SugarHouse Mama

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adoption Decree...CHECK!

I haven't posted for a while, I know. Robert was kindly pointing it out to me last night. I had good reason, though. We were pretty sure we would have an adoption decree today, but as with all things Ghana, we weren't relying on it. {We indeed learned our lesson from the previous 5 or 6 times... 7th time's the charm???} I wanted the good news to have more of an impact. You know, because you all have been checking and checking and wondering why on earth I wasn't posting anything.

Anyway, I just got a phone call from Lois and it is indeed official. We have our adoption decree and we are sooo excited!


Of course, it wasn't easy. Kingsley's fuel pump and filter went out on his car :( which means he is without a car until it can be fixed :( which means until he has the money to do it. So until then, it's back to the extremely slow and unreliable public Tro-tro for him.

Kingsley's friend has Adjoa's passport, so we are hoping Kingsley can meet up with him this week to collect it from him. As soon as that happens, we'll be purchasing another plane ticket and I'll be off!

What a LONG month it has been! But well worth it, of course.

Here's a cute little picture of our daughter {yes Robert, that IS really fun to say!}

I can't wait to kiss that face!

Monday, October 27, 2008


In case you hadn't noticed, I think Kathleen is one superbly crafty chica. I LOVE her stuff. So naturally, I'm oober excited that she is opening a store! YEAH! That means I will have a real shot at owning something made by the one and only Grosgrain {since it seems I will never actually win anything}.


November 6th, huh? Just in time for Christmas....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Safety Dance

I love this song. I always see Turk from Scrubs dancing.... {hmmm maybe I should go find that clip too}

Anywho. Robert sent it to me today, and I know you've probably all seen it before, but it's just soooo funny. Why is that? Why do we think it's funny to watch people fall? I think I enjoy it so much because I feel this great relief that it's not me. It could be. Like most of these people, showing off and trying to be cool has always backfired on me.

So here you go...

Ssss Aaaa Ffff Eeee Tttt Yyyy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I don't think I have EVER seen a Halloween costume this beautiful before. My only wish {aside from winning it, that is} is that I had one for ME!

You have to check it out...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hated the Books...

But the movie is going to be AWESOME. And by awesome I mean so potentially terrible that it is going to be awesome.

Seriously, I can't wait. {Well, I can't wait until it's at the $1.50 theater which is sadly no longer a dollar and I can pack up my fellow Twilight Haters...please oh please come Lois I promise it will be good old fashioned snarky fun...because I WILL NOT pay a full 7 bucks to see that movie and most especially when the theater is guaranteed to be filled with people who will give us the evil-eye because we will be laughing at the most, in their minds, inappropriate moments}.

Anywho. Even if you are a loyal lover of the series, you have to admit there is something seriously wrong with what they are doing to the movie.

I submit for examination by the court, Evidence A:

Oh I don't even know where to start. First of all, pretty much the entire point of the book is that what'shisname Edward is supposed to be the handsomest, gorgeousest, modelest dude in existence. Or like unto existence. But Cedric Diggory's character is decidedly unappealing {incidentally CD was hot. Is hot. I swear they de-hottified him in unnatural ways that will surely damage his career. Where was I? Oh yes.} Unappealing. In more ways than I can even begin to express. The tight, low pants. The horrid belt skewed to the right. The shirt. The HAIR. I'm pretty sure they scalped Conan, or at the very least used him as a hair model. Or maybe Donald Trump.

And this is the guy who what'shername clutsy-freak-girl Bella is supposed to be "unconditionally" in love with? Hmmm. Of course, she has a serious lack of judgment proven by the fact that she has romance and creepy-stalkery-obsessive behavior confused. I don't care who or what your reasons are, it is not okay for you to come into my room and watch me sleep at night. Every night. Yuck.

But this is clutsy-freak-girl-who-exhibits-a-serious-lack-of-self-preservation Bella. So she swoons. Directly after her trip to the produce section of Albertson's. Awesome.

Evidence B:

Again. The discrepancy between vampire-hotness {don't any of these people remember Angel? Man I'm soooo glad I have Bones to makeup for that loss!} and this ridiculous now-spiky-haired-we-learned-our-lesson-from-the-EW-mag character. Poor Cedric. I'm sitting here wondering if the writers even read the book. Because I clearly remember about a zillion-ish subtle references to the hotness of Edward. Yeah. Subtle like a brick to the head. This guy looks like he fell into a tub of baby powder.

