December 15, 2007

Christmas Update

Let the panic set in!

Video clip from Flushed Away, funny movie.

I still have several projects to finish before Friday! I should have taken the whole week off from work too, LOL. No but really, I'll just be a busy bee every night leading up to the departure.

I did get some shopping done thanks to a few great shops up at Etsy:
Photo Glassworks
ilee papergoods
SunlitLetterpress - picked up a card for my sister here but it seems they're out of stock but it says "A Bun in the Oven", cute.

Christmas Exit - five days and counting!

December 10, 2007

12 Days

Only 12 days left till we lift off and are in Texas. I'm excited but mostly feel behind in all my shopping and preparation for Christmas. Whats worse is that I'm sick today and I don't think I can get up off this couch.

We don't have a tree yet either. We were suppose to go get one yesterday but we were at hubs parents visiting with his brother that just got back into town from 3 months in Italy. It was a nice visit and I was starting to get sick that afternoon, all the body aches and stuff. Anyway, between work and it getting dark at 4p we might just have to forgo cutting it our selves and buying one precut with lights in the lot or wait until next Sunday and enjoy it for 4 days before we go. I'm suppose to unpack the ornaments and send my moms to her in NY, sorry mom but you might get them in time for New Years.

This year its also been really weird for gifts. Its been hard to figure out what to get my family and i'm still missing a few people. Its also been really hard to tell people what we're wanting because most of the things we need are more expensive then their budgets. I've noticed a trend in the past few years of the gift exchanges becoming smaller and less important which is nice. I'm hoping by next year we can just draw names instead of having to do the whole family. I've really enjoyed that with my in-law family.

Mostly I want to arrive into town and veg out with my family and not think about anything serious.

December 6, 2007

Kitchen Rant

Whenever I clean the kitchen after its been neglected for days a rant builds up inside me. It should be understood that neither my husband nor I like cleaning the kitchen, it’s at the top of our least liked chores. However, my threshold for what is tolerable is shorter than his and mine is pretty long. I once conducted a personal observation to see how long it would take for him to break and clean the kitchen. At three weeks* with no practical dishes left in the cupboards and a weird smell, I broke.

*get married with a lot of dishes and 2 people can go a long time with out washing them.

I say that to say this: If he doesn’t do it for his mother he won’t do it for you.

When we were dating he was till living at home. I would go over and hang out and be there for dinner. I always felt a little guilty when we’d be upstairs playing pool or whatever and his mom was down stairs cooking. I’d ask if we needed to go down and help and he always said no. Every now and then I’d go down and offer anyway and sometimes she’d find me something to do and sometimes she’d decline my help. Four years later I’m still trying to figure out the balance of help and being in the way. Now that we’re married, he doesn’t help cook. He will cook on occasion though.

After dinner I’d say 90% of the time his mom did the dishes with usually one of the boys (my hubs is the oldest of five boys) unloading and then loading the dishes when she handed them off. I got into the routine of putting away the leftovers. Hubs would be nowhere to be found. Now that we’re married, he doesn’t do the dishes, even when he cooks.

I know I should have the mind set that I am cleaning this house not just for him but for me. So I can function appropriately and healthy inside this house that is supposed to be a haven. Although, honestly, this past year I’d say it’s been more of a burden then a haven. It is difficult to strike a balance between two people that work full time with a lot of extra activities and add the fact that cleaning does not come naturally to them.

I could ramble in several different directions from here. I’ll do a summery and wrap up in bullet points to keep it short.
- Cleaning the kitchen makes me feel resentful
- Resentful makes me feel guilt
- There are things you should pay attention to when dating, if you don’t like it when you’re dating you’re going to hate it when you’re married.
- I should talk to him
- Doubtful things will change
- How can I change my self?
- Realize this is for me just as much as for him
- Establish a routine – I liked that week when I actually did the dishes daily, it was manageable.

December 2, 2007

It's December!

Saturday got su'pa busy and then my husband got home. Turns out though that I have him now trained that if I'm sitting at the computer and he asks to watch a movie he'll go "I can wait until you're done blogging." to which last night i replied "It's Dec.1st I don't have to blog. Lets watch a movie".

I know it's now December because we got our first snow! Huge flakes came down and then would stop and then start again from about 10am to noon. Then in the afternoon it started to rain and the snow just melted. Not overly impressive but fun.

This is the standard shot of my "backyard". The apartment over looks this golf course and I must have a million shots of it at different stages.

The news I can now share is... Dec. 28th we're going to The Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Dallas! My brother gave tickets to his wife for her birthday and he asked around about who wanted to go with them. Me, me, me!!! I'm pretty sure this is my husbands and I gift to each other. Although, I know a little gift I want to get him. Anyway, I'm very excited because I love their versions of come classic Christmas music but never seen them live!

In the Christmas Exit count down there are 19 days left until the plain lifts off!!!

Back to cutting out paper stockings for me.

November 30, 2007

Final Post of November

Ta da!!!! I made it! I posted every day in November!

What I learned:
1 - I do enjoy posting
2 - Posting off the top of my head does not always make the best subject matter
3 - Using Flickr is easy
4 - There are topics I would like to spend time on writing before posting
5 - Keeping up with it every day is very hard. Especially in a bad mood. I don't believe I'll be carrying this on for the coming months.

The blogs I've enjoyed reading that I found through NaBloPoMo or Participated in part of it. Even if I wasn't the best at commenting:
Art Play Possibility
Fluid Pudding
Dutch Blitz

November 29, 2007

My New Word

My new word for the new year may be "No". A lot of commitments were made this past year but I didn't fulfill them all gladly. A lot of resentment usually came with them.

I'm not sure my reasons are good reasons. I just know there is stuff I want to do and if I do someone else's stuff I can't do mine too. This is going to sound like a cliche woman problem but that reason sounds a little lazy to me. Or maybe it sounds a little lazy to me because even when I did have time for my stuff the past year I wouldn't do anything and instead of exploring why i wouldn't do it, I'd just fill it with someone else's project.

Another reason why I want to say "no" is, I want to have projects I control, that I'm the final say on things. It may be a mix of perfectionism or possessiveness or something but when working on someone else's project I have to follow their rules and get their approval and this is now annoying. I AM DONE! I no longer play well with others in groups!

I don't know what this means for things I've already committed to for 2008. My next step will be to make a list of goals for next year and then consider what extra things I've signed up for.

I'll let ya'll know the results.

November 28, 2007

My Arms Are Going To Fall Off

ARrrgghhh... Tonight the workout was all about the arms. The hardest one machine is the one where i have to push straight up - i felt like a total whimp! After 15 reps of just pushing the machine - no weight add - it was very hard to do the other 40 reps still left. The other machine that beat me was the chest pull thing - let me tell you i'm gonna have some good lookin' pecks if i keep that up ;-)

Then after the gym was the first night for Z's new agility class. I think it's going to be very good instruction especially for me. The class we went through this summer was good but I didn't feel like I got clear instructions on how I was supposed to run the course. Even though this is one more thing I have to do this month it will be nice. The ironic thing is I was going to take Obedience 3 with my husband and Nitro but I called back a little too late to pay for the class and they gave my spot away. So, instead of having an activity my hubs and I do together we're spending more time apart. Ah, well, at least starting Jan. he'll only be working 2 Saturdays a month and not every Saturday.

O.M.G.^ I was going to wait until Dec.1st to start a count down to Christmas Exit but I looked at the calender today. There are only THREE more weekend before the flight to Texas! THREE! I have to make some serious lists of projects and stop procrastinating on stuff.

