Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Eighty-Five

I am trying to figure out which would be the best list items to work on today, after a morning in which not one but TWO really great potential job offers fell through.

Learn French? I don't think I have the energy.

Try a recipe? Not hungry.

Visit a new state? Tempting.

Go to a Shakespeare play? Might be a good distraction, but I think the kids would hate it.

Put $1000 in an education fund for each child? Better not right now.

Work on a quilt? Maybe ... better for me than eating chocolate, anyway!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Eighty-Four

Well, there's Item #54 done. I went 30 (actually 31) days with no chocolate.

I did not magically lose five pounds. I didn't lose ANY pounds.

My skin did not magically clear up - well, it did this week, but that has more to do with an accidental sunburn, which always has that temporary effect on me.

I didn't actually even miss it all that much.

I am underwhelmed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Eighty-Three


Item #20 is now officially off the list. Buddy, Boo and I set out on Tuesday afternoon (a bit later than we intended, but oh well) and started off down I-5. Our first stop was at the McDonald's in Cottage Grove, where we drank sodas, played on the toys, and Boo learned to play checkers. (Photo compliments of Buddy)

At the recommendation of my friend Christine, we stayed in a tiny little nowhere place that's not even on the map - which is fine by us, because it meant the awesome little hotel we stayed in was cheap! Adorable little A-frame cottages with one bed on the ground floor and one in a loft, pretty view out the back, bathroom, fridge, microwave, and plenty of floor space, for $55/night = WIN.

Sunset ... ahhhh.

On Wednesday morning we headed south again. We'd never been to Roseburg and we needed a bathroom and a RiteAid, so we stopped. We parked in the little downtown area, and among other things we visited the utterly delightful Country Lady Quilt Shop. We asked for and received a tour of the back half of the store so that Buddy could see the machines - a few antique sewing machines, the machine quilting apparatus, and the huge quilt frame that was currently displaying a quilt top of a king-sized quilt in the Log Cabin pattern. Boo picked out a few fabrics of her own - that's my girl!

Wednesday's main event was a trip to the Wildlife Safari in southern Oregon - what a treat!

We stopped at a bridge over the South Fork of the Coos River. We got barked at by a very enthusiastic dog and decided that it was time to get going again.

We spent a quiet half hour on the porch and in the side yard of a country store in Bridge, Oregon. It said it was a town, but I am starting to suspect otherwise since a list of the smallest towns in Oregon (including Green Horn, OR, pop. 3) does not include it. Anyway, it was a perfect afternoon and stands out in my recollections of the trip.

We drove a little too far on Wednesday night in a frustrating search for a hotel (they all disappeared about the time we wanted to stop), but finally found one just outside North Bend. Thursday morning we walked from our hotel partway over the Coos Bay Bridge (built in 1936 and about a mile long). It was amazing!!

The rest of Thursday we drove back up the Oregon coast in no particular hurry. It was cold and windy, but beautiful as always.

My sweet girl.

There was a lighthouse somewhere under all that fog.

Look! Sea lions!

This covered bridge (built in 1926, a replacement of the original structure which was built in 1893 for the railroad) was a lovely surprise on the side of the road.

Boo snapped this of me when I was sitting on the railing of the bridge. It was such a beautiful, perfect evening that I hated to get back in the car!

And one last shot on the side of the road crossing back through western Oregon. This state never fails to amaze me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Seventy-Three

I did another one of Item #27, the picture-taking expeditions. This time I went to the Washington State Capitol grounds in Olympia, which is just a few miles from where I grew up. I spent an hour or so walking around and taking pictures, and realized that I could easily have spent at least that much more time if I'd allowed for it! I restricted myself to the parts of the grounds that were between the fountain and the Capitol building, but I hope to come back another time and take more pictures of the rest of the grounds.

Here are a few of my favorites. (Some of these will also go into the Windows & Doors project.)

Clearly built when buildings were buildings, men were men, women were women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

half of a self-portrait?

Hello lamppost, whatcha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain'tcha got no rhymes for me?
Doot'n'do do, feelin' groovy.

