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!