Thursday, September 27, 2007


:: crisp air and the palpable smell of change on the way

:: flocks of geese honking overhead

:: putting summer clothes away and bringing out pants, socks, boots and sweaters

:: the surprising sound of the heater coming on for the first time in months

:: evenings reading in front of the fireplace in flannel pajamas

:: digging out my yarn and knitting and re-discovering the comforting sound of clicking needles

:: reds, oranges, rusts and yellows

:: treasure hunts through the park, looking for pinecones and acorns for autumn displays

:: down comforters and flannel sheets

:: Saturday afternoon walks amidst falling leaves

:: mowing the lawn for the last time of the season

:: fresh apple cider, bought from an orchard at Greenbluff

:: pumpkins, apples, gourdes, cornstalks

:: coats (coveting the one below...)

lookout, i'm feeling back to normal!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing this week when he repeated his view that gay sex is immoral and should not be condoned by the military.

In March, the Chicago Tribune reported that Pace said in a wide-ranging interview: "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law." (italics mine)

ok. First of all, I didn't realize our nation was governed by "God's Law". Has this man heard of separation of Church and State? Second of all, I just do not understand how, if someone calls themselves Christian, they can have such a small-minded, hurtful and hateful attitude toward a certain sector of "God's children." Because if they believe in God, and believe that God created all of us, how do they justify homosexuals? Did God not create them? Or was there some sort of "design flaw" that caused them to BECOME homosexual once they were out of His hands?

Look, this war has gone on WAY too long and we have already lost thousands of soldiers. If someone, anyone, wants to join the military, I really don't think Gen. Pace can be all that choosy, regardless of how they get their rocks off.

I read the above story on; there was also a poll you could take asking: "Do you agree with Gen. Peter Pace that homosexuality is immoral?"

Here are the results:
Yes 49% 2636 votes
No 51% 2760 votes
Total: 5396 votes
Almost HALF of our country thinks homosexuality is immoral??? This is so damn depressing, it makes me want to pack up my family and move to Denmark.
Meanwhile, I also heard this morning that by the time this war is over, we will have spent $600,000,000,000 on this war. SIX HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS. A war for which, in another recent poll, the large majority of Americans believe has done nothing to decrease the possibility of future terrorist attacks on our country.
I'm going to go crawl under my desk now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've chosen poorly

Yesterday, when Anna and I got home from school, she ran in the house to tell David that she's worn me down and I've agreed to get her a fish for her birthday. A Beta, to be exact. Acting appropriately excited, David said "Oh! I love fish! Especially with a little lemon!" Anna, who thankfully gets his sense of humor, put her hands on her hips, turned to me shaking her head and said "Mommy, you picked the WRONG man from the pound."

and that's just all I have today because my head? It turned into snot-factory over the weekend, so we're far too busy using an entire forest's worth of kleenex to do any deep thinking.

Friday, September 21, 2007

file under: WTF

Here's an interesting story:

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) —People who work with children are used to hearing all sorts of crazy things, but when a little girl mentioned at daycare that her uncle kept a dead baby at his house, it drew the attention of law enforcement.

What turned up in the New Hampshire home of Charles Peavey was a bizarre and macabre family heirloom: the mummified remains of a human infant.

According to Peavey, the 90 year old remains (referred to as "Baby John") is believed to be the stillborn child of a great-great uncle and have been passed down for generations. Baby John was treated as a family member and given cards on holidays and even a dried fish for a pet.

Police seized the mummy and tests confirmed the infant died of natural causes shortly after birth. "It's (Baby John) one of the few things from our family past that we have left,'' Peavey had written in a petition to the court. "And when I pass on, I was looking forward to passing it on to another family member, to keep some of the history for future family."

