Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas 2007

Here are some random photos from Christmas day and the cookies we made.

And also some of Anna, Skylar and Piper.

Can I just say how much I LOVE having Christina living nearby? When we were in college, we used to fantasize about all of us (me, Christina and Jen) forming an intentional community with our future spouses and children. Our kids would be raised as siblings, we'd share a huge organic garden and all of us would gather for Sunday evening meals. And then we all went in different directions: I moved to Oregon, Jen to California and Christina to San Juan Island. She seemed to be living closest to our dream, but then Jen and I each got married and had children and put down roots elsewhere. Christina, always the FREE SPIRIT (to the degree that capital letters are required!), lived the WILD, adventurous life. We'd talk on the phone, me nursing my daughter while Christina regaled me with stories about weekend rock climbing trips to Joshua Tree, meeting movie stars and living off the land in a one-room cabin without plumbing. I shared stories about Anna's sleeping habits and first words. We joked that we were living vicariously through each other. Then she met a man and moved to Los Angeles, of all places. And then SHE had children. I ended up moving from Oregon to a town adjacent to the town in which her dad lived, though, so she'd come to visit once a year and that was better than nothing. And then, THEN, she told me that she and her husband had decided to move here. They were tired of paying $2400rent for a 1200 sq. ft. house in a part of LA where it was common to hear gun-shots. They didn't want to raise their girls there. And so this summer, they did it: they bought a house in N. Idaho. She's still too far away (15 miles) for me; I'd like them to be next door. But she assures me they'll work on that, too. In the mean time, she and the girls (her husband, also named David, travels a lot to work on films) come over regularly and our girls LOVE each other. Her daughters come to me if they need a mommy and she's not available, and they climb up into David's lap to read to them while Christina and I enjoy a glass of wine.
I finally have an extended family here. Life is good.

Here's Piper in the pajama shirt I made for her. I think she likes it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


"a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."

This was my first Christmas with David. David is Jewish, although as a small child his family did put up a tree and there were presents. However, when he was 6 the course of his life was changed forever (or, as he puts it, "the shit hit the fan".) After that, there was no more Christmas tree and there certainly was no Santa; there could be no more allusions of any sort of fantasy. As an adult, he and his previous wife didn't celebrate Christmas or exchange gifts either.

Now, if you know me, you know that I LOVE Christmas. I love the tree, I love the lights, I love the decorations, and I love finding or making really special presents for the people in my life. And, well, I like it when they reciprocate. David let it be known early on that he absolutely, positively DID NOT WANT ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS because there is nothing he needs or wants. At some point in the past few weeks it became clear that I shouldn't be expecting anything under the tree, either. Not only is he Jewish, he is very anti-consumerism. He was irritated by all the obnoxious advertising on tv and in the newspaper, he wasn't too sure about the large dead tree in our living room, and he definately could do without the Charlie Brown Christmas music I insisted on playing constantly. Now, lest you begin to think he's a total scrooge, let it be known that this man has the biggest, most generous, loving heart of anyone I've ever known. This summer he insisted I let him buy me a new bike. I struggled with what to get: a mountain bike that I could actually exercise on, or the totally impractical yet unbelievably adorable cruiser I'd fallen in love with. I got the mountain bike. And then a month later, he surprised me with the cruiser because he said I just belonged on that bike. He LOVES to give to the people he loves, just not when it's "expected" or mandated by some holiday based on a religion in which neither of us believe.'s CHRISTMAS. I enjoyed Christmas more this year than I have in YEARS, because I am happier than I have ever been in my life. My contentment has allowed my creativity to explode, and in the months leading up to Christmas, I spent hours and hours crafting and sewing Christmas presents. I actually enjoyed going out into the world and shopping for wrapping paper and bows and ribbons and ornaments. I hummed Christmas music. I BAKED 4 DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES TO DELIVER TO THE NEIGHBORS. I had Christmas spirit oozing out of my pores this year for crying out loud!! And to be honest, it bothered me that David wasn't as into it as I was. How could he not be? And then to add insult to injury, he wasn't even going to get me a present?? After all, if he loved me, how could he not buy me something to prove it at Christmas?

Now here's the crazy thing about this relationship: when something is bothering one of us, we TALK about it. I know, weird, huh? So we were laying in bed one night discussing that it hurt my feelings a bit that he didn't want to exchange Christmas presents. As always, he carefully and considerately explained his point of view (that we shouldn't buy presents for someone just because it's expected; that it is in fact much more fun to do it when it's not expected.) As I lay next to the man I love, listening to him so eloquently explain his feelings (because it is very important to him that we always communicate and that there are no misunderstandings), I had an epiphany: in the past (my first marriage and other relationships) I treated Christmas as an opportunity for my partner to prove to me that he valued and understood me, preferably in the form of a large, nice, expensive box (or six) under the tree. But here's the thing: unlike ANY of my past relationships, David makes sure that I know, every single day, that I am loved and valued. He tells me every day that I am the love of his life. He tells both Anna and I that we are the best things that ever happened to him. He tells us both how happy he is that we are part of his life. He calls us his "two sun-shines" and is so generous with his heart and his affection (not to even mention that he has made HIS home OUR home). He listens to me and he actually ACTS on the things that matter to me (like keeping the kitchen clean) because he wants me to be happy. And I realized - fully understood for the first time - that I don't need "things" to know that I am valued.

