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 spacefem.com 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.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

like mother, like daughter

ever since I got my sweet cruiser, all Anna can talk about (well, besides getting her own puppy) is getting a cruiser too. One day in REI, she saw a pink one, same brand as mine, with white hawaiian flowers. It was love at first sight. So...that was her big birthday present. Here's the "Little Pink Devil"* on her little pink cruiser.

*She gave herself that nickname....one day she was being silly/crazy and said "I'm a little pink devil!!" David and I fell over laughing, and that's been one of her many nicknames ever since. Some days it just fits.

a different kind of pain in the butt

I've just realized I've gotten wwwaaaaayyy too comfortable with this blogging thing when I briefly considered taking (and posting!) a photo of the world's biggest, blackest, baddest bruise...which just happens to be on my arse.

Yesterday was the kind of day that makes me LOVE my job. We had a "work day" out at Jane's Raptor Rehabilitation Center (click to go see her site) and as always, it's one of the highlights of my year. First of all, I so adore her and admire the work she does. She will take in the most dire of cases, including a bald eagle that had the top portion of its beak shot off (!!) and, when Janie first saw her at a rehab center in Alaska, was just days away from being euthanized. Janie refused to let that happen, paid to have her brought down to N. Idaho and has arranged an unprecedented surgery to attach a prosthetic beak made out of titanium!!

I didn't take any pictures yesterday, but on this page are photos of recent releases, including me helping examine a snowy owl that was brought in. David and Anna and I are going down for a special tour on Sunday so I'll take pictures of the center and the birds then. Here's me last year:

Anyway, occasionally a group of us from the Wildlife Program head out there and spend the day doing whatever we can to help; yesterday we put a roof atop an 80 foot long aviary that will soon house a Golden Eagle who will use the space to relearn to fly. It was HOT yesterday, almost 80 degrees, and the most beautiful fall day. We worked very hard, climbing across two by fours to nail down special predator-proof netting. I was proud of my ability to keep up (and often, ahem, surpass the guys) throughout the day....not being a "girl" about the heights or the work. And then....I was leaning too far off my ladder, and started to fall. I managed to grab hold of a beam as I fell, which caused me to swing back toward the building and I dropped straight down, landing on my butt right atop a 2x4. Not wanting to make a big deal about it, I jumped up, brushed off and said "Oh yeah, THAT'S gonna bruise". By the time I got home last night I was sore all over, as if I'd been in a car accident. And you should see this bruise....it's quite spectacular.

But I think I'll leave it to your imagination...

Monday, October 8, 2007

i can not stop


Oh my god. I just found this (click to link) that turns any of your single photos into Hockney-esque polaroid groupings. I did not need to know about this today; I actually have WORK (gasp!) to do, damnit.

photo bombardment

Wow. I haven't downloaded the photos from my camera for a very long time. So today's blog is all about pictures:

First, this is Anna making a bird feeder out of a discarded box. I love how she finds ways to be creative with anything and everything, plus she's always looking out for our feathered friends.

Here's my little cowgirl. Always the ham.

Fun with face paint (thanks, Rod and Julie!)

Mysterious note found on ottoman right before the party.

An entire weekend TO MYSELF = fireplace, wine, Neko Case and embroidery. These will be wall hangings for Bugs's new bedroom. I think I've finally gotten the hang of this embroidery thing and can't believe how relaxing it is. I even mastered the French Knot! Woo hoo!! Meanwhile, Moby took his job of keeping the furniture in place very, very seriously.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The REAL Giving Tree

In a park in Copenhagen, Demark there is a very special tree. Read the story and see the photos here:


I love this. What a sweet way to make this normally traumatic experience something beautiful.

Friday, October 5, 2007

what IS patriotism?

Recently, a CNN reporter noticed that Senator (and Presidential hopeful) Barack Obama does not wear the seemingly obligatory flag lapel pin seen on most politicians these days. Here is what he said in explanation:

"I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest,” the Democratic presidential candidate told the reporter Tuesday in Iowa City, Iowa. “Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great. Hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."
Obama touched upon the exchange again Wednesday at a speech in Independence, Iowa.
"I haven't worn that pin in probably a very long time. I wore it right after 9/11. But after a while, you start noticing people wearing the lapel pin but not acting very patriotic,” he said. “My attitude is that I'm less concerned with what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those ones who serve."