Oh. and these two people are supposed to be "unconditionally" in love? She looks like she's being kidnapped. Or maybe this is supposed to foreshadow the part where she "unconditionally" loves Edward but is really acting like she's liking if not loving the warm bodied Jacob. Unconditional love my foot.

But hey. I'm thrilled. As far as I'm concerned it will make for perfectly amusing entertainment and it really really helps my standing in my book group. I told them all that Edward was not, in fact, beautiful. Tall-almost-lurpy-greasy-haired-seriously-washed-out-stalker dude? Yes. Beautiful? No.

If you ignore being screamed at throughout the book that Bella thinks Edward is like-so-totally-hot and actually read the descriptions of him then I guess these portrayals are actually quite accurate. And maybe that's exactly what the writers and wardrobe and makeup did.

I've never thought a movie version was better than the book. I'm seriously hoping this holds true for Twilight.

P.S. I'm counting this as a book review even though I read the book a long while ago.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Calorie Cake. I Mean CARROT Cake.

Yesterday was National Bosses Day. So of course, I baked a cake for my boss. {To celebrate his boss-y-ness and bossiness, and also because I'm about to ask for many days of vacation time and he was already giving me grief - in a good natured, but you get my point sort of way - about the vacation time I have already taken off this calendar year.}

My boss is one of those super fanatical fitnessy types. {Yes you are}. So I opted for a carrot cake. You know, because it's healthy.

Here's the yummy recipe in case you are interested. Disclaimer: This is what my cakes will someday look like, of course, but this is NOT my cake. I wish I could claim it, but I can't.

Layered Carrot Cake

  • 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix. I made my own 'cake mix' this time, but 'tis way yummy with store bought cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • I always add about 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Because for me, cinnamon and nutmeg go hand in hand.
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots. I prefer baby carrots. They are sweeter, but harder to grate. Watch those filangies.
  • 1/2 cup raisins. I usually don't add the raisins when I bake stuff, but raisins in this carrot cake are scrum-diddly-umptious.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. I really chop the walnuts because large bits of nuts hurt my mouth and I don't like to come across a large nut when I'm chewing something. It makes me think I've committed a baking faux pas, what with their largeness and crunchyness in an otherwise soft, baked good.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting: because cream cheese frosting is the best frosting and this frosting is to DIE for.

  • 1 package (8ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice. Start with 1 and work up from there. You will regret adding too much OJ when your frosting is runny and won't stay on the cake. I promise. It will waste you best laid plans.
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel


In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, and cinnamon. Whisk the eggs, OJ and oil; add to dry ingredients. Beat until well blended. Stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts.

Pour into two greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350* (that's my degree sign because there isn't one on the keyboard and I don't know what else to tell ya) for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Again, please don't ruin a potentially beautiful cake by trying to frost it too early. It will only end in tears.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, OJ and peel; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in the fridge.

Here's how my cake turned out. I love the orange peel in the frosting. The frosting is so beautiful it makes a truly pretty cake. {Even if your frosting abilities are not professional in quality} And yes, this is what your cake will look like if you add too much OJ in the frosting or you are trying to frost your cake when your kitchen is a blazing furnace what with that huge south facing window and all.

So Happy National Bosses Day, Boss.

Hope you enjoy the cake - oh, and in case you all were wanting some nutritional information for my healthy carrot cake, there are indeed 544 calories per serving. And there are supposed to be 12-14 servings in a 9-in cake. You might want to dust off that elliptical.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Manic Today

To combat my sadness I did what all adoptive parents should be able to do when they have the blues... Call their little girl! {or boy or whatever}

So I called Kingsley to, you know, exhibit my American-ness and ask a bunch of nosey questions about when and where and what and who and how.

Luckily Sarah/Zarah/Ajua/Adjoa was right there and wanted to talk to mama.

That's right, folks, she wanted to talk to me. Finally. She has apparently forgiven me for coming and loving her and being wonderful and fabulous and making her love me back and then leaving her behind while I hopped on a plane and returned to the wonders and comforts of American life. It takes a 2 year old 3 phone calls and a couple weeks to get over that.