All I need is LOVE.

And I've got that.

Friday, December 21, 2007

two more of my favorite things

I can't imagine my life without either of them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

warm woolen noses and raindrops on kittens

because my creative well hath run dry, today's post will be about a few of my favorite (very sweet) things:

from knitting iris, how gorgeous is this corner of her home?

I'm totally stealing this idea for next year.

from bella dia, this gorgeous handmade little felt house:

and also:

I just LOVE her sense of whimsy and sweet little details. I mean, those tiny flowers! The puff of smoke! Ack!!

This picture makes my ovaries explode:

from Pioneer Woman.

This picture:

and the stories about Charlie on The Daily Coyote.

This smiling CORGI puppy:

and last but not least, (because what would Christmas be without a little consumerism??) I can not stop thinking about this sweater:

How frickin' sweet is that?? Damn you, Anthropologie.

Monday, December 17, 2007

do you see what I see?

Bug made this for me as a surprise; she locked herself in the room with a bag of pipecleaners and then installed it on the wall of my little sewing room. She knows that I'm a bird-nerd; is this cute or what? I love that you can give her a box of popsicle sticks or a bunchof pipecleaners and she can literally entertain herself for hours.

I love that kid.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Uncle Ra Ra sent this to me a few days ago and I can't stop thinking about it. Talk about crazy. I'd totally try this....but over some nice, SOFT sand-dunes. How 'bout you? Would you try it?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

and you probably don't want to know

There's a "meme" going around amongst bloggers where you're supposed to share 8 things people may not know about you. What is a "meme"? Hell if I know.

So. Here we go. In no particular order:

8. I once spent several hours in jail in Lewiston Idaho. I was a young, STUPID college student and got caught driving on a suspended license. I was in a little cell, sitting on a filthy mattress, afraid to touch anything. They didn't even have any good magazines. I cried and cried. My boyfriend at the time (Dan) had to come bail me out and brought our friend Drew. They thought it was the funniest thing in the whole world. I did not. But I can laugh about it now....sort of.

7. If I could have any talent in the world, I would be able to sing like Patsy Cline, Allison Krause or Neko Case. Country music is just so much fun to sing.

6. My family knows this about me (because they suffer from the same affliction), but few things make me laugh harder than seeing someone get hurt. Not, you know, bleeding or anything, but if you bonk your head on a tree branch or fall down a set of stairs and I will seriously pee my pants laughing. I almost pee my pants just THINKING about it. Shortly after I wrote this, I bonked MY head on the slanted ceiling in Anna's room and she fell down laughing. Oh god, it's hereditary.

5. I can eat the same thing for dinner (or lunch) for literally weeks (and sometimes months) on end. Once when we lived in Oregon, I ate gorgonzola pasta with walnuts and spinach every. single. night. for dinner for 3 1/2 months. In college I lived almost entirely on poptarts. Right now, I'm on week 5 of tuna sandwiches every day for lunch.

4. I can not stomach the sight of blood. Once, on a field trip to a veterinarian's office, we were watching a cat get spayed and as soon as the doctor made the incision, I barfed. Seriously, what kind of field trip was that?? If Anna's watching "Animal Rescue" on Animal Planet, I can not even be in the same room.

3. Speaking of school, our fourth grade teacher made each of us stand up next to our desks, raise our arms and she would come around to smell our armpits to see if we had "body odor". She also asked each of us if we'd had a "bowel movement" yet that day. How weird and CREEPY is that?? Fourth grade, people.

2. I get seriously pissy if our kitchen is dirty (David loves this about me) and yet I can go months (if not years) without cleaning my car. I think I still have cheerios in the back seat from when Anna was little. It's embarrassing.

1. I wear only black underwear. I don't know why, but I just can not wear patterned or colored underwear. It feels cheap and tacky to me. (yeah, I know, I'm weird.) Also: no thongs, ever. I tried it one time because a friend insisted that once I did I'd never wear anything else and I had to go home from work in the middle of the day because I was having such a "bad underwear day" that I couldn't concentrate on anything other than that little string. eeewwwwwwww.....

Now, for those of you with blogs, I hope you'll share 8 things we may not know about you. Be sure and let me know if you do because (bonus! #9!) I am very, very nosy. Also, you can share some in the comments, MOM. : )

Monday, December 10, 2007

my, what a big proboscis you have!

The best birthday present ever

My sweetie made me a chocolate cake. Not from a box. A REAL (unbelievably moist and delicious) chocolate cake from scratch. :

(He LOVES to have his picture taken. This is the only one I got where his mouth wasn't open in a threat of bodily harm.)

