Saturday, April 26, 2008

My bucket list

A "Bucket List" is a phrase made popular by the movie "The Bucket List" which I have not seen and which I may or may not see sometime in the future. The idea, I believe, is a bit older. A bucket list is a list of things you would like to do before you kick the bucket. Here is most of mine. (be sure to click the links they'll give you a chuckle)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kindred Spirits pt 2

To my friend Juliann,

Who rearranges her furniture more often than anyone I have ever met. Who paints her walls almost as frequently. Who is an artist,a painter, a romantic, a seamstress, a mother, a wife, a friend.

One day we were shopping in Target and she, then a mother of 4 was approached by a modeling scout. She is tall, graceful, and lovely.
She is so generous and helpful, always serving. She makes friends wherever she goes.

Who is lovely and likes lovely things. Who broke my heart when she moved away. To Juliann, who I hope now has better luck with cars, my creative buddy, I miss you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hawaii is good for the economy

Not only do you spend oodles of money getting to, staying in, and partaking of tourist delights in Paradise, but you get to spend tons of money preparing to go to Hawaii. Our modest list includes a new digital camera, swimming suits, underwear, luggage and clothing. We are also spending our money from China, I mean the government stimulus package on this trip, any other year we would have wisely saved it for when the Chinese want their money back.

I don't have a whole lot of time to shop for clothes or rather I avoid shopping for clothes with 3 munchkins in tow at all costs. So, I have been shopping online, a dangerous proposition for someone who rarely finds clothes that fit on the rack. My swimming suit has been purchased in pieces. The top has not arrived yet but the bottoms came last week... That mass of coral you see above that is my swim bottoms. That tiny hand that is my hand, see how you are looking down my long arm, that is how far I had to hold the camera to get the entire piece in the frame. I couldn't believe that much fabric was needed for my suit, I was right they could have used less. I also learned something else, swim skirts aren't just nice, they are now a necessity for me. There are parts of my body that will never be seen in public again. This *ahem* little number will be sent back to Land's End post haste. It is a really cute style but not on me and that color simply will not do.

I was buying other items of clothing online just yesterday. I found a dress and a few tops and purchased them and I had to pay shipping. Then today the same place unveils their swim line, and they have just the right swim skirt for me. Alas my order has already shipped so I will have to pay shipping again. Yuck. That is a lot of shipping for one suit, which is also good for the economy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Aloha, Pele

Well, the helicopter tour tickets have been purchased. It is hard to swallow that expense but as everyone says: "It is a once in a lifetime opportunity." We will be flying over a flowing volcano. I think that is so cool. I just hope Pele isn't jealous of my beauty. We decided to go with Blue Hawaiian Tours, if you have had experience with them let me know.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Montana Girl

I sent most of my youth wanting to get out of Montana. As far as I was concerned my parents kidnapped me when we moved there. I really thought that if I cried hard enough they would let me (4 years old) stay with Grandma and Aunt Janie. Aunt Janie tells me she thought if she cried hard enough they would let me stay.
Some time in the last years of high school I realized I was a Montana girl. I wanted to go see the world but going to see the world was no longer driven by getting away from Montana, it was more about telling the world how Montana was better.
I grew up with the above picture just a few minutes drive north and the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi just to the south. I grew up hiking the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Jewel Basin and taking for granted that if you wanted a swim there is ALWAYS a body of water close by. I can tell you seeing picturesque England was marred by the dirty rivers that cut through the villages. I just couldn't comprehend dirty rivers.

I am not a cowgirl, I can ride a horse but just well enough that I don't fall off. I am not a skier, farmer or wilderness junkie. I like living in the Pacific Northwest but I am a Montana girl.

The sky really is bigger in Montana.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kindred Spirits pt.1

To my friend Jenny,

I think of you nearly everyday as I pull my homemade bread out of the oven. I knew that you made your own bread, but that isn't what motivated me to make mine. Someone told me after you moved your plastic bag trick and after that I started making bread. You are so kind hearted and happy. You taught me piano lessons. You gave me my Kitchen Aid mixer. I think you are crazy for running when nothing is chasing you. Your kids are amazing. I miss you a lot.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I have a huge knot in the pit of my stomach. I find it disturbing that the Texas CPS can take more than 400 children from their mothers based on the allegations of one girl - who may in fact not be real. She was complaining of abuse to herself not all the children on the ranch. There is no evidence so the children have been separated from their mothers so the state can get some evidence. We are told in this country that there has to be evidence before you are proven guilty but apparently that doesn't matter when it comes to stealing your kids.

What if the DHS decidedes that it doesn't like my religion, or my clothes, or decides I don't get my kids out enough? Will they take mine away? What if an angry neighbor "annonymously" calls DHS and claims I am abusing my kids? Then it is up to me to spend months if not years and a small fourtune to get my kids back, not to mention the trauma my children will suffer.

If this doesn't disturb you it should. Just because these people dress differently, belive differntly and talk so sweetly doesn't mean it can't happen to you. We should be outraged and the state of Texas should be hiding its actions out of shame.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mother torture anyone?

I really hate swimming lessons. I love swimming, the kinder love swimming too but I think swimming lessons were designed as torture for moms. Swimming lessons in the summer I can only assume, would be sheer insanity. Imagine every single child crammed into the swimming pool with their parents on the bleachers.
One of the blessings of homeschool is the ability to enroll my kids in lessons in April well before the little ones are let out of kiddy prison and unleashed upon the unsuspecting swim-team graduates.
Still I find lessons relentless torture. They are always scheduled a wee bit earlier than we are used to being out of the house, we get there barely on time. I manoeuvre my slow children through the crowded dressing room to the pool and I get situated and Nutmeg starts playing. I try to maintain a balance friendly mom to chat with other moms, but each time I chat I can't pay attention to my kids. As soon as look up they are just finishing their turn. Before I know it the 25 min lessons are finished. Then I take a waddling, shivering 4 year old into the women's dressing room with all of the other mothers, their boys AND girls and their strollers, in addition to the half a dozen old ladies who have dropped by for a swim.
Then Mom has to go into the shower to turn it on for said 4 year old, getting wet in the process while the 2 year old is doing who knows what elsewhere. Then it is time to get a slow, wet 4 year old dressed. You know how underwear, pants and socks do not want to go on damp skin. Yeah, that is how I send my mornings now. Then we rush home just in time for the kids to simultaneously beg for food the moment I drag all of the wet clothes out of the van and into the house. I ask, if my patience is all used up by 11am, what are we left with? Answer: me snapping all day long and lying about the house in a martyr's pose begging the kids to please stop whining.

Mercifully lessons last only 4 weeks. I don't think I am going to make it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Law of 3

I made a batch of Turkish Delight last night. It didn't set so I made another, it also did not set. this could have been because I was cooking on the Sabbath or just a failing on my part. Tonight I made rhubarb crisp - also a failure. I would blame my appliance but the Turkish Delight was a stovetop project while the crisp was an oven affair.

The question is, if these things usually happen in threes; am I safe? Does each failed batch of Turkish Delight count or are they one collective failure. How will Commander C's birthday cake turn out tomorrow? Is it free from the curse?

And how will I ever satisfy my craving for a rose flavored confection?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Things I love (totally stole this topic form Kiera)

1. Newborn babies
2. Freshly folded cloth diapers
3. Devil's Food Cake
4. Needlework
5. My Champlin hoodie
6. Swimming in Loon Lake
7. England
8. Freedom
9. Vintage Mustangs
10. Benihana's seared tuna
11. Ridiculously full skirts

The Elusive Cello Suite pt 2

Cello has been purchased. Smiles all around. Lessons about to begin.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I finished watching Sense and Sensibility on Masterpiece last night (yes, it was very good.) In the previews for the next round of Masterpiece they had Cranford. Cranford! So, right now you are thinking what is Cranford? Cranford is a delightful pastoral novel by Mrs. Gaskell. I discovered Gaskell when reading all the biographies I could find on Charlotte Bronte. Mrs. Gaskell actually met and interviewed Charlotte before her death. I enjoyed the biography and read many of Gaskell's other works. My favorite is Cranford followed by North and South (no, not that North and South.) Take the time to read this book it is very short and so charming. Then watch it on Masterpiece, you won't be disappointed (I hope) Judi Dench is in it!
My favorite part is when a friend sends the women a "cage" and they can't figure out what it is for.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

March Reading list

God's Politics - by Jim Wallis
This was a very thought provoking book. It really made me examine issues that I thought I held to moral high ground on. As a book group we really felt the need to do more for the poor but disagree with Wallis that the government should do something about it. I feel it is everyone's personal responsibility, not one we should delegate.

Currently Reading:
The Merry Adventures of Robing Hood - By Howard Pyle
We are still pressing forward, it is a long book and difficult reading. Some nights the boys aren't listening so I don't read very long. We are enjoying it.

Free To Choose - by Milton and Rose Friedman
This is for our TJEd book goup. I have only just started. I am very excited because Friedman was so smart.

I, Robot - by Isaac Asimov
A little out of my usual reading material. Reading this for the other book group. This is an easy read, has interesting ideas and some parts are hilarious 60 years after it was written (not intentional.)

The Book of Mormon -
Still doing this is fits and starts but better than usual.

Teach the Children - by Neal Flinders
Haven't picked this up in about a month. Looking forward to getting back to it.

Up Next:

Dead Reckoning - By my friend Craig Cheney and his brothers Jeffery and Jared

Leadership Education, The Phases of Learning - By Oliver deMille

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Elusive Cello Suite

Boba Fett wants to play the cello. Cellos as you may know are very expensive. Quality used cellos at what I would consider an affordable price are hard to come by. Compund that with the fact that Boba Fett is a very little guy so we are looking for an 1/8 sized cello. This is nigh impossible. I have spent the last 7 days obsessing over finding a cello including a very stressful afternoon on e-bay where I lost the auction. I have not given up but I am no longer hopeful.