Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Now, I LOVE my mom. I do. But usually when she emails me anything political, well, I pour myself a good stiff drink, apologize to the voices of reason and prepare to once again ask myself if I am adopted. Because god only knows what kind of right-wing conspiracy-theory her senior citizen friends are spreading around the Internet now.

But I am proud to say that my mom sent me this:

Thank you for making my day, mom. I guess I'm not adopted afterall!

Annika and Anna: beach friends

Ages 3 and 2

Ages 8 and 7

Despite Annika being one year older, she wears size 1 shoes; Anna wears size 6 (!!) and is 3 inches taller.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

more photos from the coast

Our beloved and gorgeous friends, Julie and Rod. Don't they look like a Ralph Lauren ad??

With Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda in the background.

Rod, me and Greg after maybe some wine was consumed....

I sewed something!!

I have been wanting to try one of the Amy Butler patterns but wasn't sure which to try. I'd get on my favorite fabric-porn shops on-line and just couldn't decide. Then I discovered a local (even better!) shop that carries only Amy's lovely fabrics and patterns. I chose the Anna Tunic and some gorgeous brown floral fabric and got started. It was a bit complicated for my sewing skills and several times I had to turn off my music and re-read the instructions (what the HELL is "understitching"?!) but I finished it and it turned out quite lovely, if I do say so myself.

Unfortunately, with my body-type (NO WAIST) I resemble a refridgerator when wearing it...a large, brown-floral refridgerator. But I'll wear it with pride because damnit, I MADE IT.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Anna and I just had SUCH a wonderful weekend in Oregon. We spent the first night with Auntie Lala and loved our time with her, then Friday we did a couple things in Portland including getting to see the gorgeous nursary where Lala works, getting to meet Greg's lovely girlfriend for coffee and my first-ever stop into an Athropologie store...whooo boy...that place was DANGEROUS! I managed to (mostly) refrain (ok, I bought t-shirt for me and a very cute hat for Anna) but man, I seriously wanted one of everything. Just, wow. I'm glad we don't have one here.

Then we headed for the coast, singing songs from the Sound of Music at the top of our lungs most of the way there. We headed straight for the beach. Anna was so excited by the sand that she literally opened the door of the car and started playing in the sand right there in the parking lot....poor little city-kid! Friday night was just a nice dinner at home with Rod and Julie; they are such graceous hosts, and their house and yard is so amazing: full of music and creativity and incredible treasures from their travels.

Saturday was warm and sunny (for the first time in months, they said) and we packed some food and wine in a cooler, loaded up with books and blankets and after a FABULOUS breakfast at the Grateful Bread, spent the entire day at the beach in the dunes. We hunted for treasures and built a sandcastle, and Greg and his daughter Annika joined us. Annika is exactly one year older than Anna, and while they played together as babies and toddlers, they have only seen each other once in the past 3.5 years. Nonetheless, they clicked immediately and spent hours playing the sand and building a very complicated fortress for a centipede they found named Millie. Meanwhile Greg, Rod and Julie and I lounged on the blankets, discussing wine (Greg and Rod are both very knowledgeable), relationships, art, books and was so, so relaxing and wonderful to spend time with these dear old friends. After 5 hours at the beach and sun-burns for Rod and I, we headed to Hawk Creek in Neskowin for dinner. Then, because we weren't ready for the day to end we all headed back up to Rod and Julie's house. On the way we saw our old friend Mark out in his garden, and we stopped and dragged him and Kim up as well; more wine and laughter and music and great conversation. It was just the best, BEST day I've had in a long time. I just wish David had been there with us.

Sometimes I get nostalgic for Oregon; it just feels like HOME to me, more than any other place I've ever lived. And spending time with these people reminds me how much I miss them, and how blessed we are by their presence in our lives. We made such good friends during our time there. Anna and Rod just picked up seamlessly; it always surprises me how, for a child who is usually pretty reserved around even family, she just climbs up into Rod's lap and claims him as her own. They have a very, very special relationship. Sunday morning she even asked him to wrestle; it was very cute. Then, he took her for a ride on his motorcycle, again totally amazing me that she was willing to step outside her comfort zone. She came back with perma-grin and hasn't stopped talking about it since.

Leaving was hard; Anna managed to hold it together until we got into the car and shut the doors, and then she just dissolved into tears....she couldn't even look at them to wave good-bye. We drove down the drive-way and then I pulled over and we just hugged and cried for awhile. It's hard, when you love someone so much, to have to say good-bye.

It would be a hell of a lot easier if they weren't so damn wonderful!

Anna at Cape Kiwanda.

With Haystack Rock in the background...

