of the wind made these icicles form perpendicular to the branches. They were clear and brilliant. And heavy. The poor tree branches were hanging nearly to the ground.

I spent about fifteen minutes shooting before my fingers had also turned to icicles. Man, it was cold!

Kara, I thought about you all day and wondered if this is what your ice storms look like. And Mom, thanks for the tip!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

A Happy Valentines Day to all of you. And a special Valentines Day wish for Zeus. (The beautiful roses at the left are on my table!)

Athena works with a cute newlywed couple. You might get a chuckle out of her Valentine gift.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blowing things up

Maybe it is my magnetic personality. Or my electrifying intelligence. Or my shocking beauty.

Maybe it is my polarizing attitudes or my high voltage energy. Whatever it is, I'm mystified.

Since the beginning of this year things are blowing up at my house. Computerized things quit computing. Heating things won't heat. Lighting things fizzle and refuse to light. Two days ago while I was sewing in my lair the halogen lamp that hangs on the wall over my work station started acting weird. Then it would go dim, brighten, dim, all while emitting a scary buzzing sound. Unplugged it fast. In the last two months things that plug into the wall are failing all around me. Here is my list.

1. Large crock pot. It's only a year old. For heavens sakes, these usually last forever. My other two are old enough to be "burnt orange". If you know what that color is you are old.

2. Hair dryer. I knew that one was going and already had a replacement waiting.

3. Computer. Twice.

4. Cordless computer mouse. Thrown it across the room too many times due to #3?

5. Camera lens. You're right, I dropped that one.

6. Numerous light bulbs in the vaulted ceiling. Of course, they require tall people on the huge ladder to change them.

7. Wall clock. Dead battery.

8. Jump drive. What the heck? These things aren't washable?

9. Wall lamp in lair. It will cost $30 to repair but that is cheaper than a new one. And it has that kind of bulb in it that doesn't work if you touch it. Another $7.

10. DVD player. These things just hate me.

The cars are still working, probably for two reasons. They are both Honda Accords and have rubber tires on them to stop the conduction of wattage when I touch them.

What's next?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ohhhh, that felt goooooood!

I have spent the greater part of the last two days in my lair. It's been a long time since I've retreated down here and I had almost forgotten how nice it can be. Zeus has been upstairs catching up on his studies and outside the snow has fallen off and on so it's really quiet.

For the last three years I have been making little quilts for our hospital's neonatal ICU in memory of a special little baby. They are tiny, just 16 inches square, usually in soft, pastel flannels. Sometimes they are bound, but most often my sister crochets dainty little edgings on them. I was able to piece together ten of these quilts today. Hopefully when they are finished each one will bring comfort to families with babies in the NICU.

We are thrilled to be expecting a gaggle of babies this year so I also am working on regular quilts. The last time we needed one to give away I realized that my stash was getting pretty low. Tops are now ready to be quilted and bound. That step requires moving furniture around in my lair so I try to get a pile of tops done and then set up for the quilting process, doing a bunch all at once. I think the next baby is due to arrive in May so I have a little time.

It's good to be back working again.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Bubba time

I had some fun with Bubba last Wednesday. I've been bugging him for weeks to set up a time to get some pictures taken but either uncooperative weather or his busy 15 1/2 year old's schedule always seemed to get in the way.

Our city has a wonderful old train station that is filled with places to take photos, both inside and out. Just last year I noticed that all of those squares on the upper level are patterns of quilt blocks made out of tiles. Bubba was a good sport, but I think I wore him out.

We also went to the old American Can Company building to get some images to go along with Jubee's that were taken in December. Each time I get near this old building my memory is flooded with the sounds and smells of large machinery. Many times my Dad left for work without his lunch and we would have to drive the three miles to take it to him. It was a loud, scary place for a little girl but I always loved to see him there.

But back to Bubba. He was very cooperative, although that cell phone kept mysteriously creeping out of his low-slung pants pocket. I finally gave in and told him to let me get some shots with it. For more photos go to the Shooting Blog.

Thanks, Bubba!


