Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Simple Goodness of Friends

Yesterday, we went down to a friend's house to play board/card games. Typically, people gather at our house, but this time we changed things up a bit! So, he and his wife set up a large table to accomodate the 7 of us, and we all brought various games to play. Within 5 hours, we managed to play 3 games (Killer Bunnies, Apples to Apples, and Estimated Time to Invasion), eat a bunch of chili and Doritos, and laugh so hard many of us were crying.

Killer Bunnies was ridiculously complicated & involved us playing down cards in a certain order so we could equip our own bunnies with weapons to attack other players' bunnies. The object of the game was to have a winning carrot, which was drawn randomly. And as far as I can tell, killing other bunnies didn't really increase chances of getting carrots. Todd's wife, Nadeen won that one, although I don't think any of us are quite sure if we even played the game right!

Apples to Apples had us in tears over certain combinations, like someone pitching in "Mahatma Gandhi" for contention in description what is "Tempermental"! And we all went off into gales of laughter when "Helen Keller" was selected for the best fit of what is "Hot"! Ken managed to snag the requisite number of cards to win the game.

Estimated Time to Invasion had a steep learning curve, but a year and a half ago, Jason & I had helped playtest it (we're even listed as Human Test Subjects in the rules!), so some of it started coming back partway through the game. In the end, the most mild-mannered of us all turned out to be the alien & we'd been unwittingly helping him in his conquest to take over Earth. I'd misread a card & given up early on in his conquest & painted a convincing picture of this fact, so he didn't lay damage too thickly on me. And then it turned out that I had a card that allowed me to squeak by on the narrowest of margins and wind up winning the game.

It was just awesome to hang out with these people, meet our hosts' new rambunctious dog, Diamond, and have hours and hours of silly fun! Hanging out with friends like this just can't be beat!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Public Service Announcement

I just heard about Mommy Mixer, which I think is a pretty cool site. I don't know if it really works well or not ... but it's got an awful lot of locations that might be of assistance for parents who are looking for college-age babysitters. If anyone's used it, let me know if it's worthwhile to pass along to even more folks. Right now, it's just a cool concept that I wanted to put out there!

Edit: I just read over the details ... uh, and it's $100. So, I think it'll probably just remain a cool concept. LOL.

Monday, October 20, 2008

7 weird random facts about me

MamaSheg, who I met through Lisa, (right before we were heading out for our Washington State trip) has tagged me to come up with 7 weird random facts about me ... and this is what I've come up with!

1. I have a cyst on my scalp (I used to have 4, but had them removed ... and one has come back) which means I have to exercise caution on how I part my hair, because when the cyst shows, it looks like I've got a huge lump on my head!
2. Oh, and related to #1, I don't have a natural part. I do have a cowlick on one side, but I can pretty much part my hair anywhere I like.
3. Which brings me to the fact that I never blow-dry my hair. When I get my hair cut, she blow dries it ... but I never blowdry it myself. I don't like the air blowing in my eyes, and it seems to take forever & get tangled up. Plus, it's better for my fine hair anyway.
4. I hate having my face covered or touched. I don't like hair blowing into my face ... or someone covering my eyes ... but I'll tolerate the necessity of a scarf. But I don't like it.
5. My favorite kind of chocolate is Cadbury Whole Nut. Which I cannot seem to find anywhere in the U.S. Which is probably a good thing. I don't need a lot of it! It sure is tasty, though. Nutella is also a fave ... for the same reason: chocolate + hazelnut = joy. Ferrera Roche just isn't the same, somehow, 'cause it has that crispy thing in it. It's still good. Just not the same.
6. It really bugs me to have things around my home that aren't being used. I don't mind keeping things if they'll be used at some point, but several times a year, I just go through everything to reevaluate it. I pass along all the stuff that I won't be using - to a charity, to friends, in my annual white elephant, on eBay, or in a garage sale.
7. I start Christmas shopping in July. That's when I start keeping an eye out for things that I think friends and family will really get a kick out of. I love giving gifts that are right on target!

Oh, and for amusement value, here's the 7 weird things about me from last year.

I'll tag sethro, kaj, John, Heather, Amanda, Chiara, and Tawnya.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gorgeous fall days

We've been having some truly magnificent fall days this week! Lots of blue skies with scudding clouds, cool days, brilliant sunshine ... and I've been fortunate to soak up a fair amount of it! I was also fortunate to go the Morton Arboretum a 2nd time in less than a week, when I went last Thursday with our friend next door & his wife's cousin. We spent three hours there!
I've decorated the house, inside and out, with lots of Halloween & fall decorations. While not as elaborate as the Arboretum's displays above, I'm still happy about our little touch of the season. The zinnias are quite happy & putting on a nice yellow-orange-red display of their own!
At 9 am, it's 45 degrees F ... and we should have a high of 62 today. Just awesome.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dave DaVinci Saves The Universe

My friend, Chris, and I went to see a magnificent performance this evening, put on by The House Theatre in Chicago. Dave DaVinci Saves The Universe is a wonderful story about a guy (younger...then older...then back again) who develops a time machine, most notably to go back and undo a horrendous life event. But what is to be done when the instructions from his future self are to refrain from doing anything? Or to realize that the process of developing the time machine may have been what set the tragedy in motion? How to move past the darkest & bleakest days of despair? Is it possible to leap far enough ahead in to the future to not feel the pain any more? Awesome writing ... superlative acting ... inventive sound & lighting ... If I had more than two thumbs, I'd give 'em all up! I feel like this was equally evocative and entertaining as The Sparrow, which caught my interest in this little theatre company. If you are within 100 miles of Chicago & enjoy some mind-bending, thought-provoking creative theater -- GO!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Isn't this so sweet?!

Check out this blog post, from Angelique. I think it's simply a fabulous idea! What a wonderful concept, to nominate people who make our lives special! I may have to make some cards myself & do it, too! *grin*

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We're back ... and scattered!

Still very scattered, in my post-vacation haze. Lots left to unpack (time change + midnight arrival + lots of congestion + anti-histamine = strong need for sleep!) & I need to tackle email & I want to catch up at the House of Paper & get groceries & go through the heap of mail (I see a book from Damanda in it!) & gosh ... everything!

Following up on my last post, here's a picture of Stehekin landing. There are 90 residents total, and only one road, which goes from the landing to the Pacific Crest Trail (which reminds me, I need to look up Patrick on It was very peaceful & relaxing!
I'll be more wordy later...but for now, I've gotta do a bunch of stuff!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We leave for Stehekin in the morning

where there is no internet access & only 1 satellite telephone, so this picture will have to tide you all over until we're home!
We have lucked out with 5 days of sunshine, clouds moving in only late this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow!!!

Good morning!

This is the view from Aunt Jayne & Uncle Larry's living room. Gorgeous, yes? The morning sunlight on the field of nearby grass is just sublime. We are living the quiet life -- chatting with each other, cooking meals together, enjoying the surroundings, and reading our books. Ah, yes, we are definitely on vacation!