Showing posts from December, 2010

Today's Executive Decision Made

No one has to get up until the furnace does.  Especially if it's 14 degrees outside.

New Year's Resolutions

My 2010 Goals were:

*  Read 100 books - DONE

*  Read Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking - not so much done.  I have started it, and there was that boiling bacon episode for boeuf bourginon.

*  Finish 100 knitting and/or sewing projects - DONE.  This is actually the biggest surprise, as this was by far the craziest goal.  But as of right now, I have finished 115.  Score!!!

*  Be able to swim a mile before I turn 40 - this one got waylaid by the arm problems, which are STILL going on.  Somehow I have made it worse again, I think because of pulling myself around so as to not hurt the broken toe.  What a sad little state of affairs I am right now!  Sheesh!

*  Do 10 lessons in my serger workbook - DONE.  I actually did 20, though I am never going to get the blind hem with the serger part.  I can barely do that with my sewing machine!

*  Try 5 new bread recipes - TOTALLY forgot about this one!  Whoops!

And I had listed at the end to shake the cold that had been plaguing …

The Magic of Moving Backwards

This year, I started writing letters.  Not emails, real paper-and-envelope letters.  Real sit-down-and-hand-write letters to friends and family.  And you know what?  It was fantastic.

I used to be an avid letter writer.  For many years, I had a pen pal that I was paired with through a PBS  show called Big Blue Marble, and wrote to dozens of people I met on 4-H, FFA, and other trips.  It was back before I received bills in the mail, so letters meant I got mail.

Obviously, I like the internet.  I have made lots of friends on it, and I really enjoy the blog world.  But the internet has also enabled a lot of hatred, ignorance, and bigotry.  Even on my harmless little blog, I have received some pretty nasty comments from people who cannot tolerate people with opinions other than their own, and who feel that everyone who disagrees with them must be socialists or nazis.  I think the internet has made us even more gullible with urban legends and lies flying around so fast that it is almost i…

What Exactly Is A "Pundit" Supposed to Be?

The organization Politifact (as well as others) have surfaced to verify the veracity of claims made by politicians and media personalities.  Among other lists, they maintain a running "fact rating" on pundits here in the states.  I'm not sure what the origins of the word "pundit" are, but if you take a look at the list, it seems that a really good definition would be: liar who is desperately trying to boost the parent organization's ratings.  Most of what these people are telling viewers is either mostly or completely false.  And they are on "news" programs!

The expected ignorers-of-facts are there (Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Obermann), but I was disappointed to see Mary Matalin & George Will on there as telling complete falsehoods.  I thought they were both better than that.

Of course, the truly scary part of this is not that they are lying--they're doing it for money & ratings.  The scary thing is the peopl…


One of the things I remember most from my second grade year was Christmas.  One of the girls in my class returned from break with a set of sleigh bells that had quite obviously fallen off Santa's sleigh and landed in one of the trees in their yard.  The timing could not have been better, as some of us were foolishly starting to doubt Santa's existence, but after that, we KNEW he was real.

So, we spent Christmas Eve at my parents' ranch with my sister, her husband, and their 3 children.  As the oldest one was close to the age when one could start to doubt, it was time for drastic measures.
Christmas Eve, while my brother-in-law rang some of them on one side of the house, I strategically place three bells--complete with broken wire--in the yard where they could be found on Christmas morning.

Ho! Ho! Ho!  I think they're going to believe in Santa until at least the age of 30................

How Andy and Theo Spent Christmas Vacation...

What the 4th picture SHOULD be is me wrestling with the little "helper kitty" to remove the green paint from one big hairy paw.  Remind me NOT to complain about his "help" when gardening.....

Christmas Eve

December 24, 1992

Christmas eve Holly hung and presents wrapped trees straining under garlands and glass fruitcakes baked and cookies iced the whole world waits for morning’s rays
and yet
I sit and watch the falling snow, the fluffy Christmas kind and remember
Grandma’s house plumped with people, steamed from the oyster stew, the youngest cousin fitting him or herself with a set of olive fingers, Aunts and uncles sipping coffee in slow motion to the chagrin of growing and grown-up cousins bursting with impatience to open presents. Grandma seated behind a tower of gifts, even a drawing from the littlest child. Living room carpet showered with colored paper, snowflakes swirling in the evening sky to cushion Santa’s way.
December 24, 1992 and I celebrate my own Christmas eve. Mistletoe and evergreen dreams fill my apartment. A black cat stretched lazily among the presents, colored lights twinkling in the window.
Thank you, Grandma, for your Christmas spirit.

The Story Behind The Silly Christmas Letters

As some of you might have noticed, I write a rather silly Christmas letter.  This tradition started about 15 years ago, I believe.  I think the tradition of mass-produced Christmas letters was just getting going, and the first ones seem to have been pretty painful to read (our children are all brilliant, we're terribly successful, and our lives are completely perfect and to be envied), and if there is anything more boring than listening to someone brag, it's reading about it.  And "perfection" isn't what life is about anyway.  I had worked with a telecommunications company briefly, then lost my job when they were purchased by another company, and I thought losing one's job was the epitome of the anti-Christmas letter.  And so they began.

Over the years, they have become a bit legendary for being so ridiculous.  They are passed around workplaces, circulated to neighbors, passed on to relatives, and for the last 10 years I continually meet people who recognize …

Christmas Letter 2010

Once upon a time in a faraway land called Boise, there lived a man and a woman (named Andy and Toni in case you've forgotten who sends the strange Christmas letters) with two cats that agreed to let the humans cater to their every whim in exchange for an occasional dead mouse or vole.  And a few live ones. 
The man and woman were fond of doing yearly adventures, but had decided to take a bit of a rest for 2010, which may have been influenced by the severe colds both of them had at the beginning of the year.  The universe, however, seems to also enjoy the Ch√Ęteau Sutton-Goar yearly projects, and decided to assist them by choosing one for them.  And that is how 2010 became "The Year of the Bugs."
The Year of the Bugs began with an invasion of fungus in the yard and garden (Purists will assert that "fungus" is not really the same thing as a "bug," but purists can write their own darn Christmas letter.  For purposes of THIS one, a "bug" is defined…

So It's Been Two Weeks....

And honestly, I think my toe hurts more now than it did.  Ah, and a little tip I thought I'd share:  If you have a broken toe, do not reach for anything up above you.  Know how we reach things?  By standing on tippy-toe.  This is a very automatic response and one that I think I might have remembered not to do if it wasn't such an easy thing to do without thinking about it. 

Know what also uses one's toes?  Scooting around in a chair.  I really thought I was on to something on Friday.  I had been on my foot way too much Thursday (big surprise, I know) so I thought I would help my foot by restricting myself to a day of sewing.  That's sitting, right? 

Sort of. 

Turns out, there's a lot of moving around when sewing, or at least when I do it.  THEN I had the embroidery machine and a second sewing machine going, and just wheeled my chair back and forth between them.  Had I propelled myself using my hands, this might have been okay, but if you were sitting in a wheeled c…

What's In A Name?

Lots of confusion it seems. 

It is Christmas card time, and the great name debate is on.  How does one address Christmas/holiday cards for the more nontraditional households? 

I admit, we're one of them, and it obviously is a source of confusion for everyone else as well.  Our mailman must wonder who actually lives here, as we get cards by at least 7 or 8 name variations.  I admit, it was confusing for us as well, and we started joking about this being "Chateau Sutton-Goar" shortly after we bought the house, and now it is so much easier than trying to come up with some other formulation of our names that I have now put it on our address labels.  Besides, it's just fun to say.

The ones that really have me stumped are the ones where the woman hyphenated her name upon marriage, and the couple has children.  Do I then use just the common last name for everyone, or should everyone get the hyphenated last name?  Every year I try something different for these households.  T…

What I Have Learned From My Broken Toe

*  Do not pick fights with the furniture.  The furniture will always win.

*  The official medical term for the toe is "toe number 4."  Toes don't even get any respect from the medical community.

*  Covers on the bed are much heavier than one would think.

*  Breaking a toe is a sure-fire way to inspire the cats to sleep on your feet.

*  Bruising can last longer than 11 days.

*  Getting boots ON with a broken toe is honestly a lot less painful than taking them OFF with a broken toe.

*  Being at parties with a broken toe and wearing slippers makes people very, very nervous about accidentally stepping on your toe.

*  A human with a broken toe is MUCH easier to care for than a cat with a broken leg, and is a LOT cheaper.

No Respect

Okay, it could just be me, but I'm finding it really hard to take a broken toe seriously.  I don't know why.  I've actually broken both pinkie toes in the past, and maybe it happened so long ago that I have forgotten what it was like, but I'm having a bit of trouble believing that the smallest bone on my next-to-smallest toe can hurt as much as any other bone, and that it would not for any bizarre reason heal faster than all my other bones.  Go figure.

Does Hypochondria Have An Opposite?

Okay, we all know people who are obsessed with their health & believe themselves to always be sick.  That would be hypochondria.  Is there such a thing as hyperchondria?   Five days after losing my battle with the bedpost, this

is what my foot now looks like.  And yet I'm actually surprised that it still really hurts.

It seems my little world has very little room for reality these days......................

Sometimes My Optimism Overwhelms Me

I have not been to the doctor to have my foot examined, but having broken toes at least twice before, it would be a very safe bet that the aching purple blob that has replaced my "this little piggy had none" toe is indeed a broken toe.  Not least of all because there was a definite "snap" noise when I stubbed my toe on the stupid bed post in the first place.  Though interestingly enough, the post is about 4-inches square and pretty solid stuff, even if it isn't real wood (though Andy says it NOT being wood probably makes it even harder) BUT WHEN I INITIALLY HEARD THE "SNAP" I HONESTLY THOUGHT I HAD BROKEN SOMETHING ON THE BED.  Oh yeah, because that would be the most likely result of itty-bitty toe bones meeting big freaking bed frame. 

It's probably a good thing I didn't choose to go into physics........

Getting Ready For Our Christmas Cheese-Tasting Party

Fruit trays ready?  Check.

Cute booklets made for people to take notes on the various cheeses?  Check.

Cheese ballots made?  Check.

Ready-made sourdough baguettes ready to be browned?  Check.

Hostess breaking her stupid toe by stubbing it on the stupid bed?  Check!!!!!!!!!!

Let It Snow!!!


Spankin' Sarah Palin: A clown short of a circus - English

I will never understand why anyone in this country takes Sarah Palin seriously, but obviously the rest of the world doesn't:

Spankin' Sarah Palin: A clown short of a circus - English

You're More Likely to Be Mean If You Watch People on TV Being Mean to Each Other

Lessons That The 20-Something Living Next Door With His Mother COULD Have Learned This Morning

*  6-inches of fresh snow might be an appropriate time to stop driving like you think you're Mario Andretti

*  The gas pedal has setting besides "no gas" and "flooring it."

*  If you're having trouble moving in the snow, "flooring it" will make the spot under your tires even MORE slippery, no matter how many times you do it.

*  If something doesn't work, to keep trying the exact same thing for the next half hour is probably what the rest off us mean when we say "futile."

*  If you had been even slightly nice--or even a bit less of a total jerk--to any of your neighbors, someone might have been willing to give you a push.