Monday, September 29, 2008

Giving Pigs a Bad name

The people I live with (mostly the children)(but Kurt isn't always excluded) are giving pigs a bad name.

They don't wipe off the counters after they spill stuff on them.

They don't scrub spilled food and drink off the table cloth. DISGUSTING. There was food on there from last Monday once I moved the napkin holder.

Or the wipe the crumbs etc onto the floor ~ which is carpeted!

I have lovely cloth tablecloths. I'm afraid to use them. I have a gorgeous oak table. I'm afraid to uncover it. Even using place mats it would get destroyed.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

People are Beginning to See.....

A little history - I've been friends with Rikki for 7 years. We were roommates for a year half a decade ago. When she moved in with me I asked, "Have you changed your voter registration?" Her frustrating reply was "I'm not registered to vote."

Since then I have hounded and hounded her. I have given her all the examples I can think of as to why she should vote, why not voting is idiotic, and how important it really is to vote.

As this administration has continued to turn back time in women's rights, gay rights, and international diplomacy (Cold War II anyone) she finally registered. She got her girlfriend, Amy to register, too. They've been registered for a few years now.

Now - the two of them plan to move to New York City. It could be as soon as October. I suggested they get absentee ballots in case they got moved and didn't meet the deadlines when they got to New York. Now more than ever we know that every single vote has got to count!

We had lunch yesterday and she told me that they signed up for their absentee ballots! Woo Hoo! Call me shocked! Then she told me she'd convinced her aunt and her grandma to both get absentee ballots! Shocked #2. THEN she told me she talked to someone else about voting and why it is so important to vote. She said, "For the first time I realize how important this election is!"

What has motivated Rikki into action? She was at a wedding this weekend. She and Amy have been together for almost 5 years. Since the last election she has realized she is gay. She is pissed off and has sprung into action because she is being denied her basic human rights. She and Amy are not allowed to get married. Which is ridiculous and sad, but at least it has motivated her to get involved.

Now if others can just see the light as well - women who want to have control over their bodies, families who want to be able to have a place to live and get an eduction, elderly people who want to be able to have food AND medication -

The time is now! Vote!

An Important Message

I came across this on the blog Open Trench a blog I read. The "I" below is Don Cummings a writer in L.A. who grew up on the East Coast.

I received this today from my good friend, Marian. No one knows better than her that it is TIME.

Hi My name is Marian Fontana and I lost my husband Dave Fontana, a firefighter on September 11th, 2001. On that day, (which coincidentally was my 8th wedding anniversary) I not only watched my husband die on television, but I watched the world, country and city change forever. After my husband died, I worked with political leaders including Hillary Clinton to slow down the clean-up at Ground Zero and advocate for the firefighters and the victims families. What helped me through that difficult time, was the profound shift that took place in our country and our world. For the first time in history, "everyone was an American," united in our humanity, collective grief and effort to fight terrorism in our world. For me personally, it made something positive come from the ashes of Dave's death and I was buoyed by seeing the very best of who we are. Why am I telling you this? Because, it has deeply saddened me that the current administration squandered that once in a lifetime opportunity to unite and fight terrorism globally. Because this administration has used 9-11 as an excuse to go into a country that had nothing to do with that day and start an infinite war that has lost more lives than 9-11. Because more women are becoming widows every day. Because I am tired of seeing our country go from united, to divided in a unprecedented display of partisan politics. More than anything, because now, it is happening again. McCain/Palin are using 9/11 to prey on people's deep rooted fear and once again, it is working. On this 7th anniversary, my sadness and grief were deeper than ever. I not only grieved for Dave, my best friend for seventeen years, or for my son who will grow up fatherless, but I grieved for this country and how far we have fallen from that profound moment of unity. I grieved because for the first time in my life, I am losing hope. I am writing this campaign because I will do whatever it takes to help Obama win. We need change because to me, it feels like humanity itself is at stake. Thank you Marian Fontana

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am a Lucky Girl!

My best friend Brian, my husband Kurt and me. Love them!

What's the Deal?

Our Obama sign has been stolen. As we drove around town yesterday it appears ALL of the Obama signs have been stolen. Seriously? Why don't people take that energy and VOTE???? Cuz I doubt that the stealers are voters.

16 years later

Saturday I went to a 16 year college reunion of my group of friends. In 1992 I graduated from Tech school with a degree in photography. Around 10-13 of us hung out (i e partied) all the time. Of course the Wonder Twin and I have been bff ever since. I've seen a few others from time to time and a few of us exchange Christmas cards.

Nine of us actually managed to get together. There were assorted spouses as well. Kurt only came up for dinner. We met up at Sub city for lunch - it was always a favorite - then got checked into the hotel, had a few beers and got a tour of our newly remodeled alma mater. Keep in mind we graduated just a digital was coming out - The school is pretty much all digital now.

We went out on Main street. Dinner was at Bourbon Street. After dinner we talked and had a few more drinks. 16 years later we are nursing drinks rather than guzzling them and looking for a quiet place to talk rather than being told to keep it down!

Back at the hotel we scrounged up a tv and vcr and watched some videos from college parties. Omgoodness! Mullets and acid wash jeans all around! We had lots of laughs.

A few of us met for breakfast in the morning before people had to make the sometimes long rides home. I'm so glad I wasn't one of them!

Hopefully, it won't be another 16 years before we get together.

Cory, Me, Brian the WT, Wendy, Dean

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Made out like a Bandit

At the second meeting ever of Garden club last night we had a plant exchange. I got lots of perennial goodies! I need to figure out where to put them all! I got:
  • 2 pinky/purple coneflower
  • a sumac
  • a bleeding heart
  • hollyhock seeds
  • blanket flower seeds
  • some ground cover with pretty blue flowers in the spring
  • castor beans ~ I have to check to see if these could kill Francis before I plant them
  • creeping phlox
  • iris
  • tiger lillies
  • day lillies

Pretty good doncha think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm having nightmares, too

I found this on the Huffington Post:

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

It was written by Eve Ensler. She of the Vaginia Monologues fame. I feel like I need to do more to help win this election. How do we motivate people to vote? I have friends, intelligent friends, that have NEVER bothered to vote. This has to be the year. The time is now. The need is great!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Not much is happening here. I've been feeling kind of blah.

Francis is still chewing on his feet. I got him more and different medicine today.

The weather has been sucky. Today is nice though, but I'm sore from my chiro appointment so I don't think gardening is a good idea.

I got a postcard from Estonia today and one from Latvia yesterday.

We liberated a bunch of rubbermaids over the weekend. We are now down to only 80 full ones.

Kurt cleaned out the garage.

Sherry liked her gift.

I've been doing laundry.

Blah. Is bah humbug appropriate this time of year?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Be honest!

Is this cool? Or does it look cheap? I made it for a birthday gift, but I can certainly give her lotion from Bath and Body works!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Astonishingly, I've been to 21 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites! Overall that's not a lot, but it's pretty good for a chica from Iowa!

Monday, September 08, 2008


Friday, I had to meet Kurt in Cedar Rapids so we could go to a party at one of his employee's homes. I was early so I decide to drive through the Time Check (or Time Czech) area of town. It was probably the area of Cedar Rapids that was hardest hit. More than two months later the devastation (and lack of progress) is still horrifying. It's one thing to see it on TV, it's another to see it in person.

Culver needs to call a special session and help these people. In another two months there could well be snow on the ground.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Please Please Please....We have to win!

This scares the HELL out of me:

Mr. Morton, a retired crane operator, was worried that his party had been inching to the left – and that even if conservatives would still vote for McCain, they would not volunteer for him. But no more.

“I’m a leader in my township, and we now have boots on the ground we didn’t have before,” says Morton. “All the gals, right-to-life, home-schoolers, were going to vote for McCain, but they weren’t going to work for him. Now they’re going to work for him.”

Now, I don't normally read the Christian Monitor, but it was the link via Google News.

I thought she gave a much better speech than Rudy. Watching the Republican convention ties my stomach in knots.

If the Democrats can't win this election we may never be able to win one.

***Rikki and Amy were in the Twin Cities last night at the Rage Against the Machine concert. They band has a big sign saying "F**** U RNC". The said the feeling in the Cities was one of tension.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Looks like the Big One!

Dad and I are MIGHTY fisher people. We caught 11 fish in 3 hours! They were a combination of bluegills and bass. We practiced catch and release. Some of them released themselves before we could get them reeled in!

This little guy's shadow is bigger than he is!

The Blue Heron caught a fish, too!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Cute Nephew

Labor Day Weekend

I had a pretty decent holiday weekend. Friday night I cropped at Archiver's in Des Moines with my sister and the 3 Beymer girls. It was 6 hours followed by a hysterical good time at Buffalo Wild Wings. The waiter said wings were 40 cents since it was after 11 p.m. I'm not a huge fan of wings so I ordered 1 to try. He was less than impressed. It could be that this is one of those "you had to be there" kind of stories.

The five of us are participating in a 15 hour crop on November 1st. I barely made it through this one. I need to do some training!

Saturday involved waiting on my brother-in-law and hauling lumber in my giant truck - It finally has hauled something other than groceries and children! Once we got that taken care of we headed down to the huge Des Moines Farmer's Market. We got there half an hour before it closed. We still had time to get an egg roll though. Plus we bought some FANTASTIC Gouda cheese. $5 for a 1/4# wedge seemed like a deal. Only later did I realize that equals $20 a pound! I've been hoarding and savoring it.

We had some pints and lunch at the Royal Mile. Then we met Rachel at Dos Rios later for drinks and laughs. I seldom get to see her so that was a lot of fun.

Saturday afternoon was spent watching Ryan play in the sprinkler thing and his pool (which was infested with sharks btw). I came home that evening very tired.

Sunday Kurt and the kids went canoeing at Backbone. I stayed on shore and enjoyed the view, the gorgeous weather, and the people watching. Afterward we went to Fontana to see the animals and came home through Amish country.

Monday we had a family BBQ with my parents and ALL 4 of the children. Hopefully our relationships with them will get better. It's been along time since they've all been here.

365 Project

I'm participating in a web/blog project. It is a bunch of women from all over who are going to photographically document their lives for 1 year. There are 54 women participating which equals 19,710 pictures in one year. The address is

Check it out!

What a Day!

Seems like I spent the entire day running around. I hate that!

I had to drop off prescriptions at the pharmacy. (Oh crap! I forgot to go back and get them. oops!) Then I had to transfer $ from one bank to another. My car is in the shop so we have to figure out how to pay for that. I visited our insurance agent to see if our policy covers towing and car rental (it does). Our oldest child, Fred, has recently "allowed" us back in his life. (He needed a place to live). So we are setting him up in an apartment. We made that decision before the car conked out.

I had to go to Waterloo for dentist and chiro appointments. Now I'm waiting to see how much our share of my crown is going to be.

The poor puppy is still suffering. He has seasonal allergies which is causing him to chew his paws raw. I need to monitor that to see if he's going to need a steroid shot. Ugh.

On the bright side when I was in Waterloo there was a farmer's market near the chiro. I got red raspberries, leeks, and green beans. Yum!

Tomorrow Dad and I are supposed to go fishing. Rain is forecast, however. I REALLY want to go fishing!