Friday, December 17, 2010
And I was worried about our two taking on raccoons. Ha!
The head whip is a common trait. If you've ever had the opportunity to play tug with an elkie, and they employ the head whip, you will loose.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I am behind yet again when it comes to Christmas presents and I really only have until Monday to get anything in the mail. This year has been a constant churn of stuff that I want to get done versus the stuff I have to get done. Will next year be better? I truly hope so.
What I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep 12 hours. Ain't gonna happen. I can't sleep more than 6 hours at a stretch now. I just wake up. Very annoying.
Will I get everything done for Christmas? I have already cast aside a number of things that I wanted to take care of, because there just isn't time. Tonight, I will hopefully be done with the gifts for my mother and her sisters. Every year, I create something that is identical for all of them. Less bother from Mom, because she's had issues with things I have sent that she didn't see ahead of time. Catering to her whims has become so tedious. It just gets worse as she gets older. I wonder if there is a drug that fixes that?
9 days to go. Tick tock, tick tock.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
If you received one these annoyances, my apologies.
To Google - thanks for taking my blog offline for 4 days with not a peep or a note. Because the email address I use to post to this blog from my cell phone was also in my contact database, it got hit with spam. The spam-bots found it, and the site was gone.
I am happy to see it back. I will be happier when I get it moved somewhere else.
Both my GMail accounts got hacked this year - by the Chinese - and twice was enough. Oddly enough, though I am spammed to death, my Yahoo accounts have never been hacked. That is worth considering.
I will be back to posting on a regular basis shortly. I keep meaning to stop in and say hello, but there is always something else to take care of.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I am posting this video by Keith Olberman as he stated it better than I ever could. As Keith asks in this comment, why does this matter to you? One of the most cherished phrases we have as Americans is from the Declaration of Independence "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Religious groups, including the Mormon Church, spent millions to get this proposition on the ballot. One of the most awful things I saw was the day before the election. During one of the worst storms I can remember that early in November, standing on busy street corners throughout my town were dozens of children holding Yes on 8 signs. These religious groups used THEIR CHILDREN as props for their campaign of discrimination and hate. They used THEIR CHILDREN to propagate their religious agenda in a Country founded on separation of Church and State. As Christians and Americans you choose to discriminate, and fail to treat others as you would be treated. You fail to follow the teachings of the One you say died for your sins.
If the one you loved lay dying in a hospital, and the staff refused to let you be there for their final moments because "you weren't related", how would you feel?
If you had raised a child together and your significant other passed away and their relative took your child away because "you weren't related", how would you feel?
If the one you loved had been in a terrible accident and their parents wanted to keep him/her alive at any cost, and you knew that isn't what they wanted, but because "you weren't related" that left you with no recourse, how would their pain and suffering make you feel?
Now take those three questions and ask yourself - what if I lay dying and I couldn't see - touch - hold the one I love because some hospitals deny non-family visitation to the dying - what if in your last moments your were denied that comfort, how would you feel?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sorry that the picture isn't better. I finished this one a while ago and decided to enter this on a whim. It is a beautiful shade of lavender, and usually has a special place in my curio.
From the judge: "Lovely little needle roll - color and stitch selection gives true "vintage " look."
Result: 1st Place - Counted Cross Stitch, Unframed Piece
This is really one of my favorite pieces and can take over a room. I replaced the antique gold tone frame because I thought it over powered the piece. Guess I was wrong.
From the judge: "Stitching has good tension. The details of the frame compete to be the main focus. Nicely shaded colors."
Result: Not selected for award
Which means it won't be shown. If you would like to see MEGA detail of the picture, go here. The beading, which I thought would be mentioned, as it is directional to suit the flow, was not addressed. On this one, I feel slighted. It may have something to do with the fact I'm a little emotionally attached to this one.
Those who are familiar with Martina Weber of Chatelaine Designs will now that these types of charts are not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of specialty stitches, and a laying tool was used liberally to insure proper placement of threads.
From the judge: "Sparkling, glittery design. (that would be the Swarovski Crystal, but I digress) The lack of variety in the size of motif groups makes it hard to find a true focal point. Good variety in stitch selection."
Result: 2nd Place - Other Counted Techniques, Sampler
**The needlework was judged by the same person - "BC"
I tried to keep it simple this year, as I found that was the basic draw of the prize winners last year. That seems to have been a good idea.
From the judge: "Map w/strings is clever (and they line up across the pages!) Nice, clear layout."
Result: 1st Place - "Scrapping " Through California, Holiday or Vacation Theme
I may have pandered here a little bit. I waited until I found out what the theme of the Fair would be this year, and used that in the theme, which is "Passport to California". I had already decided to do the coastal redwoods, so it worked out fine and now I have a theme of the entire scrapbook on our trips along the Lost Coast. Win - Win.
I just want to go on record that I did the next three the night before I had to drop this stuff off in Sacramento. I entered a month before. Nothing like waiting until the v-e-r-y-l-a-s-t-m-i-n-u-t-e to get it done.
From the judge: "Nice clean card. Embellishments would add to the card"
Result: Award of Merit - Card Crafting Contest, Birthday
From the judge: "Be careful with adhesive - you don't want any excess to show. Mats should be upright and evenly spaced. Love the saying!"
Result: Not selected for Award
Quick note - I bought some of the glass beads in a shop in Eureka last year. I wanted to make something different and submit it to Fair. I started this at 10:30 pm 5/14 and finished 2:30 am 5/15. It was at Fair at 11:30 am on the 15th. As I said - last minute!
From the judge: "Very nice work. The colors and balance are spectacular. Perfect tension on stringing and the findings have been chosen nicely. Just an overall great piece. Good job!"
Result: Honorable mention - Bead Art, Jewelry Art
Let me state further, this is the third beaded necklace that I have EVER made and the first time using wire and crimps. Not too bad. I already have ideas for next year.
That's it - let me know what you think.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Hard as it may seem for some to believe, I have been the victim of profiling. "Venka" is the name I have adopted for use here in the US because it is pronounceable by American English standards. What appears on my driver's license is different, and I do not choose to disclose it publicly for identity theft and security reasons, as is my right.
Back in the late '90's, I was visiting a friend in L.A. on a rainy, Friday night. I got turned around leaving her house, and missed my turn. As I was driving slowly, stopping to see the street signs, a squad car pulled up behind me with lights on. I pulled over and turned off the engine. Allow me to set the scene.......
I drove a Mitsubishi Longbed pickup truck - all black - with some "aesthetic enhancements".
I hate umbrellas, so I was wearing a baseball cap - hair in a pony tail. I was also wearing a leather jacket.
I was in a not-so-great neighborhood minutes from downtown L.A. - there may have been gangs or less-than-law-abiding citizens in the immediate area.
I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, driving the wrong type of vehicle, and not dressed like the OC goody two shoes that I was Monday-Friday at the office.
I was asked to get out of the vehicle with my hands up.
I did - and then called out to the officer asking what had I done wrong?
I was approached, and when he determined I was indeed a twenty-something female, he asked to see my ID. Again, as I was reaching for my ID, I asked him what was the problem. He said they were looking for a vehicle that matched mine, and I fit the description as far as the driver was wearing a baseball cap. I can't remember now which race he mentioned, but it wasn't white, and I wasn't male. I gave him my driver's license. He then asked to see my green card.
Did I mention that I was born in L.A.? Yes - I am not only a native Californian, but I was born in the City of Angels. And once I opened my mouth, all remaining doubt was banished. Shall we say "Valley" was my native dialect. Oh - my - God.
After lengthy debate - along with threats that I would be arrested due to my inability to prove I WAS A CITIZEN BY BIRTH - he realized that I was serious about filing complaints, going to his superiors, contacting the local news agencies. I was the organizing secretary for a local union, and one of our shops was the Herald Examiner. Hence the reason I drove the truck to LA. It fit in and no one looked twice at it when I was at the Herald, located across the street from the LA Mission.
I was given a warning - for what?!?! - and told that I really should carry something with me proving I was legal, other than my voter registration card. After all, that name didn't look American.
Yeah, back then I was still proud of the fact that I voted regularly. My Dad said that I should carry it in my wallet so I wouldn't forget when I got to the voting booth. He was very proud of the fact that we could vote together. Sorry - got off on a tangent.
Where were we? Ah, yes....
May I ask the multitude - what the hell is an American name?
Think on that a moment....
I've been to Arizona. Overall, I like Arizona. I took a real liking to Tuscon, surprisingly, since I was there in August. But when you take Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Kaibab and Petrified National Forests, Arizona has remarkable beauty. It is also home to 21 tribes, including the Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache. I have visited these reservations and acquired a deep respect for their people and their rich heritage. I have longed to go back there, but now I am torn.
If I were to say, make a call to check on my Mom and resort to speaking Norwegian, will I have to produce my papers. Which papers? My birth certificate - a document that can be forged quite easily, as I understand it. My social security card? That would be easier to forge than a birth certificate. My passport? What if I had never had the means, or desire, to travel out of the country? What if I had been raised poor? What if I was uneducated and worked a low paying job? What need would I have had to get a passport that costs over $100 to acquire?
I just found out that there is a passport card. Ladies and Gentlemen - I do believe this is going to become our new "national ID card". Just wait for it. It's like a credit card - it fits in your wallet! Usable at border crossings!
For someone born within the borders of the United States, what documentation are they supposed to carry? What if someone like my mother, a legal resident alien, happened to be out running errands and had left her green card at home. After all, she's lived here since 1963 and no one has ever asked to see it accept when she is returning to the US from an overseas trip. It punishes legal resident aliens and those born of immigrant parents.
Yes, I want reform. Yes, I think illegal immigration is wrong and a crime. Yes, states have the right to enact laws to combat illegal immigration. This one goes too far and infringes on our liberty. If what happened to me back in the 80's actually happened to me now on a trip to Phoenix, since I wouldn't have "proof" with me, would I be thrown in prison for 6 months? For being a US Citizen and not carry papers? For keeping the name my Norwegian parents gave me instead of changing to a legally acceptable "American" name?
You want to see fascism at work? Divert your eyes from DC people. It is alive and well in Arizona.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I have a reason to blog tonight. I just got off the phone with my dearest, best-est (and for the longest time only) girlfriend. We actually managed a reasonable 2 1/2 hourish conversation. They've been much longer. I have phone bills to prove it! We were both a bit weepy since we heard from a long lost friend today. It brought back a lot of memories, and since we are women after all, we got emotional.
The one thing that has truly sustained me throughout the years have been my friends. Time and distance has made the relationships much more precious. Any time we actually spend in each others company are treasured for their rarity. Not a day goes by that I don't wish they were closer, but that's not the way it can be. I love them. I miss them. I am simply thankful that they haven't given up on me.
You see, the blog is the perfect representation of who I am. When I am troubled, depressed, in a negative funk, I internalize. I become a hermit. I have Kevin and that's about as much as I can handle. My friends get upset - rightfully so - because they want to help. I don't want to burden them, as I have so many times in the past.
The last few years have been some of the toughest of my life. I've questioned who I am. My own worth. My place in the world. My sanity. I really lost the sense of who I was, because too many things happened over a short period of time. And when you don't know who you are, you can't be "yourself" around others.
In the last couple of months, I've found pieces of myself again, though not completely. There's still some fractures that need to mend. I had this conversation about regrets with my nearly lifelong friend, because he knows me in ways that no one else does. He said it for me - I regret chances not taken, risks avoided, missed opportunities.
I haven't made the best choices the last few years, but I did take some risks. I tried something different. But some things changed in my life too, that impacted a few relationships, and it didn't sit well with me. I couldn't be the same person anymore. Some things that I had believed, that kept my world on an even keel, were wrong, were false. I still struggle with it and I still can't talk about it because it will seriously damage one relationship that doesn't need any more turmoil.
I don't mean to be cryptic, but part of this message is for the benefit of one person and I hope they understand why I'm saying this. I had to make a choice and it's one that brings me no joy, but I'm doing it to save someone else from a lot of pain. My hands are tied for now. I am truly sorry.
As I said, the last few years haven't been easy and I wouldn't have gotten through it without those I love - my husband, my family and my long-suffering friends.
So why the "to blog or not to blog"? In reality, I didn't feel free to blog anymore. Besides all the other stuff that I have eluded to, someone from my past, someone I thought was on the other side of world, is less than 10 miles from me. It really freaked me out, because this person had brought me so much grief and was the reason I moved to Northern California. For a time, all peace in my life was gone. But if I choose to be a victim, than I've lost again. I won't be victim anymore.
So, a-blogging I will go.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:
by Jason Beaubien
NPR - January 25, 2010
For me the hardest part is the living.
There have been so many dead here, corpses are so common both on the street and oozing out of the wreckage, that it's the living who haunt me.
The old man crumpled at the curb calling out faintly, "Mon blanc! Mon blanc!" and asking for water.
The crush wounds. The children who've lost or are about to lose an arm, a leg or both.
The bodies laid out at night like cordwood on the street. Lines of people wrapped in sheets perpendicular to the curb, sleeping on the pavement because either their houses are gone or they're too terrified to go inside.
In the first days after the quake, the women wailing into the night.
Later, the dogs that survive and howl.
A young woman, alone down at the port. She sits on a bag with all of her belongings, waiting to catch a boat out. She lists the members of her family who died: mother, father, sister, cousin.
"It's just me now," she says, 22 years old and alone.
Another woman says, "There isn't a single family in Haiti that isn't crying right now."
She's trying to dig her brother-in-law's body out of a pile of debris.
There's the fear of being inside. Walking with my translator through her old neighborhood, her nervousness is palpable that any teetering building might crash down on us at any moment. An aftershock shakes the rubble under our feet. She runs for solid ground.
What is it like to watch your entire city crumble around you? Walls, roofs meant to protect you become projectiles, blunt instruments and traps. How do you ever go back inside?
A huge challenge lies ahead just to feed and house the people of Haiti in the coming weeks. Then, block after city block needs to be bulldozed. But for Haiti to be reborn, and to avoid becoming a wasteland kept alive on international aid, the living need to heal — they need to dream of a new country and move forward. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio
To learn more about the NPR iPhone app, go to http://iphone.npr.org/recommendnprnews
Sent from my iPhone
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I visited the Red Cross site today, and the suffering in Haiti is something that is hard to grasp. Then I came across this article:
It’s about Palestine and the aftermath of the the three-week “war” that started in December 2008. Let us hope that the Haitian government will finally do something to improve the lives for their citizens just as we hope that the Israeli’s allow humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza and the West Bank. Those of us that go home to a warm meal and a bed with fresh linen know nothing of the suffering that far too many deal with on a daily basis.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Now that my business is done, time to explore.
It's been awhile since I went to the City, the Financial District to be exact. Probably a year or more. So, as I'm listening to Queen on the iPhone and trying to read a technical manual, I start noticing things.
As we're passing through West Oakland, and a train passes going the other way, with the cranes and containers and rail yards, I could just as easily be in an East Coast city. There is probably someone back East looking out the window on their train and thinking something similar and that just seems weird.
There is a young woman across from me that is studying the ends of her hair and constantly fiddling with her earbuds.
The guy directly in front of me is on his iPhone and finds something on it hella funny. His fingers are moving much faster than mine.
The older gentleman is trying desperately to stay awake. No luck. Same goes for about 3 other people within my line of site.
My station is coming up. Better go.