Thursday, June 29, 2006

More Superman Launch Party Photos

My Latest Cakes

I have been using my friends and coworkers as guinea pigs lately, as I look at getting into the cake decorating arena.

These range from the fairly easy (the star cake with fruit was for a work party) to the fairly challenging (the cake depicting Superman himself)...

The only thing really is that my hand absolutely kills after a session of piping out ten thousand stars and shells. But the results speak for themselves :) And I'm starting to get requests for cakes, which is cool.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pictures from Last Night's Superman Returns Party

Superman Returns!

Last night was the evening of our great "Superman Returns" bash... Joe and I had been discussing and planning this shindig for months, and I have to say, it was one of the more fun parties I've thrown (or is it co-thrown? Is that even a word!?)


Joe made these wonderful danglies for the ceiling made out of various sizes of Superman's shield, and he hung movie posters and promotional newspapers everywhere. We decided not to cook ourselves, and instead thought about what a big midwestern dinner would look like. We zeroed in on a fried chicken feast and let the Colonel do the cookin'. We got a good bucket of chicken and some biscuits and cole slaw, and then got our own potato salad, garden salad, and pasta salad.

I made 2 Superman cakes--one of Superman himself and the other of just the shield against a yellow background. Joe perfected his recipe for "Rice Kryptonite"--rice krispy treats topped with PopRocks. We also got 2 bags of M&Ms and sorted through and put all the red, blue, and yellow ones in one bowl, and all the greens in another. The browns and oranges will be saved for our next event.

As a surprise for Joe, I organized everyone into a costume/dress up theme. It was so fun to see what everyone came up with. Heather was probably the most creative, coming as "Kryptonite" in a green suit with green glow bracelets. Trent looked fantastic in a suit as Lex Luthor, Judy made her own press badge as Lois Lane, we lent Alfie a camera to do his best Jimmy Olson, Nancy tarted herself up as Kitty Kowalski, Tim yelled at Joe all night as Perry White (and sounded sufficiently authoritative I might add!), and Steve was a very dashing Richard White in his best urbanwear. My own modest contribution was to put on some overalls and let Judy powder my hair white so I could be Ma Kent. Joe of course was Clark Kent/Superman, and put on a Superman T-shirt under his best work clothes and tie. He wandered around all night with the tie askew and shirt somewhat unbuttoned, his supershield poking out. After the movie, he pulled off the work shirt to reveal his cape.

We played a Superman trivia game, and took about 600 pictures of everyone, sadly not on my camera, but when I get the files, I will upload them for all to see! the big trivia winner was Heather, followed by Steve, followed by Judy.

Around 8:45, we called the theater and found out there were still tickets left so we could have the folks who hadn't managed to buy tickets get some. We caravaned out, only to lose Heather's car and Alfie's car, and then Trent called to say we were going the wrong way and we should follow him. Tim thus directed him to the wrong movie theater, and we all got lost and turned around. We arrived at 9:30, after the theater said not to come after that, and still got tickets. Joe reserved a whole row for us and all 9 of us were able to sit together, which was great.

The movie... Ahhh, the movie...

Well, I went in with extremely low expectations, I must confess. I didn't think I would enjoy it, as a) I had mixed emotions about a Superman other than Christopher Reeve; b) I can't stand Kevin Spacey; and c) I didn't know a thing about the plot--Joe had filled me full of pictures and effects news, but not much on plot.

I don't think I'll be giving away anything, but this COULD be considered a spoiler, I suppose, if you know absolutely nothing about the movie. I'm going to reveal the BASIC plot.

So here goes...

The basic story line is that Superman has disappeared for 5 years to figure out where he's from (Krypton) and learn what he can about his pre-Earth past. In that time, Lois Lane has moved on and is in a serious long term relationship with Perry White's nephew, Richard, and she has given birth to a son, Jason. Lex Luthor, meanwhile, is doing his level best to enact a new scheme, in part aided by Kryptonian technology, which will allow him to rule the entire world via geographic restructuring.

