Saturday, August 30, 2008

phone call: Saturday 9:30am


"Are you warming up your vocal chords?"

"Well, I have a problem."

"Oh no, what's that?"

"Well, I'm trying to figure out how to catch a moon beam and hold it in my hand."

"AAaahh. I see."

"I mean, how do you catch a cloud and pin it down?"

"Yes, that's a problem."

"How do you solve a problem like Maria? That's what this is REALLY about."

"Well, let me ask you this: Is she a flibberdeejibbet?"

"Yes! How'd you know?!"

"Is she a clown?"


"She's a devil."


Do you see why I love my friend Sarah? We speak the same language. Tonight we are going to see Sound of Music at The Shop, a hip little coffee-shop; every Saturday night in the summer they show a different movie on the huge wall adjacent to their building. Sarah and I have been waiting for this for months. There is rumor of ACTUAL NUNS appearing to sing.

To say that I am excited about this is the understatement of the year. Now. If only I had some curtains to turn into leiderhosen.

Friday, August 29, 2008


I just have to share this with you. While browsing etsy (as I have been known to do) I found this gorgeous 1950s dress from a shop called My Favorite Vintage: Described as "Sky blue linen with pockets, excellent condition, waist: 24 inches."

24 inches? Twenty four inches???

My eight year old daughter (who is very slim for her age) has a 21 inch waist.


I'm going to go eat a Twinkie now and try not to think about it.


Did ya'll watch Obama's speech last night, accepting the Democratic nomination? I admit it: I cried. I did. I admire his passion and his integrity. He NEVER makes personal attacks against his opponents; he takes the high road, choosing to do what is RIGHT over what would work for his campaign.

He knows what is like, because he as lived it, to struggle to pay back monstrous student loans. He knows what it is like to watch parents make personal sacrifices in order to provide for their children. He has young children, so he knows how important it is for each child in this country to have health-care and to get the best education possible. He is raising two daughters, so he will fight for equal pay and equal opportunities for the women of this country. He speaks about this country's PEOPLE; you can tell he is a man full of compassion and empathy. He said, and you can tell he believes it (because he has spend the early part of his career proving it): "It's not about me. It's about YOU."

He also said, and it made me hoot and holler, something to the effect of "Look at the state of this country. Our economy is in horrible shape. Our people are out of work and having to choose between paying for gas or buying groceries. WHY WOULD WE REWARD THE REPUBLICANS FOR THIS SITUATION BY GIVING THEM 4 MORE YEARS??" Seriously. I just do not understand how anyone can think that the situation this country is in right now is in any way acceptable. It is not. It's a fucking mess, in every city across the country; record numbers of people without jobs, without homes, without health insurance. NOT ACCEPTABLE. How can anyone (and there are people who I love and respect who plan to) vote for ANOTHER 4 YEARS of the same political machine who got us where we are today?? You may not think Obama is experienced enough, or you may be concerned about his patriotism, but how can anyone not admit that it is time for a regime change?? As he said, "Eight years is enough."

We MUST take a chance on this relatively un-proven politician; whatever he brings to office HAS to be an improvement over who has inhabited it for the past 8 years. We have to try something new, because, as Obama paraphrased last night without being quite so blunt, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

The Republicans have had the past 8 years to show us what they want this country to be. It turns out that their bank accounts have grown and grown, while the average person has seen his or her personal income drop by $3000 a year. Gas and oil are at the record prices, as are groceries. Hardworking people have lost their jobs, and are losing their homes. The Republicans have had 8 years of running this country; we now have the largest deficit ever and we are headed toward another depression.

As Dr. Phil says: "How's that workin' for ya?"

It's time. for. CHANGE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

it must be fall

because I suddenly have a crazy urge to sew and knit again! I just don't do much of that stuff during summer; it's too hard to be inside in my little craft-cave when it's so beautiful outside. I have actually considered taking my sewing machine out on the porch...but that might be weird and complicated.

A few things I have planned: I definitely need to make some napkins; I'm a bit of a cloth-napkin-nazi...paper is so wasteful and, well, cloth napkins just feel nicer. And when we had impromptu dinner guests a couple weeks ago, I was ONE cloth napkin short. Arrghh. That just will not do.

I LOVE these colors:

And look at the big-honkin' wooden buttons she's used as napkin rings. Totally stealing that idea.

I am going to make this:

Not that I need another bag, but really? It's not about need, now is it?

