Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Christmas Present EVER!!!

This is my brand new Top of the Line Simmons Beautyrest Pillow Top Ultra Plush Fancy Schmancy Mattress. That's the technical name. This thing of wonder now belongs to me courtesy of my highly wonderful and generous Uncle Snake, the best uncle in the world. I am in love. I should have taken a photo of the mattress it was replacing and you would better understand my excitement. I believe it was older than I am. It had the stains of generations of children and a valley as deep as the Grand Canyon eroded into the middle by years of burrowing bodies. If this photo makes my room look about the size of your average dorm room, that's an exaggeration. It's smaller. I have lived in houses with closets bigger than my current room. There is literally enough space for the lovely and fabulous new twin size bed and about a foot of walking space around the edge, most of which is taken up with very small furniture. Like the wallpaper? I did it myself :D

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Since posting the last, I received a message from the lovely and gracious buyer of the second sculpture informing me that it arrived in beautiful condition. Yay! I didn't kill it! My shipping method works :) I could see you were worried about it. Now you can rest easy.

Woot Woot!

Miracles do occur! I finally sold 2 book sculptures on Etsy. These two beauties have found new homes :)

I hope their new owners are pleased with the real articles. And I hope they arrived intact :0 I sent them off last week and haven't heard back from either of them if they survived the shipping process or not. I've been toying with the idea of closing my Etsy shop, since I hadn't sold anything AT ALL since I opened. Now I'm not sure what I will do. I'd like to find a local venue to sell at. That way people are seeing exactly what they're getting and I don't have the hassle of shipping. But this pesky day job keeps me from having the time or energy to pursue it more actively. And I guess part of my reluctance is shyness about the validity of my craft/art. On Etsy I can post anonymously and no one can tell me what I do isn't worthy. If I go to the local art/craft places here and say, hey can I display here, they might look at my stuff and sneer... yeah, yeah, I know - man up. If I don't have confidence in my art I can't expect anyone else to.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

After a marginal evening at work yesterday which left me crankier than usual, I decided to make an attempt at elevating my mood before going home. My long suffering mother deserves better treatment than I was likely to have given her had I gone directly home, so I decided to visit the Mario Pastega Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Corvallis' annual Christmas light display. This is a staple of Corvallis wintertime festivities and it wouldn't be Christmas without it. I generally strong arm my family into driving through on Christmas Eve, much to their annoyance to hear them tell it. They love it and they know it, no matter how much they might argue to the contrary.

One can't help but be cheered by such a display.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Alphabet Soup

My niece's baby shower is tomorrow. They're naming her wee bub Henry Mason, so I made this for the nursery wall. I hope she likes it and it doesn't end up in the closet... as a door stop. I fortunately live right next to a sporting goods store, the staff of which very kindly allowed me to skulk around taking photos. My favorite is the e. I was pretty stoked when I found that. I think I actually clapped my hands and jumped up and down. Right handed mitts are rarish. I also really like the texture of the h photo. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow and can only attend the first 20 minutes of the shower, so I probably won't get to see the unwrapping of this masterpiece. My mum has strict instructions to observe and report.

My bro moved into new digs this week so I spent two days in Portland packing and moving so he wouldn't have to do it all himself in the middle of his midterms at school. I am sore. I press ganged two friends of mine into helping and I have it on good authority that one of them cried in the shower this morning while washing his hair because it hurt to lift his arms. I feel you, my friend. I have a bruise the size of Wisconsin on my arm. But it's worth it to see my bro in a better place. And he'd do the same for me, right???

Monday, October 25, 2010

Adieu, my little friend.

