No Bucket List here

I see a lot of Bucket Lists out there and I considered making one for myself until I realized this morning that my list is really one that is more impressive from an achievement standpoint, rather than a goals standpoint.  It’s just that I like the spontaneity of where my life takes me from one day to the next.

So rather than having a bucket list such as this one:

  1. Climb Mt. Everest
  2. Kill and cook my own dinner
  3. Join mile high club (those bathrooms are SO small!)
  4. Travel all of Europe with only a backpack(yeah… like the backpack part’ll ever happen!)

My list is as follows:

  1. Push 7.5lb human from extremely small opening in body: CHECK
  2. Deer hunting w/ hubby in an attempt to kill my own dinner (what was I thinking?): CHECK
  3. Fall down county courthouse steps and take my attorney with me(that was fun!): CHECK
  4. accidentally Insult client with misdirected, snarky reply-all email: CHECK
  5. Take header off of back deck, graze entire forearm against an overgrown rose-bush and nearly break my neck: CHECK

There you have it – the surprising events in life are really what make it so… much… fun!

To further this argument, I tried to attempt the stylistic and artsy feel of this quilt.  And, as many of you know, I’m really not a quilter – I get bored easily and without a change in direction, they end up in my closet, unfinished.  There are two there now, as a matter of fact.

So, wild-hair in place, I got to cutting last weekend and this is what I have so far.  Disappointing!

I thought the color combinations were coming together just fine and then I started laying it out and now I think it sucks rocks!

Maybe it’s the lighting?

Kindle me softly

… strumming my life with its words.

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! (“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s a Kindle!”)… Yes, it’s a Kindle … strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Kindle … who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel, fight a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”

I have been “Kindled” and there is no putting out this fire!

I will forever relish the stacks of books lining the shelves in my family room, the smells of new text, and the calls of bookstores and libraries, far and wide… but I am now shamelessly and forever in love with this tablet.


Come on, you know you want one….


My sweet little bug is 7 today (technically at 10 tonight).  Happy Birthday Norah!



The person who came up with Daylight Savings did not have a child, or they at least didn’t do the majority of the child rearing.  Jerk.  This is evil punishment which has been placed upon working mothers worldwide.

So here I am writing, a day late, about my Sunday.  I blame it on Daylight Savings…. All of it.

Sunday morning 9:15. I have not turned the clocks ahead.  I forgot.  Oh, I knew it was coming.  I was warned, gently reminded and even received several email and voicemail so that I would not forget.  I’m sure you’ve met them, those people who like to do that.  They are the ones that appear at your office door, well rested and exhibiting zero caffeine withdrawal, “So… ya ready for that time change this weekend?” followed by a chuckle.

Then they hang there for a few more seconds, grinning and waiting because they know the response that’s coming.  Slowly, from the mountain of growing paperwork on my desk, does my fuzzy head come up.  As my eyes are trying to adjust to the figure in the door, I slowly utter,  “Uh, whu?” and roll my eyes.  Then, with more vigor and passion, I bark out a strong “No!”

My salvation: it’s a Sunday.  I love Sundays.  This one especially because it’s raining and chilly and I have the day to do with what I want.  And one thing I want to do on this glorious day is bake.

Craving peanut butter cookies, I cranked out a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – of which a dozen were packaged off to Texas for Darrell.


1 stick butter
1 C peanut butter
3/4 C white sugar*
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 T milk
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 C chocolate chips
350 Oven.
Blend well in large bowl first set of ingredients. In smaller bowl combine the 2 set of ingredients, add to first set and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Form into 1 1/2 balls and then flatten slightly with hand.  Bake 10-12 min.  Don’t let them get too brown.  You want them somewhat undercooked feeling.  They’ll firm up as the cool.
*reduce the sugar by 1/4 C if you use a sweetened peanut butter.  We use 100% peanut butter, no sugar added, and these turn out fairly sweet.

After my baking session the real rain hit. 

It was coming in sheets and with a strong wind that made me wonder if we were going to have some trees come down in our neighborhood.  I soon realized that our gutters were spilling over the sides – which wouldn’t really bother me so much if it didn’t result in a flooded garage.  Blargh.  I wrestled up a ladder and proceeded to clean the gutters, with my bare hands and in the continuing downpour (sporting my fuzzy red slippers, black workout pants and a white T, no less!  A girl’s got a reputation to uphold!)

I now love my husband ten times more than ever!  He’s the gutter guy.  So, I got a little wet? And there’s some unidentifiable black gunk under my nails that has me a little concerned?  Big deal?  At least I was able to work off that two-cookies-worth of dough that I accidentally ate….  Oh, then there was the spoon and mixing paddle that I had to lick clean… and the chocolate chip sampling.

