Wednesday, January 30, 2008

nicole and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

So about that whole inner ear/dizziness thing from last weekend resoving itself? Yeah, not so much. What happened instead was that I ended up sitting in my doctor's office in tears today, clutching the side of my face and apologizing profusely for looking like such an Edvard Munch painting.

This is not like me. Normally, I take pride in the stoicism I am able to display in the face of discomfort (oh, shush, all you people who know me). But, oh the humanity! I seriously haven't been in this much pain since bearing my first child (who was nearly ten pounds and came out with his fist clenched next to his face) without any anesthesia. Oh, there was that little teensy shot of some completely worthless liquid the nurse added to my IV "just to take the edge off," since it was by then too late for me to get an epidural. (I just about took the edge off her when she said that, let me tell you.) But I pretty much birthed the boy sober, intent on the whole "natural childbirth" idea. It's a lovely thought - really, it is. Still, when the pregnancy test came back positive the next time around I called my OB and had her write "EPIDURAL REQUIRED" on the top, bottom and both sides of my chart. In capital letters, red ink and much underlining. Also, exclamation points. And someday I may tell you about my not-so-secret desire to run away with the Anesthesiologist (aka Dr. Feelgood) the day my daughter was born.

ANYway. It probably didn't help my facial/sinus/ear/jaw situation that I went ahead and kept this morning's dentist appointment, which I scheduled weeks ago. But do you know how long you have to wait to get in with a good dentist in this town? So, I had a crown done. No biggee. Just, you know, about A SOLID HOUR of having my jaws cranked open so Dr. Death could hone his drilling skills. (Actually, he was extremely gentle, but that doesn't make for nearly as interesting a story now, does it?) Since the crown was being done on the non-painful side of my face, I've spent the last couple of days figuring it would all work out fine and that I should stop being such pansy and just cowgirl up. So, that's what I did.
Problem was, the pain was so intense by the time I left the dentist's office that I actually reverted to Lamaze breathing to get through it. Seriously, it was like labor pains in my face. Fortunately, I'd called my doc first thing this morning and made an appointment to see him after the crown was done. Which brings us to the face clutching and the apologetic sobbing.

"You should never apologize for being in pain!" he exhorted me. And he was so sweet about it that it made me cry that much harder. He checked out my ear and declared that, yup, it looked ooky in there. Then he sent me on my way with prescriptions for pain-relieving ear drops, antibiotics and Vicodin. Yup, Vicodin, aka "party in a bottle." I'm pretty sure the last time I took Vicodin was about fifteen years ago after having my wisdom teeth out. I felt so good so immediately on that stuff that I decided it would be a Really Great Idea! to get on my bike and go for a long, strenuous ride. Needless to say, the next morning I looked like something the cat dragged in, ate and then threw up on the carpet.
So, here's to hoping this thing clears up before I decide to go, I don't know, shoe a couple horses or chop a cord of wood.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary

Another snow day for our little school district, and winter has now officially gotten to the point where I'm almost convinced that the rest of my life will consist of the sisyphean task of slogging through thigh-high snow drifts (with plenty of slurpie-like water underneath) to a) grab several flakes of hay; b) slog to the pasture to throw those flakes; c) return to the hay bales and grab more flakes; d) rinse; e) repeat ad nauseum.

Since the kids have been out of school since last Friday, my house now looks like a combination daycare/zoo gone horribly wrong. I wish I had my trusty Nikon to show you the proof of these things, but it's in for its yearly cleaning.

Onward! Today is the official grassroots blogging day for The Liar's Diary, which is being released in paperback.

If you haven't yet read the story behind this effort, go check out Susan Henderson's Litpark. Basically, Patry Francis worked really hard to write a novel and get it published (as any serious writer worth his or her salt does). Then she found out she had cancer. Because this sort of thing will tend to put a little ding in one's promotional plans, the writing community at large is coming together to promote the paperback version of the book for Patry. I haven't read TLD yet, but as soon as I can get out of the driveway I'll be heading to Barnes and Noble. Of course, it can also be ordered on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's and straight from Penguin (where you can apparently save 15%).
Lord knows, working at a writing career can be grueling enough without adding on the burden of a life-threatening illness. If a simple post on my little blog can help sell even one book for Patry, then I consider that typing time well spent.

Monday, January 28, 2008

more something than a wet hen

I'm glad our chickens are still alive this morning, considering the ice that blew sideways and almost non-stop last night. They have a nice, sturdy hen house, but it couldn't have been too warm in there. For some reason, those hens strike me as the most delicate creatures here at Casa Brackett, but maybe that's not the case. They do have built-in down jackets, after all, and they have survived some fairly dramatic events in their not-quite-one year of life.

I sat up in the middle of the night (awakened by the tic-tic-tic of ice on the windows, no doubt) and realized the room was swimming. I don't feel sick, but there's some inner-ear thing going on, messing with my equilibrium. When I finally got to sleep again, I dreamed of boogie boarding, which is one of my all-time favorite things to do (except when a rogue wave overtakes me, turns me upside-down and scrapes my face on the bottom of the ocean/fills my breathing apparatus (apparati?) up with salt water, which happened once at Santa Monica many years ago). Other than that, body surfing is the best. Unfortunately, in my dream, I was lacking a board and didn't have much time to find one since the sun was going down. Sounds a little ominous.

The kids have yet another snow day today, which means they might not actually get a summer vacation in 2008 considering all the snow days we're going to have to make up at the end of the school year. No matter. Summer is a completely abstract concept at this point anyway.

Let's see...what other random tidbit might I blog about today? Oh, the husband and I watched "We Were Soldiers" last night. He'd seen it, I hadn't. Mel Gibson's Texas accent aside, it was a good movie as far as Vietnam flicks go, but talk about a buzz kill. (Then again, I'm not sure most Vietnam flicks are intended to make a person feel all warm and squooshy inside). All I know is this: The man owes me a chick flick evening BIG time.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Here's something

to make you wish I hadn't been able to get my computer to start this morning.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

when the centre cannot hold

Don't know why I'm moved to type this post this morning. I'm not in crisis (though any number of family and friends could attest to propping me up during the crisis moments (months?) of 2007). So, it's not a mood thing. In fact, despite the gloomy snowstorm that moved in during the night, I'm feeling downright chipper and productive this morning. Whatevs. Here's a Yeats poem:

"The Second Coming"

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Still with me? Reaching for the Prozac yet? Did you count the number of book titles that came straight from that poem? Did you wonder if C.S. Lewis came up with the title "Mere Christianity" in response to Yeats' "Mere anarchy" line? Did you think of Napoleon Dynamite's liger when you got to the part about the creature in the desert? I did.

Okay, then. Here's the part where I channel Dr. Phil:

What do you do (or what have you done in the past) when Things Fall Apart? Here's a (very partial) list of my typical reactions - past and present, good and bad.

clean the house
prepare the meal
write the book
kiss the husband
call the friend
eat the chocolate
drink the wine (one glass, maybe two)
read the Word (today's verse: "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14 KJV)

stare at the mess
reach for the canned soup
despair about the muse
avoid the husband
screen the calls
eat the chocolate
drink the wine (three glasses, maybe four)
read (today's headline: "Britney Pissed: Get the Eff Out of my Way!!!")

Now it's your turn. Comment anonymously, if you must, but let's be bold, People. You never know who might find comfort in solidarity.

Notes on the poem, which I got from Printings: The Dial (Chicago), November 1920; The Nation (London), 6 November 1920; Michael Robartes and the Dancer (Dundrum: Cuala, 1921); Later Poems (London: Macmillan, 1922; 1924; 1926; 1931).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

lady of the flies

Seems I have been tagged to participate in one of those meme things. How is that word pronounced, anyway? In my head it sounds like "memm," but then I think maybe it's "meem," or maybe even "Me! Me!" (as in: Here's a little interesting (or not) factoid about Me!).
So, I have studiously avoided participating in these things. I don't know why. I think I might be meme crabby. Or maybe meme frigid. But I will do this one because Maiden asked me to, and I like her. She has a new blog, by the way. Go check it out! Anyway, here's the challenge:

Instructions for this meme:
Write your tip(s) with a link to who sent the meme to you, along with the instructions. They are better if they are your own discovery, or not widely known. Still, tips that make a difference to you are all good, post your tips in your blog and after your tips, you will want to tag some friends. (No, I won't, unless a massage is involved. Did that come out wrong? I think maybe it did. ANYway.)

It seems the "tips" in question should have something to do with housecleaning, which is not my strong point, but okay. Let's see....a household cleaning tip...Oh! I have one! During the worst of the fly season (late summer/early fall) in the mornings when the flies are still sleepy and crowded on the windows I use the vacuum cleaner attachment to vacuum them up. How gross is that?? Works like a charm, though, and I get a bit more maniacal about it as the season wears on.*Death! Death to the flies! Bwahahahahahah!!!!!!*

And lest you think that I live in a trash heap or something, I don't. It's just that we have horses on the property - also seasonal cattle on the many, leased Forest Service acres surrounding us. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to keep those nasties outside where they belong. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

to do:

1) Join in the fray for a fellow writer (read to the bottom of the post)

Got a blog, a site, etc? Why not jump in on the 29th, too?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

oh, she's good

I already can't, for the life of me, recall the particular web-surfing trail that landed me at Cheryl Klein's website and blog. Glad I found her, though. This article/outline/speech is just one of the many gems I've come across via a casual browse through her website archives. Good, nutritious stuff for writerly types.

Here's a snippet of the talk, wherein she writes about falling in love with a book:

"Last year I had a mad passionate affair with an adult novel called The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger—I read it on my lunch breaks, I rushed home from work to be with it, and once we stayed in bed together all weekend."

It made me think of the last book that made me feel this way (Water for Elephants), and why it is that the capricious muse of magical storytelling seems to alight on one author and not another.

What's the last book that either made you stay in bed all weekend or made you wish you could (bearing in mind, of course, that this is a family-friendly blog - lol)?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

happy birthday to a four-legged once-in-a-lifetime

Today I want to write a very long post about a very special someone who was born twenty-two years ago:

I first met Zzari (Ben Rabba x Ariezad) when I was a sophomore at UC Santa Cruz. In truth I had no business looking for a horse to buy, since I was a starving college student (well, okay, not exactly starving. I gained the freshman 15 just like anyone else who routinely over-indulged in the all-you-can-eat dining hall that first year away from home. The vat of Cap'n Crunch was particularly inspiring). But I digress.

At the time I was lucky enough to be working at a local dude ranch, giving group riding lessons to up to 40 students a week using the string of trail horses and ponies that belonged to a surgeon/Western trainer who had decided that I was qualified to do such a thing. Paul's favorite mare was a young chestnut Arabian named Missy, one of the only horses allowed to bunk in the barn, rather than out in a paddock like the rest of the string. I'd spent my share of time admiring Arabians as a kid, since some of the rich-kid riders in my neighborhood rode them, but I'd always figured they were out of my league as a breed.

For one thing, Arabians were exorbitantly expensive in the early 80's, when investors were able to use their herds of "living art" as nifty tax shelters. Those were (allegedly) the days of cocaine-laced barn parties, and of big-haired trainers taking in huge sums to show the million-dollar horses at Scottsdale, and Nationals, and the Egyptian Event. Then came Reagan's tax laws, and before you could say "Drastically de-valued investment" there was a glut of clearance-priced purebreds on the market (and in the slaughterhouses) - "living art" that came with much expense and little financial return. At least, that's my understanding of the whole mess. I was in high school during the heyday of the breed, mostly unaware of the goings-on in the industry (except for occasional word of one superstar stallion who lived just miles away from me - Bey Shah). Also, I'd fractured my arm badly coming off my first horse (who was not at all to blame) just before entering high school, so, in truth, I had let myself be spooked away from horses for about a four-year stretch.

By the time I turned 19, however, I was ready to dive back into the world of horse ownership. People told me I was crazy to buy a horse while still in college, and they may have been right. They told me I was sacrificing way too much in the way of time and convenience when I should have been having the time of my life. Well meaning, I suppose, but in my heart I knew that the time of my life could only be had on horseback. I'd been one of those grade school kids who was always scheming up ways to buy a horse, always begging my parents to please fill in the swimming pool so we could keep one in the back yard. I'd ridden my first horse (an old Appy mare that I'm pretty sure my parents bought for my thirteenth birthday for $100) barefoot, bareback and helmet-less through the hills north of San Francisco, disappearing for hours on end before riding her to our house and letting her graze in the yard while I alternately swam in the pool and sunbathed on her back.

But, again, I digress.

I didn't know exactly what I wanted in a horse in 1989. I think I called a Morgan breeding farm first. There was also an ill-fated dream to own a local gelding who was sold out from under me when I was out of town. One of the things I liked best about that horse was that he was being sold cheap - and for good reason, I later learned: He was a rank little beastie who eventually threw a girl against a fence post, tearing open her chest.

By the time I called a farm out in Watsonville from my dorm room, I was starting to get antsy. The owner of the place said she had a three-year-old gelding who sounded like he might be what I was looking for. He was green, she said, but as gentle as they come, and with a fondness for standing on her front porch and looking through the windows. Basically, he knew how to longe, and that was about it.

I remember driving out to the farm a few days later. It was a huge, gorgeous place set into the green hills of some of the most fertile agricultural land on earth - Steinbeck country. There were white fences everywhere, massive pastures, and an enormous red barn that opened up into an arena full of nice sand footing and plenty of jumps. The owner of the place, Jill, led me out to one of the big front pastures, where some horses were grazing. She pointed to one of the chestnuts.

"What's his name again?" I asked her.

"Zzari." Then she pointed to an ancient horse standing near Zzari. "That's his grand dam, Rollicka," Jill said. "She needs a home, too, if you're interested." At the time I didn't realize that I was looking at one of the most historically treasured mares in the country. She was a grand old gal of thirty, kind-eyed and sway-backed from her years as a mama (and also, unfortunately, from some time spent neglected by previous owners, which just goes to show that no horse is immune from hard times - even the national treasures).

I asked Jill if I could just sit in the pasture and watch the horses for a while, and she told me I could. I must have spent the entire afternoon out there, thinking, watching and figuring how I could possibly make this work. After a few hours we brought Zzari to the wash rack so I could spend some time grooming him. Then Jill turned him out in the arena with one of his brothers, so I could see him move. We had to work a bit to get Zzari moving, since he was clearly a non-stereotypical, mellow Arabian. She was still trying to sell him to me at that point, but what she didn't know what that she'd had me at hello. I was a goner for the somewhat scrawny, barely-three-year-old gelding the moment I'd laid eyes on him. Long story short: She told me his price, which was way out of my range. But, she was willing to take payments (horse people usually are), so I spent the next several months giving as many riding lessons at Paul's place as I could to pay him off.

Paul helped me start Zzari under saddle later that year, scoffing at the flat-seat English saddle I insisted on using: "Why don't you take that pressure bandage off the horse and put a real saddle on?" Most of Zzari's early training happened on the loamy trails of the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can ride under redwoods and massive old oak trees, heavily hung with great swaths of Spanish moss. I taught him to walk right up to whatever was spooking him and investigate. In return, he taught me to be patient when it came to crossing wooden bridges over rushing creeks, and to read his body language - from his breathing, to the muscles of his back, to the position of his ears. While I'd put in lots of riding hours on my first horse, I'd never trained a youngster. Zzari and I learned the ropes together.

We moved around to a few different boarding facilities in the next couple of years and so got to try new things, like poker rides, parades and polo practice. Zzari's trail skills increased to the point where I decided to enter him in a limited-distance (25 mile) endurance race when he came of age according to AERC rules. I had to hire someone to haul us to that first ride in the San Jose foothills, and I slept in an abandoned chicken coop at base camp with Zzari tied outside, watching me all night. We did a few more LD rides after that and then gradually moved on to the 50-mile races. We completed several more endurance races in subsequent years - in California, Utah and Arizona (where, at one ride, we were the first locals to cross the finish line and so won a membership to join the Flagstaff hunt club. Those fox hunters are maniacs, let me tell you. But they have some serious fun).

(Scottsdale All-Arabian Show, Hunter Pleasure Open)

Meanwhile, Zzari and I were continuing our education in dressage, which had first captivated me when I was nine and took riding lessons at a snooty private school stable. It's hard work, dressage, requiring the full use of a rider's mind as well as her body. After graduating from UCSC, I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I apprenticed with a Grand Prix trainer who had competed with the US Olympic team and had, more importantly, apprenticed with Alois Podhajsky, of the Spanish Riding School/Miracle of the White Stallions fame. Richard had some fantabulous Hanoverians, but he'd also purchased a few young Arabian geldings which he planned to use for endurance. He needed someone with a bit of racing knowledge to help train them in exchange for hours spent on one of his massive schoolmasters. Around that time Zzari and I competed in our first NATRC ride, a sport which was fun in places, but which ultimately proved too retentive for my tastes. That was the year I dressed up as the Headless Horseman for Halloween and rode Zzari throughout the neighborhood (called Sleepy Hollow). Big hit, especially since the pumpkin container I was carrying was filled with candy for the gawkers.

When it came time to move to Arizona for graduate school, Zzari came with me (natch). I cover that move in a bit more detail here. In Arizona I continued to pay my rent by training horses and riders in Flagstaff, which proved to be a fertile source of students - from the Pony Club to the Forest Service to private horse owners and horseless riders who learned astride Zzari. I also managed to find places to rent where I could keep Zzari with me, rather than boarding him out.

We did some parades, showed at some of the class A shows (mainly Hunter Pleasure and Show Hack), and explored the mountain trails around Flagstaff together, especially enjoying some free-wheeling cross-country jumping over natural obstacles whenever we could.

I continued to seek out as many dressage clinics as I could, and even took a hair-raising clinic with the trainer of the New Zealand Olympic Eventing team. He was less than amused with my little Ay-rab crammed into the line-up with all those ginormous Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods - he even went so far as to call poor Zzari chicken-hearted (which came out as "cheeken-hatted"). But we showed that Kiwi. Yes, we did:

It was around that same time that Zzari got a chance to use a talent I had noticed in him several years earlier when we were still living in Santa Cruz. I'd been introduced to the girlfriend of a fellow creative writing student, and when she told me how much she loved horses I invited her out to the stables. What made that visit unique was the fact that this girl had, the year before, been involved in a nearly-fatal car accident which left her with severe spinal injuries, including the near-loss of her voice and the near-constant use of a therapeutic brace. I could tell she was verging on being overwhelmed when I led Zzari out of his stall and over to the big polo arena. But when I asked her if she wanted to sit on him and when she summoned the courage to do it - that's when I first saw Zzari's gift. Because when my friend carefully climbed up onto Zzari's back - scary neck brace and all - and then eventually took a breath and leaned forward so she could wrap her arms around Zzari's neck, I noticed that he was standing as composed and still as a statue. There was no doubt in my mind at that moment that my still-young gelding knew exactly what was going on, that he realized how delicate the situation (and my friend) were. When she sat back up I saw tears streaming down her face.

In Flagstaff, Zzari got to express that gift in earnest when he became the star mount at a local therapeutic riding program that, sadly, is now non-existent. He packed everyone from mentally-challenged little kids who were initially terrified at the very idea of standing near a horse, much less riding one to severely physically disabled adults who lacked muscle control and therefore needed a rock-steady horse who would not be fazed by sudden violent movement. Time and again I found myself having to convince people that, yes, he's an Arabian. Yes, he's purebred (Do you want to see his papers?). No, not all Arabians are hotheads.

After I got married (Zzari was, of course, instrumental in me meeting my horseshoer husband) and we bred a few horses, Zzari was the one I'd use to pony the youngsters, which basically meant that I'd ride him while leading a colt or filly alongside via a lead rope and halter. In this way, Zzari showed the next generation the ropes of being out and about on the trails and roads where there were all sorts of chances to overcome their spookiness.

(Cinder Hills 50-Mile Endurance Ride)

Today, Zzari shares the pasture at our place with our two other senior geldings (one of whom just turned 27 this week). He's still a fantastic lesson horse, and he's still the one I can hop on and head out on the trails with when life gets too intense. He also saw both kids safely through their leadline classes when each of them was four years old. This year I'm co-leading our local 4-H horse club, and some of the kids don't have horses and will need to borrow a well-trained old schoolmaster. Do I sense more adventure in Zzari's near future when the snow melts and the days get longer and more ridable? I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

Perhaps this whole long and rambling blog post can best be summed up by something I wrote years ago for The Crabbet Influence in Arabians Today. They were compiling a special stallion issue honoring the legendary Ben Rabba, and asked readers to send in stories of their Ben Rabba get and grandget. Here's part of the closing paragraph of my story, which they published along with a cute shot of me and Zzari competing in Hunter Pleasure:

"The transformation in riders who previously were unable to find flexibility or coordination because of multiple sclerosis, or who could not tolerate physical stimulation because of autism, is truly amazing to watch. More than one parent has told me what a miracle Zzari has been in the lives of their children, so I know it's not simple barn blindness that leads me to think he is a particularly amazing horse. When asked if he's for sale, I just smile and say, "Get in line, and expect a long wait." (Apparently, this is a common answer among us Ben Rabba fans, who wouldn't trade our once-in-a-lifetime horses for the world.) I hope to share my life with Zzari for many years to come, and I thank God every day for blessing me with such a treasure."

Okay, I had better stop typing, because I'm getting a little verklempt now.

Happy 22nd Birthday, Zzari - aka ZuZu, Mr. Zzar, Zzariboo - aka my once-in-a-lifetime friend.

'Nuff said.


While shopping for my youngest nephew's gifts last month I came across what I knew would be a total Christmas coup: Moon Sand. My kids LOVE this stuff, especially my daughter, who will sit at her grandma's table for hours creating all the cool stuff that can be created with this grainy, colorful, super-tactile stuff.
When my nephew opened the package, he was clearly overjoyed. "Moon Sand!" he shrieked. "I've seen this on a commercial!" Before leaving their house I got busy helping him set up the sand and all the cool accessories (molds, play mat, sand scraper tools) at his parents' kitchen table, which is always neat and shiny, since my brother and sister-in-law shall I put this? Completely OCD when it comes to keeping their house clean. (I'm just jealous, of course.) All the kids immediately jumped into the Moon Sand fray - building, creating, scattering. Anyone could see that it was a very enriching experience for all involved.
The next day I stopped by their house and noticed that the kitchen table was once again perfectly clean. I sat at the counter to chat with my SIL and was shocked when she plopped the bag of Moon Sand down in front of me and let me know in no uncertain terms that she wished for my armpits to be infested with the fleas of a thousand yaks (or something like that - I can't remember her actual words). Apparently, my brother, who'd spent no small amount of time at the Moon Sand mess with the hand vac, was none too pleased with me, either.
"You know," my SIL said. "I asked your daughter if she played with her Moon Sand at your house or at her grandma's, and I could tell that she was nervous about giving me the right answer." Apparently, when my daughter finally did answer her obviously-on-the-edge Auntie, she said (in a very small voice), " my Grandma's."
It suddenly seemed a bit cooler in that tidy kitchen. So, okay. Moon Sand: Big hit with the kids; not so much with the parents (who I was convinced were over-reacting).
But here's the thing. When I took my kids to target to redeem their Christmas gift cards earlier this week, my daughter cheerfully picked out a pet shop Moon Sand kit. Back at home I helped her set it up at the kitchen table - play mat, little animal molds, sand scraper tools, the works. It wasn't until she had finished playing and disappeared into her room, however, that I walked back into the kitchen, only to feel my sister-in-law's delighted smile from 800 miles away. There was Moon Sand EVERYWHERE. Not only was the stuff scattered across the kitchen table, but it was all over the floor and all places in between - including, but not limited to, the joints of the chairs and those little spaces where the table-extender leaf thing meets with the table.
"#%$#@* Moon Sand," I heard myself grumble as I hauled out the vacuum cleaner and got to work cleaning up the disaster area.
You know what they say about payback? Well, they're right.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

daily glass of whine

Where Nicole Lives, AZ
ClearWind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 75%
Today40° 15°

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

new year's self-portrait

(I blame the crow's feet on you, 2007.)