Anyway. She was wonderful and adorable and not at all her stubborn self but her fun and cute self instead.

Mama {that's me}: Ahhh-Jo-a!!! {in a semi-sing-song sort of way}
S/Z/Aj/Ad: Yes?!?
Mama: How are you?
S/Z/Aj/Ad: I'm fiiiine.
Mama {so thrilled she is actually talking to me I lose my head for a minute and forget she can't really follow if I talk fast & etc.}: I miss you so much! I love you! I can't wait to see you again! I am coming back and I will see you soon. I miss you! I love you!
S/Z/Aj/Ad: Iluvyouuuu
Mama {Wait- what?! Did I really just hear her sweet voice say what I'm thinking she said?}; I LOVE YOU!
S/Z/Aj/Ad: Iluvyouuuuu!
{We did this i-love-you exchange, oh I don't know, five or so times because I just couldn't get enough of it}
Mama: Kisses! {insert kissy noises here - remember the eating her neck picture? I would say kisses and then, ah-hem, maul her with a billion kisses. She loved it and I have the picture to prove it}
S/Z/Aj/Ad: Kiss!

I was so happy I about died. Really. I was smiling so hard I thought my face was going to fall off. Kingsley's son Junior wanted to join the delight and soon pried the phone from my little one and boyishly joyously yelled throughout our brief exchange. It was awesome.

While Kingsley and I finished our boring grown-up conversation that I no longer had a taste for, my little one was clamouring for the phone.

S/Z/Aj/Ad: fante-fante-fante- MAMA - fante.

And so on.

Awesomest {did I say that already?}. Day. Ever.

Joy beyond belief.

Up-down, roller-coaster ride of a day: i.e. Typical Adoption Day When Waiting To Bring Your Joy Home To Cuddle And Squeeze And Love.

I'm Sad Today...

I miss her sooo much today! We are supposed to be going to court any day now and I think it's making me crazy.

"Across mountains and valleys and rivers and seas
This churning and burning and yearning in me"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Literary Works Mentioned in Conference

I stumbled across this post today and thought I'd share. It's interesting to see what literary works the leaders of the church cite in their talks.

There is another post from conference last April...I'll see if I can find it again and link to it as well.

Hope you enjoy!

