About Me

I'm creamy and flavorful. I go well with raspberries. I plan to keep getting more delightful with age, so stick around! I like to travel, both physically and in my own head. I buy a lot of books just because I like the way they look and smell. If "old paper" was a glade scent, I'd plug them in all over my house. Ummm... I can lick my elbow. If you're reading this, you've probably already had the pleasure of witnessing it. Also, I love dishwashers.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Here is a not-very-recent picture of my sweet husband and our tiny niece.  We've got some catching up to do....

Getting back into the saddle. (Not literally.)

This will be my first blog post in over a year... I think. Certainly since Randy and I got engaged last March. I can't believe it's been that long! I have been a wife for over 7 months now.  Between trying to be a homemaker, teaching two subjects, producing a yearbook, running the kids program at Wings, and working afternoons at the CPA office, I don't often find the time to write. I have, however, found a new interest in things I wrote many years ago. 

Several weeks ago, I was running errands for the CPA office with my ipod on shuffle, when a song came on that reminded me of the novel I started as a teenager. I began to think about my characters, and I realized how much I miss them. Unfortunately, I didn't miss the main character. I missed his brother, and his brother's friends, but I didn't miss him. I think that's very telling of why I gave up on the book in first place. I have decided to try to fix that. If I can make Asher less whiny and give him a sense of humor, we'll be making progress again.

I also miss the two other novels I started and gave up on. As we all know, I'm a starter, not a finisher. Besides, I have too many student pieces to read most of the time to even think about working on my own. Still, it's fun to pick up old pieces and play with them, if only to see how far I've come - as a writer and a human being. 

Here is a nice, upbeat poem I wrote my sophomore year of college. Ah, to be 19 and angry again. So dramatic... Enjoy this glimpse into one of the darker chapters of my history.

July 28th
I remember. Memories like howling winds
Tell me I don’t deserve sleep.
Coffee and cake in the middle of the night;
Watching The X-files from a hospital bed;
Paper-thin joy and threadbare hope.
All worthless to me now.
Batteries die, and in the silence I hear
White jackets telling me, “It’s not a life.”
I whispered, “Forgive me,” pulled the plug on my heart.
Still, it beats.
I traded the love I couldn’t live without
for a rose and a card left under a tree.
I murdered my faith on July 28th,
Laid it to rest - but not in peace - beside the best part of me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chandler Vs. the Mail Lady

He's finally done it. 

After years of telling off their postal workers to no avail - watching hopelessly through the screen door as the uniformed fiends repeat their attacks again and again - dogs everywhere can rejoice in the fact that one more mailman has been defeated. Chandler won a decisive victory for team dog last Thursday when he managed to escape my back yard just as the mail was being delivered. Our maillady, as the case may be, is never coming back. 

He did not bite her, praise God, but he scared her pretty badly. He ran at her, barking and snarling, and chased her out of the yard. From what I've been able to find out, he stopped when she reached the sidewalk. That's about when I opened the door, and he trotted back to me, looking very pleased with himself. I won't say no one was hurt, because I'm sure the poor woman's pride was hurt when she went running from my yard, yelling in fright, in front of all my neighbors. My pride was hurt when I had to walk around the outside of my house in my pajamas, looking half dead (I had the flu), to inspect the hole he'd dug under the gate - all while enduring comments from neighbors about how my dog should be shot. It was wounded further when I cried in front of an animal control officer. Crying was the worst thing I could have done when I already had a head full of snot. It was not a shining day for me.

It was, however, a shining day for Chandler. He was feeling very clever and brave, indeed. He'd finally gotten past the annoying obstacles that prevent him from effectively defending our front yard, and he'd done so just in time to chase away our scariest and most persistent enemy. She hasn't set foot on our property since. Can there be any sweeter victory for a dog?

I've been rather grumpy and worried all week. I am no longer getting any mail delivered, and I have to figure out what to do about that. P.O. Box, maybe? I was forced to buy a 4th license for Chandler (since October), because even though I have two 2011 licenses and receipts that prove I paid for three of them, the argument with the officer ended with, "It's not in my computer." I was issued an intent to prosecute for failure to license my dog and violation of the leash law (even though he didn't leave my property). I've been busy with extra precautionary measures to make sure it never happens again.  Obviously, I don't actually think it's funny, especially since it's my fault, but my dad reminded me today to keep my sense of humor about the situation, so I'm trying.

This pictures helps. 

I'm guessing that this is face is somewhat similar to the one my mail lady encountered. Imagine how that tennis ball feels... Scary or not, the picture still makes me want to laugh, and it's a good reminder of how hopelessly ridiculous dogs can be. Especially mine. He's a buffoon. Sweet, loyal, a little too protective, and generally pretty obedient, but a buffoon none the less. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Convertibles, clouds, colored leaves and castles.

