"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kickball, Anyone?

For Aurora's birthday, some of us played kickball...

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some of us hung out in the coolest backyard bar ever...

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and some of us played in the water.

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If you're interested, you can see the rest of the pictures here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yes We Went, I mean Yes We Can

On Wednesday, Jeff got a text from an old high school friend asking if he’d like tickets to the DNC on Thursday. Of course he said yes, please and thank you, and yesterday we took our 3 girls to hear Barack Obama speak. Joey is getting herself quite the homeschool education, I’m proud to say. And, Scott, you are my new hero.

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When I watch TV at home, especially political stuff, I tend to yell things, both good and bad, at the TV. It was nice to be in a crowd of people who were all yelling along with me.

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So, just in case you missed it, I’ve included the speech here. You might just be moved to tears. Myself, I was moved to sobs. Big, choking sobs.



Not only was I inspired to be a better American, to do more for my country, but I was also inspired to be a better person and a better mother. And I did snap a picture of Jeff waving the American flag like crazy. When I threatened to send it to all his relatives in Canada, he said, “Of my 40 years of life, I’ve spent 31 of them here.” And I realized that he's a product of the American education system almost as much as I am. He’s worked and raised children and paid taxes. He's watched our political system and not been able to vote, but he’s paid close attention and cared, which is more than I can say for many Americans. No, I don’t think he’ll be declaring his American citizenship (he still has dreams of us moving back to Canada one day, as soon as his American children are grown) but if anything could make him change his mind, I think it would be that speech last night.

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Some of my favorite points of the day…
-Along the long walk to Mile High, one cop was barking orders at a massive crowd of us. A block later another officer was holding a sign that read, “Stay Positive.” Up until that point, many of us had been grumbling about the walk (they unexpectedly made us exit the lightrail train one stop early, which resulted in an extra mile added to the walk). But this particular officer just held his sign and smiled and kept repeating, “There will be no negativity in this line.” I think every single one of us smiled along with him. And I was reminded again that it really is all about the attitude (and also that we, in America, are some of the luckiest people in the world).

-A picture of Barack and Michelle on a couch on their wedding day. I couldn’t find it anywhere, but it’s in the photo tribute they showed before the speech. (Can't find that either. Oh, internets, you have let me down.)
Update- Christine, thank you so much for the link to the photo tribute. (And it's OK internets, I love you again. Don't scare me like that, though.)

-The speech, obviously. There are more parts to Obama’s speech than I could do justice to here. I’d be thinking, “Oh, great point. I’ll have to remember it,” and then I’d be so moved by something else he was saying that I’d completely forget the previous thought. His speech wasn’t just about the highest American ideals, but truly universal, human ideals. Luckily someone was courteous enough to write it all down for us. (And in case you couldn't figure it out, all italics are from the speech, not the entire speech mind you, but some of my favorite bits.)

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.


If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

Throughout the speech, I just kept thinking how much my mom would have loved this man. How he seems to see the best in people and is able to inspire others to do the same. My mother also had a gift for seeing the best in people. And like Barack’s mother (who also died of cancer when she was way too young) she taught her children to always try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and realize that we have more in common with others than we realize. She taught us that it’s important to be kind and to play fair. And whether I’ve always lived up to her teaching, I’ve done my damnedest to pass that along to our children.

I love the idea of a president with those same ideals.

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After the speech, Joey asked if she could come with me when I vote because she wants to help cast a ballot for Obama.

(And, I promise that this isn’t about to become a political blog, unless, of course, we get tickets to Obama's inauguration. Heh heh. I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programming tomorrow with pictures from Aurora’s kickball party. Thanks for your indulgence.)

Peace out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Speechless (well almost)

Today, like most days really, I am very proud to be a woman. I just watched Michelle Obama's speech on TiVo and then followed it up with Hillary's live.





Speaking as a mother, I have hope for the future.


Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

ADDED NOTE- I'd also like to mention that Joey has willingly watched both of these speeches. I didn't ask her to do it, but she plopped herself down next to us on the couch. I love being able to pause the TV for her to ask questions. I feel this recent election cycle has been a great homeschooling opportunity for her.

Seeing Barack and Michelle's daughters and learning that the oldest is just about her own age was especially interesting to her. She was also impressed that both of these ladies gave speeches yesterday at the hotel where her uncle works. She's always more interested in historical stuff once she realizes that all of the figures are (or were) actually real people. Which is something I think a lot of us tend to forget.

Backyard Olympics

Last weekend, our friend Allison taught us how to shoot a compound bow. I’ve never done this before and apparently my technique left something to be desired.

Here’s Jenny trying it.

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Here’s what I left looking like. It's so purple that it's almost pretty. I managed to actually break the plastic guard I was luckily wearing at the time. I can’t imagine what this would look like if I hadn’t been wearing it.

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Though, I did manage to hit the target with all but the last arrow. So, yay me.

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So, here’s your take home lesson. Make sure to keep your bow holding arm slightly bent and out of the way of the twanging cables if and when you ever try shooting a compound bow.

And you thought this blog only provided tips on crafts and cooking.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spicy Pee

Warning- This is a post about bodily functions. Feel free to skip it if you’re squeamish. I won't be offended.

A couple of months ago, Angeleen wrote a really helpful post on how baking soda helped her treat a bladder infection. It’s taken me awhile to get around to this, but here’s my two cents on how I get rid of them.

When I was a kid, I had lots and lots of bladder infections. I had them so often, I wasn’t ever able to take bubble baths, which is kind of sad. And when I became an adult, I continued to have them. I really am quite the expert on what it feels like to have one. I’ve had doctors tell me that they were shocked I was even able to feel the fact that I was developing one because it was at such an early stage.

So there’s another amazing talent of mine, detecting low levels of UTI bacteria.

As treatment, I always went on antibiotics. The problem is that antibiotics throw off the body’s internal balance of good microorganisms. I think most people are aware that our bodies are home to many good microorganisms, the cultures in yogurt (acidophilus) being a prime example. This is why pharmacists now recommend that you eat lots of yogurt after you take a round of antibiotics (at least mine do).

When the good bacteria are killed off and the balance goes all wonky, the bad microorganisms tend to flourish. Problems like yeast infections usually are the result. Myself, I always got an infection in my belly button piercing.

It wasn’t until 8 or 9 years ago that I figured out how to get off this fun little merry go round of things going wrong with my body. And I haven't been on antibiotics since. Somehow, I found a concentrated cranberry pill called CranActin and I stocked up on it because that shit works. At the first tickle of the merest possibility of a bladder infection, I take one or two of these. Then I take one a day for a week. I don’t take them preventatively, though, because I’ve read that huge and excessive amounts of a chemical in cranberries might not be good for the lining of the bladder.



I once had a friend who had a very advanced bladder infection, to the point of peeing blood. But, since it was a Sunday evening, she really didn’t feel like sitting in an Emergency room for hours in order to be prescribed antibiotics. I gave her a few pills of CranActin and she felt better within an hour. After taking one or two a day for the next week or so, it was completely cleared up.

Joey was fairly little when she had her first bladder infection, which she described as ‘spicy pee’. And I still think that is the best description of a bladder infection that I’ve ever heard. Luckily, CranActin comes in chewables, which worked just as well for her.

(All the links I've included are to Amazon. However, you can usually find these at your local health food store because when you're dealing with a UTI, waiting for shipping isn't an option. Also, I have tried other cranberry concentrate pills because they were cheaper, but CranActin really seems to work the best for me.)

At this point in my medical history, I feel fairly confidant just taking the pills without visiting the doctor each and every time. But, my advice is to get an actual diagnosis if you’ve never had one before or if it’s a really advanced case. There are lots of symptoms to look for, but a bacterial culture is the only way to be sure that it really is a bladder infection.

IMPORTANT NOTE-
I do not feel that just because something is natural, that it is completely safe. They wouldn't work as medicines if they didn't cause significant changes in the body. And even though something may be safe at the suggested dose, does not mean it's safe in higher quantities. Also, it's important to remember that what works for one person, may actually exacerbate problems in another person with a different medical history. It is for these reasons that I suggest you check with your doctor before taking anything new. (Also, in case you haven't gathered, I am not a medical professional. Nor do I play one on the internet.)

Just something to keep in mind.

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Related Posts-
Fighting Heartburn with Peppers
Acupressure for Constipation
Growing Pains

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yay for Homeschool

Another funny from the Onion.

6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling

CARPENTERSVILLE, IL—Local first-grader Connor Bolduc, 6, experienced the first inkling of a coming lifetime of existential dread Monday upon recognizing his cruel destiny to participate in compulsory education for the better part of the next two decades, sources reported.

"I don't want to go to school," Bolduc told his parents, the crushing reality of his situation having yet to fully dawn on his naïve consciousness.

According to a conservative estimate of six hours of school five days a week for nine months of the year, Bolduc faces an estimated 14,400 hours trapped in an endless succession of nearly identical, suffocating classrooms.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Cornfield

Jeff: The garden's looking pretty good. Pick anything lately?

Me: No, I'm not sure how you know when the corn is ready.

Jeff: The button pops out.

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And here is a photo of the smallest cornfield ever.

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Impressive, huh? Those things are like four feet tall. Luckily I don't have to worry about any children living in my corn.

So that's good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Update on the Hair

Ya, I know that even though my last post showed me, it didn't actually show me (in any recognizable way). But since I've had a request for a current picture of our hair in it's Post-St. Baldrick's state, we made an effort to get some this weekend of the three of us.

Now, let me explain something. I am not, as I believe I've mentioned, a particularly vain person. I don't wear makeup. I usually wear sweats or jeans. I don't style my hair. And I've always been fine with my appearance that way.

However, without my hair, I've started to feel less and less attractive. Well, not exactly less attractive, but more manly.

I'm more likely to wear a low cut shirt or jewelry to remind people that I'm not a dude. That, however, presents the additional risk of making me look like a tranny.

Which is much more demoralizing than just looking manly.

The worst thing about my hair in this growing out stage is that I can't just get out of bed and put it in a pony tail. I have to occasionally use things like gel. (And sometimes, even when I use the gel, I can still look remarkably like a person who's just gotten out of bed. Which makes all the effort seem totally pointless. Sometimes it looks better if I just let it be. And it almost always looks better if I just put a hat on.)

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As a reminder... here we are Post-Shave, Pre-Growing It Out

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And here is the most recent picture of us (left to right- Jenny, Aurora, me), complete with what looks like bed head, but was actually an unsuccessful attempt at styling on my part. Actually, it was Jenny that did the styling, but I don't think she should be held accountable for my uncooperative hair.

So, as Aurora mentioned this weekend, all of the people who donated to St. Baldrick's should know that they're getting they're money's worth. It's not like we just shaved our heads and are now back to free and easy hair care. We're now going through that uncomfortable stage of 'growing it out'. Which, in my opinion at least, is less fun than actually being bald.

Because there's no bed head when you're bald.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carpet Removal Project- The Not so Bad Beginning

Yes, I realize that I haven't mentioned anything about the polls closing for the voting on my next big project. And, yes, I realize that it was a week ago that the polls closed, and that my postings have been, um, sparse. And, no, it's not like we're busy examining hanging chads or waiting for the Supreme Court to step in. Wood Floors won fair and square (though I was secretly hoping for the Drip System).

It's just been a long couple of weeks around here, what with back to school (both public and homeschool) and all. Sometimes as time passes, I can almost feel it wooshing by me, beating my face with its wings. And then I have this ridiculous urge to reach out my hands to grab it and then just sit on it, like the babysitter in that Shel Silverstein poem.* And I feel like yelling, "Hey, you there. Slow the hell down." And then I pause. And realize that I just had a completely insane thought and wonder how long it'll be til the people in white coats show up.

Once they do, I guess I'll have all the time in the world.

Anyway, for those of you who've been bouncing up and down on your tip toes with excitement, waiting to see the start of the winning project, well, wait no further. Here it is in all its time-lapsed, no-flash, blurred glory. I think it just makes us look like we're moving extra fast.

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Go ahead and move the slider back all the way to the left because it starts a little wonky and you can't see the carpet at the beginning.

(Oh yah, that's me in the blue jeans and shirt. And that's how long my hair is. Not that you can see it through the blur. Growing it out from completely bald has taken much longer than I expected.)

We got as far as pulling up the carpet and removing the majority of the carpet pad staples this weekend. And despite the lack of strippers involved in this particular project, Jeff was more than willing to help. As were the girls. And I have to say the floor itself (at least in the middle of the room) looks fantastic. Like, I totally don't want to do anything other than clean it. Jeff has higher standards that I do, though, so we'll see.

I also realize that this was probably the quickest and easiest part of the entire project. Removal of the tack strips is next, which I know will be much more difficult. Here is my tip for what we've done so far... wear shoes and thick gloves. Those tack strips suck.

The project is actually in Randa's room, which is the site of my latest and most depressingly unfinished project.

I try to not think of this as a complete cluster of a mess, but one giant project that will eventually be done. And then I will never have to enter this room again. Either that or I will love it so much that I'll have to kick her out and move in there myself.

*I couldn't find a picture of the actual drawing from the book, but here is a recreation of it, which is particularly amusing, especially considering my time metaphor.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grow Your Own- Mexican Dandelion Greens

Yes, we have actually harvested some produce out of our garden. Wee hoo!

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So, when Finny hosts a Grow Your Own Challenge, do I decide to use any of the actual vegetables from the actual garden?

I do not.

No. To me, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to attempt to cook dandelion greens. This is mainly because of the fact that we don't actually have enough of any one type of vegetable to make cooking them worthwhile. We have a couple ancho chilies, 10 leaves of spinach, a few jalapenos, 4 okra and a couple handfuls of tomatoes (which we're mostly just eating raw-so so good), plus some purple green beans (yes, I'm pretty sure they should be called purple beans, but, really, would you have known what I was talking about?).

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We do have lots and lots of dandelions, though. Which, cook down into not as much as you'd expect.

Anyway, I found a recipe for dandelions in my favorite vegetable cookbook ever (Vegetables Every Day). But, because I am apparently unable to ever follow a recipe as written (I use them more as a starting point than anything), it was completely different. Still great, though. If you don't want to do it like mine, the original recipe just called for a couple strips of bacon instead of chorizo (and no potatoes or chipotles).

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Here it is.

Ingredients
1 lb or so of dandelion leaves, washed really really well in two batches of soaking water with thick, lower part of stems removed
Anywhere from 1/2 to 1 lb Mexican chorizo (because everything tastes better with chorizo)
1 onion, diced
potatoes (how ever many are about ready to go bad in your storage container or at least that's how many I used)
salt
1 chipotle in ancho sauce, chopped super tiny small (because those pieces are hot)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1. Start a big pot of water boiling. When it boils, poke the potatoes with a fork and then toss in the water. (OK, you all realize that you shouldn't actually throw the potatoes in the water, right? Just place them in there carefully.) Cook until tender.
2. While that's going, start the chorizo over medium heat. Once it's completely cooked, remove the chorizo, leaving the fat in the pan.
3. Add the onion to the chorizo fat. Add a pinch or two of salt. Cook till it's completely soft.
4. By this point the potatoes should be done. Take them out (I use one of these). Don't drain the water. Let cool a bit and chop up.
5. Bring the water back to a boil, add the dandelions and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove the greens, let drain, cool and chop.
6. Add the chipotle and the potatoes to the onion, cook for a bit, until the potatoes soak up some of that yummy chorizo fat.
7. Add the chorizo and dandelion, followed by the vinegar and salt to taste. Stir and cook until everything is well combined.

I served this over some homemade refried beans on tostada shells. Along with some cilantro and tomatoes from the garden. And Cotija cheese, one of the bestest cheeses ever invented. Oh yah, and sour cream smeared on the shell first so every bite has enough (although it did eventually ruin the structural integrity of the tostada shell and we had to eat these with forks).

It was worth it, though.

Also, be sure to stay tuned for more Grow Your Own. I'm totally going to exploit the fact that our youngest doesn't go to public school and have her pick crabapples for several hours tomorrow. I'll shout math problems to her while she's up in the tree so it'll count as homeschool.

Is it child labor if they're learning?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Iced Tea Slushy Thing

This is my version of the Frap-o-ma-what-cha-callit. Cept mine costs less than 40 cents. And I bet I can make it in less time than it would take to run to the store and buy one.

Basically, you follow the recipe for the Super Tasty Iced Tea. But instead of just pouring the concentrated tea over ice, you put it in the blender with the ice and as much milk or cream as you want. I like lots of cream, probably a few tablespoons per glass. Or a scoop of ice cream would work well too.

I know those of you who actually care about the size of your arse might show a bit more restraint.

This works best with tea that's vanilla or hazelnut or chai flavored. Although, I haven't actually tried it with anything else, so I can't really say for sure.

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And yah, that's my personal cup identifier. We're still using those and they're working pretty well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Guess What?

This little girl was found on the side of a highway. She had no tags or collar. And as long as she doesn't have one of those homing microchips (we'll have them check when we take her to the vet) she'll be living with us.

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She's so sweet and very mellow.

No name yet, but some of those in the running are...
Sheila (Joey)
Zelda (Joey)
Rocky (Me- she's got a raccoon tail)
Jeff Jr. (Um, yah)

We're open to suggestions.

OK, here's one more picture of her (sleeping in our white paper recycling box).

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I'd forgotten how nice it is to have a kitty around.

Added Note- We've decided to call her Isadora.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Gay Girls Get Jiggy With It*

Have y'all noticed my new banner? Like many of the best pictures on my site, Jenny did it.

For the first two days that it was up, I came here several times a day just to stare at it. If you're only seeing this on a Reader, you should click over and check it out. I think it's fantastic. But I may be biased.

So, here's the thing about mine and Jenny's relationship. I'm the big sister. And (at least when we were kids) I got to try most things out first. I did an OK job at those things. Then Jenny would come along and try the same things too. When *she* tried it, she always surpassed what I had done. (examples of this include... soccer, grades, parenting) The important point I'm trying to emphasize about this is the fact that I've always been incredibly proud of her when she's done this. I was never jealous.

Now that we're older, it isn't so much a matter of following each other linearly. We do a lot of things together, as we have similar interests and values, but each of us definitely has our strengths and our weaknesses. The best part is that we work really well together. I am good at coming up with ideas and usually good at figuring out how to make those ideas into reality. She's great at planning and following through. I like to think of new ways of doing things and she knows (or is willing to learn) the *best* way to do it. She is a bit of a perfectionist (which helps keep the standards high). Me, not as much (which means that I'm relaxed enough to let go of my attachment to the picture in my head and allow things be what they are).

I am more right brained than her (60%, according to this site), which is the fluid, messy, creative side and she is more left brained than me, which is the linear, logical, attention to detail side. When I asked her to take this test, she was honest enough to inform me that she was going to attempt to get 50:50. Which tells you a lot about her.

I started thinking along these lines after I got an email from a high school friend. Hi Defne! (Well, she's not in high school anymore, but we were friends in high school. Was that already obvious to everyone else? Anyway.) She wrote to tell me how much she loved reading my blog, that it makes her smile and cry and she's been inspired as a new mom. (She has a 3 and a half month old). Then she wrote "Tell Jenny that she’s an amazing photographer. I tried to guess which images were hers before I looked at the credit that you gave, and I could usually tell which ones were hers. They are the extra good ones." Now here's the thing, my first reaction to this was to be thrilled for Jenny. It wasn't until later that I realized how some people would totally take that genuine and honest complement the wrong way and feel like their own photos weren't good enough. I happen to agree with Defne (I mean, really, these are fantastic), so I happily forwarded the email to Jenny. I also took that as a personal complement for being smart enough to put her pictures up here. (But, honestly, I try to take most things as personal complements.)

The thing is, when I have something important that needs to be artistically photographed, I call in Jenny. She'll take dozens of pictures and keep taking them until she has the one that she wants, while I'll only be willing to take 4 or 5 before I'm bored (or more likely impatient) and ready to move on to something else. Both approaches have their value. She takes beautiful pictures. And I would never get anything posted if I was as obsessive about photos as Jenny is. And sometimes I have to push her to post something to Flickr even though it isn't 100% exactly how she wants it, because honestly, it could take weeks for her to get it where she wants it.

This is fairly typical of us, but isn't always the case. I think that we both are capable of easily crossing to the other side of the brain when necessary. After all, according to that incredibly scientific internet quiz, I am 40% left brained.

Recently, Jenny quit her job. Mostly, she did it because the place she worked was crushing her soul (my words, not hers). She also did it so that she could devote some time to helping me with the retail side of Wisdom of the Moon, which is a fairly relaxed and groovy place to work, considering it has free child care (Joey) and margaritas (not that we drink them, but just knowing we could is a nice perk) and we can work just about anywhere (like the backyard or park) while the kids play.

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*Taken from Linda's suggestion on the henna post. It makes me laugh, which just proves what a geek I am. Thanks, Linda!

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Added Note- If you haven't voted yet, get on over to the right sidebar and let me know what you wanna see around here next.

Weird Kid Wednesday- Joey's Manicure

The weirdness of this picture may not be obvious at first.

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But, if you look closely and you'll see that she's not wearing polish. They're actually squished pieces of wax from those tiny little cheeses.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wood Floors, Refinishing or Drip System? You Decide

It looks like this is my 200th post. So, to celebrate, I'm going to try something completely new and scary.

For my next big project, I'm going to let you, my dear readers, choose what I'll be doing. Eventually, I plan to finish all of these projects (you wouldn't believe what my To Do list looks like), but for now I've got to focus on just one, which I totally hate doing. Focusing that is. So to take the pressure off myself, I'm putting it on all of you.

Damn, I feel better already.

I'll be documenting my successes and failures and anything else I learn along the way. My guess is that there will be quite a few Donnie Don't posts. Hopefully, at the end there will be an exciting Ta Da! type moment. There may also just be lots of cursing and a sad picture of me sitting in the corner, sucking my thumb.

I'll let the voting run for the next week, during which time I'll be finishing up the current big project (she says with an overabundance of optimism). To vote, check out the poll over on the right side of the page.

So, just what are these amazing projects that you're supposed to (hopefully) care enough about to vote on?

Can I have a drum roll please?

Contestant Number One
This project consists of pulling up the carpet in one of the bedrooms, removing the tack strips and sanding and finishing the wooden floors that are underneath. I have no idea what condition the floors are in. As far as I'm concerned, discovering that will just be part of the fun.

Contestant Number Two
This project involves a lovely dining room table that a friend gave to us. The problem is that it is in desperate need of refinishing. Not only is the finish peeling, but we can't actually get the table wet without it staining. Let me be the first to assure you that this is a less than desirable quality to have in a dining room table. The biggest obstacle with this is that it has a veneer, so sanding is not an option. As far as I know, chemicals are the only way to go. I'll be researching various types of strippers in order to find the least toxic option. I'll also be researching the whole rest of the project, since it's completely new to me.

Contestant Number Three
This project involves converting one zone on our existing sprinkler system to a drip system. This zone will cover our vegetable garden, along with the area that we are thinking about turning into a berry patch (but that is currently a flower/weed bed). This project will involve fancy phrases like "pressure compensating emitter line".

So, if any of these seem like something that you'd like to see me fumble my way through or if you actually plan to try one of these yourself one day and would prefer to learn from my mistakes, get over there on the right side and remember, Vote Early, Vote Often.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What's Been Happening over the Last Few Days

If you only read Wisdom of the Moon on a feedreader, you've probably missed the small bit of excitement that has been going on around here. What follows are the messages I've been putting up as extra page elements.

July 31- I just received an email from Blogger that I've been flagged as a potential spam blog. Jeff told me the a similar thing recently happened to Mental Floss, so I feel I'm in good company.

Anyway, this means I've been blocked from posting here until an actual human being has the time to come and look around and see that I'm obviously not spam. It does look like I may be able to update my page elements (which is what I'm doing to type this message).

Consider this a message in a bottle. Wisdom of the Moon is being held against its will. Please send chocolate.

Aug 1
- So, I've read up on what exactly a 'spam blog' is and found this...

"spam blogs ... can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text"

Awesome.

I'm the first to admit I won't be winning any awards for writing here, but I feel that is a pretty grim assessment.
(And yes, I totally meant to quote Apu.)

Aug 2
- Hooray, I can talk again! I have no idea what set them off, but based on advice from Brad, I'm off to find and delete any and all spam comments. See ya on Monday.