Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Just about every year, Daniel records a Christmas song. Sometimes it's a cover. Sometimes it's an original.
This year, he got his ladies in on the mix. Making Christmas was a group effort, both in the writing and the singing (Claire didn't need the same amount of whiskey that I did to get up and sing).
Maybe we can be like a miniature Partridge Family, paint the Jeep and go on the road.
The other three songs are performed by Daniel. "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" has been a favorite since I first heard it.
Making Christmas (Feat. Kirsten, Claire and Lil' Wayne)
I'm Dreaming (Of a White Christmas)
Cold Hands, Warm Heart
(P.S. If you're having any troubling listening to the songs, click on the link and "Save As" then find it and listen to it! That should work!)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Vegan-friendly Royal Oak bakery Sugar Kisses learned a few weeks ago that their building has been sold and they must move by the end of the year or close up shop, after 5 1/2 years at their Washington Avenue location.
In general, this would be a challenge, not to mention that bakeries often make the most profit at holiday time, so this makes the move especially hard to complete while hoping to keep the doors open.
And, they need some help! There are three ways we can help them:
1. Give them your business! They have a packed menu full of breakfast stuff (Scones, coffee cakes, etc.), cookies and cupcakes, candy, granola bars and much more. They have vegan and gluten free items. They also have a light lunch menu of soups and more and serve fair trade organic coffee.
2. Buy gift certificates -- you can purchase gift certificates to give as holiday gifts. Them getting the money up front will help them with the move.
3. Donate! They have PayPal set up on their Web site if you just want to give them a few bucks to help.
You can check out their menu, buy gift certificates or donate by going to their About section on their Web site.
And pass it on!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
They filmed the whole event and cut the video in time lapse to an instrumental version of Dan's song "Heart of a Dog." I think it's pretty cool.
Check it out HERE.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Two of the nine vendors posted were me and my booth partner, Jennifer Joy Creative!
Check it out HERE!
Hope to see some of you at the craft fair on Saturday.
I can't wait to check out all of the amazing vendors and eat all sorts of vegan goodness from the Detroit Evolution Laboratory!
Check out their menu for Saturday HERE!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Claire had to change from her jeans and top to a dress, get her princess "cell phone," and her purse to get all gussied up to carve pumpkins.
We were finally able to get her off the phone long enough to help with the gutting of the pumpkin. She decided it was "Ga-ROSS!" and smelled bad.
I still was able to get her to help me pick up pumpkin seeds and set them aside for roasting.
After the pumpkin was complete, Claire and I proceeded to "hide" in the bedroom as Daniel would do a "surprise attack" on us. This led to a full on karate battle between Dan and Claire -- something that occurs at least once nightly at our house. These pictures don't come close to explaining how truly amazing these karate/tickle battles are.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Here are some stats from the Web site I joined when I quit smoking in 2005:
Time Smoke-Free: 1096 days, 10 hours, 56 minutes and 53 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 21,929
Lifetime Saved: 5 months, 17 days, 12 hours
Money Saved: $7,124.00
I'm happy (and proud, I guess) to say I have never taken a single puff of a cigarette in the last 1,096 days. In honor of this occasion, allow me to post a blog that I wrote on the day of the 2006 Great American Smokeout, not long after my very first anniversary.
Nov. 16, 2006
Cough, Hack, Wheeze
Today is the Great American Smokeout, that day when even the smokiest of smokers are supposed to put down their pack for the day and contemplate quitting. For many years I tried and would make it approximately 13 minutes before I threw in the towel and turned to my delicious Parliament Lights for comfort.
I can't believe it's been more than a year since I quit. Not that I'm proud of it, but we all know I was the biggest smoker around. When Timmy and I lived together, he once said if MSU had a smoking team, I would be the captain. At the time I pretended to be offended. I'm finally ready to admit he was right.
I loved smoking. I've determined the only two things I did while not smoking were sleep and shower – and that's pushing it. As I rounded that one-year corner, many of you admitted you never thought I would actually quit and stick to it. Most recently a friend from high school seriously thought I was joking when I told him I quit last year.
I cried and cried the day I quit. I think largely because I had stayed up until 5 a.m. boozing and chain smoking. If I didn't go to sleep, it wasn't really the next day, and I didn't have to quit yet. But, I think I also was crying because I knew that I meant it this time. I wasn't going to let myself throw in the towel for once, and that was terrifying.
So, I got up after a few hours of drunken sleep to head to my second ever acupuncture appointment. I cried through that too – tears streaming down my face onto the table as this annoyingly happy and calm woman inserted needles into my "addiction points." She was sure to mention that the needle on the very top of my head was for my "mental health." Then I went off to work at the bar, handing out ashtrays and matches upon request for the next six hours.
It was much easier to quit than I expected or had ever experienced before, but it's tough to say whether that was because of the acupuncture or because I finally realized no 27-year-old should be walking around with a cough like that. No amount of gum, perfume or Febreeze could cover up that damn cough.
Three months later, I joined the YMCA. My panting at the top of the train platform each morning had long been an indication of the poor condition of my lungs and the rest of my body. But I don't know if I've ever felt more uncomfortable as the first time I walked into a gym. I came upon each machine in total confusion and as if it might attack at any moment. It was on this day I was introduced to an elliptical machine – a legendary creature I'd only heard of in the tales of my clear-breathing friends. If you had told me a year ago I would not only quit smoking, but that my lazy ass would get off the couch and start working out – if only occasionally – I never would have believed you.
According to one Web site's calculations, in the roughly 400 days since I quit smoking, I have not smoked 8, 232 cigarettes; I have saved two months and three days of my life; and I have saved $2,672. One trip to Hawaii and several pairs of shoes "that I deserve for quitting" later, I don't know if I can say I've tried to save much of anything.
I have had to relearn how to do many things including drive for hours, drink and complete a meal – all without a cigarette. I gained 15 pounds (and eventually lost 10), which means I still went up a size and that's fine. I sound better, I smell better and I've never felt better.
I understand why the American Cancer Society pushes and promotes this day each year. Smoking is not good for you. You gain nothing from it in the long run. Blah, blah, blah. All of that doesn't make it any easier to quit. Even for one day.
For me, the pressure to quit and the stress and guilt of knowing what it was doing to my body made it harder to quit. So, I guess my point is – don't quit. Smoke until you're ready to say good-bye to cigarettes forever, or you never will.
I'll be patient and I won't judge. You can still smoke in my car. I'll still pick you up some cheap smokes on my way through
Thursday, September 25, 2008
While it's baffling to read the accounts of daily interaction between these roommates (yes, roommates, not his girlfriend, not his ex-girlfriend -- roommates), I think we've all known a person who we can see fitting nicely into the role of Rachael in these scenarios.
Another, which is more of a one-time read, is Guidelines for Cats.
For anyone who has ever owned or been near a cat (even if you hated it) this is like the kitty behavior bible they all must read.
Both have provided me with some entertainment in the last few days when I've been on hold and such, so I thought I would do the kind thing and share.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Not long after I sat down, I heard this "creeeeeeak."
I looked out the window and, through the dark and rain, saw taillights. So, I just assumed it must have been the car cutting through the parking lot next to our house running over a plastic bottle or something.
About three minutes later the loudest, most thunderous "CRAAAAAAAACK!" and I was sure the giant tree next to our living room was crashing into the house, destined to crush me. (It's amazing the thoughts that can go through your head in 1.2 seconds).
I yelled for Dan and ran into the bathroom. Not to the back of the house, away from the tree, but to the bathroom, on the other side of the living room, which makes no sense at all.
Once I realized the tree didn't actually crash through the roof, I ran into Dan's workroom in a panic and we headed outside. This is what we saw from our front porch:
A giant portion of this huge tree fell directly over Dan's Jeep, which was parked in the driveway. And when I say over, I mean over. It was hovering over his Jeep and on all four sides of it, but didn't actually come to rest on the Jeep and doesn't seem to have done any actual damage.
He backed through all of the branches to get his Jeep out of there. At the time we didn't know that that branch was still barely attached to the tree, so we weren't really sure what was going to happen.
But, he got it out and everything seems OK. The landlord is getting a tree service here first thing in the morning and we're trying not to take it as some kind of an omen. :)
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
OK, so the knitting had nothing to do with Obama, change or wanting change, or needing change for a dollar.
But last night I had to cover Barack Obama speaking at North Farmington High School. The only problem? Press had to arrive about 2 1/2 hours early. One of the Secret Service agents searching my bag found my knitting (with wooden needles so as to not set off any detectors) asked, "Expecting him to be boring?"
I responded, "Not at all, when he starts in two and a half hours."
My two competitors and I took our spots behind the media barricade on the floor when we noticed they put chairs up on the balcony behind us for overflow press. We decided it would be a better vantage point and moved up there. It was perfect. Obama's press entourage took up more than the space below, so it was a wise choice to move regardless.
Although at first I kind of dreaded the circus I thought it would be, I actually got in and out quite easily. It was an interesting night, an interesting event, and no doubt a snapshot in history (in a way).
And to top it all off, I got quite of bit of knitting done on one of my custom orders done before it started.
Click HERE to read my story.
Click HERE to see what's been added to my Etsy shop lately.
Monday, August 18, 2008
It's been a busy one. Always a busy month for birthdays from all sides, Dan turned 32 on the first and I hit the big 3-0 on the 12th. After celebrating in '70s style with my fam the week before, Daniel invited friends over on the 9th to celebrate with a little more debauchery and a lot less children.
There was beer, cake in my favorite colors of black and white, sparklers and far too much Dorito dip. It was a great party, with my work and social lives meshing in equal parts.
In fact, we couldn't wait. We got the keys last Friday evening and late Friday night we decided to camp out over there. We grabbed our futon mattress, some sheets, a candle, some easy food, whiskey and a computer stocked with TV shows and headed over for a little sleepover in our new living room.
Our super shaded house was nice and cool -- almost too cool. Maybe we won't even be needing our new central air. But the extra counter space? You know I need it! I can't wait to cook in my new kitchen and entertain in the new house -- it's much more appropriate there than The Manor. Not that I won't miss The Manor, because, in my own way, I will. But I'm ready for the new house and our new adventure.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Two years ago, Daniel submitted an article to TapeOp Magazine -- geared toward the technical side of music recording and production.
He interviewed musician Adam Franklin, former front man of one of Dan's favorite bands of all time (if not the favorite) Swervedriver, who's now a solo artist also.
He originally submitted his interview, along with amazing photos shot by his friend Matt Nistor, a truly amazing photographer.
Dan posted a blog over on Wingstroke about how the article came to be -- check it out HERE. Though it's not online yet (but you can see the magazine and the fact that it's listed on the over at the TapeOp site), if you go into the fan forum Dan links to in his blog, one of the band's fans scanned it in and posted it.
I'm so proud of him and I'm so glad it finally ran!
You can check out some of Adam Franklin's music HERE. I especially like "Morning Rain" and "Seize the Day."
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Many of my family members dressed up in their own (yes, even my mom still had some old plaid maternity pants) or newly-purchased garb from Salvation Army. I went as my mom -- I had a T-shirt made to look just like one she wore to a picnic just before I was born. She had really short hair in 1978, so I just pulled mine back. Someday, perhaps when we unpack our belongings at our new house in a couple of weeks, I will find the photos from that picnic way back when and can do a side by side comparison.
In the meantime, here are a few shots of my whacky fam, in all their glory. While everyone contributed something, Cousin Jeff was really the genius behind it all -- he's the one in yellow.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Click HERE for the supreme cuteness.
Is that baby iguana kidding me?
It's hard to believe some of them are capable of ripping your face off.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
After taking a nap to recover this afternoon, we ate a dinner and then Claire went into her room and shut the door. After a few minutes, she emerged, announcing she was heading to "the ball." (At first I thought she said "the bar" and had a mild heart attack.)
The the three of us headed out for bike riding practice. Having accidentally skipped the tricycle and big wheel stages, she's still trying to get the hang of riding a bike, which she got last year from Santa. Thanks to her big noggin, the helmet she got doesn't fit and we still need to go shopping for another -- thus, Dan's close hand.
We took Claire and her pink and purple girly bike over to the park, so she could have a wide open space to practice pedaling and steering (the real challenge).
The original plan was thwarted, though, when we got to the park and all that fun nearby was too much. Claire opted for slides and swings instead of spending too much time on the bike.
Despite the wind, the weather today was near perfect. I wish summer could last forever.