Apparently the guy who directed this one intends for it to be inserted in after the second Christopher Reeve movie. He was disappointed with/disgusted by the third and fourth offerings in the series and decided to create his own.

The movie runs 2 hours and 45 minutes, so you'd better be prepared to sit there a while, but honestly, no one felt like they had been there that long. The movie moves along at a real good clip and has only a couple of slow moments.

I would have to say that on a scale of 1-10, this movie, for me, was a 10. I expected boredom, and instead, at the end, I was cheering and clapping with everyone else at the cinema. I truly enjoyed it, and loathe though I may be to admit it, I am going to say that a) I will probably see it again and b) I am looking forward to the next one in 2 years. You can definitely find worse ways to kill an afternoon.

Oh, and I thought Kevin Spacey was not half bad.

So, there you have it. Superman has returned, and I am 100% into it again, as I was as a kid. I'll look forward to hearing other people's opinions as they see it!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bookish Meme (Borrowed from Lesley & High and Hidden Place)

Reading Memories

20 Years Ago: (I was 10) I was in the 5th grade/6th grade this year, the year we started switching classrooms between periods and sharing desks with the other section of the class. It was the year I discovered Barthe DeClements and I was avidly working my way through all those books like Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade and How Do You Lose Those Ninth Grade Blues? I was sharing a desk with Danny R. from the other section, and inadvertantly left the Ninth Grade Blues in the desk. When we switched classes, he came up to me and said, "So tell me, Kate, how did you lose those ninth grade blues?!" Yeah, a real pithy guy.

10 Years Ago: (age 20) My junior year of college. I remember very distinctly I was taking my required English literature class with a Professor Preilieu (can't remember the exact spelling). Joe had her the semester before me, and recommended I take her class because she wore red cowboy boots and huge hoop earrings--completely out of sync with most of our NYC professors. She offered extra points to anyone in the class who would read Voltaire's Candide in French instead of English, and I took her up on that offer. Later, during the final exam, I used The Awakening by Kate Chopin to answer an essay question on the test, even though we had not read it in class. She was mightly impressed. I got an A for the semester.

5 Years Ago: (age 25) I went through a bit of a reading drought back then. I was living in Boston, had moved in with Michael and we had been living together for a bit, and were planning our wedding. I fell out of favor with the book, which had been heretofore one of my favorite things to enjoy. I was into television more than anything. Probably the most profound reading I did was People magazine.

Last Year: (age 29) Heavily into reading, at times I was completing 3 and 4 books a week. What stands out most notably was that it was the first time I'd been reading for a book club, and it was my book club's first year. I was in two separate book clubs at that time and really struggling to sit through the other one, as I didn't find the discussions to be particularly deep. What broke me on that one, and caused me to quit, was a particularly rotten discussion of Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of the Orange, which to this day I maintain could be a fantastic book club read, but really wasn't done justice by that group. I was also particularly cheesed at the poor reception given to my 3 book choices for that group last year, The Jane Austen Book Club (while I didn't even like it all that well, I do think it deserved more discussion than criticism); One Thousand White Women (which I loved and was gravely disappointed at its reception); and The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank (a great historical novel, which I also greatly enjoyed, but apparently was the only one to do so).

This Month: (age 30) This month I've been Lit Chicks book-less, as I read the book a while ago. I am working my way through Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. Michael and I have joined a "Should Have Read It [aka SHRIT]" book club and we are reading Animal Farm, which both of us have already read, but need a refresher on. My book club is reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin, and I started reading that today. Also today, Michael and I finished the final of Jan Karon's Mitford novels, A Light From Heaven. And in my spare time, I am reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Oh, and I can't forget Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish, which I read for a special session of Lit Chicks. So maybe that makes my previous statement a lie!

Booking some more

3 Favorite Reading Locations:

  • Downstairs on the couch
  • Upstairs in bed
  • In a comfy lawn chair on the porch

3 Reading habits:
  • I cannot go to sleep without reading for a little while first. I think this stems from my father's strict bed times, which were always on the early side compared to many of my classmates, but once we were in bed, we were given an extra half hour to devote strictly to reading.
  • I am never reading just one book. Typically I've got 4 or 5 books going on at once. This allows me to read according to how I feel on a particular day or at a particular time.
  • When I go to the store, I'm an impulse book buyer. I look for an interesting cover, check out the jacket notes or back cover, read the first page, and if it all clicks, I buy it. Doesn't matter if I have never heard of the author before. I've discovered all of my new favorite authors that way.

3 Things that distract me:
  • My husband. Once he comes in, I put my books down.
  • The bunnies. There are four of them and one of me. I'm outnumbered.
  • The ocean. I can't read well on the beach. My mind just kind of shuts off and I go into a totally relaxed mode and can't concentrate or focus on anything other than the waves, the sounds, and the sunshine.

3 Characters I’d love to be:

  • Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler of E.L. Konigsberg's From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Professor McGonagall from all the Harry Potter novels
  • The computer guy in Litte Green Men who went renegade and caused all the problems

3 Characters I Despise:

  • The deranged psychopath in James Patterson's Kiss the Girls (I'm glad I don't remember his name--that book just totally grossed me out [I sound like a teenager again!])
  • That crazy boxer guy in the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich
  • Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

Favorite Book Beverages:

  • Chai Creme Frappucino from Starbucks
  • Otherwise, I don't really drink while I'm reading... I'm always wigged out about getting water or moisture on the pages of my books, so I tend to leave food and drink to themselves. I also get so engrossed in what I'm doing that I forget to sip if I'm reading anyway.

3 Favorite bookmarks:

  • Old receipts
  • Money (it makes me look affluent, right? LOL)
  • My memory--I don't usually use a bookmark, I just remember what page I'm on as best I can by chanting the page number over and over in my head

3 Dead Writers I’d love to meet:

  • Paula Danziger
  • Jane Austen
  • John Kennedy Toole

3 Alive Writers I’d love to meet:

  • J.K. Rowling
  • Philip Gulley
  • Lemony Snicket

So…now…what about YOU?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

On Cooking and Books

I have lately been experimenting more in the kitchen when Joe is around to eat whatever I cook that no one else will eat. After some good successes, I thought it would be neat to start a cookbook collection.

I already have the grandmother of them all, The Joy of Cooking, as well as a number of other cookbooks that I've been given or have salvaged. I bought a new cookbook, the Rachel Ray "365 Meals Per Year" or whatever the heck it is, after trying a few recipes and finding the Michael really enjoyed them (I had stolen them from other people's websites and Brian made one of the recipes in NC while we were down there)...

I am thinking of taking some cooking classes--I would love to experiment with flavors and ingredients I've never tried before, but don't really know where to start. So I'm looking around town and trying to find something that interests me. I'm hopeful to get some friends involved--while I appreciate that Michael is not the type who is going to stand in the kitchen and chop up vegetables while I stir something on the stove, and we sip wine together, nonetheless I have that image of myself as I grow older--me, a good friend, lots of fresh ingredients, cooking and enjoying ourselves together. Joe is a pretty good cooking partner, and I have a couple of other friends who enjoy cooking, so I think it shouldn't be a problem in the long run, once I've done my research.

I've tried some new recipes already this year. I made Chinese pot stickers for the first time ever, and had the fun of using those little wonton wrappers. They were FANTASTIC--in fact, when I got some from a Chinese restaurant a couple of weeks later, I really didn't like them as much as I enjoyed my own. Joe and I have been growing herbs out front, and I made quesadillas with my own fresh cilantro, and a shrimp pasta with my own fresh basil. The dill and fennel are growing nicely now, so I think we'll have some new things to experiment with as well.

Because I love reading, I kind of hope to find cookbooks that have to do with literature in a way. For Christmas this year, my sister bought me Jan Karon's The Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader, a fantastic book chock-full of recipes inspired by her lovely Mitford series. So far, I've only made Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake, Father Tim's Ham and Father Tim's scalloped potatoes, but the recipes were absolutely to DIE for, and the passages from the books that were included truly did make you reminisce about your favorite parts of the books and inspire you to take your time and cook a true masterpiece. The book includes gorgeous pictures of the recipes, and for the most part, the ones I've made came out looking like the ones in the book (that orange marmalade cake is a true devil though--it cracks straight down the middle and no one except Jan's own bakers seem to have success with it coming out perfectly--but who cares, it tastes incredible)

Today I was at the Culpeper Library during my work day as I was waiting to see a client and came upon a book called "The Book Lover's Cookbook" by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen. It is my next cook book purchase. Utterly fabulous. Wenger and Jensen, both chefs and avid readers, have pored over volumes from Little Women to The Importance of Being Earnest, found food-related passages and devised recipes for each. Book exerpts, quotes from authors, and book quotations from various novels are interspersed with the various recipes they helped to inspire. (One of my personal favorites was Scarlett O'Hara's Gone with the Wind vow "As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!") In some cases, the authors have contributed the recipes (ie Jodi Picoult contributed a chicken and dumplings recipe she was given when she lived in an Amish community while researching a book).

Judy has also recommended a book to me for Lit Chicks entitled Recipe for a Book Club: A Monthly Guide for Hosting Your Own Reading Group: Menus & Recipes, Featured Authors, Suggested Readings, and Topical Questions. It has been compiles by Mary O'Hare and Rose Storey (do we think she made her name up?) This one builds menus around your chosen book (provided it's in there) and helps you run the whole meeting from start to finish. While we are doing well with all other aspects of our book club, I must confess that the dinner theme selections have been running rather dry lately. This book might also help me select a book for next year. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it!

And finally, I was thrilled to get home this afternoon and discover that Judy had bought me a ticket to go to the Smithsonian's Resident Assistant Program's evening with Alton Brown, my favorite chef on the Food Network. I can hardly wait.

So that's all for now from my kitchen and library... The latest in my projects and goals... If you have any suggestions for literary cookbooks, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Judy made it home!

Despite all our fears that she wouldn't, my sister survived a week plus in Israel, and by the looks of her, got tons of sun. She came home looking like a lobster! Wow... She was actually cold here today, and it was in the 90's. I guess that desert living is harsh.

She brought me back a nice spa set from the Dead Sea. We had a small brunch for her and enjoyed ourselves. She even let me cut her hair some--she was tired of the old cut, the old color, and the perm. I shortened it by about 4 inches, and it looks pretty great. Joe got brave and let me cut his hair a bit too, but only by an inch. Still, he said he loved it and would only be having me cut his hair from now on...

Now that Judy's back, I guess I can go back to concentrating on getting my own stuff together. Tomorrow for work we are having a big birthday party, so I spent this evening baking a cake and debating the meaning of my life with my husband--what I wanted, where I wanted to go, what I want to do. No answers, none at all, but I got a lot off my chest, definitely.

Also this weekend was Maritza's wedding. It was a lovely affair, although sadly the General got the stomach flu and nearly barfed on the table at the reception, so we had to go home. I was bitterly disappointed, and almost pissed off--though the logical part of my brain did tell me that it's not his fault he got sick.

Hope to spend this week getting the house in order. We're taking the bunnies to be sexed next weekend so we have a better idea of what we're dealing with. And my mom is bringing up a bunch of her old furniture up here now that she's found a fully furnished house to buy. I guess I'm kind of conflicted--for a while after they died, I had a lot of my grandparents' things around me, but I found it so depressing that I got rid of it all. I'm glad to have some furniture--Lord knows we haven't got much in our living room--I just hope it doesn't make me sad to have their stuff so close. I truly miss them so much many days, and have thought of them a lot lately. I wish I had them around to share things with and talk about things with. Towards the end of her life, my grandmother and I started to have that kind of relationship, and I feel so cheated that as an adult I don't have her to turn to.

I'm looking forward to getting up to my dad's for the 4th. I think I'll be able to reconnect with some folks up there, which will be great, particularly considering I haven't been home in a year and a half. It seems like all these important things are becoming the choices I wish I didn't have to make. Only so much vacation time per year means that I can only do so much and see so many people. This year we're going to try splitting a week between my dad and Michael's parents and then spending Thanksgiving apart. Christmas remains a mystery. I wish I knew how to solve that one. We thought we had a schedule worked out, but it's so expensive to travel at the holidays... It would be nice if the kings of American Industry would just say, "It is a profitable time, but let's make it easy for people to be with their loved ones."

Utopian dreaming in Fredericksburg...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral

Well, I have finished it. Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral is another notch in my library card... It was written by Kris Radish of

I have mixed reactions to the book.

Number one, I cried the whole entire way through it. It was really, really moving.

The story centers around the death of one Annie G. Freeman, free spirit, mother, professor, do-gooder, and friend. She dies of cancer, but spends the weeks leading up to her death making arrangements for a traveling funeral for herself.

Some weeks after she has passed, a package arrives on the doorstep of her friend, Katherine, which contains Annie's ashes, and all the details of the funeral. The entire thing has already been paid for, plane tickets, rental cars, hotel rooms, and more. All that is left is for her best friends to take time off work, away from families, away from their every day lives, and go.

The traveling funeral makes stops in New Mexico, Florida, New York, Minnesota, and Washington State. Annie's ashes are flung far and wide at each stop, and little events occur at each stop that assure the women that Annie knew what she was doing when she set this whole shindig up.

But it also gives them time to reflect back on Annie and their friendships with her.

The book is written entirely in the present tense, and has a kind of lyrical or poetic quality about it. It was extremely moving, and you felt the grief and sorrow these women were grappling with at the death of one they loved so much.

On the downside... (yes, there's usually a downside)

The author nearly crams down your throat how magical and mystical and miraculous everything is that these women touch. Everything is amazing, and you will remember that!!!! THE WOMEN this and THE WOMEN that... I did get a little tired of that after a point.

Secondly, the book went from being a wonderful story of friendship, love, and loss into something of the author's political statement of the world at large. It delved into politics, activism, gay rights, war, immigration, and just about every other cause you could think of. To me, that truly detracted from the story.

the Lit Chicks are reading this book because we read another Radish book back in April entitled "The Elegant Gathering of White Snows". Kris had called in to the book club and we all just fell in love with her during the course of our conversation. I picked up Annie Freeman, after Kris told us that the movie rights had been optioned, and we all decided we would read another book if she would call in again. I've finally arranged the second call in with the publisher. But I will be definitely interested to see what the other girls think of this particular book. I prefered "Elegant Gathering" a lot more.

Still worth a read if you want a good chick lit type book sometime!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Final Word (Until Next Year)...

Dear Family and Friends…

Wow, it’s over. I can’t believe it!! After weeks and months of pestering and fundraising, you all came through on your part, and this weekend, I was able to come through on mine.

Michael and I headed up north Saturday morning at 10:00am, and got home this morning at 8:30. What happened in between was, in many ways, indescribable. There were moments of joy and laughter, moments of sorrow and tears, moments of magic, and everything in between.

When all was said and done, I managed to raise $1100 to fight cancer, walked 3.5 miles around the track on my healing-but-still-broken leg, braved the warm sun and the freezing cold, and I’d do it all again tomorrow if that was the only way to cure this disease!
I can’t put into words what all this event came to mean to me. I’ve set up a photo gallery at for each of you to look at when you feel you have the time.

Some highlights of the event:

*The opening ceremony, in which survivors took to the track to make the ceremonial first lap, and caregivers took lap 2
*Setting up the luminarias as a volunteer, and stumbling upon my grandparents’ names
*Our team captain, Trent’s, head shaving—a promised occurrence if we raised $4,000
*Watching the guys on our team dress up as “Hula Honeys” and walk the track after a great fundraising campaign to get them out there
*Finding out we broke the $5,000 mark and my sister will have to shave her head!
*Lighting luminarias and walking a track lit only by the light given off by the hundreds of candles representing someone’s loved one
*Nancy bringing us a warm meal at dinner time (thanks, Nancy!)
*Walking the track with Mike as he did a full 1.5 miles during the evening
*Walking in the evening with Trent and Joe and signing the banner which will eventually be laid out on the National Mall with all the other Relay banners from across the nation as a petition to Congress that Americans are still fully invested in cancer research
*Waking up this morning with a moving blanket wrapped around my head, thinking “Will this wretched night never end?!” only to push aside the blanket and discover it was daylight (albeit 5:30am)
*Coming home and hopping into a nice, warm, soft bed and making up for the 4 hours of sleep I got on the cold, hard ground

It was a difficult night, the temperatures dropped into the 50’s and none of us wore anything except shorts and T-shirts. We mustered up as many blankets, sleeping bags, sweatshirts, and candles as we could to keep warm. Michael stayed awake the full night, I slept roughly 4 hours in a tent, fully clothed, with my shoes on! I haven’t felt so miserable since Girl Scout camp. (I couldn’t decide which I was more: tired, hungry, grubby, cranky, emotional, or thirsty) But, truly, I think that was a great part of the experience—to come away tired, sore, cranky, and ultimately thrilled to be going home. While I can’t imagine what it must feel like to go through cancer and cancer treatments, I think the ACS succeeded in giving us a little taste, even by a pinch, of how it must feel.

I have every intention of participating again next year, should my teammates re-form to do this (if not, I’ll be forming my own team). Again, I thank you all for supporting me in this endeavor, and hope you enjoy the pictures!!! I’m heading back to bed!!

Big hugs,

Saturday, June 10, 2006

We're off!!!

I'll be setting up a photo gallery once we get home. Fortunately we've got clear skies and a nice breeze.

Thanks again to all my donors!!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Book Signing: Anderson Cooper

Tonight Michael and I went and met Anderson Cooper at our favorite book store for book signings, Olsson's Books: .

I had no idea, number one, that Cooper is a Vanderbilt. I don't know why that impresses me, but it must have something to do with all the time we spend in Newport and the fact that his family's home is incredible.

Anyway, I heard him on NPR this morning while I was driving around, and thought it would be fascinating to hear him speak in person. He's been EVERYWHERE of note in the past few years, particularly the areas struck by the tsunami, by Katrina, and by war.

By command of his publisher, he was only allowed to speak for 15 minutes, and no Q&A session, which was probably good, since there were only about 600 people there, and I'm sure about half of us had questions.

Additionally, he would not stop signing to pose for pictures. However, he did shake our hands, and he talked to us for a couple of MINUTES, not just a few seconds while signing the book we bought. He was very warm, open, friendly, and you could tell he was genuinely enjoying talking with everyone and meeting all of us.

So I said THE STUPIDEST thing I could have said. "A few months ago, I broke my leg, and I was laid up on the couch in front of the TV for 3 months, and your face was everywhere."

Fortunately, he seemed to find this pretty hilarious.

The General told him, "I recognize your voice, for sure" and Cooper replied, "Well, I hope it's not too grating, I hate the sound of it myself." It was a lot of fun.

Support your local book seller! :-)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bait and Switch

The girls met last night to discuss Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.

I'm not sure what I was excpecting, but it wasn't what was in that book! She wrote solely about her job search as an average unemployed professional middle class worker trying to find a job and getting taken advantage of by every scheister on the east coast.

Well, first of all, when your average white-collar worker loses his or her job, he doesn't have thousands of dollars to throw down on plane tickets to go not to job interviews, but to networking events and image consultations in far off cities. Now, I understand why she did it, to prove there are a bunch of people out there who will take your money and you will have nothing to show for it.

HOWEVER! What might have been more realistic would have been if she would have sat around in her house, day in and day out, combing job sites, making phone calls, mailing resumes, and eating. Perhaps occasionally, she could have gone out in her own home city and the neighboring areas, rather than jetting off to Atlanta and Boston.

Ultimately, the end result was that she did not find a decent job in nearly a year of searching. (She was offered a couple of direct sales jobs--think Mary Kay.)

What she never quite managed to dig into was the loss of benefits, the elimination of pensions, the extension of the workday and work week, quality of life losses, loss of family, and the poor corporate culture that is created by huge corporations who could honestly care less about you and just work you until you're no good to them any more.

Frankly, this was the book I was hoping to read. It was truly a shame that she never quite got that far.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My Relay For Life Honor Roll

George and Sophie Cherepon (PopPop and MomMom)
Richard and Doris Taggart (Grandma and Granddaddy)
Eleanor Wisniewski (Cioci)
Jerry Brogan
Jim Smith
Ryan Saidel
Rosie Collins
Linda Tatnall
Staci Nelson
Freda Zimmerman
Jacob Duckworth
Bernard Goldman
Rikki Hillman
Jack Smith
Ernest Buchanan
Delilah Hunt
Barbara Hunt
Peg & Bill
Karen Petty
Karen's friend Amy
Loretta Zimmerman
Leonard Zimmerman
Aaron Sommers
Marcella Sommers
Frank Messina
Joseph Messina
Fran Holm
Fred Rogers
Eugene Evers
Peggy Horn
Francis Roach
Mildred Mooney
Margaret Sandberg
Anna Barbaroulo
Russell Case
Julie Whitwell
Hedwig and Clemens Clostermann
Doris Bond
John's wife Kathy
Al McBee
Sylvalee Burman
Stanley Gamson
Gary Miller

Relay for Life Update!

Ok, hopefully this will be my final update, as my donations are due tomorrow night!

I have officially raised $965. I am a mere $35 from my goal of raising $1000. If you can make a donation, please do so at:

My website currently lists my donations at $405. This does not include all of the generous checks that were mailed to me "off line" via snail mail.

So I promise... If my total rises to $440 or more, I'll be past the $1000 mark.

I am foregoing all incentive gifts for fundraising, as well. I am very, very excited about the walk. I'll post pictures of my "honor roll clothing" as soon as I get them put together. My next post will be my honor roll.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

FUG Book Club

Today I attended a new book club meeting in town. It is run by the folks on the website and it was a great time. There were only 4 of us there, but it was nice to jump into a small group.

They read "A Million Little Pieces"... The book that duped Oprah. I only decided to go the other day, so did not have time to pick it up and read it. Their chief complaints about the book, however, seemed to be the grammar and poor punctuation. The story itself was found to be compelling.

Next month we will be reading Kate Chopin's "The Awakening." I am truly looking forward to it. I read it first in high school and again in college, but I'm interested to see what I think of it now that I am a married woman. I am also kind of curious about reading "The Bridges of Madison County" again now that I'm married. I wonder if I'll have a different reaction and different feelings about these books. As a young, romantic-at-heart, and immature-in-the-ways-of-amour girl, I thought their adultery was justified, as these women were meeting with the loves of their lives and their husbands were dull, colorless, humorless, or otherwise lacking.

It certainly bears re-reading and recontemplation. Adultery is not for me. I married my husband, the man I love, and can't imagine cheating. I can't imagine him cheating either. But will I see these heroines of my youth as somewhat less than the women I previously thought, now that I'm looking through the lens of marriage? I'm certainly interested to find out the answer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Relay for Life Update!

Wow! I am simply floored at the donations that have rolled in since I put up one email and link here... I have, to date, raised $855 and have a wonderful list of people I am walking in honor of. The emails and stories I've gotten have been inspiring.

There is still time to donate at:

All the money has to be in this week.

I will be posting my honor roll at week's end here on the blog.

Thank you to all my donors!!!

UPDATE: I am up to $905. I know I can make $1000 by the end of the weekend. Even if you can only donate $5, please donate today! :)