Sunday, December 06, 2009

Basic Muffin Recipe

Makes one dozen muffins.

2 cups flour- any combination of types
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup liquid
1/3 c butter or oil
1 egg

Mix all the ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare muffin tins. Spoon into cups, about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 min.

Add ins;
1 cup fruit
3/4 c chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts

I like to use these for leftovers. The kids will never finish a whole piece of fruit. So I'll chop up the apple, pear, plum, whatever and add in.

Some of our favorite combinations are 1/2 c oats in place of the flour, with milk and chocolate chips or cranberries and egg nog this time of year.

This is very plain and needs something added to it but that's up to you. Experiment and try whatever strikes your fancy.

Friday, December 04, 2009

DePhoMo

As if I needed something else to do, December Photo Month. A photo a day....

Dec. 1 - Gifts for friends-Yum, I had to keep one for myself.

Dec. 2nd Fire-It was evening and I was playing around with the functions on the camera.
Dec. 3- Walking the dog- Isn't this just the sweetest thing, usually the big kids walk the dog and Journey never gets a chance but the kids were in school today.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I cannot believe how long it's been

I am a bad blogger. I deserve a spanking for neglecting this for so long. Let's see school is back in session. Sapphire is in middle school now, if you can believe that. I am much too young to be the parent of a middle schooler. Kenz is in 1st grade, he's doing excellent. Journey is at home with me, all by his lonesome. Not that he's missing the kids much, we get to spend all day together. He has lots of fun mommy time.

Part of the reason that I wasn't on for so long is that my hubby lost his job. Money was super tight and the internet was not a necessity. But things have been working themselves out so I'm not too worried. I guess I have faith that everything will be fine and so it will. I know that sounds really naive but that is just how it has worked.

Before he lost his job I signed up to do several craft fairs here this summer. They were already all paid for and I had all the supplies. So I worked my butt off and got ready and made enough money to pay any bills that needed to be paid. Then we had a yard sale and made enough money so that everything got paid. Then we got a settlement, he hurt his back in Nov. of last year, which we were not expecting. We thought that since the surgery was paid for and he was all better then that was that. So that was an amazing surprise. So you see things just have a way of working out.

I am planning on doing NaNo again this year. I want to do it to finish off my current novel. I figure it'll at least give me a lot of raw material to edit.

I have been working on this novel, well consistently, for about a year now. Some where along the way I lost my voice. It hurts some to read it and see that it's not the same but there is no concrete evidence that it isn't. It's that feeling that you get when you read a book. Now it's not mine anymore.

I've been volunteering for Sidelines for almost a year now. It's been great so far. It feels good to know that I am helping someone who's shoes I was in several years ago. I wish that I could have had someone to just say "Hey, I got through it, it wasn't easy but you can do it too." Bedrest sucks big ones. There are no ifs, ands or butts about it. You are stuck, if you are lucky at home, in a prone position for weeks or even months. You cannot do your own laundry, make your own meals, shop for groceries, or clean your house. You are reliant upon others for most everything. You learn patience, and to let things slide. You go insane with boredom and learn more about yourself than you probably wanted to know. If you are lucky you are not taking daily medications, shots or hooked up to a pump. You are monitoring yourself, or being monitored, for contractions. You over-think and re-count fetal movement like they were seconds on a clock. And with all this, constantly in the back of your mind, is the worry. You are on bedrest because your body is not functioning the way that it should. You worry about your health, your baby's health and the possibility of premature birth or miscarriage. And you do all this isolated and alone most of the time. I think that any woman who makes it through bedrest deserves a medal.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dreams and such

I was thinking the other day about doing a pictorial story of Inanna's descent into the underworld. I don't know why but those random thoughts just pop in my head. It's my over active imagination. Plus, who doesn't want to be a Goddess for a day? And there is something empowering about portraying dying and rising again. Conquering your own fears.

So fast forward a couple days and I pick up a book about soul searching- Soulcraft, Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche by Bill Plotkin. I'm not that far into it but it talks about Inanna and her descent into the underworld as a journey of soul discovery.

