Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Take on Pride and Prejudice

Just a quick note for today.......Laurel Ann has a great review of the new book Love, Lies, and Lizzie, By Rosie Rushton, over at her blog Austenprose. Be sure to check it out. It sounds very interesting.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Digress.......Michael Jackson Died.

This is a blog about Jane Austen and Arts and Sewing and other nice things, but today it's going to be about Michael Jackson. The old MJ before the weirdness, that we grew up with. My sis and I pooled our babysitting cash to buy Thriller, and our 'breakdancing club' met in the basement where we had spread out cardboard, you know, for breakin'.
We stayed up late to see Thriller on Friday Night Videos. I loved his duets with Paul McCartney, 'The Girl Is Mine' and 'Say, Say, Say'.
Today my daughter and I went to the fabric store and She had loaded up her I pod with MJ's #1 hits. She asked if I wanted any others and I requested those two duets. We had a good laugh over the cornyness of that song.
My sis has a great post over at Better Than We Deserve, if you have time take a look. I don't know how things will sort them out in the eternal worlds, but it is not often the most famous person in the world dies. And there were some happy memories.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three Things Very Dull Indeed?

Last Saturday I ran 5k at the Fall City Days celebration. I got my second best time, at 35:14. I know for runners it’s not super fast, but for me it’s great. I want to work up to a 10k this summer, so I was looking at local races and found the website for Railroad Days in Snoqualmie. This is a fun celebration anyway, but look at the cute race shirt logo!

Railroad days teeLogo

I may be shallow, but if I’m gonna run it’s all about the shirt. It’s like when I used to get ribbons on the swim team. I usually come home from a race , shower, and put on my new race shirt and sweats for lounging around or napping with a sense of superiority accomplishment.

In more local news, my little town of North Bend is 100 years old and having a fun block party on Main Street this weekend. And then later this summer is The Festival at Mount Si. We have a parade, booths, and music and food. But this year they are adding something new. It’s something I have wanted to blog about but I’ve been afraid…..


They want to add an art element to the festival, since this is a pretty artsy place for a small town, so they want to have a live art exhibit. I have been so excited to try this and scared at the same time, that I didn’t want to mention it on the blog because I know everyone will be encouraging but I don’t want to commit myself because it’s scary. The plan is to have live models posing in costume and then people around sketching and painting. Look at the cool concept drawings!


But do I want to commit to that? Do I have the experience (no) to sit in front of people and paint? What if there’s not enough time for me to do anything, or what if my art is no good and people are around me staring! Eeek. So I’m laying out my doubts and fears before you now.

….And another thing. I am rapidly approaching my 100th post, and my Birthday, July 11th, which, for those of you who haven’t followed for long, I have also given to Fanny Price of Mansfield Park to be her honorary birthday. We know her birthday is sometime in July, plus I love Miss Price, and it fits astrologically, even though I don’t believe in that. So I am trying to prepare something for a birthday/100th post giveaway. Stay tuned.

Three things very dull indeed? You tell me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Let’s Take the ‘Everything Austen Challenge!

Stephanie’s Written Word is having an Everything Austen Challenge that will run from July 1st 2009 to Jan 2010. The prize is a DVD of Lost in Austen, and in order to be eligible for the drawing you must read or watch 6 Austen related works in the next six months. Come on, that will be easy! 

Read all about the Everything Austen Challenge here. 

This is what I am planning to do:

  • Read Sense and Sensibility
  • Read Persuasion
  • Read Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict
  • Read Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating….Which Jon bought me recently. Now how many hubbies would buy their wife a dating book? He knows how much I love J.A.
  • Watch Persuasion (The RPJ Version!)
  • Watch Mansfield Park (Miramax Version- even though it’s way off, still, A lot of it is pretty hot. I mean, uh, Fairly well representative of the novel.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dear Ol’ Dad

Dad as a boy

My Dad is quite a character. I’m sure he was he was even as a boy. My dad is on the bottom left.

He has a great mix of humor and patience. When people ask about his children, he likes to say he has three sons. When they say, “Oh, no daughters?”, then he will say, “Oh, yeah, I have nine daughters too.”


This is my Mom and Dad when I was born.


This is one of my favorite pictures of me and Dad. He would often tell us bedtime stories and we’d be piled all over listening to story after story. They would often descend into strange rhyming stories as he would bounce his foot or tap his hand against the wall. If he didn’t have a word to rhyme he would just make one up, and we would laugh.