Anyway, this is the first chocolate cake I've had for my birthday since moving out of my mom's house. I lived with a chef for 13 years and not once did he make me a chocolate cake for my birthday. hhmmpphh.

It's been several days of birthday fun: David took me out for a wonderful Italian dinner, we decorated our tree while listening to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with the fire going, and tonight my dear friend Christina is coming over to celebrate with me and we're having a sleep-over! Yahoo!!

This time last year, I had NO idea what the hell I was doing with my life. Eric and I were in the midst of divorce procedings (two years after having decided to divorce), I was living alone in a house we could NOT sell while he and Anna lived 30 miles away due to having enrolled her in school in a town we thought we were all moving to. I refused to make her change schools mid-year which meant she lived with him over there and I only saw her on weekends. I can't tell you how hard that was. I had been dating here and there but just didn't have my heart in it. The night of my birthday, I'd gone out to dinner with a friend, and we lamented the miserable dating scene here. (She's gay and I swear it was better for her than for me!). So the day after my birthday, I decided to take my profile off (eegads, yes, I admit it, that is where I met the love of my life.) So on December 11th, I got online to take my profile down and there was an email from David. He lived in Alaska but was moving to the town I live in. He loved everything about my profile (and MAN was I specific about who I am and what I was looking for); he said he couldn't have written a profile himself that better described the woman he was looking for. He included a photo that looked like he was wearing a camouflage hat. I'd been contacted by far too many N. Idaho rednecks. "delete" finger was twitching...but dang...those eyes...those LIPS! And his profile was so smart and funny and real and interesting. I could tell that he was a GROWN UP! He was unlike anyone I'd ever met. So I wrote back. We emailed approximately 48 times that day. Then he called and we talked approximately 20 hours on the phone over the next day or so. And then, two days after our initial e-mail, he called to tell me that he was flying down for the weekend, from Anchorage, to meet me. If this was what we both thought it was, we needed to find out. I had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he was he man for me. And now, after spending a year together, I've never been more certain of anything in my life.

Happy Anniversary, love. You are the best birthday present I ever got.

Friday, December 7, 2007

learning curve

A week or so ago, one of my favorite bloggers showed some mouth-watering photos of Aebleskivers. (I know, I know, last week I hit you with Scherenschnitte, now it's Aebleskivers. Hey, I was born on the wrong continent.) Anyway, Aebleshkivers are DARLING little spherical pancakes. And Amber made them look so lovely. And since pancakes are one of the 3 things Anna will eat, I simply had to rush over to and buy an Aebleshkiver pan! So I tore open the box from amazon and immediately whipped up a batch, carefully following directions I'd downloaded from the internet. I thought I'd blow Anna's mind with some for dinner! Fun! New! Pancakes! Topped with raspberry sauce and some powdered sugar! Best mommy on the planet!

Someone (be sure and look at her pictures before looking at mine) forgot to mention the learning curve:

I'm afraid that now Anna has Post-Tramatic-Pancake syndrome.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

my little drama queen

Yesterday, during a playdate, Anna hurt her ankle on a trampoline; she twisted it or someone landed on it...I never got the same story twice. When I came to pick her up, she was limping around (although she "forgot" every now and then) and worked it all evening. I don't doubt that it hurt, but there was no bruising or swelling at all. Nonetheless, she requested a "cast", because she was pretty sure she "broke it a little bit."

This morning, as she was getting ready for school, I made the mistake of mentioning that I wasn't going to work today, because Auntie Lala is in town and I get to spend the whole day with my sister! Of course Anna asked to miss school so that she could also spend the day with Auntie Lala. She tried begging, she tried crying, she suddenly developed a stomach ache, not to mention that she quite possibly has a BROKEN ANKLE and I was hurting her feelings by not taking her maladies seriously. I explained to her that I almost NEVER get to spend the day with just Lala (who lives in another state) and that it was important to me to have some time alone with my sister and that she'll see Lala tonight. And that short of the sudden onset of projectile-vomiting, she was GOING TO SCHOOL. She realized that her efforts were futile, so she put on a brave face and brightly said

"Mommy, I'm going to tell Ms. Cebriak that I hurt my ankle REALLY REALLY BAD but I can't go to the nurse and I can't go home because you're spending the day with your sister."

help. We are going to be in so much trouble when she's a teenager.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

makes my blood boil

This morning on NPR, they were interviewing voters in Iowa, asking them about what issues were important to them in the upcoming presidential election. I tuned in just as a woman was saying that Universal Health care is her number one concern. She is a breast-cancer survivor, and, despite having insurance, the residents of her small town held a fund-raiser to help defray the amount she still has to pay. She said without that help, she, as a single mother, never would have been able to pay her debt and would have had to file bankruptcy. She also said that her insurance company made her feel like they'd have preferred it if she'd died; it would have cost them less.

