Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Secret 16: Always something new

That's me with the buddha belly on the left.

I have not lived in any home for more than 5 years since I was 7. Including being home schooled for kindergarten I went to 6 elementary schools (K-6th), one junior high, and 3 high schools. That's 10 schools in 6 cities and I wasn't even a military brat. During that time I spent 4 1/2 years at one home (3 schools though, since I moved from elementary to high school in this time). The shortest time spent in any of those places was about 6 months.

During my senior year of high school I lived in 2 different houses and as I moved out my parents moved to yet another house. I moved in with my now-ex and we lived in that home for 5 years and moved to Reno. I lived in that house for 5 years and then moved 4 times in the last year and a half. Seriously, I hope I'm done now!

The upshot to this is that I'm really close to my little sister (who had to make all of those childhood moves with me and had 9 schools herself) and I figured out how to make friends fast. The bad side is that I'm addicted to change and have "gypsy feet". If I'm not moving then I'm painting or rearranging the furniture. I don't like things to be completely unchanging for long periods of time and will look for ways to make something different. On the bright side, it's never boring!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Life By Mom's Rules: A Survival Guide

Life By Mom's Rules: A Survival Guide

Save the best for last.

With 6 children in the house a bag of miniature candy bars didn't last long while I was growing up. One day, maybe two day at the outside. My parents would remember they'd bought them just in time to not get any. So my mother got a little sneaky. Knowing that we didn't like the dark chocolate she would start with the others. Goodbars, Krackles, and plain Hersheys first. This way she got to enjoy candy with us and still have some left over to enjoy leisurely at the end: guaranteed untouched Special Darks. Unfortunately this doesn't work for me as my little girly loves Special Dark the best but I'll never forget the lesson to savor everything for as long as you can.

Other gems from my childhood.

Secret 15: It's not MY spit in your food, it's YOURS

I love pudding, especially Tapioca. Some people have told me that it looks like fish eggs in the pudding and they wouldn't touch it (so in elementary school I got extra helpings because I helped by pointing this out). Pistachio pudding is also quite awesome. It's green and fun and it has nuts in it. Very festive. It's another that many people also don't seem to like, for which I am grateful!

Bread pudding however... Not gonna happen. I KNOW where that's been and it's not good. I used to work for a buffet place in Oregon. Most of what they serve I am totally happy with and I personally love to eat there. But I know that as the cinnamon rolls get hard on the buffet they are replaced with fresh gooey ones. The old ones, those that have probably been handled by small children with questionable hygiene and then PUT BACK because they want a different roll, are put in plastic tubs and kept. Yeah, the old rolls are re-used. At the end of the night other ingredients are added to soften them back up and add taste and then the whole thing is made into bread pudding. Now, in theory, if a child were to have touched the rolls (and trust me, they did.) then the oven should kill anything extra that made it in to the mix. But I'm still not going anywhere near it.

**The image is from here and to be fair, it's okay if you made the rolls and the bread pudding because you know where it came from and where it's been since then. This particular pudding looks delicious. It's simply that by association, um, no.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Simple pleasures

Starting my drive home last night with this:

And coming around the bend near the end to this:

And this last week a few steps from my home:

Secret 14: I'm not glamorous

Okay that's probably not a HUGE secret but there's more. I'm quite content with $5 KEDS knock-offs and only bought a pair of skechers because people at work teased me too much and anyway the more expensive shoes fall apart just as quickly for me. I do have one nice pair of sandals and I love them very much but they are an exception. I wear makeup only for special occasions or if I'm having a bad day so that I may feel better. My hair is very straight all by itself so sometimes I run my hands through and don't comb it. I wear skirts a lot but only bother with nylons if the temperature nears freezing. The most I've ever spent on shoes is $35, jeans $40, and I think them both expensive. Oh yes, and my couch always has cat hair because I own 3 long-haired kitties and haven't found a magic cleaning trick for that just yet.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Secret 13: Wrong finger

I played softball when I was younger (middle school age) and learned how to pitch a softball with a grip like the picture above. This grip became so natural to me that when I went bowling I automatically used the middle and index fingers (not the ring finger) to hold the ball. Now, many years later, I still hold a bowling ball this way. Many people have tried to correct me and I myself have tried to stop doing it but the "correct" way kind of hurts my wrist and I bowl a really bad game. Which is not to say that I am otherwise good at bowling (top score ever was 145) but if I use the traditional fingers it's extra bad. So I chalk it up to a personal quirk and leave it at that.

