Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Time to change the decor around the house. Taking down the pumpkins and putting up the lights.

Luckily we have tall guys around the house. My two sons, husband and brother all got into the act. Unfortunately, when three or four guys get together, there's always a little goofing off going on.

Someone tall had to climb the ladder to get the lights up into the peek - guess who did it? Was it the 20'something boys, was it the experienced big brother?

Nope DAD did it.

Funny how Dads do so much work and get so little credit for the completed job. Who do you think says they "put up" the lights? Yep, the boys. Of course they did help hook all the large ornaments on the arbor and doesn't it look pretty?
And, after watching the guys putting up the lights, I figured I'd better do something to burn off those few hundred thousand calories we ate this weekend. . . ?

Maybe a walk with the dogs . . . ? So two trips to the dog park - hopefully that helped. It's another great thing about long weekends, having time to take leisure walks, read a book, or bake . . . or wait then I'll need more trips to the dog park than I have time for.

It's time to get back on the die....t. Butt, I mean but I hate those things.

Anyway, hope you like seeing a few photos of the transformation of our house from fall to winter. Of course there is still more to come.

Happy Holidays!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

F.A.F. = Family and Feasting

Thanksgiving 2009
The Kids' Table

Serena getting ready for her role as a doll in the Nutcracker

I hope you had a great Holiday too!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Earth-Friendly Friday

BLACK FRIDAY is a time for shopping - but this year think twice before you go out and overspend. Don't buy needlessly. You'll be wasting money, time and hurting the planet.

This year, instead of buying so many presents, think of giving time to your family and friends. Maybe babysit for an evening for your sister or friend, take the kids to the zoo, or take their dog for a walk. People need time and you can give it to them. You'll be saving money and helping your family or friends at the same time.

Happy Holidays aren't about giving gifts, it's about spending time with family and loved ones.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Answer to Thought for Thursday

Answer. 1621! Check it out here.



THOUGHT: When was the first Thanksgiving?

Take a guess and come back after 3:00 to see what the answer is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Answer to Word for Wednesday

Answer: A redo or to repeat. Or if you want to check it out, look here.



Take a guess, what does it mean? Put your guess in comments and then come back around three to see if you knew the answer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


If you're in a critique group and reading a friend's story, perhaps you print out the page and hand write your comment on the paper. But did you know, all you have to do is click on Insert, then click on comment and type your insight "write" there.

This way you can critique the pages without printing them. This will save paper, money and help protect the planet all at the same time. These are all good things. So try it, you might like it.

Monday, November 23, 2009



JACOB was great. He’d buffed up, filled out, and grew up, about a million times better since his performance in Twilight. He did a great job. I was thoroughly impressed and don’t think he could have been improved upon.

The phasing of the werewolves was amazing. I thought it looked very believable. Dakota Fanning was great but a very small glimpse of her.

, I loved her energy and cutsey personality. Ashley Greene was exceptional. She was just what I would have imagined her to be from having read the books. Of course she was great in Twilight too. But she is one of the great transformations from the written word to the movie. LOVE her.


The budget for this episode was way beyond the budget for Twilight so I expected more from the graphics, makeup and scenery. I don’t think they delivered in this area. The sparkling was no better than in Twilight, the makeup might have been a little better but not much.


The scene from Alice’s vision, when they were in Rome visiting the Voltaire, was horribly cheesey. It was so trite it was almost humorous.


It was a fun, romantic movie. My husband, daughter and friend (Shay) went to see it with me. We all enjoyed it.

Shay said it was a modern day Romeo and Juliett and she never read the books or even saw Twilight so New Moon stood alone for a new viewer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Traveling for the Holidays? Watch Out

Traveling for the holidays? A friend sent me this video with a little warning

A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines.

United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight.

Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar.

During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation.

The Manager responded : "Good luck with that one, pal".

So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube.

The video has since received over 5.5 million hits.

United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video.

Naturally his response was: "Good luck with that one, pal" .

Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders .

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Crafy Carpet

Are you looking for a project? Concerned about faux-fibers causing headaches and odors in your happy home?

Well, why not make your own carpet? It's EZ. At least with these instructions from Ready Made.

Let me know if you try it and how it turns out. Wouldn't it be nice to have a new carpet just in time for the holidays?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Easy Gardener - Earth Friendly Friday

Okay, it's not really gardening season here in P.O. but it's never too early to start dreaming about planting and I love to read seed catalogs and think about what I'll do in my garden next spring. So, I thought you might like to see something that's earth-friendly and helpful for the garden.