Last night I had a dream, I stood at the gates of the underworld. They were tall black iron gates. I could not see anything but the gates, everything around stood in shadows. I could not see the path. I stood there poised to open the gates. Then I woke up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Family Reunion

My family reunion is this weekend. It's extra special this year because we are celebrating my great aunts 100th birthday. So there will be a really good turn out, lots of people I haven't seen in years. Plus my cousins are coming down to stay with me so that will be nice. I never get enough time to spend with my extended family. I wished they lived closer. I like some of my cousins better than my sister. Is that a bad thing to say? She and I are just totally different and have nothing in common but blood.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be a Donor

If you've ever thought about it before now is a great time to sign up to be a bone marrow donor. Through the 22nd they are having a free membership drive, usually you have to pay for the typing. So check into it, it may save someones life. http://www.marrow.org/

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grocery Shopping

I actually enjoy grocery shopping, by myself. With three kids it's enough to make me want to drink. There is some law of the universe that says that kids make any mundane chore 100 times harder than it needs to be. Today my middle son kept poking my daughter. Then they get to yelling at each other. All the while I am trying to walk along and find whats on my list. And all the breaking up fights and separating the kids I loose track of what I was looking for so I end up going back to get things I forgot. If it wasn't a 30 mile drive from our house I would have just packed them back up and went home.

To try and burn off some of that energy we went for a bike ride. I raced Kenz along the path, he almost beat me too. That was fun until the kids decided they wanted to go to the river. I was not planning on getting wet, it was getting late. Which led to a very whiny walk back.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Bags and A Fantastic Pattern


So I've been sewing like crazy getting ready for the Saturday market I'm doing this summer. I go through moods where I love sewing certain things and will just make a ton of them. Lately I've been loving bags, esspecially the Buttercup Bag. So it's a free pattern if you aren't going to sell them but I plan on selling them so I bought the pattern. It's so simply but looks fantastic. And when I bought the pattern there was a larger version, because I carry around a lot of crap. So the two brown, one of the denim floral and the smaller diamond pattern ones below are Buttercup Bags.

When trying out patterns they don't always end up looking so good or working out well. Like the top left bag... it looks okay in the pic but I ended up getting interfacing on my iron and getting it on the bag. It's got a couple spots that look like grey boogers stuck to it. I managed to scrape off the most of it but it left behind a couple grey spots that won't come out so it'll be a freebie. Then the skull bag, how the heck did I manage to twist one of the handles before sewing it on? Then after ripping it out and resewing it on it got all bunched up and now I'm ready to throw the stupid thing across the room. Such a shame because it was pretty cute.

I think the applique on the the two totes looks a little funky in the pictures, looks so much better in real life. I need to practice with taking picture so much. Of course it might help if they weren't just laying on my cluttered dining room table. But who has the time?

New Additions

Our family was very excited to welcome Natasha to the world on Thursday evening. She's a big beautiful baby and already the apple of her parents eye. I don't think I mentioned it but my cousin was expecting. Actually currently two of my cousins are expecting and one just had a baby. It'll be nice to not be the only one with kids. Plus lots of baby cuteness to cuddle and buy adorable itty bitty socks for.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update on Tomato Planters


Excuse the weeds, behind the fence is city property I can't do anything about that. The plants are doing really well. I was hoping that I could water them with the sprinkler as I watered the garden. You can't see in this pic but the garden is on the ground in front of the fence. On some of the jugs I cut the top opening large enough to catch the over-spray but most of them do not. So they need to be watered by hand. It's not a big deal, and with as much rain as we get in Oregon I won't be needing to do it often. This sunny warm weather is strange and unsettling. I'm so used to the rain, it feels more like August than May.

New Camera=More Pictures



Cooling off on a hot day








A rhody heart and the whole line of bushes.










Some pretty pansies along the front walk.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rock Feature


The kids had dug a "river" in the back yard. It was a big fat mud hole. I was getting so tired of cleaning up all the mud. So I filled it in with the big pile of rocks that was in the backyard. So I killed a few birds with one stone, no more muddy mess, no more ugly pile of rocks and a pretty rock feature in the area of the yard where grass won't grow. It needs some fine pea gravel or sand to fill in but it looks a million times better.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Some Old Writing

I was just reading through some of my old stuff. Trying to get back into the right frame of mind, it's hard to write if you've forgotten in the meantime what you character was doing. But some of these are funny, sweet, or sensual. Just thought I'd share, as if anyone actually reads this. Hint-Ice Cream is not about ice cream, food can be very sensual.

The Porcelain God

I worship thee, morning, noon, and night.
I fall to my knees before you
Begging for reprieve.

Lost beyond control
Clinging tightly, afraid to fall
I give in to my body's demand.

How I try to stay away
No remedy can be found
I'm compelled to seek you.

So cold and hard
You stand unmoved
At my pain and tears.

Oh porcelain god,
How I long for delivery day!

