A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Just got back from watching Twilight and thought I'd share my two cents with anyone who hasn't yet 1) seen the movie or 2) read the book.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a paperback edition of Twilight at Costco. I recognized the title as one I've seen being passed from student to student in my classroom, and they've been excited about the movie coming out. So, I decided to pick up the book and check it out. Halfway through Twilight I went to Amazon and ordered the full set.

Only takes about 200 pages to get hooked.

I finished the series and loved it. Pure escapism at its best. A friend calls it "brain crack." At first the story seems a tad disjointed and shallow, but taken as a whole (all four books) it really fills in nicely. Leaves you hoping there will be a fifth and maybe a sixth book.

Anyway, I was impressed with the stills and trailers coming out of the movie so was looking forward to seeing it, which I did tonight. I have to say I was a little disappointed. A reviewer said it well. Today, most book adaptations are well over two hours in length. This book, produced by a young company (which, one assumes, did not have the capital to do this movie to the fullest) needed at least 2.5 hours to show well on the screen. I missed the development of the relationships within the Cullen family as well as between Edward and Bella at school. I also missed the development of the relationship between Bella and Alice.

On the positive side, however, the casting for this movie was dynamite. Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen is worth the ten bucks admission and the future dvd purchase. I like the fuller Charlie character. Billy is a fuller character in the movie, too; credit to Gil Birmingham for making the most of the few seconds he has on the screen. Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) is terrific. (Are these actors well-known or newcomers? I don't go to movies very often and don't recognize anyone except Pattinson from Harry Potter.) Rosalie's antagonism had too much screen time because they didn't really make a point. Emmett didn't get enough time to develop his devil-may-care attitude.

Sounds like they will go ahead with New Moon. Here's one fan who hopes Twilight is successful enough to get the investors to give the producers what they need to really develop the story as it deserves.

For this one, I would suggest going to the movie first. The locations are useful to getting a visual of the book setting. Because the characters are so spot on, having those visuals wouldn't hurt for the reading, either. Then, with the sketchy movie version of the story tucked away, go read the books and immerse yourself in the full story with fingers crossed that they do better with the next installments.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I snagged this from Jennifer. I haven't done a meme in a while (and am desperate to get out of pontification mode). This looks like fun.

1. Political show
- I would not have survived the Bush administration without Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. Colbert's "The Word" helped, too. But for sheer political eloquence I agree with Jennifer that Keith Olberman must be at the top of the list.

2. Picnic food - Don't do picnics, but have very fond memories of breakfast (bacon and scrambled eggs cooked on the Coleman stove) in the park before going to the zoo.

3. Mixed drink – I don't drink alcohol (never have). Can I count an orange juice, strawberry and banana smoothie?

4. U.S. President – Bill Clinton (although I wouldn't want him for a personal friend).

5. Kind of student to teach – the ones who aren't afraid to let their faces light up when they "get" it (increasingly rare by the eighth grade).

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did - cross stitch and primitive embroidery; quilting; reading. I wish I were retired so I could get back to gardening. I wish I could find someone with a kiln so I could finish up the dozen porcelain dolls for which I have greenware stashed in my closet (my ex-teacher closed her shop when her parents became ill and she never re-opened.

7. Sports commentator – Vin Scully

8. Sport to watch on TV – Dodger baseball. I also enjoyed watching the curling during the 2002 winter Olympics.

9. Animal to have as a pet - I loved our Akita and would have another in a heartbeat. Also enjoy fish. Once upon a time I was into Himalayan and Persian cats and had 14 (did the whole show/breed route for a short time). No better way to decide cats are disgusting creatures. I'd loved them all my life and am still hopeful one will capture my heart again sometime (but don't know if I'll every get over gagging over the spit smell of their fur.)

10. Halloween costume you have worn – The last time I wore a Halloween costume was when I wore a long white robe with hood up to sneak into a concert my kids were playing at a local hotel. I would never do it again, but they were doing an Oingo Boingo cover show and I really wanted to see it without cramping their style.

11. Kind of dessert - If it ain't chocolate, it ain't worth eating. I make a killer mousse.

12. Comic strip - Wow, I haven't read the comics in years. Historically my favorites were Calvin and Hobbes (my younger son was Calvin) and The Far Side.

13. Style or make of footwear - Never got the girl shoe gene. The most comfortable shoes I've ever worn were my Mickey Mouse Crocs and I've worn them out. Great for standing and lecturing all day.

14. Ice cream flavor - Hagen Daz Chocolate Chocolate Chip

15. College or university president – Yeah, I keep up with that for sure.

16. Internet news source – CNN.com

17. Vacation spot - Big Sur in California or Eden, Utah (Eden would be first except that we're hoping to move there permanently so then it wouldn't be our vacation spot, would it?) For mini vacations, Disneyland.

18. Wine – Don't drink wine, but I like foods with dry white wine in them (like fondue or Hunter's Chicken.)

19. Way to waste time instead of working – This would be it.

20. Student excuse for late work – "The printer ran out of ink." My response is usually something like, "You've had three weeks to do this. Why were you printing it at the last minute?" Believe it or not, last year a student tried to turn in a late project (I don't accept late work) on a Friday and I wouldn't take it. Had the damn thing in his hand. The following MONDAY the kid's liar of a father showed up and claimed the reason his son couldn't turn it in on the due date was that their printer had broken down and Dad had to find the one that worked in the garage over the weekend. So, you want to know what's wrong with our schools?

21. Reality show – No such thing. Nothing filmed and shown on television (except MAYBE the news) is reality. I've never watched one and never will.

22. Jewelry on a man – One pierced earring, a simple stud or small hoop. No glitter. Very sexy.

23. Pizza topping – Italian sausage on extra cheese.

24. Children's movie - Disney's Sleeping Beauty. (Although I also love Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story. The new Tinkerbell is pretty adorable, too.)

25. Celebrity you wish would retire - Those Hilton women. I can't figure out why they're celebrities.

Declaration of Independence

Historians believe the Declaration of Independence was written to be performed, not read silently. I hope you'll have the time at some point to enjoy this gift from Norman Lear and his Declare Yourself campaign. If you don't listen to anything else, at least enjoy Morgan Freeman's introduction. (Music by John Williams, too. Doesn't get any better than that.)

Thoughts on Thanksgiving...

... and Native Americans

Kim introduced me to a new blog to add to my "Stitchers to Visit" site. Marcie has some thoughtful things to say about Thanksgiving and the history or Indian/White relations in our country.

Her comments reminded me of the video I show every year, produced by Norman Lear as part of his "Declare Yourself" campaign and his Declaration of Independence Road Trip. A few years ago, Declare Yourself sent a teaching kit as a gift to teachers, and I have been showing it to every student since. I've probably watched it a hundred times and I still get teary-eyed every time I listen to Morgan Freeman's introduction.

As most of my friends here know, I teach early American history. I originally planned to focus on Indian/White relations, but when I got to the university I had chosen for their fine Native American history program, I learned that the key professor had retired the year before. I switched my focus to Westward Expansion with Dick Oglesby (a move I never regretted). I've continued to study (including an amazing course in Cherokee history by Dr. Julia Coates and the Cherokee Nation). The more I learned about the relations between indians and Americans, the more I understood Native American reluctance to embrace Thanksgiving.

Their reluctance is well-founded. The history of Europeans, then Americans, in relation to the peoples they found here when they arrived is a history of, at best, competition for limited resources and, at worst, betrayal of the worst kind at every level. Martie is right, though, than in some circumstances - usually those in which Europeans/Americans behaved with integrity - very healthy and supportive relationships developed. In the late nineteenth century, after the "end" of the Plains wars and when the American government decided that Sitting Bull was still a threat to be eliminated, some of Sitting Bull's most vocal supporters were his white neighbors.

He was assassinated anyway.

