Friday, December 28, 2007

Funny Stuff

Christmas here was good for us. We got to spend more time with Erin than we have in awhile, which was really nice. We had a good time at my folks' house and there was no chaos, which is always a bonus, if you ask me. Everyone seemed to be pleased with their gifts, so I hope they were. I know Erin was a little disappointed that his were all practical, but I never know when he's going to pack up & hit the road, so I didn't want to get him anything that he could take with him. I guess if he wants fun stuff, he ought to settle down & get a job, so I know he's staying in one place.

One of Rhi's friends really cracks me up. If you've been reading here for awhile, you'll remember that she dated a boy named Sean last winter & that they broke up a couple of times before decided that they were destined to be friends & not a couple. Well, they're still friends, and it seems like he's always getting a new job. Just a couple of weeks ago he was looking for Dodge Charger accessories and working at Carl's Jr. Now, it seems he has yet another job & is driving a Chevy Impala. A few months ago, it was a Chevy truck and a different job. I just don't get how he does it, you know? Is it that he doesn't care where he works or what hours? Is he such a hard & good worker at his jobs that he gets great references even after he quits without notice? Is it just that anyone who isn't picky can do the same thing & my kids are just picky & lazy? What is it?!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sheesh Part 2

Rhi did finally go shopping. She bought some nice pigment eyeshadow & a lip gloss, and some body sprays. She also bought an eyeshadow that she hid from me so that she wouldn't have to wrap it up and some deodorant. I let her keep the rest of the money to do whatever with.

Troy bought himself some new Wranglers, a t-shirt with Ninja monkeys on it & an expansion to one of his games. I got Bare Naturale make up (foundation, blush, finishing & an eyeshadow), Lip Vitamins and some pants. We spent what we had left buying Erin a jacket he asked us for.

I missed a call from him last night, I'm hoping he was just drunk-dialing again, but I am a little worried, since he never called back & didn't leave voice mail.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


My mother-in-law sent us a check for Christmas, just like she always does. We only feel that it's right to actually buy ourselves some gifts with it & wrap them up until Christmas morning, it is why she sends the money, after all. When I handed part of the money to Rhi & told her that she had to buy herself a gift or two for the amount I gave her & wrap it & put it under the tree she seemed offended. She got even more upset looking when she was told that it didn't include Pepsi, sunflower seeds or going out to eat. What is so bad about being told you have to buy yourself something & not waste the money on junk food?

She did finally take her money & go shopping, I hope she gets herself something nice & not a bunch of crap. I'm still not sure what I want to get for myself, so I'm waiting & holding onto mine.

Good Weekend

Our party was a lot of fun, and yes, my headache was gone by the time we left. I just kept on top of it with pain reliever & caffeine until it went away. There were a bunch of good things to eat, like chocolate rum cake, orange meringue pie, Rice Krispies treats, cookies, fudge, pumpkin mousse, granola and of course, a lotof yummy drinks, too. Everyone enjoyed the gift exchange and a good time was had by everyone.

Sunday, Rhi & I took Kris home & then Troy & I pretty much just relaxed all day. We didn't go anywhere, except to grab some lunch, and we didn't do anything. Rhi had gone to her friend's house, to help him with his computer & they were eating out, too. I really think we need to look into key holders of some type, because she keeps misplacing hers and so we have to leave the house unlocked when we leave unless she's with us. Not that I really believe she'll use one, or anything.

Yesterday, we were just kind of sitting around, getting ready to go to Dawn's so I could take her a hook for her knitting loom & an old friend that we hadn't seen for a few years showed up. He was in town visiting his 5 sons and trying desperately to put out fires and get them back on track at school. We showed him where Dawn lives, because he had asked & we were on our way over there anyway. She was thrilled to see him, too, and we all visited awhile.

Cherokee (Dawn's younger daughter that had runaway on November 30) came home yesterday, too. She didn't really have any answers for her mom when she was asked why she came home, but Dawn was going to talk to her last night & try to figure out where to go from here, so I hope they've at least started on that. I really hope she'll do what she's supposed to this time and stop giving Dawn so much grief.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Getting Ready to Party

Our annual Yule party is tonight. I still need to make my pumpkin mousse & fudge to take along, but I have to look up the recipes, since they're on the hard drive I fried last month. I'm trying to get together enough variety in Christmas music to make a mix CD to take, but I'm having a hard time finding some of the songs I'd like to include (I had them, they're on that hard drive, too). So, if any of you have a copy of "The Little Blue Bell," "Father Christmas" (by The Kinks) or that one about Santa by Cheech & Chong, that you're willing to share with me, before about 5pm MST today, please let me know :)

I woke up at 5:30 this morning with what appears to be trying to become a migraine & I just decided to get up, after lying there until 7:15 & it not getting any better. I knew I was going to wake up with one, I couldn't get comfortable on my pillows when I went to bed last night. For me, that usually means it's already starting, but I just don't know it, yet. I hate it, for more than one reason. I want to feel good for the party tonight, yes, but I just got some new perfumes & I was hoping to be able to try one of them today. I'm very sensitive to fragrances to begin with, and I have to know if I can wear them without getting a headache from them.. if I already have one, I'll never know. Oh well, maybe I'll feel better later on. I think I'll make a pot of coffee & see if that helps at all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bringing Work Home

I remember back when Troy worked for the cable company here. He used to drive a company truck & he got to bring it home with him. Sometimes, he drove a van that they had & the kids loved to get in the back and play. They'd sit on the spools of Cat 5 cable and pretend they were working, or having lunch at work or whatever. It was pretty cute.

When he started working where he does now, they let him bring some blue plastic barrels home, and the kids used them for toy boxes for a long time. We still have one sitting in the kitchen, waiting to be thrown out, but we can't throw it out for some reason. I think it's some regulation with the company or something. I don't know.

The company that he's with now manufactures the stuff that goes in fire extinguishers (Halotron, I think it's called), so they gave us a really nice one a couple of Christmases ago. I was really thankful for it, because we could have never been able to buy one like that. I can be thankful he doesn't bring home the other stuff they make out there, I guess! (they make components to solid rocket fuel)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Geek is the New Cool

Have you heard that being a geek is cool, now? If that's the case, then up & coming bands need to start rethinking the way they name themselves. Instead if tough names like "Joan Jett & the Blackhearts" the new names in rock should be on the geekier side.

I can just picture it now, "The Polyhedrals," "Bruce & the HDMI splitters," "Shaman 5," and "The Hax0rs." Can you just imagine the names of songs? The music would all be very techno, of course, and everything would have to be recorded at home, on a computer. It would all be very "Revenge of the Nerds," and I'm pretty sure that I'd love it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Worries for the Future

The company Troy works for has done a lot of growing in the past few years, buying other companies in the UK, California & on the east coast. With the growth has come a lot of change, in order to meet the needs of many different types of employees, some of which are union members, some who aren't and so on.

I often worry that there will be a big corporate relocation, and we'll have to move & leave everything and everyone we love behind just to be able to pay our bills. I own a home here, that I have no desire to sell and won't live in for many years, yet (my parents are in it). All of my family except one of my children are here and I have fantastic friends here, too. I don't want to leave. This is my home. I truly hope it never becomes an issue with us, and that if it does that we can come up with a solution to it.

I know, I worry about some strange things, but at least I'm not sitting around jumping at every sound I hear! Speaking of which, some drunk guy walked right into our house last night, without knocking. Rhi was here with Kris & her friends & Troy & I were gone. She handled it really well and the guy left. He was looking for the tweaker who used to live next door and thought he was at the right house. I sure wish he'd have pulled that stunt with the guy that lives in that house now!

TV Shows

I've found myself, over the past few years, becoming less & less interested in the fictional lives of TV characters & more drawn to real life stories. I'm not talking about shows such as Survivor & American Idol, but instead Intervention (a show about people who enter alcohol & drug rehabilitation after an intervention by their loved ones), The First 48 (following police in the first 48 hours of a homicide), Forensic Files (showing how murder cases were solved using forensics), and strangely enough, My Sweet 16 (lavish Sweet 26 parties given to spoiled teens).

I get almost instantly bored with the normal fare of network television, although I am a fan of House MD & watch Dexter & The Brotherhood on Showtime. Am I becoming more morbid as I age, or do I place a higher value on the time I spend in front of the television more than I used to? I watch Food Network, The Travel Channel and Discovery, too. I can always find something to watch when I'm bored, I just refuse to settle for whatever comes up first, I guess.

I won't watch TV shows in syndication, especially if I've seen them all before & I rarely watch movies on the premium channels if I've seen them before. I figure that if I like them that much, I probably have the movie on DVD or should go out & buy it. Anyone else getting pickier?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mmmmm Bed!

I've been wanting to buy a new mattress for awhile. I'd love one of those really nice memory foam mattresses, maybe I'd be able to sleep through the night, without tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position. These platform beds are particularly nice, they'd be even better with a memory foam mattress.