Serial Sewer

I ventured on to Craigslist tonight.  I have been there before.  My past relationships with Craigslist have been brief but successful.  I have sold a couple of items and found a few estate sales worth exploring.  The key to my success has been boundaries: I call the shots.

What prompted tonight’s visit was that I would like to find a couple of vintage 1940’s sewing patterns. I couldn’t think of a better tool for this search than using Craigslist!  But, some of the ads are so… disturbing.  Like this ad which was, incidentally, posted by a man whose name I’ve changed to “Norm”.  I have made some comments/observations in red.


I have a bunch of patterns. Many are vintage that belonged to my mother. Others belonged to my neighbor who gave them to me. My mother and I are not into sewing. My 90 year old mother is writing a novel, a couple sci fi stories and so on… [Translation: she’s too busy to sew with all of the literary opportunities coming her way. Big book deal in the works, too.  She is 90, after all.] 

I do not know much about these patterns. Some are from the 60s when I did a little sewing. [Translation: he’s about 60] Some are from the 70s or 80s. I know this because my mother and my neighbor both told me this. However, I am not sure how to tell the dates of them. I would LOVE for someone to come look and help me figure out what is what! [Translation: I just finished watching “The Silence of the Lambs” and I felt a real connection with the antagonist(Buffalo Bill).]

Come see.  [Come alone]  Make an offer on them. I am suggesting 2 dollars each. That is not a set price at all.

I also have many things not listed so just ask if I have something you want, and we may be lucky!  [I wonder if he’d let me check out his basement?] I want to give you GREAT prices and REAL value. Please feel free to ask for deals and favors and to make offers! [Are we still talking about the sewing patterns?]

I am selling things to clean up the extra items we have (downsize) [Translation: He lives with his mother and she’s been MIA for a few weeks] and to generate a little extra income to help my 89 year old mother. [Wait, I thought she was 90….]

I live on the ____ River. If it is nice weather, come on out with kids and/or doggies!! I love them all! [Serial killer] I have a big safe yard and two adorable orange cats! [My dogs would eat his cats]

Norm (503) ###-####

A ghetto crime scene

Our house was broken into last night.  It happened after dinner, at about 9:00 pm.

Darrell was all packed for his trip to Texas and we were left counting the hours before his departure at the unGodly hour of 4:00 this morning.  As is usual with Darrell’s military departures, we were faced with a minor household “issue” in the days leading up to his trip.  This time, the garage door was opening and closing at random times, day and night.  Regardless, we had decided earlier in the day to eat out at one of our favorite burger places in Portland.  So, on our way out to dinner, while Darrell and Norah waited in the car in the driveway, I unplugged the garage door mechanism and then left the house through the front door.  Unbeknownst to Darrell or me, neither one of us brought along a house key!!

And let me tell you, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get into your own home!  After testing all doors and windows, we weighed the options:  locksmith + time + ultra early wake-up + Norah without a coat (Mommy guilt moment.  In my defense, I was not aware of this until we were miles from home) v. break a window.  Breaking the window won by a landslide and surprisingly, in hindsight, pretty quickly after a few of my unsuccessful attempts to force my way in. 

I first straddled some Hydrangea bushes, one leg precariously poised on a garden hose caddy, in an attempt to reach and dislodge a window from its track; tried to wedge my Burgerville points card in the front door to jimmy the lock (I swear this worked in a Law and Order episode I once watched, but the choice of card may have been a key factor); and a unsuccesful attempt involving the oversized spatula from the gas grill accessory box.  Darrell kind of patiently waited, watching my attempts and, of course, knowing that they would all fail. 

Finally, wielding an axe, he broke a window.  The sound was incredible.  Given the recent crime spree in our neighborhood, he suggested I give the neighbors next door a heads up.  I quickly imagined that interaction: Norah shivering at my side with the “why wouldn’t you call a locksmith” question hanging in the air between the neighbor and me.  I didn’t budge. 

After we were all cleaned up, Darrell was preparing to cover the gaping hole in the glass.  I referred him to my painting supplies, suggesting that he use a piece of my thick, plastic tarp.  I knew that the plastic would work well to keep out the cold until I could get the glass repaired.  Heck – three-weeks durable, baby!!  Oh, how my husband knows me…  ignoring my suggestion, he returned to the scene of the crime, wielding packing tape and a plastic Albertson’s bag, “Because I know you are going to call the glass company right away to get this repaired.”  Damn.

Stitching through time

I found the following photos in a few of the blogs at Colette Patterns. I love reading how many of the great designers got their start working in Hollywood, designing for major film stars of the early 20th century.  The clothing is beautiful and many of the designs timeless!

These are a few of my favorites and only a sample of what was posted:

On a completely different topic, while cruising around the net, I discovered that during the ’60s and ’70s, Simplicity produced a line of patterns to suit fuller figured youngsters, which they termed “Chubbies.” 

I also came accross a few of Lane Bryant’s historic and unforgettable ads: