Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Or as my three-year-old says "Hahhee Haween!"

A quick funny story -- I got my son's Trick-or-Treat bag out of the side entry, and couldn't help but laugh when I opened it up to find it full of candy...from last year. Oops. Such good parents were we that we probably gave our (then) two-year-old a couple of choice pieces, waited until he had forgotten all about his huge loot, and put it away.

Have a fun and safe day! We'll be trick-or-treating at several stops and then on to a fun Fall Festival! Don't worry, we'll be sure and eat lots of candy for ya'.

Caffienated through other means

Recently my dear husband brought me home a surprise from Starbucks. Being that I am not a coffee afficianado myself, I was thrilled when it was a CD and not necessarily a drink (although I am a fan of Caramel Apple Cider). I must admit, however, that I was very skeptical. I am a music freak, and yes, this will sound strange, but I was worried that I would not like it and then be frustrated that my husband dropped 10 or 12 bucks on the CD for naught. Ever since the birth of iTunes, my own personal record store, I have been a big participant in the listen to a snippet before you buy it movement, so it is rare for me to purchase anything musical anymore without either already loving the musician or taking a "test drive" by listening to excerpts. Yes, I take my music purchases very very seriously, haha. So I popped the CD in, not knowing what to expect from the name "Fleet Foxes", but hello, sunshine, I think I am in love. (Not with the band personally, mind you, I'm not usually a big fan of the mountain man/Yeti look, but with their music? Yes, ma'am.) Their music is very easy to listen to, and I love the mellow tones to their voices. I highly recommend the CD.

Here they are on David Letterman recently, performing "Blue Ridge Mountains":

Here is a fun little claymation type video, "White Winter Hymnal":

And another, "He Doesn't Know Why":

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Yesterday I got a wild hair that maybe we should get a pumpkin for our son to help carve. He is three-and-a-half, and in years past, this is not something we'd tried with him. I had seen some $2 and $3 at my Walmart grocery store, but those suckers were heavy and down at the bottom of huge cardboard boxes, so I mentioned to my husband to run by there and pick one up on his way home.

Sure enough, my husband picked out a pumpkin alright. He waltzed (or actually stumbled) in the house with a giant behemoth of a pumpkin -- we think it weighs around 50 pounds. Linus would surely be proud. Seriously. Really, though, what did I expect from my anything-but-normal better half?

After a dinner of chili (with Fritos) and pumpkin bread laced with mini-chocolate chips, we got to work. Or rather, my husband got to work, grunting and groaning against the weight of the thing, wrestling with it to try and pull out the top he had carved. Once that was accomplished, it took us a good hour to pull out all the guts and dig out the seeds. In the end we went for a traditional Jack-o-Lantern face -- forget all those fancy carving kits.

Think he'll scare the ghosts and goblins away from our house?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Say it ain't so.

I read this article today on Yahoo. If it is true (it simply cannot be true), and if the worst comes to pass, I'm giving up on TV for good. Pushing Daisies is one of the only shows I still watch, and if the rest of America only wants to watch CSI: Wherever shows (sorry, but it seems like there are a zillion different types of crime dramas on TV now), I guess that's just how it'll be.

First it was my beloved Men in Trees. Now possibly this? It's more than my poor heart can bear.

Some days are harder than others.

There are two days every year that are not quite so rose-colored-glasses-sunny-side-of-the-street for me. They aren't horrible days, by any means, just a little bit harder than normal. One being today, October 27th, and the other being April 27th. October 27th, today, would have been my dad's 72nd birthday. (Wow, now that I'm typing that out, 72 sounds so old for me trying to picture my dad, but he was 40 when I was born, so that's about right!) And April 27th is the day he passed away, a mere three and a half years ago. Many of you already know the story, but for those of you that don't, here's the short version: my grandfather (step-dad to my mom, but the only grandfather I had known) passed away in March 10, 2005 -- somewhat expected since he was in his 90s and had recently had his health rapidly decline. My grandmother, who was not doing the greatest herself, but was much younger in her early 80s, passed away two weeks later March 25, 2005. The day after her funeral, my dad went to the doctor to get checked out (a big deal for my dad the doctor-phobic), and within days we found out he was in Stage 4 kidney cancer. Bam. Just like that. He passed away a month later on April 27, 2005. (He had hardly been sick his whole life, so I wasn't exactly planning on losing him so very quickly, not that anyone ever plans on these things.) A few days after his passing, we got a call from our adoption agency that the baby we were waiting to bring home had been reclaimed by his birthmother (a more rare occurrance in international adoptions). He was the baby we had shown pictures of to my dad before his passing. Sheesh. This would be where the ol' phrase "when it rains it pours" would be very appropriate. At that point I was starting to wonder if somehow a new chapter of Job in the Bible would be written with my name in there somewhere. (I kid, I kid, but it was starting to look a teensy bit comparable!)