I don't want a brand new bed, I love the one I have, I inherited it from my grandmother when she went into the nursing home and I love it. I wanted that bed for as long as I could remember, so now that I have it, I'm not really willing to give it up. Unfortunately, the mattress appears to be almost as old as the bed is, it's at least as old as I am & that's way too old for a mattress.

I just want to look forward to going to bed at night again, and I really don't anymore. I put it off as long as I can, just so I don't have the nightly struggle with sleep and comfort.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swap Package Finally

My swap package from the Fall into Autumn dishcloth swap finally arrived today! I was given an angel & she sent a really great package. I posted about it on my craft blog.

The living room is almost ready for the tree to go up in. I just need to vacuum & move a broken elephant statue out of there & put the fan away for winter. I'm washing the curtains right now & will rehang them when they're dry. Tomorrow, I'll work on the kitchen. Blech.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Disinfecting the House

I spent awhile yesterday evening disinfecting the house, just trying to get rid of some of the germs and viruses floating around in here so that we'll stop getting sick. I sprayed all of the doorknobs, fridge & freezer door handles, light switches and then scrubbed down the bathroom vanities and sprayed them, too. I bought some of the stuff that disinfects the air & sprayed all of the rooms in the house after that. I did it all again this morning & I plan to keep doing it every day until people aren't getting sick anymore.

We just got all of the information on Rhi's graduation announcements and cap & gown, but the folder they gave us made no sense at all & we had to call the school just to verify what it said & when the "grad fair" was, since the booklet said it was on November 18 & 19 & was for a different school entirely. I'm sure the confusion was why I never ordered Erin's stuff until the last week of school. They need to make these things really clear, I think. You should be able to read a letter or statement from them that makes sense & gives you all of the information you need, but there was nothing like that in there, at all. I think we have it figured out. At least I know that Rhi needs $100 on Thursday to order her stuff. I'm really happy she's the last one, quite frankly.

Monday, November 26, 2007


My sister-in-law is out of the hospital with no lasting affects. She apparently just hit her head when she went down & got a concussion, which caused some seizures. She's happy to be home and we're all relieved it was nothing worse. The older niece is angry at everyone for not calling her, but it's not like no one told her that Sereena was in the hospital. I did and tried to keep her informed about everything, at least until she got mad at me for not being angry at my brother along with her. My feeling was that she could have called him at any time, too, and she didn't, so she's just as much to blame as he is.

It seems like it's always something with her, it all has to be dramatic and a crisis. She could have just been happy I thought of her, but she had to make a big conspiracy of it.

I missed out on Troy's niece's milestones and getting things like first communion invitations so that I could be here and watch my own nieces grow up, and this is what I get in return. I sometimes wonder if it was a good trade. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Rehash

We had a really good holiday this time around. It was the best that we've had in a very long time, since Allison came to live with my brother & sister-in-law, as a matter of fact. The thing that changed was that she wasn't there this year. All of the bad memories & hard feelings just disappeared, like someone gave us "Miracle Burn" for families or something. It was really great.

My grandma wasn't lucid, however, which is really pretty sad, when you think about how important the holidays always were to her. For some reason, her doctor has her on Methadone for her pain and it's making her sick and dizzy, so she couldn't even enjoy dinner with us (not that she recognized most of us that day). She spent a good portion of the day complaining about my mom's Westie & wanting her put outside, which didn't set well with my mom, of course.

We played games, drank wine, laughed, visited and had a really great time together. After we got home, my sister-in-law called me to thank me for a great holiday & we talked and laughed for a few minutes. I talked and visited with Rhi for awhile after that & then I went to bed.

My mom called me at 2:25am, crying. I thought my grandma had passed, quite honestly. It was my sis in law, she had gotten sick in the night, gone to the bathroom & passed out, hitting her head on the way down. My brother couldn't revive her, and called the ambulance. He & my dad were at the hospital. I got up, got dressed, called Troy at work to tell him what was going on. Then I woke up Rhi & told her where I was going & what had happened & went to sit with my family.

The doctor ended up admitting her to the ICU, as she had several seizures while in the ER. We're waiting for the anti-seizure medication to run it's course, so they can see if she's still having them. She was talking and was back to being herself when I left yesterday, so I'm really hoping she's going to be ok & that this might be the thing that makes them evaluate their quality of life & force them into a change.

I finally made it to bed last night at 12:20am, so I was awake for 22 hours. I'm still tired.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Rhi's out of school until Monday & I'm just thrilled. I am so happy that we can rest up, relax & try to recuperate from the bugs we seem to keep catching. Troy & I worked on the house today & I intend to keep working on it every day until it looks better, so I have a pretty busy time ahead of me, which is fine, really, since I've been getting bored a lot lately.

Anyway, time to get the chicken ready to go on the grill & start some rice, have a great evening!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Lysol Time of Year

I swear, I need to run out & buy a can of Lysol today. Rhi's been throwing up for hours, and unless it's food poisoning from the tacos they got after the wedding last night, she has something we're all gonna get & I don't want it. I'm starting to worry about her, she's never sick for this long.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nice.. ummm.. Dressage?

I see some odd things in this town on occasion. We host a world-renown Shakespearean Festival here in the summer, so you see a lot of Elizabethan costuming, plus the Renaissance faire in July and the Utah Summer Games in June. You can see different athletes in different sports-related uniforms all that month. What's odd is when you see something like that in a month like November, when nothing like that is going on.

I was dropping Rhi, Kris & their friend Ryan off at Little Caeser's last night, and had pulled through the parking garage to get back to Main Street, when a teenage girl walked past in full equestrian riding apparel! I could see it if we were near the Equestrian Center, or there was a play going on in the theater next to where I was, but neither of those things were true.

I chuckled to myself, shook my head & drove on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Year of Rainbow

I was surfing around today & found link in a blog, to another blog that I thought was really cool. The blog I ended up at was called Year in Rainbow, (Just as a warning, the blog probably isn't work safe, so keep that in mind) and the blog owner, Darlinda, is a burlesque performer who's wearing all of the colors of the rainbow for one year. She started out with red, then rainbow, then orange, rainbow gain & will be switching to yellow for December. She'll alternate rainbow with the other colors through the year.

The part I loved the best about her blog was all of the photographs. They are pictures of her friends & fellow performers wearing everything from leather lingerie to vintage style dresses. It's an eclectic blend of images and people that are so pleasing to my eye. I'll definitely be adding the blog to my reads & keeping an eye on it through the year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Why can't family be easy to deal with? Mine used to be, at least for awhile. I know we were a super dysfunctional family when I was growing up & that it affected all of us kids, but my mom really did try & she was a good mom. The past 4 years has been really hard in our family. That was when my sister-in-law's oldest daughter came here to live. Their marriage has spiraled out of control ever since then & with that, so has their drinking. She started acting out, got into trouble with the school and then the police and my brother didn't know how to react or what to do about it.

We got into a huge argument with him & his wife (we as in Troy & I) one Christmas Eve, and it took me weeks to recover from it. I'm not sure that I am totally yet. It's still hurtful. In the past few weeks, they kicked that daughter out of the house (she's 18). She tells one story, my brother tells another & my mom is already worked up over it & not wanting her to come for Thanksgiving. I got caught in the middle of it all & am trying to dig my way out before next week. I really, really wish they'd get some alcohol rehab & get healthy, before they completely ruin the other daughter's life. I don't see that happening, so I just keep trying to cope with it all. I think I need to get my mom someday & go to an Alanon meeting, just so we can learn how to deal with the situation, you know?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Weird Autumn

I thought for sure it was going to snow the other night, but we got up & it was just damp from the rain & very cold. It's been super cold every morning since then, but no snow down here or on the mountains, at all. That's really strange, we've usually had one small snow storm by now, but we've had nothing.

Rho, Kris & their friend Ryan are having to film this afternoon. They were almost finished with their class project for film-making when the camera ate their tape, so they have to do it all today, now. They were less than pleased about that, let me assure you!

I got a new kitten this weekend. he's 3 months old & an orange stripecat. We named him "Jasper Rooibos" for his color and to go with the other kitten's name (Malachite Nightshade). Together, they look like Halloween, I love it! I'll try to get some pictures of him soon & get him added to Catster, but he's still in the hiding stage. So, that's this week here, so far.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Just Stuff

I was thinking about what I'd really like in a house, and I know that I really would like to have a room devoted to fitness. I'd like to be able to have an elliptical trainer, a treadmill, an exercise bike and maybe a small weight system or machine, with a TV & DVD player to help pass the time. That way, we could just go & do our workouts together, without having to wait on other people or go anywhere. I know that none of the bedrooms in this house are quite big enough for all of that, but I bet we could fit some of it in Rhi's bedroom after she moves out. I think I need to talk to Troy and see if this interests him at all, and if it does, we can start to make a few plans for the future.

Urban Renewal?

The city tore down two more houses in our old neighborhood. They were houses that we always loved and would have been happy to have lived in. We think one of them may have been a meth house, because we saw the police there one day in protective gear & everything was taped off, but the other one had been empty for awhile. Maybe they sold it & the buyer tore it down to build something on the land. Probably another real estate franchise or something, since that's the area of town where they all seem to be relocating to. I have no problem with that, I just wish they'd stop tearing down all of the older homes that have such character in order to do it. It seems like very house we've ever really liked it this place has been torn down or renovated into an office building.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Why is everything that happens around here my fault? A couple of months ago, Rhi told me that Kris wouldn't be coming over here on Wednesdays because that's one of the days he stays home & does his chores for his dad. So, of course, I plan smaller meals that day of the week. I picked Rhi up from school yesterday & who was with her? Kris.

I was pretty angry about it & finally asked her if she had any ideas for dinner, since what I was preparing was really only enough for 3. She went off on me, claiming that she was sure she told me that morning that he was going to be at our house because they were filming that afternoon (which they didn't do, by the way). She didn't say a word about it to me before school, as a matter of fact, she never even mentioned him yesterday morning. Then she claimed she never said he wouldn't be over on Wednesdays anymore & that if she doesn't specifically tell me he isn't coming over then he is. I finally just gave up & told her I wasn't going to fight about it and that in the future, I'll just plan big meals every day & not do anything special for the 3 of us.

I get everything ready to go & was turning the popcorn chicken over on the pan to go back in the oven when Troy walked in the door. He said something that I didn't understand & I asked him to repeat himself. He did & I still didn't understand it, and he repeated himself again & started getting angry with me. So, we had to get in an argument about it because he wouldn't tell me why he was suddenly angry (I suspect he was touchy because his blood sugar was low & he didn't want to tell me that). Apparently, he assumed I was angry because I couldn't understand him & sounded mad. I'm so tired of him & Rhi doing the whole "Oh, I think you're mad at me, so I'm going to strike before you can" thing. If you ask them, I only have two emotions; mad & happy. I feel nothing else, at least in their opinion. It's not possible that I'm distracted, sick, tired, busy, sad or just neutral. Ever.

We got through it & he was in a better mood after he had some dinner, so I'm sticking with my earlier blood sugar statement.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Inking Around

Don't you hate trying to find replacement ink cartridges for your printer? I know I do, and I've had some that were almost impossible to find locally. That's what happens when you have only two stores that carry that type of thing in the town you live in. That's what the internet is for! Seriously, Carrot Ink has a huge selection and really good prices, too. For instance, you can get an HP 56 black cartridge through them for only $15.95.

They have just about every available HP printer cartridge out there & they all have a pretty price on them. They even offer a prepaid mailer that you can put your old cartridge in, send it in and they'll remanufacture it & send it back to you. They sell ink for all of the other brands to, so check them out, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Had Enough

Things with Rhi came to a head last night. I think I was just finally fed up enough to say something. For the past couple of weeks, I can't seem to open my mouth around her without being accused of being mad or her snapping at me. She & Kris took the car to go and get fountain drinks & go to DQ last night, when they got back, all she could do was snap & yell at Kris and then she came in snapping and being hateful to me. I lost it. I couldn't take anymore.

She slammed a Blizzard (that I didn't ask for & didn't want) down in front of me & was offended when I said I didn't want it. I wasn't even hungry, I didn't ask them to bring me one, I had it slammed down in front of me rudely and she has the audacity to get offended? She nearly made me cry with the whole display & it pretty much ruined the rest of my night, quite frankly.

Troy & I argued with her for about an hour about why she's suddenly treating me like garbage again, which she hasn't done for awhile, and trying to get it through her head how painful that is to me & that I don't have to put up with it & no one else does either. Part of her problem is that she gets stressed out and that makes her very touchy & angry. She does the same thing when she gets nervous or excited, too, which has ruined a lot of special occasions for us. I spoke to her about learning self-control because of this. She pushes people away when she needs them & that's not healthy for her. I think we have everything situated. I hope so anyway.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Sick

I'm pretty sure I'm sick today. It's been building for a week now, and this afternoon it finally hit me. I detest being sick. There are just way too many things I want & need to get done to days days off being sick. I'll very likely be too sick to get my flu shot tomorrow, which means I'll end up getting sick a lot this winter and I won't get anything done. Why don't they make self defense products for illness for Pete's sake?! I don't even have anymore cold medicine or anything, I took the last of it this morning.

Maybe we'll have to run to the store, buy emergency bags of pet food (we're almost out of their big bags & can't go to St. George to get more until the 12th) and some cold medicine. I think we'll have pancakes for dinner, Troy will cook those & I can just knit & watch TV. Blech.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Rain in Spain

While we're talking about travel in Europe, another unique and exciting destination to visit would be Spain. After checking out all of the nice hotels in Spain, and booking one for your vacation, you can visit Muralla de Avila, which is the fortress wall surrounding the city of Avila. I'd like to see Torre de Bujaco in Caceres, which is a square Arab tower that predates the Crusades and is open to the public.

You could travel to Barcelona (there are several very nice hotels in Barcelona) and visit La Sagrada Família (a massive Catholic basilica that's still unfinished), La Boqueria, an open-air market or the Gothic quarter, with it's many points of interest dating from the Roman era & the Middle Ages.

If you choose among the hotels in Madrid instead, you can visit the Prado museum, the Royal Botanical Gardens (which were originally undertaken by Carlos III & were inaugurated in 1781) or The Royal Palace, which is still used symbolically during official ceremonies & is open to the public for tours.

Seriously, there are some really beautiful sites in Spain, and a lot of amazing architecture to visit, too.

Round & Round

Dawn got online this morning to tell me about Cherokee's latest adventure. Dawn went up to wake her up this morning & she wasn't there. She went back down to get some coffee & was standing by her sink, looking out the kitchen window when Cherokee's best friend dropped her off outside the house. Dawn went out & met her on the deck. She asked her where she'd been & Cherokee said, "At Brandi's." When asked how long she'd been there, she said that it was awhile, so we're assuming that meant all night. Dawn sent her to school & called the probation officer, who then called the home detention officer.

Brandi just called dawn, freaking out because the police just came & arrested Cherokee, she wanted to know if Dawn had any idea what was going on. Duh? She was at your house all night & not home, on house arrest, stupid. She'll be in for 30 days this time & Dawn is having her drug tested again and pregnancy tested, too, if they'll do that there. She just doesn't seem to get it, you know? It's like she honestly believes that her home detention will just eventually go away, no matter what she does, or maybe that her mom won't call the police when she does this stuff. Maybe she just doesn't care.

It's really sad, what she's become.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Another place in Europe that I have wanted to visit is France. I would love to visit the museums, cafes and wineries, and maybe check out fashion week in Paris. I know there are probably some amazing hotels in Paris, from the large and elegant, to the small and homey, and I know you can get some really great deals on them if you book early enough.

There are a lot of really nice hotels in France and the rest of Europe, you really just have to know where to look to find the best deals. The internet is an invaluable resource in vacation planning these days, isn't it? With a few clicks you can see pictures of rooms, find the prices that suit your budget and book a room instantly.

While in France, you can enjoy the local cuisine, visit her lovely beaches and shop at the wonderful markets. There are so many things to do in France, so make sure you sit down and decide which activities are the most important to you, you may not find time to do them all, and you need comfortable and affordable hotels in France to go back to every night. I'm sure that with a little time and research, you'll find the exact one you're looking for!


So, I never did receive my swap package from my partner in the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap. I'm probably not going to participate in any more of them, either, since the girl I sent to never even bothered to post a picture of what I sent her on her blog and I never got anything myself. It seems like an awful lot of time and trouble to do for free, you know? I just don't understand why in the world you'd ever sign up for something like that if you weren't 100% certain you'd be able to follow through, and meet the deadline. I'd feel so guilty if I did that & let my partner down!!

Anyway. Rhi and her friends had a great time last night. We had about 10 trick or treaters last night, which is a record high for us. That's kind of pathetic, but they just don't stop at our house. It's really kind of sad that Kris had never been trick-or-treating before last night. Apparently his mother used to leave him at home to give out treats and she'd take his older brother out. What kind of a parent does that? I used to turn off my porch light, pack up both of my kids and we'd all go. He was so freaking excited to go out he didn't even sleep the night before - now that's a sad thing, especially since he's 17! Oh, and they did wear costumes, in case anyone is thinking I'd let my teenager go trick-or-treating in normal clothes. I don't give treats to anyone who isn't in a costume & I give them to anyone, no matter the age, who is in one.

I want to hit a couple of the post-Halloween sales today, I'm hoping to grab one or two of those wall sconce-type torch decorations. The ones that look like they have a flame in them, I want them for our booth for fair. Rhi wants some of the good fangs, so we'll have to go to The Wizz & see if they have any left after school.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Do you use landmarks a lot when you go somewhere? I didn't realize that I did really, until new buildings and stores started being built in areas of town that I'm used to driving in. I can't see the landmarks I used to use as well now and often find myself getting a little lost when I'm going places. I know that Rhi uses landmarks, she proved that to me on our way to the last renaissance faire we went to. She knew we were getting close, because she could see the Stratosphere Las Vegas landmark, standing proudly on the horizon. Kris, had just asked Rhi if we were almost there & she said, "Yes, because I can see the Stratosphere right there!"

I know I used them a lot more when I lived in a bigger city, I guess I just didn't realize how many I used in the small town I'm in now.


I could have slept in today. I didn't have to be up to get Rhi to school, she's off today & tomorrow. I got up at 6:30. I have no idea why, either. I should still be snuggled in my bed, snoozing away. Oh well. I'm up now.

We had a really good weekend, even though Troy's started yesterday (and he's working today & off tomorrow). Saturday, Rhi & I went to a bridal shower for Morgan. We picked up Dawn & Sarah on our way. The shower was a Lia Sofia jewelry party & was the most boring party I've ever been to in my entire life. I did end up finding a beautiful cameo for Rhi, that will go wonderfully with her wedding dress & bought that.

That night, Rhi, Kris, Dawn, Jason & I joined a bunch of friends and some people we didn't know for a Samhain Feast of the Dead. Troy was at work, so he stopped by to visit with everyone on his way out to work. We had a really great time & plan to join them for other things more often.

Yesterday, we out to a late lunch,/early dinner with Dawn, Jason, Ryan and Davy, after Rhi & I spent an hour or so window shopping and passing time together. She was bored, so I stepped into help her out a little. Last night, we went over to their house & played Deadlands until Jason had to get to bed to start driving early this morning.

Today, Rhi & I are carving our pumpkins and I'm taking Dawn, Cherokee & Justin to buy school clothes. I'm also going to get caught up on my dishes, since I slacked off over the weekend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Germany in October

Another place I've always wanted to travel to is Europe and in the fall, my mind naturally drifts to thoughts of Oktoberfest in Germany. What a great festival, delicious food, fun music and fantastic beer. There are also costumed parades as well as performances by Circus Crone. Sounds like a fun time all around. Yeas, it's too lae this year to plan to go, but if you start planning now, you can get some really good deals on hotels in Germany. The more you save on that, the more money you have for beer!!

If that doesn't excite and interest you, you could always travel to Berlin. October is a great month to visit the famous city, they have a Festival of Lights along with the world class Jazz Festival that's held at the end of October. You'd want to visit the Brandenburg Gates, too, and see a part of history. They have some great museums and beautiful castles, too. I have no doubt that you can get some great deals on hotels in Berlin, too.

Munich is a beautiful place to visit, as well. Munich has a little bit of everything to offer, from shopping to beer gardens, it's sure to please everyone you may be traveling with. You can visit the beautiful St. Peter's Church, the magnificent gardens and museums, go shopping at the Christmas markets and Munich even hosts their own Oktoberfest! Just make sure you book your hotels in Munich early to make sure you get a good price and a nice place to stay while visiting.

Another Busy Saturday

Man, what I'd give to just have a Saturday where I could laze around and recharge after the school week, you know? I don't really see that happening, not between now & Christmas, but I can hope, can't I? Today is Morgan's bridal shower out at her future mother-in-law's house. It's a jewelry party, like a Tupperware party, only with jewelry. So anything we buy, gives her credit to buy her wedding jewelry. The only problem is that I'm so not a jewelry person. I wear my wedding ring set every day. That's all. The only other time I wear jewelry is at renaissance faires.

I'm told there will be lunch, so, at least there's that, but I really hope I can find something to buy for Rhi's wedding that isn't too outrageous. I want Morgan to have something nice to wear and all, I just don't want to break myself doing it. I have to pick up Dawn at the very least, because her car isn't running & maybe Sarah, if she's going, because she doesn't know how to get to the house.

Later on, I imagine I'll have to drop Rhi off at her friend Autumn's house so she can spend time with her while she's still in town (and to pick up her camera that she left there last night). I'm thinking Kris is going to start to feel left out before the day is over and then I'll have to listen to another argument, or Autumn will feel left out and storm off and tell lies about Rhi again, but whatever, it's not my life so I'm not going to worry about it.

Ahhh Australia!

Have you ever wanted to visit Australia? I know I have, as a matter of fact, it's always been one of those places that I'd love to see before my life is over. Every March, in Adelaide, also known as the City of Churches, they have a huge arts festival that I think would be amazing to see. There are many beautiful and affordable Adelaide hotels to choose from, too.

You could also choose to visit Brisbane. I used to have a friend that lived there, and he was always in visiting Troy & I down to visit him, bragging that he could find us an affordable "Brisbane accommodation" in a matter of minutes, so we'd better book our flight. He was a funny guy and it would have been pretty cool to actually have met him, but we never did and I haven't heard from him in years.

So, if you have an Australian tour planned in your future, make sure you check out all of the amazing things to do while your there first, and remember that there are a lot of Adelaide hotels for you to choose from, and its a good place to base your travel "headquarters" as you travel around and visit the amazing continent of Australia!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FiA Swap Topic of the Week

How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the cloth and goodies you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

Well, I enjoyed getting my package together to send & making my dishcloths. Paige seems like a nice girl, she said she enjoyed what I sent to her, although she hasn't posted about it in her blog yet. I made her two dishcloths (I crocheted them, since I'm a lot faster at that than knitting), one in a green & cream colorway & another in orange & cream. The soap I sent was handmade by me, I sent a cold process pumpkin pie & a glycerine cucumber melon & some lip balm. There were some fun Halloween goodies included, like little potion bottles and candies, too.

I haven't received anything yet, nor has my swapper contacted me in over a month. I'm pretty sure I got flaked on & that disappoints me, as I was really looking forward to this.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm Missing my Health Club

Troy & I used to belong to a club here in town called "Life Phase." We really liked going there, the staff didn't make you feel bad for being fat or out of shape and it wasn't trendy or crowded. I'm a huge fan of the elliptical machine & they had a nice selection to choose from. I fought with that thing in the beginning, but I eventually learned how to use it & built up my stamina & endurance on it & learned to love it. Troy's job paid half of our membership fee and we enjoyed going together.

They went out of business a couple of years ago and we never signed up at another place. We have a Gold's here and another local place that's a little too trendy for me & I've heard bad things about the guy that owns it & his attitude towards people who aren't already fit. I don't want to feel worse about myself, you know? I just wish our favorite health club hadn't closed down, I really miss going & I know that I really need to be going, I'm not getting any thinner sitting on my butt. Maybe I should just suck it up & try out one of the others here in town.

That Darn Cat!

I swear, our current kitten, Malachite, is a total pain in the rump! He's a lot more bratty than any other kitten we've had in awhile & that's saying a lot, because Kaji was pretty bad last year. If Mally gets even slightly bored, watch out! Things are gonna fly, crash, get chewed up, dragged around or stolen. We have one of those hot air popcorn machines and earlier he was trying to drag it around the kitchen by the cord! Yesterday, it was every pencil, pen or paintbrush he could hook off of a table. He thinks everything i n the house belongs to him.

The other night we were trying to watch the Rockies stomp on the D-backs and he wouldn't stay off of the china cabinet. When we'd get him off of there, he'd get right back up, or start looking for things that don't belong to him on the kitchen table. We spent almost as much time moving him & yelling at him as we did watching the game. I'm really starting to dread putting the Christmas tree up, quite honestly!

Worse Than We Thought

I did some snooping around on MySpace last night, and its pretty clear that Cherokee is far deeper into this lifestyle than we imagined yesterday afternoon. Its apparent that she's been getting high for quite awhile, but we aren't sure yet to what extent. We know there's boy that's she's been messing around with & getting high with, too (he's also very likely using her, he's popular & a jock, she's not).

She has a really close friend that's been shooting up, so we're concerned about that, too. We know she drinks and that she's been stealing Dawn's cigarettes, too. I hated having to call Dawn & share what I found with her, this has all been so hard on her health that she's starting to wonder if she'll even live through it, but she needed to now, to many things have been hidden from her lately. She plans to call the probation officer today and let him know what's been going on, and we'll see what he says after that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I'm sitting here, trying to print Morgan & Roger's wedding invitations and I'm also out of ink. They need to be done pretty soon and I have no money to buy more so I can finish the job (at least they didn't want me to make the birth announcements for Beth, too). I'm doing it as my wedding gift to them and I'd really love to have them all printed & ready to go by Friday. I don't see that happening unless I can borrow the color cartridge from Troy's printer long enough to finish them off. Its just really annoying that it seems like I rarely use my printer, but when I need to, I'm running out of ink!

Things Change So Much

Just got back from court & picking Rhi up. Cherokee tested dirty for marijuana, so she'll do 10 days in detention total and go back on house detention after that. Dawn is at her wits end, she knows they can't go on like this, but at the same time the juvenile justice system can't do anything more than they are right now either. She was surprised that all she tested positive for was pot, quite frankly.

I remember, back when all Cherokee wanted was pink animal print bedding and a new scooter. Its so sad to see her not caring about anything but her own good time, now. She's changed so much since those days, yeah she was a brat back then, but she wasn't like this. She went through a drastic change when she was about 9 or so, I remember Dawn not having a clue as to why she was suddenly acting so differently, and its just gotten worse every year since then. I worry about that girl & I wish she'd pull her head out & see what she's doing to herself & the people that love her before it's too late.

Here We Go Again

The saga with Dawn & her daughter Cherokee continues today. She called me on Monday night to tell me that she'd just finished signing papers to have Cherokee arrested as a runaway, since she's on house arrest & never came home from school that day. Dawn was upset and feeling terrible that she had to do that, but at the same time, she knew that she couldn't keep living like she was, constantly worrying about whether Cherokee was still at home or was coming home or whatever. About an hour later, Dawn called back to tell me that the officer had come & taken Cherokee to detention. She cried for a long time, and felt terrible, having to watch her daughter being handcuffed and taken away. Cherokee never said a word, and didn't seem to care either way.

Now Dawn has to go to court to see what's going to happen next & because her car isn't running, I'm taking her. Speaking of which, I need to go.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Amazing Place

I often wonder how I existed before the internet. I remember the days before we had internet access, I remember when almost no one had it & if they did it was CompuServe. We watched TV, played games on the computers we had, read and some days I was even bored. Now? I can find out anything I may be curious about, from what Chrysler 300 accessories are available, to how to knit (I did teach my self to knit my using videos on the internet) or cook.

It's an amazing resource, especially if its used that way. It can also destroy lives. I know, because it very nearly took everything I love & damaged my relationships with Troy & the kids for a long time. I was addicted to IRC (or Internet Relay Chat) and spent every waking moment on one IRC channel or another, preferring to be with my online friends over my real life family. I was having a hard time adjusting to a lot of changes in our life & it seemed like no matter the time of night or day, someone was always online to chat with. Troy had just started the job he has now, and I wasn't used to being at home alone at night, I was depressed, lonely and having problems dealing with the kids by myself. I know those are excuses, but to me they at least help explain (to me) why I started to rely on the internet so much.

It took a long time & a lot of heartache, but we got through it. I don't chat anymore. I don't even like internet chat anymore, as a matter of fact. I'm able to see the losers and users for what they are now, and I wasn't back then. I do IM with my friends, most of them are people I know in real life or people I never knew on IRC. We do still have a very close relationship with a friend we met there, but we also know him in real life now, too, and have for many years, he's one of our best friends. I'm pretty sure he doesn't chat anymore, either.

These days, I use it for so many other things, information, entertainment, shopping, ideas, but never for easing my loneliness, when I need a friend, I go visit one.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stressful Day

We had an extremely stressful & frustrating day around here, yesterday. I got up and turned on my computer, wanting to check my email and maybe play a little Guild Wars or something else for awhile & noticed that my screen resolution had been reset. I have a 19" widescreen, flat panel monitor. It requires a very precise setting or everything is off (its 1440 x 900). It was set at something I would never, in a million years, choose for it. Everything on my screen was stretched vertically, making squares into distorted rectangles and all of the text blurry. Normally, my resolution is so nice and crystal clear its like watching a really good LCD TV, not so much when the resolution is off.

I tried changing it, but that resolution option wasn't showing up for me & we'd been through that before, when I first got this computer, but it eventually resolved itself & showed up (after we had changed monitors). Troy came in & tried, he got frustrated and was feeling guilty, because my only request when we got new computers was for a new flat screen monitor. Her spent hours on the phone with Hector from Dell, getting more & more frustrated because half the time he couldn't understand what Troy was trying to do & even, at one point, asked Troy if my monitor was Blue Ray. What? So, of course, when he was done with them & had done everything possible and it was still screwed up, he was still frustrated & angry & had to take it out on me, so we fought for awhile, until I took a drive & came back & told him there wasn't anything to talk about. There really wasn't, he was angry at Dell, and feeling guilty because he felt like I got screwed over & I was a convenient target.

He tried a few more things after dinner, like trying the other two monitors that we have, but his kept flickering & it hurt my eyes, my old one would have been ok, but it'd take a lot of getting used to. He tried to reset the refresh rate on his monitor & ended up screwing up & having to do a system restore on my machine. He put the flat screen back on it, because I hated seeing it hooked up to his computer & knowing I couldn't have it. I came back & messed with the resolution and got it to where it was bearable & went to bed.

I turned it on this morning & decided to check my resolution options & there was the setting I needed, back to normal and happy again. I can't wait to tell Troy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Best Gift Ever

This year, I know that I got my best friend the best gift I've gotten for her. Its one she can (and will) wear every day, its also one that will make her cry. I managed to get in on a review opportunity for a company called Pictures on Gold. The make custom engraved jewelry like silver & gold lockets, but the coolest part, is that your photo is laser engraved inside, so it can get wet and not be harmed. They're really beautiful and come in tons of styles. The one I got is silver, which is great, because that's the only metal Dawn wears, and its a lovely heart with flowers one either side.

About five years ago, Dawn lost her youngest daughter, Whisper, to her ex through a custody battle. He had a lot of money & good lawyers and she had no money and a last-minute lawyer. Whisper was five & Dawn hasn't seen her since, because she lives in Maine now & Dawn doesn't have the money to see her or pay to have her come out here. She misses her every day and worries about her constantly. On the front of the locket, I had "Whisper, always in my heart" engraved and her picture put on the inside. Its the last one Dawn has of her & what she looks like in her memories.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(right click & choose "view picture" to see full sized)

On the back, it says To Dawn with Love, Dyane, Christmas 2007. I'm so pleased with my order that its super-hard for me to not drive over there & give it to her right this minute. I just know she's going to love this locket so much. I know that I will be ordering more of these as gidts in the future, they're just soi beautiful and a thoughtful and loving gift.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

In the Dog House?

Shopping for my tomboy daughter has always been a challenge, especially when it comes to jewelry. She loves it, but it has to be something very special to her or she won't wear it or take care of it. When I was presented with an opportunity to review personalized dog tags. I jumped on it. At first I didn't know who I'd get one for, until I saw the color selection. They have a lovely tealish green that I thought would be perfect to commemorate Rhi's senior year & graduation. I gave them all of my information & a few days later they told me my order had been shipped. I got it today, and all I can say is that I love it & will order more as my god-children reach their senior years, because its such a special and unique looking gift:

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I just know that she's going to love this, too and that she'll wear it all the time. I imagine that eventually, it'll hold a place of honor on her rearview mirror with her tassel from her cap. I can't wait until Christmas to give it her! The ordering process is easy, you can order more than one at a time, if you happen to be ordering for a group of people or a team (they'd be great to remember a family reunion with, wouldn't they?) and they have several colors and designs to add, too. I chose the symbol of victory for this one, because I look at high school graduation as being the first major victory of my kids' lives and I'm so proud when they achieve it. I'm even thinking of ordering a couple for Troy & I for our next anniversary, they're just that cool!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting Colder

We have a huge storm blowing in again, the older the day gets, the windier & colder it is. We have rain in the forecast down here & snow in the high country again (remember, I live at the base of a mountain). As winter heads in, I always start to miss the fireplace we had a couple of houses ago, they just make everything nice and cozy. I used to have a friend that had a gas fireplace, but she never bothered to have it hooked up & never used it (did you know you can replace the gas logs in those with fire glass? I didn't, and its beautiful!). I never understood that, but I think she was afraid of it for some reason. Heck, I wish we had one in this house, I'd use it a lot!

Anyway, I heard from Erin yesterday, he's trying to get back home, thankfully. I just hope he manges it. I really miss him.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pretty Clothes

Do you have friends that are expecting? Maybe you are yourself & you're looking for some attractive maternity clothes that don't look like what everyone else is wearing. You should check out Kiki's Maternity Clothes for beautiful and stylish items at a really good price, too. When I was checking out their website, looking for a Christmas gift for my friend Sarah (who's expecting her 1st baby), I didn't see anything priced over $30, which is really great & the selection is huge. They offer everything from tank tops to dresses & a whole lot in between, too.

I think my favorite part of their clothing line is that they aren't offering a bunch of cutesy clothes, that look like they were made for a pregnant teenager, you know? They're stylish, pretty & in a lot of cases, sexy, because pregnant women are still women and want to be attractive and stylish, too. I hated maternity clothes when I was pregnant, they were just so unattractive. I found some tops that are perfect for Sarah & I hope you find what you're looking for there, too!


I'm still trying to get used to my new keyboard, after years of having a multimedia one, I'm back to the basic, no-frills model that came with this computer. Along with that, I made a discovery. I hadn't used my speakers to adjust the volume in a few years & so I thought I still had my old Bose speakers, imagine my surprise, when I grabbed one from behind my monitor to turn the volume up & it was the ones that came with my Compaq when I bought it. I'm assuming that I gave Rhi the other ones when I got the Compaq, but for some reason, in my mind, those were the ones I still had.

I will most likely upgrade my keyboard here pretty soon, although, I like this one other than not having a volume button on it. It's so much easier to mess with the volume from the keyboard in the middle of something like a game than it is to either physically adjust it or leave the game & use my mouse to. Sometimes I have to be able to turn it down pretty fast, like when I forget & Troy's asleep during the day, since my office area is in my bedroom in all.

Fall Into Autumn Topic of the Week

I'm falling a little behind on these. This is the topic of the week for the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap.

How about you? Are there any recipes you especially enjoy having in the Fall? Any foods that are seasonal that you especially enjoy?

I really love to bake in the fall & winter, I especially love making anything with pumpkin, its so spicy and fall-like. I use my oven a lot more and tend to make a lot more comfort foods, like stews, pot roasts, roasted chicken and chili. I usually start planning my holiday baking before Halloween, because I like to stock up and have everything ready to go when the moods strikes me.

Its a Crazy World

I've noticed a really strange trend that's occurring here in my town. I live in a smallish town in southwestern Utah. Our economy is fairly stable and there are plenty of jobs for people who are willing to work, but unless those people are working two jobs or have a multiple income household, they don't have a lot of disposable income. There are a lot of huge, beautiful homes here, and the real estate industry seems to be booming, but those houses are nearly a million dollars each, and I know they stay on the market for a long, long time. Most houses here are over 200k, and there are a lot for sale, all the time.

I would think the market is saturated, since I don't know anyone who can afford to buy anything right now, but yet, there are still hundreds of homes being built a year here. Along with all of those homes that are being built, there are a bunch of new apartment buildings that go up every year, too. Rent has gone up so much in the 4 years we've lived in this house, that we're afraid to move because we could never get the deal we have now.

I don't know how people manage to live on less money than we have, quite frankly. Troy has a full-time job and a part-time seasonal job, I work with him at that job & subcontract, too, and there are times when we have a hard time getting everything paid, I can't imagine a $1000 mortgage to worry about, too!

Monday, October 01, 2007


I know I haven't been posting much lately. I've either been busy, or trying to adjust to Troy's new schedule, or in the case of the past couple of days, too sick to feel very inspired to write about much. Today, I've spent most of the day browsing the Kiva website. Its pretty awesome what they do over there. They give you, the general public, a chance to loan money to people who are struggling with their businesses in third world countries. They pay the loan back & you can either keep the money, or loan it to someone else. Its really inspiring to read their stories and see the improvements they've made in their businesses and lives thanks to the generosity of strangers.

Well, I'm going to go to the bathroom, fix myself a glass of ice water & go & watch Journeyman. Have a nice evening!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Some People

I've been noticing a trend amongst the newer tenants in this trailer park. If they get your mail by mistake, they won't bother to bring it to your trailer.. no, that's too much work. They won't even put it in the outgoing slot in the big cbu mailboxes at the front of the park. They'll either open it & throw it on the ground (as someone did with my packet from the high school with Rhi's registration info in it) or they'll stick it on top of the mailboxes & maybe hold it down with something to keep it from blowing away. What's so hard about sticking it in the outgoing mail slot? I do it, all the time. I have never put someone else's mail on top, or thrown it on the ground, it could be very important.

The other day, I pulled up to check my mail & there was a huge stack of stuff sitting on top. I carefully looked through everything, making sure none of it was mine and then I put it in the outgoing slot for the mailman to deal with the next day. It took me 5 seconds to put the mail somewhere safe. It took me longer to look through it & make sure none of it was mine. People are so lazy and uncaring these days!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Contemplation on a Rainy Day

Its almost fall, and the weather is trying to make that point blatantly clear to us today. I was woken up by the wind and rain, got out of bed to turn off the fan, take it out of the window & shut it. I tried to go back to sleep, but needed to use the bathroom, then the cats were crying to be fed and I Rhi was wanting attention, so I gave up. It ended up being a good thing, because my dad called a little while later saying they were dropping off some fruit for me.

I think about my grandma a lot these days. The last 15 years or so have been very unkind to her, first with the osteoporosis (I wonder if using progesterone in her younger years would have helped prevent that?) and now the Alzheimer's, I feel for her more deeply than I thought I could 20 years ago or so. I wish I understood her better & that the understanding would make me like her more, there are just so many things that are hard for me to let go of.

Rhi's having Homecoming dress issues that I need to try to solve. Her bra isn't working with the dress we bought & I don't know what to do.

Not a Typical Friday Night

We were sitting out on Dawn & Jason's deck last night, waiting until it was time to leave for the Goo Goo Dolls concert and Jason was telling us about a couple of phone calls he got this week. The first one kept insisting that they had information that he has a mortgage and was trying to get him to refinance. he told them that he didn't have a mortgage, had never had one and wasn't in a position to buy a house. They didn't give up, first they argued with him about whether he had one and then tried selling him mortgage life insurance as a last resort!

The second one was a debt counseling service, or they claimed to be. The knew what he owed to whom, so he figured that they must know what they were talking about. He told him about a few of the bills they didn't have listed and they crunched some numbers and then told him he could affordto pay an extra $200 a month. He's barely squeaking by now and he started yelling a them for being stupid and wasting his time. They way he told the stories was pretty funny, although I know they weren't funny to him at the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just Sayin'

I'm really starting to think that the company Troy works for could use either some new human resources software, so they can keep track of what they've actually hired someone to do and what each job entails or someone who knows how to use the stuff they already have. I'm a little chapped that they hired him as a security guard but use him to do so many other things that his job description just doesn't include and they're getting all of this at a security guard wage. He's having to take a series of classes, that in the long run, do nothing for him, as far as his career goes at this company, but is an advantage to them. He went out there today for his insurance meeting and ended up doing some other things for them while he was there. I realize he did it most likely to earn another hours pay, but its the principal that bothers me.

I just think that when someone is unhappy on the job, there should be a better answer than, "Well, you know what your choices are - deal with it or quit." You know?

One of Those Weeks

Its turning into one of those weeks with Rhi, where no matter what we do or say, she just isn't happy. We got into an argument with her on Sunday night, because she had been behaving badly all day and treating me disrespectfully. I got tired of it and mentioned it to her, which caused her to get really angry and it spiraled downhill from there.

Yesterday, she was fairly miserable because Kris didn't come home from school with her and didn't come over until 6pm or so. She seemed alright after that, so I figured she was okay. He didn't come home with her again today, because his dad is in the emergency room having a bad reaction to some medication he's taking for his MS & he didn't want to leave him. For some reason, that really made her mad and she decided that she didn't want to see him at all. I hope he comes home with her tomorrow, or she'll be livid. They have tickets to a GooGoo Dolls concert tomorrow night and she's really been looking forward to it. (Troy & I have tickets, too)

If I start talking about needing some West Palm Beach real estate, you'll know he didn't go and she exploded, because I go out of my way to avoid her when she's angry!

save our homes

Taking Just a Little More

Its Troy's weekend, officially, anyway. He's at work right, though. I'm sure he's sitting at one of those big conference tables, with a bunch of other people. He's at a mandatory meeting about our insurance. It never really changes, but yet, they have these yearly meetings to tell us all about the new, exciting changes. Every year, I hope the new & exciting changes will actually happen, like maybe us getting a co-pay, instead of a deductible, so that we could actually afford to go to the doctor. It would be really nice to be able to go & see what's really wrong with me when I'm sick and maybe get some medicine to help.

Anyway, my point is, yes, they are paying him to be there, but its just one more thing that takes him away and one more reason for me to hate where he works. I didn't always hate it, I used to think it was a pretty good company & that they cared about their employees. Now, I'm counting down the years until he can retire. They really burned all of their bridges last week, let me tell you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Topic of the Week #2

This is the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap topic of the week:

When you knit or crochet dishcloths, washcloths or face cloths, what do you use? What size needle or hook? Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much? Is there one you are dying to try? Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for cloths? What is so special about it?

Well, I'm not a great knitter, and I'm very slow, so I usually crochet them. Its just faster for me. I use a size "F" hook, metal, by Boyle I think. Its the size I'm most comfortable holding, it doesn't sluip out of my hand or aggravate my carpal tunnel as much as other sizes do. As far as yarn, it really depends on the purpose of the cloth, if I'm doing a dishcloth, I'll use Sugar & Cream cotton. If its a washcloth, I'll usually use Cotton Tots or another baby cotton, for the softness. There's nothing special about it, its just what I'm able to get where I live.

Getting my Life Back

I've recently come to realize, due to some things in my life that I feel powerless over, that I need to take control of my life and my happiness. I've just let life happen to me for too long, I think I need to start happening to my life, you know? Towards that end, I've been listening to the first CD in a series by Clay Nelson, a life coach. The series I'm listening to is called "Getting Started," and its supposed to help me reclaim the right to have a say in how my life turns out and quite frankly, I really need that right now.

Clay Nelson offers you more than CDs, he also has a radio show called the Clay Nelson Life Balance Hour that airs Wednesdays at 2:00pm Pacific time, on 1290 AM in Santa Barbara, or you can catch it on live streaming audio through his website. Really, if you feel like me and your life is out of your own control, check out the website, listen to the radio show and think about ordering one of his CD series. What he has to say is uplifting and empowering. You are your own best investment, after all, make yourself and your life a priority. I know that many times we let our own needs slide in the busy years of raising children and building careers, but you can listen to CDs anytime, right? You can start to rebuild your life while you're doing all of that driving we all have to do everyday and that can only help you and your family.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Topic of the Week

This is the Fall into Autumn Topic of the Week!