The next person they interviewed said that she (proud to be a Republican) does not want the government to be involved in her health care, nor does she want her tax dollars to go toward helping others. As she said "I work hard and make a very good living. I don't see why I should have to pay for somebody else's kid to eat breakfast at school."

What the hell has this country come to when we don't think a child, who would otherwise go hungry all day because his family is poor, deserves to start his day with a warm, nutritious meal?

How can a person be so selfish and afraid that their tax dollars might go toward helping others who are less fortunate? That whole "I work for it, it's MINE, and if you need a helping hand, well, too damn bad" attitude makes me CRAZY!!! And yet, as David pointed out when I told him about this "If they were CEOs of a company that they ran into the ground, they wouldn't hesitate to ask the government to bail them out."

That woman's statement is going to stay with me for a very long time. I just hope she never has the misfortune to be diagnosed with cancer or ends up at a homeless shelter. If she does, you can bet your ass she'll be thankful that MY tax dollars are providing her with a roof over her head and a warm meal. And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.

As the bumper sticker says: "Better a bleeding heart than no heart."

Monday, December 3, 2007

holy craft!

It was a very productive weekend in my little sweatshop. I completed one heat-therapy bag (filled with rice and some essential oil). It's for Anna's teacher for Christmas; note the fabric with numbers! Teacher, numbers, get it? ahem...

And also FIVE pair of pajama sets for some special little girls: Skylar, Piper, Grace and Anna. This whole idea started when I found some incredibly soft flannel covered in unicorns. Grace LOVES unicorns, so I thought "Hey, I'll make some pajamas for her for Christmas." Then I decided to do some for Anna, and then for Piper and Skylar, in celebration of the fact that we're neighbors now. (Not to mention that they moved from LA, where you don't really get to do the flannel thing....). So I stocked up on flannel and plain long-sleeved t-shirts and went to town. But of all the patterns I bought, only the unicorn one had a direction. Did I pay attention to that fact when cutting out the pattern? No, I did not. Upside-down unicorns. Luckily I had JUST enough to cut out another set....unfortunately I attempted to do so while on the phone with my mom and managed to &%#$ that one up too. GGRRRRRRR. So I went to JoAnn's, praying to jeebus that they still had the unicorn flannel. Do you think they did? OF COURSE NOT. I did find some rainbow flannel, and really, what goes together like unicorns and rainbows, huh? So the idea that started this entire project ended up severely compromised; Grace has rainbow bottoms and two unicorns on her shirt. Oh well. They all turned out very cute. I love the print on Piper's: it's light blue with little lambs dangling from balloons amongst the clouds.

On one of the pair for Anna I did a horse applique.

Time to draw, cut out and apply horse applique: 5 minutes. Time to hand-stitch that cute little detail outlining the horse: an hour and a half...and the loss of my eye sight.

Friday, November 30, 2007

yeah, because i need another hobby

As I may have mentioned, I seriously LOVE making paper snowflakes. Every night this week I've come home, poured a glass of wine, and sat down with my paper and little scissors. I've got to get my freak on while it's still snow-flake season, ya know?

And then I discovered this: it's called scherenschnitte, the old German tradition of paper-cutting! You take some paper, an exacto knife and you start cutting!! Holy mother-of-crocheted-kleenex-box-covers! Where has this BEEN all my life?

Really. What would I DO with all of my scherenschitte??

Well, let's see...there are birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day....Arbor Day...Water Potato Day....

nevermind the corgie, i want a baby coyote

I just found this little blog by a young woman who adopted an orphaned coyote. She says "I don't want to own him, I just want us to live together in harmony."

I'm moving to Wyoming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

instruction manual

In case you run out of ideas, you might need this. From the "self-hurt series"! *snort!*

This site has some truly hilarious things.

Like this.

and this.

and this.

and my favorite: this.

These could just save you so much time having to communicate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

snowflake how-to

Here is the link to directions for folding and cutting the snowflakes. We string ours from fishing line and hang them from the ceiling. They flutter when the heater comes on and make cool shadows when the fireplace is lit. It' so pretty. If I could have them up year round, I would.

Go forth and create!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

HATES to have her picture taken

unless, of course, you don't WANT her in the picture. Then, good luck getting her out of it.

We have an annual tradition of making paper snowflakes, which we then hang from the ceiling or windows. David humored us and made one. Anna made two (and spent the rest of the time making something she calls "Sodwahs" which, apparently in other countries, fend off bad spirits. But only when hung about the house in groups of threes. I swear she comes from another planet.) Since my assistants are so LAME, I'm going to have to make a whole bunch more this week. But I don't mind: I swear it's addictive. I love it. I'm particularly proud of the "toadstool and hearts" snowflake.

We had a lovely holiday weekend, although our trip to Boise was too short and the drive too long. Next time, we'll fly.

