Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My personality

Your Personality Profile

You are dreamy, peaceful, and young at heart.
Optimistic and caring, you tend to see the best in people.
You tend to be always smiling - and making others smile.

You are shy and intelligent... and a very hard worker.
You're also funny, but many people don't see your funny side.
Your subtle dry humor leaves your close friends in stitches.

My inner monster

Your Monster Profile

Twisted Dictator

You Feast On: Pie

You Lurk Around In: Corn Fields

You Especially Like to Torment: Republicans

What my birthday means

Your Birthdate: August 19

You are resilient, and no doubt your resilience has already been tested.
You've had some difficult experiences in your life, but you are wise from them.
Having had to grow up quickly, you tend to discount the advice of others.
You tend to be a loner, having learned that the only person you can depend on is yourself.

Your strength: Well developed stability and confidence

Your weakness: Suspicion of others

Your power color: Eggplant

Your power symbol: Spade

Your power month: October

Past Lives

In a Past Life...

You Were: A Brave Chief.

Where You Lived: West Africa.

How You Died: The Plague.

Inner Child

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

If my life was a movie:

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Monday, November 28, 2005

Yeah, I got nothing

So I sum up:

Gave up temporarily on reading Freddy and Fredericka. As my dad pointed out - life is to short to waste on a bad book. It's not bad - it's quite funny, but something about it doesn't make me anxious to read.

Finished: Little Girl Lost by Richard Aleas - one of the Hard Case Crime stories.
Currently reading: Top of the Heap by Erle Stanley Gardner - also a Hard Case Crime Story.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Friday - up at 4:20 - nap at noon - bed at 8

Ahhhhh consumerism. Only $11.99 jeans and 60% off flannel sheet sets could get me up at 4:40 in the morning. Well, that and having some bonding time with my sisters and mother -in- law.

What began on two flakes of snow and sheer will power actually turned out to be a pretty fun day.

I arrived at the in-laws promptly at 5:20. We then drove to pick up sister #2 who (and yes, she is a saint) was just coming home from having done the paper route. (Ahh, getting up at 2 am has got to be fun). We then went over to Kohls. And the flakes have increased to a little dusting coming from the sky - and starting to stick a little.

So, with lines that wrap 1/2 way around the store (but hats off to them for a VERY organized system of getting folks through the registers) we preceded to purchase lots of deals - jeans, flannel bedding, towels, toys, pajamas, etc. Check out whizzed by despite the population of a small nation waiting in line. Again, I bow to the management at Kohls for exceptional organization.

Next up: Caribou for coffee. Theresa dropped Beth and I off to get coffee while she and mom waited in the car. We ordered and received in rapid time our coffees and ran back outside (Please note it is still pitch black and now all out snowing). Up pulls the car and we get in. But shock! And with great embarrassment we realize we have jumped into the wrong car. (I did mention pitch black and snowing right?) So, with great apology we bowed out of the car and frantically searched for the correct automobile. Ah - there they are frantically waving their arms. Dashing with heads down in shame we precede to the correct automobile. Once we stop laughing and calm down mom who was in fear that we had been kidnapped we head off to location #2. Circuit City.

Busy - no parking spots - and snow furiously coming down. We grab the items we need and head for store #3. (Circuit City earns an okay - not too painful review - well staffed with all registers chugging)

Store #3 is Marshall Fields - we purchase a few things. They have been sold out of the major door busters since 6:30. Sigh...............But nothing we can't live without.

Store #4 - Herbergers. Great deals! Horrible lines - and mistakes at the register. OK - it's the day after Thanksgiving, these kids at the register have been here since 4 am. I'm not going to throw a fit. Not a happy as pie experience but what do you expect?

With snow piling up, walkways slick as ice, and road conditions rapidly deteriorating we head for home. We have filled the trunk and have bags on our laps. Our morning was a success.

And let me tell you, leftover turkey at 11:00 in the morning never tasted so good :-)

The drive back home for me was a little icky, but slow and steady gets you home safe. Michael had just recently got up and we enjoyed a pleasurable day together. (is it sad that I had been up 8 hours just when he was falling out of bed?)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And God said - let there be walls

And there were walls and I saw that they were good. Sorry, no pictures but our contractor was out till 9 last night putting up walls, and a back door, and windows even! It was so exciting!

