Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10 Things I Hate Stepping On With Bare Feet

I detest shoes. I believe they were created by the devil himself and that there should be very strict laws about not wearing them. Dave used to laugh at me because I would not take 3 steps in the front door before kicking off my shoes. I do not wear them unless I have to, then I prefer to wear the lightest, most minimal shoes possible.

Now, that being said, there are times when I begin to believe that I darn well should have been wearing shoes. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Lego's - Have you ever stepped on a Lego? You always know when someone has stepped on a Lego because the action is always followed by a sharp intake of breath, a thud as the person falls against the wall, and stifled cuss words so that the children will not repeat it when they should not. Lego's hurt. They hurt like very few other things. Dave tells me it has to do with the size and structure of the blocks and how they are just tall enough to compound the force per square inch, thus causing maximum pain. I think they hurt because some evil sadist sat around thinking of ways for children to torture mothers.

2. Dog food - This may not be true of all dog food, but it is certainly true of the dog food that Dobby perfers. He eats the Nutra Max for Large Breeds and the chunks are just the right size to make you jump off of it and swear under your breath. They are rounded, which does not put them in the same catagory as Lego's but they do enough damage to make it worth avoiding.

3. Slugs - Outside my house, both on the back deck and on the front walk way we have a family of slugs. The stupid things insist on sliming their way across the path just at the time of night that I am trying to get things done. You'd think after I stepped on 10 of them or so that they'd wait until later in the evening to cross the path, but no. When you step on a slug in bare feet you are instantly sick to your stomach. Your eyes slam shut and you try to think of ANYTHING else. Then you make a giant leap into the grass and begin to drag your foot through the grass like a dog wiping their butt. The pukey feeling usually goes away in an hour or two, but the nightmares last for weeks.

4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10 - Thorns - Thorns of all kinds. It seems if there are thorns on the ground, I will find them. Around here I usually get into the blackberries, roses, stupid pokey weed in my yard, and other thorns I can't identify but leap out to grab me as I pass by. I believe it is a plot. Every spring I butcher the blackberries and the roses in an attempt to keep them away from my walkways and therfore away from my feet. This does not do any good. They see me coming and wrap themselves around my ankles and precede to embed themselves in my skin. They are evil and should be destroyed. Unfortunately, I'm to soft hearted to actually rip them out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Suttle Lake

Nature's Wonders

The wonders of nature bring into full bloom
It's colors and signs of seasonal bliss
It draws the heart toward it's vividful views
And unto the things that it should not miss

It's creatures that are drawn out from their dens
Bring warmful views to the earth once more
That they would grow and produce in a thriving state
In abundance of all it's galore

Take Time For The Little Things
© By Barbara S. Gosa

Take time...to notice the dewy web clinging cautiously to the morning grass.
Take time...to feel the fire's warm glow, and hear the crackling wood as it sparks randomly upwards.
Take time...to smell the sweet aroma of cookies wafting from the bustling kitchen.
Take time...to appreciate the laughter of children enjoying the first days of Spring.
Take time...to listen of the rushing stream as it glides swiftly under fallen limbs and over mossy pebbles.
Take time...to admire the diligence of the chattering squirrels seeking stores for their winter nests.
Take time...to wonder at the intricate crystal patterns frosting early morning windows.
Take time...to notice arid, shriveled leaves crunching with each step, along the tree-lined path.
Take time...to watch Autumn's crispness paint changes from branch to branch, decorating the landscape for a short time.
Take time...to feel the cool breeze blowing in the promise of a summer rain.
Take time...to hear the clicking crickets echoing in the blackness.
Take time...to count the stars as they emerge from the graying sky, one by one filling the dark.
Take time...to hear the lapping waves pound against the grainy surface, then recede in answer.
Take time...to enjoy the fragrant scents of blooming newness and life, sprouting an array of colors where brown slept many long months.
Take time...to follow a firefly as it winks across open-air chasing the evening silence.
Take time...to share a smile.
Take time...to give a hug.
Take time...to acknowledge a kindness.
Take time...to tell someone you care.
Take time...to say, I love you.

