Monday, March 30, 2009

Surgery Rescheduled

Well, I just got off the phone with my ob's nurse... And we've rescheduled my surgery for April 7th.
I've got a mild cold- stuffed up nose and sore throat. My ob said a compromised immune system is not a good start for a scheduled surgery. If it was an emergency we'd go ahead, but it's not. So, we're heading the bad guys off at the gate. The bad guys being germs, and the gate being my skin! We'll wait until I'm totally healthy.
And I'm really annoyed. I haven't been allowed to have ibuprofen for a week, 'cuz it's a blood thinner. And now my surgery is scheduled for almost exactly a week from now, so I won't be able to take ibuprofen for another week!!!
And I had all these things done in preparation- all the laundry is washed, some shopping is done, I've got plans to take library books back...
Oh, well... At least I didn't do the blood cbc's yet. They'd have to be redone 3 days before the surgery...
Sum Up: I'm having surgery on Apri 7th, not tomorrow. I'm annoyed, but my doctor is right.


I'm having major surgery tomorrow on my belly.
I have serious endometriosis and am having some pretty big problems.
So, I'll be incommunicado for a while.
I will be back! But not for a while...
Happy blogging, folks! And have a lovely Spring.

Books I read in March

I have a long list of things to do today, since I'm having surgery tomorrow.
I wanted to go ahead and post my March reads today, but I don't have much time to give to them... So, no pretty pictures, and thoughts on the books are fairly minimal.
But it's up! And I don't have to worry about it later. ;)

The Sookie Stackhouse Novelsby Charlaine Harris
Already did a post about these.

The Purple Emperor, and Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan A+
Second & Third in Brennan's Fairy Wars Chronicles. LOVE these. I thoroughly enjoy these contemporary fairy stories... More along the lines of Brothers Grimm or Spiderwicke Chronicles. Interesting premise and great characters.

Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart B
Good FBI mystery.

My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville A-
Silly & fun story of a young girl who discovers that her teacher is an alien. Good YA stuff.

Alien Visitors edited by Bruce Coville A+
Coville has pulled together a delightful grouping of alien stories. This YA collection is not just a bunch of stories for kids- there are some real meaty full-course stories. Some of them were fantastic! Only a couple were lame.

One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury A
Excellent inspirational fiction. A story of the aftermath of 9/11- One firefighter’s wife deals with the situation left to her, while a businessman’s widow mourns the loss of her husband.

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King B+
Old story retold: Evil aliens come to destroy earth, but we’re too strong, too emotional for them to defeat. I enjoyed the premise of this one, but man, the evil aliens were disgusting. A parasitic fungus that takes over your body and then grows into these naked weasely things that blow out your anus. Whew. Gimme some of that. NOT! Very, very gross.

Heroes in Training edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Jim C. Hines A
Some excellent stories and a couple not so good ones. Worth the read.

Your Heart Belongs To Me by Dean Koontz C
Yuck. I’ve read most everything Koontz has written and this one stank... Too slow. It moved like a bad dream... Too fast sometimes, but mostly like you’re trapped in mud and can’t get where you have to get. Very dark. And you don’t like the main character at all...

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz A
Classic Koontz. Excellent story, quick motion, a little romance... Two survivors who make it through a horrible event based on what they each bring to the relationship.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs A
The second in the Mercy Thompson series. Very good urban fantasy. Too many vampires, but I like the werewolves and the fae characters.

Maggie’s Miracle and Hannah’s Hope by Karen Kingsbury A
Part of her Red Gloves series. Very good inspirational fiction. These are short, very quick reads. Not romances- stories of God’s intervention.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some more Favorites