He also thought Max was the calm one..............hmmmmmm I guess Sophie is more broken then we thought :-)

We also brought Kevin a full plate of lasagna, french bread, and hot cocoa. I have a feeling if they do more work today it may be around dinner time :-) Which is fine. I was planning on making a big pot of spaghetti with olive oil pesto and prosciutto. Darn tasty stuff...............if I say so myself.

Let the holiday feasting begin! Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. And a fabulous shopping Friday.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Great Weekend

Most weekends are way too short. You get up Monday and you wonder what the heck happened to your two days off.

Pleasantly this was not the case. Maybe it's because winter is coming and I feel less obligated to do yard work and stuff. But whatever it is, I like it.

Saturday was a lazy day. Clean the house a little, finish Shantaram and start a new book - Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin. Then head off to a friends house in BFE Wisconsin for a party. She has a beautiful home in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn't mind it at all. But I'd be a little worried about the crazy maniac drivers on country roads. No wonder the majority of vehicle deaths are not in the twin cities. These people act like they are on their own rubber bumper sided Autobahn. Dang.

After the party I stopped at Michael's for some sale items I could use for making jewelry. (one more show to go this year) And I had to look at DSW. And I had to buy some shoes. But wait, please let me explain for those who think I already have WAY too many shoes: I have loved this cute pair of sandals for a long time but I wasn't willing to pay the $$ for em. Well, seeing as it's 20 degrees outside and the demand for sandals are down they put them in the 70% off section. So darned if they didn't cost me 10.47. And to go along with them I got a pair or Keds for 11.00.
How can you beat that? Or, how can your refuse that? I can't get them at target that cheap. Even Michael said the sandals were cute. What guy can refuse sexy 4 inch heels? He didn't even give me a sigh and a head shake.

Sunday was also relaxing. We cleaned up some more, vacuumed up the giant doggie tumbleweeds blowing around the living room and dining room. Cleaned off the coffee table, and dining room table. Then I made some jewelry. I ordered some beautiful faceted stones so I made some pieces with those. I also got some new bells that I made into earrings for the holidays. They have sold well at my previous shows so I wanted to make sure I had stock for the next show seeing as I previously sold out and wouldn't have had any to bring.

Also watched a little football, another excellent and funny Simpsons, and we watched the season finale of Rome. Most excellent, not surprising on one end but devastating bummer on the other. They killed off two characters. One - well, historically they had to. But the other character, it was a surprise and bummer that they axed the character.

How do you live your life?

How You Life Your Life
You have a good sense of self control and hate to show weakness.You're laid back and chill, but sometimes you care too much about what others think.You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.
How Do You Live Your Life?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Finished and sad about it

Well, I finished Shantaram this afternoon. What a wonderful story. The author is working on a prequel and a sequel to the book. Yippee!

Good lines:
Every door is a portal leading through time as well as space. The same doorway that leads us into and out of a room also leads us into the past of the room and its ceaselessly unfolding future. People knew that once, deep within the urmind, the ur-imagination. You can still find those who decorate doorways, and reverently salute them, in every culture, from Ireland to Japan. I stepped up one, two steps, and reached out with my right hand to touch the doorjamb and then touch my chest, over the heart, in a salaam to fate and a homage to the dead friends and enemies who entered with me.

The cloak of the past is cut from patches of feeling, and sewn with rebus threads. Most of the time, the best we can do is wrap it around ourselves for comfort or drag it behind us as we struggle to go on. But everything has its cause and its meaning. Every life, every love, every action and feeling and thought has its reason and significance: its beginning, and the part it plays in the end. Sometimes, we do see. Sometimes, we see the past so clearly, and read the legend of its parts with such acuity, that every stitch of time reveals its purpose, and a kind of message is enfolded in it. Nothing in any life, no matter how well or poorly lived, is wiser than failure or clearer than sorrow. And in the tiny precious wisdom that they give to us, even those dread and hated enemies, suffering and failure, have their reason and their right to be.

Every human heartbeat is a universe of possibilities

The truth is that, no matter what kind of game you find yourself in, no matter how good or bad the luck, you can change your life completely with a single thought or a single act of love.
And the closing lines:

For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. Feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love: the passionate search for a truth other than our own. With longing: the pure ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on. God help us. God forgive us. We live on.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Well, I'm not sure how to do this but I will assume since Heather tagged me that means I have to answer the topic. (I'm just learning the blogger world and I'm a little bit dim)

So the 5 women that most inspired me:

Mom - She did after all bring me into this world. Is the kindest and most generous woman I know, plus, she makes me slippers and scarves, and blouses, and sweaters, and blankets, and the list goes on.

Aunt Betty - Who along with Uncle Phil taught me photography before I could walk, the beauty of the outdoors, and how and what to eat. In fact when Michael and I visit them they will say things or do things that causes a giant lightbulb to go off over his head as it dawns on him where I got the habits I have. And you literally can see the lightbulb flash. It's so funny when it happens.

Sophie - not technically a woman, but a female influence non the less. Because she loves me with her whole heart. Follows me everywhere, keeps my lap warm while I read and she reminds me everyday that life is about who is in our lives not what.

Heather - without her I wouldn't know my husband and I wouldn't be beading.

Jessica - The person that promises to get me out of jail at 3 am unless of course she is in there with me. In that case we would probably call Lisa.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Random thoughts

Living on earth is expensive but it does include a free trip around the sun.

Birthdays are good for you: the more you have the longer you live

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on

A personal favorite:
If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

Don't cry because its over; smile because it happened.

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors.....but they all have to learn to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thought to ponder

Yes, it's from Shantaram again. But this quote applies to today. And would have been really good to share with people over the past couple of years.

“Fanaticism is the opposite of love,” I said, recalling one of Khaderbhai’s lectures. “A wise man once told me – he’s a Muslim, by the way – that he has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded Jew than he does with a fanatic from his own religion. He has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded Christian or Buddhist or Hindu than he does with a fanatic from his own religion. In fact, he has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded atheist than he does with a fanatic from his own religion. I agree with him, and I feel the same way. I also agree with Winston Churchill, who once defined a fanatic as someone who won’t change his mind and can’t change the subject.”

In like a lamb, in like a lion

Well, we have certainly been spoiled here in God's country. The fall seemed to go on and on and on. It has been amazing. Chilly, but sunny. With highs reaching the 50's and 60's. Gorgeous perfect fall weather. And then.........................

Wham! The lion of winter pounced! And boy did he growl. We got rain, that turned to snow as the temps dropped. The snow turned to ice and the great and powerful NorthWind has been a'blow'n. And as one person said in the elevator this morning - "remind me why I live here?"

And we all said "Cause it's God's country"

"Oh yeah, he said, I almost forgot."

But the Lion of winter brings with him cozy sweaters, warm nights snuggled under blankets, hot chocolate, ice rinks, snowmen, and happy puppies frolicking in the snow. And it means the holidays, and family the way they should be. Snowdrifts outside and warm happy conversations inside. Spiced cider, fresh baked bread, lasagna, tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Forget the locks being frozen and the car doors not opening. That's what new garages half built alleviate.

This is God's country!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oy vey

So many books, so little time.

It's a good thing winter is coming. I recently updated my wish list of books to read. I had to put it in excel format since Barnes and Noble only allows you 25. And..........drum roll please......................I have 204 books on my list. So, I say again, Oy Vey!

Thanks to my loving father who got me a subscription to Pages Magazine I probably added 50 to the list today. Inevitably I check out the latest book from an author only to discover they have 5 or 6 other's that sound interesting. Don't get me wrong, I view this as a wonderful thing. Books are my life's enjoyment so the more the merrier. And if you don't get it and you like to read, treat yourself to a subscription. It's marvelous!

Recent additions include:
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson -(An author who's entire collection I added to my list)
The Angel of Forgetfulness by Steve Stern
The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh - (Another author who's entire collection was added)
The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
Head Case by Peter Helton
Tokyo Suckerpunch by Isaac Adamson (The first in a series of 4 books)
Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (another multiple add)
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
All the Fishes Come Home to Roost by Rachel Manija Brown
His Dark Materials (a trilogy) by Philip Pullman

Monday, November 14, 2005

And because you haven't heard enough already......

As often as possible this weekend I read more of Shantaram. I had sent my dad a few excerpts from the book and he had to pick up a copy for himself. He is in love with the book too. And he was only on page 6 when we talked.

I can't share the latest passage with you that struck me because it would give away important moments in the story. But I must say I have never read a more heart wrenching paragraph in my life. I sat and cried for a while. I had to put the book down and find something else to do. I have reread the lines several times and this morning it brought more tears to my eyes. It's almost crazy how much this book has affected me. What an unexpected gift this book has been. If I knew my friends would read it I would buy everyone this book for Christmas. And I have never before read a book that I felt was so staggeringly beautiful that I wanted to share it with anyone and everyone.