OK, I know I'm the biggest goober on the planet, possibly in the universe, but I can't help it. My little pink blogger friend sheep is gone and a bit of sunshine has gone out of my world. I know she made it difficult to load my blog. But she was always glad to see me, so unlike most of the people I deal with in my work. I deleted her and I felt like a murderer doing it. I actually cried. Big tears. How sad is it that one of my most satisfying sources of validation is from an electronic sheep. I need to get a life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


For a good long while now, possibly years, the floor in our living room has been deteriorating. There were soft spots where I'm sure if I had stomped really hard I would have torn a hole in the carpet and gone right through. It was in dire need of fixing, thus - Cody to the rescue. Cody is a mate from work who is infinitely capable. Last year he painted our house and built new front steps. I felt entirely confident turning this project over to him, although I know him well enough now to double whatever he tells me in time and cost.

I should have taken more 'in progress' photos, but my camera battery was dead for the first day of the process. These were really just an excuse to take pictures of Cody, who I think is totally adorable ;)

It's done now and feels so much more stable :) I don't have to tiptoe around certain spots anymore. We still haven't put everything back where it goes. It's a process.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Special Plate part deux

Here's my other niece's birthday plate. I didn't get to see her open it, as I was busy being ill, but I hope she liked it. I wish I'd done a darker rim around the edge, like the purple plate. I think it would have looked more finished. Ah well, live and learn.


Wow, it's been an inexcusably long time since I last posted. I have no good reason why, just lazy :)

I went to the State Fair last month with the usual posse. I didn't blog about it at the time because the memory of the day is totally tainted for me. I came down with the most EEEVIL case of stomach flu ever known to man after I got home, and unfortunately the two events are linked in my mind. I can't see myself enjoying a fair again for many years to come. That said, it was a fabulous day before illness struck. My favorite part was the petting zoo. Here's why:

Isn't she gorgeous? These photos were taken with my phone, so, yeah, they suck. But you get the idea. Alex, this goat's for you :D

This adorable goat was very interested in my camera,
as you can see.

We all got our faces painted. I liked mine best. I felt like a pretty pretty princess... until I got home and started yakking my princess guts out :[

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Special Plate

All of my nieces have birthdays within a few weeks of each other. The two sisters always get the same thing from me. I don't mean I give them the same thing every year, but the two of them always get the same thing as each other from me every year, so I feel bad for the younger one, who's birthday is second, because she always knows what she's getting. One of these years I'll have to be more creative and give her something unexpected. This year I'm mega poor due to too much vacationing and some long planned house repairs, (more on that later,) so I decided that homemade was best. I had a gift certificate to the local paint your own pottery place, so my lovely nieces are getting hand painted plates from their favorite auntie. I went to take photos, got it set up, snapped one photo and my camera battery died, so here is the one and only photo of the "special plate". Not bad, if I do say so myself. Sister #2 gets a blue one :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The Medford conference was a total bust. It was exactly as dismal as I expected it to be... actually, not true, it was more dismal than I expected. I know in large part you get out what you put in, you find what you're looking for, etc. but in some cases things really do genuinely suck, and I believe this was one of those things. When I arrived there were around 30 people there, 3 of whom were male. 2 of those 3 men were over 60. The one young man was in a wheelchair and looked about 12 years old. The worst part of these events isn't the ratio of men to women, or the small number of attendees. It's the aura of depression and desperation that surrounds the whole affair. The people look as though they've never seen the sun, don't believe in love and expect the worst to happen at any moment. I only stayed about an hour and a half and it was so hideous I couldn't make myself go back the next day.
Conversely, the Festival was AWESOME as always. I saw 3 plays, all of which were superb. It made me miss my days on the stage :) My favorite was the musical, She Loves Me. It was everything the conference was not, bright, vibrant, energetic. Granted, it was fiction, but I remember thinking as I was watching that it would not be possible to be unhappy watching that show. It was perfect, 10 out of 10. If only real life were so effervescent.
This is the Elizabethan Theater where I saw The Merchant of Venice. The photos were taken with my phone, so sorry for the suckiness, but you get the idea :) It was absolutely perfect weather for outdoor theater, warm and breezy. I'd never seen The Merchant of Venice before, but I read it a few days before I left, wanting to be prepared. I'm inclined to think Shylock gets a bad rap. I'm not saying I condone his actions or lifestyle, but I can understand why he does what he does, and Antonio is a bigoted douche. I'm just saying.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I actually attended almost every minute of that conference. Aren't you proud of me? And I had a great time. Everyone was very friendly and the talks and workshops were great. There was one in particular that I've been thinking about ever since. It was the sunday fireside. The speaker was a former mission president in the Louisiana mission. He was raised Baptist, so he was a very dynamic speaker, loud and animated, like he expected an AMEN from the congregation occasionally. He even thumped the pulpit a few times :) His topic was living more with the Lord than with the world. I can't tell you any of the stories he told or examples he used, but since then, as I go through my day and find myself spending time on the computer or watching tv, I find myself thinking more often that I could be spending that time with the Lord instead of in the world. And that doesn't mean that I read my scriptures 24/7 and never turn on the tv again. But where are my influences coming from? What voices am I listening to? It stands to reason that the voices I surround myself with most often would be the voices I would eventually heed. Why then wouldn't I want to make sure that the voice of my Father who loves me is uppermost? Quantity counts, apparently :) So I'm making an effort to listen to better music, watch less tv, read more uplifting things, have righteous companions. Not that I wasn't doing those things before, but it was a good reminder.

I'm going to another conference this coming week. This one is in Medford. It's not a mid-singles event, but includes all single adults, so I expect the average age to be 60, particularly as there is another mid-singles conference going on the same weekend in Hood River where all the mids will undoubtedly be. I thought about going to that one, but hotels there were mostly booked and the only ones left were mega expensive. I could get 5 nights in Medford for the same price as 2 in Hood River. Also, Medford is 17 miles from Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. YEAH! I've really been wanting to go this summer. They are staging Pride and Prejudice, which, come on. I have to see it. So I am killing two birds with one stone, (I hate that phrase. There needs to be a new idiom for that concept. Poor birds) and going to the geriatric conference and seeing some great theater, all for less than I would have spent on 2 nights in Hood River. Plus Gab lives between here and there, so I get to see her too :) What could be better?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I'm going to Seattle tomorrow for a conference. Yes, yet another LDS singles conference. I promise I'll attend at least some of this one. I signed up to be in the choir :) While I'm there I'll be seeing a dear old friend, and in an effort to look my best I decided to splash out and go with my bff for a girly afternoon at the local beauty college yesterday. The mani and pedi were fantastically relaxing, but something that was used during the facial treatment has not agreed with my skin and now I look like Freddy Kruger. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but my face is red and puffy. And itchy. Very itchy. Happily, I'm reasonably certain that this friend loves me no matter what I look like. He's seen me in every stage of hideousness, from the Lucille Ball orange hair disaster to stomach flu ickiness to dishevelled tramping through the rain drippiness. He hasn't shunned me yet, so I suspect we will survive this new hideousness just fine. It's just so typical though, isn't it? The worst possible time for an allergic reaction. I'll be the belle of the ball at the conference :D

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I had to leave for church in the middle of the game and so missed the winning goal, but it sounds like it was a pretty dirty game. I started out pulling for the Netherlands, but after some pretty appalling behavior from the Holland side I'm glad Spain won in the end. It leaves a bitter taste on the tongue, that the top level teams resort to violence instead of relying on skill. I guess I'm a sports idealist. I think talent and dedication should win, not a willingness to do anything, legal or not, to secure a win. And just because everyone does it doesn't make it right. Disappointing and unsatisfying experience.


