Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tara's Babies

Tara's Babies is so close they can taste it to being able to own their special piece of land that they call Daikini Valley. I'm probably not going to do the best job of explaining it, but i'll do my best, and maybe some of you can help in some small way.

When Katrina hit, i think that all of us were appalled, worried, concerned, distressed, saddened, but also gladdened by small things (and not so small things) that people did for one another. I will never forget watching Anderson Cooper showing such raw emotion and calling the powers that be (or were) on their BS. I will not forget seeing the people on their roofs, people on overpasses, children wandering around lost. I also remember seeing one dog in particular - on a roof, i believe, or maybe on a porch - all alone. I believe it was again, Anderson Cooper who was reporting days perhaps even a week after Katrina hit and he was talking with people who had their animals. Again, Anderson was raw and you could tell that tears were close to the surface when he was talking with people who would not leave because their animals could not come with them. And people who had to leave their animals behind. There was one person who had just been reunited with his dog. Thinking back on it, even now it brings me to tears.

Well, the Buddhist community in Sedona saw a need and went to fill it. They brought back hundreds of those dogs (and some cats, i think)that were left behind. They took them to their retreat area, Daikini Valley. The hope was that they could reunite some of them with their owners and those who didn't get reunited could be adopted out to new families and those who weren't adopted out would have a safe sanctuary where they could live out the rest of their days.

Monday afternoon is the deadline for donations so that they can keep this land and it will be theirs. They still need around $75,000. that sounds like a HUGE amount, but if many people give just a little, it can be done. if you're thinking "gosh, we'd only be able to give 5.00" just think, if everyone could give 5.00. that would make a HUGE difference.

you can read Dara's post about Daikini Valley here - and this is where you can donate if you'd like to.

What a wonderful thing it will be on Tuesday to read Dara's blog on Tuesday and reading that they have secured the land! You've just got to put it out there to the universe sometimes. So that's what i'm seeing right now - in my head and in my heart.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

interesting

i found this quote on rachel's blog. She wondered what it said about her. so i'll do it too.

When interviewed for her 70th b-day on Oprah, Maya Angelou said: "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

i sometimes wonder if these are questions that rob should answer about me. how different would our answers be?

so - for me - a rainy day...truth be told, i love rain. i don't really like gray days that go on and on with no release. we get those here, but, as deirdre reminded me, i *do* live in the desert now...but when it does rain, it is not surprising to see me taking the kids outside to stomp in puddles. in our early dating years, i had some amazingly fabulous rainboots - i called them my rob stomping boots - not b/c i wanted to stomp on rob, but b/c when we'd walk in the rain, or immediately after a rain, i could stomp in the puddles and get rob wet. it was great fun. we don't go out in the deluges that we get here occasionally - partly b/c it seems like we'd be knocked down and partly b/c usually the deluging (like that word?) rain is usually accompanied by significant lightening.

one of the things i loved about Papermill was that the parents were WAY cool with their kids going outside and playing in the rain - most were okay with the kids being barefoot in the sand while it was raining. my toddlers had fun. we'd go stomping in the puddles and just play. truly fun. i highly recommend going puddle stomping if you haven't done it recently. there is something full of pure joy (for me, at least) and delight about stomping in puddles.

lost luggage - again, not something that would kill me unless i had something truly valuable (like a quilt, or laptop, or something along those lines...then i'd be freaking out). mom taught us to always bring essentials with you in your carryon - so, a pair of underwear, a change of clothes, whatever. with kids, i generally have a change of clothes for them, my camera, rescue remedy, and other essentials with me. if you are going to hawaii, bring a bathing suit in your carryon. i don't know if it's the same now, but (cough gasp! holy heck i'm hurting my brain thinking about how long ago it was now....) 19 years ago, the airlines were notorious for losing at least one bag of luggage per trip.

tangled christmas lights - rob usually does the lights, but i've helped untangle my share of lights. back in the day (longer than those 19 years...), i'd help my dad with figuring out which light was burnt out so that we could get the lights to work again. it might have been very frustrating for my dad, but i remember it fondly b/c i was doing something helpful. i love the decorating of the christmas tree - it's a very special thing for me. almost sacred, i guess. we have very special ornaments. both rob and i have ornaments from when we were quite young - some that are older.

so, what does this say about me?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

honey bees

has anyone heard anything about this? it's an article from the NY Times. ken sent it to me this morning. i'd heard a bit about it on NPR recently. you might have to subscribe (free) to the online site to be able to read the article. basically, we've lost more than a quarter of the honeybees in the US. they are dying of some sort of disease. there are all sorts of possibilities for it. but what it is, well and truly, is a BIG HUGE GINORMOUS DEAL!! many things NEED the bees to polinate the plants. without bees, we're up an ugly creek. there is a map by the article that shows all of the states that reported a loss of honey bees due to "honeybee colony collapse disorder." it's a HUGE amount of states! if i counted correctly, there are only 19 states that didn't find it in their honeybee populations. yikes!

we've got to quit mucking up the earth!! we are doing irrevokable harm! why don't more people see this?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

O is for...

what is this Wordplay thing? well, wordplay is this cool personal alphabet/dictionary doodah that Laume is hosting. hosting? i don't know what to call what she's doing, but she's doing it. if you want to know more about it click here. i'm still way behind everyone, but it's fun. c'mon! you ca join in if you'd like. all the cool kids are doing it :)

open – I try hard to be an open person. I try to share of myself and hope that people will be open and share back. I also try hard to be open-minded. I know I’m not always as open minded as I should be. for instance, I really can’t listen to Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh. I just can’t. it’s quite possible that they could tell me the sky is blue and I’d be trying to find some way to show the lie in it. so, I work on it.

“o is very useful. you use it when you say “oscar’s only ostritch oiled and orange owl today” thank you dr. seuss

oodles – I think this is a fun word.

ogle – do you say this ohgul or ooooogle or awgul? my girlfriend and I had a discussion about this at one point.

organic – we try hard to buy mostly organic products. when the farmer’s market starts again, we’ll buy more from them this year. not everything is strictly organic (it can take several years to be certified as organic), but they are local and most of them are producing veggies and fruit w/o pesticides. buying local is very important. think of the gas that it takes to get something organic from chili – or china, or many other places. I was a bit distressed to find out that many of the yummmmmmy organic things at trader joe’s are from far far away. but they are good, and many of those things that I can’t get elsewhere, I will continue to buy from them. but I’m trying to be mindful of where my food and meat is coming from. I miss Pat and Bob having their lambs. we knew exactly what went into them and exactly what we were eating when it came time to eat them. they were yummy.

ogre – sometimes I am a bit of an ogre. it just comes out of me. then I feel badly.

oggie ben doggie – mentor to Fluke Starbucker, friend to Ham Salad and Princess Anne-Droid

oak – oak trees are majestic and beautiful and many are perfect for climbing. there are many of them in the bay area. oak is also wonderful when it is a cask and permeates the flavor of red wine. yummmmmm.

osmosis – I would sometimes study by osmosis...you know, fall asleep while cramming w/the book either under my head or on my chest?

oatmeal – did you know that oatmeal is a galactagogue? well it is! so is brown rice. rhys loves oatmeal with raisins and yogurt (banilla, thank you very much). I like yogurt too – w/brown sugar or raw local honey a wee bit of salt and milk.

ocean – I love the ocean. I can remember when we used to go to newport beach when I was little. we had to get there really early (like 8:00? maybe I’m misremembering, but I know we were there early) so that we could get a good spot. I would get tumbled and jumbled in the waves. there were those scary times when I couldn’t quite figure out which way was up, but I loved it too. body surfing was such fun. I was better at that than I was at surfing w/a boogie board (which didn’t come around until later). I wonder how mom survived that – I don’t know that I could sit on the beach with irene and rhys tumbling around in the surf. yes yes, overprotective....in fact...

OVERPROTECTIVE – yes. that’s me. it seems that every time I try to take a bit more of a step back, something awful happens in the world and makes me bring my kids closer to me. yes, when I grew up I got to go outdoors and play until the sun was setting. yes, I did that w/o parental supervision (at least not the parents outside). I have a very hard time doing this. there are too damned many scary things happening out there. too many child molesters out there. too many crazies with guns. too many scary things. so, yes. I’m overprotective. but I also try to give the kids space to do things and work things out. I try to give them positive experiences, but we’ve also talked (briefly and mostly to irene) about the fact that there are scary things out there.

October 28, 1995 – our anniversary *beam*

orangatan – what beautiful animals. very smart. and the color of their hair is often an auburn color that I’d love to have.

off-center – sometimes I feel this way. more recently I think than previously. it could have to do with having such a differing opinion from those of many of my neighbors.

Office Space – if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to work in a cubicular world or if you’ve worked in that world yourself, this is the movie for you. oh MAN is it funny. there is a whole scene about a printer and the error “PC LOAD LETTER” which I have gotten before when I worked in cubicle land and it was DEAD ON what I felt like (just type that into the YouTube search and you'll find it. the language is definitely R rated, so just know that). there are so many funny parts to this movie. it’s a gem.

outdoors – this is such a funny thing. I DO love being outdoors, and I reallllly love camping (even if I AM the mosquito beacon to end all mosquito beacons), but truly, I could be happy being in my house for days on end as well. I love the smell of the outdoors. I love setting up a tent and reading by the firelight. I love looking at the stars and the moon and the sky. my favorite smell? the smell of earth (and even of asphalt) after it rains. it’s like that right now, in fact. it’s a smell that makes me deliciously happy.

olives – I’m not so much a fan of black olives. the kind that you put on your fingers. I like the kalamata olives, spanish olives, most of the specialty kind – very salty, very yummy.

oops – yep, I say this a whole heck of a lot.

orange – the fruit and the color – I like them both very much.

ouija – I haven’t played with one since I was in junior high at a slumber party. my friend Kristin and I were playing with it. she was starting to ask some of those questions you’re not supposed to ask a ouija board. the triangular thing went to goodbye so quickly it truly flew out of our hands. that was it for me.

and so, this finishes the Os :)

oh no! I can’t finish it yet.....(family members can leave now so I don’t blush so much!)

orgasm! a very lovely O word. sometimes there are foods that I refer to as orgasmic – like the orgasmic cheesecake from the Olema Inn. our wonderful friend, Bob, used to work there. he introduced me to their cheesecake. oh my doggie but they were yummy. in fact, he was so wonderful to me that at our rehearsal dinner, he brought an entire one for me :) I shared it with my bridesmaids. we had a fun time that night – lovely spa in the room, big ginormous bed, pullout sofa bed and a cot. truly a wonderful way to spend the night before my wedding. we probably had some red wine as well.

Friday, April 20, 2007

getting to know me - a childhood version

Tammy hosted another round of getting to know you over at create a connection!

She thought for this week we could look at some of our childhood memories.

1. What was your favorite childhood family vacation? Where did you go and what do you remember most about the trip? (this doesn't have to be a big trip... even a camping trip - or whatever you remember!)

we did a ton of camping when i was growing up. there was one trip i took w/my mom - what i remember most is wanting to taste the pretty white (large) onion. i'm sure mom warned me, but i probably (knowing me) asked her over and over again...so she let me take a big bite of it -- OH MY!!! there was also the month long trip my dad and i took the summer he and my mom got divorced. we went to all of the states west of the mississippi and iowa (where my grandparents lived). we saw so much cool stuff - i remember lying down in four corners (no picture of that), going to mesa verde when you could still go in and really see everything - and even touch stuff! we saw a bear in yellowstone, saw old faithful, slept under the stars, i got a million and one mosquito bites and was referred to as The Polka Dotted Lady b/c of the calamine lotion dots i had all over my body. sleeping in a hammock and watching fireflies w/one of my dad's oldest friends at his cabinish place - very hippy like living there. there were all of the camping trips with dad and moni and my cousins and aunt and uncle to Lake Perris. my cousins and i would go riding our bikes everywhere - we were junior rangers 10 times over - collecting trash etc. moni, dad, matt & i went on a long trip up to canada one year. that was really cool too. we did a lot of camping trips and i loved them all.

2. If you knew your grandparents, what do you remember most about them as a child? If you didn't know them, what stories do you remember being told about them?

my dad's mom died when i was very very young. i remember feelings more than anything else about her. his dad died when i was 7 or 8. i saw him last on our trip to iowa. he was apparently a hard person, but i mostly remember his crooked smile. his 2nd wife, gramma enid, came out about once/year for many years. she died this past year. my mom's dad died when i was 6 of complications w/MS. he was in a wheel chair when i knew him. he had a wonderful laugh. from him i get the laughing until i'm crying when trying to tell a particularly funny joke. my gramma (mom's mom) is now 92. her short term memory is very very short term these days, but it hasn't always been like that. i went to visit her once/month when i was living w/my dad and stepmom. we would go to the movies, or just hang out, we shared so many good times together. she has always been there for me. and i am lucky enough to actually have another set of grandparents. papa and gramma are moni's parents. my papa died in 1995 - just as rob and i were coming home from our honeymoon. it was not unexpected. we talked to him a few times while we were on our honeymoon. anyway, papa and gramma took care of us every thursday after school. my cousins and i would play "spy" a lot (they lived next door to papa and gramma). we were never as sneaky as we thought we were, but that's okay :) i have so many good memories with them. i'd give my papa back massages -- i was very proud of my strong hands. his shoulders were often very tight, so i would massage them. he said i did a good job of it which puffed me up proud like a peacock. gramma is still doing really well. we saw her at tamale day. she has a wonderful smile and a laugh that makes you smile. she's an amazing cook. she used to make homemade tortillas and they'd be ready when nisa, travis and i would get home from school. oh my DOG there is just not much better than freshly made hot tortillas with a bit of butter inside of them straight off the griddle!! YUM!

3. Do you have siblings or not? What do you remember about growing up with or without them?

i do. i have a blended family, so i have several. i have jer (5 1/2 years younger), jolie (8 months older), ted (10 months younger) and matt (8 1/2 years younger). i grew up w/jer for 3 years, then had a break of 5 years while i lived with matt, then back up and living with jer until i went to college. matt and i have always been of the mutual admiration society. i made him all sorts of costumes and made at least one of his team banners. we had a wonderful time together and we still do. i don't get to see any of my siblings often enough. jeremy was able to push all of my buttons. but we also had fun together. he could make me laugh until i nearly peed my pants. he still can, i'm sure. jolie and ted were with us every other weekend - so jolie, ted, and jeremy pertain to mom and ken, and matt is moni and dad's. is it all clear? i always wonder about that. i don't think of my sibs in terms of steps/blood/half, so i know i've confused people on occasion.

4. What did you like best about summer vacation from school? camping.

5. Did you like school or dislike school? What is your most memorable school moment?

mostly i really enjoyed school. my most memorable school moment? hmmm...it could be when i stood up to the school bully in 5th grade. or maybe when the hail came down in 4th grade and we all ran out to stand in it - i remember thinking it would taste like rock salt b/c that's what it looked like. or the talent show in 9th grade, or perhaps being a pickalittle lady in 11th grade? asking doug orr to dance to "hard for me to say i'm sorry" in 7th grade (if no one was going to ask me, i was going to ask them - i'm the same way now when it comes to dancing). he turned out to be my first boyfriend 2 years later. or it could be in 7th grade when the principal called first my cousin in and then a few minutes later called me in to let us know that gramma had made it through her operation and was doing fine. or when i wrote an article for the school newspaper in 10th grade about how odd it was to have such a division of races at my new school in northern california when in so cal there had been more different races but less division.

Bonus: Post a favorite photo of yourself from your childhood!!

my bonus points

this is one of my very most favorite pictures of myself. i think i'm 5 in this picture - maybe 4. i can't remember if it's pre-divorce or post. i can remember the day and there are other pictures of me playing with my friends angie, parkie (parky? it was a nickname - his real name is gary), and timmy.


this is april or may of 1978 when we were moving for a short time to my gramma's house. this is my newly 2 year old brother jeremy and my 7 1/2 year old self. omg! in this picture, i am irene's age!! wow!
this is the month after mom and ken got married. we're at our new house in oakland (so july 1978). my hair STILL does that same funky flippy thing on that side. so, from L - R we are: me (7 1/2), jeremy (2), ted (6), and jolie (9) and my mom in the background. we were going to Casa Maria and we kids are in our wedding clothes.
i don't have any pix w/my baby brother, matt, scanned yet. but i do have this one. i love this picture from my wedding - all of us laughing and having fun. that's my baby brother on the left. he was 16. he's to the left of jolie (she was my maid of honor). man it was beautiful that day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

yesterday

yesterday's killings at Virginia Tech is just beyond me. I am just - god, i can't even think of a word. Horrified? Dismayed? Shocked? Sorrowful beyond belief? I just don't understand it. Don't give me the "everything happens for a reason" crap - what could possibly be the reason for someone to go on a shooting spree and kill 32 innocent people and then himself?!? i'm sorry, but i don't think that was really part of god's plan (or whomever else you happen to believe in). i think about the families, about the friends, the professors. it's just so so sad and awful and heartbreaking.

rob suggested that we homeschool our children through college.

i am just so sorry for all involved.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

getting to know me ... again

tammy at create a connection posted the following questions. yep, it's been a while since i did one of these. sorry about that.

1. If you had to change your first name, what would you choose as your new name?

hmm - i have no idea...at one point, i think i wanted my name to be diamond - that might have been for an ice breaker thing...sounds like a pornstar's name. i have no idea what possessed me to think that would be fun. perhaps i was going for the shock value of it...maybe something like beth or oooh, josephine! then i could be jo - i dearly love jo in little women

2. What is your favorite saying, quote, or expression?

“"it is what it is" or,(wasn't it Nietzche who said...) "was mich nicht zerstört, bildet mich stärker" i'm going to have to see if that's what it says on american dreamer...it means "what doesn't destroy me, makes me stronger"

3. If you could buy any rare collection in the world, which would you choose? Why?

gosh - i actually am not sure. probably art of some sort. i might find someone whose art i love, but hasn't been funded properly - a struggling artist and help that person by buying and promoting his/her art. or, maybe it would be 1st edition children's books.

why? heavens, because it's beautiful - wonderful? lovely? the children's books are fun to read and to share.

okay - i thought about it some more...i'd probably get my children's art framed professionally instead of just tacking it up to the wall. and i'd get giant prints of some of the pictures that we've taken and frame them too....then it would be a rare collection.

4. If you could fly in a hot-air balloon over any city in the world, what city would you choose? Why that city? Have you visited there before?

would i just be flying over it?or would i get to stay there for a while? there are hot air balloons around here. they had them in the bay area as well. but if i'm going to get to stay wherever it is (and if rob got to go with me), maybe venice. or maybe lugo or santiago de compostela in galicia. why? because they are both amazingly beautiful. i'd love to share what i saw of both places with rob and seeing them from either place would be lovely -- and could we drop down on San Marcos Plaza? or perhaps near La Muralla?

5. What is an item you own that has a minimal monetary value but has such sentimental value that you would not sell it for $5,000?

i have more than one thing...and actually, it's not the whole list of what i wouldn't sell for $5,000. one is my pearl necklace from my grandmother schoenmann. they are costume pearls of a superb quality and so beautiful. it's one of the few things i have from her. my uncle gave them to me shortly before i got married. i wore them at my wedding - it was my something old. the ring on my necklace that belonged to my father-in-law (Bob) when he was a baby. it has an r on it. i've spoken of it before (i think it was in my N post). Pat (my MIL) had worn it for as long as i'd known her. she gave it to me after rhys was born. the angel tree topper that my mom made when i was very little -- she gave it to me - gosh - i think when she moved to ohio in 1994. those are just a very few...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

thinking blogger!?!! moi??!!!


DebR who is very pretty and special and talented and smart and funny and beautiful and has such lovely shoes has honored me and just whelmed me over with a Thinking Blogger Award!!! this means i was one of 5 bloggers she chose. i'd never even heard of this before and am just amazed and pleased and puffed up like a peacock. oh, did i say that before?

As Deb said, i greatly enjoy each of the blogs that i have posted on my blog as well as some others that i haven't yet put on there. but, this is a share the love meme and it has rules...

1)you are supposed to link to the original post

2) choose five other blogs that make you think and pass along the love and adoration and the
special award.

and

3) deb has asked that we choose at least ONE person who is a thinking blog award virgin

and so, here i go....my choices for a Thinking Blogger Award are:

1) Lydia at keep your eye on the kids

2) dara at daramusing

3) Carrie at Draw Circles

4) Julie ZS at High Fiber Content

5) Jaye at Artquiltmaker Blog

there are so many other blogs that i read and have read that inspire me and make me think. i wish i could have picked more than 5.

And again, Deb, thank you!! i think of you every single day - when we sit down to eat in my dining room, when i answer the phone, when i cook. all places that have little (and not so little) pieces of your art. i am lucky lucky lucky to have you in my life - and i'd've given this right back to you, my friend. b/c your blog makes me think and makes me laugh, and inspires me. *smooooch!* thank you!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

nevada children's museum

rob's got some video on his blog of the kids (mostly rhys) at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada from last thursday. the pics on that link are a year old - they don't have the covered wagon display anymore.

it's funny. i was really spoiled in the bay area -- we had the Bay Area Discovery Museum in sausalito, habitot in berkeley, MoChA in oakland. those are the places i'd take the kids to. most often i'd take them to the discovery museum. we had an annual pass - actually it was a reciprocal pass. it also got us into the nevada children's museum. hopefully we'll get another one for some b-day or xmas or something b/c it covers a huge amount of children's museums all over the united states - including stockton and escondido. hopefully when there is the new and groovy and for real children's museum in reno, it will be covered under the reciprocal membership.

anyway, even knowing that the CMNN is smaller than just about children's museum i've gone to, even going in with low expectations, i was still disappointed. the really important thing is that the kids loved it. they always do. they had such fun and there were several kids that came at various times and irene had the best time interacting with them. it's sort of like....i don't know, the little museum that tried really really hard. all of the exhibits are in a gymnasium. so that's how big it is. one of the coolest things they have was not working. the piano mostly works. it really does try hard. it's about 1 hour from where we live, so that's not too bad. but it will be great when the reno discovery museum is open.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

teeth - perhaps not for the squeamish

bleh. for years and years i've had tooth nightmares - usually it's that my teeth are peeling - what a disconcerting feeling that is...even when it IS in a dream. i've had other teeth nightmares as well (like teeth falling out), but that's the one i remember most.

anyway, last year at some point, i chipped a tooth (the number 5 tooth). i didn't really realize that's what it was for a while. i thought i had a piece of something caught there...then i'd forget about it, then remember it, but i didn't make a dentist appointment for it. last week, i bit into something and my whole head went ZING!!!!!! oh gah! ick! ouch! and so i looked. well, crap. i have a freaking HOLE not just a tooth. why hadn't i even LOOOOOKED at it in all that time??? bleh. so, i found a dentist (by coincidence, it's the same one mom and ken go to) and told them the situation. today was the appointment. they numbed me up but good - b/c it's a front-ish tooth, i was numb on one side of my nose and even my eyelids were numb. odd sensation. they had a tv, but the only thing it would play (unless i was going to have a LOT LOT LOT of work done in which case, they could put on a movie) was Fox News. er, yeah, that wouldn't make me less tense. it would make me MORE tense. i told the hygenist that next time i'd bring my iPod. she said that was fine. i'm also going to bring rob's headphones. i can close my eyes and go into lala land while i'm being worked on, but the sounds the drill make just puts me on edge.

the cavity was very bad and very deep. the dentist said we will need to keep an eye on it :( bad kristen. i need to go back in may to get a 2nd filling put in on the other side of my mouth. it's apparently right against one of my amalgum fillings from when i was probably 10? so they will replace the amalgum and fill the cavity. delightful. bleh. THEN, at some other point, they'll do a cleaning. it's been more than 4 years since my last cleaning. bad bad bad kristen.

i'm sore now. he worked a long time getting the decay gone, so it's not so surprising that i'm a bit sore. i've taken arnica twice, i might take some more. right now i'm just exhausted mentally and physically. it's amazing that i'm not wide awake b/c my friend Irina plied me with much lovely tea. oh well.

the moral of the story....just go to the damned dentist when you first have a problem. AND, get regular cleaning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

n is for...

what is this Wordplay thing? well, wordplay is this cool personal alphabet/dictionary doodah that Laume is hosting. hosting? i don't know what to call what she's doing, but she's doing it. if you want to know more about it click here. i'm still way behind everyone, but it's fun. join in if you'd like.

nick - my dad. yes, it's actually nicholas, but he goes by nick. he's a great dad and i'm lucky to have him. we don't get to see him and moni nearly enough. it's funny how having irene in school has cut down on our traveling time.

nicholas - rhys' middle name. yep, you're absolutely right, it's after my dad :) he's OFTEN called Rhys Nicholas when he's being a bit naughty. with irene, it's always her full name b/c it really flows quickly. with rhys, it's usually just the first two to begin with. it's REALLY bad when we use his entire name. one time when dad and moni were up visiting, rhys was being particularly trying and was rhys nicholas'd a lot. at one point, dad said something to the effect of, rhys, you need to watch what you're doing - i don't like hearing my name in that tone of voice. heh heh. we do also use rhys nicholas in endearing ways as well.

new zealand - some day we're going to go there. period.

new order - one of the 80s groups that i like very much. i danced my ass off to them whenever they were being played at The X or 15 minutes (they were the same club - just different days - then 15 minutes was JUST The X). i still listen to them. still enjoy them.

nadia comaneci - i remember my dad and i were in a hotel somewhere west of the mississippi when she scored her perfect 10. i loved watching her. i wanted to be an olympic gymnast just like her.

nails - there were a few times as a kid when i pounded nails into a board when i was really angry.

nails (the kind on your fingers) - the only time i haven't been a nail biter/cuticle picker was when i was engaged until soon after our wedding. it's a heck of a habit. i wish there were a patch for it.

naked - while i'm not so excited with my weight etc, i'm perfectly happy being naked.

nudity - while i don't mind nudity (obviously), i *do* mind gratuitous nudity. perhaps this is, in part, because it's always female nudity. and what's sort of odd is that in europe, there were occasional boobs on the screen during ads, but it wasn't any big deal. perhaps because they weren't augmented beyond belief? i don't know. i probably don't make any sense at all. oh well.

(The) Netherlands - while in amsterdam, i got lost in the red light district...at dusk...i was alone. that was an interesting experience. i also went to anne frank's attic. it was an amazing experience. I can't tell you how many times i've read her diary. it was very moving.

namaste - i apparently know the western version of this "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me" - but in hindu it is actually "I bow to you." more people seem to be using it now. b/c i'm in western coulture, i think most people either equate it with "peace" or the I honor the spirit in you which is also in me." i hope that more people adopt it and the spirit of it.

nana - (short a sound) - who my mom is to my kids.

narrow-minded - i try very hard *not* to be narrow-minded. i don't like that so many people are narrow minded. it seems like if more people were open-minded and willing to listen to other ways of thinking. i will admit that i have a hard time listening to right wing news like fox, and entertainers like rush limbaugh.

nasturtium - i love these flowers. they are fun and grow quickly. they taste good too :)

necklace - i have some very special necklaces. one is the string of pearls i wore when i got married. they were my grandmother schoenmann's. rob gave me an emerald pendant the night before we got married. i'm wearing it right now. pat (my mother-in-law) gave me bob's (FIL) baby ring that she'd been wearing as long as i'd known her. she gave it to me after I had rhys. i'm wearing it also.

night - i've switched many times between being a night owl and morning-ish person. i love the solitude and quiet of the early morning -- of course, i have to get out freakishly early to have morning time with silence as the kids get up pretty early. we've been staying up later - well, maybe *i* have been staying up later b/c when we go to bed, i read for a fairly long time.

neverland and never fairies - okay, so i of course knew of neverland, but until they started having the books about tinkerbelle and the other never fairies, i didn't know that they were specifically called never-fairies. the books are really quite sweet.

nearsighted - i've needed glasses since 8th grade.

need - it is interesting how many things we think we need that we truly do NOT need. most things that we might perceive as needs are really wants.

no - since having kids, i've heard this (and probably said this) a WHOLE lot more than before i had kids.

negative - sometimes it's hard to get rid of the negativity in life. there's a lot of it in the ether - these days more than i remember at any other time in my life in the world. i need to try to remember to try and keep it out of my inner world.

neighbors - i wish neighborhoods were more like the neighborhoods in which i grew up. people aren't as open. even when we try to get to know our neighbors, it's often like pulling teeth. it's sad.

news - i tend to give the news 3 stories...if all 3 are bad bad news, i will generally leave in disgust or turn the channel. i don't understand why some of the awful news can't be balanced with some of the good things people are doing. for instance, dara has written about all the wonderful things she and her buddhist nuns and monks have done for the animals (dogs and cats, i believe) that were left behind in Louisiana during hurricaine katrina. they are trying to raise the money for the balloon payment that is coming due soon for Dakini Valley where they are caring for these animals (they call it Tara's Babies). this is a GOOD THING! people showing huge amounts of the loving side of humanity. if the news people don't know where to find such things, perhaps they can go to The Good News Network and grab a story or two. they can make one of THESE stories the headlining news, not plunk a little fluff piece at the very end of the news.

nice - i think that i could be characterized as nice. i like nice people. it would be better if more people worked on trying to be nice and not negative.

noonles - this is what irene called noodles for the longest time. we call macaroni and cheese mac a noonies - or just noonies (not to be confused with nooners - those are completely different!).

nimrod - well, it appears i'm going to have to rethink this name. i've used it to describe people i perceive to be idiotic. i looked it up just to see what it says in the dictionary...it means "any skillful or enthusiastic hunter" hmmm... okay - i just looked up further...i knew nimrod was a king in the bible - but here is more info from ask yahoo: The American Heritage Dictionary offers two distinct definitions of a nimrod -- either a hunter, or a person regarded as silly or foolish. The dictionary goes on to explain that the second meaning probably originated with the cartoon character Bugs Bunny. The wily Bugs used the term in its original sense to refer to dithering hunter Elmer Fudd, whom he called a "poor little Nimrod." Over time, however, the "hunter" meaning got dropped, and the "dithering" connotation stuck.

Norfolk - where my good friend,Lydia, lives and where we went last summer. we had such a wonderful time. rhys has spent much of the morning talking about benny and sadie and all the things we did while we were there. he then asked if we could go there tomorrow. why oh why isn't all the money that is currently going to war and oil being put into tesseracts (like in wrinkle in time) and getting beamed here and there a la star trek? then we could indeed be there tomorrow!

nostalgia - it seems that i've been more nostalgic this past year than i have previously. not really entirely sure why.

nik kershaw - singer of Wouldn't It Be Good. yes, i loved the new wave of the 80s (which would now be called alternative, i suppose?

new york city - i've been to new york city twice. once when i lived in spain, again when mom and ken ran the new york city marathon. i loved it. i loved the vibrancy, the museums, the busy-ness. jolie and i had a really fabulous time going from place to place. she lived there for a summer (maybe longer?) while she was in college, so she got to show me some of the fun places. we went to Serendipity and had the Frozen Hot Chocolate. YUMMMMM! we did not get to see a broadway show - but then, we were cheering on the runners, so there wasn't time. that is also where i had thai food for the first time. also YUMMMMM!

i'm sure there are more - but i'm going to stop here

Monday, April 09, 2007

kristen needs...

i got this meme from Lydia who got it from Joshilyn. this is how you do it:
You google your name and the word "needs" in quotes. Then you write on your blog what your results are. According to Lydia, it gives you secret magical knowledge of the hidden universe of meaning and truth, and you come away knowing exactly what to do with your life. apparently the universe is a bit confused about what i need. it needs me to come back, to go away, to be exposed. heh heh.

and now, here is what i apparently need:

Kristen needs an angle for her story since Greenville is not coming up with anything
More than ever Kristen needs the support of her family
Kristen needs to go do SOMETHING with her life
Kristen needs to be exposed
Kristen needs a good beating
kristen needs to come back
Kristen needs to go away!
Kristen needs a little break
Kristen needs volunteers to work all day or in 1 ½ hour shifts
Kristen needs to write everything down
Kristen needs hugs
Kristen needs to make sure that her children are also getting the social aspect of schooling
Kristen needs to have a frank
Kristen needs to read
kristen needs gra-ti-fi-cation!
and finally (drumroll please....)
Kristen needs to get her ass off this damn computer!