Ice Cream

Round, milky
luscious
cherry tipped
cinnamon sprinkles

begging your tongue
to dance along
the curves
smooth and sweet

delicate lines
blueberry syrup
trickle down
pooling in the cleft

the warmth
of your breath
melting
into puddles.

Dancing in the Rain
Pelting crystals
Melting diamonds
Raining down
On glistening skin

Moonlight limbs
Starlight eyes
Dancing in the rain
Under night skies

Friday, May 08, 2009

Doorknobs and Pansies

So today I changed all the doorknobs on the outside doors so they all have the same key. But what really led up to me changing the knobs was a startling discovery. I went to let the dog out back this morning and discovered some of my plants knocked over, a door that was back there on the ground and foot prints-human and animal- all over. It scared me even if nothing was missing and no one tried to get into the house. So I put a lock on the door to the porch and changed all the other locks so that they match.

It was another nice day today so I mowed the lawn. My head is still stuffy and aching. I need to wear a mask or take a pill before I mow. My allergies are killing me. For some reason they are so much worse than last year.

Then Journey and I planted pansies along the front walk. It looks really nice now. I need an edger so that it's a clean line. Not on the top of my priorities right now though.

Sapphie is spending the night at a friends house. She was so excited. Don't you miss slumber parties?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Baking and Golf


An interesting combination....not that I did them together. I don't golf, my hubby does. He bought the kids some clubs awhile ago. There was one, don't ask me what, sitting in the back yard. Being so short I could actually use it. So instead of picking up the slimy ball to throw for the dog, I whacked it with the kids golf club. The kids thought that was hilarious. Mostly because I couldn't hit the side of a bus with the dang club and would have to swing at least three times before I hit the ball. I'm talking about a tennis ball here, not a golf ball. Yeah, hand eye co-ordination has never been my strong point. In fact any time I participated with any time of sport I have been injured, like breaking bones and needing stitches kind of injured. Still I killed several birds with one club, I exercised both the dog and I, and entertained the children. My day ends pretty good if I've made the kids laugh.

Now on to baking...it started to rain. So our outdoor adventures came to a close. I still had a little bit of bean soup leftover from the night before but it wasn't enough to feed everyone. So I added some tomato sauce, and corn, chili powder and cumin. Ta Da! Chili! The kids actually liked it better than the bean soup, and ham is interesting in chili. But you can't have chili without corn bread and since the oven was warm you have to make cookies. That's a rule right? So we made chocolate chip cookies and corn bread. No use wasting energy.

Miracle Diapers


Miracle Diapers is a nonprofit organization that provides cloth diapers to families in need. I have been sending off various seconds, out of season, pattern testers and such to them for quite awhile now. I just finished off a batch of diapers to send to them. It includes, a couple one-size pattern tester that I decided not to pursue, a few diapers that have been cut out but unsewn for a long time and various other fun things. I also still have a few of Journey's diapers laying around. So I'm filling up a large flat rate box and sending it off next week.

Milk Jug Tomato Planters

Okay you can't tell too well from this picture but I cute a hole about an inch square in the bottle corner opposite the handle.
Then I cut off the top, being careful not to mess up the handle.
Here's a tip that I didn't know. Your plants should still be pretty small. I had a larger plant and had to slice up the side to get it to fit in then taped it over. I don't know how well this will work in the long run. But we're experimenting here. So shake off some of the dirt around the root ball.


Now after practice it's easier to insert it from the top then it was to try and squeeze the root ball through the small hole at the bottom. Don't laugh at me, I'm sure other's have done that too. Just carefully thread the plant through the hole.
I cut up an old cotton sweater to help brace the plant. Other instructions have used either nothing at all or those basket liners. I didn't want to just leave it bare, the sides of the milk carton seemed kind of sharp. Plus it helped keep the soil in.

Here they are all done, I still have to hand them outside but it still gets a little chilly in the evenings. In another week or two it should be good.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Planting Tomatoes

Today I went to the local Master Gardeners plant sale. I bought a bunch of heirloom tomatoes, some herbs and peppers. I plan on making upside down planters with milk jugs. I will let you know how it goes, with explicit directions and pictures. I've read plenty of directions on how to make one but they don't have pictures.

Merry Beltane

Today was a beautiful day. Journey and I went for a walk to the river and threw rocks. This evening we had some friends over and made s'mores. Then the kids picked flowers, filled a basket and left it on a neighbors doorstep. She'd been sick and the flowers made her day. Now all the kids are asleep, it's raining and peaceful out. I'm going to curl up in bed with a book.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tired

I haven't been sleeping well. I'm worn out and now I've got a headache. My older son got detention today, he head butted another child. ?!?!? I do not understand his thought process. He doesn't understand regular social rules. He thinks he's playing but other kids don't. Sigh.