Call me sick, but "he was even given a dried fish for a pet" made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Ok, so those of you that know me know that "letting a sleeping dog lie" really isn't one of my strong points. I'm more of a "beat a dead horse" kind of girl, which is not something I'm proud of but hey, at least I'm aware of it and can usually control it. But there's something that's been eating at me for, oh, the past 8 months and I don't know what to do. Here's the scenario: I work in a building with roughly 28-30 people, each of us with our own office. Now, as those of you who know me know, I have a...well...rather um, loud and (so I've been told) infectious laugh. On more than one occasion, complete strangers have approached my table at a restaurant and said something to the effect of "I just had to tell you that you have the BEST laugh!" Well, my office is situated between two men who do not find me or my laugh entertaining in the last. They used to, but then I met David, fell in love, and had one too many goofy, laughy phone conversations that they couldn't help but overhear. I'd like the record to show that this is not a high-pressure office; no one is under dead-lines and there is much joking and laughing amongst everyone. I would also like the record to show that both these men are of the grumpy-uptight-middle-aged-never-had-children-and-never-will variety. Which I point out simply because once you've had children, all need to control your environment goes out the window, right? So these two decided to get together and complain to my boss. Once he mentioned it to me, I was appropriately mortified (because I want everyone to adore me, I'm afraid) and immediately stopped taking ALL personal phone calls at work (even though everyone, including McGrumpy 1 and McGrumpy 2 do so). But the damage was done and McGrumpy 1 completely stopped speaking to me and won't even make eye-contact with me if we happen to pass in the hallway. Furthermore, he MOVED HIS OFFICE so that he didn't have to be in my general vicinity. For the most part I've been able to laugh it off; I have a great relationship with literally every other employee in the building and they roll their eyes about the entire silliness. But I have to admit, it eats at me. I've started dreaming about it, which I understand is my mind's way of telling me it is unfinished business and I should do something about it.

So. What do you think? Should I go to McGrumpy 1 (#2's already been dealt with) and apologize for my lack of consideration (even though I really think he over-reacted), or should I just let time do it's work and let him stew in his own miserable juices? I'm pretty sure the correct answer is to go talk to him, but I loathe confrontation and will do pretty much anything to avoid it. Help.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


PORTLAND, Ore. - Snake collector Matt Wilkinson of Portland grabbed a 20-inch rattler from the highway near Maupin, and three weeks later, to impress his ex-girlfriend, he stuck the serpent in his mouth.

He was soon near death, with a swollen tongue that blocked his throat. Trauma doctors at the Oregon Health and Science University saved his life by cutting a hole in his throat.

"You can assume alcohol was involved," a doctor said.

I think I went to high school with that guy. He was the one standing in the back of a moving pick-up yelling "KEGGER!!!!"

So What Can I Do?

All my life, my family has teased me about being (waaaaayyyy before it became cool or hip to be so) a "tree-hugger" or "crunchy" or "granola". And yet I still struggle with making constant, mindful, green choices. Our society is so geared toward convenience and quantity vs. quality. Just going to the grocery store can be overwhelming (WHY is there so much packaging?!) Yes, I have cloth bags and I try to remember to take them, but sometimes I forget them at home and then I'm faced with the dreaded bag decision: paper = trees, plastic = petroleum. (The answer, I believe, is PAPER. At least trees are renewable and then you can take the bags back to the store and reuse them. If you remember to.) Anyway, there a thousand choices we make throughout the course of a day that can make a difference, from recycling everything we can, of course, to switching all lightfixtures to compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) and using cloth napkins instead of paper (so much nicer, anyway!)

I found this (click to link) website titled, appropriately, So What Can I Do? It's full of wonderful ideas and suggestion to get started toward making the world a better place. And what's not to love about that?

So what changes have YOU made toward living more "green"?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


...came into our lives as a 48 year old man who had never had children, didn't think he'd be a good parent. And yet he is the most tolerant, loving, supportive and gentle man. She lights up around him.

...believes it is part of his "job" to help Bug grow up knowing she is capable of anything and everything.

...says, when it's taken too long to get Bug to bed because she cried for me to stay until she fell asleep, "You must be exhausted. Let me rub your shoulders."

...says, when I tell him how grateful I am that he doesn't ever make me feel like I have to choose, "You DO have to make a choice, and it should be your daughter first, every time."