giggle!!

c'mon, all the cool people are doing it -- and what's most funny about mine is that when i first googled "kristen needs," it came up with a blogger who was doing this very same thing in 2005 named kristen - heh heh. lemme know if you do this. it will be fun to see what you need.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

what's on my bookshelf? part two...The Garage

...blogger didn't want to post last night - i'm REALLLLLLY hoping this posts w/the pictures b/c i had saved the HTML.......

okay - here we are in the garage. this is one of the bookshelves in our garage.
let's see...here we have some various and sundry books -- omg - i have TWO of those idiots guide books here -- one i got before irene was born (and yes, i had the idiot's guide to the perfect wedding as well - and think what you will, but it was really fantastic and had fabbo ideas). the other one rob gave me. also The Juniper Tree (my copy does NOT have this cover) - which mom and ken got me on their honeymoon in carmel in 1978. Also ...When we were Six by AA Milne which i got from one of my mom's good friends when my brother Jeremy was born in 1976. there are some books that belonged to my gramma -- The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle is one of them. There are some Baseball books, some of our Harry Potter books, a few Spanish books and books in spanish. the book on the 2nd shelf with the naked spine is The Wind in the Willows that belonged exclusively to my great grandmother holloway, my mom, and my uncle.

i have several books in spanish - el clan del cavernario was the first book in spanish that i read (that was not originally in spanish). i'm a bit behind in getting my harry potter books - i have 4 of them. i also have some books from when i was in university in spain. thank heavens my roommate was able to explain some of them. oh my.

i had to get a new copy of Old Fashioned Girl. my great aunt gave me the first copy that i had. it was an old library copy (she, my great aunt, was a librarian). i read it to pieces. you can see it there with the spine that says Old Fashioned Girl in silver writing. i also have several robert jordan books. i got irritated with him. whereas so far, the terry goodkind books are enjoyable books - each of them (again, so far), i was on book 8? or 9? and a few of them i found myself skipping many many pages and yet not missing what was happening. maybe when mr jordan is finished with the whole series, i'll enjoy reading them at that point.
I've also got Edith Hamilton's Mythology book and rob's very fun Dilbert books, haha!! i see that we have Bud E Love's You Oughta Be Me book! giggle! we saw him at the sweetwater. One of my wrinkle in time books is here as well.
i have greatly loved the David Eddings books (now known as the david and leigh eddings books). there is also more louisa may alcott and madeline l'engle. peace like a river is also here. oh! and Stephen Donaldson and and and...
here we have more baseball, more fantasy, and my tearstained copy of little women.
and over here we have another bookshelf...remember - this is a garage, so you will see garage type stuff here.

The second shelf contains many of my monday morning books. they are wonderful and i highly recommend them to any and all teachers. the ones i use most are the pre-k through 2nd grade right now.

here we've got more children's books mixed in with some of my books and rob's books.and more madeline l'engle (the wrinkle in time series and many of her other series as well), more david eddings, some patricia kennealy and hmm -ahh, my tarot is there too - well, one set.
oh, and some brian jacques are on the above shelf too. below we have not one but TWO brain coloring books as well as my neurological psych books. and yes, see that 1001 MORE romantic things to do? well, see the next picture please...
rob was born in 1966 - do you see what number 1966 is?
rob does that for me. with exactly that - b&j's heath bar crunch. so there! it really *IS* true love. just in case anyone ever doubted it.

so, tell me....what's on YOUR shelves?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

what's on my bookshelf?

okay --- at some point Joshilyn Jackson (and just in case you DON'T know her or of her, the H is silent and she wrote gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia and i am very anxiously awaiting the 2008 release of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming) had a picture of her lamp, but you could see the bookshelf. so one of her lovely and pretty and smart reader/friends asked her to enlarge it or tell us what was on it, which she did. then, i believe that Joshilyn challenged her readers to take pictures of their own bookshelves. some friends of mine rose to the challenge - like Deb R and Laume and Julie. you will notice that all of those bookshelves are beautiful and pristine and orderly. and julie's is full of potential and promise. my bookshelves are not beautiful or pristine or orderly...so just remember that. and hey! no judgement!! :) and if you're wondering why you don't see gods or Between on any shelves today or tomorrow, it's because i've loaned them to my mother.

and now, on with the show...

the bookshelves in our house are really primarily filled with children's books. the bookshelves that hold most of my books and rob's books are......in the garage.....today will be the in the house.

we'll start upstairs: Here is a mini bookshelf in our room. primarily children's (ish) books - well, okay, so the murder 2 isn't so much for kids. my cousin loaned that to me when i was in need of something to read. the stephen donaldson books are books i first read in high school (mostly b/c that's when they came out in paperback).

then we have the books in/on my nightstand
i'm re-reading the terry goodkind books - and actually just started one from the library. it's a bit frustrating when you think it's going to be over in 4 books. right now i'm reading book 7. up on top you can also see the Pure Dead books by Debi Gliori. I first looked into these when i saw them at borders. she is the author of two of my favorite (and the kids' favorite) picture books which are featured in rhys' room. anyway, ted (my brother) gave the first two to irene for christmas. we're currently on book three. she seems to be enjoying them. b/c my scottish accent is miserable, i read it all in an english accent. rob does a fabbo scottish accent so when he reads for mrs. mclaughlin, it sounds fabbo! there are also some Charlie Bone books (by jenny nimmo). a series of 5 books - i enjoyed them. they are harry potter for the younger crowd. not quite so intense as harry potter, but still, quite enjoyable. also some little house books. irene hasn't yet read those - they might be next in the lineup.

