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Entries in the ‘Collabs’ Subcategory

And Now It’s 2023

With this entry, I’ll wrap up another year of Holidailies participation. I didn’t obsess about it as I’ve done in some past years (obviously, what with not remembering to sign up until December 2nd) but will finish with 29 entries for 32 days, which is not too shabby. It’s also not sustainable. Still, I would […]

Still Happily Coloring

I wrapped up last year’s Holidailies with some pictures from and words about the Happy Color app, which I noted I was still engaged with after more than a year. Well, Happy Color and I continue to be a thing. These past few months, I’ve mostly been focused on holiday pictures: first Halloween, then Thanksgiving, […]

Not Quite a Year in Books

I’ll likely finish a few more books before the year officially ends, but it’s close enough to 2023 to reflect on my 2022 reading. I gave up Goodreads this year in favor of just using StoryGraph, and I haven’t missed that part of the Amazon ecosystem. I haven’t double checked my data entry yet, but […]

Boxing Day

Family Christmas continued yesterday with a Boxing Day where the only boxes were those of old photos from Joan’s storage unit that Mr. K and his sisters sorted through before we heading out for dinner at a Mexican place with all but one nephew who had to work. We did choose a restaurant close to […]

A Week in Photos: 2022, Part 51

Monday, December 19: Picture perfect day on the mountain, but very cold and windy (to the point the National Weather Service issued a warning). I stayed inside.   Tuesday, December 20: New ornament on our tree this year, an Idaho one found in the clearance section of a souvenir shop in Missouri on one of […]

In the Outlet By the Light Switch

Aging comes for us all if we’re fortunate to live that long. I am now “travels with a nightlight” years old. I’ve been that old for a few years now, actually. My travel kit has had a small flashlight in it for years and years, but now that nighttime bathroom trips are pretty much a […]

A Week in Photos: 2022, Part 50

Having already missed the first day of Holidailies, it seemed much less consequential when I decided last night that I wasn’t going to write an entry for the 18th. Just wasn’t feeling motivated. Today, though, today I am writing, because it’s time for my weekly photo diary. The structure and subject is there; I just […]


Mr. K and I finally got around to putting ornaments on the tree tonight. We’ve been busy skiing and stuff. I took a few photos after we were done, but worried that I’d shared those particular ornaments before, so did a quick search of my past Christmas tree posts, which reminded me of some ornaments […]

For a Limited Time Only

On our Thanksgiving week travels, Mr. K and I went to a Fred Meyer because it has a better bathroom than the Jamba Juice it shares a parking lot with. Getting ourselves a treat at Jamba Juice before navigating through Seattle has become something of a tradition when we drive that route. Near the door […]


Today, a week after I put one of my quilts on a guest bed, I put another in the main bedroom.


Early in the ski season, I aim to do something new every day I’m out on the slopes. Explore a run or wear a pair of skis I haven’t been on since last season, ride a newly opened lift, and so on. Today I did several new things, including skiing two runs on the backside […]

Getting a Bit Festive

Mr. K and I started putting up our Christmas tree tonight after dinner, the tall skinny pre-lit one my mom gave us because she thought we should put it in our front hall. I say started because we never got to the putting on ornaments part due to struggles with the lights. More struggles than […]

A Week in Photos: 2022, Part 49

It feels a little strange to be doing a week in photos entry when I’ve written so much here during the week, but I anticipated that and have made sure to have enough photos so I won’t just be re-using ones I’ve already posted. Monday, December 5: Cold and windy ski conditions along one of […]

Searching for Signal

I thought about writing about snow again today, because with 28 inches in the last 48 hours, there’s a lot of it around. But I decided to take a break from pictures of the snow and instead share a picture created by the snow. Specifically the snow that failed to slide right out of our […]

Mo’ Powder

There was a pause in the snowfall yesterday afternoon and evening, but it started back up overnight and has just kept snowing. I believe I may have called this storm into being by RSVPing to a Christmas party a friend is hosting in Spokane tonight. I think I’ll still be able to go, as the […]

Powder Day

The marker on our front deck showed around seven inches of new snow overnight (on top of the foot that was already there), and the resort snow report said there’d been eight inches on their marker. This mean Mr. K and I skipped the more leisurely parts of our morning routine so we could get […]

Cotton Candy Sky

Okay, I know I shared several pictures of the view from my front windows just a few days ago, but look what it was doing last night:   How could I not take some pictures? How could I not share? That would take more restraint than I posses when faced with such a view during […]

Not My Childhood Wish Books

The holiday catalogs have been piling up; one more arrived today from L.L. Bean with a Christmas tree and a dreidl and other winter/holiday icons on the cover interspersed with the clothing they’re known for. I think that’s cutting it a little close to get an order in for Christmas, but then again I came […]

Happy Color Holidays

During last year’s Holidailies, I wrote an entry about how much I was enjoying the Happy Color app. Over a year later, I still am. The transition from Android to Apple when I got my new phone went fairly well. I was able to transfer my completed photos and able to re-download the bonus photos […]

Quiet NYE

There was no new snow and it’s still very cold and the mountain is even more full of holiday visitors than it was yesterday, so I’ve stayed snug in my house all day. I looked out at the bluebird sky and watched the tiny skiers make turns down the runs, shedding plumes of “cold smoke” […]

Back on the Slopes

I did go skiing today. It was still very cold (though not as windy), and it still felt like an effort to get all layered up and put on my Yaktrax and walk down to the village. I did get a bit of a boost from debuting my duct tape patch on my ski pants; […]

Lack of Vim

I didn’t ski yesterday, choosing to go down to town for the first time in a week. I got some groceries and spent some time in the studio, where I fixed a loose board next to the door to my unit (and bruised my backside in the process when I fell over trying to pull […]

Definitely Winter Now

One of my favorite ways to ease into the day is going downstairs and sitting sideways on the couch, looking out the window at the mountain. This week, we’ve had so much snow that all I could see this morning was the chest high pile of the white stuff on the balcony outside. Special today, […]

Quiet Christmas

The only Christmas decoration Mr. Karen and I put up this year is the fiber optic Christmas tree Joan gave me some years ago. It’s starting to show its age a little bit, with some branches not being as solidly attached as they once were and some of the stars dropping off the ends of […]

Best Snow of the Season So Far

After a challenging day yesterday when most of the lifts had to go on wind hold, today was pretty much an ideal day for skiing up here on my mountain. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more, but did not blow so all the lifts kept spinning all day and every run was full […]

Old Spice

Mr. Karen and I reached a milestone in our relationship this week: we used the last of the container of pumpkin pie spice that we’ve had in our cupboard approximately forever. I don’t remember exactly when we bought it, but based on the amount of brown used in the design on the tin, I’m guessing […]

Three Times Makes a Tradition for Sure

This will make it the third year in a row I’ve used my December 22 entry to share one of my favorite views on the mountain, looking across the valley to the Cabinet Mountains in the distance.   I took this alpenglow shot of the view earlier this month. You may notice a for sale […]


On this shortest day of the year, I have a photo I took a few weeks ago of the morning light reflecting off one of the condo buildings in my neighborhood. As the days get longer, I am less and less likely to catch the sun in this position. Our bedroom has both blinds and […]

A Year of Books

I just updated my book log (and my Goodreads and StoryGraph accounts) so I wouldn’t have to do an even bigger catch up at the end of the month. Last year, I read 116 books; this year, I’m at 76 and will probably finish in the 80s. What accounts for the drop? I’m not sure. […]

Disney Reflections

I find I am not quite done writing about my trip. There’s still a part of me that wonders if we made the right call going when we did. Yes, the COVID risk levels in Florida were less than Idaho when we went (and are now as well), but in Idaho we don’t mingle with […]

Way Down South

One month ago today, it was raining, and Mr. Karen and I checked out of our hotel in Florida City and drove down to stay with friends in the Florida Keys for a few days. I took far fewere photos during this segment of our trip, so I’m going to blast through it in just […]


One month ago today, Mr. K and I set an alarm so we could be out of the condo by the 10 a.m. check out time. We made it, barely. Then we did one more thing at Disney, lunch at Splitsville in Disney Springs. It was quiet when we arrived since it was early in […]

Wrapping Up at WDW

One month ago today, Mr. K and I had our last park day for the trip. We visited the two we hadn’t the day before, starting with Animal Kingdom. Soon after our arrival, we were graced with the presence of Divine, the living plant character.   We looked at some animals, including a safari where […]

In the Home Stretch

One month ago today, on our second to last full day at Walt Disney World for this trip, Mr. Karen and I skipped the farewell event for the podcast meetup and bopped around the world doing a combination of old favorites and new things. We started at Epcot lunching around the world (Food & Wine […]

From Morning ’til Night

One month ago, it was the most busy day of our WDW trip, thanks to several events that were part of the podcast meetup for Disney Dish. Setting an alarm was necessary, as we had to be at the entrance of Epcot earlier than we’d been anywhere else the whole trip so far. It was […]

Disney Dishing

One month ago today, Mr. K and I took a break from visiting the parks and attended two events that were part of the Disney Dish podcast gathering: a lunch at Homecomin’ at Disney Springs and a walking tour of the Springs led by Jim Hill, one of the podcast co-hosts. The meal was family […]

Wandering Around the (Disney) World

One month ago today, yes, Mr. K and I were still at Walt Disney World. Either we didn’t do a whole lot or I was tired of taking photos or both, as I’m having a hard time remembering what we did and my pictures don’t give a complete narrative. I know for sure we started […]

I’m the Pilot Now

One month ago today, it was another relaxed day for Mr. Karen and me at Walt Disney World. It was less wet than the day before but still some showers around. We started with lunch at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the side where you can see the savanna from the restaurant (and walk out to a […]

Short and Soggy

One month ago today, it was raining in Orlando again, so Mr. Karen and I had a pretty relaxed day. We did go to the Magic Kingdom for a little while, doing mostly indoor stuff like looking at shops, including the rainbow wall of M&Ms. To mix it up a little, I switched from my […]

Castle and Colors

One month ago today, me, my compression socks, and Mr. Karen headed to Epcot. We did a thing or two there before getting on the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center, from which we made our way to the Magic Kingdom. No, this was not the most efficient way to structure our day but […]

More Animals and Fireworks But Not Simultaneously

One month minus one day ago, when we got back to the condo after our day of park and resort hopping, I saw something I’d hoped not to: signs of exercise induced vasculitis, also known as “Disney rash” on my legs in the form of red splotches from ankle to knee. I’ve gotten it before […]

Finally Hopping

One month ago today, Mr. Karen and I stepped up our WDW touring and did our first park hopping of the trip as well as a fancy dinner at one of the hotels. We started our day at the Magic Kingdom. Soon after we walked in, we caught one of the character cavalcades that were […]

Lunch and Window Shopping

One reason I take so many photos is to remind myself later what I did on a given day. One month ago today, I didn’t take very many photos, so I can only account for part of my day, most of which I would probably have remembered anyway. It began with lunch at a waterside […]

When It Rains

One month ago today, we had a park reservation for Animal Kingdom, which we’d chosen for this particular day because we also had a breakfast scheduled at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We woke to rain. Lots and lots of rain. We went out anyway, slogging our way across the parking lot at the lodge dodging […]


One month ago today, Mr. Karen and I got up earlier than usual so we could make our breakfast reservation at the Poly. Yes, we’d just eaten there the day before at the Kona Cafe, but when the reservation finder finds you an Ohana spot, you take it even if it’s not your ideal date […]


On our second park day, Mr. Karen and I headed to the Magic Kingdom. After our long walk in from the parking lot (the trams weren’t running when we were there) and before we got onto transportation to the park, we went to a late breakfast/early lunch at the Polynesian Village Resort. Because were were […]

Up in Space

One month ago today, Mr. Karen and I started the Walt Disney World portion of our Florida vacation. It’s been four years since we were at WDW (together, anyway; Mr. K spent a day on property with a friend in 2019 I think it was), and of course there have been changes, some pandemic-related, some […]

One Month Ago Today

It’s Holidailies time once again, when I attempt to write every day from December 1st through January 1st. Based on my recent activity, this seems like very much a stretch goal, but based on my past few Decembers here, it’s definitely do-able. I have a plan for the first few weeks already, though this plan […]


In my first journal entry last year, I wrote “I hope for fewer stressors in the 2020s”. Ha ha ha ha ha—I am certainly not off to a good start there. I definitely did not forsee a global pandemic. I know I’m immensely privileged to have been able to weather it with relative ease. Sure, […]

Wrapping It Up

Woke up on this last day of 2020 to about 8 inches of fresh snow that fell overnight, adding to the foot or so that we’d already gotten in this current current cycle. That was a positive.   Despite all the fresh snow, I thought about not skiing, the better to avoid all the holiday […]

Going Grey Eventually

I first dyed my hair in college, pulling strands through a highlighting cap to get a “frosted” look. I don’t remember doing the cap much beyond graduation and am not sure if I took a break from coloring entirely for a while after that. I do know (because I wrote it down) that by 1988, […]

What If

I spent a few hours in my studio this evening playing with nail polish. A brand sent me a half dozen bottles to swatch and post on my nail blog. I had done three of them earlier this month, so pulled out the other three tonight. I did swatch them individually, but the real fun […]

The Topside of Clouds

A week ago I was skiing in rain and fog. Today I was out in the sunshine above the clouds, with surrounding hills poking up through them like islands in the sea.   The nice weather combined with the holiday week brought a whole lot of other people out to ski with me. There weren’t […]

The Yarn That Knits to Fit

In this installment of “Mom Thing I’m Keeping For Now”, I have a knitting booklet from 1959 featuring Vita-Spun yarn.   According to the ad on the inside front cover, this yarn “does things no other knitting yarn has ever done before”. It’s a 93% wool, 7% textured nylon blend that stretches and springs back. […]

For My Viewing Confusion

There was a free preview of DogTV on our satellite provider over this Christmas holiday, which we discovered when Mr. K was clearing messages off the system. He tuned to it because it was good for a few minutes of entertainment the last time this happened. There were scenes with a dog sitting in front […]

Three Festive Things

1. I started my day with Christmas Tea. I’ve been working on the box all month (and regretting I didn’t get any of the other seasonal flavors, though checked just now and they seem to be available online, so maybe I’ll treat myself in the new year).   2. I’m wearing red and white striped […]

Maybe Lucky

The universe gave me a Christmas present today: a bright shiny penny in the snow just where I stopped and clicked out of my bindings at the end of the day. Maybe it’s the same penny that was on the floor of the locker room the other day; I didn’t pick it up then, so […]

Up Top

It’s been a long time since I caught first chair on a ski day, preferring to sleep later and have a non-rushed breakfast, but it’s not unusual for me to be on the mountain late in the day, skiing up to board lifts as the lifties are rolling up and stowing the signs and rope […]

One Year Later

I’d already picked out my photo for the day and had uploaded it and was ready to paste the link into the document file for this journal entry when I looked at last year’s entry for December 22, and it was this same view from my condo, taken on a day I’d decided not to […]

Not a Bluebird Day

Today was the kind of ski day that inspires visitors to write unflattering reviews of my home mountain. The temperature hovered around freezing most of the day, so the precipitation varied along the cold rain to wet snow spectrum, which meant goggles covered in water droplets and soggy coats and pants and gloves. The higher […]

Glow Under the Snow

Mr. K put up Christmas lights on our balcony that faces the street, as he’s done often in years past. Due to where the electrical outlet is, either an extension cord is needed to span the distance between the outlet and the balcony railing or lights trail across the balcony floor. This year it’s lights […]

The Wait Begins

My big accomplishment of the day was ordering a couch. Estimated delivery time: 17 weeks from now. The fabric on the left will be the fronts of the accent pillows; everything else will be the fabric on the right, which is not any of the first five swatches Mr. K and I brought home. It […]

What Once Burned Bright

Remember the rogue ornament flying above my Christmas tree? Well, this happened:   Mr. K pushed on all the lights on that side to see if one had come loose. Apparently not, as it remained half lit. So then this happened:   The plastic star-shaped sleeves around the lights are very sharp and pointy, and […]

Some Snow

We didn’t get as much snow overnight as either the forecast predicted or I wanted to justify waking up to alarm instead of whenever I felt like it, but what we did get was enough to nicely freshen up the slopes and make things look more wintery.   Only the top two steps on the […]

Whirlwind Wednesday

My standards for what constitutes a busy day have changed a lot since I retired. Today I woke up around 10, had breakfast around 11, skied a bit in the afternoon, came home and showered, went to town to drop the rest of the holiday cards at the Post Office and get other fabric swatches […]

Official U.S. Postage

I stopped sending Christmas cards some years back, so many years I don’t recall exactly when I stopped. 2010, maybe? This year I decided since I am not spending any time in December traveling or hanging out with friends or going to parties, etc., I’d sign up for a holiday card exchange one of my […]

Monday Off

Mr. K and I didn’t ski today, using this lull before the 11 to 21 inches of snow we’re forecast to get on the mountain over the next few days to go down to town to get groceries and to look at more couches. I think we’ve found our new couch; we brought back five […]

So Many Words

I updated my book log today with the five books I’ve read since the end of November. A good portion of the time I haven’t spent traveling and hanging out with friends this year thanks to the pandemic I’ve spent reading. As of today, I’ve read 108 books this year, way past the goal of […]

New This Season

Ski season continues; we need more snow, both for more fun and so more terrain can be opened to spread the people over more space. There have been a few changes at the resort since I wrote my previous entry about skiing during COVID times. These big signs placed near the entrance to the lift […]

It’s Mando Day

Last year at this time I was enjoying the heck out of Baby Yoda memes despite never having seen The Mandolorian. Mr. K noticed and for my birthday this past spring, he got Disney+ so I could see the baby. We watched the first season in pretty short order, then the waiting for season 2 […]

A Couple More Things I’m Not Getting Rid of Just Yet

I poked through a couple more boxes of stuff I brought back here after clearing my mom’s house after she died and found a couple more things (like last week’s ashtray) that I’ll be keeping around for a while. The first is for purely sentimental reasons: a set of drapes my mom made for my […]

It’s the Little Things

I don’t have a detailed story to go with today’s picture. I was walking home from skiing, happened to walk past the entrance side of the parking lot shack, and saw this wee snowperson on the porch. It was maybe 8 inches tall. It made me smile then, and the picture makes me smile now. […]

Holiday Cheer in Decor Form

Because we’ll be home all of December this year, Mr. K and I decided to put up our big tree. It’s seven feet tall, which is fine because we have a very tall ceiling in our living room. The best part is it’s narrow, which is ideal because we do not have a lot of […]

Happy to Color

I mentioned in my Holidailies intro this year that I sometimes retreat into my coloring app. It’s pretty much taken up the time I formerly spent on Pokemon Go and the various Candy Crush variations (I haven’t taken them off my phone yet, but neither have I touched them in months). I found it through […]

Thanksgiving Feast for Two

Yesterday I got caught up with my photo a day project through the end of November, which means I saw the photos I took on Thanksgiving, which means I was reminded that I wanted to document what I think is the meal with the most dishes we’ve had at home since we retired (after all, […]

Skiing Through a Pandemic

Last year on this day I skied for the first time in the season; today I’ve already gotten seven days in—the early snow was better and let the resort open sooner and also since we’re not traveling now thanks to the pandemic, we were here for opening day (last year we were in western Washington […]

My Friend the Creek

The kitten rescue project (see yesterday’s entry) gave me a chance to walk a particular trail over and over again, morning and night. It was interesting to see those familiar surroundings change from fall to winter (bouncing back and forth a few times until winter settled in). I got particularly enamored of stopping to look […]

Three Little Kittens

I sometimes think about quitting all the local Facebook groups I’m in, or at least muting them so I’ll only see them when I specifically go looking, since there are so many folks around here who cause my blood pressure to rise from their assholery and/or willful ignorance, but if I’d done that, I wouldn’t […]

To Weed Out or Not to Weed Out

I’ve written a lot about clutter in this journal. It’s a problem for me. I was raised by two people who liked things and collected things, and the apple that is me fell right under that tree. When Mr. K and I moved from Michigan, we did get rid of some of our possessions before […]

End of Year Tradition

Today I embark on my 19th year of writing in the Holidailies collab (it’s in its 21st year, but I didn’t have an online journal those first two years though I read many). That seems ridiculous. When I started this journal back in 2002, I don’t think I would have believed it if future me […]

New Year, New Decade

The 2010s were rather eventful for me. Mr. K and I retired and moved from an urban/suburban lifestyle in the Great Lakes region to a much more rural one in the Inland Northwest. My mom died, and my brother and I cleaned out and sold her house. I totalled my car (and got sued in […]

Fall Road Trip Loop, Part 5: The Long Road Home

Trip Report Tuesday almost had to be postponed, as there was a mountain-wide power outage earlier and the internet was slow to come back up after the lights came back on. Thank goodness all is well now and the New Year’s Eve revelry can proceed as planned. Anyway, on to the conclusion of my November […]

Spoiler-Free Star Wars Thoughts

Mr. K and I had a town day today, spurred by having to take my car in to the dealer for its 90 thousand mile service appointment. As it worked out, we dropped it off twenty minutes before the first showing of the day of The Rise of Skywalker at the movie theater in the […]

Some Favorite Photos of 2019

Today I finished my latest big catch up for my photo a day project, posting something like three weeks of photos in the last few days … it goes much quicker when I’ve not been traveling and taking dozens and dozens of photos. Looking through the albums for this year, there’s a certain set of […]

The Good Kind of Clingy

I’ve failed to make any noticeable dent in the process of sorting through the stuff we brought from Michigan and stashed in the storage studio in town (or the stuff I brought from my mom’s house, which included stuff she’d brought from her mom’s house and my dad’s house), but this fall I did unearth […]


  Starting Christmas Eve and finishing Christmas evening, Mr. K and I put together a jigsaw puzzle, seen above after our first session (it took three overall). It wasn’t the one we’d put under the tree from our recent trip, but one we’d gotten on our previous trip to Disneyland during the 60th anniversary celebration. […]

One Goal Achieved

I keep thinking I need to do a goal update entry, but then I think how little I’ve done compared to what I wanted to and put it off a bit longer. I have had one success, though: with the updates I just put into goodreads, I surpassed my goal of reading 57 books by […]

Some Things Are Bright

Mr. K put up lights on our front balcony, so when we walk home from skiing at twilight (which is just after the lifts close this time of year) we have cheery colors to greet us. From the inside, most of the them are hidden by the railings (or the snow piled up … we’ll […]

Fall Road Trip Loop, Part 4: Disneyland Resort

This whole road trip started with the idea that we’d go to Disneyland for the first time since 2015, and our hotel reservations in Anaheim were the only ones we made ahead of time. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get into our preferred hotel for the whole time, so our first night in Anaheim was at a […]

Back Out There

  I found my happy place on the slopes during the last few runs of the day, doing laps on the triple on the front side, which accesses terrain on the top third or so of the mountain, where the snow was best because it had stayed cold. This was also where the fog was […]

Quiet Day

  After slogging down the mountain through the heavy wet snow yesterday, I took today off. Of course as these things work out, today the weather was calm and they were able to open more lifts and more terrain and it would have been a much better day to ski, but hey, at least I […]

Sometimes Things Work Out

Earlier this month, I was lamenting that I’d lost a pair of sunglasses I’d bought on vacation and the Chums I’d attached to them that were a gift from Mr. Karen way back when. Since then, I finished unpacking the last suitcase from that trip and they failed to turn up there, so I pretty […]

Not As Expected

I know I write about the weather a lot. It’s a major factor in how I spend my days in winter, and I’m gonna write about it again today, because Mother Nature done me wrong, raining all over the snow we got yesterday and last night. I know it’s not her fault; I know she’s […]

Throwback Thursday: Some of You Will Be Able to Hear This Photo

  Here I am in my junior year of high school (1978/79), working in the yearbook office. We’d type the copy and crop the photos with grease pencil and do layout sheets on special gridded paper and collect groups of pages done this way into packages that we’d mail to our publisher/printer several times during […]

Yesterday’s Beauty

I’m taking today off from skiing, resting my legs for the 26 to 44 inches of snow in the forecast between tonight and Saturday evening (there’s a chance of more snow after that, too, but no inches associated yet). I’ll go work/play in the studio in town and give blood at the drive at the […]

Fall Road Trip Loop, Part 3: Onward to California

Previously on Trip Report Tuesday: Mr. K and I drove away from Grand Canyon West through a forest of Joshua trees. We had a couple nights free before we had to be in California for plans we’d made there. The fastest route was going via Las Vegas, but we’ve been to Las Vegas before, so […]

Just Another Day on the Mountain

  Today, as I do many days during the winter, I put on layers and walked down to the village, got my skis and boots out of the locker we rent in the lodge, and hit the slopes. The mountain was not showing her best face today; there wasn’t any fresh snow, it was more […]

Staving Off the Inevitable

Weetabix posted earlier this month about her skincare routine, which inspired me to lay out the products I use on my face (and neck/decolletage) to share here today. (Not including what I use for cleansing or the heavier duty sunscreens I wear only when needed.) I don’t know that these are the best possible products […]

Environmental Impact

I sometimes read Mr. Karen’s magazines after he’s done with them, which is how I recently learned that I’m polluting the environment when I wash our clothes. Well, some of our clothes. The majority of our stuff is cotton with a few wool garments, and those are okay. It’s the synthetic fibers that are the […]

Huckleberry Crisp

As per usual, I haven’t accomplished as much this year as I’d hoped/planned/intended, but one thing I did do was settle on a recipe for huckleberry crisp that I’m happy with. Mr. K and I pick lots and lots of huckleberries on the mountain when they’re in season and freeze most of them so we […]

Ski Day 5

Today was the day I’ve been looking forward to in this young ski season: we got enough new snow for the resort to open some more terrain. Below you can see the difference out our back window; two days ago the baby tree was a recognizable tree shape, while today it’s almost completely covered.   […]

A Lot Like Christmas

Mr. K and I put up our big Christmas tree last night. It’s the same prelit artificial tree we’ve had since my mom decided we needed it for our condo here, with ornaments chosen from the same assortment we’ve had since we moved out here, so it looks pretty similar to how it did the […]

Fall Road Trip Loop, Part 2: Now This Is a Canyon

Picking up where I left off last Trip Report Tuesday, the fourth day of our trip found us waking up in a retro fabulous hotel in Page, Arizona with a view of Lake Powell. Unlike chain hotels being built today where right angles rule, this place was awash in acute and obtuse. The doors from […]

Ceramic is Better than No Tree at All

After we got back from our extended Thanksgiving weekend trip I went to the studio (what I call the place we rent in town for storage and hobby stuff that requires more space than we have in our condo) and dug out our Christmas boxes and brought them back up with me. So far, all […]

Mystery Furniture

Yesterday, a chair appeared in front of our neighbors’ house. It’s a nice chair, a Adirondack style with skis used to construct the backrest portion, sort of a skier’s throne.   I have questions. I don’t know who left the chair there, as the neighbors have not, as far I know, been up yet this […]

Now This is More Like It

When Mr. K opened the blinds in the bedroom this morning (after first opening the drapes … I like a very dark place to sleep in, so both blinds and and drapes are “blackout”, though the drapes do not meet my standard for that term), we were greeted with the very welcome sight of fresh […]

Lost and Not Found

I spend a distressing amount of time looking for things I’ve lost. Sometimes they turn up again (like my camera … twice); sometimes they don’t (like the mate to this glove). Right now, I’m feeling annoyed with myself over two missing things (well, three, but two of them were a unit the last time I […]

Day 1 of Unknown

Today, finally, almost a week after the mountain opened (and four days later than last year), I got my first day in for the 2019-2020 ski season. It was a bit warm (right around freezing), and foggy, and there’s not much terrain open yet, but it was still so so good to get back out […]

Getting Stuff Done

It’s a little after 7 p.m. but feels much later. Whether that’s the road lag (Mr. K and I got home from our extended Thanksgiving weekend sojourn last night) or general malaise from my lingering head cold or what I do not know. I do know is that I feel like I got a fair […]

Fall Road Trip Loop, Part 1: It’s Not a Canyon, Really

To avoid being on the mountain during one of the less entrancing times of year up here (between first snow and the lifts opening), Mr. K and I embarked on a road trip south to Utah and Arizona and California. Even though Idaho and Utah border each other, the fastest way to from our place […]


Things I have done since sitting down to write this entry for Holidailies: 1) Looked at Baby Yoda memes. Note that we do not have Disney+ and are not planning to get Disney+, so all I know about Baby Yoda, I know from memes. I love them anyway. (Do we know Baby Yoda’s pronouns? I […]

Another Trip Around the Sun

It’s the 20th year of Holidailies and my 18th year participating. I figured I might as well give it another go—after all, I had success with it last year even though I’d only written 14 posts in the first eleven months of 2018 (this year I’ve done 15, so I’ve got even more momentum—I kid). […]

Welcome 2019

Mr. Karen and I had a New Year’s Eve party for two in our living room last night rather than going out anywhere. We did still get to see some fireworks, though. Someone in the lower village was launching them, which mean from our perspective they were below eye level, but they were still pretty […]

There’s Always Next Year

I didn’t do well at all with my goals for 2018. I didn’t set them until the end of January and haven’t done a check-in about my progress since the end of March. It’s been a busy year for me, with lots of travel (looking at my loyalty account with the hotel chain I stay […]

When all Else Fails, Scenery

I spent some of today dealing with the holiday crowd on the mountain, and since it’s not usually crowded here, my waiting in lift lines skills are not well developed so I got a bit cranky, especially when I decided I some fries would be a good thing and that line was wrapped around a […]

New Age Graffiti

I was surprised to see this intended-to-be-encouraging message on the wall of a bathroom stall at the ski resort, as there’s usually not anything to read other than ads for upcoming events that get attached to the backs of the doors. Someone took a fair bit of time to write this out … who? why? […]

November Road Trip

I’ve finally gotten through all the photos I took during my travels in November and uploaded a subset of them to Flickr (yes, per my earlier entry this month, I know I’m most likely going to have to move them elsewhere, but I’m still putting off figuring that out), so I’m ready to write a […]

Updating My Look

Somehow it’s gotten to be my bedtime so I can’t write the entry I’d planned for today, so instead I’m sharing my new glasses, seen here the day I picked them up but before I realized they were too tight and squeezing my head (I’ve since had them adjusted and they’re better but not quite […]


I had a new and scary experience skiing yesterday: I fell into a tree well (the snow equivalent of quicksand). As these things go, it was not bad: my head and shoulders were above the snow the whole time; some skiers and snowboarders die when they fall into tree wells head first and can’t get […]

Away in a Ceramic Tree

I hope all of you who celebrated Christmas today enjoyed however you chose to spend the day. A few days ago, Mr. K and I filled the cavity in our ceramic tree with its rightful residents; Joan had this holy family at her apartment and when we mentioned we had the matching tree, she sent […]

Snowflake Diversity

One one of my trips this holiday season, I saw a spin on the “donate money and we’ll put up this token” charity drive idea that some stores do. In this one, instead of writing your name on the shape picked to represent donations, the people giving colored snowflakes. The result was much more interesting […]

I’m a Pot Head

This morning, Mr. K and I had steel cut oats for breakfast, which I cooked in the Instant Pot. After skiing, we had egg salad sandwiches made with eggs I hard boiled in the Instant Pot a couple days ago. In our freezer, there are containers filled with vegetable stew and beef barley soup that […]

Fonts Matter

I am still not caught up with selecting photos from my November trip, but I’m far enough along to share the one below, which is a great example of a poor font choice. I came across it in one of the Sunday school rooms at the church adjacent to the hall where we celebrated Thanksgiving […]

Living in a Winter Wonderland

We slept in after our late arrival but did get up and going in time to spend the afternoon out on the slopes, which were noticeably whiter than when we’d left.   Today, my happy place was high on the mountain, where the snow hadn’t melted and refrozen as it had at the lowest elevations. […]

Guess We Should Always Use Nav

Round about this time a year ago, I wrote a journal entry about how I hadn’t posted the day before due to a winter storm that knocked out our power and internet. Today, I am writing an entry that will be about how I didn’t post yesterday due to a wind storm. This year’s storm […]

Jinxed It

As of last night, I thought that the thing that might keep us from heading home today was the weather, specifically the weather on the pass between here and there. Nope. The thing that kept us here was a call from Kathy before we were quite awake, saying Joan’s doctor had called and based on […]


When the big moving truck got unloaded into the storage unit on Saturday, we were just concerned about getting things in there, not what was going where (and the mover guys were not even especially concerned about things being right side up). Over the past few days, we’ve taken some pieces of furniture and several […]

Shoes I Did Not Buy

I’m still going through the photos I took during my travels in November, but I’ve gotten far enough to complete another episode in the continuing series “Things I Held in My Hands but Did Not Buy”, this time featuring shoes. I took a break from the road at a strip mall that had a Nordstrom […]

And Now the Weather

We lucked out with the moving truck coming yesterday … today it’s been raining on and off (right now it’s storming pretty good) and there’s rain in the forecast for the next few days. I’m so happy we were able to do all that unloading in dry weather. I’m less happy we’ll likely have to […]

Moving Day

I still haven’t managed to get through all the photos or tell the story of the trip that created the contract that was completed today with the delivery of Joan’s household goods to her new city; maybe now that they’re here, I’ll be able to focus on that. Right now, I have the story of […]

Road Tripping

Because family comes first, Mr. K and I left all the fresh snow on our mountain this morning to drive to western Washington. Our travel companions for this trip are Scarf Monkey and Theo the guinea pig, the latest addition to my stuffie collection.   Tomorrow morning the truck with the rest of Joan’s stuff […]


I may not have granite countertops or a two thousand dollar Christmas tree, but I have this view from my driveway:   I was clearing the 18 inches of snow that’s fallen in the past two days off our truck, and shoveling the piles of snow around it because the guys who plow the driveway […]

Oh Ceramic Christmas Tree

I did a bit of holiday decorating this evening.   This is one of two ceramic trees we found in Joan’s basement. We packed the more classic green with multicolored lights one for her and brought this one home for us. It had a bag of the red pegs stuffed in the cavity, but we’d […]

The Very Rich Are Different from Me

I thought for sure I’d written here before about the rich people’s catalogs I get, but a Google search didn’t turn up the entry I thought I remembered. A keyword search on my hard drive did find it (apparently all my pages aren’t in Google, which is fine, though less convenient for me when I […]

I Love the 70s

In packing up my mother-in-law Joan’s condo, we found so many photos. Some were in albums and some were loose. I found the latter as interesting as the former. Like this shot below from a church function in the 1970s: so many white chunky sandals!   The white chunky sandals also appear in this view […]

All Snow is Good Snow

I said yesterday I was ready to do it again tomorrow, and today I did it. Ski, that is. There wasn’t any new snow overnight or any new terrain opened today, but that’s okay. “All snow is good snow,” as Edie Thys Morgan’s dad used to say (per her column in an old SKI magazine […]

It All Began with a God Named Thor

As it turned out, I was right to post yesterday morning, because we were indeed delayed at IKEA and got home last night late enough that I would have missed the midnight deadline for Holidailies if I’d waited to write my entry (midnight my time, not Holidailies time, which is Eastern time zone for some […]

Yertle is Judging You

If all goes to plan today, I’ll be spending most of it on the road heading home, so I thought I’d best post this morning in case we get delayed and I can’t post tonight. And delays are quite possible, given that one of our stops on the way is IKEA, and while I have […]

A Slice of Urban Life

Today, for the second day in a row, Mr. K and I spent most of the day with his mom at her new home in the senior living community. I took a break after lunch to walk over to the mall nearby and try to get her some particular items she wanted from one of […]

Crossing the Streams

Over on my nail blog, I have a series called Nail Wheel Wednesday, in which I am attempting to swatch my entire collection of nail polish onto nail wheels—flat plastic plates with fake nails attached around the circumference. I don’t manage to post every week but I did get something up today, this group of […]

Only 10 Hours on the Road

I haven’t managed to write up our November trip yet, but Mr. Karen and I are on day one of our next journey. This one will be much shorter, a mere day’s drive from our house in Idaho to my sister-in-law Kathy’s in Washington. We got up early (for us) this morning in order to […]

Mundanity on the Mountain

The first thing I do when I sit down to write for Holidailies is update the list of prior years’ posts by adding the one from last year. Thus I saw that a year ago today, I was skiing seven inches of fresh snow. This year, not so much. I decided to take a day […]

Whithr Flickr

Last Holidailies, I wrote about how I was still using Flickr. That’s true today, too, but I’m wavering. When I uploaded photos there yesterday, it was with a doubt in my mind about whether I’d have to redo that work somewhere else. Flickr has a new owner now, Yahoo having sold it to SmugMug (a […]

A Trio of Firsts

Today is the first day of Holidailies, so here I am refreshing my memory on what it’s like to write in this here online journal of mine. It’s also the first morning I’ve woken up in my own bed since November 6th—I’ll tell the story of the trip that took me away from home for […]

Landing Gently in 2018

  I found the top of this champagne bottle—not just the cork, but part of the neck of the bottle, too—in the snow on the top of our truck when I went out to clear it off and dig it out in anticipation of leaving the mountain tomorrow for the first time in days. Someone […]

Winding Down

I ended the year as I mean to go on: skiing. The day started sunny and then the clouds rolled in, as they often do. I was happy I captured the view below while there was still some blue in the sky.   Of course it’s not possible to ski until midnight, so Mr. Karen […]

December Progress Report

At the beginning of this month, I listed the things I was going to do in the remaining weeks of the year to support my 2017 goals. Since it’s almost the end of the month, I’m going to go ahead and check-in to day with where I’m at. 1. Photo projects: I’m going to catch […]

Snow, Snow, and Eeyore Soap

We’re experiencing another storm cycle; so far we still have both power and internet. Yesterday I stayed inside and enjoyed the snow through the windows. Below is what it looked behind our condo as the daylight faded, shot from the room I use as my office when we don’t have houseguests (then it functions as […]

Still Flickring

According to various articles on the internet (so you know it’s true), Flickr has been dying for at least five years now. The Yahoo acquisition was going to kill it, or the changes in features, or Instagram, or other things. I vaguely recall being so angered by some change at some point that I signed […]


Updating the previous years’ links, I saw that one year ago today I shared my first venture into yogurt making (yep, that wonderful Instant Pot was my enabler). Coincidentally, this morning I put my latest batch into containers. Making yogurt wasn’t a “one and done” like some other things I’ve tried making. It’s something routine […]

Fall Road Trip, Part the Fourth and Last

In the previous installment of Trip Report Tuesday (which was on Thursday but it couldn’t really be helped), Mr. K and I spent two weeks in Orlando. Then it was time to head home. We’d been gone over a month at this point, and as much as I like traveling, I was ready to be […]

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrated today; I hope it was all you wished for. Mr. K and I had a quiet day together, skiing in scattered snow showers and then making a festive dinner (with gravy, even). We’ll join family at New Year’s, weather permitting.       ***** On this date […]

All Is Bright

The big Christmas tree in the village is looking particularly festive this year, what with all the snow decorating it from the big storm. I see a lot of families taking photos here, but when I snapped these shots, it was late at night—well, late by tiny mountain village standards, so a touch after 10 […]

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

About 95% of the time, Mr. K and I alternate between two breakfasts: yogurt with labne (if we’ve been to Spokane recently; I have yet to have success making my own) and granola or cold cereal with milk and fruit. Once in a while we’ll get wild and have eggs or pancakes, but mostly it’s […]


I decided not to ski today and have instead been sitting at the computer catching up on things like my weekly photo project. I’d been leaning toward not doing it again for 2018, but putting together my creation for last week’s theme (from photos taken last week, so it’s legit) I started to lean the […]

Throwback Thursday: 1978-ish

  When I was in high school, if we wanted a special font for a project, we couldn’t just go to our computer and play with the word processing software, much less search the internet for more options. Instead, we bought stuff like these Formatt sheets from Graphics Products Corporation. Each letter had to be […]

Fall Road Trip, Part the Third

Trip Report Tuesday has moved to Thursday this week due to the storm-related power/internet issues I had. On the previous Trip Report Tuesday, Mr. Karen and I had made it to Cordele, Georgia. From there, we continued driving south to Florida, arriving in Orlando in late afternoon. We checked into our condo, unloaded the car, […]

Stormy Weather

I missed posting yesterday. That storm cycle I mentioned did indeed bring a lot of snow for skiing. It also brought power and internet outages starting last night. First, just our internet went down, then it came back up, then as I was writing my journal entry for yesterday, the power went out, taking the […]

C’mon Snow

As expected, my neck and shoulders and adjacent muscles are sore today, but with the help of my friend Vitamin I (also known as ibuprofen), I skied for a while this afternoon, not pushing myself on speed or steepness but just aiming at keeping my ski muscles active. We’re in the start of a storm […]

Winter Risks and Rewards

I took a fall while skiing today and hit my (helmeted) head kind of hard, so I’m trying taking it easy tonight and rest up for the snow that’s coming over the next few days. Of course I had to do a bunch of Googling about signs of brain injury, none of which I seem […]

Carousel of Smiles

Going to run errands in town this afternoon, my route took me past the fairgrounds, where there was an event to show off the progress on the vintage carousel some folks are working on restoring. I’d seen the horses early in the year at another event so stopped into this one;. I’d read on Facebook […]

Or Something

I had a pleasant day cleaning and drinking cocoa … wait, not quite. There was no cocoa, and it wasn’t cleaning but rather tidying, though some garbage was generated in the process so I suppose the room I was working in is technically cleaner, except the house as a whole is not because the garbage […]

Throwback Thursday: 1968

Today I have a photo I found in my mom’s house not in the clean out after she died, but in the clean out in October of 2013, when I took a week off work to help her get her house ready for sale because she’d found a senior living place she said she liked. […]

Government Overreach is in the Eye of the Beholder

Several days back, I wrote about the Agricultural Census mailing Mr. Karen and I got here at our definitely not agricultural condo. For me it was a goof, a form that I shouldn’t have gotten. The letter acknowledged that it might not apply and that filling out the first few questions on the form would […]

Fall Road Trip, Part the Second

On Trip Report Tuesday last week, Mr. Karen and I had made it from Idaho to Illinois, where we visited with Mr. K’s mom, went to Great America, and I worked with my brother on the last bits of cleaning out Mom’s house. On a Thursday, Mr. K and I headed out from his mom’s, […]

What Passes for Excitement Around Here

I’m taking a second day in a row off from skiing, because there’s been no new snow and the weekend crowds are here—such as they are, which is not very crowded at all, but my standards have changed now that I’ve been spoiled by not having to wait in lift lines hardly at all ever […]

State of Mind

I played around for a while on Lumosity last night for the first time in a couple of years (I fell prey to an ad on Facebook). I let my paid subscription go after I retired, so I was only able to do a few games, but that was enough to make me wonder about […]

Response Required by Law

A little while back, Mr. Karen and I got an odd piece of mail: the USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture. Our response was required by law, the envelope said. So we opened it, to find instructions about how to go to a website and enter our unique survey code to answer questions about our agricultural […]

Throwback Thursday: 1951

One of the surprising turns in cleaning out my mom’s house was finding her wedding dress in the basement. I had no idea that she still had that; I thought it had slipped away at some point as so many things did (including the quilt I made for mom, which I hadn’t seen in years […]

When All Else Fails, Kittens

Every topic I’ve considered writing about today will take longer to do justice to than I have this morning, as I’m heading first into town then down into the city with a whole list of errands and tasks and places I want to go as I haven’t been in the city for a couple months, […]

Fall Road Trip, Part the First

I mentioned in my first Holidailies entry that I’d been on the road for six of the previous weeks. At that point, I hadn’t yet gotten around to doing any entries about those travels, but that changes today, with the first installment of Trip Report Tuesday, a new December feature here at Hat on Top, […]

First World Frustration

Today I took the day off I originally intended to take yesterday. So far it hasn’t been all I hoped for due to a middle of the night spell of insomnia last night that got me off to a groggy, late start this morning combined with internet issues. I guess it’s refreshing that the internet […]

The Mountain Is Calling

When I went to sleep last night, I had thought about taking today off from skiing, give my muscles a rest from the effort of skiing myself back into downhill form. Maybe I’d get on that last bit of unpacking I tasked myself with yesterday. Maybe I’d catch up on the laundry. Maybe I’d do […]

I Kinda Remember Having Goals

At the beginning of 2017, I set some goals for myself. I revised them mid-year, then did a check-in for July, saying then that I was going to do what I could in August due to travel then reassess in early September. Ha. And also ha. But there’s one more month left of 2017 in […]

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ah, December, when I turn to my poor neglected online journal and become a posting fool for a month, thanks to Holidailies. This time, it’s been more than two months since I last wrote an entry here. I was away from home for over six weeks of that time, and I’ve never been good at […]

Is 2017 Going to Be My Year?

As I was last year, I’m waffling on making formal resolutions. There’s so much I want to do; that’s not the issue. It’s the setting myself up for failure that’s holding me back. I pretty much didn’t do anything I set out to do last year. I’ve already written about falling far, far short of […]

2016 Photo Project

I just posted my final photo in the photo a day Flickr group I participated in this year, my fourth with this group. After two years of not missing a day, I missed one this year. I’m rather surprised I didn’t miss more, what with everything that went on to distract me from getting into […]

Facing the Forecast

Originally, Mr. Karen and I were planning to stay at his sister’s through the weekend, but after studying the weather forecast, we decided to come home today in order to get ahead of a snowstorm that looked like it would cause some difficulty for us traversing the mountain pass between her house and ours. It […]

Lazy Day

I’m recently back from dinner out with family at a restaurant on the third floor of a historical building converted to space for small businesses; it was still festively decorated for the holidays.   Before dinner, we played Hearts (I won, more luck than skill).   Before Hearts, we lazed around the house and had […]

Gettin’ Out of Dodge

It’s one of the three most crowded weeks on the mountain; the lodging is all full, the activities are booked solid, and today they were doing overflow parking at the lot halfway down the mountain because all the upper lots were full. So what did we do? Leave town. I grabbed Stanley the octopus and […]

Pioneer Woman

I’m having another one of those days when I despair over the future of our nation, no doubt helped along by not feeling well, my Christmas cold having reasserted itself today, so in an attempt to cheer myself up, let’s look at a recent small success I had: I made yogurt. My wonderful Instant Pot […]

Frozen Fractals All Around

We didn’t ski today; it’s one of the more crowded days of the year, and I’ve been fighting a cold. I did walk down to the village to check our mail, but not until after dark (which is about 4 p.m., so I wasn’t slacking that much), which meant I grabbed my Frozen wand as […]

Christmas Tree, 2016 Edition

  I can’t remember the last time Mr. Karen and I put up a big Christmas tree; in recent years the fascinating fiber optic table top version has served us well. But this year we did put up a big tree, a skinny artificial one my mom gave us because she thought it would look […]

Santa Truck

Mary and Melanie have both done Holidailies posts about their Santa on a firetruck experiences, and now it’s my turn. Here, Santa comes on Christmas Eve. This year, we had no children in the condo building, so he did not stop to throw candy, just rolled on by and waved and wished us Merry Christmas. […]

Human Popsicle

Today the weather on the mountain was challenging. The day started with snowglobe snow, with fluffy flakes falling gently, but by the time we got out on the hill, the dreaded ice fog had set in. This looks like regular fog, but has the added element of coating objects moving through it with a thin […]

Snapping Photos is Cheaper

The latest addition to my collection of photos of things I am not going to buy is this ski sweater:   Why am I not going to buy it even though I really, really like it? Several reasons, starting with it’s $158, and my clothing budget is not what it used to be. Then there […]

Why the Waffles?

My most-viewed photo on Flickr yesterday was the one I took of the chairlift, which I posted in my journal entry entry yesterday. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is the second most-viewed yesterday, only one view behind first place: this snap of one of my breakfasts at Disney, which I uploaded on December 1st […]

Free Lunch

I had something happen today that’s never happened to me on a ski day before: I, along with a bunch of other folks, got stuck on a lift long enough that the resort opened a room for us to gather in after we got unstuck and stocked it with hand warmers, blankets, and lunch. I’m […]

Yak Emulation

  These constructions of rubber and metal have made my winter better. They’re Yak Trax that Mr. Karen got me for my birthday in March but which I didn’t use right away, what with the warm spring we had here. I’ve sure been using them the last month or so, stretching them onto my hiking […]

Super Sphere

  Mr. Karen and I did a pretty good job downsizing our Christmas decoration collection before we moved (wish we’d done as well with other things, but too late now, better luck next time). One of the survivors was this purple light ball, currently lurking behind the television, where it will stay for the duration […]

Peer Pressure

I have never been much of a cook. I’ve been more of a reheater, an open the box and follow the directions maker of food. Over the last several months, that’s been changing. This past summer, after months of seeing many Facebook friends extol the virtues of something called the Instant Pot, I succumbed to […]

Pouty Face Felt Girl

What with all the bad, sad, maddening news in the world, I’ve been feeling down today and not much like writing. Thus, I offer instead of a bunch of words, a photo of a doll I saw at a museum in Kansas. The card in her case called her “pouty face felt girl”. I’m not […]

Pizzas I Have Known and Loved

Today started the “12 Deals of Christmas” at the ski resort; this first one was $1 off slices of pizza upstairs at the day lodge. I would have been more excited by this if the pizza were more like one of my four favorites from the Great Lakes States. Growing up in Chicagoland, I was […]

On the Change of Seasons

When I left the mountain back in September before all my travels, it was early autumn, warm enough to hike with only a light jacket. There were spots of fall color, but the majority of trees still had the majority of their leaves, and the aspen outside our front window hadn’t even given up its […]

‘Tis the Season for Dental Work

Part of moving is, of course, finding new health care professionals. Our new dentist’s office is quite a change from the one we had in Michigan. These folks seem more technologically up-to-date—they have a fancy image-taking machine that swoops around one’s head like something from a sci-fi movie, and they text me reminders of my […]


Happy as I am to live on our mountain, it does have its challenges. I think I’ve mentioned the lack of proximity to certain things I’d gotten used to having nearby during our life in Michigan, like chain drugstores to hunt down nail polish displays, and an eye doctor that takes our insurance (the nearest […]

Idahome, Sweet Idahome

Previously on Mr. K and I Roam the Country, we finished out our stay in Orlando in a funk due to the election results. We spent our last night in our rental condo driving to and then back from a concert in Clearwater. The next morning, due to parking lot work, we had to drag […]

Doing What One Does in the Keys

In our last episode, Mr. Karen and I had arrived on Cudjoe Key to spend a weekend with our friends Bo and Gretchen. As many times as we’ve been to Florida, I’d never been to the Keys before, so was curious to see some new things and hang our with our friends. (Whose place in […]

Mo’ Driving

After we left Minneapolis that Sunday afternoon, Mr. Karen and I turned our attention to our next travel goal: making it to the Florida Keys by Thursday afternoon/evening. That’s only a little over 1900 miles; considering we’ve routinely done the 2100 from our Idahome to metro Detroit in two and a half days, having four […]

Skol Vikings

Mr. Karen flew into Chicagoland for the last few days of the Illinois portion of my trip. Saturday of that week, we drove up to Minneapolis for a Viking fan event associated with a forum that Mr. K doesn’t post on but our friend Eli is quite active on. Our hotel was in easy walking […]

Sifting and Sorting

After spending a few days in Michigan near the end of September, seeing some of the people and places I miss, I backtracked to Illinois, where I stayed with my mother-in-law Joan and spent many of my waking hours working on settling my mom’s affairs. My brother was once again there to work with me, […]

Driving, Driving, Driving

As of the end of the previous installment of this trip report, Mr. Karen and I set out on our own journeys from Spokane, Washington, he heading home and me heading east toward Michigan. I stopped the first night in Montana because that’s pretty much unavoidable when going from the Inland Northwest to the Great […]

Pre-Trip Trip

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I recently took my longest trip ever. It was 58 days on the road, starting with a quick overnight in Seattle, about six hours west of home. Two bands Mr. Karen likes (I like one of them, too, and didn’t know the other but trust his taste) were playing […]

Another Ride on the Holidailies Train

Welcome, welcome to my 15th year of participation in Holidailies. I expect many of those of you who found your way here today already know me, as there’s a core group of bloggers and journalers who show up for Holidailies every year, but there may a be a few new folks stopping by and that’s […]

Wrapping Up Things

This will be the last installment documenting my Thingadailies participation, during which I made very few actual things. Oddly for someone who used to get stressed about stuff like that, I’m perfectly okay with this outcome. February 21st   I made many noises of surprise and delight during my favorite event of Winter Carnival, the […]

More Things

I’m still doing Thingadailies in super relaxed mode. I may manage three posts this month, which is two more than I did in January, so that will be good if it happens. Which it won’t if I don’t get to the meat of this catch up post. February 11th     I made three balls […]


So yeah, that Holidailies burst of activity didn’t exactly reset my journalling switch to “On”. Instead of writing here since Holidaililes ended, I did a lot of skiing, some nail blogging, and drove all the way to Michigan and back by myself to see friends and family and pick up some things Mr. Karen and […]


I thought about jotting down some resolutions for the new year but the brain fog accompanying this sore throat / sinus thing that I’ve been dealing with for the past couple days means I just want to sit around and drink herbal tea and play Candy Crush. I haven’t even put on real shoes since […]

2015 Photo Project

Wrapping up my year in what’s become a tradition, posting here after posting my final picture in the photo a day project I participated in on Flickr. This was my third year with the group, and while I didn’t miss a day for the second year in a row, I didn’t exactly keep up with […]


When I’m not skiing or staring out the window at my Christmas lights or trying to settle into life in a much smaller space than I’ve gotten used to, I marvel at the icicles hanging off some of the buildings in the neighborhood. In the village, of course, they knock them down before they get […]

The Internet is Weird

I was poking around Flickr earlier and happened to notice in one of the little boxes cluttering up some screen that my most viewed photo yesterday was from April 2014, showing the conference room in Minsk that served as my office when I was there. I don’t get it. It’s not a particularly well composed […]

Today’s Molehill

Today’s minor problem that my brain has latched onto and won’t let go of: my favorite hiking socks are missing. I’d noticed this a week or so ago, but figured they were in the mounds of laundry that built up while the dryer was not working right. Now I’m far enough through the pile that […]

Lights of Winter

One nice thing about the long hours of darkness this time of year is it gives me ample opportunity to stare out the window at our Christmas lights on the balcony. You may recall them from my Christmas Eve entry, when they looked like this, with a wave of snow curling down from the railing. […]

The Force Awakens But I’m Tired

Mr. Karen and I decided to skip skiing today. There wasn’t any new snow to speak of so no reason to mix it up with the post-Christmas weekend crowd. I made whole wheat pancakes for breakfast, which were tastier than I thought they’d be, though the pure maple syrup and huckleberry compote I topped them […]

All Is Calm

  I hope those of you celebrating Christmas today are having a wonderful time. It’s pretty quiet here on the mountain tonight, which suits Mr. Karen and me just fine. Wishing that your holidays suit you just fine, too. ***** On this date in 2014: Merry Christmas 2013: Christmas Trees of WDW 2012: Merry Christmas […]

Christmas Eve

Had a great day today, starting with skiing in yet more fresh powder. I shoveled the decks yesterday after I came in from the slopes, and this morning the snow was piled up again; the snow report for today said sixteen inches in the last 24 hours. The trees are so covered that some are […]

Mountain Chic

One of the things that got left behind in Michigan that should have come out here to Idaho was my favorite pair of ski pants. I am still not 100% sure how that happened; I guess I thought since I didn’t see them when I was packing they must have already been out here, like […]

Who Are You Calling a Western Stubby?

There are many adjustments I’ll have to make living out west in a small town after having spent five decades in large metro areas in the Great Lakes region. Case in point: butter. Specifically the aspect ratio of sticks of butter. The butter of my childhood came in long skinny sticks, and I knew nothing […]

It’s Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Mother Nature is putting on quite a show decorating for Christmas here, with over two feet of snow in the last week and more in the forecast for the next three days. Mr. Karen and I have been more restrained in our approach, mostly because we’re still unpacking and settling in and adding more chaos […]

Night Skiing

Back when Mr. Karen and I were younger and more energetic, we’d take ski vacations in Colorado where we’d fly out of Michigan after work, get into Denver late, then get up the next day and head to Keystone, where they had night skiing so we could stay on the slopes ’til 8 or 8:30 […]

Modern Maturity

  There is ample evidence that Mr. Karen and I are grown ups, what with being retired and all, but there are also signs that we are not entirely mature. Such as Mr. Pumpkin taking a seat in the wreath that hangs above our fireplace, above the mouse ear hats from various Disney theme parks […]

It’s Handy to Be Married to Someone Handy

The dryer at the condo here has always been wonky, making an odd noise and shutting itself off to take an hour-long rest during any but the lightest loads, but it always did eventually dry the clothes. A couple days ago it stopped making the odd noise, and just heated the clothes instead of drying […]

Might As Well Fail Big

A couple days ago, I noticed an entry called “Three Books Behind” in my prior years’ links, which inspired me to update my book log and Goodreads account to see how far behind I am this year. Answer: 45 books. So yeah, I’m not going to make it. I didn’t realize how very distracting the […]

Six Tiny Reindeer

  In the department of whimsy, I spotted these reindeer grazing among some pine boughs in a planter that sits in front of our mailbox here in Idaho. There are six of them (the sixth, not pictured, is some inches from his mates, far enough away that I wonder if there used to be eight […]

Ski Day 1

Mr. Karen and I did some skiing today, on our second full day here at our previous home away from home that’s now our primary home I guess even though most of our stuff is still in Michigan. There hasn’t been enough snow yet this season for the whole mountain to be open, but that’s […]


I was greeted with a beautiful winter scene outside my bedroom window this morning. The only downside was knowing I’d have to shovel that deck at some point.   The deck in front had also started to make its own garland.   Sock Monkey and Sparty Monkey tried making snow angels, but they were not […]

End of the Road

This morning, we checked out of the hotel in Bozeman and headed west. We intended to meet up at a great little burger restaurant about two hours away, only to arrive and find it closed for a private party. Fortunately, there was another cafe in the tiny town that was open, so the six of […]

Go Cats Go

We woke up this morning in Bozeman; when I peeked out the window, I was greeted with this beautiful view, which was a nice surprise since it was too dark last night when we arrived to see the mountains. I knew they were there, of course, since we had to drive through some of them […]

And I Would Drive 716 Miles

Today began in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We slipped into the breakfast room at the hotel just before it closed at 9. The woman who came to shut it down saw we were still eating and instead of breaking down the buffet, talked to us about her five kids, the youngest of which is two and […]

And We’re Off

Several hours after I posted yesterday’s entry, Mr. Karen and I finished loading up our vehicles and headed west. Our house is not yet sold, but it’s being taken care of by people we trust, so we’re going to Idaho for the winter to ski. Consistent with our theme of downsizing, I only have two […]

Cat Portraits are Hard

I am way too stressed out getting prepared to relocate to Idaho for the winter, so instead of more angsty words from me about that, I present a series taken at my mom’s house over Thankgsiving weekend, called “Simon is a cat and thus does not care if you are trying to get a good […]

Work, Dress, Boots, Sport, Sandals, Other

  As much sorting and clearing and weeding out as we’ve done, there’s still plenty of stuff to go through, and still stuff is surfacing that I’d forgotten all about, like this Shoe Inventory dated March 1, 1990, which I came across yesterday. My job didn’t allow for business casual, so the “work” section shows […]

Well Here’s a Twist

Instead of my anxious brain getting stuck in overdrive and making it hard for me to go to sleep at night, as is its wont, today it decided to wake me up early and keep me that way. Topic of the day: stuff. Specifically what stuff to take out to Idaho for the winter when […]

And Then There Was The Rest of November

We came home from California to a for sale sign in our front yard that wasn’t there when we left, but no offers from anyone to buy it. A few days later, we got our first snow, and it was serious, not just a dusting. I was still coughing from the vacation sickness, so that […]

On Not Working

Yesterday, I drove up to my old office to have lunch with a friend who still works there. Despite my best intentions of keeping in touch, it had been a while since we talked at any length, so there was lots to catch up on over a meal at one of my favorite lunch spots […]

The Crowdedest Place on Earth

The day after we put our house on the market, we flew off to California for trip to the Disneyland Resort, our reward for getting that big task done. We’d intended to go in September, but that was part of our road trip that we cut in order to work on the house. Still, we […]

Achievement Unlocked

On November 9th, our house went on the market, an important milestone in the move to Idaho plan. We’ve never sold a house before, having stayed in this, our starter house, for 25 years. We haven’t sold this one yet, either; we’ve had some showings but no second showings and no offers. This is not […]


I didn’t write anything here in October, but I did take photos throughout the month, so I am able to see what I might have written about then if I’d managed it. The house decluttering and sprucing up that’s been an ongoing theme since retirement continued; we had contractors in to strip wallpaper and paint […]

Not Dead Yet

This has been my least active year of online journaling since I started in the spring of 2002. I had zero months in October and November, which hasn’t happened ever, much less two months in a row. Yet I still signed up for Holidailies, because it’s what I do around here. Will I post every […]

Starting Off Right

Since there are plenty of things I want to accomplish in 2015, it would seem there’s no time like the present to make some resolutions, but I’m not going to do that right now. Instead, I’m going to continue to enjoy hanging out with Mr. Karen since we’re both off work until Monday. Earlier today, […]

2014 Photo Project

I’ve just posted the last picture for the only photo project I did this year, a daily diary as part of a group on Flickr. I did this same thing with some of the same people in 2013, and my goal for this year was to not miss a day while interacting more with the […]

Temptation at the Thrift Shop

Mr. K and I stopped in a charity shop today to see what we could see. He found a belt to buy; I found some men’s sweaters I was sorely tempted by. Since I have many sweaters in my wardrobe already, some of which I haven’t worn in several winters, I could not justify buying […]

Places I’ll Never Live

I am not looking to buy any more real estate, at least not anytime soon, yet I continue to pick up real estate listing guides from brochure stands. I guess it’s like a wish book for grownups. What if I had a lakefront cabin with 65 feet of frontage? Or for only 35 thousand more, […]

Drinking Chocolate

Cooking is not one of the things that engages me, generally. I don’t dislike it; I’d just rather spend my limited free time doing other things. Yet the past two nights, I’ve made hot chocolate from scratch, working on perfecting a recipe that tastes good, has a nice mouth feel, and doesn’t contain any white […]

Somebody’s Got to Run the Errands

It was one of those days when Mr. K and I left the house with two lists: places to go and things to buy. Our first stop was Home Depot, where I immediately got distracted by the Christmas clearance stuff, even though about 90% of my current Christmas decor never made it out of boxes […]

The Continuing Adventures

Today Stanley and Sparty Monkey got to play in the snow. Well, sit in the snow. More snow is in the forecast, so there was no point in shoveling yet. I don’t think they’ll be good at shoveling anyway. ***** On this date in 2013: WDW Day 9: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom 2012: Most […]

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating today, from me and also Sparty Monkey and Stanley the octopus, who invaded a giant poinsettia tree together (I helped). Mr. Karen and I celebrated Christmas by exchanging text messages with family then playing in the snow all day before celebrating Jesus’s birthday (observed) with pie. It was […]

Hangin’ with a New Posse

I met some new friends today; they’re so new I don’t know their real names yet, but I just know we’ll have fun adventures together. I kicked off my Christmas Eve celebration this morning by going to get the oil changed in my car. I might have to make that a new tradition, as business […]

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve

Soon I will leave the office for the holiday break. Most of my colleagues have already gone, but I don’t have anywhere I have to be until after lunch tomorrow and am rather enjoying the quiet here right now. Or was enjoying it, rather—the cleaning crew has just arrived on my floor with their vacuum. […]

Bad Santa

I wrote earlier this month about my seasonal office decorating with window clings. I’d just taken down the last of the autumn stuff and had not yet put up anything for winter, saying that was a post for another day. That day has come. After the gingerbread house party, I adorned one window panel with […]

Hair Clippings

I’m sitting down to write this post before dinner, lest it become a repeat of yesterday’s “woe is me, I frittered away all my time”. I have actually gotten some tasks done that needed doing, including changing the sheets and doing the laundry—well, most of it; load four is in the washer now, and there’s […]

In Which the Day Gets Away from Me

I can’t quite figure out how it got to be nearly bedtime. I slept in a little this morning, but not a lot, so that’s not where the time went. I did dawdle some getting showered and dressed and breakfasted, but I don’t think I was exceptionally leisurely. Yet somehow here it is going on […]

Better Than Not Winning

The Purple Systems holiday party isn’t until January, but earlier this week my boss’s boss hosted a dinner for the team leads in our department to thank us for our hard work in what’s been a more challenging year than usual. It was a chance to have some fun and relax. As part of the […]

Detroit Back in the Day

The city of Detroit made a big impression on me when we passed through on the way to visit my uncle in Canada in the early 70s. I’d been to Chicago, of course, because we lived close, and to Milwaukee, because that’s where my grandmas were, but Detroit was exotic and strange. I knew no […]

I’d Rather Be Limited

One of the few downsides of working for Purple Systems is the lack of sick days. The policy manual says that there is no official number of sick days and to stay home if we’re sick. That’s all well and good, but it also says if you haven’t been working enough extra hours to flex […]

December Manicure Favorites

Yes, I’m recycling content today, bringing three of my favorite looks from my nail blog this month over here to the journal. I won’t go all nail polish geek on you and list brand names, shade names, number of coats, whether topcoat was or was not used, etc., because if you wanted that sort of […]

Three Books Behind

I took a few minutes this morning to update my book log and Goodreads for the first time in a month. Goodreads now informs me that I’m three behind schedule on my goal to read 100 books this year. I’m not too worried about it; if it looks like I won’t make it, I can […]

Quilt Show Flashback

After a couple/few days of feeling like I was getting over the sinus crud, it seems to be staging a comeback, leaving me once again with an extra fuzzy head and low energy. Instead of dwelling on that, let’s instead look at some pretty pictures from the Ann Arbor quilt guild show I went to […]


This morning Mr. K and I went to the bank and got my signature notarized on his retirement paperwork, which was the last piece of documentation needed for the package to be finalized and his retirement date to become officially official. (I had to irrevocably consent to his opting out of the normal form of […]

Social Butterfly I Am Not

Yesterday was another late night entertaining our work guests from across the sea. If I were really dedicated to Holidailies, I would have gone up to my office when the bus pulled into the parking lot around 11:20 last night, gotten the photos off my camera and written an entry then to get it posted […]

This Is My Brain on Stress

One of the meetings on my calendar for today was cancelled at nearly the last minute, so I decided I could afford to take a little break and do some Lumosity training for the first time in nearly a week. As the graph of my overall performance shows, I don’t do so well when I’m […]

Let’s Go Red Wings!

Barely squeaking this one in today; I am up very late because I spent the evening with guests who are visiting us at work this week. We went downtown and rode the People Mover, which showed nicely with this mosaic mural in the station we started off at. We rode to Greektown and had dinner […]

Rest in Peace, Daddy Dale

My father-in-law, the man I call Dale here in this journal, died yesterday. His health had been declining for quite some time, and after his most reent hospitalization in late September he went into in-home hospice care. I last saw him at Thanksgiving and wasn’t able to interact with him in what felt like any […]

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Something

I’m facing a more stressful week at work than usual, so this morning before my first meeting I decided to put up the little purple Christmas tree that I bought for my office a couple years ago (back when Purple Systems still had purple as our corporate color). Now some might say when overwhelmed by […]

Gimme Some Sugar

It’s been an extra social weekend for me, with the Instagram gathering yesterday and then today’s adventure, a gingerbread house decorating party hosted by one of my coworkers. She baked and assembled all the houses, while we guests just had to bring candy. My house looked like this at the start of the event: And […]

Instagram Gathering

So I’ve already failed at the daily part of Holidailies even though, unlike last year, I wasn’t traveling. Ah well, it was bound to happen. I’d intended to write an entry yesterday. On Friday, I’d spent a bit of time getting a document all ready with all the links to prior years’ entries for the […]

Brain Training

When I need a little break at work, sometimes I go make a cup of tea, and sometimes I play a game at lumosity.com. I started doing that summer before last, when I was going through a particularly bad period of brain fog and worried about the state of my grey matter. I know the […]

On Still Not Acquiring Sock Monkeys

Just a couple days after saying I wasn’t going to make 2014 Holidailies a post-for-post homage to 2013, I am returning to that idea because unfortunately the crud I thought I’d successfully fought off got the better of me starting late yesterday, so I need a quick win here as I sit in my bathrobe […]

To Everything There Is a Season

One of the things I intended to do Monday was switch the window decor on the glass front wall of my office from autumn to winter, what with Thanksgiving being over. As of right now, Wednesday noon, I’ve only gotten as far as taking down the fall-themed clings and am pondering whether I should try […]

Music, Family, and a Furry Kitten

Given that yesterday I wrote a Holidailies intro post, just like I’d done a year earlier, and today I am planning to write a Thanksgiving trip report, just like I did on this date in 2013, I briefly considered continuing the pattern and making this year’s entries for Holidailies an homage to last year’s by […]

Lucky 13

It’s December, so it’s time for Holidailies. Of course I signed up. How could I not? This will be my 13th year participating, which makes it a longer-lived tradition than most things I’ll do to celebrate this winter holiday season. This year, I first heard that registration was open on Facebook, which wasn’t even a […]

With a Whimper and a Bang

I was planning to write today about how much of a Holidailies underachiever I was this year, finishing with my lowest post total ever, including my first year in 2002 when I didn’t quite grasp the “daily” part of Holidailies. I am finishing on a whimper, for sure. But just at the moment, I’m in […]

2013 Photo Projects

As I have the last several years, I tasked myself with some photo challenges for 2013. I joined a photo a day group that worked a bit differently than ones I’d done before and also decided I’d continue my weekly self-portraits even though the group I’d done them with before didn’t carry over. I failed […]

Little Karen

One of the many photos my mom and I have uncovered working on cleaning her house over these past few months is this shot of me in the fall of 1965 at the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee. I’m three going on four years old. I have so many questions for this little girl. How […]

Holiday Afterglow

Holiday stuff showing up too soon bothers me, like Christmas nail polish in stores before Halloween, but I rather enjoy holiday decor hanging around after its big day. (To a point; overlapping the next holiday is just as bad as arriving before a previous one.) Which is a long way of saying I’ll be spending […]

Best Laid Plans

If you asked me yesterday where I’d be today, I would have given the wrong answer. I wouldn’t have lied to you, I just didn’t know at the time that the universe had plans for me other than the ones I made. I expected to be reunited with Mr. Karen after a week apart, but […]

WDW Day 10: Magic Kingdom, Departure, and Reflections

Yes, this is the last installment of my trip report, departure day. Our flight wasn’t ’til late afternoon, so we fit in one last visit to the Magic Kingdom, hitting four of the classic attractions: Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Country Bears, and Small World. We also had lunch, eaten at a table in a fairly quiet […]

WDW Day 9: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom

I was still feeling sick (congested, mostly) on this, our last full day of touring, but like the previous day, loaded up on cold meds and went forth. It was our last full day of touring, after all. We started our day at Animal Kingdom, which sort of got short shrifted this trip in our […]

Christmas Trees of WDW

Merry Christmas to those of you who are celebrating today! I decided to take a break from my extended trip report to share some of the many fantabulous Christmas trees Walt Disney World displays during the holiday season. Each theme park has a huge tree, and many of the resorts do as well, with I’ve […]

WDW Day 8: Magic Kingdom and Epcot

As is our wont, we started this day in a leisurely fashion, having a late breakfast in the Contempo Cafe, watching monorails glide by as we ate. This counter service has the benefit of space and thus has much better traffic flow than Captain Cook’s at the Poly; what it does not have is Dole […]

WDW Day 7: Downtown Disney and Christmas Party

Instead of heading to a theme park on this fabulous Thursday, Mr. Karen and I went to Downtown Disney. Our primary mission was to hit the huge World of Disney store and see how many things we could find to buy from the list of desirable souvenirs we’d been compiling all week, but before we […]

WDW Day 6: Magic Kingdom and a New Hotel

On this sunny Wednesday morning, we packed up and said goodbye to our beloved Polynesian, as we were moving over to the Contemporary. It was the first time we tried doing a split stay; we’d always wanted to try the Contemporary, but weren’t sure enough that we’d like it to commit a whole long trip […]

WDW Day 5: Magic Kingdom and the Studios

Less than 12 hours after leaving it, we returned to the Magic Kingdom to start this day of touring. Some rides were ridden and shops explored, of course, but the main attraction was lunch at Be Our Guest, the headliner restaurant in new Fantasyland. Lunch is quick service, which usually means first come, first served, […]

WDW Day 4: Studios and Magic Kingdom

With Reunion over, you might think our vacation calendar was free of events, but no, it was not. Since we were participating in the test of FastPass+, Disney’s new system for making appointments to experience attractions, we had weeks before setup times for three rides/shows per day, so we had to keep track of those, […]

WDW Day 3: Animal Kingdom

On this particular morning, the last day of Reunion, we had to get up earlier than we like to on vacation in order to get to the breakfast and podcast taping event that kicked off the day’s festivities. I kicked off my day making another donut bandage out of Moleskin for my blister, which had […]

WDW Day 2: Epcot

One of the rules of a Walt Disney World vacation is TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET. It’s a big place and there’s a lot of walking. On this trip, I failed to follow this rule on our very first day. I wore my hiking shoes on the plane and then in the Studios our first […]

WDW Day 1: Arrival and the Studios

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, Mr. Karen and I spent last week at Walt Disney World. Last week plus a few days, actually, as we left on Friday the 6th around noon in order to participate in some of the WDW Today and Mouse Fan Travel Reunion events. Before we could leave, though, we […]

Back to Reality

Last week, I was at Walt Disney World in Florida, not camped out in front of my computer as per usual. I will have much more to say about the trip in future posts, but right now I am focusing on getting back into the normal rhythms of my life. The adjustment is proving harder […]

In Which My Brain is Fried

Part of the Holidailies tradition as I manifest it here on my online journal is me writing at least one entry about being stressed and/or bummed and/or unmotivated, from 2002’s Humbug to 2012’s Cranky. I’ve written similar entries in non-Holidailies months, too, but not nearly so regularly, since without the spur of this collaborative project, […]

On Not Acquiring Sock Monkeys

Over the last few years, I’ve built a small collection of sock monkeys, starting with Christmas Sock Monkey, who has appeared in this journal many times, sometimes with his monkey friends. It’s been months since my sock monkey family grew, though; the last addition was Pocket Monkey, who was a gift from Mr. Karen this […]

Creepier Than the Elf on a Shelf

I am glad the Elf on a Shelf was not a thing when I was a kid. A spy in my house watching me and reporting back to Santa every night and then getting into some sort of mischief in the house while I slept (who’s reporting to Santa on all the Shelf Elf shenanigans, […]

Thanksgiving Recap

The part of my brain that likes to do things in a certain order thinks yesterday would have been the ideal time for me to do a Thanksgiving weekend report, but the part of my brain that deals with getting photos off the camera so they can be used for journal entries (even if just […]

And So It Begins

I signed up for Holidailies again this year, making my twelfth attempt at this daily writing project. Looking back at my history with this collaborative writing effort and ahead to my schedule for December, I already know I will not manage to post here every day between now and January 1st, but I still have […]


This last day of Holidailies and first day of 2013 found me waking in my bed at home for the first time since December 21st. Mr. Karen and I road tripped out to Idaho to our ski condo, making stops in Illinois on the way to see family. We flew back late last night. Today […]

Happy New Year a Bit Early

The Sock Monkeys aren’t sure they can stay awake until midnight. I might manage it, but just in case, let me wish all of you a Happy New Year now. May 2013 bring us all much joy! ***** On this date in 2011: How Long Until 2012 2010: Sock Monkey Waits for the New Year […]

Sock Monkey Tries Five Guys

Sock Monkey and Mr. Karen and I recently got the chance to try Five Guys for the first time. I’m not sure what took us so long—they’ve been in Michigan a while. Having now tried it, I can say it’s a good burger, but Culver’s is still my favorite. I did quite like the colorful […]

Probably My Fault

Today I spent my morning covering a patio window with tape. Strip after strip of clear weather seal tape, like packing tape but with an adhesive that allows it to be applied in cold temperatures. Why was I doing this? Because I feared without the tape, I’d soon have a pile of glass shards, because […]

My Mother, the Flapper

My mom in a variety show at the school she taught at, circa 1952. The caption in the photo album I scanned tells me the second woman (with her back to the camera in the shot below) is Ellen Jankowski, whom I believe was another teacher, but I’m not sure and really should ask my […]

Whole Lotta Reading Goin’ On

Assuming I finish reading The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje by midnight on New Year’s Eve, which seems likely, I’ll have achieved my goal of completing A to Z challenges for both titles and authors in 2012. Not all of the books were long or serious, but I’m good with that. I read mostly to […]

Most of the Monkeys

The monkeys are allowed to play on the stairs because hey, they’re monkeys—surely they won’t fall. ***** On this date in 2011: No entry. 2010: Christmas Sock Monkey 2009: Post Holiday Slump 2008: Shhhh 2007: There and Back Again 2006: Not Quite Matchy Matchy & Red Scarf Three 2005: Wait ‘Til Next Year 2004: Alaska […]

Merry Christmas from the Monkeys

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Sock Monkey climbing into other people’s trees. This year, he’s showed his new girlfriend, Scarf Monkey, how much fun it is. ***** On this date in 2011: No entry. 2010: No entry. 2009: The Man with the Bag 2008: Christmas Break 2007: Happy Holiday 2006: No entry. 2005: Christmas Past […]

A Tale of Two Glitters

Because I’ve been spending time on other things today, such as standing outside talking to the neighbors while waiting for Santa to come by on his decorated firetruck, I’m reusing photos from my nail blog for this post. It’s a holiday, so I have one of the most festive of polish finishes—glitter. Here’s Feliz Navidad, […]

Sock Monkeys Wish They Knew How to Drive

Some of the monkeys favor a road trip for the holiday week. Too bad for them that they can’t drive and thus are dependent on me for transportation. New Monkey is ready to go. He want to go off roading. I don’t think so, little monkey. Baby Monkey is content to recline on the dash […]

Sock Monkey Summit

All the sock monkeys gathered to discuss their Christmas week plans. Left to right: Spooky Monkey, New Monkey, Metro Monkey, Baby Monkey, Love Monkey, Scarf Monkey, Bunny Monkey, Sock Monkey, and Girl Monkey. Girl Monkey was late to the meeting because she was hanging out with Pikachu, a squirrel, and a French guinea pig in […]

On Being an Hourglass

Though it varies with my sodium intake and such, most days there’s a 13 inch (33 cm) difference between my waist and hip circumferences. This is more than most clothing manufacturers care to design for, which makes buying pants an exercise in frustration. Some clothing lines there’s no hope for me getting along with—they’re made […]

It’s the Lazy Woman Who Works the Hardest

When Mr. Karen got me a new iPod (well, new to us—it was a refurbished unit because the color I wanted wasn’t available in the generation that was current at the time), I passed along my old one to him. He doesn’t use it very often, just on long driving trips, so I put new […]

Lace-Panel Scarf

I’ve been waiting to declare this scarf finished until after I’d blocked it, but today decided I’d just go ahead and take pictures and if I get around to blocking it later, great. As it is, I can’t quite remember when I started knitting this or when I finished. I’m 98% sure I was working […]

There’s Cake in There Somewhere

Inside the Envelope

Yesterday I shared the outside of an envelope; today I’ve got what was inside. Above is the front of the folder that contained the commemorative postage stamps shown below. The text inside the folder is in Japanese and English, so I can tell you the 5 yen stamp is the Olympic Cauldron and Athletes (well, […]

Not Yet a Tumblr

I’ve been pondering making a Tumblr for my dad’s stuff that’s sitting in boxes in my basement. If nothing else, it would force me to figure out Tumblr, which still confuses me somewhat even though I have an account and follow some things and click around over there most days. But I don’t really have […]


I wasn’t feeling well last night and ended up sleeping until 10:15 this morning; I might have slept more but the phone rang and woke me up. By the time I had breakfast and showered and had otherwise gotten ready for the day, it was afternoon. I should have gotten started on one of the […]

I Can’t Even

I had an entry planned for today, but that topic got pushed right out of my head when I heard about the school shooting in Connecticut. Right now, my mind reels that something like this happened and my heart goes out to all the families affected by this latest tragedy, the people who lost children […]


I’m pretty sure if I checked my archives, I’d find I write at least one entry every December about how stressed I’m feeling. Which is sort of dumb, since compared to so many people, I don’t have that much to stress about. I’ve given up a lot of the holiday stuff, like sending cards and […]

Tree of Life Quilt

The only quilting-related activity I’ve been doing recently is looking at pictures of other people’s quilts, like this Tree of Life from somewhere around the 1870s or 1880s, which I snapped at a local quilt show back in 2008 and came across again today when poking around Flickr. There’s so much to like here. The […]

What’s Up, Mushroom?

Because I have the tasks of a fortunate first worlder to take care of tonight (stopping at the bank to get money for the cleaning lady, then straightening the house before she comes tomorrow so she can actually clean), I don’t have time to write a proper entry. I do just have time to share […]

No Nail Pak for Me

I came across a product the other day that, despite being nail polish-related, did not tempt me in the slightest. It’s called The Nail Pak. The top part is nail polish, the bottom part is a file and nail polish remover pads. The display shows a “before” photo with a remover bottle, a polish bottle, […]

Candy is Dandy

A while back, one of my friends from work invited me to a gingerbread house decorating party. She’d make and assemble the houses; all we guests had to do was show up with some candy to contribute to the supply pool. That sounded good to me. Well, yesterday was the day. When I arrived there […]

Photo of the Week

This is the best photo I took this past week. Walking back to my car after dropping off a package at the post office, I took a very slight detour into their loading dock area and snapped this shot of the dripping pine needles against the foggy background. I’m sure someone with a better eye […]

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

Today is the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, and the date is on my mind more so than other years since just last month I visited the USS Arizona Memorial. I knew about the oil that still bubbles up out of the wreckage, which is also a grave site, both for […]

Does Inspiration have an Expiration Date?

I worked from home today, which means when it came time to stop working and write an entry for Holidailies, I had the hard drive of my personal laptop to troll through for ideas. I came across a folder with some scans I’d made in 2009 of a plastic souvenir cup from the Lowry Park […]

Private Leander W.

I ate lunch at my desk today, as I do most days. When I go out, I tend to be entirely too tempted to eat and/or buy things I don’t need. Not that I don’t face similar challenges while staying in the building—there are five candy jars between my desk and the printer, for instance, […]

On Shimmer and Glitter

I was playing with the new set of plugins I got for paint.net (the ones here from pyrochild and used up the time I had allotted today to create original content for this site. I did just create that sentence right there, but that’s with time I should be spending driving home or doing more […]

Getting Better

While I continue to struggle with stuff management, as discussed yesterday, I’ve made progress in some areas of my life over the years. Today’s case in point is taking photos in public. There was a time where I would have been embarrassed to take out my camera in the grocery store, thinking that other people […]

Me, My Stuff, and I

The glove in this photo has been in my life for nearly 13 years. I bought it in a grocery store in France, on my first and so far only ski trip to Europe. It’s been lots of places with me since then—pretty much anywhere I’ve gone that is or might be cold—and has kept […]

Holidailies Time

Every December since I started this journal in 2002, I’ve been a part of Holidailies. This year, it runs from December 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013, and I’m doing it again. Will I post every day? That seems unlikely, given my lackadaisical approach to this journal in recent times, but I’m going to try. […]

Holidailies Wrap Up

Today is officially Day 32 of Holidailies, but since I started (along with some other folks) on reddit before the official start date, this is the 35th consecutive day I’ve posted an entry. I’m pretty sure I’ve never managed that before. Considering I also posted 27 entries to my nail blog in that same period, […]

Failure to Resolve

  Today would have been a good day to finally decide on my New Year’s resolutions, but instead of doing that I’ve been turning dirty laundry into clean laundry with the considerable assistance of my trusty Maytag appliances and changing sheets and painting my nails (only once today, no swatching or playing with nail art […]

Rainbow of Choices

  I spent part of my Saturday afternoon in a shop with Mr. Karen, picking out a mat and frame for the Matterhorn poster we bought when were at Disneyland in October. The poster only has a handful of colors: blues, white, and grey with accents of orange, yellow, and brown. I think that helped […]

Winter? Not So’s I Could Tell

  It felt downright spring-like when I went out at lunchtime today: 53 degrees F and sunny. I went ahead and opened the sunroof in the car, even though that’s still a bit chilly for that sort of thing, since I didn’t know when I’d next get to have the sun on my face. This […]

On Developing a New Habit

  So far, the hardest part about doing a photo a day project again has been remembering I’m doing it. Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk and realized I hadn’t taken my photo for the day, so I grabbed a quick snap of the bulletin board in my office, thinking I’d at least have […]


I am still procrastinating on making my resolutions for 2012. One of the things I’ve been doing instead is reading other people’s posts about how their 2011 went and what they’re hoping to accomplish in 2012. Thus I’ve run across the 40-ish question New Year’s Meme several times. I don’t have the attention span to […]

Reading through the Alphabet

While I was out in Idaho, I finished the last book for the A-Z challenge I set for myself for 2011. This is the third year I’ve done one—I did titles in 2009, authors in 2010, and went back to titles for 2011. Here’s what I read to meet the challenge: A–April Rising (Corine Lemaître) […]

My Presence Was the Present

Now that I’m back, I feel comfortable sharing that I spent most of last week away. Regular readers have no doubt already guessed that I was at my home-away-from-home on Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho. Since this makes two years in a row, I guess it’s my new Christmas tradition. Mr. Karen took the few days […]

2011 Photo Projects

I posted my last pictures from 2011 to Flickr today and thus completed both of my photo projects there for last year. When I wrote about my photo a week group earlier this month, I was thinking I’d skip doing a similar project for 2012, since I was lacking motivation. But today, going through the […]

How Long Until 2012?

  Two monkeys waiting for the New Year calls for a bigger clock than Sock Monkey waiting alone last year. Though if Girl Monkey decides to join them next year, I’m not getting an even bigger timepiece, so we’ll just have to figure something out. ***** On this date in 2010: Sock Monkey Waits for […]

Sock Monkeys Redecorate

  Sock Monkey and New Monkey decided that what this big wreath was missing was monkeys. They might be right. ***** On this date in 2010: Sock Monkey Goes Grocery Shopping 2009: Gadgetry 2008: Twilight, The Movie 2007: Fitter 2006: Chilly Afternoon Out 2005: Triplets 2004: Vacation Paddling 2003: Pikachu Loves Me, At Least for […]

New Monkey Plays with the Buttons

  On a drive into town last evening, New Monkey decided to show off his (or her? Mr. Karen and I have different ideas about New Monkey’s gender) flexible arms by playing with the buttons in the car door. With no strength to go with that flexibility, no buttons were actually pressed. ***** On this […]

Sock Monkey Makes a Friend

  Wheeling the cart around the grocery store with Sock Monkey, as I do from time to time, I came upon a display near the floral section which held a stripey friend for him. $4.99 plus tax later, New Monkey came home with us. Mr. Karen thinks Sock Monkey might be intimidated by New Monkey, […]

King of the Snow Pile

  Sock Monkey seemed to enjoy the view from the top of the snow pile, but he disappeared inside when it was time to shovel all this off the deck. ***** On this date in 2010: Sock Monkey Drowns His Sorrows 2009: Slacking 2008: Still Sweet 2007: Super and Out with the Old 2006: Quilt […]

Sock Monkey Celebrates Christmas

  In what’s becoming a tradition, Sock Monkey celebrated Christmas by sneaking into someone else’s tree and posing for photos. He thought this one coordinated especially nicely with his own color scheme. ***** On this date in 2010: Christmas Sock Monkey 2009: Post-Holiday Slump 2008: Shhhh 2007: There and Back Again 2006: Not Quite Matchy […]

Purple Can Too Be a Christmas Color

  Now it is time for me to shut down the computer and take my Christmas break. Mr. Karen and I didn’t put up a tree in our house this year, so this shot of the purple one at the office which I took on my way out of the door last night will have […]

Worrying About Nothing

So far today, at least the part of it I’ve been awake, I’ve been feeling anxious and ever so slightly panicky about all the stuff I have to do today (and now that I’m sitting here typing, I’m starting to worry about whether the fan noise the laptop is making is normal or a sign […]

A Trip Down Memory Lane

We had a minor flood in our basement recently (thanks, automatic icemaker). While sorting through stuff to see what got wet, I found a group of postcards I collected on a family vacation in the early 1970s. My mom, my grandmother, my brother, and I went to visit family near Toronto and on the way […]

Not Yet Socks

  What you see here is my latest knitting project, which I started over Thanksgiving weekend even though I hadn’t quite finished the project I had been working on most recently. It’s a pair of socks, and everything was going along quite nicely until I got to the heels. Can you see the problem? (With […]

On Being a Negative Force

I updated my book log today. Doing that reminded me of a comment I got here last year from someone who was upset about my book log and not too impressed with the rest of my journal, either. It’s the only non-spam comment I’ve ever chosen not to approve. I deleted it only after I […]

What’s Inside

  A couple days ago I let you all look into my linen closet; today you get a peek at what’s in my purse. I was planning to take this photo before I cleaned anything out, but I just couldn’t quite do it: I took three folded sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and […]

The Secret

No, not that law of attraction stuff, but the secret to how I do something in the office bathrooms that not everyone seems to be able to manage. First, the problem and a sub-optimal solution: I choose to believe people do this not because they are lazy or inconsiderate, but because they don’t know how […]


  One of the items on my weekend to do list was sorting through the shelves in the linen closet that we use as a warehouse for toiletries and first aid supplies and cosmetics, things we aren’t using right now but will when we run out of the stuff in the bathroom. (Some things we […]

Paying It Forward

One of my friends works in retail, and she’s close friends with the woman who manages layaway at their store. This past week, a man came into the store and went to layaway and said that God had been good to him and he wanted to show his appreciation by paying off as many Christmas […]

Rainbows at My Fingertips

  I try to keep cross posting from my nail blog to a minimum, and I already did it once this month, but I just couldn’t resist sharing what is probably my favorite new polish of 2011. It’s from Jessica Cosmetics and is called Disco Diva. Just look at those rainbows! This was so much […]

Big and Bright

  Last night after work I met up with some colleagues for food and drink and discussion; the restaurant was in a city I don’t get to very often, so I did not realize that it had decked itself out in thousands and thousands of Christmas lights and thus was quite surprised when I came […]

Minimal Effort

  Speaking of hobbies I’ve been neglecting (as I was, yesterday, about my quilting), I’ve been slacking big time in my photo a week group on Flickr. There’s a theme every week, and often I don’t even look up what it is until the day before I have to take the photo or miss the […]

Emerging from Dormancy

  When I started this journal, quilting was just about the only creative hobby I was really pursuing. Looking back at the archives, I finished seven quilting projects in the first twelve months I wrote here. My, how times change. In the last twelve months, I’ve finished two quilts, up from zero the year before. […]

Expensive Urine

  I took this photo a couple years ago of all the vitamins and supplements I was packing to go on a week long trip. It would look pretty similar if I took one this year; the colors and sizes and shapes of some of the pills have changed as I’ve swapped new brands in, […]

Grey on Top, Brown Below

Because my roots were showing, I’m sitting here with a head covered in Clairol Natural Instincts in Fresh Maple (boosted with Ardell Gray Magic from the beauty supply store because it seems my grays are getting more and more stubborn). I’m not especially fussy when it comes to my hair—I bought this brand of color […]

File Under “Old School”

As part of my ongoing quest to manage my files of magazine clippings, I recently weeded out the contents of the job hunting folder, which had pretty much been sitting untouched since I was last looking for work in 1999. A lot of the articles were from much earlier than that, including these gems: —An […]


So evidently Holidailies is not going to be on reddit this year after all, but back at the dedicated portal—starting today and running through January 9th—so I don’t have to put a photo in every post to avoid the generic image. Today I do have a photo, though, because I thought I’d share a bit […]

That Narrows It Down

It appears that Holidailies is going to be on reddit again this year, which means I’m going to have at least one photo in every entry even if it’s one I’ve used before and/or it has nothing to do with the subject matter of the text. If I do not do this, my entries will […]

Hope Springs Eternal

I have once again turned my thoughts to weight loss, which I think makes it about eleventy billion times I’ve decided I need to do something about my excess pounds. This go-round I’ve been taking pictures of all the things I’m eating, which is a tactic I’ve not tried before. Mr. Karen asked last night, […]

It’s That Time of Year

Every year since I’ve had this online journal, I’ve participated in Holidailies. It seemed there might not be an official Holidailies this year. I was planning to write anyway, and it seems other people had the same idea. Some started December 1st, which is when the project used to kick off way back in the […]

Stats ‘n’ Stuff

Today is the last day for Holidailies 2010. Before I get sidetracked, I want to thank Jette and Chip for hosting once again. Over the 31 days of the project, I posted (or will have posted provided I remember to add this last one, which I did not for Holidailies 2009, much to my annoyance) […]

Crosses of Stone, Wood, and Metal

      I took these three pictures last March when I went to Green Bay to meet up with my tribe. I found them today in folder on my PC, still waiting to have something done with them. I found the cemetery they belong in on Find a Grave and will post the relevant […]

Circling Back Around

My goals for 2009 carried over to 2010 and because I still want to do those things, here they are again for 2011: 1. Weigh less and move more. 2. Keep less and organize more. 3. Surf less and contribute more. I can’t say I did a bang up job on any of these in […]

Sock Monkey Goes on a Ski Trip

Today I am back at home after spending last week at Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho; between wanting to spend time skiing and having to spend time working, writing entries got pushed aside, thus the recent run of picture posts. I have more pictures today but many words as well. This was the first time I’ve […]

52 and a Half Weeks

    I did two photo-a-week projects in 2010, one for self-portraits and one which had a theme each week. This morning I picked one photo from each month to make these mosaics for the projects. I’ve already signed up for a theme a week project for 2011; I’m undecided about continuing the self-portraits but […]

Sock Monkey Waits for the New Year

  I haven’t asked if he’s making any resolutions. I probably will but not tomorrow; I believe in grace periods. ***** On this date in 2009: Finished, in which I wrapped up some projects. 2008: The Year in Pictures, in which I looked back on my first photo-a-day effort. 2007: I Am the Champion, in […]

Sock Monkey Goes Grocery Shopping

  Sock monkey doesn’t care if it’s a stereotype; he wanted to check out the bananas. ***** On this date in 2009: Gadgetry, in which I see how tech-riffic I am. 2008: Twilight, The Movie, in which I saw it. 2007: Fitter, in which I worked out. 2006: Chilly Afternoon Out, in which I went […]

Sock Monkey Plays in the Snow

  The sock monkey found it chilly and soon came back inside. ***** On this date in 2009: Mani-Pedi Madness, in which I rediscovered my love of nail polish. 2008: Morning Mystery , in which I saw some spotted cars. 2007: Chilly Boy, in which the Big Boy was out in winter weather in shirtsleeves. […]

Sock Monkey Tries the Dyson Airblade

  The sock monkey found his arms were too short for this modern hand drying device. ***** On this date in 2009: Monday, Monday, in which I didn’t like that day. 2008: New Toy, in which Mr. Karen made me a swift. 2007: Possibilities, in which I opened my fabric sketchbook. 2006: A Body in […]

Sock Monkey Drowns His Sorrows

  The sock monkey and I had to have a margarita (we chose pomegranate) to dull the pain from finding out that this Chilis location does not have fried cheese sticks. ***** On this date in 2009: Slacking, in which I barely managed to write an entry. 2008: Still Sweet, in which Mr. Karen and […]

Christmas Sock Monkey

  Holiday greetings from me and my Christmas sock monkey! He was an impulse buy at Rite Aid; I saw him on my way to grab the cotton rounds I’d come to buy with my $2 gift certificate that was expiring on Christmas Day and once I picked him up, it was all over—he was […]

Oh Purple Tree

  I took this shot of the office Christmas tree as I was leaving the building yesterday; I don’t have to go back until 2011. (I do have to work some between now and then, but I can do it remotely since that whole issue seems to be sorted out.) ***** On this date in […]


I’ve had a headache for going on two days now, but the closer it gets to the holiday break, the better I’m feeling. Yesterday I picked up the new glasses I’d ordered earlier this month and was planning to work from home the rest of the day, except I could not because my remote connection […]

Reversible Watch Cap

Another week, another hat. This one is a Christmas present for Mr. Karen’s dad Dale, who’d said at Thanksgiving that he was thinking about getting a stocking cap. I couldn’t quite see him in what I picture when I hear the words “stocking cap”, namely a hat with a long, somewhat silly, tail on it […]

With Attribution

I was poking around my Flickr stats and found a referrer I didn’t recognize, which led me to an article on an interior design site that’s using this picture of my nail polish storage along with several other people’s photos of the same IKEA unit. There was a tag line that said all images were […]


Holidailies, as you may have noticed, is happening on reddit this year. This is preferable to Holidailies not happening at all, which I understand was the other option. I’d never heard of, much less looked at, reddit before Holidailies moved there, and having poked at it for almost two weeks now, I doubt I’ll be […]

Getting with the Times

Mr. Karen is going on a long driving trip without me and asked if I could lend him my iPod so he could add podcasts to the entertainment options available to fill the long hours on the road. My first thought, much as it pains me to admit, was “but I need my iPod!” I […]

Red Striped Cap

Here’s the hat I made for Mary, the one I mentioned I was starting the last time I posted a finished knitting project. More precisely, here’s the top of the hat, which is my favorite part; the swirl of decreases pleases me. It’s a simple knitted beanie very similar to one I made for the […]

Spicy Random

  Today (and possibly more days in the future) I am stealing an idea from Jette to post an entry about a random picture from my Flickr stream. Since she’d already tried and failed to find an easy way to select a random shot, I decided to look at my stats for today’s view and […]

Without Mountains, What’s the Point?

Silly me, being all complacent yesterday about Snowmaggedon. Because more snow was predicted overnight and it was windy enough that we thought drifting would be an issue, Mr. Karen and I put off shoveling until this morning. While this would have been an excellent day to work from home, I had to be in the […]


We’re having Snowmaggedon here (though nothing like Minneapolis and parts west had it earlier this weekend), and I am enjoying that it’s happening on a day when I can just stay inside. I haven’t even put on proper shoes yet, and it’s almost dinnertime. At some point, I will need to bundle up and go […]

Winters Past

  February, 1965: Standing next to the smoke tree my dad planted in front of the house; it grew up with me but eventually died and had to be cut down. Pulling my sled back up the hill that our house was on. There was a road at the bottom of the hill and another […]

Now I Know My ABCs

In 2009, I did an A to Z title challenge and liked it. This year, I did A to Z authors, and just finished my 26th letter (Y, as it turned out) last night. Here’s the list of books I read to meet the challenge: A-Wanderlust, Ann Aguirre B-Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage, M. […]

Making a List

I haven’t formally updated my quilting to do list since August of 2008, mostly because I’ve only finished four of the ten projects on that list, so it’s not like I ran out of things to work on. I’ve done other sewing and quilting besides the things on the list in the intervening time, mostly […]


When I went to the eye doctor last year, we talked for the second or third time about whether I was ready for bifocals. I was not. In the last few months, though, I have gotten so ready. I have to take my glasses off to read my Droid (or else hold it so far […]

Holidailies Redux

I see I’ve gone twelve days without an entry here. I’d like to use the excuse that I was saving up my energy for Holidailies, which started today and which I’ve done every year I’ve had this journal so I had to do it again this year, but I was just being lazy. I have […]

New Beginnings

One year ago, I made three resolutions for 2009: 1. Weigh less and move more. 2. Keep less and organize more. 3. Surf less and contribute more. Followers of my Flickr stream will already know that part one of resolution one was a fail. I was somewhat more successful at part two of resolution one, […]


  I have a collector’s mentality, a gift from my dad. I remember going with him on many a trip to the art supply store when I was young to get tubes of paint in colors he did not already have—he had a list of the ones he needed and we’d scan the shelves for […]

Sunnier Times

  Being me, I am of course nowhere near caught up with sorting through my headstone photos and getting the ones that I want to post up on Find a Grave and Flickr. This one is a detail shot I took this past November of a really fabulous Woodmen of the World (or Woodmen-style, I […]

It’s Always Something

Late last night I got Mr. Karen back after he’d spent almost two weeks away on a trip to our place in Idaho. (I couldn’t join him as I don’t have as much holiday time over Christmas as he does and also don’t have enough vacation to make up the difference.) What I didn’t get […]

Ombre Nails

  I was just going to swatch some of my taupe polishes but when it turned out that I had the right shades to do an ombre effect I went ahead and wore the swatches as my New Year’s Eve (and Day, and day after) manicure. ***** On this date in 2009: Evidently I’m a […]

Meeting the Challenge

I did something new with my reading list last year; I participated in an A to Z title challenge along with some of my online friends. We aimed to read at least one title for each letter of the alphabet in 2009. (The rules had more specifics; Teena, who did this challenge with me, posted […]


Just like I did a year ago, today I took my final picture for the photo a day project I signed up for for the current year. Unlike last year, in 2009 I successfully did take at least one picture every day. It certainly wasn’t always a good photo, but I’m happy to have completed […]


The same friend who shared the obsolete in the aughts list followed up with a link to Paste Magazine’s 20 Best Gadgets of the Decade. I’ve only used eight of them–not necessarily the exact versions Paste is touting—and some of those I only got around to in the last year or so. Though I realize […]

Mani-Pedi Madness

Today is going better than yesterday did, though evidently not for the IT person responsible for the P.O. closest to my office; I went there again today at lunch and they were still closed due to computer problems—same handwritten signs on the door and shutter over the counter, same lack of anyone around to provide […]

Monday, Monday

Today was filled with minor annoyances. There was snow to be shoveled both before I left for work and after I came home. Could it have snowed like this over the weekend when I had more time under my own control? No, it waited until the work week, when I depart and return in the […]


It’s a typical Sunday night here, when I look at my to do list and see so many items yet to be crossed off and wonder where the hours went. I could buckle down and knock off one or two or three things before it’s time to go to bed, but then it’d feel like […]

Post-Holiday Slump

I am feeling a bit sad and a lot frustrated right now due to a combination of things, including a gift knitting project gone awry (though I am pretty sure I can salvage it once I get past feeling pissed off at the pattern and myself), but instead of writing about all that and getting […]

The Man with the Bag

  Hoping that Santa brought each of you everything you wished for. ***** On this date in 2008: Christmas Break 2007: Happy Holiday 2006: No entry 2005: Christmas Past 2004: O Christmas Tree 2003: Christians and the Pagans 2002: No entry

Parking Lots and Anchor Stores

  I went to the mall today. Actually, I went to two malls, which is two more than I’ve been to in the last I don’t know how long. I didn’t need to buy anything—my Christmases have been getting less and less gifty for years now, by choice—but I had the day off and thought […]

True Then, True Now

  A page from my “Art Book”, which I unearthed in the basement earlier tonight. It’s undated; I’d guess I drew this in 1970-ish. ***** On this date in 2008: Pastel Jungle Quilt 2007: Contented 2006: Mr. Toasty & One Glove, All Alone 2005: Winter Count—September 2004: Snow Day 2003: Rail Fence Baby Quilt 2002: […]

In the Belly of the Beast

I’m not sure I want to look too closely at what it means that when asked by the Holidailies prompt for today about my favorite holiday scene in a movie the first thing that came to mind was an image from Nightmare Before Christmas in which a giant snake eats a Christmas tree while a […]

Better to Light a Candle

  A little illumination on this darkest day of the year in my hemisphere. ***** On this date in 2008: Procrastination 2007: My Most Memorable Day & One Picnicker, All Alone 2006: Four Days in Utah 2005: Winter Count–August 2004: Back When It Was Warm 2003: Not According to Plan 2002: Missing

A Tale of Two Cameras

For as long as we’ve been married, Mr. Karen and I have shared a camera, starting with a Kodak that took 110 film which I brought into our marriage and upgrading over the years to 35mm, APS, and digital units. For the last three years, a Canon PowerShot SD600 Digital Elph has been our mainstay. […]

Life of the Party

  That woman there in the center of the picture is my mom, dancing at a wedding reception in 1955. Based on the photographic evidence, my mom did a lot of dancing at that party (see here and also here) while my dad did none. That surprises me not at all. Sometimes I wish I […]

Lady Doctors

In working on the February, 1885 issue of The American Missionary for Distributed Proofreaders, I came across the name Martha M. Waldron, M.D., in the list of Officers and Teachers at the Hampton Institute in Virginia. While there are plenty of women in the AmMiss issues, almost none have degrees or titles attached to their […]

Alien Dessert

  This cake showed up in the break room today, a gift from one of our suppliers, who evidently wants to put us all in sugar comas before the day ends. I know it’s a purple poinsettia, but the more I stare into the center of the bloom, the more I see alien eyes staring […]

Single Sock Syndrome

Much like my filing cabinet (into which I still have to fit those rassem frassem condo folders), my brain contains vast quantities of trivial information, the storage of which I suspect is preventing me from reaching my full potential. For instance, when this sock was left unpaired after I’d put away all the laundry in […]


A friend shared the link to New York Magazine’s Catalogue of Everyday Stuff That Has Become Extinct and, as with any list like this, I agree with some items and quibble with others. The answering machine is not extinct at my house. Of course we’ve still got a landline, too. (Though there isn’t one at […]

Star of Light

  I’ve been feeling the opposite of merry and bright but now that I’ve set up the magical fiber optic Christmas tree my outlook is starting to improve. ***** On this date in 2008: Dinner and a Show 2007: WDW 5: Not Quite the Final Frontier & Holiday Spirit 2006: Textile Thursday 2005: Trash into […]

An Apology to My Government

Dear United States Department of Agriculture, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service: When cleaning out one of my inboxes this morning, I found the “Dear Citizen” letter you sent me this past summer, requesting my help in determining if the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) had spread to my community and was attacking my trees. Given […]

Technological Difficulties

Mr. Karen was using the desktop earlier today and, because he’s had some repetitive stress issues with his right wrist and hand, he’d set the mouse to operate left-handed. Normally I’d just switch it back, but this time I decided to try it the way it was–maybe challenging my brain in that way could provide […]

My Secret Self–Not

Over the weekend, in an attempt to make room in the cabinet for that condo paperwork I promised I’d file, I pulled out a fat folder of magazine clippings I’d saved. Rather than just chucking all the contents into the recycling box, I made the mistake of opening it to go through and see if […]

Copy ‘n’ Think ‘n’ Share

While reading some of the Holidailies entries posted today, I came across JohnSherck’s Thursday Think ‘n’ Share and, in the grand tradition of internet memes, decided to play along, at least for this particular Thursday. Complete this statement: “Something that embarrasses me is…” … not knowing something I think I should and displaying that ignorance […]

No Vaccine for This

Yesterday I cast on for a new knitting project even though I already have two others on the needles. I believe there can now be no doubt that I’m suffering from the dreaded “start-itis”, known to afflict crafters of all types but seemingly more prevalent among knitters and crocheters. Three projects seems like a very […]

Audrey in Flying Clothes

  I can tell you this picture of Audrey in her flying clothes was taken in 1929 in front of my maternal grandfather’s drugstore in St. Francis, Wisconsin. What I do not know but would very much like to: who is this Audrey and what’s the story of her flying? ***** On this date in […]

Introduction to Holidailies

Once again, as I have every year I’ve kept this online journal, I’m participating in Holidailies. In honor of Day 1 of this edition of the project and by way of introduction to those of you stopping by who haven’t been here before, I updated my about me page for the first time since 2003. […]

Three is a Magic Number

I set two goals for 2008: 1. Weigh less and move more. 2. Keep less and organize more. I haven’t done a check-in on my progress since early October, so before I get het up about what I want to do in 2009, I think it makes sense to take do a final report card […]

Clearance OK

My on again, off again relationship with Distributed Proofreaders (DP) has mostly been on again since last summer. This time around, I’ve pulled way back and am focusing on a few parts of the process I most enjoy. This means I’ve mostly been doing post processing, which is the step where it all comes together […]

Sentimental Sunday

  Back when I was in junior high school, we didn’t have any standardized tests to study for, so we had time to take subjects like home ec and art. This painting, recently unearthed from my basement, was done in one of those classes. Based on the notes on the back, I believe the assignment […]

Battle of the Suet Cake

Round 1: I put the suet cake in the holder and hang it in the bush. Entire suet cake disappears overnight; door to holder is found hanging open. Round 2: I put a new suet cake in the holder and secure the door with a ball chain, looped around twice so it’s pretty tight. Entire […]

Evidently I’m a Graver

Today I finally finished going through the cemetery pictures from my trip to Illinois in November and decided which ones to put up on Flickr, including this lovely woodsy cross monument. The weather lately has curtailed my cemetery wanderings, but I’m sure when it gets a little more pleasant again I’ll be back out there, […]

Happy 2009

  I celebrated New Year’s Day by watching the Rose Parade (in HD, first time I’ve been able to do that) in my bathrobe, then going back to bed for a while. When I got up and dressed (in my Mickey Mouse Happy Everything sweatshirt), I ate pizza and cheese bread and pie and watched […]

The Year in Pictures

Today I took my last picture for Project 365+1, which I chose to join at the beginning of 2008 after looking at a lot of photo-a-day groups at Flickr. It felt friendly, like my snapshots taken with a point and shoot would be welcome, and it seemed like it would have just enough moderation to […]

Twilight, The Movie

I finally went to see the Twilight movie yesterday, hoping enough time had passed since its release that the squee-ing fangirls would have calmed down some. (Hi, I’m cranky.) What I hadn’t planned for was theater management moving the film into one of the tiny shoebox spaces in the multiplex and the fact that so […]

Morning Mystery

I had just merged onto the freeway this morning when a car went by in the lane to my left. Nothing special in that, of course, except this car was white with smallish black spots that looked like someone had let a detail-oriented child loose with a can of spray paint. I was still pondering […]

New Toy

  Mr. Karen gets a lot more days off during the holidays than I do, but it’s pretty much impossible for me to feel sorry for myself when he uses some of his extra time at home to do things like this: he built me a swift. Actually, he built two, because by the time […]

Still Sweet

  The theme for my holiday celebrations this year has turned out to be “better late than never”. I got started late on our cards, of course. There are still a few I haven’t written out and sent yet, but rather than take care of that last night, Mr. Karen and I decorated the cookies […]


Today has been quiet. Very, very quiet. The usually sparse 6 a.m. traffic on my drive to the gym was even sparser. I got a parking space at the Y in a row that’s generally full when I get there. The locker room was eerily silent as I changed. There were other people working out […]

Christmas Break

  The candle in this centerpiece still burns, though the dinner eaten around it is now merely leftovers, destined for ham sandwich lunches and microwaved dinners. The Grinch has been watched (classic animated version, of course) and many Christmas CDs listened to (though more await their turn than there are hours left in the holiday). […]

Tree of Fascination

  It’s the night before Christmas and all through my brain there are sighs of contentment because all I need to do tonight is sit and look at the pretty, pretty Christmas tree. Joan surprised me at Thanksgiving by giving me this tree, which I’d admired since the first time I saw it at their […]

Pastel Jungle Quilt

I sewed the label on this quilt last night, so now I’ve finished both the projects that had me in the doldrums earlier this month (the other one was the corn socks). As I mentioned in that earlier entry, I started this quilt back in October. I wanted to have it done before the baby […]

Brain Clutter

I sometimes wish my brain were more like my digital camera. When a photo makes me cringe, I can just delete it (unless it also amuses me, like this shot Mr. Karen took of me adjusting my slip, in which case I’ll happily post it on Flickr for all to see). I’d love to be […]


  This weekend I finally began working on our Christmas cards. I started off on a high note, finding the cards I bought last year in the first place I looked, but my motivation flagged when I realized that even though I have this lovely little binder to record addresses I seem to have lost […]

A Simple Request

Dear Charities Who Send Me Address Labels, Cut it out. I don’t send that much mail. I don’t know anyone who does in this age of direct debit, online bill pay, and e-mail. I can even make charitable contributions on the internet. Amazing, I know. The majority of my snail mail is greeting cards, and […]

Manual Labor

I didn’t get to the gym today, but I bet I lifted more weight than I would have if I had made it, because today was my part of Michigan’s turn for the big snowstorm and I shoveled and shoveled ’til my shoveler was sore. I shoveled in the morning so Mr. Karen could get […]

I Am Not a Girlie Girl

I don’t have many gifts to buy for Christmas but that doesn’t stop me from browsing. I was happy to see that Yahoo’s gift guide for this year focuses more on the type of gift rather than the type of person one might be buying for as they did in 2007. Last year, the “Gifts […]

The Secret to My Success

I need to do more research to confirm it, but I have a new theory that Clif bars in the Cool Mint Chocolate flavor are the key to happiness and productivity. I had one for pre-dinner last night (the meal that comes between work and driving home when I haven’t managed to get out of […]

Long Before I Was Born

  My mom drew this in 1934, when she was four, and I think it’s awesome, especially the no-armed floaty guy on the right there. Perhaps he is a jellyfish. Perhaps they are playing catch. Who is that on the left–someone I’m related to or a hat-wearing stranger? I don’t need to know the answers; […]

Socks of the Corn

These are the socks I was whining about weekend before last. As you can see, they are now finished. I decided that since I was so close to having them done that it was better to keep knitting rather than set them aside and let them lurk in my bag for who knows how long. […]

Dinner and a Show

Normally at this time I’d be feeling bummed about all the things I failed to get done this weekend (Christmas cards top that list this particular Sunday night) but instead I’m thinking back to last night and feeling glad Mr. Karen and I took some time away from our task lists to go out with […]

S.O.G. with P.I.P.

My childhood photo album skips from 1966 to 1973. In those years in between, my parents’ marriage was coming apart, and the chaos and changes that brought meant family photography was not high on anyone’s priority list, and what pictures were taken tended to get lost in the shuffle of Dad moving out and then […]

Shoulda Been a Banker

I would love to write an intelligent post about the auto bailout, but the whole situation just makes my head hurt and my stomach churn and my blood boil to the point where I’m not sure if I want to cry or throw up or punch someone. Something I am sure of is that one […]

Any Time Now

It’s 7:17 p.m. as I start typing this entry, and I thought I would be almost home by now. Instead I am waiting to hear back from the customer who added my e-mail address to an urgent support ticket at 4:09 p.m. Of course it was after 4 p.m. Urgent support requests never come in […]

Not Quite OCD

Ways in which I am like Monk: 1. I really, really wish the buttons on the sweater I am wearing today were pewter instead of gold-ish. Really. The sweater is shades of purple and shades of grey, and in my rules for color combinations, those hues require silver-toned accessories. 2. When selecting a locker at […]

It Was Okay

I just updated my book log with the last few titles I’ve finished, and, as I’ve been doing for the last year or so, also added them to my list on Goodreads. I sometimes waffle about what star rating to give books over there. I feel like a big meanie when I grant only 2 […]

Public Service Announcement

If, while poking through the dark recesses of the bathroom cupboard, you find a partly-used tube of deep conditioner that you have no recollection of purchasing, throw it out immediately. Do not, under any circumstances, put it on your hair. Trust me; I have experience with this. I am currently on bad hair day three, […]


I believe I might be part sled dog. It was 20 degrees (F) this morning when I left for my run, and the only part of me that got cold was my butt. My hands and feet and head were hot, even. Since the start of winter weather around here, my running’s been going better. […]

Crafty Doldrums

I spent some time earlier today rearranging some quilt blocks on my felt wall, hoping to rekindle my interest in that stalled project. In the four months since I last updated my quilt to do list, I’ve gotten only one thing on it done (and all I had to do on that one was the […]

It’s Holidailies Time

Holidailies is back, and of course I had to sign up again. How could I not? I’ve met the challenge every year I’ve had an online journal, starting back in 2002 when I was on Diary-X. It’s a Hat on Top tradition now, a constant in a world where so much is uncertain (especially here […]

The Beginning

  Like everyone else today, I awoke to a new year. Rather than ponder what resolutions to make, I went out and shoveled the fresh snow off the sidewalks and driveway and enjoyed the fresh air (until my neighbor fired up his snowblower, at which point the fresh went out of the air). I can […]

The End

  The metaphorical sun is setting on another year, and I am letting it slip away quietly.

I Am the Champion

Evidently my flurry of roster moves in the last week didn’t spell doom for my fantasy football team because they won the championship game yesterday. Back in September, I promised to buy the winner of the league a lovely I Hate The New England Patriots, but now that I’ve seen how things turned out I […]


Today I went for a run for the first time in way too long, and it felt surprisingly good. I didn’t go too far, and I didn’t go too fast, but I did go, and that’s a start. After that I got on our newest fitness toy, the Fitter, which is supposed to help with […]

Chilly Boy

  I have a nice long to do list for this four-day weekend. Taking a picture of this Big Boy might have been on it if I’d managed to write out my list before Mr. Karen and I went for our meeting with the financial planners this morning (this was the meeting in which we […]


When I was looking for my quilting UFOs the other day, I came across some sketchbooks that I started when I took a class based on the book Color and Cloth. These are filled with what I guess I should call my NYSs, projects I’ve not yet started and maybe never will. Almost any page […]

Out with the Old

I had to update some software on my work PC today; between prompts from the install programs I cleaned out one of my desk drawers and found almost everything in it could go right into the secure document disposal bin in the hall. Reports printed by a customer from their legacy system in 2004—out with […]


So remember when I wrote about my fantasy football team making the playoffs? As you may recall I wasn’t feeling too hopeful about my chances, what with all the Patriots on my opponent’s team (including Tom Brady and Randy Moss). I was even less hopeful after I watched the Vikings game on Sunday night; I […]

There and Back Again

I’m back at work today after four days off and so far it’s been blessedly quiet: no calls from customers, no urgent support requests in my e-mail, no project managers getting all up in my mix. So nice. Mr. Karen and I went to Illinois for the long holiday weekend, spending the first half with […]

Happy Holiday

  Even the saddest donkey smiles at Christmas. ***** One year ago today, I took Christmas off. Two years ago, I wrote about a special Christmas. Three years ago, there were Christmas lights. Four years ago, a a Christmas song made me teary. Five years ago, I was on the road, not at a keyboard.

With Care

This is the Christmas stocking my mom knit for me when I was small. She knit one for my brother, too, though I can’t remember exactly what his looked like. I have a better memory of the dog’s, though: it was smaller and had a steak on it. Now that I’m knitting again, I love […]


  The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped, the wind is whipping the snow around outside but I don’t have to go out again tonight. Life is good. ***** One year ago, I was amused by a clothing tag and felt sad about my lost glove. Two years ago, I looked back at September. […]


Earlier today, when I probably should have been sewing on the quilt that’s on my felt wall, the one meant for the baby that turned one at Thanksgiving, I took an inventory of the unfinished objects in my quilting stash. Some I’ve already written about here: the Treehouse quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along, the strip […]

One Picnicker, All Alone

  Nostalgia Friday continues with this excerpt from the book Summer Is…, which I wrote and illustrated. Unfortunately, I did not date it, so I can only guess that I completed it sometime in the early 1970s based on my handwriting and the way I spelled “picinics”.

My Most Memorable Day

(Today I offer an essay I did for Period 10 English in 1977. I haven’t even corrected the two run on sentences the teacher marked.) One of the most memorable days I’ve had occurred when I was in the third grade. I attended a private school that held classes in a large Victorian house. My […]


  I misspoke when I said that the tree in my office was going to be it for holiday decorating. I also have this seasonal Kleenex box. So purple! So pretty!

Messy is as Messy Does

I just finished reading A Perfect Mess, which is subtitled “The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place”. Just reading that on the cover when I saw it in the new non-fiction section at the library made me feel good. I have crammed closets! I […]

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

  Take a guess, then click the picture to see the answer.

Livin’ the Dream

I had a fantasy football team for the first time this season. I expected that at this point I’d be reporting that my season was over, but no, I made the playoffs. In the first round, unfortunately, I have to play a team that’s already beaten mine twice and is well stocked with New England […]

Oh Office Tree

  Yesterday I added ornaments to the tree I put up in my office Friday night. Even before I finished I got compliments on it. A couple people did say it made them feel like a slacker; they didn’t even have a tree up at home, they said, and here I was with a tree […]

Done and Undone

I had such high hopes for this past weekend. I was going to get stuff done, lots and lots of stuff. Saturday morning I made a list. I am somewhat reluctant to admit that I made this list on a fresh notepad because I could not find the list I made the last time I […]

WDW 7: The Final Chapter

Saturday we got up around 10:30 and made our way to Epcot. We went on an energy adventure with Ellen, and I continued to miss the old songs and the monochromatic dinosaurs because I’m cranky that way. We shopped in Japan and waited in a very long line for kaki gori, because kaki gori is […]

A Night at the Opera House

  Mr. Karen and I spent a rare night at the theater, going to see a show at the Detroit Opera House. (The Lion King, whose run here just happened to start the same day as our WDW vacation.) Nights like these would be less rare if I could be less anxious about them; I […]

WDW VI: The Undiscovered Attractions

One might think that with our time growing short at WDW, we might want spend as many hours as possible experiencing the attractions we had so far not been able to get to. One would be wrong. We slept in until around 11 and didn’t manage to make it to our first park of the […]

Holiday Spirit

  I started decorating for Christmas today. The tree is up and the lights and garland are on. Ornaments come next, which means making choices, since I didn’t put up the big tree, just the noble Presto Pine. But that will have to wait until Monday, because I put the tree up in my office, […]

WDW 5: Not Quite the Final Frontier

Thursday we had to get a 9 a.m. wakeup call in order to be sure we’d have enough time to make it over to Animal Kingdom for our afternoon Backstage Safari tour. We got there early enough to go check out the capybaras, except the capybaras have moved out and there were porcupines in their […]

WDW Episode IV: A New Hope

(I admit there is no new hope in this entry; I just liked the title. Pictures from this day are here if you’d rather follow my trip that way.) Wednesday we woke up remarkably early (meaning, before 10) and fortified ourselves with Tonga Toast before heading off to Downtown Disney for our big shopping outing. […]

WDW 3 – Back in Epcot

Somehow we managed to sleep so late on Tuesday that we ended up having to rush to make our lunch reservation in World Showcase, and it was for 2:15. I never thought when we booked it that it would be an issue. But we did get there and got to try the restaurant in the […]

WDW, Part Deux

Through sheer force of will we managed to get up and out of the room in time to make it to Captain Cook’s Snack Company before they stopped serving breakfast at 10:30. Not much before, true, but enough that we were able to get some of the famous Tonga Toast, which used to only be […]

WDW, Part One

So yes, I spent the first nine days of this month on vacation in Florida, more specifically at Walt Disney World. Mr. Karen and I took 809 pictures (okay, that was almost entirely my doing), walked about 200,000 steps, abandoned our normal sleeping and eating schedules (stay up ’til 2! sleep ’til 11! have wine […]


  This was me this morning, having breakfast outside, wearing shorts and a tee shirt, already melting a bit in the heat.   This was me about an hour ago, scraping ice off the car in the parking lot where we’d left it last week while we were vacationing in sunny Florida. And it sure […]

Pinwheel Blanket

Can it be? Another finished knitted object only about six weeks after the last one? Yes, indeed. This is the baby blanket I made for the daughter of a friend. Little Kate is only two months old, which I think might be a record for the youngest baby I’ve managed to finish a gift for. […]

Good Clutter

  Last night I said I wanted to make more time for quilting, and today I did just that, pondering and ironing and cutting and playing with fabric. The picture above shows what my sewing (a.k.a. dining) room table looks like right now. It’s a good thing we have an eat-in kitchen and rarely host […]

One of Those Entries

I’ve never done a year in review entry to close out December. (Though last year, I did do the Winter Count, which was sort of the same thing, just stretched out into twelve entries over the course of the month.) I guess I’ve resisted because looking back at what I’ve done leads me to think […]

Sofa Star Quilt

This is not a new quilt. I finished it in January 1994; it’s a companion piece to one of the Evening Star series quilts (this one, to be specific). Like the wallhanging, this one uses the Evening Star block and the fabrics were chosen to coordinate with the couch in our family room. The small […]

Chilly Afternoon Out

  I meant to go to the zoo this summer. I meant to go to the zoo this fall. I didn’t and here it is winter already but the zoo is still open, so I went. The polar bears were snoozing (for them, it was a nice warm afternoon–40 Fahrenheit) and most of the kangaroos […]

Battle of the Patio

  These two were having a disagreement about who should get to eat the birdseed. The fox squirrel seemed to be winning but the little red squirrel wasn’t going quietly. Too bad I didn’t manage to switch the camera to the “kids & pets” action setting (I have got to study up and start using […]

A Body in Motion

Something amazing happened last night: I ran (well, jogged) for a little over 25 minutes, in a row, without stopping. Per the Nike+ chip, I averaged 11:43 a mile over 3.53 miles. That’s faster than I ran my 5K three weeks ago. Nothing I’d done up to this point had given me any reason to […]

Quilt Labels

A friend said she’d like to know more about how I do the labels on my quilts and since I’ve just done one, this seemed like a good time to document my current process. Here are the steps: 1. If it’s a baby quilt, find a picture of the baby if possible. Usually it is […]

Red Scarf Three

I realize that “red” is not the first color that comes to mind when one looks at this scarf. Fortunately, the Red Scarf Project guidelines include the phrase “multicolor hues including red” and allow for many tones of red, so this variegated with a dark red alongside blues and greenish grays (or are they grayish […]

Not Quite Matchy Matchy

  This is the kind of thing that delights me way more than is reasonable: my socks have the same kind of design on them as my sweater does, patterned stripes in blue and grey and navy. I get a similar buzz when I put fabrics together for a quilt and they coordinate but aren’t […]

Sugar Play

Mr. Karen and I revived another Christmas tradition this year: decorating cookies. I bought the dough ready made, but we did roll them out and cut the shapes and bake them ourselves. (They spread more than I’d remembered, so we’ve got some snowmen that are going to have to go to Weight Watchers after the […]


For the first time in a long time, we’ve got a Christmas tree up at our house. It’s the noble Presto-Pine, which we bought in 1988 (I looked it up in the photo album) because I was sad we weren’t going to have a tree that year. I knew it didn’t make sense to buy […]

One Glove, All Alone

Sometime after I got to the car at the end of our first day at Snowbasin last week but before I made it to our hotel room that night (I’ll be done writing about this trip soon, I promise), I lost one of my ski gloves. I didn’t discover this until the next morning, so […]

Mr. Toasty

  I’ve almost finished unpacking (from both DC and Utah—the floor of the guest bedroom was awash in my various bags). In the process, I unearthed this hangtag, which I’d made Mr. Karen give me when he took it off his new ski bibs (half price in the shop at Powder Mountain, and much needed […]

Accretion is for Losers

Since I’ve finished my big honkin’ Utah trip report and most of my customers are on holiday, I was free to spend much of my lunch hour playing Google’s Image Labeler. I’ve dabbled with other time sucks since I gave up Distributed Proofreaders, but nothing really captured my attention for long until the Image Labeler […]

Tech Cat

  Much as I liked the disposable ensign, I decided it was time for a new desktop background. I decided on this one (which I grabbed from here) because it never fails to make me smile. (Looking at the picture from almost four months ago, I chagrined to see that some of the sticky notes […]

Four Days in Utah

Here’s the report I meant to write yesterday. If you’d rather just look at the pictures—and I don’t blame you one bit if you do, because this is a really long entry—see here. Thursday—Travel I took the afternoon off because our flight was at 4-something and I work an hour and a half from the […]

Restaurant Critic Time

I went away for less than a week and came back to 1634 messages in my work e-mail inbox (no joke), so I did not have time to write up a full trip report today. I will, however, make time to write a review of our dinner at the mentioned-yesterday Star Noodle Parlor, because I […]


I didn’t intend to take four days off from the Internet just then. I did plan to take some time off work and go to Utah with Mr. Karen to ski, which is exactly what happened. I brought the laptop with me and imagined I’d get online each day after we got back from the […]

Textile Thursday

It’s been months since I last shared additions to my fabric stash, which makes sense because I haven’t been making many additions. I have bought a few things lately, which I was reminded of when I went to put something away in the closet and saw the stack of prints waiting to be put away […]

What a Difference a Day Makes

When I stopped to mail some holiday cards this morning, I snapped a picture of the view:   The only reason wanted to take that photo was to contrast it with the shot I’d taken 24 hours before, when I stopped to mail the cards I got done before the cards I mailed this morning; […]

Caught in the Act

I got so distracted by the race numbers yesterday that I forgot about the weekend squirrel antics. A few weeks ago we noticed the birdfeeder out of skew on the treadle; we suspected a fox squirrel. A while after that, when I was not home, Mr. Karen witnessed a demonstration of how such a thing […]

Inside the Numbers

The race results are up online from the 5K I did on Saturday. Hoo boy, there’s a lot to be discouraged about there if I choose to see it that way. The top female finisher took only 17 minutes and 37 seconds, a 5:40 pace. Five forty! I can’t even imagine. I doubt I ever […]

Just Another Bummed Out Sunday

Monday is no prize, but Sunday gets my vote for the most depressing day of the week. It’s Sunday when I realize I’ve pretty much wasted more than half of my weekend. It’s Sunday when it becomes clear that I’ve so far failed to make any noticeable dent in the list of things I wanted […]

Run Like the Dickens

Here I am smiling before my first 5K, which I did this morning. Mr. Karen came to watch even thought it meant getting up early on a weekend, which neither of us are very keen to do. We had an hour’s drive to get there, too. I didn’t end up having quite as much time […]

I Take It Back

Remember when I was pissed at the FM transmitter I’d gotten for my nano and was going to take it back to the store? Well, I didn’t take it (the transmitter) back, but I did take it (my cursing) back and am no longer annoyed with it. Two events led to this change of heart. […]

Red Scarf Two

Introducing my second finished object for the Red Scarf Project. This is the Woven Pattern Scarf from the book Vogue Knitting Scarves Two, which I checked out from the library. I only started it a few weeks ago, so it worked up really quickly. No surprise there, I guess, since it calls for bulky yarn […]

Amazing But True

I reached a significant milestone in my running career last night—it was below freezing and there was snow on the ground and I still went out and did a workout. I know other people do stuff like that all the time, but those people are dedicated, those people are athletes. I don’t see myself as […]

I Used to Crochet

  There’s an astonishing amount of stuff at my mom’s house, and since I once lived there, every now and then stuff of mine surfaces—like this sweater I made, which I’d completely forgotten about it. It’s crocheted and small, and since I haven’t done that or been that for some time, I’m guessing I finished […]

Many Pictures, Few Words

As I said last night, I’m back from D.C. (is it okay to call it that, or is it dorky, like calling Las Vegas just “Vegas”? and if it’s okay, should it be just “DC” without the periods? and if I have an internal monologue like this as I write each sentence, will I ever […]

Eye Candy is Better Than No Candy at All

I’m back home from Washington D.C. and most likely will have more to say about that later, but now I’m tired and just want to take another Airborne and relax and not have to think too much about which words go together. In the meantime, please contemplate the pretty, pretty colors in this picture I […]


By the time we went to have dinner last night, the weather had turned from unseasonably warm to seasonably cold. Warm, filling comfort food sounded good, and the restaurant had lobster macaroni and cheese on the menu. Perfect—familiar but fancy, yummy yet fitting for a celebration of being with friends I rarely get to see. […]

Somethin’ New

I have been to many places and seen many things. Not everywhere and not everything, of course. I’ve never lived in the Hamptons, for instance, and I’ve never personally seen the back bar at the ale house in Louisville, for another. Today I am Washington, D.C., a city I’ve been to before—four times? five? I […]

Why I Do It

While I was in Las Vegas, my domain registration renewed, which marked my third anniversary here at my own space after about a year and a quarter at the now-kaput Diary-X. That certainly doesn’t make me old school, but it’s still a fair chunk of time to have been writing about my life online. When […]

Dear A.

(Note: I am pretty sure A. does not read this journal, so if you are reading this, you are almost certainly not A.) I once believed we would be friends. Not best friends, since that slot is already filled on both sides and anyway it’s hard to find the time needed to really get that […]

Praise Be to A.C.

Summer is my least favorite season. I can’t take the heat (or the humidity), and I can’t always get out of the kitchen. At least now I have a car with air conditioning; my first car didn’t. I can clearly remember sticky summer days driving that car home from work when I had the job […]

Ah, Spring

When I went out at lunchtime today (not to eat, but to go to the quilt shop to get some purples and reds for the baby quilt that decided it needed more dark in it) I left my coat in the office. I love that about spring–just walking outside and finding the air is soft […]

Meant to Be

I’ve got some Irish blood in me, but I don’t know about any Irish luck. I think my brother got that–the kind of luck that brings famine but at least not everyone perishes from it–he’s the one that crashed a truck into a pole and flew out through the windshield and walked away. I’d probably […]

Mountains of Fun

If I could, I’d live in the mountains. If I could, I’d swim in the sea. If I were the queen of the universe, there’d be no alarm for me. Heck, I’d think hard about giving up the mountains and the sea if only I could sleep as long as I wanted to every day. […]

Cookie Dog

Story Baby Quilt

And here is the first completed project off my list, the quilt for Baby June. It also falls under the Modern Quilt-Along umbrella, as the pattern is Once Upon a Time from The Modern Quilt Workshop. Of course, as with the other quilt I’m doing from the book, I had to add my own touches. […]

Knit 44, Purl 1

Last night I finished my second scarf, the PoA-style Ravenclaw in movie colors that I bought the yarn for before I even completed my first scarf. Unlike that first one, this one I did all by myself. It took a few–okay, four–tries to get it started properly. At least I managed to fail in a […]

Quilt To Do List

It’s been a couple years since I used this space to do a quilting to do list, so I figure the time has come for an update. There were twelve projects in my queue back in December of 2003: seven baby quilts (!), a thank you quilt, a memory quilt, and three things for me: […]

I’m All Out of Love

Because it’s very, very quiet here at the office today–quieter even than it was on Friday, since my most talkative customer was in then and is off now–I felt unconflicted about taking my whole lunch hour, so I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I opened up the files for the book […]

Done and Undone

Part of me wishes I had fabulous weekend adventures to report, about how I put on a fancy dress and danced in the new year atop the Eiffel Tower in Vegas (example only, not something I would actually do), but most of me is happy to have had a weekend at home after two away. […]

Winter Count – December


Once upon a time, three children were born with special powers. Inflammo could make fire with his eyes:   Quasso needed only to glance at an object and it would shatter:   Fortunately, their sibling, Restituo, could make everything all right again:   (This entry brought to you by the safety information card for the […]

Sunshine State

Today I am back at work after five days off and have to say that this whole getting up early without then heading somewhere warm and/or fun does not seem like a good idea at all. It isn’t that my job is so horrible, but it sure isn’t as enjoyable as sitting around eating Triscuits […]

Winter Count – November

We Have a Winner

Wait ’til Next Year

Christmas Past

A definitive sign I’m really a grown-up, my large collection of Eeyore shirts and watches notwithstanding: I did not wake up this morning, Christmas Day, until Mr. Karen gently shook my shoulder and let me know the alarm clock hadn’t gone off. We needed to get up right then or we would be late for […]

Winter Count – October

Winter Count – September

Spirit of the Season

At this time of year I try to focus on the goodwill toward men part of the Christmas story (which I learned as a child from Linus on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special because the Unitarian Sunday School I attended was not so much about the Bible), but it’s hard. At almost every turn I’m […]

Winter Count – August

Welcome to Where?

See this guy? He lives in front of a Ramada Inn in Minneapolis, where Mr. Karen and I spent the night last Wednesday. We’d planned to sleep in Idaho Falls (which is, quite sensibly, in Idaho), so being in Minnesota was rather disconcerting. It wasn’t even in the same time zone as our intended destination. […]

I’m Back

I’ve been gone since Wednesday night. Did you miss me? No, of course you didn’t, because in a break with normal ski trip practice, I took my laptop along and kept posting entries. Not about the trip (though the picture from a couple entries back was taken out our hotel room window in Wyoming), because […]

Winter Count – July

Nothing Ice Can Stay

Winter Count – June

Winter Count – May

Trash into Something

If the 70s knitting I shared the other day scared or scarred you, you will probably want to click away from this page right now, because what I’ve got to show you today is worse. Thanks to the Friends of the Library used book sale, I have obtained a copy of Don’t Throw It Away!, […]

10 Things

Ten things I need to say, some trivial, some not: 1. I am never completely relaxed with you because I think you might secretly hate me and just be biding your time until you publicly humiliate me. So why do I hang around? Because I admire you and would like to be your friend. I […]

Winter Count – April

Sunday Stress

It’s one of those Sunday nights when instead of enjoying my last few hours of freedom from the office, I’m feeling tense and anxious for no good reason. I don’t think it’s because I didn’t get everything done on my to do list–I never expected to when I wrote it out Saturday morning. I don’t […]

Tastes of the Season

The first Christmas after Mr. Karen and I moved into this house, we hosted a family holiday dinner. One thing I knew needed to be on the menu was Grandma Salad. That sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? I guess it’s no different than other famous salads–there’s no Caesar in Caesar salad or Cobb in […]

Winter Count – March

Wild Knitting

In browsing my bookshelves after I decided I was a knitter, I found I have a copy of Wild Knitting, a 1979 tome I no doubt got from a bargain table. I wasn’t a knitter when I bought it, so whether I’d make any of the projects wasn’t a factor in deciding to bring it […]

Winter Count – February

After the low of losing Bubba, I had the high of visiting Grand Targhee for the first time. I liked it so much I want to move there someday. We’re going back this winter, and I hope I still feel the same way. They’ve had three feet of new snow in the last five days […]

Sounds of the Season

One of the radio stations here has been playing 100% Christmas music since November 1st, and that’s just not right. Fall is a glorious season in its own right; Frosty and Rudolph and Santa and the baby Jesus should wait their turn. It’s rude to show up so early for a party, guys. Wait until […]

Winter Count – January

It’s December. If you were reading last year at this time, you know what that means: time for me to start posting entries like crazy. I’ll be participating in Holidailies for the fourth time–it’s a Hat on Top tradition now–but that doesn’t start until December 7th this year. However, there’s something new to do right […]

A Belated Thank You Letter

Dear Ms. Parks, I meant to write earlier. I even considered coming down to see you at the museum a few weeks ago but couldn’t quite muster up the nerve. I felt–still feel–odd approaching you. What could I possibly say? What legitimate claim could I make on your attention? How could I explain how you, […]

Happy Halloween

I’ve been so busy this month that Halloween has been an afterthought. In years past, October often meant working on costumes to wear to parties–like the Snow White I recycled for the masquerade ball last month or Mr. Karen’s carrot (inspired by the Monty Python “Spot the Loony” sketch; I went as a bag of […]


  Snow is pretty, isn’t it? Just looking at the scene above, I start to feel calmer. It’s so quiet and peaceful. I think about the times I’ve paused in the trees while skiing, savoring the sense of isolation. It looks a little like this picture outside right now. Peering through the window next to […]

Just a Day

Today, in between doing the things I get paid to do, I’ve been thinking about what sort of entry would be appropriate to wrap up my Holidailies effort for another year, but finally realized if I waited until I came up with something special, I’d miss the midnight (1 a.m. here) deadline to post to […]

Multiples Mania

Looking through old photo albums for my early quilt pictures, I could not escape being reminded of my Multiples period in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Multiples, for those of you who did not experience this phenomenon, was a clothing system consisting of mix and match one size fits all (that should have been […]

Unidentified Yarn Object

  I guessed it was a cat toy when Mr. Karen showed it to me. We don’t have any cats, so I wasn’t sure why he’d bought a toy for them. Turns out it’s a scarf, or at least claims to be, and I suppose it would keep one’s neck warm in spots. What he […]

Signs and Portents

In the dream I was dreaming just before I woke up (to the light of the alarm clock, now featuring no beeping thanks to Mr. Karen, who figured out that pressing three of the buttons at the same time and holding them for 10 seconds would turn off the noise feature), a squirrel turned into […]

Time to Get Up

This morning I awoke not to the sounds of NPR but to a simulated sunrise, thanks to Mr. Karen, who got me a new alarm clock for Christmas. The one we’ve used our whole married life, and which he’s had since high school, I think, maybe earlier, is still working, but sometimes it’s good to […]


When we were in Florida, Mr. Karen and I made a stop at the thrift shop the church runs–two stops, actually, because we weren’t sure when they were open and missed by five minutes the first time. We don’t make it to the shop every time we visit, since they’re not open every day or […]

The Shoe Said “Love”

  I am sorry I didn’t get a picture of the other shoe. I am also sorry I didn’t talk to the girl who was wearing them. How hard would it have been to say, “I like your shoes”? Not hard. Probably she would have said “thanks”, and then I could have asked her how […]

It’s an Honor Just to Be Nominated

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from the guy who runs ManHole.ca, asking if I’d be interested in submitting some of my photos from Japan to be considered for inclusion in his gallery of fine sewer art. Sometimes e-mails with subjects that include phrases like “pictures on your website” are spam, but this […]

Vacation Paddling

Mr. Karen and I once gain went to Florida to visit his parents this holiday season, flying down on Christmas Day and back yesterday afternoon. We did something new this trip–canoeing in a state park that’s really quite close by their house but which we’d never been to before. It being our vacation, and a […]

Starfish aka Sea Star

  The cool thing about this picture is that to take it I didn’t have to go to a zoo or an aquarium or on a guided nature experience–I just strolled out the back door of Joan and Dale’s house in Florida and looked into the canal at low tide. ***** One year ago, I […]

The Quilt That Isn’t

The museum at my alma mater, Michigan State University, is having a quilt silent auction. I first heard about this when it was mentioned in the quilt guild announcements back in September, I think it was. Since I not only graduated from MSU but volunteered as a docent at the museum for a while when […]

Mantel Arrangements and Other Stuff

I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to spend over at Distributed Proofreaders lately and wonder what gems of projects I’m missing. Since DP only works on publications that are out of copyright, the books and magazines being proofed are a window into an earlier time. Sometimes it’s not a pleasant view, like […]

Alaska Quilt

This is my latest quilted creation, a small wallhanging made for Dale and Joan to commemorate our trip to Alaska and the Yukon Territory, finished just in time to give to them for Christmas. That’s fitting, since it was during our Christmas visit last year that we started planning for that trip, picking the dates […]

O Christmas Tree

  We didn’t put up a tree this year, but Mr. Karen put lights on this one in the corner of our yard. This tree was knee high when we moved in almost fifteen years ago and now it’s so big it takes a ladder and a rake to decorate. Merry Christmas to those of […]

The Stockings Were Hung on the Bookcase with Care

  We have a mantel now, but we didn’t when we started the tradition of hanging the stockings from the bookcase. I made these during my needlepoint phase, which lasted just long enough to complete an eyeglass case, a stocking for Mr. Karen, then later one for me to coordinate, and a piano bench cushion […]

Snow Day

Just getting to work feels like enough of an accomplishment for today, as the first big snow storm of this winter arrived overnight. It would have been a good day to stay home or at least go in late, after the worst had passed, but I had an important customer meeting scheduled so Mr. Karen […]

I’ve Been Working on the SQL

I spent most of the day typing things like this: select a.account_no, cast(e.opening_bal as decimal(18,2)) from external.dbo.tb_upload as e with (nolock) left outer join dbo.account as a with (nolock) on a.customer_no = 48582 and a.account_no = e.account_no If you worked where I worked, you’d say “hey Karen, that doesn’t follow our standard for capitalization”. Well, […]

Back When It Was Warm

This morning I was going through my big box o’ mail and other miscellaneous paper I need to deal with (which sits next to the stack o’ mostly catalogs–after the holidays I might just be able to eliminate both of those and get back to using just my in-box like a normal person) and found […]

Cheater’s Compass

This is my second quilt, which I finished in December of 1989, just in time to give to my mom for Christmas. I didn’t use a pattern–the Mariner’s Compass blocks were preprinted on fabric my mom gave me (even before I finished my first quilt, I started answering “quilting supplies” when asked what I’d like […]

I Was Ready for Some Football

Eli decided not to come, so I got to go see the Vikings play the Lions this afternoon. I also got to go to a pre-game lunch and a post-game dinner with friends of ours who have season tickets, so I didn’t get much else done today, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. The […]

Step Out of Your Vehicle

Yesterday I saw something I’d never seen in real life before. Driving to Nia, I pulled up to an intersection and saw that oncoming traffic was blocked, one lane by a dark green SUV and the police cruiser behind it, and the other by a second police cruiser that had pulled up beside the SUV […]

Just Another Saturday Morning

I’ve been up not quite an hour and have another two before I have to leave to pick up Erica for our Nia class. Normally I’d use a half hour or so of this time to write morning pages, but today I’ve instead unpacked my dirty clothes from the Colorado trip and started a load […]

ABC Spin Quilt

Like the last one, this quilt was finished just in time for the baby’s first birthday. In deciding on the design, I started with a picture of the quilt I made for the baby’s brother a few years ago and then went through my baby quilt ideas folder and pulled out patterns with half-square triangles […]


  One good thing about the days getting shorter is I have a better chance to see the sunrise. In the summer, I sit down at the desk in our home office to write morning pages and it’s already light outside, but in the winter I get to watch the day arrive, stealing glances out […]

Froggie Went A-courtin’

  Froggie went a-courtin’, and he did stride, Uh-huh, Froggie went a-courtin’, and he did stride, Uh-huh, Froggie went a-courtin’, and he did stride. With a goofy hat and cape he tied, Uh-huh. Well he strode up to Mister Cat’s door, Uh-huh, Well he strode up to Mister Cat’s door, Uh-huh, Well he strode up […]

Pictures Taken and Not

Last night I uploaded the pictures I took in Colorado. Given that it was a ski trip, one might reasonably expect shots of mountains and skiers, but I mostly focused on other things. The only mountains I captured were the ones in the range that formed on the window of the rental car as the […]

Skiing, Snickers, and Stuff

So yes, before the oversized luggage hassles of last night, there was skiing, three days of sliding down mountains on skis punctuated by occasional falls. I didn’t take any really spectacular tumbles, fortunately, and came home with all my joints and bones and muscles in no worse shape than before, and probably with stronger thighs, […]

Will My Skis Fit in the Overhead Bin?

I am back from my annual Holidailies hiatus. This year I again went west to ski–Copper Mountain, Vail, and Beaver Creek. There’ll be more on all that tomorrow, but right now oversized baggage handling at the McNamara terminal is topmost in my mind. In almost every respect, this two-year-old terminal is a great improvement over […]


I am having one of those days when it feels like my head might just explode at any moment. I was not in the office yesterday and will not be in tomorrow so I’m trying to cram three days of work into one and my whiny customer is pitching a fit (not to me, of […]

My First Quilt

This is me with the first quilt I ever made, soon after I finished it in January of 1989 (it is also soon after I finished making payments on my first car, which is why there are so many balloons around, but that’s a story for another entry). It started when I ran out of […]

Holiday Guilt – A Different Kind

I have slid a little farther down the slippery slope of music piracy. No longer am I just getting free music from other people; I’ve become a supplier of free music to others. It was as easy as deciding to participate in a mix exchange that Mel instigated. It was the holiday theme that did […]

Out of Place

How did this happen? How did parts of a car end up in the woods? It might have been a whole car once, driven off into the forest and abandoned there, left for the squirrels and raccoons to strip it for parts. We tend to foist our old cars off on family and friends, but […]


AlphaBytes ends today, and I’m feeling pangs of regret because I didn’t do as much as I wanted with it. In that way, it feels like a typical Sunday night, when I look at my to do list for the weekend with so many items still left on it and wonder where the time went. […]


I got back yesterday from Peoria, the site of this year’s NQA show. This was the 13th year in a row that my mom and I have gone to the show together, which makes it one of the longest running traditions our family has. The details vary each year, of course, but there’s always the […]

Out the Window

I was sitting at my kitchen table the other day (Sunday, I believe it was) when I heard a strange scritching noise and looked up to see a squirrel who had climbed the steps up to the patio door and was putting his paws up on the screen. Did he want to come in? Had […]


Before we went to the concert last week, I was trying to remember if I knew any Asia, and Mr. Karen assured me I did, because he remembered me telling him–back in the 1980’s– that I consumed an album of theirs. I didn’t recall telling him any such thing, and I’m the one who usually […]

Live Audience

I went to see a radio show today. Yes, there is something not quite right there. It’s a radio show, meant to be listened to, not watched. But still, it was something I’d never done so off I went to Ann Arbor this morning to be part of the live audience for Whad’ya Know?. It’s […]


Mr. Karen and I went to see Kansas last night at what I’ve decided to call the DTE Music Knob. Of course we did; we only miss their Detroit area shows if we’re out of town ourselves. We’ve even traveled to see them a few times when their tours didn’t come through Detroit or didn’t […]


Contrary to the prediction of the clueless cabdriver who took us to the airport in Las Vegas, fans did not “burn the place down” when the Pistons won the NBA Championship last night. (I wonder now if the cabdriver was actually a writer for Jimmy Kimmel.) In fact, fans in Detroit haven’t burned anything down […]

Alphabet Game

When I’m short on motivation for morning pages, I sometimes just quit before I’ve written three pages, but sometimes I play the alphabet game instead. “X” is a letter I allow myself to skip during the game because it’s hard and the whole point is to get the words flowing. You know it’s a really […]

Jerbet Quilt

As promised (or should that be threatened?) in my last entry, today it’s quilt story time. Mel and I made this one for Beth and Jeremy, who make it possible for us to hang out at The Usual Suspects, without which we probably wouldn’t have met in the first place. This quilt got its start […]

Vegas, Baby

I survived both Las Vegas and TUS-Con. (The Unofficial Guide advises me to call it Las Vegas, never just Vegas, in order to look like a local. It also says about fine dining that if there are small yellow sculptures on the table that they’re probably butter.) I am now plopped at a gate at […]

Freaking Out

I’m tapping this out on a plane to Las Vegas. This will be my first visit there, which seems surprising considering how much I travel, but I can’t go everywhere, not even to all the famous and obvious tourist places. This trip has me rattled, much more so than usual. I’ve calmed down now that […]


I got my very first pair of prescription sunglasses last weekend. I find I’m wearing my contacts less often lately– staring at a computer screen for hours every day seems to be getting harder and harder and use up more and more rewetting drops to keep my eyes happy with having the contacts in. Therefore, […]


One of the reasons I’ve put up so few entries here lately is that I’ve fallen hard for Distributed Proofreaders and have been using many of my lunch hours to play there instead of write here. In case you don’t have time to go read what DP is about, the gist is that it lets […]


It’s the first day of AlphaBytes 2004, and I already feel like I’m failing. This is obviously a sign of a mental defect of some sort, as it’s hard to see how I could have actually screwed up already, not having written anything other than this now sentence and three quarters and still having the […]

Choosing to Change

For Random Acts of Journaling: Have you ever made a decision that quite dramatically changed the direction of your life? Imagine how your life would have been, if you had decided differently. For better or worse? The only decision I’ve made that comes close to fitting the spirit of this question was quitting my job […]

Belated Check-In

I could have written entries these last five days and thus not fallen so far behind the Holidailies crowd (the collab has gone into bonus time again this year), but instead I was enjoying a very long weekend relaxing at home. It was such luxury to have five days to do what I normally try […]

Pikachu Loves Me, At Least For Now

I’ve read a lot of articles in the last few years pushing the 10,000 steps a day goal for better health. It’ll do your heart good, they say. It’ll lower your chances of getting diabetes and raise your good cholesterol, they say. Get yourself a pedometer, they say. So I did. However, I am not […]

I’ve Been Gone Again

As alert and/or notified readers know, I was in Florida with Mr. Karen visiting his parents for the past five days. This has become something of a tradition. Some years we fly down early and leave on Christmas Day and some years we fly on Christmas Eve or Day and come back just before the […]

I’m Dreaming of a Quilty New Year

In what might become a holiday tradition (we’ve done it twice now), my mother-in-law Joan and I went to the quilt shop today to turn my Christmas money into fabric. Unlike at the malls, there were no half-price bargains to be had, but there were no crowds of bargain hunters to contend with, either. Since […]

Christians and the Pagans

Amber called her uncle, said “We’re up here for the holiday, Jane and I were having Solstice; now we need a place to stay.” And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree, He watched his son hang candy canes all made with Red Dye No. 3. He told his niece, “Its […]

Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All

I went to a candlelight Christmas Eve church service tonight, a special occasion for which I put on both pantyhose and heels. Growing up a Unitarian, my first exposure to the gospel of Luke was the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (the original one, not this new fangled one that’s just come out), so whenever I […]

Rail Fence Baby Quilt

Ta da! I finished another baby quilt, putting the last stitches in the label this morning about 7:15. It’s only been about two weeks since I finished the last one (less, if you consider that I was out of town for four days). I am on a roll. Now, it helps a lot that this […]

Not a Weekly Check-In

It’s Monday, so I should be reporting on how I did on last week’s goals. I’m not going to. I’m cutting myself some slack. It’s Christmas time and I’m giving myself the present of not stressing about how I’m doing on my goals. I’m still working toward them, but I’m not going to make myself […]

Not According to Plan

We went to look at the Contour this afternoon. I’d hoped I would like it. I’d hoped we’d negotiate a price and write a check and drive it home and I’d have a new (to me, anyway) car. That didn’t happen. I wasn’t wowed. I liked the look of it, including the color, a pretty […]

Soon the Sun Will Be Up

As I type this, it’s a little after seven in the morning on a Saturday when I don’t have a plane to catch or any other time-sensitive task to do. This is bizarre behavior for me to be up so early on a weekend. Stranger still, I’ve been up since five. Five! That’s just so […]

Outta Here

Today is the last workday for Purple Systems in our current office; Monday we move to a new building. I’m spending today packing up the contents of the three desk drawers I haven’t gotten to yet and hoping that all the stuff I want to keep will fit in the one crate I managed to […]

Car Talk

It’s time for us to buy a new car. It’s my turn to pick, and I’m having trouble. (Yet another instance of poor Karen with a problem that’s one many people would love to have.) It’s not a matter of being overwhelmed, like it often is when I have a purchasing decision to make such […]

I See You When You’re Driving

On a normal weekday, I’m in the car about two hours a day, an entirely too high percentage of which I spend sitting at stoplights waiting for green means go. Sometimes to entertain myself while I sit, I glance into the vehicles around me. It feels a little like spying, getting to peek at what […]

Yes, I Will Have Some Cheese

I sat down yesterday and figured out that I can spare a couple vacation days to ski in January. (I used a spreadsheet, of course I did; I’m an accountant at heart, no matter what my business card says.) Yay! But then Mr. Karen called the lodge where he’s staying with rest of the group […]

Weekly Update

It’s time once again to report on my weekly goals. This more frequent check in plan seemed like such a good idea two weeks ago when I started it. Now, it seems like a crazy thing to do in a month that has holiday hoopla and a vacation added to the normal everyday stuff. Yet […]

Thumbs Up for Snow

Yes, I’ve been gone. As is my wont this general time of year, I was skiing in Colorado with Mr. Karen. It being early season, the snow wasn’t great and none of the areas we went to had all their terrain open, but still, it’s skiing on real mountains, so any snow is good snow. […]

It’s the Pants

Thanks to staying under my WW points limit for the past two days, I’ve lost enough of my bloat to fit into my high self-esteem pants. These are the pants that cause people to compliment me on how skinny I’m getting even when I haven’t lost weight. These are the pants that go with the […]


I am thinking about toilet paper. This is probably not the best use of my time, given that I have tasks lists full to overflowing for both work and home. I say probably instead of definitely because it might be a good thing to be distracted for a while from thinking about how one of […]

Weekly Report Card

A week ago, I declared that December was going to be a better month than November had been as far as my achievement of personal goals went because this month I was going to have weekly mini-goals to keep me on track. Now it’s time to grade my performance. First, I promised I would write […]

Soccer Baby Quilt II

One down, eleven to go. Here’s the baby quilt I just finished. It’s for the brother of the boy who got the first soccer baby quilt. Like the two boys share some DNA, these quilts share some of the same fabrics. I’d saved the leftover triangles, some of them already sewn together into squares, from […]


I’m starting to wonder if the scar on my belly will ever fade and flatten enough that it doesn’t make me think “ugly” every time I see it. All the other scars I’ve got are unobtrusive enough that I don’t notice them unless I’m paying attention because their white against my fairly pale skin doesn’t […]

Piling Off

This morning, I am multitasking, cleaning off my desk at the same time as I write about cleaning off my desk. Of course, this is not true multitasking, since I cannot simultaneously declutter and type, it’s more Windows-style multitasking, where I do one thing for a little bit and then do the other thing for […]

Quilt List

My quilting to do list just got longer because I got a commission to make two baby quilts. Now, calling it a “commission” is rather more high falutin’ than the situation merits, since I’ll only be getting the cost of the materials and I didn’t have any competition in getting the job, but I’ve decided […]

Memory Lane

Diane’s mention of her paper journals a few weeks ago reminded me that I have boxes of my own in the basement. They go back to the early 1970’s (Mrs. White told me to put that apostrophe there, and I’m going to. Or did she tell me not to?) I figure there’s no better time […]

Bad Logo on the Rise

I had a dream about my bank last night, one of those dreams in which I get so frustrated and annoyed and angry that I wake up tense rather than rested (or still tired, depending on the morning). There’s no mystery about why my subconscious cast the bank as bad guy; it’s the new logo […]

Boomer? Moi?

This morning, I finished listening to Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation. While this book was meant to be humorous, it was also educational. The most important thing I learned is that, at least according to Joe Queenan, I am not a boomer. Unlike sociologists who stretch the baby […]

Goal Check-In: Month 8

I cleverly avoided having to do a goal check-in for October by leaving the country. This month, I have no good reason not to do one. Not accomplishing much is not a good reason. I wish it were. I wish I could go back and redo October and November so I’d have more progress to […]

Anxiety Fest

Last night was one of those nights when I wake in the wee hours and can’t get back to sleep. Today it was around 5 a.m. when my eyes opened. I’d been having a perfectly nice dream about getting gyros for lunch and then I was awake. I got up and peed (is that why […]

Channeling My Inner Donna Summer

Random Acts of Journaling poses the question: “What’s the one thing you can’t be without, and why?” The smartass in me says, “Air, because I’ll die if I can’t breathe.” The practical part of me chimes in, “But you need water, too, and food. And shelter from the cold so you don’t freeze to death, […]

Ideal Day

Random Acts of Journaling poses the question: What would a perfect day for you entail? Disregard constraints of money and travel time and take us from morning to night. Breakfast in Paris and dinner in Rio? On my perfect day, I wake up to soft sunlight filtering through trees and the fabric of the tent […]

Goals – Checking In & Moving On

My personal goal year ends today, so it’s time for another check-in. Not a lot has changed since my last review, but I need closure. Also, looking at what I’ve done and failed to do is a good preparation for setting goals for next year. Goal #1 – Body: I declared success on this one […]


I read something a little while ago that’s got me thinking about right and wrong in our everyday lives. A woman writing about the movies she’d seen recently mentioned, almost as an aside, that she and a friend had seen these films by buying a ticket for the first one and then going from theater […]


Kayaking season has started, so Mr. Karen took off for wetter and wilder parts east this weekend. Often when I have a Saturday alone I’ll cocoon at home, listening to NPR and working on whatever quilt project I’ve got going. Today NPR was not an option, because I did not want to hear the all […]


I’m learning Japanese, I think I’m learning Japanese, I really think so. Tonight with tell, as we have our first quiz in the class Mr. Karen and I are taking at one of the community colleges. We took French there before we went to France some years ago, and that worked out pretty, so we […]


In honor of my Irish heritage this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m wearing a little round pin with my maternal grandfather’s picture on it. He gave this pin to his sweetheart, the woman I knew as Grandma, to mark their engagement until they could afford a ring. Before I got married, Grandma Bess gave me both […]


Today is my 41st birthday. I’ve reached an age at which the only people who consider me young are senior citizens. Conventional wisdom says I should be feeling at least a little down about this, about getting older in a society that prizes younger women. I’m not. I didn’t have a fit when I turned […]


I’ve reached goal; I’m done losing weight. I succeeded not by dropping ten pounds in a week to reach 140, the number I’ve been aiming at for the last two years, but by changing the target. Yesterday I went to Weight Watchers and officially changed my goal there from 145, a number I’d picked so […]


I was late to work again this morning, but not due to snow. This time it was because Mr. Karen and I went to get our mortgage refinancing paperwork notarized. I thought finding a notary was going to be the hard part of the process, but it turns out that there’s a Mail Boxes etc. […]

Winter, Still

My calendar says the first day of spring is a week from today, but there’s no hint of it outside today. Or if there is a hint of it, I can’t see it because it’s buried under the two to four inches of snow that fell just in time to mess with my drive to […]


When I saw “clutter” on the AlphaBytes word list, I knew that was the C word for me. That one resonated. But when it came time to start writing about it, my reaction was akin to what I feel when it comes to dealing with the actual stuff itself– overwhelmed. Should I write about the […]


Today started well enough, especially considering it’s Monday. I woke up a little before the alarm and my morning routine went smoothly. Deciding what to wear was even easy; when the temperature is this cold on a work day, it’s wool sweater time, and I’ve got only a few of those because I hate washing […]

Friendship Quilt

After I finished the zoo baby quilt, I planned to work on a quilt for me, one of my unfinished objects. I got the blocks for that quilt out and put them all up on my felt wall to ponder whether I wanted to change some of them or just start sewing them together. What […]


I’m covering for one of my coworkers this week. He’s on vacation in the northern woods, unreachable. One of his customers, let’s call him Weasel, phoned this morning with a problem. We discussed it, identified what appeared to be the cause, and I told him I’d look into it and call him back as soon […]


One of the segments on This American Life this past weekend posed the question, “Which superpower would you choose, flight or invisibility?” It didn’t take me long to decide– flight, definitely. Flight is the stuff of my dreams. In that space where anything is possible, I’ve soared over the landscape, able to move easily from […]


Sally Hansen done me wrong. I thought we had a solid relationship. I thought I could count on her. I was sadly mistaken. Sally’s been leading me on, and this morning I discovered the deception. The day started well enough. Tired of looking at the bruise under my toenail, I thought I’d put some polish […]


This is what my life feels like right now. All I see ahead of me is a tunnel called “the big project you thought was going live July 1 has been moved up to April 1”. Until I got to work this morning and read my e-mail, I thought I had just two more intense […]

Rules for Living

The safest way to live is first, inherit money, second, be born without a taste for liquor, third, have a legitimate job that keeps you busy, fourth, marry a wife who will cooperate in your sexual peculiarities, fifth, join some big church, sixth, don’t live too long. — from a John O’Hara novel, as quoted […]

You Can’t Judge Success By One Number

The scale said 146.5 yesterday. You might expect me to be doing a happy dance about that– after all, it’s another new low for this round of weight loss. Not only have I gotten rid of the pudge I put on during the Christmas season eat-o-rama, I‘ve lost a couple more pounds beyond that. Only […]

Hope in a Jar

One of the exercises in The Artist’s Way is to establish a God Jar, a place to put slips of paper upon which you’d write your hopes and dreams and problems that you wanted God’s help with. I skipped this exercise. Who was I to be telling God what to do? Over the past few […]

Not One of Those Entries

This is not going to be a year in review entry. I’ll save that for my journal anniversary in May (or April, depending on when I decide to celebrate). This is not going to be a New Year’s resolutions entry. That will come when my personal goal year ends in March. This is not going […]

Lost Weekend

So yes, I did just disappear for a couple of days there. I wish I could now share tales of the big fun I had while I was offline, but there was no excitement. Neither was there major emotional drama that I might be tempted to hint at even if I couldn’t tell the whole […]

Is it time to go home yet?

I’m out of step with the rest of my office today. It’s not an official company holiday, but the boss is away and so are a lot of other people and most of the people who are here are not getting much done. The music’s louder (the “you must wear headphones” rule was rescinded, but […]

The Secret Revealed

I’ve been lying you—by omission, yes, but that’s still disingenuous– for almost a week, and now it’s time to come clean. I’ve been in Florida, where Mr. Karen and I spent five days visiting his parents. They’re fortunate to have the use of a house down there in the winter (and a long winter it […]

Books I Have Not Read

I intended to write a cheery holiday entry today, drawing inspiration from Great Lakes Christmas Classics, a slim volume of short stories and other vignettes from the turn of the 19th into the 20th century that I picked up at the library on my last visit. Unfortunately, when I started reading said book, it made […]

Quilting Outside the Lines

One of my Christmas presents to myself this year was Signs & Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts. I’ve wanted this book since I first saw it in a bookstore years ago; I didn’t buy it then because it was an expensive hardcover and my budget was pretty tight. After a few raises, I […]


Rather than running around to all the office supply stores looking for the kind of calendar pages I like, I ordered the 2003 ones directly from DayRunner. Yes, I had to pay almost in much in shipping as it cost to buy the refills, but if I’d gone to the store I’d probably have bought […]


Random Acts of Journaling:What is something, or someone, you’ve misplaced and want to find again? Why? For a long time I missed my essays from a writing course I took in college. Near the end of the quarter, the professor had us hand back in all the papers we’d written for him so he could […]

One Girl, All Alone

We had our first web developers meeting in a long time at work yesterday and once again I was the only woman in the room, a lone stand of estrogen in a forest of testosterone. There are other women at Purple Systems, but most of them are in support roles or on the implementation team, […]


All I want for Christmas is a blood-free day, A blood-free day, yes, a blood free day Gee, if I could only have a blood-free day Then it would be a Merry Christmas It seems so long since I could say, “I don’t need underwear in any way.” Gosh, oh gee, how happy I’d be, […]


I’ve come down with a bad case of holiday stress. I’ve done so little, and I want to do so much, and there’s little time left to close the gap. In my fantasy life, I buy perfect presents that surprise and delight Mr. Karen and our parents and siblings and nieces and nephews. In reality, […]

Older Than Dirt

When I was in high school, we didn’t have computers. There was one machine students could use to create punch cards, which would then be driven down the road a few miles to the community college for processing. If the program didn’t run correctly, it was a multi-day effort to make corrections and try it […]

State of the Toenails Address

As you may remember, last ski season left me with ugly toenails well into the warm months that followed. I certainly remember, since it wasn’t so long ago that the damage finally grew out. I tried to do things differently this year, hoping to be able to bare my toes in public in summer 2003. […]

Unofficial Party

Last night was supposed to be my office’s official Christmas party, but it was cancelled, causing me to pout and stamp my feet. Then about two weeks ago, my boss buzzed me and asked if Mr. Karen and I were free on the 14th because he was going to have a gathering at his house […]

Zoo Baby Quilt

Yesterday I finished another baby quilt, and now I am all caught up with the offspring born to my coworkers this year. Even though this is one of the simplest quilts I’ve made, with only ten fabrics and one basic block design, it took me about two months to make. If I had worked on […]

Weight Wait

Tomorrow I’m going to Weight Watchers for my December weigh-in. I’m curious to see what the scale will say. When I went last month, I was 151.5 on my scale and 153.2 on theirs (if only they’d let us go to meetings nude!). Given the ups and downs reflected in my weight log recently, I’m […]

I Can See Clearly Now

We got new windows installed in all the rooms upstairs yesterday (and when I say “we”, I mean Mr. Karen, because he did all the research and scheduling and took the day off work when the guys came to put them in; I just went to the showrooms with him a few months ago and […]

The Promised Elaboration

I said there’d be a trip report, and a trip report there shall be. What there will not be are more pictures, because the pictures are at home, and I am here at the office, and if I do not write this now in my usual lunchtime writing slot, it may not get written at […]

I’m Back

I trust that the other participants in Holidailies have kept you entertained since I last wrote five days ago. I’ve been off in Colorado, seriously vacationing. I left the laptop at home and didn’t touch a keyboard or even look at the Internet the whole time I was gone. Even the temptation to check my […]

Forgotten Tradition

Mr. Karen and I wrote our paragraph for his parents’ Christmas letter last night. Well, I did a very rough first draft, and he did the rest, turning my disconnected sentences into a cohesive story. Until his mom called a few days ago to ask for it, I’d forgotten all about having to write this—obviously, […]

Ugly on the Inside

I clear all the papers and folders and writing instruments off my desk every night. When I arrive in the morning, my work surface is uncluttered. The two desks arranged in an L-shape support a phone, a PC monitor sitting on top of a docking station, a box of facial tissues (usually genuine Kleenex in […]


We got our first serious snow of the season yesterday, which means it’s now officially winter according to the rules in my big book o’ seasons. If the ice scraper has to come out, it’s winter. The calendar in my DayRunner insists that the season won’t change until December 21, which is clearly wrong. Probably […]

Goal Check-In #5

It’s been more than six weeks since my last goal check-in, so it’s once again time to publicly review how I’m doing. The next couple months are going to be super busy for me, so I have the feeling that this is as good as it’s going to get until the frenzy passes. (“But Karen,” […]

Comfort and Joy

What holiday traditions do you find the most comforting? Once again, a Random Acts of Journaling prompt has me stumped. I picked this one out thinking it would be a good topic for the day before Thanksgiving, yet now that I’m faced with writing about it, I have more questions than answers. I’m clear on […]

No Thanks

I talked to my mom last night, finalizing plans for Thanksgiving. This year’s surprise is that my brother is cooking the turkey, and we’re going to have the big meal at his house, which I still think of as Dad’s house and probably always will, no matter who lives there or who owns it. Scot’s […]

Nothing Doin’

Notify lists can be a very good thing; I joined the one for Random Acts of Journaling last week because I almost missed doing a September entry due to my haphazard checking of the site for new prompts. Yesterday, I got a nice e-mail that the new prompts are up, so I feel all on […]

One Is Silver and the Other Is Gold

There are two types of mates. There are the new friends you make later in life, when you’re older. People you’ve got something in common with. People whose company you enjoy. It’s fresh and exciting, you can meet them for a cappuccino, have them over for meals. You like them. And you can really talk […]

I See London, I See France

Do kids still use that singsong taunt on the playground? I see London, I see France, I see Karen’s underpants! It’s been running through my head because I’m having underwear issues. I hope they’re not obvious to the outside world, but it’s hard to know. It’s not exactly polite to talk to coworkers or strangers […]

Supply Lust

I got a catalog in the mail the other day. A catalog arriving at our house is not usually a remarkable event—it seems like Sierra Trading Post alone sends us two or three a week– but this catalog was special. This catalog made me stop flipping through the stack of mail and pick it up […]

Dainty I Ain’t

The princesses I grew up with were Snow White and Cinderella and that chick in “The Princess and the Pea”. These were dainty creatures, with high, sweet voices and tiny feet and delicate sensibilities. They were fairy tale make believe people, nothing to do with reality and certainly not something I wanted to be when […]

WWJD if he played baseball?

On NPR Monday morning, I heard a Seattle Mariner saying, as justification for why the players need to be paid more and might strike over the issue, “We deserve to be compensated for the talents God gave us.” If my radio had a sanctimonious sensor, it would have gone to red alert. I’ve tried to […]


It’s shining fashion moments day, in which I dig through my photo albums and share the very best looks from four decades of getting dressed. Looking at them now, they might seem like faux pas, but at the time, I was stylin’. Here’s the evidence (the pictures are links today, so you can choose to […]


I would like to go to: 1. Hawaii. I think of it as the most romantic and exotic place in the United States, a place of magic. Everyone I know who’s been there says I should go see for myself. I am just hoping it can live up to the hype, and that it’s not […]

I Wish/I Want

I wish that everyone could be considerate of others. So many of the things that annoy me are, at their root, selfish acts perpetrated by other people. Surely they would stop doing these things that vex me if they could, right? The question to be solved is why they can’t manage to do things the […]

My Bottom Drawer

This entry marks my first foray into Random Acts of Journaling. The current passage from a book prompt comes from Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, which I’ve come to think of as “my book” since I led the discussion on it over at The Usual Suspects. (Yes, it’s been a rather […]

If Not This, What?

The final topic for the June Journal SMACKdown is “What would you be doing if you didn’t have your current career?” Most likely I would be doing my former career, accounting, provided I hadn’t burned out yet, which is definitely where I was headed when I left the field. Though it wasn’t the accounting itself […]

First Love

Today’s June Journal SMACKdown question is “Who was your first love, and did he/she know?” (I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks it’s backwards that this question follows, rather than precedes, the one about losing one’s virginity). In the case of love, I’m having trouble deciding who was first. Was it my dad, […]

Losin’ It

I’m still a virgin. Sure, I’ve seen people doing it in documentaries, and heard people talking about it, but I’ve never participated. The crowd I hung out with at the age most people lose it wasn’t into that kind of thing, and it didn’t seem like something I’d want to venture out and try to […]

Looking Forward from Back Then

Today’s June Journal SMACKdown topic is “What you thought 30 would be like when you were 12”. I think it was around the time I was twelve when I first calculated how old I’d be when the year 2000 dawned—37. That seemed very old to me then. I don’t remember thinking specifically about being thirty, […]

The Birds and the Bees

I don’t remember having a single, momentous, uncomfortable for everyone “this is where babies come from” talk like I’ve heard other people had. I don’t remember how I learned about sex and the differences between boys and girls, men and women. I’m guessing my mom simply worked it into our everyday discussions. It had to […]

Running Away From Home

I’m entirely too practical to run away from home. When I was a kid, I thought about it from time to time—any house where alcohol-fueled rages are a regular occurrence is a good place to consider leaving— and I remember joking with my mom about leaving for Australia on many occasions. But even as a […]


Today’s June Journal SMACKdown challenge is: “Write a review of your own online journal from a critic’s point of view (as if you were writing for one of those critique mailing lists or Web sites”. Being a new kid on the scene, I’m not very familiar with journal critique lists and sites, but I do […]

Stupid Things That Make You Cry

A lot of things make me cry, especially if I’m in the right mood. I don’t think most of them are stupid, though the casual observer might disagree, especially if the casual observer were sitting next to me at a stoplight and saw me dabbing at my eyes because a particularly touching Disney song was […]

We Got Stanley

No Journal SMACKdown topic today, but there is a bonus bit: you can check out my newly posted bio page. When writing it yesterday, I realized that I inadvertently lied about my age in my first entry. I actually made myself older, too, which certainly isn’t the culturally approved direction for a woman my age. […]

Not So Fly, Lady

Today’s June Journal SMACKdown question: “Which part of your house is always dirty?” Always? Even when we’ve spruced up the place because company’s coming? I think we’ve cleaned every part of the house at least once since we moved in, so no one place is always dirty. However, it’s rare when all the parts are […]

Repetitive Motion Injury

I have never been diagnosed with any condition or injury related to all the typing and mousing I do, though I do get mild symptoms from time to time: numbness or tingling in the fingers of my right hand, twinges in my wrist and forearm and elbow on that side. For a while, I used […]

My Earliest Memory

My only sibling was born when I was three and a half, which I’d think would be memorable given how much my world changed as a result of my brother’s arrival, but my brain stores no images of that time. I don’t remember my mom being pregnant; I don’t remember where I stayed when she […]

Body Hair

Body hair is a timely topic, as the weather has started to be warm enough consistently enough that I want to venture out in shorts and skirts and sleeveless shirts again. For me, that means a seasonal return to regular shaving, lest I violate the cultural norm that says women should have smooth, hairless legs […]

Bad Habits

When someone says “bad habits”, I think first of things I don’t do– bite my nails or smoke or get drunk every weekend—but of course I do other things that qualify as bad habits. There’s hopping on the scale every morning for no good reason, for example. Another of my bad habits is drinking two […]

Let the SMACKdown Begin!

Though it seems a little forward or presumptuous or something of me to participate in an online journaling event at this early stage in my experience, that’s just what I’m going to do. I am powerless to resist Kismet and Jette’s June Journal SMACKdown!, which starts today. The first SMACKdown topic: “How do you think […]

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