Monday, February 23, 2009

Make-It Monday

This week's card challenge was to make a card using green, ribbon, and friend. So, here's my entry, plus a couple more cards. What do you like/not like about them?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What's a Cat For?

Cats are intended to teach us
that not everything in nature has a purpose.

~~Garrison Keillor~~

Friday, February 20, 2009


Oldest Daughter came home for a visit and brought her two kittens. You might remember from a previous post that she had an elderly cat who loved to eat. Well, dear old Callie succumbed to cancer recently so OD has only these two sweet kitties to keep her busy now. They seem to have settled quite comfortably into our home for the visit, with Quinten finding a nice spot to snooze behind Dear Husband's computer monitor and Tick adopting a stuffed animal for a buddy. But wait, isn't that Ralphie she's got a hold of? And look at her eyes.............. very GREEN. She most definitely is a CSU fan!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Price!

I was up in Ft. Collins with Middle Daughter on Tuesday and needed to get gas. Check this out! The gas price is a smaller number than the number of gallons I bought. Don't know how long it's been since that happened.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Think About It

Have you heard the story about the eight monkeys? Why are "because it's the rule" or "because we've always done it this way" acceptable answers?

Put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling. Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, all the monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable. Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up. Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder.

One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing obvious. But undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder. All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly. He has no idea why.

However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder. A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the crap out of him. This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he's not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he's attacking the new monkey.

One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempt to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Make-it Monday

Most people who know me, know that I am not the cook in this house. It's not that I can't. It's that I really don't like to cook the boring, every day kind of meals. Besides, I'm married to a man whose Masters Degree is in Chemistry. He loves to mix things! But I do enjoy putting together something special. I found what looked like a great little meal for Valentine's Day in the Rachael Ray magazine. It was called "Great Date Night" and she said, "Staying in this Valentine's Day, just celebrating with your sweetheart? Try out this romantic meal!" OK, sounds good to me.

My preparation for the meal was broken in half because we ran up to Lyons for Mass at 5:30. But I figured out what I could make ahead of Mass, and then what I could do when we got back home.

Here's what the Flatiron Steaks with Cheesy, Tangy Mashed Potatoes looked like when I set it on the table:

Do you think my Sweetheart liked it? I'll let you decide:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Holy Spirit, through the Pope, says this man is a bishop?

"We were delighted when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to the Papacy! Saint Francis wanted us to always love and follow the Pope. The Friars of the Renewal strive to listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking through the appointed Vicar of Christ."

The above is a quote from the website of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. I wonder if it was truly the Holy Spirit speaking through Pope Benedict when Benedict un-excommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson last month. Bishop Williamson is a holocaust denier, among other things.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the faith and ruling the church.

From a column by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes:

Bishop Williamson's efforts to appear he's making epic revelations about various matters of history are not new, apparently. Perusing his writings and talks, one sees he feels certain he has "evidence" that 9-11 collapses of buildings were not caused by airplanes. He holds it was conspiracy by the US government.

He feels he has "evidence" that women are "unwomanized" by going to university. I'd have to agree with him. It is true. By going to university, women are often "unwomanized" from the matchboxes they've been stuffed into, and become superlative woman-sized in good and useful ways, instead.

But, the chronic conspiracy rants by Bishop Williamson, took a more bizarre turn when he repeated his old favored trope that Jews being gassed in the Holocaust was not true. And he has "evidence," he said, his voice shaking with excitement. And he managed to say it all in public on Swedish television.

Watching the Swedish television clip of Williamson holding forth, I took steno, (no doubt Bishop W. would eagerly approve my vocational-school skill.).

Williamson verbatim:

The interviewer asks, "Did you not say, 'There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers: it was all lies, lies, lies...'"?

Williamson proudly asserts, yes he did say that. Then he adds:

"I believe that the historical evidence, the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolph Hitler... I believe there were no gas chambers... I think 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber... If anti-Semitism is bad, it's against truth. But, if something is true, it's not bad..."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fun Friday

The little shop I volunteer in has a "shop doggie" named Sadie. She's a precocious lab puppy and in fact we think she just might be a genius!

When I arrived yesterday afternoon I didn't see her right away when I entered the sewing room. But there she was, in a corner, laying on a bed SHE MADE FOR HERSELF! Yes indeed, she opened a bag of polyester stuffing, spread it around a bit, then laid on top of it. How clever! Of course by the time I got my camera out she had already come over to greet me so here's just the bed:

Being a genius, she's not into junk food at all. She found a banana on one of the tables, carried it under another table, peeled it open, took it under another table -- where there was less than about 6 inches of clearance -- and enjoyed her little snack.

A most clever puppy, don't you think?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bicentennial Birthdays

Random facts for February 12, 2009:

These two amazing men were both born 200 years ago today. Birthday twins! And it was the day after Robert Fulten patented the steamboat. The stars must have been beautifully aligned.

Three months later a patent was awarded to a woman for the first time. It was given to Mary Kies for her method of weaving straw with silk and thread for making straw hats. There were women inventors prior to this but none had patented their products because women couldn't own property separate from their husbands. But in 1809, President Madison was looking for American products to replace the European ones lost because the US had stopped importing European goods. Perfect timing for Ms. Kies!

Dear husband and I were eating rye crackers with our lunch salads today and noticed that the crackers were made in Germany! What?? The US can't make rye crackers???

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Latest Sewing Project

My latest finished project at Common Threads is the Amy Butler Nappy Bag. It's quite roomy and has lots of pockets inside. Places for baby's change of clothes, diapers (or nappies!), cheerios, a few toys, and still room for mom's things. Here are my fellow seamstresses, Nancy and Sarah, modeling the bag.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Card-Making Challenge

Middle daughter and I are participating in a card-making challenge on the web and have decided to post our cards on our blogs. I only have two of the challenges done, and she has four, so..........I need to get to work.

For this first one we had to use three different patterned papers and orange letters. I used a labeler for the letters as I didn't have any orange letters and I didn't want to buy any! I think if you click on the picture it will enlarge it if needed.

For this card we had to use orange and green and a tag. Please leave a comment about the cards -- or anything else!
Now I have to get to work on the next two.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Home Colonoscopy

Yes indeed. A home colonoscopy. I've had so many now I feel I can now do one at home. Or at least have one done ON my home. Our home's colon finally succumbed to the great polyps. The gastroenterologist was unable to keep up with the growing cancer and had to perform a colectomy this past week. And like a surgeon, who would have perhaps had to also perform a colostomy, after the wonderful plumbers were able to insert a brand-spanking new piece of colon into the bowels of our front yard they even gave us a new clean-out. Now they can access the colon from outside the house instead of in my art room.
I definitely heart plumbers. As much as I heart my gastroenterologist!

Some scenes from the procedure:
There were NO sewer rats found roaming the pipes. In fact, the plumber said he'd never seen one, but he did say he once saw a telephone pole in a sewer -- ouch!

Sure hope the grass grows back!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Angel Has Returned to Heaven

"Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels." Heb 13:2

I have the honor of volunteering at our church's Food Bank. I love the people I meet and I love their stories. They come to us for food and for community. They come for coffee and perhaps for a hand on their shoulder. A touch. A connection to another human being which is often difficult to get when you live on the streets, have only the clothes on your back, and smell of tobacco. When you want to just sit and rest and not have to worry about someone hurting you or stealing what few possessions you have. Where you can share the wild thoughts buzzing around your head.
And they often give us so much.

Our newspaper has been filled for the last few days about this man, John Breaux, killed while collecting trash alongside a major road. Although not homeless, he was often mistaken as such.

I never met John but I have met some folks like him. I wish I'd known John. He must have been something! A great man? Absolutely. An angel? Most assuredly. A saint? Sounds like it. Jesus? You decide. I know what I believe and I know that our world was better with John in it.

Here's an article from the Rocky Mountain News:
'No one in town was more loved' By Bill Johnson
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
They began arriving shortly after sunrise Saturday, each of them holding a few flowers, maybe a basket of tea roses, a balloon or a sign they had drawn up in the hours since it occurred.

Young mothers held their children's hands, and husbands wrapped one arm around their wives, as they trudged through the weeds on the side of the busy highway where the man was killed.

Anna Fillmon wept openly as she scraped to no avail at the frozen ground with the plastic stem of the balloon she'd brought. Her husband, Rick, finally handed her his pocketknife.

"I saw him every single day," she said. "He touched every single person. I was on my way to Longmont (on Friday) when I first saw the police tape blocking the highway, and I just knew something bad had happened."

"I just saw the bike," Rick Fillmon said. "I saw the bags of cans on it. I knew."
It happened that way numerous times on Friday for the residents of Lafayette and Louisville. My wife, who saw the tape, also wept.

The Centaurus High School kids who had rushed to the overpass bridge just north of South Boulder Road on U.S. 287 shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Friday saw the blanket covering the body. They saw the bicycle. They knew.

John Breaux was dead.

To this moment, it still does not seem possible. You have to live in one of these two towns to fully understand it.

The first time I met John Breaux, I almost cursed at him because I thought I was going to have to beat him up.

I was in the long-since-gone Koala berry consignment shop, finishing up the paperwork on the sale of my son's bunk bed. John Breaux came in.

He was a man in a tattered jacket, filthy blue jeans and a torn and dirt-covered checked shirt. Beneath a watchman's cap flowed wild matted hair that framed a face buried beneath a dark and equally wild-looking beard.

He began grabbing things, including the young daughter of the woman who owned the store. I was looking for something to hit him with when the toddler giggled and began cooing, "Uncle John."

There was hardly a day after that that I did not see John Breaux. Later, that same weekend, we moonlight bowled together. He high-fived me wildly with each strike he put down.

They poured in all day Saturday with flowers and balloons - long lines of people waiting to add to the memorial.

"He was always around, you know, opening doors for you, telling you jokes," Krista Beck, 49, said, wiping tears from her face. "One summer at the Louisville Street Fair, he had seen me in panic and helped me find my son, who'd walked away. He was always there."

By 11 that morning, a sign had gone up, saying there would be a "meeting" for John Breaux at the Albertson's on South Boulder Road. I figured a couple of dozen - 50 people tops - would show.

By 5 p.m., nearly 500 people had gathered in the market's parking lot. The local pizza shop owner had set up a P.A. system next to his van. Music played.
"Why shouldn't I be here?" a Lafayette firefighter told me as he stood with members of his crew next to their rig, its blue and red lights flashing. "No one in this town was more loved than that man."

"I had the flu on Thursday, but I still worked," said Brianna Moon, 17, of Lafayette, a courtesy clerk at Albertson's.

"And John stayed with me the four hours I worked, helping me bring the carts back and cleaning the room where we keep them. He did that for me every day. On Thursday, I thanked him and told him goodbye. It was the last time I ever saw him."

It went on like this for nearly two hours, residents, business owners and the mayors of the two cities taking to the P.A. system to tell yet one more story of John Breaux's selflessness and kindness.

I filled an entire notebook with stories people told me of John Breaux. I could fill this newspaper with them. And it still wouldn't do him justice.

As wild and scary looking as he was, people in Lafayette and Louisville absolutely loved him, the way he opened doors, smiled at you, made you feel right no matter how bad your life at that moment seemed to be.

Students of all ages called him "Jesus," or "Biker Jesus," since you rarely saw John Breaux 15 feet away from his bike.

"I used to give him $20 a week until he begged me to stop," said Larry Stallcup, the former Lafayette police chief who owns the Bingo Mine. "I don't know, truthfully, how things will be the same."

"He rolled a 274 on his last night here with us, Thursday night," said the woman manning the desk of the Lafayette bowling alley.

John Breaux was 57 years old.

He died the way he lived - picking up the trash the rest of us leave behind - when a Dodge PT Cruiser came off the highway right at him.

The official version is that he saw the white car, tried to run behind a tree to dodge it. It got him anyway.

"Stay with us, John," a woman who was first on the scene implored him.

A 62-year-old woman, said now to have been under the influence of prescription medication for dementia, remains in custody on a charge of vehicular homicide in John Breaux's death. Witnesses reported seeing her asleep at the wheel at the time of the collision.

At noon on Tuesday, people were still leaving flowers at the memorial, which now includes two 12-speed bicycles painted both white and copper.

Look, I am a rapidly aging newspaper guy who has witnessed so much over the years. Yet I have never once witnessed, nor ever heard of, a small-town outpouring such as this.

Never, and trust me here, has one ever been more deserving.

© Rocky Mountain News

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died

Today is the 50th anniversary of the day the music died. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper (J.P.Richardson) were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

Bits of trivia: Buddy Holly wanted to do his laundry before the next show and the laundromat in Clear Lake was closed. He decided the band should give up the bus and fly to the next town to save time......and he could wash his clothes. The Bopper was on the plane because he was feeling ill and asked Waylon Jennings to give him his seat on the small plane. Ritchie Valens flipped a coin with Tommy Allsup for the last seat. Dion DiMucci didn't want to pay the $36 for the ticket as he'd heard his folks argue about their $36 rent. He didn't feel he should spend a month's rent on a plane flight.

And now, one of the main reasons I can't remember what I walked downstairs for. Because I still know all the lyrics to this song:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sherpa's Adventurer's Restaurant

While walking around town this weekend we ended up at Sherpa's for lunch. They have the best Tibetan/Indian food but we often forget about it because of it's off-the-beaten-path location at the west end of Walnut. Here's what we enjoyed:

Papadums and dipping sauces, tikka masala, naan, and aloo gobi. As always, it was great!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Billabong Greeters

Yesterday was a perfect walking day and knowing that today would be much colder, and a certain football game would be on TV, Dear Husband and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather. We walked to Pearl Street Mall, enjoying the many varied sights and sounds.

Probably my favorite sight of the whole day:

Just whose cute little legs are those peeking around the corner of a clothing rack in the Billabong store?

He must be just about the most laid-back bulldog I've ever seen....................
well, next to his buddy..................

Apparently these guys are Billabong's version of the Wal-mart Greeter.
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