Needless to say, 2005 was not the best year for us. But God is good, and He brought a new baby referral into our lives immediately, and a year later we brought our son home and named him after my dad. And I must admit, I am truly grateful that I did get that last month with my dad to say goodbye, rather than have him stolen away from me with no warning at all. Time has definitely worked to heal my wounds of losing so many so suddenly, and most days are easy. But there are days like today where I just wish I could sing Happy Birthday to my dad.

He was a great guy. Always laid-back, very easy-going, very satisfied with life, never one to want much more out of life than being with us, watching John Wayne, listening to big band music, and cheering on his favorite college football team. He was a very quiet man (except for yelling at the TV during football and basketball, the only times during my life I ever heard him raise his voice), although he could talk your ear off on occasion. Oh, and he loved ice cream and ate it almost every night (I think this is where my love of ice cream comes from).

Right before his funeral, one of the funeral directors came up to me with a small velvet bag in his hands, asking me who to give it to. Inside the bag was my dad's wedding band. This director obviously didn't know my mom had made the decision to leave it on his hands in the casket, but I had opposed her decision. I gratefully accepted the bag, opened it up, and stuck it immediately on my right ring finger, surprised when it actually fit! (My dad was a small guy.) His ring has remained on my finger ever since, and it has been such a comfort to me, feeling as if he is with me throughout the day and experiencing life with me still. Speaking of the ring, though, I must tell you what happened last year, about a year and a half ago. I went to the Walmart grocery store to pick up some groceries, and while I was in line paying (with cash), I thought I heard a coin drop. I was in a hurry and didn't care about losing some change, so I hurried out. Later that day, I realized his ring was not on my finger. And then I realized something even worse -- I had actually forgotten that day was the anniversary of his passing (which I attribute now to trying to actually mentally block it out because the loss was still so deep at that point), and on that day of all days I had lost his ring, in my mind, one of the only tangible things I had to remind me of him! Seriously, losing his ring on the actually anniversary of his death?! Oh, I was beside myself. When I retraced my steps that day, it finally occurred to me that it had probably been lost there, but when I called, they had not found anything like a gold ring. I cried buckets and buckets and buckets, knowing that more than likely someone had walked off with a free gold ring. The next day I decided to go in to the store and ask in person, just in case. Sure enough they too told me that nothing of the sort had been found, but I was free to look inside their lost and found drawer. Back in the corner, there was the ring. I started crying tears of joy right there in Walmart (and I am not normally an emotional gal) and told them the story. The Walmart ladies joined me with tears of their own. I have never loved Walmart so much. ;)

my dad, Sept. 2004, shortly after the birth of my nephew, his first and only grandson he would get to see (there are now 3 grandsons total, with one more arriving next month sometime)

Happy Birthday, Dad. I'll be sure to eat some ice cream in your honor. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Conversational Spanglish.

As far as the title goes, this post doesn't have much Spanglish in it, but our everyday life does. You'll hear phrases like "put it in your boca" or "no mas right now", etc. Since I am not yet fluent in Spanish, for now, Spanglish it is. Regardless, my boy is starting to talk more and more, and a lot of it is pretty funny and cute. I just had to type some of it down in the fear that I might forget it if I don't.

"lie a tan-pah" -- like a grandpa, said while moving my glasses to the tip of my nose, in a grandpa fashion, I guess. I'm not sure where he got that one, since my dad passed away before he came home, and his other grandpa lives far away and they only see each other about once a year.

"Hey Bal!" -- Hey Val! Um, excuse me? Since when are we on a first-name basis? I didn't even know he knew my real name, I mean, other than Mama, of course.

"Tanh tatch meeeeeeee!" -- Can't catch me!, followed with loads of giggling and sprinting off.

"Wuh woo BabyMama" -- Love you BabyMama, in response to my nightly salutation of "I love you, Baby" before I turn the lights out in his room.

"Pincess! Pincess! PINCESS!!!!!!!" -- (princess) shrieked while cruising the tulle/satin aisle of fabric at JoAnn's fabric store.

"Wat a name?" -- What's your name, asked of every single person we come into contact with. Every. Single. Person. I think we have a little Will Rogers on our hands (he never met a person he didn't like). And he only gets louder and keeps asking if the poor stranger doesn't hear him, or gasp, tries to pretend they didn't hear the question.

"No tatching. No hidding. No pussing. No biding. No puh shir." -- His morning ritual in the car on the way to preschool, listing all of the offenses he can think of that he promises not to pull. (No scratching, no hitting, no pushing, no biting, no pulling shirts, and no, I have no idea where the pulling shirts rule came from, I just hope it is not girls who have been the victims on that one!)

"Day doo, Dah, por my poo. May-men!" -- Thank You, God, for my food. Amen! At every meal. And snacktime, don't forget the snacks.

"Mama, me pitty heh!" -- Mama, I have pretty hair. Pointing to his trademark fauxhawk.

"Essdeday" and "last nigh" -- Any reference to time, be it in the future, tomorrow, a week from now, is all referred to as yesterday or last night.

"I hode you." -- I hold you, meaning please pick me up and hold me, Mama. I always thought it was cute when other little kids phrased it that way, but man, talk about tugging on your heartstrings when it's your own child saying this...

"Fah fah way?" -- Far, far away?, used in reference to all of our beloved relatives scattered across the US.

"ee-yee" -- TV.

"Sossy, Mama." -- Sorry, Mama.

"boobehbehs, tawbehbehs" -- blueberries, strawberries

"puntin pie" -- pumpkin pie, but usually refers to anything Halloween in general and all pumpkins, regardless of if they are made into a pie or not

"may-oh-mah" for "ha-ween" -- telling everyone he will be a mailman for Halloween

"peez peez" -- how he says Please, almost always said in duplicate with his cheesiest grin ever

Counting to ten: "one, two, fee, eight, nine, ten!!!"

And the not so cutest little things...

"WhyMamawhy? WhyMamawhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy? WhyMamaWhy?" -- to be repeated at least five hundred thousand two hundred and sixty two times a day. At least. My husband, with the mischievious streak that he has, thought he would turn the tables on our son to see if it annoyed him like it annoys us, but it only goes one way apparently. If you ask our boy "Why?", he always answers with a smiling face and a "yes" or a mimicking "Tus I seh so" (cause I said so) like he hears from his Mama.

"Wheh Papa doh? Wheh Papa doh? Mama, wheh Papa doh? Wheh Papa doh?" (Where'd Papa go?) Over and over, day in and day out, even though he already knows the answer that Papa went to work. I've given up on answering the question, although my silence doesn't seem to deter the numerous repetitive question.)

"Wha dat? Wha dat? Wha dat? Wha dat?" -- (What's that?), usually followed up with the dreaded Why?

"Who dat tar?" -- (Who's car is that?), never placated by my answer of "I don't know because I don't know that person." This is a constant question in the car as he points to every stinkin' car that passes by out the window and wants to know, no, more like needs to know.

Okay, and on a totally unrelated note, why do some churches call their Halloween festivals "Trunk or Treat"? I am confused at what the "trunk" part means or where it came from. Anyone?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Git 'er done.

Ugh. It's been one of those days. Not necessarily a bad day, mind you, I'm still quite happy regardless, but just one of those days that I don't feel very successful. And I feel extra tired -- a combo of not yet catching up from last weekend's crazy busy schedule mixed in with the very busy days from this week and topped off with not enough time being a homebody like I normally enjoy. Here it is almost 2pm, not one thing has been checked off my looooooooooong list of things needing to be tackled, and well, here I sit. And ponder.

After waiting around for the plumber most of the morning (long story) the boy and I got out of the house to traipse over to our local JoAnn's fabric store. After cruising the aisles (aimlessly, I might add), I still couldn't find exactly what I wanted, and when I had taken the time and effort to wheel all of the potential fabric choices back to their places and ended up with only one left in my cart to purchase, I turned around to find the list at the cutting table a mile long. And they are not fast at my JoAnn's. Not to mention you could make it all the way through that line only to have to stand in another mile-long line at the checkout counter, where they never seem to have enough cashiers. Add to that my son piping up "I nee doh potty", and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. We walked out empty-handed, drove all the way home, and here I've sat, lamenting the waste of time.

So, I suppose that would all add up to mean one thing:
it's time to get up off my derriere and shuffle off to start tackling that list. Ah yes, that's the spirit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How low can it go?

How low can it go?

According to our local news, drivers around Wonderland were paying $2.32 a gallon for regular unleaded on Wednesday night. Prices are 30 cents lower than they were one week ago. The prices in Wonderland are 50 cents below the national average.

How low can it go?

A cold front came through last night, and today's high is supposed to hover around 50 degrees with a low around 40 tonight. Thank the good Lord above that cold fall air finally arrived!

How low can it go?
Lest you think everything around here is always sunshine and roses, it's my sad duty to report to you that our house is currently the scene of a crime. Yesterday's massive rains took a toll on our poor scarecrow. I feel like we should put yellow police tape up or something.

Talk about resourceful! I saw this on Pretty Ditty today. Really. Somewhere on this planet there is a girl who took all of her little selvedge strips from her fabric (the part I usually just chuck in the trash) and actually made an entire dress out of it. Excuse me, an entire very cute dress out of it. Don'tcha just love it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And the world spins madly on.*

*Bonus points to whoever can name the band who sings that song. No cheating via Google. Only answers off the top of your head welcome here.

Will I evah get caught up with life? Well, I don't know 'bout that, but I suppose I'll just have to try. Lord, have mercy, this past week has about done me in with how busy it was, and with the holidays approaching, I don't suspect it will slow down anytime soon. So from this point forward, I vow to put my best foot forward and accomplish what I can. Period.

One thing I would love to accomplish this weekend is to see this movie:

I read the book about five or six years ago, so I remember parts of it, but not how it ended, strangely enough. The mysterious ending will make me enjoy the movie even more, since my memory won't allow me to compare the book to the movie. It's amazing to think that it was Sue Monk Kidd's first novel. If I could crank out something that compelling, well, I'd be pretty pleased with myself!

So what has this prairie queen been up to lately? A little o' this, a touch of that. Here's the skinny over the last week or so: I played with my son during his Fall Break, I joined the little quilting ministry that just started at our church, I went on a road trip with my mom to Kansas City for my cousin's baby shower...

my beautiful cousin, C, myself, and the baby shower honoree, my other beautiful cousin, R (both of them are pregnant, but I only just found out that C is expecting her 3rd, the shower was actually for R)

...we "puppysat" another of my cousins' newest baby...

Lola, a beautiful 9-week-old Weimeraner, full of super-sharp little teeth!

...we took our boy to the circus (no one does it quite like those Ringling Bros.), we coordinated dinner for 50 or so hungry teenagers, and we all know what I was up to last night. All I can say about last night is, magic. I sure got some laughs from folks my age about going to see Neil Diamond, but I doubt anyone that was born in the 70's especially could deny their own ability to sing along with most of his songs. We were singing along at the top of our lungs to "Sweet Caroline", and I could hardly contain myself during "America". Way to go, Neil. I am forever a fan. (And it was that much sweeter that we scored our tickets for free. Take that, all you haters and teasers.)

Before all the craziness that was last week, I actually got some sewing accomplished! My quilts finally came back from the long-arm quilter (almost three months, people), and I did my best to hurry and get the bindings on them so I could actually start to enjoy them.

I used a vibrant Kaffe Fassett print for the binding -- purple with red polka dots. Thank you very much to my own personal Vanna White's -- Tex and Minnie Pearl, the naughty Italian greyhounds who will not stay off my red velvet sofa.

I used more polka dots from my stash on this quilt as well, this time brown on brown.