I love my car. 

Seriously. When poor Kyle got totaled, I thought I would replace him with something that gave me little more than reliable transportation. I didn't think a car could be such an emotional pick-me-up. But no matter how frustrated, cranky or discouraged I am, there's really nothing like driving around in cold, sunny weather with the convertible top down and the heater blowing full-blast in my face. It's actually quite cozy in there with the windows up. It helps that I'm short, too, so most of the cold air goes right over my head. I was sitting at a stoplight on my way home from work, singing along to my stereo and enjoying the mixture of hot and cold air, and total strangers kept smiling indulgently at me, like they were mocking me, but secretly wished they could do the same. 

For those of you who haven't seen Penelope, here she is!

Now that driving around town has put me in a better mood, I will attempt to rewrite (in fewer words) the lost blog post I spent all morning writing. Driving around only made me more in love with fall (and my car), but I was already going to mention in my would-be post that the sky has been incredibly pretty all week. If you haven't spent a lot of time looking up lately, you should start. We either get clear, blue skies, or we get clouds that take your breath away. Personally, I think we have the most interesting clouds in the country. They hover over the mountains and glow in the morning, appear impossibly high and graceful during the day, and then turn all sorts of fantastic colors in the evening. Sometimes, they even stand out long after dark, outlined by the moon. I think those are my favorites. They're both eerie and calming at the same time. In the interest of fairness, I'm glad that the mountains are to the east of us, so that side of the sky doesn't feel too left out come sunset. I hear the sunrises have been great too, but I really hate to be awake to see them. I do appreciate them when I have to be up that early. 

For some reason, I felt inspired to revisit my pictures from our trip to England last summer, and I came across these shots from Leeds Castle. At the time of our visit, I was slightly irritated with the castle's former inhabitants for "modernizing" it, but this room has since become one of my favorites of all time. It's everything I love about fall in the form of walls and furniture. You can see the blue sky; a conglomeration of red, yellow and green foliage; solid, billowy, white clouds; dark browns from the ground and bare trees; and gold leaves scattered here and there. 

Isn't it perfect? While we're in Leeds Castle, I might as well show you the library, because right now, I feel like a good library is all that's missing from my life, and this one was so charming and comfortable.

The moldings are important, too, as are the lights from on top of the shelves... 
I don't know what you call those.

And there's my pretty sister. We already know that she looks good in my new library, too, 
so that's a plus. Her purse and skirt even match the decor!

And, finally, my favorite corner. Naturally, it's the darkest part of the room. I could have spent all day there if we didn't have so many things to see that day (and if there hadn't been a rope and a sign discouraging tourists like myself from sitting on the couch).

I am considering designating a room of my house as a "creative safe room," where no stressful thoughts are allowed. No arguments, worrying, or administrative busy work.  I'd force myself to spend an hour or two in there every day. Since most of my goals and aspirations are creative in nature, and I spend shamefully little time on them, I would ultimately feel more fulfilled and productive if I spent entire days doing creative things in my anti-everything-else room.  I could come out only to exercise, drive my pretty car, admire the sky, talk to people I love, grow things in pots, learn to cook fancy meals, and occasionally sing along to musicals while washing the dishes. I think that even if I lived in a castle, I would want to sometimes do the dishes.  Maybe we could put a dishwasher and stove in the safe room? That'd be the life.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I can never think of clever titles, especially when the post itself is not quite clever.

It's been a shamefully long time since I wrote a blog post. I have only two excuses to offer: (1) I didn't see the point in blogging about all the same things that Joanna blogged about while I was traveling with her. If you haven't read her blog, you should. (2) Since I returned home on September 18th, I have had only one day off. I did not spend it blogging. The only reason I am blogging now is because I seem to be sick. I'm going to work from 1 to 7:30-ish, so I'm resting while I can.

Because my life is not very exciting, I am now going to tell you all about my day off, and the projects going on in my house. Here goes: 

My day off happened to be Saturday, which made it even more of a treat.  It was a nearly perfect day, complete with wonderful people, antiques, my sweet boyfriend, and quite a lot of food. The day would have been unparalleled if I hadn't been getting sick. 

First there was some brief but very successful garage-saling. Then there was a Golden Pride breakfast burrito and coffee, a little bit of yoga and gardening, and a cleaned kitchen before we met back up for sushi and bubble tea. The afternoon/evening began with Music-go-Round and the most amazing bubblegum pink guitar you could ever ask for. I have never asked for one, personally, but I imagine lots of people might. It caught my eye, and so I jokingly suggested that Randy buy it. He did. Don't worry, it's for his guitar club... unless he falls in love with it and keeps it.