Shannon and Chef Burtoni

Here is my Dad as ‘Chef Burtoni’ with one of my sisters. He did a lot of the cooking when my mom was busy with the babies. He would always stomp around the kitchen shouting some kind of rhythmic Indian type chant he made up.


Here is a picture I took of Dad when I was about 13. He was going to shave off his beard. He had to get on his western hat for the picture.

My Dad encouraged my talents and was proud of me. When I took years of Spanish he would encourage me to go over and talk to ‘so and so’ who spoke Spanish also. I was mortified because I was so shy.

When I was growing up he was always telling us about some fascinating decorating, or house, or view he had seen while he was out putting up draperies.

Once when I was down visiting California with him before college in the 80’s he took me to a house where he was working. The couple invited me in. The woman had a great home and studio in LA near the Greek row of some college. She showed me her studio and drawings. She also had art hanging around her house made of intricately folded paper encased in glass. Her drafting table was covered with markers and paints. Things like that really made an impression on me.

My Dad is kind, funny, and a little kooky sometimes. He is always surrounded by stacks of books, and he loves music.

When we were on the swim team he drove us around and cheered at all the races. He loved our choir concerts. My younger siblings were into soccer and he became the biggest soccer enthusiast ever. He loves a good political debate, a great music performance, or an awesome house or landscape. He has a major sweet tooth, but tries to eat healthy now. He loves when we all gather around to sing a few hymns with the guitar. I think Dad is the happiest when he is proud of something one of his children has done.


I Love you Dad!

Friday, June 19, 2009

To My Husband on Fathers Day

fathers day Jon and Baby Hillary

It’s hard to know what to expect when you take a ‘guy’ and turn him into a father.

Fathers day Hillary In the bag

Thank you for being there as we learn together,

Fathers day carrier

And sometimes get it right.

Fathers day Jon and Hillary swing

Thank you for going seamlessly from the daddy of one little girl,

Fathers day Ariannes baby and Hillary

To become the daddy of two little girls,

Fathers day camping

and showing them the ropes until eventually

Fathers day post Jordan

You were the daddy of three wonderful girls.


I love going on this journey with you!

Fathers day post Jon fishing with Arianne

You are an excellent and fun father for the girls.

PICT0009 Thank you Jon! XOXOXO


Friday, June 12, 2009

Bird’s Nest in a Funny Place

IM000088 One chirpy little friend in our neighborhood thought she’d found the ideal place to make her nest. Can you see the little birdie nestled in there?

But look where it is………

IM000087IM000089I hope it will stay safe and not pestered too often by curious little kids…..or admiring bloggers for that matter :)

In other news, we got our house painted, attended an end of year choir concert, and I’m getting ready for a friend’s barbeque tonight.


OK, I know I don’t look like I’m getting ready.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More for the Jane Austen Addict

Later this month Laurie Viera Rigler's new book, "Rude Awakeings of a Jane Austen Addict" will be in stores. The first book, "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict", was very enjoyable and I'm excited for the flip side of the story.

Here is a you tube link to a 'trailer' for the book:

Thursday, June 4, 2009


  Lately I’ve had the urge to paint more. So what are my excuses? Every day I think I should just get out the paints today and do a little. I enjoy oil painting.  I’m self taught and I know I don’t practice enough. But without your own space, how can you start an oil painting and keep it from being ruined when you need to move it?

Here’s a couple of my paintings. So far I don’t have very tokyo disneylandMy bathroom pic

A while back I had the idea to try acrylics, because they dry faster and can be put away. Here is my unfinished work.myBeach Painting

I’m also trying to get better at computer art, but it still doesn’t fill the need to squish paint and smell paint and mush it around.

Despite my excuses, and how long it’s been since I painted anything, almost every morning I wake up and think “I should get out my paints today”.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Which I Take a Spill

Yesterday a friend came over to go on a jog with me. I have never really ran with non family before, and it was fun until, near the end, I was distracted and totally bit the pavement on account of some uneven sidewalk, which I hate almost as much as flourescent lightbulbs.

I injured my left knee, hand, and shoulder, and to my suprise this morning I felt like I'd been punched in the neck. All this to guard my face... since thats how I make my living. (TeeHee..really it was my dad's constant warning- "You'll knock your teeth out!" which had me doing the stunt girl shoulder maneuver). But why, WHY, when I have a friend here? God loves to keep me humble.

And speaking of not being humble, the secret X-Box project my hubby was working on was unveiled yesterday. Read about it on his blog here. He would make comments but say he couldn't tell me, then I'd act like I didn't care and that would drive him nuts. That's just the sort of loving relationship we have.