Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet baby Annika

My cousin had her baby today! Meet Annika Andersen :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary

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Poems by Julie Larios, Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

I first came across the team of Larios and Paschkis in the book "Imaginary Menagerie," and I immediately knew I wanted to find more books by them! "Yellow Elephant" met all my hopes and dreams. Where "Imaginary Menagerie" was about fanciful creatures, this book focuses on real creatures, but each one is highlighted with a particular color.

My favorite, of course, is the purple puppy:


Purple ball for the puppy.
He's feeling pretty nippy.
Needs to run, maybe.
Chases purple birds
and furry squirrels -
he's zigging, they're zagging.
Puppy tail wags.
Now he drinks cool water
with his purple tongue

This is a great book to read aloud with your children. The poems are simple and cute. You can use this book to teach them some of their animals, and to help them learn their colors as well! And, of course, to introduce them to fantastic and varied world of poetry.

One last interesting piece of information. I read the back cover of the book and discovered that this writing/illustrating team is based in Seattle, Washington. That's just 3 hours away from me! How fun is that?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley

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"Dragonhaven" by Robin McKinley is the story of a young boy who has grown up in a rather unusual situation. He lives on a dragon preserve! There aren't very many dragons left in the world, so there have been several preserves created, and Jake's Dad runs one.

Jake has also been rather sheltered, not only does he live on a preserve far away from normal civilization, his Dad tends to over protect him because his mother died a few years ago. But, finally, Jake gets permission to go out on his first over night trek into the preserve. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes. Jake comes across a dead dragon mother, the poacher that killed her, and her dead babies. But wait, one of the babies isn't dead! And that's how Jake becomes a dinosaur Mom.

The story is written entirely from Jake's perspective, and that can be quite interesting at times! I'm not sure how McKinley managed to get inside the head of a teenage boy, but I think she did a really good job. Watching Jake and the dragonlet grow together is a lot of fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Muddling Through This Thing We Call Life

There's been a lot going on this last week, and I figured it was about time I updated everyone! It's been awhile since I've updated on my medical stuff anyway I think...

This week all my appointments seemed to pile up on top of each other. I'm not sure how that happened, but it did! The first was my bi-weekly xolair shot that took up all of my Tuesday morning. Now that Jack is no where near as portable I just took my slightly defunct mp3 player and my knitting. Um, yah, apparently I was tired. I fell asleep. That was at the START of my week.

Wednesday I saw my regular physician to talk to him about my blood sugar levels and my hair. We're going to try and see if we can get the insurance to pay for me to go talk with a dietitian because things are just getting way to complicated and its hard to balance my blood sugar, keep on a low sodium diet, and everything else I have to keep track of.... I also asked for another fasting blood test to make sure I'm not getting any closer to actual diabetes instead of just pre-diabetes like I've been at.

Hair. Ok, this is a tough one. I knew I'd lost some hair volume over the last year or so but I hadn't really thought much of it because I had a LOT of hair and I know people do that sometimes right? Well the other day Mom mentioned it, and then I realized just how much I'd lost. Um, I've lost over half the volume of my hair. I talked to my doctor about it and it's probably from the steroids I'm on for my asthma that are keeping out of the hospital. I'm going to go see a dermatologist, but it sounds like there's not much we can do about it. Joy 'eh?

Wednesday I also did an ultrasound. No, I'm not pregnant, it was to check up on my kidneys and bladder. Follow up on the kidney stones I had in Sept. I won't go into details so I don't gross you out, but I've now seen the majority of the organs in my body on one type of scan or another!

Thursday morning I saw my urologist to find out what they found on the ultrasound and what they learned from some other tests they had previously done on me. Good news is my kidneys and bladder are fine. Bad news is that, from my tests, he would normally tell me to take less calcium and eat less protein to avoid kidney stones in the future. The problem with that is that I have osteopenia (the stage before osteoperosis) so I have to be on a high level of calcium to prevent that from progressing. As for the less protein? Well, when my regular doc and I were talking about my blood sugar one of the things he told me was less carbs and more protein! So we decided there wasn't much we could do there. Pretty much the only things we could come up with that were constructive were continue to work on watching my sodium intake and drink LOTS of water. Oh, and pray that I don't get too many more kidney stones :P

Immediately following that appointment I saw my neurologist (I TOLD you these were all stacked up didn't I?). We're taking me off the medication that I was on because it wasn't working, and we're going to put me on a new one as soon as I've worked off of this one. It's a seizure medication and a little scary because it's got a lot of potential side-effects and I've already got enough to deal with! On the other hand - I also need to function and daily migraines do not lend them selves to that.

