Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Birthday for a Princess

My baby turned 4!
Wow. It's weird to have this little person with fully formed (although not necessarily informed) opinions and preferences and dislikes living here with us... She has told us that she "loves everything that's pink and sparkly and beautiful..." For her birthday she wanted everything 'princessy', so she ended up with a Disney princess themed day, with balloons, a tiara and sparkly shoes.
Since I remember her spitting up everything she ate for the first 3 months of her life, and being purple with black hair when she was first born, it is rather shocking to hear some of the things that come out of her mouth. :) I'm looking forward to seeing who she becomes as she grows up- hoping/praying that she falls in love with Jesus and gives him her heart and life, hoping that she finds something worthwhile and graceful to focus her life's energy on...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just for Giggles

If you're in need of a good laugh, visit It's a website devoted to catching translation bloopers from Chinese or Japanese to English. Absolutely hysterical. I always end up laughing so hard I'm crying when I visit his site.
The best part is that the guy who collects these pictures has lived overseas for many years, loves Asian culture, and is not out to make fun of it... My favorite today was this travel advertisement.
Got to say- if I was looking for a way to get somewhere, I'd see about renting a car...
There are always a few rather risque shots, so if you're not in the mood to be surprised by the titillating content or if you've got your grandmother visiting, I'd recommend passing on the site...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Battlestar Galactica

"There are those who believe... that life here... began out there. Far across the universe. With tribes of humans... who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians... or the Toltecs... or the Mayans... that they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids... or the lost civilizations of Lemuria... or Atlantis... Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man... who even now fight to survive... somewhere beyond the heavens." from the credits on the old Battlestar Galactica

Beth and I have been checking out Battlestar Galactica DVD's from the library. We've been watching them at night while we work on our beading. Here's my sum-up:

Yay! I'm getting to watch old sci-fi! I love it!

Seriously, I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying them. Yes, there's some SHOCKINGLY bad special effects for my very jaded 21st century eye. They're still fun though.

I was suprised at how much I enjoyed the pilot storyline. I really just checked it out on a whim. We didn't have a tv during the time BG ran, and I'm quite sure my mom wouldn't have let us watch it so the only time I ever saw it was at our cousins' houses... Funny to think about all the clandestine things we did with them! Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Battlestar Galactica... Our lives were greatly enriched during those visits. ;) I only saw bits and pieces of them and only had vague images of the series.

I was also surprised at how LONG it was. Good grief, pilots used to be 3 hours long!

There's an amazing amount of stock footage used in these old shows- Cylons marching around, warriors being transported to their ships... I'm so used to the high speed pacing of ER and CSI shows that these late 70's offerings feel S-L-O-W. There's no way I can do any beading when I watch a show now, but there's so much extra footage and TALKING in these episodes that I can easily work and still follow the storyline.

I don't have much to say about these stories except that I'm enjoying them. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy the new series, but it probably doesn't matter since I don't get the sc-fi channel. I might get to check them out like we're doing these though, so I'll probably remain open to the possibility that I might enjoy them. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

May in Fairbanks

One of my favorite things about May in Fairbanks is it's local slang name: Clean-Up Month.

When all the snow melts around the end of April TONS of trash is revealed. Imagine an entire 6 months of litter spread out on the roadways at one time... It's disgusting.

You'd be shocked at the number of people who get involved in getting Fairbanks all prettied up- we want it to look nice before the tourists start showing up enmasse (the stampede begins around the last two weeks of May). On the highway you'll see groups of twenty bent-over people with yellow trash bags. Or just two. And you'll definitely see sections of the road with piles of yellow bags left every 20 yards or so. And there's one day that everybody focuses on getting it really straightened out- I think it was May 5th this year. I'm not sure 'cuz Beth and I were recovering from our First Friday experience...

My guess is that a good percentage of Fairbanks participates- even if they don't involve themselves in the road clean-up, trash turns up in your own front yard from the snow melt-off. Since the snow is scraped up along the road it can show up half-way up your yard. Rather shocking to find condom wrappers, beer bottles and cigarette butts on your front yard... Not a full party load, mind you, but enough trash to make you wonder what was going on 4 or 5 houses up the road...

I just checked out an article from the local newspaper, The Daily NewsMiner, and these are the facts: more than 5,000 people were signed up for clean up day this year, more than 29 tons of trash was collected, and more than 61 cases of the yellow trash bags were handed out! Go, Fairbanks!!

My other favorite thing about May in Fairbanks is the GREEN. Everything starts budding and growing and it's beautiful.
We also start getting a pretty dramatic increase in sunlight hours, which I love. The sun isn't going down till after 10 now, and coming up around 4. And twilight is lasting pretty much all night now. Yeah. Bring on the sun. Just for fun- this picture was taken at about 8:30 pm tonight. :)


My last post was on April 28th!

Yes, I've been very busy, but I'm sorry I haven't kept up with this... I'm not really apologizing to anyone reading it, more to myself. I really wanted to maintain three posts a week. I guess I'll have to stick in some extra posts in the next couple weeks to make up for my lapse.

We did the first Friday show on May 5th and it went quite well. Beth and I each made just over $100, which is great 'cuz we didn't have to pay for the space or advertising. We also really got along well with the owner of Willow Creek Clothing and are expecting to get to do some other stuff with her- probably the Midnight Sun fair, a big local event downtown on the summer solstice. We'll see how it goes. We'll definitely be doing some other shows at her place. We like her and I think she liked us. Three cheers for JoAnne! Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray! Thank you! you are cool!

Abigail's had some yucky virus stuff which involved vomiting, diarrhea, temperatures over 100, coughing, crying and wanting to be held 24/7. My poor baby! She was REALLY sick for about a week, and has had a nasty cold since the virus... The most frightening part of this illness was her refusal to drink anything. Babies generally recover shockingly well from viruses if you can keep them hydrated- if not, they're gonna end up in the hospital. Abigail wouldn't drink juice, water, pedialyte, flat 7up... Anything! We finally crushed up a popsicle and put it in pedialyte and she was persuaded to drink that... Thank you, God.

One of the worst weeks of my mommy hood was spent with Deborah as an 18 month old on an IV in the hospital... The cribs for the little ones look like small monkey cages! They've got bars all around them- sides and tops. She got so dehydrated from the rhodavirus (a real virus that strikes little ones and is NASTY, NASTY, NASTY) that they spent about half an hour trying to get her IV started- I think they did 4 different pokes- and that was with a GOOD phlebotomist. It's so hard to get the little ones- they wiggle and have itty bitty parts... Deborah was so sick she didn't wiggle, she just cried and laid there.

Anyway! Moving on...

Beth and I have been busily working like little bees to fill the order placed by the AK Rag Company- a local shop which will be carrying our jewelry this summer at both of their locations- downtown and in Pioneer Park. I just don't get very much time to work on my stuff except after the girls are in bed, which was the time I was blogging... So the order took precedence over the blogging... Filling the order even took place with keeping up with my email and our jewelry blog photos... (I had over 100 emails when I finally starting paring it down yesterday!) Which means we've both sold some stuff without pictures taken- probably shouldn't be a big deal, but I like being able to look back at the pictures and get inspiration from them... I can work off of something I've done before and do it completely differently.

For example, the very weird fire choker I did? Well, I've gone on to make a water one and am in the process of completing an air one. And I've got to say the water one is beautiful- one of my favorite pieces ever. It's all turquoises and pearly colors with tiny sea shells and little freshwater pearls. It looks like something a mermaid would wear... On the flip side: The air one is one of my least favorite projects. It's just not coming together... I'm trying to capture air moving. How on earth do I do that in something as static and still as beads? I've got some rippling movement going on, but it's just NOT what I pictured in my head. Oh, well. I've set it aside for a while and will come back to it when I'm done with the other stuff...

Anyway, I'm back! I will be posting more regularly, in fact, I hope to get caught up with my promise to myself. Sadly, during the posting break I celebrated my one year blog-iversary. On April 29, 2007 I completed one full year of blogging! YAY for me!


Yup, these are the April reads... I hope I can get myself together enough to have my May ones up on June 1st!
* * * * *

Mary by Francine Rivers A+
Excellent story. She has taken all the scriptures you know so well and delicately filled in the story. I’ve been rather negative about ‘fictionalized’ scripture. Seems to me that you can really mess up the actual happenings when you ‘expand’ it too much. Rivers does not do that. I understand Mary’s actions much more and really believe this is a God-inspired tale. I’m looking forward to reading other books by her. Caution: This book LOOKS like a woman’s story & not something a man would be interested in… I want to suggest that this was a poor advertising choice. I think that regardless of your gender, this book gives you a better understanding of Mary’s obedience and her relationship to her son, Jesus.

The Sorcerer’s Circle by Michael Silverling D
Ugh. I can’t believe I actually finished this poorly written PI story. I kept thinking, ‘surely it will get better…’

The Beast Within
Well, I started this one and decided in one chapter that I didn’t want to finish it, largely because of how bad The Sorcerer’s Circle was, and how frustrated I was that I wasted so much time on it. I don’t know if this one actually gets any better since I wasn’t willing to try for very long…

The Spelling Knife – Beguilement By Lois McMaster Bujold A+
One of those books I didn’t want to end! I’m so glad this is just part one and I’ll get to spend more time with these characters and this world. Excellent fantasy novel. One of the best ones I’ve read in quite some time.

Esther’s Gift I can't remember the author's name... B
15 minute read. No lie- I don’t know if I’ve ever read such a short little story in hardback! J It was good, and made it’s point quickly. About someone who's been making cakes as her Christmas cakes for years and then figures out how much they actually cost- she's so shocked she decides not to make them this year.

The Traveling Beader D
Lousy instructions, messy designs… Plus you can’t really do most of the designs in the book while you’re traveling or in a waiting room which was her entire reason for writing the book…

Storm Rising, and Storm Warning by Mercedes Lackey A
This trio starts where the Mage Wars ends. These almost cover too much for Lackey. Her style definitely lends itself to smaller, more focused novels and this one is a broad sweeping story-line. Still very good, though.

And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers A+
The tale of a pastor and his wife… Very disturbing. Very believable. Absolutely fantastic writing. Told with compassion and honesty. A young pastor is hired to take the place of a retiring older pastor of a dying church. The new guy comes in gung-ho and in love with Jesus and in the course of the book makes terrible, prideful, self-focused choices. We see him fall from a terrible height… Excellent book, but very hard to read.

The Curse of Chalion by Lois Mcmaster Bujold A+
Oh, I do enjoy Bujold’s writing. This is a fantasy set in a low-tech society with wonderful characters and an interesting history. Bujold keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how on earth she’s going to get rid of the curse.

Born in Death by J.D. Robb B+
Another in her futuristic murder/cop mysteries. Nora Roberts is really the only romance author I read anymore- Yes, there was a time in my life when I read a SHOCKING number of romances. I really haven’t read them since college ‘cept for her books. Fun thing about Roberts- she was the only girl in a family of six kids. I think that experience has made her characters, particularly the guys, more believable. These are good- admittedly getting a little repetitive since this is her 18th or 20th one. But the characters are fun- Eve's (the main character, a cop) crazy singing friend who's been pregnant for the last two offerings in this series finally has her baby