Which is why I am grateful to be reminded, by Marcie's thoughtful Thanksgiving comments, of Morgan Freeman's comments at the beginning of the Declare Yourself video. He says,

"The real glory of the Declaration of Independence has been our nation's epic struggle throughout history to close the gap between the ideals of this remarkable document and the sometimes painful realities of American life."

It is not for Americans today to feel guilty about our ancestor's treatment of the People, but rather to work to ensure that the atrocities (if not physical, but political) of the past do not continue into the future. I, for one, feel a sense of justice at work when tribes, in SoCA often pushed onto the least productive of lands, have built huge fortunes for their people through the gaming industry. While, granted, some tribes still have work to do to determine how best to help their people with this new income, it is totally inappropriate for the U.S. government to now be looking at ways to - again - tap this indian resource for white people's gain.

So, while I will honor this day of meditation on the many things I have to be thankful for, I will refrain from featuring Pilgrim figurines in my Thanksgiving displays.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Foundation Piecing?

Paper Panache is back up!

Linda took a little hiatus but her site has been updated with new treasures for foundation piecers. Check it out.

Home for the Holidays

Yes, we're home from Utah.


Don't get me wrong. I was thrilled to see my son and looking forward to the holidays.

But it was perfect in Utah. No snow yet (a disappointment) but otherwise gorgeous! Temps in the 40s (I'm such a jeans and sweatshirt girl) and QUIET. The construction in the development is finished (at least until the economy turns) and the "resort" element is waiting for ski season so it was just a beautiful, sleepy valley to putter around in.

We stopped at the market on our way to the condo and stocked up on too much junk food (and about a gallon of Cream O' Weber chocolate milk, which would spoil you for all other chocolate milk) then settled in to enjoy the quiet. DH, at my request, put his phones on vibrate (and on a pillow) so that they didn't interrupt the quiet. Not surprisingly (since we'd been up since 3:00 am) we both had a lovely nap in our chairs which got our visit off to the perfect start.

One of my favorite fall sights in the valley are these trees with the orange bark. In some areas the valley just glows orange.

Most of the time we just kept the TV on mute (DH can follow football quite nicely without the inane comments from the sportscasters, thank you). Stitching did occur. And I listened to The Amber Spyglass on audio while I stitched. Little flaw in one of the discs so I missed chapters 27 through 30. I'm hoping what appears to be
something smeared on the disc will clean off. If not, I can read the chapters in my hard book. I was also trying to stay awake on the last night to finish the book and kept dozing off during the last couple of chapters so have to "re-read" those in some form or another.

I had finished New Moon (the second in the Twilight series) on the plane up and kept Eclipse next to the bed for nighttime reading. I was proud of my control! I managed to not bring the book up for daytime reading, and finished it on the plane home.

As I said above, there was stitching. And frogging. And re-stitching. And re-frogging. Stich. Frog. Stich. Frog.

I gave up.

My goal on this piece is to finish all the floss, then the metallics. Then I'll block it. I bought a BIG set of Q-snaps - big enough for the entire design. After I block it I'll mount it in the big snaps and do the beading. Then I'll take it to Utah so the Shepherd's Bush framer can frame it for me. Trouble is, somewhere during the couple of years that I've worked on the blue fairy (keep in mind, I only work on this piece in Utah because I'm finding it very difficult to work on the small gauge, dark blue linen and can't do it with the distractions here at home) I dropped a couple of vertical rows. It didn't make much of a difference in the body of the dress, but now that I'm at the border along the bottom of the skirt things aren't working out right. I decided that what I need to do is work the metallics along that border now, then go fill in the rest of that dress. I'll have to make stitch-by-stitch decisions on how much rust, how much blue to work in, but it will be OK. The problem I was having this week is that I don't have a definite line to orient the stitching (since I'm off the chart). Of course, since we were flying and only wanted to bring carry-on luggage, I opted to leave all the non-essentials (like the metallics) at home. Once I made the decision to abandon the blue skirt for now, I moved the piece up and worked on the green fairy's petticoat. Much easier, although the white is pretty boring to work on.