In the dunes on Friday. Unfortunately, the battery on my camera died after I took about 4 pictures and I didn't have my charger! So all the photos from the rest of the weekend are on Julie's camera. I'll post more when Rod emails them to me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

bring on the rain

Tomorrow, Anna and I are off to Oregon for a long weekend visiting family (Lala in Portland) and friends (Ra Ra! and Julie on the coast).

After the ENDLESS WINTER we've had, in which so much snow was dumped on us that if I ever have the opportunity to meet Al Gore in person, I'm going to kick his ass for making us believe in something called "Global Warming", well, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to simply getting RAINED ON in Oregon.

There will be walking on the beach, collecting cool rocks and agates, eating breakfast at the Grateful Bread and perhaps some wine consumed while visiting with old, dear friends.

And maybe, just maybe, a stealthy visit to a storage shed where I happen to know that the old wooden "Migrations" sign from our coffee shop/bookstore is sitting, waiting to be liberated...

Have a happy weekend! See ya'll on Monday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

tragic accident

When I went into Anna's room this morning to check on her progress getting dressed for school, I came upon this horrible scene. I still don't know what happened, but as far as I can tell, her stuffed animals staged some sort of protest and attacked.

Last Friday was Hawaiian Day at Bug's school. So we went to the party-store and got her a grass skirt, flowers for her hair, and I made a surf-board appliqued t-shirt. She looked pretty darn cute, didn't she?

eau d' boy dog

As you know, we have the BEST DOG IN THE WORLD, Moby, and we are currently dog-sitting Moby's brother, Levi for a week. These dogs are polar-opposites, yin and yang. Moby is all black, Levi is all white (which makes me want to sing "Ebony and Ivory"...but that's another story). Moby is Mr. Mellow, while Levi is Mr. Anxious. He is skittish and nervous and just about jumps out of his skin when you walk into the room until he gets comfortable with you. He is also extremely needy and must have love and affection at all times. Moby's attitude toward affection is "Meh. I guess since I'm just laying here anyway, sure, you can pet me if you want." But Levi is, like Moby, a sweet, sweet boy: very smart and affectionate and playful. Anna is CRAZY about him, and he is crazy about her. Plus, he and Moby just seem to belong together. Anna and I have secretly been plotting to keep Levi.

And then all that changed for me this morning.

I grabbed a jacket out of the mud-room (aka the room the dogs hang out in during the day, with access to the back yard). So I put on my coat and get in the car, and as I'm driving along, I'm thinking, something smells F.U.N.K.Y in my car. Now, if it was my old car it could have been any number of things: a sippy-cup of soy milk that had slipped beneath a seat and stayed there for 4 years, the 16 rotting banana peels on the floor, the half-eaten muffin molding under Anna's old booster seat...or hell, the filthy and stained booster seat itself. But now that I have this fabulous new car, I have been keeping it spotless and all you can smell is leather. But the longer I drove, the smell got worse and worse and at some point just this side of the rez, I realized: IT'S DOG PEE. And since no dog has been in my car, there was only one explanation:


Because you know, boy dogs MUST pee on everything, to make sure that all other boy dogs know: This is MY territory. I've been marked.

It took every ounce of strength I could muster to not pull over to the side of the road immediately and rip that stinking fleece coat off my body. So now I'm going to smell like dog pee all day.

But hey. At least it's not snowing.

How's your day?

Monday, April 21, 2008

it's. fucking. snowing.

FUCK!!! (sorry mom. There's just no other way to put it.)

Don't drink the Kool Aid!!

Oh man, have you seen this video ? (sorry, I'm not smart enough to be able to embed the video on to my blog.) But go watch it. Be sure to pour yourself a good stiff drink first.

Some wing-nut Christian organization has decided that Oprah is the anti-Christ. The irony is that they are promoting a book called "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you have to be fairly brain-washed to see any sort of conspiracy-theory behind Oprah's practices?? Empowering people to believe in themselves ?! Gasp! She MUST be working closely with Satan. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every person was ACCOUNTABLE for his or her own life?? Total mahem! The only thing keeping us in line is Jesus!

Here's what I don't get about followers of organized religion: if they are so certain that what they believe is THE one and only way, why not just live their lives according to THEIR beliefs and leave every one else alone? Why are they (some, not all) threatened by people believing something else? Now, I love me some chocolate. My good friend Cathy, however, does not. She prefers - gasp! - fruit pie. Does this mean I should distrust and/or HATE her? Should I haze her, shake my chocolate bar at her and threaten her with eternal damnation? No. It simply means that there is more chocolate in the world for me.

The funny thing is, Oprah is actually quite spiritual. She believes in "God". True, the God she believes may not exactly match that of Christianity, but how can any church or organization fault her for promoting accountabililty, love and kindness??