Worship music:
I love Chris Tomlin's music.
I got to see Tomlin, Louie Giglio and David Crowder with his band in Seattle during the Passion tour.
Also, The drama team I traveled with, The Company, worked with him on three different projects. Two weeks of Super Summer Camp, and the Texas Youth Evangelism Conference (which is NOTHING like the Alaskan one- We used the San Antonio arena for it! And filled the whole thing with students. The only comparison in Fairbanks is the Carlson, but something like three times over. It was huge.)
In San Antonio we worked with him putting motions to one of his old songs "Alle-lu-ya". He was great. Excited to see what we were doing- in fact, he messed up in rehearsal 'cuz he was trying to watch us.
There are two things I have appreciated about him- his authenticity, and his enthusiasm for worship. Also, I respect his ability to make singable songs. (After living with a song-writer for 8 years, I understand the difficulty and the art. Tomlin's very good at it.)
I saw him lead worship for 2 weeks at 2 camps. And then I had the opportunity to attend a worship leader's pre-concert event in Seattle. During this time I was again struck by his genuineness. I believe he seeks to keep himself genuine and without a mask.
During the worship leader's event in Seattle I was again reminded of his desire to worship, and lead others to the throne of Christ... After the evening worship events at SS camp he would lead music while the students exited to go to their 'serious talk time'. But, after they were gone and only the few leaders who didn't have to go were left, he would continue to lead us. Maybe 20 in the big hall and we'd continue to sing for 20 or so minutes. This was a gift to us. I'm sure he was also enjoying it, but most of us who remained were admin staff or techie guys, and he chose to use his music to minister to us.
I hope that these qualities continue to be a mainstay of his life.
Some of my favorite recent songs were sung/written by him, and I've been delighted to see his music being appreciated by more people. Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God," "Indescribable," "Forever," "Famous One," "We Fall Down," "Holy Is the Lord," "Made to Worship," and "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)."


Lois McMaster Bujold
I've found nothing of hers that I don't like! Amazing.
I'm fairly picky, but I really like Bujold's style, and I LOVE her characters. I love her Chalion books, her Vorkosigan books, and her Sharing Knife series. She write space opera, and fantasy. But it's her characters that keep drawing me back. I love her people, and I want to know what happens to them!
I voraciously read her books as they come out, and she's one of the few authors I buy. I mostly check stuff out of the library, 'cuz I'm POOR. But her stuff I buy. 'Cuz I KNOW I'll want to re-read them again, and again, and again. That's how much I love her characters.
Most of her books are fairly serious, but if you're in the mood for a light book, her 'Diplomatic Immunity' is HYSTERICAL. I read portions of it out loud to my family, and they thought it was funny, even though they hadn't read any of her books before and weren't familiar with the characters.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sharing Secrets

I probably shouldn't tell anybody this. But if you know me, you've heard me say this, or read something that said it- I LOVE going fast!!!

I used to run like the wind- until we lived in Kotzebue I was always the fastest girl in my grade, and could often beat the guys in a race. In fact, in Oregon the only guy who could outrun me was Bobby and he was Olympic material- at least we all thought he was. He could run so fast! But so could I. ;)

It wasn't until I lived in Kotzebue and spent most of the winter inside, plus went through the nastiness of adolescence that I slowed down. I mourn the loss of speed. I used to LOVE running fast- the wind on my face, the feeling of gliding over the ground...

Now the closest I can get to that is driving. I LOVE to drive fast. I'm careful. More careful than I used to be, for sure! I've only gotten one ticket- driving through Arkansas to get to Memphis. My sister needed me.

(After 6 years at UAF without graduating, she decided to go to Memphis School of Art to try and see if the focus of an art school would get her a degree more easily. She hated it. She lasted one week- she'd already done most of the art classes at UAF and they wanted to start her all over. Most of her credits wouldn't transfer, so my 24 year old sister was stuck back in the freshman beginning classes with all these 18 year olds and she was going crazy after one week.)

I had a specific amount of time to get there, and I ran into this HUGE construction mess, had to make a nasty detour through an old country highway, and I was HOURS behind when I told her I'd be there. I stopped and tried to call her, couldn't get through, so I was speeding. I didn't want her to flip out and get worried. I don't remember how much too fast, (Probably 80ish, that car couldn't go terribly fast!) but I do know this... I was passing a bunch of trucks and when the cop pulled me over to get the ticket, they radioed him so he'd tell me that my rooftop carrier was flapping in the wind. It was megga hot, and I didn't have AC. All my windows were down, I was wearing shorts, and I've got an idea my rooftop carrier wasn't the only thing the truckers were commenting on....