Weed Block Natural

It's made with renewable corn to stop weeds while saving our precious natural resources. It stops weeds for ten years and won't harm plants. So we bought a package. We're planning to try it out. It's made by Easy Gardener. And the weed block isn't their only earth-friendly product. You can read more here.

So Happy Gardening - or at least Happy Dreaming!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Answer to Thought for Thursday

The world's tallest Christmas Tree in 2003 wasn't on the White House lawn or in Trafalgar Square, it was in the Styx Valley, a tract of ancient forest in Tasmania. If you want to read more, check it out here.

And while you're there stop and check out a little bit about Green Peace International.

Thought for Thursday

The Tallest: The year was 2003, what city claimed the tallest Christmas Tree?

Take a guess, it could be Chicago, New York, or . . . ?

Put your "thought" in comments then come back around 3:00

that's how you'll see

if you were "write" or wrong

or you can google it but that might take too long :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


EZ Ice-cream sandwiches at home

So much for heart-healthy recipes - what was I thinking? It's the holidays and I LOVE sweets - just look at me and you'll see it's true.

One night I was having one of those CRAVINGS for chocolate--you know the kind, the I WANT CHOCOLATE that screams in your head kind of craving and so I decided to make some home-made ice cream cookies and this is how I did it.

Ingredients for chocolate chip cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups of chocolate chips

(mix ingredients together and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, every oven cooks differently so start checking them at about 15 minutes. If you're softening the butter in the microwave, add the chocolate chips after the mixture has cooled - otherwise the chips will melt and you might have chocolate cookies but there won't be any chips ;)

Let the cookies cool--if you can-- 'cuz that's the hardest part for me. Then spoon in a tablespoon (or two, or three) of ice cream (I used Rocky Road) and squish the top and bottom cookies together. Eat then or put in a baggie to freeze for later. Yummy for your tummy!!!

Any other chocoholics out there?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Hats

This is another Christmas project I've been working on: Hats for the holidays :) I thought I'd start making some scarves and hats and maybe even some fingerless gloves. I figure without the fingers they'd be pretty EZ.

Any other knitters out there? What projects are you working on? Done gloves?

I'm thinking of forming a knitting circle at work - we had one at my old job and we'd get together once a week at lunch to go over projects and really to just stay on task.

Monday, November 16, 2009



It's a cute book about Max and his journey to another place: an island filled with wild animals. On this island everyone joins in the fun: a wild rumpus. Which I pictured as a dance more than anything else. However, in the movie, the wild rumpus was short-lived and the story grew to all sorts of lengths and went to all sorts of ends to say something about family and relationships-some which are dysfunctional.

Somehow the movie was too dark for me. And this coming from a fanpire. I love zombie and vampire movies but then I expect dark. Here I was expecting fun and the film was short on fun-at least for me.

My son loved it. Of course he's 25. And I did agree with him that the characters were absolutely perfect in their graphic creation. They looked just as I would have imagined they would. So that part was perfect. However, I was looking for a wild dance, a journey of fun and exploration. Here, the story seemed more about relationships to me.

Somehow, I think it lost its fun in the translation from the written page to the big screen. But that's just my opinion.

Anyone else see it?

Word Tips

Word Tips:

First one definition: "Ctrl" = your control key

Center paragraph: Ctrl + E
Right justify a paragraph:Ctrl + R
Left justify a paragraph: Ctrl + L
Italic: Ctrl + I
Copy: Ctrl + C
Cut: Ctrl + X
Paste: Ctrl _ V
All Caps: Ctrl+Shift+A
Auto Text: F3
Doc Close: Ctrl + W
Exit: Alt +F4
End of Document: Ctrl + End
Paragraph Down: Ctrl + Down
Print: Ctrl + P
New Document: Ctrl + N
Go To: Ctrl + G
Go to previous location: Shift +F5
Find: Ctrl + F

These are basic Word Hints but I'm hoping you'll find them helpful :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yudo -

Christmas is coming
the goose is getting fat - why don't you put a penny in the old man's hat?

If you haven't got a penny - a half-penny will do

If you haven't got a half-penny God bless you!

You? Who-do? Who-do? Yudo.

