Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Books (A review)

I had a lofty goal of reading 100 books in 2010.  I didn't quite make it.  There were some lengthy books in my list this year so I don't think I'll be beating myself up too much over falling short.  The sword of truth books come to mind first off.

I've been working on this list all year and I'm really happy I was keeping track.  Looking over it now, there are some books I had forgotten I'd read and some I really wished I hadn't read at all.

I think I'm going to make 100 books in 2011 one of my resolutions this year. 

The Reading List:
1. Alan Bradley - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
2. David Cristofano - The Girl She Used to Be
3. Robert Munsch - The Munschworks Grand Treasury
4. Jean Auel - Shelters of Stone
5. John Jeavons - The Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm
6. Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
7. Terry Goodkind - The Pillars of Creation
8. Peter D'Adamo - The Genotype Diet
9. Jason Wright - The Wednesday Letters
10. Terry Goodkind - Naked Empire
11. Heidi Ayarbe - Freeze Frame
12. Scott O'Dell - Island of the Blue Dolphins
13. Khaled Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns
14. Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook
15. Alan Bradley - The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
16. Nicholas Sparks - Dear John
17. Terry Goodkind - Chainfire
18. Anne Tyler - The Amateur Marriage
19. Alan Bennett - The Uncommon Reader
20. Don Piper - 90 Minutes in Heaven
21. Michael Scott - The Alchemyst
22. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
23. Terry Goodkind - Phantom
24. Catherine Gilbert Murdock - Princess Ben
25. Brandon Mull - Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
26. Cesar Millan - A Member of the Family
27. Paulo Coelho - The Witch of Portobello
28. Anita Diamant - The Red Tent
29. Terry Goodkind - Confessor
30. Sarah Gruen - Riding Lessons
31. Alice Sebold - The Lovely Bones
32. Kathryn Stockett - The Help
33. Stephenie Meyer - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
34. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
35. Ann Brashares - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
36. Melanie Benjamin - Alice I have been
37. Rebecca Stead - When You Reach Me
38. Cynthia Lord - Rules
39. Rick Riordan - The Red Pyramid
40. David Dosa - Making Rounds with Oscar
41. Elizabeth Hasselbeck - The G Free Diet
42. Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The Wind
43. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
44. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
45. Stieg Larrson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
46. Elizabeth Berg - Home Safe
47. Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
48. Jeanne DuPrau - City of Ember
49. Maggie Stiefvater - Linger
50. Jeanne DuPrau - The People of Sparks
51. Jeanne DuPrau - The Prophet of Yonwood
52. F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
53. Jeanne DuPrau - The Diamond of Darkhold
54. Frank Bruni - Born Round
55. Sara Gruen - Ape House
56. Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
57. Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland
58. Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass
59. Rhoda Janzen - Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
60. Kate Jacob - The Friday Night Knitting Club
61. Christopher McDougall - Born to Run
62. Philip Pullman - The Golden Compass
63. Philip Pullman - The Subtle Knife
64. Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
65. Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
66. Chris Cleave - Little Bee
67. Kate Jacob - Knit Two
68. Voltaire - Candide
69. Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged
70. Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
71. Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookie Tradition

One of my favorite Newman family Christmas traditions is our annual cookie day.  We gather, have lunch, catch up on family news and bake cookies until we all have reached our maximum sugar tolerance for the season.  The star of the cookie show is hands down the sugar cookies!   By the end of the day we each have our own tins of fudge, chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, sugar cookies, and pecan sandies.

It is usually a girls only affair.  The boys are sent off to buy us presents or have a sushi date or buy know, the usual boy stuff.  Since Bobbo is still a small, man-child he gets to come still.  Plus he needs to put some miles on his 'boy apron'.

Decorating sugar cookies

We were short a few of our usual attendees this year and they were noticably missed. 
Bobbo, Me, Karyl, Kayla, Nicole, Nancy, Emma & Donna

Six Days

My little guy was born six days before Christmas. Six days. 

This time of year holds memories now, not just of the anticipation of Christmas and the joy of the season, but also blurry memories of late nights, round the clock feedings, snuggling by the fire and watching the Christmas tree lights twinkle with a sleeping baby tucked gently in the crook of my arm.

This is Bobbo's first ornament.  I might need to keep it for myself after he's grown.  It's hard not to look at it without getting teary eyed and wishing for babies brand new all over again.

"How delightful," Said Pooh, To be so brand-new"

"A Baby is always doing something brand-new," said Piglet.