The visit was pretty idyllic. The only negative was that we scratched the rental car.

We'd set off on Sunday afternoon hoping for a late lunch/early dinner out. Our favorite restaurant is closed on Sundays (we don't think they are LDS, but so many families spend their Sundays at family dinner that a lot of the restaurants close), so we went to the next choice. They were closed for a month's vacation (also something that happens during the off season up there). So we ended up just going to the Wingers for a hamburger.

DH decided to take the back route home (up over the North Ogden divide which would have taken us up closer to the snow-capped peaks and always gives us a breath-taking view of the valley. We were turned around on the road up by a very kind policeman ("Sorry, I'll have to turn you around." ) Just minutes before we got there, there had been a horrible car accident. A woman had a suspected "diabetic incident" and drifted to her left, rear-ending a car waiting to make a left turn. The car she hit smashed into the Saturn in front of it (also waiting to turn left), pushing the entire back end of the plastic car into the pilot and co-pilot's seat. When we left for home, the newspaper reported that the 13-year-old girl who had been in the back seat of the Saturn was still in extremely critical condition.

Now turned back to our usual route, we continued up 12th Street. Before we had gone even a mile we saw more flashing lights. There had been another serious accident at the intersection of 12th and Monroe. Not too many emergency vehicles (they were all up at the near-fatality we had just been turned away from) but three vehicles involved. One was a pick-up with oversized tires. It was nose-in at about a 45-degree angle in the roadside ditch but leaning toward its right side. Both tires were off the left side of the car. The missing tires were lying in the road. We haven't figured that one out.

We continued up through the Ogden Canyon and started the left turn over the spillway (which is how you get to Eden unless you want to take a 20-minute detour around the reservoir.)

Our usual "Welcome Home" picture.

As you make the left onto the dam, there is a tall wall (we don't know why they built this view-destroying wall there but it's about 8 feet tall) so you can't really see what's waiting on the spillway when you are driving up to it. As DH made the turn and we were just nosing onto the spillway, we looked across the water and saw one of those huge fire department ambulances coming our way and almost to the narrow, two-lane road across the spillway.

Even in our aged, befuddled, vacation-state brains it only took a second to realize that the oversized ambulance and our rented Camry were not both going to fit on that spillway, so DH pulled into the tiny bit of shoulder (about a foot wide and only about three feet long) that was at the entrance to the spillway road. This left the car behind us stuck across the road in front of the rapidly-approaching ambulance. DH inched our car up as far as he could so the other car could pull in out of the way and got 1/64th of an inch too close to the guardrail. Fortunately, the scrape (in the bright red paint) was only on the front fender. It could easily have been all the way along the side of the car. And one of the things we love about Utah is that everyone is pretty hang loose about this kind of stuff. In fact, one of the women who helped us at the Enterprise rental return had been raised in Eden (still lives there) and knew the spillway well.

It will cost us $$$, but to me the worst part of any "accident" is the wondering (and often the guilt) if you could have done anything to prevent it. In this case I truly don't think there was anything DH could have done. It was either a small scrape from the guardrail, or a large scrape from the ambulance.

Oh yes, and the ambulance was not going to either of the accidents we had already seen. He hung a left turn and went back toward Huntsville. As we watched him drive up the road we saw a third accident. In this one a white truck (or maybe a van?) was off the road and headed nose-down toward the reservoir.

It was about 4:30 in the afternoon, so I figure that people had been watching football games and drinking and then headed home. It was weird - almost apocalyptic - to see so many accidents in such a short period and such a short distance from each other. All things considered, we were pretty lucky to have only had that small scrape and no physical injuries.

We sure were happy to get safely tucked in, however.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are you scared?

My 300th post!

I know, I'm supposed to have some kind of contest or something. I'm too lazy. Or too burned out. Or something. Maybe for my three-year blogoversary?