...welcomes my ex into our home and offers him a beer. He wants us all to be a family, and we are, because of him.

...grew up in a large east-coast city in a family of wealthy, highly educated liberals and yet he is perfectly at home in a hut in the Alaskan tundra, eating fresh seal meat with a native family. respectful and does not judge anyone, even when someone believes something completely unfathomable to him. the most mature, fair-minded person I've ever known. When I am struggling with something (or some one) he will listen to me vent and then gently steer me toward a more loving and reasonable response.

...loves me despite my love of sappy romantic comedies and attraction to all things retro. :)

...speaks Russian and is an opera buff...who also loves Cracker, the Replacements and X.

...wants to make the world a better place. halarious and witty and very own "witty, intellectual Jew". Who needs Ira? the love of my life.

Edited to add: The subject of this post would like it noted that while he enjoyed the company, he did NOT enjoy the seal meat.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dear Mr. President

You may have seen this before, but since I don't really watch tv, I haven't. Nichole sent this to me today and it's pretty powerful. This man has blood on his hands and it's not just "the bad guys'". It's going to take a long, long time to repair the damage to our country and our reputation.

A lovely place to visit, but...

Several times during our weekend spent on the Oregon coast, someone would ask me if I missed living there. The answer: a resounding "Hell no!"

We had a wonderful time with my family (and even got a "bonus" visit with Uncle Ra Ra) and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the beach. What's not to love about the soft sand between your toes, the roar of the ocean waves, noticing the change of tides, spending hours walking the beach, hunched over, looking for "treasures".... But at home, as we prepared for our trip, we were having temperatures in the mid-70s, with crisp, cool nights and the leaves are just starting to change and flutter down the street. You know, AUTUMN. That's the thing that I probably missed most, during our 8 years on the coast: the changing of the seasons. Just about the time I've decided I've had enough of HOT, sunny weather and wearing shorts, flip-flops and tank-tops every day, the weather changes and it's time for pants and even the occasional sweater. I dig out my knitting needles and yarn and dream about sitting in front of the fire-place with a good book. Then, a few months from now, we'll wake one morning to the first snow. The Ponderosa Pines covered in a blanket of white and we'll bundle up and go outside to see if we can work up a snowman. Then we'll go inside, have something warm to drink and settle down under the blankets. What I know about myself is that I NEED to live where there are distinct seasons, to notice the passing of time by the different smells, the migrating birds, the flowers coming and going, the change of temperatures. The ceremony of putting summer clothes away and bringing out the socks, boots, and sweaters.

But the coast IS a lovely place to visit. Anna, sweet Anna, ran down to the beach and said "Home! I'm home!" We moved just as she turned 3; she doesn't really have a memory of it. But during the first 3 years of her life, we spent so much time on the beach that I often wonder if, once she's grown, the mountains and high-desert will feel like home to her or the coastal climate. Hopefully both.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

now all we need is our own crest and tartan

Last night, as we were winding down for sleep, Anna and I were talking about some of the names I dole out to the people I love. I often call her Skippy von Skippenheimer because she loves to skip everywhere. And my friend Jennifer, who recommended a SHITTY overly-fruity wine is now known to me as Fruity von Fruitenheimer. Anna decided that she, David and I needed new names; she needed to know my two favorite things to do....and I became Snuggle von Bikerton. Anna is Ride-Wing von Skippenheimer.

And David, poor innocent David, became Bikey von Tooterton.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i'm marrying my sister

I don't think that's legal, even in Kentucky. I should say "I'm performing the ceremony" for my sister and her fiance, Bob this weekend, on the Oregon Coast. And actually, this is my second wedding service. How, you ask, does an avowed Atheist like me get away with such blasphemy? Well, when I performed my brother and sister-in-law's wedding, he ordained me as "Minister of the Church of the Great Outdoors", which is what he and his hillbilly friends call it when they go out hunting on a Sunday morning. And it was appropriate, since their wedding was held on the banks of a gorgeous river, under towering Ponderosa Pines surrounded by beautiful mountains. We all wore levis and ate strange meat (well, they did) and we drank wine out of bottles wrapped in duct-tape and some "moonshine" type crap poured out of a plastic gasoline container. (My brother is, um, different. In a good way.)

