Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Perils of Vacation

3:30am--child wakes up.

Mama: "Are you sick?" *child coughs, a phlegmy, deep, rattling cough*

Child: "No."

Mama: *gets up*

Child: *crawls into mama's bed* "Mama, may I have some medicine, please?"

Mama: "Of course you can."

Child: *takes cough meds* "Thank you, mama. Merry Christmas!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Promo Queen

I can't be stopped! Behold the glory of my newest printable stationery set! I find this sort of thing fun, but also a challenge. My thoughts behind the stationery set designs: I don't want to put too much color/detail into them, so as to avoid taxing people's printers. Too much color = too much ink = expensivo.

The set contains: two folding cards (2 each in green and brown); four postcards (two each), and six gift tags (3 each).

Feedback! Give it up!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

DIY Revolution!

Join the DIY trend and print your own calendar. Designed and formatted by me, this calendar will not overload your printer. It looks best printed out on cardstock. The best part? You can print it again and again and again. How many gifts could you give, for one price? On different papers?

Also, how will you display it? Hang it from a clip (shown w/clip)? Punch a hole in it and use string? Ribbon? Will you use a decorative punch in the bottom corner? Will you cut them out with the fancy patterned scissors?

Keep looking at my Etsy site for more DIY items such as this. To come: stationery sets and more! My brain is very active right now.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am ignoring the economy, and it's a good idea. This is why: I'm starting a new business venture, in which I am publishing other's work electronically. Ebooks are becoming more and more popular, and are a viable alternative to print--so many people work from their computers, and most ebooks are sold as instant-access items.

The Association of American Publishers reports
that in October, 2008, books sales were down overall. However, this same report shows ebook sales increased by 73%. Increased! People want their books, and they want them electronically.

That's fine by me. I only sell ebooks--no print. No trees are harmed in the production of my books. No trucks used any gas to transport them. Ebooks rock! Consider making the switch for reading that you want to save--how-to nonfiction, for example.

Okay, my public service announcement is over for today.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sad times

Our kitty, Sassy, was euthanized yesterday. She was 14 years old, and declined in health rapidly over about 5 days. It's like she was okay one day, and dying the next. A bit of a shock, but not so much when you think about how old she was.

If you are in Denver, please consider making a donation, or adopting a pet from the Denver Dumb Friends League. That's where we got Sassy, 12 years ago, and that's where she was put down yesterday. The people there are so kind--I can't say enough about them.

This is the first time in 16 years that I have not had a kitty in the house. It feels strangely empty, even with two dogs.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Crafting Brings the LOLz

Stephen Colbert brings it once again.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Trial by Fire

I love Tim Ferriss, and you should too. He's written one of my favorite business books, The Four Hour Workweek, and now he's done a pilot TV show.

The concept is this: he has one week to learn a complex skill that is usually mastered in 5-20 years. He must then demonstrate said skill with some level of competence, or we all get the schadenfreude of watching him fail on television. I think it sounds interesting--it's definitely a new idea, which can't be said much about TV.

Click here to read more about it, and set your Tivo or cable reminders for the show on Thursday. Hooray!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rampant Consumerism 2: We Don't Need No Stinking Fabric

On Friday, Jeepy Grrl and Groovygrrl went shopping. We have done this for two years in a row now, and we do it to just be weird. We do want to get great deals, but we aren't willing to fight for anything. Or trample anyone. Sheesh! What were those people thinking? Were they people?

Our day started at 5:45am, at Target. There I am above, in my coat and headband. It was a cold morning. I'm showing off the map of Target that some person was handing out. I am making fun of it, as I hope is obvious--who doesn't know how to navigate an effing Target?

Well, maybe the map was given to us because one of us didn't wear a coat, and the dude thought we were out of our collective mind. Jeepy Grrl, you are crazy! Please note in pictures below that she did accept my offer of a scarf for the day.

This shot above is of the civilized crowd in Target. You can see Jeepy Grrl's head in the very back, just down and right from the "New!" sign. Oh, and ALL DAY people were saying, "She just took a picture!" To which I replied, "I'm a blogger. Let it go."

After Target we hopped over to JCPenney, for a luggage deal. We needed directions, and I looked for some help. "Oooh! Jeepy! A man in a hat! I bet he knows." He certainly did know where the luggage was, and told us. Also, cluing in to the "I'm a blogger" reference, Jeepy told him, "She's a blogger," when I pulled out my camera, and he immediately put on that big smile. Great reaction skillz! Thanks, Man in the Santa Hat!

After JCPenney, we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. There was nothing beyond what we've already seen there in our lives, so there are no photos. We were beyond hungry, and so we went to Gunther Toody's for their Big Bopper Breakfast. Above are Cora and Pixie, our servers. What a delight--they were in such good spirits to be working on such a difficult day.

Whew! After breakfast, I marveled at the back of the Jeep. Yes, the seat was down already, to hold our loot. We traveled to JoAnn fabrics, because I always like to sew something for someone during the holidays, and they always have great deals after Thanksgiving. Last year, we waited for over an hour to get the fabric cut. We suspected that would be our lot on this day, as they were on number 23 when I took my number:

Yeah, forget it. I went back the next day, and there was no line at all, with the same deals. Instead of gettting fabric, that day we wandered around the store, finding other deals. I saw this wreath, and one part of me, the Gaudy part, said to Jeepy, "Do I kinda like this?" She replied, "Oh my god, why would you?" Okay, so that's a "no." This is why we shop with friends when we have been up since 4:45am:

I didn't need any help wondering if I liked this item:

No, I find it both baffling and horrifying. Especially Santa's remark about "piles." Appropos is this final photo, the remains of the Jeep after we emptied it of our purchases:

I didn't want to ask.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An excellent point--try it out.