  • Ballard, Melvin R., Melvin J. Ballard: Crusader for Righteousness, 1966.
    • M. Russell Ballard, The Truth of God Shall Go Forth, Sunday Morning Session
  • Barrie, J. M., A Window In Thrums, 1917.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Bartlett, John, Familiar Quotations, 17th ed. 2002.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Infinite Power of Hope, Saturday Morning Session - citing Albert Camus
  • Benson, Ezra Taft, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 1988.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Lift Where You Stand, Priesthood Session - citing Albert Camus
  • Dahl, Borghild, I Wanted to See, 1944.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Carruth, Gorton and Eugene Erlich, comp., Harper Book of American Quotations, 1988.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session - quoting Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Cannon, Janeth Russell, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society, 2002.
    • Barbara Thompson, Now Let Us Rejoice, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Cook, John, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. 2007.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session - quoting Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities,.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Eliot, Charles W., ed., The Harvard Classics, 50 vols. 1909–10.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Gordon, Arthur, A Touch of Wonder, 1974.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Grothe, Mardy, Viva la Repartee, 2005.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Kimball, Spencer W., The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball 1982.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Lee, Harold B., Stand ye in holy places, 1974.
    • Thomas S. Monson, To Learn, to Do, to Be, Priesthood Session
  • Lee, Harold B., Ye are the light of the world, 1974.
    • David A. Bednar, Pray Always, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Marlowe, Christopher, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus,
    • Thomas S. Monson, Until We Meet Again, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Maxwell, Neal A., A Wonderful Flood of Light, 1990.
    • D. Todd Christofferson, Come to Zion, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • McConkie, Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. 1966.
    • Russell M. Nelson, Celestial Marriage, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Monson, Thomas S., Inspiring Experiences That Build Faith, 1994.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Pope, Alexander, Essay on Man and Other Poems,.
    • Elaine S. Dalton, A Return to Virtue, Sunday Morning Session
  • Rudd, Glen L., Treasured Experiences of Glen L. Rudd, self-published manuscript, 1995.
    • Keith B. McMullin, God Loves and Helps All of His Children, Sunday Morning Session
  • Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de, The Little Prince, 1943.
    • Gérald Caussé, Even a Child Can Understand, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Sandrock, Michael, Running With the Legends: Training and Racing Insights from 21 Great Runners, 1966.
    • Elaine S. Dalton, A Return to Virtue, Sunday Morning Session - quoting Juma Ikangaa
  • Sessions, Gene A., ed., Biographies And Reminiscences From The James Henry Moyle Collection, typescript, Church Archives.
    • Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Lift Where You Stand, Priesthood Session - citing Albert Camus
  • Shakespeare, William, The Two Gentlemen of Verona,.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Smith, Barbara B. and Blythe Darlyn Thatcher, eds., Heroines of the Restoration, 1997.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time”, Sunday Afternoon Session - citing Heidi Swinton, “I Gently Closed the Door.”
  • Smith, Bathsheba W., Autobiography, ed. Alice Merrill Horne.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time”, Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Smith, Eliza R. Snow, Biography And Family Record Of Lorenzo Snow, 1884.
    • Boyd K. Packer, The Test, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Smith, Joseph, History of the Church, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. 1902-1932.
    • Gérald Caussé, Even a Child Can Understand, Saturday Afternoon Session
    • Keith B. McMullin, God Loves and Helps All of His Children, Sunday Morning Session
    • M. Russell Ballard, The Truth of God Shall Go Forth, Sunday Morning Session
    • Boyd K. Packer, The Test, Sunday Afternoon Session
    • Barbara Thompson, Now Let Us Rejoice, General Relief Society Meeting
  • Smith, Joseph Fielding, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. 1954–56.
    • Dallin H. Oaks, Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament, Saturday Morning Session
    • Russell M. Nelson, Celestial Marriage, Sunday Afternoon Session
  • Thoreau, Henry David, Walden, 1854.
    • L. Tom Perry, Let Him Do It with Simplicity, Saturday Morning Session
  • Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 1986.
    • Robert D. Hales, Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship, Sunday Morning Session
  • Whitney, Helen Mar, A Woman’s View: Helen Mar Whitney’s Reminiscences of Early Church History, ed. Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, 1997.
    • Quentin L. Cook, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time, Saturday Afternoon Session
  • Wilson, Meredith and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man, 1957.
    • Thomas S. Monson, Finding Joy in the Journey, Sunday Morning Session
  • Young, Brigham, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widstoe, 1971.

Ahh, here is the list from April. (cross my fingers that this new rebloging thing works!)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Political Persuasion

I am at a loss. Unless someone, anyone, can provide convincing evidence for any candidate, I will probably "forget" to vote this year. Something I have never done and don't really find at all appealing because then I lose the right to complain when I don't like the way things are going in 2.5 years.

Didn't vote? Can't whine. That's my political motto. Ok. It also applies to American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and any other voting-based-turn-an-average-joe-into-someone-famous-reality show.

McCain: I've never liked him. For many, many reasons. Mostly because he doesn't vote/support his party and then he tries to glorify it by saying he's a maverick. I've never hated the word more in my life. Almost, it's ruining my favorite Mel Gibson movie. Almost.

Obama: Honestly people. He really doesn't have any experience. And the way he talks is so weird. What's with all the pausing and quick-phrasing mixed together? It's hard for me to listen to him. Worse than Bush? Probably not. But only because I haven't had to listen to him for eight years. He is promising an awful lot, too. But I guess that only shows how little experience he has in the US Government. Everyone else seems to know how hard it is to get anything done....

Biden: All I can say on this one is that I think, basically, we are polar opposites. I disagree with nearly everything he consistently supports. Of course, that is kind of hard, since his track record isn't completely consistent.

Palin: I really wanted to like Palin. In fact, I was rooting for her out of the gate, so to speak. I thought she was treated and judged unfairly at first.... And then she started giving interviews. She really doesn't know anything, does she? And what's worse: she doesn't even know what she doesn't know. I absolutely cannot, with a straight face, say that she is at all capable of stepping in. Just in case, you know, a 72-year old man who has already had cancer can't make it a full four years. (I don't think his POW status helps out in hoping he will have an extended life. If indeed, as a POW he suffered poor nutrition, hygiene, etc.).

