Sunday, May 31, 2009

Winter Study

I just finished this book:

From Publishers WeeklyIn bestseller Barr's chilling 14th mystery thriller to feature National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon (after 2005's Hard Truth), Anna joins the team of Winter Study, a research project intended to study the wolves and moose of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, the setting for 1994's A Superior Death. Complicating the study is Bob Menechinn, an untrustworthy Homeland Security officer assigned to shadow the research. Crowded into inhospitable lodgings and persecuted by unrelenting cold, Anna is far from her comfort zone as nature turns awry with a series of bizarre events. The team stumbles upon the tracks—and the mutilated victim—of a preternaturally large, unidentified beast, and local packs of wolves descend on human-populated areas, a behavior out of step with their species. The campfire legends of youth metastasize into adult fears as Anna must piece together a connection between these anomalies while guarding herself from the strangers around her. Barr's visceral descriptions of the winter cold nicely complement the paranoia that follows the appearance of the mythic monsters at play. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

While this is the first book I've read by Nevada Barr, I had no idea that this was part of a series of any kind. I saw it at Costco, and being a wolf person, picked it up immediately.

It was easy reading, and I admit that there were several times I found myself holding my breath, literally! A couple of gruesome episodes, but all the way through it kept my interest.

I'm still kind of questioning the ending, but, hey, where else could you have gone with it in the last 10 pages???

I may try another of her books...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A New Blog!

No. Not mine. I couldn't take on another one. I swear, I don't know how you people do it...have more than one. Some of you with 3 or more!!! It takes time for me to get a post together. Maybe it's because I'm not that good at it. I don't know.

Anyhow, my Hubby has stories like you wouldn't believe from his previous life. If I told you what that life was, I'd spoil the surprise.

I have been telling him for EVER that he needs to get these stories on paper, or in the computer. Something! In fact, everyone has been telling him that for years. I think I have him convinced to do it in blog form. Maybe it won't be so overwhelming to think about in a daily format. Or weekly. Whatever.

So off and on over the last week, we've been thinking about names for his blog, and during the night (yes, he must be hooked already!) he came up with the banner picture, and we went and shot it this morning. He's having a blast applying effects on it.

The only problem now is...will we ever see each other again if we are both glued to our computers???

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Friday Shoot Out - Water

Ahhhh, water. The essence of me. A fish, my friends! A lake is not big enough, it takes an ocean! I'm an ocean fish.
This is Rio Del Mar beach in Aptos, CA. It's a wonderful beach on the Monterey Bay. It's where we lived, took the dogs to run, and filled up on peace & sea air.

I realize that this is supposed to be mostly all pictures, but here we are in the middle of the desert now...and I've spent all week looking for water for the Shoot Out! This is a dry time of year for us, although we have had some clouds go through that spit a few drops overhead along with a bit of thunder. Not monsoon yet; I can't wait to show you monsoon!

I can show you pictures from last year's monsoon though!

After a couple of days of good rain in the summer, the waterfall starts running on the mountain!

And runs down the mountain... Then there's what happens when a good downpour hits the yard!That's the courtyard, flooded!

Hail on a nice summer afternoon.

Every once in a while, we'll get a bit of precipitation in the winter, but not much.

That's about it for the desert! Have a wonderful weekend!

Praying Mantis

I love these guys!

Praying Mantises are exclusively predatory and their diet usually consists of living insects; larger species have been known to prey on small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, and even rodents. Most species are known to engage in cannabalism. The majority of mantises are ambush predators, waiting for prey to stray too near. The mantis then lashes out at remarkable speed.

Some ground and bark species, however, pursue their prey rather quickly. Prey items are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs ("raptorial legs"); the first thoracic segment, the prothorax, is commonly elongated and flexibly articulated, allowing for greater range of movement of the front limbs while the remainder of the body remains more or less immobile. The articulation of the head is also remarkably flexible, permitting nearly 300 degrees of movement in some species, allowing for a great range of vision (their compound eyes have a large binocular field of vision) without having to move the remainder of the body. As their hunting relies heavily on vision, they are primarily diurnal, but many species will fly at night.