Now that in some geographic locations the weather is starting to turn cooler, do you change the type of yarn(s) you knit/crochet with? If so, what do you now knit/crochet with instead and why? If not, why do you not switch and what do you knit/crochet with?

Well, considering that I really don't knit or crochet much after the weather starts to get warm & start up again in the Fall & Winter, no, not really. Why do I stop? I'm way too busy most of the time in the late Spring & Summer, getting ready for the renaissance faire, barbecuing and camping to really want to sit down & knit or crochet. When I do sit down to do something, its generally sewing that I'm trying to finish up before Faire. I did make a Harry Potter scarf this summer, but that was for a swap I was in.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Going to the Dogs

Ok, I realize that the job of a property manager or landlord is to make sure there are people living in their rental units & that there's money coming in. I know that empty units don't generate income. I know I live in a trailer park, but does it suddenly have to become a trashy trailer park? On my row, there's a trailer that has an RV parked in the driveway. Its been painted smurf blue. With house paint. They have another car parked there, angled in towards the RV & a barricade piece wedged between them with a few dead cornstalks shoved in it. I guess that's their version of a fenced yard, I'm not sure.

The people that live at that end let their children play in the street & get mad at all of us when we honk our horns at them. They believe its a playground, apparently & that we should walk in. Its ok for their friends to drive on the road, though. They also get to park on the road & pretty much block our access a lot of the time. There are signs posted on every other trailer, stating that there is no parking, that's its a fire lane & that the parking lot is at the south end. They ignore the signs. Some days, I can barely fit my car between the ones that are parked on either side. A fire engine would never fit through & all of us would lose our homes. For the record, I live right at the south end, the parking lot is across from me & I still make my friends park in it.

To get out of here most afternoons, I'm dodging kids on bikes, (who like to challenge the cars), kids on scooters (who think they can outrun the cars), kids on Big Wheels (who think getting in front of the cars & riding is moving out of the way), RC cars (racing this way & that), and adults who walk down the middle of the road. Then there are the things the kids leave in the road. There was a full-sized mattress out there the other day, that one kid had pulled out the dumpster. One of the people at the end of my row has spray painted a sign on the side of the dumpster. It says, "Slow down children @ play!" and every time I go past it, I say, "Yes, I'll drive the speed limit. You keep your kids out of the road." It seems to be a neverending battle.

I'll be so happy when it gets cold & they stay inside, huddled in front of their TVs.


A couple of years or so ago, I had a falling out with an old friend of mine. Her name is Lori & things had been strained between us for awhile. It basically started when she & her then-boyfriend decided that they just HAD to move in the middle of Renne Faire & expected all of us, with our various commitments to different aspects of Faire, to just pick up & leave to help them. We all pretty much told them we couldn't, except for Dawn, and they worked her half to death, disregarding that she had a separated rib.

Lori refused to talk to any of us for a long time after that & things between us were really never the same. Troy & I both did help them get the truck loaded & ready to go when they moved to Las Vegas, though & they kind of acted like everything was ok after that. They'd stop in and visit for a couple of minutes every third or fourth time they were in town. That really hurt Rhi more than anyone, because she was very close to Lori's youngest daughter, Autumn, at the time.

The summer that the falling out occurred, Lori had sent Autumn up here to stay with her grandma for a couple of weeks, and she wanted to be with Rhi constantly, which, at one time, would have been fine with Rhi, but she was older & had new friends and a job, too. She was also pretty tired of being pushed around by Autumn by the end of the first week & started kind of making excuses not to hang out with her. One day, Rhi had to go to work & her former best friend had spent the night here, because she worked at the same place (Troy & I worked there, too). Autumn had also spent the night & didn't understand when Rhi couldn't hang out that day & had to go to work. She didn't understand that the other friend worked with Rhi & that was why she was going with her. She threw a fit, stormed off to Dawn's house & told a bunch of lies. When Rhi heard about them later, she was steamed & told Autumn's sister Sarah, that Autumn was a bitch.

Fast forward to Faire. Lori completely ignored me and refused to talk to me. When Dawn asked her why, she said that she just "had Autumn's back." Excuse me? I wasn't the one with the issues with Autumn. Rhi was. I didn't get into a childish fight with her, Rhi did. I figured if she wasn't able to separate what our kids did or said to each other, then I was done with her & blocked her email & took her off my MSN. After that, she & her husband started competing with us. They got a new car, then they saw that we had an SUV (its an XTerra), so they went out & bought an SUV. They knew that Rhi had a cell phone, so they ran out & got them for their girls. They knew I owned a house (its my mom & dad's I inherit it, not in a hurry!), so they went & bought one of those Las Vegas luxury homes. Lori sent out a bragging email to everyone, going on & on about how nice it was & how high their mortgage payment was every month, you know they type I'm talking about.

I didn't care. I don't want a huge mortgage. That's why I'm a renter. That's why I'm willing to wait as long as it takes to get my house. I like having a little money to do fun things with. Her latest email about the house wasn't so boastful. It mentioned that they were moving, because the bank had foreclosed on the house because they couldn't pay the mortgage. It kind of feels just a little like karma, you know? Brag about it & lose it or something like that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Oldest

I got to chat with Garrett for awhile this evening, on MSN. It was really nice to catch up with him, even if it was just for a few minutes. I guess he had to go to the ER today, he had a really bad toothache that had started last night, so he didn't get any sleep. He was feeling a lot better by the time we chatted, but his dad's tooth had started to act up as soon as they got home.

He & his dad went & saw Ted Nugent last night (I think it was last night), he said they had a really good time. He's casting for his movie, The End of Eight, and has several local (to him) musicians working on the soundtrack & an artist doing a comic book. It sounds like he really has his poop in a group this time & is doing what he loves.

He's pretty sure that his girlfriend, Keri, is his one & only, but he's not rushing into anything this time, which is good, because he has a tendency to. I'm pulling for him, I just want him to be happy & do what he wants to be doing with his life.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day

It hasn't been a great holiday for me, but I'm glad Rhi had it off from school, since there was no way I'd have been able to get up and take her to school this morning. I am so sick today, I really can't believe it, especially since I was barely feeling bad yesterday. I woke up at about 2am to thunder & lightning, let Tiny come in the bedroom with me (she's terrified of the thunder) and tried to get back to sleep. At around 3:30 the storm had passed & I put the animals out of my room and turned on my lamp to read awhile, hoping I'd feel good enough to go back to sleep. I went back to sleep at around 4 I think, but didn't really sleep soundly & got up shortly after Troy got home.

My head hurt so badly that even the dim lighting from my lamp made it worse. Its a little bit better right now, but I can really tell when its time for me to take my cold medicine again. I'm really, really hoping that I don't feel as bad tomorrow as I have today. I'm also hoping that if it has to rain tonight that it won't thunder.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

I signed up for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap. I'm really excited about it! Here's my questionnaire for my partner!

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it? I do both. I've been crocheting for about 3 years & knitting for a year or so.

2. Have you made dishcloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both? I have made them. I usually make dishcloths & washcloths when I feel the need to make a project but I don't have time to commit to a big one. I use them, give them and sell them.

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ? I usually use Sugar & Cream or Peaches & Cream, that's what I can get where I live.I'd like to try anything different.

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles? Straight. I own circs, but I'm afraid of them still. I have only used plastic & metal, of the two I prefer metal.

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much? I love dusty purples & chartreuse green shades, I really love them together. I don't hate any colors, so feel free to do what you like. :)

6. What do you like best about Autumn? The smell of the air & the crisp night time temperatures. The cooler weather.

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks! Pumpkin is my favorite of those three.

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day? I couldn't wait. I was bored by the end of Summer & ready to get back to my friends.

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap) I love Halloween & have a big party every year. I collect witchy Halloween things & keep them on a shelf in my living room year round.

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose? Bing cherries, fudge and peanut butter cookies

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;) I have a dog & three cats, and 3 kids.. only one is still at home; Rhiannon - she's 17 & a husband, Troy.

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why? Apparently I'm mohair (at least according to this quiz) and I'm a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing my share without being too weighty. I can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change my position once it is set, but that's okay since I'm good at covering up my mistakes.

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths? Face cloths, I use a sponge for dishes.

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays) Halloween. When I was a child it was the only time I could be different & not be teased for it. Now it just feels like a time of mischief & magic, and I like that.

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about? I don't have any allergies or aversion, but I'm not Christian & have no plans to change that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Exciting Stuff

Its been an exciting couple of days around here. I came back from picking Rhi up from school yesterday & Troy was wanting to talk about computers. It seems he'd gone looking at memory upgrades and such for his current machine & got frustrated with our Semprom processors & went to Dell. By the end of the conversation, we had each ordered a new computer - mine with a new flat screen monitor & his with a better video card & bigger hard drive. I don't need the bigger hard drive, I already have a 160g slave on this computer that I'll add to my new one. I'm really excited about getting them, its our Christmas to each other, and we'll give our old machines to Rhi, who's needing an update too.