And how 'bout a treadmill update? To tell you the truth, I fell off the wagon towards the beginning of the summer. Yipes. That's a hard pill to swallow, and even harder to admit. I was a quitter. But the good news is that I got myself back on. After two and a half weeks back on, I have walked over 38 miles. Which also means I am getting back to my nightly viewing of Gilmore Girls, via the complete DVD collection in my basement. (I'm on Season Two now. Lorelai, oh Lorelai, how could you possibly let Max go?) Going back through the show from the beginning is fun, and it helps me to actually look forward to stepping on the treadmill every night. Speaking of, I didn't realize that it was weird to get on the treadmill every night instead of every morning. Somehow getting on every night just before bedtime doesn't affect my ability to fall asleep, thank goodness.

And so, with the treadmill on my mind, that is where I shall retire to...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Home Before Dark

Yipes. I didn't mean to let so many days lapse between postings, but man, if I couldn't use a little bit of clock-stopping around here. I have been busy, busy, busy. And then some.

Unfortunately, a lengthy post will have to wait until 'morrow because I have a hot date tonight with this man...

And yeah, it's okay, my husband knows all about it...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time just for Mama

(image above from somewhere on etsy, but darn it all to heck if I can't find it right now)

Getting up so early today (see earlier post) has afforded some positive things already. Like having plenty o' time to surf the net before my mama duties kick in for the day. In fact, according to my weekly check of all things new at iTunes, it is a very good week indeed -- new music from two ladies I love, Ingrid Michaelson and Kristin Chenoweth!

There are numerous reasons to love Kristin, numero uno being her role in Pushing Daisies, numero dos being her role a couple of years back in the made for TV movie version of The Music Man, and numero tres being fact that she is a favorite here in Wonderland. It doesn't hurt that her new CD is a Christmas CD, has a duet with John Pizzarelli, and that she covers one of my mom's favorite songs, "Come On Ring Those Bells", a song I found corny growing up, but might secretly enjoy now. Bring on the holiday music! I'll be downloading this CD today.

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Anyone else out there won the lottery lately? Apparently by now I should be filthy rich from winning the lottery, several times, too, by the amount of winning notification emails in my inbox and spam folder lately. Today alone I've already had five separate emails from the Irish letting me know I was a winner. And apparently my luck spans the globe as in the past week I have also been declared a winner in the United Kingdom and several countries across Africa.

I don't even open them. I just check the box, hit delete, and move on, for fear that if I even open them to try and somehow unsubscribe from whatever unlucky email list I got on, I will get some virus on my computer. Unfortunately for me, though, they seem to be coming more frequently.

Any advice on how to rid myself of these notices? I would prefer to live my simple life, free from the shackles of extreme wealth and the burdens that come with being so filthy rich. (And yes, this email is dripping with sarcasm, probably due to the fact that I got the worst night's sleep ever and am up and wide awake at 5am, hours earlier than what I am used to. Grrrrr.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More tea, please.

What a lovely evening. It was Bible study night for our group of girls from church, and we had the pleasure of a guest speaker. We listened to her tell of her experiences as a missionary in China. She moved there five years ago after her husband passed away, leaving her kids and grandkids here, a somewhat surprising decision since she was more of a homebody, always wanted to be close to her kids, and didn't like to fly. But she had a willing heart and a passion to teach English to students over there. She had so many beautiful pictures to share and stories to tell, many of which brought tears to my eyes, especially the stories about helping the kids in the orphanages. The hostess even had some customary tea for us to drink and fruit and cookies to snack on. We tried two types of teas, chrysanthemum and blooming flower, the second of which was our favorite. The chrysanthemum was bitter tasting, but the blooming flower, well, I don't know how else to describe it -- it really tasted just like what a beautiful flower smells like.

(This picture from Flickr is similar to what her blooming flower tea looked like.)

She also had a fun little game for us where we had to try our skills out with chopsticks by transferring caramels, cherry sours, and lemon drops from one cup to another. I've never been able to eat any meals with chopsticks, so I had to concentrate quite hard to grab those candies with just the chopsticks, which, of course, was still far easier than when I have attempted to eat rice with them. Of course I had no problems at all eating the candies...

It's nights like these that remind me of the importance of remembering that God can use us at any age, any stage of life, if only we are willing. We don't have to go overseas to be used as missionaries. We just need to be willing to plant the seeds and allow Him to do the rest.