In the mean time, I've gotten to the point where I'm having so many migraines and I've had to treat them so frequently that I'm now probably having medication overdose migraines in addition to my normal migraines. Loverly eh? Well, to get rid of those he gave me a 7 day course of treatment that's supposed to get rid of the overdose headaches - but in the mean time I can't take ANYTHING for my migraines. That was like an invitation for the migraine monster to come in and play. The last three days have been miserable. I'm really hoping he's right and it'll be worth it when this week is over with...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Doors of His Face the Lamps of His Mouth by Roger Zelazny

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"The Doors of His Face the Lamps of His Mouth" is a collection of short stories by Roger Zelazny. As with any series of stories, there were some that I liked more than others. However, the one advantage that this has over other anthologies, is that it only has one author, and I tend to like his work! So even with the one's that I wasn't as thrilled with, they we're still pretty good stories.

There are 17 stories in this collection. Some of them are very short, and some are pretty long! My favorites were "A Museum Piece" and "The Graveyard Heart." The first one simply entertained me, and the second one had a fascinating premise to it! We've all heard stories about putting people into a sort of cold sleep - or stasis right? Well what if, instead of doing that to travel between stars or something similar, people went into cold sleep just so they could periodically come out and party? And never be younger? Eternal youth, essentially, while the world around you stares and wonders. It was a pretty interesting story, especially because it's of course much deeper than what I just shared!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm a Dork! And that's why you LOVE me :D

I love the fact that I'm finally getting strong enough that not only can I cook on a regular basis again...I can cook meals that have milk based ingredients in them! Woohoo! I've never made hamburger stroganoff for Mo before because I got sick so quickly after we got married, so I was a little nervous (you never know what he'll think) and to my delight - liked it! So did my dear friend La who came over last night :) Of course I didn't remember to pull the camera back out AFTER she got there. *rolls eyes* Here's dinner pictures though :)

The Main Course

The Sexy Cook

The Health Food

The Hubby is His Normal Spot

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee

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"Black Unicorn" is part of a series of books called "Dragonflight." Each book in the Dragonflight series is written by a different author, and dedicated to one of the major themes in fantasy. This one, obviously, deals with unicorns!

"Black Unicorn" takes a rather different approach than most to the subject of unicorns. A young girl named Tanaquil lives in in the desert with her mother, and a few servants. Her mother is a sorceress, and that can cause some rather strange circumstances at times! The tap sometimes produces flowers instead of water, random objects come to life, and some of the creatures around the castle gain extra intelligence.

One of these creatures is called a peeve, and it has fascination for bones. One day it brings a sparkly bone to Tanaquil, and she becomes utterly fascinated by it. Together the two of them search for the rest of the skeleton, unbury it, and then Tanaquil assembles it to show it's original form, a unicorn.

Through a series of entertaining circumstances, the unicorn comes back to life, and that's when things get REALLY interesting!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tacos, Butts, and the Corpse Bride

Last night I had a fantastic girls night with some of my SISTAH's! Well...and we let Gordon come along for awhile... The only proof that Gordon was that he took the only two pictures that I have! There are two more blurry pictures on facebook, but they are just of Bethie's new hair do. Anyway....

Kat, our beloved sister of the heart (and my super-secret girlfriend, don't try to figure it out, you'll get a headache) moved this fall to live at the beach and go to Bible college. I haven't gotten to see her since! We've chatted (mostly via facebook and texts) but I hadn't SEEN her! Well...she came into town AND I was feeling good so we had a girls night! And since we are super nice we let Gordon come for dinner cuz he luvs her to death as a sister too.

Here we ladies are hard at work.
Kat's on the left de-tailing shrimp.
I'm in the middle, I think I'm grating cheese at the point.
Bethie's on the right making the Lime sauce :)

Once the prep work was done and it was down to cooking up the shrimp, Kat curled up on the floor. We never did figure out why she had a sudden desire to snuggle Bethie's leg, but it was adorable so Gordon took a picture! We also never figured out why he only took butt shots (not normal) last night. I WAS planning on having him take a pic of us three girls smiling for the camera but some how it never happened...

We kicked Gordon out after dinner so we could just be girls...and we ended up curling up to watch the Corpse Bride! Love that movie :) Bethie dressed up at the Corpse Bride for Halloween this year and was absolutely loverly!

Good times we're had by all - although I think we may have traumatized Gordon just a wee bit...

And the best part? I'm a wee bit tired today...but I'm still feeling good and I was out all evening after a long day of working around the house, on business stuff, and running errands! *happy dance* I'm getting stronger and healthier!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mommy got an Xbox!

My Mommy got an Xbox! Nooo...silly...not the Gaming system. What would my MOM do with that??? Let's get real here people. No, she' got a 2006 Scion XB - which we are calling an X-Box because it looks like a box and the initials make it appropriate :P

Mommy and I outside my Apt

Side view outside my Parents House.
Isn't it Perty? (color, not style)

As you all should know by now, my Mom is super-duper talented, and I already know what I'm getting for my birthday! Why? Because she needs to fit it to me! LOL Here's my loverly purple sweater in progress :) It's farther along than this, should be done by my birthday in two weeks, bu this is the most recent pic I have. I'm so excited! As soon as its done I'll get a modeling picture for you :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

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Did you know that magic has a color? That's right! It's called "octarine" and the wizard Rincewind has always thought it looked kind of orangish-purple.

"The Colour of Magic" is the first book that Terry Pratchett wrote in his now famous Disc-world. It's not the best of his books, but if you want to start at the beginning, this is where you should go! It's broken up into four semi-independent segments; The colour of magic, the sending of eight, the lure of the wyrm, and close to the edge.

In each of the segments we follow the story of Two Flower and Rincewind as they travel around Discworld. In the first segment, the colour of magic, we meet the tourist Two Flower, the bumbling magician Rincewind, and begin to learn about how life on Discworld functions. In the second segment, the sending of eight, we learn a little bit more about the gods of Discworld, as well as the heroes. In the lure of the wyrm we see just how crazy magic can make things, and we have some fun battles with dragons! In close to the edge we learn about what life is like on the edge of discworld, and our two companions find themselves in perhaps the most dangerous fix of them all!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

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"Iron Kissed" is the third book in the "Mercy Thompson" series. Mercy is a walker, one of the rare people who can change their form between human and, in her case, coyote. She also was raised by werewolves, is friends with members of the fae, occasionally helps out vampires, and can talk to ghosts. The world that Mercy lives in is different from the one that you and I live in. In most ways its the same, but the fae have come out into the open, as have (more recently) the werewolves.

There are many different stories out there about the fae, and many of them are false or hold only a small portion of truth, but one of the one's that is true is that most of the fae can not handle the touch of iron. One of Mercy's friends is different though, he is "iron kissed" and not only can handle the touch of iron, he has an affinity for it. In fact, Zee was the original owner of the shop that Mercy now runs.

Now there's trouble among the fae and Zee's the one that has been designated to take the fall. Mercy, of course, doesn't take too kindly to this idea and begins looking into solving the crime. This pits her against some powerful fae, but Mercy always has some tricks up her sleeve, and of course she has some powerful friends of her own.

Zee tries to stop Mercy from interfering. It's not so much that he likes the idea of being the fall guy, it's more that he knows that there are some incredibly powerful forces involved, and he doesn't think Mercy is going to be able to stand up to them. Mercy is stubborn though, and when it comes to her friends, very little can keep her from giving her 100% to help them! She does find herself in quite a bit of hot water before the book is over, but in true Mercy fashion, she also finds a way out of it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In my Natural Environment

I confess, I am a crafting addict. There's no way around this truth, it's just the way it is! I usually don't take my beads along with me because the bead weaving is too easy to make a mess with. Well, I take it along to things like craft fairs, but not doctors offices where I'm going to be getting up and down, nope, that's what I take my fiber arts projects along on!

What was I doing in the doctors office this time? I'll give you a hint...look what I'm doing with the doctors stool... yah, I sprained my ankle again. I swear I wasn't doing anything I shouldn't have been either! Just walking down a flight of stairs. Not rushing either. And, fortunately, holding on to the handrail so I didn't go pitching headlong when I rolled my ankle.

I did go see the doc yesterday. Just as I thought, it's nothing serious. Just painful and making me sick to my stomach. Keeping it elevated and icing it :) I'm sure I'll be back to normal in the next few days! Hope you all are doing better than I am :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Jack Saga

As many of my friends already know, Jack, my dear laptop, has had a rough week. You see, I accidentally baptized him on Thursday. Now I believe in baptism in as Christian, but baptism for laptops...NOT a good idea!

It wasn't an intentional baptism though. I was having a rough day and I sat down too fast at my desk, slammed my knee into the leg, and over went my cup of water, right onto Jack. I grabbed it before the whole thing spilled, but it was full, so Jack still got half a cup of water all over the keyboard.

We let Jack dry out over night and then tried to turn him on. He turned on just fine, but we quickly realized that there was a short in the keyboard. We tried taking him into a repair shop, but it was going to cost an arm and a leg, way more than we can afford! So we took Jack to the Stickney men ICU and Mo and his Dad pulled him apart to figure out exactly what was going on.

It is definitely just the keyboard that's messed up, and the keyboard is terminal. We've looked to see if we can find a supplier in the US, but so far no dice. And the European suppliers want $50 to ship the keyboards here! So for now, I have a USB key board hooked up to Jack, and I'm good to go. Doesn't he look brave yet pathetic?

Yes, my desk is a total mess. Things tend to be a bit of a mess...I'm just too good at getting distracted! I try to clean up about once a week - but these last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic and I've kinda fallen behind... Once this bazaar weekend is over I plan on doing a massive overhaul of my desks :) Yes, I said desks plural. This is my work desk with my laptop and a lot of my beads, (it's a card table), I have an entire card table behind me with MORE bead stuff, tools, projects in progress, items waiting to be posted...

Ok. I'll let you go about your day and quit boring you :P

Edit: I forgot to add - the only nice thing about using a USB keyboard is that I now have a 10 key number pad again, which I've missed while having laptops for the last few years! I also get to put Jack up on top of bead box so the screen is at a better height for viewing which means that it's easier to remember to keep good posture which is good for my back!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Most of us are at least slightly familiar with the story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." You probably know that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are two personalities in one body, one evil, and the other good, but for most of us that's all we know. At least, that's all I knew!

The book, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was written by Robert Louis Stevenson, and yes, it does tell the story of two men in one body. It's actually a rather short book - which surprised me. It was interesting though!

We first meet Mr. Hyde, a man consumed by evil, as he thoughtlessly runs over a child. The incident is later reported to a friend of Dr. Jekyll's, although at that point neither of them knows who he is, or his connection to Dr. Hyde.

The atrocities caused by Mr. Hyde, and the reasons behind Dr. Jekyll's experimentation that led to Hyde's creations, are mysteries you'll have to solve by reading the book!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Princess Bride

"As you wish."

Last night I curled up on my couch with a cup of French Vanilla Coffee, my lap board with a bead weaving project, and the classic movie The Princess Bride. Now, generally, my attention is pretty divided when I'm watching things. I have a hard time sitting still and doing one thing at a time so when I'm watching tv or a movie I'm usually answering e-mail, chatting, posting to forums, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and/or who knows what else! But last night, with Jack (my lap top) out of commission I simply had my weaving as a distraction, no e-mails or forums to pull at my attention. Plus, the necklace I was working on was an extremely simple (yet beautiful) pattern so it didn't take much of my attention.

"No more rhyming now, I mean it!" "Anybody want a peanut?"

The Princess Bride has been one of my favorites for years, but my first memories of it actually are those of fear. You see, I first saw the movie when I was pretty little. I was at my cousins house. My cousins are all older than me, the youngest is only 4 months older, but her brothers range up to 5 years older than we are. I know there were movies that were "Ruthie approved," but I don't think they ever actually played them. I don't think this one was on that list, at least not at that age! Most of the movie is wonderful, but the torture scenes? It left me with nightmares for years!

"He didn't fall? Inconceivable!"
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I don't remember when I first saw the movie again as I grew older...but I do know that I fell in love with it! There are so many incredible lines in the movie, so many corny moments, so many reasons to laugh, so much adrenaline, it's so classic! No, I'm not a crazed fan. I don't know what your talking about.

"Have fun storming da castle!"

I have some bittersweet memories with this movie as well. When my Great-Grandmother slipped into a coma, and my brother had a doctors appointment that he couldn't miss, my Mom took my over to my best friend / sorta boy friend's house. We watched this movie. I took it home afterward. I watched it at least 3 times that week. We lost her that week, and I'll never forget laughing through the tears.

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Some movies, no matter how corny they are, will be favorites for ever. This is one of mine, just as I know it is for many others. What are you favorite movies?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

So Much On My Mind!

Do you ever feel like your being pulled in a million directions at once? That's exactly how I feel right now. I have so many things I want to do and I'm limited by the following factors:

1. Hours in the day
2. Energy
3. Health
4. Jack got baptized (I'll explain)
5. Probably more factors :P

I have a lot of writing I want to do, many things I'd like to share with you guys, my friends, but I'm just too busy for the next few days! I have a bazaar this weekend, so I'm rather consumed with getting ready for that. On top of that Christmas starts to draw near and I'm crafting most of my presents this year so that's helping keep me busy too!

On top of that, like I said, Jack got baptized. Jack is my laptop. Now, I know your not supposed to baptize laptops and I really did NOT mean to pour half a cup of water over him, but it happened, and it's making things even more stressful!

So what does this all mean? It means the writing is all in my head, I'll continue to dream the words, and I'll try to take the rest of my projects one day at a time :)

Oh yes, and my asthma's been worse again this week. *sigh* We're temporarily spiking my steroids and hopefully it's just a hiccup and I'll go back to getting stronger like I have been. Trying to stay positive!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DS9 - Season 4

Season 4 of DS9 starts off by adding Worf to the crew! Worf is brought to DS9 to help with the negotiations with his fellow Klingons. When Sisko learns that Worf is considering leaving Star Fleet because he feels adrift now that the Enterprise is gone, he asks him to join the team on DS9, and fortunately for all of us Worf fans, he eventually decides to stay!

Worf adds a dry sense of humor to the show that is a great contrast with Bashir and O'Brien's more boisterous attitudes. We also see a lot more Klingons in general now that he's joined the show, something we can all appreciate. Worf and Jadzia also quickly begin to form a friendship since Dax's former host, Curzon, used to be an ambassador to the Klingons.

Season 4 had a lot of episodes that were charged with emotion, and sometimes even controversy. In this season we meet Gul Dukat's daughter Ziyal. Ziyal forms a tight connection with Kira, forcing Kira and Dukat to have an uneasy truce, as they both love her dearly. We also have the infamous "lesbian kiss" episode in which Dax runs into a former lover, and discovers that the connection is still strong even though both of them are in new (and female) hosts.

The pending conflict with the Dominion is further developed in the season, first with the shocking revelation that there is a changeling on earth, serving in the government! This creates a lot of fear as people realize how deadly the changlings ability to take any form truly is. It also creates conflict as Sisko struggles to protect Earth, and its citizens (most notably his father) resist Starfleets necessary actions as invasions of their privacy.

The season ends with a shock as Odo is judged by the founders because he was forced to kill another changeling. He is the first to murder a fellow changeling in the history of their species and the punishment is severe. They turn him into a solid, effectively barring him from the Great Link, and leaving him bereft.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Look at October

October was a busy month for me - and it showed on my blog - I didn't get as many posts up as normal! It was fun month though. Well some of it was. Lots of family time - and that was a lot of fun! Getting my tooth pulled....not so much fun. So here's the wrap up of the month:

Personal Stuff:


Book Reviews:
Chalice by Robin McKinley

TV Shows


I've continued to get my book reviews written - and I think they are starting to get better (but that might be hard for you to tell because the blog is about 20 books behind me) but I haven't been getting much other writing done. This month ahead looks to be busy, and we're headed into Christmas, so who knows when I'll get back on track writing wise? Oh and did I mention I have about 5 books stacked behind me to review? :P Oh well, my jewelry comes first and will continue too, so at this rate I might not get into anymore "serious" writing until January, and I'm not going to beat myself up if that's the case!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ushering in November - and Octobers Winner!

This month's winner is Merily of Elfling Creations! Woohoo! Go Merily! I've decided that this will be the last month I run the contest on this blog, for now that is. My readership just isn't high enough and, while I'll continue to blog because I need this outlet, my focus right now needs to be on building my business and not divided into trying to build up my readership on this blog. Maybe at some point I'll be able to devote time for that, but not this month at least!