Maybe not.

I'm still enjoying Meyer's series. I'm about halfway through New Moon. Jacob is about to have a life-changing experience.

Since the movie comes out tomorrow (and I won't get to see it until after Thanksgiving) I thought I'd have some fun with this template. And it is fun. I am so bored with mine and happy to have found this fun site.

Facebook has some entertaining flair related to Twilight. My favorite is,

"After Edward Cullen, my expectations of men are a little unrealistic."


So, DH and I leave for Utah in the wee hours of Saturday morning (plane leaves LAX a little after 7:00 am.) I have the rest of the Twilight series, the audio (unabridged) of The Amber Spyglass and I still haven't started Brisingr. Also am taking the Firefly Faeries to stitch on. I'm thinking The Amber Spyglass will win out on this trip since I can listen and stitch at the same time (and the headset will block the inevitable football games and DH's cell phone calls.)

We come home Tuesday night.

I wish everyone as nice a weekend as I hope to have and a warm and loving Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chocolate cures everything.

Well, maybe not.

It's been one of those weekends.

Backstory, Part I: I teach middle school. DH mentors adolescents. I have tried to communicate that, if he must have them at the house, I would appreciate it if he would do so on days and at times I am not here (like every other Saturday) because I really have had enough of dealing with kids during my work week and really don't want to see, hear or SMELL them on my days off.

Backstory, Part II: 27 years ago we installed a carpet in the family room. At my BIL's suggestion I chose the best quality carpet I could find on the best quality padding I could find. I also followed the advice of a friend's husband who was a carpet cleaner and contracted yearly for Serv-Pro to do a "showcase" cleaning of said carpet. (Showcase = shampoo first, then steam with a truck-mounted steam cleaner). I was rewarded with a carpet that looks new every year. I have this done right before Thanksgiving so that when I decorate the house for the holidays it's over a clean carpet. Sadly, the local Serv-Pro was sold to a couple who ditched the shampooer and now only steams. I've been very disappointed in the result for the last three or four years and commented on same to the contractor that did the back bedroom rennovation last spring. Turns out, he has a cousin who does just the kind of cleaning I wanted. So, I had arranged for him to drive up from (gulp) Anaheim (about 70 miles) to clean my carpet this morning at 9:00 am.

Last week DH asked me if I wanted to participate in the anti-h8 march in neighboring Ventura, California. Of course I did! Then he reveals that he's taking one of the teens (a loud, self-absorbed 16-year-old). By Saturday morning it turns out that this simple act (drive up, march, drive back) has evolved into a potentially all-day event involving constant presence of one or more young people. I suggested that I take my own car so that I can come home right after the march and prepare the house for the carpet cleaner the next morning. At this point I learn why I was really invited to the march. Said adolescent may not ride with DH unless there is an adult female chaperone in the car with them at all times. I was stuck. As we prepared for the march we checked out the route and were pleased to note that the parking garage where our car rested was on the way back to the staging area for the march, so we agreed that we would peel off and leave early. Once we reached that spot, though, DH had collected several of his gatherlings along the route and didn't feel he could just up and leave since he had talked them into coming, so I was stuck sitting in the car for over a half-hour waiting for him to finish the march and return to the car. If I'd known this would happen I would have brought a book, but as it was all I could do was sit in the hot car hoping to catch a breeze off the ocean.

He finally arrived (teen in tow) and assumed that I would drive us all home. When I protested he assured me that teenybopper would be pleased to drive.

I drove.

I had planned to do the prep for the carpet cleaner as soon as I had rested and rehydrated and, indeed, got a little start when the doorbell rang. Little did I know, he had invited these kids to come to our house - all five of them - after the march. They monopolized the bathroom (leaving it rank), smoked outside (at least he honored my demand that they not sit in my brand new recliner if they'd been smoking) and were so loud that even on the other side of the house with the door closed I could hear them, especially the 30-decible cackle of the star of our attention.

Need I mention I was NOT able to do anything in the family room as far as prepping for the carpet cleaner because the room was pretty full of bodies watching a (yawn) football game?

Finally, they all left for a local college game. (Note: DH did not bother to provide dinner for his wife although same had been promised.) This was at about 6:00 PM. I grabbed a piece of peanut butter toast and a glass of milk for dinner and prepared to get to work. First step was to open up the house (guess there is a benefit to a hot Santa Ana condition) to clear out the stinky feet stench.

The phone rang.

It was my older son with wonderful news. His wife's aunt is treating them to a trip back to her home in Japan for Christmas and - more importantly - New Year. I know my DIL has been missing New Year with her family and yet there is no way they can afford such a trip themselves, so I'm thrilled they get to go.

I wept for myself.

After three hours of cleaning and shoving furniture around I was ready for the carpet cleaner. After a shower I went to bed and finished a book I've been reading, then went to sleep before DH got home. I was still so angry, though, that I did not sleep well.

This morning the phone rang at 8:30 AM (my carpet cleaner was scheduled for 9:00). It was the carpet cleaner. He was trapped in Anaheim because all the freeways were closed because of the fire. Sigh. We set up another appointment for Tuesday (a day I had taken off to grade papers).

So, there I was, angry, frustrated and sad when DH came into the family room this morning. When I shared the news about the Japan trip I lost it and he was patting me and trying to be sympathetic. I was pretty direct that this was a "last straw" kind of a thing after yesterday. I really hope I have done a better job of communicating that I do not welcome these kids on my days off, but DH has a real talent for not hearing what he does not want to hear.

I have plans to just vacate the house from now on if they show up.

In the meantime, I decided my attitude was going to take more adjusting than I could manage with willpower alone, so I headed for Trader Joes' for a chocolate run (I try not to have it in the house). I guess I overdid it: frozen chocolate chunk cookie dough, French truffles, chocolate bon bons, a chocolate torte and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

No, I haven't eaten it all. But I felt better for having brought it home to indulge if I wanted to.

The only "upside" of the weekend so far has been reading the book, Twilight. My students (well, the female half, anyway) have been passing the Meyer books around for a few years now and the debut of the movie next week has them all atwitter. While I was shopping at Costco I saw Twilight for cheap (with Robert Pattinson, et. al., on the cover) so I picked it up. It took almost 200 pages for me to really see what the excitement was about but must say I have loved reading this book and have ordered the other three. I think I'll go see the movie (a late show) next week. The trailers look like they've done a pretty good job with it.

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen. I thought he was terrific as Cedric Diggory. Guess when you die a Hufflepuff you get to come back as a vampire.

I'll have to check to see if DH has teenager plans anytime next week.

Good opportunity to cut out for a movie.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I thought of Chiloe...

...when I saw this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Book FOUR?

Book FOUR, Paolini? Book FOUR!?!?!

Olbermann Special Comment: Proposition 8

I'm angry that at the same moment I could stop being embarrassed for my president, I had to start being embarrassed for my state. As always, I'm grateful to Keith for his ability to put my feelings into words.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Real Life...

...happened yesterday.

I liked it a lot.

First, I read a couple of chapters of Eldest before getting out of bed. I re-read Eragon already and hope to finish re-reading Eldest before the 22nd. We're going to Utah for a few days before Thanksgiving and Brisingr is slated for the trip.

Then I got up and put Tinkerbell on the computer for company and entertainment while I folded laundry from week before last. Then I sorted last week's laundry and put a load into the washer. Over the course of the day I managed to wash every dirty piece of fabric that I used over the last week. Unfortunately, this creates a bit of a problem since I don't have enough storage space for all of it when it's clean (especially with my new Obama t-shirt collection) but I managed - somehow - to get it all squeezed in somewhere so it's out of sight.

