Thursday, June 29, 2006

Texas Shopping = polish pottery

At the beginning of this week I had to travel out of town for work. I was in Houston for three days and got back late last night.
Everyone was asleep so I could not prowl through the house looking for dirty dishes that needed to be put away, clothes piles and etc… I just got in bed and slept. This tripped was packed with work activities and a bit of shopping. I have discovered that within 3 minutes of the hotel in Houston is a Tuesday Morning and a Marshalls. Both of which have always produced great finds. I have also discovered that perhaps Texans do not enjoy Polish pottery as much as I do. Monday I went to Marshalls making one small purchase of a two small bowls. I mentally noted the other 5 pieces they had on the shelf. Tuesday I popped into about 15 minutes before closing time and picked up three more pieces, they also brought out a beautiful mixing bowl that I did not have room for in my luggage. On the way to the airport I made a quick stop into the Tuesday Morning. This store is about double the size of the one I am used to. They had so much stuff, it was hard to stay focused and stick to my time schedule. I grabbed a few clearance small stuffed animals for the daughter’s mission trip and three photo albums. It is my goal to get organized! They also had a few nice pieces of pottery, so I grabbed a pitcher and baking dish. I bought 7 pieces of pottery while in Houston, my carry on was very heavy… But, everything made it home safely. I hope to travel to Poland some day purchase it from the factory, that trip is for another time. Until then I just keep up the hunt here. That is half the fun!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Some days I wish I made more progress than I really do. I am always busy doing something, but the list of things that are unattended is continues to grow.
My husband went off to drill this morning in his new ACUs and his new rank. He looked good and he said the uniform felt comfortable. Everyone that I have spoke with really likes them, it is almost as if you were going to drill in pajamas. My company commander has broad shoulders, he had to get a larger size and claims it is like wearing a maternity smock…

I am giving netflix a try, those that have used it like it.
We are watching Match Point - Very strange

I found that Chondra Pierce is going to be in the area
Tour Info

I enjoyed reading this blog

Saturday, June 24, 2006

In case you do not have time to read through the news, these are the items that caught my attention today.

Saddam Is on a Hunger strike – Good. Now maybe he can feel the pain he placed on his country for years. I just hope all of his cell mates are luxuriously eating and partying around him. Hungry?

Seven serving allah arrested thugs . The pictures represent a motley crew.

A good success story for our friend Phil. track coach

Fresh figs are in season – and in the last week I have in indulged in over a pound of them. Literally, oh crap.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

We had spinach from the garden tonight. It was great!
The thing I love about gardening is the satisfaction of placing a small seed in the ground and letting nature take its course. The spinach plants are making great progress. By next week I should be able to craft a beautiful salad with fresh leaf lettuce, spinach, dill and mint. There is one tiny eggplant plant nub poking it’s way through the leaves and the turnips and cucumbers are looking great. I cannot wait to have more zucchini than I know what to do with! I give it away!

Today was a day of two new firsts. I bought our first tent today. The daughter and cousin have an outdoor adventure planned at the end of July and it is “bring your own sleeping accommodations”. I did pre-investigative work on The sales rep I called noted that the tent only ways 6 pounds, I sure hope so!
The other thing on my to-do list was to hunt down mime make-up. She needs white and black face make-up to take with her to Peru. Word to the wise, do not procrastinate searching for this item. I did find several choices on, I hope it turns out to be what she needs!
I always have plenty to think about, but sometimes not much too actually write about.
I guess some weeks are just filled with trivial things. I did the incline this morning with my bother-in-law. The weather was brisk when I started, but at step 25 I had already warmed up. There are reports of small fires all over the Front Range. From the top of the incline you could see remnants of smoke in the air. It has been hot here; I have loved every minute of it. My garden is growing, the weeds are doing even better; however, bits and pieces of our lawn are dying. Our lawn is not a complete mess, but we do have a few brown spots, if the weather continues to be this warm, I am sure we will have more.
We are dog sitting this week, Shadow is a super mellow Irish setter, and it is fun to watch him play with our hyper active and annoying Chihuahuas.