So,all of that to say that I'm getting ready for Christmas and starting to make presents.

My son, Luke, has an on-line comic where he always wears the same tee-shirt. It's kind of obnoxious but it's also funny - a lot like Luke.

So we wanted to make a shirt for Luke to match his comic cartoon.

Here it is. And here's the Yudo screenprinting machine we used to make the tee shirts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Earth-Friendly Friday the 13th - Share the Moments of Your Life

"And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"
- from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

YIKES - it's Friday the 13th and time to focus on the things that matter the most in life, like the little things. And we could all learn a lesson or two from the jolly "green" guy: the Grinch.

Simplify the holidays (whether it's Christmas or Thanksgiving) and enjoy the time with your family - that's the important thing in life. Here are some tips to help you bring joy to your holidays and get rid of the stressful stuff.

It's not what you give, or what you get. The holidays are about spending time--not money.

Remember: "what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Answer to Thought for Thursday

Answer: Clement Clarke Moore

Read the entire poem here.


THOUGHT: Who wrote Twas the Night Before Christmas?

Take a guess or if you know
enter it in comments - before you go
then come back here at just about 3
That's the time, when you can see
If you knew the "write" choice
Speak up - use your voice!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Low Calorie Egg-Nog

I love egg-nog but I don't want high calorie drinks - at least not too many. So, I try to make tasty egg-nog with fewer calories than store bought drinks. This is how I do it:


2 cups of 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 raw egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*OPTIONAL: 1 shot of rum

Mix for about ten seconds in a blender and serve.

This is so yummy and you can adjust the cinnamon and nutmeg to suit your own personal taste. Plus, if you're worried about eating a raw egg, flash boil it for ten seconds before adding it to the mix.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tablescape Tuesday

I'm getting ready for the holidays. I pulled out my tableclothes and plates to see what I still need.

This is what I've come up with so far:

I took some black beans (from out of the kitchen) and poured them into a vase then I stuck the feathers I'd used for my Halloween costume into the beans and added some silk flowers I'd gotten at Joann Fabrics on a 70% off sale. This is one way to make a very inexpensive centerpiece but I think it turned out pretty.

Then I pulled out the candelabra and tried another look:

I love the ambiance of candles and flickering candlelight, especially at the holidays.

It's the season of sharing, so do you have any inexpensive ideas for holiday centerpieces?

Monday, November 9, 2009


Warner Pacific Women's Basketball

My daughter plays college basketball, for Warner Pacific College. She's the third one from the left on the back row.

She's loved basketball since she was a little girl and started playing with her brothers who never cut her any slack. She learned to dribble between her legs, around her back and sideways. What else could she do with two 6'4" and 6'5" brothers?

I guess they didn't know it then, but they were really helping her out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cartoon Me - Little Luke

This is a clip from my sons', Jake's and Luke's, web comic. Jake wanted to make a statue of his brother's toon for Luke's birthday. So, he did.

Jake does the art for their web comic and Luke does the writing. Most of the comic strips have Luke and Jake in them. Anyway, when Jake said he was going to make a statue of his brother I asked him, "have you ever made a statue before?"

"No," he told me, "but how hard can it be?"

I just smiled and watched him go to work.

First Jake had to sketch out the statue he wanted to make:

Then he had to make the armature to stick the clay on.

Then he had to start layering the clay.

Then the actual sculpting:

Now, it was time to bake the little Luke:

I thought he turned out sooooo cute:

And, so we drove to UofO to have Luke open his gift.

I think he liked his little Luke.

Plus, Jake was explaining that now he's going to make a statue of himself to fit on the other side of the circle. It will be brother to brother - standing back to back and forming a full circle.

Two toons immortalized in clay - how cute is that?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Cranberry Sauce - HOMEMADE

I love cooking, baking and--YES (I know it's obvious) eating, especially at the holidays.

Butt, I mean, BUT I also want my recipes to be heart-healthy, at least some of the time.

And what could be better than these little red and Yummylicious berries? They make an amazing side dish.

I used to love store-bought jellied OceanSpray cranberries for the holidays but then I tasted true happiness.

I decided to make some sauce of my own and it is soooooooooooooooooooo EZ anyone can do it. No kidding. And did you know that cranberries are berry good for you?

The red berries may look like little candy-sized nibbles but these little lovelies are filled with amazing molecules that act like a wonder drug--especially for women. If you don't believe me, you can read all about it here.

So get heart-healthy and start your holidays out happy and healthy, at home. . . cooking. You'll save money, be able to sweeten the sauce to meet your own personal taste and be heart-healthy, all at the same time.

All you have to do is turn up the heat--on the stove. Boil these little babies in water until they burst open and then chill that cranberry sauce in the refrigerator until it cools and thickens into all that berry goodness - I guarantee it will be absolute deliciousness.

* 4 cups or one 12-oz package of fresh cranberries (in the produce section)
* 1 cup of granulated sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup diced orange slices (you can use mandarin oranges or 1/4 cup of orange juice)

Boil over medium heat until the cranberries burst open (about ten minutes) then chill in the refrigerator and serve. But, I even like them warm.

Try it - you'll like it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tofurkey Anyone?

Okay, we don't have to be crazy when it comes to celebrating the season. And, being "green" doesn't mean we have to eat moldy food to be earth-friendly. All we need to do is pay attention to a few little details: like buy locally grown goods, try one new organic fruit or vegetable, don't buy over-packaged produce. Just try to be aware and we won't be WAISTful at this feasting holiday.

My motto is: if we all do a little, it will all do a lot. And, joining forces, together we can be protectors of the planet.

There's no need to force yourself to eat more in one day than should be humanly possible. So, instead of overeating until your pants won't button, why not plan to start some new family traditions, like going for a family walk before or after your holiday meal. Or, how about a family movie at the local theater? You'll be supporting the local economy, getting a little exercise and sharing a memory with your loved ones. Dare I ask--What could be wrong with that?

And, I was just joking about the tofurkey. Now, in honor of full-disclosure, I have to admit I'm a recovering vegetarian. After eating no meat for over 6 years, I've gone back to my carnivorous ways. But, here are a few tips for an eco-friendly turkey day.

I hope you'll all come back next week, when I'll be sharing a few family recipes to help you eat heart-healthy and still have some happy taste buds :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Answer to Thought for Thursday

Answer: Dagoba is an organic chocolate company. I bet you guessed Star Wars and where Yoda came from. Or, maybe, you guessed a system of planets.

But you can read all about it here.

Thought for Thursday

Thought: What is Dagoba?

Come back at 3:00 to see if you guessed correctly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Answer to Word for Wednesday

Answer: A Mantrum is a grown man throwing a tantrum. If you want to read more about it, read it here.

Word for Wednesday

Word: Mantrum

Take a guess, what could it mean
come back at 3:00 and it will be seen

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Twilight Tour

(Catherine autographed the above photo for me. You have to look close to see my name, because she didn't want to put it over Robert's face :)

October 31, 2009 was the First Annual Twilight Tour put on by the Portland Movie Tours. They provided cold bottled water with NEW MOON and ECLIPSE candy bars and granola bars so we could munch on our snacks while we read our maps and literature.

On top of that, Young Bella was along for the ride. Catherine Grimme, the friendly little dancer who played young Bella in the Twilight movie autographed photos for all of us on the tour. I even had my picture taken with Catherine and her mom, Kim.

It was a day filled with fun, food and laughter.

A marketing and administrative Manager from the Governor's office of Film and Television was along on the tour. She added some great information to the regular tour.

Have you ever wanted to see Bella and Charlie’s house?

Or what about the spot where Eric and Bella first met. He wanted to interview her but she didn't want that much attention.

One of the best spots, I thought, was the Cullen’s house--it was like a wall of glass.

The Forks High School? Also known as Kalama High.

The shop where the girls bought their prom dresses (I even had to buy a blouse there) or
The Thunderbird and Whale Bookstore?
The Thunderbird and Whale is the book store where Bella went shopping.

We even walked down the alley way, where Bella was followed by her would-be assailants.

We also went by the Bloated Toad Restaurant.

If you went on the tour, what would you want to see?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Daylight Savings Time (DST)

Okay, it's fall - time to go back. You know the old saying: "Spring forward, fall back." Right? Well, my son was not quite so familiar with it. We started talking about Daylight Savings Time and why it was started.

The practice began in 1895, and was instigated by George Vernon Hudson.

Some credit Benjamin Franklin with proposing DST because he wrote a letter to France suggesting they get up earlier and use the morning hours to get things done. He is famous for many reasons including his proverb, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".

You can read more about DST here.