"I suppose that's what makes a baby so special," said Pooh. "That and being so huggable and sweet."

p.s.  Nat the fat Rat puts that feeling into words so much better than I do, here and here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

The 2010 Christmas Tree Adventure

Waiting for Mitch to fix his 4-wheel drive

There was snow this year!
Not too terribly much but enough to sled for a while and have a snowball fight.

Emma requested a *small* tree this year

The Boy picked out, cut down, and loaded the tree all by his lonesome this year.  But I secretly love him for that because pokey pine needles make me cranky.

The Christmas card reject

It has come to my attention that the Woozies are short one fabulously cute family photo to grace the surface of this year's Christmas card.

So in lieu of us standing outside in our bikinis.....we took a million dorky pictures of us in our snow gear.

This one didn't make it past the cutting room floor.

What girls do when boys are playing with chainsaws

Two of my favorite people: Andrea and Sheri. 

Roasting Marshmallows
The major difference between my childhood Christmas tree adventures and the current ones is the campfire. 
I must admit, I'm a fan.  Warm hands, burnt marshmallows, roasted hot dogs....

All told, it was a good day.  Except for Mitch's 4 wheel drive not working properly and the one Christmas tree casualty we had on the way back.

and p.s. Middlegate has the tastiest Bloody Marys ever!  They need to be on every body's to try someday list.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

"We must see all scars as beauty.  A scar doesn't form on the dying.  A scar means, I survived."
~Little Bee

The back of the book reads:

We don't want to tell you what happens in this book.
It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it.
Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:
This is the story of two women.  Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face.  Two years later, they meed again - and the story starts there...
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it.  When you do, please don't tell them what happens.  The magic is in how the story unfolds.

So....What do you say about that?
I admit that I didn't like the book when I started it.  But my sister-in-law was adamant that I read the book because she loved it.  I would have put the book down if she wouldn't have been so insistent and the fact that I can't not finish a book once I've started it.  My ONE fatal flaw I suppose...

But then I absolutely needed to know how the story was going to end.  And I read 2/3 of the book in one day.

So.  Should you read it?  YES.  Will you like it? Maybe.  It will leave you thinking for sure.  Last night I would have told you no, I didn't like it.  But after sleeping on it, I think I'm changing my mind.

So what's the story?  It's the story of a person who throws one washed up starfish back into the ocean.  Does that make a difference in the world?  It does to THAT starfish.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

I'm thinking about trying to catch a deer with my bare hands.


You don't think I can do it?

You really should have more faith in me than that. 

I just finished reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  It really and truly has got me thinking about trying to out run a deer.  Do you think it was really possible back in the hunter and gatherer days?   If a deer can't sweat and run at the same time...and it would get overheated in just over 6 miles.....

I can totally run 6 miles...

Okay.  Maybe I will work on my strategy a little bit more first.  But it's got me thinking.  Just like I've been thinking lately that if I could be any fictional character ever I'd be Ayla from the Earth's Children Series.  I'd like to rock the tone, gorgeous, hunter/gatherer body AND know all she knows about medicinal herbs.

But that's another story.  And this story is about Born to Run.  Born to Run is a mix of history about the Taruamara running tribes, good running advice, and stories about some of the more famous ultra runners from the US.

Before reading this book I didn't really know anything about ultra running.  I guess I thought you run marathons and that's it.  I ended up changing my bookmark half way through to a piece of paper just so I could jot down things I wanted to google later.  Like Jenn Shelton.  If I can't be Ayla in another life then I would like to be just like Jenn Shelton someday.
Anyone who is any kind of recreational runner would enjoy this book I think.  The following is my favorite part.  Which will someday find it's way onto an index card and be thumb tacked to the wall in front of my treadmill right next to the list of the 1996 Churchill County Cross Country race times.  That Katrina Flanders....she was fast.  And I aim to catch her someday.

Caballo's Lesson #2: Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast.

You start with easy, because if that's all you get, that's not so bad.
Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don't give a shit how high the hill is or how far you've got to go.
When you've practiced that so long you forget you're practicing, you work on making it smooth.  You won't have to worry about the last one - you get those three, and you'll be fast.

Monday, November 22, 2010

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is a trilogy consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.  They have been on my TO READ list for a while now, but I kept putting them off.   I had heard they were chalk full of controversy and on the Church's banned book list.  I'm not sure why I cared about it being on the boycott list by the Church, they don't approve of Harry Potter either and I didn't care.  I really kind of feel like a book is a book is a book and at the end of the day I have to be responsible for my own beliefs where ever I acquired them. And besides, I'm not the kind of person who believes something just because some one told me to.