I'm getting ready to watch the FIFA World Cup Final. Normally I would be at church, but I was supposed to be out of town this weekend, at a conference in Portland, so I got substitutes for my RS lesson and for leading the music in sacrament meeting and it just seems like it would be rude to show up and be like, "hey, thanks for doing my job for me". I will attend 3rd ward instead, and in the mean time, I see no reason not to watch the final, since I'm home and all :) I didn't go to the conference because I twisted my ankle a few weeks ago and it hasn't healed right, so I went to the doctor and he told me not to drive for a week. Hooray for sick pay! It's been nice to have a few evenings free. I went to a single adult activity last night for the first time this year. I generally have to be at work when they are going on. Ooh, Nelson Mandela just arrived at the stadium. I think I'm pulling for the Netherlands, although frankly I don't care who wins. I just want it to be a good game.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Coast... again

I know we are boring creatures of habit, but like true Oregonians, we do like the coast. My bro is here for the 4th, so earlier this week we drove to Newport with Jonah and Coral in tow :) It was PERFECT. The weather couldn't have been better. I don't think I've ever seen the water so blue here. Usually it reflects the grey of the typical Oregon sky, but on this day it was brilliant caribbean blue.

These are from the Devil's Punchbowl. We've been there several times before together and have always managed to arrive at low tide, when the punchbowl is serene and placid. This time was no exception. We arrived 3 hours before high tide and there was no action, so instead of shooting off to another beach, we decided to hang around and see what was to be seen.

There is a stairway down the cliff side that leads to a lovely sandy beach, where apparently the surfing is quite good because I always see a few brave souls out on their boards when we come here.

Alex and Jonah and Coral used the stairway and had a fantastic time exploring and playing. I stayed up top because I sprained my ankle a week or so ago and didn't want to chance that many stairs.

I'm glad I stayed because I had a birds eye view of this:
This just makes me smile :D

Alex also etched BOOGER in huge letters under the names, but thanks to the edit tools on my computer I don't have to look at it on my blog if I don't choose to. Hah! Here is Alex intrepid explorer. It looks quite precipitous, but in reality he is only 20 feet or so off the ground, and could walk upright if he so chose.
It was quite windy, as you can see :)

Can't believe how blue it was. We hung around for the 3 hours till high tide, at which point we eagerly approached the punchbowl viewpoint only to see that there was no discernible difference from any other time we had seen it. It must need to be a particularly high high tide. Perhaps it's more impressive in winter. At any rate, none of us regretted staying. A splendid time was had by all.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What a waste of time!!

I hate technology. Really. Life would be so much simpler without all these 'time saving' gadgets that really just mean there is more and more meaningless drivel with which to fill our time. Of course, without technology I wouldn't be here ranting to you tonight.

I just spent the last 4 hours trying unsuccessfully to install a webcam on my computer. My dear friend's birthday is tomorrow/today, (he is in Finland, so he's 10 hours ahead -ish) and he's been after me for months... years to get a webcam so we can skype. I have no desire to be visible while we are chatting. I like being able to loll about in my underwear and stuff my face and multitask and mostly to react to things privately before deciding how to respond publicly, so I have been dragging my feet. I thought it would be nice to give him his wish for his birthday and to call him before he left the house for the day. Hah! Not going to happen. Ah, well, it's the thought that counts, and as he didn't even remember my birthday this year I feel no guilt for my failure. Poo poo poo on microsoft and their stupid poopy technology.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Can I See Some ID, Please?

I went to a bar. I didn't know I was going to a bar. I thought I was going to a restaurant. I read in the paper that my favorite local musician, Dave Plaehn, the best blues harmonica player ever, would be playing at Big River, (yes, the same restaurant where I had lunch with Obama ;) I arrived at the designated place and time only to discover that Dave was playing not in the restaurant proper, but in the bar out the back. It was actually a very pleasant experience, although MILES outside my comfort zone. I rarely go out and never alone and never to a bar. I arrived half an hour before the music was scheduled to begin because I wanted to have dinner and I didn't want to be rudely stuffing my gob while the band was playing. Most of the tables were already full, so I took the last low table and felt like a selfish cow sitting at a table for 4 all by myself, until a lovely woman called Erica asked if she and her friends could join me. Yay Erica. I felt much better not monopolizing so much prime real estate. She and her friends were very gregarious, lovely people. Everyone looked familiar to me. I think they must all ride the bus, everyone in the whole bar - particularly my waiter, Carl, who I'm certain rides the route 6, and who was responsible for handing me the biggest laugh of my day when he carded me for a glass of water. Bless the boy. I'm 39. Dave and his mates are playing there again next month. I think I'll go again, but next time I'll try not to go alone :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I haven't posted because there's nothing new in my life but these:

I made the stand out of a clothes hanger with a pair of pliers :)
The following are 3 versions of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The town's used book stores are now vacant of illustrated copies of this book :O

Currier and Ives' America. I felt no compunction in mutilating this book. Some of the paintings were pretty un-pc to the point of being offensive, mostly the ones dealing with Native Americans and with women suffragettes. I know it was the mindset of the times, but Grrrrr! It's better as sculpture :)

This understated beauty is perhaps my favorite.

Sadly, many people are looking at my site, and even liking it, but no one is buying :( Boo hoo. But I'm still hopeful. It's only been a few weeks since I opened shop.
It's not strictly true that there is nothing new in my life. I am going to be a great aunt. WooHoo! My niece is pregnant and the world rejoices. My mum is so happy she could burst and my sis in law is going to need cheek replacement surgery because she's going to wear hers out with grinning from ear to ear. My brother strenuously objects to being called Grandpa by anyone except the actual grandchild, and at 43 one can hardly blame him.
Also new - my Dad and his lovely wife are moving to Hawaii in August. Yeah!! I've always wanted to go there but never had a good excuse. He got a job at the university in Honolulu, so it's goodbye snow and hello sun. Grad school in Hawaii... hmmm.... Well, since Lost is done filming there there's less of a draw to live there ;) Lost. Don't get me started.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I know I've been a horrible slacker here on blogger, but only because I've been busy here: It's my new online shop. The books are taking over my house. I have to dispose of them in some way :) Might as well make a buck from my obsession. I haven't sold anything yet, but I am hopeful. I will feel totally vindicated if I can sell just one book to a stranger, someone who isn't buying it because of a personal connection with me, but because they really like the article for it's own sake. Not that I'm saying if you know and love me don't buy my stuff. Feel free to purchase my entire catalogue. But the true feeling of having succeeded will be complete only when and if someone unconnected with me forks over some dough for one of my creations.

Self Portrait

As I finished work this morning and was leaving the bus terminal to go to my car, I saw this on the pavement. I see oil spills all the time there, but I've never seen one do this. As I was photographing what must from a distance have appeared to be nothing on the pavement, apparently I must've looked goofy enough to attract attention, because several people came over to see what was so engrossing. One of them even whipped out her camera and joined me :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Morbid Fascination

Perhaps it's my daily association with this vehicle that fuels my fascination with it's carcass, but I do find it riveting. I was 12 minutes late on my route yesterday because I was ogling it on my way out to my bus. I find it beautiful and full of interest. Am I a weirdo?

These were taken with my camera as opposed to my phone, so should be better than the first set:

This clearly is the engine compartment. There are bits of fiberglass all over the ground around it, but a lot of the casing was also consumed in the blaze.

The ceiling:

I like the drippy plastic bits.


Tail lights:
I love this. I think it looks like snake skin.

Front window:

Front wall above driver's seat:

I think this is my favorite. I get a perverse sense of satisfaction seeing my company logo this way :D

My seat... with the totally untouched fire extinguisher next to it. There was no way I was opening that door to reach in and grab it. I got the one from the bus next door.

The aroma exuding from this shell of a bus really is like a carcass. You can smell it all over the lot - smoke and plastic and rubber and oil. I almost wish they'd leave it on the lot, but we need the parking space. And I imagine that the management aren't as pleased to see it every day as I am, a constant reminder of lost revenue and failed safety measures. For me it's a reminder that in a crisis I didn't panic and was able to do what needed to be done. I feel good about that.