I have been wanting to try quilting and I love this:
I think because the edges are all spazzy, I could maybe pull this off. Anybody know how to make a rag quilt?? It looks like you just sew wrong sides together, but it couldn't really be that simple, could it? Could it??

And somebody needs to have a baby so that I can knit this:
I love knitting and sewing kids' clothing because that's about all my gnat-like attention span can handle. Instant gratification. So go forth and procreate, right now, ok? So that I can knit and sew for the little booger. Go! Hurry! Git.

I got all these ideas of my favorite craft-porn websites:
Bend the Rules Sewing, a website devoted to things created from the wonderful book by the same name, by Amy Karol.

And Sew Mama Sew, the project-sharing page by the on-line fabric shop by the same name.

Both have lots and lots of inspiration.

Now, I have to get busy digging through my fabric stash! Wohoo! I love autumn!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I haven't mentioned it lately, but we have the best dog in the world.

When I was little, my family really DID have the best dog ever, a silver & black German Shepard named Smokey. Smokey would let us kids lay all over her and use her as a pillow, she'd let me dress her puppies up in my doll clothes, and she even allowed a stray fawn to attempt to nurse. Best of all, she knew when any of us was sad and she'd come lay by us and love us (or let us love her) until we felt better. As grown-ups, every one of us kids has attempted to find our own Smokey and have each failed miserably.

Until Moby. He comes the closest to living up to the gold-standard set by Smokey. He allows Anna to lay on him; heck, he even allows BUNNY to crawl on him.

He lays in the middle of the highest-traffic area of the house, like this:
Until someone finally takes the hint and scratches his chest.

And the best thing ever: he SMILES when we come home.
I have tried and tried to get a picture of this, but I have to be quick and have the camera ready as I am walking through the back gate, and then, if he can't see ME smiling (because the camera is in the way) he won't do it. When he smiles, it makes him sneeze. It's so cute.

And for good meaure, a gratuitous Anna-and-Rootbeer picture.

I love our furballs.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Hi. It's Monday and I just had, I think, the laziest weekend in the history of the world. Anna was at her dad's and I spent almost the entire weekend on the front porch reading "Pretty Is What Changes" by Jessica Queller. Very thought-provoking and very well written, this book is the story of a young woman (34) who decides to take her destiny into her own hands: because of her family history of breast-and-ovarian cancer, she takes the BRCA-1 test to determine if she has the gene-mutation that will indicate whether she is likely to develope one (or both) of those cancers at some point in her life. (I've written about this woman and this test before, after having heard her on NPR, but I finally got to read the book.)

Her test came back positive, meaning she had an 87% chance of developing breast-cancer and a 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point in her life. She had, just a year prior, watched her mother suffer horribly at the end of her life. Her mother had beaten breast cancer but was diagnosed with (and ultimatly died of) ovarian cancer. Jessica certainly did not want to go through the same thing. After MUCH soul-searching and gathering many professional opinions and much information, she decided to under-go a double mastectomy. As one of her doctors told her "Breast cancer is the only preventable cancer there is." WOW.

Obviously this is very new, very cutting-edge science. Five years ago, this test was pretty much unheard of, and if you'd told your doctor that you were considering having your breasts removed as a preventative measure, he'd have laughed you right out of his office.

But now the technology is there to know. Some people want to use whatever information is available to them, others do not.

There are two distinct camps of women who are likely to test positive for the BRCA-1 gene-mutation: Those who do not want to know, or the "ignorance is bliss" camp. They would rather live their lives fully without the burden of knowing that it was most likely just a matter of time until they developed breast cancer. They prefer to let nature take it's course and deal with it if and when they are diagnosed.

Then there is the camp to which Jessica Queller belongs. She chose to take the test to find out what the odds were, and when it came back positive, she made the heart-wrenching decision to take fate into her own hands by doing the one (very drastic) thing she could do to eliminate the chance of developing breast cancer. She will, by the way, also have her ovaries removed once she turns 40; she wants to have a child first. Having removed all her breast tissue (she did undergo reconstructive surgery and has implants) she has reduced her odds of developing breast cancer in her lifetime to 1-2%. The average NON BRCA-1 positive woman has around 10% chance of developing breast cancer.

Which camp am I in? After reading this book, I am further convinced that for me, I want to know. I have my annual exam next week and I am going to arrange to take the test as soon as possible. It's amazing to me that we have the technology to find out, and furthermore, in this one instance, to be able to take control of our destiny and change it. Sign me up.

