Monday, February 27, 2012

The Sound and Fury: A Review.

This weekend I watched Sound and Fury.

It's a documentary about two brothers.

One brother is hearing and he married a hearing woman and they had twins, one of which is deaf.

The other brother is deaf, married a deaf woman and has three deaf children.

The issue is one of the cochlear implant. The hearing brother doesn't think twice about doing this for his newborn son. The deaf brother and his wife have a lot of issues with it, namely it will take away from their child experiencing deaf culture.

This was so odd to me. I've always assumed that those who can't hear would want to, but now I see that there is a whole culture of people who are connected through this sameness and value their membership in this community.

I encourage you to watch the movie because it is definitely one that will make you think about what it means to be hearing, about being a parent, and about this whole other community of people.

Watch it and come back and tell me what you think.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Big Ideas

I have a lot of ideas these days.

1. The Oscar's Best Picture category shouldn't consist of a specific number of films every year, it should really just be the best films of the year, whether that is four films or twelve. With this they wouldn't be 'filling spots' with things like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which I haven't seen, but hear horrible things about. How's that for an informed opinion?!

2. It should be against the law for songs and radio ads to use siren sounds. This is a huge source of stress for me in the car: 

Is there a cop behind me? 
Is that siren on the radio? 
Should I pull over? 
What's going on? 

See? Very stressful.

3. Vegetarians and vegans should not use words like cheese, meat, etc. I am very supportive of the vegetarian and vegan movements. I believe in them fully and think we would all be healthier with a little less meat in our diets. However, using words like cheese and meat to describe a food that has neither cheese nor meat in it is doing these movements a disservice. If a meat eater is entering into a vegetarian food experience and something is called veggie bacon, they are going to expect bacon, not bacon's vegetarian counterpart. Veggie bacon, vegan cheese, etc should all be given new names.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Never Ending Battle. Looking for my Forever Friend.

I don't have a hairdresser.
I usually wait until my hair starts to look pretty shabby for about a week and call a couple of salons to see who can get me in ASAP.(while trying to trim it myself the entire week). It's not ideal.

I've thought I had found the perfect hairdresser several times in my adult life. I go in for my first haircut and love it and then I go back for my second haircut and the stylist decides to shave the side of my head for some reason (true story), and then I'm back on the hunt again.

So back in January, my hair started to look pretty shabby and I called a place that I'd driven by a couple of times-perhaps not the best way to pick a salon, but I was running out of options.

On the way to my appointment, I thought that this would be the one: my hairstylist. I would make the commitment. Today was the day.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the hair cut experience of my dreams.

At one point, I had to ask her to change combs, it was either her heavy hand or the combs teeth were made of razor blades, but I couldn't endure the pain of it scratching across my scalp any longer.

Second, and this was the unforgivable part, at almost every part of my head she would say, "Cut this part, don't you think?"

me- "Um, yes, I guess"

her- "Cut this part, don't you think?"

Really, who's the stylist here?

And just to provide a little background, I sat down in the chair and gave my spiel first thing.

I'm low maintenance.
I don't style my hair.
I'm easygoing.
I work at a gym.
I just want something shorter than what's going on right now.

But still I had to endure this: "Cut this part, don't you think?"

Is this really happening?
It was.

Today. I walked into a new salon, one recommended to me by a friend that actually goes there. I know!
I liked the stylist right away, my haircut is cute cute cute, and the stylist didn't need any coaching from me.


I may have found the one.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wanna Swap?

It's that time again where we talk about an ad swap.

So...who's interested in swapping ad space with me?

All my ads are 120x120.

email me at cheryl_birkey@yahoo(dot)com if you're interested.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mini Stay-Cation

This weekend has been wonderful.

We're house sitting for a client of mine and though she is only gone for about three days, the time here has been lovely. We house sat for these same people in the summertime for about 7 days so when they asked again, I said YES! without any hesitation.

There's something about getting out of my own house, whether I'm travelling to a faraway land or just a few blocks away, that seems to automatically put me in relaxation mode.

Their house is so comfortable. There's a big comfortable couch, a huge television, a great dog, but best of all, it's not my house. There are no house projects to accomplish here, no bills that need to be paid,  no work that needs to be completed, there is just a big couch that needs to be sat upon and a TV that needs to be watched.

