Tuesday, August 30, 2005

1. What is your occupation? Mother, writer hoping to be scrapper
2. What are you listening to right now? Rush Limbaugh
3. What was the last thing you ate? Chocolate cookie
4. Do you wish on stars? Once in a while...
5. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Something blue
6. How is the weather right now? windy, and warm
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Police, job related
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I borrowed it from May, who borrowed it from Peg. I love all my Pub Peas!
9. Favorite drink? Ice cold, slushy Dr Pepper, or Cherry Pepsi.
10. Favorite sport(s) to watch? Ice skating
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Well yes, just a bit of “blonding.”
12. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Yes, I switched to glasses when I had to keep taking them off to scrap.
13. Pets? Kitty Kate ` she makes me laugh.
14. Favorite Month? September because I love fall, December because of all the action.
15. Favorite Food(s): Shrimp scampi, chocolate anything, pizza, pasta, Tamales made by my neighbor, I could go on and on.
16. What is the last movie you watched? “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” It still makes me laugh!
17. Favorite day of the year? It varies, it’s the day when the house is clean, and I get something done.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? I don’t remember fixating on any one toy, but I did like my Barbies.
19. Fall or Spring? Fall
20. Hugs or kisses? Who’s offering?
21. Cherry or blueberry? Cherry
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? Of course!
23. Who is most likely to respond? Karen.
24. Who is least likely to respond? Any relative.
25. When was the last time you cried? Two weeks ago when I realized church was not the same since all my friends moved away.
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Piles of clothes.
27. Who is the friend you've had the longest? My Sister, ReNae.
28. What did you do last night? Watched “Night Court,” and the news about the hurricane.
29. What is your Favorite Smell? Cherry Pepsi.
30. What inspires you? Nature, my children, people, humor.
31. What are you afraid of? Driving in the big city, crowds of people.
32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger? Cheese
33. Favorite car? I’m kind of liking the PT Cruiser right now.
34. Favorite dog breed? Golden Retriever.
35. Number of keys on your key rings? Four
36. How many years at your current job? Almost 11 years as a mother, six months with my current writing job.
37. How many states have you lived in? Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.
38. How many cities have you lived in? Seven.
39. What is your all time favorite movie? “Right now I’m partial to “A Walk in the Clouds,” and “Enchanted April.” Yep, I’m a romantic.

Sunflower stalks

My life is not just about my cat. But she is by far and away the most entertaining member of the household right now. Her most recent antics include lurking in the sunflowers growing in front of our house. We are not sure if she likes them because of the shade, or because of the little yellow birds that come to eat the seeds. But if we can’t find Katie, chances are good she’s hanging out in the flowers.
The flowers are right by the carport, so DH says he sees her every morning as he backs up, peering at her from her safe place in the shade.
But last night I found her draped in the window well that serves as her portal to the outside world. When I opened the door to let her in the house before bedtime, she came and meowed at me and wouldn’t come in until DH stood by the door. They have a bond that excludes me, I’m afraid.
She is going to be one sad kitty when the snow flies. But maybe she’ll start cuddling up to me if I’m the only creature in the house.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Soccer Mom Season

Soccer Mom: A woman who sits on the sidelines hoping desperately that her child will (a) make the save, goal or kick and (b) not get wounded in the process.
I’ve been doing this soccer mom thing for about five years now, and while I have learned a few things about packing water, folding lawn chairs and a camera, I still have a lot to learn.
Like how not to yell “way to go pumpkin’!” At my strapping six-year-old son when he makes a kick. I also need to learn how not to get steaming mad at some other mother’s kid because the child tripped my baby.
But this year is shaping up to be particularly challenging. My 10 year old son has decided he doesn’t want to play soccer, which is okay, because he’s not all that athletic. But he is going to be a ref.
There’s no question he has a soccer ref. personality. He loves to tell people what to do and he is a stickler for details. But he’s just a little boy (in mom’s eyes) and he’s going to have to stand up to emotional coaches and parents for every call he makes. He’s doing it for the $5 a game. But Mommy is scared for her baby.
My 6-year-old DS played his first game with a goalie this season and guess who was picked to be the goal for the second half of the game. That’s right, my punkin! He made two saves and decided he had found his niche in the soccer world. Meanwhile, mommy is having heart palpitations every time the ball gets within 10 feet of my baby.
So I’m looking for advice from anyone out there. How does a mom of boys just grin and bear it as the world comes down on her babies? I guess this is just another lesson I get to learn as a soccer mom.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Flat Sage ~ or pressed Sage ~ gets a makeover

It's amazing what a person will do to avoid mopping the floor. I've been entertaining myself by dressing Paperkins. I dressed the first to look like me in my natural attire. Bleck! Talk about frumpy!
Then I decided to go for a "What Not to Wear" makeover. Notice how her clothing fits close to her body, the jacket covers her "problem areas" and the splash of color accents her face.
Of course, it's much easier to trim the fat off a paper doll than it is off my actual belly. But maybe I can look at Pressed Sage for inspiration.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back to school "freedom?"

