Friday, January 30, 2009

Sewing at Common Threads

After a long holiday hiatus, extended by a couple other issues, Sarah, Nancy, and I are back to sewing at Common Threads. I'm working on a bag using some really fun Amy Butler fabric. I'm thinking it will be finished next week. In the meantime Nancy, who is new to sewing, has finished her trio of birds. Aren't they sweet?!

Our sewing night has turned into a book club as well, and we've begun trading book suggestions. The book that I found intriguing and will begin soon is Only Begotten Daughter. Looking forward to it.
It is such a pleasure to work with such creative, intelligent young women! Especially since my own creative, intelligent young women live far away now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful..........

but the hot tub's so delightful!

I only like to use our hot tub when it's REALLY cold outside, so with the weather back down to below zero last night it was a perfect time to cook myself in the tub. This post is mainly for my father-in-law who was curious about our hot tub when we bought it and couldn't believe we would use it during the winter. This makes sense when you consider he's from Texas so being outside at all in the cold, let alone in your bathing suit, must have seemed quite strange!

These are my favorite pink Crocs that I use to get from our back door, across the deck, to the tub.

And here is how I get back to the house after soaking. Walking barefoot through the snow while wearing a wet bathing suit feels so good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peace Is Always Beautiful

Peace is always beautiful.
~Walt Whitman~

A bunny we spotted on our New Year's Day hike.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Biking to the Humane Society

Last weekend Oldest Daughter told us that some of her cats from CARE were transferred to the Humane Society in Boulder and asked that we go and say "Hi" to them. The weather was perfect for a bike ride and now we had a destination.

Unfortunately, the cats were still being processed so we were unable to see them but we asked the lady at the front desk to give them all a hug. Here are some pix from around the center, as proof for Oldest Daughter that we did, indeed, try to see her cats:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Arts and Science

After Bible Study yesterday, a friend and I drove out to the best craft place around here -- which of course is NOT in Boulder. (Why don't we have such a store in Boulder???) After an hour and a half we'd still only perused a tiny corner of the store but I found lots of pretty things to bring home. I'm loving these colors! Reminds me of India. My friend, though, found nearly twice as much as I did. Maybe it's good that it's not in Boulder.

With temps in the high 60s and low 70s lately, it's been fun to be back outdoors, walking. One morning I walked to Twenty Ninth Street to pick up some shampoo for Youngest Daughter (apparently they don't sell shampoo in Steamboat Springs) and after shopping I visited one of the science displays.
I love these science exhibits because it gives you something to do if the rest of the family insists on shopping! Here's some info about the exhibits:
In addition to its eclectic mix of casual to upscale shops
restaurants, Twenty Ninth Street boasts a feature no
other retail center in
the country can claim: The Wonder of
Science at Twenty Ninth Street. This
permanent, onsite
installation is a compelling series of large-scale
exhibits developed by seven renowned national science

laboratories and institutes.

Partners in this unique enterprise celebrating science
are The National
Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR);
the University of Colorado's JILA
organization; the
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA); the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST); the
Space Science Institute; the National Renewable
Energy Lab (NREL); and the
University of Colorado's
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

Reflecting the broad themes of "space, time and earth
systems" that
drive these science agencies, the exhibits
reflect different science
disciplines, from a "planet
playground" to a solar-powered sculpture
along with interactive educational information about
organization's work.

A great way to get science to the masses!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

Today we celebrate what would have been Dr. King's 80th birthday on Jan. 15. There is much to celebrate this year, Dr. King. I can see you now, sitting around a table with, among others, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Jesus himself, saying a prayer of thanksgiving that we are taking yet another step towards peace. Lay your hands on the shoulders of the man who will be inaugurated tomorrow as our 44th president; help him maintain his calm strength and peace as he continues this incredible journey.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This I Believe

Do you ever listen to the "This I Believe" segment on NPR on Sunday mornings? This morning a kindergartner read his list of thirty things he believes. It's wonderful. Here it is:

"I believe life is good.
I believe God is in everything.
I believe we're all equal.
I believe we can help people.
I believe everyone is weird in their own way.
I believe hate is a cause for love.
I believe that when I meditate I feel peaceful.
I believe we should be generous.
I believe brothers and sisters should be kind to each other.
I believe kids should respect their parents.
I believe I should not whine.
I believe people should wake up early.
I believe people should go outside more.
I believe in nature.
I believe people should use less trees.
I believe we should help the Arctic and rainforest animals.
I believe people shouldn't throw litter on the ground.
I believe people should not smoke.
I believe God is in good and bad.
I believe in magic.
I believe people should not give up.
I believe love is everywhere.
I believe that God helps us to have a good time.
I believe we live best in a community.
I believe we can protect people in danger.
I believe we should help the poor.
I believe it's OK to die but not to kill.
I believe war should not have started.
I believe war should stop.
I believe we can make peace.

I wish more people believed what this young boy believes. What do you believe? I believe I can be hopeful for our country because of our upcoming inauguration and because of this incredible kindergartner.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yes We Can

"But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." Barack Obama, Jan.8, 2008, New Hampshire

This is a Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges ...

... the little black girl who had to be escorted to school by federal marshals. "On November 14, 1960, nearly 42 years ago, Bridges faced hostile crowds as the first black child to attend a previously all-white New Orleans school. She was 6 years old and had only been told by her mother that she was going to be attending a new school that day and 'had better behave.' Little did she know that she would be bombarded with jeers and even death threats, and that she would end up being the sole child in her first grade class after other children were kept home by their parents." All because Ruby was Black.

Forty-eight years later -- January 5, 2009 -- here is a picture of Sasha Obama, a little 7 year old Black girl, being escorted to school by her mother, First Lady-elect Michelle Obama, and the Secret Service because Sasha's daddy is now President-elect of the United States, Barack Obama.

Forty-eight years from now it will be 2057. What will be happening at that time? What changes will we see in our country? In the world? Whatever it is, I hope it won't take 48 years to happen.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Alaskan Crisis

There seems to be a crisis resembling Katrina up in Emmonak, Alaska yet Gov. Palin can't be found. Here is a good article in the Bristol Bay Times if you haven't heard about it.

Maybe, after campaigning, she's taking some time off and is lounging on a beach somewhere. Or maybe she's rocking her new grandbaby --or maybe her own little boy. Maybe she's helping her little girl with her homework. But according to the folks up in Emmonak, she's not helping them.

With the inauguration coming in a few days and the current president saying goodbye to all of us last night, here's an old Daily Show episode that still makes me laugh:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas is Over

The tree is down and Christmas is packed up for this year, although our own wisemen made a hasty retreat the evening of the fire and have been safe inside their boxes for almost a week now. The figures in the photo belong to the set at church, although they are the same ones we have, just slightly larger.

Back in the day, when the children were younger -- and at home -- the wisemen used to make their way through the house starting Christmas day and ending up at the manger a couple weeks later. We do still preserve the tradition of Youngest Daughter putting Baby Jesus into the manger after Christmas Eve mass, but Dear Husband thinks it's odd to keep the Three Kings moving around the house. It's interesting to see what traditions we keep and which ones we let slip away as children grow up and move away.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How Much Snow?

When we woke up this morning the weatherman on the news announced that we could possibly get up to 2 inches of snow by 10 o'clock. Possibly? Do they ever look out the windows? I'm sure all those weather-forecasting instruments cost a lot of money. But simply opening the blinds can tell you so much -- and costs so little. Even if you wanted to be very precise, a ruler costs less than $2.00! It seems we have 5 inches of the white stuff already, and it's still coming down.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sticky Notes

I admit to having a weakness for sticky notes. I have a stash of all different sizes, colors, some with lines, and some with words of wisdom already on them. I even have one desk drawer just for holding my stickies.

But I found something else you can use stickies for besides writing notes:

What fun! I'm off to Home Depot now!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Naming the Baby

Yesterday Dear Husband and I visited a local bookstore where we could peruse the half-off tables. You never know what you might find. We found a Stephen White hardback for under $6, a book recently recommended by a friend, a Dover book of royalty-free designs, and a repeat-letter sudoku book -- all for under $25. But the book that I spent most of my time with (because I wasn't going to buy it) was a baby name book.

I'll never forget the day when I was quite young when I discovered a "meaning of names" book at the library. Of course I had to find out what my names, both first and last, meant. Much to my horror my names came together as "girl with the ugly head." No matter how true that might actually be, (just ask my hairdresser) I still find it sad. When I found the baby name book yesterday I decided to remind myself of what our childrens names mean. We have "who is like God?," "holy one," "God's promise," and --------------- "unlucky army-counsellor." What??!!! How could I do that to such a lovely child? Although, with further research, I found that in the book The Worst Baby Name Book Ever, (Why did I think it would be in there?) the listing for this name says, "A beautiful name that means 'bad place.' " A beautiful name it is indeed. And come to think of it, would I really want to live up to a name that meant "who is like God?" or "holy one?" How about you, Middle Daughter?

Friday, January 9, 2009

College Football National Champs?

I'm really trying to figure out the final college football standings. I watched the BCS Championship Game last night and was nearly bored to death. Nearly -- because it WAS a college football game and I can almost always find something good about any college football game. Nonetheless, it was less than thrilling. Florida beat Oklahoma 24-14. OK, championship game so that puts Florida at the top, right? Wrong. According to the final BCS standings, Oklahoma is number one, with a 12-2 record! Now, how does that work? AP poll says Florida is number one with Oklahoma number five. Coaches poll agrees with AP as far as Florida and Oklahoma but the three teams in between are scrambled.

The team I picked for champion, as they are unbeaten, is Utah. They finished sixth, second, or fourth, depending on which poll you read. Hey, they're unbeaten! Texas -- which has a piece of my heart -- finished fourth, third, and fourth. Better luck next year, Bobby.

I agree with President-elect Obama and Russ from the food bank. We should have a playoff.

Fire Update:
From the Rocky Mountain News:

— A foothills wildfire that turned life in Boulder upside-down fizzled out Thursday as hundreds of evacuees returned home and firefighters tamped down flare-ups amid dwindling winds.

In the end, the two-day fire burned two homes and three barns, but its spectacular flames and prominent location along the hills just north of Boulder made it the talk of the town, with camera-armed gawkers rushing to behold the strange orange glow that briefly appeared to threaten more of the community.

Dubbed the Olde Stage Fire, it was nowhere near as damaging as more infamous Boulder-area fires, including the Black Tiger fire of 1989, which destroyed 44 structures and the identically named Olde Stage fire of 1990, which destroyed more than 10 homes.

But for a few hours, this blaze lit up the sky — a force of nature fueled by high-speed Chinook winds that shoved flames across grasslands, frightened residents and led to reverse 911 calls to more than 11,500 homes.

"Firefighters made a heroic effort," said Boulder County Sheriff's Cmdr. Phil West. He credited the work of dozens who worked through Wednesday night to conduct back burns.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We Packed Up Our Photos

There's a bad fire burning north of our home -- burning south--- and with winds gusting to 100 mph yesterday we decided we should pack up our photos just in case. The car is backed up ready to be loaded, just in case. We went to bed last night with our cell phones charged and nearby and with the knowledge that the winds had calmed down considerably. This morning, however, we hear that high winds are again predicted for today. Right now there are three helicopters flying slowly overhead, no doubt from the Denver tv stations. Makes the dog a bit crazy.

I was humbled by a dear friend who called last night to see how we were and to offer her home as a refuge if we needed to leave. Thank you, Monica!!

Interestingly, when gathering up things I'd want to take with me there was very little. Since none of our children are home, the pets came first. The photos seemed important. But not much else. A couple dolls from my doll collection, my first Indian doll and a doll my cousin made for me were put into a box with the Christmas stockings and a few other handmade items.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their homes already and I pray the firefighters stay safe. And hopefully we won't get the winds that are predicted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Cat Wants this Wig

I was watching Jay Leno and he showed this picture of a kitty wig---long, pink, flipped at the ends. My cat, Artemis, told me he would like me to take him shopping to buy him one but I told him it would clash with his orange-tabby fur. Hmm.... I think he must still be stressed from losing his kitty companion a while back! Maybe you think it's weird that my cat would ask to go shopping, but I think it's hardly stranger than dogs asking their owners (whoops -- make that guardians) to take them shopping. Really. Have you been in McGuckins lately? Dogs shopping all over the place. I didn't know dogs had a fondness for hardware stores. Our dog has yet to ask us to take her shopping............ but then ............... Artemis............ the wig............... hmm..................

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Texas Wins Fiesta Bowl

The final score was Texas 24, Ohio State 21.

Is that enough for Texas to claim they should be Number One? Probably not. It was not a rout -- for Pete's sake it was not much of a game. No touchdowns in the first half. Just a close game, down to the final seconds, a nail biter for me because I really wanted Texas to win. But not a great game. Sorry little brother. I love you lots and think you're a fantastic coach but I think my vote (as if I have one) would go to unbeaten Utah at this point. Of course we still have the national championship game on Thursday. Time --and the final vote on Friday -- will tell.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twelfth Day of Christmas......

Twelve painted tags.

This will serve as a reminder to do more art this year. Maybe even have what bloggers call "a giveaway." You know, make something and then have blog readers leave a comment on your blog, put all comments into a hat, then give whatever away to the winner. Hmm.......

And those tags were unfinished in the photo. I can't find one photo of all twelve of the finished tags and today, of course, I had to have twelve! So, it's just the backgrounds.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas.....

Eleven decorative banners.

These colorful banners hang from the amphitheater at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. We enjoy the Summer of Jazz on Wednesday evenings in June and July with the wonderful musicians entertaining us with their jazz, sometimes singing and dancing. A good time for all ages. We HIGHLY recommend this great event. Definitely looking forward to Summer 2009!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the Tenth Day of Christmas.........

Ten folks celebrating.

Here we are gathered with family and good friends, celebrating Dear Husband's 25 years with IBM. It's been awhile since that evening at the Red Lion, where we feasted on steaks, alligator sausage, wild boar, and kaffee mit schlag among other things. And we've buried one of those dear friends in the meantime, but she remains always in our hearts. What great memories!

Friday, January 2, 2009

On the Ninth Day of Christmas....

Nine cupcakes.
Sign on side of building being remodeled. It is now Tee and Cakes. Haven't been there yet so I think I'll stop in the next time I'm downtown.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

On the Eighth Day of Christmas.....

Eight colored pencils

I love these True Life colored pencils. Each one has three colors together in one pencil. Such fun!

And now.....the story of the Twelve Days of Christmas song (from an email a friend sent):

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophecy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
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