As I was reading I made a mental list of all the possible reasons the books would have been on the do not read list.  Here's what I came up with:

Fallen Angels
An Angel who poses as the authority (God)
a plot to kill God
Alternate, Parallel Universes to ours
Talking animals
Portraying the institution as corrupt and inherently evil
Passages to other worlds in the air
Souls existing outside people as daemons
Original sin appearing as dust that gathers around people

Maybe if you are good at the whole drawing implied references out of fiction you would have taken more offense to the storyline.  But I think I already established that English wasn't my strongest subject.  The story at face value was really good.  Good as in I liked it like I liked Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia or the Percy Jackson books.

What I learned from wikipedia is that the trilogy was written to be somewhat a retelling and an inversion of John Milton's Paradise Lost.  (crickets chirping)  Which means I guess maybe I should add that to my TO READ list as well now.

In the Golden Compass, we meet Lyra and discover what the Authority has plans to do by way of severing children from their deamons.  Severing this bond releases a large amount of energy that can be used to open up doors into other worlds.  Lyra also finds the golden compass (the elithiometer) and learns how to read it.  It is a truth telling device that will answer any question you ask of it if you know how to use it properly.  We also learn that there is a prophecy about Lyra.  That she is meant to do something great but she must not know about it ahead of time.

Its not until the Subtle Knife that we learn that there are a large number of parallel universes to ours and it is possible to use the Subtle Knife to cut a door from any world into another.  The Subtle Knife is a continuation of Lyra's mission and the book where we are introduced to Will.  He will also have a significant role in Lyra carrying out the prophecy.

In the final book we learn what exactly the prophecy about Lyra is and see it be fulfilled.

My Favorite Characters:
Lorek Byrnison  is an armoured bear.  He has been tricked out of his rightful role as king of the bears and Lyra helps him to regain it.  Afterward, he is instrumental in Lyra fulfilling the prophecy.

Lee Scoresby is an aeronaut from Texas.  I loved him because he is good hearted deep down but extremely blunt (as in has no people skills), if it doesn't directly help him out then he's not for it.  He loves Lyra like a daughter and would protect her with his life.  There is also something about strong-willed Texans.  I liked Lee Scoresby just as much as I liked Richard from Texas in Eat, Pray, Love.

Serafina Pekkala is a witch that is all at once old and young, and extremely knowledgeable.  I saw her as a mother figure to Lyra.  Serafina in the beginning is the only one who knows the prophecy about Lyra.

Marisa Coulter, turns out to be Lyra's mother.  She wishes to destroy Dust and thus Original Sin.  Mrs. Coulter seems to switch sides regularly and the whole time I was left wondering if she was truly good or evil at the core.  

Now, I am off to find Paradise Lost at the library.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Is knitting making a comeback in the younger generations??  Some would argue yes.  There are two or three of the 20-30 age range who go to the library knitting meetings regularly.

The Friday Night Knitting Club offers a glimpse into the everyday life of single parent, Georgia Walker, and her daughter Dokota.  Georgia runs a knitting shop in New York City.  What started as a costumer here and there staying late after shop hours to discuss knitting projects or life in general evolved into a weekly gathering of a handful of funny, caring, you-are-gonna-love women who come to depend on each other for more than knitting and purling advice.

I really liked the novel.  Even if you aren't a knitter if you like Chick Lit I predict you will enjoy The Friday Night Knitting Club.  One word of advice though:  It has a interesting twist very late in the story, so don't go reading the back of the sequel (like I did) before you are done with the first.  I was sad I ruined the ending for myself.

What I learned to make at my very own Saturday-Afternoon-Knitting-Club...

Monday, November 15, 2010


Umm...did anyone else just realize it's the middle of November already.

How did that happen???

It's been busy over here at the homestead.  Let's see, since I posted last, Halloween happened, an unfortunate dog-tried-to-eat-one-of-the-chickens incident happened, voting happened, a baby shower happened, 15 jars of jalapeno jelly and 12 jars of stewed tomatoes happened, another baby shower happened.

Here are some of the highlights:

Me and Andrea at the Halloween party

A Butterfly and The Cowboy

Baby showers are for girls...and sometimes cowboys

Hopefully the next few weeks will slow down and there will be a lot of fires in the fireplace, movies on the TV, and sweet things in the oven.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You CAN teach and old dog new tricks

So I'm reading this book right now (I'm sure you're going to hear about it at some point), it's titled Born to Run.  It's is speckled with tales about some of the greatest ultra-runners in the world.

(SIDEBAR: Ultra-runners make marathoners look like beginners)

It's got the wheels spinning in my head right now.

This year has mostly been made up of 3, 4, or 5 mile treks around the neighborhood.  But last week my running buddy asked if I wanted to try 8.

Ummm....sure.  I think.

We started off and she kept pace with me to keep me motivated.  A few miles in, Trina stops me and says "Let me show you a different form".

No arms at 90 degree angles, no long strides, no heel-to-toe strike.  It felt strange at first.  But then I noticed my heart rate was lower, my breathing was slower, and a smile had crept back onto my face.

At the end of 8 miles I felt amazing and could have turned around and run the route again.

I've been running with the same form I learned in 7th grade up until now.  I never knew what I was missing!

Now, if someone could just teach my dog that chickens are friends not food, THAT would be awesome!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I owned it

(my being sick, that is)

GE Wicked Race in Minden.
I ran it.

Can you spy me in bright yellow (NOT the banana)

Got a pretty slow time for me.
Did I mention I had the stomach flu last week....
But it was fun, and my buddy Trina went with me. 

Oh, yeah.  Did I mention....

She got first place!

I love her for letting me live vicariously through her!

The 5K winners

Monday, October 18, 2010

Who's Kid is that Anyway?!?!

Ummm....that would be Burrito, drinking out of a stranger's drink!!!!

Except he's not really a stranger.  Sort of.  That's big Al.  And just a few minutes prior to that he was doing this:
Slicing up apples and sticking them on people's thumbs then proceeding to cover them in sticky, deliciousness.  And once you've shared something like that....what's a little apple cider between friends. 

The Apple Hill Gang.  Or at least the one's who got their faces painted.  Minus Burrito.  He was off drinking other people's drinks.

p.s.  We did visit other places at Apple Hill besides this one, but Denver Dan's is still our favorite!!  Its not anyplace that you can share some home grown cider with Big Al.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Took a Little Run in the Woods

I have officially competed in my first post high school 5k race.  I didn't die.  I made it in under 30 minutes.  And those were really the only goals I had.  Oh, and one I added finish in front of the guy with the beer belly and the crazy tattoos.   Which I did.  By, all of 5 seconds or so.

Finish Line

I brought two of my favorite boys to cheer for me.  Can you tell how excited Burrito is to be up at the crack of dawn NOT watching cartoons in our comfy, old living room.

Apparently, I was such a blur at the finish line that they forgot to record my time.  I missed out on getting to stand up on the awards block and accept my cut little 3rd place age division trophy;  but I do currently have it in my possession.  Minus the $3 in my pocket I had to pay for shipping.  My official (caught on camera by the hired photogs) yet unofficial time (not recorded by the organization) was 28:22

 I'd like to get a few more 5ks under my running shoes and then it will be off to bigger and better longer races.  I poked around on the 10k time records and I would have finished 113th or so with my pace.  Little fish in a big pond I suppose.

Note: Fashion takes backseat to warmth on cold, running mornings...

And then there was beer and Lake Tahoe.  Of which I participated in drinking the first and not swimming in the second.  Because after all, I'm crazy - but not that 9am in the morning when it's 38 degrees outside.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Any given Saturday (aka the knitting projects)

The Yodas
My first ever crochet projects were these Yodas.  They definitely have some mistakes but I am proud of them!  Pattern is from here.

And the Christmas stocking project is finally complete.  They took me soooo long - its a good thing I started them in March.  Its the same pattern but one I knitted on straight needles and the other I did on circulars.  I still haven't figured out how to do heels properly (or the name embroidery).  I don't think sock knitting will be in my future.  I also tried to do the bobbin thing on the Boy's so I didn't have to carry the green all the way around, but his tree turned out rough looking.  Maybe I will add some ornaments to cover it up.  BUT, it is a lot bigger than the current stocking which was the goal.  Now I can load it up with all kinds of goodies.  And mine is finally big enough to fit a small puppy or a kitten inside.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Joys of Potty Training

Little bits of comic relief such as pants on backward almost make up for all the extra loads of laundry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Week in the Environment

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
~ Winnie the Pooh

This year, the Fall family vacation was camping in California.  We woke up to this lovely sight every morning.  It was a nice break from work and chores and time lines.

The Boy and the monsters were SO SO SO excited to get the camping fun started that they left without me.  This is what two children who have been camping alone with their papa for three whole days look like.

Burrito will truthfully admit that he's only into fishing for the sunflower seeds.  Oh, and the buzz lightyear fishing pole of course.  He needed his big sister to put the worm on his hook, take the fish off his hook, and liberate the ones who were too small for eating.
He did however eat an entire bag of jalapeno salsa sunflower seeds (shells and all)....

A big thank you to Annabell who willingly let Burrito use her tail as a tow rope when he was too tired to continue on our hiking adventure.

Grandma volunteered to tow thing 1 and thing 2 in the bike trailer the 10 miles we road up the Bizz Johnson Trail.  I'm pretty sure we'd still be out there if the task was assigned to me...

My favorite part of the bike ride is going through the train tunnels!

A completely unscripted act of sibling love

No one was eaten by bears, we had delicious campfire dinners every night, and the children are more or less cleaned up now.

Off to do some laundry now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Adventures of one kind or another

Did you hear?

I'm up for best sister ever award!!

The only one who could beat me is my sister, IF she actually takes my children all summer like I've been hinting for her to volunteer for.  I have had far too little wacko-jacko time in my life lately so I volunteered to help her move these two beauties 1,000 miles to their new home.  (And I freely admit here that I use HELP very that I mostly just fed Jacko Starbursts, diet pepsi, and made sure she didn't fall asleep whilst driving)

Princeton and Tux

It took us two days of what could possibly be the flattest, most, redundant scenery of driving in the whole U. S. of A.  And I was thoroughly disappointed that we saw not one creature that really could be called wildlife on the drive.  A bazillion cows.  I need some mountains in my life, and antelope or deer or elk or something.

The place we stopped to rest on the first day was under tornado warning.  That was all new territory for us westerners.  Lightning, rain, wind, blaringly loud storm radios.  The owner of the stable was so worried for us she met us at the gate and helped put the horses away so we could take shelter quickly.  We spent the night in the neatest little cottage.  It was bigger than the duplex that was my first "home". 

The Cowboy Suite
There were two rooms in the cottage, but being the sistermates that we are we snuggled up together in one bed.  I giggled to myself on the way out the door in the morning.  They knew two girls were here last night, but only one bed is slept in.....what will the neighbors think??

Before we left, we took a self guided tour through the barn.  Jacko is green with barn envy.
Barn Envy

In the end we survived and made it to the new casa.  (And for the record I drove for approximately 30 minutes of the two-day road trip and had to use the horse whip one time).  Apparently in Illinois they do not label rural roads nor post speed limit good luck trying to go visit Jacko.

The barn where Princeton and Tux will be staying has the cutest guard dog miniature pony named Dav-E'. He has free reign of the property, followed us around like a puppy, and gave Tux a dominance run for his hooves.  I hope someday I can get my kiddos out there to ride him.

the end

p.s.  Sorry I said your head was too small for your body Tux.  But I kind of, sort of still mean it.  Please don't hold that against me next time I try to ride you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How Very Un-American of Me

In an effort to be a well educated person, I have been slowly making my way through all of the literary classics that I did not read in high school.

I just finished The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I didn't like it.

Not even a little.

Enough so that I am feeling like I'd like that time in my life back so I could spend it on something more enjoyable.

But then, that's small part of me that feels the need to find the good in everything decided that I must have missed the point.  So, I wikipedia'd it.  Nope.  I don't think I missed anything. Apparently, I have missed the broad, arm waving, you must write a term paper on the amazing-ness of The Great Gatsby boat.  Because otherwise, why is it billed as the Great American Novel and ranked 2nd in the 100 greatest books of the 20th century.

So now, I will need someone to enlighten me.  Please and Thank you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cantaloupe Festival

The Cantaloupe Festival was a bust this year. 

No cantaloupe ice cream.  No Mud Volleyball.  No animal petting zoo complete with ginormous snake.

Not cool.

The only saving grace was that they actually had hand spun cotton candy.  (You might already know how I feel about that.)

cotton candy as it should be

We spent most of our time at the junior rodeo this year.  And now Burrito wants to be one of these:

Anyone for mutton bustin' next year??

Hopefully I can talk him into be a cowboy for Halloween this year because currently he's planning on being a girl.

When do I start to worry?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Pain-free Labor Day (mostly)

We had a lovely Labor Day Monday in good old Fallon.  Except the part where Burrito ate it on the sidewalk and is now sporting a healthy amount of road rash on his forehead.

Sidewalk's not for that fancy walking my son, it's for regular walking.

Anyway, do you know what the best part of being from a small town is?

That you can't go to walmart without running into at least 5 people you know? WRONG

That you can kiss the beer man in the grocery store and it will be okay because it's your husbandman? WRONG

That you can count on the Eagle's pancake breakfast on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month? WRONG

It's parade candy may friends. (and oodles of soccer kids, cheerleaders, band peeps, old cars, horses, and fire trucks.)

As the mother of this operation I take my candy cut from the top....meaning any piece I want is mine, no questions asked.

I told the husbandman that if I had this truck he wouldn't have to steal the ford down the street I've had my eye on for a while.

This one was the kids' favorite (naturally)

And this is why we usually leave the mother at home:

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am here, I am here!

I have been MIA for a while.  Busy with life. But I'm back.  And full of stories and pictures.  But first I must do some actual work (sigh) and a whole mountain full of laundry.

Stay tuned....

Date Night

Sometimes you just need a date night.

And sometimes you just need a double date night with other adults.

This sometimes, coincided with the Annual Nugget Rib Cook Off.

The day started out with girlfriend texts of "what are you gonna wear?"

And this one:

Would YOU kiss me in public??

It was a perfect night of ribs, sauce, cornbread muffins, and ice cream.

Full of "Do I have sauce on my face?"  and "Do I have anything stuck in my teeth?"

We only took a second out of stuffing ourselves silly for one picture:

That's the smoking armadillo....maybe you've seen him on the food network channel.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Have a Little Faith

Scene from last Christmas

Me: Here honey. sliding a book across the counter. I got this for my Christmas stocking.

The Boy: Umm....I thought I was supposed to be in charge of what goes in your stocking. Isn't Christmas supposed to be about surprises and such?
Me: I know. But I really wanted this book. And I know we have a rule about not buying things for yourself after Thanksgiving.  But what if I didn't drop enough hints and you didn't get it for me? Just looking out for you.  You can thank me later.  Do you want me to wrap it for you too??


Do you have a favorite author?  One where you own all their books?
Who is it?  I'd love to hear about them/their books?

Unless its J.K Rowling and Harry Potter....I'm pretty sure we ALL own that series.

I have a couple.  One being Mitch Albom. 
Tuesdays with Morrie. LOVE.
5 People you Meet in Heaven. LOVE.
For One More Day. LOVE.

And this one.  Have a Little Faith.

The novel opens with Albom's old Rabbi asking him to do the eulogy when he dies.  It is the story of one's life purpose and about losing faith and finding it again.

A quick, enjoyable read for those of little faith or big faith, jewish or christian or something else.  It got me thinking.  Maybe someday I will vocalize my thoughts on heaven, hell, purgatory, the here and now, and how that movie Groundhog's Day might really have been onto something.  Maybe.  Someday.  I'll tell you mine and you can tell me yours, deal?  All while eating something tasty delicious.

But, really.  You should read this one.  And if you don't, at least consider Tuesdays with Morrie.  It'd be good for your soul.

One of my favorite passages from the book:

A baby comes into this world with fists clenched tight.  Trying to grab everything, thinking THE WORLD IS MINE!  An old man leaves this world with hands wide open.  He has learned the lesson. 
And that lesson is:

We can take nothing with us.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Music in my ears

I signed up for my first official 5K run since high school.

I'm really doing it.

I'm kind of nervous.

At least I have a goal now, and motivation to get out there and pound the pavement.  Or dirt in my case.

So for the next month, I am forgoing the audio books whilst running, in the interest of picking up the pace a little.

Here's the current play list:

B.O.B - Airplanes
Kelly Clarkson - Since U been gone
George Michael - Faith
Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
Black Eyed Peas - Meet me halfway
Britney Spears - 3  (don't's just so dang catchy)
Jakob Dylan - Valley of the low sun
Jakob Dylan - Something good this way comes
Katy Perry - California Gurls
Nickelback - This Afternoon
Owl City - Vanilla twilight
The Refreshments - Banditos
Train - Save me San Francisco
Train - Breakfast in Bed

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 28

Botanical Garden at the Bellagio

Headed to the Criss Angel Show


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