Sunday, February 28, 2010

Remodel Me Shopping Trips - A Few of My Favorite Things

One of the fun things with having a "remodel me" goal was I got to go shopping for my improvement items. How fun is that!?

Here's a few of the things I picked up.
Tunic from Lane Bryant. It's a darker red than it shows.

Found this top at TJ Maxx. Love the hematite beading.

Picked this up at Lane Bryant. The diet is working!

Needed something cute to wear with jeans.

My old Birks were one of the shoe pairs that hit the trash. Too beat up. This is their replacement.

Another replacement. I tossed my beloved black slip-ons this fall. All the shoes are from TJ Maxx.

I was just TIRED of my 2 casual black purses, so I replaced them with this one. Again... TJ Maxx.

Ahhh... my syrups for my Eiro shakes. Most of them I get at Home Goods, tho I've found good ones at World Market too. I have Almond, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Honey Vanilla and Cherry.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Accessories from My Travels

Now that I have my clothes and shoes in order, it was time to look at my accessories. Even tho I have some lovely pieces I just didn't use them very often. Guess I didn't need them with my T shirt, jeans and Nikes. So it was time to pull all that out too.

I quickly noticed most of my accessories are things I've picked up when I travel. In thinking about it I realize when I travel I feel more saucy. Likewise I am attracted to the vibrant "pretties" I see in the various cultures. Every one of them has a memory attached. It is time to start using them!

*Silver necklace from Natchez, MS. Mom and I went on a week plus some "Chick Trip" down the Natchez Trace. In Natchez we stayed in a casino hotel - great rates, cheap food over at the casino and free tokens to use in the casino. I bought this necklace using the money I won during our stay. Can't beat free jewelry!
*Raku pine sprig pendent from Austin, MN. Himself has family in Austin and we visit there each fall. There is a great local art gallery in the mall. The prices are unbelievable and the work excellent.
*Art glass pendent from Lynch, KY. This piece was made by a glass artist and was donated to a mission organization to sell in their gift shop. I went on multiple mission trips to this coal mining town and always picked up some sort of art glass as a memento.
*Zuni fetish bead necklace. One year Himself and I took a 5 week road trip thru the SW United States. This necklace was from a Native American shop.
*Beadwork necklace from Austin, MN. Another example of the lovely artists in Austin.
*Maasai bracelets. We sponsor a Maasai boy through Compassion and when we visited him, I was given these bracelets as a gift.
*Rings. The lower ring was made at the Kazuri bead shop, a women's self help organization. The upper ring is made from cow's horn. I picked it up in a street market.
*Bead necklace (far right). Purchased from a vendor at Fourteen Falls. It's made of seeds from the "Jacob's Tears" plant. Not only did I get a cool necklace, I got a great photo of the vendor too.
*Dyed bone beads (far left). Himself bought this for me at Amboseli.
*Maasai seed beads. This necklace is long and heavy. It easily wraps double. It must have taken the lady forever to string all those tiny, tiny beads.
*Copper ankle band. More street artistry.

These were all purchased in the Mercado in Addis Abeba.

*Malachite necklace from Dar Es Salaam.
*Black and white bracelet made from cow's horn. Done by a Maasai lady.
*Copper wire bracelet. Made by a street artist.

*Jade necklace from the Lake Atitlan region. Purchased from a formidable street vendor! -LOL-
*Jade ring.

*Silver necklace and pendent from Guanajuato. The last day (tourist day) of a mission trip. Best Friend and I were having a grand time shopping. We did pretty well on paring down our Christmas list that day. But this pretty pony stayed with me!

By way of Madison, WI - Nepal
Himself and I stopped in Madison on the way home from one of our trips to see his family. What a cool town. We found the walking street that is lined with local art studios, international shops, and international restaurants. One of the shops was a fair-trade shop with things from Nepal. Himself bought this scarf for me.

Made by ladies at the Nanyuki Weavers. This is another women's self-help group. This scarf was COMPLETELY made on the premises... from the raising of the sheep, shearing, dyeing the wool with natural plant dyes, spinning, and weaving. An amazing place.

