Thursday, December 07, 2006

In Rememberence

65 years ago today, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Everyone was affected. Hundreds lost their lives. More lost parts of themselves, some physically, but more as they searched in vain for friends and family in the wreckage. The next day our country went to war.

To those who died and those who lived, we remember and salute you. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

About my Grades...

If it's about my grades, and your belief that I can't handle the stress of the job I want, let me explain.

In August of 2005, I got home from school, said hello to my daughter, and recieved a phone call from my brother, stating that he'd be there in 10 minutes and we were going to Ann Arbor, UofM hospital. Dad was sick. I had ten minutes to pack, email my profs telling them what was up and didn't know when I'd be back in class, ask my roommate to watch my DD, and say good-bye to her before leaving for the 3 hour drive to the hospital. I kept in touch with a couple of people, while sitting beside my comatosed dad. 3 weeks later, we came home for 3 days. I took my finals and then we went back. One week before classes started, my dad died. I was busy with funeral stuff and didn't go to the first day of school. Two weeks later I learn my neice suffered one of the most destestable things possible at the hands of a reletive -- Court proceedings followed the next year. My SIL's grandparents died in November, and we had the first Thanksgiving without my dad. During finals, 4 days before Christmas, I nearly lost my brother and his entire family in a house fire. THey lost everything, but we had them. The first day of the next semester, my roomate, the woman who was like a mother to me and a grandmother to my DD, died. My DD and I found her. I stood on my own with my DD. And to top it all off, I have friends and family in the war. A man I was sort of seeing went active September 14th, 2001 and and hasn't been home since. Aside from that, this all happened in the last year.

Stress, I can handle. I pulled good grades A's and B's during the worst time, to date, of my life.

Did I include this in my essay -- no, because I stand on my own feet, not on excuses.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pay It Forward

In the true sense of the season and the spirit of Pay it forward, a complete stranger picked up the bill when my grandma, DD, and I went out to dinner last night. A true blessing. And as I was blessed, may I bless others.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I was in the ER last night because I was a clutz and thought I broke my foot -- it's sprained -- but they had to take x-rays and my DD kept asking if she could see them. They gave me a splint and were going to discharge me when the tech realized the supervising doc hadn't seen me. All this time my DD is asking about the xrays and can she see them. The doc comes in, checks my foot and says I'm good to go. And my DD asks to see the X-rays. The doc says sure and takes her down to see the xrays. She was so excited to see my bones and that they were all okay.

And for Christmas, she'd already asked for a put together skelton and human body model -- the ones the book stores sell --

my DD the doctor???


My DD asked me one night if she could sleep in my bed, because she will play in her room and she won't play in my room, because it's too mommyish.


I love it when my DD opens the refridgerator and the cupboards after school looking for something to eat, only to come and tell me there is nothing to eat, and we need to go to the store to get groceries.


"But mom, I can't have any Halloween candy, it's bad for me. Can I have an apple instead?"


"But I don't want to read. It's too hard."

(told to my brother and me, and in the 40 minute reading period, she read half of an American Chiller)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Root of the Emotions

I talked with a couple of my friends and was able to get to the root of my problems -- well some of them anyway. It all boils down to I want what I can't have. It's not something I can buy, borrow, or even make. I want my mother's approval and unconditional love. I know she loves me. I know that if it were me sitting in my sister's hospital bed, after losing her fingers at work, she'd never leave, she'd do as much for me as she did for my step-sister.

I can't have her approval, so now I need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mixed Emotions

Emotions and relationships have to be the two most complicated subjects ever!

Lately, I've been experiencing feelings that piss me off. Rather shameful ones. They are to me. Bad and inappropriate. My one sister tells me that feelings are neither good or bad, they just are and that it is your actions that are good or bad. She has point. I don't plan on acting on my emotions, they aren't anyone else's fault. I do plan on ridding myself of them though.

I have a friend that went through something like I did and followed basically the same course of action. For her it's been months, for me years. She goes out with her friends and every single guy in the place is ogling and trying to pick her up, she's not even trying. Me, I go out with friends, and guys run. Even given our physical differences -- she's tall and statuesque, and I'm not so much. Short and a bit overweight (and yes I realize that is one source of my problem), but there's more to it than that.

Example, when you are at a restaurant, the waitor/waitress usually look to the guy or the most obivious leader of the group. I went out with some of my friends and the waitress looks to me. Mind you, there is a guy in our group.

It gets a bit old, when everytime I'm ready to start dating or am getting close, yet again, God throws a curve ball, and I don't get it. I don't meet anyone. Not for me. NOt a soulmate or even a boyfriend. I now have less stress and pressing things in my life and I'm surrounded by 18 - 24 year olds, which at my age, are so undateable. I'm fast becoming jaded. TO the extent of "love is overrated". Interesting lessons I'm learning. I've got patience, I've got tolerance (mostly), I've got strength and confidence. I've been taught I need to lean on someone, but it's like a carrot -- just out of sight -- like God is saying "here this is what you need, but I'm not going to give it to you." Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with my friend's luck and growth that's she's going through, it just points out more area that I don't measure up in. I stand on my own two feet, I've fought hard to get here, and I now I feel like I"m being punished, or refused for it. eehhh, what the H*ll.

wow, that sounds a lot like a whine. Crap.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weather Sign

Everyday on my way from classes to the parking ramp, I pass by this section of grass that has 3 old oak trees and a couple of other trees that produce red berries. I prefer walking on the grass than the cement walk way and as I do, I cannot take a step without crushing 4 or 5 acorns and the squirrels (1 to 3) don't stop in their frantic gathering to acknowledge my presence. They are either so use to humans that their presence no longer bothers them or they are so worried about the upcoming winter they don't care. Or it could be some combination of the two. I can't read animal actions when it comes to winter, but I acknowledge theat their instincts are generally correct when it comes to surival and weather. Me, I'm not sure what this winter is going to look at since we got somewhere between 5.5 & 8 inches of snow yesterday. (but it was just suppose to be a few showers.) If snow this early in October is any indication, it could be pretty bad. And my campus doesn't close. hmmmmmmmmm

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Stitching Basket

The Wedding Announcement is finished, and now just has to be washed and framed. It is Dragon Dreams Fantasy Wedding Blessing . Here is my version -- #1 and #2, and yes they are upside down. I also have updates of the Celtic Banner , TW Celtic Cross, and The Resurrection and the Life. Here is a pic of Stoney Creek's The Gathering Place that I sent out for my RR.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Backpack Dump

School has started once again. Okay, so it started on the 5th of September. But I've been busy.

So, I walk into my first class on the first day, and I'm looking at a class with 40 individual desks. And I had to wonder what happened to the classrooms filled with hundreds of students, I'd heard about. The second class was set up the same way. It wasn't until my third and last class of the day, I sat in one of those type of halls -- holds 100 students. It was different.

I have 3 upper level classes and 1 lower level class. And wow, can I tell the difference. The three upper level classes have 1 paper, a midterm, and a final for the grading, and that's it. And the lower level has daily quizzes, 3 or 4 tests and a final, and attendance is counted. Very different. I'm an adult in the other 3 classes. Yeah.

I like all of my classes, which is good. My dd also likes her school, which is very good, though I'm not so sure about it. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well Duh!

What idiot actually thought people would be 'over' what happened in 9/11? Probably some moron who has never actually lost anyone or anything. More booksmarts than common sense. (It was a reporter, who seemed surprise at the amount of pain emenating from people. Idjit)

That may seem harsh to some people, but look at it. Really. If you've lost someone or know someone who has, ask yourself, do you ever get 'over it'? My parents lost their youngest son to cancer when he was 4, 21 years ago, and until my father's dying day, he never forgot, he never stopped wondering, asking, thinking, or loving my brother. My mom is still alive, and deals with those questions all of the time, with added guilt over whether she caused it. Logic work in matters of the heart really well. I nearly lost my daugther, nearly not lose, 7 years ago, still scares me sh*tless. And if you really need to get your head out of your a**, ask the survivors from previous wars and attacks, if they are 'over it'.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where Were You....

Do you rememer where you were, when you heard about New York, Pennsylvania, or the Pentagon?

This year movies have come out about the day, about the events that took place. And I've resisted saying too much. I don't think I'm ready to see it as Hollywierd would have me see it. That is something to be done years from now. Another decade or two, when the wounds aren't so fresh. Until this year, I've resisted watching the news coverage of what happened. I remember where I was, I remember watching it live, I remember. With heart wrenching detail I remember. I wasn't there, I was safe at work several states away. I didn't know anyone personally in any location. But I cried. I cried then and I cried today. And I had to explain to my now 7 year (almost 8) old DD why.

In five years, much has changed. My country wasn't the only one affected, many were. Both by the act and the aftermath. My travels are now endless security screenings, my freedom's have been encrouched on by the government in the name of security. And I don't feel more secure, I feel more vulnerable. Now, I wonder what the government will do and what our enemies will do.

And yet, an interesting thing happened that day. Two things. Americans became united. Proud of who they are. And most of the world became united. United in pain, senseless, needless pain. It brought us together like nothing else has.

My heart aches today much as it did then. I have more worries now, I have friends, family, in the midst of the fighting. I have guilt for not being there, and hope that it ends soon, with no more dead soldiers. No more flags at half-staff for soldiers who should've come home and didn't.

By time my daughter gets into highschool, today will be an established event, possibly with ceremonies that begin to lose true meaning. By the time my grandchildren learn of 9/11 and the tragedy and ensuing war, it'll be just another historical date to memorize and regurgitate in a boring history class that they are taking because it is required. And they will understand none of the pain I feel now.

Time doesn't necessarily heal wounds, it just takes out the emotion for ensuing generations.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why Does Hollywierd ....

...think that after only 5 years, people are really ready to relieve the horror of 9/11? I mean, really... I remember where I was and how I felt...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

...and all I got was a....

tin of note cards....

I watched my brother's 4 kids and mine all weekend while they took the bike (Triumph) and rode up to Taquamenon Falls in the U.P. with my mom and stepdad (Harley) and my aunt and uncle (victory), and all I got was a tin of note cards. Granted they are Amy Brown note cards with some of the coolest faeries on them. But still --- note cards vs. motorcycle ride... this is so not fair!

My mom said I needed a husband that could ride before I could come on a trip with them, to which I replied "B*ll Sh*t. I just need a bike." So basically, she won't let me come on along because I'm not a couple. I'll just remember that when it's time for me to go to Ireland or Europe or Seattle or where ever... "sorry, mom, it's just for singles."

In other news though, I'm managing to make my director's life a nightmare -- only sort of -- I finished a short script, the first draft, to shoot this fall. It'll fun. It's cute, kinda artsy, which is so not my style, but since I have to do it (yes, its a choice, but I like being on the set, so I choose to work) I figure, I should give the director as much grief as possible. It makes me happy. Happy writer -- happy people... right... I think so.

P.S. -- yes, all of the kids are still around to give their parents grief. Because I must share. :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If You Love...

If you love an alpha, should you ask them to stop doing what it is they do that they enjoy? Not just alpha, but anyone. Why marry someone if you hope/plan to change them? That makes them not the person you fell in love with. And you must step back and ask if you really love them, or are you just settling? Are they?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Memories from Lowry AFB

I'm not sure exactly why memories from 3450th Training Squadron at Lowry AFB hit me so suddenly today. There were so many people I'd love to talk to again, we were great friends and sometimes more. There was the weekend that we helped my friend take his first steps into a Viking relgion, there were nights spent talking, watching movies, and generally trying to get through training. THe ones I remember are Bill T, Heather J, Ben D, and mostly there was Eric M. Its been a few years since I last thought of them. I don't know where any of them are any more, but I hope they've all found peace, love, and happiness. I look to the stars, and still see my friends, my comrades, my brothers and sister, and will always remember you. Peace my friends. May you know it in your heart and always.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

And it gets bigger and bigger and...

...bigger... my family that is...well, specifically, my brother's family, because if it was my family, I'd have woken up half the country by now with both shouts of happiness and way to many questions. Oh, where was I, oh yeah, the growing family... my brother and his wife have four kids == Sean, Naomi, Lauren, and Jakob (in order oldest to youngest) and my SIL is now pregnant for #5. Five. Yup. Five. And now, they say they are done. hehehehe. They decided on 4 (the rest of us knew different-- we thought) and then said, in a daring act of bravery or stupidity, they said that if God thought they should have more He'd let them know. My brother was going in for his snip-snip next week. :) I'm still laughing. :) Though, I do welcome the addition to the family. And yes, there is a hint of envy in that comment.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I finished the fantasy story I've been working on. It's a short story, and its the first draft that I finished but, I FINISHED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *this is me screaming and dancing all over the place* :)

I'm giving it a rest until this weekend and then I'll take a look at it again. Make changes and such. I might revise it a couple of more times before sending in. I'm not quite sure, we'll see what happens.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

If I Ruled the land....

It's test day...

This one is from Whiz

If You Ruled the Land . . . by wackyweasel
Your first name:
How you gained your rule:
Your title is:Your Royal Beauteous Grace on High
Your symbol is:a Jack Russel terrier, because of Wishbone
You rule from:a mountaintop mansion
At your side is:your unicorn steed, Sparkles
Your enforcers, troops, and guards are all:elves - with WINGS!!
Your most popular law is:"National Pajamas Day"
Your least popular law is:Electro-shock collars for stupid people
Your worst enemy is:Johnny Depp - possibly hotter than you in good light
Your popularity rating is:: 75%
Your chance of being overthrown is:: 16%
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Nerd Testing

Found this on both Suz and Stasha's blog.

I am nerdier than 62% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! sure if this is good or bad...not competing with Suz and Stasha!


From Stasha User Test: The Randometer Test.

Because it was fun...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dad's Room

The house I grew up in, has been sold. It was on the market for a day before we got an offer. We countered. They accepted. The house has full finished basement. One room in the basement has been my dad's workroom for nearly as long as we've lived there. Yesterday my brother, SIL, my dad's best friend, and I started packing up my dad's workroom. I cried. There are a lot of memories in that room. My dad had every nook and corner filled -- office supplies, war games, old board games we had played as kids, models of ships, planes, and cars, old sci-fi and fantasy books and magazines. An old copy of the Lord of the Rings books, Horatio Hornblower, etc. Shelves and shelves of Civil War reference books, maps, photos, and other assorted material. There were also reference material on the Napoleonic wars, and World Wars I and II. There were boxes and boxes of Magic The Gathering cards, Star Trek Cards, Star Fleet Battles, and more. There shelves, boxes, butter and coffee containers full of miniture lead figures. Most unpainted, but a lot of them he hand painted. The figure's are maybe an inch high and he painted eyes, mustaches, and mouths on them. We found certificates of appreciation and world's greatest dad's thingy's stuck in a folder, protected. We found things of us kids there. Memories he kept sacred and those he wanted to escape. It was hard, but exciting and interesting at the same time. It was my dad's inner santcum. His private retreat. A place none of us dared go into without his okay. Not even Barb did. In a house where him and his kids were slowly erased, this was all dad's. The walls were covered with shelves and those that weren't, were covered with jokes. I remember him sitting on his stool, looking through a lit, magnifying glass painting civil war figures with paint brushes with maybe one or two bristles in them. Battle flags were painted on kleenex and then wrapped around wire as thin as mechanical pencil lead. Maybe thinner.

I missed him all over again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


My stomach is tight and knotted. It has been for three days. It's not the kind of knotted feeling that results from a stomach bug, but the kind you get when you know your beloved's life hangs in the balance and you are powerless to help. It is a feeling I don't understand, no one I know or love is in danger, and I have yet to meet my soul-mate. All I can say is, whomever it is, be safe and come back soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Money and Kin

I sit here in the early hours of night and wonder what is it that I've gotten myself into. There is something that some humans value more than anything else. Something that others say is important but not as important as their God. Something that others kill for.

Money. It's one of those things confuses me. I'm not afraid of it. I don't necessarily like what it does to people I know and love. Yes, I realize money is an inanimate object and therefore can't make thinking beings do anything. But it's possession has caused untold horror and suffering.
When it comes to money, yes I'm probably over my head. But honestly, I just don't understand it's importance and necessity.

Humans, and those who are not but forced to live in this world anyway, work all of the time, usually at jobs they can't stand for things they can't take with them. People work 52 weeks a year in a hope to get 1 or 2 weeks free to spend on vacation, usually fixing their house or staying home because they can't afford to go anywhere. SOme uninformed beings compete with each other in trying to work the most hours in a single week for companies that will not remember them a week after they leave (involuntary or voluntary). WHy? Progress? Why is less time to spend with people you love and care about progress? If you are too tired to spend time with your family, read a book, or even pursue a hobby, then what good is it?

Advertising companies tell us, it's what we need. Everyone has it, and to be happy we must have what everyone else has. Are we so stupid as to believe a bunch of people sitting in some distance office caring only about their bank accounts? The best times I've had are spent camping with close friends and family in the woods with a communal fire, where stories and laughter are ever present. And music from those that can actually play.

I know that to survive in this world and to give my daughter the best chances, I need to learn how to deal with money and manage it. I don't. I admit that. I just really don't see its necessity. It's seems like a stupid way to live your life -- always at some else's beck-and-call. If you need money, want money (healthy attitude and knowing how to use it or not) you still are still at the beck and call of bosses, the increase and decrease of your finances are still at the beck call of comanies, banks, and shareholders, who mostly only care about their own bank accounts.

We call cultures/peoples without a money system primitive. But are they? Does it have to be a hand to mouth exsistance? Is it so horrible?

We live in a place that is saying it's okay, and preferable to live on credit. To live beyond your means. It's in the culture -- most of them seem to be going that way. America is there, most of the industrialized countries are either on their way or they're there too. Our Great-grandparents, shoot, most of our grandparents would cringe that we live on credit, and that it's okay.

But even if you live with your means, have a healthy attitude towards money, and can manage it. Having it and retaining is still at the whim of others.

Money is something I don't understand its necessity, its place, its anything. But for my daughter's sake, I'd like to learn enough about it to teach her the right way and how not to let money control her or not to let it be more important than her family or her friends.

LIfe isn't about who gets there first or with the most, Life is about the journey. Its about what we leave behind. I'd rather have a simple life, but full of love and trusted friends and family than opulance surrounded by shallow people who only want to be seen with the 'right' people, that are near you because you have 'it'.

No, I don't envy those who have more money than I do. Nor do I consider myself naive. I simply don't get it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Big Families

It is ironic that I am thinking of my only child and how she will be in 30 or 40 years when people I know and love are still wishing for one. I was watching a show on tv where this woman underwent a risky surgery to hopefully have kids. And then she did have a child. She said something that struck a cord in me. With one child what happens in thirty or forty years at holidays and family gathering type things. There she (in the woman's case it was a he) is all by herself, unless she has a husband or significant other. But who does she lean on when I go? Who does she celebrate the holidays with? THere is the argument that with only child, we as parents, can do more for that one child. Which is true. I don't think I could afford gymnastics team lessons for two or more kids. But at the same time, isn't that just a bit selfish on the part of parents... we can afford one kid, lets stay with that...who the he*l are we kidding, kids are expensive, even one. You don't have kids or raise kids because they are cheap. You have them/raise them for love. While I'm not in the position to have more kids at this point in time, I do want them. And I'm pretty sure that if another child were to become part of my life before school is finished (the reason I don't feel I'm in the position to have more kids) I could do it. Almost everyone seems to be wanting 2.13 kids, preferably one boy and one girl. But why? because the Jones' only have 2.13 kids and have the huge house, with all of the toys and gadgets and gizmos. Well, that's the dumbest reason in the history of humanity. One of my friends says two works for her because she is concerned about giving enough of herself to each child and wouldn't want to compromise the welfare of other kids just to have more. That makes sense. Most of us, if we try hard enough, actually know ourselves and what we can handle. But for some people it's an excuse. Two kids, a boy and girl, one mom and one dad. The perfect American family --- established when -- when JFK was in office? Just like when Clinton was in office every Hollyweird movie and tv show featured a President with one child. And there abouts everyone wants only one child. MInd you that this just a passing thought. But think about it, because we are afraid of not being able to afford all of the toys we think we must have we limit the number of children we have now, are we really doing a disservice to future generations. Doomed to lonely holidays, because their parents are gone (because face it, no one lives forever) and they don't have a sibling to share with. Or maybe they have one, but because they didn't have to figure out how to love and forgive, they never see them anymore.

Red Velvet and Shell Casings

For some reason as I was driving home my mind wandered back to my father's funeral. It was a sunny, hot (I think) August day. The cemetary was quiet. There were four folding chairs covered in red velvet slip coverings lined up next to the gravesite. Barb sat first then her daughter then my grandmother and then me. My mom sat behind me. My brother was a pall bearer along with two of my dad's friends and my uncle. It was rounded out by my brother's best friend and Barb's son and I think her brother. Off to one side stood the honor guard. I remember one of the honor guard carried the flag over to me and put it in my arms along with bullet casings after they'd been fired int he gun salute. I cried the whole time. But after a while I think my mom told me that everyone was waiting for me to make a move. Everyone was waiting on me. At about the same time, the honor guard guy walked over and told someone, I don't know who == but I overheard him anyway, and asked that I be told that the honor guard who had served at the ceremony were all submariners. Every one of them. I think I said thank you and that it meant a lot to me. It did. A lot. I have the flag and the shells. The shells are packed away and the flag is sitting on my bookshelf. My dad is never far away. He was a wonderful man. HOnored. He showed others how to not quit. He worked long after many others would've quit. He never used his failing health as an excuse or as means for drawing attention to himself.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bitter Sweet Weekend

It was a bitter sweet weekend. On Saturday, my best friend was married at Derbyshire Ren Faire. As happy as I was for her, I was sad too. My roommate, Nancy, died in January just before the Lunar New Year. Nancy was my friend's aunt. She wanted to see them married, hoped for it, but never made it.

Our Blessing -- I hope their marriage is blessed in every way, that they remember that marriage is work, it takes two on all things. I hope that whatever challenges come their way, they hold fast to each other and to their beliefs.

I know Nancy wanted the same for them. To see my friend, her niece, happy and loved. Protected and cared for.

Many years of blessed happiness my friends.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Really Sucky Weekends

This is going to be one of those really sucky weekends. I know it is. I can tell, because, really, I want a drink. A lot of them. We were at Derbyshire Ren Faire today shooting video for the commericial. The part of my brain that realizes and recognizes what days are and what holidays are coming, knew that tomorrow was Father's Day, but didn't quite register it all the way. On the way from the Swords of Valour /Kingdom of Asmiria Fight List with one of the SOV's fighter's for the last shot for the commerical, he and my two companions were talking about dad's. How their (my 2 female companions) dad's were basically all whacked out and over protective. And then how he (the fighter) had planned things for his daughter. And the only thing I could think about was how much I missed my dad. I hid behind a tree and cried for a bit. Then the director came over and asked what was wrong. He understands (the whole been there, gone through that thing) but, I dry my eyes, put on my nothings-wrong-ignore-the-emotions-it's-time-to-work-attitude and face, come out from behind the tree, grab my gear (boom operator and production manager -- it's heavy gear), and am ready to go. Only one person knows of my breakdown. Everything is well. I don't cry any more. I probably will tomorrow. I might. I don't know. I'm having a wine cooler tonight even though I know better. One of my rules -- never drink when you're (me) is in a highly emotional state. It's not a lot of alcohol. But I don't drink under normal circumstances, so this is a lot, and something I probably shouldn't do, but I will remember, because I'm not going to get drunk. Just relaxed. I miss my dad. A lot. The other day I wanted to call and verify my lasagna recipe with him and ask about his cheese soup recipe and the mini-bran muffins he used to make. Had the phone almost in hand. Took his number out of memory. Had to. Hurts. Lots. It's ironic in a way, that Derbyshire opened Father's Day weekend. Because it was my dad who took me to the Michigan Ren Faire when I was 12 or 13. I remember the jousts and the brightly colored boothes and garbed men walking around gnawing on huge turkey legs. He is at least partly responsible for my love of history and faires.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Unreasonable Fear

It'd be wonderful if I could escape from the unreasonable fear that grips me every once and a while. Shoot, it'd be great not to go through it in the first place. But it happens. Every time we go to the doctor for something other than routine. Like yesterday when I took my DD to the doctor because Friday she had a pimple, plus hair where there wasn't any, and back pain. Again. Urinalysis came out normal. So did the microscopic one. Yesterday it was blood work. To check for the presence of sex hormones. And to check for kidney function. Or more likely -- failing kidneys. So, once again I'm scared. And I shouldn't be. She's an athlete. Injuries happen. She's growing up (whetherI want her to or not). But, really, I'm not ready for her to be starting with puberty. She's 7. It truly sucks when fear and doubt creep in. I suppose I should get used to it. I just don't want to.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Keys and Clue-by-Fours

The most interesting things happen when you least expect it. Innocent conversations turn down a deeper path. You are shown a box (mine is wood, carved by someone who cared) and handed not crowbar but a small key and told to try it. On faith.

No clue-by-fours, when there probably should've been at least one, probably more. But I'm starting to see where I need to go. Which path to take (it's the one that's faint and barely there, not even a true path, just faint footsteps of a group of people travelling in the same general direction.).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another Depressing Book

Really -- what is it with authors of non-genre fiction -- Literature *shivers* -- that believe that the only good ending is a horribly sad ending? I read this one book that is totally engrossing with really good characters and a good story that was well written -- hate the pov chosen though -- first person present -- ugh with small hangup -- through the whole thing you expect victory for the main character -- and expect the supporting character - her sister -- to not win = do you get it? NOpe. Shortly after winning her case the heroine is killed in a car accident. And still you are denied the full dawning realization of the parents. ugh. If I had known it was a tragic ending like Romeo and Juliet, I would never have read the book. And now, if ya'll don't mind, I'm going to go read something where good can still win, evil loses, and hope never dies. Too much in the fantasy realm? Really, with how hard and inescapable our lives become, with more stress and trauma than we think our bodies and souls can take, is it so much to ask to be reminded that miracles can happen? That good still prevails? That evil is vanquished? That there is still a place for hope and love? Or are we so grounded in science and realism that we forget to live, breathe, believe, love? Love isn't science its emotion. Emotion takes guts. Science takes nothing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

As I Was Working ...

When I sit down to write, I always have music on that suits my project. Well, I'm working on a short fantasy right now that I can figure out what music to play with it, so I put in LOTR -- Fellowship of the Ring and I start writing. I look up and Legolas is looking shocked (Gandalf has just died) and confused. I continue writing and look up a few pages later, and Boramir has died. I wrote quite a bit tonight. But the emotional impact of those two scenes reminded me of where I need to be with my own work.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thoughts on a Discussion

My friend and I had a discussion about the message given by their pastor Sunday --

He said "Only Jesus is the true child of God, the rest of us were adopted, accepted, and brought into His family."

Think about it....

Scary Isn't It

One of the scariest things in the world -- at least to me -- is when you realize your body and brain can no longer handle what they have been and start to shut down. It's started out simply -- requiring extra effort to concentrate on lectures -- I have a really good friend who sat near me and helped me out -- either by caring on converstations or playing hangman (while still takeing notes) so that my brain could stay engaged long enough to get through class. Easily distracted. Sleeping, or trying to sleep more. It's really scary. It's even scarier when you realize what is going on and why. Summer this year = recovery.

Bitter Sweet

I graduated this past Friday with an Associates in Arts and hopefully an Associates in Science. As I sat through practice at 8:30 in the morning, I realized that the two people who should be there the most, weren't. My dad supported me even when b*tchlet (his fiancee) barely allowed us into his house. And Nancy, I wouldn't have been able to make it through school without her. And while I know they were there in spirit, neither would miss it for the world, it isn't the same. And I miss them both terribly.

Sometimes excitement is just an excuse to hide the pain.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Finals Wrap Up

They're done. I'm done. Well, for the summer. I'm excited. Photography Show and Tell went well. Everyone did good. Beginner class -- 'what's a camera?' to 'I like it, but I would've liked to ....' . It was fun. I'd like to take more. But I already blogged that. Women's Lit -- I winged it. I passed. Chemistry and A&P -- maybe pass, maybe fail. This from a straight A student who last year flipped out at anything less than an A. F--- It. That has been my attitude lately. But I have a pretty good idea why.

At the start of 2005 my dad was in the hospital every 2 weeks and we never knew if he was going to come out of it or not. August 3rd, it was a Wednesday, I get a call from my brother, we're heading to Ann Arbor, we'll be there in 10 minutes. August 28th, my dad died. Three weeks later, we find out that my niece was abused by someone we all know. Four Days before Christmas my brother's house burns down with them just barely getting out. I wasn't even a full minute away from burying my entire family. Three weeks later my nephew is born (hey, look a bright spot). 8 days later, on Jan. 16th, my roommate and one of my best friends dies. I found her. I knew right away. I have guilt. Lots of it. I have a schedule of classes I can't keep, but because I'm financial aid probation, I can't change. So I don't stop running. I make it to my classes, barely. My brain and my body are calling it quits. I've been sick since January, it's getting worse. Survival mode kicked in and there is nothing I can do about it. And really, at this point I don't want too. Something had to give -- I knew this -- it gave -- I just didn't realize that it wouldn't be something so mundane as classes or a committment -- sometimes, just sometimes, knowing yourself this well, sucks. No place to run. No place to hide. The most I hope for right now is recovery. Recoup. Does my family know? Care? Understand? Nope. The biological ones don't. But sometimes, biology isn't everything. So for now, I'll huddle in on myself for a few days before starting down a new road not back to where I was, but back to where I need to be.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Okay, so in between moving and studying, I had to go to my nieces birthday party -- now, my brother, step-dad, and uncle all ride motorcyles. Each a different brand -- Triumph, Harley Davidson, and Victory respectively. When motorcyclist get together, especially when they are going to ride (it's not raining or snowing and above 32, it's riding weather) must wear t-shirts depicting the name and logo of their bikes. :) At least the guys do.

Photography Wrap Up

So, this coming Tuesday is the show and tell for my photography class. I'm nervous and excited. I can't wait to see what other's have been doing, but I'm not so sure I want to share my stuff. I spent 5 hours in the darkroom Friday and 4 hours on Thursday. In total I printed 6 photographs and two proof sheets. And I still have a lot to do yet. Ugh. But that'll wait. Warning -- my brain is slowly turning to mush because finals are next week. All on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So, ooooh shiny is so in effect right now. Anyway. I printed 6 photo's and mounted 4. Two I mounted were the topic the prof chose (hot dog art). Personally, I didn't care for either of them (hot dog matches and hot dog, food, and my dad's flag). The normal hot dog one, the food is out of focus because I was focusing in on the stars on the flag and not the food. So depth of field plays into it and there is a slightly blurry photo. I'm NOT reshooting hot dogs again. NOpe. Not gonna happen. So, I then printed a photo that eventually will go to my friend C, because of what it looks like to me (it's a tree in the shape of a man) and how it ties in with a story she's writing (it's really good, but not mine, so I can't tell you -- send good publishing thoughts and maybe you'll be able to read it soon). My other friend, one of her characters has a house in EGR that I wanted to shoot for her, but she couldn't remember the address or anything so, I didn't get to do that one, yet. And so, at the last minute I decided to print one last photo, even though I hadn't done a proof sheet and I didn't have time to do either. But, I did. And it is my favorite photo. I didn't do anything to it, but it'd be interesting to see how it'd look if I did. My Best friend and I and her fiancee and DD went to dinner last night, and he wants a copy of the print. And suggests that I submit it to the GR Festival of Arts. I'm considering it, but I don't know. I'm doing the "I'm-a-beginner-what-chance-do-I-have-of-even-getting-in-let-alone-winning-anything" attitude going. We went to the bookstore so I could get a gift for a friend of mine in need of me time, wait that's all of my friends, but the gift is for one of them, but they didn't have the book I wanted -- it's another friend's book, and really good and light (humorous). We were looking at photography magazines and I made the comment that I wanted to learn more about B&W photography, as I was pawing through some of the mags, and was told I didn't need to learn more, I already knew about composition. To which I looked at him like he had four heads and blue skin. I said no, I didn't. Because the one's he liked, and a lot of the ones I liked, arent' the ones I set up, they're the ones I basically point and shot, which since I have a manual (Thank you John and Stasha) camera, isn't that fast, but still, you get the picture. So I was told I should try large or medium format, which I admit to wanting to learn -- but, at the moment, I'm not in a position to know anyone locally who does either that I can learn from, and while I love to read, I don't learn very well from it. Hands on application requires hands on learning. Sometimes, it's a bad thing, but it's how I work. Gotta love my brain -- it's wired wierd even for creative people. And while I did point out that when it comes to depth of field and motion I still have no clue, it was brushed aside. Now, I'm thinking that might just matter. But he and my best friend want me to enter the one print (stone table in a foresty setting) into the contest and said people would buy it. I laughed. It's one thing to want my photo's on my walls, it's another story to want them on someone else's walls. Pardon the ramble, but I just moved into this new apartment, and I was looking for art to put on my walls, and decided, that while I liked the photo's, I'd rather have my stuff on my walls, because it was mine. So, I will. My SIL rescued DD from after-school care last night and when I pulled up to their house, DBro's brand new Triumph was sitting at an angle (a bad one too. :( ), and I talked later, he's going to give me money for a roll of film (he's like how much does it cost, I said I didn't know I bought six rolls at a time -- really need to find a place to buy in mass quantitites, photo stores ran out of the film all photo students in GRCC's program use. That sucked.) so that I can take photos of his bike. I want to get his bike, my SDad's bike (new Harley), and my uncle's bike (Victory) all together, too. I will be becoming a member at the UICA so I can rent space in their darkroom. Because, right now, I have a bathroom that I can use as a temporary darkroom, and while getting the trays and chemicals is reletively easy and inexpensive, I'm pretty sure the enlarger and the lightbulbs are not. And if I do manage to learn large or medium format (can you say more cameras than people and creatures) will it work for the larger negetive? The one's at school are set for 35mm film. But they are removable, so maybe, but not necessarily, and I don't have a lot of extra storage space. And it is the only light tight room in my house -- apartment. So, I learned that I love photography and that I need a cheap point and shoot for color family events that I want to scrapbook (it's too much work -- right now-- to print 24 pics that I'm going to cut up and stick in a photo album and with my manual, I'm never happy with the way family photo's turn out, well maybe if they sat STILL, I might, but that's not ever gonna happen -- my mom has 9 grand kids -- hehehe -- so point and shoot with color film), a digital because it'd be cool (OMG, did I say that outloud? and yes, I realize that I can use the digital as a point and shoot but you missed the part where I cut pics up to scrapbook them -- and I'm not going to buy a special printer with special paper for several hundreds of dollars when for $5 ($7 if I want them on a CD too) I can get doubles of my roll of film that I don't have to replace the ink on, and they're archivable), more lenses (wide angle and zoom at least) for my camera, and I want to explore larger formats. And I still write, go to school, and work for indie film company. NOt to mention wedding attire to sew for this June (and I still don't know what I'm going to be making -- very scary) and I've been asked to make costumes for another indie company (not Doodle Doll, which I helped to found) but another one, which I think might have bitten off more than they can chew given their resources (less than ours). Really, it's a good thing I graduate next Friday (Associates in Arts and and Associates in Sciences). No classes this summer. Good thing too.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Where Else?

Where else but Michigan can you experience all four seasons in one city without driving anywhere in the space of a workday?

I woke up to it raining -- typical, usually, in the spring. Just before lunch time it started snowing. After lunch it was windy but no snow or rain. And at 3 the sun was out and it was warm. Gotta love it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Break - Day 7

March 11, 2006
Lewisville, TX

Day 7

It’s still several hours until our flight leaves and we are almost completely packed. I’m up early and wanted to get a bit of work done, not to mention enjoy the solitude. I have mixed feelings about leaving. In a way I’m not ready, but in another way, I am. I miss my family. I don’t miss the cold. I miss my friends. But since I talked to everyone regularly, it wasn’t as if I was constantly thinking about them. DD is extremely homesick though. She’s been wanting to go home for several days, though she swears that this is where she wants to live when she gets older. It’s too hot in the summer for me. My mom misses us. I don’t know if all of use will come back next year or if it will be just me when nationals are here.

DD is disappointed because we didn’t get to Fort Worth, the Cowgirl Museum, or the stockyards, so those are definite do’s when we come back. I’d like to see the aquarium again and the art museum too. But the Art Museum and the Aquarium are a bus ride away from the Adam’s Mark, or I could walk or hire a cab. Especially if several of us went. I’d like to walk around the mall in Dallas, just to see. There is one that has an ice skating rink in it, which would be really cool.

And there is also the fact that Plano, which is only a few minutes from my Uncle’s house, is where Bela Karole’s gym is. Which is only the best in the country.

I’m looking ahead to Utah and to the trip to Nationals this summer. I thought about flying, but if I did that I wouldn’t get to meet Karen, Wendy, and Lisa. And possibly Margaret. But even the trip to Nationals is up in the air. A lot will be happening between now and then. Including moving, working, and a new college.

DD and Grandma are up now. DD joined Libby Lu while we were here, and I think she thinks that there are actual meetings that she can go to, there aren’t. But I think she misses being part of something. So dance and gymnastics it is and maybe campfire come the fall. We’ll see. I don’t know what’s going to happen at this point in time though.

We went to visit Texas Women’s University this morning, I grabbed some information about it, including an application. I took a lot of pictures. Then we went to see the largest house in North America – I did get a couple of pictures of it. We went back to my aunt's, packed our carry-on’s and loaded our suitcases. I would’ve loved a couple of more days with my uncle. But he is coming up in a couple of months. I’m thrilled. We went to Boston Market for lunch.

We had an uneventful flight out of Dallas and into Chicago. We got a car to take us from our arrival gate to our departure gate – that was a blast.

And now back to the cold weather…though the gate information says it’s 59°F in Grand Rapids…. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Well, we almost didn’t make it out of Chicago tonight. Apparently, some idiot at United sent an smaller version of the 737 we were suppose to take back to GR. How much smaller? 15 seats. Not necessarily a big number, unless you happened to be in those rows and its an overbooked plane. Rows 3, 21, and 20 had been eliminated – we had seats in row 20. And I was pretty much okay with that – until I talked to my mom and she told me to calm down. And then I did what was expected of me – I got angry. It wasn’t the guy at the counter’s fault, they told him 10 minutes before they started boarding, but he got the brunt of everyone’s anger. Enough people voluntarily stayed in Chicago, so we were able to come home tonight.

So here ends our vacation. DD and I are both excited to fly again. And so now I’m contemplating flying out to Utah in May, instead of the train, especially since the train is now scheduled to get into Salt Lake City at 11:00 at night. There’s no fun in that. So a train trip will come later I suppose. This vacation was just what we both needed, and I know one thing – another year will not pass without me taking at least one. Even if it’s three days long and a hotel in BFE. Nope, not going to happen. 12 years is too long to wait to go on a real vacation.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Spring Break -- Day 6

March 10, 2006

Lewisville, TX

Day 6

Today, my uncle stayed home and in bed because he wasn’t feeling good. Which is really the best thing for him. My aunt believes in antibiotics at the slightest sniffle. Can we say powerful, lethal bugs, as a result. Ugh.

She took us to Sam Moon Trading Company. WOW! They have some really nice stuff at some very inexpensive prices. I was happy. I bought several pairs of earrings and necklace sets for myself and for my mom, SIL, and DsS. I also found myself buying several purses for some strange, unknown reason. They were only $15.00, so that is good. After Sam Moon, I picked up T-shirts for DD and I. And then we went to McDonald’s for lunch. Yuck. After ward we went to the Bass Pro Shop and looked around. Fun. Fun. Fun. I also picked up some snack stuff. Then we dropped Nana off, settled our things in, and then I started packing. After a while my aunt, DD, and I ended up going to Walmart, I got more snacky stuff, a journal, and a book to write in. And TSA approved locks for all of my luggage. We came home, had sandwiches and ice cream. I finished packing, having had bought another carryon style bag and borrowing my aunt’s large suitcase. Okay, note to self, I way over packed. Let’s not do that again. That’s bad. My Aunt gave me a bunch of clothes that don’t fit her, so I first tried them on and then packed them. I helped her bring things down from the attic and sat out in the courtyard with her. She’s going to turn it into a spiritual/healing room. It’s going to be covered with roses, it’ll be beautiful when it’s done.

I really hate that fact that we are flying out tomorrow.

On a good note, I did finish a RR Christmas tree Thursday. So that is good. And I started on the Celtic Cross by TW. It's going in my carry-on for the ride home. It's cold and snowy in Michigan. It was 84 F here yesterday.

Spring Break -- Day 5

March 9, 2006

Lewisville, TX

Day 5

It was mostly a quiet day. A change from all of the running around that we’ve been doing. We went back to Grapevine Mall so that I could exchange a couple pairs of shorts that wouldn’t fit DD and that my grandma just wouldn’t stop telling me about them. Ugh. So, we walked the last half of the mall and had lunch at the Rainforest Café. I picked up shirts for the kids and a pair of earrings for SIL. Then we drove around the lake and dam at Grapevine and through one of the parks they had there. It was nice and relaxing. We came home, my uncle and Nana took naps, DD worked on her homework and I stitched. I finished Futurecast late last night. My uncle wasn’t feeling good, so he went home. And after my aunt came home, we went to El Chico for dinner. I had an enchilada sampler and fried ice cream – it was okay, it wasn’t the best. It was edible. DD had nuggets. Nana had a tortilla soup that turned out to be very spicy and she didn’t like that, so she ordered Mexican Apple Pie, which was really good. More stitching followed. It was a nice time.

Tomorrow is Friday – that really sucks.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring Break -- Day 4

March 8, 2006

Lewisville, TX

Day 4

This morning we went to IHOP for breakfast and then we drove into Dallas and went to the Aquarium. Nana used a wheelchair, and DD practically ran through the whole thing. We started on the third floor in the rainforest and worked our way down. It was amazing. I blew 4 rolls of color film there. It was great. We saw monkeys, birds, birds, and more birds, lizards, spiders, a jaguar -- beautiful animal, and alligators. And that was just in the rainforest. No, the jaguar was in Mundo Maya, very cool place. We went through the ocean and saw hundreds of different types of fish categorized first by island they live near – that makes sense, and then by who doesn’t eat whom. There was a large predator tank, a shark tank, and continental shelf tank, and a tank for the darkest, deeper parts of the ocean. We ended the tour near the gift shop – I bought a mug for me, some little things for DD, a t-shirt for my step dad, and nana bought a t-shirt for DB. Then we drove around Dallas. They had this really cool park that had statues of cowboys driving longhorns down and around and up this hill. It was sooooooooooooooo cool. I didn’t have my camera out to get a picture. Bummer. We came home, my uncle and Nana took naps, DD played, I stitched. We then went to the mall for dinner because our original plans got nixed. Oh well. It was fun. Went to Dillards -- $166.00 for a cotton peasant style skirt with a little bit of beadwork on the waist band – ah, no thanks. We walked out. DD wanted to go to Libby Lu, so we did. Expensive, but she picked out a few things that she wanted that were to expensive so that was good. We came home, watched TV, relaxed, and stitched. After breakfast we went to Wolf Camera’s where I picked up a flash and a lens cleaning kit, and a roll of film, that I hope is the right one. Otherwise, I could be up a creek. :S

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. So not fair.

Spring Break -- Day 3

March 7, 2006

Lewisville, TX

Day 3

This morning we went to the Owen’s Spring Creek Farm and saw a museum of farm life including the general store and then we walked around and saw their horses and then we went into the petting zoo and fed the longhorn cattle and (and petted) the goats. DD climbed onto a spider made out of a huge rolled bale of hay, spray painted to look like a happy spider face. After we left there, we went to Black Eye Peas for lunch, the place we were going to go to (Magical Time Machine) wasn’t open for lunch. :( After that we walked next door to Quilt Country. All I can is 8500 bolts of fabric!!!!! Very expensive at $8.95 a yard. Ouch. I bought 2 ½ yards of four Texas flowers fabrics that I’m going to use to make quilts from. I just don’t know what I’m going to do yet. We’ll see. I think I may do a flying geese for one of the patterns, I’m just not sure yet. We’ll see. For dinner, we stayed home and had ham and bologna sandwiches. And then my aunt, DD, and I went to Walmart and JoAnn Fabrics. Their JoAnn’s has more crafty stuff (like a Michael’s) than fabric, and really, their fabric selection stunk. Oh Well. I don’t live here, so it’s allright. And well, Walmart is Walmart. Not a big day, but it 79°F and gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spring Break -- Day 2

March 6, 2006

Lewisville, TX

Day 2

We woke up at about 8:30 this morning and stayed in our pj’s until 9:30. I made eggs and toast for breakfast which went over fairly well. My uncle came over around 9:45 or so. After I finished getting ready, we went to this mall where the Dallas Children’s Museum was. DD played in the Greek house, the Doctor’s Office/hospital/ambulence, Cici’s Pizzeria, Kroger’s Grocery Store – where she both shopped and rang up her groceries on a real working scanner, she also played on the stage, and did some drawing. She played the most in the house and in the pizza store. Although, with as much time as we spent there, I think that was her favorite part. Afterward we went to Grapevine Mall and ate at the Rainforest Café. DD was begging for McDonald’s again. Ugh. We went to the café with the understanding that if she didn’t like it we could go to McDonald’s. She loved the alligator at the entrance and the aquariums. And then there were the elephants, and after she got over her initial scare of the gorilla’s, she went off exploring the restaurant and sat at the bar on the giraffe legs and lower body, complete with moving rope tail. She had a blast! I’m so glad. She had dinosaur chicken nuggets with fries and a Coke. My uncle had the Blue Mountain Chicken Burger with chips and a Coke, Nana had Caribe Chicken with coffee, and I had the Planet Earth Pasta (sausage and penne pasta with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce) some sort of toasted bread and a Coke. Then we went shopping. Nana and I bought a blue romper with fish on it for Nephew #5, t-shirts for Nephew #3 (brown tye-dye with safari animals on it and reads Rainforest Café), Niece #1(pink with two white tigers that reads Rainforest Café), Niece #2 (pink with sparkly tiger that reads Wild Thing on it), and DD (dark blue tye-dye with white tigers that reads Rainforest Café). And then I bought two more shirts for Serra (both white one with the Rainforest Café animals and name on it and one with Cha Cha (the frog) riding a bucking bronco that says Dallas on it), two for me (both with, one with all of the Rainforest Café animals and the name on the back and a small logo on the upper left side in front and one with three Cha Cha frogs doing the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil thing on it) and a mug (white with animals and name). My Uncle commandeered a wheelchair for Nana and we walked around about half of the mall. I saw this store Justice-Just For Girls, I went in, but found they had really expensive versions of the clothes I usually find at The Children’s Place. Then Nana and I went into Liz Claiborne Shoes and she found a pair of heeled sandals in the kind that she likes. She got them in black. She paid like $55.00 for them, instead of the normal $64.00, and at the last minute I found a pair of dark tan ankle boots that I like. They are normally $94.00, and I got them for $21.00. They are a little tight, but I figure since I’m losing weight and they are leather, it’s perfectly fine. Then I found this store called Texas Treasures and I got DB a gray t-shirt with the Dallas Skyline on it, I picked up two shot glasses for mom one is clear with tiny painted boots, hats, and lone stars on it that says Dallas in big letters, and one that looks like an old map that says Texas on it and cowboys. And I got a collector’s spoon with a pair of boots and a map of Texas on it. I spotted two things there that I almost got, but didn’t – a bumper sticker that reads “I’m from Texas, what country are you from?” and an “Official” Texas Passport with all of the different large cities in Texas listed in on beige paper and laid out like a real passport. It was really neat. Then my uncle bought DD a Fairytopia Mermaid/Fairy thingy and a set of Polly Pockets. Then I found The Children’s Place Outlet store and I bought DD three pair of socks, three pair of shorts, two pairs of Capri pants, a shirt, and a pair of sun-glasses. All of which look really good on her. Not that I’m biased at all.

Then we headed back to my Aunt's. I stitched, DD played, my uncle and Nana slept. After my aunt came home we went to Razzoo’s Cajun Restaurant for dinner. The outside looked like a swamp shack (at least the pictures I’ve seen of them) and had a pair of screen doors leading into it. There were bottles of different sizes and colors that used as a divider. Nana and my aunt both had the cheeseburger with fries (it was huge), my uncle had the shrimp basket, DD had chicken strips and fries (of course, did we think there was going to be anything else?), and I had the Andouille with Red Beans and Rice, which is spicy but not hot. Let me just say that it’s Cajun sausage – it BITES BACK!!! Ouch. But really good. And like lunch, I couldn’t finish it all! No desert -- and they looked really really good. We did pick up some ice cream, bread and cheese on the way home, though. My uncle went home, my aunt and Nana watched TV, DD played. I started to stitch, but ended up talking to a friend of mine instead. While we were at Razzoo’s (oh, and yes, Alligator tails was on the menu), I called my Brother and told him that we’d arrived safely, that we were eating Cajun and that it was a balmy 81°F. He had absolutely no sympathy for me. :) I believe his words were something to the effect of “I hate you. Shut up.” I was just trying to be helpful and kind and let him know I arrived safely. Even though I had called him from the Smokehouse yesterday…it’s not my fault. (It was 18°F there). Did I mention I wore a tank top, skirt, and sandals all day? Um, oh, darn.

I did end up stitching a bit after DD went to bed and I finished talking with my aunt. I do need to call my mom tomorrow. And I think I want to pick up some earrings for SIL and maybe something for SSis and her kids. I might get DSdad a t-shirt too. I think he’d like that. I’ll have to remember this for when we go to Utah. Gifts for the family. And when I go to Atlanta this year… gifts for the family…. :) I had a blast today. I loved all of the food, and seeing everything. There really aren’t a lot of chain restaurants down here. I was surprised. And happy.

Thought of the day – OMG!!!! I bought shoes. Vile, evil things!!! And I bought a pair. Willingingly. Oh boy.

Spring Break -- Day 1

March 5, 2006

Lewisville, Texas

Day 1 of our Spring Break vacation to Dallas.

It was truly a travel day. I got up around 5:30 this morning, checked out of the hotel after spending a terrific weekend at a mostly useful writer’s mini-con. I picked up DD from DB and SIL new house, toured it – it’s huge – really, it’s too much. I mean who wants to clean something that large. Ugh. Nana picked us up around 8:30 this morning and we arrived at the airport at 9:00, since we had a 10:16 flight.

Security was a pain in the arse. I haven’t flown in 7 years, I wouldn’t have thought that I needed to remove my laptop from my carry-on. It was on the bottom of the flippin’ bag. Ugh. So they hand searched my bag and did some sort of chemical test on my computer. I’m going to take a long shot and assume they were looking for traces of explosives or other nasty chemicals meant to kill lots of people. You had to remove your shoes, unless you are over 80 or wearing tennis shoes. Yeah. DD and I were both wearing tennis shoes. Joy of joys. So we cleared security.

I bought gum to help DD equalize the pressure in her ears…she doesn’t like gum. So I had her drink a little, which she didn’t really want to do either. We boarded the plane out of GR easy enough. Watching her as we took off renewed my joy in flying. I got to re-experience everything for the first time with her. All of her excitement and fears. By the time we landed in Chicago though, she was complaining that she was hungry. It only got worse, especially the whining. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I did the unthinkable, I bought food at the airport. Really, what choice did I have? She was doing nothing but whining and complaining. I spent a good $30.00 on food for three people. Ouch. The meal consisted of Pepperoni Pizza, the personal size ones, Chinese with 2 meats (Sesame, orange), and a ham and cheddar on Ciabatta bread. We boarded the flight to Dallas on time, but then they had to de-ice the plane’s wings. And then we sat on the runway for a bloody half-hour. We were late getting into Texas. But we finally made it. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got settled in at my aunt’s house – it’s gorgeous, I’m going to have to get pictures of it all. My Aunt’s house is a gorgeous brick house, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with a study, breakfast nook, patio, sunroom, large kitchen, and formal living room that she separated with 2 large screens and made into a prayer sanctuary. One of things I’ve noticed down here is that almost all of the houses are made out of brick, is that a good portion of the houses, especially the newer ones, had their garages in the back of the houses with 8’ – 12’ wooden privacy fences, all accessed by alley ways. It’s really cool. My aunt's got this nautical - western - feminine decor thing going on. It's really tasteful and cool.

My uncle took us to the town of Denton, to a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant called the Smokehouse for dinner. I had a two meat combo of Beef Brisket and German Sausage, with a side of Potatoes salad and onion rings. DD desperately wanted Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds. She ate most of her chicken strips, and onion rings. Then we went to see the largest house in North America. Then home and then out to the grocery store followed by Braum’s, which has excellent ice cream. On the way back from dinner, we drove through Texas Women’s University, which was truly awesome. And then we saw the largest house in North America, which was gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And all the land that goes with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And everywhere there are horses and cattle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More to come....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Journey To Me

Starts inside, but it does manifest elsewhere. I keep a blog titled "Elven Thoughts and Meanderings" a misnomer to some degree. But, to make it true opens myself up to ridicule by those I have come to trust and consider my friends. Therefore, my options are somewhat limited == I can keep it as is, and begin anew where the title and the content are for the same purpose or I can change the title of this and open a new journal using this title, or I can keep the journal and alter the course of friendships I people I have come to love that I would miss and would not wholly understand or believe --

Perhaps it is best if somethings remain hidden from outside viewers, but therein lies my unhappiness == to be alone and not know my kin, my people...what joy it that lies there.


Is a block in the month club at a quilt shop that I discovered while looking for a butcher that one of my friends recommended to me. I signed up for the club on a spur of the moment decision. Yesterday was the first meeting that I went to. I bought the first month right then and sat down with the rest of the ladies, while they were sewing, I started cutting my fabric. I found out what some of my problems with my other quilt block experiences. :) I had a ton of fun and couldn't wait to get home to get more sewing done. The fabric for the Thimbleberries Quilt Club, is all vintage fabrics, a lot of golds, greens, and russets. The center block is an outline print of something. Such as hearts for February. I'm going to stitch the outline. I'm not sure if I want to stitch it black or some other color. I would like to use varigated floss. Maybe something from Weeks Dye Works (Havana, Molasses, Charcoal, or Onyx) or from Sample Threads (Cherry Bark, Forest Glade, Soot, or Black Crow). Since I don't have the center block with me -- they are behind in orders right now, I'm not sure which would look better. There are no bright colors on the fabrics, just muted fall colors. I'm looking forward to finishing it. Though I confess I will probably send it out for quilting, I love making tops, but I'm really lousy at machine and hand quilting. At least right now. Another thing I'd like to learn. Because you can only tie so many quilts. :) I will try and get a photo up as soon I can.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Question to Ponder...

...if this is the third, fourth, hundreth, or more time I've spoken with you and you still begin with "I'm a Christian" or "As a Christian" --- are you trying to convince me or yourself?

---Remember actions always speak louder than words, and the smallest, mostly unseen action, will be heard the loudest.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

On My Photography Class

I have this assignment -- actually it was given 2 weeks ago, and it took me until Friday to figure out what to do. I hadn't realized what a rut my thought process was in. It's still uniquely mine, but there was a difference I hadn't been aware of. The assignment was -- well is -- in 36 shots show 1) freeze motion (but you have to be able to tell it was moving), 2) show motion, 3) show depth of field, and 4) show infinite focal length (at least I believe that is what he called it). So I sat down and tried to process it and come up with creative ways to show things. And I couldn't. I had gotten use to 1 -2 - 3 - 4- 5- steps in order -- linear ways of doing things. Not creative/circular like I was used to doing it. When I stepped outside academia I could do it. Now, my only concern with is, outside of being creative or original enough, is with the ideas and visualizations I did come up with, knowing that what I was trying for is what I got. Since I'm not shooting 1-2-3-4 etc I am writing what the shots are when I take them, so I don't forget. I was thinking of writing down all of the settings I've been using, but I don't know that I want to do that, well more likely, I don't know that I'll have the discipline to do that. The thing that I don't like about homework rolls when there are set numbers of each subject or part is that I can't take multiple pictures in order to get the one I want. That stinketh. I know it's a lot of practice, practice, practice, but I don't know that if what I've been doing (basic record keeping-- taking pictures of my DD, friends, and family) is enough. I've been wondering well two things -- what kind of color film to use (its a b&w class), and wondering about doing an interpretive word set of shots. One roll per word or phrase per week or so. But I don't know that I would want to come up with all of the words or phrases because then I could stack the deck in the way that I like and I am comfortable with. I think the idea is to be challenged. I think that might help me. At least I think so. So, if I do do this, I would want to know if it's b&w or color film to use and the word or phrase. Then when I have them developed I could make sure that I get them on disc too, so that the results can be seen. I also thought about picking a specific scene and taking several shots of it using different settings just to see the effect of it. That would probably take two rolls -- maybe do it twice or even three times -- inside, outside sunny, and outside cloudy. I should get an album of some sort to keep track of all of them -- note film, speed, and all settings so I can do a quick look and go -- oh, so that's what that would look like.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

FYI Here Too

Even though a great many literature authors will tell you that you must be depressed, under tension, and despair regularly in order to write anything worth while. I whole-heartedly disagree with that sh*t. First of all, you have to want it. Second of all, you have to have a measure of talent that you were born with, and third of all, you have to guts, determination, and have unquestionable faith in yourself and your abilities. Otherwise, quit. It's easier. Less taxing on those pour fragile nerves and the rejections you recieve for your work won't cause you to go further into depression. But, on the other hand, if you believe that dribble, don't be surprised when the rejections start piling up. Very few people want to read about how depressed you are and how sad everything is.

Enough said.

(It's also posted at Behind the Script.) which is also mine

Woe Is Me....

Well not really... I mean nothing horrible is going on and my stress levels are decreasing. And the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of being a doctor. Not sure though. But I have to wonder, as I'm sitting in my beginning photography class (uses one of those big camera's where everything is manual) listengin to the prof talk about all the differences between him and why couldn't I just apprentice for a while to learn all of the basics. It's not like the prof is teaching me how to think any further outside the box than I already do, ugh. Oh well. I got my slides back, he neglected to tell us our grades. I'm so not comfortable with that. I like to know how I'm doing in a class. Especially since failing is so not an option.

The other day I got to thinking about a few things, and I came to a realization. With the exception of small things (stash, clothes, books, footwear (as it is required by law) and music) all things that are individually less than 30.00 each when I bought them, nothing in my house was new when I got it. Not a thing. Not that that is a bad thing, I'm not materialistic or anything and I am quite aware of the difference bewteen a want and a need. But you know, just once, I'd like something new. LIke, oh I don't know, something that is more me than not. I'd like a car that I don't have to worry about. What I'd really like is one of those hybrids or to live a city with an actual transportation system that reaches all areas. I don't mind having to wait, but some times waiting gets old.

On a totally different train of thought -- I'm trying to organize and file all of my paperwork... that means some of it goes into the circular file too. Works nice. It's been hard. I honestly don't know what to do with all of it. As far as where to put it. And I don't necessarily want to box it all up since that will just shift the problem not solve it.

But for tonight....

I'm outta here.......

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Life Goal

I'm doing one of those Life Goal - Change thingy's -- Here is my life goal --

To live simply and honorably, while keeping my values and beliefs in tact and not sacrificing my DD wellfare.

I would prefer to live my life simple and unassuming without attention being called to the people I help or the things I do in order to help others.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wants vs. Needs

Now there is a definite difference between a want and a need in my not so humble opinion -- I do not need a brand new Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 with an extended cab in hunter green. I live in the city, that is a want. But I do need a new car. See -- want vs. need. I need to move, now. Luxary apartments are a want, however close in price they may be.

Okay, so we know, well, I do, that I don't need any more fabric. For a while. I really don't. However, I do need new clothes, and not knowing if people will grow brains and stop wearing hip huggers with bell bottoms anytime soon, and knowing that whether I am a size 2, 8, or 20, I will not ever wear them. EVER. My arse should not be showing to the world. It's mine and nobody elses. I did buy fabric yesterday. Several yards of it. All to make skirts, because it's warming up and I want to. I do want to go get some of the gauzy stuff from Destination India for a circle skirt still. And I want to get some knit tanks to go with it. And the good thing about the skirts, is that as I loose weight, I can take them in. hehehe.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Stitching Basket

Welcome to another edition of the Stitching Basket, when I hold myself accountable to the goals I’ve made for myself this year.

Writing Goals –

I started the year off with a bang, averaging about 3 pages a day, but in mid-January my roommate died and I’m still trying to figure out how to tread water. So I haven’t gotten any writing done. Which also means, I haven’t finished anything and I haven’t submitted anywhere. I did start to look for conferences for SFWA and haven’t found a lot, admittedly, I haven’t looked real hard, and I have yet to join RWA SIC FFP hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will.
I haven’t sent in my registration for RWA’s National Conference. Now, I’m wondering if I should even go, given the upheaval here. I have started to organize my research both on my computer and in my filing cabinets – it’s true. I have started separate folders for different subjects and by author(s) or publication(s) when possible. It’s horrible and yucky, and way unnatural, but oh well. It must be done.

General Goals –

Here too, I started the year off with a poof. I started watching what I eat and how much and started exercising three times a week. But I know I'll feel better once I start working out again. And it'll get easier as time goes on. I haven’t checked into YMCA memberships because right now I still have free access to the school’s gym and pool.
I have begun to put together spreadsheets of all of my books, movies, CD’s, Cross Stitch (Wow, I didn’t have nearly as much as I thought. That’s rather sad somehow) and sewing stuff. I have started to get ideas down for Christmas for my friends and family. I basically know what I’m going to get my brother and his family, and my grandma, it’s just my DD, my mom and step-dad, and then my friends….hmmm we’ll see…
I have started to organize my bed room and utility room, now, especially out of necessity. But it’ll be nice have to less clutter taking up space. I mean really, I can’t possibly need all of it!
I made the Dean’s List last semester!!! I’m so thrilled!!!!!!!!!!! GPA is still recovering from the nosedive it took last winter, but oh well. I’m doing the best I can and I can’t ask more than that. My mom and I are thinking about going to Frankenmuth and Bronner’s sometime this spring!!! I can’t wait!!!! And of course we’re going in October -- middle to end hopefully.

And Now for the good part –

Stitching and Sewing Goals
I’ve finished several ornaments for the two Round Robin’s I’m in. I stitched about 100 stitches on Storyteller and then had to frog every blasted one because I count funny. :S I found the pattern for my nephew’s birth announcement, finally, so I’ll be starting that soon. I also have all of the floss I need to finish my step-dad’s sweatshirt. Yeah!!! He may actually get it this year!!! I bought Forest Goddess from Mirabilia and decided I didn’t like the pinky-purple dress and it needs to be more of an orangey-red and so I have to do that before I can start her. But since the Meandering one initiated a SHE SAL I had to find another SHE to work on, so I will be doing the Japanese Angel (which I can't find a picture of online :( ) from Barbara Baatz for my DD. I haven’t found the fabric I want for the Last Supper, which I have to restart because I count funny. But I have started Celtic Banner, finally. I’m thrilled about that one! And since my aunt gave me the Stitch-bow system, I’m finding it’s great for holding everything, though I haven’t had to un-wind any of the bobbin thingy’s yet. And I have decided that I want to get a new (and sturdier = sturdy period) Cross-Stitch Frame. My mom decided she wants one too, but she needs one that holds hoops, which is what she works on, so I think we’ll both be getting one this year. Yeah! And since I inherited all of my roommate’s fabric, I will be doing a lot of scrap quilting this year == well I’ll get the tops done at least. I do want to do at least one each for each of Nancy’s sisters and her mother with the fabric I’m inheriting – But SHHHHHHHHHHH it’s a secret – and maybe even one for the niece she was closest too. She would like that. I don’t know if I’ll do one for her grandson, and it’s low of me, but I know I won’t do one for her son. He broke her heart and I can’t forgive him for that. I do have a quilt and an announcement I need to start because I may even get to go to a wedding this year. It’d be nice. But we’ll see.