Wednesday, November 30, 2005

But What Would Miss Manners Say?

Since yesterday's SPT post was about reading I suppose it's only appropriate that today I mention a thing or two about a book I just finished last night. The book is "Rituals of the Season" by Margaret Maron. It's the latest in the Deborah Knott series of mysteries. One of the things I like about this series is the settings. J did some work in North Carolina years ago, early in our marriage, and we both spent several months there and still have friends who live there. When the characters in this book say things like "Oh it won't a real cat*" I can hear the accent in my head, which is fun. (*translation: "oh, it wasn't a real cat") In this installment, I liked the personal story of the relationship between Deborah and Dwight, but felt like the mystery was a little weak and scattered. Only a little though. Overall, I still liked it. I'd give it a solid B grade. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book, though, were the chapter epigraphs, all of which are quotes from "The Ladies' Book of Etiquette", written by Florence Hartley and published in 1873. Here's my favorite:
"Avoid exclamations; they are in excessively bad taste and are apt to be vulgar words. A lady may express as much polite surprise or concern by a few simple, earnest words, as she can by exclaiming "good Gracious!" "Mercy!" or "Dear me!""
Um, so I'm guessing Florence wouldn't approve of "Sonovabitch!", right? Or "DammitJim!" (gotta be a Star Trek fan to get that one)? Probably not even "MotherPusBucket!" or "That sucks rocks!". Well. Dear me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Deb as Reader

It's the last week for the November theme of "exploration of identity". This week I wanted to show my love of books. I don't ever remember not knowing how to read and I don't ever remember it not being a major part of my life. When I Read When I read, I slip outside myself. The world-that-is dissolves and I can be anyone anywhere anytime. When I read, I can meet people long turned to dust and people who never existed outside a writer's mind. When I read, I can slay vampires or love them. When I read, I can sail on the Titanic and come safely home again. When I read, I can see into the minds of poets, killers, lovers, leaders, followers, artists, explorers, visionaries, fools. When I read, I can climb a great pyramid or see what lies inside. When I read, I can solve crimes, scale mountains, taste glory, ride on a dragon's back. When I read, I can imagine another road traveled; another life lived. When I read, I can soar to infinite other worlds and never spill my coffee. Well...almost never.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Meme: I can't live without....

Here's something I snagged from Caity's blog:
"So, here's an idea: post an image of the ONE (silly) thing you can't live without. Tell us in 25 words or less why."
I like it. Silly is something I do well. :-) I "can't live without"... My Frizz-Ease cream from John Frieda. My hair is naturally a bit curly. Not as curly as it was when I was a little girl: (note the red shoes!) ...but curly and baby-fine enough to frizz when it's humid, and get static-y and fly-away when it's dry. A little dab of this magic formula smoothed through my hair calms the beast. It's my secret weapon. It says so right there on the package! I think that's more than 25 words, but tough cookies. My blog, my rules. HA!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hear Deb Talk. Talk, Deb, Talk!

Blame this on Elle, she started it! Be nice now and pretend I sound sultry, ok?
this is an audio post - click to play


Take a look at what my friend Sally Anne sent via email yesterday afternoon. She was inspired to get creative with one of my Simple Still Life photos and this is the result: eXYLOration by Sally Anne Stephen Isn't that fun? Thanks Sally Anne! :-) Not much news from Gobbler Knob this morning. I did, in fact, brave the crowds yesterday to do a little shopping - mostly because I needed groceries, but I also did a little Christmas shopping while I was out. J was out of town and that allowed me to buy a couple of things for him and sneak them in and hide them before he got home. (Yes, J, if you read this, there are gifts in the house for you. No snooping!) The crowds weren't actually quite as bad as I'd thought they would be, but the lines were long. Now I'm dithering about whether I want to decorate the house for Christmas or let it slide this year. I've neverever in my adult life not done at least a little seasonal something, but this year I'm not so sure I'm up for it. But if I don't break out ye olde Santa Collection, and the nativity set, and put up a tree, will I be sorry to have missed it all come January? Hhhhmmm. Decisions, decisions... Whatever I decide, I'm sure y'all will hear all about it. {snort!}

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Comments on Comments: November

I'm going to take the lazy way out and post a general reply to comments from the past few days rather than typing similar things over and over again to individuals. That works, yes? 1. Thanks to everyone who liked my last Self-portrait Tuesday post! :::beam::: I confess I really liked that series too. I often cringe at photos of myself, but now and then they work. And I'm getting better about it since posting so darn many of the things on this blog!! I took those photos late one afternoon at the end of my walk. I glanced toward the Upper Pond on our place and noticed how very green it looked that day and how clearly it reflected the trees and sky, and thought the light looked good for photos so I went down there and played with the camera for a while and those were my favorites of the many shots I snapped. Speaking of Self-Portrait Tuesday, I really like the theme Kath has set for December - Reflective Surface: To take an image of yourself in a reflective surface. I think that'll be really fun, and in fact took some photos yesterday afternoon that can work for the theme, so if I decide to use them, you'll see some of those next month. I have no idea what I'm doing for the last week of this month yet. Oops. And for those of you who mentioned coveting my hair, if you mean the color you can have it too, y'know. Just go to the health and beauty section of any store that sells that stuff and buy yourself a bottle of Feria Deep Copper. [grin] I've felt like a redhead on the inside for years and years, but have only made my outside match in the last couple of years. (My eye color is real though.) 2. To those of you who asked how I get so much Good Mail, partly it's because I really do have superfantastic friends who are very, very nice to me. I hope I'm nice to them in return. I try to be! But also, I get a lot of mail because of getting involved in bARTer - art swaps, both group swaps and one-on-one arrangements. I love to collect other people's artwork, but unfortunately I have no wiggle room in my budget to buy any but the occasional very small piece. But I'm always open to bARTer my own artwork for others, so when someone likes what I do too, we sometimes work a deal and TaaDaaaa.....Good Mail for both parties! 3. Thanks for all the comments about yesterday's Simple Still Life results. It's interesting how nearly everyone had a different favorite. I don't have a favorite. I liked certain things about all of them, which is the main reason I posted them all rather than narrowing it down to just one or two. I don't know if I'll do anything quilty with them though. For quilts I tend to do a quick "almost incomprehensible to anyone but me" sketch and then go directly to working in fabric. When I do this sort of thing in Photoshop, they feel "finished" to me, like doing the same thing in fabric would be redundant. But never say never...

The Day After the Day After Thanksgiving

Normally I would have dished a little yesterday about how J and I spent Thanksgiving Day, but since I posted my simple still life results instead, I saved the turkey day stuff for today. Our weather here in Kentucky was cold and very, very windy, but otherwise pretty nice. The weather gods spit a few snowflakes at us here and there throughout the day, but you could tell their hearts weren't really in it and it never amounted to much. We did a lunch-time get-together with the family, mostly because J had to be back on the road again the next day and wanted to get back home before too late in the day. We met up at Dad and Merle's, and originally one of Merle's kids was going to be there, but he was sick that day (hope you feel better, Steve!), so it turned out to be a bunch of Keetons and former-Keetons around the dinner table. Merle and Dad volunteered to make the whole meal so it ended up that I didn't lift a finger to cook all day. I have to say that was very nice! It's been a long, long time since I didn't do any cooking at all for Thanksgiving dinner! I'll do a little after-Thanksgiving holiday dinner- for-two for J and me sometime soon, since we have our own personal holiday favorites we have to have every year, but it was lovely to let Merle do the cooking for the gang this year. I'm always willing to be spoiled a little! [grin] My friend Morven requested a run-down of the menu because now that she's back home in New Zealand, she really misses US Thanksgiving celebrations. So ok, Morv, here it is, just for you! We had turkey, gravy, dressing (Midwest-style white bread dressing, which tends to not be my favorite since I was raised on southern-style cornbread dressing, but I have to say Merle's is good), yeast rolls, corn pudding (for those who've never had it, it's not a dessert-type's a creamy, savory baked dish with corn, eggs, milk, and seasonings), and green bean casserole - but not the typical "can of creamed soup and French-fried onions" kind. This one had fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms and a home-made sauce and was really yummy! (Merle and/or Dad, if you're reading this, don't forget to email me that recipe! And the Derby pie recipe from last Christmas. And Sandy, if you're reading this, don't forget to email me the Sour Cream Walnut pie recipe from 2 Christmases ago!). Uuhh...where was I? Oh yeah, the menu. Also Sandy brought a fruit salad that has been a family-tradition recipe for as long as I can remember. I like it when Sandy makes it because she's the other member of the family besides me who is allergic to bananas, so I never have to worry about picking them out when she does a fruit salad. We had a nice chardonnay for those who wanted wine, while those who didn't had water and/or coffee. For dessert we had pumpkin pie and apple pie. I couldn't decide which sounded better, so I had a small piece of each. For the record, I liked the apple better, but the pumpkin was good too. I totally forgot to get the camera out of my bag until we were finished with lunch and had been visiting a while and J was trying to urge me out the door, but I stalled him long enough to snap off these three photos, none of which include J or me, but Oh. Well. Here's my brother, Mark, and my nephew Josh, with Prince Teddy. They foolishly thought that if they didn't look at me and smile that they'd ruin the picture and I wouldn't post it. HA! Dream on, guys! (Check out the colors of their shirts...Christmas preview!) Here's my niece, Amber, who shares my love of Shiny Things. Pretty much all the women in our family love Shiny Things. I think it's genetic. I loved her chandelier earrings. And you can't see it in the photo, but she'd adapted a beady bracelet as a hair ornament. Creative, yes? And last but not least, here are Merle, Dad, and Sandy, lingering at the table with the remains of the wine and the pie. You now know who the smart ones in the family are! While we were talking about old times, one of the things we discussed was my Grandma Keeton's Red Velvet Cake that she used to make every year around Christmas. Since I'd signed up to do another collage swap project with the Traveler's H'Art group about "Winter Traditions", I decided to make my card about Grandma's cake. Here's the card I did: Grandma's Red Velvet Cake I didn't actually have any photos of Grandma with her RVCake, so I used Photoshop Elements to collage together bits and pieces of 4 different photos to create this one. I was happy with how it turned out. It isn't perfect, but it gets the idea across. Now I'm going to go reply to some comments from the last couple of days and then try to decide if there's anything I need badly enough from the grocery store to fight my way through the mad crowds of weekend Christmas shoppers or if I can make do for a couple more days. Crowds...bleah.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Simple Still Life: Month the Third, Part the Second

I did my usual Phun with Photoshop dealie for this month's assignment (one of these days I really should do something else, just to show I can!). This post is very photo-intensive so I'll extend my apologies to those on dial-up because it'll probably take a while to load. If you want to see the pics badly enough to wait, you might want to go get yourself a cup of tea or coffee or something. I'll wait. Lalalaaalalaaaaa....(That's the "hold" music"....nice, yes?) Back already? Wow, that was fast! Ok then, here we go... As you might recall, I posted three photos at the beginning of the month - two that actually followed the "five things alike" theme for this month's assignment (Simple Still Life: Round Three Challenge Guidelines), and one that cheated a bit by having 7 things. I know I could have cropped the photo down to 5, but I liked having 7. Anyway, I decided to experiment at least a little with all three photos, just for the creative practice. Here is one photo I started with - the one that was the least interesting, in my opinion: 5 Spools of Thread And here is my "abstracted beyond recognition" version of it: 5 Spools of Thread in an Alternate Dimension Here is beginning photo number two: 5 Mini-Vases And the first altered version: In the first I didn't change much about the basic photo beyond boosting the color saturation level, but then I used a filter to fracture and rearrange things, almost like one of those sliding tile puzzles I liked so much as a child and used another filter to add a "sunspot". and the second altered version: The second one was more about playing with color (or lack thereof) and line and trying to make it look less photographic and more moody and expressive. The result has an almost antique-y feel to me. Finally, here is my original "cheater" photo: 7 Shirts on a Line (I still really love this photo for some reason!) And here is: 7 Shirts on a Line in a Nightmare 7 Shirts on a Line in a Maxfield Parrish-y sort of world 7 Shirts...or is there? Hhhhmmm.... 7 Shirts: Back to the Basics, but with a twist or two (Obviously I really like my off-set filter! snort!) This month's assignment was interesting. Thanks, Debra! I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

At least Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US and to anyone else in the world who would like to be an Honorary US Cousin For a Day to share in the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving to you too! J and I are heading over to Dad and Merle's in a little while to spend the day. I'm thankful today that my dad, sister, brother, niece, nephew, and I will all be together for the holiday. This will be the first Thanksgiving we've all been together in several years. I'm thankful that J is able to be home and can be there too. With his crazy job travel schedule that's not always a given for holidays. I'm thankful that Dad has found happiness again after losing his wife ( my mom), and his mother within two months of each other four years ago. I'm thankful that, while J and I may not be rich, we're managing to keep the bills paid without either of us having to do jobs we hate. I'm thankful that Tansy, Mac, Riley, and EDKSky showed up in my life, all unplanned, because they can make me smile even on the darkest days. I'm thankful for the people I've gotten to know through this wild and wacky thing called the world wide web, both those I've since met in person and those I haven't met in person yet, but hope to someday. I've met people through the 'net who have become true friends in Real Life as well and that's so cool. And related to that, I'm thankful for those of you who stop by RSR regularly. I've talked with such fabulous people since starting this blog, people I might otherwise never have gotten to know. I'm especially thankful for those readers who leave comments now and then. Blogging is the cyber equivalent of standing on a mountaintop talking into the wind, and it's nice to know that people are stopping by to listen and sometimes feel inspired to turn my monologue into a conversation. I love that. I'm thankful that designers keep making new shoes. C'mon, y'all knew I couldn't stay serious forever. ;-) And on that note, before I go spend the day with family, I will leave you with what has to be the dumbest quiz I've ever posted, but it seemed appropriate to the day:
You Are Pumpkin Pie
You're the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality Those who like you are looking for something (someone!) special
Hope you all have a wonderful, thank-full day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shared Beauty

On the day before Thanksgiving here in the US, I want to say that I'm thankful for Good Mail from Good Friends. On Monday my mailbox had this beautiful magnet of a gardener riding a hummingbird from the fabulicious Julie ZS: The saying on the magnet is: "Gardeners live in the most beautiful places... because they make them that way." ---Joseph Joubert Thank you, Julie! It's lovely and currently has pride of place on my inspiration board. Plus it sparked a nice little "what if" discussion between J and me about how fun it would be to be able to shrink to Thumbelina size for a little while and ride on the back of a hummingbird. They'd make human fighter pilots look like wusses! Also in my mailbox was a surprise package from the superfantastic Sonji: That's me channeling Vanna to show you the gorgeous necklace Sonji made. J took the photo and it cracked me up, so I posted it, but it's a wee bit fuzzy (I typed "fizzy" at first...and y'know I think it's kind of that too!) so I took this close-up. Still have some flash glare on the pendant, but it's an old-timey photo of a woman's face. Very cool. Thank you Sonji! J liked this surprise too. His comment about the necklace was "pretty cool", which is high praise indeed from my non-gushy hubby. [grin] And I wore it out to lunch yesterday and got a compliment from the waitress. Yay Sonji! Sonji also sent a funky "shoe fetish" rubber stamp, but I don't know any way to get a good pic of that, so y'all will just have to wait until I use it in something. Oooh, bonus! After I'd written the rest of this post, but before I published it, the mailman came to my door with a big box from the luminous Laura. (I must pause a moment here to thank my mailman who is VERY thoughtful and nice to have driven up my half-mile driveway to bring me the box instead of leaving a postcard in my mailbox saying "come and get it at the P.O.!) Laura and I had worked out a trade a while back. She was interested in a small quilt called "Tree's Eye View" and in exchange she sent me a set of fuzzy, yummy wrist warmers in dazzling red: ...and a matching red fleece scarf in her signature "deconstructed" pattern, which I LOVE. I wish I could show you the whole thing, but J isn't feeling well and was taking a nap, so I had to do one of those "arms stretched out" photos and could only get this much of it in there. Isn't it great though? (And hey, do you like my blue reading glasses? One of many pairs in various styles and colors that I have scattered around the house. Those are my computer pair.) As a bonus, she also sent a wonderful, warm, fuzzy, HUGE fleece patchwork pillow. No pic of that yet, but I'll try to remember to post one soon. Thank you, Laura!! Now back to the original post... I also have to share some more photos with you. Monday night I looked out the window and we were having the most glorious sunset! We always have much more spectacular sunsets in the winter than we do in the summer here in Kentucky, but this one was a doozy even for a winter sunset. So here are three photos, taken from my front porch just minutes apart. I cropped and resized them for the web, but other than that they haven't been adjusted at all - no changes in color or contrast. This is exactly what I saw that night. the beginning full glory a last glimpse of color

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday: The Dreamer

The Dreamer I walk onto the dock and look into the water. I lay down on the dock and look into the camera... ...the sky... ...the trees. Can you see my dreams in my eyes? Enough introspection. Time to find joy, rolling in the crunchy autumn leaves.

Monday, November 21, 2005

RSR Weekend Update

I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie yesterday afternoon. Yay! I liked it. Yay! I decided there are a lot of rude and/or stupid people in the world. Boo! (None of YOU fit in that category, of course. Yay!) The theater was crowded (no surprise there!) but not totally packed. There were some empty seats. But sometimes it felt more crowded than it really was because they didn't seem to understand the concept of sitting still, shutting the hell up, and watching the movie!! Come ON, people! This isn't your living room! Yes, that's right, you've stumbled into another episode of Deb's Pet Peeves. (Start the theme music, please.) Here is what I would like to say to some people who attended the 12:30 PM showing of the HP movie yesterday in Maysville, Kentucky: 1. Leave the really young kids at home! Seriously. The deeper we get into the HP story, the less these things are "kids' movies". There was some scary stuff happening on that screen! And if your child is young enough that you have to carry her out crying, that's probably too young to be there. Get a sitter next time! 2. You have to know if you come to see a movie that means you need to plan to sit there for 2-3 hours. Please, please get your food, drinks, and bathroom breaks out of the way before you sit down, and save your conversations with your companion for when you leave. The jack-in-the-box stuff between the rest of us and the screen, not to mention the not-so-quiet whispered conversations - very distracting. And not in a good way. 3. If you're sick, stay home. I can't state that strongly enough. If you're sick, STAY the hell HOME!!! This one is specifically directed at the man with the hacking cough and the rattling plastic whatever who sat directly behind me and coughed his nasty germs at the back of my head for the better part of three hours. If I die from bubopneumonic anthraxavian flu in the next couple of weeks, y'all know who to blame! (Well, ok, you don't know exactly who to blame, because I have no idea who that guy was, but you'll have some idea what happened. Shame on you, Mr. Germy. You're old enough to know better.) Speaking of knowing better, I should know better than to see a popular movie right after it's released. I know I prefer to see a movie in a nearly-empty theater, hopefully with other people who are as in love with movies as I am, and equally as willing to sit there quietly and let themselves be sucked into the story. A really good movie is magical to me. But sometimes I'm so anxious to see something that I give in to the urge to rush right down and think "oh, it'll be ok...the crowds won't bother me too much". Ahem. Wrong, Deb. Maybe I'll go again toward the end of the movie's run and see if I can get the sort of big screen experience I really love. Oh, and speaking of self-delusion (well, I sort of was), did y'all know that Thanksgiving is in 3 days? And that a month after that is Christmas?? How did THAT happen? I obviously wasn't paying attention because I'm so SO not ready. Some years I love all that stuff - the shopping, cooking, decorating, the sending of cards, and giving of gifts. Other years, not so much. I'm afraid this is a not-so-much year. I'm not sure why. It just is. If I had a plague of money I'd like to just go hang on a tropical island for the next month or so and pretend it's July and come back after it's all over. But that's not gonna happen, so I'll deal. But really...that stuff starts THIS week? Damn.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hay? Hey! I Resemble That Remark!