and here is irene's bookshelf (i didn't include her nightstand which has some more books).

on top are some fairy treasures she's received and the little teeny book is a fairy book that she made for the fairies. the fairies moved it there so they could read it each time they come to visit her.
the top shelf has several chapter books and anthology-ish books. the 2nd shelf has books that she might grab at night. yes, we let her read until she's ready to fall asleep or until she does fall asleep. she's usually asleep by 8:30, so it's not a big problem. i used to read to my nightlight so i have no problem with her having actual better light to read.

here is one shot of rhys' bookshelf. it's not really full b/c he likes to have his options of what to read. they generally end up scattered on the floor or next to his bed. there is also a large pile NEXT to this bookshelf.

see?
the beetle book (on the far right on top of the stack) is a BRILLIANT book. it's The Beetle Alphabet. hidden in many pictures (perhaps each picture, though i'm not really sure) are the titles of beatle songs!! oh! and see the pink book on the ground? That's Polar Bolero and next to that is No Matter What - both are by Debi Gliori. Perhaps you recognize her illustrations - she's done several books. and under No Matter What is Petite Rouge Riding Hood by Mike Artell (an autographed copy!). it's a very very fun book to read. it's the cajun retelling of little red riding hood (if she were a duck and the wolf were a 'gator). You can also see Emma Kate which is a newly acquired book - it's by Patricia Polacco. it's a sweet book about an imaginary friend (both of my kids have them and it's interesting to see the different ways in which they interact w/their "pretend friends") with a surprise ending. you'll also see Dr Suess' ABC. we're working hard on the alphabet here at the antinori preschool...

and downstairs, we have this bookshelf (we have another one, but i forgot to take a picture of it). more and mroe kids books. the one w/the blue cover is The Singing & Dancing Hamburger. It's a brilliant book. It won 2nd best story. heh. in sixth grade. giggle. oh! and down at the bottom is knuffle bunny by Mo Williams. another must have book! did you know that the K is NOT silent in that title? i didn't until we saw it on Reading Rainbow!


so...what's on YOUR bookshelves?

and, i hope to have the garage bookshelves done tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

spam subject line of the day

Blair Sneed sent me the following e-mail: Let the big dick fairy bless you.

i had no idea there even WAS a big dick fairy. interesting.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

questions from carrie

carrie got interviewed by aimee and then she (carrie) offered to interview some of her readers. so, here are the questions that carrie asked me.

1. What was your ideal career before deciding to be a mommy?

right out of college i was planning on being a child psychologist. when i eventually applied to grad school, i was applying to the educational psychology phd program. nope, i didn't get in. of course, my GRE scores were pretty much crap. i'm not a very good fill in the bubble test taker. hahahaha! oh my gosh but that is an understatement!

2. You've been everywhere. Where is your favorite place and why?

i only wish i'd been everywhere...there are different places that are my favorites...i don't have just one. sorry. i loved madrid b/c i lived like i'd never lived before. i was on my own, i had a freedom i've never really had again. i tried so many new things, traveled around to many different towns, and learned a huge amount. Galicia (the north of spain) where my roommates were from was wonderful b/c it was so different from what people think of when they think of spain. it was VERY green. it was very celtic. chus took me to stay with her family there and we had a wonderful and special time.

venice is one of my favorites because it was just magic. it was what i'd expected from florence. it was everything that florence wasn't. i was disappointed by florence. venice was really, just magic.

elk in mendocino county is one of my favorite places because of the times rob and i have been together there. we've stayed at the elk cove inn. beautiful, romantic, relaxing, and close to wineries. all good things.

petaluma is my favorite place because that's where i had my babies.

3. What is your strongest talent?

i just asked rob this - he gave me a look :). he says that teaching is my strongest talent. i suppose it is. i feel like i'm good at it. i greatly miss teaching my toddler class. i still need to go to UNR and find out what i need to do next time i apply (found out that the person that had told me i had everything in order for my application was wrong with a capital w...grrr).

if i were a never fairy, i've told irene that my talent would be knowing where i am in a book without dog earring or putting some sort of book mark in my book.

4. What do you regret the most?

this one is hard. it's not that i regret it, b/c life would have been very different in many ways, but i miss our first house. it was smallish and funky. one problem - it was another 10 miles (equalling about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes away from work for rob depending on traffic) from ILM.

part of me regrets that ILM decided to lay rob off. but then, he's got a really great job at IGT where the people actually tell him that he's doing a good job. he's challenged and is having fun and learning new things. all of that is good. but some days, i really miss home. but even that isn't right. b/c a big part of home is rob. and the kids of course too. and rob and i have some opportunities here that we either didn't have or didn't easily have back in the bay area.

but actually, do you know what i regret? i regret that baseball has decided that God Bless America is what should be sung during the seventh inning stretch! jesum crow! it should be Take Me Out To The Ballgame, people!

and...i regret that our president has so much longer to be in office when he so clearly isn't listening to a growing section of our population.

5. What is one thing that hurt you so deeply that you never thought you would get over it?
that would probably be when my first love (from high school) cheated on me and got the girl pregnant. they did end up getting married. and i did, of course, get over it. i think i knew deep down that i'd get over it then too, but, at 19, it hardly felt like it. and really, who REALLY feels that april 1st is the best day to tell someone something like that - heh heh. that was just before my freshmen year midterms. to say he was not worth the heartbreak is an understatement. but, if i needed to have heartbreak so that i could eventually be with rob - i mean, if that was my karmac balance, then it was worth it and beyond.