Musings from your favorite random gal

How 'bout this for some randomness...I was catching up on my blog-reading the other day (always a fantastic way to spend my time, right, especially with a mile-long to-do list, but oh well) and came across this post on Ohdeedoh.

Is that not hilarious? A "poo-flinging monkey cake with spring-loaded arm which hurled Raisinets"??? What in the world?! (And how in the world, I might add.) Hmm, I guess it is just proof that there are other lovely folks out there even more quirky than me, ha! And you'd better send pics my way if any of you attempt this on your own, haha...

I think this might be my new favorite quote:

"Reality. It's so much more interesting than living happily ever after." -- Meredith, Grey's Anatomy.
True dat, Meredith, true dat.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. The plumber came to our house! We have had a drippy bathtub faucet in our hall bathroom for months now. (Yes, this is me admitting how lazy my husband and I can be, or maybe how unbelievably busy and preoccupied and forgetful we can be, depending on which way you want to look at it.) My husband finally called the plumber, and he came today and fixed it. Hallelujah! Funny thing about the plumber, he was a super nice man, but by golly, wouldn't you know that yes, he did indeed have a plumber's crack. Is that some sort of a requirement to being a plumber 'cause I'm guessing it obviously got it's name from plumbers for a reason???

2. My son was good today at school! (Yes, this is me admitting that my son has had some sort of a, um, naughty streak both at school and at church for the last few weeks, and when I say that there have been days where it just about did me in, I kid you not.) Hallelujah again! Funny thing about today -- when I picked my son up from preschool, his teacher was beaming when she told me that he was a good boy today. Immediately after she said it, another little boy across the table from my son immediately declared, "I wasn't!" It was pretty hilarious, or maybe it was more hilarious to me since it wasn't my kid for once. Ha!

And last, but not least...
3. The "best man" at our wedding was much better than this...

I saw this today over at Liz's blog. Lord, have mercy, it's pretty hilarious. My husband and I recently became directors for our church's Nearly/Newly Married Life Group (fancy new name for "Sunday School"), so things like this are especially funny to me now that I'm around newlyweds and couples in the thick of wedding planning. Of course, now that I'm an old married woman, going on 6+ years now, I can look back at this and know that, yes, although it is a pretty bad thing to have happen at a wedding, marriage is (thankfully) so much more than the wedding and all those crazy details that all of us once fretted and obsessed over as brides-to-be. This video makes me thankful for the 6 years under our belts already, thankful for having a partner who loves me even on my frumpiest, grumpiest days, and thankful for the years and adventures to come. (And okay, okay, very thankful that I didn't fall in a pool with my wedding dress on.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I want to be a winner.

Well, more specifically, I want to be a winner of this.

Wouldn't you?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can't we just live there?

Growing up I had a framed print in my room, above my bed, of the absolute most picturesque cottage you've ever laid eyes on. The title below the picture was just that, "Can't we just live there?". I find it an appropriate title for this next picture, one of the cutest houses I've laid eyes on around these parts in Wonderland. It's a bit of a jaunt from my house to this one as it lies on the outskirts, but oh, if I was going to change from City Mouse to Country Mouse, this would be my home of choice.

It's on just enough land, oh, probably 5-10 acres I would guess, to allow my husband to rescue as many dogs as his heart would desire, allow me to finally get a kitty for my own, and then for us to throw in a few chickens, a pony (dappled, of course), and a goat named Nan (from one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, Tammy and the Bachelor).

I'm sure glad that dreams don't cost a thing...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tribal love

Um, yeah, sorry about the lapse in blogging lately, or should I say, just not posting quite as often nor quite as much artsy-crafty goodness as all good and faithful blog followers deserve. I shall amend that at once. Er, tomorrow, at once. Er, probably more like tomorrow evening.

For now, I'll just give a fast synopsis of the last few days around here: sewing, bird-rescuing (a tale to be told), thrifting (a new venture for me that I think I will be doing more of in the future, fun fun fun!), dice-rolling (hence the lovely Halloween costume pictured above, necessary for the ultimate-in-fun Bunko evening), indie craft show attending, and just general mayhem on the prairie as usual. I promise to return tomorrow with stories. And more pictures.