Friend Indeed
© Carin

A friend is someone to share your whole day with,
someone to wish on a star,
a friend is someone to laugh 'till your crying,
one with to walk very far,
A friend is someone who won't tell your secrets,
a friend is somebody fair,
a friend is someone to share a big sundae,
someone to French braid your hair,
a friend is someone to make you happy,
when your very blue,
a friend is someone who teaches you things like how to tie your shoe,
a friend is someone who's always there for whatever you may need,
a friend is someone who you love, a friend is a friend indeed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Dog is a Dweeb

They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

How Much Does Laughter Cost?

One Sea Dragon Inflatable Pool Toy: $5.99

One Inflatable Air Matress: $6.99

Laughing Until Your Sides Hurt: Pricless

Keeping Busy

The kids are home and they had a fantastic time! Samantha is now dearly in love with Lego Robotics and I suspect we will have our own set of Lego Robotics very soon. Dave thinks they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and it's good for a girl and her dad to have something intelligent to bond over. The one she made at camp looked something like this:
They got to build them and then program it. By the end of the two weeks they were programming their robots to complete a challenge course. She said they had to make it run through a maze, turn on a windmill, push another robot out of the way and some other things I can't remember. The home model is a little different, but will still do all of these things. When I was looking at the web site for Lego Robotics I found out that they have a competition coming up. You have to program and build your robot so that it could compete in one of the summer Olympics. Samantha's mind was already working furiously on what each sport required and how she could make it work. She's going to be something amazing some day, but I have no idea what!

Jay enjoyed camp as well. He took a class on Ancient Egypt, Japan, Build Your Own Dream Home, and SKIES (stands for something about science and engineering). The SKIES program he took focused on the mysteries of the universe. They did astronomy and geology and some other stuff. He loved it dearly. He is still showing me things they learned and did. He said it was as cool as Mr. Currey's class! Don't you feel special Hunter?

Dobby was very glad to have his kids back. He hasn't left their side since they came home. I think he believes if he stays close, they won't disappear on him again.

Yesterday we had Camp Pupp over. It was very cool. The kids swam until 9:30. They were very impressed with themselves. I was too actually. Pupp's boys and my kids get along really well, which means Pupp and I can cause more mischief. While the kids were swimming we worked on LTC's. Pupp finished her very first one and it came out adorably. I know she'll want to do more. I completed my Gashleycrumb Tinies cards and they turned out really well too. I am very happy with them.

While we were working I was pondering the changes you go through as an artist and as a person. The last card I did was for the Lemony Snicket ring that Team Springamajack is hosting. I did a card called "The Wanted Poster". The image is exactly the same image that "Lemony Snicket" the letterboxer carved and planted in the PNW several years ago. I found that box when I was a new boxer, having only boxed for about 6 months. I was in complete AWE over that box. It remains to this very day one of my very favorite boxes ever. The stamp was so amazing and the logbook knocked my socks off. I couldn't believe that there were carvers out there that could do that AND create a log book like that. It was stupendous, it was awesome, it was simply stunning. The atmosphere and the clues all added to the box. Now, I had recreated that stamp without knowing it. I found an image online and carved it, not realizing it was the same image that the person had used so many years ago. I carved it about half the size of the one I found, but you know what... mine turned out pretty darn well. In fact, when I showed someone else, they thought mine was actually the better of the two. That really made me stop and think. Five years ago I firmly believed I didn't have an artistic bone in my body, now.. well just maybe there might be a small one :) I do have 1 extra card, if you'd like it and you're not in the swap, speak up.. for when its gone, its gone forever :)

Happy trails everyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Force of Nature

I have been called a Force of Nature by those near and dear to me. Today as I was out driving around the North Portland area, I started thinking about that term. Just what exactly does it mean?

Merriam Webster defines force as:
Main Entry: 1force
Pronunciation: \ˈfȯrs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *fortia, from Latin fortis strong
Date: 14th century
1 a (1): strength or energy exerted or brought to bear : cause of motion or change : active power (2)capitalized —used with a number to indicate the strength of the wind according to the Beaufort scale b: moral or mental strength c: capacity to persuade or convince 2 a: military strength b (1): a body (as of troops or ships) assigned to a military purpose (2)plural : the whole military strength (as of a nation) c: a body of persons or things available for a particular end d: an individual or group having the power of effective action eoften capitalized : police force —usually used with the3: violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person or thing4 a: an agency or influence that if applied to a free body results chiefly in an acceleration of the body and sometimes in elastic deformation and other effects b: any of the natural influences (as electromagnetism, gravity, the strong force, and the weak force) that exist especially between particles and determine the structure of the universe5: the quality of conveying impressions intensely in writing or speech

