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"How I Live" Archive

New Digs/100th Postaversary

Monday, February 12th, 2007

housewarm1.jpgWelcome to my new home! In celebration of my new home and my 100th Postaversary, I will have a drawing for this darling Japanese quilty-craft book appropriately titled “House”. On Saturday (2-17-07) Friday (2-16-07) I’ll draw a name from a comment left on this post for this darling book I got at Kinokuniya in Beaverton, OR. I want to thank you all for the wonderful comments you left on the Bloggy Love Drug post. I had no idea my jar would be filled with so much BLD! You guys are GREAT and THIS IS WHY I blog - because of you!

housewarm2.jpgIt was time to kiss the “B word” (Blogger) good-bye and hello to WordPress.com (I’m actually using WordPress.org)! Moving over was a snap, but re-hacking all my hacks was a chore and a half. I hope this will be an end to all the problems I had with Blogger. I still have a few glitches here and there with font size and color… and a few little tweaky tweaks that need to be done… but I think I’m good to go! Some of the posts and comments didn’t move over that well. The dates are whacky and your names are not linked with your blogs (I’m still working on trying to fix that). I’m just glad I was able to transfer everything over (another gold star for WordPress). All new comments should be fine (typing with my fingers crossed).

I’m hoping making a comment will be a breeze now. No more word verification here. Though… the first time you comment your post will be held for moderation. Once your first comment is approved, you’ll be free to post comments with no moderation or word verification. Easy cheezy, eh! This is not to have you wait in line for the bouncer to let you in… it’s to keep the rif-raf spammers out.

I have a favor… if you spot anything out of whack, please don’t hesitate to mention it! Especially you PC users, as I have no idea how everything is functioning and looking on a non-Mac computer. I appreciate it so much!

Welcome to my new home and thank you for visiting! Putting your feet on the coffee table is allowed and encouraged! - Monica
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Atomic Aqua Potty

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Last summer my friend Karen and I went down to Asilomar to attend The Artist’s Way for Quilters. One of our assignments was to “go out” and get inspired (for lack of better wording). I was just in the beginning stages of my aqua obsession, so I was snap happy with my camera capturing all things aqua in and around Pacific Grove. All was humming along… Karen was seeing/finding her inspirations… and then lighting struck when I saw the Atomic Aqua Potty. There it was, all hooked up with electricity shining like a beacon in the night waiting for me. I loved how the orange fencing looked like a patch of poppies planted in front of this little man-cottage. Red and aqua is my thing… but I like orange and aqua too (Karen’s thing).

Now I know this little man-cottage is not really juiced up with electricity, and that the aqua potty is just being used as a “post” for the electrical thing-a-ma-bob. BUT… being that I’m estrogenly inclined, I can’t help but believe that this aqua potty actually IS juiced up. I imagine there’s a TV in there set to ESPN, a DVD player, a satellite box (and of course a half dozen remotes), a boom box, a kegorator, a microwave, a small fridge filled with Hot Pockets and a reading lamp for the small library of SI and Maxim. Ok… I’m being sexist. So for the sake of not being offensive to all men, let’s just say SOME men.

So now I’ve become so enamored with this Atomic Aqua Potty, I’ve been designing in my head an Atomic Aqua Potty quilt since last September. I actually have not gotten much past my title and inspiration… but it will come to me.

The Realm of Unreality

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

I’m neat, I’m tidy, I’m organized… I’m full of crap. I’m exposing myself in the hopes my public humiliation will bring about change. THIS is my reality. Stacks, piles, notes, more stacks, more piles… and then there’s the disorganization in my head too. What was I doing? Where am I walking too? What was I gonna get?

As you can see in the photo, I have totes and bins, ready to be filled and tucked neatly away. But sigh, I’ve just stacked those into piles as well. My studio/office is just shy of being 10′x10′. I can use the lack of size as an excuse, but the gist of it is, is that if my space was 100′x100′… my mess would only be bigger.

