Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Bean!

I had to follow in my mom's footsteps and throw out a Birthday wish to my brother, Ben.

We are always having way too much fun as a family and I couldn't imagine any of it without him. He is usually the plotter behind all the mischief.... always has been.

Ben is constantly making us to crawl out of our comfortable shells to try new and adventurous things. Between 2006 and 2007 Ben has gotten the family into rock climbing and scuba diving. I didn't get into the rock climbing myself, but going along for the hikes are fun. I can't even do the scuba diving (due to my ears - they will break). All the same, whoever is involved, it turns out to be an adventure! I don't think we ever have normal adventures...

Just a couple of memories with Ben that come into mind...

We used to play truth or dare (which usually was just "dare") using Grandma's cupboards of interesting food fare as the dares. Sometimes it turned out to be a concoction of mixed weird ingredients that she may have had on her shelf for over ten years. A popular dare for the boys, was running down the street [we lived out in the country] in your whitey-tidies or buck naked. I can't believe I'm related...

Paintballing. This was before we could afford the actual gun, but the bullets were pretty useful with a couple of slingshots. He talked me into playing a game and promised he would not shoot if I said, "mercy". Of course as older brothers do not do what they say they will. I was a horrible shot and he was excellent... especially 2-feet from your arm! That one hurt!

We now
hold REAL paintball wars every Thanksgiving over at Uncle Randy's house. It has been the event of the year for a long time now. Sometimes the teams can grow to about 20 people on each side!

There are too many to write about.... but those were the two that I was thinking of today. Anyway, I love you Ben and I look forward to many many family adventures with ya! Have a great one!

How cute is cute?

If you didn't check out Britain's Got Talent final contestants any further from my last post, 6-yr. old Connie Talbot was also worth looking at.

Her first appearance. Who would think a 6-yr. old would be able to do this?

Her final. Just as cute!

The additional videos are just as great so click on the similar videos that come up if you want. I'm sure she's set her track in life from this experience, hopefully she doesn't turn out like Brittany Spears....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Good things do happen to nice people...

I don't know if anyone happened to follow the news about Britain's Got Talent winner (2007), Paul Potts, but I was blown away. I happened upon the YouTube video by chance and got sucked into checking out a few other videos about him and the competition.

These two videos pretty-much cover his role in the show. His first audition with the doubting judges and his final performance.

His website, is great and has a lot of information on the "about" page on him, his journey and where he's at now. He is truly a humble man that definitely deserved this prize and chance in life. Everyone across the globe is going crazy over this guy. I thought I'd share, his voice is amazing... and to just think that he was just a cell phone salesman in some dead-end job before this.

He does have one album out, it looks like... but he's not on Pandora yet :(

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Family Blogger to Boot

My mom has finally started her blog...

Bear with her, she JUST got it up yesterday and is still in the works of getting it all designed and laid out. I am going to help her fiddle with it this week, so we should have it where she wants it by Sunday.

All the same, make sure you add her to your link list on your blog (family members). She always has cool stuff to say!

Monday, September 24, 2007

There are monsters lurking in the garage....

On my long ride home from my 70-mile biking on Saturday, I had been chatting on the phone with John as I was pulling into the garage.

In my defense:
  • I had mush-brain from the long day
  • I am a woman
  • We have monsters living in our garage
All valid points to make as you will see...

As I was pulling the car into the driveway a large monster lurking in the shadows suddenly leapt out and grabbed my bike rack with the bike on it! He was gnashing his slobbery yellow teeth and started ripping my bike rack apart! Luckily my bike is quite smart and quick on her feet. She escaped by creeping off the backside of the car very carefully hanging by her fingernails to the back hatch until the monster had done it's worst and left unsatisfied that it did not in fact get to take the entire rack with him. My bike did suffer a couple of broken nails, but so far, nothing major.

I was pretty terrified myself! I didn't realize what was happening until a sudden jolt and loud wrenching noise came and the car was shaking! I am lucky to have survived!

Wow, I know, Major breaking news! I really didn't know that we had monsters in the garage. Make sure you get your place checked before something like this happens to you. You know, come to think of it, he might have been the same monster I mentioned we ran into at the Rattlesnake Crags! I bet that's it.

...for some reason or other, John does not believe me... can you believe that?!

Wait a minute, weren't we stopping at 60 miles??

My dad and I finished AND survived our long bike ride! Wahoo! What a fun accomplishment.

Now, a Metric Century is supposed to be 60-miles. The event organizers had noted vaguely that it was going to be 64-miles. By the time we were done with the ride, we had ridden about 68-miles according to our GPS and bike-o-meters (odometers). And if we included biking to and from
our parking spot twice before the event and our final after the event, I'd be say we were allowed to round it up to 70-miles total.

The start times were not official, which would have been nice to know as we could have headed out around 8am instead of 9am. We actually got out at 8:45am because we rolled over to the start and they were saying, "go!" to anyone who rode up on a bike. What a funny, small-town event. We will know for next year I suppose.

Our first stop was about 20-miles into the ride. We rode from Palmerton Park in Rogue River out toward Gold Hill and heading toward Jacksonville. It was like a breakfast stop complete with plenty of fruit, mini-bagels and fitness treats. My house (by the Central Point Temple), was only about 3-miles from here.

The second stop was a good time later, following our biggest hill ever right outside of Jacksonville toward Applegate. Wow! What a long hill! It really wasn't that bad. I stuck to 5-mph up the hill, but did something stupid after I passed Dad to keep my momentum. I turned my head to the right to hear what he was saying, then turned back and a guy had come up on my left (w/out courtiously saying, "left") so I was surprised by his presence, over-corrected and turned into the guardrail... hit the guardrail on right and toppled onto my left side. I have clip-ins and my fast thinking didn't kick in so I went straight into the pavement. It was pretty stupid as I was only going 5mph up a hill. I knocked my elbow knee and both ankles. Dad saved me, the guy that was passing felt bad and tried to stop but I hopped right up and started back up the hill... embarrassed. sheesh!

Anyhow, the next stop was great. Everyone was lounging around pick-nick style in a nice little setup with tables, mile-long subway sandwiches and other goodies. A lot of people probably spent a good 30 minutes here. The event did a great job at feeding the riders, I must admit. I think we were around 40-miles here.

Continuing on our journey, despite the delicious eats, we were a little tired of the road we had been on for some miles. It seemed a little slow going. Eventually we met up with Williams Hwy. in Grants Pass, turned off that onto a back road to the old All Sports Park close behind Laidlaw (dad's work).... to our third stop.

Our third stop was about 55-miles into our ride. I think we were a little burnt out by now. My neck and upper shoulders were killing me. Dad rubbed them for a moment and they actually felt much better for our remaining ride. We walked across a lawn to the picnic area of the rest stop and EWW! I we were in the middle of water-logged grass! My shoes are built with vents. Meaning, I have a 1/4" round hole in the bottom toe area and a screen in the front toe area for wind circulation ... they worked just as well for muddy water entrances! Oh my! We had a go
od laugh over it and tried to divert others from doing the same; they dried out as soon as we launched into our final stretch back to Palmerton Park.

All we wanted to do was get back at this point, but the miles kept creeping by over and over. I
knew well before we hit the already extra 4-miles to the Metric Century, that this was NOT going to be what they said and my foggy brain couldn't figure out how many miles it was to Rogue River. I knew it was close though. Four of the longest miles later, we rolled into the Park with happy smiles and the excitement of it being over! My mom was there to greet us. She had been hanging out for the past hour or so enjoying the live band and watching the other bikers roll in.

Over the course of our ride, dad had gotten quite a few comments on his chosen bike. Things from
our passerby's (because we were passed a lot) were,"Wow! Knobbies! I can't believe you man!" ("knobbies" are in reference to the road bike tires), "You're an Animal!" (some guy that passed us twice and re-referenced this again the second time)... and..."You know you're on a mountain bike bro?" (in a Jamaican accent)... "Dude! I'm VERY impressed with the knobbies! That's hard work!" - from a vehicle in Jacksonville. The others were pretty general, lots of oo-ing and ah-ing and expressions of how hard that would be. I was like, "yeah, my dad's tough!" All I did was coast, draft and hit my breaks a lot following him the whole time. He also blocked the headwind as it was strong in some areas.

So we topped off our day hanging out with mom and eating at the BBQ. Riding back to the cars was the worst. Our rumps were so shot (saddle-sore) after and resting a bit did not help!

There is actually one last "chapter" to this story, but I had to dedicate it to it's own post. Believe me, it's worth reading....

Rocks, Rattlesnakes and Monsters! Oh My!

I went rock climbing up at the Rattlesnake Crags with my family last Friday. These are very impressive to visit and are located up past Shady Cove after you take a few lefts some ways down toward Tiller (Tiller-Trail Hwy). The crew consisted of my Dad, Mom, Ben, Sam, Emily and Myself of course. I had never been.

I didn't in particular climb anything but the trail, but the boys were going to attempt to swing mom and myself from some rocks but it didn't work out so well. Their arms were noodles after the first climb so we settled for lunch instead. It was fine, mom and I stuck to being the photographers.

The rock formations were amazing! We got a lot of cool shots of the climbers. Ben, Sam and Emily did awesome on their climbs. It's kind of scary to watch their spider-like method move
slowly up a sheer rock face.

Some things we found along the way were a Cheese-Its Nest, a rattlesnake (go figure) that Ben promptly removed with a 10-foot stick and a great big rock monster that tried to eat the unsuspecting Ben dangling in his mouth. This was quite the serious situation as you can see. Don't worry, he has escaped safely.

Overall, it
was a great day to be out in the Fall weather... especially with family. My day ended with warm homemade scones accompanied with melting butter and honey on top. That was my indulgence and it was completely worth it!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Been Real Busy is sure generating a lot of work for me these days. I would say a good 30-hours a week and if I could, I'd contribute more to get things done faster. It can be kind of tiring though considering I also work the additional 40-hour week at Morgan & Chase Publishing, Inc.

In the end, it's all rewarding though. I can't get enough of my new business cards, plus all the recent printed products I've designed have just blown my mind (not to brag). The printer I go through makes the world of difference though. These would just be mediochre if I didn't use them.

I designed John's business cards along with these others.... take a look at more on the site in my printed portfolio.

baby hats continued

I've made 4 baby hats so far and just recently gave away 3 to this cutie on our left. The 4th is actually going to a new home soon, but I'm adding some decor to it before sending it off.

I was making the hats for two baby girls, one of which is (to the left) obviously here now and the other is coming in mid October. The baby to the left is about 2 weeks old. She has the longest fingers EVER! I felt bad for using the flash right up in her face, but she seemed not to mind playing the model. Looks a little unsure, but cute all the same. Her hands look like ET here though. *lol*

The last hat is for a 16 yr. old (new) mom who was really into an sort of goth/hippie style. From what I heard, she was trying to get black onesies. I am humoring her by making a black winter hat with a skull and cross bones... more like a pirate theme (which she likes too). It works, it's Halloween next month.

Aside from all the girls (including my cousin Sari's baby) popp'n out, Heidi had her cute little Preston and I want to make some hats for him as well! The hats are fun because they're quick and you can be really creative with the same basic pattern.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If you haven't read the news (been posted for a while) on your blogger-Dashboard, check this out: Blogger Play.

Blogger Play will show you a never-ending stream of images that were just uploaded to public Blogger blogs.

Seriously though... I could get lost for hours staring at this screen.

Are you using Google Reader yet?

I'm posting this mainly out of boredom and waiting to leave for the day. Also, my flash video didn't work so I was bummed that I wasn't able to post it.

If you have gone and followed my advice, you can now make use of using good 'ol Google Reader. I just subscribed to a new blog today called, The Every Day Cafe. I'm going to give it a shot. If I hate it or never read it, I can always unsubscribe.

So this is the beauty of Google Reader. I don't have to remember to check her blog everyday, I just check my Reader while I'm checking to see if any of the fam's posted.

Back on topic. The Every Day Cafe is written by, Anne Zelenka. I discovered her through another blog I subscribe to. The blog is about preparing food everyday for the family. She's funny and seems to have a few tips up her sleeve here and there.

If you've checked out the site and want to give it a try too, just copy and paste, into your subscribe to feed and *poof!* there ya have it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

4-days and counting

Our 65-mile bike ride is looming nearer.

Here is a profile (also image to left) of our route (elevation and such). Not too bad after the first double-climb. We only get 5 1/2 hrs to finish. This means we have to average about 12-13 mph at least.

John and I went for a 30-mile bike on Sunday. We averaged about 15 mph so it took us two hours. We have been riding a lot lighter than we usually do. We normally average 17-18 mph. We are also on road bikes. I think my dad will do fine on his mountain bike, "Gary" as he did a 40-mile bike out to Grants Pass and back (about a week ago) with a nice pace around 12 mph and that seems to be the first and hardest part of the bike. I still can't believe how much my dad has been biking! I think it's awesome!

It looks as if our weather forecast is going to be rainy. It will be nice to have the cool weather and rain isn't so bad if you have a proper parka. Other than that, watch out for slippery pavement and crazy Oregonians that still cannot figure out how to drive in bad weather.

I think my mom is going to be at one of our rest stops and hopefully the finish so we can get some pictures.

Weekday Blues...

Bummer... No one has been posting much lately. It helps to escape to blog-land when the work crazies start getting to me.

Just a quick update...No such luck on painting this week. I might be able to slip some time in Thursday, but I'm already doubting that. I just want to get a splash of paint on the canvas....of course, I'll probably disappear for hours once I start.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

the 10 year project - continues (progress)

Progress for day-1, yesterday.

The previous post on this project shows an 8 1/2 x 11 computer-sketch of this project. This is it, literally sketched out onto the canvas. You can't see, but it's in the garage, propped against a stack of tires. I am hoping to get a real live art studio in our next house. THAT would be a dream come true!

I've changed a few minor things that have produced a larger impact (to me). I remember when I had first drawn this out on my computer I wasn't too sure what I wanted to do with her arms and head-wrap. While sketching it onto the canvas I changed my mind from the picture according to how I felt it should be portrayed. Now she is holding the sun differently and her head-wrap is turning into clouds (which is hard to detect here). I see that her feet and lower legs are too short so that will need fixing. I also placed a lion up in front of her instead of down in the rumble of animals. It looks like a promising start!

By the way, for those of you who don't know, Zack and Fiona never went to Africa; they are now in Uruguay.... which still makes them way cool. haha.

Lastly, please do not ask me "what is going to go where?" and "what color...?" or "why did you do that?" kinds of questions. I'm a bugger when it comes to pre-painting (and I guess post-painting) inquiries and comments. If you don't like it, don't look at it. I don't mind comments, but I absolutely refuse to answer questions like that. No offense, but I tend to change some things as I go, as you can see already. To top it all off, I don't name my paintings so don't ask what it's about or what I named it. OK! :) Now that that's out of the way you think I'm a complete jerk about painting, believe me though... if you were in my shoes, you would understand.

Friday, September 14, 2007

the 10 year Project

*sigh*... yes. Zack and Fiona's much (much much) awaited painting. This project was thought up when they were first talking about moving to Africa. uhhh... how many years ago? I don't even want to count. All I know is that I was supposed to have this done millenniums ago.

This is a rough sketch. The final painting will estimate 4'x3' (I did height x width ... not sure what is proper?). Anyway, bigger than originally requested, but hey, just you try to get me to paint on anything smaller!

I am marching myself out the garage to give it a whirl. I'll post an update tomorrow on my progress!

Zack you know I'm only doing this because you commented on it. *lol* just kidding. Now that I've been told I have a good two years to finish it, I'll probably be done next week!
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Thursday, September 13, 2007


Oh yes, the Seattle trip was due to Abe and Courtney's wedding (on 9/8) alongside Heidi's baby shower (9/9). We had a lot of fun, but it was such a short trip.

Originally, we were going to leave Thursday evening after work (6:30pm), drive to Portland and stay with Sam & Emily (my little brother). Then we would pick Zac (cousin living in Uruguay) up at the Seatac Airport (WA) around 10am Friday, go to Heidi's (my cousin) house hang out with her until the wedding on Saturday evening.

Well, things changed drastically....

Zac's story is amazing in itself. I won't recount it here as he describes it in such great detail on his blog. Basically Zac got stuck in Argentina due to bad flight schedulers and wouldn't be in until Saturday. Bummer. Ben was coming up to scuba dive on Saturday with Zac. So we decided to skip going up on Thursday night (no point in going up that late) and leave early on Friday for the 8-hour haul to Seattle. Not looking forward to a long day of driving, we changed the plans [again] from getting up early, to leaving in the afternoon on Friday, going to Portland still to see Sam and then driving the rest on Saturday to the wedding.

Whew! It was nice to be able to cut the trip in half at least, but we did not get to visit with Heidi as we had wanted to. Bad weekend to try I guess. The wedding was a lot of fun. We danced and danced to great oldies. Afterward we decided to just drive back down to Sam's in Portland. This was fine, I drove most of the way.... buut they decided to close the freeway we were on down when we were like 10-min. from his house. Luckily we had Ben, our "virtual mapquest of portland" in the car, so had no trouble inventing another route to his house. Unfortunately it was already creeping to 2:00AM and the re-route took an extra 25 or so minutes. ugh! I think we were asleep around 2:30-3AM. I woke up just because around 7 or 8am. But all in all, I made it to my house around 3:30PM on Sunday, which was nice to have a break before starting the week of work-chaos.

Congratulations Abe & Courtney! Thanks for the killer party!
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Baby Hats!

On our voyage to and from Seattle, WA my mom and I were knitting like mad to make these precious baby hats! I swear, you knit one, and you just can't stop! Originally, my mom made a hat to go with her baby shower gift for Heidi & Doug, then started on another at the beginning of the trip. She had extra needles and yarn, so I took up trying one out too. I finished the brown one on the trip and the white a last night.

These two are for 2 friends who are both having girls. I wanted to put some pink ribbon on the brown one to make it a little more feminine. Anyway, I'll get to it soon enough.

My next project, aside from another hat, is a baby sweater! It couldn't hurt to have all this baby stuff around anyway. I'm making the sweater in bright red. wish me luck!
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Making your life easier with Google Reader

Everyone has to give this a shot. I have laid out clear instructions. Fast, Easy and will improve your time spent viewing blogs you follow.

You already have Google Reader if you have a blogger/gmail/google account.

(NOTE: click on any of the images to make them larger)

Step 1:
To make this easy, you can start at, if you are not signed in to your blogger or gmail account, do so before starting these steps.

Do as this image shows and click on the
more drop down (upper left extra menu). Locate Reader in the list (second to last) and click on it.

Step 2:
You will first enter your blank feed reader. This is what it should generally look like without any RSS feeds. Now, lets get crack'n to make life happy...

Step 3:
To simply add a subscription (left side column) click on the button and enter an address in the pop-up green thing. Test it with any family or friend blog. You can put any blog from blogger/blogspot into this box and it will work.

If you follow other blog on other topics, you can enter the web address to see if they have RSS. Google Reader will try to find the right feed for you.

Copy & Paste the link for accurateness.

Step 5:

*Wallah!* Now you have a blog in your RSS Feed Reader. You can Mark all as Read if you want to start with a clean slate and/or read through them to mark as read. It works like your email inbox.

How this will improve your life? Instead of running all over the internet to see if anyone has posted on their blog, just go to (signed in) and it acts just like in e-mail inbox. You will know if any of us posted by the new items.

Tip 1:
Add a couple more blogs to your Reader.

Now you can refine your view of the blog feed. It will default to the
Expanded View but I find it nicer to view in List View.

Go to the right side of the page and view these three links,
Feed Settings, Expanded View , and List View. Play around between the two views to see which one you like best.

Tip 2: Lastly, click on the Feed Settings button to get this drop down list of options. I like to rename my family and friends blogs to their names (like on the links list in my blog). The blog will default to the title they chose as their blog name... such as mine, "Our Blog-o-Rama" would be the name of the blog. You can rename this to, "Molly & John".

Family Blogging-Mania

So the families are really rolling out the blogs now. Most of the married cousins and a few others have gotten into it, including myself.

A basic timeline would look like this:
  • Molly & John (obviously myself) - "Our Blog-o-Rama!"
    • 1st attempt, January 2007
    • 2nd and sticking, August 2007
If you are in the immediate family, make sure you link to everyone on the list (unless you just don't want to). They have all been quite entertaining this summer!

60 miles, here we come!

September 22nd @ 9am, my Dad and I will be heading out on our adventure to Ride the Rogue! We will be doing the Metric Century (60 miles) ride together.

I will be on my Trek road bike while Dad will be on "Gary", his mountain bike. This event is just a
fun ride meaning your pace and time do not matter.

Dad's going to have a harder ride than myself because of the bike difference, but that's OK. We're in it to have fun!

The event is sponsored by the Rogue River Greenway...

"The Rogue River Greenway is a gateway to our recreational corridor and described as an emerald necklace of parks, public access areas and water trails along the Rogue River linked by bicycle and pedestrian trails. The recreational corridor will span an area roughly 30 miles in length from the city of Grants Pass through the cities of Rogue River and Gold Hill and on to Central Point where it will connect to the existing 20 miles of the Bear Creek Greenway at Upton Road."

I currently have about 2-weeks to work up to the 60-miles. As funny as it sounds, I have not yet done a 60-miler with all of the training done for the Triathlons. I know I can do it though and am looking to spend a fun day outdoors with my Dad!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Blog Updates

So I've got the blog more put together now, but I did notice that if viewing in Internet Exploder (Explorer) the middle content shifts all the way to the right side of the screen. If you are using Mozilla FireFox, like me, it is more centered. Oh well. I'll work on this another time.

I finished the header collage, added a neat-o patterned background and there is actually a cute "monkey" icon by "Crazy Monkies" (only viewable in MFFox I guess for now).

Ohwell, it's all looking a little better I suppose. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

obsession with products

I am a firm believe in Viral Marketing.
"...a satisfied customer tells an average of three people about a product or service he/she likes, and eleven people about a product or service which he/she did not like. Viral marketing is based on this natural human behavior." [taken from wikipedia]

So I like to talk about products I really like and think everyone else might be interested in using or find interesting to know about. Since everyone is having babies galore.... diapers seemed relevant to bring up. A lot of women in the family are Lactose Intolerant so I talked about the Goat Milk Ice Cream. Anything to better our lives right?

I happen to discover a lot of Internet applications, cool services, fun sites and products on and offline that I've tried or seem valid to talk about. I like sharing the wealth of things out there just waiting to be discovered.

I hope you enjoy. My life is pretty much... work, work, work... right now although I must say, head on over to my dad's blog and read about Really Tall People. (HILARIOUS!).

gDiapers - you have to check these out

I stumbled upon the site and was so wowed by the product. I can't wait to have a baby to try them out on! They seem so easy and convenient!

If you visit the site, which you should, check out all of the incredible information about the diapers. Who knew diapers could be so interesting.

A few bits from the site:

No landfill required. 50 million disposable diapers enter the landfill every day, where they sit for up to 500 years. And that’s just the beginning.

gDiapers are breathable. Plastic-free flushable refills keep babies dry and happy, so they’re less likely to get diaper rash.

I know I'm not a diaper expert, but these are the best diapers I have ever heard of! I know I don't have babies either.

They seem to be readily available through Fred Meyer and a variety of natural food/products stores. Everyone here on the West coast will be in luck, Fiona & Zac, good luck, not sure if Uruguay carries them! But you can order online too. They seem pretty decently priced.