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Monthly Archives: January 2011


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I still miss her every single day and continue to shed tears for her often.

About Vivienne: click here About the necklace: click here

Listen Carefully

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Best office conversation ever today in the kitchen/break room:

Me – I heard a story on the radio today about people deciding whether to circumsize their baby boys.

Kara – My nephew is circumsized.

T – My son is circumsized – he healed really quickly.

Enter A, a sweet, mild-mannered young woman I don’t know extremely well.

A – What are you guys talking about? A begins making her oatmeal.

Kara – Penises!

A – God, that sounds good!

Kara, T, and I look at each other. Did she just say that? A continues to make her oatmeal as though she had just asked about the weather. She looks up and sees our surprised faces.

A – Didn’t you say pizza?


Bad Betty

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Confession time: I’ve finally come to terms with it. I don’t like to cook. There I said it. I’m not sure why I was in denial for so long – maybe because my mom and grandma are such good cooks and I feel like I should follow suit, maybe because I engage in a lot of other Martha Stewarty pastimes so it seems like it would be natural. But Betty Crocker I’m not. I can follow a recipe and the food I cook usually tastes fine. But I don’t enjoy it at all and I have been finding more and more ways to cheat – frozen food from Trader Joe’s, Grilled Cheese once a week, and when I’m really scraping the bottom of the motivation barrel, Cereal Night. It got so bad that I would rather just not eat dinner some nights than cook when I get home from work. So Randy stepped in and has become the Head Chef at Chez Marksberry. An actual conversation from the other night:

Randy: (after making that night’s dinner and putting together a casserole for the next night) “I really enjoyed cooking tonight!”

Me: “Oh good – because I really enjoyed NOT cooking tonight.”

So this new set-up is really working for me. Because I like to eat real food – and if it were up to me we’d eat out at a nice-ish restaurant every night. But Randy has sensibly pointed out on more than one occasion that we don’t actually have unlimited restaurant money and we need to eat at home most nights. So I guess this is the next best thing. However my schedule this winter has me working at home on Spotted Elephant business every Tuesday and I have vowed to make Tuesday my real-no-cheat cooking day. I think I can stomach it once a week.

Tonight was meatloaf night featuring green bean casserole and mashed potatoes (okay, Bob Evan’s made the mashed potatoes but give me a break – I made my own mashed potatoes once and they turned out gluey and not nearly worth the time) with baked cinnamon sugar sweet potatoes for dessert. When I have a whole day to work with and the recipe is not too involved, cooking is not total drudgery. But I don’t want to make a habit of it.

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I worked on a custom hat for a friend this weekend. and had a photo shoot. and played around with iPhoto. The results are below. 🙂

Now We’re In Business!

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Today we finally turned the corner in the craft room. I can tell because I no longer feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack every time I enter. I call that success.

The Big Picture:


The Details:

Yarn sorted by fiber type AND color! I’ve died and gone to heaven.


Fabric scraps folded and sorted by color. Its Christmas all over again.


A beautiful basket of my favorite fat quarters. I like just gazing at it.


Watch out – get ready for some serious crafting, the likes of which this town has never seen.


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Why do I still get all tingly-excited when I get the word that its a snow day? I don’t get paid on snow days so I should hate them – but I’ve been so conditioned to yearn for them that I can’t stop now.

Top 3 “Snow Day” Memories:

  • I was about 8 or 9 and woke up feeling like I really didn’t want to go to school (as per usual). Also, my nose was a little sore – like I had slept on my face funny. I knew it was a stretch but I had to try it as an excuse for staying home, so I crept downstairs and sat next to my mom on the couch. I explained, in my most pitiful voice, that my nose hurt and asked if I had to go to school. To my shock and amazement, she said no. I dropped my act and said, “really!?”. She laughed and told me to look out the window and I saw that a virtual blizzard was in progress. School had been canceled. I’m sure my terribly sore nose didn’t prevent me from sledding that day. 🙂
  • I was around 10 or 11 and we had a triple threat – a snow storm, a snow day, and a power outage. Since our house was equipped with electric heat and an electric stove, we we were cold and tired of eating peanut butter sandwiches. So mom started a fire in the fireplace (a rare occurrence at our house) and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the open flame. We thought we were all kinds of awesome.
  • I was about 11 or 12 and school had been canceled all week due to a mondo-storm. We had been out sledding with our neighbors (who owned the sleds) down our epic backyard hill when my dad got home from work and decided to join us. He was usually a hit with our friends, hamming it up with them, teasing just enough to make them feel special, and showing off his amazing pinky finger stump (an amputation that, for some reason, is always and without fail, a kid magnet). And that day was no exception as he was the biggest dare-devil on the “slopes”, careening over logs and going air-born before landing in the frozen creek bed. He paid for his shenanigans later through bruises and sore muscles, but I don’t think he ever regretted the afternoon. 🙂
  • Honorable Mention: During my freshman year of high school we had a snow/ice storm that closed the expressways for days and turned the local mall into a temporary shelter for truckers and travelers. Our sloped driveway was a solid sheet of ice so I grabbed my mom’s 20-year-old ice skates and practiced figure 8s on the driveway. Well maybe calling them figure 8s is too generous. Lets say I wobbled down the driveway and gracefully stopped myself by crashing into the garage door.

Buried Alive

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So I had visions of being able to organize the craft room in a couple hours, thanks to my new organizational system. But I failed to take into account the shear volume of crap I had stuffed into the room. And now I keep having visions of being buried alive under piles of ribbon, quilt batting, tulle, yarn balls, safety pins, glue sticks, fabric scraps, sewing templates, silk flowers, wrapping paper, ric rac, velcro, elastic bands, crochet hooks, sewing patterns, beads, tracing paper, felted sweaters, bobbins, and mounds of half-finished projects. I had to take a break after three hours. I think this is going to take a few days and maybe some PTSD therapy. Here’s what we’ve got so far…

These pics are deceptive – things don’t look so bad…


The true horror lurks in other places – like the closet picture below.  And this doesn’t even match the deep dark corner of the room I couldn’t even look at long enough to photograph.


But seriously – I’m totally psyched that I have the opportunity to create such an organized and functional crafting space. I will feel so official when its all done!