Plus, I have a zine page deadline looming for Jan. 11th. I have the idea at least but I still have to make the layout and then carve the plates. I did have this more elaborate plan that involved embossed lettering but I won't have time to go get signed up, oriented and creative at this awesome place before the deadline. They have a press for lino block prints and such. They also have letter presses and something like 60 type faces *sigh*. I still want to do the elaborate plan just maybe on my own personal project. Did i mention the theme is Alphabets and I have been waiting for this thing to come around for over a year! I'm very excited about it.

^ I love the books by Christopher Moore. I picked up "You Suck" on CD and one of the characters was a teenage girl that kept a journal and she used omg, alot. The voice actor pronounced each letter with emphasis O.M.G. - i can no longer say/write it with out that audio running through my head.

November 27, 2007


Tonight I went to a Pampered Chef event at a friend's house. I'd never been to one, it was fun! I've admired the round cooking stone and I finally got one. I agreed to host a party in late January. It was funny, one of the other woman there said she'd come to mine too - she loves the cooking stuff.

The ironic thing is, I don't do a lot of cooking but love the gadgets. The other hard thing is just being married, i have a lot of kitchen stuff that doesn't need replacing but then again there is always a chopper or new cheese grater needed. Both my grandmothers cook and they both cooked with and around me. My mother cooked out of necessity. I just don't love doing it as an everyday thing. It may be more the planning and clean up than the actual act of cooking.

I've asked for cook books for Christmas. Something along the lines of 30 minute meals and the like because i really lack the skill to plan a menu. Also, trying to eat healthy, i'm not really sure what to cook. I know the general rule is that you can eat just about anything just in smaller portions and in general less white flower and sugar and corn starch.

Maybe with my new cooking stone I'll get inspired to cook more. Maybe.

November 26, 2007

Pants & Band-Aids

I finally purchased another pair of jeans. They're not as dark as I'd like but they'll do fine. I'm trying not to feel bad about spending money on pants that hopefully won't fit in a few months but I can't go around naked in the mean time.

Last night we did the foolish thing of staying up until 1:00am watching the office. We finished all the 3 seasons and will now try to find the latest episodes online of season 4. But I had to get up at 7am to go to work so you know, I've been tired all day. I went to the grocery store on the way home and picked up a few things. I unloaded everything. My husband comes in to grab a soda out of the fridge and says "I don't think these need to be refrigerated." Turns out I had put the Band-Aids in the fridge. Yup, I'm tired.

Good night folks.

November 25, 2007

7 Random Facts

A few days ago I was tagged by Leandra at Sometimes the Paint Makes it on the Paper to write about 7 random things about me. I've been delaying the post because it's been hard to think of 7 things... so... i'm just going to start:

7 - I'm the first person in my immediate family to move out of Texas in about 4 generations.

6 - I have an allergy to milk - i still have ice cream in small amounts but in general i stay away from it.

5 - I collect drift wood.

4 - The name Violetkey came about because I needed a user name quickly a few years ago. I saw my keys sitting on top of a purple folder on my desk.

3 - For the past 3 years I have participated in a quarterly zine with a group of graphic designers from the US and Canada. The zine has a theme such as "Black & White" or "Robots" and I design one page and send it to a woman in GA who assembles the books once everyone has sent in their pages.

2 - I can speak fast. I cultivated this skill in high school because in general i was very quiet but when i would go off on a topic i'd speak fast to get it all out before i could be interrupted . It freaked a guy out in 10th grade that I could speak that fast to him - i actually enjoyed it because he was a jerk most the time.

1 - I can't not speak with out gesturing with my hands. I have been challenged to talk with out using my hands and I can't keep a straight train of thought, it might have also been nerves at the time.

That wasn't too bad. Hope that was random enough for you.

Oh, here are the rules and I tag anyone who has not done this before.


  • Link to the person that tagged you and post these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  • Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

November 24, 2007

Random Conversation

My brother called me this afternoon.

V: "hello"

Bro: "Hi. Un momento"

V: "what?"


Bro: "Un mommento. Did you know I talked with a Mexican co-worker and it's not pronounced uno for one and momento for moment. No, it's un. Un mommento. But that's not why I'm calling."

V: {laughing at the randomness}


No, what he was calling about I can't say until after the 30th, just in case. It's good news don't worry.

November 23, 2007

Back to the Gym

The first year of marriage I was not good to my self. I had successfully lost about 20lb. for the wedding, about 15 more I would have comfortably fit back into size 12. I had not seen a size 12 in about 8 years.

Then a lot changed in the past year. I went from an active walking, moving, small amounts of lifting type of job to a job were i sat for 8hrs of work and about 1.5hrs for a commute. Pizza, soda, chocolate because staples in our diet. I stopped going to the gym. I ballooned.

In September I was fed up and discussed with my self. I went back to the gym. I signed up for a trainer. It took a month for me to pay all the set up fees and October was to be the start. Then i didn't hear anything from the person i was set up with. It took me 2 weeks before i even got my self in there to say "hey, i want to do this and no one is helping me". I got attention. I set up my first meeting for Oct. 24. it went okay, a little lower then my expectations. Next meeting was Oct. 31st. I was in that minor car accident and canceled my appointment - if i was going to be sore the next day i wanted to make sure it was from the accident not the work out. I never heard from my trainer to set up another appointment. Wouldn't you know it, I never went back into the gym. For the past month I've talked my self out of it.

On Wednesday my trainer calls and wants to set up an appointment. Even though it was late i excepted his only opening at 9pm tonight. I am grateful he called because who knows how many more weeks would go by before i got my self back in there. The session went a little better then the first. I still feel like he's mostly standing there counting for me. Then i'm too busy breathing and trying not to let my legs fall off to ask him to explain, what am i doing and why? what should i be doing between my sessions? I want a routine. I'll get the nerve up and ask on our next session which is Nov. 28th. at 6p. Thank goodness I don't have to go home first!

So, I'm starting again to change my life.

November 22, 2007

The Stuffing Results

This is what's left of the Cornbread Stuffing. I forgot to take a picture before it was eaten. Also, I'm definitely picking up cornbread packets the next time I'm in Texas. The honey cornbread mix made it taste sweet and it was an odd combo with the sage plus it gave it a spongy texture, not soggy like undercooked but chewy. Lessoned learned.

The day was really good and relaxing. I got up and cooked because I didn't end up doing anything last night except eat my pizza and beer for dinner and get sucked in to Guitar Hero and The Office. Cooking this morning was really nice actually. It was super sunny and I had the blinds open in my office to let that sunshine into the kitchen.

We got to the in-laws at about 1:00p. I took the stuffing and a corn casserole dish for baking there so it would be hot. They got a 22lb turkey and it tasted so yummy, very moist. The best part is there are left overs! I love Thanksgiving left overs. Even though I have to go to work tomorrow at least I have a little feast to take with me.

I called my family this evening. Its easiest to talk to everyone while they're still at one location so all they have to do is pass the phone. Very nice to catch up.

I am very thankful for all my family!

November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Stuffing Ingredients

My paternal Grandmother always make Cornbread Stuffing for Thanksgiving. Growing up my sister and I would help her make it. I bet it probably started this way because it is a save and easy task for younger kids to do. But even to this day we help her make it - the years we're in town. The years I stay in Oregon I make it for my husband and his family.

This year I did not have the classic packets of cornbread and biscuit mix that are traditionally used. So, I picked up the closes things I could find. I'm amazed at how hard it is to find packets of bread mixes here. I am committing a small crime for using sweet cornbread because in the Texas we just don't do such things but in the stuffing I'm sure I won't notice. I'm thinking of buying packets while I'm down there for Christmas, they'll keep for a year, right?

I did forget to place a few items in the picture like celery and the walnuts but then again i didn't get too picky either because I only have one egg and really to make the cornbread i'm going to need more.