Anyway... I love going fast! My mom's truck goes pretty fast. ;) And here's the big secret. (I've buried it, so that if you're just skimming this you might not catch it.) Our speedometer does not work. Our ABS went down, and was making this constant screaming noise. Nasty LOUD screaming noise. And for some weird mechanical reason when they turned the ABS off, it turned off the speedometer. Weird.

So now I've got two ways of knowing my speed- the traffic around me, and the RPM meter. I've gotten pretty good at telling the speed we're going, but the traffic around me is not a good way to figure it out up here. Particularly when I'm on the road by myself, which happens a lot. (Everybody down south is jealous now! You should be! Do you know how often I get to be on the highway by myself? A LOT! Almost like long Company trips through the back roads of Texas. Except it's not! It's downtown Fairbanks. :) Our traffic rush hour around 8 and 5 means it will take 20 minutes to get home from UAF, as opposed to 10... )

I'm more careful when I've got the girls in the car. I'm more careful 'cuz I'm a mommy and my girls need me to not get in some nasty car crash. I'm more careful 'cuz my neck is so totally messed up. I'm more careful now 'cuz I'm older. But, man, o man. Do I love to go fast.

If I believed in past lives I'd guess I was a bird or a cheetah before... Or maybe one of the Wright brothers. Or a sprint racer....

I'm so glad Jake gave me a bike last year! Riding my bike is almost like running. I love the wind in my face, and going fast.

I hope that when we get to heaven I really can fly! :) Wouldn't that be great??!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Luna & The Bird Feeder

We've got a great bird feeder- the chickadees love it, and so do the cats.
I originally got it for Luna when I lived in Kirkland so that she could watch the birds. Jake & I were gone so much of the time that I felt bad for my poor kitty locked up in the house by herself. She'd been an outside cat in someone's neighborhood, but we lived so close to major thoroughfares that I wasn't willing to chance it. So I kept her inside. (All the research I've done on the subject convinces me that I made the right choice back then. It's okay if you disagree with me about a cat's need to 'be free', but she's safer here inside. In Alaska, most outdoor cats lose stuff, like their ears or their tails...)
Luna LOVES watching the birds. Now the girls join in, too. It absolutely amazes me that any birds would be able to stay here for the whole winter. I get the ravens- they're bigger than my cat. But the chickadees! They're so tiny!

Health stuff

I'm thinking about changing the title of my blog... I've spent so much time this last year writing on our health problems, I think I should change it from 'God's Artist in Resident' to 'The Sirevaag's Health Problems'. Don't you? ;)
Okay, I'm kidding, but seriously now, I'm tired of talking about health issues.
It doesn't mean we're all better. I'm just tired of the health drama.

Update on Jake
He's working a full schedule! Yay!
He's still tired a lot, but he's functioning pretty good. He's still on a VERY low fat diet (only 50 or less grams a day, which is VERY low. A guy his height should be on 75-ish). I just read more about fatty liver disease, and it's a big deal, but he's going to be okay.

Update on Girls
Both of them are currently healthy! Yay!
They've LOVED school this week and are getting along very well.

Update on Rebecca
Okay, here's the bad news. I've been having some pain and problems (thought I had a urinary tract infection, but I don't...) So I saw my OB/GYN, had an ultrasound, and I'm in endo trouble again. My endometriosis has done severe damage, and it looks like I've got several cysts, and a general mess down there. So, I'm now scheduled for surgery on March 31st. Not yay. But surgery would be a good decision considering the pain I'm in all the time.
And because of the stress of thinking about surgery, I'm having a LOT of neck and back pain, 'cuz I'm all tense all the time. (sounds like a radio station- "All tense, All the time")
I don't want surgery, but I'm tired of the constant pain.
So there you go.
Health news on the Sirevaags.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!

I wish!
Nope, no Spring here.... We've still got negative temps, and LOTS of snow. It's -6 F right now, and I wish for Spring!
Here's the pile of snow in front of our house.

And here's the pile of snow covering the Dodge Omni we brought up with us from Seattle.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break Snow Day

We've got a LOT of snow this year. Yesterday the girls and I got out to play in it... We lasted about an hour, and got thoroughly chilled.
The girls were convinced we'd have more fun playing in the backyard, but I couldn't get back there until we dug out a path. When we finally got back there the girls were like, 'now what?'
So we got out the sled and Deborah pulled Abigail, Abigail pulled Deborah, and then I tried to pull both of them... It's funny to me that little ones can be entertained just by being pulled around on a sled.

Spring Break

The girls have been home from school this week. In general, it's been a good week, but I'm ready for them to go back.

It wasn't until yesterday that they started getting mean. The first couple days they woke up happy to play and it lasted ALL day. Amazing. Yesterday they started getting snippy, and today they started the HITTING.

Hitting makes me furious. I hate it when they start swiping at each other.

I know we're weird, and many people don't even believe me when I say it, but Beth and I experienced almost no sibling rivalry. Most of my memories of being a kid have to do with playing with her-

We taped wings on our Barbies and made them into super heroes.
We built block cities and played with our FP people.
We dug in the dirt and created castles and played in them.
We played with our bunnies in CA.
We made up stories and dances and performed them for my mom.
We watched cartoons on Saturdays.
We had tea parties.
We'd get out board games and make up our own rules.

I don't even remember having a serious argument with her until I was in college.
I remember getting seriously annoyed with her in CA 'cuz sometimes she'd hide my book thinking I'd play with her if I couldn't find it. But I didn't. Cuz I was mad at her... But that was the extent of it.

Anyway, I hate sibling rivalry. A lot. And I thought it was horrible and abnormal.

Big surprise: Beth and I were weird. Sibling rivalry is normal.

So, I'm learning how to minimize it without expecting it to be eradicated. I honestly thought I could make it go away at first. Tell them to stop and they'd stop. Ha!

They are getting better, but they still fight quite a bit. I love it when they play together happily. And they do. Probably more than they fight. But the fighting seems so big to me.

Anyway, they've done very well this week. They got a little grouchy yesterday and we went outside and played in the snow. It wasn't until today that their grouchiness manifested itself in physical violence. I should consider that a big step forward. And I do.

Anybody got a magic pill I can give them so they are kind to each other? And yes, their memory verse is, "Be kind to each other." And it has helped. Interesting how Bible verses actually change hearts...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Boys Bite!

Last night Deborah told me, "I don't like boys. They bite."
Cracked me up! She got mad, 'cuz I was laughing so hard...

And then I got to thinking, how did she know? What did she mean? Has she seen boys biting? Did they bite her? What on earth...

It's still funny, but now I'm wondering what she meant...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Sookie Stackhouse Novels