Other than that, Troy & I are getting ready to go to Home Depot & look at stuff for our kitchen!! I'm super-excited about that & can't wait to get started. We've also picked a venue for Rhi's wedding, and its so pretty there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My First Video

The other day, Tiny had a playdate with Daisy. I thought they were cute & funny together, so I took some video with my digital camera:

I know its kind of goofy, but I really enjoy watching them play together & thought you might, too!

Time Travel Tuesday

How did you find out you were pregnant, how did you share the news with your hubby? How did you tell your family?

Well, I was pretty sure that I was, but my ex-husband wasn't working at the time and we didn't have any insurance either, so I went to the Women's Crises Health Clinic and told them I thought I was pregnant. They gave me a test and made me watch a pro-life movie and then told me I was. After they "counseled" and made sure the baby was wanted & I wasn't going to seek an abortion, they let me go home.

I really don't remember how I told the ex. That was over 21 years ago. I probably came in & told him I was pregnant, it wasn't like I hadn't talked to him before I went down there.

I'm pretty sure we drove to the town my parents lived in at the time, probably the next weekend & told them. We didn't do anything cute or coy or anything, I'd remember that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Clarifying Some Points

Yes. I live in Utah. Yes. I was born in Utah.

No. I'm not LDS, nor have I ever been, or even considered becoming, LDS. I personally think its rather rude to assume that because someone lives somewhere, they must be a certain race or religion. I would never assume that just because someone lives in Boston or Chicago that they're Irish Catholic. For the record, I AM Scots-Irish. I'm not Catholic. To me, that's like saying "Oh, she plans a weekly menu & once home-schooled her kids, she must be Christian." Again, I'm not.

I had thought the name of my blog gave a HUGE clue about my religion. Apparently some people are particularly thick. Or perhaps they ran across my site searching for "Utah bloggers" or something when they should have searched for "LDS bloggers."

I don't discuss religion, my beliefs or politics on my blogs. Ever. I don't discuss them among my peers here, either, unless I am asked to voice an opinion on something or asked a question. Those things are very personal to me & very private.

But since I'm here & I'm talking, why don't you all take a couple of minutes to pray for the families of those 6 miners that are STILL trapped in the Crandall Canyon Mine, 3 weeks after it collapsed. Pray that they'll be found soon and give those families some closure. Yes, imagine that, I pray. You should, too, even if you just call it wishing or sending good vibes or whatever. Do it. I'm also married into a mining family, my husband lived in that area of Utah as a boy, while his father mined coal, so believe me, all those families have to hold onto right now is the hope that they can bury their loved ones & not have them entombed in the place they were lost. Or, maybe take a minute to think about those of us in flash-flood country today, as the last remnants of Dean pass over us & unleash their rains.

Assume that because I live in Utah I care about those things. Don't assume you know my religion.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Trip Remembered

Several years ago, way back when Erin was a baby, my parents sent me a plane ticket to visit them for Mother's Day and the week before. I flew from our tiny airport in Pueblo to Phoenix, and I was amazed when we were flying over that city. It seemed like even the smallest house had a swimming pool in the back yard. I thought they must all be wealthy, but then I saw the difference as soon as we flew over the Arizona luxury real estate areas. Wow, there were so many beautiful homes with huge yards, I couldn't believe it!

From there, I flew into Sacramento & mom & dad picked me up. They both looked so happy to see me, like they were afraid I had missed my flight or something. They took me for dinner down by the river & then we went to their house in Tracy. We had so much fun, we went shopping and then we took a weekend trip to Vallejo & visited Marine World Africa USA and drove up the coast and saw Fort Ross and got lost in Santa Rosa. I was really sad to leave them, because I really missed them a lot at that point. I didn't see them again until 1991, so that was three years. Two years after that, they came out to Colorado & helped us move here.

Interoffice Harmony

You all know that I don't work out of my home, or have to deal with any of the stuff most of you do, but my husband does, and he talks about most of it when he comes home. He works for a pretty large corporation (in size more than employees) and its spread all over the place. The awesome things that helps facilitate communication between the supervisors and their employees is intranet software. Today's software pretty much does it all, from business email to group scheduling, EPazz works with businesses from start to finish. Troy loves their system, it helps out so much with collaboration and really has improved the workflow from department to department out there.

If you have a business that needs intranet software, EPazz is currently offering a FREE 30-day trial of their software. Just go to website & contact them to get that setup to see how much it helps your own business every day.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Vegas Glitz

Most of my readers know that one of my favorite places for a getaway (besides camping) is Las Vegas. It's less than 3 hours from me, and quite honestly, it's the closest city of any size to me. I love to look at the casinos while we're there, especially at night. I guess I'm just a sucker for bright lights and sparkly things, which Vegas has in abundance. I do like all of the different themes that each casino has, like the Venetian hotel's flavor of Venice, Italy or Treasure Island & it's entertaining pirate show every night. I try to stay in a different resort every time we go, so I can find out the benefits of different one and maybe someday figure out which is my favorite.

So far, I've stayed at The Tropicana, The MGM Grand and Caesar's Palace, but I've been to most of them, and walked around looking at the awesome features each has inside. I'm trying to decide which one is next on my list.

What Ever Happened To...

I've been doing a pretty good job of getting back in touch with people I was friends with in high school, and I'm always amazed to find out what they ended up doing with their lives, you know? I have one friend that spent years in the Marines & now he works for NOAA, another one is a Geologist in Colorado. One of my best friends started out as a cosmetologist, did market research for awhile and the last I heard, she was an events coordinator at a hospice. Another best friend is a teacher at a Charter school & is currently working on getting her Masters in education.

One friend is a music teacher in Kentucky, another an insurance adjuster in Pennsylvania. Someone I knew all the way through school lives in St. Louis & works at a time share another is in Arizona and owns a car dealership. I just think its amazing how far flung we all are, all of us starting out in Southern Colorado & most of us aren't there anymore, or have left & come back. Of course there are those I still haven't managed to find & wonder what they did & if they're ok, and those that I don't have any desire to contact.


Things About Me

Accent - Pretty much just the typical, flat, Western United States one. Not sure it really stands out much.

I don't drink - Milk. Ever.

Chore I hate - Anything to do with the kitchen & cleaning.

Pets - 1 dog (Tiny) and 3 cats (Lucky, Kaji & Malachite)

Essential Electronics - My computer, cell phone & camera

Perfume - Any of the BPAL fragrances that work for me.

Gold or silver - Silver. Always. I only wear one piece of gold jewelry right now & that's my wedding band. We're switching those out soon, for silver.

Insomnia - Often.

Job Title - Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Freelance Writer, Volunteer

Most Admired Trait - I love people who are just being themselves genuinely.

Kids -Three.

Phobia - Heights.

Religion - Not as religious as I am spiritual.

Siblings - Two brothers.

Time I wake up - 6:20am on school days, when I feel like it otherwise.

Unusual talent/skill - I don't think any of mine are unusual.

Vegetable I refuse to eat - Brussels Sprouts.

Worst habit - Procrastination.

X-rays - I'm sure I had several as a child, but all I remember are for my teeth.

My favorite meal - I don't think I really have a favorite. I like anything I don't have to cook.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Heartbreak of Alzheimer's

When I was a girl and still living in Utah, our family had some really great friends from church, they were like another set of grandparents to me. My parents trusted them so much that I stayed with them when I was five and my parents had to keep going back & forth to California because my paternal grandmother was dying. Their names were Bertha & Monroe, they were loving, kind and generous. I never, ever heard a cross word come from either one of them. Imagine my distress, several years later, when we had moved to Colorado & we heard that Monroe had suddenly become verbally abusive to Bertha and had taken to wandering off and getting lost. Bertha was heartbroken and confused, wondering what in the world happened to the man she had loved for over 50 years. When we found out it was Alzheimer's we were all deeply saddened. Alzheimer's robbed the world of the gentle soul that had been Monroe and it robbed him of his very being, the things that made him who he was. Alzheimer's took Bertha's husband and robbed her of their golden years together, because after awhile, he didn't even remember who she was. She never stopped loving and caring for him and she did her best to remember that it was the disease talking and not her husband. I think that on the hardest & worst days, she carried a memory of who he used to be with her, because that's all she could do. I'm so thankful that we have a better understanding of this disease now, than we did in the 80s, when Monroe had it.

This fall, communities all over the United States are hosting the Memory Walk to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. I'm considering signing up for the one in St. George, Utah and trying to recruit my friends and seeing what we can do to help the cause. You, my readers, should check & see if your community is hosting a walk and check into volunteering to walk, and if they aren't, maybe you can start a team & become a Team Captain. Whatever you decide, whether its to volunteer to walk and raise funds or to start a team, you should sign up early and get a head start! Hopefully, someday we'll find a way to end Alzheimer's, but it can't be done without research, and research takes money. That's where The Memory Walk comes in, to help earn the money it takes to do all of these things, from research and education to community support for people with Alzheimer's and their families .

Listen to your heart, do what you think is right. If you can't walk, please consider a donation to someone who is.