Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh Martha. You've done it again.

Our wedding is going to be at a lovely barn, under huge cottonwood trees, and our invitations had a big tree on them. So today I stumbled across this on Martha's web-page. Forest wedding?? Perfect!

I mean, LOOK at these cakes, will ya?? Look at those little birds!! Ack!

And this:
Holy mother of fiddle-head ferns. And those tiny mushrooms!! Love, love, love it.

Other ideas I just found on her website that I love:
The place settings are way too formal for us, and I hate the colors (too cold) but I love the simple vases with the twigs and birds. Imagine this with an orange linen table runner, clear vases and stones scattered along (see below). Yep.

I love the beautiful simplicity of the smooth, dark stones scattered along a table-runner with candles....That is very, very ME.

Look at this lovely bamboo huppa:
In traditional Jewish ceremonies, the bride and groom are married under a huppa, which is kind of a tent or trellis that they stand under. This one is made of bamboo poles and an embroidered bed-spread. Totally up my alley. I believe our ceremony is going to be outside, since hopefully the weather will be lovely in mid-September. We can do this!

And this as the serving table?

Yep, I just found all sorts of inspiration....It's going to be beautiful. Simple and beautiful.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who doesn't love to run through the sprinklers in summer?

I know, two posts in one day, but I just couldn't resist putting this on here. I just want to grab them and snuggle them.

Of course, then their mama would totally kick my ass.

How can you put a price on love?

This wedding is turning into a BEAST. We ended up sending out many more invitations than we planned to....and it sounds like almost everyone that we invited is actually going to come! AAARRRGGG!!! (Just kidding....sort of...)

It started out with us thinking it would pretty much just be family and a few close friends. You know, 20-25 people. Well, it's now going to be double that...if not a bit more. The good news is that it's all people that we genuinely love; how can we complain about that?

David has been freaking out a little much for our "oh we'll just have my brother in law grill up some salmon". But, as I told him, he'll never look back, at the end of his life, and wish we hadn't had that awesome wedding. It's still going to be very small, considering.

And also? He should thank his lucky stars that I'm not the kind of girl who expects a wedding ring like this. "But honey", I asked, "how can you put a price on LOVE?" "Easy", he said. "I'm an accountant."

Last night he talked to his brother about officiating; Steve is a stand-up comedian and very comfortable before a crowd. They came up with some very fun ideas; let's just say this is going to be an unconventional wedding. It's going to be totally US. Be very afraid.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Two friends have been on my mind a lot lately, one new friend and one old friend.

My new(ish) friend Sarah and I met when Eric and Anna and I first moved here. I was, out of sheer boredom, working at my sister-in-law's espresso drive-through near our house. I hadn't yet figured out what my next step would be, job-wise. This got me out of the house and allowed me to have conversations that didn't revolve around horsies and Dora the Explorer. Anyway, Sarah came through almost every day, and we just clicked. We discovered that we both were new to the area, having each moved from Oregon. We lamented the lack of culture and diversity here, talked politics, music, etc. We got together occasionally, and each time we did, we totally enjoyed each other. She has a great, infectious laugh and is smart and funny and has traveled all over the world. Well, as friends do sometimes, we talked less and less often; I was in the midst of a divorce and trying to hold my life together. She was out dating every woman in town. Every now and then one of us would email the other and say "We really need to get together! I miss you!" It's embarrassing how a year just slipped by...Finally, a couple of months ago, we reconnected. We caught up on each other's stories and it was as if we'd never been apart. We went to the gay-pride parade together, we went and watched live music, she's come to my house, I've gone to hers. Last Thursday we hooked up do enjoy some outdoor music and some wine and met up with some theater friends of hers. Eventually we wandered over to The Elk, our favorite pub nearby, for some dinner. At one point, these being theater people, we started talking about musicals. This isn't something Sarah and I had ever discussed, but at the exact same time we both blurted out "Nothing even comes close to Sound of Music!" Neither of us knew this about the other; our deep, deep love of Sound of Music. We sat there, in the pub, belting out all our favorite songs, quite possibly embarrassing her friends. She had no idea that I had recently taken Anna to Leavenworth, for the full-on Sound of Music immersion weekend. And I had no idea that this hip, well-travelled lesbian from Oregon loved and knew every word to "My Favorite Things" and "I Am Sixteen" (which she called me late the next night and sang, in entirety, on my voicemail).

Yes, in addition my hairdresser, my doctor, and David, I have found another soul-mate. All right here in Spokane. It's been a good year for soul-mates!

The other friend I've been thinking of is an old friend. From high-school...that's OLD. Mitch was a soul-mate of a different sort. We lived in Boise, which, at the time, was about as conservative as you could get. Since I lived there 25 yeas ago, the city has tripled in size thanks to, among other things, Micron. Back then, the Mormon's ran the show. Mitch and I and our group of friends were the weirdos in high-school. We were smart, but had no interest in proving that to anyone. We listened to Devo and the B-52s, smoked clove cigarettes, and proudly shopped exclusively at thrift stores. We all knew that Mitch was gay....except he wasn't ready to admit that, not even to his best friends. To us, he was just one of the girls. We spent more time in the local coffee-shop than we did in class, thanks to Mitch's uncanny ability to imitate our mothers. He would call the attendance hot-line and viola! We were free for the day! Eventually the administrators figured it out and we got caught. Mitch had missed so much school that he was expelled just a few weeks before graduation; he wasn't allowed to walk with us and did not graduate.