After September 11th, 2001 it became important to people to prove how PATRIOTIC they were. Fly the flag, wear red, white and blue, write country songs about "God Bless America!", put "Proud to be an American" stickers your pick-up, boycott the Dixie Chicks for expressing their personal opinion about the President. But does loving America mean the exclusion of those not just like us or those who don't share our views? Does patriotism mean fear and loathing of all Muslims? Does patriotism mean it's acceptabale to bash Mexicans, gays, Jews? That's just completely UN-American. We're the Great American Melting Pot! I learned that in 2nd grade. Every single American (except the Native Americans of course) is descendant from immegrants. And that's why it baffles me that patriotism has taken this ugly turn; it's just way too close to White Supremacy to me. And that is exactly why I actually have an aversion to the American flag. I've never flown one and I doubt I ever will. So when I saw Barack Obama's quote this morning, I went "Yeah!!" Of course, it's only a matter of time before the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world start shouting "He's unpatriotic!! He's probably a Muslim lover!! He's no American! Send him back to Africa where he belongs!!" And you know what? Those people just prove his point EXACTLY. It's not what's on your lapel (or bumper or sweatshirt or flagpole), it's what's in your HEART.

divorce, 2007-style

So yesterday was Bug's birthday. Initially she said she didn't want a party (she does not like to be the center of attention in that way.) So we were just going to have Eric over for dinner and cake and present opening. Then I started inviting a few other people who are important in her life and so it grew into a party. But she didn't seem to mind.

It was a lovely fall day and I'd spent the day decorating the house with colorful gourdes and Indian corn and orange and yellow mums. We ordered pizza, had plenty of wine, had a fire going and candles lit.

And as I looked around our living room, I saw David (the love of my life), Eric (my ex-husband), Eric's mom and her new husband, his dad and his new wife and even Eric's new girlfriend. I thought "Now this is what divorce should look like." We had come together because of our love of Anna, overcoming past differences, and everyone was pleasantly surprised at how natural it felt. Eric's mom and dad visited (in the past, they would not come to family gatherings with the new spouses present), Eric's step-mom and David got to know each other (she got teary when leaving, telling me how much she likes him and how happy she is that I found him and that I'm happy), and I visited (briefly...ahem) with Jennifer, Eric's new girlfriend. Every one lingered long after cake and ice-cream, sitting around the fireplace talking and laughing. It just felt so, so good that Eric's family still loves me, that while they didn't understand our divorce they accept it and are loving and welcoming toward David, and that Anna gets to be the center of all this love.

Life...is good.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

on not judging a book by it's cover

This morning started out fine. It's always hectic when David's out of town because I have to rush around to get Bug's lunch made, my lunch made, her breakfast made, my breakfast made, get both of us cleaned up and ready to go...by myself and in just over an hour. Not to mention that today is her birthday (my little sweetie is 7!!) and tonight we're having a party for her, so I was also putting the finishing touches on cupcakes for school and trying to keep the house somewhat presentable....when one clumsy move sent my beautiful, steaming hot mocha flying across the counter, drenching some paperwork and threatening the carpet. Bad sign. But I got that cleaned up and both of us out the door and I'm off on my morning commute, driving 40 miles to the Rez. Just about 7 miles outside of town, I notice that my heater wasn't working. So I checked the temperature gauge and it was firmly planted in red zone, as high as it could go. Damn. I pull over, let it cool down and think I can limp along to work. But it immediately shoots right back up and I'm forced to accept that there's a problem. Now, as mentioned, David's out of town and I have no one I can think of to call....except my ex-husband. Not exactly what I want to do, but. I know there's really nothing he can do (he works in Coeur d' Alene, 45 miles in the other direction). Thankfully he answered and was very helpful....chided me for not having AAA but he did make some calls and get me a tow truck which will take me and the car to a service station 4 blocks from my house. What a guy. So they say they'll be there in 40 minutes. And I wait. And wait. And freeze my butt off because it's 41 degrees out and I have only a light sweater on. And no socks, of course. So.....an hour and a half (and much swearing) later, my knight in shining coveralls finally shows up....and he looks like a total crack head. Beady eyes, bad teeth, filthy clothing and wreaking of cigarettes. Here I am, 7 miles out in the country, alone with this guy. Earlier, my sister had asked if I was in a safe place and I'd laughed at her..."I'm in the country for god's sake. At most I'd get attacked my a killer turkey." And then this guy shows up. Now, I didn't used to be skittish in situations like this, that is until I was robbed at gun-point in broad daylight 4 blocks from my house. Now, I'm not so trusting. I could feel my heart-rate increasing, and my "oh shit" instinct kicking in. But there was nothing I could do. And at that point I was just cold and tired of waiting. So I got into the truck to wait until he hooked up my car, keeping a suspicious eye on him all the while. Finally, he got into the truck and we started toward town. Now, I wonder what HE was thinking about ME. "Prissy little soccer-mom, not even smart enough to check the damn oil in her car." But before you know it, we got to talking about where he lives (waaaay out in the country north of town) and that he'd recently moved here from LA. He went on to say how much he loves it here, because of all the wildlife he sees every day: wild turkeys, deer, bobcat, cougar (!) and even moose. Once he started talking about animals, he seemed human and safe for some reason. We shared wildlife sighting stories and he told me about his daughter and how much fun it is being a dad and we just visited all the way back to town.

