Monday, July 27, 2009

Handmade Wooden Toys

Progressive Pioneer never faileth to bring the goods. A marvelous giveaway of gorgeous wooden toys from The Wooden Wagon.

Move on ahead and enter, silly!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Lovely Giveaway!

Sweet Life in the Valley is hosting a great giveaway with goods from Down East Basics! Head on over if you want a shot at a new stitch!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Miracle of Birth

(Well I guess Blogger decided that Botticelli's The Birth of Venus was inappropriate so it was removed from this post. I guess this makes me a dirty porn fiend - ha, and all this time I had thought it was just art. SILLY ME.)

Wow. ... I just finished watching The Business of Being Born. I am so moved. I have always had views about home-birth being the best choice in low-risk pregnancies (which are over 90% of the time, in fact) and this has just further confirmed that for me. I think that giving birth is one of if not the most sacred events to take place for humans (and all animal life, actually). As a little girl I remember hearing the story of my middle sister's birth at home and I was always enchanted with both my mother and sister for what they went through together and I felt that was what had made them both so "down to earth". My mother had books on homebirthing and I would sit and look at the pictures in awe of this incredible event. There have been a few opportunities througout my days (as an aunt and as a friend) to witness birth; what a sacred, beautiful event! I have also always *known* that I too would have (or like to have) a homebirth, barring of course any reasons that would prevent that. But it seems to be the most natural and dare I say even correct way to have a baby. Women have been giving birth since the dawn of human existance and I believe have in modern times been convinced that they do not know how to have their babies. The stats on what's really going on with hospital births is quite frightening, and while I realize that today most women are just going to opt for the hospital birth (approximately one half of one percent of births in the US are done in the home!) I would just hope that the mother and father make the choice that is right for them and their baby/ies after careful research. Mostly, my feelings about homebirth come down to emotion and connection, both of which I think are not only paramount in importance, but in fact essential to the bonding of mother and child as well as being essential to the child's emotional health. I truly believe that the first moments of life outside of the womb are crutial in terms of security, love, attachment, and subsequently health.

Wow. I am still just in awe and in love with the miracle that is birth...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Delightsome: Celtic Woman

I hate to say this because it really is such a beautiful production, but the song is quite better without the visuals. Beautiful music and lovely group.

Now this song... oh how I love this song. Beautiful.

With all the strands of peroxide flowin' I almost forget that they're kickin' some serious arse with those fiddles!!

Random-ness, Like Such As

Hiya there, pals. Long time no talkie! Well, life's been... busy, shall we say. Got lots cookin' right now and I'm enjoying reading other blogs so much lately that I don't have all that much motivation to blog myself. So, in true blogging fashion, I'll just throw some random stuff your way. 'Cause I love ya. ;)

I really love summer. The warmth, the beauty, the... summery-ness of it all. PLUS, and this is big for me, it marks my official countdown time until autumn. Fall is indeed my favorite season and I almost miss summers in anticipation. So this year I've been making the conscious effort to slow down and enjoy the heat before it turns on me. Our garden is absolutely delightsome;I sit just to admire it sometimes. I will do a photo essay on it soon. Our Four-o'clock flowers just started blooming today and this is the biggest the bush has ever gotten since we've had it. It's just beautiful and the flowers smell absolutely amazing!

I am taking my eldest daughter to see a live performance of Shakespeare this weekend; it will be her very first exposure to any Shakespeare and in fact, I had planned it that way so that her very first time would be to see it live. I actually have a method that I am implementing: no movies whatsoever, only live performances and then she can watch the pop culture movies if she wants to. But I really don't want her mind spoiled with mediocre renditions of such important material. So we should have fun. Picnic (with our genuine picnic basket - complete with a red and white checkered cloth), blankies (as it is out-of-doors - as all Shakespeare should be, really), etc. Should be a real blast.

Am going to start the first clothing sewing project I've done in literally years. I've done lots of fiddly bits throughout time, but haven't done clothing So I am thinking I'll start simply with a skirt. I'll be picking out the fabric next month. And indeed, I'll provide pictures.

Well, that's about all I've got. I can't and won't go into the more personal details, but then again, that's not really my style anyway. G'night, y'all. Be back with more soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two (DoughDough) Birds With One Stone

Image via the Kitchen DoughDough site

The ever-lovely Kitchen DoughDough has a dream. A big and lovely and worthy dream - and I want to help!! Not to mention, by my mentioning KDD's dream, I could also be the lucky, lucky recipient of her fabulous giveaway!

I've already written to Ellen (yes, THE Ellen!) to tell her about KDD's dream and about how much I too believe in flowing one's dreams. If you want to help give someone the chance to realize a dream, you too can write to Ellen, or even participate in the other ways KDD has outlined. I nominated the Mother's Day Cupcakes because I love to sew, but I was really torn between these and these - both flodded me with childhood memories! :)

Good luck, Kitchen DoughDough!! I hope your dream comes true!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blessed Calculators

I'm Grey With Envy

Well, not really envy, as this hat doesn't belong to anyone I know. But I want to be the someone I know who owns this hat!

Normal Shmormal

"Ever Wonder How Normal You Are?" an article by Father Lou Guntzelman.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sweet Life Sweet Shoppe

I am entering to win in this giveaway. I love Sweet Life and now I love Sweet Shoppe!!!

Vanilla Cream on Wheels

If there ever was a bike for me, this be she. From Scotty's Cruisers. Duh! Who else?!

Some Like it Tart

Seeing as how I've had such a rough week, I knew I had to do some baking to make things once again right with the world. Enter: My Famous Rhubarb Pie.

Now, most like strawberry rhubarb pies, but not this little red hen, oh no! Just delicious, tart, juicy rhubarb. For the crust, I consulted my lovely British mother-in-law for her wonderfully simple recipe (sorry, it's a secret. If I told you, I'd have to, well, you know...). The filling is also amazingly simple (the best pies are always the simple ones to make, if you ask me). Again, I can't give out the recipe. Well, OK, maybe I can... :)

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in pie plate. Heap rhubarb over mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Dot with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust.
  3. Place pie on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold
Verdict: criminally good!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Neurosis at it's Finest

Ira and Abby.

OK, best movie ever. Well, you know. Best movie... in a long time. Highly recommend!

Lady of the House Speaking!

Who could resist the lovely Keeping Up Appearances, well, at least those who like British humour and comedies, that is. Hyacinth is an absolute riot, and Richard has to be the world's most patient and long suffering man ever to live, well, on TV, of course. ;) It's BOUQUET, dear! Not BUCKET. *tsssssss*

When You Wish Upon a Star (You Won't Get Very Far...)

I really, really, really, really wish I could go to the Oregon Country Fair. It's been years since I last went and I could REALLY use a break right about now. *major sigh*

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Cant' Help Myself...

LOVE these songs! Pure entertainment genius.

Long Live the King

For you, Michael...

Smile tho' your heart is aching,
Smile even tho' it's breaking,
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by,

If you smile
thro' your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow,
You'll see the sun come shin-ing thro' for you

Light up your face with gladness,
Hide ev-'ry trace of sadness,
Al -'tho a tear may be ever so near,

That's the time,
You must keep on trying,
Smile, what's the use of crying,
You'll find that life is still worth-while,

If you just smile

~ Charlie Chaplin

(Michael Jackson's favorite song)

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's A Positive Thing, Man

Favorite bit: "Monkeys thin on the ground. Thin in the air. Just generally pretty trim." Bahahahahahahah!!!!!!! Ahem.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It'll Take Time to Restore Chaos...

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

One of my favorites. I am re-reading a bit of it today as I lay in bed. Oh, how blissful! Author is Billie Letts.

Oh Âme

“Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.”

~ Rumi

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sweet Lord, Baby Gee

I have no clue what movie this comes from, but I had heard the bit about the "sweet Lord, Baby Jesus" before. GOD this is funny!

Sweet Lord of Hosts

I'll loan this and its sequel to you.

Palin... Out!

Wow this comes as a surprise. We'll have to wait and see what comes of it all as it seems rather unclear as to her motives. Of course, I have my speculations, but rather than stick my foot in my mouth (I'm really getting tired of the bitter aftertaste), I will wait with the rest of the U.S..

Interesting timing, nonetheless...

Buh-bye, "Bible Spice"!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indian Blue Grass??

Why didn't y'all tell me that my Anoushka video wasn't working any longer?! Here's some more, of course, for your viewing and listening pleasure. Some sitar and some good fiddle. Don't get much better than that. OK, well maybe it does, but this is pretty cool!

Just Flappin' Away

The term flapper in the 1920s referred to a “new breed” of young women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to the new jazz music, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.

Flappers had their origins in the period of liberalism, social and political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of the First World War, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

While many feminists deplore flappers for throwing away all the progress made by the suffragettes, they made quite a bit of progress for women in other aspects. While most people know they were the first women to actually show off their legs, cut off their hair and even wear shorts, they did much more than that. In the Victorian era, it was unheard of for a woman to go to a bar, to drink or to smoke. Bars were places for men to escape their wives.

That all changed in the twenties – and not only because of prohibition. These young women also dated around, something that was unheard of in the past.

They were some of the first women to drive cars.

Flappers had their own slang, with terms like “snugglepup” (a man who frequents petting parties) and “barney-mugging” (sex). Their dialect reflected their promiscuity and drinking habits; “I have to go see a man about a dog” often meant going to buy whiskey, and a “handcuff” or “manacle” was an engagement or wedding ring. Also reflective of their preoccupations, they had many ways to express approval, such as “That’s so Jake” or “That’s the bee’s knees,” or a more popular one, “the cat’s pajamas.”

Many terms still in use in modern American English slang originated as flapper slang, such as “big cheese,” meaning an important person; “to bump off,” meaning to murder; and “baloney,” meaning nonsense. Other terms have become definitive of the Prohibition era, such as “speakeasy,” meaning a place to purchase illegal alcohol and “hooch,” which means liquor.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Cats: A Photo Essay

Here we have "The Beeps", "Beep-Beep", "Boops", and, my personal one, "My Piiiddy (pretty) Girl" (pictured here lounging on our fluffy comforter). Boops is our little autistic child. We've had her for years but if you walk near her or bend down to pet her, she'll cower and run away like you've just lit a torch near her face and are screaming in her ear (not all the time of course, but most). Poor Boops. She doesn't know what's going on. As the second child, she pays proper respects to "The Cuddler" (as pictured last), but as for The Babies, well, let's just say that even without any external stimuli from anywhere really, the violent side in Beeps comes out and they get a good what-for. Luckily, though, they just sit there staring at her, wondering what the hell just happened.

This is "Kinky Tail" (notice the end of his tail in the second pic), seen here helping me with the laundry; he is our dog born in a cat's body (although I'm sure he wouldn't complain about his current life as a cat in this cat-loving family... "spoiled" and "adored" don't even begin to cover it) As you can clearly see, he is very chill and in fact works daily at achieving Nirvana by not tying himself down with any serious commitments or earthly attachments (although I'd like to think he has a bit of an attachment to me :) ). Right now I am in the middle of teaching him to fetch. Since he's always asking me to play with him (yes my cats talk to me... your point is?), I figured that I may as well start teaching him to retrieve his toy to save me some bending over. So far so good. When he's in the right mood (i.e., particularly playful), he will bring me the toy after his command, drop it (fairly) near to me, and ask for me to throw it again (which goes a little something like, "maawowow" - if you know what I mean).

Here we have The Beautiful One (shhh! Don't tell the others!) with the long, expressive tail (although the above picture doesn't do it justice - the end is curled back in the second pic). He generally goes by "Noo-doos", some variation thereof, or sometimes even "Straight Tail" - which of course is his Indian name (he's very spiritual). This baby greets me each morning at my chair with a "hello" (which really sounds more like a question, like, "hello...?") and a touch on my arm when he stands on his hind legs and reaches out to "hug" me. Yes, I am a lucky mamma!

Meet Cuddlina. Cuddlina (a derivative of "Cuddler", "the Cud", "Cuddlini-Bean", or just "The Bean") is the oldest member of our (cat) family, and is a true pacifist at heart. However, and this amuses us greatly, when neighborhood cats fight outside, she quickly runs out to get a good gander at the action. Little Lookie Loo, we should call her. But, she lets me hold her like a baby (*grin*), loves to take a nap with whoever is having one at the time, and has been very cool about the additions we've made to the family over the years. We love her.

Next time: a photo essay of my garden.

Math Makes Me a Cynical Little Git

Bloody hell. My brain is positively fried. Toooooo muuuuuuuch maaaaaaath...

BUT - the good thing is that as of 7 am this morning, I had no bloody clue what we had just learned the day before (hang with me here, not to the good part yet), but by about 10 am, I was beginning to understand and needed less and less help as the morning went on. This is good.

Test Monday. Feels doable.

Passing is the only goal. Must pass. Doubtful I won't. Short sentences. Are helpful. When brain. Is fried. Even if. And when. They aren't. Proper sentences.

Anyway, must go eat piiiiiiiiiiizza. When in need of a counter to mathematics, I highly recommend a slice of the greasy stuff (with a cold beer, of course. Duh!).

Alles wohl.
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