The years that followed are a blur; some of us went off to university, others stayed in Boise where it was "safe". We drank a lot, smoked lots of pot, experimented with other things....and we floundered. Eventually I left town, travelled to Europe and went to college. Mitch and I lost touch; I heard through the grape-vine that he had several DUIs and had spent some time in jail. As far as I knew, he'd never even gotten his GED. Then, many years later, a friend of ours moved to San Fransisco and ran into Mitch there; he told her that he was attending Stanford. Oh man, we all had a GOOD laugh about that one! You see, Mitch had always had a problem with telling the truth. I knew he felt inferior to the rest of us who, compared to him, had stable and loving families. His parents were both uneducated, raging alcoholics and it seemed that he was destined to follow their footsteps. Failure to graduate from high-school, an endless stream of low-paying jobs, several run-ins with the law, and HE EXPECTED US TO BELIEVE THAT HE WAS GOING TO STANFORD?? Riiigggghhhhttt. In fact, for the past 25 years I've often thought about Mitch and wondered what had REALLY become of him. Truthfully, I figured he was bagging groceries in a Whole Foods in San Fransisco or something. Which made me sad because while he didn't believe it at the time, Mitch was one of the smartest and funniest people I knew.

Then, last week, I was on Face Book and saw, on the page of a mutual friend of ours from high-school, Mitch's photograph. He looked tan, fit and healthy. I immediately emailed him and said "Mitch! How the hell are you?!" Frankly, I wasn't sure he'd respond; the truth is that I was often very cruel to Mitch when we were friends. His inability to tell the truth about everything from his mother having cancer (which she did not) to his sexual orientation, to where he got his new shirt, drove me CRAZY. I often called him on his lies, in front of other people, in an effort to get him to be real. I know he admired me (I had a completely unwarrented supiority-complex that must've come accross as self-confidence) and I know that I hurt him. I just wanted him to be his authentic self, wanted him to know that we loved him for who we KNEW him to be, not this image he was trying so hard to uphold.

Anyway, Mitch did write back to me last week and we've emailed dozens of times, catching up and filling in the missing pieces of each other's lives. He told hilarious stories about going to our high-school reunion and how liberating it is to go back to Boise as a proud, gay man, and how great it feels to be accepted as such.

Mitch told me that in his early 20s, he had found a mentor, the father of someone he worked with. This man was well-educated and successful, and he saw Mitch's potential. He encouraged Mitch to get his GED and he was instrumental in getting Mitch a job at a Boise hospital which eventually took him to Haiti to do volunteer work with AIDS patients. Mitch's self-confidence grew. He dug deep and found that he had an amazing inner strength, that he was smart and driven and capable and that rather than making up stories about his achievements, he could focus his energy on making things happen.

Mitch DID in fact graduate from Stanford, with not one but two master's degrees. He now works for a very large software company overseeing 1500 employees, and he lives with his long-time partner in one of San Fransisco's most beautiful neighborhoods. He has spend years in therapy dealing with his past. He has studied Eastern religion and has found true peace within himself. He accepted my apologies for my cruelty when we were young, and he apologized for all the lies he told and for not being honest with anyone about anything. He is living his authentic life, using his talents and is happy and whole.

And the best part? Mitch (and his partner) are coming to our wedding in September.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I just had the most incredible experience.....going to the DOCTOR.

Now, there are exactly TWO people that enter into one's life that I feel it is crucial to have a good, strong, supportive relationship with. Your child? No. Your parent? No. Your spouse? Nope.

Your hairdresser and your doctor.

I have found an awesome girl to do my hair; she seems to actually pay attention to what I look like when I come in, what my personal style is and she listens and, get this, does EXACTLY what I want her to. Every. single. time.

I haven't been so lucky finding a doctor. In fact, I'm trying to think if I've EVER had a doctor I felt cared about me or my health and the answer is no, I don't think I have. I have had, though, my share of nightmare experiences, including my first mid-wife/ob-gyn, this older hippie woman in Oregon...who INSISTED that I have an amniocentesis because I was so "OLD" for a first time mother (at 35) that there was a "huge possibility that the baby would have serious health problems". So I dumped her ass. Nobody was going to stick a 12 inch needle into my stomach. Then there was the time last year, when I thought I'd found a cool, progressive woman's doctor: she was had traveled the world, is a tri-athlete and specializes in "active" women's health issues. Well, I waited (and I'm not exaggerating one bit) in that little room, shivering in one of those stupid open-backed gowns reading old issues of People magazine for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. She breezed in, did not say ONE WORD about being so late, performed the exam in record time, asked me if I had anything I wanted to talk to her about, didn't wait for an answer and then left. She was in the room for 8 minutes. Yes, I timed it. Needless to say, I'll never go back there again.