Ladybug central

We are up to 8+ residents of the Ladybug hotel. I added sugar in the raw for them and they seem to like it. On Saturday we put together our new Ikea china hutch and rescued 3 of the newest squatters from certain peril. The little guys were banging their little bodies into the kitchen light globe. It was odd that they all chose to do it at once since that light is on pretty regularly but for some reason they were abnormally active Saturday night. It was fun to try to catch them. And challenging since we had a big piece of furniture in various states of assembly in the middle of the room.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shantaram speaks

Sooner or later, fate puts us together with all the people, one by one, who show us what we could, and shouldn't, let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind, and the hate-filled heart. But fate loads the dice, of course, because we usually find ourselves loving or pitying almost all of those people. And it's impossible to despise someone you honestly pity, and to shun someone you truly love. I sat beside Khaled in the darkness as the taxi took us to the business of crime. I sat beside him in the drift of coloured shadows, loving the honesty and toughness in him, and pitying the hatreds that weakened him and lied to him. And his face, reflected sometimes in the night that filled the window, was as drenched in destiny, and as radiant, as the faces found in paintings of doomed and haloed saints. pg 471

Ladybug, Ladybug

Well, I currently have two residents in my lady bug house. Resident one I removed from the drain in the sink and he was closely followed by the little guy crawling around the rim of a cup. I spotted another potential resident but he was crawling around the corners of the ceiling. I can't reach him yet.

I have no idea what a ladybug would want in its house. I tried leaves and bark mulch. They seemed pretty upset about the leaves so I removed them. How do I determine levels of unrest? Pretty much by how active they are. With the leaves they were running around the roof line searching for escape. Once the leaves were removed they settled down. One is living on the room and one is resting among the mulch. Since they are attracted to water I also put in a little yogurt lid with a tiny puddle of water (don't want em to drown).

Yes, this probably puts me in the whacked out category but I don't really care. I could have far more harmful hobbies.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Still more words from Shantaram

Well, since I have nothing new to report or interesting events to share I wanted to put in more amazing passages from this book. This truly is a beautiful book. If I haven't mentioned it already it is the authors story. His life as an escaped convict and how he fled to Bombay and opened a free clinic in a slum there. He lived in one of the camps that sprang up around construction sites. And the people have little more than cardboard huts as shelter.

The drums staggered toward the distant street. Moving away from us, the dancers romped and rolled on the rhythm, their swaying heads like a field of wildflowers weaving back and forth on waves of wind. As the music dwindled to an echo in our minds, the day-to-day and minute-to-minute of slum life slowly reclaimed the lanes. We gave ourselves to our routines, our needs, and our harmless, hopeful scheming. And for a while, a little while, ours was a better world because the hearts and smiles that ruled it were almost as pure and clean as the flower petals fluttering from our hair, and clinging to our faces like still, white

and during a discussion about evolution:

"And for almost all of that long time, all the living things were water things, living inside the sea. Then, a few hundred million years ago, maybe a little more - just a little while, really, in the big history of the Earth - the living things began to be living on the land, as well."
I was frowning and smiling at the same time, surprised and bewildered. I held my breath, afraid that any sound might interrupt his musing.
"But in a way you can say that after leaving the sea, after all those millions of years of living inside of the sea, we took the ocean with us. When a woman makes a baby, she gives it water, inside her body, to grow in. That water inside her body is almost exactly the same as the water of the sea. It is salty, by just the same amount. She makes a little ocean, in her body. And not only this. Our blood and our sweating, they are both salty, almost exactly like the water from the sea is salty. We carry oceans inside of us, in our blood and our sweat. And we are crying the oceans, in our tears."
He fell silent, and at last I spoke my amazement.
"Where the hell did you learn that?" I snapped, perhaps a little harshly.
"I read it in a book," he replied, turning to me with shy concerns in his brave, brown eyes. "Why? is it wrong? Have I said it wrongly? I have the book in my house. Shall I get it for you?"
"no, no, it's right. It's...perfectly right."
It was my turn to lapse into silence. I was furious with myself. Despite my intimate knowledge of the slum-dwellers, and the debt I owed them - they'd taken me in, and given me all the support and friendship their hearts could hold - I still fell into the bigot's trap. Johnny shocked me with his knowledge because, somewhere in my deepest appraisal of the slum-dwellers, there was a prejudice that they had no right to such knowledge. In my secret heart I'd judged them as ignorant, even though I knew better, simply because they were poor. pg. 374

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More beautiful passages from Shantaram

"Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that's all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth. In the end that's all we have - to hold on tight until the dawn." pg 346

and another:

"It's forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would've annihilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is in some way an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in some way a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive." pg 370

Chasing Lady bugs

As those who live in Minnesota know it is Lady Bug time. Our house gets filled with the tiny red bugs that hope to winter in our kitchen. The challenge is trying to keep them alive and out of the sink.