**Update: I had to fix this post because I, being a wee bit tired, said I used the middle and ring (which is correct) when I actually use the middle and index. Oops. So all is fixed (though Lee is probably still correct in calling me a freak).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Secret 12: If it started in water, let it stay there

Seafood is NOT a part of my diet. In fact, it's safe to say that anything that started life in the water can stay there as far as I'm concerned. I have voluntarily eaten a fish once in my life and that was only because I was in Denmark staying with a host family and we had been warned to eat whatever they served us so that we wouldn't come across as rude. I ate it (and didn't even visibly gag) but it wasn't easy. I am quite content getting my omega 3 from the green beans and walnuts that I regularly consume.

When I was in high school I worked in a seafood restaurant. It's the perfect solution to not gain weight and work in a restaurant at the same time: just don't like the food there! I did suffer through the tastings because we served a wide variety of fish and new stuff came off the boats everyday. We had to be able to tell the customers that we had tried it and "Mmmm, you should too!" and describe it to them.

One of our biggest sellers was fried calamari. If anyone asked what it was we would explain that it was tubes and tentacles. Of course, being young and still not much past the age of finding fart jokes to be the funniest thing we'd ever heard we didn't call it that amongst ourselves. No, we called it tubes and, um, testic... Well, I won't finish that because who knows what kind of internet search would find me then and anyhow I think you know what I mean, yes? So one day a group of guys comes into the place. They were roughly college age and they were HOT. When they asked what it was I was so hormonally distracted looking at the buffet of eye candy that I completely forgot myself and just blurted it out. They looked SHOCKED. And then they started laughing as my face reached new levels of red and they said "Well! You're tip just went up 5 bucks!" I could have gone straight through the floor... (And I found yet another reason to dislike seafood).

Photo from here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Secret 11: Clean bathrooms

So, first off, my 30 Secrets in 30 Days now needs an *. Due to family stuff last week I am a little off track. So I'll say that it IS technically in 30 days just not 30 contiguous days but from now on it will be 30 Secrets in 30* Days. Can I get away with that?

Secret 11 ~ I HATE water stains in bathrooms. However, I had never been able to get rid of them without hours upon hours of scrubbing. I have literally cleaned a shower door in 4-inch squares over a month's time because I can get that obsessed. Sad, isn't it?

The house we own now is about a year old. When we moved in the shower door looked like this:

And I tried ALL of these products. I also tried SOS pads and Tylex Bathroom Cleaner among other things. NONE of them worked. At all. I was so disappointed as I usually can clean anything with CLR (I have not had to scrub a bathtub or stovetop in 10 years thanks to that stuff. Just spray on, wait 5 minutes, and wipe off).

But then Eric introduced me to this stuff. Orange Goop. Originally intended as a hand cleaner and available in auto parts stores for removing oil and whatnot from your hands. And it WORKS!

This took about 45 minutes (and Eric's elbow grease ~ Thank you!) to clear up the shower. It does take some elbow grease but when all else fails this stuff is there for you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Worldwide Photo Walk photos

I'm still a very amateur photographer but I can see the improvement and the difference from photos that I have taken in the past. Slowly I'm starting to get comfortable with the camera and I am using the manual settings more and more.

I took literally hundreds of photos during the Worldwide Photo Walk. I have managed to limit myself to my top 10 favorites here and of these I can submit two (in their larger quality) to the Photo Walk website. I'm pretty sure which two I will be submitting but I'm curious to know which you would choose?