Well, a month or so ago I needed to find a doctor to examine me because I suspected I had bronchitis. I hoped to find a "general practice" doctor who could be our family doctor, for me, Anna and maybe even David. By complete fluke I called a random family-practice office and said that I hadn't ever been there before and that I wanted a female doctor. I went for my appointment without any hopes; it seems that doctors these days don't have time for their patients. Well, this doctor came in and sat down and talked to me (and listened) and asked EVERYTHING from my marital status to where I grew up to my family medical history, where I worked, etc. I figured she was just being polite.

Then this morning I had to make a last-minute appointment with her in order to get my prescription refilled. Not only did her office arrange to get me in right away, get this: she came in at the appointed time, greeted me by name, asked about my daughter and partner BY NAME and proceeded to tell me how she had been so impressed by what I'd told her last time about the relationship I now have with my ex-husband and what a great an example we are setting for our daughter. Not only did she remember me, she remembered my history, my story. She actually seems to care about her patients.

As if that weren't enough, she mentioned, as we were wrapping things up, that she will be gone the entire month of August. I asked if she was going to do something fun and she grinned and said "Yes! We're going to India to spend a month providing care in a remote village in the mountains!" I have long been fascinated with India, it's culture, it's bizarre caste system and it's beautiful, strong people. It started many years ago when I read a book that, to this day, haunts me in so many ways and is one of my all-time favorite books. So I asked her, thinking I'd be introducing her to a new book she could read before she went, if she had ever heard of a book called "A Fine Balance". She stopped dead in her tracks and said "Oh my gosh, YES! That book changed my life! That book is why I am going to India!"

Now, the only other person I've ever met (and remember, I owned a book store so I talk books with everyone I meet) who has read that book is David (which I took was a sign).

She could NOT believe I'd read it and said "I've never met anyone who has read that book, ever!"

Isn't that amazing? I think I've just found my new doctor for life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's the men's turn

1939 Marital Rating ScaleHusband's Chart
George W. Crane, Ph. D., M.D.
(Copyright 1939)

In computing the score, check the various items under DEMERITS which fit the husband, and add the total. Each item counts one point unless specifically weighted, as in the parentheses. Then check the items under MERITS which apply. Now subtract the DEMERIT score from the MERIT score. The result is the husband's raw score. Interpret it according to this table:
Raw Scores......Interpretation
0-24...............Very Poor
76 and up..........Very Superior

1. Stares at or flirts with other women while out with wife. (5)
2. Reads newspaper at table.
3. Fails to come to table promptly when meal is ready.
4. Brings guests home for meals without warning wife.
5. Doesn't phone when late for dinner.
6. Compares wife unfavorably with his mother or other wives. (5)
7. Publicly praises bachelor days and regrets having married.
8. Criticizes wife in public. (5)
9. Belches without apology, or blows nose at table.
10. Leaves dresser drawers open.
11. Leaves shoes in living room. 12. Snores.
13. Careless in bathroom--leaves razor out or ring around tub.
14. Fails to bathe or change socks often enough.
15. Fails to brush teeth regularly or keep nails clean.
16. Dislikes to dress or shave on Sunday. Oh, don't EVEN get me started.
17. Hangs ties or clothes on door-knobs
18. Picks teeth, nose, or sucks on teeth when in public. Mom! Look! You're vindicated!!
19. Objects to wife's driving auto.
20. Uses profanity or vulgarity.
21. Blames wife for everything that goes wrong.
22. Complains of being too tired to go out at night with wife.
23. Is suspicious and jealous.
24. Uses alcohol. If ever drunk. (5)
25. Tells lies, not dependable. (5)
26. Angry if newspaper is disarranged.
27. Stubborn--rarely admits that he is wrong. Seldom apologizes. (5)
28. Talks of efficiency of his stenographer or other women.
29. Teases wife re[spelling?] fatness, slowness, etc.
30. Tells embarrassing things about wife when out in public.
31. Makes fun of wife's hats, clothes, cooking, housekeeping, etc.
32. Smokes in bed. I'll say he does!
33. Calls "Where is . . . ?" without first hunting the object.
34. Monopolizes radio on Sunday as for baseball broadcasts.
35. Dislikes children, or scolds them too harshly. (5)
36. A chronic ailer or patent medicine addict.
37. Writes on tablecloth with pencil. Oh, I hate that!
38. A chronic braggart or boaster.
39. Argues with or curses other motorists.
40. Will not help wife's relatives as much as his own.
41. Rolls in bed covers--pulls them off wife.
42. Eats onions, radishes or garlic before dates or going to bed.
43. Addicted to gambling.
44. Defers too much to mother, a "mamma's boy." (5)
45. Belittles wife's opinions, her judgement, or ability. (5)
46. Opens his wife's mail.
47. Boasts about his former girl friends or his conquests. (5)
48. Leaves lights burning all over the house.
49. Kisses wife just after her make-up has been applied. Every damn day.
50. Too much a book worm--doesn't talk to wife enough when home.