I recommend everyone read this blog post. It gives a wonderful perspective on marriage, and what it means, with great and powerful simplicity.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide

Just another service I provide--gift giving advice! Of course, all my advice today is coming from the premier holiday gift fair in Denver: Gifts for Yule. All photos are linked to a website, if that vendor has one. Above, we have a lovely selection of handmade dolls, all crowded into their little crib. Please note how they seem at ease with one another, even though they are all different. Republicans, take a lesson. Jennifer, your dolls are NOT ButtUglee. They're cute as anything!

Here we have a lovely selection of handmade pottery, from Julie. I am into bright colors and whimsy, in case you hadn't noticed.

Jennifer at Dizzie Izzie enhances children's clothing, to great effect:

My daughter would approve. The folks at Fancy Tiger were giving the crafty lookers something to purchase. You know you do it! You know you walk around a craft fair, thinking, "I can make that myself." Fancy Tiger dares you to do it! They make it easy for you, though. Check out the colors on these yarns:

Dia Kline is one of my favorite jewelry makers. Her line this year includes vintage-inspired luggage tags, stamped with a 100-year-old stamp, in whimsical words of her choosing. I suppose "goy" would fit me:

Dia gets two pictures, because I love her and her stuff so much. Also because she dresses up mini-mannequins to look like ancient preistesses. Gotta love that. These ladies are ready for anything:

Speaking of mannequins:

This one is in a prom dress and an Elvis bag. I secretly covet that bag, even though I'm more of a Beatles girl. Joy at Studio Bead knows how to work a display.

The cute continues with these felt sachets, filled with organic lavender from Diane's garden. Click the photo to email her:

But where are the fanciful, vintage glass ornaments, you ask? Relax! They're right here:

Willa Fuller and Todd Vadas live in Lakewood, and assemble these into bouquets for your holiday décor. Love it! Beauty!

And finally, vending next to me (along with Diane), is Phyllis Quinn. This beautiful green crystal bracelet caught my eye immediately:

Support independent businesses ths year, when shopping for gifts. It directly affects the economy, on a "main street" level. Happy holiday shopping!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Hooray! I did my radio interview. You can listen to it anytime--it's over there, on the right. Click play. Yay!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the Radio!

Is it really a radio show if it's on the Internet? Must radio waves be involved for a show to be called a "radio" show? Or is the simple fact that voices are broadcast to the world, somehow, and someone else listens---is that what makes it a radio show? What if nobody is listening?

No need to get too philosophical here. I'm a guest on a radio show, this Wednesday! Book World News! You can listen!

Go to that link to listen, live! Wednesday, November 12, at 8:30pm EST (that's 6:30pm Mountain time). While listening live, there is also the option to chat! Ah, technology.

And in this age of the Interwebs, there is no need to fret, of course, You can listen to it when the archive is posted.

Yaaay! I'm gonna talk about books! *collective audience snores*

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What? It's true, isn't it?

Hee hee hee hee heee......*snort*....chuckle chuckle....*snort*...GUFFAWGUFFAWGUFFAW....

*falls out of chair* a HEEE HEEE HEEE HEEEEE HEEE..*SNORT*....HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HAAAA......

*eyes tear up*

....aheh.....*giggle*....aheh aheh.....*snort*....hee hee hee hee HAA HAA HAA HAA HAAAAA

Oh, yeah. I needed that.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Traveling Masterpiece

This Traveling Masterpiece started with Manisha, who is a member of our NaBloWriMo group. We are sending around this piece of artwork, each of us adding a bit to it. I thought it needed some bling, so you can see my addition there. I used Prismacolor markers in the following colors:

  • Crimson Red
  • Goldenrod
  • Violet
  • Indigo Blue
  • Metallic Silver
Here is the masterpiece, ready to be handed off to Danette:

There is a golden circle in the middle of that black squiggle thing--I didn't remove that, it's just a fault of the photo. Also, I did not add white/grey sprinkler lines up the canvas--another fault of the photo.

I take faulty photos. *sigh*

Friday, November 07, 2008

Collage page on Etsy

For those who don't know about Etsy, please allow me to educate you. It's the world's largest collection of crafters, each with a shop that's available anytime, online. The interface is easy to use--browsing for items is made simple and exciting with many different ways to do it. You can browse by:
  • category
  • color
  • keyword
  • newest listed
  • seller
just to name a few ways. My favorite, ADD way to browse is "Pounce." Every time I click the button, up pop three items that just sold, along with other things in that shop for sale. Don't like those things? Click again. Click click click.

Because of the huge number of crafty people in one place, there are more than a few craft suppliers on Etsy, as well. I recently bought a kit for making 5 glass tile necklaces. Kits! Fabric! Buttons! Beads! Findings! Adhesive! Paper! It's a crafter's paradise.

Got some cash sitting in your Paypal account? Head on over to Etsy, and support independent businesses. Take The Handmade Pledge, if you want. Once you get there, it will be easy to see why you might want to.