I think they drank the Kool-Aid.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Question of the day:

Due to the complete lack of anything interesting/controversial/catastrophic happening in my life right now, I'm going to ask YOU some questions. I am dreaming about going somewhere (due to the fact that it is supposed to snow here this weekend). So let's talk about travel.

Would you rather travel to a large city (ie: Paris or Washington DC or New York), or to a remote area (a cabin in Alaska, S. America, tropical island)?

If you were going to New York City and only had 3-4 days, what would you want to do there?

When you travel, do you like to do "touristy" things, or would you rather experience the place as a "local"?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

blogger of the year

Wow, I suck at blogging lately. If I haven't already lost all three of my regular readers, it's a miracle. I just don't have much to say. There are no political rants I need to get off my chest, no soap-box to climb up on, and nobody is pissing me off. How is this possible? God, it's BORING being happy and well-adjusted.

Hmmm...there were 3 pipe-bombs found in a home 3 blocks from our house, one block from the jr. high school. There goes the neighborhood.

Um...I have a trip coming up. Anna and I are going to Oregon next week. We'll stay the night with Lala in Portland and then we're going over to the coast to see Rod (Uncle Ra Ra) and Julie. There will be music, wine, good food, great friends and walking on the beach. Can't wait.

And...guess what? It's supposed to SNOW here this weekend! Yay! Because who can get enough snow? Not me! Bring it on!!!

What's interesting in your world?

Friday, April 11, 2008

the honeymoon is over

I have a quiz for you today. If you are the mother of a daughter, at what age do you expect her to start talking to you like she's a sullen teenager and you've been put on this earth simply to annoy her? At what age does a question such as "Are your feet cold?" get, through clenched teeth, "YOU ALREADY ASKED ME THAT!!!" Nevermind that it was YESTERDAY that I dared ask her the same STUPID question and nevermind that said child insisted on wearing her new pink flip-flops to school, when it's only 36 degrees as we walk toward the classroom. At what age does she come down the stairs in the pajamas you made for her, sleepy-eyed, mussed hair, and runs into your arms, requesting to snuggle....and then not 20 seconds later does her best Hannibal Lector impersonation when you have the audacity to ask how she slept.

Seven. That's when. Approximately 6 years sooner than I'd expected.

The other night I heard a line in a movie that I could SO relate to: "Kids. One minute you think your heart is literally going to burst you love them so much. And the next minute you want to get a cardboard box, punch some breathing holes in the top, put your child inside and drop them off in a park somewhere."


Thursday, April 10, 2008

She's back!!

Man, I missed this kid! I kept her home from school yesterday because they didn't get home until 11pm; there was no way I was going to attempt to send her to school the next morning.

So we spent some qualitity time together, and I learned a valuable lesson: when your daughter suggests that before you can do anything else, you must go outside to crack open the geode she brought home from the desert, it is important to make sure the lock on the door knob? The one you never, ever lock? Did not in fact somehow get locked. Because if you don't, you may GET LOCKED OUT OF YOUR HOUSE IN YOUR PAJAMAS AT 8:30 IN THE MORNING before you've even had your coffee and you'll have to wait an hour and a half for the lock-smith (the one who said he'd be there in 20 minutes) to show up, shivering on the front porch while your daughter who has spent the last week basking in the Arizona sun complains bitterly about how cold it is, praying to a god you don't believe in that those nasty black clouds don't mean snow, trying to talk your dog into opening the front door. And you'll look like a crazy person.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

gocco printing

So in college I majored in art. Yeah, I know. Fucking brilliant. Anyway, one of the classes we had to take was screen-printing. This involved painting photo emulsion onto a screen, coming up with a design, putting the screen with the design (a photo or drawing) into a gigantic light-table thing that would burn your image onto the screen, and then you apply ink to the screen. The idea is that you then print your design onto fabric or paper. This allowed you to make multiple prints of the exact same design. Cool huh? Only I SUCKED. I could never get my registration right (that means getting your lines to line up and the colors to go where you want them to go). I DREADED the days we had to show our work to the class. I felt like I was in 7th grade all over again. After flailing through the entire semester and never getting the hang of it, I vowed NEVER to attempt screen-printing again.

Fast forward, well, let's just say more years than I care to admit. I have learned about a mini-printer called a Gocco. It used to be that nearly every home in Japan had a Gocco printer, on which they could print their own cards, invitations, art. Gocco has been around for a long time; it is a much, MUCH simpler version of the barbaric screen-printing I took in college. The main difference is that the Gocco prints only a 4x6 image. But it's perfect for printing cards or other small images. There is a flickr group specifically for art created with Gocco printers, and it's amazing what people are doing.

Of course I had to own one of these little buggers! I purchased one a month or two ago, and I can't tell you how easy and fun it is. Obviously, after looking at all the wonderful talent on flickr and etsy, I have much to learn, but I did print our Save the Date cards the other day.

First, you create your design. I found a font I loved and typed the text. Then I found an image of some orchids, which I thought appropriate since we're getting married in Hawaii. Then you photocopy them and "burn" the image onto your screen.

Then you lay on the ink and just press down to print as many cards as you need, without having to re-ink the screen at all.

And viola! Custom-made (and so easy!) cards. Cool, huh?

And, it's so easy even a 7 year old can do it! She drew a picture of herself with her name and "first grade" and then we printed cards into which to put her first-grade picture to send to friends and family.

Yep, definately cool.

Friday, April 4, 2008

dispatches from Arizona:

"Mama! Know what? I got a new t-shirt and we heard a canyon wren and we saw 3 lizards, a chipmunk, 1000 year old Indian dwellings, a great-horned owl sitting on a nest, a 12 inch long fish, the tallest cactus daddy's ever seen, and lots of Japanese people!"

things i have learned

I know:

...that I am incapable of maintaining an exercise routine for more than two weeks.

....that I can eat 27 Bit o' Honey candies in one day.

...and speaking of candy, I know that the average 9 year old can pack 7 Tart n Tiny candies into each nostril. If you don't know what Tart n Tiny candies are, you were not a child of the 70s.

...that when packing for a trip, it is wise to pack for more than one type of weather. I know this, and yet I ignore this wisdom pretty much every time I go somewhere.

...that deciding, when very intoxicated, that you could dance so much better if you were barefoot can lead to a trip to the emergency room. A very expensive trip to the emergency room. That I am still paying for.

...that yelling at a crying child oddly does not make it stop crying.

...that your common house-hold vacuum does not double as a wet/dry vac, no matter how much you need it to because 20 gallons of fish-tank water are flooding your new family room.

...that no matter how hard it is, I need to refrain from giving my ex-husband dating advice. It's just that I could save him SO. MUCH. TROUBLE. if only he'd listen.

...that I can never again live somewhere that it rains 300 days of the year. It's raining right now for the first time in weeks, and I am fighting the urge to kill someone.

...that "less is more" does not describe me in any way. And the odd thing is, it used to.

...that I will never again attempt to be someone I'm not just to please my partner.

...that I am so, so lucky to have met a man who loves me for who I am, and that he loves my daughter as if she were his own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


(you must click on each picture to fully enjoy the unbearable cuteness)

My friend Greg, who lives in the small ocean-side Oregon town where we lived for 8 years, sent me these pictures the other day. His wife owned an art-gallery next door to our bookstore; their daughter was exactly one year older than Anna. This is Annika and Anna, sitting in the old rocker where I used to sit, every day, and rock Anna to sleep while looking out at the Pacific ocean. Look at Anna's gorgeous blue eyes and white-blond hair. Such a cutie. Such a sweetie-pie-peanut-snuggle-bug who is in Arizona right now with her daddy and she's only been gone for 24 hours and it feels much longer and my GOD it was quiet in the house last night. But I don't miss her or anything. Nope. Not at all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Not exactly sunny today and I don't mean the weather

Holy crap. This story has me on the verge of tears this morning. This isn't a blog I normally read, but one that I do, Whoorl, linked to this story. Obviously I'm not the praying type, but if you are, feel free to add this little red-headed punkin' to your list. I'm fond of the saying "Two hands working can do more than a thousand hands praying", so I donated. Feel free to do that, too. : )

Also, on the way to work this morning, I heard an interview on NPR with a young woman (35, that's young to me!), Jessica Queller, who lost her mother to ovarian cancer. She (the daughter) took a genetic test (BRCA) to determine if she had the breast cancer gene mutation. It came back positive, which meant that she had a 90% likelihood of developing breast cancer at some point. She was single, wanted to get married and have a child, and yet, at that young age she took the drastic step of having a double-mastectomy as the only way to prevent the disease. She will also have her ovaries removed, but has opted to wait until the age of 40 so that she can have a biological child first.

Breast cancer runs in my family big-time. At least one of my grandmother's had it, and one of my sisters, Jodi, is already a two-time breast cancer survivor. Hearing this story this morning got me thinking: do I want to know if I have the breast-cancer gene mutation? If I take this test and it comes back positive, what would I do? Would I live my life differently? Would I grab David and Anna and a handful of credit cards and go travel the world? Would I take the drastic step of having a double mastectomy? My daughter is only 7 (although as Lala pointed out, once you're a mother it doesn't matter how young or old your kids are, you can't imagine leaving them).

Jessica Queller (the gal who was interviewed this morning) has written a book about her decision and experience. I'm going to read it, and I'm also going to schedule this gene-test. I don't want to know, but I do.

What about you? Would you want to know if you have the gene? If so, what would you do about it?