Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boneshaker - My first foray into steampunk literature


Three weeks ago my loving husband grabbed Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (official site :  Amazon page ) off the new release wall at our local library.  He figured I'd enjoy reading it as I've burned through most of the stuff I've been reading (new books coming, but not fast enough).  Things have been so busy that my three weeks were almost up (that's our local book check out length) and as return day approached I hadn't started the book :(  I did however get it renewed and finished it in 3 days!  I also learned that it's not the best thing to read for hours right before bed.

I'm not really huge in the steampunk scene, I mean I like it!  and I love the style, but I'm not really involved, yet.  Still, if you remember my longing for an airship that I posted about - still totally want one!, and if you've taken me seriously about how I write about ideas I've had that I haven't shared with you for designs, well you can tell that in my heart there is a part that is very steampunk.  While I mostly read fantasy/sci fi and epic tales, I have enjoyed several historical fictions and alternative history stories, which at the heart this is!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Product Burn

Since you're all too shy (or no one reads this stuff anymore) to share your burn stories.  I thought I'd shamelessly plug a friends blog about his nightmare with the Delta Touch Faucet.  My friend who has a wonderful sense of humor, when not being tormented by faucets with exceedingly erratic and uncontrollable behavior wants the world to know the torture he experiences daily from this device and all that Delta is not doing about it, including the erasing of unfavorable reviews on sites like Lowes.  I don't know about you, but I count on unfavorable reviews!  They let me know what people really can't stand (and if there are no whiners, you may not want to trust any product, because no matter what there are ALWAYS whiners!)

So hop on over to Kenny's Groovy Blog, and tell him KtCallista sent ya!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I like a good deal as much as the next person.  Especially, when I can get something nice for my kids.  Currently the small town we live in does not have much to offer in the area of cute and quality kids goods.  Two years ago we were wandering in the slightly bigger town South of us and I found the cutest shoes for the girls and they were cheaper than sorta cute shoes at Payless!!!  The kids wore them all summer and we loved those cute shoes.

Last week I thought I'd found another great deal on super cute Easter shoes, and bonus, my second daughter's birthday is this coming Sunday and while I couldn't get the pink shoes in her size, I could get purple which would be close enough and would go with both her Easter dress and her birthday dresses (play dress for the princess party).  I found them on a site I used to promote -  But I have been reminded of that crucial lesson - Buyer Beware!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Farewell Sarah Jane

It is with great sadness, that I write to you about the loss of a true icon in our house.  Today, Elisabeth Sladen left our world.  No longer will her character, Sarah Jane Smith, be there to guard the Earth from alien invaders when the Doctor is not around.  No longer will she be teaching junior high age kids to think beyond their little troubles and imagine a world of all of space and time.

I didn't get introduced to the work of this amazingly likable actress until she had a guest roll in an episode of the new Doctor Who, even though she is probably the most well known of the classic Doctor Who companions.  However, after her guest appearance, she was able to reprise her character into a new series, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sewing with Magnets

I've been sewing new curtains for my living room makeover project that is slowly progressing.  I borrowed a machine from my friend as I don't have one of my own (which is why I dream up these projects.  Obviously, if I had my own machine I'd never think about sewing anything ever!)  I quickly realized that this machine was not going to happily sew over my pins, especially not with the thin see-through material I am using.  Not thinking ahead I didn't get anything to hold the material in place for sewing without the pins so I've resorted to pulling the pins out before they hit the pressure foot.

After the first 53" decorative stitch run in which I had placed my pin box behind my machine (and missed mostly as I slid pins out of the way).  I did some dreaming about magnets and ways to attract the pins to my little box.  I like keeping the pins in the box.  It's just so handy to put the lid on and even though I have both made my own pin cushion and used a store bought tomato, I prefer the box.  Maybe I'm just weird.  Anyway at first I thought it would be great to put a box sized refrigerator magnet in the box.  Just enough magnetic force to keep the pins from going everywhere each time I "spill" it.  Then I thought wouldn't it be cool to make it a small electromagnet?

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Mass of Dwarves and The Return to Middle Earth

In case you haven't seen it yet - Peter Jackson has posted his first video blog from the set of The Hobbit.

Can I just say I'm very excited!!!  The Lord of the Ring's Trilogy was just so amazing for my husband and I.  We saw every film opening night in the good theaters two hours away.  Each movie was an event.  We even bought ebay tickets to see Trilogy Tuesday, where we watched all three movies back to back in the theater.  It is probably my single best movie going experience ever!  We met some amazing fans.  I learned to play Apples to Apples with some really great people who came from 6 hours away because their local theater botched the online sales.  Let's just say it was one of those experiences I will not forget.  Also it was the completion of the films that marked the change in our life from newlyweds to parents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring gutting

So, yes, it clearly appears that my left middle finger is fractured.  No, I don't know for sure.  I have no health insurance, and can't afford to see a doctor.  There are no free clinics here, but hey we have sorta clean drinking water, well it's brown and smells bad, but it meets US standards, hmm.

Anyway, at the same time I decided to move every single piece of furniture in my living area (which includes the dinning table).  Since the couch now faces the windows (ok, futon, got rid of the rash inducing wool couches) it was decided we need new window treatments.  The discovery of mold behind a bookcase (that now live on the opposite side of the room) has started the discussion of painting.  And hey, while we're fixing things up, we went shopping for new lights since the crappy one that illuminates most of the room has issues with light bulbs (seriously, two have blown up and they are constantly burning out) and the fan wobbles so bad it can't be used.

Since I have a million things to do and typing aggravates the finger (which is doing rather badly tonight) and I want to get some window treatments sewn (pictures another day I promise!) I just thought I'd share the coolest fan/light I've ever seen!

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photo
Full on blade action

Isn't that just gorgeous?  The whole thing rotates when it's on, not just each set of blades!  The only thing I don't like is the small light (which I didn't see on).  Although the store owner informed us at her other location there is a three propeller model with a dish light at the bottom!  Oh, I wish I could have it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Blood, No Band-aid

First off, I want to apologize for yesterday's post being published so late.  I thought it had been put into the queue to be published at midnight before I went to bed and then I didn't check it until mid-afternoon.  So if you didn't get a chance to read it, make sure you scroll down below the ad and check it out on the main page.  My internet hasn't been working well at all, but hopefully it will be fixed sometime this afternoon.

Now, I want to share with you all another little trick we use with our kids here at our house.  You see, I don't believe that band-aids are feel better stickers.  They are far to expensive to be wasting, so unless I see blood, you don't get one.  You can, however; have an icepack.

Except, free ice in a bag is messy and too cold for little boo-boos.  Keeping small bags of peas doesn't really work for us as we cook frozen peas often, and finding peas that a child took to bed with them and time forgot when they worked their way under the bed is really not fun.  The cute gel packs are nice, but they can freeze solid or break open, especially when a little teether uses one for biting.  Instead we use a little trick I learned when our oldest daughter entered daycare.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Relaxing with Star Wars

Goodbye March!  Hello April, you blissfully unscheduled and hopefully relaxing month.  After our crazy March, we were all in desperate need of a break.  On Saturday we took that break, and my kids joined us as we watched all three Star Wars movies back to back!  On the same day (I think it was Saturday, it might have been Friday) Redbox (you know the video rental box people) posted a poll on their facebook wall.  They asked what genre of movie to you watch after a stressful day.  Hmm, while I suppose Star Wars could be considered "Action", SciFi/Fantasy/Epic Story were not options on their list.  Maybe it was because the writer didn't understand how people could use these movies to relieve stress, as this was coupled with each genre.

Here:  This is there quiz so you can see what I mean:

When you’ve had a bad day, what kind of movie can get you out of your funk?

A straight-up comedy — laughter’s always the best medicine!
    Straight-up comedy - laughter's always the best medicine! 
A romantic comedy, because all you need is love.
    A romantic comedy, because all you need is love.
A weepy drama, for an excuse to just cry and get it over with!
    A weepy drama, for an excuse to just cry and get it over with!
An action flick — explosions, shoot-outs, and car chases cure all.
    An action flick - explosions, shoot-outs and care chases cure all.
A sad drama or documentary to help put things in perspective.
    A sad drama or documentary to help put things in perspective.
A silly kids’ movie, preferably with fun songs to sing along wisillysing 
           (A silly kids' movie, preferably with fun songs to along with!)
* Stats are from Sunday afternoon. *

So here we were having a flop day that sure it had a few explosions and some space ship chases, I guess you could call them that, but I don't think Star Wars really fits with something like Gone in 60 Seconds which is your classic action flick.  Personally, if I was going to put SciFi/Fantasy/Epic Story on the list it would be written out like this:  A SciFi, Fantasy, or Epic Story to remind me of the good within humanity and the bigger picture.

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