The daughter is at camp this week and the house is pretty quiet and the laundry pile is small…

Saturday, June 17, 2006

my rant today

It seems like every conversation I am involved in at my large corporate America job we toss around the word "scope". Things are in scope. Things are not in scope. Things have fallen out of scope. We are experiencing scope creep. We must narrow the scope.

I heard this statement today, “The understanding is that it would be limited in duration and limited in scope.”

The dictionary defines scope as:
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian scopo purpose, goal, from Greek skopos; akin to Greek skeptesthai to watch, look at

2 : space or opportunity for unhampered motion, activity, or thought
3 : extent of treatment, activity, or influence
4 : range of operation: as a : the range of a logical operator : a string in predicate calculus that is governed by a quantifier b : a grammatical constituent that determines the interpretation of a predicate or quantifier

I have decided that the only scope I want to think about is one that comes in bright colors and plastic bottles.

While looking for the picture above I found:
(I cannot believe someone wrote this copy)
What foods cause bad breath and why?

First off, food is a major culprit of bad breath. As we all know, food can get trapped in our teeth, creating a fertile environment for bacteria growth.

Next, food odors, especially garlic, onions, spices and alcohol can actually be absorbed into the blood and then be released through your lungs as you breathe. Also, diets rich in meat have a greater tendency to produce bad breath than vegetarian diets since they produce more fat and fatty acids which are released through your lungs.

But chances are, if you and your friend share a big, juicy steak smothered in onions, neither of you will be able to detect each other's bad breath since you quickly get used to that odor. The same rule applies to smokers: Smoky breath isn't usually noticed by those who smoke because of their tolerance to those specific odors. Remember, though, that there are a lot of people who may have had something different for lunch or don't smoke. These folks may smell you coming.

Friday, June 16, 2006

attention safeway shoppers

On our trip to the store last night, the daughter and were in complete shock.
Safeway has the Ritter Sports Bar Butter Biscuits on sale for $1.22. We bought 6 and stashed them in the freezer, I am giving other consumers an opportunity to take part in this celebration, but tomorrow I will go buy the remaining. I mean seriously!
Well, almost the end of another week and it has been filled with drama, controversy, sarcasm. A quick trip up half the incline evened out the week for me. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy laboriously climbing step by step and then casually shuffling down. It smells great, the view is beautiful.

This has been a very strange mail week, We typically get at least 10 pieces of mail each week from financial companies claiming that they can reduce our debt, interest rates, etc… oh joy, I wish I could make them stop. I received a special request from the RNC to write a note to President Bush for his birthday, he is turning 60 next month. (not to mention send a donation for the cause)
I also received an envelope from the Netherlands, as you can imagine I do not receive a ton of correspondence from Europe. Curiosity....
It is a pamphlet explaining that a book has been written about my grandma’s family history. This moved me in many ways. First of all, I am not sure how they found me or who passed along my contact information. Thank you. When my mom was alive, she loved genealogy, she loved to find the story behind all of us and the interwoven connections throughout the years. She loved to uncover a skeleton and loved making new friends and sharing stories. She was a genealogical private inspector, if one ever existed.
I am going to attempt to order the book: website
ISBN = 9052943788
The website disclaimer:
Ordering outside the Netherlands is only possible if you have a bank account in the Netherlands. If not, you can send this order form together with a cheque to Uitgeverij Profiel. Make sure that your payment is SHARED, meaning that you pay your part in the banking costs.

I will let you know what happens; do you think I could get approved time off work to go open a bank account in the Netherlands, in order to make the purchase?

My brother is celebrating his 1st Father’s Day. I know this will be exciting for him. Abby is a sweetie and a long time coming. He announced this week that he will make his E7 in September.
competition explained... For many years we have had a bit of friendly competition. He cockily decided that he would make the next rank before me, and it looks like he will. However, I will have to say that my husband is now the winner, just when he thought he was knocking on the
retirement door, he received a call on Tuesday, he made E7. Yep, I am stunned he beat us both! Not all the details are worked out, and as far as I am concerned the competition is still wide open. Yes, I can dream.

The best story of the week is about the circus.
My daughter is just beginning to experiment with dating and hanging out in mixed crowds, but I will have to say that with the heavy parental monitoring, no driver’s license and minimal money, the activities are limited. But, it looks like I will be employing four fifteen year olds to assist in the back yard activities. I have a few chores that they do in order to earn money to go to the circus. But, I am requesting that they create a sign that says, “Will work for circus tickets and show up on my door! I will capture that and post, if it happens!”

Monday, June 12, 2006

We made progress today! The daughter has finished the last of her fundraising and she has twenty days before the adventure of a lifetime. We created a virtiual bake sale and rotated a few excel spreadsheets at three workplaces and voila a virtual bake sale. We are so fortunate to have great neighbors. Axxxxa made 10 batches of her famous bread and Txxxx made seven layer bars and cookies, but more importantly, she spent 4 hours baking with daughter and sharing life.
Saturday afternoon I did half the incline. There is a halfway point that connects you to Barr trail. This was perfect, I was not “up to” the full Monty, but wanted to get out and enjoy. The sky was cloudy, but the air was very warm. It felt great to be outside and enjoying the fresh air. I had ordered a pair of trail shoes form Sierra Trading Company and had to break them in. They worked great. Barr Trail has loose rocks and can be a little dangerous when you combine gravity and loose terrain. (The first time I felt like I was wearing a pair of roller skates on part of the downward descent!) I found a few more pics of the incline online incline pics
The pace of the summer is moving well, not too hectic, not too slow. My stress level as usual is at the pace of the old wooden roller coaster at Cedar Point, but all is relatively well.
This afternoon I had lunch and took a nice 20 minute walk, guess with all things considered I am pretty lucky.

silence is bliss

More fashion outfits modeled by Abby

the latest

Thursday, June 08, 2006

way too many cool things

If I had a million dollars....

everyone has a hero

Take the time, jot down 300 words or less and nominate someone.
Hometown Hero Essay Contest

You can even email your nomination to - no stamp needed, just a few thoughtful kind words.

I have someone in my mind and can easily find 300 words.
If I lived here...
I would use Riverford farm. It is situated along the Dart Valley in Devon. And I would have them deliver fresh organic vegetable boxes direct from the farm to my house each week
The website states "Every week we select the best seasonal produce available for our boxes. With a range of box sizes and contents you can choose the box that best suits your households needs and you choose how often you would like to receive it."

This is an awesome idea – I wonder if it would work here…
Perfect, I could run the ecommerce/marketing portion and grow the fruits & vegetables and employ strong, young men to deliver the boxes.

interesting perspective

New Statesman; 11/22/2004, Vol. 133 Issue 4715, p30-30, 1p

Traditional farming reflected the natural balance, as it had to before fertilisers and pesticides, and traditional cooking evolved to make use of it. The ingredients vary worldwide and so, therefore, does the cuisine. But with small variations the balance is always the same, and always exactly in line with what people need.
Where did it all go wrong? Industrialisation is at the root of it -- now exacerbated by a modern, obsessive form of capitalism (unknown to Adam Smith) that maximises output, cuts costs and adds "value". Production is maximised by turning grain into meat and encouraging people to eat more and more of it. Costs are cut by throwing farmers out of work and by legalised scams, such as feeding bits of cows to other cows. "Value" is added (the price is put up) by packaging and processing. Reconstituted turkey shaped like dinosaurs is dispensed to schoolchildren. Beans, high in protein and fibre and low in fat, are served mainly or exclusively from tins, thickly laced with sugar and salt. In traditional form, beans and peas were healthy foodstuffs -- and the source of delights from dhal, falafels and hummus to the endless variety of cassoulets. But now small children, plonked in front of the box, are being told every ten minutes that they should eat what is in effect rubbish. In a sane world such coercion would be seen as criminal assault. As things are: that's business.
Millions of people still know how to cook. Some work in restaurants. Some of the most ingenious I have met were on the streets of Bombay, preparing meals for their extended family in a pyramid of brass pots over a single burner.
If we really want to wean children off junk food, we could start by getting some of the world's proper cooks into schools, before modernity kills them off.