1. Gives wife ample allowance or turns pay check over to her. (5) Not yet....
2. Courteos to wife's friends.
3. Frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc. (5)
4. Remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc.(5)
5. Helps wife with dishes, caring for children, scrubbing.
6. Polite and mannerly even when alone with wife.
7. Consults wife's opinion re business and social affairs.
8. Has date with wife at least once per week. (5 per date)
9. Reads newspaper, books or magazines aloud to wife.
10. A good conversationalist.
11. Steady worker and good provider. (5)
12. Leaves car for wife on days she may need it.
13. Handy about house re fixing iron, vacuum, hanging pictures, etc.
14. Enjoys taking wife along with him wherever he goes.
15. Doesn't interfere with wife's correstion of children.
16. Carries adequate insurance for family. (5)
17. Doesn't quarrel with wife before children or the public.
18. Makes guests feel welcome--an interesting entertainer.
19. Often tells wife he loves her. (5)
20. Usually comes home with a smile.
21. Shares his business and personal problems with her.
22. Holds wife's coat and opens doors for her.
23. Good humored in the morning.
24. Even-tempered.
25. Does not use tabacco.
26. Interested in athletics. This is a GOOD thing??
27. Writes often and lovingly when away from home.
28. Plays with children or helps them with lessons. (5)
29. Willing to go shopping with wife.
30. Waits up for wife or calls for her at her party.
31. Neat in appearance--shoes shined, hair cut, suit pressed.
32. Attends church or urges children to attend Sunday school. (10)
33. Attends parent-teacher meeting and educational lectures.
34. Ambitious--works or studies to gain promotion.
35. Suprises wife occasionally with candy, flowers, gifts.
36. A fast and efficient worker, not the puttering sort.
37. Willingly prepares own breakfast.
38. Ardent lover--sees that wife has orgasm in marital congress. (20) Did men know about this in 1939??
39. Shows wife attention and affection in public. (5)
40. Is a careful auto driver.
41. Kind, but firm and the head of his household.
42. Well liked by men, courageous--not a sissy. *snort!*
43. Is true to his wife. (5)
44. Eats whatever is served without grumbling or criticism.
45. His children are pleases at his arrival home. (5)
46. Tries to keep wife equipped with modern labor saving devices. (5)
47. Gives wife real movies kisses not dutiful "peck" on the cheek.
48. If wife is ill, phones from work to inquire about her.
49. Neatly hangs up his clothes on hooks or hangers. Ha! Oh man....
50. Kisses wife when leaving for work or trip.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The seams in my hose are often crooked but at least I react with pleasure and delight to marital congress

1939 Marital Rating Scale::Wife's Chart
George W. Crane, Ph. D., M.D.

In computing the score, check the various items under DEMERITS which fit the wife, and add the total. Each item counts one point unless specifically weighted as in the parentheses. Then check the items under MERITS which apply; now subtract the DEMERIT score from the MERIT score. The result is the wife's raw score. Interpret it according to this table:

Raw Scores Interpretation
0-24...............Very Poor
76 and up..........Very Superior

1. Slow in coming to bed -- delays till husband is almost asleep.
2. Doesn't like children. (5)
3. Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly.
4. Wears soiled or ragged dresses and aprons around the house.
5. Wears red nail polish.
6. Often late for appointments. (5)
7. Seams in hose often crooked.
8. Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream.
9. Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them.
10. Is a backseat driver.
11. Flirts with other men at parties or restaurants. (5)
12. Is suspicious and jealous. (5)
13. Uses slang or profanity. (5)
14. Smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope. (5)
15. Talks about former boy friends or first husband.
16. Squeezes tooth paste at the top.
17. Reminds husband it is her money they are living on. (5)
18. Tells family affairs to casual acquaintances, too talkative.
19. A chronic borrower--doesn't keep stocked up.
20. Slows up card game with chatter and gossip.
21. Opens husband's personal mail.
22. Frequently exceeds her allowance or family budget. (5)
23. Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before a date or going to bed.
24. Tells risque or vulgar stories. (5)
25. Wears pajamas while cooking.
26. Talks during movie, play or concert.
27. Is more than 15 pounds overweight.
28. Often whining or complaining.
29. Discourteous to sales clerks and hired help.
30. Shoulder straps hang over arms or slip is uneven and shows.
31. Fails to wash top of milk bottle before opening it.
32. Corrects husband's speech or actions before others. (5)
33. Saves punishment of children for father at night. (5)
34. Serves dinner but fails to sit down till meal is half over--then wants husband to wait for her.
35. Wears pajamas instead of nightgown.
36. Fails to bathe or brush teeth often enough. (5)
37. Puts stockings to soak in wash basin.
38. Serves too much from tin cans or the delicatessen store.
39. Visits mother too often--a spoiled child.
40. Is snobbish or too much concerned in "keeping up with the Jones."
41. Dislikes husband's hobbies as fishing, baseball, etc.
42. Tells lies--not dependable. (5)
43. Doesn't want to get up to prepare breakfast.
44. Insists on driving the car when husband is along.
45. Smokes in bed or has cigarette stained fingers.
46. Cries, sulks or pouts too much.
47. Makes evening engagements without consulting her husband.
48. Talks too long on the phone.
49. Is a gossip.
50. Walks around house in stocking feet.