We do have a doggy to care for, and that includes a 45-60 minute walk in the morning which turns out is quite the workout. On Saturday morning, Zeb and Peanut joined us and it was so much fun. Although Peanut is about one thirtieth the size of Hoagie, she made sure she was the lead dog for most of the walk. Her little legs moved so fast.

We're headed out later this afternoon, but before we go we have two things to accomplish.
1. More couch time.
2. More TV time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why Not?

So I was recently invited to a Facebook event to send this little 6 year old boy with cancer a card.
Here's the actual information from the person in charge:

Ayden is six years old. He is a sweet heart who has stage 4 cancer, and it has spread to his brain. I want to do something for him & his family, and I need your help... I want everyone to send him a card in the mail. Even if you don't know him, it doesn't matter. It would be an AMAZING gift for him & his family to see hundreds of cards arriving to him with messages of hope & support. It doesn't have to cost much-- a handmade card is even better!! PLEASE help me and send him a card this week. Tell lots of people!! The more cards- the better! please send to: Ayden Carpenter, 16808 E. 31st St., Independence MO 64055. thank you ♥ This project of love, has come about c/o his cousin (who would like to stay anonymous.). It's such a sweet idea and it will only cost you a few minutes, and a stamp to make his day. Please help to flood his mailbox.

That's the card I made for him. It's simple and it was quick to make. I think you should send one too. It's inexpensive. Cheap really...and maybe we can help brighten this boy's day.

Here's the address again:

Ayden Carpenter
16808 East 31st Street
Independence, Missouri 64055

Who's coming with me?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Thinking: I am in constant awe of the people who do a better 'life juggling act' than I do. How do people use all the time in their day so efficiently? I'm finding it hard to balance work, working out, my current knitting project, reading, crafting, spending time with friends, making my dog feel special, preparing my food for the week, watching the TV I like to watch (it's minimal, I swear), blogging... How do I do it all? How do you do it all?

Listening to: The Civil Wars Barton Hollow. A friend of mine told me about this duo a few weeks ago and then I saw them on the Grammy's and now I love them.

Reading: I was in the middle of Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore when my library loan ran out. I was seriously 50% finished, and I'm not so cheap that I can't purchase it and finish it, but then I don't know if I want one more thing on my plate (see above). I keep thinking about it though, I think that's a good sign that I should finish it.

Feeling: Healthy. I fell off the workout and eat right train around November (even personal trainers get burnt out), but got back to it right before the start of the new year. Now, I am at the point where I have to workout everyday. My body and my mind make me do it. I like that.

Watching: Last night I watched Parenthood and cried at the end. That show is so good. Later this morning I'm about to grab my knitting and turn on this week's RuPaul's Drag Race. I have eclectic tastes.

What are you up to?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

11 Things

I was tagged by Erin to play this game.... 

Here are the rules.

  1. You must post these rules.
  2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  4. You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
  5. No tag backs and you legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Things about me!

1. I'm super cool. See above.
2. I love carbs! crackers, bread, the list goes on...
3. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is make coffee.
4. I love mornings.
5. I get tired immediately after the sun goes down.
6. I love to nap.
7. I love and look forward to watching The Bachelor every week.
8. If we had cable I would do nothing but watch TV. fact.
9. If I could live an active, happy, bellyache free life eating nothing but chocolate and cinnamon rolls, I would do it. 
10. I hate being cold.
11. I'm cold all the time.

The Questions

1. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

I would pay off my friend's homes, buy people reliable vehicles, take everyone I know on an awesome trip and quit my job and travel. I can't fully understand what that amount of money could achieve, but I would like to do all those things and also never have to work again. 

2. Would you rather be a vampire, or werewolf? Why?

This is the most inappropriate question for me. I don't know/care about either. I guess a vampire. ?

3. Would you rather be AMAZINGLY smart, or AMAZINGLY beautiful? Why? (be honest!)
ugghhhh....I don't want to choose! I guess AMAZINGLY beautiful. It seems to me like you could be pretty isolated if you were AMAZINGLY smart. Am I right? Beautiful and popular! Who's coming with me?!

4. What is one skill you wish you had? Why?
I've always wanted to be more musically inclined. I wish, at a young age, I was put into band. I would have loved to be a band geek.  Why? Because it would make me cooler now. 

5. What is something you are proud of yourself for?
I'm proud of myself for being who I am. I don't try to be someone or something I'm not. I'm just a shy, introverted, crafty, homebody.

6. What is the most embarrassing thing to happen to you (that you’re willing to share)?
I can't think of anything, but I've always had this idea that on Halloween I want to tuck my skirt into my underwear in the back. it's not really a costume, just kind of funny. 

7. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
This is a tough one. After I left school, I had the opportunity to live anywhere I wanted to live, but the idea of that, though romantic, is also very isolating. Moving anywhere you want to live means being alone. I choose this place because I want to be near family and friends. Sometimes location doesn't matter....but I wouldn't mind if KC had a mountain or 2 to hike. 

8. Who is one of your favorite people? Why?
I think Zeb is pretty cool. One of the things that first attracted me to him was that he was a hugger, and a very loving, caring person. I still value that about him. He's also really funny, loves me unconditionally and can spot a typo a mile away. 

9. Telepathy or telekinesis? Why?
I think telekinesis would be cool and creepy, but telepathy seems to be more useful. Telepathy. 

10. If you had to live in a fantasy world from a TV show or book, what world would it be? Why?
I would like to live on any reality TV show. 

11. What is your dream job? Why?
I do love my current job, but I do dream about  being a famous scrapbook designer with products and papers named after me. How do you get to be one of those?

11 Questions for you!

1. Chocolate or vanilla?
2. What movie, that's currently in theaters, do you want to see?
3. What music (song or artist) motivates you? Why?
4. What's your favorite blog to read? Why?
5. What's your favorite thing to do in the winter? summer?
6. Do you workout? What's your favorite exercise?
7. What's your favorite thing to cook? Share the recipe!
8. What's your favorite food?
9. What's your favorite TV show? 
10. Which celebrity could you do without?
11. Do you think love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage?

Now, because I'm a rule breaker, I'm not going to tag anyone. Please play along if you would like and let me know in the comments that you played. Also, if you don't have a blog, but want to play, leave your answers in the comments section.

For Funsies

Erin posted a link to a blog post about how to edit food photography and today was the perfect time to use it. The first photo is unedited and the second photo followed Kelly's instructions exactly.

Wow! I wasn't going to edit the original because I thought it looked great. Seeing it compared, though, I can really tell a difference in the color saturation and detail. The first one looks almost blurry. What do you think?

Saying 'Thank You'

I whipped up dinner last night for my neighbor who was so nice to come over to host Zeb's beer tasting and not ask for anything in return.
That evening we gave him a six pack of his favorite beer, but I also wanted to make him some chili (he likes chili). I followed (loosely) this recipe out of Midwest Living and the chili came out so so.

I admit to making some changes to this recipe:

1. I used 1.5 lbs of ground beef instead of the beef chuck roast and pork loin they suggested.

2. I omitted the parsley. (what does parsley do?)

3. I omitted the red hot chili pepper. (Last week when making salsa I cut up two jalapenos-and apparently touched my nose- and my nose burned for about 2 hours. not pleasant. no thank you.)

4. I forgot to buy the beef broth :|

5. I left out the melted butter (huh?) but then added the butter to my neighbor's portion because I didn't know how to 'save' the recipe. It didn't 'save' it, but did make it very buttery.

My main problem was that 'the chili' came out more like a beef stew than a chili. It tasted good, but to call it chili is not appropriate. In my defense, the picture that goes along with the recipe also looks like a beef stew. (maybe that's not in my defense).

I was happy to serve them dinner last night and they were surprised and happy by the gesture. I even baked up (right out of the package) some chocolate chip cookies.

How do you say 'Thank You' in a special way?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The "I'll Never do an Outfit Post" Outfit Post

I don't wear cute clothes. 
I don't like to spend money on clothes. 
I don't like to take the time to assemble outfits. 
I don't do my hair. 
I don't wear makeup.
I don't like to get dressed up for no reason. 
I don't know how to get dressed up.
I don't want to drive around the city looking for a cool spot to be photographed. 

These are things I do not care about. 
I have a lot of stretchy pants and a lot of hoodies and a lot of scarves and that is what I wear. 

...and with that, my outfit:


outfit details:
Scarf: Merona from Target
Hoodie: thrifted
Hair: freshly washed
Nails: unpainted
Face: freshly washed

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Party

For Zeb's Birthday we decided to have a party at the house to celebrate.

A beer tasting was the first thing we planned. We're lucky enough to have a liquor rep living next door so we asked him if he could lead that part of the party, and he did an amazing job. He gave a lot of interesting information, and people asked a lot of questions. It was fun to try all the different beers he picked out.

We served tacos for dinner and I was nervous all week about having enough food. I've never cooked for 20 people before and was totally unsure of how to feed all of them. I was most fearful that some people wouldn't get to eat. So in the end, I bought and prepared waaaaaay too much food. It's better than the latter, but we'll be eating tacos for months at this point. 

I also set up a DIY photobooth which I was pretty unsure of. Sometimes I get sucked blog land and there are all these cute ideas floating around, but when I emerge from blog land I'm unsure of whether the ideas are super cute and crafty and something everyone would really love or something only this crafty girl would love.  When I bought it up to Zeb he thought it was a good idea so we went ahead with it.

This photobooth was very DIY, but it was a hit at the party. I hung a sheet up to cover a wall, and Zeb had a couple boxes of props- wigs, hats and masks. We put the camera on a tripod and set up the custom timer to take 3 consecutive pictures 5 seconds apart.  There were over 200 pictures at the end of the night. This is just a sampling.


The party was super fun and I was exhausted by the end of it all. People started showing up before 6:00 and I finally sneaked off to bed around 1:00.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Could it be that I'm still recovering from the party?
I'm old.

Here's one pic from the DIY photo booth we had set up.

More to come...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things this week have been pretty busy, along with my own life happening I've also been trying to plan a birthday party for Zeb. Well, the day has come, February 4th is here!

Tonight we're having about 20 people over for a beer tasting and a taco party. I think it should be a really good time and I'm going to take lots of pictures. I really just hope everyone has fun, especially Zeb.

Have you hosted a themed party before?

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Giveaway!

Isn't this hat cute!?
I made it and I'm giving it away!
Go visit eef etc to get the details.

Go check it out and enter to win!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

1. 2. 3. 4....

I'm currently knitting a baby blanket for my cousin's baby due to arrive in July. I have knitted two other baby blankets in the past for new babies and I love it as a gift because I feel it's one of those things the mommy will keep forever. I'm all for practical gifts too, but this is something that I love spending the time to make.

I did want a pattern that looked impressive, but was pretty simple to knit up so I wouldn't have to pay too much attention. So now I spend my afternoons and evenings counting stitches. It's a bit of a slow process, and often I find I'm making myself sit down to knit, but I know I'll be very happy when it's finished.

Almost halfway there!

I didn't think of it, but I'm glad somebody did.

I always fish around in the depths of my purse to find my MP3 player. The other day, one of my workout buddies pulled hers out of a pouch she keeps in her purse, and then the lightbulb went off for me. So simple, but I never thought of doing it. Now, I know exactly where to find my MP3 player when it's time to workout.

....and if you're at all curious, my MP3 player is a Sony and was a gift from Zeb from many moons ago. It still works and I still love it, however the program to purchase songs and add songs is no longer available so I can't modify my play lists anymore, bummer. But, I tend to listen to the radio with it most of the time because I get to hear all the crappy/awesome/crappy pop songs I love without having to pay for them. Who can afford the skyrocketing price of a song these days anyway!? (sarcasm). I'm cheap.

....and the pouch is from one or two years ago when I took this awesome Home Ec Sewing E-Course.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This weather has been so amazing, and yesterday we took full advantage of it. Friends of ours with two little girls came over and their little family and our little family walked to the nearby park to play for a bit. It was so fun!

I didn't take my camera, but imagine...

-Peanut running as fast as she could go all over the park
-Zeb playing underdog with our friends' oldest girl
-Adults sliding down slides
-little girl giggles