September 2007 Archives

dropping the ball

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Doing business lately has been a drag, like swimming upstream everything seems to have resistence and take more effort then usual. I am trying hard to not get tweaked. It seems like everyone (including myself) is dropping a ball somewhere. In going to pick up prints from my printer he had neglected to do all of them and made us make a second trip. After spending countless hours at the dealer and filling out all the forms for our new car, we drove away only to get a call that they needed another signature on something. Little things left and right that just seem to pile up into annoyances that chew up time that could be spent on better things.

people dropping the ball.

Bryan and I are exhibitors at the National Outreach Convention. is a sponsor and so early november has us trotting off to san diego for three days to stand in one of those little booths and make eye contact with future subscribers. This is great. One of the things we get to do as sponsors is add something avp to the swag bag. We were throwing in our Crown of Thorns CD. It is a project that I am personally proud of and it gives us a chance to reduce old inventory.

So I go to ship said inventory(2500) units to its destination and realize that somehow I had miscounted. Thinking that each box stored in my studio held 500 CDs I realized at this late date (stuff is due next tuesday) that each box only holds 100. How in the world did I miss this?

Ever have one of those moments that you really feel like you have lost your mind. That you are so sure of something that you make plans around that something only to find out that your initial "something" was wrong?

dropping the ball.

The horrible thing about dropping the ball(for anyone, I think) is that it leaves you scrambling. Plug in whatever scenario you want but that remains the same. When I pointed out the number of prints to my printer, he realized his mistake and apologetically kicked into scramble mode. My missing my count will delay our shipment, probably launching someone else into scramble mode.

so sorry.

I hate scramble mode. For anyone. You can feel a person's state of calm get sucked right out of a room when they have to launch into scramble mode.

I am presently in scramble mode.

And what is worse is that there is a domino effect that gets passed on.

Like "pay it forward", only not in a good way.

Maybe it is the season. The summers end leaves everyone a little lulled and not quite on their game. Fall demands its upgrade and...

we all drop the ball...

and launch into scramble mode.


I photographed these little guys at an orphanage in cordoba mexico. They are a reminder to me that nothing should ever rob our peace enough to treat one another any less.

been kissed


This weekend was spent doing one of those uber stressful things. Buying a car. Since our trusty Sebring could no longer be trusted it was time to replace it. For this family a major purchase like this is almost traumatic. We are very careful shoppers ( despite the costco dilemma) and have a track record of purchasing that might drive others insane.

Like the time we spent an entire weeks vacation deciding on the perfect dining room table...

or the time we went to five different stores to compare blenders...

and then there was the vacuum cleaner...

All these purchases were made with strict attention, so you can imagine if it takes us a week to buy a table... well, let's just say buying a car is a really big deal. But we did our homework and with financing in hand we confidently walked in and out of a few different dealerships touching the options that we had already seen available online. By Friday night we had narrowed it down to two different options, the Scion, and the Element, and by Saturday morning we had landed on a used Element.

But then we looked at the new ones.

We have never bought a new car. It was (yes, was) sort of a policy of ours. You know the whole depreciation thing in the first year and all. But as we shopped we found that the models that we chose were not depreciating in value to make it worth our while. So following a certain train of logic (reliability + features+ cost) this family ended up with a bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green, Honda Element.

Now one of the reasons we bought used cars is the "kiss" factor. (not the keep it simple...this is something else). When Bryan was younger his uncle told him that if he ever got a new car he needed to get a hammer and give it a whack, hence giving it its first dent.

In other words "kiss" it.

His logic was that if it was already "kissed" then all that fuss and stress over having something new and trying to keep it new would evaporate into practical everyday life.

practical. sensible. Would I do it to our bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green, Honda Element?

not on your life.

However the downside that is left without the kiss on our bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green, Honda Element is that I, in fact did feel a certain paranoia about keeping it new. A weird low grade anxiety. And that is not our family's MO. When we get something, blender, luggage, whatever...we use the snot out of it. And part of the reason we got an Element was to be just as practical (you can hose the thing out...I am not kidding). And there are a number of things already against it staying bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green.

For one, we don't have a garage.

And another, the oak trees in our yard throw golf-ball size acorns this time of year.

But there was one that I had not considered.

my sweet husband.

I had driven it home from the dealership Saturday night and then Bryan carefully parked it across the lawn (away from the acorn chucking trees).

Sunday morning we have to take the Sebring to that great carlot in the sky (carmax). The plan is Bryan is going to move the Element and then I will drive it following him (for his last drive in the Sebring). I realize that I forgot my camera.

I run back in the house, grab my camera, and run back outside just in time to see...

The bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green, Honda Element with its bumper squared off against a tree.

yup, you heard me.

In absolute disbelief and a total sense of denial, I look at my husband who is getting out of the bright shiny spanking new, kiwi-green, Honda Element to check the damage...

Knowing full well that he had just backed into the tree, I hear myself saying...

"you didn't, you didn't"...

Now this is one of those sort of pivotal moments that tells you alot about yourself. Looming on my emotional horizon was a dark cloud of disappointment, blame, and something even uglier...

placing something of material value over a relationship.

Snapping out of my "you didn't", chant and looking at my husband's expression of utter disbelief I started to laugh.

Examining the damage, "It's O.K.", he says... "Its just a little scratch on the bumper."

We both laugh.

I guess its been kissed.

Now I can relax.


the last haul


But wait there's more...

Upon using our trusty Sebring in its maximum hauling capacity it began to make a horrible wheezing sound. It lumped along throughout the weekend hauling a total of 46 plants.

But after taking it to the shop on monday we got the sad news...

Apparently the Junipers were its last haul.

This family vehicle that we have driven for years in all kinds of weather, hauled countless projects, moved stuff, top up, top down...

has breathed its last.

We will miss you Sebring.

Hey, do you think they sell cars at Costco?

in 2002 hauling lumber with bryan's dad.


The Costco Dilemma


In keeping with the efforts of a mammoth remodel project like our backyard, we have been scouting for the right low maintenance plants to put in our tiered walls. As is our nature we have looked for the last couple of years comparing and pricing so that when the time was right we could purchase. A ground cover juniper was where we had finally landed but to fill our walls was going to take a lot of plants and so the sticker shock of the local nursery of 37.99 per plant had held us back.

Until this weekend.

We needed to replenish our supply of grilling spices. Costco is where we get this. So hoping to pop in and pop out with one small container of grilling spices we were suddenly faced with what I like to call the Costco Dilemma.

And you know what I am talking about.

Unless you put blinders on and make a bee-line for that single purchase you are bound to have been faced with the Costco Dilemma.

Unless you have no-buy superpowers and are impervious to the temptations that are available at the consumers mecca you are bound to have been faced with the Costco Dilemma.

But we went and what did we bump into(no blinders or superpowers here) but pots and pots of Blue Rug Juniper.

at 11.99 ea.

crap. The Costco Dilemma. And it is even worse when it is not an "impulse buy" but something you were actually shopping for.

So you can probably guess the end of this story. 4 trips to three different Costcos and we had enough plants to fill our back walls and landscape the front of the house.

yea, we ended up getting the giant Leland Cypress and Nandinas that they had too. Oh, and the Heleri Holly that will make beautiful hedges.

Lord knows we have more important things to do, but fall is the right time to landscape and so one needs to consider timing when living in a four season part of the country. And of course there was the Costco Dilemma. It kind of forced our hand.

And since I know we are not the only ones, and confession is good for the soul...what thing did you buy when faced with the Costco Dilemma?





mid coffee finance travesty



In the middle of my morning coffee I return a call to a card company because someone has apparently been spending our money. It has happened to everyone at least once, but this, in fact is our first.

such a violation.


I can handle the fact that maybe our number got stolen off of some internet order somewhere.

I can handle the fact that this is the price you pay for the convenience of not using cash and shopping online.

I can even handle the fact that some dishonest person decided to go on a spending spree using our card.

But what I CAN'T handle is what they bought...

a DELL computer.

I may never recover.

However, I am sure that the fact that this family are mac fanatics to the point of religion alerted the credit card gods. I am certain that the bells and whistles and sirens that sounded the minute that the word DELL hit the credit airwaves is what alerted our card company.

clearly not an anderson purchase.

From our very first mac plus and my beloved LC to Daniel's blueberry and lime imacs, to various powermacs, powerbooks, all the way to my dual G5 not to mention all the other apple products, monitors, ipods, etc...

The apple hardware we have in this house could wire a small country.

So upon being asked various security questions in clearing up what purchases we have made in the last two days, the card representative said the word DELL and I began to laugh.

He figured.

Our consistency is apparently what saved us.

If only we had bought stock in apple along with my LC.

autumn walk

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Another offering from the muse last night. (apparently she has been indulging in heavy doses of caffeine cuz I am having a hard time keeping up with her). This one follows the impressions series that seems to be the style I am locked into at the moment. It is a small canvas (18" x 18") compared to the flowered pieces which were 24" x 48".

This one is called "Autumn Walk".


today the torch

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I am probably going to be sprinkling creative days in with business days a bit more in the next few weeks. The muse was very clear when last night I filled three pages with sketches and this morning the torch was the only thing I could think about...

i guess a multi-disciplined show is a good way to get inspired. So today's offering is a newly smithed pendent. All that is left to do to it is polish it.

I guess I can still do the really challenging pieces. This one has a dozen solder joints. I am struggling with one handicap...I don't see as well as I used to. Bifocals weren't part of my toolkit twenty years ago. So I feel a bit like an old woman and probably look a little silly holding up the work at arms length and right in front of my nose, all with a lit torch in my hand.;-)

At least I didn't burn the house down.

or lose some eyebrows for that matter.


turquoise and rose quartz


ta... da



So I can check off number one of my mondo beyondo list of 2006. Yea, it took a little more than a year (ok almost two) but it is still in the spirit of the mondo beyondo, and who is keeping track anyway...its my list.

Ok, so we still have far to go, but this summer marks a real dent in our ongoing remodel project. We took the plunge and hired pros to put in new windows and siding, and splurged for the deck. I guess it sort of offsets the big DIY project. The wall(s) are still in progress and double as our summer exercise program.

Hey, why pay somebody else to tell you what weights to lift when you have a backyard full of bricks?

So, I am happy to report that labor day weekend marks the finishing of the biggest of the three walls. I can't even tell you how much work this represented, but as tedious, backbreaking, and frustrating as it was, it was also very rewarding. And what I have lovingly called "the trailer" for the last five years turned a corner this summer toward the status of "house".

before the new siding, windows, and deck





second wall finished


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2007 is the previous archive.

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