1. A good hostess--even to unexpected guests.
2. Has meals on time.
3. Can carry on an interesting conversation.
4. Can play a musical instrument, as piano, violin, etc.
5. Dresses for breakfast.
6. Neat housekeeper--tidy and clean.
7. Personally puts children to bed.
8. Never goes to bed angry, always makes up first. (5)
9. Asks husband's opinions regarding important decisions and purchases.
10. Good sense of humor--jolly and gay.
11. Religious--sends children to church or Sunday school and goes herself.
12. Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays.
13. Encourages thrifty--economical. (5)
14. Laughs at husband's jokes and his clowning.
15. Ambitious for her family--urges higher attainment.
16. Belongs to parent-teacher club, or child study group.
17. A good cook--serves balanced meals. (5)
18. Tries to become acquainted with husband's business or trade.
19. Greets husband at night with a smile.
20. Has a pleasant disposition in the morning--not crabby.
21. Keeps snacks in refrigerator for late eating.
22. Likes educational and cultural things.
23. Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress. (10)
24. Faithful and true to husband. (10)
25. Has pleasant voice--not strident.
26. Has spunk--will defend her ideals and religion.
27. Praises husband in public.
28. Writes often and lovingly when away from husband.
29. Writes to husband's parents regularly.
30. Willing to assist husband at office or shop.
31. Sympathetic--likes children and unfortunates. (5)
32. Keeps hair neatly combed or shampooed and waved.
33. Often comments on husband's strength and masculinity.
34. Good seamstress--can make her own clothes or the children's clothes.
35. Gives husband shampoo or manicure.
36. Keeps husband's clothes clean and presses.
37. Bravely carries on during financial depression.
38. Healthy or courageous and uncomplaining.
39. Keeps self dainty, perfumed and feminine.
40. Is of same religion as her husband. (5)
41. Has minor children to care for. (5 points per child)
42. On friendly terms with neighbors.
43. Fair and just in settling the children's quarrels with others.
44. Likes to vacation with husband.
45. An active member of some women's organization.
46. Often tells husband she loves him. (5)
47. Polite and mannerly even when alone with husband.
48. Willing to get a job to help support the home.
49. Praises marriage before young women contemplating it.
50. Is unselfish and kind-hearted.

This test represents the composite opinions of 600 husbands who were asked to list chief merits and demerits of their wives. They talked frankly. I have summarized the most frequently voiced flaws and virtues and have weighted those items which, in my judgment as a psychologist and physician, are especially important in marriage. I commend this test to the attention of all intelligent women who aspire to make their marriages both permanent and happy. Young women contemplating matrimony might very profitably use this test as a practical guide.
Dr George W. Crane


Thank you, Pioneer Woman for posting part of this list.

Tomorrow, the husband's test!

proof that I love my daughter

This...this...this BEAST crawled out of the kitchen sink this morning as I was loading the dishwasher.

Now, are two things in the world that just CREEP. ME. OUT: bats and spiders. And I was home alone; no one would have known if I'd accidentally turned on the water and sent him down the drain. But Anna was due home soon from her dad's and I knew that she would want to see this monster. He was HUGE, easily the size of a quarter. So I scooped him up into a jar, covered it with plastic wrap, poked some holes in the top and even gave him some lettuce to munch on while we waited for Anna.

Then I sat back with the Dust Buster in one hand and a rocket-launcher in the other and kept an eye on him until Anna came home.

After marveling at his size ("Whoa! That's like the size of a tarantula!"), we set him free in the back yard, in a far, far corner amidst some lovely tasty flowers.

AFTER we water-boarded him into promising never to come near the house again, of course.

Monday, July 21, 2008

nice weekend

Aaaah, we had such a nice weekend. We had no plans whatsoever and were just wide open. We found out that Jackstraw was playing at a little art festival down in St. Maries. Jackstraw is my (and Anna's) favorite blue-grass band; they're from Portland and are very good friends with our favorite people in the world, Rod and Julie. David had never seen them play, so we had to go! We loaded up the car with chairs, a picnic, and Anna's animals. She made sure they were safely buckled in, of course. The festival was in a little park along the GORGEOUS St. Joe River; an amazing setting. There are very few things in the world that I love more than spending a warm summer evening under the trees listening to live bluegrass. Really, is there anything better in life? It was so fun and they sounded great.

Sunday we went for a hike along the Liberty Lake Watershed trail, with it's lovely shady creek. There were hundreds of butterflies and dragonflies on the muddy bank; Anna was in heaven!

I love summer and am so grateful to live somewhere that I can enjoy it. If nothing else, our time owning the business on the Oregon Coast made me appreciate every minute of sunshine and free time that is summer. I will NEVER take it for granted again.