I recently redid my studio/office. I (read: my DH) hung white cupboards and base cabinets with a counter also. The walls I painted this soft, soft pink (they used to be a light butter yellow). All my treasures were parading neatly on little shelves. My fabric stash cozy in the cupboards away from sunlight (now THAT’S funny… sunlight, in Oregon!). So what happened? I don’t know! I’m going to point a finger at the pink paint. Just because.

Yesterday I picked up more cabinets at Lowes and I’m filling them with skinny shelving so I can have 10 or 12 shelves to make my piles in/on. I’m hoping this is the ticket and I’ll soon have the neat and tidy space I dream of. When I’m at my computer, my back is to the mess. By having this photo on my blog I can’t escape it. Plus it’s helping motive me to get off the computer and get crackalackin on the studio/office redo. BTW… no longer a studio/office (I’m tired of saying that)… it’s officially now a STUFFICE! Stephen Colbert’s not the only one who can make up words!

Happy Meal

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

I’m having one of those “sigh… I love blogging” moments today. So I’m cruising around Blogland this afternoon, seeing everyones photos and reading wonderful little tid-bits of their lives. I thought to myself how awesome it is that bloggers like to show morsels of their lives, stopping for a moment to snap a photo to share. Where once there was just life going on, now thanks to blogging life just stops for an instant with the opening and closing of the shutter and we truly stop to smell the roses.

Maybe it happens outside the gates of Blogland? I do not know. I do know that I catch myself seeing things in a new way now that I want to capture the moment for my blog. I catch myself saying, “FREEZE… this is for my blog”. My son even says things to me like, “Don’t you want to take a picture of that for your blog?”. In reality only 1% of things I snap end up on my blog or I end up writing about. It’s just the mere fact that I’ve stopped (like the Road Runner putting on the brakes with his feet) for those few seconds to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of an otherwise ordinary moment. For months I’ve been trying to figure out just how it is that blogging changed my life (aside from the wonderful sister friends I’ve made). And today I had this realization!

You may find my Happy Meal weird, or boring, or that I’m koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs… but for a few seconds while I snapped the photo of my Beckmann’s German Farm Bread and Saag’s German Bologna (Best Lunch Ever)… I experienced the extraordinary beauty of an ordinary moment. And that my friends is what I call “The Bloggers O”!

6 Weird Things About Me Meme

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I got tagged by Raesha with the 6 Weird Things About Me meme. I’m supposed to write six weird things about me. The problem is narrowing it down to six, so here goes!

1) I eat my fries with mayo. If you’re German and reading this… it’s not so weird.

2) When I buy fabric yardage, especially fat quarters… I refold them so you can’t see the raw edges. I also like all my FQ’s to be folded the same way, into a neat little chubby folded pillow of cotton delight. Is this weird or anal? Don’t answer.

3) I like to pull the little “pills” off fabric and roll em around my fingers. I’m sure it’s some weird Freudian thing that dates back to babyhood. Ok…. That’s REALLY weird. It’s how I live.

4) I can’t just sit. Sitting and doing nothing, for example watching TV. I have to be doing something with my hands at all times (I’m guessing this is how #3 fits into my life). Quilting, embroidering, appliquéing, etc. It’s why I don’t like going to the movies. And to my English teacher Mrs. Nuccio at Foothill Intermediate in Walnut Creek… way back in the stoneage of 1975ish… you sent me to the office for not sitting still and playing with some elastic band I had from sewing (home ec). You said one day I’d grow up and be a well behaved young lady and sit still. I’m still waiting. Oh, and Mrs. N… I had a cigarette on the way to the office.

5) I can’t sleep on an airplane. Too many conversations to eavesdrop on! And what if I miss the food service while sleeping?!

6) I can’t drive my car without toting along a cup of coffee. I also never get lost while driving. I have this internal TomTom I’m equipped with. I may forget why I’m going there… but I know how to get there.

The F-word

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

No… not THAT F-word… the one that’s far worse. Way worse. Fear. So this post about fear evolved after reading Jackie’s BEAUTIFUL post called New Beginnings (BTW… it’s THE Best New Year’s Post Ever). It was as if Jackie wrote it for me and put into words the beehive of jumbled thoughts swirling around in my head. Yes… a light bulb moment for me!

