Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It was a good day.

It was a good day.

"So what!" You say.

"It's FALL!" I say.

"I even cleaned today!" I say.

"So." You say.

"Obviously, you don't know me at all." I say.



..and here I am writing a blog post with the title "It was a good day."

I even got my guitar out and dusted it off to try to figure out a song. (Boy are my fingertips sore since I haven't played in so long!) Once again, I must thank Al Gore for inventing the Internet because it was super sweet to be able to locate the chords on the Internet and they even had little pop-up's to show you how to play them!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trunk or Treat

Tonight we had "Trunk or Treat" at church. Usually, this is done from the trunk of people's cars in the parking lot. Tonight we had inclement weather and so we used the contingency plan which was to set up with card tables in the reception hall. This worked out great and I must say was warmer and dryer so I was pretty glad! The crazy thing is that people go all out decorating their space for this event. Last year (our first) we were blown away by how festive people could get the trunk of their car looking. This year was no exception. I decided to utilize candles in my d├ęcor, so I wandered around the house gathering up all of the scented jar candles that I have stashed in most every room. The highlight of my night was when one of the kids stopped by for candy, paused, and politely said, "You have the smelliest table of all!"

Very amazing things happened in church this morning, but I will leave that story to Pat as I was serving in another area of the building at the time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My solution to depression caused by economic catastrophe:



No hope

Fresh ideas

Someone else has to fix it

Do it yourself

Same old, Same old

New trends

Dow Jones losses

Closet treasures are valuable to Someone!

Crime, politics, business

Home, garden, food

Drones reading a script

Designer wannabes willing to go out on a limb

Stop watching CNN and start watching HGTV.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Michael Pollan interview

The other day I was driving around town and heard the beginning of an interview with Michael Pollan. I was so excited because I love to hear his views. Unfortunately, before it was over, I had to get out of the car. I was elated when I found out that I could find the interview online.

The subject of this interview is a letter he wrote explaining why our food and farming system is one of the most important issues facing the next president. It was very enlightening.

If you are interested in listening to it you can get it from HERE or you can get it as a podcast from iTunes (NPR-Fresh Air-10-20-2008) The interview lasts about 40 minutes. Here is NPR's blurb about the interview.

In a open letter to the next president, author Michael Pollan writes about the waning health of America's food systems — and warns that "the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close."

The future president's food policies, says Pollan, will have a large impact on a wide range of issues, including national security, climate change, energy independence and health care.

Pollan is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals and In Defense OF Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

Instead of me rehashing his words, I encourage you to listen to the interview. The first time I heard him speak was what really got me interested in eating more whole, unprocessed food. I don't know how successful I am with that, but at least I am working at heading in that direction.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sand and Dirt (HD) from Caleb Alexander Slain on Vimeo.

A friend of mine created this video. It is pretty cool. It lasts under four minutes. Enjoy!

Busy weekend!

This weekend was probably the busiest weekend I have had in quite a long time.

Our church hired a new youth pastor over the summer. With new people come new ideas, new directions and new...paint! We spent the weekend transforming the youth area. It was quite an exciting project. The boys and I and one of Ian's friends went in on Friday afternoon to start. The room started out this color.

It ended up these colors!!

Yes, I know this looks quite scary and I must admit I was a bit sceptical when I saw the swatches, but it looks amazing! I will try to get a shot of the room. They completely rearranged everything and makes ME want to be in there!

After painting until 9pm on Friday, we came home and crashed. Then the boys and I got up and were downtown by 8:45 to walk.

As soon as we finished I headed back to the church to paint some more. Ian had his friend over to celebrate his birthday and then it was up early to sing this week at church.

Needless to say, I crashed for about an hour when I got home on Sunday afternoon.

Pat made it home safe and sound and now I am ready to start the week, although I really feel like I need a vacation instead!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Walking, second try.

Today was the big walk day. Yes the ACTUAL day when all of the rest of the walkers were there. I got an unexpected surprise. The boys decided to walk with me! Pat is at scout leadership training for the weekend so the boys and I have been hanging out, just the three of us. The walk went well, and at last check had raised over $72,000.00 for the American Cancer Society for breast cancer!

We had a rather interesting experience on the ride home from downtown Grand Rapids. The highway we use to get home parallels the Grand River. As I glance over to the east, I notice movement out of the corner of my eye. I realize what is going on and alert the boys to the situation. By this time, I am having trouble keeping track of the traffic on the highway and the action on my right.

I can hardly believe what is going on, but I am keeping pace with a seaplane that is coming in for a landing on the river! As we watched the plane land and leave a trail of spray in its wake, Spence announces, “…and they say nothing exciting ever happens in Grand Rapids!”

Well, it sure was exciting for us!

P.S. The newspaper reported $150k raised with over 2000 walkers! (edited 10/20/2008)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cymbalta. Change your tune!

Have you seen those Cymbalta commercials? Have you heard that haunting dreary tune? Have you seen those sad depressed faces?

They say "Depression Hurts". Yes. It does. But not as much as those commercials do!

The commercials ran last winter and really got me down. I was so thankful when they finally quit showing them.

The other day, from in the kitchen I heard that stinking song again! Argh! I thought they had dragged that commercial out, dusted it off to show it a few times, but NO! They got a whole new set of depressed people to show us. They kept the same song and the same voice over, (yes dear, I know it was a cost reduction) and just found a whole new group of depressed people to shove in our faces. I am sure they realize these commercials make us depressed. I think it is all a ploy to sell more Cymbalta. Nobody really needed the stuff until they started showing those commercials!

Please, Cymbalta people. Play a happy tune and put me out of my misery!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I am such a goofball!

I was all set to do the Making Strides walk tomorrow. Even put up a blog post. (deleted it!)

The walk isn't until next Saturday. I must say, it would have been easier to find a parking spot tomorrow than it will be next Saturday. I am feeling rather stupid right now. Oh wait, we aren't supposed to say stupid anymore. Doh!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Logo editing 101

I love my job at the Photography studio. One of the reasons I enjoy it is because I get to do all kinds of fun stuff. We are in the process of launching a new website and I have been having a blast learning how to to make it work and generally playing around with it.

Today I got to edit our existing logo in order to make it work for the website. It needed a little tweaking. I would love to post it on here, but the teaking that was required was to make everything transparent and white so it would show well on the colored background of the webpage.

I will post one version of it that I made with a colored background.

Ooh, Aaah. Isn't it pretty!

Once we get the website up I will ask y'all for technical feedback. Stay tuned! We are almost ready!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Who's school project is this anyway?

Spencer is in the "structures" magnet at school. The highlight of the magnet is that they get to build (drumroll please...) a structure! Spencer originally wanted to build a Stuckey's model, but his teacher encouraged him to break new ground, so he decided that his newest love is diners.

Naturally, he decided to immortalize Rosie's Diner, a local establishment off US 131, Exit 101. (Now he is coaching me with directions as of course, I have no clue about exit numbers!) For those that are not local, Rosie's is the actual diner that the original Bounty paper towel commercials were filmed in and was moved to Michigan along with two other diners! If you would like to know more, you can check out their site HERE.

With the directions to use items currently found around the house, we discovered ourselves scrounging for boxes, shiny silver items and other supplies. I was pleased that the only item we needed to purchase for the entire project was in fact, silver spray paint.

I did my best to let it be Spencer's project and not mine, but boy it is hard! Ian helped as well with some creative input and much running around looking for supplies. Dad (wisely) was gone for most of the heavy project work!

Monday, October 6, 2008

ABC presidential choice poll

This year I have had a particularly difficult time trying to decide which candidate's carefully crafted, made for media statements I agree with. I think it is important to know why you are voting for someone. (The color of the tie they wear in the debates does not count as a reasonable reason!)

My dear friend Cil sent me a link to this quiz you can take. It really helped! Grab a cuppa Joe and take this quiz. It took me about 10 minutes, but I am kinda indecisive!

ABC Match-o-matic (Click here!)

ABC has a test at the above address to see whose campaign statements, McCain's or Obama's, you agree with most. They don't tell you who made the statements, of course, but a statement made by each candidate on the same topic (economy, immigration, judiciary, etc.) will be side by side.
You just pick which statement you agree with and, after selecting all 13, you'll find out which candidate's philosophy you support.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Ryan D. over at is doing a five challenge.

Here are five reasons why I like to read Ryan's blog (in random order):

1. I enjoy his beautiful photographs.

2. The way he expresses God in real life amazes and encourages me.

3. I never know what to expect when I read his posts, but they always invoke an emotional response. (love, pain, humor, etc.)

4. His recipes look fabulous. (although I haven't tried one yet!)

...last but not least...

5. My site stats go crazy when I play along on his linky games.

Thanks Ryan!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sansone, Fey, Palin, Huh?

Is it me, or is everyone beginning to resemble Sarah Palin?

Today I did my walking video, and my first thought was, "WoW, Leslie Sansone kinda looks like Sarah Palin.

Of course we all know that Tina Fey looks like Sarah Palin.

But the other day at work, someone told me that I look like Sarah Palin. REALLY!

Yep, I've got it nailed! (Especially the glasses!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I am so humbled!

No posts for over a week and then three in one day...huh?

When I sent out the request for donations for the Making Strides walk that I am doing, Pat included it in Photo of the Day. Through a chain of his relatives that I can't quite wrap my head around, I received a donation from one of his relatives that coincidentally was walking a 3 Day walk in the Twin Cities. I could go on and on with my rambling, but below is her recap of her walk. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy. (A tissue or shirt sleeve might be necessary too!) It is worth the minutes of your time!

Dear Supporters,

Yes indeed we crossed the finish line. There were victories and defeats along the way, but the bottom line is we made it, all with smiles on our faces. A big thank you for supporting the Twin Cities, 3-day, 60 mile, Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk. A whopping 7.3 million dollars was raised. Just blows the mind doesn't it? I have not heard a final number, but it has been reported there were anywhere from 3000-3500 walkers, with crew support of 400-500 making this walk all happen seamlessly. It is difficult to put into words the experience. We were greeted all along our route with, vehicles honking, hi-fives, tears, smiles, whistles, flags, banners, posters, mist water to cool us, treats of all kinds (including Iced coffee from Caribou Coffee), thank you upon thank you for walking, chairs to rest our weary bodies, foot massages, photographs, lemonade and drinks of most all kinds, chocolate, young and old alike, encouragement came in every form imaginable. I must tell of Jody's couch. It was well worn red velvet and large enough for our team, "Hope's Path" to sit together while Jody's husband took our picture. Jody's couch appeared on the route no less than threes times each day. Same couch, same hi-five, same entourage with Jody's husband, carting that precious couch of honor and dignity in memory of Jody. Three days of walking and talking. Asking, why are you walking? Or answering, why am I walking? The clear common goal was foremost in all conversations. Talk about a united front. Please forgive the play on words! Couldn't resist!Each and everyone, welcomed back into camp every afternoon with cheers of victory. From the first to return to the last, each walker was received with jubilation. All were victorious. Our last day, Sunday, with five more miles, our excitement heightened as we caught the first glimpse of our destination through a break in the trees. There was the end of our journey, our goal and our finish line. With each step, the anticipation grew. At about two blocks to go, we watch the ten person team ahead of us lock arms and silently walk as one unit to the finish line. The closing ceremony at the Minnesota Capital would turn out to be an awesome event. The mere logistics of dealing with thousands of walkers and families of supporters was a monumental feat. The medical and crew walked ahead of us. The walkers who were not only walking, but also survivors wore pink tee shirts and congregated in one area in order to enter last. In tribute and honor, we knelt on one knee and raise a well worn shoe as our pink tee shirt companions passed. I have never received such awesome outrageous treatment or been involved with a group of people so focused. This indeed has renewed my commitment in humanity. It is a good thing to enjoy each other without reservation. So where do we go from here? Business as usual, I think not ever again. An experience such as this has far more magnitude than ever allowing a back to normal life style. I will never forget my new friends, though most I never knew their name. I will always remember the close bond and oneness. I am proud to have had a part in his humungous endeavor. I am the same me, but most definitely different. Another dimension has been added. I am thankful for it and grateful to all who made this possible. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!

Your walker,
K. J.

I walked away some pounds, and crappy attitude, too!

Yea for me, I did it. Of course the biggest exercise was clearing out the space and finding the DVD. Tomorrow will be easier because that part of the exercise is done.

The lady even said, look at "her"she lost 60 pounds on the "Walk-Away" program. While I don't think I will be starring in videos anytime soon due to my weight loss, I do think I will try to stick with this.

You have my permission to keep me accountable here folks!

Exercise, yes really!

I am doing this today!!

By posting it, now I am committed.

I will report in later as to how out of breath I got!