Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Winds Are Blowin'


The wind is blowing heavily here.

I just returned from a lunch break to find a fellow J-Lander lost his spiritual father.  If you have a moment, please stop by Charley's.

Angel Mother

All that I am...

Another of my photos from last year (April 2005)...this time with feeling.  Rapidly becoming my favorite.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I love PSP9

All nature is...

Emperor Tulip from last spring, brought back to life; yet another willing subject affected by me and the power to create with Paint Shop Pro 9.     I'm very pleased with the frame I made but can't quite figure out what's up with the thin white line down the inside right side of the frame.  Or is it just me?


~ Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.  --Dodie Smith ~

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Laying the Italian...


Gotcha!  Made you look, didn't I?  Ha!

Okay, so Sam and I spent the better part of yesterday getting the kitchen and dining room floor prepped for the new tile.  And last night our bodies reminded both of us we are no spring chickens!!!!!  Oh, those old bones!  Those nagging old bones are slowing us down.  It was a lot of work and after removing the second flooring we both decided to just leave the original and build on top of it.  There are many photos, so I made a couple of collages to document our progress so far.


We didn't get the tiles laid yet.  So far we are just testing the size to determine the best way to lay the first tile.

Secretly, I think Sam enjoys these projects since it gives him a chance to whip out his immense supply of tools, most of which I (and the girls) have purchased for him.  It's times like this that I think maybe I should invest in Makita and DeWalt stock.  LOL!  I even got to whip out my little drill to remove some the old screws.  Yea!!!

Today, we move on to the kitchen area which means the stove and refrigerator are going back to the dining room, again.  Time to tear up the old lino and get the rest of the Hardi-backer installed.

I'll be back...


Easy - #37

Sometimes during my journal hopping I can't help but notice how some journals here in J-Land are filled to the brim with comments, while others are sprinkled with a handful of thoughtful observations.  And it got me thinking...

Tell me...

Are you comfortable surrounding yourself with a large circle of people whom you don't really know with only one or two core people you consider your closest friends, or do you prefer a small circle of your closest friends all of whom you know and trust implicitly, or are you somewhere in the middle?

Friends are a wonderful gift, and I definitely lean toward the smaller circle with an open door to allow new people in...but I have been known to close that door at times.  Maybe even slam it.  I am very independent, raised by a woman who believed I needed to be my own best friend to survive this life.  Throughout my life I have always preferred to spend my time with small close-knit groups and this has spread into my work life as well.  Looking back on my career I was found within a small company with less than 50 employees more often than not; time spent working for a large company, 100+ employees, was always short-lived.  Interacting within a small group just seems to work best for me.

That's me, what about you?

Answers - Easy #36

We are the children of our landscape.  -Lawrence Durrell

Thanks ladies for playing along with me.  Here are the responses to >last weeks question<.

The music of Neil Diamond carries memories of moments with her mom for >Robin<.

Spirit in the Sky reminds >Lelly< of the day she received the type of phone call no one is ever prepared to receive.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's Just My Nature

We can never

This has always been one of my favorite photos of the Clearwater River.  I love the colors, the energy, the clarity, the textures...and the peacefulness.  I could easily just sit and stare at this image.  I can hear the sound of the river, smell the sweet fresh air, tinged with just a hint of some distant campfire.  This is also one of my favorite huckleberry picking places.

Friday, February 24, 2006


The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.  ~Virginia Woolf

More fun with Paint Shop Pro!  Except I forgot to watermark it.

Sometimes I wish I had more time to spend wandering around J-Land but then I remember that saying 'Be careful what you wish for...' and I realize with my luck that will be the one wish that does come true which means I'd lose my job and I really don't want to lose that so I'll just be happy with the J-Land time I do have.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Robin!!!!



Couldn't decide which graphic to use :).   That's what happens when you get older, decisions that were once simple become much more complex.

Have you reached the point where you walk into a room for something, then can't remember what it was?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot - Stars

Wow, >John< just had a stellar idea for a photo shoot:

Your Monday Photos Shoot: Take a picture (or find a picture) of something with stars -- the "twinkle, twinkle" kind, not the "famous people" kind. However, they don't have to be real stars: Fake stars -- like the ones on Christmas trees, on neon signs or on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are just fine, too.

Okey dokey John.  Here are mine.  A Christmas gift to Sam from my sister Chris and her husband Vic the year before Vic retired from a 20 year career in the Air Force.  I thought the flag was in back wards, but Vic tells me no, that is the correct way to display the American flag in a box.

Something from my crafty side.

Other than the flag, at first I didn't think I had anything else with stars on it.  Pleasant surprises at hand today.


Monday, February 20, 2006

The 3 D's of home improvement: designs, delays, and dollars

* * * WARNING!!!!  Long winded journal entry.  WARNING!!!! * * *

I am so excited!!! The kitchen facelift project is in the home stretch and now I can actually see the reward of our efforts.  We started this project a year ago with the wall paper and that's as far as we got  (yes...a year ago...click >here<).  Then the 30 year old redwood deck outside had to be replaced when it became a bit of a safety hazard; nails popping out of the deck boards, weak railings, rotting wood, stuff like that.  Sam spent the entire summer rebuilding the deck after work and on weekends, so the kitchen project was put on hold.  Summer ends, outdoor deck is nearly complete, cold weather sets in.  Back to the kitchen project...almost.  Had to put it on hold again because the counter top installer had several huge projects going on that kept him busy until after the holidays.  I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get this finished.  Finally, it's almost done!!!!  Good thing we didn't sign up for HGTV Weekend Warriors show or we would be in serious trouble.  LOL!




For the past two weeks I've been without a stove and a sink while Sam built the decks for the new countertops.  My frig and stove were in my dining room, my dining room has been in my living room; the frig we could plug in but not the stove.  Meals either had to be cold, take out, or microwaved and that gets old, real fast.  Had to bring my camping wash tubs in to wash silverware because we ran out a couple of times.  You never realize how much you miss those little things until those things are not there for you.  Good thing I'm a patient person, but there for a while my patience was rapidly declining.

Got the counter tops installed finally and this weekend we...er, Sam, installed the new sink and faucet.  We visited Home Depot to get all the plumbing materials on Saturday; I comment that while we are at it, maybe we should replace the Insinkerator too.  Sam disagrees...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Arrive home and Sam begins.  He installed the sink and faucet, then got the 25+ year old Insinkerator reinstalled, and started putting in the pipes.  Run into problem with pipes, pull out the Insinkerator to McGuiver things a bit and make a....interesting...discovery.  Apparently the tubing that flows out of the unit has collapsed, and the pipe is pert near plugged.






Back to Home Depot to purchase a new Insinkerator.  I don't say a word.

Time for the reveal.  I thought about waiting until we replace the flooring, but I can't.  I'm just too excited and I have to put it in my journal...now!

THE IDEA:  Old world tuscany meets Idaho bistro

THE INSPIRATION: Artwork by Jennifer Garant (I love her work)



THE DESIGN: Then and now




Countertop (top), facing and back splash (bottom):

New sink (80% granite, made in England) and faucet (made in Italy).

Sam was a bit reluctant to get a new dining set, and had a year to see that the colonial american table and chairs we had didn't do much for the Tuscany feel.  He surprised me a month ago when he suggested we 'look' at some tables and chairs.  A couple of days later, we had a new dining table and chairs.  Slate with distressed wood and iron.  The manufacturer of these pieces makes replicas of antiques.  We were set on getting a rectangular table with leaves, but after seeing this piece Sam and I both reconsidered.  It fits perfectly with the tuscany bistro theme.  The oldest daughter got the old dining set (with four leaves) and chairs since Thanksgiving is now celebrated at her home and she needs a big table to seat everyone.  See how that worked out, for everyone?

The new flooring to be laid this weekend.  Italian ceramic tile, perfect for my old world italian design.

What a Valentine's Day present!

I find it very interesting how the dark wood finish of the cabinets now seems lighter.

Funny thing, every time I see that red pancake compressor (in the first photo) I have to smile.  I purchased that compressor as a Christmas gift for Sam acouple of years ago.  Right after Christmas his mom asked me what I gave him, soI told her.  She then remarked that it must make really good pancakes.

Maybe I'll invite her over for some pancakes in my new kitchen.


Speaking of Italian, what about those two Olympic ice dancers!  She could keep that whole arena frozen, all by herself.  It wasn't entirely his fault they fell; he probably couldn't breathe from that stranglehold she had on him just before they collapsed. 


Oh, I stand corrected.  She warmed back up.


~~Good things come to she who waits.~~  True, since I've been waiting 14 years to change this kitchen.  :)

Easy #36

Finished my 'Easy' graphic yesterday. Been super busy but more on that later. Time for this weeks question.

Tell me...

Experts say memories can be triggered by our senses, particularly sight, smell and sound. Does music have that effect on you? What song or songs always take you back to an era or a specific memory in your life?  Can you link a song to a specific moment in time?

There are many and my list could go on and on, but these are my top 5:

Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones - sitting with my sister Lyn in the back seat of our silver 1963 Chevy Impala driving home from a Sunday grocery shopping trip to Von's in Sepulveda, California and wondering what the heck he was singing about.

The Candy Man by Sammy Davis, Jr. - baby sitting my two younger sisters, who were always fighting with each other; I'd crank up the stereo volume, dance around the house singing that song at the top of my lungs with hopes of making them quit fighting...it always worked and soon they would both join in my silly reverie. :)

Dream Weaver by Gary Wright - sitting in my bedroom in the cold basement writing poetry.

Kyrie by Mister Mister - driving in a blizzard on Interstate 5 in southern Oregon all alone in the middle of the night.

Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood - sitting at work listening to the radio and hearing the D.J. announce that song is #1 on the charts; then smiling with the thought that society has not gone completely over the edge. People can say they are offended by prayer in school, religious monuments in public places and the words 'Under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance. They can try to remove these symbols from my life. They can complain all they want because the rest of us have spoken, loud and clear, and the antagonists can't remove that song from the radio or television air waves.

So, what about you? Which songs carry a specific memory, old or new? Post your answers in your journal, then leave me a link to your entry in the comments below.  I'll post your answers later this week. This should be interesting!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Fiver - 2/17/06

Hi guys!!! 

It's Friday and it is time for what Robin calls "THE 5'er!"


If you want to play all you do is visit >this entry< in Robin's journal.

This week's theme is "survival" ... one of Robin's favorite shows on tv is Survivor....and she wants to see how I would do on an island.

1.  If you were to be stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take three things with you what would you take?

I would take Sam, a book on survival, and a cook pot.


2.  How long do you think you could survive on that island?

Mentally quite a while, physically is anyone's guess!


3. Do you think you could survive longer if you had someone else with you? Who would that someone else be?

Definitely with someone else, definitely Sam.  He's an excellent provider, an avid outdoorsman, and one heck of a handyman...in fact, he's often been called 'McGuiver.'

4.  Food hasn't been found yet...would you eat bugs to fight off your hunger?

If I had to, yes.  Protein is protein.

5.  What is the one thing that would be the hardest to live without on that island?

The warmth and comfort of my home. 


Bonus question!!

Who is the one person you would HATE to be stranded with??

Any lazy, whiney-assed crybaby, cronic complainer, over opinionated person who thinks they are the center of the universe.  Forgiveness only goes so far, and tolerance can only last so long.

Answers - Easy #35

When I was writing >my Easy entry< visions of Snoopy kept running through my mind.  Memories of a hundred 'Happiness is...' posters skimmed across my heart.  Remember those?  Anyone?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the entries and now I say it is finding happiness in others.  Each one of the entries had the same common thread woven through it...happiness is found within; each author expressed happiness is found in their faith.  Amen to that.

For >
Christy<, she has let go and let God.  Not an easy thing to do, but the payoffs are hugely fulfilling.

Lelly< is content to find herself in those moments were peace silently slips in and makes itself at home.

Karen< always takes time to stop and absorb the tranquility around her knowing she can carry a bit of it with her through her days.

Thank you ladies for taking time to share these things with J-Land.  Excellent reads!

For Mary

Mary (View From A Farm House Window) recently lost a true friend. This is for her.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.  There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.  There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.  Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Thursday, February 16, 2006


It has been one of those weeks.  'Puter's been on the fritz, testing every ounce of patience I possess.  Got some rather unsettling news early in the week...news that has me praying for a positive outcome.  I've been tinkering with my photographs, losing track of time, grappling with my thoughts and concerns.  As I result of this escape, I created something.  So, this is for you, Chris and Vic...until the good news is delivered...keep hope alive.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Thought for the Day

If everybody thought before they spoke, the silence would be deafening.

Easy #35

Easy...like Sunday morning!

Been working on a graphic for the Sunday Easy entries, so I've been a bit absent.  But earlier today I was surfing around and came across a journaler who had Pink's video 'Stupid Girls' playing.  I watched the video (for the first time ever), read the author's entry and comments, went off-line and headed downstairs to the laundry room.  And I got to thinking...

Tell me...

What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness is being who I am, and accepting that. 
It's waking up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning, and going to bed on the right side that night. 
It's smiling at the sight of a dog sitting on the passenger seat of a vehicle, eyes forward...almost human-like. 
It's knowing that bends in the road are placed there for a reason and I will find a way through the turn. 
It's the smile on a baby's face and the sound of a child's laughter. 
It's knowing I have what I need, within. 
It's the sound of a cat or kitten purring on my lap.  
It's creating memories with family, friends and even strangers...who later become friends.
It's giving and receiving hugs. 
It's taking a minute or two each day to do nothing at all, except maybe daydream a bit. 
It's knowing all the love I lost in my youth wasn't really mine, because I have my love today. 
It's connecting with a stranger and immediately sharing common ground. 
It's knowing that some days will be better than others, and some days are going to be shit, that's why it's called life. 
It's accepting the fact that not all dreams come true, and sometimes it's for the best. 
It's sitting by a campfire on a cool night, roasting hot dogs, making s'mores, or just staring into the flames. 

It can't be bought or sold, traded or stolen, fabricated or imagined, possessed or acquired or even manipulated; it can only be found within. 

Now, it's your turn.  I want to know what happiness is to you.  Tell me, then I'll post the answers by next Saturday.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Where in the world...

Okay, so my curiousity finally got the best of me. Where are you? Tell me...show me...put yourself on my Frappr map, okay?

Please. I'm standing there all alone and I need some company. We can make it a party!  Click >here< to add yourself

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm a little piggy...again and again

Allie looking very full on the left, and Rumbeau.

I know she's not starving, but apparently Allie has been sneaking into the cat food when no one is around; in the past week she has consumed three bags of Ki's cat food...at three pounds a piece.  Needless to say Allie is not winning points with anyone in this house and someone is rapidly growing tired of making another trip to the store to buy yet another bag of cat food.

Then there that whole what goes in must come out thing.  I may have to invest in a gas mask until this all blows over.

Who'd Have Thunk It?

The music of Led Zeppelin and Olympic pairs figuire skating.

Different combination.

I like it!



Answers - Easy #34

Pairs figure skating is on at this moment...let's see if I can get through this entry in time to watch one of my favorite Olympic events.

Boy, I suspected we all have diverse tastes, and last weeks question proved just that!  I got hungry writing about food, and then reading the replies.  Popcorn made it onto every list...as did chips and salsa.  No surprises there!

>Robin< commented in the original entry and she's the only person I know who eats humus.  Before I knew Robin, I didn't know humus existed, and now every trip to the grocery store brings Robin to mind when I pass by the deli section.  I'll never be the same.  If you have a minute, drop by her journal and say hi; she lost her aunt to cancer today.

>Barb< also responded in the original entry and she included the new flavor of a long time favorite, toasted almond crunch ice cream.  Hmmm, almonds, toasted, in ice cream.  Say no more...sounds good and I would love to have a dish right now.

In her journal >Christy< tells us she is a chocolate girl, much to the delight of her sons who found it easy to convince her to bake them some brownies.  Yummy, yummy brownies!  Maybe we can convince Christy to make some for us...or perhaps post the recipe if she has time.

Speaking of recipes and sweets and popcorn, here's a great recipe for quick and easy carmel popcorn.  :)

Caramel Popcorn

2 bags microwave popcorn (popped)
1/4 cup light Karo syrup
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 brown grocery bag, or large plastic container with lid

Put popcorn in bag or container.  Combine syrup, sugar and butter in deep bowl.  Microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes.  Stir and cook another 2 1/2 minutes.  Add baking soda.  Pour over popcorn, shake in bag or covered container until well coated.  Turn onto cookie sheet to cool.

And on that thought, I'll close this entry with these beautiful, handmade...cakes.  Amazing.



Hard to believe that those are cakes!  Thank you ladies for playing along; I'll have another question posted tomorrow! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Sunday, February 5, 2006

I'm a little piggy...

Ever since the youngest daughter moved back home, Allie is packing a 'few' extra pounds.  We know she ate an entire bag of cat food a week ago, but today she still looks a little full.  In fact, I think her head looks too small for her body.

I wonder what she got into now.

Easy #34

As Sam and I were grocery shopping for the game today, I noticed other shoppers all stocking up on food for their own bowl parties.  Each basket was different, filled to the brim with a diverse variety of food and beverages.  And it got me thinking.

Tell me...

What are your top 5 snack foods and when was the last time you feasted on one of those items?

Nachos (loaded), popcorn, cottage cheese with mandarine oranges, Lay's potato chips (original), grapes.  Of those, it was the cottage cheese and oranges I had last.

They are still my favorite colors

Okay, so Seattle lost the game.  Yeah.  But they sure out-played Pittsburgh.  And it was Seattle's best season in franchise history.

Not too shabby.

My favorite colors

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey, I've been waiting since 1978 for this moment...and I'm taking it!!!!!

I'll post the Easy question after the game; right now I have food prep to complete. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Easy #33 -- Responses

Well, it's been confirmed...in every town across America crazy drivers do seem to congregate on one specific street.  It's like some strange power over takes certain people at certain geographic locations. 

Two people, Christy and Karen, responded in their journals; while three responded in the comment section of
my entry

In her journal >Christy< made one thing perfectly clear...she's not in Kansas anymore.  I've always wanted to say that...got my chance twice today, thanks to Christy.  :O

Karen< recently moved and through that move she was reminded of why she so enjoys the slower pace of life.

Robin's issues with a specific street is a physical thing.

Barb puts things into perspective when it comes to street 'improvements.'

And Sam points out that no matter where you go, driver's will go plumb crazy.

Thanks everyone for your stories.  Now I don't feel so isolated anymore.  :)

~We are not human beings learning to be spiritual; we are spiritual beings learning to be human. -Unknown~~

Friday, February 3, 2006

Thought for the Day - 2/3/2006


"Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us."

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Men ARE from Mars and Women are from Venus (tee hee)

Boy, my tandem writing assignments never turned out like this!  But if they had, oh what fun I could have had  :)  Hmmm, wonder if this University of Phoenix is the same one flooding the internet with their ads.


Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix:

The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:

Rebecca and Gary.


(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Gary)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashedout of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted, wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty, the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm such an air-headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!"








Go drink some tea - *beep*.


A+ -I really liked this one

Thought for the day 2-1-2006