I’ve already taken the steps last year to put aside fear and take some plunges. Some steps resulted in success (you’ll have to wait until summer to find out! Hint, hint… at your newsstand!), and some not. I had some steps that ended at a dead end (rejection), and you know what… it was NO big deal! The fear of rejection is by FAR worse then the actual rejection and I honestly can’t remember what was even rejected.

Sometimes I have fear when I blog my “Sew & Tell” that I’m bragging. I get that little voice in my head (and she sounds just like Courtney Love BTW) who says, “It sounds like you’re bragging”. Yet I tell myself over and over how much I enjoy other bloggers who share… why be so stubborn with my sharing? The Courtney Love voice nags me over on the other shoulder, “Do it, do it… people want to see your creations like you want to see their creations”. What if nobody shared? How awful that would be and how dull the Crafty Blogging world would be! I love blogging and have made many new friends blogging. I don’t want fear to be a part of something I love so much and I have taken a vow to kill the fear. RIP fear. You are dead to me.

So my message is to you my friends, you know who you are. You’re the ones who fear of having a blog, or even leaving comments. Yes… it’s not only ok to comment of people’s blogs… it’s welcomed! And if the Courtney Love voice is saying to you that you have nothing to write about or you don’t have time or no one’s going to read it… well she’s full of crap and she’s got a hypodermic needle filled with liquid fear waiting to inject you with it. Just say no.

Thank you for the new mantra Jackie and Happy New Beginnings to you all!


Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Merry Belated Christmas! Normal is slowly coming back to Casa de Zombie. My folks headed back home to Walnut Creek the Day After and I headed into a funk. Not even the Macy*s ad cheered me up. Five days of eating, lounging, laughing and then be thrust back into to-do’s and must-do’s (aka adulthood)… bummer. What’s a girl to do… go shopping! Oh no, not clothes… not shoes… but cheese! We took a trip to The World’s Largest Costco (Hillsboro, OR) and I loaded up on cheese, cheese, & cheese and we topped it off with a trip to Red Robin (mmmmm… Bonzai Burgers and endless fries!).

So much to blog about, so many photos to take and show… but that’s going to have to wait. I miss my daily bloggy visits, but I see it just around the corner (ahem… when DS goes back to school and DH goes back to work!).

Happy New Year my bloggy friends!

UPDATE: A (swiped) sample of my new door, just for you PKM! Please don’t be pea green with envy, as my door is going to be black (BTW… I recolored the photo pea green just for you PKM)! In the glass part it’s the black do-hickey thingamagig stuff… made too look like wrought iron. It was love at first sight.

No crowds in Costco either! It was spooky. Was there an evacuation notice we didn’t know about??? The only crowd at Costco was at the snack bar… which was a major bummer because I wanted a Twisted Churro (double the price, double the calories, double the Churrolishousness!)