And they define nature as:
Main Entry: na·ture
Pronunciation: \ˈnā-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation
Date: 14th century
1 a: the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing : essence b: disposition, temperament2 a: a creative and controlling force in the universe b: an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual3: a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics 4: the physical constitution or drives of an organism; especially : an excretory organ or function —used in phrases like the call of nature5: a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)6: the external world in its entirety7 a: humankind's original or natural condition b: a simplified mode of life resembling this condition8: the genetically controlled qualities of an organism9: natural scenery

Now that's a lot of verbage. After wading through both definitons, I came up with this definition for "a force of nature":

An individual or group having the power of effective action and a creative and controlling force in the universe.

This defintion worked for me. Before I was never quite sure whether being called a force of nature was a positive or negative thing, I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is positive. I can get behind having the power to effect creative forces in the universe.

So how did this lovely thought process come to pass? I was driving around as I said earlier and happen to spot on Dora a green space called "Force Lake". I went to check it out and found a lovely little little lake near a golf course full of ducks and geese and other wonderfully cute birds that I couldn't identify. I parked in one of the turn outs and walked Dobby and admired the scenery. I would have loved to sit on the rocks with my hubby and watch the birds. He wasn't there, but I did happen to have a letterbox in my card. It is called Always. The stamp image is inspired by Amy Brown and was the image on an LTC before it became a letterbox. If you stand in front of the warning sign, walk along the rocks 11 steps, step over the rocks onto a stray rock and look back towards the rock wall down low, you will find a pair of fairies enjoying the view.

I have chosen NOT to list this box on AQ. It is a bonus for those that read my blog. Please do NOT list it, even as an unlisted box.

Happy trails,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

When the Cat's Away....

As I last blogged about, both of my children are in Corvallis for two weeks at camp. That means I've had to find things to do to fill the time while they're gone.

So what does a mom do when the kids are gone?

1. Clean house. Not very fun, but there's something cool about cleaning a room and having it stay clean for more than an hour.

2. Craft. I have made 9 LTC's, carved 12 stamps, and planned places to hide all of these lovely stamps! I'm hoping to get out today to do some hiding. I know I'm hiding a couple on Monday, so letterboxers, check back to this blog on Monday for a blog readers only box!

3. Go boxing with friends. Tonk and Dork were available on Wednesday so we headed out to find some boxes in town. It was a nice diversion to get out and about. I am not a stay at home person. I would much rather be out doing things than sitting in the house doing nothing. Or even sitting in the house doing something. Unless of course there's people here to chat with, then I'm happy to sit at home.

4. Read a book. I've finished two books this week and started on another one. The first one I finished was Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It is an Arthurian tale and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was under the false impression that it was the last of the Avalon series but was thankful to discover I was wrong! There are three more books. Now I just need to get to the used book store or to the library to pick them up. I am currently reading Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. This is by Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. Love it love it love it!

5. Read the news. I have enjoyed sitting for an hour or two each day and reading the news. I always read the news online, because I refuse to watch it on tv. I believe firmly that tv news is bad for society and we'd have a better world if it didn't exist. People are inundated by negative stories over and over as they sit in front of their tv. Unfortunately, most of them don't have the good sense to get up and walk away from it. By reading the news online, I can pick and choose which stories to read. I can choose to be inspired and/or informed but don't have to be hammered with stories about people killing, raping, robbing, etc. I know those things are happening in the world. I don't need to see the pictures and hear about it 10 times a day.

There were several things this weekend that made me go, "Hey, I want to go to that!". Did I? Nope. I stayed home and relaxed and hung out with my honey. Here they are in no particular order.

The Art Hunt (I solved 8 out of 10 of these on day 1. I didn't go out and get them because all of my best boxing buddies were out of town and Dave didn't want to go!)

The Bastille Day Pillow Fight I mean come on! A huge pillow fight in the middle of Portland. How fun would that be?

The Moonlit Bicycle Ride This one really looked like fun. I couldn't have gone even if Dave wanted to because my bike doesn't have lights on it, but it still looked like a lot of fun. One of the rest stops was a disco dance!