Yeah, I know, they are just bugs. But we know they are good for eating bad bugs in our yard. And they have that cuteness factor going for them.

How many make it through winter and get back outside? I couldn't tell you. But our intentions are noble. I have even considered looking into a little lady bug house for them. But I don't have a clue what they eat. Perhaps I will look into this and just make a little house for them. I have a tiny plastic tank meant for a beta fish. Hmmmmmmmm

Anywho, it's one of those strange regional things.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Shantaram - a thought from the book

"I closed my eyes. I surrendered to sleep. One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you."

2 TV shows and a craft show

Well, another all too rapid weekend flew by. Saturday I had a booth at a craft show. New venue, new customers - more money. Yeah!

Sunday was all too short a day. Breakfast with Jes (which was very nice) and then over to Michaels to get some supplies for my big boutique sale on Wednesday. Which was followed by making more jewelry at home while watching the Vikings. Yippee Skippy I managed to make a bunch of stuff AND watch Brad Johnson kick some serious butt! The lads played well. And caused very little agita. The Vikings were followed by the Green Bay game. The cheese heads were defeated. At this point I do feel sorry for Brett Favre. This is not their year. Not that the Vikings are anything to cheer about. We still feel the need to be like ostriches.

Anywho, the evening came to a spectacular close with Simpson Halloween special XV and another installment of Rome. Damn fine shows, both of them!

Friday, November 04, 2005


My latest novel of choice is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. So far it is a marvelous tale about life in Bombay. The author escaped a maximum security prison in Australia and fled to Bombay. This is his story.

It is a rare and beautiful treat to find an author that not only takes you away on an adventure but actually lets you walk along beside him. Where your senses seem to come alive as you read the story.

This is one of those rare and beautiful books. I have covered 195 pages of a 933 page story so far. And I have loved every minute of it.

I read that Johnny Depp will be starring in and directing a film based on the book. I can't wait. I know he will do the story justice.

Grab yourself a copy and take a journey to Bombay. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Have Mikey try it, he likes everything

You simply must read my friend Mike's latest Blog for Nov. 3rd in which he tries some interesting food.

Mall of despair

Yep, it was time again to meet some friends for our monthly journey to the great mall. I love seeing my friends. And I love dinner at Tucci Bennuchh. Awesome food. And our regular waiter Steve is the greatest EVER!

Of course I also had to hit up Mac for a new eyeshadow. And I found a super cheap sweater at Christopher Banks. Hey, can't beat a winter sweater for $12.99. And had I won the lottery I would have left DSW with WAY too many shoes. And they have opened a cooking store that is gigantic!

Yep, that's me, the superficial mall rat. I admit it. One day a month I immerse myself in consumer hell and I enjoy it. I really do. I look forward to our get togethers and darn it all if I don't have fun wandering through the stores, getting pampered, and finding bargains. If that makes me a worm, I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gone AND forgotten

Well, we came home to a seemingly huge and empty backyard. Of course the giant earth mover in the middle of the alley was pretty cool too. We checked to see if the door was unlocked and the keys were inside but no, someone was actually very responsible. Dang, we had visions of tearing up the town :-) literally :-)

All kidding aside, it's pretty exciting to know that in a few days they will begin rebuilding the garage. I think I am most excited about two things. 1. I can park the car in the garage over winter (no longer having to shovel it out to go to work) and 2. That once the garage is built we can begin relandscaping the backyard. That will be fun.

New pathways, new gardens, new porch, and even a water fall. Very exciting!

The only down part to this whole adventure is the loss of yard the puppy's will experience. I think to be honest we may only loose a 10X6 foot section of lawn space. We'll have to change the way we toss their toys, but I think they still have enough room to run around. We have a temporary fence up that reduces the yard by a lot more than what the end space will be. They didn't seem to care much which is good.

I have to remember to take pictures. :-)