But then, of course, we'll have to cut back on the number of animals we bring. Here's the "peace train", waiting patiently in Grandma's entry-way to be put in the car for the long drive home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

*stepping up on to soap box*

(note to my sisters: this affects you and your children and every one you love. read it.)

We finally saw the Michael Moore movie Sicko this weekend. Have you seen it? If not, you should go rent it (or buy it) RIGHT NOW.

I've long felt that our nation's health care system is shamefully flawed. I don't know why we waited so long to see this movie as I'm a huge Michael Moore fan and here he is tackling one of my issues. Anyway. Here are some points:

Did you know that there are over 50 MILLION people in this country without health insurance?

Did you know that exorbitant medical expenses are the number 1 reason people file for bankruptcy in America?

Did you know that an insurance company can deny you new coverage if you've had so much as a YEAST INFECTION??

Did you know that the health care coverage in the United States is ranked #37 (#37?? Who the hell is ahead of us??) in the world by the World Health Organization and yet we spend almost twice as much as any other country, enough to cover everybody with excellent comprehensive health care?

And how about this: in France (those evil, non-war-supporting monsters), when a woman has a child, she gets SIX MONTHS off, paid fully by the government, to be with her child. If she wants an additional 6 months off (that's one year of maternity leave, ya'll), she gets paid 65% of her salary. And THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SENDS SOMEONE TO YOUR HOUSE 2-4 TIMES A WEEK to answer questions about your child, DO YOUR LAUNDRY, or just babysit so that the new mother can run errands, go to appointments, have coffee with a friend or even, say, a massage!!

Did you know that in Canada, if you find out you have a brain-tumor (or breast cancer or anything else) you can have it taken care of, immediately and AT NO COST WHATSOEVER TO YOU?

Now. Let's talk about America. In just my own family, one of my sisters had breast cancer and she and her husband will be paying for JUST THEIR PORTION of her health-care for the rest of their lives. My mother, who raised 4 children and has worked her entire life paying into "the system" can not find a doctor who will accept Medicare. How is this legal??? They simply won't accept it because "it's too much trouble." I also have a niece who recently had a baby; she had to return to work while he was still in ICU because they couldn't afford for her to take more time off work. (see above about France's maternity-leave policy.) Are we, in action, a country of "family values"??

People argue that in Canada or France, you do pay for your health care in the form of higher taxes. So what??? Wouldn't you rather pay higher taxes and be able to walk into any doctor's office, for any ailment and be seen and treated immediately (NO, THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT MONTHS TO SEE A DOCTOR. That is what the American government WANTS you to believe) AT NO COST TO YOU?

Ok, now for a really mind-blowing fact: in countries like England, DOCTORS ARE REWARDED FINANCIALLY FOR HELPING THEIR PATIENTS GET BETTER. Help someone stop smoking? Here's a bonus! Help a patient get better so that he needs LESS medication? Here's a bonus!

That's right, countries much poorer than ours believe that health care is a RIGHT, not a privelege.

The fact is, America's health-care system isn't working for us and it's not even working for the doctors. They hate it because there is too much red-tape and it eats away at their profit. The ONLY people it's benefiting is the CEOs of the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.

Why is every single American NOT PISSED ABOUT THIS??? Why are we not rallying in the streets for change? Because, as someone in the movie pointed out, we are afraid and we have forgotten that our government is supposed to WORK FOR US. Not the other way around.

We deserve a national NON-PROFIT health care system that serves everyone.

There is a bill (H.R. 676) that has been proposed in Congress, to provide non-profit Medicare for All. It outlines a national health care program that will provide guaranteed affordable health care and prescription drugs to everyone in the country.

What can you do? Start by seeing the movie. Get pissed. Write your congressmen and urge them to support H.R. 676. Visit this web site:

And vote accordingly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This morning I had an argument with my daughter that went something like this:

"Anna, what are you doing? You can't wear shorts today. It's 40 degrees out."

"But I WANT to wear shorts!!!"

"Why do you want to wear shorts? Are these pants uncomfortable?"

"No!! I just want to wear shorts!!!!"

"Well, I'm sorry. It's winter. Short-season is over. No shorts."

"WWWAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!" (insert copious amount of tears, dramatic melt-down and weird unreasonable behavior here) "You're mean!!! Sydney's mom let's her wear shorts to school every day!!" (I manage to resist the urge to point out that Sydney's mom works full time and has three daughters between the ages of 6 and 9 and therefore has no energy to give a shit what any of them are wearing to school.)

"Anna, what is this about? Why do you want to wear shorts today?"

"I want to wear shorts BECAUSE THEY SHOW OFF MY LONG LEGS!!!"

OH. MY. GOD. It's starting.

And as further proof why I LOVE David, when I told him about this conversation and how much trouble we are going to be in when she is a teenager, his response was "I'll weld up a chastity belt with two broken hearts on it. We should also teach her bad hygiene."

I definitely have the right partner to get through this with.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

i'm a grown up!!!

No, it wasn't getting married, or buying my first home. Or starting my own business, or giving birth or even being a mother.

I'm a grown up because I have a "real" bedroom with real furniture and real bedding!! And it all matches!! Behold:

And you know what else I have now? My very own little sewing/crafting area:

I love our house. I love my little family. Life is GOOD.

Friday, November 9, 2007

can someone please tell me


Seriously, what the fuck? If there was a God, why would he/she not create us so that when gray hair came in, it was soft and shiney and lovely?? Huh? Answer me THAT, people.

I'm not bitter.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

did I ever tell you about the time....

The "Hooked On Phonics" headline down below got me thinking about a funny experience I had years ago.

When Eric and I were first together, back when we had jobs that allowed us to do so, we'd take off every Spring and go down to the Southwest desert to hike and camp. One year we took a side trip to visit Eric's best friend from college, who was then living in Albuquerque NM. He took us exploring to all his favorite NM spots. It was memorable for so many reasons; there are so many amazing places down there. One of the spots he took us was the Jemez Mountains. We spent the day hiking and afterwards decided to stop in a little town for something to eat. We went into a tavern-type place and enjoyed some dinner and beer. The place was hoppin'....juke-box playing and dancing and singing. There is a huge Native American population in the area, and many of the revelers were Indian. Pretty soon, one guy came over and asked us if we were headed back toward Albuerque, and if so, could we give his friend a ride? He lived at one of the pueblos on the way. We said "sure!". Rick, aside from being an English Professor at UNM, was pretty fluent in Navajo. After awhile, we all packed into Rick's very tiny car. Eric and I were in back with the Indian guy, who was wildly drunk, he was just singing and laughing, hanging out the window. Then, suddenly, as if a lightbulb went off in his head, he realized he was in a car with a bunch of people who were fluent in ENGLISH!! He could practice on us! Prior to that moment, we'd not understood a single word he said. Now, he proudly trotted out every single English phrase he knew, obviously every bit of it from television. He'd say "Tastes just like real butter!", "I'd like to give the world a Coke!" and "Who shot JR?" He'd try something out on us, we'd laugh, and he'd just BEAM with pride that we understood him and we were having a succssful conversation. It was so cute. He pointed us off the highway to his pueblo, and got out of the car. As we pulled away into the warm New Mexico night, windows down, he waved wildly and yelled "Thank you! I'M HOOKED ON PHONICS!!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

it's too bad they don't love each other...

The other day, after Anna had been at her dad's for several days, she was particularly excited to see "Davy". They just "get" each other so amazingly well. He was in the TV room setting things up, and she was in the dining room, and I can't remember what they were saying, but they were teasing each other. And she said "That's it. I'm coming to LOVE and TORMENT. Hmmm...what should I do first??"

Which pretty much sums up his life with us.

This is like winning the lottery in my world

See that? Do you know what that is? Do you?! That, my friends, is a DINING ROOM TABLE. The last time I saw it was approximately 10 months ago, the day we set it up. Very shortly after that, it was fully covered with computer equipment, tennis gear and EVERY. SINGLE. RECEIPT that David has ever been handed. That's right, if you want to know what David ate for lunch on, say, June 6th, 2007, I CAN TELL YOU because we have the receipt from Subway to prove it.

Anway, with the completion of the upstairs bedrooms, David was able to set up his office in Anna's old room and now the computer, the tennis gear and all 12,463 pieces of paper are in his Man Room. So it won't be quite as convenient if, say, I suddenly need to know what we paid for that box of screws at Lowe's last February, but I'd say it's worth it. Because we, we can now use our dining room table for it's intended purpose. I get all verclempt just thinking about it. Anna decided to commemorate the occassion with a lovely fruit arrangement.

hooked on phonics

Today is both PE and picuture day, so Anna left some reminders for me on her lunch box. Have I mentioned how much I love SEVEN??

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

we need a punch line

"What do you get when you have a badger going through menopause?"*

*David's response, when I told him I've been having night sweats.

Friday, November 2, 2007

what will I talk about once our house is done??

Yesterday morning, Anna and I had a blast setting up her new bedroom. She carried up her 2,642 stuffed animals and her 1,864 Schleich horses and then spent the next two hours arranging them all just so. While I hauled up the bookcase, the toy chest, the dresser AND her bunkbed. It was so fun seeing her room transformed and needless to say, she's CRAZY about it. Hopefully she'll even SLEEP there. What a concept.

It's pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. I bought, last week, a nice old desk off Craigslist; this weekend (I hope) I'll sand and repaint it, and it will go in front of the window, overlooking the back yard. To do that homework she wakes up thinking about.

Completely unrelated, here's a picture I took this morning on the way to work. I also saw a coyote, but couldn't get a photo of it. I love my commute.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

right after this, she asked to help clean the toilets.