Also from Guanajuato. Such a beautiful city - I really want to get back to it some day.
One of several scarves I bought in the markets of Debre Zeit and Addis Abeba. The selections were mind boggling. So beautiful.
I have even more accessories (more scarves and jewelry, purses, etc) but because I've never used them, they are put away containers in the shed. As I come across them when we organize out there this spring, I'll bring them in to add to my now-being-used collection!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cooking at Ingredients - It's All Greek!

Recently a fantastic culinary shop that opened up in Clarksville. It's called "Ingredients". They have started offering cooking classes. The first series was cake decorating (I think). Didn't pay much attention as I've already done that.

But this month they offered an international food series... Now THAT got my attention! There are 4 classes being offered: Italian, Mexican, Greek, and Polish. I immediately signed up for the first three. I can't take the 4th because it falls on the same night as my bonsai group meeting.

Tuesday night was Greek night. The class is demonstration and was very informative. The teacher prepared 3 recipes and brought another for tasting. There was eggplant spread, Greek salad & dressing, and spanakopita (spinach pie). It was sooo good! Much lighter in both texture and flavor than I've found in a lot of Greek restaurants. Ya know, sometimes you can just add too much stuff to a recipe. Then you lose the original goodness in the flavors.

If you are interested in the recipes, Monica has them posted on her blog site.

But here's one to whet your appetite!

Eggplant Spread
4 medium eggplants
1 clove, garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Bread or crackers for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Place the whole eggplant in oven. Bake 1 hour or until soft, turning occasionally. Remove when eggplant is soft and wrinkled. Let cool.

Remove the peel, cut in half and remove the seeds. Chop in a large bowl. Add garlic. Whisk slowly adding the oil and vinegar. Continue until both the oil and vinegar are completely blended.

Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving with bread or crackers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Seaglass Surprise in my Mailbox

In yesterday's mail I found a sweet surprise. A bundle of sea glass sent to me from Maine by Lili. Check out her fun blog at She and her husband are potters. They make beautiful Raku pots and pendants. Lili also makes wool felt purses that are just CUTE!
Wouldn't you love to open an envelope and find this in it?

And how did she know purple and green are my favorite colors?
Thank you so much for the gift Lili. You rock!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Closet Full of Clothes and Nothing to Wear

I've been in a clothing rut. It was easier to grab a plain T shirt out of my drawer than to figure out what I could wear out of my closet.

So one morning I took time to pull everything out of my closet and try them on. I was pleasantly surprised that a few things that had been a bit too snug were now fitting! As I hung things back up, I culled a few pieces that I know I am no longer interested in. Things that were a touch snug but will soon fit (Yippee!!) were hung to the back of the closet in a clothing bag. And the things I won't be in for a while have been put up in a tub to be stored until I drop a few more BMI points.

(BTW, those velvety hangers on the market now are fantastic. I very highly recommend them.)

So what remains in view are the things that fit, look good, and make me feel good.

The same was happening with my shoes. I would just slip on the old comfy Nikes instead of the other shoes in my closet. OK, now what's that telling me? For some reason I don't want to wear the others. Granted... a few are sandals/clogs and it's just too darn cold to be wearing those. But why not the other pairs?

So I put on each pair of shoes and wore them around the house as I did my normal routine. For the most part, it became apparent quickly why I had been shunning them.

If the fault was with my wide foot and not the shoe, I dropped them in a box to be donated to Soles 4 Souls If the shoe itself felt lousy...well, it just got dropped in the trash basket. What was left were shoes that fit well, look good, and made my feet feel good.

Like with the clothes, the reason I had not been using them is because I didn't know what worked and what didn't.

Problem solved!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Salud! at Whole Foods - Culinary Knife Skills class

Back in September for our anniversary "date day" Himself and I went to a culinary class at the Whole Foods store in Nashville (Green Hills). The class was one of the "value meal" classes on making lentil soup. It was great fun and I was hooked!!