ANYWAY, my sister's wedding will be held on the beach...also all of us in levis and, because it is the Oregon coast, rain gear. I don't have an official designation this time, because it's Oregon, which means if you wanted your pet patchouli-smelling, pot-smoking, guiatar-playing GOAT to marry you, that would be just fine.

Here's the happy couple. I just can't even begin to explain this photo. If any of my family would like to try, go right ahead.


Why am I not smart enough to figure out how to get that photo at the top of my blog to be the same size as the header?

Don't answer that (the why I'm not smart enough part) although if you have some advice/technical support, bring it on.

Monday, September 10, 2007

If we can implant computer chips in cats and dogs, why not kids?

Yesterday, David and I were discussing the new plan for the downstairs bedrooms once we move upstairs. Paint, carpet, which room will be his office (Yay! We can have our dining room table back!) etc. Anna will move upstairs with us, into her own room, but we recognize that the day will come that she'll want more privacy and distance, and will want to move back downstairs. The room that makes the most sense for her to have (own bathroom) also has it's own door. To the outside. Which, we're thinking, might be attractive to a teenager. I (only half-jokingly) said, "Well, by then it will be legal to implant teenagers with GPS devices so we can track her location." David, always the sharp one, says, "No! Even better, in addition to a GPS tracker, the chip will also make her feel itchy and nauseous when she comes into contact with teenage boys!" Brilliant. I'm going to apply for a patent.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The original owners of our house!

The top photo shows the front steps of our house.
No wonder the rock is crumbling; it's 100 years old! The other photo was taken across the street. That's our house in the background.
These are members of the Kilby family, the original owners of our house. We know very little about our house, other than that it was built in 1908. One of our neighbors has done some research on the neighborhood and somehow she ended up with these photos showing our house. She gave them to me last night. How cool is this? It makes me love our house even more.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

because we don't let her have toys

Yes, it's a rock. Named Rocky, of course. That's Rocky, in his very own bed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

waiting for Ra Ra

First we waited in the house. Then we waited on the porch. Then, once I told her what direction they'd be coming from, she hauled a chair out onto the sidewalk so she'd "be sure to see them coming." It's not as if she was excited, or anything. Unfortunately, it started to rain, so she wasn't out there when they arrived.

As expected, we had a wonderful visit with our dear friends. There was dining and wine on the front porch by candle-light, due to a thunderstorm that rolled through and knocked out our power for 4 hours. There were impromtu jam sessions (Anna and Rod on drums, David on cowbell) there was a lovely day spent on the beach, swimming and sailing a small catamaran, there was dinner at Eric's house, there was playing horsie with Ra Ra, and there was MUCH hand-holding and snuggling.

Here is Anna on my bike, in front of Eric's mutant corn. It just grew, and grew and grew until it's at least 20 feet tall...but has NO ears on it. He found out he planted the wrong kind of corn!

Sunday morning we all hung out in Eric's amazing garden, picking cherry tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, onions, marigolds and herbs. Then we loaded up Anna's wagon and she had a "vegetable sale", hauling her wagon around the neighborhood. It was adorable. Photos coming soon (I didn't have my camera and Julie still uses FILM.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I have been nominated for an award!

Cami, over at Full Circle has nominated me, ME, for the "Nice Award"!

Now, before those of you who know me fall over and die laughing, I'll tell you that I secretly think it's because I sort of, well, stalk her and her sister Cassie. These two cool sisters are talented and interesting and they help make the world a better place by raising (and homeschooling!) really cool kids who value experiences over "stuff", AND they live in one of my favorite places (the high desert of S. Idaho in view of the lovely and amazing Sawtooth Mountains.) Both take amazing photographs of their family adventures to the area's beautiful lakes and rivers and mountains, so I get to live vicariously through them.
Anyway, as long as you don't get me going about George Bush or religion, I AM nice. I am, damn it.