Sweet jebus, I LOVE 7!! Seven year olds spend hours reading TO THEMSELVES! Seven year olds put their own dishes away! Seven year olds brush their own teeth, get themselves dressed and WASH THEIR OWN HAIR. Seven year olds wake up and say "Can I do my homework now?" And MY seven year old thinks it's FUN to clean toilets!! I want to cryogenically freeze her. Is that legal? Because I'm thinking that might help us avoid the pain and suffering that is 13.

Oh, and yes, the carpet is in and yes, it's beautiful. Unfortunately, it was almost dark by the time I got home, so the photos didn't turn out well at all. Although I did get one of a "baby leapard" slinking her way down the newly carpeted stairs.

Monday, October 29, 2007

oh yeah, baby, it's CARPET day

*sorry, this is an inside joke having to do with an obnoxious song from the PBS kids' show "Arthur". Whenever Anna and I feel like tormenting David (which is fairly regularly), we sing this song, or some variation of it, and he hides, sobbing, under the dining room table and gives us whatever we want just to shut us up.

Ahem. Anyway: TODAY IS THE FINAL STEP IN OUR HOME REMODELING PROJECT!! That's right, CARPET. Upstairs. Done. Aaahhh. Seriously, for the past...let me think...almost 10 years (since Eric and I bought our first house in 1998) I have been in the middle of some sort of home remodeling project. And let me tell you, I am tired. Tired of clutter, dust, tools, painting, clutter, noise, decisions, dust, workmen in and out of the house, clutter, dust and chaos. As Lala said this morning, if there is a hell, mine is for sure going to involve a never-ending remodeling project. Anyway, David, Anna and I spent yet another weekend painting, cleaning, scraping the floor in preperation for the carpet being laid, installing lights and PUTTING THE BUILDERS' FUCKING TOOLS AWAY AND CLEANING UP AFTER HIM BECAUSE HE DID NOT DO IT HIMSELF EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW THE CARPET GUY WOULD BE HERE AT 8:00 MONDAY MORNING. (whew, sorry. I needed to get that off my chest. Although David would be happy to point out that I might have mentioned my displeasure about that to him once or twice this weekend.)

So! Anyway! Tomorrow there will be pictures!

PS. The carpet is green. That's right, green carpet, chocolate brown walls. My mom, god love her, said (in as kind a way as she possibly could) "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? GREEN AND BROWN? WERE YOU DRUNK WHEN YOU CHOSE THOSE COLORS???" To which I would like to say: "Mom. Have you ever heard of NATURE?" : )

You'll see. It's going to be cool.

And if it's not, can I come live with you? I'm sure David would like that. A lot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

i swear, i'm gonna write a book

about the weird frickin' phone calls I get at my job. This last one takes the cake: someone has found, at an apartment complex in a town NOT on the reservation, an ENDANGERED DESERT TORTOISE and they want us to take possession of it. Now, I've taken home various birds (from crows to Great Horned Owls) and even a fawn. But what the hell am I supposed to do with a tortoise that belongs in Southern Utah???

I am violet!

This quiz is interesting; here are my results and it's pretty darn accurate!

"Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan." Um, yeah. That's me.

you are violet

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

what color are YOU?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

mmm...swimming in chocolate...

actually, more like sleeping in chocolate. Here are some (very poor) photos of our new bedroom, in progress. Can I just tell you how excited I am that we are going to be DONE with the work inside the house very, very soon?

David and I spent ALL weekend painting upstairs. It really was like painting with chocolate. David said that he felt like Willie Wonka!

This one is looking from our bedroom, toward what will be Bug's room and my sewing/crafing area. That's right, I'm going to have my own litte space where I can leave my sewing machine set up and have all my fabric and crafty stuff in one place (instead of scattered all over the house so that I have to go hunting for it whenever I need something.) Soon, very soon, the chaos that we have lived with for 9 months will be over. Aaaahhhh....

Monday, October 22, 2007

i. love. this.

So if you've ever walked past an Abercrombie & Fitch store at the local mall, you can't help but notice (in addition to the OBNOXIOUSLY loud music blaring through the doors) the gigantic posters of gorgeous shirtless men in every window. Some of the stores even have an attractive shirtless young man greeting customers at the door! So a group of NYC men (an improv group) decided to have some fun with Abercrombie & Fitch.

Look at this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

so it's recently come to my attention...

that my previously solid spot as "favorite" in the family may be in jeopardy.