What do you think? If you knew you had a very high-risk of having the gene that caused cancer, and if you had the chance to find out if you DO have it and could then do something to prevent it, would you?

Friday, August 22, 2008

oh ma gawd

David and I went to see Wilco last night and it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

Music has always been an important part of my life and I could NEVER get Eric to go to concerts with me; he just wasn't interested in music at all. I remember that I did drag him to see Lyle Lovett once (WITH ALISON KRAUSS, PEOPLE) and he slept through the entire concert. The applause between songs would awaken him, he'd clap a few times, and fall back asleep. I shit you not.

David, on the other hand, is a big ol' music geek, which I mean in the most affectionate way. He has thousands and thousands of records and cds. Living with him is much like having my own record store.

So we actually LEFT THE HOUSE last night and went to a concert and it was so much fun! We were both shocked that we stayed up that late (11:30!), through not one, not two but THREE encores.

It was so great that I think we might make this whole leaving-the-house-thing a somewhat regular occurrence.

Wish us luck.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

News of the day

I never, ever read the Spokane newspaper; I don't need to be reminded on a daily basis how weird the people in this town are. But this morning I was sitting in the auto repair shop (sigh...) waiting for a ride back to this side of town, and I picked up the newspaper. Let me just way, WOW. There was about 3 weeks' worth of blogging stories in that one paper alone. These two were my favorites:

Spokane Police are trying to track down the origin of a "mystery drug" that is causing people who use it to strip naked, roam the neighborhood and DEFECATE in strangers' yards. One woman reported to police that she was awakened at 3am only to find a young man, completely naked, knocking on her door. He then grabbed the cushions off her patio furntirue, covered himself with them, stopped just long enough to take a dump in her yard, and then ran off into the night. "The thing that's most strange" said an investigator, "is that they have no recollection of their behavior." There have been FOUR such incidents in the past week.

And, if you hurry over to Ebay, you still have a chance to win a 1951 pick-up once owned by Randy Weaver! For those of you who don't remember, Randy Weaver was the nut-job who got into a shoot out with Federal agents (one of them was killed) as they were investigating him for supplying guns to members of the Aryan Nations. The people selling the truck said "We think we can get a lot of money for this truck. A few years ago someone paid $8 million for a car from the Dukes of Hazard."

I think I just may have to start reading the paper more often.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I've mentioned before that several months ago two of my friends talked me into getting on Facebook. I figured I'd "chat" back and forth with them a few times and then the novelty would wear off. I am, afterall, OLD...and I thought Facebook was kind of like myspace. Meaning, if you watched Gilligans Island and the Brady Bunch growing up and you remember Michael Jackson back when he was a black man, you're way too old to be on there.

Anyway, it turns out that I've re-connected with all kinds of people from my past. I'd told you about finding my old friend Mitch; well just in the past two days I've talked to people ranging from a guy I had in German class and we played hacky sack together every day, to a girl who was, um, truly one of a kind and for some reason we had this running joke in English class that involved her pretending to be my grandma and BARKING at me. Don't ask. I have no idea. Also, one of my dear friends from high-school Katie Kilgrow and surfaced on there. I would never have found her otherwise.

And there are many others; there is a whole group on Facebook (Private Idaho, named, of course, after the B-52s song that we all loved back then) dedicated to the very people I hung out with in high-school and my 20s; the Vespa-riding, coffee-drinking, clove-smoking, thrift-store clothed weirdos who played hacky-sack at lunch and followed every punk-and-new-wave-inspired band in town. The message board for that group reads like my weekend schedule back then, bands with names like Famous In Spain and The B Sides playing at the Crazy Horse and Brass Lamp Pizza (which, in bizarre twist of fate, was owned at the time by the man my sister later married).

It has been so fun remembering those days, and so interesting to see what many of those people are doing now. I think I like this Facebook thing. Maybe I'm not so old afterall!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What they'd be called if black people were allowed in North Idaho

Yesterday I had a car load of little girls, going to (((SHUDDER))) Silverwood Theme Park. If you've never been to Silverwood, just imagine a North Idaho version of an Old West-themed Disneyland full of approximately 164,000 very large, very white rednecks in Monster Truck t-shirts who are willing to stand in 104 degree heat for 50 minutes to ride a rickety old roller-coaster called "Timber Terror".

In other words, it's my idea of hell.

We go there once a year, all because Silverwood is sneaky and rewards school children for reading by giving them free tickets to their park. The parents, on the other hand, have to pay FORTY ONE DOLLARS each to get in. Oh, and another $100 for corn dogs and bottled water. Oh. Sorry. My bitterness got in the way there for a minute.

Anyway, as we approach the park, cars are backed up two miles from the entrance, and we're stuck in stop-and-go traffic in mind-scorching heat. The girls were getting squirrelly, a result of the hour-long drive out there and maybe also the 68 ounce chocolate milk-shakes I let them have for breakfast.

In an effort to entertain themselves, the girls began waving to the people in the car behind us. The car's occupants waved back politely, which is the equivalent to casually tossing a seagull a french fry.

The girls began throwing different hand signals toward the car behind us, which totally totally cracked them up. As they got more and more silly, one of them shouted "What if they think we're Hillbillies?" "What if they think we're Hobos?" responded another. Not to be outdone Sydney, the youngest, yelled:

"What if they think we're HO-BILLIES??"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Goodbye, dignity.

Yesterday I was giving my ex-husband, Eric, a ride to pick up his truck from the repair shop. Anna was in the back seat, rooting around in my purse, looking for candy or pens or lipgloss or anything else she might confiscate and call her own.

She got into the zippered side pocket and pulled something out. "Hey, what the heck is this?" she asked loudly, holding up a small blue-wrapped packet. Before I could say anything, she yelled out "Oh! I know! It's one of those LADY DIAPER thingies!!"

Hey, I guess I should be glad it was just my ex-husband in the car, and not a first date or something.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

all the cool kids are doing it

Come on, Face Your Manga!

I only wish I were this tiny compared to my head.

This makes David look a little more Muslim than usual, but Hey! I found a tennis-court background even!

Even Anna got the treatment. Unfortunately, they didn't have a butterfly net accessory to give her...Or an Ant-Butt-Painting tool.

If you do it, be sure to link to it in the comments. I wanna see.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adjö, Volvo

I've made a decision to sell my beloved Volvo. I've only had it for 5 months and I couldn't love it more. The creamy latte-colored leather seats, the sunroof, the stereo controls on the steering wheel so that I don't have to reach an entire 6 inches to turn up the's a dream to drive and gets surprisingly good mileage (26mpg) for a car that weighs approximately the same as a cement truck. Plus, hell, I admit it: I just feel cool in that car.

But WOWWWWEE is it expensive to repair and maintain. I think we (ok DAVID) paid half the Swedish Prime Minister's salary when we took it in for it's 60,000 mile oil change. Seriously. Crazy expensive. And now I live in fear of something going wrong with it and having to kiss David's toes (again) to ask him to pay for it. It's too much car for me and my meager salary. The simple truth is, I have no business driving a luxury car. Plus, it makes me sick to put so many miles on it each day (80+) driving to and from work.

So I'm going to look for something like a Toyota or Honda or maybe even go back to my trusty Subaru. Something more in-line with the reality of my circumstances. I know, crazy, right?

Now I am going to go roll around naked on those yummy leather seats while I still can.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

::phone call from an 8 year old::

"Hi mom!"

"Hi love!"

"Hey, do you mind if we use some of the paint in the garage to paint some ants' butts?"


"No really! If you hold them very gently by their heads and just dip their little booties in the paint, it really works!"


"So we can identify them later if we see them in the wild. DUH."

::Lunch time walk::

Working on the rez has it's advantages, and not just the George .W Bush Presidential Library or the all-in-one Liquor Store/Gun Shop/Lingerie Boutique.

In addition to those fine institutions, we have, nearby, one of my favotire places to escape the office for awhile, Heyburn State Park, at the very southern tip of Lake Couer d' Alene. Driving into the park reminds me so much of Oregon:

This is the view through the little "interpretive shelter" to the lake beyond:

I love how they had kids do the drawings of what you might see:

This is looking through the duck-blind, out over the marsh. In spring this is completely covered in water and there are thousands of ducks, herons, osprey and tundra swans here.

This time of year it's too warm during the day and I don't see many birds, but I did see Cedar Waxwings:

and Eastern Kingbirds:

It's different each time I go, depending on the season and even time of day. I love it out there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

For the Bible Tells Me So

Don't get too excited; I have NOT "seen the light" or been born again.

No, anybody who knows me or has read this blog before pretty much knows how I feel about organized religion. While I do think it can serve a purpose, all too often Christians use the Bible as justification for their hatred and intolerance. No group has suffered more from this than homosexuals.

Well, now there is a movie out about this very topic : For The Bible Tells Me So. David and I watched it last night and it is GREAT. It is a documentary that follows 5 Christian families struggle to reconcile their strict interpretation of the Bible with the realization that one of their children is gay. It is so well done; they interview many scholars and theologians who make very thoughtful and powerful arguments that the Bible can NOT be interpreted literally regarding homosexuality.

I SO want to purchase this movie and give it to my former mother-in-law, who I know struggles mightily with this topic. Her husband (Eric's step-father) has a son who has recently told them he is gay. They can not accept it and have told him he is going to hell. These are Anna's beloved grandparents; they are otherwise loving and kind and generous with everyone in their lives. I just literally can not wrap my brain around them choosing God (or their interpretation of his words) over their son. I know that if they saw this film and saw that it is possible to be both a Christian and a loving, supportive parent of a gay child, it would improve their relationship with him immensely. Would I be way out of line to share it with them?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Little Miss Sunshine

Hi. I really have nothing to say but I want to put my previous snarky-bitchy post to rest. I mean, who am I to judge if my ex-husband wants to waste the prime of his life with a woman who has the Emotional IQ of an ice-cube.

Ahem. The good news is that Eric is feeling better, although he is very, very emotional (more so than usual, which is saying a lot). But I would imagine it's got to be strange to lose a part of your body, even if it is just a finger tip. You know how you feel after you get a REALLY HORRIBLE hair cut and you wake up in the morning and think "Oh shit, I just had the WORST dream. Thank god I didn't actually get my hair cut by Edward Scissor Hands on crack"...and then you go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and realize ACK!! It wasn't a dream!! Well, it's got to be the same when you've cut off a digit with a table saw. Only, unfortunately, it won't grow back. But, ever the little-ray-of-sunshine that I am, I got him laughing about it last night by coming up with outrageous stories he can tell now when people ask. He especially liked I-got-in-a-fight-with-a-bear-and-the-tip-of-my-finger-is-
somewhere-in-Montana-in-a-pile-of-grizzly-shit story.

Hey, I'm just happy to help.

Other good news: the wedding plans are coming along nicely, due to the fact that I've somehow managed to pawn off most of the responsibilities onto my sister, my mom, and my niece! Wahooo!!! They are having so much fun tormenting me by threatening to use seashells on everything. See, after living on the Oregon coast for 8 years, I have an aversion to sea shells. NOT the real ones that you find during a stroll along the, I'm talking seashells of the souvenir-variety. There was one time when my mom and sisters came to visit and I MAY have thrown a tiny fit and yelled "If I have to go into one more tourist shop full of tacky seashell-sculptures of frogs-playing-the-banjo-while-driving-a-jalopy I'M GOING TO SCREAM!!!" Or something like that. So now, oh how my family LOVES to torture me and now that they are in charge of decorating for our wedding, they have threatened me with this: and also:
My sister thinks she's soooo funny.

PS. I found a caterer!!! Wahooooooo!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reason #264 why I heart David

I was going to title this post "Reason #86 to dislike my ex-husband's girlfriend" and go on a rant about the fact that she waited SEVEN FUCKING HOURS to call to tell me (and most importantly HIS DAUGHTER) that Eric was in the hospital having emergency surgery to save his fingers after a terrible accident with his table saw.

I was going to rant about the fact that she said "I probably should have called sooner, but at least I thought of it now." Yeah, it's hard to remember that the man you've been dating for a year and a half HAS A SEVEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER THAT MEANS THE WORLD TO HIM, isn't it??

I was going to mention how much it pissed me off that when she did finally call, she said, not once, not twice but three times "You and Anna can come if you want but you should only stay a few minutes because he's going to be really groggy." Excuse me, but Anna does not need YOUR permission to be with her father in the hospital for as long as she needs to process what's happened.

I was going to rant about the fact that I found out this morning that she called his brother 3 hours after the accident to say "Eric wanted to ask if you could help him out tomorrow" but when Burton said "We're out on the lake on our boat and won't be back until late" she just said "Ok, thanks anyway" AND DID NOT MENTION THE FACT THAT HIS BROTHER HAD HAD AN ACCIDENT AND WAS IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

I was going to make this post about the fact that I've known ice-burgs warmer than her.

But then, after I shared all of this with David, he responded only with this:

How to Make Your Own Voodoo Doll.

And that is reason #264 why David is totally the man for me.