Archive for April, 2008

April 30, 2008


Do you Vinyl? No. Not the record kind. The Design Kind.

I have a friend who creates vinyl lettering art. Here are a few examples.



(click photos to enlarge)



She has a new website, please head over and check out more of her great ideas. Abby’s willing to do custom lettering and you can place the vinyl directly on walls or doors or windows or your mutt (he won’t like it though). You could get your children’s names placed on a magnetic memo board for their room. Or how about a large Princess design right on your little princess’s wall?


Hey Abby do you have any great ideas for a little boy’s room? Something along the lines of “Dirt under his fingernails, Sand in his shoes…now, THAT is what little boys are made of!”

I think many of these would make great gifts and Mother’s Day is…sheesh, less than two weeks away! Go see if anything hits your fancy. There’s still time to give your husband a hint!

How about this one:

(Click photo to enlarge)

And for some more fun? You can get 15% off your order when you mention my Good&Crazy blog, from today through May 31st, 2008! How cool is that?

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Our Song

April 29, 2008

We were in college. We were roommates. Okay, he lived on one side of a polygamist house duplex with 4 other guys, and I lived on the other side with 4 roommates. But we slept in rooms that were the mirror image of each other, so it’s like we were roommates.

And besides, he was dating my roommate.

We liked each other fine, and he made me laugh a blue streak, but when friends suggested that we should try going out, we would laugh/cough/ahem and set them all straight. I usually said something like: ‘we’d kill each other’. He was a very intense young man. He wore suits to church (which was a tad bit much, most guys wore khaki Dockers and no tie). I was a very intense myself. I couldn’t stand being late for ANYthing. He was studying communication and political science. I thought those were ‘soft sciences’. I was a biology major. I was 20.

After the summer of ’93, (a magical summer for all of us in the tiny neighborhood we called the 28th ward), we had become VERY good friends. His on again, off again girlfriend had gotten engaged (to someone else). And he just wasn’t too upset about it. I had been through a string of not quite boyfriends…’nuff said. I had just married off our mutual friend (a guy) who had palled around with us all summer completing our foursome (including the now ex-girlfriend). I set him up on a blind date, and they were married 3 months later.

It sort of left the two of us, to range around the couch cushions for frozen yogurt money. Left us to find our way to the local dollar theater. And we became best friends. I still dated guys, but usually never let them even get to the hand holding stage. And he kept saying things like: ‘I’ll know her when I see her’. We might hold hands while watching a video with the gang of people who often showed up to the duplex apartment house we called home. But we didn’t think anything of it. He was my best friend, I can hold his hand if I want to, I thought.

You have to understand, in our culture at that time, finding someone, and getting married was a HUGE pressure held over our heads. He was 23, and that was old.

Around this time we saw the movie, Benny and Joon. Johnny Depp at his best. There was a song in it. I was mesmerized by it. We waited until the end of the movie credits to find out what it was, who sang it? It wasn’t there??? Now this is WAAAAY before internet as we know it. We had to wait until the video came out, and we watched the credits and finally found out where that song came from.

I needed a ride home from the airport after Christmas vacation that year. And who else would I ask? My best friend, of course. He surprised me when he picked me up. He had found the song! He had bought the cassette (see, ancient times), and had it cued in his car radio. I was so happy, finally THAT song. I had broken up with the latest non-boyfriend just before Christmas (this one gave me a friggin’ BLENDER for crying out loud!)

Around President’s weekend I went to visit a friend at another college. When I got back there was a note for me, from my best friend, he wanted me to call him when I got back, apparently he didn’t know where I was. There was a little tickle in my tummy at the thought of him not knowing where I was? He was the only one who knew anymore. I ran over and gave him a hug. I think we stayed up most of that night, talking. Things moved fast at this point. We went to neighborhood gatherings together, which wasn’t strange, since we always did that. We held hands, again, not weird. But then we started kissing, and while not weird for us, it was a little hard for the gang around us to figure out!

Here’s the song. Our song. (let’s all give a collective sigh, AHHHHH)

I would give anything to be able to play this on the piano. If you know where to get the sheet music…please share! Over the years, we’ve gathered a few other ‘our songs’ and I might share them with you, but not today.

And this is us…today.

Happiness is…

April 29, 2008

A Family Hike.

I swear this is not posed. I took this yesterday on a break during our walk.
It truly shows each of their personalities.
And it made my Mommy-day. What do you think, Christmas card worthy?
I entered this in a photo contest, you can enter too! (And you don’t need a blog, but you do need a camera.)
Go to 5minutesformom.com.

Overheard, I’ve been saving them up.

April 28, 2008

Recently TK was ill. Stomach flu ill. You KNOW what I mean? First it was a 24 hour kinda thing, and then 3 days later (after a very traumatic Dentist appointment) it came back. And this time it was armed and deadly. –And Dad was out of town, and I had the stupidity to allow 3yrold to SLEEP. IN. MY. BED!!!

After a potty episode,

TK: “After I went stinky on the potty–I have to call Grandpa now!”
(I can only think he is remembering that after the big 11 Frankenstein eyebrow stitches, we made a big deal out of calling the grandparents? And this felt like reason enough to him?)


TK has started ‘making’ his own hot chocolate! Eeek! Two days ago was the first time he brought the ‘drink’ in to me for help, because he couldn’t work the microwave. I was terrified when I realized what was in the cup (a little water and a WHOLE LOTTA hot chocolate mix), and wondering how long he had been working unsupervised in the kitchen! The mess wasn’t that bad, and with a face as happy as this over making something on his own, who could be mad?






TK: “Mom, when I’m strong, you can’t see my stomach…because it’s all scrambled up!”


TK in Costco was jumping over every crack. When we got to the bathroom it had a tiled floor (LOTS of cracks), and I asked him what he was going to do? His reply:
“These lines won’t fire me up!”
(Whew, I was worried there for a minute)


TK: “I’m allergic to tooth floss.”
After getting his teeth cleaned, later in the car talking to his sisters about the goodies in their dental ‘party bags’. The girls thought it was hilarious.


And one more.
TK: “If I take my head off–I will see my brain!”
(That might be cool to a 3 year old, but sooo not a good image for me?)



And some three year old art. He’s nearly 4 so this seems priceless, since he is changing SOOOO fast.

TK: “Look mom it’s a MONSTER! It has LINES!”

TK: “This one is a princess, see it has pink?”

(well of course, if there is pink anywhere on the paper, it must be a GIRL thing right?)


And a 7yrold one.
She had a dance competition Saturday. (I was not thrilled–this is sooo not my thing). After it was over…(they took second! well, there were only two teams in her category, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her they came in last)…we went to get Frostys at Wendys (her choice), and while driving home she said,

7yrold: “It was kind of weird. Before our dance, my teacher said a prayer.”
Mom: “Well, that is a little weird, but probably everyone was Christian?”
7yrold after a thoughtful pause: “Yeah…They all LOOKED Christian to me.”

I nearly drove off the road! (What exactly does a Christian look like I wonder?–This is sad for me because we USED to live in diversity; racial, socio-economic, and yes RELIGIOUS! We now live in white bread suburbia.)

It’s been a photoshop weekend…

April 27, 2008

After looking at P-Dub’s site, and Karen Cheng’s site, I was ready to jump into some serious photo editing. Remember I don’t have the big boy photoshop, I have the step-sister version.

But I was pretty happy.

Before (Original)

After

Before

After

Snow storm in April. Sucks. Had to find a way to make it better.




The last four are fun ones. They’re just some old photos I wasn’t worried about experimenting with. Lessons on cropping, filters and photo modes. The last one was particularly fun.

Design Disaster and a Do Over

April 25, 2008

More bag talk here (tune out if it gets boring).

I had this great plan to make a pink and brown medium sized tote bag. I have some great pink/brown stripey fabric. But then I had a devil of a time finding a matching brown. I found something, but it’s not great…

I went ahead anyway. Going for a two tone look. And a third fabric for the lining. I am astounded at just how awful it came out.

Talk about Blah.
Time for a redesign.

I liked the daisy-dot fabric better than the plain brown at the bottom by a stretch. And it needed more of the contrasting bottom showing, don’t you think? And how about pink webbing as handles, running partially down the bag? I went through a better design process this time. Like putting a puzzle together…but how do you stitch down the handles to the Outside, and still keep it clear of the upper lining/outside seam? It’s hard, that’s how.

I liked the feel of this one MUCH better. And the daisies are playful, even whimsical (I only put that adjective in because my husband HATES that word).

Here it is finished, I’m happy now.

Sorry about the blur, it’s late and the Jazz lost.

But I liked it so well, I made another one.

How’s that for some whimsy?

My vegetarian salad can kick your turkey sandwich’s butt!

April 24, 2008

I made the bestest salad yesterday. And I calculated the protein. Don’t ask why. I just did. It had over 9 grams. According to the Hillshire Farms sliced turkey package…there’s like 5 or 6 grams in the amount I would normally eat on a sandwich. So there!

I have been staying away from refined sugar lately.
No soda, (diet or not).
No white anything. Bread…pasta…rice…jeans
I use ‘Sugar in the Raw’ to sweeten my herbal tea.
And I found a lovely fruit preserve naturally sweetened with grape juice. It is wicked good on whole grain pancakes and in oatmeal.