And just so you know, the costume above should not be taken lightly. I am, in fact, a card-carrying tribal member, don't let the whiter-than-white skin and green eyes fool you. I even got Indian money when I turned 18, can you believe it?! My dad's mother was born in Indian Territory, and I am darn proud to be an Indian princess. And I do believe it might have been the Great Spirit who helped me in my Bunko wins last night, ha!

I'll leave you with an old Cherokee blessing:

May the warm winds of Heaven blow softly on your home,
And the Great Spirit bless all who enter there.
May your mocassins make happy tracks in many snows,
And may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Heaven help me.

I finally broke down and started reading Twilight.

Ugh - I could have told you this would happen. I am halfway through the first book in the series, and here I am, immersed up to my eyeballs, barely able to put the dumb book down and get anything else accomplished. The bright side to this is that I am actually looking forward to a movie premiere this winter. Only a few weeks ago I was still horribly bitter about Hollywood's stupid decision to push the next Harry Potter premiere from this coming November all the way to next summer. (Don't even get me started on how stupid that is, with November producing the absolute best chilly and gloomy weather, perfect for Harry-watching.) So now I will be looking forward to this movie instead.

If you'd have asked me anytime sooner, I would have never been interested in anything vampire related. (I know, I know, strange especially coming from a girl who is very much a Harry Potter fan, which isn't all that far off with its wizards, sorcery, etc.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Glassblowing 101

So last night we had one of the coolest dates ever. Glassblowing. Really.

I had heard that there was a studio in our city, and my initial idea was to do the date for my husband's recent 40th birthday, but alas, the studio is smart and not open during the hottest months of summer. So we instead made reservations for the first Friday night we had free after they opened for the fall, and off we went. I think my husband really had no idea what was in store, but thankfully, he is always up for my wild hairs...

After signing our lives and the lives of our firstborn away on a piece of paper (just kidding on the firstborn bit, but definitely acknowledging the dangerous aspect of standing in front of a 2000+ degree furnace with a metal stick in our hands and how we wouldn't turn around and sue them if we were stupid and got burnt), we were first assigned our safety goggles.

Stylin', eh?

Our instructor was cool, way cool. She asked us what we would like to make, and I, of course, blurted out immediately my desire for a pumpkin, since that is one of the offerings. She explained that pumpkins are not the most fun to make since we can only "assist" on those, but she said she would make us a pumpkin (with my assistance) and then we could each try our hand at a flower, the flower being one of the most fun things to make since there were a lot of steps to it and we could each do the steps ourselves under her watchful eye. All this to say, she was way cool since we would actually be bringing home three glass creations instead of just two (which was specified in the "glassblowing for two" package we had paid for). Yay for us.

On to the glassblowing...

She made us a pumpkin, with my blowing assistance (we all know how much hot air I am full of, haha):

It was a lot harder than you might think to be the assistant and blow the glass. While she was sitting on the bench rolling and shaping the pumpkin, I had to bend over quite low, put my mouth on this metal rod, and blow into a small hole while she was rolling the rod with her hand. The breaths had to be very controlled, and it was hard not to knock your teeth on that metal rod while it was rolling.

Then, the fun really got going. It was time for my husband and I to become glass artisans ourselves. Thankfully she first walked us through the entire process herself, demonstrating as she made a flower. Then she made us practice each and every step without the heat and the glass. This was especially important because as she pointed out, once the human body steps in front of a 2000+ degree furnace, your brain automatically goes into "fight or flight" response and oftentimes forgets all the important things she said to do.

My husband went first, not the easiest task, since he was to be the first guinea pig in experiencing the heat, the glass, etc. My husband is not necessarily a daredevil by any means, so he took it super serious, and I could tell he was apprehensive, especially about possibly burning himself.

And then it was my turn. Believe me when I tell you that the second person to do this has the definite advantage. Watching my husband react to the ultra-hot furnace, seeing how hard it was to keep the rod turning at the right rate and time to keep the glass on the end from falling off, observing the difficulty in pinching the glass to make the petals of the flower, etc., all helped me to have an easier time of it.

The finished products, which I just picked up this afternoon:

My husband's flower --

My flower --

and the pumpkin --

And that, my friends, is the recipe for one of the coolest date nights ever.