Last Saturday I took another class through them. This one was on culinary knife skills. This has always fascinated me - how can they do slice-dice-chop like that without taking off a finger?!

We met at the bright and airy cooking classroom upstairs from the store. Each of the 12 students present had a packet of recipes, an apron, and waiting on us in the kitchen area - a chopping block full of veggies and an 8" chef's knife (we were also told to bring our own chef's knife if we had one).

I had just purchased a Swiss made 6" chef's knife in St. Louis, so that is what I brought. Isn't the color fun!? The store owner promised me it was indeed a serious knife and said to try it. If I didn't like it he would give me a full refund.
We practiced on a lot of vegetables that afternoon.

Then we broke into 4 teams and used what we had practiced on to make a meal for the whole class. The menu was Salad with Classic French Vinaigrette & Warm Goat Cheese Croutons, Old-Fashioned Vegetable Soup, "Escalope de Poulet Aux Champignons (Chicken with Mushrooms), and Molten Chocolate Cakes.

I was on "Team Chicken". In the preparations my contributions were slicing up more mushrooms, and then preparing the mushroom sauce.

Oh man it smelled so good!

Team Soup was busy with their area with stirring and simmering.

Team Salad had more chopping to do. The lettuce was beautiful.

There was a tray full of ingredients for the dressing.

We learned out to make an emulsion so the vinegar and oil don't separate.

The ramekins of chocolate cake batter were ready to go in the oven... soon as the croutons came out.

Then it was time to plate the meal.

Yes... it was GOOD!

The soup a meal in itself.

And the molten chocolate cake was pure bliss.

If you are interested in cooking, you might want to check to see if you have a Whole Foods store nearby that offers the cooking classes. Actually many nicer grocery stores have started offering classes. I know in the St Louis, MO area the Dierberg's chain offers interesting classes. It's worth looking into!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Personal Fuel Additives

In working on my "Remodel Me" goal for this month, besides my diet - one that concentrates more on portion control and healthy eating choices - I have also begun to take dietary supplements. I figured I'll accept whatever help I can get! What I am taking is based on my own research and I am NOT making any sort of recommendations to anyone. I believe a person should take a look at things themselves and make an informed decision as to what is right for them.

These are the supplements I personally am taking:

A basic multivitamin without iron (getting iron is not an issue for me - carnivore that I am). I personally think the RDA standards are low, so I take 2 tablets a day.

Glucosamine chondroitin - This has proven beneficial to Himself (who after 22 years jumping out of airplanes has more than his share of achy joints). I know it's beneficial because when he's taking it properly he complains a lot less about his knees! So I'm going to give it a try to see if it works for me. You see, some people it helps and some it doesn't. Kinda like Aspirin - Tylenol - Motrin. What works for one person might not for another.

Co Q-10 - Recommended for cardiac health. When you're overweight that is something that bears thinking about.

Chromium Picolinate - Thru experience I've found I drop weight off faster when I take this twice a day. It helps to metabolize sugars.

Fish oil AND flax oil - both are needed to get the recommended benefits. Fish oil has 2 of the omega-3 oils one needs and flax has a different one.

Vitamin E - First, one should buy the variety labeled "D" as it is much better. Good for the immune system.

Antioxidants in the form of "Eiro". It's the 'flagship' product of Eiro Research. (This is the company that makes the tasty weight loss shakes I've been using). It's a liquid product and one takes 1 oz a day. And it tastes pretty good. Kinda plum-not-quite-prune.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Note to "Tiger"

Your days of The Golden Boy are gone. You may play a mean game of golf but that's about all it seems you do well. Other than that, you're a self-centered control freak who is grasping to keep a house of cards from collapsing. The carefully manufactured persona in an elaborate role playing game has been exposed.

Your so-called press conference was such a sham. No... it was a SHAME. As in "shame on you".

Shame on you for timing it during the Olympics to take attention off of the competitors. It's been 2 and a half months of silence since your "accident". Couldn't you have kept you mouth shut for 10 more days?

Shame on you for staging such a contrived forum for your little press conference. Seriously!

Shame on you for even making an apology "to the world" for your infidelity. You're not that important. If you want to apologize to the world, apologize for dragging all this drama on for months and months by giving slow feeds to the media to keep it going.

Good-bye Eldrick Woods... you're no longer a tiger...

Friday, February 19, 2010

You have got to be kidding!!!

-------(CNN) -- There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, "I love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)" scrawled on the classroom desk with a green marker.

Alexa Gonzalez, an outgoing 12-year-old who likes to dance and draw, expected a lecture or maybe detention for her doodles earlier this month. Instead, the principal of the Junior High School in Forest Hills, New York, called police, and the seventh-grader was taken across the street to the police precinct.

Alexa's hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in front of teachers and -- the worst audience of all for a preadolescent girl -- her classmates. -------

When I read this news story on CNN my first thought was that the world truly is going ever-loving mad. Or more aptly... ever-loving STUPID.

Seriously here - how can anyone start in motion the action that ends with a 12 year old being cuffed and hauled to jail for writing on her school desk. If this ignorance had existed when I was in school my senior photo surely would have been a mug shot!

Why not just give the kid some Ajax and a scrub pad? Really ticked off at her? Let her scrub the whole classrooms desks after school. But don't freaking arrest her!!! The ones who need to be cuffed and hauled off are the administrators and school board who implimented this brainless policy. But I guess there isn't a zero tolerence policy in that district for being an idiot... just for being young and thoughtless. It's bad enough that kids have to defend themselves from bullies their own age. It's just too much when the system becomes the bully.

Things like this are why good teachers are exhausted (check out this blog by one of my favorite bloggers ). Some are even leaving public schools or teaching altogether. And things like this are why scared parents have started homeschooling or slashing their budgets to afford to put their children in private schools.

-------"There is zero intelligence when you start applying zero tolerance across the board," Clayton County, Georgia, juvenile court judge Steven Teske said. "Stupid and ridiculous things start happening."-------

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guest Blogger: Himself on Haiti

Himself writes a monthly column for his hometown newspaper. It's called "Rambling With 'D'". It's a bit of this and that, quite often observations he's made in his travels. In light of the January earthquake, his latest article is about something that he experienced when he was in Haiti years ago.


“To Care a Little”

I’m sitting in my clinic on a ship anchored near the island of ‘Atka’—part of the Aleutian Island chain. Looking out my porthole I see a world of mountains, snow and water. Oh—and a tree. This island has one visible tree. (One LOST tree!) Though pleasant enough to look at, this scene is a world away from what I am used to.

To help deal with the isolation, wife Teri keeps me up on ‘news from back home’. Her daily emails mention everything from her latest home project to local town happenings to world events. With no radio, TV, or Internet, I don’t hear much from ‘outside’. We do have a small printout of ‘news’, but it mainly deals with sports and finances. Few details. No pictures. Concerning the small bit of world news in it, I have to get clarification from Teri to understand its significance...or its scope.

I was going to write ‘Part Two’ of Russia this month, but with another area of the world in the news and on people’s hearts, I will pause on Russia one month to write about a place closer to us, but in a way even further. Haiti. From what I have heard thru Teri, it dominated the news for weeks. As it should have. You have seen what I haven’t—TV news flashes & newspaper articles galore. I have a single picture from an old newspaper someone brought aboard that was already a week old when it arrived. I cut out a picture of an elderly male nurse from America comforting a young Haitian woman who needed comfort. The picture is priceless. It reminds me to...pray.

I mentioned Haiti being ‘closer to us, yet further’. That is a comparison to other countries I have visited. I didn’t think that was possible until I went there for a month in 1995 as part of the UN Peacekeepers. Up until then I had been in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. I had see places that were poor—some because the actual available resources were scarce, and some because war had reduced the people’s very hearts to poverty. To almost no hope. (That is the worst type of poverty...) Haiti, though not in an actual war, was both. And ‘just a stone’s throw’ (so to speak), from our American shores. Until I went there, I didn’t know.