I miss my husband, I haven't seen him in a month. I don't know how long it will be before I see him again. He's working so hard.

Ideally he would get a new job where he could come home every night and still make the same money. It would seriously decrease the stress for both of us. You get married and have a partner, someone to support and lean on. It's hard to be supportive or lean on his shoulder when we are thousands of miles apart.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chapter 17, not for the faint of heart

His foot tapped in rhythm to a silent beat. His fingers danced along the page notations in another language, mouth working words to a song unheard. A smile lit his face as he stopped.


“Finally, that's perfect.” He took up his guitar and the melody flew. Rising in harmony with his voice a worshipful song filled the air. Eyes closed, he raised his head, directing his song towards the heavens. As the room grew silent a knock sounded on the door. His mother peeked her head around the door.


“Hey rock star, are you ready for lunch? Come down and eat with us.”


“I've got to figure out the return on the chorus. It doesn't sound quite right.”


“It sounds great. Pastor Tom loved the last one. I was just telling him last Sunday that you are so blessed to have found your calling so young and he agreed with me. He was saying there is a festival up in Idaho that he thought you should go to. It's for young musicians and it sounded like fun.”


“I don't know Mom, is it for Christian artists or just young musicians? My music isn't really popular, it's different.”


“Your music is just as good as any rock artist out there. And it has a great message, they could learn something from you.”


“You're my mother, you are supposed to say those things.”


“Well it's true, you were blessed with a gift. But the festival is for young Christian musicians. He said that the church would be happy to help fund it if we needed some help. Everyone loves your music. The youth pastor was telling me that it brought in more kids. He said they could hear the rock music on Wednesdays and came in to check it out. Your music draws people to the faith. I am so proud of you.” Her arms reached around his broad shoulders, sandwiching the guitar between them for the quick hug.


“Thanks mom, that means a lot to me.” Jeff's face turned a bright red as he hugged his mom back.


“I'll leave you to your music for now. You have to eat lunch though, if you're not done soon I'll come back up for you.” Her blond ponytail bounced like a young girls as she left the room.


Pausing for a second as he regathered his thoughts Jeff's eyes wandered the room. Jimi Hendrix, Switchfoot, Third Day, and Sanctus Real posters decorated the room, along with photos of his family and friends. Above his bed hung a gold cross, a gift from his grandmother. A rag rug, recycled from old jean his mother made for him as a infant, lay on the wood floor between his bed and dresser. The furniture was mismatched and multi-colored but it fit Jeff. He was always trying to find ways to fit his faith, art and love of music together.


Sitting back down in front of his desk he picked up the guitar from it's stand in front of the window. Sunlight streamed in lighting the wood a burnished gold. The varnish had worn away in places from generations of hands. Settling down his fingers picked across the strings. The tune was bright and lively, the kind that made you want to get up and dance. Sparkling and vivacious the chords played along with his voice. A worshipful tune filled the air, his eyes closed in rapture.


Like motes dancing along the sunlight insidiously it slid in. Settling along the dark recess, in the hollow spaces it waited. Sighing along the harmony, dancing with the melody, he breathed it in. As much a part of him as the music now he didn't notice it's assault.


His fingers skittered, discordant notes screeching. Quickly he looked down shaking his hand out in front of him. The scorpion was flung across the room, hitting the wall behind his bed with a smack. The guitar fell to the floor as they poured out, a black stream of scrabbling bodies. Spreading across the floor they multiplied, a growing wave of venom. Tails raised they crawled under the door, from under the bed, in the window, out of the outlets, they filled the room.


He jumped onto his chair, keeping his feet from the floor as he screamed. They rained down from the ceiling. Piercing the skin on his skull, painful stings radiated down his neck. He shook his body as his pulled off his shirt, screaming louder and louder. Standing in stark relief against his smooth copper chest was a silver cross hung on a black strap. Silver dripped, melting as eight legs emerged, followed by a wicked tail already dripping venom. Lightening quick it struck, puncturing the skin again and again. Venom burned through his veins. His hand flew ripping off the necklace. His feet kicked out but in vain. Like thick black tar they clung to his feet and legs, his thin pants offering no protection from their stings.


Gasping he tried to draw in a breath. He swung out wildly, his actions disjointed as his eyes roved without aim. In his final moment of abject terror he cried not for his god but, like all children, his mother. The way towards the door blocked with swarming scorpions he looked towards the window. Without even opening the window he jumped. He had to escape. Glass shattered across the floor. Implailed upon the ragged shards he struggled to breath. Blood poured along the cedar siding, dripped down the window sill to puddle on the floor. His feet dangled, surrounded not by stinging arthropods but sheets of music. The room clear but for the paper ruffling in the breeze. Twitching, blood seeped a delta of red along the black notes. The sun streamed in shining rubies along the wood and paper. Heavy and peaceful the air hung pendulous tasting copper and sweet.


The school was lacking it's usual hectic hurried mood when we walked in. Everyone seemed so somber and quiet. I didn't know if it was lingering from Rachel or if this was tension from finals. My bones ached with heaviness as we rounded the corner headed towards the senior lockers. Huddled in the corner were a group of girls tears streaming their faces as their arms locked embraced. They are really dragging this out. Probably trying to get out of finals, they'll go crying to the counselor and get a pass. That actually sounds like a good idea. I wonder if I could work up a few fake tears.


Zane is running down the hall towards us. He stumbles nearer, his face pale, tears shimmering in his eyes.


“Did you hear about Jeff? I just can't believe it. He's such a great kid. Boy he could rock that guitar. I just can't believe it. It's like the school is cursed or something. First Rachel now Jeff, it's just such bad luck.”


“What the hell are you talking about? What happened to Jeff?” Although there are several Jeffs in the school only one of them was in the band with Zane. He's pretty cool, got this Christian Band going, even if I'm not into that kind of stuff. We weren't friends or anything but I knew him through Zane.


“I guess he killed himself. One of his neighbors said they saw him just try and jump out his window but it wasn't even open. Caitlyn is in the hospital, she lived across the street and was outside sunbathing when it happened. I guess she's all drugged up now, she couldn't stop screaming. Kevin lives down the street and came running when he heard her screaming. He told me all about it. It's just sick. I never would have thought he'd do that. He's so, like Christian, he talks all the time about his relationship with God and stuff. Isn't that like against their religion?”


Haven and I exchanged a look. Tears welled in my eyes as they trickled down her face. We both knew the truth which made it one hundred times worse than just another teen suicide. The three of us clung to each other as Haven sobbed. Tears dripped down Zane's face, dropping into my hair. Surrounded by sobbing students, the deja vu was disturbing. As the school year wore down I didn't want to think about how many times this scene would replay.

So about today

It was one of those just eh days. Not horrible but not great. I burnt my finger making dinner. Hubby's paycheck still hasn't cleared. I'm just tired. But I finished another diaper and made a bunch of tee bags out of old tee shirts. They are going in the back of the van for shopping.

I finally figured out how to insert links. It's pretty pathetic it took this long. It's hard to type without an index finger.

Yeah this is incredibly boring, no one wants to read this.

I've been struggling with a chapter in my novel, it just isn't right and I can't put my finger on it. It's like I lost my "voice". Anyways so if anyone reads this feel free to comment, be aware it is very graphic.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Discovery

Today my older son discovered what happens when you stick an egg in the microwave. For those that don't know, it explodes. There are still little pieces of egg that I will have to take toothpicks to get out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baking


I spent most of the afternoon and evening baking and making candy. My kitchen is so hot now. I don't know how long it will take before the chocolate cools. But today I made toffee, gingerbread biscotti, and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I attempted to make peanut brittle without using corn syrup, that didn't work so well. I tried it twice and both times it sugared. The first time I there was water in my candy thermometer and it was steaming up. I couldn't read it. I don't know what happened the second time. I gave up after that, no use wasting all that sugar and nuts.

We got the kids rooms mostly cleaned. I still have to vacuum and mop. Of course once the boy's room was clean they didn't want to mess it up so Journey dragged down a box of toys. Now my living room is a big mess. Go figure.

Cleaning Day for the Kids


I have really been putting this off. I hate being a nagger but that's what I have to do to get the kids to clean their rooms. My daughter's especially has gotten bad. You can't see the floor. I don't understand, she just doesn't have that much stuff. She doesn't really play with toys anymore. She's not a clothes hound. How does her room get to looking like a tornado hit it?

The boys are easier to understand because they have tons of toys. The train sets alone would take up the whole floor. Not to mention the leggos, cars, stuffed animals, ect. And they share a room, two boys=twice as much mess.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What I Did Today


Don't worry it's not an incredibly boring list of chores and such. If you remember, and can look back, my daughter is very interested in theater and acting. There is an extras agency not far from us and today I signed her up. It should be a learning experience for her. I'm sure she's going into it with all these kinds of expectations that will be very different from reality. But that's life.

My novel is coming along well. I've written another two chapters. One I'm not sure that I won't edit out later but it works in the novel now. It just started out a YA novel, now it's gotten rather graphic and some of the content is not what I would let my YA read. But I'll either market it as a sci fi/fantasy novel or just edit it. I love it as it is. I know...as a writer we often have to kill our babies...I'm prepared. But I shocked my mother with how graphic and disturbing it was. I think if I gave her nightmares then it fulfilled my immediate goal.

My house is a mess. Really, I am not a good housekeeper/housewife. I'm untidy, disorganized and just messy. But I went for a walk in the sunshine today, watched my son throw rocks into the river and the dog try and fetch them. Rocko, our pup, is afraid of the water, he wouldn't go in past his belly. So Journey would throw the rocks in and then Rocko would bound in after them. When they went too far out he would sit there and bark at the water. I watered my garden and watched the rainbows dance. Journey and I played cars, which his was very bossy. I helped Sapphire with her fractions. Kenzie and I read the Cat in the Hat together, I only had to tell him about a word every page. Who needs a clean house....

Going Back to School

And it's me this time. I'm planning on starting college in the fall of 2010. So right now I'm checking out my options, looking into financial aid and possibly moving. I did get my associate of arts transfer degree, but that was back in 20o1? It's been a long time. I'm not sure what credits will transfer over. Also not what would transfer if I went to a school out of state.

I'm dreaming big here though. Never hurts to dream, right?... Like getting a full ride scholarship and attending an Ivy League university. I figure as I am inching up on 30 I won't be doing this again. I want to get as much out of the whole experience as I possibly can, while not being buried under a mountain of debt. Unlike most college grads I will already have the mortgage, kids, and other such things.

I might actually want to take the SAT's. Ack! But a lot of scholarships request either your SAT or ACT scores. I had never even heard of the ACT! Another thing to add to my to-do list.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waste of time

I left my phone at my mother's house after our visit last weekend. I do not have a home phone. So no one has been able to reach me, except by email, all week long. My poor hubby, he's thousands of miles away and couldn't even hear my voice.

So I went down there today to pick it up. I couldn't let them know, my mother never checks her email. Wouldn't you know I get there and can't find my phone. So I go to a payphone ( I know, hello, should have though about that before I drove the 100 miles) and call my mom to ask where she put my phone. My sister has it and is taking it to my house.

I get home and my sister is waiting there. We just missed each other. What a waste of time, gas and energy!

On a better note, I got my bathroom cleaned. I know pretty normal but the kids have been playing in the mud the past couple days and it was a practically a pigsty.

Now I'm relaxing with a glass of wine, which makes me a big funny. Now someone let me know how to insert a link.

This is just perfect right now. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing_id=17825985

It's just striking my mood, tickling my funny bone. It makes me laugh just imagining my grandparents hanging their coat on it when they come over for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Signs of Spring



A New Bag


I've been working on a new pattern for a hand bag. This is just the first try. It's not perfect but good enough for me. After sewing it up I realized there were a couple small issues, but I've got them figured out now. Also it was the first time that I put on magnetic snaps. A lot easier than I though they would be. I am liking the new camera, it tends to flash too bright and I can't figure out how to turn it off. That's what I get for buying a cheap camera. I keep hoping mine will turn up. It's around here somewhere.

It's a Beautiful Day

The past couple days have just been beautiful. Definitely out of the norm for the Pacific Northwest, it was sunny! Sunny, warm, with a slight breeze, perfect weather. Unfortunately it's also pollen season so I spent a lot of the time inside. I'm out of honey, which was really helping me last season. Once the Farmer's market starts up, if it hasn't already I have to check, I'll see if I can find a local vendor.

I took advantage of the low humidity to make some candy. I made some toffee and some meringues for friends. Yummy melt in your mouth orange spice meringues. I've gone through two pounds of butter, a 5 lb bag of sugar, four bags of chocolate chips, two cups of almonds, and 18 eggs.

A couple weeks ago I finally got my garden in. I have seeds sprouting all over the place. I cheated a bit and bought cabbage and cauliflower. But I have radishes, carrots, spinach, lettuce and sugar snap peas coming in. I had to rig up a kind of fence because the dog kept running straight through. It's funky looking but it keeps the dog out.

The kids have been working on their "river", otherwise known at the big mud hole they dug in the back yard. I don't mind too much. As long as it stays outside and they don't have the water running all the time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Texas Trip


So I have been putting this off because frankly I wish I hadn't of gone. It was a very stressful trip.

We left on a Thurs. early morning, stopped by my mom's house to pick up a couple things, then stopped by my mother in laws house to drop off Rocko. The first day went by very uneventfully. We made to the hotel at a semi-decent time. Our first stop was just south of Sacramento.

Here is where things went wrong, I really shouldn't have planned to drive the whole 3,000 miles in 3 days. So not only was I set to drive (non-stop) 12 hours this day, I discovered that my a/c was broken. Today I was driving through southern California and Arizona. It was not fun. It probably took closer to 14 miserable sweaty hours before we made it to our hotel for the night.

This was set to be the longest driving day. Driving to Texas, through New Mexico, with no a/c. It took close to 16 hours, in a car with three kids. Now to make matters worse I have now driven through two time zones so it is two hours later than my clock says when we arrive. So instead of two in the morning it's four in the morning.

Our first day in Texas with the hubby was great. We went to the Kemah boardwalk and road rides all day. They had live music and street performers. Kenzie was the most adventurous but unfortunately his height doesn't match. He couldn't go on a lot of the rides that he wanted to. And I can't find any of the pictures on the computer so sorry.

Our second day in Texas, hubby has to work some in the morning so the kids and I were planning on trying to find a park to play at. On the way to the gas station Journey threw up all over himself, his carseat, the back seat of the van. Yah for projectile vomit! So instead of doing anything fun I spent the day doing laundry and holding a sick boy. Watched a Ben-10 marathon, not much into cartoons but Journey loves it. Hubby took the kids to help clean out the van.

I cannot even remember what we did the next day. I am so tired and miserable, it started raining. I was just wishing that I had stayed home. We had planned on going to NASA but didn't make it with sick kid and rain.

Our last day in Texas we head down to Galveston, check out the hurricane damage and play all day at the beach. The water is so much warmer than the Pacific. It's lukewarm. The water and sand feel a little greasy, oily. When we left the beach my car was covered with a film and I felt like I needed a serious bath.

I gave myself an extra day driving home so we left early the next morning. The drive was actually really great. Everyone behaved and the weather was fine. We arrived in Amarillo at about 7. When I arrived there I was informed that they were expecting a blizzard. It was 73 degrees out so excuse me if I didn't believe them.

Wouldn't you know they got like a foot of snow, 40 mile an hour winds, yeah we were stuck. They closed down all the highways. Huge pileups, accidents all over the place. Great! It is just my luck so far with this trip that I would get stuck in a freak blizzard.

So we wait a day at our hotel, luckily it had an indoor pool. They had a reseraunt in the hotel also but truthfully if I had an option I would have gone somewhere else. The service was awful, they didn't even bring us enough silverware for everyone. The food was even worse.

We started out the next day driving slowly through the ice and snow. It wasn't bad, I've dealt with worse when we lived in Sunriver. By the time we made it to the New Mexico border it had basically cleared up. We made it to our hotel in fine time.

Today we planned on going to the Grand Canyon. Which added an extra two hours to my drive that day but it was worth it. It's just amazing. Mother Nature doesn't like me though. It was freezing cold and windy. The kids got out of the van, walked up to the railing, took a couple pictures and then ran back to the car. They were too cold.

Because of our detour the drive was extra long. Wouldn't you know it, Mckenzie got sick. This time he gave me some warning and I had time to dump out my cd's and give him the box to vomit in. Poor boy. We couldn't stop and let him rest. We finally made it to our hotel at about 11 that night.

Then our last day of driving! I let the kids sleep in, Kenzie needed it. Then breakfast, I love Holiday Inn Express!, and on the road yet again. Begining to feel like a Willy Nelson song here. Kenzie didn't get sick again and things went well.

We had planned on stopping at the Oregon Vortex. It doesn't say from the highway what the hours were but it did say days. It was open that day so we decided to try it. It's way off the beaten path and by the time we got to a sign that said hours we had ten minutes to closing. I thought okay it can't be that much farther down this road we'll get there just in time for the last tour of the day. No we go there at 4:06, yes 6 minutes late. I wasted close to 40 minutes on that detour. But it's not too far from our house that we can't make the trip any old day.

We were so glad to get home. Rocko was so happy to see us. Then the next day I got sick. Spent all night and into the next day vomiting. Then another couple days woozy and weak.

Total miles close to 6,000. Two sick children, one sick mom. Spent close to $1,000 with gas and everything. Wish I would have stayed home.