Update on Zeus: He is recovering well, although this time it is a slower process. Lots of wet snowfall today so we are stuck in the house anyway. Now if the electricity would just quit going off.. I've had to start this post three times.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Groundhog Day, the movie

Sunday in church our minister talked about Buddhism and the movie Groundhog Day. Last evening Zeus and I watched this movie. I had seen it before but it was the first time for him. After it was over we discussed the relevance to the philosophies of Buddhism and reincarnation. (And no, I do not believe that I will come back as a cricket or groundhog.)

Having to relive the same day until you get it right is a frightening thought, probably a vicious circle that has no end. On the other hand, hopefully my head is not so thick that I couldn't learn lessons, take responsibilities for my actions and be aware of how they affect others.

Athena came by Acme Acupuncture Associates after work to bring us dinner. (Big thanks, Athena!) As I was walking her out to her car I told her that we were going to watch this movie. She started to laugh and told me an interesting story. Seems that 16 years ago she and D-Rock went on their first date, dinner and going to see Groundhog Day. They had a lovely time. The interesting part was that D-Rock saw that movie two times that night. Another lucky lady was treated to dinner and the same movie after Athena was taken home. How many times did you see it, D-Rock??? Huh??? Huh??? I know you're out there, don't try to hide!


(I've been hearing "I Got You, Babe" by Sonny and Cher all night. Make it STOP!!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mature? Who, me???

I have a cold. Damn it.

Three years! For three years I have avoided any kind of nose cooties or stomach bugs. I get plenty of exercise and try to eat right. I'm not one that obsesses about hand-washing and I kiss little faces that are dripping with snot every chance I get. My house is not germ-proof by any means. I don't carry antiseptic gels and firmly believe in the 5-second rule.

Occasionally I have wondered if the secret has been that I get out in the freezing cold four mornings a week for an hour. After finishing those runs you better believe that there is absolutely nothing left in my sinuses. Oh yeah, I am gross to the max. Take my advice and never run with me.

I do take a multivitamin. Two days ago when I bought a new bottle the packaging looked a little different. When I got it home and compared it to the old container I wasn't happy. The old container is the one on the right. Didn't bother me that it was labeled "Mature Complete Multivitamin" (I share these with Zeus, a good excuse). But now they had to get really specific and add "Adults 50+" to the bottle. Come on, do they need to rub it in? Wasn't "mature" enough? Will a 47-year-old start to have hot flashes and saggy boobs if they take one of these? (Not that I have either of those.....)

Just a little rant. A little gross rant. But my head is filled with cold cooties and that ticks me off. I don't feel bad, just really dislike the inconvenience. And the runny nose.


Update: This post is coming to you from the Acme Acupuncture Academy where Zeus is resting comfortably and all is going well. Back home tomorrow.

Monday, February 2, 2009

More body parts

It is no secret that I dislike feet. As much as I love Hawaii it would be difficult for me to live there. The custom is that when you enter a home you remove your shoes, to not do so is considered rude. The first time we went over there I fretted about having to go barefoot. It would have been mentally easier to go without my bra. But I made it through. In fact, I even took a photo of Les' and my feet just to prove that I did it. Of course, hers are the ones with the pretty painted toenails while mine have all of those ugly veins sticking out.

This afternoon we played a little with some feet. The Princess came over for a visit and while she was here we had some fun with the camera. Eris and Littlest also were here, mostly so Eris could "ride herd" on the Princess who can't sit still for two seconds. Eventually all the shoes came off and we took some foot shots. This set of petite feet of course belong to the Princess. The beads are the identifying factor here. From the minute she walks in the door they are in her hands or wrapped around her in some way.
These are the feet of Eris and Littlest. There is no question that Eris did not receive my feet genes. I think she could write her complete dissertation using only her toes.
The last little foot belongs to our newest great-grandson. He is not quite two weeks old and teeny-tiny. That is Zeus' thumb under that two inch long foot! But oh, what a precious cutie he is. To see more photos of him you can go to the Shooting Blog.

My feet are utilitarian. They are for walking and running. They are not for decorating with fancy shoes or toenail polish. Socks and slippers go on first thing in the morning and stay there until I crawl into bed. If shoes are required they will most likely be a good set of walking or running shoes. A foot massage? Don't even think of touching my feet. Aacckkk!

For another humorous take on feet check out Athena's recent post on Bubba's toeliosis.