Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Do my eyes deceive me? After a month that has lasted approximately 11,847 days, can it truly be the LAST Tuesday in October?? It is, it really IS! And that means it's the last week of October's Self-Portrait Challenge theme of Imperfection. Yay! So, what one last horrid flaw should I share during this Paean to Flawed Humanity? Here it is - the sad truth. (You should maybe sit down because I think you'll be shocked. Or not.) Y'all, I'm not cool. I'm not dignified, or regal, or sophisticated. I am, in fact, a big ol' dorky goofball. I'm someone who, when she sees her 17-year-old niece wearing extra-long blue-and-silver false eyelashes doesn't think, "how silly" but instead thinks "oooh, I wants me some of those!" I'm someone who would grab those eyelashes off the table when said niece takes them off and would put them on herself and would then try to wink, despite the fact that I can't actually make my facial muscles create a proper wink. I can sort of close one eye if I squint the other one ALMOST closed and screw my face up into an unattractive grimace, but I don't think that's really winking. I'm someone who, when her sister grabs a camera and says "hey, hold up your wine glass and give us a thumbs up," doesn't think "well, no, that would look stupid" but instead says "Duuuuh, Okay!" and then posts the resultant photo on the internet. Aha, wine, you may be thinking. So this is like one of those drunks wearing a lampshade moments, right? Wrong. I had not yet finished even one glass of wine when this photo was taken. I wasn't drunk. I wasn't even slightly buzzed. This is just who I am. I hope I'm still allowed to appear in public now that I've revealed this terrible imperfection. Ahem. "Self-portrait as a Goofball" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) PS - Those of you who saw last Tuesday's SPC post, take note of the bruise just under my watch band - "a little clumsy," remember? And nope, I have no clue where or how I got that.
Monday, October 30, 2006
October Bliss List
It's Bliss List time again! Here are some things that have been making me feel Blissful in October:
- The colors of autumn leaves
- New shoes that fit like comfy old friends from the first time I tried them on
- Getting to see my niece and nephew on their Homecoming weekend
- Flannel sheets (cozy!)
- My new camera! (I know I went on and on about it last month, but I have to say it again. I'm having so much fun with it!)
- Celebrating the anniversary of my husband's grand entrance on Planet Earth (aka Johnny's birthday!)
- Lazy Daisy cake - first time I've made it in ages. Yum! (I was inspired by a post on my friend Morven's blog)
- "The Thirteenth Tale" - fabulous book!!
- Hot soup on cool nights (Yum again!)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Of Stats, and OPBP*, and Quizzes, and Stuff
(*OPBP = Other People's Blog Posts) Stats I've had several people ask how I found the keywords people used to find my blog - the ones I talked about in this post. I answered in the comments for that post, but because I know a lot of people don't go back and read the comments (or never read them in the first place!) I'll talk about it here too. I would think if you're using a pay service (like Typepad) to host your blog it should include access to your stats, but if you're using a freebie like Blogger, you won't find your stats there. (Ya gets what ya pay for!) You have to add a little bit of code to your blog template to collect the information. I use Stat Counter. I know several other people who have had good luck with SiteMeter. Both are free for the basic no-frills service and both are pretty simple to install into your template and give you insight into lots of interesting information about where people are coming from and what they're looking for when they find your blog or website. And don't we all need something new to obsess over? Ahem. OPBP I wanted to share a couple (ok, THREE, if you want to be picky about it) things that caught my eye on other blogs the past couple of days because some of you might find them interesting too. If you want to read a really good rant you can go HERE, where The Zero Boss talks about NBC refusing to air a commercial for a documentary about free speech. Yep, I know...the mind boggles. If you check it out, be SURE to read the comments too, where commenter Francesca (Stuntmother) writes the best curse I've ever seen - EVER. It should be put on a t-shirt or coffee mug or something. Or, in the category of silly-but-fun, you can go HERE where the writer has put a great deal of thought into analyzing who would win in a space fight between Serenity and the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. I have to say, I agree with most of it. (And yes, I realize that the fact that I think this is worthy of thought proves that I'm a big ol' dorky GEEK. Heh.) Or, for still kind of silly, but fascinating (at least to me) reading, you can go HERE, (a site I found courtesy of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), and read the results of a challenge issued by Wired Magazine for writers to write a 6-word story. Yep, you read that correctly - six words. They had submissions by several writers including Margaret Atwood, Joss Whedon, Gregory Maguire, Neil Gaimon, Kevin Smith, and many more. My personal favorite was by Margaret Atwood: "Longed for him. Got him. Shit." Are any of you up for writing a whole story in six words? Here's mine: "Flew to Mars. Spaceship crashed. Oops." Quiz of the Week I should probably skip this part, but it's Sunday and Sunday is Quiz Day. It's a tradition, dammit!
Stuff, in this case, being today's DAT, a photo I took of my dog Riley while I was partway up a tree and she was looking at me like I was nuts:
"Please Don't Let That Woman Fall On Me"
(clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
I'm off to Fall Back into bed now. See you on the other side!
|You Are From Neptune|
Saturday, October 28, 2006
A List of Firsts
If it's Saturday, it must be MemeDay. I got this one from Bee. 1. Who was your first love? His name was Jimmy and we were both 5 years old. We would say "I love you" to each other and steal kisses on the merry-go-round at kindergarten recess. He told me we were going to get married when we grew up. Liar! :-D 2. Who was your first kiss and when? Not counting Jimmy and the merry-go-round? His name was Danny and I was, hhhmmm...14 I think. (Weird bit of trivia - almost every boyfriend I ever had, up to and including my husband, had a name that started with either a J or a D. Very strange!) 3. Who was your first prom date? I never went to a prom. I went to a school where it was against the rules to dance. Yep, just like this movie! (I LOVED that movie. I still kind of do.) 4. Who was your first room mate? Her name was Carol. We only roomed together one semester, my first year of college. She was nice, but we had very different personalities and ended up hanging with totally different crowds and both moved on to other roomies pretty quickly. 5. What was your first job? Very first - babysitting. Then in college I worked for the admissions office during the school year (first two years, then for the college art gallery the second two years) and flipped burgers during the summer. (Bleah. I remember always smelling like grease and onions, no matter how much I showered!) 6. What was your first car? An AMC Concord. Real glam, yes? Ha! I loved that car, though. It was the first big purchase I ever made by myself. (My dad was with me and gave me advice, but I chose it and worked out the deal.) 7.When did you go to your first funeral? The first one I remember going to was for my uncle (Mom's older brother) who died quite young. He was only...hhmm...37 or 38 I think, and died of complications from heart surgery to correct a congenital defect. I must've been around 13 or so. (If I went to any before that, I don't remember them.) 8. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? That would be when I went away to college. I was 17. 9. Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Hammons. I detested her and the feeling was mutual. 10. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Washington DC. I was 11 years old. I LOVED it!!! 11. Where did you go for your first date and who was it with? I was 13, my date's name was Doug. Neither of us was old enough to drive, but we went on a double date with our friends Pam and Mike - he was 16. We went out to dinner - very tame. 12. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I'm not sure I ever DID sneak out of my house. I stayed out so late that I had to sneak back into my dorm after hours in college a few times. (I went to a private school and there was a curfew.) Unless you're my dad reading this and then - Hahahaaa, Dad, just kidding! I studied hard every night and then went to sleep by 11:00 PM. REALLY! Ahem. 13.Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them? Debra H. We're almost exactly the same age and our moms were good friends, so they threw us together from the time we were infants. We were friends pretty much all through elementary school, but no, I wouldn't say we're friends anymore. We never had a falling out, we just gradually grew up and apart into different lives, but we're friendly when we occasionally run into each other. The last time I saw her was 5 years ago, when she and her mom came to my mom's wake. 14. Who was the first person to send you flowers? I've had people send me flowers over the years but I'm not sure who did it first. Probably some boyfriend or other, and his name probably started with a J or a D. Heh. 15. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house? College dorm room. 16. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? My husband, unless he's the one causing the bad day. :-) 17. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen? If you include flower girl in that, I was a flower girl for my mom's cousin, Charlotte, when I was around 5 years old (give or take a year or so). (Edited to add: Y'know the more I look at that photo, the more I think I must've been more like 7 years old. My brother looks 4-ish in that and I'm three years older. Funny the tricks memory will play on you - I'd have sworn I was 5 when I was in that wedding!) But the first time I was actually a bridesmaid was for a high school friend of mine named Gleah. We were way out of high school by then though. We were both around 24 or 25 at the time she got married. Dig my big, blonde, '80's hair! 18. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Open my eyes and say hello to the husband, dog, or cat who has caused me to leave my blissful slumber. As usual, if you want to steal this meme, just tell me so in comments and you can consider yourself "officially" tagged! Here's today's Daily Art Thang. Don't bother reading anything profound into the title. I'm being quite literal - this is the view of the railroad tracks looking the other way from yesterday's DAT. "Looking the Other Way" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Friday, October 27, 2006
You Found Me HOW?
I know lots of bloggers have written posts about keyword searches that lead people to their blogs, but I never have - until today. Most of the time I don't even think to check to see how people got here! But today, inspired by a recent post by Dragonfly, I decided to take a look at the keyword analysis for Red Shoe Ramblings and tell you what I found. In the past couple of days, these have been the most popular searches used to find my blog: 10. Redhead L'Oreal Um, yep. That would describe me all right. Did you have a question? 9. 80's Clothes and Hair Oh dear. Must we go there? MUST we??? It appears we must. Did anyone else notice how Danielle (Bree's daughter) looked on this past Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives? Big, curly hair, HUGE earrings, a big-shouldered striped t-shirt, skinny pants. I'm tellin' ya, she could've wandered straight from that episode into pretty much any '80's teen flick you can think of and she'd have looked right at home. I'm thinking any day now it'll be time to buy a pair of scrunchy ankle boots and start wearing some of J's fishing lures on my ears. 8. When do spiders go dormant? I don't think they do. I think the sneaky little hairy-legged, multi-eyed bastards just move inside and try to make nests in places I don't want to think about while waiting for their chance to suck my face off while I sleep. I swear one built a mansion of a web in ONE night in my dining room window this week! (...shudder...) 7. frizz ease ethics In my opinion, if easing your frizz makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone, then it's ethical. But hey, you're entitled to your own opinion. I never claimed to be a philosopher. 6. Rent character analysis Mimi Mimi is a needy, wounded, girl-child in a woman's body who almost self-destructs by trying to fill her emotional void with drugs and sex. But she has a heart of gold and a couple of really good musical numbers. Next! 5. Lollipop guild munchkin shoes Really? With all the beautiful shoes in the world, you really want to know what the lollipop guild guys were wearing on their feet??? Wow, I don't even want to see inside your mind. Sorry, no help here, although if you click on that last link you might find what you're looking for. Maybe it's for a Halloween costume. Yeah, that's it...I'm going to believe you only want to know how to put together a Lollipop Guild Munchkin Halloween costume. Whew! 4. Playing in my head earworm Oh man, do I ever know where YOU'RE coming from! I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. Oh hell, I'll tell you first! I've had "Kiss" by Prince in my head for two solid freakin' WEEKS. I've tried thinking of other songs and it doesn't work. I've even tried thinking of other Prince songs, hoping it would sort of wean me away from hearing the exact same one over and over. Nope. Not even Little Red Corvette can drive away his Kiss. "You don't have to be rich to be my girl. You don't have to be cool to rule my world. Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with, I just want your extra time and your....KISS!" There, is it in your head now too? You're welcome. 3. Fabric Postcards Wow, kinda cool that this is number three. When I think to check, it's usually number one on my search list. I'm glad people like it, but it's nice when people visit for some other reason than the infamous fabric postcard instructions. I've had about 40 bazillion hits on that thing in the past year (rounded up to the nearest bazillion). If I'd had any idea when I wrote that post that it would turn out to be so popular, I would NOT have gone out of my way to point out my stubby, unpolished fingernails in one of the photos! And I might have chosen a wine that actually went with the chocolate instead of just grabbing a pretty bottle out of my pantry. Ahem. 2. Grey's Anatomy footwear Ooooh, do you mean those fabulous red stillettos they show in the opening credits?? Those are HOT! Sadly, you will not find them here. And if I had them, I wouldn't share. I would put them on a pedestal in some flattering lighting, and admire them daily, and show them to visitors (as long as they promised not to touch!), and only take them down now and then for naughty games with my husband. (Was that Too Much Information?) And the most popular search to find my blog this week: 1. How to crochet a scarf Oh dear. Oh, you poor, poor people who are evidently being led to this post. I hope I haven't scarred you for life. Here's a bit of advice from Auntie Deb. If you want to know how to crochet a scarf, it might be a good idea to click on links that actually describe the finished object as a "scarf" instead of clicking on a link that describes how to make a "scarf-like object." I'm just sayin'. In the future, if anyone does a search for "blonde with cleavage" they're going to find this DAT, not because it has anything to do with blondes or boobage, but because I'm warped and find the thought of it amusing. "Blonde (trees) with Cleavage" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Poetry Thursday: a Poem for an October Night
Rather than following the prompt for Poetry Thursday, I decided to post a poem that I ran across a few months ago and liked. I remember thinking at the time that it didn't feel right to post it then. It felt like an autumn sort of poem. So I'm going to share a portion of it now. It's called "Witch" and is written by Jean Tepperman. It's a long one and I'm only going to share the last third or so of it here, but if you want to read the poem in it's entirety you can find it on this website or in the book "Ain't I a Woman!" a selection from: Witch ...They built screens and room dividers to hide unsightly desire sixteen years old raw and hopeless they buttoned me into dresses covered with pink flowers. They waited for me to finish then continued the conversation. I have been invisible, weird and supernatural. I want my black dress. I want my hair curling wild around me. I want my broomstick from the closet where I hid it. Tonight I meet my sisters in the graveyard. Around midnight if you stop at a red light in the wet city traffic, watch for us against the moon. We are screaming, we are flying, laughing, and won't stop. ~~~Jean Tepperman Here's another shadow portrait for today's Daily Art Thang: "Autumn Shadow 2" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
So "Bird Brain" may not be an Insult!
If you could magically transform yourself into an animal for an hour or so - a once in a lifetime thing just to see how that animal experiences the world - would you do it? I've always thought I'd want to try being a bird and be able to soar above the earth to see how much it feels like my flying dreams. But a recent article in Parade magazine gave me one more reason to think it would be cool to see through a bird's eyes for just a little while:
For the best sight, we need a bird's-eye view. Some birds have at least four types of color receptors. "We can't possibly imagine how incredibly colorful the world is to birds' eyes," says Scott Lanyon, professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "For every color that we perceive, birds can see multiple distinct colors. Relative to birds, we humans are all color-blind."Of course it might be hard to go back to being virtually color-blind after that, but still, what an experience that would be! What about you - if you answered yes to the first question in this post, what animal would you want to become for an hour and why? Here's today's Daily Art Thang: "Autumn Shadow" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
SPC: Imperfection, Week 4 - Too White (and a little clumsy)
Another week, another flaw. That's the story of the Self-Portrait Challenge in October. So what's the flaw I'm sharing this week? I'm white. Oh, I'm not white like snow, or styrofoam cups, or albino bunnies. But I'm way toward the pale end of that peachy-beige sort of color commonly known as "white" when used to describe skintones. What, you don't think there's anything inherently wrong with being white? Yeah, that's what I think too, but it turns out that in the eyes of modern society a person can be "too white." Most of my ancestors came from the cool, misty northern regions of Europe where there wasn't a lot of reason for genetics to favor the production of melanin. In other words, I was born to be pale and to not have a lot of tanning capacity. But still, I can't tell you how many times people have taken one look at me in the summer sun and exclaimed, "You're so WHITE!" I've heard references to cave dwellers, vampires, fish bellies, ghosts, and things that glow in the dark. Ironically, as recently as a few decades ago milk-pale skin was considered fashionable and highly prized in most Western cultures. Women who had it guarded it carefully, while those who tanned easily covered up in the sun and used lemon juice (or even more caustic substances) to try to bleach out unwanted color and look more like their paler sisters. But somewhere along the way, lifestyles and fashions changed. Creamy-white was Out and Coppertone-tan was In. For years, I was certain this was a "flaw" I could overcome. As a teenager, I spent hours in the sun, coated in baby oil, in the quest for the golden-brown shade society considered perfect. And I burned. And peeled. And burned again. And peeled again. I shudder to think now of all the damage I did to my skin trying for something I could never really achieve. And then there were the tanning beds I tried in my early twenties. Because yeah, THAT'S a good idea for an extremely pale woman - strip down to your skivvies and lay in a coffin-shaped box while allowing yourself to be bombarded with ultraviolet radiation. If they'd offered barium-laced cocktails on the side it could've been almost like a post-apocalyptic spa day. After that I tried some tan in a bottle stuff and, while I wasn't happy with the results, at least that's not permanently damaging (as far as we know...ahem). I consider it to be akin to coloring my hair or trying colored contact lenses - temporary and fairly benign. But still, eventually I wondered why I was even bothering with that. Why was I letting other people tell me that a darker skin tone is prettier, or healthier-looking, or automatically "better" than the skin I was born with? It makes no more sense to me than the futile practice of generations of women trying to bleach out darker skin. Isn't it more important for my skin to be healthy and to look good with my hair and eye color? That's what I ultimately decided anyway. So now if someone decides to point out my dreadful flaw by saying to me "omigosh, you're so WHITE" I just smile and say "thank you." Oh yeah, and here's a little bonus flaw. See the boo-boo on my leg? I have no idea how I got that. I'm so used to bumping into things that I seldom even pay attention when it happens. I absent-mindedly say "ow" and go on with whatever I'm doing, and then later I see a scratch or bruise and think "Wow, that looks like it must've hurt. Wonder when/where/how I did it." Heh. "Too White (and a little clumsy)" (Clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Monday, October 23, 2006
It's All About the Colors, Baby!
Quilty Colors Hhmmm, should I have told you to sit down before I said the Q-word? Well don't get too excited, I'm not working on anything major, but I did do a little sewing recently(ish). Remember I was meeting my friend Nancy for her birthday lunch this past Friday? Well I came bearing gifts. A group of us gave her a quilt block shower. We made enough blocks to give her one for each year of her life. (I won't say how many that was because I didn't ask if I could. Ahem.) All of them were blue and yellow star blocks and here are the ones I made: Maybe when she uses them all to make a quilt one of these days she'll let me post a photo of it. How about it, Nan? Artsy Colors After we had lunch, Nancy and I went to an exhibit of Impressionist art at the U.K. Art Museum. (In this case U.K. would be University of Kentucky, not United Kingdom.) Wish I could show you photos of some of what we saw, but of course they don't allow cameras. Check out what I bought at the gift shop though - light switch covers decopauged with bits of art prints. Cool, yes? The one with the Mucha print (on the left) is now in our library (aka 'puter room, aka studio), while the Gauguin one on the right is now in the kitchen. Autumn Colors And finally, for a few of you who have been asking to see what the fall colors look like here in Kentucky, here are some photos I took on the drive home - literally. I had the camera along and every now and then I just held it up and aimed it toward the front windshield or side window of the car and snapped, just to see what I'd get. The colors are a bit muted this year, especially since Friday was overcast, but here's a little photo series of my drive home from Lexington. The last couple are my Daily Art Thangs and all the photos on this post are clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window. On Paris Pike where a lot of the huge multi-million dollar horse farms (estates!) are. Not that you can see any of them in this shot, but trust me, they're here. If you look at the larger version, over on the far left of the photo you can just barely see the edge of one of the dry stone fences that are all over this part of the country. Ok, so it isn't exactly the Eiffel Tower, but it's a tower, it says "Paris," and I thought the trees at the base were pretty. On a stretch of road knows as Pleasant Valley. (You really should click this one and see it larger. The light was kind of cool.) Ok, even if you click the larger version you won't see much more than a tiny white speck, and in this smaller version you pretty much just have to take it on faith, but from the ridge I was driving on you JUST can see our house on another ridge in the distance. Also, check out the road curving away in the mirror in the lower left corner of the photo. Pretty nifty, eh? "Country Road" Just after you turn onto the road I live on, this is what you see. And yes, the road is just as narrow as it looks in this photo. It's about a lane and a half and if you meet another vehicle you both have to slow down and squeeeeze over until one set of tires is just off the edge of the road. Unless you meet here, where there IS no edge on one side and then someone has to back up. "Country Road 2" This is the view just past the end of our driveway - the last thing you'd see before you start up the hill to our house. Hope you enjoyed the autumn drive!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #30
1. I heard about this website from Corky: Bizarre American Holidays. I hate the site design (it was evidently designed by someone who does NOT have middle-aged eyes that appreciate some contrast between text and background!), but it's a fun place to poke around. I discovered that J shares his birthday with Virus Appreciation Day and I share my birthday with Buzzard's Day AND Everything You Think Is Wrong Day. Who knew?? Not me, obviously, because everything I think is wrong. What amazingly bizarre holiday shares your special day? 2. I got a pair of these pens in the mail the other day after hearing about them from the fabulous Mir on Want Not and I like them! They feel nice in my hand and they write smoothly. But of course the thing I like very best about them is that I get to walk around the Bible belt using this pen in the post office, bank, grocery store, etc. and watching people do a double take if they notice that the pen says www.penisland.net on the side. I've always known I have a very active Inner Child, but it's only in recent years that I've come to realize that perhaps my Inner Child is a nine-year-old boy who appreciates fart jokes. 3. I took the quiz below because Chief Biscuit dared me to. I have to say, while I think the "score" is pretty accurate, I think the write-up about it is silly. Who says we're supposed to completely change our lives every ten years? I'm thinking the goal is to change what needs changing and keep the good parts, yes? Ah well...silly quiz writer!
"Neon Star Tower"
(both are clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window)
|You've Changed 40% in 10 Years|
Saturday, October 21, 2006
A Saturday Meme Thing
I'll share more about my girly day out soon-ish, but for today, it's the weekend and I'm running late getting something posted and feeling lazy, so I'm falling back on one of my stand-bys for these sorts of days - Ye Olde Meme. I got this one from Amber, Susannah, and Kristen. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A day spent with people I love, doing things I love. (Or is it a day spent with things I love doing people I love? Naaahhh...) What is your greatest fear? I'm not going to say. I'll talk about my normal everyday sorts of fears all you want, but I'm very superstitious about talking about the big ones, and in particular of putting them in writing. Dwelling on them feels to me like I'm inviting those very things in to my life. (Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts~~~~~) What is your favorite journey? The one to someplace I've never been What do you consider the most over-rated virtue? Chastity (That was Susannah's answer and I'm keeping it because I agree.) What virtue do you wish you had more of? Moderation. I truly believe in the saying "All things in moderation, including moderation" but I'm not very good at it. I tend more toward an all-or-nothing sort of attitude toward things. On what occasion do you lie? When I think the truth will do more harm than good and I don't have the option of remaining silent. Which words do you most over use? Really, totally, very, actually (I'm very attached to my modifiers!) What is your greatest extravagance? Books! I should use the library more, but I want to OWN them, dammit. What do you dislike about your appearance? For most of my life I'd have said my never-flat stomach, but in the past few years I think the toll gravity is taking on my face is bothering me more. Clever dressing can help camouflage an overly-round belly, but puppet lines forming around my mouth and a sagging jawline are just out there for all the world to see. Which living person do you most despise? I agree with Kristen - there's a special place in hell for pedophiles. (I don't even believe in Hell in the Biblical sense, but pedophiles almost make me hope there is such a place.) What is your greatest regret? I don't regret much, but if I could have a talk with my teenage self, I'd tell her not to worry so much about being "good" - trying to be what people thought she should be. When I was younger, I spent so much time and energy on that, that when I