Christmas Meme

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

I would love to read your Christmas Meme and hope you will leave a comment with your blog’s meme link. Also take a look at PAMKITTYMORNING’s… it’s a riot!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee, hands down #1 24/7/365. I do love equally egg nog, chai, hot cocoa, hot apple cider and that hot German wine my mom makes. I’m not picky… just don’t take my coffee away.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I don’t know what’s been up with Santa these last few years. He puts the wrapped gifts under the tree, but he’s just not as neat and tidy as he was in years past (I think he’s been having trouble bending, arthritis I’m sure). Santa does however have great taste in wrapping paper and it always seems to match my decor! I’m hoping this year he uses that nice red & aqua stipe wrap from Target.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White! Or as the box says… “clear”. I like simple white lights that looks like little winter fairies sneezed and got fairy snot all over. I’m so not into the icecycle lights, unless it’s on a roof with a nice steep roof line and every inch of the roofline is adorned. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a Christmas Light Cop and issuing tickets to bad taste violators.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I hang an X-Rated DVD. I kid. We keep those in The Special Drawer. Ok, I kid, I kid. Or am I? Anyhoo… I don’t hang Mistletoe because I’ve always heard how poisiness it is. I don’t know if that’s true… but I avoid it because of the dogs.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
I try for after Thanksgiving, but that NEVER happens. I have a hard time putting away my Autumn-ween stuff. Usually about 3 weeks before Christmas and down the day after New Years. My Christmas dec is a pretty big deal, so it takes awhile. I love it… but I have to dedicate an entire day to it.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Roasted duck, especially the crispy skin seconds it comes out of the oven. My mom and I both love this. My mom always made roasted duck, and as soon as I was on my own… I carried the tradition on.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
A Christmas in Acapulco and I was so worried Santa would not know where I was or how to find me. I left him a note back at home and of course he found me and I was so thrilled!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
When I noticed Santa’s handwriting was just like my mom’s and he used the same wrapping paper as her. A lesson I learned when it came to my own kids gifts from Santa.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We were always allowed to open one, and my mom would pick it for us. Now as an adult, my parents give me “pre-Christmas” gifts (which doesn’t necessarily fall on any certain day). Unwrapped, just goodies to celebrate the season. My kids get to open one on Christmas Eve… which of course I pick out!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
It’s very German. Lots of red and white and straw. It could look Swedish too I guess. It’s how I do the entire house.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Oh gawd… the S Word. I told myself I was not going to mention snow again for a while… but of course… I love it!

12. Can you ice skate?
@#$!%!… I have trouble putting shoes on let alone skates! So, no.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The favorite gift was the one DH and I gave one year. We knew of a family in Guam who lost everything in a typhoon (Paka) and anonymously (with the help of an ombudsman) we sent them a tree, the trimmings and a few gifts. DH and I decided not to give each other gifts so we could focu$ on that family. We did it anonymously because we wanted the family to know it was from the heart and for no other reason.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Family, friends, festivities and the focus on doing kind things for others.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Hmmm… not that into sweets. I would say Baked Brie with brown sugar and pecans.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Lounging all day with my family. One big relaxing pajamapalooza with lots of food, football and basketball (the latter two on the TV of course).

17. What tops your tree?
A Star of David made out of straw. Seriously.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Giving! Totally! I wish I could be Oprah Claus!!!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Let is Snow (Dean Martin), Blue Christmas (Elvis). I love Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and all my Hawaiian Christmas CD’s.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Just not into them. I do like the way they look though! One thing I loved as a kid was those Life Saver books. No candy canes in my childhood, we always had REAL gummi bears from Germany and to this day I still stuff them in our stockings.

So… How’s the weather?

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

After seven years of living up here, it never stops amazing me how big the weather is up here on the Oregon (and SW Wash.) coast. Wind, wind, wind… rain, rain, rain… more wind… more rain! Today I caught a quick glimpse of that shinny stuff… oh what’s it called… I just can’t think of the word… OH YES… it’s called SUNSHINE! It lasted a glorious 5 minutes. If it rains any more, I’m sure Anderson Cooper will be here at any moment!

What started off as exciting wind, turned to a giant salad shooter of leaves. I feel like I’ve been living inside of a Cuisinart the last few days. It sure is pretty and a lot easier then shoveling snow (so I’m told). It looks like New Year’s Day morning in Hawai’i, just that it’s green, yellow and brown… instead of red.
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In Minnesota they scrape snow and ice of the cars… here it’s leaves. This is DS2 de-leaving my car.
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In Minnesota they use snowplows to clear the roads of snow and ice… here they use snowplows to clear the roads of sand, logs and rocks. Thank you WSDOT for clearing US 101 for us!
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DS took these photos on the 101 just before the tunnel heading into Chinook, WA. It was so cool at the time… until what is now photo #3 gave us a good soaking.
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Just above the tunnel sits Fort Columbia. I know very little about Fort Columbia except that it’s beautiful and worth taking a drive through it if you’re ever traveling on the 101 on the Long Beach Peninsula (and maybe even have a picnic there). Fort Columbia is about 10-15 minutes and across the river from Astoria. I love how this photo turned out… so very Goonie-ish.
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Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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