I read this and just had to share - I think he is right.

peace via death

Maybe, I was a bit too happy today.
But I cannot help it. I instantly thought - ding-dong the witch is dead.
article as follows:
Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 0740 8 Jun 06/BBC Monitoring/(c)BBC
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has announced the death of Al- Qa'idah leader in Iraq Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and said that it serves as a warning for those who pursue violence and destruction.
Speaking at a news conference in Baghdad broadcast in a live relay by Al-Arabiya on 8 June, Al-Maliki also praised the cooperation between the Iraqi people, security forces and multinational forces that led to the killing.
Al-Maliki begins by saying that Al-Zarqawi killing was "a message to all those who use violence, killing, bombing and sabotage and all the Zarqawis and those who stand behind them and that the result awaiting them is the tragic end they must reach. Today, Al-Zarqawi was liquidated."
Al-Maliki goes on to say: "What happened today was the result of the fruitful cooperation we have often requested from our citizens and people, who cooperated in giving the information and facilitate the operation by the Iraqi Police and the multinational forces by directing the fatal precise blow. This is a message to all those who pursue violence and destruction to stop, reconsider their position, and return to their senses before it is too late because we have decided and we will go ahead, with God's help, until the end to face the murderers and terrorists." He adds: "Our political process and military and security forces will proceed on the path of protecting our political process until the end. Today's Iraq is the Iraq."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

We have been busy this week. I do not feel I have been productive, just busy!
Yesterday my friend and I did the incline again. Looks like I might be up for it again on Friday.
I had drill last weekend and the husband is getting ready for his AT this weekend for two weeks. He is looking forward to it. This might be his very last ever. If the paper trail/work does not fail us he will be eligible for retirement in September. This is a huge milestone for him. So, we will all be thrilled when he hits this milestone. He may extend to do a few more, but on his terms!
He bought ACUs yesterday, which really means we spent a few hundred dollars on uniforms. I will file the receipt for taxes… I am waiting until the Army issues mine. But, now we have 35 brown tee shirts that can not be worn with the new uniform. Guess we use them as night shirts and work-out shirts.
The garden is doing excellent. The rows of spinach, beets and lettuce are all falling into place. We have already had the first harvest of radishes and the squash and eggplant are beautiful. I decided not to put any tomatoes in the garden beds this year, too much work and little fruit to show for it. I am attempting to grow collard greens and few more rows of beets. Change is good! The weather has been absolutely perfect here - warm and sunny.

Two things that grow like weeds for me, and probably for almost everyone else are lamb's ear and mint. I use them to fill in everywhere; they are very hearty and come back bigger and stronger each year. They seem a bit random at first, but they stay green and require minimal love and care. The mint makes things smell good and look fresh.

spinach and other greens


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday morning incline

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Yesterday, I tried something I have been wanting to do for sometime now.
I did the incline off Barr Trail. incline All day I could not stop smiling... It felt great to be out side, enjoying the sun and warming up my muscles.
Now I think I am addicted. I am grabbing anyone and everyone that wants to do it frequently. Any takers?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I read two very moving blog posts.
Learning to Live’s Dream and Grey Eagle’s Memorial Day Post

A few blogs I might follow

Once again, I find myself with so much to take in and read! I find brilliant people facing real challenges, overcoming real issues. Some survive. Some Fail. Some continue to learn and keep moving.

the call

I received a call on Tuesday that made me laugh, cry, jump up and down, scream and pray.
I can only post a small hint. pdf

I must remember:
James 1:2-4
Faith and Endurance Dear brothers and sisters,* when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

question of the day

Dear household dwellers,
Why must every light be on at 5:07 am?
Seriously, the sound of the coffee pot, the light above the stove and soft sounds from the tv would be lovely. NOT at our house. At 0515 I counted 5 lights on and a semi-blaring tv.
Now, I have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Completley irrated and off to the gym.