The beer is not an actual ingredient for the stuffing. It is there for me to drink as I clean and cook. But at the rate I'm going I'll be lucky to be done cleaning before it's bed time. The good thing is dinner isn't until 3 tomorrow. I'll have some time in the morning to cook it even though I had thought I'd go over early to help my m.i.l. cook - we'll see how this works out.

Phase one: the ingredients

Stay tuned for the results tomorrow.

November 20, 2007

Not Flexible

This week has been a tough one and it's only Tuesday! No, really, I'd say the past couple of weeks have been a little hard.

Things keep popping up that make me realize I am not as low maintenance, spontaneous, flexible in my plans as I thought. I don't know why it took me so long to realize this. Surely, any family member of mine that reads this will bust out laughing that I ever thought I was.

Notable examples:

Don't rearrange the furniture in the living room with out first letting me know you plan on doing it soon and then the day you do it call me and give me a heads up that my environment is now different. I have a really bad reaction to walking in unknowingly and everything being different - i can't explain why but it hits some deep button of mine and I freak out. Not a verbal yelling freak out - more of my mind can't absorbed that things are different and it's ok that they are. It might stem from my teen years and being really protective of my room. I knew if someone had been in there and moved something which is quite a feat considering my room was messy.

Don't suddenly change the details of a plan on me when I've already figured everything out - I can get grumpy. Holidays have been a big change for me since moving. I know what you're thinking it's been 4 years but understand, the routine of the holidays are deeply set with in. From my birth I don't think the pattern of which family's house to go to for what holiday has changed - except for a few extreme cases.

For example, Thanksgiving has always been at my Dad's parents house. The years i'm in Oregon for Thanksgiving - who knows what the plan is. The very first year my Thanksgiving dinner was Jack in the Box. I was not happy. The following year I hosted with the help of my step-dad (he and my mom had moved up). Last year I was in Texas for T-day. This year i'm in OR and not until last night was a location and plan chosen. To make things worse there was a miscommunication and my m.i.l. thought that I was hosting again this year. No, nononono - maybe if we had chosen to do that plan a few weeks ago when we could have budgeted to feed the whole family but not on this weeks budget we can't. So, it's back to the very fist original plan of going to their house and i bring the stuffing. I get anxious if these things are not decided in a timely manner. Which mean i probably should have suggested hosting it weeks ago. Then again we'd probably be in the same boat because what stalled the choice was an invited for everyone to go over to a siblings of my f.i.l - this plan fell through.

Let me take a moment and say I love my in-laws! You always hear horror stories about them but I enjoy spending time with mine. From the very first holiday (easter) I was here they have always invited me over. So any ranting i do it's just out of my own issues of anxiety.

So, in conclusion I don't handle change well.

November 19, 2007

Time Time Time

I had planned on writing on an actual topic that I'd been thinking about but it got so late!

So instead I'll give you my quick impressions of Ratatouille - yes i had to go look at the box for the spelling.

Great animation! The story is good and inspiring but it's a little long. I enjoyed all the iconic things they did with the character of the food critic with the nick-name "The Grim Eater". There were about 2 places i thought "this is the end of the movie" and it wasn't. The final ending was cute. The best part? The short movie called "Lifted" listed as an extra on the dvd - I laughed sooo hard through that whole thing!

I'm not really sure this is one I want to own and I think i own just as many animated movies as i do "chick flicks".

November 18, 2007


As part of heading up the art groups Christmas party I was thinking of party favors. On Martha's site I found these cute little paper stockings. Of course this is what I choose to do for the favors. However, I will not be sawing these things. No, no, the glue stick is going to be my best friend.

Here is the first stage:

I'm using left over wrapping paper from last year. This is causing the stockings to be curly right now and those were the only small paper weights i could find for the photo. I will be smashing them flat for a few days and then applying the backing and little decorate things for the "cuff" of the stocking. There will be about 30 when finished.

Today I also made a list of all the project I need to get done for Christmas. Many of them still have to do with wedding photos that I was suppose to get to people by last Christmas but we waited so long to order them that we didn't get them until Feb. of this year. So, this year it's wedding stuff. Plus, I'm making a new snowflake block print for everyone like I've done the past few years. My family seems to like them but if they didn't I don't think they'd tell me. They're much too polite - instead they'd just put it in a drawer somewhere and I'd forget to notice if they were out or not. Of course it helps that I'm not there every year for the holiday. So, point is, I'm gonna be busy!

I have to share this photo of my husband and his dog Nitro. Sure, I could say "our" dog but really Nitro doesn't listen to me very well and being a Heeler he can only be super obsessed loyal to one person but can be protective of a whole family. I thought the paw on his shoulder was really cute.

November 17, 2007

Lazy Day

I have absolutely nothing new to report. Boring right?

I read all day and napped and wished my headache would go away.

I can tell you that my latest addiction is watching The Office (American version). A friend brought over season one last week. Tonight we rented the first disk in Season 2. In the real world the boss would never have a job but oooh it is funny and awkward at times.

Go watch.

November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Husband

On this special occasion we both skipped work. But I don't feel guilty about it because i woke up with a sinus headache and his stomach hurt. I still have the headache but he's feeling better. Some of his friends are heading over in about half an hour. They are either watching The Office season 2 or playing Halo 3 or probably both. I might retreat to the bedroom with a book after I eat some dinner. Except if they're watching The Office - that's good stuff.

The day was not very eventful. We lounged around the house this morning and looked at a few houses that we might buy next year if they're still up for sell in a couple of months.

Then my husband got a call from his mom and told him that she wanted to buy him a memory card for his birthday. So, the looking online for the best deal ensued. He found one. At Fries in Willsonville, a 30-45 min drive on a good day. Today was not a good day, hard rain and we left around 2:30 when it seemed the whole city was getting off work but for sure on the way home everyone would be on the road home. The traffic was horrible, our exit from one freeway to the next was blocked off and we had to do a major detour to get going the right direction. It took us about hour and half to get there. On the way i was trying so hard not to feel nauseas between my headache and his lurching in the stop and go traffic. I love my husband but his driving in the stick shift car in traffic drives me bananas (no pun intended).

Finally, we got there, he picked up his card and we took the long drive home. We got home a little faster because we took an alternate route that didn't involve so much freeway.

That was the most excitement so far.

Unfortunately for him I've been moody all day swinging from grumpy & cursing to really upbeat and goofy. Ah, well, he'll have a guy's night and it'll be all good.

Plus, we'll use a gift certificate my sister sent him for dinner next weekend. It will be better.

November 15, 2007

Art Every Day Post - finally

I came home from a blah kind of day. Realized, I have this whole evening to my self*. My office is clean and I really like sitting in there**. Lets do art!

I found my mp3 for some Jars of Clay. I pulled out my sketchbook - it is a big 11x14 thing, love it. I pull out my oil pastels which i have not used in-for-ever. I have doodled this little flower with only half the petals for a couple of weeks now. The thought popped into my head that it looked a lot like a crown. Tonight I doodled it out and created a full color version and a more duo-tone but um, i like the full color better. Also as part of the process i moved my hand over the little colors until one said "pick me!". I doodled some little shapes. It was fun.

It only took 45 minutes.

But i felt satisfied and told my self i don't have to make this a long process. I can do fun, quick, sketches and be done with the night that quickly.

Of course after taking pictures, editing said pictures, uploading and posting about it. I'm pushing an hour and half on time.

*hubby is working a night shift (4p-midnight) at a different branch of the vet company he works for.

** even though there is a mouse that is somewhere between my office and the living room. Yeah, gross but sooo much better than roaches. Except we can't get the apartment complex to call us back and no one is in the office! But i'm not really sure what they're going to do because the last time this happened they just put sticky traps in my kitchen (thats where it was last time) and then one actually worked and I had to have someone else deal with a dead mouse - blah!!!

November 14, 2007


I'm so grumpy right now. The meeting with the logo guy was long and now i have to start over because he didn't like my version - he wants the version thats in his head and the version I'm not sure I can produce.

What do you do when you have a client that you can't create what they want? Do you refund the down payment and say "go try so & so"?

When does your abilities or lack there of in a style become a defining moment of 'get over it and get good at it quickly' or become a definition of your "style" and you can only produce in that way? I mean people who love white space and Neo-Plasticism* style is not going to necessary know how to produce graffiti art - but should they? As a commercial artist should I?

Anyway... just some rambly thought.

*I had to look that up - only some art history stuck with me.

November 13, 2007

Barely Remembered

Almost went to bed with out posting! I've been working on that logo I previously mentioned. It's taking on a style I don't think the guy was originally thinking.

However, I am learning some limitations on my abilities. For example I can understand in my head what he wants to see but trying to translate that into the computer is becoming more difficult and time consuming than originally thought. Also my personal taste (style?) is creeping in. I'm a little bit of a minimalist and prefer simple design. I don't know if this is because i don't have the talent/skills/patience for details or if this really the way I work no matter what.

I'm done for tonight and tomorrow night I shall find out his opinion.

On an unrelated note - I must invest in good headphones - maybe those big kind that completely cover the ears. The whole time as background noise I've listened to my husband comment: "good kill" "Oh son of a...!" "Don't go in there!" "get the active camo" and then there is the explosions and various different gun sounds depending on which weapon is being fired. Yeah, if my office isn't going to have any doors, I need good headphones.

November 12, 2007


I took on this contract job on the side. It's for a logo. I have put off starting this thing for 3 weeks now. There isn't really a deadline just as soon as it gets done.

I am working with the man who came up with the original concept for the logo. So, really, i'm not creating anything original from my brain. No, i'm basically the production artist trying to read the mind of the original creator. See, he created in color pencil - I am to create it in the computer all 3D-ed and makin' it look amazing to the point it can never be produced practically. Argh!

This happens every time I take on a paid side job. I think "oh cool extra money and it sounds like an interesting thing". But then as soon as its time to start I feel all annoyed that I have to spend any extra time I have on this project to get it finished. Ironic, no?

I know you're advice is to get it done already so I can move on. Yeah, I know. I will spend weeks avoiding something that is really only budgeted for 8 hours, silly.

On a side note i beat GuitarHero2 but I will never play for over an hour again. My right arm is all screwed up from strumming.

On another side note i want to kill Nitro, our male dog. He has stopped telling us when he needs to go out side and instead leaks drippy pee trails all over the living room/hallway carpet. He did that earlier this evening. The crowning touch? We let him out maybe 45 min. ago and just now he peed a little on the leather couch cushion beside me! WTF?! I swear for a medium sized dog he has the bladder of a squirrel.

Ok, I'm going to stop moaning and complaining and go work on that logo.

November 11, 2007

"Redefining the Dictionary"

From my understanding TED is a conference that happens once a year and different people have about 15-20min. to share an idea on a topic.

Through a series of links I found my self on the TED website and reviewing different talks. One that i found and really enjoyed was Erin McKean's talk on "Redefining the Dictionary" which I encourage you viewing. The fun surprise was finding out Erin is the author of the blog A Dress A Day which I had stumbled upon and been reading for a few months. I thought it was great that I found two random things that actually have something in common with each other.

One of my favorite bits is: "The internet is great for collecting words becuase the internet is full of collectors. This is a little known technological fact about the internet but the internet is actually made up of words & enthusiasm."

I can't seem to embed the video - go view it here: Erin McKean's Redefining the Dictionary

I might have more deep thoughts about what the future of the dictionary is later but the comments in the video are interesting.

November 10, 2007

Clean Office

Clean Office
Originally uploaded by Violetkey
After years of going through boxes and trying to organize and have an office - I'm done! I have a functional office. I'm so happy!

There are still lots of little things to go through - such as a stack of cds that i need to determine whats on them and if i need to keep it or not. There are other organizing boxes that are more attractive that I want to get when I have properly budget the money for them. I also have lots of projects I needed to get started on. But one thing at a time. Click on the photo to go to Flickr and read the comments I've made on it.

Now that I've spent hours being productive, I also cleaned the kitchen, I'm going to go play Guitar Hero 2.

How was your Saturday?

November 9, 2007

A Good Friday Night:

Dinner with a friend
Great Conversation
Good food

Dessert at home with the hubby
Snuggle time in front a movie

Knowing I get to sleep in

Hope ya'll are having a good night too.

November 8, 2007


Lets celebrate that its been a week of consecutive posts!Yea!

I stumbled upon the coolest thing today. Cruises with an artist bent! That's right, you can take a cruise and take art workshops. I think this is amazing. You get to go see beautiful places and create beautiful art.

I really want to go on this Alaska cruise: ScrapMap

This one going to the Caribbeans also sounds really relaxing: Arts de Mer

I think I'm going to have to seriously save my pennies and go on one of these soon.

November 7, 2007

Day 7

Honestly, if i was not doing NaBloPoMo and wanting to keep my commitment of posting all month. I would have skipped tonight. I'm so tired.

I will say this, I'm officially giving up on NaNoReMo. I can't stand reading any more of Catch 22 - the "who's on first" type of writing in every chapter but with a new character is getting old! Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if i had nothing else i wanted to read but as it so happens i have a large To Be Read pile right now. Most notably Kite Runner and Thunderstruck. Both need to be read by Christmas so my dad and I can go out to breakfast and discuss. Plus my dad keeps asking me if i've read Kite Runner and to be honest I started it but it didn't catch me fast enough for me to finish before it was due back at the library. I'm going to see if my M.I.L has a copy i can borrow becuase i know she's read it. Thunderstruck is turning out very interesting, who knew electricity was that fascinating?

Then there is the new Chuck Palahniuk Rant that I'm borrowing from the library and will need to be returned in a couple of weeks becuase i'm sure i won't get to renew it. Then I also started Getting Things Done, also from the library. But something about his style is not connecting with me. Also, part of my brain says "you've read enough about organizing just do something already or go read 7 Habits which you haven't finished."

So, it seems I won't be persevering through Catch 22.

P.S. I haven't given up on Art Every Day Month - i'm just moving my goal to have one finished piece a week.

November 6, 2007

Sign Me Up

It would seem that I have a bad case of Sign Me Up, if there is a challenge or a committee that needs a person, I'm your woman! As soon as i sign the proverbial dotted line i get a case of "what have I done?" but not too bad. Just since Sunday this is what I've done:

#1 - My church has been pushing for more nursery workers. For a small church of about 200 we have a large percentage of children. On Sunday they had a quick meeting after church for the workers and potential workers. Well, I guess I've been having the case of the guilts because I don't normally enjoy the Sunday evening services and my husband and I have been making a habit of skipping. I thought "well, i could at least help on Sunday night for someone who did want to listen". So, up i went to the meeting. It turns out they actually need workers for the sunday school hour and the wednesday night, wednesday night really bad. The topic of me and my husband doing it as a ministry came up, i told her i'd have to talk to him about it. I haven't as of yet but I know his answer will be no because he's already spread a little thin between work and school. I keep telling my self it's only one night a month and I can give that up but at the same time I'm feeling a little selfish about it and maybe a little hypocritical.

Hypocritical because my husband and I just avoided the "homebuilders class" this summer because they were doing a video series on raising children in a Godly way. Considering when it started we'd been married 9 months and already pestered about children and all our friends were pregnant and abandoning us, we felt a little bitter about it and left the class until they were done (they're just about to start a new series on something else). The hypocritical part comes in that i just spend months avoiding children and now I'm volunteering to spend a couple of hours with them once a month. Maybe it was the news of my sister that got me all worked up to be around them. Because honestly, I haven't felt excited about any of my friends pregnancies. Happy that they had healthy beautiful babies and I gladly bought them gifts for the showers. But until my sister announced last week that she was pregnant I have never felt so excited about a baby.

# 2 - I'm part of an art group that meets once a week to draw but because of work I only go to the once a month meetings that are on Tuesday nights. Tonight was such a night. I love this group. Next month is our Christmas party. At the start of this meeting the leader brings up "while everyone is sharing consider if you want to help organize the Christmas party". So, I think about it, "yeah, that could be fun". At the end of the meeting the leader goes "Ok, any one interested in heading up the party?" We take a couple of seconds and look at each other... Then my hand shoots up! Whaaat? I immediately follow that up with "Anyone want to co-host?" I get a volunteer form this really sweet woman who I've collaborated with on buffet type stuff before. Then after the meeting broke up I got a couple of other women offering to help with whatever. I am looking forward to this and it's not that elaborate of an event.

#3 - Then while standing around talking i get looped into a convo in the kitchen regarding next years retreat. This years retreat was mid Oct. and quite trying on two of the three women who have organized it in the past, the two wanted to pass the baton. Guess who was there to grab one end of it? Me, that's right, me. On the other end the women i mentioned above who is good at organizing. And there is still one woman from the original group that wants to be part of it which is good because she finds the speakers. They usually do the planning meeting in January so at least I have a little bit of time. BUT the few things I really want - the invites, paper work handed out to attendees with such things as schedules, and name tags! So, basically the graphic design type stuff. It should be interesting.

#4 - Also brought up by a woman was a collaborate project she is trying to lead that started 6 months ago. She wrote a children's book and asked our group to take a copy, read it, illustrate a page and get it back to her. I find it interesting that she brought it up tonight because for the past 2 weeks the story has been taunting me from the shelf it's sitting on. I have a fairly clear idea of what I want to do but not how. I told her tonight that yes i still want to do this thing and yes i'll work to get my butt in gear to get you something.

Lets re-cap what i have signed up to do lately:
1 - illo for the book
2 - NaBloPoMo
3 - Art Every Day
4 - NaNoReMo
5 - Nursery once a month
6 - Bible Study on Monday nights - picking up one woman on way.
7 - Art Christmas Party
8 - Art Retreat 2008

Yeah, I wonder if there is something I'm avoiding...

November 5, 2007


The thing about reading blogs that deal with the day to day, you find out a few personal things that maybe are TMI.

I have had migraines from the time I was about seven. There have been different triggers through out the years, there have even been years when they leave me alone for the most part. When I was 19 i even went through several doctors just to make sure nothing was wrong with my brain. There isn't {insert joke}. At that time it was diagnosed as "stress". I was given a medication sample to test but i was in school and working and it never seemed like a good time to test a drug that might make me drowsy.

Well, this past year it's plagued me every month with my cycle. I have no idea if this is new or I'm just now paying attention to it. I still usually get that one random headache a month. So, when i went to the doctor a few weeks ago i brought it up again. New medication, I'm actually trying it tonight on one of my random headaches. I'm not really sure if it's a migraine but i've had a little dizziness and that is one sign. I thought it was worth a shot. It's a desolvable tablet - it's like taking an altoid with a bad after taste.

Did i mention that one of the side affects is drowsiness? yeah, it is and i think I'm already feeling it. I mean i was tired but now i can't even keep a straight though. Bed time.

*edit for corrections - apparently i using<> will gaurantee that blogger thinks it's code. Also, updated the correct time span for when i went to the dr.

*edit for update - well, i didn't wake up with a migraine which is a plus. Although, i'm still tired. I'm not sure if it was my bad sleep schedule for the past few days or the meds. The next time I take it I'll try it while still at home incase it is the meds.

November 4, 2007

Computer Whoas

I have this external hard drive that is a um, come to think of it is quite old, about 5 years. I've been using it for that long as a off again on again back or an "eeks my computer needs spaced" device until i could get the data burned to something.

Right now I'm using it as a data mule between my laptop that has no dvd burner to the desktop that has a dvd burner. I am trying to backup 4 years of school and about 3 years of photos. I don't really care if the school stuff gets lost, yes that would mean I'd have a lot of work to redo to have a portfolio but between you and me a lot of it probably needs to be updated anyway.

Today I thought I was going to be productive and burn off more stuff. The ultimate goal is to wipe my laptop and reload everything. Why would i bother doing such a thing if there are no viruses etc.? Because it just seems like the thing to do after you reshuffle it's data parts backing everything up. Also, sometimes, don't you just love the feel of a clean slate? Even if it takes you weeks and hours of gnashing of teeth to get it?

So, right, i was going to be productive today... Until the desktop computer booted up and i got this blue screen saying something a long the lines of "I have to scan the F drive and it's best not to disturb me until I'm done". The F drive would be my external - oops shouldn't have started with that thing plugged in. The kicker the desktop processor is so slow that it takes it 3 HOURS! I wasn't productive today, I'm sure the desktop feels all proud of it self for scanning the drive which nothing was wrong to begin with.

The ultimate point of this thread? Old electronics stink. I'm going to find another way of backing up my laptop. This may mean 1) buy a huge external drive and just not bother burning anything 2) buy an external dvd burner for my laptop. The current process of copying data to the HD and then copying from the HD to the desktop to copying the data to the DVD burner is ridiculous! You may think i'm adding in an unnecessary step of copying from HD to DT to DVD but I tried direct from HD to DVD and it didn't authenticate the disk, so sure it look like stuff is burned to the DVD until you try to open a file and the disk says there is no data to open. No worries at this point nothing has been deleted.

If anyone knows of an option 3 let me know.

***Art Every Day***
I don't think this really counts but I'm going to go have a good time watching Meet the Robinson's with my husband and laugh about the "Caffeine Patch".

November 3, 2007

Art Every Day

I almost didn't do anything creative today out of sheer self pity. What motivated me? I didn't want to type "I didn't do anything today, again". I over looked my office being a mess and took advantage of my dinning table being clean. I grabbed my giant clip board and supplies for watercolor. I had been having the urge to play around with them. I've had a couple of quick lessons on how to formally use them. Considering i have a very cheap set of pan watercolors and equally cheap but about a 2 year old never used before tube set, I didn't think formal training needed to be important for tonight. While my husband was a way playing basketball I played.

What I most like about watercolor is the layering look that is archived using layer after layer. I've been admiring Irisz Agocs* and she's mentioned using coffee to paint with. I had heard of this before but she has had some nice results. I thought I'd give it a try with my left over coffee. The mug is the result. The bird and the little spots of color were playing around. I think the yellow layered the best. Of course this could have something to do with the fact that I actually got pigment out of the tube instead of only the colored oily liquid. Anyway, I'm glad I did get something on the page for the day.

Interview with Irisz Agocs

November 2, 2007

Day 2 And...

Coming off of the high from the news of yesterday, today was kinda boring.

At work I had a few small projects after a week of nothing. My boss and I talked about possibly upping my salary and reworking my schedule so I work 4 days of 10 hours. This is all basically happening because I'm hitting my one year mark in a week and they want to keep me. They've hinted at more responsibilities after the new year and to hang in there for the next month or so of basically nothing to do. By the end of the conversation my boss made it very clear that he realizes it's not exactly what i wanted to be doing with my career but that they're open to doing just about anything to keep me another year. I hinted at him with no promises that I could give him another year. My husband and I have a lot of traveling planned for next year and a goal of buying a house - not the exact best time to go job hunting. He's talking with the higher ups about everything and will get back to me in a week or so.