Several years ago, we bought one of the mantis cocoons at Home Depot and hung it in the peach tree. Never saw anything hatching out of there. But the next year, we had baby mantis everywhere. We'd be sitting out on the back deck in the evening and there would be one just hanging out on the patio table. He'd be cocking his head first one way, then the other.

After reading this description of them, I'm wondering...how big do these guys have to get to be able to eat a snake? Or a hummingbird?? Or a RODENT???

Oh, and they're into sexual cannabalism! Yikes! And isn't this interesting?

Does it look suspiciously familiar? You tell me...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oooo, that smell

I've been smelling gas in the laundry room off and on for a couple of weeks now. Not all the time, not even every day. Hubby didn't think it smelled like gas, but it freaked me out enough to call the gas company to come out.

We have an electric washer & dryer, so we knew it couldn't be that, although there is a gas hub thingy back there. No readings of a gas leak back there. In the garage? No. Even if you have an electric stove, there is probably a gas hub thingy back there too. Let's look behind your stove.

GASP!!! I probably sucked all the air out of the room when I did that! Now, I'm a pretty good housekeeper. I can't stand clutter and I like it clean. However...how often do we pull out our stoves to clean? How often in our busy lives do we think about the places that we can't see???

Of course, I was horrified! "Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed!"

"Hey, it happens ALL THE TIME. My house too!"

Lucky for me, he had to go check other areas in the house, maybe on purpose, so I had time to get out the vacuum, cleaner, scrubber, mop, and a knife (no, I'm not kidding) to scrape off something that had dripped down the side of the stove against the counter! By the time he got back in the kitchen the stove sparkled, the floor shone where the stove had been, and it felt like a breath of fresh air, like I had been breathing all that dirt or something. Yuck!

After he left, no gas leak anywhere by the way, I had Hubby pull out the refrigerator too. No way I was going to have a glich with the fridge and have someone come over and pull that out too! Aarrg! Nasty!

I just pass this along to save many of you the same horrific embarrassment that I experienced this morning. No whining! You've been warned! Ha!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nothing to do with Memorial Day

We went to my father’s apartment that day, with a hopeful excitement. My mother was happy. I hadn’t seen that for a very long time. What kid doesn’t want his or her parents back together? Was there really a possibility? I snuck looks at her, and at him. They looked happy. I felt happy. My brother and I exchanged smiles.

After dinner, as she was washing dishes, my father slid behind my mother and wrapped his arms around her waist. She turned and they kissed a long, deep drink of each other. They turned, a little embarrassed, to look at my brother and me, and we all acted like we were involved in something else.

As the evening moved forward, there was talk of them going to Reno together the next morning and whose house I would stay at while they were gone. My mother was excited to be able to make plans with him. It was so obvious that she still loved this man. The possibility of our lives falling back in place together was palpable. The laughter too loud maybe, the nervousness in the shadow of hope made us giddy.

At the end of the evening, my brother went to his room, me to the couch, and my mother and father to his bedroom. I could hear quiet talking between them. I slept content.

Next morning dawned with her still squeezed in beside him in the twin bed. They were both sitting up, smiling, when I went in, my father smoking a cigarette, and she with the sheet pulled up under her arms.

Maybe it was going to happen! Every kid’s dream would happen to me. We ate breakfast, the four of us, full of happy talk and laughter. “What time should we leave?” she asked with love still in her eyes. “Leave?” “For Reno. I’ll take Lisa to her friend’s house, and I can be ready in about an hour.”

“Oh honey. I can’t go. I have to work.”

I watched the life fall from my mother’s face. It drained down through her shoulders and out of her heart. She had trusted, again, and lost, again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

This is how little it takes to make me happy...


While taking my mother out on her weekly shopping excursion, I found this at Marshall's. I've been looking for some magazine holders because I am a little compulsive about magazines. Man, I have a hard time throwing them away! I've even tried cutting the pieces I want out of the mag and putting them in a binder, athough that creates another problem of catagorizing stuff. But I'm also a little (lot) compulsive about buying something even as trivial as this. It has to be something that I love to look at or I won't buy it. It even seems ridiculous to me, but, there's no help for it...

Unfortunately, this was the only one (I could use 10 of them), BUT this is what really made me happy!!!

Can you see that??? THREE DOLLARS! I love it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mmmm Corn on the cob!!!

I'll just pass this along...no matter how you cook it, corn on the cob is fantastic! Instead of all that butter, which I love (!), try this:

After it's cooked, squeeze fresh lime juice all over it, then sprinkle paprika all over. Oh. My. God.

Sooo darned goooood, and so much less fat!!!!

Let me know what you think!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Animal Kingdom

My morning started with letting Shasta & Willy outside to potty. I have to open the gate to the south forty for them to go charging out into the wilds (fenced). Immediately they spotted one of the baby bunnies that was grazing so easily up to that point.

Shasta is FAST! She was all over it, but my SCREAMING made her hesitate just enough for the bunny to turn and run right into Willy! He is not so responsive. I had to fly out there to scare him so he'd let the baby go. Bunny ran back under the shed next door. I was shaking for 20 minutes! Geez, who needs to start their day like that! Bunny agrees!

By mid day we spotted this, our very own lizard basking in the sunshine.

It's hard to tell by this picture, but I think he has blue spots on his back, and possibly a blue belly? I say he is our lizard because I have seen him hanging out in our courtyard for a week or two. In fact, the other day I was washing dishes in the kitchen, which looks over the courtyard, and when I looked up, there he was hanging on the screen in front of me. I ran to get the video camera and he let me film him. I'm just waiting for Hubby to capture a picture off of the camera.

Letting doggies out this afternoon, Wilson, aka bird hunter, lunged at a baby quail that was frantically running in the courtyard, with no parents in sight.

On any other day, we are overrun by quail. Remember we had 17 babies last year that all survived! Where are they? Of course, I had to go to the area of the yard that held that sweet nest of quail eggs, pull back the !*#@^&! tumbleweed, and sure enough, they have hatched. How did this little one get separated?

OH! I just glanced out my front window while typing and saw a male quail come out of the cypress bush in front. Then the female poked her head out and ran back in. Strange behavior, unless of course...

If I see any little heads pop out of that bush, I'm gettin' that other baby and puttin' him in there. I'll keep you posted!


And last night's picture from the deck!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tucson today

We left for Tucson this morning at about 8 am for an appointment at the heart doctor for Hubby. During his hip replacement, he had some episodes of Atrial Fibrillation (rapid heartbeat that can, in extreme & prolonged situations, create pools of blood clots), and has had some of those experiences since. The problem with that is that it can lead to stroke, so it definitely (Simply Heather, ha!) needs to get checked out.

It was a soupy, soggy, rainy day in Tucson, with low lying clouds and humidity in the 54% range. In other words...big hair day for me. Ha! I'd post a picture, but really, it is not a pretty sight! :)

When we had the Echo Cardiogram done today, we were blown away! It was beyond our thoughts about what could be seen through goo & wire!!! Not to mention the awesome woman that performed the test. She explained what we were looking at, what direction it was looking towards, and what she was measuring and looking for. I swear, what we saw on that screen was God's art. Truly.

When you think about art, it can be the most beautiful thing you've ever seen in your life, but unless it has exposure you would never know about it. That is how I felt seeing this today. God's art gets exposure. 3D echos of the heart, and to be honest, I thought about what beautiful fabric it would make!!!

As it turns out, Hubby's heart is in pretty darn good shape. His chambers were a little large, but not in the "5" measurement that would put him in danger of stroke, although at a "4", he was put on a mild prescription to keep everything on an even keel.

We LOVE his heart doctor!!! He is totally NOT into the whole "I am king" doctor syndrome, but a friendly, down to earth, kind of guy that puts you totally at ease.

And we were...totally at ease!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Magnets, magnets, magnets

Cynthia:World Renowned Author has been showing refrigerator magnets lately. It got me to thinking that it's probably pretty telling about where we've been physically, mentally, & emotionally.

I don't have much on there right now. When we moved into this house, we put most all of them in a ziplock bag & stuffed it in a drawer. Yeah, what does that say!?! I guess that's another post!

But I thought I'd get that bag out and look through some of them.
Hubby and I both worked at the cable company at one time in CA. The cable company also ran a community access channel and filmed an awards ceremony that was held every year called The Santa Cruz Sports Awards, where various high school's atheletes were given awards for excellence.

Being HUGE San Francisco Giants fans, imagine our excitement when we heard that Dusty Baker, Giants manager, was going to speak that year at the ceremony!!! It was a thrill for me to meet him, and I also learned that night what a really nice man he is! Look how little the boys were! They were very excited too! If you are familiar at all with Dusty, remember how he always had a toothpick hanging out of his mouth? Mothers were having fits (me included) because we kept thinking he was going to swallow one. But when he came to speak at the Sports Awards, we gave him a HUMUNGOUS box of them. He laughed!

This next group of magnets are things that we love. Hubby gave me the dove couple one year (said it was us), and I love wolves, and wine, and the bottom picture is of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk from the water at dusk. And, if you've never seen Phantom of the Opera in person, I'm sorry. We have seen it in San Francisco THREE TIMES!

Places we've been, people we've loved. Oh the stories we could all tell about those days, right???

We visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado when we flew to Colorado Springs for a weekend, all part of a sales awards ceremony for the Ad Sales department in the western region. It was so cool. We actually got to go a couple of times to the CO event, and we were put up at the Broadmoor, a gorgeous, 5 star hotel! I should post pictures of that sometime...it was so cool. The awardees and spouses also got to pick two activities to enjoy while we were there. We went rafting down the CO river and fly fishing one time, and up to Pikes Peak and kayaking another time. He did win it a third year when everyone was flown to Cancun! Unfortunately, I was sick the whole trip and not much fun... Needless to say, those days of expenditure are loooong gone!

Kauai was our honeymoon, definitely another post. Italian caviar, well, Hubby is oh so Italian! We reek most of the time! That reminds me of a restaurant in San Francisco that we went to a few times called The Stinking Rose. Oh. Lord. Wonderful.

And last, but not least, two of the grandkids. Aren't they cute? That was taken several years ago.

So, all in all, I don't know what these magnets say about me, especially since they no longer hang on the fridge. Maybe that I have a problem with clutter???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday

Here's a picture from the deck last night
No rain, and no thunder/lightening, however, I think that's about to change today. The temperature has already dropped a good 10*, and I hear rumbling in the distance. I'd like to be in that coffee shop with the books on Dan's blog.
I planned on talking a bit about Lamb's Ears today. When I lived in CA, I had some LE plants, but had no idea until I moved to AZ that they flowered! Obviously, they love it here. I called them rabbit ears back then.

Rabbit ears, lamb's ears, whatever. I just love them. They are so velvet-y, and delicate looking, but from what I read about them, they are not so delicate as they seem, and can be quite invasive.

During the winter I let them be covered with fallen leaves from the peach tree that resides beside it. Actually, I let everything keep a layer of peach leaves around the bottom of the plants for protection. Always a little apprehensive about clearing those leaves out in the spring. Who knows what has taken up residence in there all winter!

Also while looking around online about Lamb's Ears, I found this website that talks about using the leaves in crafts. Who knew?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monday's Video

We did get some "action" yesterday, but it wasn't the kind of action I ever want to see!
The really great thing was that within the hour, there were 2 helicopters dropping water, 3 small planes, and 2 other planes dropping retardant. There might be orange animals running around up there today, but at least they're alive, and the fire is out.
So on to what I really wanted to share with you today....

Everything in this video was filmed from our back deck last year as the monsoons worked their way in and out of our days.

Sit back, turn up the music, and enjoy!

video

Hubby spent many days letting the camera run while the clouds built, and grew, and then fell in on themselves. Of course, this is sped up to be able to watch them grow, but you can watch them do that with the naked eye as well. This is our kind of fun!

I'm so proud of him. So beautiful.

Sunday

Today is a beautiful day outside...blue skies, 84* at noon, dewpoint is up to 43%, and thunderstorms are in the forcast. Once the dewpoint gets up to 54% and stays there for 3 consecutive days, we are considered in "monsoon season." Usually monsoon officially starts on the 4th of July. Weather people are saying it'lll be early this year. Could this be the beginning?

We got outside early this morning to work in the yard, clean up the @#^*&%$@!*** tumbleweed off the cyclone fence, pull weeds, and general clean up. When I walked outside to deadhead my geranium, two birds landed on the porch light, flew right at me! then I looked up and, you guessed it,

Another little Home Sweet Home!

Okay, guess there is no more using the front door! Anyhoo, we continue our bag filling duties out in the yard and went to get the %#!*@ tumbleweed out from the corner by the gas meter, and two quail come charging out from the corner, screaming all the way. That can mean only one thing friends...

yep, put the $%!#@*&! tumbleweed back. Sorry guys. Look at how nicely they are laid out! I tell you what, I was impressed! She keeps a tidy house, that one.

Then we went off to shoot a commercial for one of our clients for about an hour and when we came out of the building, noticed a few puffs of clouds popping up here and there. By the time we got home, I saw this out my front window.


And within about 10 minutes, it had grown to this.


Who knows, we might actually get some action today! I did see some lightening last night towards the east, so it's not out of the question.

Tomorrow I'll be posting an awesome video that Hubby shot in our backyard of some monsoon action last year. Do come back & check it out. You'll love it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Life Ain't Easy, for anyone...

I'm taking a big old deep breath today. One that I haven't been able to take in a long time.

I have been anguishing over being my mother's caretaker, and a future on the road with my hubby. I'm talking, can't sleep at night, thrashing, guilting, shaming, ugly fighting with myself.

My mother is 86 years old. She has had encephalitis/menengitis about 10 years ago. One of the affects of that is an ability to only see how something applies to her. A self-centeredness. I say that in the nicest way. She also has a venomous anger towards anyone she thinks has slighted her, real or not, that she will carry until she dies, that has nothing to do with the illness.

We had her move down here to our area about 5 years ago into a little community that has a pool, a gym, activities, and a large number of people that were eager to make friends because most of them had just moved here. I was here and would be able to help her when she needed it. She immediately quit driving, would not go to any of the activities, use the pool, use the gym. I was surprised that I would be her sole source of social interaction, transportation, contact with the outer world. But okay.

We tried to get her interested in things that she used to find pleasure in; painting (took her out to find supplies, bought instructional video, everything she said she needed) but she never even opened it. That is one example of many.

I take her out once a week for shopping, wherever she wants to go. I devote that day to her, and because she is walking very slowly these days, and can spend an extraordinary amount of time looking at things she has no intention of buying, I can only handle it one day a week.

I love this woman. I want her to be comfortable. I don't ever want to be a source of pain for her. That being said, I also have a husband who has been fortunate enough to have survived cancer, and finds himself slowing down as well. We have dreamed of hitting the road in our motorhome and seeing the country while we are still physically able. The anguish came while trying to figure out how to make the dream come true without making her feel unwanted. I thought I had come up with a way, especially after she had commented that she didn't know how much longer she would be able to live alone. She does not want to live in our city if I'm not here. The place she used to live is geared towards the elderly with many services available providing transportation, shopping, doctors, and assisted living if you choose to do that. It also has an RV park that we are members of where we could stay for 6 months out of the year. So I made this suggestion, noting that we would like to start traveling within two years.

She was quiet. I knew it would not go over well, but she didn't say much. That was a few weeks ago. I explained it to my oldest brother since he is the one that she turns to. He had been planning on visiting her this week, so I suggested that we all talk about it while he was here. Agreed.

Well, we did talk about it, and as expected, she is a firestorm of anger. I understand it to an extent, the thought of moving is overwhelming at my age. And this was not her idea, and she probably feels like we are just dumping her off somewhere. But what she is unwilling to look at is the fact that even if everything else stayed the same, she would be moving into assisted living down the road anyway, and probably sooner rather than later.

Today I still feel guilty about causing her undo stress, but I'm also feeling a bit sad and underappreciated, that I, evidently, am not supposed to make any plans for my future two years down the road. I thought two years was far enough out that we would all have time to chew it over, talk about it, and make some plans without feeling stressed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Salmon Pasta Salad

We have eaten Salmon Pasta for many years. You know, salmon, pasta, in a tomatoey pasta sauce. Love it. Sounds weird, but it is so good.



Well here is a cold salad that can be prepared ahead of time (and should be) and is filling, and so good on these warm spring evenings.





Salmon Pasta Salad
8 oz dry angelhair or vermicelli pasta (I used spaghettini), broken in thirds.
1 sm zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 (2 oz) can sliced black olives, drainged
1 (7 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
3 Tbs chopped basil or cilantro
2 Tbs chopped parsley
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 lb salmon fillets, cooked, flaked, and chilled
spring greens (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and rn under cold water to cool quickly. Shake off excess liquid and place in a large bowl.

2. Add zucchini, celery, onion, olives, artichoke hearts, cilantro, parsley, garlic salt, celery seeds, pepper, and mayonnaise. Toss gently. Fold in salmon. Serve on a bed of spring greens, if using. Serves 6 (or, the two of us for dinner and lunch the next day!)

I'll also mention that my favorite greens these days is Fresh Herb Salad greens from Safeway (grocery store), and comes in one of those plastic containers in the packaged salad section of the produce dept. It has dill in it, that just adds a whole new dimension to salad!


Yes, it's true. That is a paper plate!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Queen for Many Days, Evidently















My friend Kelly, over at My Voice, My View, gave me an Awesome Award the other day...Thanks, Kelly! You are Awesome too!

According to this award's rules, I'm supposed to list seven awesome things about myself.

Well, I went to her site to capture the award, and when I tried to put it on my blog, it kept reproducing itself!!! Everytime I hit the enter key it would add another 10 or so awards!!! Oh my gosh! I just laughed so hard. I couldn't get rid of them! I was loaded with them!

So I guess what I would write as my awesomeness would NOT be technical GENIOUS!!! Ha ha ha, snort, ha ha! But that does bring me to . . .

1. Sense of humor would be on my list. I do love to laugh, whether it's appropriate or not. I love to laugh at myself & find reasons to quite often. Other times I just shake my head. :) When I get nervous, I laugh. I find that most people are funny, even when they're not trying.

2. I'm a good listener. Complete strangers have shared some of the strangest, and most personal stuff with me on first meeting. I guess because I don't bug my eyes at them and run off.

3. I will assume you have the best of intentions until you prove me otherwise. After that, there will always be a question mark by your name, and a squinty, sideways glance at you.

4. I love to encourage people. If you want to become the world's best anything, I will convince you that you can do it, and give you reasons why you can and should. And I am thrilled when you actually do!

5. I'm an idea person. Love to come up with great ideas, but quite often don't like the follow up part of it. I'll think of it, you do it. Ha!

6. I'm frugal (Hubby says cheap), and love a great bargain. I'll come home from shopping with a new item of clothing that I only paid $7 for. I'll tear it out of the bag and say, "Look, look what I got! Guess how much! Go ahead. Guess!" "Knowing you, about $3." Somehow $7 doesn't sound so great anymore. But everytime I wear it, I'll secretly think I am so very clever for getting it so che...I mean frugally. :)

Hmm, there must be something else.

7. I am a Pollyanna when it comes to how I would like to see the world. Life can be tough sometimes, and my moods may dip farther down than I would like, but I try to live by this quote; The way you choose to see the world, creates the world you actually see. Don't know who wrote it, or where it came from, but it makes perfect sense to me.

Even though I am technically deficient, I would still like to pass this Awesome Award on. However, you may have to go to Kelly's blog, here, and get the actual award! Ha! I know people are busy, and possibly don't have time or energy for another game. No pressure here. I think it's a great way to get to know more about our blogging buddies. :) Just know I think you're AWESOME!

Heather at Simply Heather

Janice at And Another Thing

Pam at Sidewalk Shoes

Scriptor Senex at Words, Words, Words. I know this is a picture of a queen. I am not making a statement. Just take the crown, you are awesome. :)

Dan at Wood and Pixels Narratives. Ditto on my comment above.

Tricia at The Girl Who Wears my Shoes

Proud Mom at The Life and Times of Lisa

Babies You Don't Often See

These came in an email today. I guess all babies are cute.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Dang!

Yeah, I'm in trouble.

Laurel Sulfate

I'm always on the lookout for great hair care products. I know there are great ones out there, but I don't want to spend $40 bucks for a shampoo & conditioner! My hair is very fine, so many products will weigh it down unmercilessly!
I bought a different hair conditioner this last time, and while reading the back of the bottle saw this:


Does not contain laurel/laureth sulfates. Huh. What's that? Is that a bad thing? Who knew? Am I the only one that didn't know? It's what allows the liquid, shampoo, soap, to foam. Check this out!

Sodium laureth sulfate has been shown to increase the frequency of canker sores among people with frequent recurring sores. People with recurrent canker sores are thus recommended to avoid use of toothpastes containing sodium laureth sulfate. While SLS is a known irritant, evidence and research suggest that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure in some people.

Toxicology research by the OSHA, NTP, and IARC have confirmed the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society disputation that SLES is a carcinogen. SLES and SLS, and subsequently the products containing them, have been found to contain parts-per-thousand to parts-per-million levels of the known carcinogen 1,4-dioxane, with the recommendation that these levels be monitored. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers 1,4-dioxane to be a probable human carcinogen (having observed an increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies, but not in epidemiological studies of workers using the compound), and a known irritant (with a no-observed-adverse-effects level of 400 milligrams per cubic meter). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, although it is not required by federal law.

Recent research into the effects of SLS on male hair folicle growth has shown that excessive use of sodium laureth sulfate in shampoos can lead to permanent baldness. It has been recommended by the International Research Institute for Male Pattern Baldness that you check whether or not any shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, or other hair products you use contain SLS as the use of these products may result in hair loss in men.

Ah jeez! One more thing to worry about!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother has been going through her cedar chest this last week or so, where she keeps all of her old photographs, trinkets, & memories. When I went over there the other day, she had a packet made up for me and for my brothers. She said it was time we all had our own stuff to take care of.

When I got home, I started going through the packet. My baby book was in there, although there's not much inside (I was the last of 5 and God knows she didn't have time, right?).

Then there's the elementary school pictures...what a crack up!





There were pictures of my kids, family friends, and a little chicken! Who's chicken is that!?! We didn't have a chicken!


It's cute though.


Okay, I had to blow up the letter that the alleged chicken is standing on and found out it is a baby quail. What do I know about chickens! Ha!

Interesting that there was also a Mother's Day card that I had made for her when I was in elementary school.




It's so old, I'm surprised it has any petals or leaves left!


I have no idea what direction we were given by the teacher about what to write, but I did manage to fill up the whole page! On the back, on the bottom, I even wrote "forget me not". I must have seen that somewhere.

But the sentiment of the card was quite true. See for yourself.

I always said she was pretty enough to be a movie star.

She has been a great Mom, and a great friend to me.


Mom & I are going shopping today, then back to my house for a lunch of Ham, Asparagus, & cheese crepes!

I hope all you Moms have a wonderful day!

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration