Thursday, October 28, 2010

the pumpkin patch

Pumpkin lane.

Looks like a lot of choices, but a lot of them were already rotting. I picked this place 'cause they advertised being able to pick off the vine. Not so much.

Loo-loo quickly un-stacked these fellows right after I snapped the shutter. Every pumpkin needs it's own place, ya know?

Afternoon shadow.

Loo-loo loves photo op's!

We lasted about 1/8th into the corn maze before we (loo-loo) gave up trying to balance in the skinny ditch that was supposed to be the path.

I wore a skirt. (no pockets) Which meant that I had to stash my phone and the cash in my bra.

Which I couldn't previously get away with, but now that I am 2 cup sizes bigger (ahem) I can.

Not that it's comfy- I prefer pockets.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'm in bed, with my iPhone, blogging.


I really wanted to write a real post, but I have no time- this week has been crazy.

I have so much to tell you!

We went to the pumpkin patch last week.

This week my mom and I took Loo-Loo to Disneyland.

Today I had a root canal, and baked a pumpkin cheesecake.

Tomorrow I am baking all day for a wedding reception that's on Saturday.

Whoa, right?

So since I'm all whacked out on painkillers, I am in bed reading the 2nd Harry Potter book. (no, I've never read them before. Stop throwing rocks at me. Better late than never, right?) I read the first one yesterday at LAX and on the plane ride home.

Sitting in bed with my cats and a book is all I have the energy for.

Thanks for listening- I will be back next week with some tall tales and maybe even some true ones...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

in all honesty...

I hate how I look...

...but I love how I feel.

I roll out of bed and walk to the closet. I look for something- anything that will fit. I am defeated. I run away to the bathroom, where I wash my face and put my hair up. I go back to the closet- and run away again to start some laundry. I realize that I am doing chores in my underwear, in front of all my open blinds. Back to the closet and quick!

I search for the faded black jeans that I bought forever ago, because they are the largest ones I own. I jump into them and- I can barely button them up. Seriously? Has it really come to this?

20 pounds in 6 months. Really.

"This is serious" I say to myself as I sit on my bed, "I need to do something."

Half of it I have gained from quitting the job that had me standing all day, running up and down stairs, and lifting heavy boxes. The other half is from me not suffering from this stupid and very lame condition anymore. It's nothing serious- my dad has it, I have it, and no, I really don't want to tell you all the hairy details. (gross and embarrassing) I am just very very grateful that I found a solution that works. Since figuring it all out, I am 100% symptom free, and 10 pounds heavier.

I get up in the morning, and I debate whether or not to exercise. "Just 10 pounds" I say, "then I will fit into my clothes again." Sometimes I do, mostly I don't. I wear my comfy pants all day. I don't go out. I only have like 2 outfits that I can fit into. I am embarrassed about my appearance. Gaining that much weight in that amount of time usually means one thing- baby weight. (nope, no babies.) I don't want to go out and run into anyone I know and have to explain that I am indeed not expecting, just chubby. (like anyone would ask anyway.)

All my life, I couldn't stand any kind of physical activity- I would get nauseous, my ears would burn, my head would pound, I couldn't breathe. My doctors have always said that my depression would get better if I would exercise regularly. But I hated it, it made me sick. It never made me feel better. And, I was skinny. I had no motivation to exercise.

But now I do. And the strange thing is, I kinda crave some physical activity. When we were in San Fran, and I walked and walked till my leg muscles were shot, and it was 50-60 degree weather, I was in heaven. I was sore but didn't care. Walking warmed me up and I wasn't cold.

Speaking of which- I don't get cold all the time anymore. It's been so nice- I have really enjoyed climbing into bed with my husband wearing a tank top and not much else. Whereas before I would have to wear sweatpants, socks and a hoodie to bed. Oh, and usually an extra blanket. I have found (to my husbands delight) that sleeping is more comfortable without the comfy pants- who knew?

And a little TMI. I really like having boobs. And an ass. Not much of one, but still. A little curve in my shape make me feel good.