I pretty much avoid vampire novels.
For many reasons: too much sexual content. too much blood, some of 'em are pretty gross, and they're mean and nasty. Plus, I just don't like vampires.
However, I've been reading through Charlaine Harris' novels and I finished off everything except her vampire novels. So, there you go. I decided to try them.
I've read six of them so far, and I've enjoyed them very much. They are silly and light, for the most part. Except for the vampires, of course. They're pretty dark.
Harris avoids the dark nasties through most of the series by keeping the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, off the beaten track in a small LA town. Also, at first Sookie only knows two vampires. It's only when she starts getting involved with the vampires further up the food chain that it gets pretty raw. All Together Dead is about the North America Vampire Convention and all the queens & kings, plus their entourages get together, and it gets pretty nasty.
Sookie is a fun character. She's quirky, unique, and very Southern. She's a cute telepath which is why the vampires are after her, of course... I enjoy her sense of humor and her point of view.
My favorite part of the books are the weres and shapeshifters (duh- I'm a sucker for animal books), but I enjoy her treatment of fairies. Sookie has a fairy godmother, Claudine, who shows up every once in a while. Vampires are attracted to fairies kind of like cats are attracted to catnip. Pretty funny, actually.
Here's my complaint about vampire novels-
People are evil. This is a fact. If you don't believe it, take a look at the newspaper... I'd like to believe we're all good inside and getting better all the time, but it's not true. Here, on this side of heaven, we're just evil. We may want to do good, but we keep falling in the pit of selfishness, self-seeking and self-pleasure. All the good that we do is evidence of God and His grace.
Now, imagine living a long time in this evil. Like two hundred years or more. And your life is all about pleasing yourself, hurting others and viewing humans as food. With no hope of heaven, or God's grace.
Every vampire novel I've ever read reminds me of how evil we are, and how much damage we can do without societal constraints. Even if a non-vampire character starts out fairly naive, by the time she's gone through six vampire novels, she's pretty worldly wise. And if, like in Laurel K. Hamilton's novels, she starts out hating vampires by the time 6 novels have gone by she ends up heavily involved with two vampires at the same time.
I hate the loss of innocence. I hate the evil represented by vampires. I hate watching the characters get sucked in by that evil.
I end up angry and I feel a sense of despair at our fascination with evil...
Hmmm... Maybe I shouldn't be reading the Sookie novels, after all...
I knew I didn't like vampire novels, but I didn't realize that they make me so angry...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rebecca Needs...

From a friend... A weird friend. ;)
Go to any search engine and type in your name and the word 'needs', ie "Rebecca needs"
Copy down the first ten and share.
The comments in italics are all my own...

1. Rebecca needs enlightenment! (oh boy, do I!)
2. Rebecca needs the receipts from the recruitment chairs. (because those chairs are getting expensive!)
3. Rebecca needs support for her educational goals. (I'd actually love this one.)
4. Rebecca needs to take a piss. (none of your business)
5. Rebecca needs a family. (anyone got an extra laying around?)
6. Rebecca needs a prayer. (ALWAYS.)
7. Rebecca needs to go. (where? or is that back to the piss thing?)
8. Rebecca needs to leave early!
9. Rebecca needs a throat drop! (I am getting a bit of a cold...)
10. Rebecca needs to find out! (there's that enlightenment thing again.)

600 Posts!

This is post #600!
Am I a real blogger now? ;)

Monday, March 09, 2009

On The Edge

"And He will be the stability of your times" (Isaiah 33:6)
There sure isn't much that's stable in my life. The economy, my health, my husband's health, our income...
To be reminded that God is my stability is a very good thing...

UAF Museum of the North

Jake & I got to visit the museum together (and by ourselves!) a couple months ago- I think it was in December. Yes, we go to his workplace for our dates...
I love the fact that he works there... He knows so much about Alaska now- more than I do about some things... He's got favorite pieces of Alaskan art, and can answer many questions. :) My husband is your friendly museum attendant. He's very good at his job.
Anyway, he took me around to see some of the places in the museum I wasn't familiar with since the renovations.
I liked the stairs and the strange bird statues placed around them- there's a couple more of the birds, but you can't see all of them in one photo.
I thought there was a HUGE amount of space wasted around the stairs without some kind of exhibit. The stairs are located kind of in the prow of the museum.
The museum is beautiful, but the renovations and rebuild were a huge source of contention. It took WAY longer than it should have to complete, and ended up costing way more than was originally proposed and it kind of looks a bit like a spaceship. I think it looks cool, but it's very unlike anything else you'll find up here.
One of the places I'd never been is 'The Place You Go To Listen'... An exhibit located in a small room. On one side of the room are panels which show colors representing what's going on physically in & on the earth at that very moment- seismography, weather... Also, the room translates the information it's receiving into sound waves. So you can go in there and 'hear' the music of the earth. It's not particularly pretty, but it is interesting.
While we were there it was mostly red, with touches of orange and purple. And the sounds were mostly low and deep.
All pictures of the outside of the museum were taken from the UAF Museum of the North website.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


We watched some of Grey's Anatomy 3rd season on DVD while beading. They've had this repeat character, 'Ava', who has amnesia. She was in a ferry boat accident and when she finally woke up she didn't know her name, who she was, where she was from, any of her history.
And it got me thinking.