Deb Roby wondered who else might take the "what kind of humanist are you?" quiz. I'll admit I almost didn't, because my off-the-cuff answer would be "none". I don't consider myself a humanist, as I understand the term**. But y'all know I have trouble resisting quizzes. [grin] So off I went to give it a shot. A couple of the questions were most definitely directed at a segment of people who have a different philosophy about life and spirituality than I do and didn't really have a "correct" answer for me, so on those I just had to choose the response I disagreed with least. But a majority of the questions had more to do with life in general and/or politics rather than theology and on those there was usually an answer I could agree with more enthusiastically. And the questions were all a lot more interesting than the typical "choose a color" stuff so many quizzes have! So here are my results. Do I think those results describe the real, complete me accurately? Nope. But do I think the results describe a facet of me accurately? You betcha! Here's what they had to say:


You are one of life's enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy. You can't see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn't lay down your life for a concept, though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way. Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You'd probably open another bottle and say there's no contest. What kind of humanist are you? **I won't swear my understanding of the term "humanist" is correct, but I think of it as meaning someone who rejects both organized religion and the supernatural, and who follows the idea that we live one life, in a world governed by provable scientific principles, and then we die and that's that - we're cease to exist except in the memories of our family and friends. While I have chosen to step away from organized religion in my life, I'm not an atheist. I believe in the Divine (call it "God" for lack of another name, but I don't mean quite the same thing by that name as I would have when I was growing up in the Baptist church), and I think there's a LOT more to people and to the universe than we can even begin to understand right now with our current level of scientific knowledge. I think there are things that seem "supernatural" to us right now because we simply don't understand them yet. Maybe someday we will. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy...." pretty much says it for me. Besides, if anyone needs proof that God exists, just take a look at this sign: Hard to argue with that, yes? :-) offense intended. In my world view, God would think that was funny. PPS....I see Gabrielle is a Haymaker too. Gabrielle, girlfriend, we really need to get together in person one of these days and party!


For any of you who may not read the Manolo's blog and therefore may not have seen him post this link, I have to share it here, so you can take a look at photos that seem to prove Katiedid's theory that these days Madonna is evidently channeling Marilu Henner, circa 1977. No wonder Madonna's latest look seemed vaguely familiar to me! Spooky...

Saturday, November 19, 2005


OMG! I was already excited to get the email from Quilting Arts Magazine a few days ago asking if my little self-portrait quilt could tour with them for a year. But this afternoon the Winter 2005 issue of the mag arrived in my mailbox and my quilt is in there!! It has an entire page all to itself, which means it's shown nearly full-size and they included my entire (admittedly brief!) statement. Yay!! I can't even tell you how exciting that is to me, because the photography and paper quality in that mag are wonderful. My quilt looks yummy! If you're a subscriber, or you want to look at a copy someplace that sells magazines, My Page (~~~twirl~~~) is page 69. (It is proof that I have a very healthy Inner Adolescent Boy that I find the number mildly amusing.) Oh, and by the way....speaking of doing stupid things, I almost didn't submit this quilt to the magazine at all. I made the quilt right after the challenge was issued and then started hearing so many people around the 'net talk about doing the challenge, and started seeing so many fun, colorful, creative, and wonderful quilts being made that I figured sending mine was probably a colossal waste of time and money. In fact, at the time I wrote the following to an email group I belong to:
"Are you guys all still planning to submit your self-portraits to QA mag? I've seen so many people doing these I'm wondering if it's worth the bother of sending mine!!"
I guess that'll teach me to think. They all said "yes, ya big dummy, go ahead and send it", so I did and now here I am looking at myself staring back from a fabulicious photo spread. Ya just never know... Sunday P.S. Once I stopped gazing raptly at the photo of my work (I'm such a dork!) and looked through the rest of the magazine (hey! there are other photos in there too! imagine that!), I saw that Deborah Boschert's guardian angel doll is pictured in this issue too, both front and back views! (page 85) Yay DebB!!

My Day in Lexington

Despite giving up on the idea of seeing the latest Potter movie before I ever even left the house yesterday, I had a fun time in Lexington. I usually enjoy going there because, while it's big enough to qualify as a city rather than a town, and therefore has a lot more stuff to see and do than our little wide-spot-in-the-road, it is nevertheless a small city, so it's usually not so very horrible in terms of snarly traffic and one-way streets (although it has its share!). The errand that was my primary reason for going was over with quickly and then it was on to lunch at The Garden Cafe at Flag Fork Herb Farm. I would love to turn that into a link so you could click on it and read a little more about Flag Fork and maybe even see some photos, but unfortunately they don't appear to have a website. I'm really surprised, because they were collecting email addresses for a mailing list, so you'd think they'd have some sort of web presence, yes? Strange! Oh well, anyway, it's a very cool little shop/restaurant combo, housed in a building that dates from around 1800, give-or-take 10 years. The owners ran an herb business on a farm near Frankfort for years before moving to their current location, hence the name Flag Fork Herb Farm. The gift shop part specializes in Kentucky arts, crafts, and food gifts - things like Bybee pottery, their own "Kentucky Gourmet" food products, (I couldn't even find anything online for those! Sheesh!), and things like these: (not a great pic, sorry!) ...a pair of beady earrings and an embellished patchwork Whatsawhosits that came home with me. Actually I think that patchwork thing is supposed to be a cell phone holder, but it could also hold sunglasses or reading glasses, or even a drivers license and a credit card or a little folding money. The small handle you can see in the pic has a snap so you could attach it to a belt or belt loop, and it also has a long, skinny strap tucked down inside you could use to wear it around your neck. I thought it was pretty and looked useful. And sure, I could make something like that myself, but would I? Probably not. So I bought it. Ditto for the earrings, which are brighter than they appear in the photo. Too much flash bouncing off those beads! The Garden Cafe, which takes up two small rooms in the rear of the building and is only open 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, is probably my favorite place to have lunch in Lexington. It's a "girly lunch" sort of place, featuring soups, salads, quiche, and sandwiches, all seasoned with their organically grown herbs, and yummy desserts. My favorite thing on the menu is the soup, salad, sandwich combo plate, where you get a small cup of any soup on the menu, a bit of any salad, and half of any sandwich. I got their house specialty soup, burgoo; a lovely seafood pasta salad with tarragon dressing; and half a chicken salad sandwich. Yum! And yes, I had dessert - pumpkin pie with maple whipped cream. (No photos, sorry! I'd intended to take my camera with me and forgot.) I checked out a new shoe store in town but didn't buy anything. Are you proud of me? [grin] I weakened a bit at the book store though, and came home with "Class Dis-mythed", the latest in a humorous fantasy series I've been reading for years, and "Queen of the Slayers" because, yes, I'm such a Buffy the Vampire Slayer geek that I sometimes even read the novels. (Stop laughing!) I also really would have loved to buy "Undead and Unreturnable", "Grave Sight", and "Rituals of the Season", but my bank account can only stand just so much in one day. Another time... My idea of wealth: to be able to buy absolutely any book, any time, without a second thought, and to have room to store all the "keepers" while still having space to do things like sleep and eat. That's not asking too much, is it? Heh.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Two-fer FotoFriday

I'm going to do a quick Two-fer FotoFriday today because I need to run into Lexington in a little while. I have an errand I need to get done and as long as I have to make the drive anyway, I'm going to scope out the various theaters showing the new Harry Potter movie. It's probably a Bad Idea to go on opening day but I have this vague, faint hope that maybe with so many kids in school today that a matinee showing could be do-able. We'll see. If it looks not-too-nighmarish I'll give it a try. If it looks like a total mob scene, I'll say "never mind" (in my best Emily Latella voice), treat myself to a nice lunch and a stop at the book store and head for home. I can always try again in the next couple of weeks. Not like that one won't be playing for a while! Stay tuned... In the meantime, here are a couple of photos I took this week. I literally took this one leaning out my dining room window. As I walked past that window one afternoon a few days ago, in the midst of all our windy, stormy weather, I looked out and noticed what an odd shade of blue the sky was - almost a dirty periwinkle. It was so intense and heavy-looking that if a person matched the shade exactly in a painting or a piece of fiber art, it would come across looking fake. I'm not sure I quite captured the exact color with the camera, but I think I at least managed to capture a slight sense of how strange the light and colors were at that moment. I took this next one yesterday afternoon, after the storms had stopped and the sun came out. I was standing under an old tree at the edge of the woods. The tree is getting taken over by a wild grape vine. We have tons of those here. They're a nuisance plant! The leaves are long gone from the vine, but you can see it still has loads of the teeny-tiny (unbelievably sour!) wild grapes on it. I liked the pattern of the branches against that vivid blue autumn sky. All righty, time for me to get ready to hit the road. Wish me luck! 9:41 AM Update: I checked out some Lex Cinemas online before I even left the house and FUGEDDABOUTIT! I'm going with Plan B - the nice lunch and a stop at the book store. Harry, Hermione, and Ron can wait a few days. (So no spoilers from any of you die-hard fans who are willing to stand in line today y'hear!) NOW I'm out of here. Really. Seriously...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Good news yesterday - I got word that the self-portrait I sent in to the Quilting Arts Magazine Creative Self-Portrait Challenge was one of 75 (out of 500 entries) that they want to tour with them for a year. This doesn't mean it will necessarily appear in the magazine, but is still very, very cool. Yay me! And Yay to the other 74 people who got the same letter! Which, yeah...about that letter. I did something really stoooopid yesterday and I might as well share it with a couple-hundred friends, right? I mean, God forbid I shouldn't tell y'all about it when I pull a bonehead move. [grin] So here's the story. Yesterday afternoon I was checking my email. Not my "regular" email account - the one where I get the vast majority of my mail and I check it compulsively about a gazillion times a day; and not my third-string "I only use it for websites I know will spam my butt off" email address; but my second-string "also sort of a spam-catcher, but sometimes a useful web-based option" email addy. All clear? Good! Evidently that second-string email addy is the one I gave to the folks at Quilting Arts when I sent in my entry. Why, you might wonder, did I give them that address instead of my primary address? Good question! I wonder the same darn thing! All I can say is I'm sure I had a good reason at the time. I always have a good reason at the time I do things. It's only later that I sometimes can't quite remember what that reason was. Heh. So I checked the Inbox...nothing there that looked like it couldn't wait. Then I go to my bulk mail folder -the one where deleted items are deleted forever, not just sent to the "trash" folder - to empty it out and since there's never anything interesting in there (lalala...) I tell my 'puter to do a mass dump and then...THEN...about the time it's working on fulfilling my expressed desire, I notice that one of the emails that is about to disappear forever looks like it's from a real person instead of from "Hiney T. Colorbanger" or his cousins, and the subject line says something about "your creative self-portrait challenge" instead of telling me I've just won a "free" plasma TV or how I can buy penis enhancers. (And won't I get some interesting hits on ye olde blogge from google searches on THAT sentence in the coming months! Uh...pun not intended. Snort!) I tried to stop the mail dump, really I did, but it was too late. At first though, I was just mildly irritated, thinking some nice person had seen the self-portrait on my website and had emailed a comment and I was disappointed that said Nice Person would be getting no response from me and would think I was rude. (And to anyone with a remotely southern upbringing, "rude" is pretty much on a level with "scum of the earth".) But then I saw a note from Gerrie on the QuiltArt list saying that she had just been notified that her self-portrait was going on the road with the QA staff. Yay Gerrie!!! And suddenly a little lightbulb flickered above my head, and two plus two were added and started to look suspiciously like four (NOT always a given with me and math!) and I emailed Gerrie both to congratulate her and to tell her my sad tale. I told her the subject line and last name of the sender of the email I'd inadvertently dumped and she answered within minutes to tell me that yes, I had in fact deleted my own acceptance letter, unread. Oops. Luckily it's all straightened out now and I've sent in the requested permission thingy and the shoe-day-dreaming DebRPortrait will spend the next year seeing more of the US than I probably have. And I know she'll be in good company because Gerrie and Caity also have their self-portraits included in the show. Yay Gerrie and Caity! And Gerrie, thanks again for saving me from my own carelessness. Whew! Anyone else want to share that their self-portrait is going on the road? Anyone want to share an "I did something stupid" story to make me feel less like an idiot? Anyone want to add their shoes to the RSR Frappr map? (C'mon! I know more of you are out there reading!) Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind

I saw the link to this website on the SBTB blog and went to have a look. My reaction? "Uuuuhhhh.....I have no response for that." (Except, of course, to post the link here!) If you decide to go have a look, (and you really, really should!), I would advise backing away from the beverages first. I got my copy of the "I Remember Mama" book in the mail this past Saturday. Yay! My quilt, "Pride and Joy" is on page 117. The photographer and printer both did an excellent job! At first glance I thought my quilt had bee reproduced with the color just a shade too dark, but when I took my quilt out and looked at it, it turned out to be my memory that was faulty. (Big shock...NOT!) The photo in the book is dead-on accurate. Yay again! I know lots of you have seen the Frappr map for the AQ blog ring and the QuiltArt email group. And hopefully members of those groups have added themselves to the map. But I decided I wanted my own map for readers of Red Shoe Ramblings. So if you want to let me know you're out there, go to the RSR Frappr Map and show me your shoes! (Or socks...Frank had to be different. [grin]). (Even if you don't have a digicam and can't upload a shoe pic, I'd still love to see you raise a flag on the RSR map.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Deb as Obsessive Knitter of Fuzzy Scarves

Coming out of the closet (the coat closet, that is) to admit my addiction to knitting (badly!) and wearing fluffy, fuzzy, colorful scarves (albeit usually one at a time instead of all at once). I wonder if this is the first step toward stopping the madness? Naaaahhh....

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Dime (or five) For My Thoughts

In case anyone thought I was kidding about my response to the stupid UPS bill, here's a look at something I'm putting in the mail later today: Yep, those are dimes taped to the return portion of the bill. Wonder how much postage will cost to send it.