OH! And the most exciting part is that I found a wedding ring yesterday! David and I wanted to do something unconventional (go fig); we didn't want to just go to some big-chain jeweler in the mall because we wanted to feel good about the origins of any stones or metals we purchased if we purchased something new. We were thinking about having rings custom made, but the more we talked about it, we came to realize that our taste in rings is about as different as our taste in rugs. Which is to say that I have taste and, well, David doesn't. (Hi honey! I love you!) Anyway, to make a long story short, I found a gorgeous, sweet vintage ring in the "fine estate jewelry" section of my favorite local funky vintage clothing/jewelry store. It is art-deco style, oval-shaped with tiny saffires around the edge and a c'nardly diamond in the center. (That's what my sister calls diamonds that are so small you "can hardly" see them). But it is very pretty and sweet and it just felt exactly right the minute I put it on. I LOVE IT!!! It's going to be hard to wait until September to wear it...

Friday, July 18, 2008

help a woman in need get a free mammogram

This is so great! Go over to The Breast Cancer site and click on the big pink button. There is no catch, no forms to fill out or anything. You just click on the button and in doing so you are getting the sponsors of that site to pay out for free mammograms to help women in need.

Cool man. You've done your good deed for the day. Carry on.

hello, kitty!

Poor David. The invasion is complete: we've officially taken over his life.
And his medicine cabinet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

how ya like me now?

That's what Bug says lately; must've gotten it from a movie or something but it makes me laugh every time.

Anyway, because I wasn't smart enough to resolve the issue I was having with my header photo above, I just changed blog templates and viola, Billy is centered perfectly.

I'm in love with that goat photo and I just may never change it because I am never going to get tired of it. You've been warned. I love the goat, I love the mountains, I love the little chalet in the background. And I reeeaaaaallllly love Picnik for providing me with the means to make it look like an old National Geographic photo from the 1950s. Go try Picnic right now (I used the "1960s" treatment under the create tab on Mr. Goat up there). Here's another one I love: and this one:

It's addictive. It's more fun that watching your sister pee her pants from laughing. Well, almost.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Amber over at Berlin's Whimsy posted about tadpoles today and it reminded me that I had photos of our new little frog-ling:

Just last week he looked like this:

The real transformation took place while I was in Boise; David said he could practically watch it happen over a two-hour period, the evolution from tadpole to frog. Today Patches (of course he has a name) is being set free at the little pond in the plant-nursery where his froggy brothers and sisters are waiting for his return. We still have 10 others in our kitchen, awaiting their new life with legs.

Also, check out Bryno's new digs. Even our frickin' Beta fish is spoiled!

I swear, we are just another pet or two away from turning into one of those families who hoard pets and live in an abandoned school-bus...

Monday, July 14, 2008

because I haven't deeply offended anyone yet this month (have I??)

My dear friend Rod suggested I check this out after I'd sent him a link to Carlin on war. While Rod doesn't necessariy share my beliefs on religion, he knew I'd appreciate this. I think Carlin hits the nail on head, although with a bit more, uh, "color" than I would.

Without further ado, George Carlin on religion:

When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!

But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.

No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.

So rather than be just another mindless religious robot, mindlessly and aimlessly and blindly believing that all of this is in the hands of some spooky incompetent father figure who doesn't give a shit, I decided to look around for something else to worship. Something I could really count on.

And immediately, I thought of the sun. Happened like that. Overnight I became a sun-worshipper. Well, not overnight, you can't see the sun at night. But first thing the next morning, I became a sun-worshipper. Several reasons. First of all, I can see the sun, okay? Unlike some other gods I could mention, I can actually see the sun. I'm big on that. If I can see something, I don't know, it kind of helps the credibility along, you know? So everyday I can see the sun, as it gives me everything I need; heat, light, food, flowers in the park, reflections on the lake, an occasional skin cancer, but hey. At least there are no crucifixions, and we're not setting people on fire simply because they don't agree with us.

Sun worship is fairly simple. There's no mystery, no miracles, no pageantry, no one asks for money, there are no songs to learn, and we don't have a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing. And the best thing about the sun, it never tells me I'm unworthy. Doesn't tell me I'm a bad person who needs to be saved. Hasn't said an unkind word. Treats me fine. So, I worship the sun. But, I don't pray to the sun. Know why? I wouldn't presume on our friendship. It's not polite.

I've often thought people treat God rather rudely, don't you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. Asking and pleading and begging for favors. Do this, gimme that, I need a new car, I want a better job. And most of this praying takes place on Sunday His day off. It's not nice. And it's no way to treat a friend.

But people do pray, and they pray for a lot of different things, you know, your sister needs an operation on her crotch, your brother was arrested for defecating in a mall. But most of all, you'd really like to fuck that hot little redhead down at the convenience store. You know, the one with the eyepatch and the clubfoot? Can you pray for that? I think you'd have to. And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan?

Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn't in God's Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's a Divine Plan. What's the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and fuck up Your Plan?

And here's something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? "Well, it's God's will." "Thy Will Be Done." Fine, but if it's God's will, and He's going to do what He wants to anyway, why the fuck bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It's all very confusing.