In the midst of tragedy seen on TV, yet another sad story isn’t what I have to share—but a story of comfort. And dignity. Of a Haitian woman who had little and was about to lose what little she had. Her name was Sonya, a 40-ish Haitian woman who was fortunate enough to get a job ‘as housekeeping’--cleaning our UN Peacekeeping tents & bathrooms daily. A thankless task in that sweltering heat, it was a job she did with efficiency & dignity. Finishing her daily tasks, she would give a quiet ‘thank you and goodbye’ before returning home that evening. Early next morning she started all over again. And at a rate of $7 per day, she was grateful.

I first noticed Sonya in a roundabout way. While working, I noticed she was ‘hiding something’ during her work—favoring her left arm. Turns out she had fallen two weeks earlier and cut her elbow. I didn’t notice at first because she covered up her injury for fear of losing her job. The military unit we replaced—in a hurry to leave--neglected to treat her. It got infected. Badly. By the time I noticed, losing her job was the lesser problem--I feared she would lose her arm below the joint. Being all Haitian workers had been ‘signed over’ to us from the other unit, I inquired what was to happen to her. I got the impression she would be released and another housekeeping woman brought in. Just like that.

It was incomprehensible to me that this could happen—to release an injured worker without even trying to help. To be ‘just left’ like that. What must she think? I admit I don’t understand the legalities, but there had to be something we could do for a worker who had so little, and nothing to fall back on. And now, knowing her name, Sonya wasn’t ‘just a worker’ anymore, she was...a person. A wife. A mom.

Without asking permission, I determined to treat her injury once a day. With no authorization for an anesthetic, I took a brush and scrubbed this deep wound while cringing. Sonya? She would occasionally wince, but outside of that, she was stone faced. Yet calm. I don’t know how she did it. But no matter—I scrubbed and scrapped and rinsed, giving her strong antibiotics at the end of each session while explaining things thru a translator. And I prayed.

Fearing the worst, in two weeks there was a remarkable turnaround--the deep wound seemed to clear and healing tissue started to fill in. By now Sonya’s hide had been punctured from injectable antibiotics and her diet included oral ones. Many bandages had been used--subtly, as this wasn’t supposed to be happening. Sonya, with impassive face, gazed off into the distance through it all.

Then I noticed a change. It was in her face. More—it was her eyes. As treatment came to an end, Sonya watched me wrap her elbow one last time, and then looked up to my face. In her eyes I saw...gratitude. It is like something else had been healed. Her faith. That someone noticed. That someone...cared.

Shortly after this I returned home to Tennessee. Before leaving I asked thru a translator if I could get my picture taken with Sonya. I found out Sonya’s English was better than she let on--at the mention of ‘photo’, Sonya’s hand whipped up to her head wrap as she exclaimed one word, “Oh!” Then I heard one other word—“Tomorrow!” Well, tomorrow came, and Sonya, even though it was her day off, showed up in the cleanest & whitest rough cotton dress you have ever seen. Her best. She also gave me a beautiful wooden mask her husband had carved. It was all she could give. She then stood next to me for our photo together—me smiling, she with that steady & dignified look of hers. But if you look carefully, you can see something else in her eyes.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be Mine?

I had a surprise in the mail today. A Valentines card from Himself! He had mailed it on the 8th, the day they docked in Akutan for a few hours. A week is good time from Akutan to Clarksville! (The mail goes out when the seaplanes can make it in. And it's been stormy lately.)

I love fishing floats! Himself has brought back one for me and always is on the lookout for more. So this card is just perfect! In fact, I'll be framing it to go in our bedroom. I think the artist has done a wonderful job catching the soft light on the floats.

"Beachcomber's Dream" by Bruce W. Nelson ( )

In our almost 29 years together, we shared very few Valentines Day together. When Himself was in the army it seemed Feb was always the month they were out in the desert. Now Feb is the middle of cod season and he's up in the Bering Sea. But in 2004 he was home - just back from working a year in Bosnia.

That Valentines Day I found myself kidnapped! That morning he ran a couple errands and then after lunch he came into the living room carrying our small suitcase. All he would tell me was that we were going somewhere.

We drove into Clarksville, turning into the Hachland Hills B&B. Hmmmm. This was owned by Phila Hach, a local chef celebrity. (I'd been here a couple times for a cooking contest I'd finaled in).

We drove past the 'main house' and down to a little cabin.

The "Honeymoon Cabin"...

Now I knew what his morning errands were! Inside the cabin were flowers, chocolates and a bottle of "bubbly" (sparkling grape juice).

He'd even brought along my beloved cat "Hanna". (No wonder she hadn't been causing in trouble that morning... she wasn't at home!!)

There was a fire blazing in the fireplace. That is where Hanna had stationed herself. She was no dumb kitty!

He had even brought marshmallows and roasting sticks.

And made tea for us from water boiled over the fire. That gives it a really interesting smoky flavor... good with black tea, better with Earl Grey.

Dinner that night and breakfast the next morning was up the hill at the Hachland Inn. It was prepared by "Ms. Phila" herself. It was so good!

Phila Hach

Monday, February 15, 2010

No Disney for me!

One of the blogs I follow had a posting about Disney shows called "Why Does Disney Hate Parents?" Oh that pushed some buttons on me.

I have always loathed Disney because of that... someone HAS to die (or be dead before the opening credits roll) for it to be a Disney. What sort of sick garbage is that?? (OK, it was pointed out that "101 Dalmatians" had both human and dog parents intact - but the whole show was based on the plan to MURDER the puppies. Great childhood memory, huh?).

My detesting of Disney reached a crescendo when I was 16. I was tasked to take my 5 year old sister to see "The Fox and The Hound". Opening credits - Mama Fox running with Baby Fox in her mouth. Hounds baying in the distance. I thought "Oh s***!" I look over at my sister. Kids aren't stupid...there were tears flowing down her cheeks already. I gathered my things to leave the theater but she wouldn't go. Refused. So there we sat. From Mama Fox dying off-screen to "Why can't we be friends anymore?"

When we left the theater it looked like I had been beating her. Tear streaked blotchy face. Swollen eyes. Bawling.

Must have been what my parents thought too because their first words as we came thru the door (she still sobbing) was "What have you done to her!?!"

My reply - "I am never taking her to another d*** Disney movie again!"

And I haven't.

My sister is now 36 and has a beautiful 6 month old daughter. And I will never take Hanna to a d*** Disney movie either!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MY snow list

They've gone and done it again!

The "S-word" has been uttered!

And wouldn't you know it, I needed to make a grocery stop to replenish from being out-of-town for a week. I'm beginning to think there is some sort of correlation between my being out of milk and white stuff falling from the sky.

Pulling into Wal-Mart's parking lot was a scary thing. First... it was parked up to the very end. Never a good thing. Second... people who were leaving the store were coming out with brimming buggys. Oh joy... So I started what the other cars were doing and became a land shark...cruising the parking lot looking for someplace that wouldn't require a 15 minute hike to reach the front door.

I think God took pity on my aching bones (have you ever noticed that older docs never say you can't tell the weather by your aches?) because I scored a parking spot just 5 spaces from the front door.

Joining the thundering herd going in the door, I glanced at some of the buggys in the checkout lines. Every one of them had at least 2 gallons of milk. That helped me to decide where to start... in the back of the store where the milk is. The clerks were filling the milk shelves almost as fast as they were empting and I snagged my 2 gallons (when in Rome...). Thankfully I didn't need or want anything in the next 3 jam-packed aisles... beer, toilet paper, diapers.

But that got me to thinking about what my "it's going to snow list" would look like. Definitely NOT the standard Clarksville sundries of milk-bread-beer-diapers-lunch meat-toilet paper.

No, I decided my list would look more like this:

*fixings for hot chocolate
*steaks to grill (what a hoot to grill while it's snowing!)
*a couple of fresh veggies to go with those steaks
*a can of sweetened condensed milk to make snow ice cream
*safflower seeds for the bird feeder to keep the sky rats out of it
*sweet feed for the deer to keep them out of the bird feeders

Now THAT'S a proper snow shopping list!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Movie Review: Crazy Heart

While visiting my family in Missouri we decided to see a movie. Possibilities were: "Dear John" (not this time), "From Paris with Love" (not in this lifetime!), and "Crazy Heart".

"Crazy Heart" has been cleaning up in the award circles for best music, with a lot of nominations too. And Jeff Bridges has won several awards: the Screen Actors Guild awards for best leading male, LA Film Critics best actor, Golden Globe for best actor in motion picture drama - to name a few. And he's been nominated for an Oscar.

With this kind of notice, we decided to see "Crazy Heart".

Good choice.

Jeff Bridges plays the lead roll of "Bad Blake", a country music performer/writer living on past glory in a downward spiral of hard drinking and hard living. His prodigy Tom Sweet (played surprisingly well by Colin Farrell) has hit the big time - a fact that adds to Bad's resentment of the world. But when Bad meets Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and her young son, he begins to see his situation is due to his choices... and that he can chose to change.

The music of "Crazy Heart" is fantastic (as the multiple awards and nominations attest). I'm sure Nashville is prepping for a resurgence of interest in country music. Bridge's "Bad Blake" had a definite feel (and look) of Waylon Jennings, which isn't surprising since The Outlaw could have been an inspiration for the character. Both Bridges and Farrell did their own vocals and did a very nice job with them.

I like a movie that doesn't leave you feeling depressed and hopeless. If I wanted to feel cruddy, I'd just turn on CNN. I want to feel better when I leave the theater...not worse. I want a movie that moves along. A movie that I can't tell you how it's going to end after seeing the first 15 minutes. "Crazy Heart" covered all those bases.

When it comes out on DVD... I'll be buying it!

BTW - I hope that Jeff Bridges gets the Oscar for this one. He deserves it. Smashing performance!

Friday, February 12, 2010


In my "remodel me" goal, looking good when I go out is part of the plan. For years I'm worn minimum make up because I just didn't feel like taking the time to do it or even to learn to apply it well. Eyes and lip gloss was all I bothered with.

A few years ago my sis introduced me to bareMinerals make-up. At the time, it was just about the only mineral based powder make up commonly on the market. What interested me was that she said it was easy to use, didn't have a lot of additives, felt light on your skin, and was easy to use. Did I mention she said it was easy to use? :-D

So we went to the boutique that sells it and had a make over. It did seem to be something I'd like, so I bought a start-up assortment.

And it went in my drawer. There it has sat for at least 2 years.

So the beginning of the month I pulled it all out. The seals hadn't even been broken. And I couldn't remember what each product was and what to do with it. -SIGH- Fortunately the web site has videos on how to use it. So here I am... sitting in front of the computer (which isn't so bad because the light is great) with the "how to" video playing and the make-up mirror next to me... trying to figure this out.

Round One took me over an hour to finish my face. But it looked pretty good.

In the 2 weeks I've been using it (every time I go out) I've got it down to about 10 minutes to apply. Not bad. I suspect as I become more comfortable with it I'll become even quicker.

So here's my opinion of bareMinerals--

The Good:

*Easy to blend. Even with my inexperience I'm not having a problem with "make-up mask".

*Covers my dark circles and uneven skin tones well.

*Stays on well enough.

*Natural looking.

The Bad:

*Seems to accent fine lines in my skin. I'm working with facial moisturizers to see if I can work out this issue.

*It's NOT water proof. If it's going to rain... you'd better have a compact to touch it up!!!

All told... I like it. I've noticed that now there are a lot of other companies carrying similar products. That in itself says there must be some merit to it.