Showing posts from May, 2009

My Favorite Illustrator

Last year at SpoCon, a science-fiction/fantasy convention held in beautiful Spokane, we met the most wonderful illustrator. His name is Shannon Potratz. Below is the sketches he did of myself, Ari C'rona and Deunan Shiruba (my fellow Jedi). Aren't they wonderful? Shannon costumes as a Tusken Raider, and does an excellent job of it, too.

Hendel D'bu

Ari C'rona

Deunan Shiruba

And here is Shannon...

With the incredible Spokane Star Wars gang (along with author Timothy Zahn); Shannon right by me in this photo.

Shannon and Chewie...

...and lastly, in his awesome Tusken costume...

Click here to see more of Shannon's fabulous artwork.

Photo Journal of Shavuot 2009

Just a few shots from my favorite festival of the year, Shavuot. Three shots of mine and four of Lisa' of which is a rare photo of me singing. *smile* (Thank you, Padawan - I love you!)

Let the Sparring begin...

In preparation for our first parade, Padawan and I spent some time sparring in the front yard...what fun! With our personal photographer close at hand, we recorded some of our best hits...




We will be marching in the Portland Starlight Parade this coming Saturday evening.



audio-phile,noun: a devotee of high-fidelity sound reproduction, as from recordings.

I am definitely an audiophile. I have heard that your forties is the time of self-awareness and acceptance. I always knew I loved music, but it is only recently that I have acknowledged myself as an audiophile.

I can't drive without music. I can't carve without music (OK, sometimes a Star Wars movie, but mostly music!). I think, on a regular basis, that my life needs a fact, everyone's life needs a soundtrack. Is John Williams available?

I am always on the hunt for new music, music that will stir emotions or mimick what I am feeling at any one time. I mix my own CDs (doesn't everyone?) and have them for specific occassions. I have special mixes for festivals, when I'm feeling melancholy, for driving & road trippin', even mixes for when I'm feeling irritated or am fed up with life. When we went on the big road trip last spring, I made up two CDs w…

Postcards from the Olympic Peninsula

Wish you were here!

If you have plans to visit the Olympic Peninsula, here is a little sneak peek...

Postcards from the Olympic Peninsula

We had so much fun driving the loop. Yes, it took all day, and no, we didn't stop at Hurricane Ridge (but we will next time!) The drive along the south side of Hood Canal was stunning and wonderful. Lake Crescent was the most beautiful turquoise-blue I have ever seen and the wildlife was easily photographed. We saw two lighthouses, the New Dungeness Light and the Destruction Island Lighthouse. Unfortunately, you couldn't get close enough for a good pic of either. We stopped in Dungeness, but alas, no crab restaurants, I'm afraid. *smile*

I'd never been to Ruby Beach, (and Netanya was right), it is completely breathtaking. And, we even found a wonderful little restaurant in Hoquiam to end the journey - how pleasant!

We fully enjoyed the PNW mother would be pleased.

I wanna Comment Box!

Well, I suppose that could be considered a 'comment box', but that's not really what I had in mind!

I have spent several hours trying to put a space on my carving blog where folks can put a comment, a general thought or opinion; usually called a comment box or shout box. ::sigh:: Just can't seem to make it happen, however. I'm a little concerned about all the 'sites' I've signed up for, only to discover it wasn't what I wanted. I just want a simple comment box that scrolls down as comments are added, and that everyone can see. How hard can that be? I suppose if I were a code whiz, I could create one...but, unfortunately, I'm not.

I've played around with guestbooks, as well...but they don't seem to fit the bill, either. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong (actually, the possibility is very good!).


If you have any ideas or a solution for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Did someone say 'cheaper'?

OK, so we are all feelin' the pinch; gas prices are going back up, food prices are rising faster than I can keep track and the boys need new shoes...cha-ching!

There are a lot of ways to save money, I suppose. I think I need some reminding. I don't waste money, or spend frivolously, but it would seem that we need to 'trim the fat' a little more. One of the things we are doing is shopping for food at WalMart, as opposed to our regular grocery stores, Fred Meyer and Safeway. A friend told me that she wouldn't be able to feed her family if it weren't for WalMart, and I scoffed at the thought. "Could it really be that much cheaper?" I asked.

The answer is a resounding YES! We, the kids and I, were dumbfounded at the savings on every item that we put in our cart as we strolled down each aisle in our new local WalMart. I think, that first shopping trip, we must have saved close to $50 (for our weekly shopping) over what we would have spent for the s…

What's in a name?

My best friends Facebook account got deleted yesterday. It was strange and kinda startling, I have to say. It was a mystery until my dear sister called me to clear up the confusion (it's nice to know that someone still reads the newspaper!).

Mr. Jon Swift apparently had the same problem. Here's his experience:
"According to Facebook, I am a fake, a charlatan, a nonperson and all of my more than 200 Facebook friends are the victims of a cruel hoax. My crime? Violating Facebook's Terms of Service by not using my "real name." What's next?", Jon Swift wrote on his blog which is hosted by Google's Blogger.

After sending a message to the Facebook employees, Jon received an answer from a representative who informed him that his account infringed the Terms of Use. "Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we w…

Photo-of-the-Day: 5 Cent Grocery

I'm always fascinated by old buildings, especially abandoned ones. You can hear the ghosts, if you stop and listen that is. We stumbled upon this one the day we drove out to Poulsbo.

The faded sign said 'Waals 5 cent Grocery'...imagine that. I accidentally got Speeder in this shot, and I kinda like the unexpectedness of it.

As I got nearer to the building, ignoring the No Trespassing sign (as usual), I could smell the mustiness of the years. I wonder who was the last one to lock up, and did they know they were the last? Did they pause to reminisce the past?


We have been to the little town of Poulsbo before, a town rich with history.
Poulsbo's strong Norwegian heritage began over 100 years ago in the late 1880's. Jorgen Eliason is credited with founding Poulsbo. Jorgen, his sister Rakel and his 6 year old son E.J. came to Poulsbo from Fordefjord, Norway, by way of Michigan in 1883. A month after Jorgen's arrival, Ivar B. Moe with his wife and three sons arrived from Paulsbo, Norway, via Minnesota. They settled at the head of the bay to develop a farm on land that has since become Poulsbo Village Shopping Center. Because of it's majestic snow-peaked mountains and fjords, Poulsbo was soon settled by many more Norwegian and Scandinavian immigrants who likened the landscape to their beautiful Norway.

This past weekend, they held a street fair called VikingFest. Interested in costuming and generally looking for something to do on a sunny Sunday, we headed out that direction to see what there was to see. The street fair was smal…

Angels & Demons, a review

So, we just got back from viewing the new movie starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor, Angels & Demons (directed by Ron Howard).

I loved it! I did not have the occasion to see Davinci Code, however when I saw that Ewan McGregor was in this sequel, I thought I could probably spring for a ticket. *smile*

Here is the synopsis:
It revolves around the quest of fictional Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon to uncover the mysteries of a secret society called the Illuminati and to unravel a plot to annihilate Vatican City using destructive antimatter. The book uses the idea of a historical conflict between science and religion, particularly that between the Illuminati and the Roman Catholic Church.

The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the protagonist of Brown's subsequent 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code. It also shares many stylistic elements with its sequel, such as conspiracies of secret societies, a single-day time frame, and the Catholic Church. Anci…

A Walk in a Wetland

Theler Wetlands is a spectacular place in any weather, but especially so in the glorious sunshine.

To see the album in Fotki, click the link below:

A Walk in a Wetland

A Wet Photo-of-the-Day

Rain, rain, go away...come again some other day!

Like maybe four months from now!

This Jedi reviews Star Trek

My dear friend and I went to see this new installment of the Star Trek universe last night...$10 to get in! I can't believe it...sheesh! Despite the sticker shock, we completely and thoroughly enjoyed the ride!

We laughed at so many of the nods toward the original characters; very well done, not cheesy at all. The costumes were fabulous, the special effects were even better and the actors just nailed it. Being someone who has watched Star Trek for years, but not truly considered a 'trekkie', I didn't see any continuity issues; the movie seemed to follow all the rules, as it were.

I hated the villian, but that's all good, right? And I enjoyed loving and hating Kirk for his cockiness, but that's the way it should be, as well! Spock, who is my favorite Star Trek character (always has been), was absolutely brilliant. Fascinating.

It would be highly entertaining to see this movie in IMAX, as I have heard it is showing in IMAX all over the country. Wonder how mu…

and they continue to grow...

The kids and I have always had 'adventures'. From the time Morgan was born, I never hesitated to pack her, and the boys as they arrived, in the vehicle and off we'd go. When they'd ask where we were going, I'd always say, "oh, an adventure..."

I am going through a time of missing them...missing them as younger kiddos. When they were still pretty small, we would just pack a lunch, the portable potty seat in the back, and head for parks. We would stop at a park that looked fun, a great playground was a must, and play for a bit. When I would get bored, we would get back in the vehicle and head down the road to another park. Sometimes we would visit four to five parks in an afternoon. Needless to say, we all have a great time!

As they got a little older, and we didn't need the potty seat anymore, we moved into letterboxing. Kind of the same concept, except that their mother had turned into a maniac for letterboxes! We scoured the PNW, clues in hand…

A New Blog

Well, I finally caved and have created another blog. This new blog will feature my carvings, and perhaps some other creations that come out of my craftroom.

My H'Art in Rubber

Let me know what you think!

A lesson in reality.

*another funny taken from another website...must read for all husbands, to be sure!*

I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, 'If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?'

'No, I had to stop drinking years ago', the homeless woman told me.

'Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?' I asked..

'No, I don't waste time shopping,' the homeless woman said. 'I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.'

'Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?' I asked.

'Are you NUTS!' replied the homeless woman. I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!'

'Well, I said, 'I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.'

The homeless Woman was…

A Testimony

A number of years ago, when I was actively pursuing postal letterboxes, I created a postal letterbox themed upon a rather dramatic event that took place in our family. When my youngest son Taylor, was 18 months old, he had a drowning accident in our front yard. Unfortunately, the postal letterbox succumbed to a blackhole, never to be seen again. However, I saved the testimony I used in this postal letterbox on my computer.

I am currently in the process of meditating on attachment, and all that entails. Whenever I consider things this weighty, I have to first and foremost cast my eyes toward myself in stark honesty. My thoughts immediately go to this day and I have to ask myself the hardest questions of all: what if things had not turned out so favorably? Am I so attached to my children that I would be unable to fulfill my purpose? Would I be so distraught with grief and loss as to not be able to breathe? How long would it take for me to get outside of my pain in ord…

A Message from Mom

The birds have moved back in.

We have a family of, I'm assuming, barn swallows that have a lovely little nest above our front door. L'dor v'dor, I suppose...every year they come and lay their eggs and we get the thrill of watching them go about their parental business. And it's big news (for me, anyway) when the little baby heads begin to peek out over the top of the carefully constructed nest. I don't have to tell you how cute those little peepers are stretching their necks out, mouths wide open, waiting for something yummy to eat.

As I ventured out to capture the lilacs before they disappear for another year, my swallow friends scolded me for intruding their space. They will get used to us coming in and out; they always do. The smell in the air was so fresh, with a hint of flowers and new green leaves. The sun is shining, the dew is sparkling on the freshly cut lawn and everything is right with the world. Well, OK, that may be taking things a bit far, but th…


Our Jedi protector on the Biggest Field Trip Ever; this may not be the best pic of the hundreds of photos I took, but it is a special one. He rode on the dashboard of our rental all the way. This pic was taken at our first stop in Idaho (yes, the box was there!)

It was one year ago today we started our journey across the country.

May it not be once-in-a-lifetime.

*insert pinball machine sounds here*

art by Charles Bell

The space of time that started with the planning of Passover to now has been quite a ride. It seems like we've been bouncing, ricocheting back and forth like a pinball from one event to another, not really recovering from each at all. Perhaps I'm just getting old and can't deal with the behind the scene emotions anymore. I always have prided myself at being able to handle stress well, even performing best while under stress and time restraints...maybe I've used it up!

In an effort to capture fleeting thoughts and give them someplace to live (other than in my cluttered mind), I'll record them here...
The continuing saga of Artee, RT-C7 Republic Transport (aka my new Sedona minivan), seems to be at an end. After seven months of it being in the shop more than in my driveway, it now sports a new main computer, a new transmission computer, a new transmission, a new speed input sensor and a newly attached ground wire that was the cause of all the p…

Lookin' Back

It has been one year since we were getting ready to take off on the Biggest Field Trip Ever...and we are all thinking about how wonderful it was! But, even as we look backwards, we are starting early thoughts of perhaps embarking on another fantastic trek across the country! *gasp* Yeah...we are thinking post-Shavuot 2010, which would put it in a June time frame. May HaShem smile upon our plans to travel through states we have not seen, to meet people we haven't met and to enjoy His creation that we didn't even know existed....woohoo!

It's not set in stone quite yet, but we are prayerfully hoping. *smile* It has been requested, by the kids, that it not be called the Biggest Field Trip Ever this time around. Not sure what they have in mind, but I'm sure something will be suggested by the teen travelers as the time gets closer!

In the meantime, a dear friend reminded me of a blog I posted just before we left on the last road trip - most interesting. I enjoyed re…

Happily still breathing...

After decompressing from the wedding, and the ever-present, inter-personal tug of war that happens in a congregation, I am still breathing...and thankfully so.

I am thankful mostly to HaShem for placing people in my life that love and care for me, even in the most stressful and angering situations. I thank the LORD for Lisa, who I love without measure, for Tim for being my friend when I need it most and for Kev who is the best long-distance sounding board a girl could have.

The wedding went off without a hitch, and the bride and groom were blissfully happy. Here's a couple of pics I took to jog my memory if we ever have to put this buffet together again...let's hope we have more than 4 weeks next time!

I hate shopping.

I hate it...really.

But it makes me feel so much better just saying it! lol!

We have been shopping all this week, it seems. In actuality, the shopping for the wedding buffet for Bill & Lisa's wedding started on Wednesday. And then there is the wedding attire required for the children, as the boys have grown out of their last sets of 'special occasion' clothing and Morgan always needs some sort of finishing touches to her outfit of choice. Padawan needed some shopping help as well, so Morgan and I had some fun making her try on things just outside her comfort zone. *smile* And, let's not forget the weekly food shopping for the household... aaaaahhhhh!

So, I am so sick of shopping, parking lots, traffic jams, spending money, keeping receipts straight, and looking for things that don't exist or are not stocked in this season. Ugh. I always end up wanting to slap someone...usually the store buyers.

There was one bright spot, though: I found a pair of $90 boots o…