Here they are in chronological order:
Playing with liquid fire
July 24, 2006
For my husband's birthday that year, we organized a field trip with a group of friends to a glass-blowing facility, where each of us had some hands-on experience. Many photos (of me, for a change!)
At the studio on Saturday, we were introduced to Joe, one of the artists and instructors, and given our lecture on safety. The furnaces would be extremely hot. We'd need to drink a lot of water while in the studio to keep hydrated. Don't pick up any glass off the floor because it could still be hot. Use common sense when handling equipment. And, by the way, after years of working with the hot glass, Joe doesn't have much sensation left in his hands and arms.
Lessons learned from painting
July 30, 2006
Dave and I took a non-credit painting class together at the local community college. No Picasso's emerged from our efforts, but I did learn a lot. Here's a sampling:
Squint and look at things with a blurry gaze.
Lay a bold foundation and then add detail.
Work with confidence.
Don't be afraid to go outside the lines. Imperfections are more interesting.
Treasures and Memories
August 4, 2006
I have a fascination with estate sales and for a while was hitting one or two every week. At one particular sale, I was especially pleased with my score.
"The missing piece of a collection?" the check-out lady asked. "No. It's got Han Solo on it," I replied, like that explained everything. How could I say that I was a writer and this character I've created has a fascination with Han Solo? I was buying it for my office - a precious possession for a person who didn't exist except in my head and on the pages of an unsold manuscript.
When losing is winning and everything is backwards
October 4, 2006
For my nephew's birthday, my sister threw him a backward-themed party. Lots of adults were recruited to help keep the 18 kids in line. It was a great time. Many fun photos.
Now there was a sight: 17 chairs lined up so that 18 children could play at once. When the first person lost, we declared her the winner. That led to problems the next time, though, as four different kids refused to sit down, all wanting to be the next person eliminated and therefore a winner, too.
The flu fairy
October 18, 2006
When it was time to get flu shots here at work, my boss laid out his philosophy on why he refuses to get one.
"What do you mean you don't believe in them?" Dave asked. When Kyle opened his mouth to explain, Dave cut him off. "They're not like the Easter Bunny." Dave then pointed to the woman administering the shots only 10 feet away. "The lady is sitting right there. The flu shots are right there. You can't NOT believe in them."
Have you any beer here?
October 20, 2006
Sometimes it would be easier to like beer. But I don't. So at an Oktoberfest party, I gave it a valiant effort. (I did!)
As for my quest to appreciate beer, I think it will be like learning to like vegetables. Just keep trying. After all, if I could learn to like spinach in my 30s, beer should be easy.
Mousie's sad demise
December 23, 2006
Yes, I wrote an obituary for a dog toy. Photos and everything.
He entered our lives one day in June, at a skills game at the carnival. He sat through a concert with us, then tagged along on the bus on the way home. Here, he met Thor. It was love at first sight.
Leaving San Francisco, five years on
January 5, 2007
It's not so much this one post that I like. It just serves as an introduction to a series of emails that I back posted, written by my girlfriend and me as we drove from San Francisco to Chicago.
Here's an excerpt of our back-and-forth commentary from Days 1 & 2 (forgive the SHOUTING -- had to differentiate voices):
The hotel was nice. A little pricier than we really wanted and older. PRICIER EQUALS $80 TOTAL. IT'S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE. But with character, big rooms and delightful guests. At least judging from the very cool older lady we met in the hot tub. ALTHOUGH MARRIOTT DID PAUSE WHEN, SAYING GOODBYE, THE LADY BLESSED US AND SAID "IF I DON'T SEE YOU AGAIN, I'LL SEE YOU IN HEAVEN".
March 26, 2007
About going to hear author Ann Lamott speak.
The first time I heard of Anne Lamott, it was 1997 and I was at the national Romance Writers of America conference. I was walking with Jules into the conference bookstore, when suddenly she turned star-struck. Now, you have to understand that Jules doesn't get star-struck easily. No-sir-ee. So this caught my attention.
Thor's second misadventure
June 15, 2007
About the second time our shy dog ran away. Needless to say, we were very upset that a vet's office let him escape their custody. (This led me to back post several old emails about Thor's history.)
Thor is a shy boy who likes people but is suspicious of their motives. He's a big-time snuggler with us, but he'd rather not let most people near him. So, when the vet tech dropped the leash, he moved away. And when she chased him, he ran.