New Bag


I just love how this one turned out. I want to keep it but seriously how many bags does one woman need. I'm not even diapering so I don't need a bag this big. I love the little rose button. I have enough of the rose fabric to make a purse for myself. When I can find the time.

I have a few other bags cut out and ready to sew up. I'm leaving today though so I won't have time to until I get back on Monday. I'm heading up to visit my Aunt with my Mom and all the kids. It's about 5 hours from me so it's not a huge drive like the Texas trip.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My New Piece of Work

I started this story several years ago. It was based on a nightmare of mine. That obviously set the tone. It's very dark and graphic. I'm giving myself nightmares just writing it. It's helping me explore myself though. I think by finding new and gruesome ways to kill off characters I learn more about the shadowy recess of myself. It's hard and fascinating.

There are times when I have to laugh though. Should someone look at my past Google searches I'm sure that they would be slightly worried with what they find. How long it takes to die from poisoning, the symptoms of snake bites and scorpion stings, visual effects you may experience when drowning...

Needless to say that it is nothing at all like my previous novel. It feels more true to myself and sometimes I worry about what that says about me. I have a sick, twisted mind? or just an overactive imagination.

Dreaming

I always have strange dreams, that's not new. It's not unusual for them to be very vivid either. Lately though it feels different. I can't put it into words what's changed, they feel almost prophetic.

There is a time when you are twilight dreaming, not deep, not awake. Sometimes sounds from the real world will travel into your dreams. That's the time that I am talking about.

I was falling, drifting down, feeling heavy in my center and nothing in my extremities. Then I heard it, "momma, momma", far off and distant. Not a cry, or an exclamation but as if someone were searching for me. It wasn't one of my children's voices, it was a young girl.

I felt like I was looking, searching, trying to meet up with the voice. I jerked awake and called out to see what someone needed. No one answered. I got up and looked through the house, everyone was asleep.

There was something about that half dream that just won't let me go, a feeling like I've lost someone. It still lingers two days later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Long time no post

I haven't posted in forever! Sorry I will try and do a basic catch up.

Hubby had back surgery, got laid off, found a new job, had a fantastic recovery, is working thousands of miles away and I only get to see him once a month.

Sapphire is back in public school. I'm sad and defeated but it just wasn't working anymore. It's hard enough to be a parent of a preteen without being a teacher at the same time. She's happier, and I'm less stressed. She's doing Girl Scouts and loves it, she's made a lot of new friends.

Mckenzie is doing well in school. He is advanced academically. He had some behavioral issues but we're working them out. The teacher believes that he's ADHD but we are both willing to work on the issue alternatively without using medication so I'm happy with that. I don't think she's entirely wrong but I do think that a lot of it is boredom, he's said that before and she's working on ways to keep up with him.

Journey is 3 almost 4. He's doing all the normal 3 year old things. Bouncing off the walls, drawing on the walls and throwing things at them when he gets upset. He is really into drawing lately and makes some interesting pictures. He is obsessed with dinosaurs, I think he has 7 books now. Not board book either, but like encyclopedia books. He will sit there for a long time just looking through them, he's beginning to tell them apart now.

Me...I'm writing again. That is why I haven't been on much. I have been writing like crazy, I'm about a third of the way through a different novel. It is totally different from the other one. It's a sci-fi/fantasy novel. I was originally writing it as a YA novel because the protagonist is pair of teenage girls but I don't think that will work. It's very dark, graphic and the language is probably too advanced for a younger audience. It's not foul language just what my junior high teacher would call $5 words.

I also volunteered for Sidelines. I have been thinking about this for a long time. With my pregnancy with Sapphire I really would have loved to have known about this organization. Being a teenager, pregnant, on bedrest after a previous miscarriage; it was a very scary and isolated time. So now I am going to be providing support for other women on bedrest. I think it's a fantastic organization and am so proud to be involved.

I'm looking at going back to college in the fall of 2010. Journey will be school age (gasp!) then so I won't have to worry about daycare. Also if there is a small period of time between the kids and me getting home Sapphire will be old enough to watch them. I'm looking to possibly going out of state. Oregon does not have many affordable college choices. It would depend on where I can get it and what kind of financial aid/scholarships I find. It's been difficult looking as most of them are directed at high schoolers. My high school grades are not really relevant and I never did take the SAT's. I was thinking about taking them to see if it would open more options. But I have time, that's why I'm planning so far ahead.

We just got back from a trip to Houston, Texas. It was a hellish drive and I will never do it again. I will update more on that later.