I do love stairs.

looking up into the rotunda from as close to the center of the building as possible without standing on the State Seal, which is (needless to say) frowned upon

the floor of the rotunda as seen from the balcony in front of the Senate chambers

The pillars at the front of the Capitol, which apparently are also holding up the sky.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Seventy-One

There's one more for Item #78! Buddy picked out the gold buttons to go with the stars on the pajamas, and he would like you to know that it is NOT a skirt, those are shorts.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Eight

Item #6 is done! Here are the books I read:

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall
Your Heart Belongs to Me, by Dean Koontz
Holder of the Lightning, by S. L. Farrell
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
The Power of Less, by Leo Babauta
The Remarkable Farkle McBride, by John Lithgow
The Whole Truth, by David Baldacci
Basic Black: The Essential Guide to Getting Ahead At Work (And In Life), by Cathie Black
The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys, by SCOTT WILLIAM CARTER

Pay attention now, this is important!

The last one is written by Scott William Carter (in case you missed that the first time) who just happens to be a friend of mine! I've known him since ... gosh ... 1995? 1996? Something like that. He's written many, many short stories that have been published in various sci-fi magazines and collections, but this one (which is not science fiction, for those of you who aren't into that genre) is his first published novel. I'm very excited for him, needless to say!

I bought a copy because he's my friend and I would have bought it even if it was about, oh, I don't know, suspension bridges. But it's not, and I ended up carrying it around with me for three days and reading it every chance I got. The first line was - well, here, YOU read it: "If I'm going to tell you how I killed this kid, I can't start on the day it happened." See? How can you NOT keep reading?

The book is about an impromptu road trip involving two teenaged boys, a stolen classic Mustang, and some rather serious lies, bad decisions, good decisions, and consequences that follow them from Oregon to Colorado. I am neither a teenager nor a boy, but these kids resonated with me as the real thing, and I wanted to find out what happened to them. I'm glad I bought it, and I'll read it again.

So, here, go buy his book, right HERE at

And if you want, you can buy more of his stuff HERE on his author page at

Or you could go to his website right HERE!

Lots of Scott William Carter! Shameless plug! Go read his stuff, he's funny and intelligent and fun to read. And then go buy it, because authors have to pay their mortgage just like the rest of us. (Well, except people like John Grisham because he probably already paid his house off, but he doesn't exactly count.)

Scott William Carter! The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys! Hurrah!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Three

Time for another new recipe! (Item #8 - I will be sorry when this one is finished.) This time I made quiche, real quiche, as in full-on gird-up-your-loins brandish-your-knife get-out-the-butter French-cuisine quiche.

I have to keep reminding myself that Julia Child cooked for a living, had a team of slicers and dicers and stirrers to do her bidding, and wasn't trying to plan her mealtimes around youth group (and, as it turned out, bedtime). When she says "25-30 minutes," take it with a large grain of salt.

Oh, well ... it tasted good, and besides, don't some European countries routinely eat dinner at 8 p.m. anyway? There, that's what I was doing, a real European-style dinner. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

If nothing else, at least the crust will be good - I got this recipe from the German lady who used to do the cooking for the large family next door to my childhood home, and I'll pit it against Julia's recipe any day of the week. (I mean, not that I've made hers, since it involves enough butter to float you clear to the middle of next week, but I still bet mine's just as good.)

This was a new one for me - I've never made anything with a partially baked pie crust, and apparently you're supposed to butter (of course) the underside of the tin foil and weight it down with dry beans, to keep the crust from puffing up. I didn't have dry beans, but the rice worked fine.

My word, that it is a lot of butter.

OK, so maybe the calories are worth it if it comes out looking like this.

And there you go - one slice of Quiche au Fromage de Gruyère, comin' right up.

Hmm. This dinner is very ... yellow.

Ah well ... probably had a zillion calories, but it was worth it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Sixty Two

Dear Anonymous Commenter Whose Comment I Did Not Post:

Suggestions, advice, and constructive criticism are welcome on this blog, although of course this is an entirely personal journey and you are welcome to do it your way on your own blog. "Get a grip" is not constructive criticism, nor is the suggestion that I get an 8-to-5 job. I will sort my clothes the way I like, and you may sort yours the way you like.

One Tired (But Still Cheeky) Mama

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Sixty

I admit I am the teensiest bit overwhelmed.

I've started in earnest on Item #36 (sort and give away kids' old clothes). To count this item as truly finished, these things would need to happen:

  • The only things in their drawers and main closet areas will be clothes that are in good repair and fit them.
  • The only clothes in their closets that aren't currently in use will be ones they haven't grown into yet.
  • A few carefully selected items will be saved for sentimental value (e.g. the outfits they wore home from the hospital, the fancy baby dress given to Boo by my childhood piano teacher, etc.). These will be cleaned, folded, and stored in a permanent and safe place.
  • All clothes that are worn beyond salvaging will be thrown away, and any T-shirts in this category with memories associated would have the fronts cut off first to make a T-shirt quilt some day.
  • Some of the really cute stuff will be saved for a few younger kids we know, and given to them - the one exception will be their infant cousin, since I don't mind hanging onto some of Buddy's clothes for a while if we know they'll go to Monkey at some point.
  • All clothes made by me or my mom will be sorted by gender and size, cleaned, and stored neatly.
  • All remaining clothes which show some wear but are still usable will be given to Goodwill.
  • All remaining clothes which are in like-new condition will be taken to the resale shop.
  • A "clearing house" area will be established for clothes that are recently grown out of, but are the wrong season to donate to the resale shop. As clothes come into this area, they'll be cleaned, folded neatly, and labeled with the date that I can take them to the resale shop.
This would be a lot easier if I didn't still have bags, LARGE bags, of the clothes I always kind of meant to sort out but never exactly got around to.

The picture at the top is just part of two boxes of clothes (plus a bunch of stuff from Buddy's closet) that were partway through the sorting process but are now completely processed. The picture below is of two more boxes, which I sorted yesterday but haven't finished taking to the appropriate places.

There are still two huge bags of clothes in my closet, unknown numbers of outgrown dresses and skirts in Boo's closet, and I have no idea what lurks in the corners of the laundry room.

I need a Sorting Fairy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine

A few updates:

Today I checked out biographies of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Norman Schwarzkopf (Item #7). How's THAT for variety? ;)

I applied for a job that would make it so I can afford Item #4 (French language program), and give me a commute long enough for Item #5 (start learning French).

I'm reading my 10th book for #6 right now ... although he probably doesn't count as a new author since I have read his articles in magazines. Darn. Guess I'll need to read more books. (lol)

I tried a new recipe last week but it wasn't very good - the cheese sauce was very bland, and even the Italian sausage couldn't redeem it.

I have officially failed Item #42 already - I actually probably DID write on way more days than I recorded, but I don't actually know how many it was. This wasn't a very well-planned item, and I'll do this differently on the next project.

I've registered for a 10K, but I'm not counting it for Item #48 unless it's loosely considered "training." A dear friend who is struggling with various health issues is walking a 10K in Portland this summer, and I'm going to walk with her for moral support, cheering on, and friendly butt-kicking if necessary.

I went to a Zumba class (Item #53). I am nearly fatally uncoordinated. Sigh.

I am NOT enjoying cutting out chocolate (Item #54). Growl.

I have lost 1 and 3/4 inches off my waist (Item #57). So that's good, anyway.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight

In further pursuit of Item #80:

Window and sign on a barn near Willamette Mission State Park.

Window in an abandoned shed in a field just north of Lincoln, OR.

Windows and an overseer's platform in the Mission Mill Museum - this was a functioning woolen mill up from the late 1890's until the early 1960's. In the early 1900's, 20% of the population of Salem was in some way employed by the mill, and it had a reputation for avoiding some of the nastier tactics common in mills in this era. The owner's son (who became the owner later in his life) started in the dark, cold picking rooms just like everyone else, which I was glad to hear, even nearly 100 years after the fact. This bright, airy room was used for processing the cleaned wool into thread and weaving it into cloth.

Stairs and a window in the woolen mill.