I'm a little bummed I got my shadow in this one and I think I would kneel down lower if I took it again (or rather when I take it again because I can't wait to show that beach to the kids).

Playing with water. Every shot was different and had new surprises.

Small reminders of those that have come before us.

We played hide and seek for 10 or 15 minutes. Other photographers started wondering what I was looking at in the top of a log.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bends in our lives

The truth of life is simple:
Your problems never end.
Fix one or two today,
more wait around the bend.

But the beauty of life is simple:
Happiness is a state of mind.
Don’t fret about tomorrow,
And leave the past behind.

photo by me
poem by Eric

The weekend started out beautifully with sunrise over Lake Tahoe in California. I was there for the 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk and I took probably 500 pictures (this being one of them). Somewhat exhausted as I had been up late the night before anyway I awoke at 3:30am to get there since it was a little over an hour drive. It was a lot of fun and I met some great people.

Unfortunately, as I was going through Carson City on my way home I got a phone call that you never want to get. A parent was in the emergency room. I won't say which or exactly why as they are rather protective of their privacy but luckily they'll make it and be going home soon.

I also received a call on Sunday from back home. A family friend has died, shockingly soon, and the world has lost a beautiful person. Sometime in the coming weeks there will be services and I will be traveling home to say goodbye and comfort a friend who has lost someone like I almost did. And I wonder if I will know what to say?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

See you soon

Sometimes life kind of kicks you in the teeth to see if you're being properly appreciative of your life and your loved ones. Unfortunately, it's my turn. Some of this weekend's events will end well, others won't. In the meantime I will be gone for a little while. See you soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Secret 10: No manual transmissions

If a car has one of these:

I can't drive it. Oh, I've tried, but it has not gone well.

In high school a friend let me drive his mustang on a two lane highway. I killed it at about 55mph. Not just that I couldn't get it in gear, I actually killed it. I've had people wonder how the hell I did that as they didn't think it was possible but I most definitely did. I had to pull over in a hurry so as not to cremate the car. Mike never let me drive again (I think he was a little peeved).

I tried again around '99 or 2000. We had a car dealer license on the side and had gotten a Jeep Cherokee that was a wee bit temperamental. The back of the driver's seat had been broken by the last owner (a very nice boy at the University's metal shop tried to weld it back together but that only lasted a couple weeks) so you can imagine it wasn't the most cared for car there ever was. I killed it at EVERY SINGLE STOPLIGHT. No exaggeration. I tried to drive this thing for about a week until I finally threw my hands up in frustration and sent it to the car dealer auction and got myself a nice automatic (And a convertible. A very cheap but very fun car). It was not meant to be. Luckily however, according to this site (which is also the source of the pic) only about 6% of cars are manual anymore.

Now I have another attempt at it because my father very graciously gave me his old car (since the gas mileage is much better than my truck) but I just can't and I don't really have a place to store it anyway now that I've moved. So, since he was going to give it to charity origially if I didn't take it I think I'll be donating it and send the reciept to him for his taxes.

There is one car I would make an exception for, however. For this car I would try again. And again, and again, and again:

My parents had a 1972 Porsche 914 in baby blue when I was little. In the 1st grade I would miss the bus on purpose so my dad would have to drive me to school in it. I asked him once, after the car had sat unmoving for 15 years, if I could buy it from him. He said, and this is a direct quote, "What would you do with it? You're a girl." OMG, he raised 5 girls! I could not believe he said that. Two years later he GAVE it away (to a guy, of course). Now my oldest sister, Big-Big, has it and it's still unmoving. I wonder what she would want for it?...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Secret 9: Did you get a good look? Need another?

All of my sisters are pretty crafty. Some of them can sew, some can draw, paint, refinish a table, etc. When I was in middle school, 7th grade I think, my sister Middle-Middle made clothes for my younger sister and I. She made pants and shorts and a few other things. Unfortunately, the seams on the pants didn't hold together real well and the back seam on the shorts tore open when I sat down on the couch. I changed and left them in the back of the closet so I could fix them later.

Fast forward about 6 months. I woke up one morning to realize my alarm had not gone off. The school bus was going to be there in less than 5 minutes and I had a VERY long driveway. If I were to miss the bus the school is about 10 miles away down a busy highway so walking to school was out. I HAD to catch that bus. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my backpack and shoes and started running. Hair combing and putting on shoes could be done on the bus and I needed to hurry.

I got there just in time! I got onto the bus and headed to the back to sit down and catch my breath. The bus driver looked in her rear view and called me back up to the front of the bus. She had me lean over and whispered in my ear that my pants were torn in the back. In my hurry I had grabbed the torn purple shorts from the closet and forgotten about the rip. WHY she bothered to whisper I will NEVER know. As I had walked to the back she had seen the shorts and, I can only assume, wanted to be discrete in telling me but (or butt?) when she had me walk back to the front of the bus to tell me the rest of the bus saw what only she had thus far. I went to a little school where K-12 all went and we only had 4 buses total for all grades. So 1/4 of the student population across 6 towns saw my underwear...

Luckily I had my gym shorts in my backpack and could put them on over the other shorts. Between those and my red face I was able to cover up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Secret 8: The beanie baby

I owned one of the original 9 beanie babies and I didn't know it. In 1993 I was on a trip with my mother and little sister. We went into a store where everything was way to expensive for my high school budget. But as we were checking out there was a basket near the register of little beanie animals. They were kind of cute and pretty cheap too so I picked one out, a black whale, and brought it home. Of course, tags were an annoyance to look at so I removed them, both of them. It was cute but like all toys I eventually forgot that I had it.

The beanie baby craze started and I ignored it much like I had the cabbage patch dolls and watching Friends and other fads. (I did eventually watch Friends, and love it, but not until it was in the 7th season) Then I started working in a gift store. Beanie babies were pretty cute and they did grow on me. Eventually I had WAY to many. Embarrasing, but true. I was sucked in, especially by the bunnies.

While I was over at a brother in-law's house who collected them (he did, not his wife) I started flipping through the beanie baby value book that he had on the table. And there it was! A black whale named Splash. I had unknowingly purchased one of the first beanie babies. And I removed the tags... So much for value. I did still sell it for $50 dollars which was certainly more than I paid for it anyway. I sold all of my beanies eventually (except the bunnies because they were too soft and cute, which my daughter now has) and made a tidy profit, all of which went to pay the tax bill that year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Secret 7: I was arrested

I was 16 and working as the head busser in a restaurant. I was in charge and pretty full of myself. One particularly busy Friday night there was NO room for extra people. It was so busy that the bussers and waiters had to turn sideways to squeeze between tables and the fire marshal probably would have had a fit. A man walked in to the front door and asked the hostess if I was working tonight. She said that I was and told him what section he could find me in (on the other end of the place). So he moved his way through the throngs of tourists and approached me in the middle of my section and the conversation went something like this:

Man: Are you Sara xxx?

Me: Yes.

Man: (pulling out handcuffs and flashing his badge) I'm investigator Xxxx. You're going to have to come with me.

Me: WHAT!?

Man: (now putting handcuffs on me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BUSY RESTAURANT) You're under arrest for drug trafficking in Texas.

Me: (Now panicking and teary) Whahuh!? But I've never even BEEN to Texas!!!

Man: Oh... Well, in that case, your mother says hi.

Oh, my mother was in TROUBLE with me for this one! My mother was a police dispatcher. An out of town officer was at the station and he had asked her for a recommendation for a place to eat. She said she had a great place in mind but could he do her a little favor while he was there? Not funny, mom. Not funny at all.

To make matters worse the man who owned the restaurant sometimes had "special" customers related to things that may have come off of his boats that were NOT fish. The police department was well aware of this but had so far been unable to prove anything. So after this incident he pulled me aside and told me flat out that he didn't care WHAT I had going on the side but that in future I was to keep it OUT of his place.

I think I might be scarred forever...

Monday, July 13, 2009

100th post AND Secret 6: I'm a thrift store mommy

This is a 30 Secrets in 30 Days AND it's my 100th post. I thought about making #100 something extra and all by itself but I think this secret is special since it's something that I share with all of my sisters and my mother.

Secret 6: I'm a thrift store mommy. Yeah, that's right. My kids own a LOT of stuff from Goodwill and St Vincent's and other thrift stores. I buy clothes, toys, sometimes furniture and a LOT of books. My kids don't yet understand that the stuff is used, or care that it is. When I was younger, but older than my kids are now, I was mortified to walk in there. It wasn't until after I moved out that I was able to see the value in thrift stores. The kids haven't yet figured out that some kids at school don't think it's cool and I'm not telling. Apparently credit card companies don't like it when you shop there either so I now pay cash or use debit only.

There are a few things that I won't buy there, of course, like underwear and shoes. And stuffed animals for the kids. The reason I won't buy stuffed animals is that my older sister, Middle-Middle, taught her dog that stuffed animals which smell like thrift stores are the dogs' toys, which I think was pretty brilliant really. I allow my dog the same rule because he ONLY chews on the animals with that scent. This way the stuffed animals that smell like the kids or like new don't smell like 'his' and he doesn't chew up their stuff, EVER.

My number one favorite thing to buy there is books. Today I got 27 books for the kids for $25 compared to an average of $5/children's book at a regular store which would have cost over $135. And, since I'm buying used preowned stuff I'm also helping to keep things out of landfills and help the environment. Yay, thrift stores!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Secret 5: The uproar over my name

This is the woman I was named for. She was a suffragette and a poet. At the time of my birth my parents thought I should be named for a family member. There was a great-grandmother on my mother's side and a great-great-grandmother on my father's side named Sara. My great-great-grandfather, also in the picture, was a historical figure in Oregon whose name is recognized by many people today and it seemed appropriate that I should be named for his wife. After the naming of me it came out that Sara was not actually his wife, however, as his first wife had never granted him a divorce. After the ink was dry on the birth certificate it became known that I was named after his mistress. Some accounts that I find online of his life call her his second wife and say they were married in the 1930s after the first wife had died. However in the text of an interview with Sara after his death she says that she told her mother that they were married in Europe to keep from upsetting her (and says this was probably the only lie she ever told) and other people just assumed that they were but she never mentions actually getting married... I'm still googling for more on that in any event as there is a specific date mentioned.

Anyway, several family members were extremely upset at my being named after his mistress and when my little sister was born a year later they named her after the actual wife's daughter for her first name and for her middle name she was named for a prominent family member still living. It drove my mother a little crazy because to of all of us sisters she had given names that didn't have shorter nicknames (she never liked being called by a nickname and wanted to make sure we didn't have one) and now Little-Little's first and middle names could both be shortened (and starting in high school she went only by the nickname).

I used to tell my mother that all of the trouble I got into in high school wasn't my fault. I was just highly spirited like my namesake and what did she expect? Though truly I was highly spirited, I think, because I am my mother's daughter.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Secret 4: Confession Christmas

When I was a sophomore in high school one of my older sisters got brave and told mom the truth about something that happened a long time ago. After that it all started spilling out and all of us were confessing things my mother never knew about (at least where the statute of limitations had passed, anyway, which seems to be roughly 10 years). My mother sat stunned, finally laughed, and said "I see. Okay, as long as we're telling the truth here... what happened to my gold watch with the marquee diamonds in it?" It got very quiet and then my oldest sister, Big-Big, said "oh, yeah... okay, well, [Little-Big] and I were playing pirates... and, uh, we needed a buried treasure...". It turns out that when they were little they had buried the watch in the sand box out back (the sand box on a hill) and that winter the bottom board broke off and the sand box was washed away in the storms. The watch was never found and is still somewhere on the butte despite attempts with a metal detector to locate it.

Ever since that year, whenever we get together at Christmas, we tell mom a few more things. Recently it came out what ACTUALLY caused that hole in my blanket when I was in high school. I was a sophomore and my friends and I had gone to the beach near our house for a bonfire. I got in trouble for smoking because of the small hole in my blanket that I had taken with me and I tried to tell mom that someone else was smoking (since I don't smoke). She didn't believe me and I got in trouble. However, I decided the punishment might be worse for the truth and let it go.

The truth is that this was shortly after the 4th of July. We had a ton of fireworks left over and had been setting them off for hours. We got bored with that and someone, I couldn't say who exactly, had the brilliant idea to throw everything that was left into the bonfire. I had my blanket wrapped around me and moved away, quickly, as flames started shooting out in every direction. Among the stuff thrown in there were bottle rockets that had become random missles and I was hit in the back, burning a hole in my blanket. There might also have been alcohol at that beach but who can be sure? I will say that IF there was, then not having any mixers except Mountain Dew would have been punishment enough for that part of it (seriously have you ever mixed MD with Jim Beam? Shudder...).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Secret 3: I don't eat condiments

I don't eat condiments. This includes Ketchup, mayo, mustard, salad dressing, ranch on anything, relish, etc. I do like a lot of asian sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki, kung pao) and I love enchilada sauce but you usually don't put those on a hamburger. ?!?!?... I just had a lightbulb moment. An enchilada burger actually might be pretty good...

Anyway, to get back on topic: when I was a little kid I didn't like any of these sauces because they smelled funny and tasted about the same. I tried them and was NOT interested. McDonalds didn't have a 'plain' option when I was little and I think my parents got a little tired of explaining it. Around that time Burger King capitalized on it and came out with their slogan 'Have it Your Way'. So my mother put a bumper sticker on the refrigerator that said "This is NOT Burger King and You Can't Have It Your Way!".

As an adult I figure that some of my tastes have changed and I might be able to like some condiments now. But I would probably have to try it a few times since they are an acquired taste. However, I also think that they aren't good for me anyway so do I really want to add one more thing that is unhealthy to my diet? Not so much. My children like some of these things (ketchup, ranch, and mustard) and so I keep them in the fridge (no need to put my hang up on them I guess) but when I go to In-N-Out or McDs I order my burger plain and the cashier raises an eyebrow and says "Just meat, cheese, and bun?". Yup, that's me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I have many memories of the family campground in central Oregon. We spent time there every summer with campfires and smores and hiking and making Aebleskiver (Danish pancakes, mmm) on the camp stove. I live a lot further away now but I hope to see it again this year. Only my oldest has ever been there and he was too young to remember. I want them to have these memories.

My pictures here are not great. This was my very first digital camera and I had only owned it for about 6 months. Needing new pictures is another good reason for me to go back there, though. As a very small child we spent most of our time across the river at the single cabin there, now long out of use. The main campground is the prefered part of our land to camp on for most of the extended family but I find a charm in the more beaten down cabin across the way. Stray hikers and kayakers from the campground up the river have thought it abandoned (it's not) and have stolen boards from it to fuel their campfires. Most squatters are at least respectful of the land and clean up after themselves but there are those few...

The views are amazing here and you can sit right along the river while you eat breakfast.

It was prettier when it was new (I was young enough to not remember this. I believe my mother took the last 2 photos) but it didn't have its charm yet.

Secret 2: My boy and the barbies

When my daughter turned 2 her grandma gave her a barbie for her birthday. It was almost scandalous that she didn't have one yet because a girl needs a barbie and as a mother I had been failing her. And my little Erin, my dear sweet baby... It scared the CRAP out of her. She wouldn't touch it and if it was placed anywhere near her for the next 6 months she would CRY!! This doll that looked like a person must surely come alive at night and chase little girls somewhat like Chucky and we all know how that went. So barbie was abandoned to the toy box until Erin could grow out of that one...