After he dropped me and my car off, I thanked him and waved goodbye as I walked toward home, thinking what a surprise he was: not at all the hardened ex-con who loved to kill animals that I'd assumed he was. It reminded me that you can find common ground with just about anyone, if you're open to it. And I like that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

my birthday's coming you know

and here is what I want.


watch it until the end. you'll die from the cuteness.

To my sisters: there's nothing to see here...move along

In only his fourth veto ever, George W. Bush just blocked legislation expanding a children's health insurance program that would provide health care to 10 million American children for the next five years.

"The president and Republicans in Congress say that we can't afford this bill, but where were the fiscal conservatives when the president demanded hundreds of billions of dollars for the war in Iraq?" asked Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois.

That's right: $7 billion dollars a month to provide health care to AMERICA'S children vs. the $7 billion dollars a month we are currently spending on this war.

Hell, even 61% of Republicans support the children's health care bill.

It's such a shame he can't be elected to a third term.

Monday, October 1, 2007

My (other) sister has written a loving (ha!) tribute to me

as part of her series chronicling the members of her family.

The Hidden Springs Hillbillies: She'll Laugh With You, But She'd Rather Laugh AT You!

so my sister calls me up and she says

"You're a lot more worldly than I am. What do you know about Tanzania?"

What am I, a freakin' walking encyclopedia? As if I'm just going to spout off the population, current temperature and political climate. *snort!* Secretly, of course, I'm flattered. But I'm afraid I have nothing to offer her. Turns out her husband may be going there for some consultant work, and she'd go along too. She goes on to say "You know, Africa is just one of those places I've never had any desire to visit." I'm all: "WHAT??!!" Because Africa is probably my number one dream destination. What is more exotic, exciting, interesting than AFRICA? So, in the name of, uh, research I looked up Tanzania. Because, well, I love my sister and I'd probably never forgive myself if I encouraged her to go and she ended up in a pile of steaming lion poo.

Anyway. Imagine, if you will: (via lonelyplanet.com)

"Step out into the vast open plains of Tanzania and you suddenly feel very, very small. And so you should. You've just joined one of the largest, wildest animal populations in the world. Wildebeest, monkey, antelope, lion, cheetah, crocodile, gazelle, flamingo - they're all out there."

Behold, the pink:

Not to mention, Mt. Kilimanjaro:

and real, live Maasai!

Here's something I bet you didn't know:

MZUNGU! MZUNGU! The word mzungu, meaning 'white person' was coined in the days of the early European explorers. It comes from the Kiswahili verb kuzunguka: 'to wander around aimlessly, like a mad person'. (ha! Crazy tourists!!)
My top 5 (or 8):
Bora Bora or Fijii or Cook Islands (somewhere tropical but not too touristy)
Galapagos Island
Costa Rica
Italy (for a year or so)
No desire to go to:
Las Vegas (my idea of hell on so many levels)
(do not click on those links; I don't know how to remove them! aarrgghh!)
So. What are YOUR top 3 (or 5) travel destinations, if you could go ANYWHERE in the world?? Where would you NOT want to go?