Life is a Scavenger Hunt

This week:

Sinatra & Brando together...yes please.

Because Nick Cave just makes me smile.  LOVE his voice and delivery.

Sa-wa-dee Thai Food has some of the best sushi (and sashimi) I have ever had.
(Disclaimer:  I did not take that photo.  I found it over at Urban Spoon)

One of the most brilliant books I have ever read over a dozen times.

And oldie but goodie.

As seen on Pinterest : Vintage Slide Lamp
I have about a gazillion of these slides...I just might have to do this one of these days.

Monkey #1 Achievement:  He made it through 3 lazy days cooped up with his sister without killing her.

Monkey #2 Achievement:  She made it through 3 lazy days cooped up with her brother without killing him.

My Achievement:  I made it through 3 lazy days cooped up with two monkeys without killing either one.


Feline Therapy

I love the time I get to spend with Timber.  From the time I wake up (with her in between my feet or behind my knees) to the time I go back to bed (with her waiting on the bed for me), I have a constant furry companion there to keep an eye on me.

We're a lot alike, actually.  We both love to spend time with the people we love, but we enjoy our alone time.  We prefer the blinds to be open, but only if we're not trying to sleep.  We both tend to break into song at inappropriate times (although I usually don't before 0600), but we enjoy the silences that can stretch on comfortably for hours.  We love to stretch, but sleep curled up.  We also enjoy baths that last for hours (although I prefer mine in a tub with a loofah).

She's my smirking snuggle bug.  The booger that has to get into everything.  The assaulter of shoes and attacker of sharks.  The cat who loves to sing us the song of her people at 5AM.

I'm pretty lucky to be her stupid human.

Yeah...I didn't know I couldn't knit either.


Humans of New York

Everyday, I enjoy watching the world with HONY and Humans of New York on FB.  The people, the pictures, and their stories.  Each time I go there, my day is brightened up.  Below are just a few of my favorites, the ones that have really struck a chord with me.  Do yourselves a favor and go spend some time over there.  You'll definitely come away with a smile...you might even come away feeling inspired.

NOTE:  All of these photos and their captions are the work of HONY and can be found both on the HONY website and Facebook page.  These are copied here as an homage to a project I find simply amazing and hope to share with others.

"I'm a philosophy professor."
"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
"Never make an exception of yourself."
"What does that mean?"
"People like to make exceptions of themselves.  They hold other people to moral codes that they aren't willing to follow themselves.  For example, people tend to think that if they tell a lie, it's because it was absolutely necessary.  But if someone else tells a lie, it means they're dishonest.  So never make an exception of yourself.  If you're a thief, don't complain about being robbed."

"When I was younger, I thought listening was just about learning the contents of someone's mind.  I'd always try to finish their thoughts, just to show them that I knew what they were thinking.  As I got older, I learned to listen better.  I realized that by trying to anticipate their mind, I was ignoring their heart."

"I have one daughter and one adopted daughter."
"What were your reasons for adopting?"
"We adopted my niece when her mother died.  She was about seven at the time.  But you want to know the crazy thing?  Back when she was four months old, she was sitting in my lap, and I turned to my wife and said:  'We're going to be raising this girl.'"
"What made you say that?"
"I don't know.  I just said it."
"So how was her transition into your family?"
"It was tough the first year.  But I can tell you this: she is unquestionably a sister to my daughter, and a daughter to me and my wife."

"You know the scariest drug I ever did?"
"What's that?"
"Sobriety.  I tried that shit, and suddenly I realized that my girlfriend was insane and all my friends were assholes."

"Right now I'm not even sure if college is for me."
"Why's that?"
"Well, I'm going to sound a bit like a hippy...but everyone tells you to 'follow your own path,' then you're put into an institution where you're funneled down these predetermined tracks.  Then you're packaged up and regurgitated back into society.  Like you're a GI Joe.  Or a Barbie."

I asked her dad why she was carrying a candy bucket.  He said:  "She's an optimist."


Life Without Irfanview

I have had PC's in various shapes, sizes, and varieties for the last 25 years.  I got my first computer back in the late 80's that not only rocked DOS 5.1, but had a tower that weighed more than your average 5th grader.  And I went from there.  Every platform I have ever worked on has been PC based.  First DOS, then some incarnation of Windows.  I know their OS inside and out, and even when they malfunction, I am comfortable with them because I speak the language.

About a year ago, at about the same time I started taking my writing incredibly serious again, my Vaio started acting its age (old and slow...not to mention temperamental), so I made the decision to switch over to Apple.  I don't regret the decision at all, but there are some days that I miss the simplicity of things familiar.

For example:  back in the mid to late 90's, my dad introduced me to Irfanview...and I never looked back.  If it had to do with photos, it went through Irfanview.  Every computer I owned, Irfanview was the first piece of software I downloaded.  I LOVE that program, and for PC users, I can't recommend it enough.

Unfortunately...it's not available for Mac's.


While I am not a professional photographer by any means, I am no slouch either.  I know my way around a camera enough to capture images to my liking, and around PC based editing software.  That said, I am a rank amateur with all this Mac stuff, and am trying to have more fun (rather than my usual frustration) with it.

If anyone has any suggestions...I'm all ears.

Thank you for bearing with me while I attempt to figure out what in the bloody blue blazes it is that I'm doing.  I have so many beautiful images I want to share with you...I just get annoyed when I can't do them justice.


Life is a Scavenger Hunt

This week:

Who doesn't love a trip to Middle Earth?

Saw this guy at the Knitting Factory in Boise a few months back opening for the Reverend Horton Heat...this disc is simply amazing.

Two words:  Asiago Sourdough

Never gets old being in the head of a genius.

This just made me laugh.

As found on Pinterest:  Recipes for Disaster

 Monkey #1 Achievement:  He learned how to do laundry and why I insist on clothes being put in the hamper buttoned, zipped, pockets emptied, and turned the right way.  That lesson came with a BIG hug and a heartfelt apology.

Monkey #2 Achievement:  She managed to completely disassemble, clean, and reassemble the bathroom without any help or guidance.

My Achievement:  After four weeks, I got my driving privileges back from my doctor.


Life in the Non-Smoking Section

I haven't had a cigarette now for FIVE WEEKS.  After smoking for over a decade, that's no mean feat.

I was always an outdoor smoker, though.  My house in Joshua Tree has an amazing patio that I had set up into an outdoor living room of sorts where I would spend hours everyday, usually with a cigarette in hand.  My home here in Idaho has a lovely deck that I have likewise turned into a very comfortable living space where I have spent countless hours...also with a cigarette in hand.

I was worried when I got out of the hospital (where I had gone a solid week without nicotine of any kind) that I wouldn't be able to enjoy my outdoor space as much because it might be a trigger.  I've been delighted to find that what was once my smoking place has become one of my creative spaces instead.  I spend hours out here curled up on the futon (I am right now) writing these posts out longhand on a legal pad clipped to an old clipboard I've had since grade school, working on my book, reading other blogs, perusing my Kindle, working on a blanket, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee or a bottle of cider.

(I actually only miss smoking when I first get behind the wheel.  That's when I REALLY want a cigarette.)

My brain tells me that I do miss smoking.  My tastebuds tell me that this is a lie.  Either way, I'm just happy I can enjoy my old smoking space without a cigarette firmly in hand.

And that makes life even better...


Papa and Priorities

When I was growing up (legally, anyhow), I cannot tell you how many times I heard Papa launch into a pseudo-quasi-lecture about "Priorities".  It got to the point where I absolutely HATED the word.

But you know what?  Now that I'm an adult, I am ever-so-grateful for those lectures (and yes, the monkeys have been on the receiving end of a few of them).  And I would give ANYTHING to see Papa again.

Even if it meant hearing about "Priorities" again.

Back in 1984, laughing at the world together.


Tying Knots

So yesterday, I decided to teach myself how to knit.  One Sheepish Girl is partly to blame for this (her contribution to Artful Blogging was brilliant and utterly relatable).  Pinterest is responsible for the rest of it.  I got tired of seeing awesome needlework and being excited about it, only to discover that it's knit and not crochet.


So...I took myself down to Walmart and picked up a set of size 8 aluminum knitting needs and a skein of yarn I knew Nina would like (my first real crochet project was a scarf...might as well keep up the tradition).  I then found an awesome tutorial video over at Knitting Help (thanks again to One Sheepish Girl for suggesting online videos), and a few hours later, I could do a long-tail cast on like a pro.  Turning it into a second row took a little more time and a lot more patience (at one point, I said to hell with it and went back to the blanket I'm crocheting for Gavin), but I figured it out...finally.

Making progress on Nina's scarf.

Getting it to the third row...THAT took until this morning when I watched some more of the video.  I could not figure out why my first stitch either looked like crap or just unraveled on me.  God bless the instructor and her slip stitch.  I've now got six rows (little victories) and Nina is excited about having a scarf.  So excited in fact, that she asked if I would teach her how to knit.  So now she's making a hat on a loom (it's knitting...sort of).  I got her started with practice yarn to see if she likes what she's doing and so if it got COMPLETELY messed up, we wouldn't be out yarn.  She knows once she finishes the hat, she'll get AWESOME yarn.

Nina learning how to loom knit.  
Hooray for the sounds of happy silence.

Here We Go (Again)...

So here we are again.  It's been awhile.  In my defense...life has been at times both too crazy to have time to blog or too boring to be of much interest (even to myself, at times).

Why are we here?  Simple.  My life once again changed radically about six weeks ago (and I have the scars to prove it).  It has made me reevaluate the things that are important to me:  the people I love, the people who love me, my cat, good food, my Pandora station, having the eye of a child when looking at the world, and the written word.

So...once again, keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.  Hang on.  It's going to be one helluva ride.