And the battle goes on. I wake up and I hate myself, so I sit around making it worse. But at the end of the day (literally, when I am in bed with Danny in my tank top) I like myself. I feel great. I am warm. I have a great attitude. I don't want to lose the weight that makes me feel so much better.

But then the morning comes, and nothing fits. Yesterday I put on my Sturgis tee shirt. It's been huge on me ever since my brother gave it to me 6 years ago. Yesterday, it fit. Perfectly. I almost cried. I hate my chubby face. I have always thought my face looked fat, even when I definitely wasn't. And I know that really, I'm not fat at all- I just feel that way when I am trying to squish into clothes that are too small. And who wants to buy bigger clothes? Not me. Not jobless moneyless me.

I took a real good look at my body in the bathroom mirror this afternoon. A little curvy. A little squishy.

But I don't care. I like it, and it feels right. I feel like I have finally found myself. I would much rather be healthy and happy, than skinny and miserable. And after a while, I may even grow to love my fat face.

And then I think "WTF? Am I crazy? Really, I am okay with this?" Breathe. Yes I am.

So I talked to my husband. I told him how I felt, holding my breath that he would feel the same. And he does. Phew! But the hard part?

"So, um. Honey? That means that I need some new clothes. I mean ALL new clothes. And I will need you to buy them for me. You know, cause I am jobless."

This is not the kind of shopping spree that I have always dreamed of. But it's a shopping spree nonetheless.

Monday, October 11, 2010

loo-loo at lagoon

I love Lagoon- always so magical as a little kid. I have been itching to go all summer- and so has Loo-loo, but we thought we'd beat the heat and go at the end of the season. It was a perfect day- cool enough during daylight that we didn't fry and a little chilly in the evening. I wish I had brought a jacket- but I got a very overpriced hot chocolate that helped.

Also, my mom and I are taking Loo-loo to Disneyland in a few weeks- so this was kind of a "practice" run to see how she will do, waiting in lines with noisy rides and screaming kids. She did pretty good, considering. There were a few dicey moments- but she worked with me and scored an "A".

Disneyland, here we come!

While waiting in line to buy our tickets, Loo-loo said "Me go look at cool car!" And of course she had to have a photo next to it.

This was the first ride we waited in line for that she decided not to go on. Luckily we were only 1/4 of the way in, so getting out of line was easy. The worst one was waiting in line for the fairly new roller coaster- Wicked. We got all the way to the ride- up some stairs even, before she freaked out and said "Me scared! Me no go! Me no go! Me noooo goooo!" and tried to run back down the people filled staircase. If have even been behind Loo-loo on a staircase, then you know that she takes up the whole thing whist going down, and also takes about 3 times longer than you do to get down. So that was not an option. I got her calmed down, and had her exit the ride and wait for me- cause I was not waiting in line for 45 minutes for nothing. It was fun- but I was very glad she didn't go. It was waaay too rough for her.

(Loo-loo has metal rods on either side of her spine, so she has limited movement in her back, an does not do well in bumpy or jerky situations.)

The Screamer. She went twice. All by herself. I went too- it's one of my fav's. When we were little my brother and I would go on this as many times as we could- and we would always ride together. So I was a little sad when she didn't want to go with me. And I was so worried about her the first time- I forgot just how fun that ride is!

Ahhh- The Swings. Another fav- for both of us.

Loo-loo loved all the photo op's.

"You take a picture of me?"

Waiting in line.

The Carousel.

The Paratrooper. As soon as we got in the air, Loo-loo freaked out. She started screaming "Stop the ride! I want down!" I guess she is afraid of heights- which surprises me that she likes the swings so much. Maybe it was nighttime that made her fear come out.

Does anyone else hate the sound of their voice on videos? Me too.

The Space Scrambler. The first time we went together- and she squished into me. So when she wanted to go again- I let her go alone. She loved every screaming second.

She desperately wanted to go on the bumper cars- but that ride would have hurt her back. So we watched instead. Loo-loo laughed and laughed...

She really wanted to play games...but those things are fixed. So I let her play in the arcade instead. Waaay less money spent, almost the same lame prizes to be won.

She got some glow in the dark vampire teeth and a plastic lizard with her tickets.

The huge piles of pumpkins at the entrance were much more impressive at night- all lit up.

We had a wonderful day. When I took her home, she said to me "Thanks, I had lots of fun!"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

october rag-a-muffin boutique

Iris kitty. Aprons. Little Baby Pillows.
Bibs and Kitty Pillows. Skeleton Costume. Watermelon Costume.
Display. Nala and the Kitty Pillows. Hazel.

Our 2 day boutique went very well! We still have a lot of stuff left over (because I have been making a ridiculous amount stuff over the last 6 months.) Heehe. We have some new holiday inspired ideas, so we will be having another one in late November/early December.

*Uh, apparently I forgot to push publish last week when I meant to post this. Win some, lose some, right?

Friday, October 8, 2010

en route

I am a horrible navigator.

I learned this the semi hard way on our 10 trip. I say semi because my husband really is a patient man, and only gets a little bit grouchy at me when I tell him the wrong way to go.

me: "It says go left at the next intersection."

him: "I can't go left!!!"

me: "Well, that's what it says!"

him: "Where do I go?!!"

me: "I don't know!"

him: "I don't know either!" (pulls over and rips the iPhone out of my hands, figures it out, and turns around.)

We started the trip with my 1st gen iPhone. After 5 days, many mistakes and a few angry silences between us, Danny drove us to the nearest AT&T store to get the new iPhone 4 with real GPS and 3G. (The 1st gen only had approx. GPS, which Danny presumed was the root of my horrible navigation skills.)


While having the new phone made finding the right way faster, I still messed up and got us lost resulting in even angrier silences and a tad bit more grouchiness. Not to mention that syncing the new phone up with my old one caused major problems. We were left without a phone of any kind for about half a day- Danny's phone was dead, because I apparently did not pack his phone charger, and neither iPhone had service. Danny finally just reset the phone, which worked. (We are such pathetic slaves to technology! WTF?)

So I really am a horrible navigator. Even with the best and most expensive tech in my hands. Part of it is Google maps fault though- I would make the mistake of searching for the business's name, and then following the directions to who knows where. Oops. You have to type in the actual address to get it right.

Lesson learned, although I don't think we will be taking another road trip anytime soon. And yes, I am the Luckiest Girl In The World, because I got the new iPhone in the middle of the most amazing vacation ever. Talk about the cherry on top. My husband is the bestest.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

please mr. postman

I used to have beautiful handwriting. I got gold stars and smiley faces from all of my teachers for my penmanship. In 5th grade, we learned calligraphy. With the special pens and all. Again, I received good marks. Then in high school I started to mix my upper and lowercase to make my handwriting "cool." I was never required to write in cursive, so now I can't remember how. My signature is just a bunch of sloppy scribbles that don't resemble letters. In fact, today at the fabric store the lady laughed when she saw me sign my receipt.

One day, Danny and I were in Ikea. I was on the hunt for those tiny pencils and some paper to write some names and numbers of products down so that when we got to the warehouse, we could find it. He looks at me with that look. "Why don't cha just use your iPhone? It has a notes thing, right?" Yes. And I have been hooked ever since.

One night as I was trying to fall asleep, I was thinking about how much I don't write anymore. You know, with a pencil and paper. My handwriting has gotten so bad, I can hardly even write a card for anyone without it falling apart after 3 sentences. It's pathetic. So I was thinking: (in my random-worry-about-stuff-that-does-not-matter-way) "will our kids ever even write in school? They will probably use computers and keyboards for everything by then. So what happens if when they grown up, and technology crashes, and we have to live in the center of the earth, and scratch messages to each other in the dirt to communicate with one another? Will they be able to do it? Will they know how to hold a pencil? Or will they be stuck not being able to communicate in one of the simplest forms- all due to technology spoiling them?" And on, and so forth, my imagination goes and goes...

So weeks later on our trip, as we were driving through the Shasta National Forest, my husband and I were chatting about living as nomads in an RV. Me with my sewing machine, and he with his laptop, working for ourselves as we roam the country. (can you imagine? haha!) So I told him my worries about kids that won't be able to write. Again, he gave me that look. He is not worried. He thinks A: it will never happen, and B: our kids would adapt just fine. Okay, okay. Whatever.

Then in Portland, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. I read somewhere that going there was like going to the offices of Design*Sponge - tons of amazing little art ideas to use in your home and whatnot. Didn't really find that, but Danny did find this:

Test Your Penmanship

"If modern society were tested on penmanship skills, it would receive poor marks.

However, it simply cannot be blamed on technology advancement alone. Penmanship was already in steep decline when the computer arrived. One can see evidence of the shifting legibility of penmanship in the period of correspondence highlighted in this exhibition. It is a dying art."

A desk is set with lined paper, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and examples of how to write the alphabet. There is also a stack of memo's, while you were out slips, artists notes, to do lists, etc. spanning many decades. Such fancy lettering- the kind I have only seen as text in computer programs. In the center of the desk is a stack of paper that guests of the museum have written on. I read through a dozen or so- amazing what people will write for all to see. And all ages- some had LOL's and OMG's, some had smiley faces. Some had school teacher writing- perfect cursive that is perfectly legible.

Your Mom. Yes, we have come so far. Hilarious though.

I wrote about my worries. Seeing as how I am so used to writing for all to see, well typing words for all to see, I am not afraid to actually write them down either. I won't lie. It wasn't pretty, it hurt, and I had to take 3 breaks. Pathetic.

I was inspired. I have had this tiny nagging notion that I should improve my handwriting for years- I bought a ton of lined paper and special pens. That are still in their packages. In a closet. Somewhere in my house. But baking and sewing have taken up all my time. But I don't need special pens. Just a pencil will do. I really am going to do it this time. I am going to practice.

The next exhibit was about letters and such. I wrote myself a letter. I hope it gets here soon. I love stationary- in fact, I collect it. I have had a drawer full of cute little packages of paper and envelopes, stickers and notes, begging to be opened and sent off. But I never write letters, my handwriting sucks, and I have nothing to say.

Actually, I think I do have things to say. As I practice my new handwriting, I am going to write letters. Snail mail, if you will. Short and sweet, so I won't sweat the hand cramps. I wrote the Loo-loo a letter while we were away. I decided to write really big so that she could read it all by herself. It was tough being away on a Tuesday- our day. So I told her what we did that day, and that I missed her, and that we could go and get a refilled on our next Tuesday together.

When the letter arrived, I got a text from my mom. "Lindsay loved her letter. She jumped up and down screaming." I am always so busy looking in every gift shop for the perfect present for her, and all I really need to do is write her a letter. Jumping up and down? Yes please.

My very favorite blog to read right now is Pacing the Panic Room. He had an idea a bit ago about having a care package exchange program. Read it here, and if someone indeed does do it, sign me up! Care packages need carefully handwritten notes. And I will be ready.

How about you? Wanna join me in this little challenge? Wanna be my penpal? Email me your info! jessica (at) ragamuffin-baby (dot com)

Lets give this dying art some new breath.

Friday, October 1, 2010

the great northern: seattle, goats & home

Portland to Seattle. 3 hours. It was a beautiful sunny day. As we checked into our hotel, we happily noticed that we were conveniently across the street from the Seattle Public Library. Yea! So it was our first stop.

The elevator at our hotel was ancient- an Otis, a company that has been making elevators since 1853. A little knowledge I picked up on our Underground Tour.

The Seattle Public Library was re-designed in 2004 by Rem Koolhaas. It's a huge, amazing public space.

The way the stacks are laid out so perfectly, I could spend days in that place...

Then, on our way to pike place, we passed the Seattle Art Museum- so we changed our plans and went there instead.

This was an installation of cars- from the ground to the high ceiling, twisting through the air, then landing safely on the other side of the museum.

Granny panties.

This is made out of dog tags. It's very impressive.

We liked the rocking chairs in the store.


I love Seattle. I love walking through the city....

On the Underground Tour we learned all about how Seattle was built- in a very ass-backwards way. Anyway, this was one of the original "Crappers" You know that story, right?

And here is a much fancier example.

After a lovely walk back to our hotel, we zonked in our comfy hotel room. The next day we headed for our lost destination- Pike Place market.

Pouring rain, just like the Seattle I remember so fondly. Men throwing fish, such beautiful flowers, and so many of them! Freshly roasted nuts, local honey & produce, silly t-shirts, crafts and crazy people.

I got a cappuccino from the first Seattle's Best Coffee shop in Post Alley.

Danny got some clam chowder and a crab sandwich from the busiest little cafe in the place. He said it was fantastic.

We grabbed some apples on the way back to the hotel, but of course I made Danny stop at h&m cause it was on the way.

Then we drove to the St. Ignatius chapel. My architect friend recommended that we stop by.

It was a nice quiet break from the rainy streets.

The chapel was a little funny looking on the outside, but inside you immediately understood why- the whole place was lit with natural light. It was beautiful.

Seattle to Snoqualmie. 45 minutes. Why did we go to there? Well. If you read this blog, then you know that I am a huge Twin Peaks fan. Part of our plan for our vacation in the great northwest was to visit some of the sites where the show was filmed.

Our first stop was the huge waterfall behind the Salish Lodge. It was used in the intro to the show and served as the facade of the Great Northern Hotel, where a lot of the show takes place. anyway. Here it is.

They are a lot bigger, taller, etc than they look in the show. That's not fog in the photo- it's mist from the powerful falls. Don't mind the cranes. They are rebuilding the hydroelectric part of the falls.

On this trip, I have successfully gotten Danny interested in using the camera. Whoop whoop!

We passed by an old train yard- and guess what I learned?

Danny loves trains. Look at the photos he took...

And the photos of my butt continue...

Then we ate dinner at the Double R Diner (aka Twede's). They are famous for their cherry pie and coffee. It's said that David Lynch (the shows creator) ate there while scouting out locations, and that he loved the pie and coffee so much, that the diner is used in the pilot episode. He then had a set built that looked identical to it for filming the rest of the show.

And that cherry pie. Let me tell you. Holy freaking most delicious best pie I have ever eaten. Really. So much so, we brought a whole one home. Mmmm.

The Old Hen Inn b&b we stayed at was incredible. We will be going back. as often as I can talk Danny into going the distance. It's fairly new- opened about 2 years ago. The family lives above the garage, and they have converted thier home into a beautiful 3 room b&b.

Deanna is a gourmet cook- the breakfast she made us was unbelievable. I hate quiche. I ate almost every bite of hers. I also don't like pastries- bear claws, danishes, etc. I ate every mouthwatering bite of her fresh pastry with almond filling and plenty of frosting. fresh raspberry juice, ice water in charming ball jars. along with the most delicious vanilla yogurt parfait- it tasted like creme brulee, not yogurt. can i just eat breakfast at her table every morning? I think i might even be able to wake up at a decent hour!

They even have temperpedic mattresses in thier beds. So comfy. Sleeping in the Washington countryside with the rain lulling us to sleep was amazing.

After breakfast, I donned some rainboots and we played with the pygmy goats and chickens.

These guys were hilarious!

After walking by the river, we slowly drove away, soaking in the lush landscape.

Snoqualmie to Boise. 8 hours. Ugly boring drive, again. It made leaving that beautiful paradise even more sad. But Boise was nice. Growing up in Utah all my life, I have heard the full range of Idaho jokes.

Truth be told, I think that Boise just may be a cooler city than Salt Lake. We were delighted to find a triple d's diner in Boise- the Westside Drive In. Home of the $15 prime rib weekends and the ice cream baked potato. They were out of prime rib, but still had some for a sandwich. So Danny had a prime rib dip, and I had a monte cristo sandwich. Delicious. We shared a small chocolate malt, that happened to be the best one I have ever had (is there a food pattern here?) So as we were leaving, we ordered another one.

Boise to home. 5 hours. Why is the drive home always the longest, even if it's not that long?

We were ready to come home- being out of our routines for 10 days was enough for us- but when we got home I was a little sad. So happy to see my kitties, to cuddle them and hear thier meows and puuurrrs.

But I still can't wait to go back!

And I am scared to step on that scale to see just how much weight I have gained on this adventure. It was so worth it!