I am the baby of the family...the youngest by six years. They doted on me...when they weren't busy hog-tying me or convincing me to climb into badger holes. We spent our formative years in a cabin in the woods near a very small mountain town in central Idaho. Where the highlight of the year was the annual Logging Festival. Where for fun, men (and women!) threw axes at beer cans lodged in tree stumps. Then, when I was 9, we moved to the BIG CITY. Boise. By then, my much older siblings were pretty much already formed, as hillbillies. (What?! They admit it!) When we moved to Boise, I became friends with kids who had gay siblings, kids whose parents worked for Public Radio, kids who's parents drove Porsches and had dinner parties where they listened to the Beatles and smoked pot and discussed politics in front of us. Needless to say, I soaked it all up like a sponge. By the time I reached high-school, I was definitely marching to the beat of my own drummer: to my mother's horror, I shopped at thrift stores. I wore moth-eaten Beaver Cleaver-inspired sweaters to our high-school keggers. I got a Vespa Scooter and rode around town in vintage dresses. I bought Birkenstocks back when you had to special order them from the local vitamin store because they were considered "orthopedic" or something. I listened to moody British punk. My mom allowed me to skip school with a group of friends to go protest Jerry Falwell when his "Moral Majority" tour came to Boise. My family didn't know quite what to make of me, but what the hell, I amused them.

Then, in my twenties, I became different. I wore make-up, bought ridiculously expensive shoes, worked at a very snooty boutique and thought I'd marry a lawyer and belong to a country club. Then I went to art school and I met a gorgeous hippie boy. Definitely not my type. So I married him. He was VERY moody, always unhappy. I thought it must be me. So I got less opinionated. I tried to stay under the radar, so to speak. I wore almost exclusively black clothing. I tried to disappear. I was so busy trying to make him happy, that I forgot who I was.

Then as I neared 40, I had something of a mid-life crisis. Only it is more truthful to say that I rediscovered who I am. I got divorced. I started to pay attention to politics again and got PISSED. I also came to the realization that while I'd always questioned the idea of God and the Bible, I'd in fact become a true non-believer. Furthermore, due to circumstances in our family, we've spent the past 25 years or so being VERY careful with one another's feelings. Careful not to say anything the others might not agree with. Careful not to speak the truth.

But as I mature, as I find my feet, I've found my voice. And now I refuse to keep quiet. I speak out to my family (and anyone else who will listen) about my political beliefs, my religious beliefs, and when someone is hurting me or someone else that I love, I refuse to ignore it. I want only authentic relationships. I want my family members to love each other, differences and all. And so, to them, I've become the "rabble rouser", the trouble-maker, the one who pushes buttons. What they forget is that is who I've ALWAYS been. I just forgot for awhile.

Hopefully they'll love me anyway. Hopefully I still amuse them. I love them, even if they are hillbillies. : )

I'm in love with Sherman Alexie

Well, not really, but I do have a new crush. He was so funny, and so real. For those of you who don't know him, he's a writer who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. I believe he's also part Coeur d' Alene. He's written several books (fictional, of course :) ) about growing up on the rez. His new book is called "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" and while I haven't read it yet, I can't wait to. He tells it like it is; he isn't afraid to discuss the poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism and the effect the casinos have on the Indians. And he managed to have the entire crowd (Indians, whites, kids, seniors and everything in-between) laughing hysterically the entire time. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to hear someone talk about the REAL issues that I see every day. I'm going to buy this book today, and devour it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

create your own porn-star name!

Yeah, I know, not my typical post...but out of sheer boredom (hard to believe, I know) I was looking through the archives of very funny blogger and saw this:

"You know how you can make a porn stage name by taking the name of your childhood pet and combining it with the street you grew up on?"

Well, no, I hadn't heard of this. But it did cause me to stop and think. And now, I'd like to introduce you to:

Smokey Canal.

oh. my. god.

What's yours??

absolutely nothing interesting to say today...

so here are a couple of photos from this past weekend. Anna and I on our cruisers...

and Anna at the library, so cute in dress, leggings and cowboy boots.

Tonight I'm going out with a friend, for Italian food and to see Sherman Alexie speak at Auntie's, my favorite bookstore. These are the types of things I missed so much when we lived on the coast...

Monday, October 15, 2007

eagles and owls and osprey, oh my!

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for driving down to the south end of Coeur d' Alene lake, to visit Jane and the birds. Anna has been asking to go out to Jane's ever since I made my first visit over year ago, but it hasn't worked out until now. Jane was so sweet and gave us the extra-special treatment, even allowing Anna to go inside the aviary with Beauty.

She's the Bald Eagle who had the top part of her beak shot off (!); Jane brought her down from Alaska and is having a titanium prosthetic made. Jane has found a local maxillofacial surgeon to donate his time to attach the prosthetic; he arrived yesterday just as we were leaving, to take some measurements and figure out how he'll attach it. It's pretty incredible, what Jane does. She is a tireless crusader on behalf of these birds. She and her husband do EVERYTHING to care for these injured birds, every day, 365 days a year. Her dream is to build a Raptor Center similar to the one outside Boise, so that she can educate the public about these amazing birds. If you want to donate to her cause, go to her website; you can even sponsor a bird. She told us it costs over a thousand dollars a year, per bird, to feed them. She has anywhere from 20-35 birds that she is caring for at any given time. Ok, on with the pictures: First, David, Anna and Jane discussing another eagle she is rehabilitating.

Then, the aviary we helped build last week:

And then some of Anna and Jane with a Great Horned Owl and a Peregrine Falcon.