Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Tom Robbins and the way he plays with words. He is one I can read and re-read. I have been enjoying (again) his Still Life with Woodpecker. It's on my Kindle, and here is the first sentence of the book in his prologue:

"If this typewriter can't do it, then fuck it, it can't be done."

If that doesn't draw you in, then I don't know what would. Because I cannot "randomly" open a page on my Kindle, I have selected one of my highlights from the book to give you more (yes, it is more than a sentence, dammit):

"Leigh-Cheri sent that message to Bernard through his attorney. The message continued, 'I'm not quite twenty, but, thanks to you, I've learned something that many women these days never learn: Prince Charming really is a toad. And the Beautiful Princess has halitosis. The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and the vile can be transformed and e doing that makes it that. Loving makes love. Loving makes itself. We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love. Wouldn't that be the way to make love stay?'

The next day, Bernard's attorney delivered to her this reply:

'Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words, "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has not strings attached. I love you for free.'

Leigh-Cheri went out in the blackberries and wept. 'I'll follow him to the ends of the earth,' she sobbed.

Yes, darling. But the earth doesn't have any ends. Columbus fixed that."

Some outstanding Tom Robbins titles - he's not just known for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues - but you could read that too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Silly, Just Plain Silly

First, something I saw, and I liked it.

Now, let's laugh!

She talks like me!

Any one else already tired of the Presidential race?

Yes, let's see if she notices.

Down with anal retentiveness.

If the week ahead becomes too stressful for you, I hope you can find some ways to laugh!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Horror Story

I do not watch horror movies anymore. There have been requests to hear the story behind that.

It was a dark, stormy night in rural New York (ok, maybe it wasn’t stormy or completely rural, but it was dark and…suburban).

I was visiting my best friend. Her husband, two children, and dogs had all retired for the evening, and we were up drinking wine and talking. We decided to choose a movie.

We thought a horror flick sounded fun. We chose High Tension from the list and settled in, ready for the adrenaline rush of boogey-men and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night.

It was the most banal, chilling, and frightening shit I’d ever seen. I think I lasted about a half hour before I insisted my friend turn it off.

It was e-vil. Like the fru-its of the de-vil. (Bonus points for anyone who recognizes that quote.)

I was scarred – for life, apparently.

When we decided to throw in the towel and go to bed, I retreated to the guest room…in the basement. Not only was I in the scary, scary basement (it was actually a very nice room), but there was also a door to the backyard in the guest room.

I was in the bed in the dark trying so hard to be thirty years old and brave. I started to have a panic attack.

I still feel silly admitting it! I had trouble breathing. I felt a loud ringing in my ears. All I wanted to do was RUN. Run upstairs. Find people. Find help. Hug someone.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran upstairs straight into my best friend’s bedroom. I stood by the bed. You know, like a total, crazed moron.

There she slept with her baby boy close to her, her husband sleeping soundly, and one of the dogs at the foot of the bed.

I considered my options. I looked at the hard wood floor. I contemplated curling up on the rug at the end of the bed.

She sensed my presence, and being the bestest best friend one could ever have, she scooted over and lifted the covers up, silently letting me crawl right in.

I was so grateful. Everything was right with the world again. I took up as minimal space as possible right on the edge of the bed, and I couldn’t remember ever feeling more comfortable.

Next thing I knew, it was morning. I looked up and saw her husband staring incredulously at everyone in the bed.

I was very embarrassed. I laid my head back down and pretended to keep sleeping.

In the middle of the night, her other boy had also crawled into bed with all of us. It was a very full bed and is now one of the fondest memories I have of that precious family.

You may think your life is full enough – with your children, dogs, and husband all in your bed on a weekend morning. But, it is not as full as it could be.

I could be there too. Edging my way in, making myself at home, clutching whatever space I’m given.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, and Keep the Goat on the Farm

So, you know how I always have to have something going on. Some project in the works. This brain just ticks away ALL THE TIME.

I recently read this book:

Written by the charming and engaging Jennifer Reese, also author of the blog: The Tipsy Baker.

Let the madness begin!

Making my own food, as long as it is practical and financially savvy, appeals to me. Jennifer's advice in the book just makes sense. If something is relatively hassle free, is a cheaper choice than store bought, AND has no mysterious ingredients or preservatives, then why WOULDN'T you make some of your own foods?

Jennifer, thankfully, spent the time already to research cost and time when comparing home-made to store-bought.

I happen to enjoy time in the kitchen. Before I started trying some of the foods in the book, I told myself:

"If this ends up pissing me off, I won't do it."

I'm not a zealot after all.

But, it has been easy for me, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!

Here is what I'm making now from scratch:

Bread crumbs
Chicken Stock
Peanut Butter

Here's what I plan on making from scratch when we run out of our current staples or when we need them:

Tortillas/tortilla chips
Bagels/bagel chips

Here is where I draw the line:

Stocking my own eggs. From chickens.
Hamburger buns
Goat milk. From a goat.
Honey. Like from bees.

(You may rip the book out of my hands and take away my food processor if you see me coming home with chickens, goats, or bees.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunday Stealing Part 3, Drinky Poo Edition

It's Part 3 of the Sunday Stealing meme. Perfect for a Sunday!

36. Have you watched American Horror Story?

No thank you.

My best friend will tell you that my relationship with horror movies ended in her house in New York. It was not good. Maybe I'll tell the story someday. Maybe I'll just leave it at that.

37. Baseball hat or toque?

Baseball hat! I love wearing a baseball cap around in Mexico that says, Drinky Poo. Thanks again to my best friend.

38. Do you shampoo or soap up first in the shower?

You really care?

39. Wet the toothbrush or brush dry with the toothpaste?

Umm, wet is ALWAYS better.

40. Pen or pencil?


41. Have you ever gambled at a casino?


42. Have you thrown up on a plane?


43. Have you thrown up in a car?


My other best friend could tell you about that, but not me.

44. Have you thrown up at work?


45. Do you scream on roller coasters?

Absolutely. I love it.

46. How many shoes do you have?

I have never counted. I am picturing my closet in my mind right now, and if I had to guess (too lazy to go upstairs for an answer that I don't believe people truly care about), I would say: 40.

47. Who was your first roommate?

Wow, she was so exciting, I can't even remember her name (sarcasm). I was a freshman in college. She was in our room doing...I don't know. I was elsewhere. Finding trouble, drinking, and smoking stuff.

48. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk for the first time?

Jungle Juice!!!

49. What was your first job?

Working at a frozen yogurt shop.

50. What was your first car?

A 1986 Pontiac LE 6000. Oh yeah. Drove that fucker into the ground.

51. When did you go to your first funeral?

I don't remember how old I was when I went with my dad to a funeral in California for a distant relative of mine. I was little, but I have many memories of that.

52. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?


53. Who was your first grade teacher?

Ms. Rappalas or something like that. I don't exactly remember her name, but I remember getting in big trouble for spanking a boy when he annoyed me.

54. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

To California to see my dear grandma.

55. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?

I never snuck out of my house. I saved all evil behavior for college when I moved away at 18.

I used to climb out of my window late and lay in the grass and look at the stars but nothing exciting.

56. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?

We still keep in touch.

57. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents’ house?

Flagstaff, Arizona

58. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

My mom.

59. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?

My best friend, Juli.

60. What is the first thing you do in the morning?


61. What was the first concert you attended?

The most MEMORABLE concerts (I changed the question) was U2 concerts.

62. First tattoo or piercing?

Boring here. Only ear piercings.

63. First celebrity crush?

I'd rather just tell you my current celeb crushes.

And just because I love you, and I think everyone should love this:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stop Thinking so Much (for crying out loud)

I tend to get slumpy this time of year. As in, the seasonal depression starts to do its work. Either that, or this time of year just feels like a lot of work and no play. For weeks on end.

I tend to go inward and think too much. It is a curse, this thinking. That psychic I went to once was right on when she said, "You think too much!" I was like, "I know." She was like, "I know you know!" (She said that a lot.)

This year, I'd like to kind of figure out myself some more and what I want. Now that my son is approaching the four year old mark, I am starting to wonder about myself again - What has life done for ME lately?

So, being the Oprah lover I am, I sought out the wisdom of O contributor and life coach, Martha Beck.

She was even in my dreams last night! I just can't remember what the hell she was talking about. This can't be good.

I bought her new book:

I am not even half-way through it, so I have not yet been given my instructional manual for my life.

So far, it has been a lot of teaching on finding WORDLESSNESS.

Martha says we all think too much - I've heard that before! Meditation can help us get closer to our truer nature, our truer self. So that we can feel and hear and know what is best for us. I have had interest in meditation before but have not committed to it wholly.

Martha recognizes the difficulty in achieving a wordless, meditative state. It's kind of hard to just STOP thinking, especially when you tell yourself to stop thinking. So, she has a few easy suggestions for achieving that state. I've been trying to do one or two of those each day.

I was stoked (when's the last time you heard the word "stoked?") to discover the other activities that she suggests to increase "wordlessness" in your life:
Music, singing, playing an instrument, dancing with abandon, drawing and painting, and telling stories through writing, poetry, and expressive story telling.

I do a lot of that already! Yay, me!

When I sing loudly, dance like no one's watching, and get lost in telling a story (whether written or verbal), I am rocking the delight of wordlessness.

Martha says to dance by "dissolving verbal attention into pure movement" and to tell stories to "entertain and feel the rhythm of it."

I do that. I like to do that.

(If you are wondering why some of the above are examples of tapping into a "wordless" state, then you will have to read her book cuz I don't need to get too detailed on your ass here.)

So, I will delight in my play, play more, practice wordless meditation, and ride my way through a year that will bring me closer to myself.

And, yes, I will finish the book. Just couldn't wait to tell ya'll about it already.

Peace out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Stealing Part 2 ("Tell me more, did you get very far?")

Today, I am doing Part 2 of the Sunday Stealing meme. Perfect for a Sunday!

21. Did you go to your high school prom?


22. Perfect time to wake up?

I wish I could sleep until 10:00 am.

23. Perfect time to go to bed?

I wish I could stay up until midnight.

I prefer to stay up and sleep in. This does not mix well with young child.

24. Do you use your queen right away in chess?

Only if it will benefit me well. Don't be afraid to let the lady play!

25. Ever been in a car accident?

Nope! Ha! To the amazement of my husband. He doesn't appreciate my driving skillz.

26. Closer to mom or dad…or neither?


I love that scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest comes home after serving in the war. His mom opens the front door, and he says, "I'm home, Mama."

27. What age is this exciting life over for you?

I don't know, and I'm glad I don't.

28. What decade during the 20th century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

When I was a little kid, I always wanted to have lived in the 50's. I LOVED the movie Grease. I wanted to wear big, poofy skirts. When I went to get my hair cut, I would always tell the lady to "make me look like Sandy." (The Sandy at the END of the movie. Oh yeah.) I was DEVASTATED when my parents told me that Sandy and Danny were not real people - only actors.

Still to this day, I love to quote the smooth talking Danny, "Oh, come on, don't make me laugh. Hah. Hah. Hah."

29. Favorite shoes you have EVER owned?

I have these shoes that I ordered from Victoria's Secret about 7 years ago. I cannot get rid of them even though they have been through A LOT. I like to wear them out. They are leather, and they fit my foot so well - they are so comfortable! Yet, they look kick ass. They don't look like they'd be comfortable. They have a pointy toe, and when I wear them with long jeans, it looks like I'm wearing heels, but they aren't heels. They are flats, which I'm grateful for because I'm so freaking tall.

30. Do you have an article of clothing you have had since you were in high school?

College, yes. High school, no.

31. Were you in track and field?


32. Were you ever in a school talent show?

No, but I will NEVER forget this awesome talent show when I was in seventh grade. This kid, I won't reveal his name here since I haven't talked to him since high school, he lip synched to "I Wanna be a Cowboy" by Boys Don't Cry. He sat on a bouncy horse, holding a Cabbage Patch Girl and would look at her and lip synch, "And you can be my cow girl!" It was genius. It was hilarious. I still tell people about it. Wonder where that guy is now?

33. Have you ever written in a library book?

No. I would never disrespect property like that. (That was said with total sarcasm. If you want to know why, read this post.)

34. Allergic to?

Sulfa - it is an antibiotic. If I were to ever take it again, I could die. When I found out I was allergic to this medicine, it was scary! I was driving up to University of Northern Iowa where I was in grad school and working as a graduate assistant. In the car, I started breaking out in so many awful hives, they tightened my scalp, spread to my ears, and I lost my hearing! I went straight to the health clinic on campus.

35. Favorite fruit?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thank God for Wordless Wednesday

I had every intention of a written post in the last couple days, but alas, life (and work!) just gets in the way sometimes, and I am grateful for Wordless Wednesday!

Live and Love...Out Loud
Thank you for the link up, Kristi, at Live and Love Out Loud!

Last night, my son started his skate lessons! You recall the hockey obsession?

I was so proud of his attitude. Even though he's still getting the hang of it, falls all the time, and can't actually do any skating yet, he has a smile the whole time! When the lesson ended, he did NOT want to get off the ice. I think we'll have a skater on our hands in no time with that kind of perseverance!

Clutching the wall but all smiles:

Starting to get the hang of standing on his own (he's the taller one next to the teacher):

Standing on his own!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Today, I am participating in a Sunday Stealing meme. Perfect for a Sunday!

1. Song that always makes you sad?

Here's the last few lines of an Indigo Girls' song, Fly Away:
"Fly away little bird
The saddest song I ever heard
Was the one that I wrote you in my heart
That never made it to the world."

2. Last thing you bought?

Groceries. The never-ending chore.

3. Last person you argued with?

My three year old son. Have you argued with a three year old? Yeah, it's fun. You might as well just go bang your head against a wall for a while. You'll get more accomplished.

4. Do you put butter before putting the peanut butter on?

Absolutely not.

5. One of your stuffed animals’ names as a kid?

My Cabbage Patch kid's name was Patton.

6. Did you ever at one time own a Barenaked Ladies CD?


7. Favorite day of the week?


8. Favorite sundae topping?

Nuts! I love nuts. Ha!

9. Did you take piano lessons?


10. Most frequent song played?

In my life? Holy crap, I don't know! Some contenders may be Hotel California by the Eagles or Into the Mystic by Van Morrison. Currently, right now in my life? On my iPod, I most frequently play Lady Gaga's You and I. On my USB, I most frequently play Regina Spektor.

11. T.V. show you secretly enjoy?

I love watching Real Housewives. Every week, it's like a social train wreck. And, it's no secret. Everyone knows I love to watch filthy, crappy TV.

12. Would you rather play basketball or hockey?


13. Date someone older or younger?


14. One place you could travel right now?


15. Do you use umbrellas?

No. Too much trouble. Just run.

16. Do you know all the words to the Canadian national anthem?

"Oh, Canada!" That's all I know.

17. Favorite cheese?

I love all cheese! Particularly, cheddar, pepperjack, and gouda.

18. The Smith’s or The Cure?

The Cure

19. Do you prefer blondes or brunettes?

What? This is not something I ponder.

20. Best job you ever had?

I'm pretty content with my job right now and have stayed there the longest than anywhere I've been. I am a school psychologist.

There! Fascinating, right? I'm so glad you know me better.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quilt Skillz

Posts like this one help counter-act my foul-mouthedness and inappropriate behavior.

However, it does not hide my tendency to brag about all my skillz.

For my birthday last year in May, I asked for a sewing machine. It came with a CD. I watched the CD and read the instructions for the machine and started quilting. I made one attempt to read about quilting by Googling it; however, one minute looking at that goobly garble, and I decided to forge ahead with my own rules.

I cut up the receiving blankets I had saved from when my son was a baby and sewed away.

When I had questions about how to finish it, I went to Hobby Lobby and asked the lady who works in the fabric section.

I ignored the HAG behind me who said, "Well, at least I know what I'm doing."

Voila! Here it is, hag!

So, then, I decided to go even more ambitious and make a huge, giant quilt with a unique pattern for my best friend for Christmas. I created my own pattern and bought fabric remnants in the sale bins.

Now that my friend has the quilt in her possession, I can share about THE ALBATROSS here:

The pictures do not do justice to how big it is.

I am taking a break from quilting for a little while. I may or may not tell you about my next project. I've always gotta have something going on.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Winter

Just hanging out

Decorating cookies

On the Cog Railway on Pikes Peak:

Christmas morning, before the insanity began...

Parker's cousin helping him ride his new scooter:

I'm linking up with Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud for Wordless Wednesday!

Live and Love...Out Loud