happy new year!

hope everyone's day has been wonderful in whatever ways you need. mine has been fun and restful, and I'm grateful for it (even though I am getting a nasty cold). happy new year to all!

much love and appreciation,



loving a person - sara groves

Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

Loving a person just the way they are, that's no small thing
That's the whole thing
Loving me just the way I am, it's no small thing
It takes some time...


I love...

Just wanted to share this picture, cuz I thought it was real cute (at least the right half of the picture is, don't you agree?) :)


the death penalty...

I know I've written about the death penalty before on this blog... but I just finished watching the film Dancer In The Dark today, and it got me so worked up about the death penalty, I have to write again.

I HATE the death penalty. I think capital punishment is one of the most inhuman things we do. How is it that we feel the right to condemn another person to death, as if anything they do is so much worse than what either we do or are very capable of doing given the right circumstances? How do we feel that it is our right to interpret a person's actions to that level, not having the experience of being that person? Also, why would we even want to take another person's life because of their actions, besides revenge?

Maybe I'm simply too idealistic about things, but I feel that an awful lot of grace has been given me in my life, and I feel inclined to pass that on to others, rather than take revenge, hold them to strict justice, make decisions about which people are worth saving, and which are ok to kill. I just don't believe we as humans should have that kind of authority to decide what people are worth saving and what people are ok to kill. This applies to war as well. What is it that makes Saddam Hussein less worth saving than me? Who is to say that I wouldn't have behaved much like him if I had been born in the exact same circumstances? He may have oppressed and killed a lot of people, in a very externally visible way, but so many of us oppress and crush each other in all kinds of very subtle ways every single day and never realize it (or do realize it). If we had the chance to expand those and gain power and control, who's to say we wouldn't? I certainly know that I'm potentially capable of more than I'm comfortable thinking about. And who's to say that the damage we do to the people around us isn't just as bad as the damage done by oppressive dictators? I've seen some people completely destroyed inside by people who, on the outside, seem to be pretty normal, average people. Also, who is to say that a person who commits a crime which we regard as heinous will not be vitally important in some way in the future? Also, how can we be so sure about the validity of a decision made in our justice system to put a human life on the line?

How will we ever stop violence with violence? It makes no sense. We, in order to show that murder is wrong, do murder. What kind of fucked up logic is that? We decide that dictators, or muslims, or christians, or jews, or russians, or __________ group of people or individuals are not worth our time to save, or are worth our time to kill, and we make that decision based on our own concept of what is going on in a situation... and how can we be so arrogant, as to think we have enough information to decide that someone's life is not worthwhile?

I just simply cannot see how it is right that we decide who should live and die.


Merry Christmas!

So, today is Christmas!

Well, we started Christmas last week with each other. Then this week on Sunday, we got together with our friend/neighbor Theresa to exchange gifts. We brought out a bunch of snacks and made hot chocolate and opened gifts. She made me a stuffed Tardis!!! If you haven't seen the series Doctor Who, you need to!

She found this amazing owl bank at Goodwill:

And this wonderful book for Trina!

Yesterday I worked a short day, and Trina spent the day making the last bits of food stuff, and putting it all together to head off to my parents' house. Our friend Chuck stopped by just as she was leaving to drop of a batch of beer that he and I made for the holidays - it was a dark ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and orange peel. Trina came up to get me at work, and we headed off to my parents' house, where my parents, my sister Amy, her husband Josh, and their little baby Blake were already waiting. We had a load of stuff in the backseat, so when we get there, we packed everything in and said hello to everyone. All the snacky food was already out on the counter - my sister made a layered mexican dip, my mom had bought stilton and cranberry wensleydale cheese, and we brought water crackers, we had marinated mushrooms, pickles, we made baked 3 cheese ravioli with garlic maranara dipping sauce, stuffed mushrooms, reuben dip with chips and crackers, sausages from a German deli in town, cheese fondue with dark and light rye bread, as well as sourdough, and I'm sure a number of other things I'm probably forgetting. We had crab to crack as well, but ended up not doing it that evening, as we all had so much to eat we got incredibly full. Of course Baby Blake was the focus of attention, being his first Christmas.

Grandpa Lew playing peekaboo :)

Grandma Carol getting some love time :)

We ate a whole bunch, and then decided to open our stocking stuffers. We always go around the circle, and go from youngest to oldest. That meant this year Blake got to start off the circle. We even had some unexpected things in the stockings this year, such as cello rosin and ginger candy, as well as the usual guitar strings, circus peanuts, etc...

We took a break in the middle of stockings, had a little bit more food... then we came back and finished the stockings. None of us were hungry again yet, so we decided to go for the main presents. We had a ton of fun giving and getting stuff - we gave Josh a 10 pound chocolate bar that he loved :) We also gave he and my dad some nice bbq implements, and my mom and sister got lots of wonderful socks :) Blake got all kinds of things, some great play stuff, books, socks...

We got a number of wonderful art prints from Marjorie at Marmee Craft and Emily at The Black Apple. These are the ones we got :)







Trina got this little book, which is funny, because I started calling Trina "pookie" a while ago, and it has kind of caught on in my family, so we all tease her with it, in a very caring, fun way :)

We got some great snacks, beef jerky, salami, chocolate covered coffee beans, wasabi & soy sauce roasted almonds that I'm eating as we speak. We got a Black and Decker electric drill, which will be wonderful. My sister made Trina a beautiful apron, and my parents got her a lovely scarf and some great pajama pants (I got some of those too). We got these wonderful lampshades:

Trina got this pair of boots and I got this iPod.

The Blake enjoyed sitting in the empty boxes while we cleaned up all the mess :)

We made hot chocolate and hot buttered rum, and got out cookies and peanut brittle and jello molds that my mom made and we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas, and then Josh and Amy and Blake took off, as Blake was getting really tired. I sat up and played with my iPod, and my dad flipped channels on TV, and we worked on a couple of last wrapping jobs we had to do for Trina's family Christmas the next day.

Trina and my mom made banana cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, which we were also taking to Trina's family Christmas. Finally my parents went to bed, and we finished up the last few things, and got to bed finally around midnight. It was a wonderful, warm, day, and Trina and I fell asleep in a warm bed happy to be with each other.

This morning, we woke up around 8, and I hopped in the shower. Trina got up and got ready, and then we both went downstairs. My mom had made cinnamon rolls and bacon, and I cracked 3 legs of crab and snacked on them. We had coffee and just sat around and talked with my parents about life stuff. It was so good. We talked so long we almost missed getting out the door on time, but we got everything together and got out on the road on the way to Trina's family. We had to get gas, and we drove around for about 30 min trying to find a place that was open. Finally we found one, and then got back on the freeway. About 30 minutes south from my parents' house, it started dumping snow. So much so that we could hardly see where we were going. We started squealing and bouncing around in the car, we couldn't contain ourselves :) It was even sticking on the freeway, so we pulled off the road and called Trina's family. It was snowing a bit in Albany (where they live) as well, so we decided not to risk getting stuck (as we just have a 1974 VW Beetle, which we aren't real confident about driving in the snow), and decided not to go. We turned around and went back to my parents' house and picked up the stuff we had left there, planning to get it on our way back home in the evening. It was really cold outside, so we made some hot chocolate and warmed up, and took some pictures of the snow :)

My mom sent us home with all the leftover food from the night before, so we came home. We found the kitties awfully skittish, and so we spent some time calming them down after we got everything in from the car. Finally they started to settle down, and so we pulled out the food and snacked on it, while I downloaded the Doctor Who Christmas Special, and put all our music on my new iPod :) Then we watched the Christmas Special, put all the food away, and now we're just relaxing. We'll probably try to make it down to see Trina's family soon and give them their gifts. We missed seeing them today, but we've also had a nice afternoon with our kitties :) Speaking of which, I need to go feed them so they stop whining :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season, I'll leave you with these last few pictures. Much love to all of you from us.


One last thing before Christmas...

Hello Everyone! I hope your holiday seasons are going lovely well thus far, and that those of you who will be celebrating Christmas with family will actually find some peace and rest there. I just wanted to post a song I wrote today (which has nothing to do with the holidays, but I like it anyway). Anyway, give it a listen and let me know what you think :) It's called Delicate. Warmest wishes to everyone.


a bit of an early Christmas...

We decided to do Christmas just for Trina and I last night, as the rest of our week is going to be busy finishing up stuff for other people and getting things sent out and wrapped and such. I guess there are two things still coming in the mail for me, but I know what one of them is, and the other is a smaller thing, so we decided to just go for it :) So, I went and got the last thing I needed to get for Trina, and then finished wrapping the few things I hadn't, and we put them under the tree :)

Unfortunately, I had a large box, and ran out of paper halfway through, and we didn't have any more paper to match, so I just draped a small piece that was left over the top so Trina couldn't tell what it was :) It was sad, because up until that point, I was actually doing a really good job wrapping it, I was sad :( (my wrapping skills are kind of hit and miss...)

Here are a few of the highlights of what we got! Sorry, the pictures are a bit dim, as it was dark-ish in the room... but you can get the idea :)

This is what was in the big box - it was a floor lamp from IKEA:

Trina got me this lovely original from Marjorie at Marmee Craft called Transfiguration. I sometimes feel like I'm sprouting wings, so I can relate.

I found this lovely turquoise Club brand dutch oven at a local vintage store, Lived in Lover.

I also found this lovely serving platter there - it has a similar pattern to one of the sets of dishes we have, and we have been wanting a serving platter for a while now, so we can use this one until we find the one for our set of dishes :)

Trina got me Son of Moustachio from Shawnimals! It's a moustache with a moustache! :)

She also got this cute little ninja-riding-a-moustache sticker :)

I got Trina this lovely bird pendant from Beth at Arete.

This little plant came from IKEA as well, and those egg cups sitting next to it are from Anthropologie.

I also got her these red cups and red and green goblets from Anthropologie, and the owl mug is from New Seasons Market, and there are the egg cups again.

Trina got me these three cards from Art and Ghosts. They aren't the greatest pictures of them, but you can see better pictures of them in her shop (follow the link above).

She also got me this print, which I forgot to take a picture of:


I also forgot to take pictures of two prints I got for Trina - one from Marjorie at Marmee Craft.


The other print was from Emily at The Black Apple - but it looks like she's removed everything from her shop until after Christmas, so I'll take a picture of it and post it later.

Also, because we got a bunch of money back in a kicker check from the Oregon government recently, and because we get a 40% discount at Sur la Table from Trina working there, we decided to take a dive and get these Shun knives as a bit of a Christmas gift for ourselves, which are quite spendy, but super wonderful. The larger is an 8" chef's knife, and the smaller is a utility knife. You wouldn't believe how much difference good knives and good cookware can make in your cooking. Whee!


making Christmas decor...

This Saturday evening, we hunkered down and made some Christmas decorations, as we don't really have many other than our tree decorations. First thing that was made was the little sock garland, which Trina made from little $1 pairs of socks from Target, and a little pom-pom trim from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

I put it up around the windows by the Christmas tree, and it was good:

We dragged the craft table into the living room, and ended up watching White Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas, It's Christmas Again, Charlie Brown, and Saturday Night Live.

We took a little break... :D

Then I made a swag, with juniper berries and holly leaves

And Trina made a lovely gumdrop wreath

Whee! It was fun :) Happy Holidays!