We found some really neat things at the Classic Century Square antique place on Central, but everything in there seemed to be much more expensive than I remembered it. Most of the time, they could not even justify their prices with an impressive date. Half the tags just said "old this" and "old that". U-Neek Finds next door was far more entertaining and had very good prices. I came away with this little beauty:

How great is that??? It's a picnic basket just for wine! The glasses, cloth napkins and wine key all came with it. I can't wait to use it.  Too bad you can't drink wine at city parks, huh? We'll see what my next day off allows... We also agreed that I should try to go get a job over there, because the people working there were so much fun. The lady that we think might be the owner sang us a song about dead puppies. It was a nice way to wind down the shopping adventures. We hit Big Lots later that evening, and finished with wine, cheese and pancakes.

While I was hitting the second-hand shops, my house was undergoing many wonderful changes, and I cannot take credit for any of them. My dad has worked very hard in the garage. If you've ever seen my garage before, you know how remarkable the picture below is. One could almost put a car inside! Almost.

Attention former roommates! No more horrible, overflowing laundry water bucket!!! There is still a bucket, but it is outside, where flooding is no longer a disaster. The dryer vents outside now, too. The laundry area in general is quite a bit cleaner, and the rug that was water-logged one too many times has been dragged away at last. 

Speaking of roommates... I miss my roommates. Most recently, the Hollers left me to get their own place near Sandia Park. It's very cute. Being alone has it's ups and downs. It's way too quiet, and I get lonely, but it's kind of nice to have the house back to myself. When I finally get back into my own bedroom, I'll have to start playing with the extra room I have now.

Painting is being done in more than one place:

 The tiling in my bathroom is done, thanks to Mark Hawn! Now we just have to finish up some repair work above the shower, paint, and put in a new sink and toilet. I have had visions for many months now about how I'd like to decorate that little bathroom. Maybe some of them will come true.

In the meantime, my bedroom looks like this. Scary, isn't it?

And my temporary bedroom looks like this:

Also, I bought a new rug.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The little things...

It's an odd moment when you realize that the most exciting thing you did that week was pick a yellow squash from your garden. You gotta admit, that's a beautiful squash. 

Cooking and eating said squash was equally thrilling.  No, I'm not being sarcastic. I truly looked forward to it for days.

It's not that my life is boring. I do a lot, mostly work related, but at least they are fun jobs. I invent silly crafts and force kids to make them with me. Occasionally, I get the kids to be almost as excited about the craft as I am. Egg carton elephant - we were talking about family bonds and loyalty that day -

Last week, I made sheep coin banks out of tennis balls.

But then none of my kids showed up that evening, so I saved my sheep-making paraphernalia for a later date. 

I stuff roasted green chilies into ziplock baggies. I get in silly fights with the cash register and leave little notes inside of it for my boss, explaining the discrepancies in numbers. I try to answer questions such as, "If I buy a bushel of chile, does the bushel come with it?" ... without asking the customer what language she's speaking.

I stare at computer screens that look like this:

The above article is about "Odd Thomas," the film that my dear friend Jessica is currently working on. I'm usually proud of the way the layout comes out. After 2 years, In-Design and I have reached an understanding.  I understand that it does very strange things for no apparent reason, and that if I undo one of those things repeatedly for six months, it will eventually stop doing it. 

 A few weeks ago, I played with hot glass.

THAT was awesome. I'd love to be able to do things like that more often. I write articles, usually several days after they were due. Sometimes I interview people or read entire books to write these late articles, and I always learn something.

I practice rolling my r's in the shower, just in case I decide to start learning Italian again someday. I'm self-conscious about my retarded tongue.

I hang out with this guy a lot :)  

This was taken at Los Golondrinas with my family, right next to a mill pond that smelled like dead frogs. It smelled even worse because I was hungry. Underneath the mill smelled wonderful - like old books, cold dirt, mildewy wood, and flour.  I learned some cool things that day, but all I remember now are the smells. Lavender. Hay. Greasy wool. Bread. Horse.  I had a migraine, and migraine brains do not hold on to facts as well as you might hope. I was also probably thinking more about being there with my boyfriend than about anything else. Yes, I am lame like that.  I do remember the lady who was explaining the medicinal uses of a variety of herbs she had laid out on a table.  Randy I were sniffing one of them when the lady said, in front of my dad and stepmom, "I notice you're enjoying that together. That's great! It's an aphrodisiac." Wow. Thank you, herb lady.  Of course, I've forgotten the name of the plant now. Too bad...

So, obviously, I do not do nothing, but it feels that way sometimes. 

Today, I rationed my time and chose to thoroughly water my lawn and garden instead of walking my dog. Two hours later, a monsoon hit. Figures. Then I chose playing my viola over working out. There are not enough hours in the day to do the things I wish to do... If I didn't have to sleep or earn money, I would study the Bible more, get in shape, read philosophy and literature and history, write tons of fiction, learn a new language, play several instruments,  take pictures, hang out at the old folks home down the street, go on long hikes, train my dog so he's not so neurotic, fix my credit score, have a better garden, get over my fear of bowling, become a better swimmer, camp outdoors, keep my room clean, learn to drive standard, make pottery, go on day trips and picnics, bake breads, have more long, wonderful conversations in a bomb shelter, volunteer at food banks, go to plays and operas... and scrapbook every day of it.

Someday, maybe, I will make time for half of those things.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wearing myself out (and loving most of it)

I cannot say with any honesty that I love being tired, but I do love the things I'm doing that are making me tired, except for insomnia. I had a hectic week. My editor is out of town, and I am trying to be both of us. I left my desk at 7:30 Wednesday evening, after allowing my car seats to soak up rain for an hour. I was awake all night Wednesday night, and by 12:30 pm, I'd made the trip from Tramway and Montgomery to the West Side four times, and NONE of my work had been completed.  I started all over again at 7am Friday morning. I finally succeeded and returned home very proud of myself, only to discover that I'd completely forgotten about the 11 gallons of fresh veggies I was supposed to cut up, bag, and deliver to VBS that afternoon. Then followed one of the most amazing messes I have made in the kitchen in many months. The whole house smelled like cauliflower when I arrived home again. I'm hoping for smoother sailing this next week.

I drove up to Springer, NM today for a Wings prison party. It was a long day, but worth every second. Oddly enough, when my boss asked me to share my thoughts about the party, I couldn't think of much to say. I always do that, and it drives me crazy. It was actually a very fun, educational, and even humbling experience for me. It was my first "prison party" in an actual prison - very different from the Women's Recovery Academy earlier this year. There were rolls of barbed wire on all the fences. The men wore orange jumpsuits, and the guards carried guns. The atmosphere, however, was not at all what I expected. I'm afraid of security and always have been. I HATED going through airport security even before TSA got crazy on us. The officers at Springer immediately put me at ease. They smiled and introduced themselves, and they even helped us unload our van. Their relaxed, friendly demeanors set the tone for the rest of my experience there.

When we go into prisons, we are there to serve the inmates and their families, and to show them God's love. But today, I found the inmates repeatedly trying to serve us.  I had not expected that at all. Just before the party was due to start, I was near the entrance, greeting visitors as they arrived and asking them to make name tags. There were two inmates, one of them acting very nervous, looking out a nearby window. The nervous one said to his friend, "Maybe she's not coming." His friend kept reassuring him that if she said she'd be there, she'd be there. I felt immediately invested in whether or not the wife or girlfriend in question would arrive, and when she finally did, I smiled shamelessly while they embraced. She made a name tag and pretended not to notice I'd been staring at her, and the couple went in to join the party, leaving the second inmate standing alone. He looked like the stereotypical "scary" looking convict. Use whatever image comes to mind. He heard me mention that I was thirsty. I immediately forgot that I'd said it. Ten minutes later, when I'd already moved on to another task, he tracked me down and handed me a cup of ice water. It might sound like a small thing, but it's precisely because it's a small thing that most of us would not bother. That was the first time I realized that these men wanted to make us feel welcome in their facility.

There was another guy by the name of Gerald (Jerald?) who helped us in every possible way before, during and after the party. I think if he'd had his way, we would not have lifted a single box all day. I got a chance to talk to him for a while. We talked about his family, who were not there today, his experiences with Christianity and the church, and the long-term goals that were put on hold by his bad choices. He'll be released in less than two months. He told me that he hopes to get work as an electrician, maybe find a church to join, and eventually go back to school. Near the end of the party, I sat down with a group as they ate their meal and talked. An inmate who could not have been older than 21 offered me his chair and then poured me a glass of lemonade. He and his family had caught my attention earlier while we were singing praise music. He had one arm around his little sister and the other up over his head while he sang. I talked to his mom some, too, and I think she might join us for a Monday night Wings meeting sometime soon.

I am currently too tired to channel these random snapshots into anything insightful or clever. I just wanted to present the things that stood out me. If I were a good writer (or at least an awake one), I would give the observations more meaning for you. I guess I still have to process them and figure out how my perspective is supposed to be shaped.

Oh! and I'm getting a new bathroom!!!! Well, it's the same bathroom. But it will be retiled and have new plumbing and such. I'm excited. I had this crazy notion that my unexplainable fever of over a month was caused by black mold, even though I'd seen very little of it in my bathroom. My wonderful dad decided I might actually be onto something. He came over and pulled up my linoleum. Sure enough, mold was thriving under there. I haven't been using that bathroom for about a week now, and I feel a little better already. I'd like to think they're connected. I'll try to post pictures as the project progresses.