Seriously, for several weeks I had no processed sugar. And guess what? Normal food started tasting like cotton candy! Really. Ask my neighbor, I keep pestering her with stories of my bizarre lunches. One day I was having leftover whole grain pasta with some beans and sweet potato thrown in and I covered it with stewed tomatoes, warmed it up and I thought someone was pulling an April fool’s joke on me it tasted so good? I couldn’t get over it. Like candy? The best part of course, was losing over 5 pounds! I haven’t been able to loose any weight for 3 years…not with exercise, not by eating lots of protein, my butt never changed one single ounce. I also changed a few other things in my diet, (Okay. So I nearly went Vegan for a month–I’ll save that story for another post), but still this was pretty shocking to me.

Here’s my saladtastic (I know–enough of that, right?) recipe:

Big stinkin’ huge handful of mixed greens (none of that iceberg stuff for me).
1/2 of a cooked and chunked up Sweet Potato, I nuke mine for 4 minutes on high.
1/4 cup cooked bulgar wheat (You are whining about this aren’t you? Turns out bulgar is fabulous, has a ton of protein and sort of takes on the flavor of everything around it–so just try it! I can tell no one is eating this because spellcheck thinks I’m trying to type vulgar!)
1/2 of a gorgeous (as Deana would say) green pear, sliced nice and thin.
1/4 Cup white beans (straight from the can, no warming these up you baby).
Handful of pistachio nuts, maybe 1 1/2 Tablespoons, but who measures nuts? (don’t answer that).
Handful of sliced almonds, again just throw some in.
The same handful of dried cranberries.

I like a sweet dressing on my mega salad, just a smidgen– poppy seed or strawberry vinaigrette. I hate the idea of ranch on it, but if you must you must, if it will get you to try bulgar, then fine- pour on the fat ranch! Not that this salad doesn’t have fat in it, it does, the GOOD kind.

And please, substitute lots of different ingredients at will. How about whole wheat pasta instead of the bulgar? Or try black beans? Or any number of fruit and nut combinations. My mouth is watering at the thought of adding a nice avacado, not too soft, just the right firmness, and ripeness…..and

PS. Funky Finds giveaways starts today…off you go. See button at left.

Deana’s Story

April 23, 2008

I have this amazing friend. She’s like a mythical creature. The kind of person who can see through you. Do you know someone who always has something kind to say about you before you can get out a decent greeting? She is that kind of person.

I once was with her and we were walking into the YMCA together. At the front desk was this grumpy old man. On this day he was particularly cranky. The kind of ornery where you avert your eyes and pray that he doesn’t see you kind of ornery. I did exactly that. But not Deana. Oh, noooo. She practically assaulted the man attempting to reach over the counter and through the partition in order to give him a hug?! A Hug? I was afraid he might then hurt her. Instead…he began crying. Weeping. She could tell (with her x-ray mind powers) that he was very upset, sad kind of upset, not just the usual grumpy old man. (Which is of course all I saw). He breaks down and begins a very long story about how his wife was very ill, and had died 3 months ago to the day. Yup, I’m the complete cow at this point. Plus, now I’m feeling all weird cuz I don’t know what to do or say? I can’t bring myself to hoist on up over the partition for a hug like she did. I manage instead to slither away off to the emotional safety of the locker room, where no one talks to you no matter how upset or ornery.

(Well, except for Deana, she talks to anyone, naked or not).

I usually describe her as my cheeky British friend, and I do love her accent. She says things like ‘Oooh that would be lovely’, when you’ve just asked her out to lunch. And she describes food as ‘gorgeous’. And tea…well, that’s a given. We would have tea sampling nights at her house, but I only came for the ‘Digestives’.

(I never failed to point out to her that in America it’s funny to eat food named after the digestive tract).

But the most amazing thing about this fabulous friend of mine is that when I first met her, she and her husband had already adopted two children. And she made it clear to anyone she met that they were looking to adopt more, ‘God-willing’. (‘They don’t seem to be coming through me, but I know they are out there’, is how she would express it.) Their first child was adopted through the foster care system in Arizona, and the other child she ‘found’ through a friend who had a sister that was only 23 and on her 5th(!) child. This woman had nearly given up her 4th child and Deana was able to work with her and make an agreement about a very open adoption of this 5th child. Long story short. Deana was in the delivery room, was the first to hold the baby, and within about 2 months (and lots of hormones) was nursing (yes NURSING) that baby!

Fast forward a few years of her life, and two more adopted children (another through foster care, and another through her church’s adoption program) these last two under a year apart in age, she now had 4 children under the age of 5! Whoa. And since life likes to throw dirt clods at you, within 2 months of adopting the 4th child, my friend was pregnant herself. That would make 5 children under the age of 6. Oh my.

Oh did I mention her husband was finishing up med. school at this point? Yes, MEDICAL SCHOOL, as in never see my husband kind of school. (Believe me, law school ain’t got nuthin’ on life in med. school). And what comes after med. school? That’s right. A surgery residency. Think Grey’s Anatomy, without all the sex in the supply closet, with 5(!) children. If she and the kids didn’t see him during med. school, then he doesn’t EXIST during the residency.

Remember what I said about my friend being a mythical creature? I wasn’t kidding. She is the onlyest person I’ve ever met, who could possibly pull off what she does on a daily basis. She saves stray cats; she has the heart of a giant, and apparently doesn’t need any real amount of sleep to function! I just got off the phone with her Sunday night, and she told me she can ‘feel’ 2 more children (at least!) out there. Now that is an amazing giant, and a very real person.

Deana with her 4 oldest children. I think she is about a month pregnant here.

What is my point? My friend Deana doesn’t have enough on her plate. She is compiling a book (a book?—I’m exhausted just typing her legend!) of adoption and foster care stories. Besides her own fairy-tale story, she has assembled over 20 other adoption and/or foster tales. And she would like to gather at least 50.

I am asking you if you have one (or to ask your friends) if you/they would be willing to share their adoption story with her. You can use my contact info (above left on my blog), and I will forward it on to Deana.

Here is the letter she has written:

Dearest friends

I’m writing to you at this time to ask for your help in writing and compiling a book on inspirational adoption stories.

As most of you know I have had some amazing experiences myself. I am sharing my thoughts and feelings and the joys these children have brought. I would like this book to be a bridge for those who feel hopelessness, sadness, anger and confusion to take the leap of faith towards adoption, so they can have the family they dream of. I hope this book will make a difference in many peoples’ lives through all of these amazing heartfelt stories.

I am also writing this for all of the children in the world today who long for parents to hold them, read to them and tuck them into bed and hear the words, “I love you!” These are God’s children just waiting to belong to a loving family.

These stories will clearly show God’s love for all of us and how His hand guides us. I am asking if you know anyone who has adopted, are birth parents or who grew up as an adoptive child. Inviting them to share their story would make such a difference.

These stories will be a comfort to others to safely walk into the unknown joys of adoption.

For those of you who are adoptive parents and know exactly what I am talking about, just pause for a moment and think back to how you felt and the miracles that followed. I know everyone is busy and time is precious. Please try to carve out a little time for this.

When this book is published a portion of the proceeds will go to a non-profit organization benefiting children in need.

I believe in my heart that God knows his children and He wants to bless us. It takes great faith to trust in His ways and not ours. May God bless you and inspire you to share.

Thank you,

Deana Coreen

Vaccine–Schmackzine

April 22, 2008

I’ve been compiling flu stories from other blogs. These are the only ones best ones I’ve come across. I think it worked like a talisman against flu in our own household, because it sounds like the vaccine this year sure didn’t!

Over at Orangette is the first one. After reading this flu story, you can go make yourself a cake…

Get That Out Of Your Mouth, is the next one. And his poemtastic (that was for AMZ) blog about kids, poop, and parenting chaos is probably one of my favorite blogs to just read and enjoy.

The Pioneer Woman, is also a favorite. I’m grooving on her web redesign, and HOW I love the new photography section of her blog. I don’t have wild mustangs to take pictures of, my wild chitlins will have to do.

And I just came across this flu post by Ali Martell, at Cheaper than Therapy. Yikes!

Now I beg the flu compilation Gods to please, please, please–spare my family.

What’s your best (worst) flu story? Let’s not get too graphic here. Past or present?

Mundane Made Maddening

April 21, 2008


I just got the heating bill in the mail.

It is $50 less than last month! (Let’s not talk about how it should have been $50 less LAST month….)

Instead let’s do some George Bush funny math. Since it could have been even colder this last heating cycle (see–global warming is good for something) it’s really like I saved at least $70, right? And with that $70 I could clip lots of coupons and save plenty on toilet paper and Suddenly Salad. Saving myself even more, right? I was going to buy TP and noodles anyway, so now I’ve increased it up another $20. And if I think about how I did not have to run the air conditioning this month (like stinkin’ last year), oh I must be up to $200 at least. There must be a few other bills and such that I’m saving on and don’t even know it. What I’m getting at is this;

I would like to spend our special George Bush Tax incentive money on a new-ish piano (ours is very sad–charity wouldn’t even haul it away for FREE!) . Hubby doesn’t agree. And don’t you think that if I tell him how much I saved this month alone without even trying…. Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Notice the mirror added onto the poor thing 70s style? And the lack of a real piano bench? And the craptastic finish? Oh, and the piano tuner made it very clear there will be no more ‘tuning’ in this piano’s lifetime. I know I shouldn’t complain it was free for crying out loud.

What are you spending your cash on? Maybe my math skills can help you out. We are alphabetically challenged and won’t get ours for another several months. I’ll work on changing his mind by then.