Then I got started on taking down the Halloween decorations. My goal with this project was to clean out all the plastic totes in which I've stored this stuff for years and reduce the quantity by one full box. It took me a couple of hours but I managed to get everything down, cleaned, sorted and re-packed. I'm giving away several cute pieces that I never put up any more (including the unused brain jello mold that I've had for a decade). Then I put up my small collection of Thanksgiving stuff.

I emptied some storage containers (if the cereal falls into the trash can in one lump, it's finished), washed them and put them away. I cleared off a counter that had had the same collection of flotsam sitting on it since Christmas.

I finally put together the meeting schedule for the Exec Board of the union local for which I'm president (it's been done in pieces before and they were having a hard time with that) and sent it out.

I sorted the last few weeks of mail and pulled the bills to get into the mail tomorrow.

I went to the gym for my 45-minute walk on the treadmill.

When I got home I got cleaned up and DH took DS2 and me to a very nice restaurant for a nice dinner to celebrate Obama's election. During dinner DS2 filled us in on his progress toward applying for grad school at Berkeley. He hopes to get his masters in journalism, something that professors had urged him to do. He takes the GRE next month and will apply for admission spring of 2010. He has enough media classes already that if he takes a few more classes at the community college he should be able to get an AA in Journalism to go along with his BA in Anthropology. After dinner we went to Coldstone Creamery for dessert. Once again, I concluded that they have the worst ice cream in the industry and from now on I will just enjoy the company and pass on the food when we go there.

After we got home I snuggled in for a relaxing evening with my book in my new recliner under my new warm throw. I planned to read several chapters. Instead, I read barely two pages before I was sound asleep.

Stitching happened night before last. I'm doing some embroidery on the sashing on the spring quilt. Once I got some 1/4 inch bias tape sewn down I started twining a vine around it. Not worth sharing a photo yet, but it went better than I'd hoped.

It's nice to feel within the living again. Now I have to write some checks to get those bills in the mail and get ready for work. If I can conquer some of the chaos at school, I should be in better shape from now on.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Back to Living

with a message for Barack Obama, next President of the United States

I wish I could gloat.

Certainly I, and my fellow liberals, deserve to. For the last eight years, we've been treated like we didn't exist by the current administration. I did celebrate on Tuesday. Cried pretty much nonstop for about three hours.

It was the looks on the faces of the people in Grant Park that kept me blubbering.

This is my favorite photo from that night.

My favorite because Mom's and Dad's faces reflect my feelings.

Don't let me down, Mr. President-Elect. My children are like this daughter in her "change" shirt with her face aglow with trust.

I believe in your message, Obama. And damn it, I expect to see works projects that employ AMERICAN construction workers rebuilding our decaying infrastructure. I expect to see AMERICAN techies designing green energy systems to be manufactured by AMERICAN workers. I expect to see my son and his wife actually get to consider starting a family because you help them get out from under their $900 per month health insurance premiums on one teacher's salary. I expect to sacrifice to help my neighbors who are losing their homes because of medical bills or because one or both of them have lost their jobs, but not so that some stock broker can get an $11,000,000 bonus for a year's work instead of just $1,000,000.

I expect to see American soldiers from Iraq trickling safely back in to the United States AND I expect to see progress toward co-existance in the Middle East.

I expect to see Osama bin Laden on trial for the pain he inflicted on my child who was living and going to school in New York City on September 11, 2001. He still can't talk about the horror.

A CNN international newscaster said that it was amazing but the international reaction to your election was pretty much a wiping away of the negative feelings for the US inflicted by the idiocy of George W. Bush, almost a post 9-11 support for America under our new leader.

Don't let us down, Mr. President-Elect. We recognize that you are up against tremendous challenges. We recognize that the reality of the mess left by your predecessor is that you may not be able to move as quickly as you would have liked toward rebuilding a healthy America.

But I expect to see movement.

Don't let me down.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tinkerbell movie trailer

Tinkerbell is much more charming than this trailer suggests and the artwork is spectacular!

This movie...

...is absolutely charming.

for the little chic in all of us.