So to get around a lot of this, I decided to worship the sun. But, as I said, I don't pray to the sun. You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons: First of all, I think he's a good actor, okay? To me, that counts. Second, he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn't fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with.

For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog, Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat.

So I've been praying to Joe for about a year now. And I noticed something. I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't. Same as God, 50-50. Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe, the wishing well and the rabbit's foot, same as the Mojo Man, same as the Voodoo Lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles, it's all the same: 50-50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself.

And for those of you who look to The Bible for moral lessons and literary qualities, I might suggest a couple of other stories for you. You might want to look at the Three Little Pigs, that's a good one. Has a nice happy ending, I'm sure you'll like that. Then there's Little Red Riding Hood, although it does have that X-rated part where the Big Bad Wolf actually eats the grandmother. Which I didn't care for, by the way. And finally, I've always drawn a great deal of moral comfort from Humpty Dumpty. The part I like the best? "All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again." That's because there is no Humpty Dumpty, and there is no God. None, not one, no God, never was.

In fact, I'm gonna put it this way. If there is a God, may he strike this audience dead! See? Nothing happened. Nothing happened? Everybody's okay? All right, tell you what, I'll raise the stakes a little bit. If there is a God, may he strike me dead. See? Nothing happened, oh, wait, I've got a little cramp in my leg. And my balls hurt. Plus, I'm blind. I'm blind, oh, now I'm okay again, must have been Joe Pesci, huh? God Bless Joe Pesci. Thank you all very much. Joe Bless You!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

leavin' on a jet plane

I'm off to Boise this morning, to celebrate my mom's birthday! I don't know how it's possible, but she gets more beautiful and amazing every year. We'll all be together for the first time in a while; I LOOOOOVE my family.

Then Saturday, most of my girlfriends come in to town for another celebration, the wedding party for our friend Kris.

So I'm off to have a fun, party filled weekend! Wahoo!!!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

help me be smart

Does anyone know how to make my header photo (above) match the width of the space it's in?? For as long as I've had this blog (over a year now) I've had "extra" blank space up there. Help me and in honor of our friend up there, I'll send you some goat cheese that I found in the back of the fridge the other day that looks like Elvis in a furry green pantsuit.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Best Country Song Titles of All Time

David used to to work in public radio, and somewhere along the line he came across this list of the best/funniest country songs of all time. He often uses them on me, depending on his mood. Today it was #8. He SAYS he was kidding.

Anyway, without further ado, here are MY personal favorites:

10. Don't Run Through The Screen Door Honey, You'll Only Strain Yourself

9. I Can't Get Over You, So Why Don't You Get Under Me?

8. It's Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass All Day Long

7. You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

6. I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here

5. I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well

4. I Just Fell in Something; I Sure Hope It's Love

3. If I'd Shot You When I Wanted, I'd Be Out By Now

2. I'm Still Missing You...But My Aim Is Improving

And my #1 favorite:

drum roll please....

1. I Only Have Eyes For You, But Look What I Have For Your Sister


Monday, July 7, 2008

The hills are alive with the sound of music

Oh Leavenworth. Could you possibly be more perfect? With your gorgeous mountains, your quaint little village, your darling painted buildings, your gorgeous flowers, your beautiful river, your BILLY GOATS:

Who knew Leavenworth had "community goats"? Seriously, could I possibly love Leavenworth any more? NO. I COULD NOT.

Anna and I had SO MUCH FUN this weekend!!! She is at such a great age to just hang out with; even the car ride over was fun. She read to me much of the way, and then we listened to the soundtrack to Sound of Music and sang at the top of our lungs with the windows down as we blasted toward Leavenworth. We arrived Friday morning and Anna immediately hopped into the pool.
And just so you know: Springen Verboten. We played in the pool for a couple of hours and then went horseback riding. I can't tell you how much that area looks (and sounds and smells) exactly like Garden Valley. Waaaay down there is the ranch where we started out. We rode up and up and up to the top of this ridge. It was breathtaking. Anna, of course, was in paradise. She impressed the guide with her knowledge of the ranch's draft horses; she correctly identified which were Shires, which were Belgians and which were Percherons.

The next day was more swimming and then we floated the aptly-named Icicle River. (those photos will come later as I had to use a water-proof disposable camera). The river had just that day opened to rafters after raging wildly all Spring. It was SO beautiful, with the gorgeous mountains rising up all around us, wildflowers all along the river, and so many birds you can't believe it: Cedar Waxwings, Swallows, Thrushes, Sandpipers, Osprey, Eagles, Warblers.... Anna was a little bit freaked out at first; this was her first-ever rafting/floating experience. But other than the frozen-butt syndrome, she LOVED it. Then she swam some more and we walked around town; we visited our favorite hat-shop: She was, of course, enamoured with the flower-wearing draft horse that pulls tourists through town in a carriage. I had to laugh because, as I took this picture, the carriage-driver, decked out in leiderhosen, knee-socks and green felt hat, was TEXTING on his cell phone. I tried to get a photo but he caught me and stopped to pose.
We found a cute little cafe to have a snack and played a game of mancala on the porch. Later, we stopped to visit the goats (their field was directly across from our inn) and it turns out that goats love gelato as much as we do:

We had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant and then it was time for Sound of Music. It was everything that is wonderful about summer theater: at an outdoor amphitheater on the ski-hill overlooking the valley. The cast, in their leiderhosen and hats, doubled as the greeters, ticket-takers, and seat-locaters. I managed to snap one photo (of the nuns singing a song about turning off our cell-phones....I don't remember that part of the movie...) before we were told no photos or video-taping. It was a fantastic performance with amazing acting and singing. Sitting there watching Sound of Music while surrounded by breath-taking mountains as the sun went down, after a day on the river, sitting with my precious daughter, I can't remember the last time I've been so happy. As much as we both missed "Davie", I'm glad we went just the two of us. It was just such a beautiful weekend together.

Oh, one day, if we ever win the lottery, I would LOVE to have a little cabin there on the river. It's as close as I'll ever get to my dream of living in Switzerland.

I mean, look: What's not to love??

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Helping hand

Just a quickie to show you the "helping hand" Anna made for my friend and co-worker who is going through chemo for lung-cancer right now. Anna has never even met Carla, but we talked about it when I was sad. She she saw me making one of these last night, and she wanted to make one too. I wasn't feeling creative AT ALL, so mine is turned out totally contrived and unimaginative (I'm re-doing it today) but Anna just went to work and did this completely on her own. I just love all her encouraging words (click on the photo to see it better). This kiddo has such a loving heart.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

yodel-ay-hee-hoooo part 2

You may or may not know this about me, but I have always been crazy about anything Bavarian. At a young age I fell in love with Switzerland. The mountains, the cuckoo clocks, the leiderhosen, cows with bells, the Sound of Music. Wooden clogs? Yes, please. I only wish I could yodel. Well, now that we live in NE Washington, we are just a couple of hours from "America's Alps", and the darling Bavarian town of Leavenworth. Some may find it overly touristy and it's kitsch a bit too much (how is THAT even possible??) but me? I LOVE it. We went for the first time this past winter, and I vowed then to come back in the summer. So Anna and I are going to Leavenworth for 4th of July! David has elected to stay home; I think the lure of being in charge of the remote control for a change is just too alluring. Wimbledon is on. Plus, he doesn't have the itch to travel like I do, since he travels for work.

So it will be just me and the Bug. We are going on a horse-back ride Friday afternoon and, if the river calms down, we'll float the Winachee on Saturday.

We'll stroll the streets and hit all the deliciously kitschy shops selling wooden ornaments from Germany, we'll visit our favorite bookstore, we'll eat at the fabulous Italian restaurant and then hit the gelato shop, and we'll swim in the pool. And the Leavenworth Summer Theater is even putting on a performance of Sound of Music at the Ski Hill Amphitheater!!

If David ever wants to see us again, he'll know where to find us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

where I win "Parent of the Year" for not locking her in the closet for a month

So maybe I've mentioned once or twice how my daughter is completely, obsessivly animal crazy. She has been BEGGING us for oh, 38 years, for a puppy. "But we already have Moby" I say. But she wants a puppy of her OWN, one that she picks out and names and takes care of. Nevermind that when I ask her to feed Moby once a month, she asks if she'll get an allowance for it.

Well, she's figured out that David and I have a soft-spot for rescued animals; she knows that that is the ONLY way we are getting another dog. She also has been told that we are not adding ANY. MORE. ANIMALS to our zoo for at least a year. However, her sitter took her to a pet store, where Anna fell completely in love with some puppies there, mutts of the long-haired-dachsund/terrier variety. So, basically, the DOG OF HER DREAMS.

Last night when I got home from work, she hauled me into the family room to ask me if we couldn't just go LOOK at them. Because THEY NEED HOMES THEY ARE IN A TINY CAGE WITH ONLY ONE TOY AND IF WE DON'T SAVE THEM NOBODY WILL. She begged, she cried, she wailed, she let loose the crocodile tears as if her heart was breaking.

Now, if I've learned anything during the 7.5 years of parenting this child, it is this: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE TALKED INTO GOING TO A PET STORE WITH HER.

Furthermore, I reminded her of our agreement that if we got the bunny, we wouldn't even TALK about getting another pet for a year. She PROMISED me that she would be completely satisfied with bunny, that she wouldn't ask for a puppy because what she really wanted was something small and soft and cuddly and her own. I was feeling awfully smug: problem solved, no puppy talk.

Yeah. That lasted, what? A month?

I calmly reminded her of her current animal line-up:

1 dog
3 cats
1 bunny
19 assorted tropical fish
1 Beta fish
11 tadpoles
and 6 snails

That, I said, is more than enough animals for one girl. She asked why I had to be SO MEAN, when her friends just got a puppy last weekend. "They," I said, "don't have as many pets as you do."

"Well", she wailed, "Then YOU shouldn't have said yes to all of them!!"