This is all very flattering but part of my brain is saying "What?! Another year of this monotonous crap?!" Although, my other part is saying "Take it. Build up your own art. Sit with your self a little longer to really figure out if you want to stay in corporate graphic design or if you want to move in a different direction." I'll see what happens.

***Art Every Day***
Unfortunately I don't have any new art today.

I'm only a few pages behind to finish the 4th chapter of Catch 22. My first impression is, it's a little boring and I don't really care for the main character Yossarian yet. It's a good thing I have the general philosophy that i have to finish a book once i start it. Just this time i have to finish it with in a set time limit...

Got to go my husband has started Hot Fuzz and I must go watch. It's the best movie!

November 1, 2007

Now For Some Really AWESOME News

I'm an Aunt!!! this font is not big enough

My older sister and her husband are having their first child! I'm ecstatic!

This baby will be the first everything - First child, grandchild, great grandchild. The first to christen me and my siblings aunts and uncles. The first child to make great aunts and uncles out of my beloved aunts & uncles. The first to have second cousins. I find this so fitting for my sister because she is also the first grandchild and so forth.

How she told me since I'm in Oregon and she's in Texas:

I get home from work to log in and write my NoBloPoMo first entry. I check my email because you can't have the computer on with out check email. I find one from my sister. It goes something like this: "I took this interesting picture tell me what you think. I'll be out of town this weekend so call me. How are Christmas plans going? love..."

I open the attachment and there is her hand holding her pregnancy test with a little + in blue. Much squealing and shouting and celebratory dancing goes on in my living room. I call her. She doesn't answer the phone!!! I try her at home and it just rings and rings. I try her hubby's phone, voice mail. I leave really excited messages both times I get the voice mail. I must share this news with someone. I call my husband at work - i can barely keep from squealing while I'm on hold. Once he picks up I shout the news into the phone! He's all very happy sound and saying things like "that's great news" but then has to go.

I'm giddy and bouncing around the living room. My dogs have retreated to the hall way and stare at me from a safe distance. I must have been really freakin' them out because usually they are all for jumping up and down with you. I notice my mom is online... I wonder if she knows... I can't keep this to my self I must find out in a round about way if she too got an email from S. So we him-haw back and froth beating around the bush and finally we figure out we're talking about the same thing. In fact it turns out I am the last family member to know. My mom calls me and we squeal some more and lament about how S won't answer her phone. Then my sister finally calls!

Here is what I know some from her some from my parents:

- She's 3 months
- She has a midwife
- The birthing center is beautiful
- They have heard the heart beat
- She wanted to wait and tell me at Christmas in person by picking me up at the airport. I'm so thankful she didn't because if one of the family members had slipped and told me I would have been so bummed not to find out from her. I loved the photo email anyw
- Beatrix Potter is going to be the nursery theme
- They're going to find out what they're having when they can

- Each family member found out in person in a cool way. She's yet to have time to tell me all this because she was out tonight and had to get back to the meeting she was attending. My dad told me how he and my siblings and his parents found out. I'll document this later I think.
- The due date is May 23rd. It will share my birthday month! My paternal grandfather wants her to wait another 2 weeks and have it on June 4th, his birthday, lol.

I spoke with my step-mom and we discussed maybe having a baby shower in Dec. when I'm down there for Christmas. We're wondering if this is too early. Maybe it could just be a cool women get together to celebrate the new life.

*Sigh* I can't wait to do all these little cool things for my sister who has done so many cool things for me at special times in my life.

*** Art Every Day ***

Growing up my mom always decorated for fall/thanksgiving with pumpkins, gourds and cobs of corn in different colors. I liked this tradition so I continue it. Here are pictures of my arrangement for our dinning table, I don't have a fireplace to decorate like I did growing up.

The green pumpkin is from my in-law's pumpkin patch, it didn't ripen and I liked the way it looked. I was so excited to find the gourde with the little legs. I really want to glue eyes to it and a little mouth to make it a little creature. Maybe I'll do that later this month. The card is a Halloween one a friend sent me. I thought it had a nice pattern.

While shooting I found a few limitations on the depth of field options for my camera. Also, that I don't have very good lamps for lighting in the apartment. This was shot using a lamp with a twist able arm and one bulb.

A little different perspective:

I told ya'll November is going to be a good month!

p.s. if you want to find out my mom's reaction you can go to MarillaAnne's site and I'm sure she'll post tomorrow - she lost internet connection tonight.

October 31, 2007

Minor Car Accident

I'm going to tell this story now and get it out of the way before November. This coming month is suppose to be good, productive, habit forming life-ness - no, no, I can't be too optimistic.

Quick Story: I was rear ended by a car causing me to go into the back of a minivan. No one is injured although I'm getting quiet sore in the shoulders and base of back. Everyone has insurance. I'm getting my car looked at tomorrow for an estimate then waiting on all the insurances to collect the stories and make decisions.

The Long Story with Side Notes and a Funny Bit:
I had left early this morning to make it to a press check at the printers for work. Now, the nights before press checks I get paranoid that I'm going to be late. It doesn't help I completely forgot about the last one (it was on a Monday morning, I slept over the weekend and forgot). Anyway, so the day started already with me feeling blah after a nights weird dreaming.

It was very cold, my car had frost on it, and it was very foggy. I was driving carefully on the high way, on the busy side roads.... Living in the city of bridges of course I had to go over one to get to the printers. So, I go over the Willamette river and make a left off the bridge going down a big hill where oddly enough it wasn't foggy. This off ramp merges onto one of Porltand's smaller highways - it's really just a 4 lane road, 2 each way that you get to go 45 miles on. It's 7:00am at this point.

A mini van is in front of me. I'm watching it to see how it's going to merge into traffic and then how I'm going to merge into traffic. I don't remember my speed but I couldn't have been going very fast maybe 35. So, the van instead of merging in front of a little white truck, which I was expecting it to because there was room, instead it chooses to break - hard. I break hard. The car behind me doesn't break so hard.

I get hit from behind causing me to hit the van in front of me. What's the first thing I do? Cry. I park the car and start to open the door but I can't even stand up because I'm sobbing. The other two drivers are woman. Very sweet woman who are very concerned that I'm crying and am I hurt? One woman takes my hand and I hold on to it and tell her I'm not hurt just surprised and this is my first car accident.

I collect my self enough to get out of the car and we discuses what needs to be done. I end up calling 911 because in Texas that's what you do. Well, I found out that the Portland city police are just like the Dallas* city police - they don't come out if no one is hurt and you're not blocking traffic. I was told by the 911 operator not to call again for this type of situation. I was a little taken aback by the forcefulness that the operator used but maybe I was tying up the line for a gun shot victim...

*In the suburbs of Dallas the police will come out to help with just about anything but not the police with in the specific Dallas area.

Anyway... the cars are not even that bad. There is no damage to the van or to the front of my car that I can tell. My back bumper is a little dented, scraped up and either the bummer is pulled out from the car or my hatch back door got pushed in - I can't really tell and I don't really want to try opening the hatch back just encase I can't get it closed again.

No one was injured thankfully. I am getting sore in the shoulders and lower back - there was no discussion of if you wake up and can't move your neck who's insurance is going to take care of it. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it I guess. I spent maybe an hour with my insurance and the woman in the car's insurance. I don't want to pay anything out of pocket so i'll wait and see who's covering what. Hopefully it will get resolved fairly quickly. I do have to say I have learned a lot about what insurance companies want when filing a report. I also realize I wasn't thinking completely clearly, for example I got the mini van's license plate number but not the cars. I got the car woman's phone number but not the woman in the minivan.

Funny Bit:
Now the woman behind me was really nice and was feeling really bad for hitting the back of my car. I was being nice about everything because I was just upset but not feeling angry - I mean, it happens. Anyway, she made the comment: "You're being so nice about this. I was afraid you'd be some big angry man!" I wonder if she made this assumption because I still have my Texas license plates, LOL.

I finally did make it to my press check and to work. My male boss told me "I'd give you a hug if it wasn't harassment. I'm just so glad you're ok". Me too!

October 30, 2007

Mutterings Week 247

Free association - typing the first thing that pops into my head when I read the word list below.

  1. Inaugural :: Ball

  2. Pledge :: Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible,With Liberty and Justice for all.
  3. String :: Shoe string budget

  4. Trot :: Turkey - The Turkey Trot is the name of a race that is held in Dallas, Tx on Thanksgiving day.

  5. Fitness :: LA Fitness, my gym, should go today

  6. Cinder :: Apple

  7. Edge :: Sharp

  8. 31 :: Age

  9. Blue :: Sky

  10. Leather :: Bag

If you'd like to participate in this weeks Unconscious Mutterings visit LunaNina.

October 26, 2007

November Is Do Everything Month

Finally, I think I have everything set up for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)! I switched back to blogger after a short stint with a different blog provider. Oh, why I ever left Google I'll never know...

I have been blogging off and on for several years. Never have I kept a consistent blog but I've started several. Come November I'm taking the challenge to post everyday for the whole month! If you're interested in participating you can sing up - or go through the link badge to the right.

Topics for this challenge won't be a problem. I might struggle more with my aversion to the computer once I'm home from work. Although, our evenings seem to be falling into a nice pattern of come home, cook dinner, husband plays Halo and I turn on the computer and puts around online. I'll do my best to keep this blog up to date.

*** Other Things To Do In November ***

Art Every Day Month - hosted by Creative Every Day.
I like her rules, the guideline is to be creative everyday for the month of November. Although, she still encourages you to be creative even if it's only once a week.

Again, I haven't been consistent with my art either. I am part of an art group that meets weekly to practice drawing and new mediums. Although, I've only been producing about one piece per month if that. I'm going to take this one a little more relaxed and work towards one collage a week with a little photography mixed in.

National Novel Reading Month - NaNoReMo - Hosted by Defective Yeti
This is another bloggers twist on NaNoWriMo but you read a novel and discusses it instead. This years book for the month is Catch22. This will be a new one for me but I've been told I should read it.

I figure that I read a lot anyway and I am currently way behind on the To Be Read challenge I started earlier this year, sooo... why not start a new challenge! If you'd like to participate, grab a copy and follow the syllabus for what chapters to read by when and comment about it on Yeti's site or blog on your own.

We'll see how productive I am this coming month!

October 6, 2007

Summer In Review

I'll say it too - "It's fall!" I have now had to turn my heater on and wear a coat at night. With the changing of the season, a challenge has been thrown out by my friend Erin to tell about your summer. Here are a few highlights:

May - Grandparent's Anniversary
At the end of May my maternal Grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I was able to design their party invite for my sister and aunts who were coordinating the event. The best part was flying down to Texas as a surprise! Amazingly enough it worked, those that knew in the family didn't accidentally let it spill. Oh, how I miss my family!

June - Sister, her husband and his family come to visit
My sister, her husband, her mother in law and her husband's brother all came up at end of May and left in that first week of June. We visited all kinds of places but to me the most interesting was Mt. St. Helen's because i had not been up there in my 3 years of living in Oregon (yes, i realize Helen is in Washington). Second was getting to the top of Multnomah falls, never made the hike all the way up before, the river that becomes the long water fall is gorgeous. Again if I was good at the picture thing i'd post some.

July - First Wedding Anniversary
Yea! My husband and I returned to our favorite hotel to celebrate. If you want to read more about it

August - Life
I'm not sure that we did anything too exciting in August.

September - Life again
Yeah, again, I think we just worked and lived and made a quick trip to the coast which we had not done since July.

Dog Summer Activities:
We had the dogs in Obedience 3, off lead training and hand signals. I work with "Z" the female and this was her first go around. I think she did okay but I need to work with her more outside of class. We also did agility training - jumping over hurtles, going through tubes, walking on platforms. That was so much fun! Z is good and very fast at it but a little stubborn about jumping over the hurtles.

That was our summer!

September 22, 2007


I slept until 11am this morning which I rarely ever do. So now, I'm not exactly tired and chose to post actual thoughts and not just a meme. Bare with me this might get rambly...

I have been thinking frequently about my home and how to keep it clean/organized enough for us to live in and enjoy it. I recently read a wonderful book called "Hannah's Art of Home: Managing Your Home Around Your Personality". I picked it up at the library because it was basically the only book left in the "Home Management" section. It must be a popular topic to read. I often read books on self improvement and find it overwhelming but not this one. I connected right away with her style of writing because she wasn't condemning me for being messy or talking down to me like a child. She gets it. I have been classified as a "Stary Eyed Dreamer" - basically a really nice way of saying "sentimental packrat", among other things. She's inspired me to really clean out my home and apply a few basic things to keep it managed.

I have felt that cleaning my house is a lot like playing one of those tile puzzle games - there is only 1 empty space and you have to move around the tiles until it makes a picture. I don't really like this game.

My motivation today came from a resent urge to create but not having a clean office to do it in. I had the thought that if i had the Christmas boxes out of the office I could clean my office and then create. I started with my hall closet, it's bugged me for months and I believed it was the key to being able to move other tiles (ie Christmas boxes out of office). So, I put in "You've Got Mail" in my living room, turned the volume up and worked in the hall.

I should say that I live in a 950sq ft 2 bedroom apartment with only my husband and 2 dogs - you'd think that we'd have plenty of space but it's amazing when two artiest (him photography, me collage/print/graphic design) move in together how much stuff they have. Plus, all the misc. stuff for the dogs, which include 2 large crates.

By the end of the movie, which i love, i have finished the hall and everything that needs to be in there is - including the Christmas boxes that were stacked in my office or what was the dinning area. As Hannah has instructed (and i'll admit it, my mother also imparted this wisdom at some point in my life...) I made three piles: Trash, Give Away, Put away somewhere else. I'm pleased to say there was no "Put away somewhere else" which means the other two piles were used.

Then I started on my office which I'm suppose to use for so many things, personal art, side work, bills, dog food storage... This is where my "I might need this later for my art" "Oh, that's inspiring" "Awww a wedding card..." thoughts come into play and the Trash pile becomes very very small and my anxiety about how to organize and store gets very large. I can't say I had a lot of success in that room tonight but then again i didn't make the mess in a day either. Mostly I just re-stacked stuff and threw away a little bit of stuff here and there.

I did have some thoughts about that room. First is i must get more sinsable storage for things - not everything is made for a book shelf or easy to access/use placed inside a cardobard box. Second, I do not want any more nic-nacks, I like having my one shelf of special misc. things and that's it. Third, I do not think i'm going to become one of the woman that love candles, I have a few and I never burn them.

I kept remembering a section in the book when Hannah talks about sintamental clutter. She explains that when someone receives something they get this emotional burst. Often people hold on to that object hoping that every time they look at it they will get that same emotional burst but very often it won't and that object just because clutter the person starts to feel guilty/resentful over. She encourages you remembering that you liked that object and it did it's job that one time but now it's time to let it go. I keep having to remind my self of this. Case in point, I have 3 small boxes full of cards from different periods of my life. I have a small box full of "graduation" certificates and ribbons from our dogs going through obedience classes - i have conflicting urges to throw it away because we'll never do anything with them and another to put them in slip covers and store them in a binder to look over later. I could go on but i think i've made my case of sentimentality.

So, I think i'm going to have to really go through things and choose to keep or part with it. She also encourages that if you really feel like you can't part with something to put in a box, store it somewhere and go through it again in a year and choose then... well, I would like to say that half of the stuff in my office hasn't been touched in a year and it's time to make that choice. And I might choose to keep some stuff for another year...

I started the tiles moving today thought and I have enough space on my table to at least do a little bit of work.

August 11, 2007

Breaking Dawn Review - Twilight Series book 4

Breaking Dawn (Twilight Series, Book 4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
It was excellent if you can suspend disbelief for half the book. It also makes up for the last two books. Breaking Dawn got back to what i found interesting, the vampire history. I'll admit, in the beginning, i thought it was going to be a lot more of bella and edward fighting over what can and can't be done. Granted, there was still a lot of "yes/no" pull through the first half of the book. The second half makes up for it though.

I do have one big problem, how if everything human in edward is gone, can he still have sperm?! That's a very human necessity for reproduction, not so much for vampires who bite people to multiply. Also, with all the research that Carlisle has done, why did he not research incubus legends before edward went off and had a honeymoon with bella? There are just some illogical "what, we didn't know!" that i found annoying. Plus, how could the Volturi be so out of the loop of the possibility of a human woman carrying a half-breed to full term (even if the woman is supposed to die) if they’re so powerful and all knowing?

I really enjoyed having a section dedicated to Jacob. I think out of the three he is my favorite character. Stephanie did do a good job of writing in a different tone for his character vs. bella’s.

The series ended just as it should have, happily ever after, i was kinda glad no one died. I didn't want to see any of the pairs split up.

View all my reviews.

July 25, 2007


I'm back from a 5 day vacation on the Oregon coast. It was so relaxing.

The past 2-3 weeks had been extremely stressful. My husband's job changed - his boss sold his private vet practice to a corporation. Thankfully, no one got fired but still lots of changes as far as schedule (longer hours gets home at 8p on some nights), people & rules. The changes of course had brought on some stress that was felt by both of us. Then my company has/is going through it's busy convention/trade show time and i've been working long hours under crazy deadline pressure. It was also very stressful trying to leave the office for vacation - it took forever to wrap up all my loose ends and i still don't think i did a tidy job of it. So, needless to say we needed this!

The other more important cause for vacation - we celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary! Weeeeee!

We staid at the wonderful hotel with the even better view Inn at Spanish Head for 4 days and 3 nights *sigh*. I would show you pictures but I can't get them off my camera at the moment because my computer isn't recognizing it. Updates soon. This hotel is built into the side of the bluff so every room has a fantastic view of the ocean.

Saturday we ran about town - store for cheesecake*, Borders for Harry Potter. Oh, Saturday morning was spent at the Gresham Art Walk. The Art Walk is made up of all these different artist in booths selling what they make. I drooled over a few very nice watercolors that i couldn't afford. However, what I did pick up was equally wonderful: 1 - a hand blown class cup, it has purples and white swirled together, beautiful work! 2 - a print of a watercolor of gold and white koi fish swimming in blue water, it's printed on this stringy fiber Japanese paper - it'll look great in the living room. It's being framed, we get to pick it up tomorrow.

*The significants of the cheesecake; we had it at our wedding instead of traditional cake. We included berries and chocolate sauce. It was delicious!

Other things done on the vacation:

strolls on the beach
- picking up agates
- broken pieces of mussel shells
- tiny tiny tiny purple swirl shells
- getting slightly sunburned on the face

lunch with the husband's grandparents that live on the coast

shopping at the outlet mall

going to galleries we'd never been to before

reading the last Harry Potter - nice ending to the series

watching the sunset from our balcony
- i was reading HP off and on while hubby snapped photos
driving down the cost
- imagining what it would be like to own one of the houses for sale
- taking more photos

eating breakfast at the hotel's great restaurant - yum!

watched a few movies in the room

lots of sleeping - it's wonderful going to bed around 11p
and not getting up until 9:30a or so when your body naturally does it!

The very last thing we did as we were leaving town as pop into a new housing development "Olivia Beach" - awesome homes! This the style, the size, the interior decorating that i want for my home where ever it may be but hopefully on the coast. The funny thing... we'd been left by our selves to wonder the model home and when we came back down a woman (different from the first realtor we met) greeted us and started chatting us up about the house. She asks what we do and she finds out the husband is a photographer and gets all excited about seeing a portfolio we don't have with us. She said she had just got photos back from a photographer they hired for shots of the houses in the development and how horrible they were! More business talk goes on and she proposed that if we had a little bit of time to shoot some of the houses she'd pay us for whatever photos she liked. So, of course we take her up on the offer, get toured around some more and leave with the promise of emailing her so she can view/but the photos. Funny that we stop in for dreaming and walk away with a little bit of potential business. If nothing else, she was a great to talk to.

So, we got home and picked up the dogs from being boarded. They where VERY VERY excited to see us. Z is sleeping beside me now - aww.

Back to the grind for me tomorrow and I bet at least 60 emails.

June 25, 2007


Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.

~William Plomer

May 10, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings #1

I found this meme on Luna Nina who I found through Live-Love-Read who I found through ThursdayThirteen...

This meme is all about free association:

  1. Tumor :: Horrible

  2. Bunch :: Grapes

  3. Gratitude :: Grandparents

  4. Feel alive :: Ocean

  5. Connect :: Dial Up

  6. Temptation :: Chocolate

  7. Brighten :: Saturate

  8. Jewelry :: Shiny

  9. Tough :: Nails

  10. Harmless :: Flowers

Okay that was fun...

April 5, 2007

Wikipedia Birthday History

MarillaAnne opened the Wikipedia meme to all who wanted to search Wikipedia. Who doesn't want to do that? Here are the guidelines and below that are my results. You can tag specific people or open it to all your readers.
1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday Month and day only.
2. List 3 Events that occurred that day.
3. List 2 important Birth days.
4. List 1 Death.
5. List a Holiday or Observance. (if any)
6. Tag 5 other bloggers.

Events - i had no idea so much happened on May 6th:
(there are a lot of war events as well)

1536 - King Henry VIII orders translated Bibles be placed in every church.

1816 - The American Bible Society is founded in New York City.

1861 - American Civil War: Arkansas secedes from the Union.

1954 - Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.

2004 - US TV series Friends ends after 10 seasons

1856 - Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist (d. 1939)1915 - Orson Welles, American director (d. 1985)

1953 - Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

2006 - Lillian Asplund, last American RMS Titanic survivor (b. 1906)

Holiday & Observances:
Feast days in the Roman Catholic Church

Own, Want, & Read - A Book List

MarillaAnne also posted about this meme from Tip of the Iceberg.

Directions: "Look at the list below: Bold the books you've read; Italicize the books you want to read; and leave the formatting alone for the ones you aren't interested in."

There are a few on here that I have never heard of but a few that reminded me that I wanted to read them once upon a time.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) {Plus the other five in the original series}
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) {I did not like this book}
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) {first school book I couldn't put down in 7th grade}
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) {sure these other sound good to: plus Little Men, Jo's Boys, Eight Cousin's, and Rose in Bloom.}
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) {and the rest of the series}
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) {i cried and cried...}
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) {loved it - i want another one by him}
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) {i started this book but couldn't get into the first time - since i keep being told how great it is - i'll have to try again}
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible {i haven't read the whole thing but i've read many parts of it}
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb) {i started this book but again couldn't get into at the time - i'm thinking i should pick it up again}
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) {loved this book! i cried.}
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) {and the others}
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) {i'm pretty sure this is the one i read in school}