did break loose now and then I did some things that, looking back on them, were just plain stupid. I'm luckier than I probably deserve that nothing bad came of those times. So I'd tell my younger self to spend less energy on being "good" and more energy on being smart! What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, the rest of my family, books, art. When and where were you happiest? I don't know. I've had lots of happy days in my life, but no one thing stands out to me as THE happiest. Which talent would you most like to have? I'd love to have a really fabulous singing voice. What is your current state of mind? Lazy (Hey, it's Saturday morning!) If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? My mom would still be alive. If you could die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be? Well, I wouldn't want to come back as a "thing" so it would have to be a person! But I don't know of a specific one - someone who is happy and loving, and who lives a good life. What is your most treasured possession? My photo albums stuffed full of memories What thing would you like to have, that you do not? Enough money for my husband to retire now instead of years from now and for us to travel What do you think is the lowest depth of misery? Grief, in any shape or form (This is another of Susannah's answers that I'm keeping) What is the quality you most like in a man? Kindness, intelligence, passion, integrity, humor, an adventurous spirit (I know that's more than one quality - so sue me!) What physical quality do you like in a man? Tall, beautiful eyes, a great smile, and I kind of have a thing for both dimples and sexy forearms (and I can't tell you what defines "sexy" for me in regard to that part of the body, I just know it when I see it!) What do you most value in friends? Kindness, humor, intelligence, integrity What quality do you most dislike in a person? Being two-faced (Or as a friend of mine says - Don't smile in my face while you're pissing down my leg!) Who are your favorite writers? WAY too many to list them all, but some that come to mind would be Jane Austen, Charles deLint, Dean Koontz, Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters Who are your heroes in real life? People who live through experiences most of us can't imagine and not only survive but somehow find a way to use those experiences - that survival - as a source of strength What are your favorite names? I like old-fashioned names, things like Lily, Rose, Grace, Elizabeth, Adam, David, John, William How would you like to die? I'd like it to be one extreme or the other - either slipping quietly away in my sleep or being right in the middle of doing some fabulous adventure, like having a heart attack during a Senior Citizen parachute jump or something. Either way I'd prefer it to be several years from now. :-) What is your motto? "Reality is fine in small doses, but as a lifestyle it's much too confining." (Lily Tomlin) If any of you want to do this meme and haven't already, let me know in comments (assuming Blogger lets you, that is...gggrrrrr) and you can consider yourself "officially" tagged. Here's today's Daily Art Thang: "Bluebird Box" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Friday, October 20, 2006
A Glimpse of my World
The earlier gentle days of autumn have turned to the sort of days that can make a woman have to fish her bra out of a tree. EvilDemonKittySky continues to let me know my place in the universe. My husband has interrupted his latest remodeling project (an addition to the garage) to head south for a few days to talk some sense into some factory's machine. And I'm off to meet my friend Nancy for lunch and a visit to an art exhibit. (Yay!) How's your week been? Today's DAT: "Nail Bucket" (most of these photos, including this one, are clickable if you want to see them larger) Hope you all have a great weekend!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Happy Birthday, Nancy!
Poetry Thursday: Avoiding the Past
This week on Poetry Thursday, the prompt for the week is to spend time with poetry we normally avoid. This idea was submitted by Michelle and here's what she had to say about it: "I'm sure we all have those poets/time periods/genres we avoid. I usually try to stay away from anything written before the twentieth century. Why? Because I've made myself believe I can't understand it; that it's too difficult. Some of us may avoid love poems because they're too mushy..." There's more and you can read it at the Poetry Thursday blog, but I quoted that part because Michelle has described exactly the type of poetry I tend to avoid. My favorite poems tend to be quirky and to have a humorous edge, even if the humor is dark (maybe even especially if the humor is dark). I have a tendency to avoid poems that take themselves very seriously, and poems that are extremely flowery and sentimental ("mushy!"). I quite often avoid poems more than 100 years old because either I expect them to be preachy or sickeningly sweet, or because the language seems old-fashioned and difficult to understand and I don't always feel like taking the time to work my way through the lines and really THINK about what the poet was saying. (Lazy, Deb, very lazy!) But this prompt seemed like a really good idea to me, so I went to the poetry section of my bookshelves and pulled off a volume I rarely open - "The Oxford Book of English Verse." I have no memory whatsoever of where I acquired this book. It might have been something I kept from my parents' things when we helped Dad clean out the house after Mom died, or it might have been something I picked up at a flea market or yard sale for some reason. (I'm prone to odd impulse buys at those places!) It's not a very large volume (about 8 inches by 5 inches and a couple of inches thick) but it's crammed full of small print - over 1,100 pages of poetry written between 1250 and 1918. The original copyright date is 1900, but this "new and revised" edition was printed in 1939. I spent a while on Monday reading various poems at random from this volume and it was really pretty interesting. Some of them justified my worst fears about older poetry in terms of style, sentiment, or both. For instance, take a look at the first couple of lines of this poem called "Blow, North Wind" that dates to around 1300 and was written by an unknown poet: I chot a burde in boure bryht, That fully semly is on syht, Um...huh??? My guess would have been that the poet was saying something like "I caught a bird in [something!] bright, that fully seemly is on sight" but I'd have been wrong. There's a footnote that explains some - not all - of the archaic words and it turns out that "I chot" means "I know" and "burde" means "maiden." It doesn't explain "boure", unfortunately. So evidently it actually says something like "I know a maiden in [something!] bright, that fully seemly is on sight." In other words, the poet knows a pretty girl. Yeah, sorry, but that's way too much work for me to get to "I know a pretty girl" when there's so much other poetry out there for me to enjoy. But on the other hand, there were several poems that I really liked when I took the time to read them and to really try to understand what the poet was trying to say. So today I want to share the poem below, written sometime in the mid-17th century because, while the style might seem old-fashioned, I found the sentiment expressed to be very modern. How many of us have seen friends dating people we couldn't stand - maybe falling in love with them, contemplating marriage - and we've wanted to say to that friend's lover "Dude, get lost. You aren't good enough for her." And here's someone basically saying that in verse almost 400 years ago. Add to that the rumors, embraced by some and denied by others, that the lady described in the poem may have been a secret lover of the poet and it all starts to sound a bit like a modern soap opera, doesn't it. Fascinating! To One persuading a Lady to Marriage Forbear, bold youth; all's heaven here, And what you do aver To others courtship may appear, 'Tis sacrilege to her. She is a public deity; And were't not very odd She should dispose herself to be A petty household god? First make the sun in private shine And bid the world adieu, That so he may his beams confine In compliment to you: But if of that you do despair, Think how you did amiss To strive to fix her beams which are More bright and large than his. ~~~Katherine Philips (aka 'Orinda') 1631 - 1664 Here's today's DAT (which has nothing to do with the poetry): "Orange Light" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Good Book, Bad Chocolate (No Spoilers)
Good Book I'd been hearing the buzz about Diane Setterfield's novel, "The Thirteenth Tale" for a while and I just finished reading it earlier this week. Wow! It's a mystery in the Gothic tradition and has been compared to stories like "Rebecca" and "Jane Eyre." Vida Winter is a wildly successful, but mysterious and reclusive, best-selling author. She's given several interviews over the years and in every interview she's told a different version of her past, all of them blatantly fictional. One day Miss Winter writes to a young woman named Margaret Lea, who works in her father's bookshop and who has a modest reputation for writing scholarly biographical essays. Miss Winter tells Miss Lea that if Margaret will come to her house and listen to her story, that she (Miss Winter) will finally, after all these years, tell the true story of her shadowed past. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. The beginning seemed to move rather slowly and Margaret seemed so cool and disconnected that I wasn't sure I was going to care very much about what happened to her. But just like Miss Winter's story grabbed Margaret, this book gradually, insidiously grabbed my attention until it was getting harder and harder to put it down and do other things. By this past Monday night - well, early Tuesday morning, really - I sat up to finish it because I simply couldn't stand to go to bed without knowing how it would all end. This is one I already plan to re-read sometime in the next few months because I want to see how the story feels to me now that I know how it all turns out. Highly recommended! I give it an A-. Bad Chocolate Y'know, I'm pretty easy to please. Really! I love chocolate and even so-so chocolate is usually better than oh, say...Brussels sprouts or liver. So when I saw this: ...the other day, I was, well...maybe not excited exactly, but interested and prepared to be pleased. I like dark chocolate, citrus, and spice, so a Dove Organic Citrus Spice Dark Chocolate bar should be perfect for me, right? Riiiiiggggghhht. IF, that is, "right" means "ugh, NO, are you kidding me?" I opened it the other day when I was craving just a bite of chocolate. I broke off a square and prepared to saver a nice smooth spicy citrus bite. Then BAM! my tastebuds were on instant overload from what tasted like a freakin' mouthful of raw ginger. It's not like ginger can't be combined with chocolate effectively. Target's Choxie line includes a lovely dark chocolate bar studded with bits of candied ginger and it's yummy. But this? Ack! Once I burned past the overwhelming taste of ginger and could taste the chocolate, it started to improve, except that then it finished with what I assume was supposed to be the citrus taste, except that instead of tasting like the juice of fresh oranges, or even halfway decent orange candy, it tasted like that icky white membrane stuff that you aren't supposed to eat on oranges because it's so bitter. I found myself wondering WFT they put IN this thing??? So I turned over the package to look at the ingredient list. It included chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, orange extract, and flavors. Did you catch that last one? FLAVORS, y'all! Want to know how Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster define the word "flavor?" Take a look: "the blend of taste and smell sensations evoked by a substance in the mouth." Yeah, let's think about that a minute. If you can put it in your mouth and it evokes a taste and smell sensation then it's a "flavor." Do we really want to think about exactly how many "substances" are covered by that definition? Excuse me, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. (And hey - vomit has a flavor!) Don't get me wrong. I'm sure the flavors they put in there are perfectly acceptable food-type stuff, but that doesn't mean they should've all been combined into one poor, innocent chocolate bar. I mean come on - I probably could create a recipe to make a Honey Dill Ribeye Chocolate Bar, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD! Lesson learned. Next time I look at the ingredient list BEFORE I buy a new food item, and if I don't see something a little more specific than Flavors, I'll have to pass. Today's DAT, which has nothing whatsoever to do with lovely books OR disillusioning chocolate experiences: "Oak and Maple" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
SPC: Imperfection, Week 3 - Potty Mouth
Time for yet another week of wallowing in our (alleged) flaws for the October Self-Portrait Challenge. Funny, I never noticed before how long the month of October is. It must have at least what....57 days or so? Yeah. Anyway... Before my weekly SPC confession I must make it clear that my parents are blameless in this matter. They tried to raise me right. They took me to church. They read stories to me and taught me to read them to myself. They made it clear that certain behavior wasn't acceptable in their home. They taught me the concept of respect for myself and others. They were both teachers who had excellent vocabularies and tried to pass that on to me. And I think it worked, really. I think most of what they tried to teach me stuck. It's just that in the end my vocabulary has come to include some words that are a bit more, um....colorful than they might have liked. I don't mean I cuss constantly or anything - not even close. I know profanity is overused a lot in modern society and I get as tired as anyone else of hearing someone drop a half-dozen F-bombs into a mundane observation about the weather. But I also think it's a bit ridiculous that there is still a perception in some circles that a "nice" person shouldn't say anything more vulgar than "Good gracious! Mercy me, that certainly does sting!" even if her arm is being chewed off by a rabid dog. So I admit it. Judging by the standards with which I was raised, I ended up with a bit of a potty mouth. I use some words and phrases that would make my mother wince if she was still around to hear them. And sometimes I think maybe I should try to be a bit less bawdy, a bit more refined. But other times? Well. Like it or not, sometimes there's just nothing more satisfying in this world than raising your head to the sky and yelling "Fuck this shit!!!" "Self-Portrait with Potty Mouth" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Monday, October 16, 2006
Time in a Bottle?
In one of those lovely cases of synchronicity that I enjoy so much (no sarcasm intended there, I really DO) the theme of this past weekend seems to have been Time. The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings yesterday was "If I Could Stop Time" and, while I don't participate in SS (at least so far), many of my favorite bloggers do and I've had a great time (Har!) reading some truly wonderful and imaginative writing this weekend. (Follow the link if you want to read them too. And BTW, do you think I could work just ONE more parenthetical aside into this paragraph if I worked at it really [really] hard? Guess so!) Then yesterday morning my friend Deirdre, who has a knack for finding cool websites, sent me a link to the Yahoo! Time Capsule Project. Am I the last person on earth to hear about it? Probably so, since I've said for years that one of these days the earth is going to end and I won't know about it until the next day. But ANYWAY, in case there's someone else out there reading this who hadn't heard of it either, here's what the project organizers are doing: "For 30 days, from October 10 until November 8, Yahoo! users worldwide can contribute photos, writings, videos, audio, even drawings to this electronic anthropology project. This is the first time that digital data will be gathered and preserved for historical purposes. ...by November 8, you will have helped create a digital legacy of our times, a mosaic of revealing snapshots that will be sealed and entrusted to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings based in Washington D.C., officially taking its place in history." Some of the categories for submissions include things like Faith, Hope, Sorrow, Anger, Love, Family, You, Beauty, Fun, Now. I think it's a pretty cool idea and I plan to take some of the photos I've already posted on my blog in the past year and a half (things that are therefore already out there in the public) and make it my goal to contribute something to each category before the deadline. Here's what I uploaded today: (clickable if you want to see them larger in a new window) If you want to see how my submissions appear on the site without clicking through thousands of entries to try and find them you can see them Here and Here. And if you want to submit something yourself, go Here. I'll warn you, I didn't find it the most user-friendly website in the world, but with a little perseverance I figured it out, and once I did it's pretty simple to submit something, so I hope some of you give it a try too. There was another thing or two I'd thought I might mention today, but this is getting long (wow, what a shock - NOT!), so I'll save those for another day and go ahead and get to today's Daily Art Thang. Even the DAT has a bit of a Time theme, as I took this photo when I noticed that my spring-blooming Bridal Wreath Spirea decided to put on a little fall show - first time in nine years I've ever seen it do that. "Out of Season" (also clickable) Y'know, "Out of Season" seemed to me to be the perfect title for that photo, but now I'm flashing back to the '70's and channeling REO Speedwagon. "I'm so out of season. You left me cold and I'm standin' here freezin'. I'm so out of season now...." It's a Time Thing.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #29
1. Does anyone who reads RSR live in or around Houston? Or does anyone who reads RSR plan to go to the International Quilt Festival there the first week of November? I got word a couple of days ago that one of the quilted fabric postcards I donated to the Fiberart For A Cause fundraiser to raise money for the American Cancer Society is being featured on a poster that will be used to advertise the fundraiser around the city of Houston. This is pretty exciting as they seem (from the email) to have only chosen 8 postcards to feature out of 2500+ donated. So, YAY! If anyone lives in or visits Houston during Festival time and spots one of those posters around town, I would LOVE to have a photo of the poster on location. In fact, tell ya what. I'll even offer a bribe....er, I mean a PRIZE. If anyone sees the poster with my fiber postcard on it somewhere in Houston and takes a photo of it and emails a copy of that photo to me telling me exactly where you saw the poster, the FIRST person to do so will win a fiberart postcard of their own (assuming I have a way to contact you for your snail mail addy). I'll make it just for you and mail it to you. So lemme know if you're in the area and game to go on a one-item photo scavenger hunt. :-) The postcard they'll be featuring will be one of these two: (they didn't tell me which one they were using) 2. I mentioned these two websites around this time last year, but I think they're worth a repeat nod, as they're both seasonal fun: Here is a website where you can carve a virtual pumpkin and see how it would look without all the mess of scooping out oogie, slimy pumpkin pulp and seeds. (Although this way you don't get to roast the pumpkin seeds and eat them for a snack, which is a shame because they're pretty tasty!) And Here is a website where you can play a game of Hangman featuring a sarcastic skeleton. The only way I can figure people are getting the scores I see on the high score board are that they play so much they memorize the word list. Sheesh! I feel like I'm doing good if I break 200! It's fun though. If you play, let me know how you did! 3. If it's Sunday, it must be Quiz Day, so here we go:
(clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
|You Are 84% Intuitive|
|You Are Incredibly Logical|
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The Tale of the Seven-Legged Spider
The other day (before it got so cold and windy around here!) I was taking some photos on the back deck where we have some volunteer lettuce and sunflowers coming up in a half-barrel planter. I noticed a daddy-long-legs spider crawling around on one of the sunflowers. Digression: Do y'all call them Daddy-long-legs or Granddaddy-long-legs? I've heard it both ways. Or do you call them something else altogether? Anyway... Anyone who has spent a lot of time around RSR knows that I have a wee case of arachnophobia. I KNOW spiders are very useful for catching destructive insects and they spin beautiful webs, but they totally creep me right the hell out. It's all those eyes stuck at random places that do it. That's just not right. (Shudder) So I have drawn a line. If the spiders stay outside, I leave them alone no matter how creeped out I am. However, if they are stupid enough to enter my house, I assume that they are too stupid to live and I'm perfectly willing to send them to that giant spider web in the sky. Natural selection, y'all. But y'know, there's creepy and then there's CREEPY. Creepy is when you see a paunchy old guy with a long, gray ponytail buying black mesh bikini underwear. CREEPY is when you see him wearing them. Creepy is baby dolls who wet themselves. CREEPY is Bratz dolls, and serial killers, and mimes. For me, on the Official DebR Spider Creepitude Scale, Daddy-long-legs are merely creepy, not CREEPY. So when I saw one crawling around on my volunteer sunflowers I decided to face my fear (in a rather literal sense) and take some macro photos instead of just going "eeeuuuwww" and getting as far away from him/her/it as possible. I did the job pretty quickly, because I'm not THAT brave, so it wasn't until I pulled the photos up on the 'puter to edit them that I noticed that this spider was a little different. He was an amputee! Yep, I'd just done a photo session with a Seven-Legged Spider. I wonder what happened to him and how long ago. Do spiders re-grow lopped-off bits the way some lizards re-grow their tails, or if they lose a leg are they legless forever just like we would be? It didn't seem to slow this guy down any. Once he noticed me with one or more of his many eyes (shudder) he scurried away pretty quickly. But I got some creepy-but-cool photos before he left and my favorite of them is today's Daily Art Thang. "Portrait of a Seven-Legged Spider" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
Friday, October 13, 2006
Just a few days ago, Darlene asked the question "What makes Autumn official for you?" My reply to her was this: "What makes autumn official for me isn't any one thing, it's a combination of several things - when we have the first fire in our fireplace, when I switch the sheets on the bed from plain cotton to flannel, when I make soup for supper after a summer of grilling and salads, when I start wearing socks and close-toed shoes every day instead of wearing flip-flops." At the time I wrote that comment, I hadn't done any of those things yet. At the time I wrote it, we were still having the sort of glorious early autumn days where the sky is an almost unbelievably intense shade of blue and the leaves are just barely starting to change color, where the days are warm and dry, the nights are cool (not cold), and the breeze has a little bite to it that tastes of Granny Smith apples. At the time I wrote that, October in Kentucky looked like this (today's D.A.T.): "The Hunt for Red October" (Hey, y'know, that would make a helluva good title for a book or movie! Someone should totally use that. You're welcome.) (Clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) (Triple parenthetical asides used by a trained professional on a closed set. Do not try this at home.) But in the last few days, Autumn has stomped her little foot and decided to show us who's boss around here. I tried on boots earlier this week (although I didn't buy them) and I haven't worn flip-flops since Tuesday. I wore a heavy jacket and hat on my walk yesterday and was grateful for them both. We had homemade vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for supper the last couple of nights (yum!). So far we still haven't had a fire and I haven't switched the sheets to flannel, but it's only a matter of time, and not much time at that. Hello, Autumn! Looks like you're official.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
One of Those Days
Written: Thursday, 8 AMish, EDT Posted: Thursday, 10:47 AM EDT (not as late as I thought it might be!) It's Thursday in Kentucky. Now I realize it may seem like I'm stating the painfully obvious to most of you, but as it happens, I'd completely lost track of that little fact until I checked in on a couple of blogs right before I went to bed last night and started seeing some Poetry Thursday entries showing up. At first I thought "huh?" and then I thought "crap, I guess it IS Thursday." I'm not sure what day I thought it was, but not Thursday. I was too tired then to bother with putting together a post last night, but no big deal, right? I'll just get a good night's sleep and do it in the morning. Except now it's morning (of Thursday! see, I know what day it is. Yay me!) and Blogger seems to be having ISSUES. Again. What a surprise! Well, except for the part where it isn't a surprise because they have issues so frequently. I can access some Blogger blogs this morning, but others I can't, and guess which blog is one of the ones I can't access. Go on, guess, you know you want to! If you guessed that one of the blogs I can't access is my own, you win a shiny tiara and a cherry-red pogo stick! (Both virtual, so I hope you have a good imagination.) However, being the wildly optimistic person I am, I figure what the hell. I'll go ahead and write a theoretical blog post and save it in the hope that Blogger will get some serious therapy and I will perhaps be able to make this post go from theoretical to the um....not-so-theoretical (what word do I want there??) before the day is over. If you're reading this, it worked. If you're not reading this, then how do you know what I'm saying? This whole thing is just a little weird. Remember the ivy pic I posted a few days ago? There should be a link in the previous sentence, but since I can't access my freakin' BLOG, I gots no linky love to give. But hopefully some of you actually DO remember it. Anyway, this next photo was taken the same time from a little different angle and not quite so close-up: I wanted to show what I started with, but the messed-with version below is today's Daily Art Thang: "Ivy - Paintified" (starting photo is clickable if you want to see it larger, but this version isn't - sorry! WYSIWYG.) I'm pretty much going to call participating in Poetry Thursday a loss for this week and try for next week, but so I don't leave RSR's Thursday visitors completely poetry-less, here's a tiny verse that appeals to the dark, perverse side of my sense of humor: You Fit Into Me you fit into me like a hook into an eye a fish hook an open eye ~~~Margaret Atwood Happy Thursday, y'all!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (if you call 100 "a few", that is)
"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and wa..." Oh! Excuse me, I was channeling Julie Andrews for a minute there. I haven't been able to get that song out of my mind ever since I saw Susannah's list of "100 Things I Love." I'm finally getting around to posting my version and I kept a few of her answers because some of those really are things I love. Also I should mention you won't find my family or friends on this list, even though I love them the most of all, because I'm trying to make this a list of things or experiences rather than people. So ok, onward! These are a few of my favorite things: 1. blue skies 2. books 3. movies 4. kissing 6. coffee 7. the ocean 8. freedom 9. my intuition 10. candle-lit bubblebaths 11. wine 12. poetry 13. Good Mail 14. back rubs 15. rainbows 16. soft, fuzzy sweaters 18. cinnamon 19. photo albums 21. puzzles 22. soft, clean sheets 23. flying 24. chocolate 25. raspberries 26. imagination 27. pretty shoes 28. singing in the car 29. dancing 30. laughing 31. hope 32. fountains 33. confidence 34. cuddling 36. smiles 37. puns 38. swings 39. rocking chairs 40. writing 41. hot, passionate sex 42. a fire on a cold night 43. air conditioning on a hot night 44. open windows on a night that's just right 45. dessert 46. doodling 48. vanilla 49. going to plays 50. whistling 51. my computer 52. kittens 53. the scent of honeysuckle 54. comfy, old jeans 55. dangly earrings 56. seeing the UPS truck pull up 57. corny musicals 59. woodland streams 60. photography 62. my dreams 63. gorgeous lingerie 64. paper dolls 65. margaritas 66. traveling to new places 67. hugs 68. rings 69. lilies 70. pasta 71. cat naps 72. the wind in my hair 73. antiques 75. colored glass vases and bottles 76. cruises 77. the scent of line-dried laundry 78. karaoke 79. sleeping outside 80. autumn leaves 81. games 82. the stars on a clear night 83. seafood 84. my brain 85. optimism 87. viburnum 88. my ratty old bathrobe 89. movie popcorn 90. jasmine 91. sparkly, shiny things 92. art 93. mountain-top views 94. my sewing machine 96. tortilla chips with salsa 97. home 98. having someone else brush my hair 99. roses 100. blogging! (both writing mine and reading others) DAT: "A Few of My Favorite Things" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)