I've never woken up without my name.

In my traveling days I would often waking up not knowing where I was, who was in the hotel bed with me (yes, I've 'slept' with many people, and yes, it was all SLEEPING. I traveled in college with a drama team, and I traveled with the Company, and a couple of choirs. So, sometimes I'd wake up and not know who was in the bed with me...), or what the day was going to be like; however, I've never woken up without my name.

I know who I am. I'm Rebecca Lyn Emery Sirevaag. I was born in Oregon and grew up in Oregon, southern California and Alaska. I went to UAF and graduated with a BA in Theatre and a minor in music. I'm many things- a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a writer, a teacher, an actor, a jewelry maker, a poet, a singer... The list goes on an on...

Driving home from dropping off Abigail at school I realized something kind of mind blowing.
As confident as I am of my NAME, that's how confident I should be of Jesus' love for me. His love should be as intrinsically a part of me as my name, as my identity. I do not need to question His love. It is constant. More reliable than my name. More constant than my family. Stronger than time. Larger than the sky. More powerful and deep than the ocean.

I want that knowledge to seep into my bones. To seep into my skin. To be more decisive than my name. I don't want to have 'amnesia' about this, to forget who I am in Him...

I do NOT understand everything God has done, is doing, will do... I do not understand His choices. Why we my husband and I are here, doing what we are doing. I do not understand so many things about His will that my list would be endless. WWII & the concentration camps, the Trail of Tears, the Spanish Inquisition, why some of the children I've worked with were horribly abused, why my cousin and grammy died of cancer, why loved ones have struggled with addiction and depression... I do not understand these things.

I do not understand how love could allow so much evil. I cannot see how it is more loving to give us the choice to screw up the world as effectively as we have... I'm learning to trust that His power allows Him to say that removing the choice between good & evil would be more horrendous than allowing us to abuse each other. Some days I don't get this, and I probably won't until I'm on the other side sitting in front of Him.

I do not understand the power of His love or what He has done for that love. But I can say without question He is love.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so (and my skin and the sky and my children)
Little ones to Him belong (and next to Him, we are all little)
They are weak, but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ambulance Ride!!

I got to take an ambulance ride on Sunday... I woke up with a sore right arm, and it just got worse and worse. Honestly, I've never had my arm hurt so bad. I took some ibuprofen, laid down to get it warm, and it just kept getting worse.

Then I went upstairs and started to pass out. I mean really pass out. I laid down on the stair landing and thought I was still going to pass out. Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy. So dizzy and light-headed it hurt.

And I came to the conclusion I must be having a heart attack. I honestly didn't know what else could be going on. The pain and dizziness together were freaky.

So, we called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I couldn't get out to the car or Jake could have just driven me.

They monitored me for a while on an ekg, drew some blood, and came to the conclusion that I should have a stress test... Here's where my funky weird reaction to having an iv started makes life difficult- Since I have an out-of-control reaction to needles, I normally go into mild shock for blood draws. To start an iv normally involves me almost passing out, which makes it harder to start an iv because most of my blood rushes to my center in preparation for a fight or flight response. (In fact, I almost pass out talking and thinking about it so I'm getting a little light-headed writing about it now. Maybe I should lay down for a second?)

For a stress test they have to get your heart rate up pretty high. When you go into shock your heart rate SINKS. Mine went down to 60 over 46. And they wanted it up to at least 157... Do you know how hard I had to work to get mine up there??? They kept tilting the stupid tread mill higher and higher and ran it faster and faster... But the conclusion of that test was that my heart was incredibly healthy.

Yay. So, I didn't have a heart attack.
As the doctor was releasing me he was was wandering if I'd pulled something in my arm, lifted something, done something weird... He mentioned panic attacks, stress... And I was just getting annoyed.

It wasn't until we got home that I remembered that I had shoveled our driveway on Saturday. We'd gotten a VERY heavy snowfall that day, and my mom needed to go shopping so I shoveled out the driveway for her. So I probably did strain my arm. It still hurt yesterday, and when you combine that with my neck issues there's good reason for my arm to be hurting so much on Sunday.

The dizziness was a different story, but when you think about the amount of stress we've had over the last year it's possible that the pain and concern over my arm triggered some kind of stress reaction. Not my normal stress reaction, mind you. I normally just go to bed or read a book... But hey, it's been a year.

Here's the year in a nutshell:

March- Jake goes for a 10 day vacation to see his mom and dad
April- Jake gets MRSA and has relapse, he almost loses his foot
May- financial stress 'cuz Jake missed about a month of work
June- Jake quits Fred Meyer, Beth attempts suicide, we start Farmer's Market
July- serious financial stress, my back starts hurting
August- Deborah starts Kindergarten, Abigail starts pre-school, Jake goes to WA for his brother's wedding & starts college classes, my back is hurting
September- I'm in a car accident, serious neck and back pain
October- my back gets worse
November- Beth has hysterectomy & mom is not okay (she needs a new pacemaker)
December- I have back surgery for cyst on spine

January- Deborah damages eye, Jake decides not to go back to school & has serious health issues culminating in a hospital stay and surgery to remove gall bladder
February- both girls very sick with Abigail getting pneumonia

So, maybe there's some credence to the whole stress thing...
This has been the hardest year of my life, I think. Honestly, it's worse than the year I graduated from UAF, which involved: my dad getting sick, my cat getting sick, me developing an ulcer, and culminated in my appendectomy at which time they discovered I had endometriosis.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Okay, I'm not a Christian Bale fangirl, but this is funny. Mostly because I'm a Kermit fan. ;)
Thank you, Valette!

And yeah, somebody definitely has too much time on their hands...

Books I Read in February

Fortune and Fate by Sharon Shinn A+
The fifth in the Twelve Houses series. Another adventure set in her magical mystical land... I love her characters & stories. Fortune and Fate follows the adventure of Wen, the King’s Rider who didn’t die before preventing her king’s death... She believes that she should have died before allowing the king to be killed, even though she almost died, and even though other Rider’s died beside her. Her death wish causes a dark depression and anger, which she takes on the road and uses it to save those around her in danger.
Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs A+
The second part in Ward of Hurog’s story. Love these!! Fantasy, magic, castles, dragons. Very good. Ward is such a wonderful character, and it’s good to see them all defeat the nasty evil king.
Shakespeare’s Counselor by Charlaine Harris A+
The fifth Lily Bard mystery. Fantastic, twisty, dark mystery. Excellent writing. I’m amazed at how quickly Harris can draw quirky fully-realized characters. She draws readers in and holds them til the end.
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs A-
From the cover: Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... And became on herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. The Charles Cornick, the enforcer- and son- of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life. Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf- a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.
This is a continuation of the Mercy Thompson books... Set in the same world, with some of the same characters, but a different focus. I enjoyed it very much- I like Anna better than Mercy and find her story interesting.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs B+
The first of the Mercy Thompson books. Actually, I reread this one. I still enjoyed it, but it’s not my favorite. Interesting since I’ve read so many of Briggs books and loved them. I think I’m not terribly enamored with Mercy. She’s just so young, and kind of annoying...
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs A-
The third of the mercy Thompson books. I liked this one more than the first, which is funny ‘cuz I don’t really like fae stories all that much. But this one was a mystery and the intrigue more than made of for the fae stuff.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley B+
A vampire book by Mckinley- Weird. She’s a fairy tale/fantasy writer, not an urban mythology writer. I actually enjoyed this very much- interesting setting, interesting characters, interesting idea. However, I’m not a fan of vampire stories- I don’t mind if they’re in the background, but I’d rather they not be the main focus. She did a good job, and turned the urban myth into a fairy tale, which is what she does so well.
The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley B+
The second in The Sisters Grimm mysteries. Good YA stories. I enjoyed this one, though it seemed more surface this time... And not quite as good as the first. I do enjoy the idea of the ‘Everafters’ all grown up in the modern age- Mayor Charming, Teacher Ms. White (as in Snow White), The three little pigs as the sheriff and deputies of the town...
Eye of Heaven, Soul Song and The Last Twilight, by Marjorie M. Liu B+
The 5th - 7th in Liu’s paranormal detective/romance Dirk & Steele’s series... I borrowed these from Beth, and admit I would never have picked these up on my own. The covers look like torrid romances, and the books are found in the romance section- with all the half naked pirates and cowboys. However, I honestly enjoy the books. I’m a sucker for shapeshifter stories, and these are pretty good. More romance than I prefer, but decent stories with interesting characters and settings.
Chalice by Robin McKinley A-
from the book jacket:
Mirasol is a beekeeper. She tends her small woodlot in an obscure corner of Willowlands, and looks after her bees. The earthlines speak to her, but this is not unusual; they speak to many members of the old families. The concerns of Master, Chalice, and their Circle who govern Willowlands, are nothing to do with her, although the rumours of this Master’s wildness, and his Chalice’s inability to bind him with their Circle, are troubling. And then the Master and Chalice die in a fire- and Willowlands is thrown into chaos, for Master and Chalice had no declared heirs to take up their crucial work. The Circle sends at once for the Master’s only living relative who left to become a priest of Fire seven years ago. The priests reply that the new Master wll come, but that anyone who has lain in Fire for seven years is no longer quite human. Mirasol hears the news and fears for the future of Willowlands, but she is preoccupied with her own difficulties: her goats are fountaining milk, and her bees are producing so much honey it is pour out of their hives. And then the Circle comes to her cottage to tell her that she is to be the new Chalice, and it will be up to her to bind the land and its people with a Master the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone.
This fairytale/fantasy should have been excellent. The idea and story line was delightful, and the author has written brilliant adventures in the past. But the story was not excellent. McKinley used too many words to tell her tale, and not enough imagery. She explained too much and seemed to actually prevent the story from coming alive... Too bad, ‘cuz she can pull off a fantastic tale- she’s done it in the past, and the ideas in this latest book are intriguing- but it just doesn’t happen.
The Phoenix and The Carpet by E. Nesbit B+
The continuing story of Robert, Jane, Anthea and Cyril (the children from the Psammead story). Fun, silly light adventure. In the vein of Mary Poppins, and The Borrowers.
Wings by E.D. Baker B
YA fantasy. Not as good as it should have been... Interesting idea- Following Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, but very surface rather than intelligent and sympathetic. There’s a point in the story where the parents tell their daughter that she was adopted. They say something along the lines of, ‘We’re sorry, we just never knew how to tell you’, and she’s like ‘Oh, that makes me sad, but I guess it’s okay’. Along the lines of, ‘oh, drat. I broke my nail.’ Not the way I think it would really happen...
Blood Sins by Kay Hooper B+
The second in her next Bishop/SCU novel... These are FBI mystery novels with psychics, and some of them are excellent. This one was good, better than her last one. Although I admit after watching CSI and Criminal Minds I’m less easily impressed or fooled and I think I have a better idea of what might actually happen than Hooper does. Some of her situations seem a little far fetched, and I’m not talking about the psychic parts...
Heart of the Wilderness by Janette Oke B+
Oke’s books relate to that part of me that lived in an eskimo village... She tells stories of the Canadian frontier, with sprinklings of God. This one was about a young girl whose parents were killed in a river accident, and then was taken to live with her trapper Grampa in the wilds of Canada. Very good.
Modern Magic: Tales of Fantasy and Horror edited by W.H. Horner
These are all urban fantasy/horror, and some are very good, and some are horrible and nasty. A couple I wish I hadn’t read, and a couple I’m delighted to have read. A good one about a dryad real estate agent, A truly nasty one about an evil clown... Interesting art...

100 Dances
Fun video.
This guy's commitment is amazing. He totally throws himself into his dances. At first, it was kind of like watching a car wreck, 'cuz it just kept going, ya know? But then, I got fascinated by his focus. Oh, and love the cat t-shirt. ;)