So that's what moms do when they're at home with no kids!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Wonderful Children

I am so very proud to have children that know how to be children and enjoy their childhood. This weekend we took them down to Corvallis. They are both participating in Oregon State University's program for Talented and Gifted children. They got to choose what classes they would like to take. They love learning new things and being with other children that share their passions. On our way down we stopped at the park and played. Isn't this what childhood is all about?

Bucket List

Today was my first day at home while my kids were at Oregon State University. It's supposed to be 90 degrees today so I decided to sit at home and craft. Taking a note from Dork, I rented movies to watch while I was stamping. The current movie is "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I adore both men. I think they are amazing actors and are doing a wonderful job on this movie. For those that haven't seen it, the basic premise is that both men are dying and have only 6 months to live. They create a list of things to do before they "kick the bucket" and then live it out.

It got me to thinking, what would I want to do before I kick the bucket?
So here's my bucket list:
1. See my children graduate from college and happy in their chosen professions.
2. See my children settled into a relationship that provides them with happiness and peace in their life.
3. See the 7 Wonders of the World with Dave
4. Go to Burning Man
5. Get my National Board Certification
6. Spend an entire summer sailing on a large sailboat with Dave
7. Take a cruise to Alaska
8. Visit the British Isles and tour the castles, be at Stonehenge on Beltane Eve, and tour Shakespeare's stomping grounds.
9. Make a difference in the life of children.

What's on your bucket list?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Boxing with Dem XX Men

Yesterday we ducked out to grab a box or two and get outside. There was a new box at Salish Ponds that I didn't have yet and there were several boxes that they didn't have.

The first box we stopped at was my On the Dock of the Bay. This one seems to be missing. This is the third box I've had go missing within the first month of being placed this spring/summer. I contribute this to two problems. The first problem is the visibility of the locations. This is my fault. I chose to place them in fairly visible spots, in an attempt to keep them close to a landmark or to place them in a small park. After 6 years of boxing, I should know better. The second reason has to do with the number of new boxers that have cropped up lately. All three boxes were last found by brand new boxers. Two of them were looking for their very first box. Now there is no proof that they did anything wrong, but it is suspicious. I do not blame the new boxers. Everyone has to learn sometime. I'm sad that the marble box went missing, it was a great stamp, BUT, it's only a stamp. It can be recarved, the box can be replaced. And this time, it will be placed someplace more secure.

The next box we went looking for was one that I already had, so I let them do the finding while the kids and Dobby tried to find the water.

It wasn't until the third box, which was the new one, that the kids and Dobby found the water. It was a fairly warm day and very muggy. Poor Dobby was really feeling the heat so when we got to the third box and it was right by a creek, Samantha and Dobby dove right in and romped and played in it. Some people would have freaked out. I now had a wet kid and a wet dog that had to ride home in my car! I don't see it that way. It's only water, it's only dirt. It was hot and you know what, childhood is only so long. I want my kids to pass a creek as an adult and think back to romping in the water with Dobby. I want them to remember laughing and playing, not me yelling at them to not get dirty.

We finished off the boxing trip with one more box and then headed for home. I was glad to get home and hit the pool.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I just wanted to say Congratulations to Happy Papaya, who will be working with Dork and I next year. The school may never be the same!

Baby It's Hot Outside

It's definately summer in Oregon. The heat has set in and it's miserable. Every day for the last 6 days there has been at least one news article about someone dying due to the heat.

We spent Saturday, which was the hottest day of all in the pool. We were in the water by 11 AM and didn't get out until well after dark. Being the good mommy I am, I slathered everyone up with sunscreen so they wouldn't get burnt. Guess who didn't put any sunscreen on at all? Yep, that would be me. I am now sporting the latest in summer fashions, the bright red sunburn. Thankfully it's not as bad as it could have been, but it's bad enough thank you very much.

Sunday we gave in and turned on the air conditioner. We had been holding off because last year I came to the realization that with the air conditioner running we spent less time in the pool and less time on the deck chatting and more time hibernating. I wanted to keep that from happening this year. Sunday we swam for a little while, then the thunderstorms rolled in so we sat in the house and listened to the summer show. There is nothing quite like a summer thunder storm.
Today it's only supposed to be 85, but we turned on the air conditioner to keep Dobby and the rodents comfortable. Samantha and I are working on LTC's and getting ready to go swimming!
What are you doing to beat the heat?