Back to Shool! These may not be the three most powerful words in the English language, but they certainly conjure up images. Excitement, fear, new clothes, the smell of crayons, the sound of the bell, and for mothers FREEDOM!
Anyway that was my thought. But this year the freedom lasted exactly long enough for me to walk into my basement and check the message on my answering machine. Alas, the light was blinking. My boss had called and he needed my help.
I chucked plans for a leisurely breakfast with other school-liberated mothers in the neighborhood and got on the phone, made some calls and started writing about a tragedy. This time it was the story about a 17-year-old high school girl killed in a car crash the night before she was to start her senior year in high school. Her car was hit head-on by a woman who had four children in her vehicle. The children ranged in age from 9 years to 4 months. The mother and her 4-year-old daughter were trapped in the car as flames leapt 10 to 10 feet in the sky. Everyone who survived was taken to metro hospitals in Salt Lake City.
That was my Tuesday. (Well, I already wrote about the bird in the basement incident, which finished out the day.) I didn’t sleep well that night because our air conditioner quit on us. It was hot, and windy, and I was fretful about a request that I hustle up another feature story by Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday, after figuring out what I was going to write about (people who home school their children) I spent five hours interviewing then writing the story. I whipped up supper and headed out to a four our gripe fest posing as a Stansbury service agency meeting. The topic of all the excitement, a $40 a year tax rate hike.
Thursday morning found me writing the Stansbury service agency story, and a follow up column to the accident story.
This brings me to my NAP ~ it was fabulous, but rudely interrupted by my boss calling to ask if I would take a photo for him tonight.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing laundry, mopping floors, washing dishes, in short I’ll be doing all the things I should have been doing all week instead of writing stories. Oh yes, the air conditioner repairman should be here tomorrow, too. Meanwhile, the roof of my deck and carport are being ripped apart by “repair” men.
So much for enjoying the luxurious freedom brought only by back to school days.
Next week for sure!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Duck and cover

I knew it was going to happen ~ one day.
You see our Kitty Kate is not your sweet, cuddly, house decoration cat. She is really in touch with her inner felines. She loves to climb the tree in the back yard and lately she has taken to lounging around under the sunflowers, hiding, watching, waiting for the right moment.
Apparently last night was the right moment, because as my husband and I were settled down watching Big Brother, the Kate dragged it in, “it” being a small, lively bird.
Well, it wasn’t all that lively when she brought it in the basement through the open window that serves as her portal to the outside world. At first it just crumbled in a heap of feathers, twitching while she guarded it.
But before we could gather our wits, the bird gathered its wits and started flying and chirping. It headed for the tacky plastic tree in the corner of the family room, bashing his head on the low ceiling.
Kate was right behind it, tail twitching with pride and glee. I grabbed the cat, who protested mightily, and threw her into a handy closet while husband gave chase.
The bird flew to perch on the shelves above the computer and husband grabbed a blanket. He threw the blanket over the bird and took it to the open window, but tripped over something on the floor and the bird was free again.
The bird headed for the fake tree, the cat scratched and yowled. Then I heard the shower turn off down the hall. Picturing a naked 6-year-old boy in the midst of the excitement I ran down the hall and told him to “stay in the bathroom and get dressed.” You see, the child loves to come out wrapped in a towel to dry off before dressing.
By this time the bird had taken residence behind the unused treadmill I (like most people in America) had purchased in a fit of idealism. This time we were able to move the treadmill, catch the bird and release it to the wild of our backyard, slamming the window behind it.
Kate was indignant when we let her out of the closet. She sniffed around the artificial tree for a few minutes, and then stared out the window with a look of disgust on her face.
I grew up on a ranch; I expect cats to stalk small creatures. But really, I don’t want birds in my basement.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Am I blue?

I guess I am, according to a website that links color to your birthdate. According to this site I am Orient Blue, which makes me intuitive, deep and profound. I wonder if Orient Blue is also the color of Skeptical? Because I just don't believe astrology, numerology, colorology, or any ology that isn't specific science.
Biology, yep, I believe in it. Psychology, up to a point. Typography ~ I'm a big fan. I even believe on coreography. Let's hear it for jazz hands! I do have faith, but I hope I don't have superstitions.
I have faith in God. I have faith that everything will work out in the end. I have faith in prayers, family, and the basic goodness of people.
But I'm not stupid. I know there is evil in ther world. I also know there are people who are looking for lost, sad, lonely people looking to be "defined," and willing to take their money in the process of making them feel better about themselves.
So what does that make me, a faithful skeptic?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Land lubers discover sea life

It may be a small aquarium by coastal standards, but for us land lubbers, the Salt Lake City aquarium was a fascinating scrap of the world.
The highlight was either petting the rays, seeing the sharks or watching the sea horses, depending on who you ask. My sister-in-law (my brother's wife) and their four children came to visit from Wyoming and had themselves a good time. The pictures are not the greatest, because I tried to take them in low light without a flash. But they give you a taste of our sea-like adventure.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Let's start with the reason for the title.
When I was in high school I wrote a short story about a box of straight pins fighting a battle against the "dragon," the dreaded vacuume cleaner. Since that time I've been developing the idea ~ with the help of my family ~ to a full-fledged story.
My brother has become my illustrator, and I am in the process of developing the characters. The pan-hatted privates, the big, headed leaders, and everyone in between.