Until about 2 days later when I found my son playing with her. (For his own mental well-being as he gets older I won't say which son as I wouldn't want him teased. I'm not cruel.) My son LOVED to play with barbie. He would carry her around the house and take her in the car. Some friends were horrified that I was allowing my son to play with a doll, especially a barbie, and Dear FSM, what would this mean as he got older!?! To this I simply answered that I played with Tonka trucks and worms and I'm mostly a well adjusted female, albeit one who loves using tools. Gasp!

Now both of my boys prefer action figures and swords so that obviously went away and Erin now has a dollhouse with lots of barbies in a box beside it. But, yes, I'm the mother who let my son have barbies.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Secret 1: I was a smoker

Spudballoo recently finished up her 30 Secrets in 30 Days and I have to admit I'm tempted to try it. I think I can come up with 30 anyway. I've been weighing this all day because, while I can come up with LOTS of secrets, I wouldn't actually share most of those with, well, anyone. So here we go!

Secret 1: I used to be a smoker. I was 6. (6 years old, not a size 6 because if I wore a size 6 that wouldn't be a secret). And not candy cigs either. Both of my parents were smokers and my oldest sister as well (she was 18ish). My younger sister (age 5) and I wanted to know what was so cool about smoking. They all seemed to like it and wouldn't stop so it must be great, yes? I had even come home from school and given them a pretty great lecture about the health issues and they just laughed at me. So my little sis (Little-Little) and I devised a plan. One of us snatched a pack of cigarettes and the other grabbed lighters. We hid them in a band-aid tin and headed out to the back porch of the workshop because, well, if you're going to light something on fire then of course you're going to do it next to a building full of sawdust, right? Right.

So we sat down and each got out a cigarette. We grabbed the lighters and sucked in just like we had seen it done... Well, not quite like it was done but more how we thought it was done. Unfortunately we didn't realize that you aren't supposed to swallow smoke and we turned green and choked on them. I think there might have been crying involved. The upshot to all of this is that I never smoked again. The bad side is that we then got bored and turned to lighting bits of paper on fire and then blowing them out and that's what we actually got busted for later. Luckily, we did not burn down the house, the workshop or the forest we lived smack in the middle of (oh, yes, we were smart ones!...).

And in regards to the picture above: Did you know that candy cigarettes are still sold!?! I didn't think you could buy those anymore but obviously I was wrong as these were purchased quite recently. I was SURE they had been banned as being "marketed to children". As a child who was obviously suckered by that marketing I am very disappointed in our law makers.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More painting!

My house painting continues...

I can now say that ONE room is done as I finished the kitchen last night. Whew! Though, to be fair, I think it counts as 3 rooms since it includes the kitchen, dining, and family areas. What do you think?

The colors aren't quite coming out right in the pictures (the green you see on the kitchen bar is actually the color of all the green) and the kitchen yellow actually looks more like the dining room picture's yellow. But, it's pretty close. Here's a link to the before pictures.

Kitchen/bar area, mostly tidied up. I hope it's clear but the side walls and bar are green and the back wall in the kitchen is yellow (since the picture kind of makes one green wall on the left look very yellow, too).

Family room as seen from the kitchen. I really do need tie backs for the curtains but making a knot with them seems to work for now.

Dining room with a print of my mother's Joshua Tree National Park picture to add some oranges and reds. Suggestions on a tablecloth color?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


How fun! I found this on Spudballoo's blog and made a Wordle with my own website. This site will make a word cloud from any website you give it and the most used words will be the largest. Hmmm, do I really mention julochka that much? (I guess that means I have a blog crush.) You can play with all of the fonts and colors and try different arrangements of the words. Try it out!

As Spud pointed out you can find some great phrases in there when it's done.
'think like kids' ~ 'call sisters' ~ 'crap gap' (heehee)