Friday, October 31, 2008

October Reads

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz A
Loved this- largely because I’m a Koontz fan, I’m sure. Koontz’s gift for quickly creating fully realized characters draws the reader into this edge of the seat thriller/fantasy story. This is not my favorite Koontz novel (Watchers or Strangers, maybe Odd Thomas); however, his dogs once again enchanted me... I think he did a tad too much moralizing, but I love how he continues to persuade readers of a God of love who intervenes. His books always build on the idea that the world is evil, sick and nasty, but that hope exists, God loves, and good will win. Skim the touches of moralizing and enjoy a rocking good read.

Oddly Enough by Bruce Coville A+
Fantastically wonderful short stories by this excellent YA fantasy author. Some horrible, some delightful, some plain old silly. This was his first book of short stories and I really enjoyed them- only one or two that made me twitch. :) Well worth the time.

Deep Wood by Jennifer Roberson A
The second in her Karavans series about a world of magic and people caught up in powers greater than themselves. A family has been torn apart by a magic storm and this story details their search for each other. Much better than the first, which I found slow and a bit cumbersome. I guess she was spending most of the time establishing the world and the series- this time the story started well and continued to move- a bit wordy in the first section, but otherwise quite good.

The Wish by Gail Carson Levine A
Excellent YA fiction. A girl helps an old woman on the subway and is granted one wish- she chooses to be the most popular girl in school and then has to deal with the results... By the author of Ella Enchanted, and though not as good as that one, still quite fun.

Cell by Stephen King B+
Good story. But, I hate to say it, this story is a bit done. Sorry, King fans. I’ve read other books on the apocalypse theme that have been just as good or better, and the only new thing was the idea that cell phone’s caused the horror. He should have stuck with a short story on the subject. His short stories are wicked good... However, his characters are excellently drawn and I enjoyed seeing them achieve victory.

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish B
Fantasy YA. Very good troll story about a young boy who loses his father and is taken by 2 nasty uncles to live in a mill and work. Quite delightful to see the uncles get taken down by the evil trolls. A nice variety of magical creatures are introduced in this books- lubbers, nis, trolls...

Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish B

Second in her Troll series- Continues Peer Ulfsson's story which she started in Troll Fell. Quirky style, fantastic creatures, a good fun story.

Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville A
The first Rod Allbright Alien adventure. Very good YA. Fun, light alien/coming-of-age book, with some good YA themes thrown in for good measure.

I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X by Bruce Coville A
The second Rod Allbright Alien adventure. Very good YA. Continues the fun and growing up stuff. I'm looking forward to finding the next few books in this series at the library.

Forgotten by Mariah Stewart B
Interesting mystery suspense. I liked the heroic characters, and thought the horror was adequately horrible. I was annoyed in the first chapter that once again I was reading an FBI/murder/suspense thing, but I got drawn into the story line and found enough worth reading to continue...

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay B-
Not the best mystery/suspense... The plot and romance were a bit contrived. I admit I knew who the murderer was, so I was a bit annoyed with how long it took everybody else to figure it all out... (Silly side note: this was my mom's book, and I actually got dragged into reading it 'cuz every time I'd pass by the book I'd start singing, "Sarah, Sarah, no time is a good time for goodbyes...")

Fatal Burn by Lisa Jackson B-
I was disappointed with this mystery/suspense. I had a hard time believing one of the characters would do what he did... It seemed very contrived and fake- done simply for the plot. I knew who the bad guy was- I don’t know how you could get half-way through this one without knowing. Disappointing because the last one I read by her was very good...

Dangerous by Nora Roberts B+
Yup, I’ve been reading romances... These aren’t straight romances, though! Really! This was an anthology of mystery/romances and 2 of them were very good, and the other one wasn’t bad. Roberts creates believable and fun characters- you end up rooting for them and hoping they figure out who-dun-it...

Memory in Death by J.D. Robb B+
Another cop-mystery- again, I had a fairly good idea of who-dun-it, but watching it all unfold was fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Missing Out

Tonight my heart is lonely.
I'm so tired of being isolated and feeling alone.

I HATE not doing acting right now- feels like I've put my heart on the shelf for a while.
My girls are absolutely precious to me- they are a delight and an amazing gift, but I'm so tired of not getting to do any acting because of needing to be at home for them.

If I didn't have them I would be doing shows.
Well, who knows. If I didn't have them, I'd probably still be teaching in Seattle, and I never felt okay about auditioning for shows there. I looked at some of the audition notifications and always felt very much an audition virgin. I HATE auditions. I've done them. I'll continue to do them (I hope), but I hate them. I let my fear cause me to miss out. Oh, yeah. And I had just gotten married, and started teaching full time. But still. I wish I'd done some auditions there. I wish I'd gone ahead and just tried out for one show. Gotten accepted for one show.

I would not wish my girls away for the world, for Broadway, for roles in movies. Sorry. They are way more important to me than any potential acting job I might have had. But, man, I miss acting.

I miss rehearsals. I miss actor camaraderie. I miss getting annoyed by people who messed up. I miss messing up my own lines! I miss proving to myself that I could do it.

And damn, but I miss my Company friends. I miss feeling like I was exactly where God wanted me. I miss feeling like I was doing what God created me to do.

Yeah, he created me to be a mommy. And I love it. But I feel like I need something more right now...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I found this. As a parent, I find it pretty accurate, and hope I can choose to live this way:

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

-Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Holiday Marketplace- Fairbanks, Alaska

Wanted everyone to know our jewelry will be at the Holiday Marketplace November 14-16 at the Carlson Center. You probably won't be seeing us, though.
The Stash will be there! Yay! And our stuff will be in the booth. Please stop in and check out their lovely, locally-made items. If you haven't had the time to go downtown and visit their new location, it's wonderful. Large enough to not be crowded, but with over 90 local artists there's plenty to see! Don't miss it!

For more info on the Holiday Marketplace:

For more info on The Stash:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last summer

I want to say this since I was so wide open with what happened this summer...
I may have been too honest with everyone. If my honesty and spewing got to you, dear reader, I'm sorry. I tend to feel like this is my space to say what I need to. My mom would tend to prefer that I not share anything about our home life and there is certainly validity to her opinion. Many would say I should not share about my home life. I'm still getting the balance of it all.
Anyway, moving on.

I have come to a place of real forgiveness. I have honestly forgiven my sister for the mess this summer. I've forgiven her for the suicide attempt. I've forgiven her for the stealing. There is a difference between letting it go and not being stupid, though. ;) I'm okay with that difference.

I don't trust her with my money. I don't trust her with my computer or my purse or my debit cards. But I've honestly let go of the mess. And it feels GOOD to let it go.

I love my sister very much. I felt very betrayed and hurt, but she's had to deal with some major big consequences. Beth's got some issues, but she is doing better. Maybe just getting that alligator we were hiding out from underneath the table helped her a bit...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lavender-Blue, dilly-dilly...

I just took an interesting hue test here:
Courtesy of Valette- Thanks! ;)
I got a 36 (the lower your score the better- Valette got a 4), which is not fantastically great, but proved what I already knew... I'm losing my purples. My mom's are pretty much gone. She sees most lavenders as grey. And I'm slowly losing mine. Makes me sad. I like lavender...
I achieved perfection on the first two scales, but the last three weren't so great.
Wuh-Laah. (Which is Sirevaag for "I'm sad!")

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monroe Bazaar

Beth and I will be at the Monroe bazaar this Saturday. The bazaar is held at Monroe Catholic school and lasts from 10-4. (We'll be there at 8, but you don't have to!)
This bazaar is one of our very favorites. For one thing it's the first one we ever did- thanks to Patrick Woolery. It's always the first bazaar of the season. Also, it's one of the smoothest run ones- they offer help to the vendors who need it, and the check-in process is very simple. And we typically get a fairly high volume of people. Last year there weren't many people, but it was scheduled opposite a World Eskimo/Indian event. Which definitely affects where people go up here in Fairbanks.

Anyway, we hope to see you there!

2 Costume funnies

I love costume jokes... I don't know why. But they just kill me. I was absolutely rolling over these two.
I'm a visual person. I know that's part of what gets me. But I also like two things placed against each other...
Anyway, hope you laugh as much as I did. ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Rental

Our Durango is in the shop right now and you should see the thing we were given by the insurance company! They are letting us use an expedition until we get our vehicle back. It absolutely rocks! We all went out to dinner last week and everyone of us had plenty of leg space- even Jake way back in the far back. Not so much of that in the Durango... I know our gas mileage is hideous, but wow, is it nice to have enough room to take the girls to the store and still bring home the groceries...


This is so like my girls!


Yikes... I've been very busy lately.

We've got a bazaar this Saturday, so I've been making up as much as possible in preparation for that...

I've had deadlines, deadlines, deadlines with the curriculum writing.

Jake's been coming home from school & work and immediately diving into homework...

Driving the girls around all day drives me crazy! I hope we can work out their schedule a little better next year... Although some of it will naturally work out since Deborah will start doing all day school.

Deborah LOVES her kindergarten teacher and I thinks she's great. Deborah gets to do a different cool thing every day- gymn, library, art, music... Pretty much rocks for her. She delights in the challenges of school and is doing very well.

Abigail is still not sure if she likes pre-school or not. There are some things she likes (playing outside, playing with different toys, the food...) and some things she doesn't- primarily being told what to do! My stubborn 3 year old would rather do exactly what she wants to do all day. well, wouldn't we all, really?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

September Books

Millicent’s Gift by Ann Rinaldi A
Really liked this. A modern witch comes into her powers at 18. Very light on the 'magic' and powers stuff, and very heavy on the growing up stuff. This book is about how her family & friends deals with her powers. She makes some bad choices and has to deal with them. She has to forgive and accept her older brother, and deals with anger. Excellent YA book.

Steal the Dragon by Patricia Briggs A
Excellent fantasy. A former slave returns to her old country as a spy in order to bring destruction to the slave trade. I really liked this.

Odder Than Ever by Bruce Coville A+
Short stories. Some of them are horrifying, but all of them are wonderful. For the older reader, high school or adult.
The Shack by William P. Young A+
This book deserves an entry all to itself. I’m struggling to know what to say, though. I’ll try to write more later.

First light by Bodie & Brock Thoene A+
The first in their AD Chronicles- historical fiction based on the people surrounding Jesus. What I LOVE about these is the accuracy, and Jewish heritage details. Excellent historical fiction. I fell in love with the characters.

Damage Control by J.A. Jance A+
The next Joanna Brady mystery. I LOVED this one. Probably my favorite of all of hers- I think I just related to some of the personal problems she’s dealing with- balancing a baby, a job, a husband. The two mysteries were interesting and the writing is excellent.

Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage by Alma Alexander A+
LOVED this! And, lo and behold, I picked up another battle of the books book by accident! So this one is about a completely mundane, unmagical girl born into a family of magic masters... She discovers many secrets and learns to accept herself. Excellent YA fantasy!

The World’s Worst Fairy Godmother by Bruce Coville A
A fairy godmother’s wand has been jinxed... You can imagine what happens next... Silly & light.

The Evil Elves by Bruce Coville B+
Silly & very light, fun magical adventures, 4th-6th grade YA, very quick read, an enjoyable main character & a silly magician. Everything ends up happily-ever-after... Good.

Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Carson Levine B+
Light retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Not as good as Ella Enchanted, but still worth the time.

If There Be Dragons by Kay Hooper B-
A little drawn out, but I liked the idea. A woman has had a terrible life, and this guy sticks around to defeat her ‘dragons’. A slow-paced romance.

Sweet and Deadly by Charlaine Harris B+
Harris’ first mystery-published in 1981. Kinda fun, ‘cuz it’s about publishing a paper, and she describes using typewriters and cutting out pieces sent by different contract writers. Her mysteries are always well written and intriguing.

Left to Die by Lisa Jackson A-
I liked the characters in this suspenseful/romantic mystery... Lots of believable, quirky and fully developed people: 2 complicated/interesting female detectives, a mystery guy living in the woods, a strong main character, an alcoholic who was abducted by aliens, and a woman who talks to ghosts. However, the fact that the story doesn’t actually end and won’t end until her next book comes out in ‘09 made me REALLY annoyed.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New Funnies

I think my vicadin is affecting my funny bone... everything's kind of funny right now. :)

These are from and

Party like it's 1919!

Life is an Adventure

From Larry Crabb:

"Men were designed to remember God and to move with courage into regions where there is no code. Because we were designed that way, something feels out of whack when we play it safe. And we know it. Every time we back away from something that we're too scared to face, we sense that something's not right. But we're too scared to explore what's wrong."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Slip slip sliding away...

A guy slid into me today.
I was driving home after dropping Deborah off at kindergarten (Thank you, God! She wasn't in the car...), and slowing down to come to a stop sign. This guy in a jeep takes the corner way too fast and slides right into me. It was almost in slow motion! I could see him coming and I was trying to stop the Dodge... I slid about 5-10 feet (as opposed to his 30 or so), and he hit me.
Broke out our front driver's side lights, bent the fender down into the wheel well, smashed the car a bit, and totally messed with my neck.
He was great. Totally took responsibility, about fell apart, gave me all his info.
I went home fighting the car the whole way- the fender was up in the wheel well and messing with the wheel- making this HORRIBLE screeching sound, and causing the wheel to shake and tremble.
About a half hour after I got home, my neck started hurting. Bad.
Jake was at school, and I thought I'll go ahead and get ready so he can take me to the ER when he gets home. So I started getting ready, and finally realized something. Jake would rather I call the Econ office and have him pulled out of class than not know. (He doesn't have a cell phone, I do.)
So, I did. And he came home immediately and took me to the ER. And I was definitely right- he'd rather I called him right then. In fact, it was almost an hour later and he'd rather I had called him immediately.
Now I've got a neck brace and a prescription for Vicadin.
I HATE the neck brace. It's miserably uncomfortable and, at least for today, my neck hurts more wearing it than not. I'm thinking that'll probably change tomorrow.
Anyway, the Vicadin is making me woozy, dizzy, a little sick to my stomach and sleepy.
I do not like Vicadin. But since I'm allergic to all the oxycodones that was the best option.
Why on earth do people think it's a good idea to take pain meds for fun?? They must affect me very differently than the average person.
So, the car's drivable, but in sad shape. His insurance is going to fix it and pay for my ER visit and my follow up with my neck doctor.
I'm angry about it. Not at the guy. Yes, he was driving too fast, and he shouldn't have been.
But, I'm angry it happened. My neck is already a mess. I've been okay. Not great, but okay. This is gonna set my neck way back. It is hurting pretty bad right now and that's with Vicadin and Ibuprofen. And I know it's gonna be worse tomorrow...