The photo above is of my latest listing: a collage page of flower photographs. It's another way to self-publish--individual pages. That's another reason why I love Etsy--it creates an environment where technology meets creativity, and new ways to sell things happen.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Respectful of the Struggle

This is what I was trying to talk about.

Incoherent Ramblings

I have already had a conversation this morning with someone who thinks that it is bordering on racism for me to be happy for African Americans. "Be careful," I was told, "you don't want to say 'them.' "

But there is a part of me that finds it insulting to only say this is a happy day for all Americans, no matter the color. Yes, that's how America should be, but it isn't. It isn't yet, not even today it isn't.

There was yesterday, and now there is today. And I think, after everything that African Americans have struggled for in this country, that there is a great validation for their struggle. For the love of Mike, the Voting Rights Act has been in effect for only 43 years! That the Voting Rights Act had to happen is the tip of the iceberg of the struggle. Discriminatory voting practices were waged primarily against African Americans--and we're talking about murder! Legal means were needed to stop it, of course, and this was long AFTER being recognized as having the right to vote. We are talking about PEOPLE, here! One group of people with a certain skin color wanted another group of people with a different skin color to be intimidated out of voting, so they decided to murder voting activists. And far worse than that was happening for years and years. It still is happening somewhere, I'm certain.

There are people in this country who voted yesterday, who were alive before automobiles were a standard household item. Before television. Before consumer air travel. Before women were empowered with an acknowledgment of their right to vote. Before someone walked on the moon. Before space shuttles, cable tv, and the Internet. Those people have seen this country change like nobody else.

It is about time that this country has a person as president who represents the diversity of America. But I think it is insulting to the struggle of African Americans to ignore the fact that this president is representative of their cultural community. He represents them. I said it. Them.

Having said that, I know it is also true that this represents a barrier broken for all people of color. But where do the barriers stop? When will the journey toward complete representation end? This is the other side of my sentimental coin: when will there be a woman? A Native American? A homosexual? An Asian American? That is not necessarily what we are about, is it? Is it? Are we about representation of all different groups one by one? Where does the grouping end?

It is a journey. America is a very young nation. I think now that America can finally start moving in a direction of equality for all people. I think that's what this represents, and why I am so overjoyed that I'm crying. I cried last night, watching the people in Chicago react to the news. I cried listening to the speeches. I cried on the way to work today, thinking how different things can be, now. I cried thinking that children of color in America can finally, truly believe it when they are told by their parents, "You can be anything you want to be."

There was a yesterday, and now there is a today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Support independent businesses

The t-shirt above provided one of the biggest laughs I've had in a while.

Well, actually, I laughed pretty hard yesterday when Lyman informed me and Steve, "yeah, she's a special needs teacher. She has a climbing wall in her classroom."

I collapsed in laughter.

This shirt, however, also did the trick. I've linked the photo to the etsy store. Somebody, please! Support this business! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

How to Vote

Still undecided? No problem. Just go here.

Check out that sneer

Meet Sneery McGrowlypants and Manic McGee. Both are here to steal your candy on the way to the door. Sneery doesn't think much of Manny, as Manny appears too excited to eat yer Snickers. Sneery thinks Manny needs to just chill out, once. Sneery's been around this block before.

So to speak.

p.s. Sneery is "mine," as in, "That's your pumpkin, mama. The small one is mine." Manny is my daughter's, whose only direction to me was that it must have, "...scary teeth."

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Here in Amy's Sweat Shop last weekend, I got a lot done. I mentioned before that I had finished a lot of things: liquid soap, bath salts, sugar scrub, lip balm. The photo above was at the beginning of the day, when I had finished the first part. I thought they looked pretty in the sun.

Today, I'm doing a whole lotta nothing. Actually, when everyone is up, I'm going to start working on my closet. Although, I feel like I should do that when the sun goes down, because it's such a beautiful day! But this closet project is important. There will NOT be before and after photos of the closet. I am embarassed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Doing my part--public service announcement #873

Barack Obama just exhorted the American people to talk to their friends and neighbors about voting for him in 6 days. He said we can't stop getting the word out, and letting folks know about new direction, new policies, and new politics.

So I'm letting you know. Vote Obama. To do the same thing, over and over again, and expect the same result, is folly.

If you want better health care, a better economy, and better national defense policies, vote Obama.

If you want better education plans, better domestic business policies, and a better life for the middle class, vote Obama.

If you want the same shit, but a different day, don't vote.

Don't do it!

Don't drink caffeine after 6pm. Don't do it. Just don't!

Especially when you are sooooooo looking forward to a good night's sleep--the best sleep in months!

Lay off the caffeine. I'm warning you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Forget Christmas...

...or whatever winter holiday you celebrate. Right now is the most wonderful time of the year, as evidenced by my daughter's social calendar:

Oct. 17 Pumpkin Festival at school. Costumes, pumpkin launch, snacks, playing with all her friends.

Oct. 24 Halloween party at my friend Ann's. Of course, my daughter wore her costume.

Oct. 29 Trick-or-Treat party at the local alternative high school. They do it up for the neighborhood kids.

Oct. 31 Trick-or-Treat time in Boulder, on Pearl street, at 2pm, with her friend, Zoe. Then back home afterward for real trick-or-treating with her cousins, in our neighborhood.

Nov. 1 Day of the Dead party at our friend's house. They said to specifically "bring your kids."

It is a small wonder, then, that my daughter is talking in her sleep:

"...pumpkin's so big..."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two Days

I have to work two days this week, for about 14 hours each day. We have parent-teacher conferences. However, after that, I get 5 days in a row off! Mini-vacation! I will take what I can get.

Especially since my dreams about school won't stop. It is starting to get really annoying. There was a terrible dream the other day, so terrible I can't go into the details.

Over this break I'm going to clean out my closet, and catch up on some reading. Yes, I live a glamorous life, I know.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I finally made it. The last farmer's market of the season is finished. Now I only have to work two 14-hour days, and I get 5 days off for a break.

I think I'll make it.


And I'm back into the morning groove of blogging. Time to finish up my work and head out to the farmer's market.

You come, too.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Too much!

Today I made:

11 pounds of bath salts

4 pounds of sugar scrub

13 bottles of liquid soap

13 bottles of Truth Serum

30 bath fizzies

and labeled a bunch of lip balms.

And then went to a party. Now I'm back. Time for bed. Last farmer's market tomorrow!

Friday, October 24, 2008

All together now...

Tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo MORROW


I'll sleep in!


It's less than a daaay awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Dang. And this week has worked me, let me tell you. It's not done working me, as I have to drive to return a borrowed item, bottle liquid soap, and make bath fizzies tonight. Tomorrow, I have to make sugar scrub, read submissions and judge them, label lip balms, and get everything together in the car.

There's enough time. It's just a lot. We have a fun party to attend tomorrow night, though, so the weekend should be fun!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This month I've blogged a lot about my dreams. They continue to annoy me because they are almost always about school. Especially on school nights, they are about school. So, I spend the majority of my waking hours with these people, and now I have to spend my sleeping hours with them, too.

Do folks in the real world have this problem? Or do you just dream about monsters?

I talked to a friend last night. I called him, frantically, to see what had happened. Turns out a good friend of his died on Monday, which is a shame. This person was around 40 years old. Maybe not even 40. I want my friend to know that I'm here for phone calls or whatever else I can do, long-distance. I hope his dreams are benign, but even in saying that, I know they are not.

Sympathy can be difficult. It isn't as difficult as going through the real crisis, but it has its own qualities that are challenging. I know exactly what he's going through, and because of that, I can feel the pain. As a teacher, I think this is where much of my dream anxiety comes from. All teachers know exactly what those children are going through, on some level, because we've all been there. We've all been through school--plenty of school. And we are steeped in it while teaching them. We can sympathize with the children, and are sympathetic people, in general.

Right now, it's all a bit much for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have finally reached my limit. I'm at a loss for writing this morning. I'm sitting, staring at a blank page/screen place/thingy, unable to come up with a topic.

Could I blog about my teaching job? I suppose. But I feel like you've heard it all before. Okay, one comment: Teaching is difficult for many reasons, but one big reason is children go home in my head with me.

I could blog about my soap business, but you've heard it all before, right? Okay, here's something: This Sunday is the last farmer's market of the season, and I'm selling off a limited edition soap. Oh, and I'll have a fog machine.

You certainly don't want to hear about my publishing business. Do you? BO-ring! Well, if you make crafts, are crafty, and you are also a writer, I'd love to hear from you. Only writers who want to make money and have writing talent need apply. The link is to the page for my books--I'm still developing the site for the craft books. *sighs* Just email me, and I'll get you the details.

Then, of course, I could talk for hours and hours on end about my daughter. Instead of typing them, I'll let a picture say a thousand words:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

He's in the clear.

Just talked to a person in the Elections office. They haven't mailed it yet.

I think I hate him, still. At least for a while.

A good reason for divorce

He said he might have seen my ballot in the mail, but he's not sure, maybe it's around here somewehre, maybe in the garage? He doesn't know. He brought the mail in and saw something large and when he saw his mom's ballot it reminded him that he might have seen something similar in the mail for us but now he doesn't know where it is.

Pawn shop? Second-hand store?

My dream this morning was weird, again, but at least it wasn't about school. At one point I was driving on the highway, and it slowed considerably because there was some water in the road--like a water main had broken, or something. I drove over this spot twice--once going, and once coming back. But it happened right away, the going and coming back.

And I also worked in a pawn shop or second=hand store. It was a bit hard to tell. At one point, I found something in there that was a treasure--it was a video on a flash drive, sold in a case like old cassette tapes. The video was, um, "adult." Ahem ahem. And I remember thinking, "why is something this technologically forward being sold here?"

Okay, what does all this mean? My dreams just keep getting weirder.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More dreams

Just because it's been a while since I told you about them, don't think that my wacky dreams have stopped. They have gotten wackier! I dreamed yesterday that I was fired from my teaching job for no reason, and it took me half the day to get over the feeling of terror.

Then this morning, I was dreaming about school again, too. But the dream has faded. I need to blog about it immediately upon rising, I guess, to get some analysis. And now this irks me! It was a wild and wacky dream, but it's gone now.

I need some coffee.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

omg almost missed it!

I almost missed blogging today! It's 9:15pm, and I just remembered to blog. This weekend was incredibly busy, to follow an incredibly busy week.

Friday after school, we participated in my daughter's schools' Fall Festival. Costumes, snacks, games, and a smash-the-pumkin launch.

Saturday was the last farmer's market, which my husband worked, and I took my daughter to a fairy tea party at a friend's house in Boulder. 4 little girls will wear you out, lemme tell you.

Then today, I had to work the farmer's market, do my retail taxes afterward, then take my daughter to speech therapy. I took her out to eat after that, came home, and announced I was no longer available for comment.

Tomorrow, I'm going to work one job, and that's it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Catching Up

This past week, I made 3 x 84 bars of soap. *calculates rapidly in head* That's 252 bars of soap. And I'm STILL not caught up! My Macho Man is low, and my shampoos are almost gone, and my spa soap is almost out, as well! Time to make the doughnuts..uh...soap.

Today is the last Saturday farmer's market for us, which excites me to no end. I can FINALLY sleep in on Saturdays! These work weeks have been killing me, so I need Saturday to sleep. But I got up only one hour past my normal rising time, to help my husband get ready to go to the market. I suppose it's a small price to pay for not having to work the market myself. But I really, really want to sleep!

In any case, I'm catching up on my reading this morning. And drinking coffee. Give me an IM buzz if you're around!

Friday, October 17, 2008

More McCain Supporters

I find it interesting that these people are interviewing with Al Jazeera television, and are talking about how scared they are of the scary black Muslim, Barack Obama. *sighs*

Lots of *sighs* today, I guess.

Cop out blog

This is my cop-out blog post. I'm running late for work. I might find time after work to blog "for the reals," as the kids say.

*sighs* The kids really say that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I work with a staunch Native American supporter. Yesterday at lunch, we were talking about the noise level for passing period during one of our classes (we are teaching, others are passing). I said, "By the time they get to our end of the hall, they are a pack of screaming banshees."

At which point my friend corrected me, asking that I not use words that might offend a group of people. Of course, I apologized immediately, not wanting to offend anyone, but added, "I thought it was a mythical creature, not a group of people." She said that may be the case, she was just sensitive to it. No problem.

But it bugged me all day, because I don't want to use phrases in my regular lexicon that are offensive. Turns out I'm in the clear:


banshee |ˈban sh ē|
(in Irish legend) a female spirit whose wailing warns of an impending death in a house : the little girl dropped her ice cream and began to howl like a banshee | [as adj. ] a horrible banshee wail.

*sigh of relief*
ORIGIN late 17th cent.: from Irish bean sídhe, from Old Irish ben síde ‘woman of the fairies.’

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is a tiny glimpse into how I think. I do have a few moments of clarity, every once in a while. This was my train of thought:

  • Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to be self-employed, as a publisher. I could live in the country.
  • *imagines* Sitting out on the patio, watching the chickens.
  • I'd get bored pretty quickly.
  • But I'd have time to do all the crafty things I want to learn how to do.
  • Then I could write books for them, and sell them on my site that makes me self-employed.
  • I've always been a know-it-all.
It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion. 39 years, 8 months, 15 days and 4 hours. Not to put too fine a point on it.

Why couldn't I have been one of those people who GETS IT who GETS LIFE AND KNOWS what they want to do from the beginning? Why am I so slow?


Every year, I do a post that says "halfway!" That's because we are halfway there for nablowrimo. Head on over to read about great Indian food, gardening, bread baking, and random exploits (this blog is a "random exploit" blog, for certain).

Today, to celebrate me actuallly following through with my soapmaking plans for this week, I am meeting a friend who is going to re-teach me how to knit. She teaches knitting at Fancy Tiger here in Denver, and is a soap customer of mine. I'm buying coffee, she's teaching me knitting, and we'll chat. Socialization! Who knew?

Don't forget to watch the debates tonight! It'll be your last chance to watch McCain call you his friend ("my friends") and stumble around economy questions before election day! Gobama! Gobiden!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

OMG, I feel so much better

I never thought that Madonna, of ALL PEOPLE, would help me to feel better today. So often, women are bombarded with images of beauty that are unattainable because they are created in a computer. Aging happens, and with that comes facial hair, people.

I am not immune to this, although I have been for a very long time. I am quite hairless, and I need to remind myself that many many beautiful women have facial hair. So then I deal with it.

But it's been bothering me lately (and I know it bothers only me, because I have to get so damned close to the mirror to see it). I wax my face! There, I admitted it.

Well, I'm not the only one who has facial hair, and bless Madonna's heart for going out without waxing. I have always loved her, and I find her both conventionally and unconventionally beautiful. Today, I find her thrilling.

PSA #1537

It's that time of year again--to start thinking about how you are going to come visit me at the ONE craft fair that I do! It's a fancy one, and this year, it's moved to the Phipps Tennis Pavilion.
Shmaaaaaaaaaan-cy! I just want to hang out in that neighborhood for one weekend--maybe the wealth will rub off!

Click the cartoon lady and mark your calendar!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Daily Grind

I wish that my life were like an independent coffee shop, named "The Daily Grind." I'm sure there is one out there, somewhere. I wish that, instead of the actual, straight-up interpretation of my schedule, it was a cute little joke.

"Oh, no, no, no! No, I don't actually have to get up at 5:15am each morning, to get ready to leave the house and spend it with several hundred adolescents! Gracious, no. I just like folks to have that idea of me, because it's glamorous. Actually, I'm self-employed, and I sit at my computer, writing, reading, and publishing. I drink coffee in the morning, and often go out to meet a friend at a coffee shop. No, sorry. My life is so boring! I wish it was that glamorous! Who gets up at 5:15???"


Sunday, October 12, 2008

So cold!

My day:

7:00am Get up.
7:15am Make tea. Drink tea.
7:30am Realize I haven't labeled the bath salts. Cuss.
7:45am Finish labeling salts and leave the house.
7:50am Arrive at Starbucks for hot chai and change for my money box.
8:00am Arrive at farmer's market. Unload vehicle. Park vehicle.
8:15am Move all my stuff across the street, because so many vendors are absent today. Set up.
9:00am Continue setting up and chatting with Larry, because it's gonna be a sloooooow day.
9:15am First customer buys 25 soaps. I refrain from complaining for the remainder of the market.
9:30am - 1pm Stand around my tent, talking to Larry and Rick (who canes chairs), and selling stuff.
1:15pm Load car and drive out.
1:30pm Unload car in garage.
1:45pm Drive 20 miles to pick up daughter.
2:30pm Drive back to Costco. Get pizza, milk, bread, and eggs.
3:15pm Fill car up w/gas at Costco.
3:30pm Drive home. Unload car in the rain, from the street, because husband's friends are parked in the driveway.
3:45pm Bake pizza
4:00pm Collapse.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Jaundiced Eye

From The Huffington Post article about troopergate:

"I think there are some problems in this report," said Republican state Sen. Gary Stevens, a member of the panel. "I would encourage people to be very cautious, to look at this with a jaundiced eye."

He's encouraging us to look at the report on Sarah Palin's abuse of power with a jaundiced eye? He's encouraging us to be, "...affected by bitterness, resentment, or envy," [OED] while reading that report?

Um...okay. *makes herself bitter and resentful, and super jealous*

I'm ready to read it now.

Fall Has Arrived

And I took the day off! Officially! I woke up early, but I made myself stay in bed for a while. I actually thought, "I could get up, and then take a nap later," and my head almost exploded. Stay in bed!

So I did. I rolled out at 7:30am, straight into a hot bath. Aaaaah. I recommend starting cool fall days like this.

Our mini pumpkins! We have three. Above is the one that's almost ripe...

...and here are a couple that need to catch up. Halloween is in a couple of weeks, guys!

Friday, October 10, 2008


It's finally Friday! All I have to do is get through the next 9 hours, and I can relax.


OH! I crack myself up. Relax? What's that? I have so much soapy/producty stuff to do, that statement above is hilarious.

The weather is changing here, for the better, in my opinion. It's much cooler, but the sun is still out. Autumn is the best season everywhere, I think, but October in Colorado is particularly nice.

I'm off to get dressed and get myself a big fat Friday coffee. *yawns*

The Sidewalk to Nowhere, McCain Supporters in Bethlehem, PA

These are the people who will vote for McCain. I think the most telling point is when an Obama supporter across the street asks about Palin requiring women to pay for their own rape kits, and what should have happened to his friend who was raped? The McCain supporter replies, "She should have died," and then, "She should be charged twice." These types of people probably live next door to you. Are you afraid yet?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Funny funny!

Click here for the political funny.

So very, very tired.

School is so busy, and then work at home is so busy, that the days are flying by, and I have a bit of a crazy feeling. There aren't enough hours in the work day to get everything done, but I'm not letting that stress me out--if it doesn't get done today, then I'll do it tomorrow.

I have three weeks left of farmer's markets, which is part of the pressure. I'm out of several things, and I've been working at night to catch up. This drains me. Having to get up so early to go to work drains me, as well.

I think I should get a Starbucks coffee this morning, to help manage this. I have a bit of a stunned look on my face right now. Of course, it's early.

Oh, man, and my dreams? Wacky! Really, really strange stuff. What's up with that?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I get up at 5:15am for fun

I really do--I blog in the morning, before school. The house is quiet, I can think (albeit not always perfectly clearly), and.....zzzzzzzzzzzz.

*head snaps up* Whazzat?

I thought as I got out of bed this morning, "You are getting out of bed for fun. You are getting out of bed to blog. What's wrong with you?" Because the past few years of my life, if I had to get out of bed at 5:15am, it was to go to work early, because I was so behind, because I was so overworked, etc. etc. etc. Let me tell you, it's harder to get out of bed when you are looking forward to that.

I'm not even getting paid to blog, and I'll get up to do this challenge. What does this say about me? I think it means that I need a balance in my life--more fun, less work. Just like my friend Kenny, who gets up at 4am to go fishing on a weekend. He does it because it's fun! "I can't get up any later than that--the fish will have all moved on. They're biting in the early morning, and that's what makes it fun!"

Biting, indeed. I'm not fishing, but this is hilarious to me. It's hilarious that my life has changed even a little bit, so that I can find fun in writing. As such, I started research yesterday on a new book. That's two books I'm working on right now.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Keith Olberman is my hero

I love this man!

Better this time around

Wicked nunchuck skills may be an asset when attending school. Wearing a t-shirt that proclaims it? Definitely an asset.

School is a wild place before any behavior even happens. Middle school and high school are especially wild and weird. Let's pile all of the children of wacked-out hormonal age in one building, and teach 'em something.

The smartest of them quickly learn that they are being taught how to manage themselves in the world, and not necessarily how to read and write. It's a survival strategy. These smartypants kiddos do funny things, and they often make teaching some kind of fun. I know of children that have:

  • worn the above t-shirt
  • worn pigtails and Converse All-Stars, because I was, too
  • worn pajamas to school
  • named friend Steve's stapler ("Sprinkles")
I know you have hilarious stories from high school. Think back, and let us know.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I have decided to purchase an iPhone. My current plan runs out very soon, as I am month-to-month. I am going to quit it on the day before it's up, or two days, and transfer over my phone number.

This is so wonderfully insane to me.

Since it first came out, I have wanted an iPhone. The first ones were too expensive, however. They are still expensive, but they have dropped the price IF you buy the 2-year cell phone plan. This is how all cell phone plans work, really--that's how you got that phone for "free." They got you to do their phone plan for two years.

But I digress.

This is wonderfully insane to me because I don't buy things for myself. I buy things, but they are all practical, generally: groceries for my family, gas for the car, supplies for the soap business, shoes for my daughter. I don't "shop." And I certainly don't spend enough time relaxing--all of my time is taken. If you want to see me, schedule it. I'm happy to socialize, but we have to schedule it.

I've talked to friends who go with AT&T for their cell phones, and they are quite happy with it. I've had one friend tell me not to go with them because they were uncooperative when she tried to cancel. My longing for this toy overrides a lot.


Why is it so hard for me to do something nice for myself? Why do I have to blog about a purchase?

Sunday, October 05, 2008


On Saturday, I took my daughter to the Denver Urban Farm. What a great place! They give horse riding lessons, have a vegetable garden with an area for birthday parties, and lots of animules. Allow me to illustrate:

We were surrounded by these little goats almost instantly! They swarmed around us, presumably begging for treats. Alas, we had none. We could pet them, though.

This horse let us pet his nose. So pretty.

The llama with the buck teeth seemed to say, "Eh, what ewld chap? Did I hear you say my name? Bring me some tea, post haste! and an orthodondist, what?"

More goaty-goats, being fed bits of hay. My daughter had a fantastic time. Around every bend there was a different animal.

These inquisitive turkeys pecked my daughter's hand on the fence! Not hard--just enough to teach her a lesson about not having treats, I think.

This lovely hen is called a Barred Rock. I know this from my small amount of research into keeping backyard chickens. I thought she was so pretty, rustling about in the morning glories.

And here is Señor Roosterpants, who crowed constantly, and lunged at us every chance he got. Look at the green shine on his black feathers. He thinks he's cock of the walk.

Sheepy McCuterson seems to be saying, "Take my photo, dahling. I geeve of myself to you." Ahn.

Here's that Barred Rock hen again. Isn't she just delightful? I love chickens.

Aaand, here we have Mr. Bill trying to climb the fence as a hoofed mammal, and Lady Alpaca, blinking her eyelashes at us, as if that would help. It did not. Sorry! We were here to exploit your beauty.

Time to go! See you next time, animules!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

More dreams

So, things are going well at work. I thought they were, anyway. So why am I having dreams about school (this happens to all teachers, all the time--don't fret), that turn into nightmares?

Not only nightmares, but it was like a horror movie, and I was in it. There was a weird house, and a person in a cage, and another person yelling at me about someone else who had multiple bones in his skull (no explanation--it's a dream. I didn't get an explanation, either). The screamer looked like Angelina Jolie. In costume for a movie.

*shakes head to clear it*

And the person in the cage was yelling, and it wasn't really a cage, but one of those old, dungeon-like doors made of wood with a small, barred window, and the door was on a very small room. More like a closet. That person, a man, was yelling at me that he wanted out, and I was running around this house, trying to get away from the scary people, and trying to save the man in the cage, and my feelings were of terror.


And now that I'm thinking about it, it becomes clear to me, because the face of the man is one of my students at school (not a man, but a boy), and he's in a cage, hollering at me to save him. No surprise, there. I'm his teacher, and in real life, he does need some saving. Scary bone woman, telling me about someone with multiple bones in his skull? I don't quite know who that is, but she was ordering me around, and I couldn't save the man because of it. She represents the extraneous stuff I have to do that hinders me from my job of saving children from their own lives.

It's 8:30am on a Saturday, and already I need a drink. It's not often I wake up cold, sweating, and shaking.

Friday, October 03, 2008

She blows! She blows hard!

This is what I saw last night. How about you?

Sarah Palin is a Sound Bite Robot

So I had to start drinking during the debate last night. She drove me to drink. Laura and I were both online, and chatting via Gmail. These were the rules, made up as we went along, for our drinking game:

Take a drink every time Palin said:

"eye rack" (Iraq)



or said/did anything "folksy." (ended an -ing word with -in', winked at the camera!, etc.)

I almost passed out when the moderator asked a question about nuclear weapons. So here I am, off to work at 6:00am. I think I'll get an extra shot in my coffee today.

Shot of espresso. ESPRESSO.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

On Love

I propose that we all just take a deep breath and realize that love is all around us, inside us, and a part of our soul, our being, our breath itself.

Love is not as complicated as humans want to make it. It really isn't. When it comes down to it, love is this:

When I'm with you, I'm happy, and when I'm not with you, I'm sad.

For me, this is enough. Think about it. There are people who don't really make me happy when I'm with them. I'm not sad to leave them. I don't love them. These people include (but are not limited to) most of my coworkers, people who work in grocery stores, and people who take political polls with clipboards.

Then, there are people who make me really happy. I look forward to seeing them, and even more, being in the same room with them. When I part company with them, my heart sinks inside me, and I begin to pine. These people include (but are not limited to) my daughter, my husband, my dear friends, and my parents.

I do not make distinctions between "loving" and "being in love with." All love is the same to me. Heartbreak is a natural event, caused by a lack of proximity to loved ones. It is a condition that should be taken seriously--people have died from it. Heartbreak and love are two sides of the same coin.

Be brave, friend, and stop avoiding love. The benefits far outweigh the heartbreak. I know because I am one who lives within a sphere of love--I cannot live otherwise. My heartbreak lives with me every day, but it is also what can keep me going.

I know you, friend, and love you, and you deserve love.

So I analyzed it

Here's my dream analysis, thanks to Dream Moods:

The kissing just means that I respect and adore that person. This is not news to me.

Here are the aspects of the other dream:

Necklace: it represents unsatisfied desires, particularly regarding my influence and power over others. It also highlights my intellect.

Velvet: distinction and honor, sensuality and emotions

Vines: ambitious thoughts/ideas

Diamonds: the wholeness of Self, finding clarity in matters that have previously been obscured, might point to my unyielding nature

Famous people: indicates an increase to my prosperity and honor


I want to use my intellect to influence others. My plan to do this is ambitious, but will lead to financial prosperity, as well as self-actualization.

Well, now, that was simple, wasn't it?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I don't often remember my dreams. This is the dream I woke up to on Tuesday:

...I was walking into the Pepsi Center, but it wasn't the Pepsi Center--more like a huge tent outside of it. Everything was distorted, as my dreams tend to be. I was walking around with Kira, and all of a sudden we were backstage. Very glad to see us, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss waved and said hello. One of them gave me a piece of jewelry--a necklace that had a pendant that was almost a collar--it was worked metal, with diamonds in it here and there; the metal looked like thickened, stylized vines. The ends of this metal piece were attached to a thick, black velvet cord. Someone tied it around my neck, and I was wearing it proudly. Kira was with me this whole time we circulated backstage at a Kiss concert. ...

Well, I didn't wake up to that one. First, I woke up to a kissing dream. Actual kissing, not the band. No, I wasn't kissing the band, either. It was cool to remember two dreams, though.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Your Saturday diversion. I recommend the Knudsen's book--particularly the "Mashed Potato Surprise."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Oxford Project--in stores now!

It's here! The Oxford Project, an experiment in art, photography, and humanity, is available in bookstores everywhere. In 1984, Peter Feldstein set out to photograph every resident of Oxford, Iowa, and display the photos. He did so, and put the slides away.

In 2005, he set out to do it again. This book shows the residents 20 years apart, along with text that tells their story, in their words. It is a reminder to everyone that, no matter where you are from or who you are, we are all just people, trying to live our lives. Our troubles are all shared, and everyone is going through a great struggle.

In New York City. In Memphis. In Springfield. And in Oxford, Iowa.

Go buy it, if you know what's good for your soul. If you can't afford it, demand your library purchase it. It's a glimpse into yourself.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Why on earth would a person who hates children, loathes children, despises children...why would this person work in a public school? I haven't heard one positive comment come out of her mouth since school started, and her worst vitriol is for children.

Why does she keep showing up?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cross Your Fingers

Today, I submitted my newest book, Best Soap Recipes, for an Eppie award! EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection) sponsors the Eppie awards each year, to recognize the best in electronic publishing.

Well, why not me? They have a category for "Non-Fiction, General," and my book is published electronically, so there you go. Entered!

I'll let you know how it turns out. The convention is in Las Vegas this time around, I think. Maybe I'll go in any case. How bad can a trip to Vegas in March be?

You must go here.

Here! Here is where you will find the people who are outraged by Sarah Palin's nomination. Here is where you will see the truth of what women in America think. Go!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Call for Submissions!

Paper Bag Press is a new online erotica shop. Only the highest-quality, erotic short stories will be allowed to grace your eyes. But first, the shop needs your stories.

Do you write erotic fiction? Maybe you write fiction, but need some money. Maybe you write nonfiction, but the only fiction that you write well is erotica. Maybe you've got some stories in a drawer somewhere, and you've been meaning to submit them for publication somewhere, but you never got around to it, because all the other sites only take novel-length romantic stuff.

Now is the time to get around to it. We want the sex.

Submit your best erotic short stories, and cross your fingers. The first 25 stories that are published will receive a 5% royalty bonus! All stories will be sold online, as electronic downloads. This saves trees, and gets your story published quicker. It also allows you to make money quicker. Print books may be in the future, as this is a new venture, but for now, online will be the way it goes.

How short is short erotica? What will they accept or not? When, oh when will that woman get back to me? I submitted my story yesterday!

All of these questions are answered at the newest purveyor of the highest-quality erotica on the planet. Hurry--go visit now. Type up those stories and submit them! Submit, I say!

Second picture of the day

Absinthe is a trip. Don't drink too much!

Picture of the day

They are just recognizable enough, no? I love it. Click on the photo to see it larger.