So where does that leave me? Do I simply vote for the party that most closely reflects my beliefs? That tactic seems to be nothing more than a vain hope that the candidates actually vote with their party. Which, incidentally, seems to be what they are all saying they do not do!

How can I trust anyone who either doesn't have much of a track record, or has a track record that is more flip-floppy than a fish?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bratz Dolls are Evil

So I read this article today. And I must admit I was actually glad there is proof (meaning published books) supporting what I've felt all along: Bratz Dolls are evil.

Before you think I'm being hyper-sensitive or melodramatic let me just say I am serious. Since when is it ok for little girls to watch a cartoon and play with dolls that dress like porn stars? Fishnets: check. Ginormous high heels: check. Mini skirts: check.

And some people thought Barbie was bad. Yeash.

Anyway, the article is actually really interesting. It points out that mainstream culture has been "pornified" (for lack of a better word) and that it is increasingly difficult to guard children against it. Pornographic images and themes have seeped into everyday life so much that - get this - in Florida a judge ruled that "a porn-site operator charged with racketeering and prostitution, could not be considered as behaving outside the societal norm."

The researchers of several books about the topic have found that middle-school and high-school kids who have been heavily influenced by these pornography based images and ideas actually endorse sexual stereotypes more strongly and have a misconception about what it means to be grown-up. They are confused about what is appropriate. (Not really a surprise, I guess). But still scary and sad.

It also pointed out that 70% of girls and 90% of boys aged 13 to 14 have accessed at least once (whether accidentally or not) sexually explicit content. Scary. And sad.

The American Psychological Association found that girls are being stripped of all their value except their sexual use - and that once they subscribe to that belief they begin to self-objectify. (Did you get that? We are no longer talking about men who objectify women, these girls are choosing to objectify themselves!). Consequences of this self-objectification include cognitive problems, depression, and eating disorders. Again, scary. And sad.

I'm just glad there is a wave of people in America that recognize there is a serious problem with the way sexual content and images have crept into everyday life. I hope enough people start listening and wake up to the damage it's doing to children and our society. And I really hope that as a society we choose to fix this problem.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I'm a sucker for a good, 19th century gothic novel, so I loved reading The Thirteenth Tale. A bonus: it was really well written. I was surprised to learn today that this is Diane Setterfield's first book. Wow. I'm going to be looking forward to more writing from her, that's for sure.

Yes, the protagonist is a little melodramatic (but what gothic protagonist isn't, really) and yes, there is a tad too much focus on Jane Eyre. But I still loved reading it.

I intended to read it on the plane back from Africa, but quickly became so engrossed in it, that I devoured the whole darn thing between changing my flight a million times and spoiling Ajua. :)

I stayed up half the night reading while she slept next to me (and I think I will always remember that about this book).

Anyway, if you want a great page-turner to read during the Halloween season, this is the perfect one to choose. But beware: it's really popular at the library, so you might need to get on the list now, or just go buy it.

Oh, and I feel I must point this out: such a lovely cover!

*Sorry there isn't much by way of an actual review, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Attention Everyone!

The Garner Family: Attention everyone!

Hey all - this is my cousin, Katie. She has started a business that she can do from home: cloth diapers.

Now before you cringe and flash back to plastic covers, pins, and the general awfulness of old cloth diapers, check these out. They are AMAZING.

Since I don't have a child in diapers, I'm calling on all you who do to at least consider it. Heck, it's worth buying at least one to try it out.

Besides, it's good for your baby's bum and the environment! Oh. And they are soooo cute!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sarah's Passport!

Word on the street is that Kingsley will be able to pick up Sarah's Passport this week!

We applied for her passport back in June and it's been ready, sitting on the officer's desk for months! They have simply been refusing to hand them out :(

Anyway, we're hoping beyond hope that this promise made to Kingsley comes to fruition.

In other good news: we should know when our 'second' court date is sometime tomorrow!

Winning Streak

So I can't win anything for free - like a drawing or a bingo game, but if something's on EBAY, well, heck, it might as well be mine. I have, to date, never lost an ebay bid. (I also admit I have only bid on a handful of items).

It's not like I just bid extravagantly, either. I study out the other items listed. I factor in shipping. I know what it costs at the store or Amazon or Nextag. I even occasionally make an outrageous bid.

For example, I was checking to see if our carseat was going to be shipped off (I won the Britax Frontier Red-Rock car seat on our registry for $202.50!) I saw a listing for a cute 2T winter outfit that was expiring soon. The current bid was $7. I thought, heck. I'd pay $8.00 for that. So I placed my bid.

And I WON! lol. I seriously thought it would be the end of my winning streak. Nope.

So here's a picture of my newest EBAY score:

Ralph Lauren Scottish Dog Sweater Set: $8.01

Look - there's even a HEADBAND! Won't little Ajua look sooo cute in this? I need some awesome tights and little black Maryjane's!

By the way - another accomplishment today: This is my 100th post! I'm feeling very successful and quite...accomplished ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pumpkin Pie and Cocoa Snuggles

Just a quick post today - in honor of fall (and because I promised my mom) I've been binding these two quilts. Correction. I just finished binding them. Now I can move on to the 3 or 4 others I have sitting around longing to be bound.

I like to call this quilt Pumpkin Pie. Because of the pumpkins, of course, but also because the tan and brown center 'circles' look like a bunch of pies all lined up, waiting to be eaten.

Here's a close up - I really loved how the quilting turned out on this quilt.

And another one. All the outside pumpkins are quilted like this...such detail. I love it!

This quilt is all flannel. Robert recognized that this was "pretty" fabric. It's so cozy. I shouldn't say this (it will scare my mom) but Eden thinks this quilt is for her. She has the hunger, Robert said.

Another close up so you can see the quilting. It's a very romantic quilt. Perfect for snuggling up under with a cup of hot cocoa fresh from the CocoaLatte!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See

One of my favorite 'side effects' of the incurable love-of-reading-disease is that you come to know all sorts of seemingly random things. Even if all you ever read were well-written (it's sad that I feel I have to add that qualifier) novels, you would develop a deep well of knowledge. This is fact, I promise.

Snow Flow and the Secret Fan was, pretty much, my first exposure to early nineteenth century China. I was engrossed by the details of the culture, history, and daily life of women. I came to know and understand the culture and traditions on a much deeper level than I had previously been acquainted with.

It's a beautifully written and compelling story about friendships, art, love and regret, and, (oh what the heck), atonement. The narrator, eighty-year-old Lily, is finally ready to tell her story in the hopes that those she has known and loved who have gone before her will hear and understand her. And perhaps even forgive her.

I love the theme of language, specifically the written word, as a means of reconciliation - a facilitator of atonement. Even though it was the secret written language that caused misunderstandings and pain, Lily still reaches out to seek forgiveness through that same medium.

Perhaps it's a good caution to think about what you read: the difference between severing a relationship and healing one is slight.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Actually, I finished this one a while ago, but never got around to posting about it. (Adoption consumed my life and blog there for a month or so).

I picked Open House up for two reasons: I enjoyed The Art of Mending and I liked the bathtub on the cover. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I'm sure - you totally can judge a book by it's cover. Besides, if you've heard it's a good book and you don't like the cover, just look for a different edition. That's what I do. Even at the library. Honest.

Books are so much more enjoyable when they are pretty. (I'm not sure I even have to vocalize this but I will - people look at what you are reading, I promise. You don't want to be caught with an ugly book in your hands. You don't want people wondering why on earth you are reading that horrid book.)

I digress. Sorry.

I enjoy the lightness of Berg's writing. It's still quality writing, just light. I love that her characters are so real - you feel like you could know them. She (the character) might not be you but she seems familiar - like your neighbor or the woman you stood behind in line at the store today. Berg's stories could be anyone's stories. That's the bulk of their appeal.

Comparing the two, I think I liked The Art of Mending more. But that could be strictly because the woman in that one likes to sew - quilts, to be specific. I loved the mending theme.

Open House is still worth the read. The only drawback I had was that there was no real drama. You got the feeling, throughout the entire book, that everything would be ok for Sam, the protagonist. The heroine would prevail. That mystery was never there (I'm the type of reader that thrives on the will she? won't she? mystic in novels) . You keep reading for other reasons: the humor, mostly, and to see just how she will prevail.

I think the best lesson I learned from the book was that when life starts feeling small, when you begin to become consumed by your problems, the best remedy is to open up - open your heart, your mind, and maybe even your house.

Dear Ruby

I just read this post on Aimee's blog. It is so inspiring. I was totally crying. Hope you like it!