Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm a fish

You Are Ariel!
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Headstrong and fiesty. You have a mind of your own that's full of romantic dreams about the world around you. Exploring exotic places is your ultimate dream, and although you can be a little naive you'll realize that there is something to be gained from your family's wisdom.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Really? She is my fave, but I wouldn't have guessed her. But I guess it makes sense, I love the sea, I love green, I have fins, and I moved far away from my family. Good call.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Necklace!

So this year I'm all about hand made items. I love the care that goes into them. My latest Etsy purchase is a pendant made from a scrabble tile. It is really cute.

(It was a great price and if you post about your pendant you get another one for free!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dog video update

I was offloading my camera and came across these little movies. Enjoy!

Wet Dog

Jumping Dog

Martha Stewart Inspirations

So last year I got the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine but never got around to really doing anything. But this year I thought I'd try a few of her ideas. I made a little spooky center piece with some candles and gauze. The green pumpkin candle on the top I made by hollowing out a real pumpkin and pouring the wax in. Unfortunately it was an old christmas candle I got from goodwill, and I didn't realize that it also happened to have a christmas scent. When it melted it released the most potent "christmas" aroma I've ever smelled. I don't think brian appreciated a kitchen full of pumpkin scraps and a house that smelled like holly, cinnamon, etc, but he will admit the candle turned out cool.

The other project I did was a leaf arrangement. You dip the leaves in wax to seal in their colors and then hang them. Unfortunately I used cheap tape, so every so many days a leaf will fall and my dog will shred it (which is what she does to nearly all leaves she finds while we are walking). So I think of it as a mobile instillation piece of art.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Puppy Beds

So we finally found a place, maybe, that we are okay leaving Portland at over the holidays. Their contract says that she only gets one piece of bedding in her crate. Currently we use 6 old t-shirts and two towels. So I decided to use my "sewing skills" to make her a bed.

I think it turned out okay. I made the inner pillow and stuffed it, then made a case that opens at the back so I can take it off and wash it. I bought three times the fabric needed, extra thread, a zipper (what was I thinking?) and two bags of stuffing too many. Out of all the stuff I bought I only used 1/2 of the white fabric, the white thread, one bag of stuffing, and the puppy print fabric. Maybe next time I should plan better.

She looks fairly annoyed that I made her pose in her crate for this pic.
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Guilt Free

Tuesday we had dinner with a couple in our ward. Super nice, and had a super cute old house. Since I've moved I always get the question, "So what do you do?" Harmless right? Unless your answer is, "What ever I want." (Which I don't actually say, but people infer it when I do say something like I train my dog and work on craft projects.) Usually no kids = full time job, right?

SO during dinner I was pleased to finally find another girl my age who does not have to work because her husband makes enough for their needs- oh and they don't have kids and don't have any on the way. What a relief that someone else like me exists. I was beginning to think I was the only kid-less, non-full time working girl in GA. Lucky for me there is another like me right in our own ward. I don't think we will be super best friends forever, but at least I don't feel so guilty for enjoying my free time because someone else does too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bailout... and a failed government.

With all the opinions flying around on the proposed bailout in Congress, I thought I would add my two-cents (really only two, I promise). I am an engineer and only follow finance and economics on a very broad level; however, I do have some public policy and poly-sci background... so you can be the judge of my credibility.

Why we are in this mess (as I understand it):
We want(ed) everyone to be able to live in a house. So, lenders offered loans that were increasingly easy to obtain. The problem is that these loans often times had an adjustable rate and/or were interest only (there were other types of crazy lending programs too). Furthermore, lenders were handing out these loans without properly checking the lendee's financial situation.

So... more people could get mortgages, which drove up the cost of homes, which required even more easily obtained loans, which drove up the cost of homes... and on and on...

Eventually the chickens came home to roost. The rates adjusted, and homeowners couldn't make their payments. Homes went into foreclosure... the banks lost money. Home values fell... the banks lost money. Eventually the banks lost enough money that they began to collapse.

What could we have done to prevent it?
Lenders could have been more responsible. (don't hand out crappy loans)
Buyers could have been more responsible. (don't live beyond their means)
The Gov't could have taken their head out of the sand. (regulated these lenders against bad lending practices)

Where are we now?
The credit markets are beginning to freeze, which will prevent even well qualified buyers from getting loans. So more homes will go into foreclosure, causing more banks to go under, which could lead to a downward spiral that we haven't seen the likes of since the great depression (and many well respected economists say this is a likely outcome).

Why will the 'bailout' help?
It will essentially take 'bad' money off the hands of banks. This will free up lenders to offer mortgages (hopefully 'responsible' mortgages this time around), which will help the housing market slowly recover. This not only helps the banks, but it also helps homeowners and home-seekers. On a broader level, it will prevent the collapse of major financial institutions, which we all rely on (picture the opening seen to "It's a Wonderful Life.").

Why is this 'bailout' failing?
Nobody trusts Washington (all of Washington... President, house/senate Republicans/Democrats... nobody), and for good reason! They have destroyed their credibility over the last decade. It is not all Pres. Bush's fault, but he is definitely part of the problem. For the first time in a long time (because an election is coming soon), many House D's and R's listened to the voters and didn't vote for the bailout. Unfortunately, the voters are scared and ticked-off at Washington and Wall Street and are wrong right now. It was only a month or so ago that we had to watch both parties have their self-love fests (conventions)... at which, neither talked about real solutions to this problem. They spent the whole time pointing fingers and basking in their own glory.

Okay... I'm done. Let me know if I'm wrong.