B4B: A Place Called Home

One of the topics for this month's Blogging 4 Books contest is "going home". The other has to do with how we perceive people vs. how they really are. At first I thought I didn't have anything to say on either topic and thought I probably wouldn't participate this month. But this morning a memory turned into an idea and the idea turned into a story I want to tell. So here is my entry: A Place Called Home Once upon a time, well after the dinosaurs roamed the earth, but a bit before it became the norm for everyone to have cell phones surgically attached to their bodies, I was a 17-year-old, brand spankin' new college freshman. It was my first time away from home aside from the occasional week at summer camp, which hardly counts because I always went to camp with people I knew from school or church. I was never really alone. The college I attended was 200 miles from home and I didn't have a car, so I was dependent on arranging rides with other students or calling my parents to come and get me if I wanted to go home. I didn't know anyone, and having spent my entire life up to that point in the same small town, knowing pretty much the same people, I hadn't yet mastered the skills necessary to make casual conversation with strangers, and to look for the common ground that can turn strangers into acquaintances and acquaintances into friends. To make matters worse, in my efforts to protect myself from looking foolish or from possible rejection, I ended up often coming across as stuck-up. There weren't many people who fought their way past the prickly surface to realize that what they were seeing wasn't snobbery. It was immaturity, insecurity, social ineptitude, and all-around cluelessness. In other words, I was a mess - a lonely, desperately homesick mess. I started to think the whole "go away for college" idea might have been a big mistake. The college administration discouraged parents from allowing students to come home for visits before fall break, saying it would only make Freshman Homesick Syndrome even worse. But by the time I had been at school a little over a month I just couldn't stand it any more. I had to go home. I HAD to! I felt like if I didn't get home for a visit soon I'd just give up and go home for good. About the time I was reaching my breaking point, I found out a couple of people I had gotten to know slightly were heading toward a town near my hometown for the weekend and they were open to taking on a passenger in exchange for help paying for gas. I jumped at the chance! When their car pulled into my parents' driveway, I jumped out and was running for the house before they had even come to a complete stop. There were hugs and there was laughter. One of my closest high school friends was even there waiting for me. It felt almost like I had never left; like warm water parting to let me slip into the current with barely a ripple. It was wonderful. When my fellow students arrived to pick me up on Sunday and head back to school, I expected to hate the thought of going back. But to my surprise I was actually looking forward to it. I wanted to work on an art project I'd started before I left and I was eager to tell some new acquaintances (and potential friends) all about my weekend at home. When I got back to school, I assumed it wouldn't be long before the homesickness washed over me again. But I was surprised again. It never happened! I would probe at that place in my heart, like poking a sore spot and waiting for the pain. But it never came. I was fine! I was glad to be at school and I started to loosen up and talk to people. I started to make friends and have fun. It took me a little while after I got back before I figured out what was different. Before I made my weekend visit home, there was something inside me, however illogical, that felt like "home" would move on without me and leave me completely behind. Some frightened part of me thought everyone and everything would change and people would forget me and there would be no place for me there, ever again. But then I went home and everything was fine. Oh sure, some small things had changed. Change is a given. There were some new books in the house, and my sister had acquired a new nickname, and my high school best friend had gotten an ill-advised perm. But in every way that was important, things were the same. I was safe, loved, welcomed, wanted. That reassured me that it was ok to go away and try my wings someplace else. Something about that weekend taught me what my first 17 years didn't - that home isn't a corner bedroom in a small brick ranch house on a country road outside a small town. Home isn't sitting in the dining room of that same house, eating my mom's delicious cooking with my family and friends while my dad made lame puns and everyone groaned and laughed, (although I loved that and miss it still). Home is, for me, the feeling of knowing that someone, somewhere in the world, is always happy to see me, faults and all, whether that someone is a blood relative, a relative of the heart (like my husband), or even just my dog. And that's the sort of Home I could carry back to school with me. That's the Home I hold in my heart.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lame-O Filler Blog Entry #523

Nothing exciting is going on around here today and my brain is circling 'round and 'round trying to come up with an idea for a B4B entry, so I'm going to fall back on an old Sunday favorite - the infamous Blogthings quizzes. Two of 'em!
You are Dark Chocolate
You live your life with intensity, always going full force. You push yourself (and others) to the limit... you want more than you can handle. An extreme person, you challenge and inspire the world!
Not sure how accurate the description is (I kinda think "not very", but I do like dark chocolate, especially if it has coconut or nuts involved.
Your Nail Polish Color is Purple
How you're unique: You are artistic and expressive Why your style rocks: You pay special attention to color and fabrics What this color says about you: "I'm creative and know how to take care of myself"
Hhhmmm....actually I'm not a fan of purple nail polish, but I find the results interesting considering the color quiz results I posted a while back. Maybe my middle name should have been Violet!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Memes, B4B info, and Book Pet Peeves (again!)

Item the First Just wanted to mention that all the people I tagged for the Tri-Meme the other day have now posted responses on their blogs. So if you want to take a look, follow the links. I found them all fascinating! Several other people on the AQ Webring have done the Tri-Meme too and I hope some other RSR readers will "steal" it. If you do, let me know ok? I want to read your answers. Item the Second If anyone is interested in trying to write something for the Blogging 4 Books (B4B) contest, Joshilyn has announced this month's topics. That's right, topicS - two this month instead of just one! Nevertheless, I'm drawing a total blank so far. So I may not be participating this time around. But the deadline is still a couple of days away (Monday, the 14th, at midnight, to be exact), so you never know. Inspiration may strike between now and then. Hope it doesn't hurt. Heh. Item the Third I'm in the mood to do a little book talk this morning. Maybe a rant of sorts. We'll see, since I'm never quite sure what's going to happen until I start typing. (Scary!) Last night I finished "The Royal Pain" by MaryJanice Davidson. It's a sequel to "The Royal Treatment", which I loved. I liked this one too, although I liked the first book better. And I think, unless I'm having a brain fart, that more are planned in this series. So everyone is probably sitting there thinking "well if you liked it, why do you want to rant?". I'm glad you asked. I want to rant because, despite liking the story, this book has inadvertently triggered a couple of my Book Pet Peeves. (You guys get that when I make these weird lists I start numbering the items at random, right? 'Cause there's no way in hell I can remember where I left off the last time. So I just pretty much pull a number out of my ass...uh...head and go from there. Anyway...) Book Pet Peeve #212 The Trade Paperback book format. I hate it. I hate it with a fiery passion usually reserved for telephone solicitation calls and slow drivers in the fast lane. I love hardcover books. Love them! I love the paper. I love the larger print. I love the solid feel of them. I love the smell of them. To me, that is what a book should be. But I only buy them for a few favored authors who write books I know I'll want to read again and again, because a) they're so expensive. I can buy 4 mass market paperbacks for the cost of one hardcover book. And b) they're bulky and heavy. They take up a lot of room on the book shelves and are too meaty to comfortably stuff in my purse and take with me. Mass market paperbacks, on the other hand, usually have smaller type, cheap paper, and flimsy covers. But they are affordable (relatively speaking) and portable. With MMPs I can fit more books into both my shelves and my budget, and I can always have a book ready to tuck into my purse in case I'm stuck someplace sitting and waiting. So I buy a lot of MMPs! That's why I totally don't get the trade paperback thing. It's like some publishing executive somewhere smoked some crack before a meeting and said "Hey guys, I have a GREAT idea! Let's take the WORST qualities of hardcover books - the larger size and higher price - and the WORST qualities of mass market paperbacks - the cheap, flimsy paper and covers - and let's COMBINE them to make a whole new way to stick it to the book-buying public! And the other executives, who were also drunk and/or stoned, said "Great idea! Let's do it!" Which now means that a format that was almost unheard of a few short years ago is now showing up more and more and MORE and sometimes there's a book I really, really want (like this one) and the only way to get it is to buy a trade paperback, thereby supporting that format and making the publishers think I like it, which I SO don't. It's just that I like MaryJanice Davidson's writing more than I dislike trade paperbacks. But it was a close thing. Because I hate this format a LOT. I've mentioned this on a book forum or two and have had the response that trade paperbacks are somehow "classier" and make other people think you're reading "literature" instead of trash. My response to that is Pppppfffffttt! Why the hell should I care what other people think about what I'm reading?? Puhleeeeeeze. And what I hate even more is that I know this rant of mine is a losing battle. The format is here to stay. I might as well suck it up. But I don't have to like it. Book Pet Peeve #213 Sneak Preview Syndrome. The other thing that bugged me about this book was how much room was taken up at the end by "sneak previews" of other books. This is akin to how out of hand movie previews have gotten, in my opinion. I LIKE watching trailers for upcoming movies before the main show. For me, it does exactly what it's intended to do - gives me ideas of future movies I may want to see. Or maybe I should say it used to do that. Because it only really works for me if they only show two or three, which is what they used to do. But has become the norm to show something like 15 - 20 minutes worth of commercials and previews before the main feature. That's not an exaggeration. I've timed it more than once. The result is so much information overload that by the time I leave the movie theater I'm doing well if I can tell you what even one of the movie previews was advertising. Kind of defeats the purpose, yes? Which brings us back to the book. It's become quite common to feature a short preview of an upcoming book by the same author at the end of a novel. And that's ok. As I get older and my memory gets worse and worse, it sometimes makes me pause in a bookstore as I struggle to remember if I've already read a book or only a preview, but usually I can figure it out. But this book had 20 pages of previews at the end, none of which were previews of MJD books. 20 pages! I was reading along, thinking I still had several pages of story left, when BOOM!...all of a sudden the story was over and I realize that all those other pages I hadn't gotten to yet were all essentially commercials for other books and authors. This happened at about 10:30 last night and this morning I can't tell you the name of even one book or author the previews advertised. Not one. That's not effective marketing, it's just annoying. So where am I going with all this? I have absolutely no idea. {grin} I just felt the need to make my pissiness known. So now I have and I suppose it's time to get off this machine and go figure out how to salvage yesterday's quilt project. Oh goody.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Reasons 126 - 154 Why I Got Away From the Precision Required in Traditional Quiltmaking

In the face of the lack of any sort of idea for a new quilt I decided this morning that I would dig into my stack of finished bed-size tops and get one basted and ready to quilt. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But now I remember some of the reasons I got away from making huge, traditional quilts in recent years. Please allow me to illustrate by sharing a portion of my day with you: 126. I realize I have no place in my entire house that's really large enough to baste a queen-size-or-larger-quilt unless I do it on the outside deck or the floor of the great room. 126b. That means I would have to CLEAN the deck or the floor of the great room. 126c. I hate cleaning. 126d. It also means I'd have to crawl around on the floor to do the pinning. 126e. I hate crawling. 126f. I would also have to somehow keep all three dogs and the cat completely out of the area until I was finished. 126g. I could probably manage that with the dogs. But the cat? Yeah, right. Cats can walk through walls y'know. 126h. And if I go outside there are birds. 126i. I'm pretty sure the birds won't care about my quilt when they decide where to drop their little birdie bombs. 127. Once I've established that basting a huge quilt at my house is a Bad Idea, I have to come up with another place to baste it. 128. I think of the county extension office, which has a nice, well-lit conference room with a lot of tables. 129. I remember it's Veteran's Day and assume they are probably closed because county offices, like federal and state offices and banks, pretty much close for anything from Aardvark Day to Zesty Tomato Pizza Day. 130. I consider going to the library and using their conference room instead. 131. I remember that the library conference room gives me the wiggins. 131b. I like the library in general. The part where the books live is very nice. But the conference room, in the basement, is scary. I don't know why, it just is. I always feel like someone is watching me down there. 131c. I am NOT paranoid. Shut up. 132. Go take a shower and consider my options. 133. I decide to use the evil device known as a telephone to see if maybe the county extension office is open after all. 134. It is! It reallyreally IS! So I check the availability of the room and am told I can have it. Yay extension office people! Yay me!! 135. That means I must gather up quilt top, backing, batting, scissors, safety pins, clips and/or tape to pull everything taut, and two oatmeal cookies. 135b. Ok, ok, I didn't really NEED the oatmeal cookies. But I was hungry. 136. I drive the 10 miles to the county seat. 137. I eat the cookies. A woman has to keep up her strength. 138. I wrestle around a bunch of tables and chairs until I have a working surface that looks like it's probably big enough to hold the mega-quilt. 139. I lay out the quilt backing and pull it taut with my handy-dandy picnic tablecloth clips. 140. I lay out the batting and center it and get it all nice and smooth and flat against the backing. 141. I lay out the quilt top and notice that it seems to be hanging down too far on two sides. 142. I decide I must have laid it the wrong way. Silly Deb! 143. I move the quilt top so it's sitting on the other layers a different way. 144. I notice that something still doesn't look quite right. 144b. I realize that the "something" is that the friggin' quilt backing, which I pieced just for this quilt, is about 2 inches too small!!! 145. I remember that I am reallyreally bad at math. 146. I also remember that I have a foul mouth when I'm pissed off. (See? "pissed off"...and I'm calm now!) 147. I consider taking it all back up and going home. 147b. I realize that quilt top has been sitting in a pile for a long time, and if I leave it will probably be a couple more years before I am in the mood to do this stupid basting thing at a time when the room is available. 148. I say mind...and center it as best I can and start pinning, figuring I'll find some more of the fabric when I get home and splice a strip along a couple of edges of the backing to make it work. 149. I pin. 149b. I pin a LOT. 150. I finally pin everything that I can pin with the backing the way it is. 151. I pack up my toys and go home. 152. About the time I get home I remember that I really should have put gas in the car while I was in town. Oops. 153. I tear the studio apart (not that you could really tell since it was already a wreck! HA!) to discover that I have NO MORE of the backing fabric. None. Not one lousy inch. 153b. Splicing a plaid strip down the edges of my floral backing would be artsy, not lame, right? 153c. Right??? 154. I decide to think about it Tara...

"Ask your doctor for a reason to take it"

I saw this on Mir's blog and had to share it here too. Be sure to read the whole thing, but step away from any beverages first. You've been warned!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I first saw this meme on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (and have since seen it on a few other book blogs) and thought it was a cool one, so I didn't wait to see if I was ever tagged by anyone. I blatantly lifted it to post here. HA! So here, without further ado, are my answers to what I choose to call the Tri-Meme Three screen names that you'’ve had: This one kind of doesn't work for me. I haven't had a bunch of aliases...I pretty much "yam who I yam". Several of my email address names have been based on some variation of my oldest dog's name, Tansy, if that counts.

Three things you like about yourself: My eyes (the way they look, not how badly they see!), my sense of humor, my optimism

Three things you don'’t like about yourself: My sometimes-excessive self-absorption, a frequent lack of focus, my obsessiveness. I realize those last two sound like they should be incompatible, but somehow I manage to be both frequently unfocused AND obsessive. It's a gift.

Three parts of your heritage: Irish, Spanish, Cherokee (all on my Dad's side of the family)

Three things that scare you: Spiders, small closed-in places, the thought of three more years living in the Shadow of the Shrub (shudder).

Three of your everyday essentials: Coffee, a walk with my dogs, talking with my husband.

Three things you are wearing right now: A long-sleeved floral tee with beads and sequins on it (oooooh, shiny!), boot-cut jeans, red suede shoes.

Three of your favorite songs: This could easily change tomorrow, or even five minutes from now, but three that came to mind at the moment are "Popular" (from the Wicked cast recording), "I Feel Lucky" (Mary Chapin Carpenter), "Born to Fly" (Sara Evans)

Three things you want in a relationship: Kindness, trust, laughter.

Two truths and a lie: I like oatmeal. I like grits. I like cream of wheat.

Three things you can'’t live without: Books, chocolate, and hugs.

Three places you want to go on vacation: New Zealand, Alaska, the Mediterranean region (especially Italy and Greece).

Three things you just can'’t do: Make pancakes anyone except a starving person would want to eat, stand on my head, ice skate (or much of anything else requiring good balance...took me AGES to learn to ride a bike as a kid!)

Three kids names: Polly Esther Kerry Okie Amanda Victoria (aka Manda Tory) Good thing I'm not a mom, yes? If I had been, I might actually have used that last one. Seriously!

Three things you want to do before you die: Travel to LOTS of other countries, win a big fat award at a major quilt show, get a story or article published somewhere. (That last one is a new ambition. Hhmm...guess if I actually want it to happen I probably need to submit some stories or articles somewhere, eh? Damn.)

Three celeb crushes: Uuhhh....I'm not much of a "crusher" really. If they don't have to be CURRENT celebrities, then that's easy: Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn. But current celebs? Uuuuhh....geeze....I often have what I guess I'd describe as crushes on characters rather than on the actors who play them, if that makes sense. Like I think Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones is totally hot, but I think Harrison Ford having a mid-life crisis with Calista "Feed that Girl a Sandwich" Flockhart (sp?) is just creepy. So I think I'll just stick with having crushes on the dead celebs. 'Cause, yeah, nothing creepy about THAT! (snort!)

Three of your favorite musicians: Hhmmm....not favorite "singers" but favorite "musicians",, ok....Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, and Ray Charles again.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you: I started to put something else here and then re-read that question and saw that it said "physical" so....lessee...dimples, great arms peaking out of rolled-up shirt sleeves, strong-looking hands.

Three of your favorite hobbies: Reading, watching movies, solving puzzles.

Three things you really want to do badly right now: Eat tons of leftover Halloween candy without getting sick, gaining weight, or making my blood sugar go all roller-coaster-y. Be able to snap my fingers and have my house clean without having to actually, you know, CLEAN it. Have a quilt idea that excites me. Hell, never mind excitement, I'd even take mild interest right about now! If the Universe would hand me a quilt idea that makes me want to look sincerely into its eyes and say "let's be friends", I could work with that. Hello? Anyone? Bueller?

Three careers you'’re considering/you'’ve considered: Writer (first thing I can ever remember wanting to be when I grew up), Designer (I'm not sure of what exactly, just liked the idea of Designing Stuff), Art Teacher (I actually have an unused degree in that one)

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I love to read SciFi/Fantasy novels. I enjoy watching action/adventure movies, including the corny superhero ones based on comic books. I think of the phone as a necessary evil for the efficient exchange of information rather than as a fun way to spend time chatting with friends.

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I love to read Romance novels. I enjoy watching romantic comedy movies. I love buying and wearing GirlyStuff like shoes, jewelry, and make-up.

Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Ok, here's what I hate about the tagging thing. I'd like to see LOTS of people whose blogs I read answer this stuff! I don't want to narrow it down to three, dammit, and I don't want anyone to think "she didn't tag me so she must not read my blog and/or like me". So if I don't "tag" you and you think this is a cool little exercise in navel gazing, PLEASE...steal it! I did. {smile} And I'd sincerely love to see your answers. But in the meantime, because three people in the AQ webring specifically mentioned not being tagged for the 20 Questions thing that was going around, I hereby tag Lisa, Arlee, and Liz P for the Tri-Meme. And because I want to tag some non-AQ-ring people too, I'll make it a 3x2 tag and say that I'd also love to see answers from Laume, Sally Anne, and Rachel.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Rock 'n' Rant 'n' Roll

What Rocks? Getting my final postcard to arrive in the AQ Web Ring fabric postcard swap: "Blue Storm Brewing" by JennyG As usual, the scan really doesn't do it justice, as some of the "confetti" is metallic and some of the fibers have a sheen about them. Thanks, Jen! That was fun y'all! Maybe we should do another round after the holidays! What makes me want to Rant? Well, just a little anyway. It's not a huge thing in the grand scheme of things, so this won't be a huge rant, but take a look at the bill I got in the mail yesterday (clickable if you can't read it at the size I had to make it to fit here): Yes, that's right, UPS, in their infinite wisdom, has not only decided to start adding a surcharge for having their customers print return labels (which may or may not even be used!), but then they can't even include the surcharge on the main bill. Noooooo! They have to send an entirely separate bill to collect the princely sum of 50 cents. (For non-US folks, that's half of one dollar!) Don't you think maybe if they didn't spring for the paper, ink, labor, and postage to send an entirely separate bill that maybe...just maybe....they could go back to NOT charging me to print something myself, something the person I sent the package to may or may not even USE? (The package in question is a quilt I sent to an exhibit and if it sells I won't get it back...obviously!) I am NOT going to write a check for fifty cents. I'm just not. My first thought was to send them a roll of pennies, but then that turns into something as stupid as what they're doing because of what I'd have to pay to mail something that heavy. But still, there's got to be something in between. So what do you guys think...Two quarters or 5 dimes? Rolling Right Along... I saw this on QuizQueen Gabrielle's blog and had to give it a try. Here are my results:
Very Well-Rounded
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition. (Weirdly, your emotional and scientific intuitions are equally strong.)
Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake. Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 32% on Scientific
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You scored higher than 60% on Interpersonal
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid