May 26, 2008

Honorary Chair

I am so proud to announce that I have been chosen to be Honorary Chair for Relay for Life of Eden Prairie this year. To be considered is such an honor, but then to be asked. Well, WOW....I'm speechless. (yeah, right, like I'm ever speechless) Seriously though, this is a cause so personal to me, and hopefully through the telling of my story, I can inspire you to help me to fight back against this deadly disease called Cancer.

My Story......

Ever since I was a little girl I looked up to my big sister Julianne. She was a dancer. Actually, she graduated from High School early so that she could dance and perform on a cruise ship while exploring the world. I always wanted to be just like her. She was beautiful and talented and a joy to be around. Everyone loved her. Then when I was seventeen and she was only 24 years old, she was diagnosed with a very large in-operable brain tumor on the base of her brain.

I don't know if it was because I was young and naive and certainly never had known anyone with cancer before, or if I was just in denial, but the thought of her dying never once crossed my mind. And so, when I woke up one morning and was faced with that reality, I felt like most people do when they are faced with this disease or know someone who is dealing with it. I felt helpless, and hopeless and I felt cheated out of having no choice in the matter.

Three years ago, a very good friend of mine, Amy Rea, invited me to go to Eden Prairie's Relay For Life event and walk the track with her. She was relaying in honor of her neighbor who had just been recently diagnosed with cancer. I decided at the last minute to go and walk for a couple of hours in support, but instead I ended up staying the entire night till the next morning. It was a fun and amazing experience that moved me beyond words. For the first time, I felt like I had a choice. I felt empowered to fight back against cancer. I realized that I didn't have to sit by and watch those we love suffer or die from something that can be prevented. I realized that I could raise awareness and money for research. So, while walking the track that night at Relay for Life, I had it all planned out in my mind how I was going to participate the next year and create my own team and walk in honor and memory of my sister, Julianne.

Little did I know then, but the following year not only did I participate as a relayer and team captain, but also as a cancer survivor.

You see, for nearly an entire year I had not been feeling well at all and wasn't sure why. I started pulling my kids out of activities because I just didn't feel good or have the energy needed for extras. I felt nauseaus and bloated all of the time. I started having extreme abdominal pain and that is when it was discovered through a couple of CT scans that I had a tumor on my left ovary.

I can't imagine what it is like for people who have the knowlege that they have cancer, but for me it was the fear of NOT knowing. Because of insurance issues, I had to put off surgery for two months. Not knowing the seriousness of the tumor and whether it was cancerous, was especially hard on me and my family. My husband and children were very supportive, but we were all very scared. And only a couple of years earlier had we known a family friend who had died from ovarian cancer having to leave behind her own husband and young children. We knew the seriousness of this kind of cancer and like I said, we were afraid.

Finally, I checked into the hospital on May 1st, 2006. Surgery was scheduled to be about 2 hours long. Instead, it ended up taking about four and a half hours. My surgeon easily removed my left ovarian tumor through three small laparoscopic incisions. He said it was smooth and the size of a grapefurit. Yep, not kidding. A freakin' grapefruit. I even asked him to repeat that several times just to confirm that I heard him correctly. Anyway, he sent my ovary and affected filopian tube off to pathology to be tested, while I was still on the operating table. My doctor seemed confident that it would be benign and started to close me up. But very quickly the report came back from pathology that it was cancerous. I then had to be reopened immediately with a large incision to dissect lymph nodes for biopsy. While doing that, I had the unexpected complication of excessively bleeding and lost a lot of blood which required a blood transfusion, also resulting - a damaged vein in my left leg.

As it turned out, I had a very rare form of cancer known as Granulosa stromal cell tumor. Only 1 to 2% of ovarian cancers present in this form. So, if you are going to have ovarian cancer, this is the one to get. It typically is a very slow spreading cancer and it seems that I could have had it for many many years and not know of it of course until experiencing symptoms. Luckily, my cancer was treatable through surgery alone and no chemotherapy was needed. I still have to go to my doctor every three months for the next 3 years for follow visits and blood tests.

I am amazed at how far medical research has come. It's possible that my sister could be alive today with the advancements they've made in this field. It's very possible that I wouldn't be leading a happy and active life now without it.

Since my recovery, I've resumed my career in Ballroom Dance that I had put on hold for 10 years to raise my young family. Teaching full time, I'm reminded daily through twinges in my left leg from my damaged vein at how lucky I am to be a survivor.

I DANCE in MEMORY of my sister, Julianne and to CELEBRATE my survivorship.

I RELAY FOR LIFE to FIGHT BACK against this deadly disease.

My mantra....."Remember.......Celebrate......Fight Back!" and count your many blessings.


How can you help ???

RELAY FOR LIFE takes place on July 18th at the Central Middle School track in Eden Prairie. It is an all night fun activity-filled event starting at 6:00 pm and ending at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Presently, I am team captain of "The CURE-rageous Knitters" (composed of my very wonderful knitting friends who were all a great support to me during my cancer scare).

I invite you to seriously consider joining me in my efforts. You can do this by signing up to be on my team to raise money and participate in this fun event or simply by just taking a couple of minutes and make a monetary on-line donation.

Now, please visit my personal or team webpage to sign up or make a donation In honor Of, In Support of, or In Memory of someone you know who has been affected by this deadly disease.

Thank you so much for your support.

July 04, 2007


Back from California and Vegas....and it was so great! The last day of our trip my dad gave me an early birthday present.

Tickets to go see Barry Manilow at the Vegas Hilton for that night!

Oh-my-God! THE icing on my Barry Cake! I've come to realize that I'm now officially Old ...'cause Barry ROCKED THE HOUSE.

Yes, Barry was a bit slower and creakier than years past.
but Yes, he still sounds pitch-perfect.
Yes, I swayed with my Manilow embossed glow-stick during the slow songs, while Byron patiently endured.
AND YES I am a true Fan-ilow!

Okay, so I guess you could say that the rest of my vacation kinda pales in comparison to Barry, but it was still wonderful. I will try and sum it up quickly.


-Very hot. averaged aout 110 degrees.

-My mom and dad rented a pontoon for the day where we ate, fished and swam out on Lake Mead near the Hoover Dam. Very fun day. The kids were in heaven.

-Took the kids to the Luxor (the Egyptian pyramid hotel), Went to M&M's World and to Harrahs Casino to see the Mac King magic show. Eric, Ian and Olivia ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS....especially since we met my brother there and he tipped the usher and got us 2nd row seats. Woo-hoo!

-We spent lots of time with Nana and Papa (my mom and dad) my brother Jeff and sister Anysia, and my nephew Jason who all live near Vegas. and I had some good home cooking....which included moms pork chops. Mmmmmm

San Jose, California

-The weather was perfect, as always. The mountains were beautiful, as always. The driving was defensive, as always. It felt like home....and I loved every minute of it.

- Great to see all my family. My sister Andrea, and neice Audrey. Grandma and Grandpa Romero. And Byron's brother's family too. Phil, Tao, Zara and Leta.

-My Grandma and Grandpa hosted a big family dinner for us. Complete with her homemade tamales, beans & tortillas, new mexican chile, spanish rice....etc. I was in heaven. It was also so wonderful seeing all my aunts, uncles, cousins who showed up and or drove from out of town to visit with us. I miss them again so much already.

-We drove to the coast. Our favorite, "Pescadero beach", by Half Moon Bay was still the same. The kids remembered it well, even for not having been there for five years and Olivia only being 3 years old back then.

Here's me being a beach bum. Oh how I love the beach.

-Then took the kids a bit further down the coast to the tide pools....where we spent much of the day looking for hermit crabs and interesting shells and sea anenomes.

-We ate at Round Table Pizza (my favorite pizza that I can't get here) We ate at Togo's. My favorite sandwich shop (that I can't get here) We went and bought some See's chocolate....(my favorite chocolate in the whole world - that also, I can't get here.)

-We explored our old neighborhood and local hang-outs. Everything seemed so much smaller than how we remembered it. But it was a good trip down memory lane.

-We went to San Francisco. Crossed the Golden Gate, and took the kids to Muir Woods to see the the Giant Redwood Trees and then headed over to Fisherman's wharf to Ghiradelli Square for more chocolate and ice cream.

Like I said it was a great 2 weeks. I am back now and today feeling kind of melancholy. I love the bay area. Sounds funny to say that I feel like when I am there I can actually relax and breathe easy. My woes fade away. There is no place like home.

April 21, 2007

A New Posting!

Surprise Surprise! Yes, I'm posting....and I have to say that it feels kinda great. Since it has been so long since my last post, I have a hodge podge of stuff to share. So here goes and try to keep up.

As it turns out I have knitted more that I thought I had so far this year. My biggest goal was reached by attempting the "branching out" lace scarf for the third time, and actually got completely through it, cast off, blocked it, and sent it off to mama for Mothers day. Here is a picture of corgimom modeling it for me. also take note of the beautiful sweater corgimom knitted and is wearing. Looks like they were almost meant to be knitted and worn together, huh?

At the end of March I finally finished my husbands mistake rib scarf as seen here.

Just a tad late for the winter season, but lets not talk about that, shall we?

Here is my 16X16 inch square for my friend Jodi's chemo blanket. A group of us knitters got together and knitted up squares and then assembled them into a blanket for our friend who was going through breast cancer chemo treatments. It turned out lovely and she loved it. I wish I had a completed blanket picture to show you.

Now this picture is purely eye candy for the ladies. I'm only posting it, cause I think my hubby looks Hot in this picture. Eat your hearts out girls.

In all seriousness, here we are having dinner in the city at Zelo. An old friend from San Jose was in town and we met her there for dinner to catch up. It was a wonderful evening and oh, the food was so good.Good times, good times.

And to start off the month of June off right, Amy and I went to the midnight showing of the Buffy Sing-a-long in Minneapolis. Unless you are a Buffy the vampire slayer fanatic, don't even try to understand. All you need to know is that it was SO MUCH FUN! See Amy's blog entry here for pictures and a very accurate recap of the night.

Also Amy and I are going to see Prince in July. You know.... The artist formerly known as Prince, Prince. Talk about getting down and having some F-U-N this summer.

and speaking of has officially begun with the end of school last week. Here's my family post dinner and pre-Ian haircut lounging lakeside at centennial lakes.

Yes, notice the rockstyle hairdo....and mismatched clothing middle child is wearing?
Let's just say that I have to choose my battles wisely.

And here is darling husband on a park bench relaxing.

let's zoom in a little closer, shall we?

Yep whaddya know? That little $#!@ is sleeping.

and so this is how summer begins for us Dickinson's.

Next week....we will all be going to Las Vegas for a week and then off to California for a week. We can't wait. Lots of family to visit and the kids are excited to see our old stomping grounds. It has been five years since they have been back and they have grown a lot since then. It will be so great.

March 14, 2007


Could it be that it has been practically 2 months since I've blogged? Could it be that it has been almost that long since I've knitted. I am ashamed to even call myself a knitter anymore. This won't be a knitting post.....I have some complaining to do.

February did exist........the Dickinson's almost didn't. The month of February and this first half of March has been nothing but constant yucki-ness for my family. One cold after another and the dreaded flu. Yep.....I failed to take the family in for flu shots this year. I feel like a total shmuck about it now of course. I'd also rather forget the frigid northern mid-western temperatures we've had to endure this winter. Everyday I've re-dramatized other people's horror stories to my kids about the affects of frostbite from the tid-bits of info I'd get on the daily news. Do my kids even care? Nope. Still, I've bundled them up properly - made the the sign of the cross and shooed them out the door nearly every morning to brave the below zero temps on the way to the corner bustop these past few months.

Hopefully no longer. Yesterday it hit 60 degrees. Yay- feel the warmth. Short sleave weather... Or what I like to call -a cold day in California weather. But it looks like spring will be coming to Minnesota this year afterall. I shall look forward to it without looking back......

Okay, I'll look back. But only to relive a few wonderful things that happened that I will never forget....... the evening I almost choked on a Dorito chip while opening up my e-mail to find, (from my cousins wife) a picture of their first baby ultrasound and only the words "Big News" in the subject heading. How great that was. (Not the choking part)

.......... Or the day I was at Subway ordering sandwiches for my gang - while the man in line behind me quietly handed me a "free meal" coupon saving me like five bucks. Man! Sometimes you wonder if people like that exist anymore. You know-the kind that are thinking outside of themselves for once. note to self: pay it forward.

........Then there was that morning that Amy from KnitThink brought me over some yummy homemade split-pea and ham soup. She said it was because she had made way too much....but I know better. She's thoughtful that way ....and knows I'm meat deprived.

.....Oh and I can't forget playing phone tag with my Aunt Joyful (who is every bit of happy as her name implies) Finaly we were able to talk on the phone together for the first time in almost five years. Oh that was fun. Why we don't more often....I don't know.

but to top it all off.....

About three weeks ago....(while stewing in the depths of my homesick despair.) A package arrived at my doorstep. Yes, For me. My Aunt Dora from San Jose....sent me my most favorite chocolate in the whole wide world. Bordeaux!

Now, chocolate is chocolate right???? WRONG!!

Chocolate done right for Bordeaux (chocolate brown sugar buttercream) from See's Candies. (Usually only found on the west coast but sometimes can be stumbled upon at the Minnetonka Ridgedale Mall during christmas time - you've gotta time it right though)
I have to admit she took me by complete surprise. Impeccable timing. ...but Auntie Dora has always been very intuitive that way. She must have known in her heart that I needed a pick me up. Whatever the reason....... Bordeaux makes everything good again. Thanks Auntie Dora....I love you.

I've changed my mind. It was a good winter.

January 20, 2007

Going out on a Limb

It's been a long time since I've knitted. My poor husband's Christmas hat is still on the needles. I did finish it in time for Christmas, but upon trying it on found that it could use a couple extra inches in length. I frogged back the decreases and added the length and then I misplaced the pattern and now I'm stuck in limbo till I get brave and guess at the decreases.....or find the pattern. I'll probably end up trying to fudge it.

Lots going on in January. I am having so much fun with my part-time day-care job, that the days seem to be whizzing by especially quickly for this time of year.

I haven't been to SnB at all this year so far. Partly because I have nothing new on the needles and partly because when it gets this cold I hate leaving the house for even the best of reasons. I could go from 10:00-11:30 and be back in time for Sofi's arrival.......but, but.....well it's just so damn cold outside. I am such a cold weather wimp (especially in the morning.)

Like I said.....nothing new on the needles, but I intend to change all of that soon. As soon as I finish husbands hat.......and scarf. ( I'm thinking of knitting him up the "mistake scarf")
I want to try "branching out" again. I will not let the "branching out" scarf beat me in 2007. I have learned how to insert lifelines since the last time I attempted it and believe me.....I am gonna use them. It's time that I get over my fear of branching out and just knit it already. Besides it'll be nice to be able to claim that I've knitted easy lace.

So again I say....."Go out on a limb.....that's where all the good fruit is."

and so I shall.

January 06, 2007


Okay grab a may need to sit down for this.

I got a job. Yes a real job!...I am now a breadwinner! No, I'm not pulling your leg....I know I've talked and talked for-eh-e-ver about maybe going back to work now that the kids require slightly less maintenance.......but

Hmmm....I can see this is going to take a bit of convincing on my part to make you beleive that I am actually a bona-fide working gal now, so while I'm spilling out the details of my new job to you.... do ya think you can kindly roll your eyes back into your head where I can see them?

As I was saying, as far as jobs go...nothing seemed to interest me or seem to be the perfect fit with the required wonky hours. Ya see, I want to be able to see my kids off to school and also be home for them when they return. So, nothing seemed perfect that is ......Until now!

Basically I work (if you can really call it that) 20 hours a week watching my neighbors daughter Sofi since her "nanny" has gone back to school. I have just finished up my first official work week and I have to tell you that it was so great. I am totally cut out for childcare...I love it.(Provided that the children aren't my own..*wink* ...and that the child is as sweet and well behaved as little Sofi is.)

And guess what??? Benefits. The pay will supplement my yarn addiction!! Woot! Woot! Can it get any better than that?

Okay, I can see that this is way too much for you to handle at this I will gladly give you pause to please pick your jaw up off the floor and perhaps get a paper bag to breathe into. I should've known that the shock of me "working" could get ugly.

Anyway, 2007 is going to be a great year!

Let me tell you why.

Last year pretty much sucked big time. I felt physically horrible for most of the year. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had it removed and then spent most of the rest of year recovering from it and the effects of the damaged vein in my leg that surgery has left me. It all really took a toll on my family, especially my children. And...financially, getting cancer is no picnic either. Just when I think I have paid the last medical bill, another one shows up via Mr. Postman. AARGHHH! We have paid over $10K in medical bills in 2006 and just received yet another one on Jan. 1st GGRRR (And so my deck and California family vacation get's postponed yet again) I do however have to thank God for good doctors and insurance....because I know it could've been a whole lot worse. Okay, so the turn around point in 2006 was getting Moose. He has been our comic relieff and joy since bringing him home in August. And he has really helped to heal all of us emotionally.

For 2007

Yes,I have a resolution. My resolution is this. To look people square in the eye when I talk to them. Undivided attention is very important....and it seems that I notice in others a lack of eye contact and wonder if I often do the same. I will make a concerted effort to not hide behind my knitting anymore, or other distractions when carrying on a conversation with others and to be fully present. I know it may not be your average run of the mill resolution, but I really want to live life this year to its fullest and be present every possible moment. A stretch? I don't think so.

Happy New Year Everyone!

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everybody!!

It'll be a short post this morning, I promise. Kids need help assembling all their toys, I need to take a nap already and it's not even 9:00 a.m. (Let's just say that the kids didn't sleep all night long - (Way too excited about Santa coming) Which btw, made it extremely difficult for Santa to deliver his gifts and stuff the stockings.

The picture above is of a snowman s'more that the kids in Ian's class party made this year. I wanted something fun but easy for the kids to assemble.....and I think I accomplished just that. And 100% edible too!

And..........Here are some pictures of the bears that I knit for my little ones this year. They opened them last night along with their christmas p.j.'s and absolutely loved them.

This is Eric's bear.......His name is Sleepy

Here is Ians Bear - who has yet to be named

And this is Olivia's bear. She named him Molasses.

And here are all three bears together...

Oh and no.....I didn't forget about Your gift.

Press on this link for your christmas gift from me to you! Enjoy.... and Merry Christmas.

December 21, 2006

Cool Yule

My mom and my sister Andrea both pulled through for me and sent me lots of
wonderful yummy christmas cookies. You can't even imagine my happiness over this. It certainly is going to be a very fattening christmas this year....but you won't hear me complaining.
(Not until January at least.)

Today I spent the day wrapping gifts from "Santa". It was fun to wrap, while listening to my two newest favorite christmas c.d's. Barry Manilow "A gift of Love" and Bette Midler's "Cool Yule". They are must haves in any Christmas music collection. .....and I find it a tad amusing that they are both Jewish singing Christmas classics.

Anyway, as I was wrapping along cheerfully....something positively magical happened. It started to snow ......and flakes the size of silver dollars were suddenly streaming down from the heavens. It was so beautiful and soft and peaceful....and I had to go outside because I'd never seen snowflakes that large before. Neither had Moose... He loved it too.

Then the second miracle of the day happened.

Byron surprised me by coming home from work three hours early. YIKES! What's up with that? I had his gift unwrapped and laying out all over the island in the kitchen. (No, not ME,people. Get your minds out of the gutter, will ya?)

Luckily, He didn't see his presents. But it certainly was a little shocking as I don't think he has ever come home that early before today. It was fun.

So all of the presents are wrapped. I think we went a little overboard with the kids christmas gifts this year......but then again, I tend to think that every year and Byron always thinks there should be more. OYE!

December 09, 2006


There will be no holiday stress for me this year! No, I absolutely mean it! I am so far ahead of where I usually am this time of year.

Christmas lights put on the house. CHECK
Christmas tree erected and trimmed. CHECK
Hang Christmas Stockings over Fireplace with care. CHECK
100 Christmas cards hand addressed, envelopes licked closed (ick) and sent out. CHECK
On-line gifts ordered, wrapped and shipped out. CHECK
TWO christmas teddy bears knitted and clothed. CHECK

Things left to do

Knit one more teddy bear and its clothes
Knit a man scarf.
Knit a man hat.
Knit one sock. yes, just one.
Buy a $10.00 secret Santa knitting related gift for SnB holiday party.
Buy more stocking stuffers for kids
Buy Teachers gifts.
Buy Bus drivers gift.
Mailman gift? Cash perhaps?
Wrap and try to re-hide all the kids gifts .....after I find where I hid them of course.
Buy lots of batteries

Like I said.... I am way ahead this year. I vow a no-stress holiday.
And just to be sure.....I've booked myself a hot stone therapy massage session over at the Spalon Montage the week before Christmas. Yay! Merry Christmas to ME.

Ya see....I'm serious this year. Abso-tively posi-lutely no holiday stress will be had. I am just going to enjoy the fun of the season with my family and friends. Whatever doesn't get done....will have to go un-done.

I meant what I said
I said what I meant
There will be no stress this Christmas
not one percent.


December 04, 2006


It's late and I really oughtta be in bed right now......but I really feel a need to blog a bit. I will make it short.

Today was Tamale day at Grandma Romero's house. I didn't go because I live here in Minnesota and Grandma lives in California. Every year for as long as I can remember it has been a tradition for all of us Romero girls to get together and spend a day making lots (and I mean LOTS) of tamales to enjoy for the holiday season.

Nancy sent me pictures and made me cry.

I haven't participated in Tamale Day the last five years that I've lived here......and every year on Tamale day....I feel this same way.......completely heartbroken with homesickness.

Did I mention? Nancy sent me pictures and made me cry.

To top it off, sometimes life throws you an unexpected surprise.....and today was no exception.

I checked my e-mails and received a comment on my previous blogposting. It was a comment from an old dear friend of my deceased sister (Julianne) who happened to stumble across my little ol' knitting blog. His name is Dave Wolowic. For all my friends and family in California who read my postings.......his name will ring bells. For the rest of may know him as big hot shot sound editor on many big (and by big I mean gi-normously big) hollywood major motion pictures. It's not often I get to name there.

But I digress. Like any time you reconnect with someone from your past that you haven't talked to in inevitably brings back tons of memories.

So I took the stroll down memory lane today......and although it's been an emotional day, I feel blessed that all my memories of friends and traditions are happy ones.

also, Dave sent me pictures of Julianne that I'd never seen before and therefore made me cry. Like this one from when she was a dancer at Marriott's Great America.

What on earth is this world comin' to........Is it everybody's mission to make me cry?

November 19, 2006


Just had to share. I got a call yesterday from the Sheepy yarn shoppe over in White Bear lake. The lady said that I had a door prize still waiting there
that I never came by to claim from the yarn store Treasure hunt last month.

WHAT? Did I ever receive a phone call? No, I didn't. I think that I would've remembered receivng a call saying that I've won 10 balls of yarn, 2 pairs of needles, a small stack of knitting patterns and a huge (absolutely adorable) water bottle with a knitting sheep on it. But the lady on the phone insisted that I had been notified and so all I can say to that is......."Thank You! Thank You! Thank you! and well, can I come and pick it up today?"

Byron was wonderful and drove my anxious self down there yesterday afternoon. I just couldn't wait to see all the fun stuff I won. It only took about 2 hours round trip. Not bad. ...and while there I also got to take a look at that Shakespeare sweater again all knitted up and on display. Ooh I just love it! I have to knit one up for me.

But for now I'll just focus on what I'm gonna do with this little
bundle of non-wool (non-claritan popping) goodness.

Can you even believe my yarn luck lately? (Knock on Wood)

Go here to read more about the Treasure Hunt road trip that Amy and I took. It was a hoot.

November 18, 2006

Dear Bezzie

Dear Bezzie,

I don't know you, but I want to thank you. You know Amy (Amy of
Knit Think and a host of the DOTD KAL) Well, she came by my house the other day to drop off a little bag of goodies that apparently I won in a DOTD drawing. She told me the story of how you were the original winner and how you graciously declined the winnings since you had recently won another yarn stash from another contest.

All I have to say is
"Big Mistake, girl. Huge!" This is some good yarn you turned down. Koigu to be exact. 2 skeins. Also, not to rub it in or anything.....but I have to add that tucked away in the goody bag was also a black sheep tape measure. SCORE! and some cute little authentic mexican puddings....that BTW, my kids have already devoured.

I am very impressed by the selflessness of your actions. I don't think I would have done the same thing in your position....and so, I thank you and I will think of your selfless deed everytime I wear the lovely socks this koigu will knit up. and I will try to be less greedy when it comes to yarn.
So thanks Bezzie. Just goes to show that knitters are good people.


November 16, 2006

If Life Were a John Hughes Film.......

I saw this little fun game on my friend Beth's blog. Too funny. I love John Hughes films, so of course I had to play along.

Basically this is the soundtrack to the movie about my life (plus commentary de moi). Enjoy!

Here's how it works:
1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that's playing
5. new question-- press the next button
6. don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

The Soundtrack of My Life
......................(A John Hughes Film).......................

Opening credits:

"She's A rebel" by Green Day

Oh but of course!

Waking up scene:

"The Black Lake" off the Harry Potter movie soundtrack

Now is the time I should mention that I share an I-pod with my 10 year old son.
Which will explain why the Harry Potter soundtrack is on it.

First day at school Scene:
"Sleep All day" Jason Mraz

Slap my knees funny.

falling in loveScene:

"Angel of Harlem" by U2

Again, part of my sons music library.

Breaking up Scene:
"Hogwarts Hymn" off the Harry Potter Soundtrack

Oh dear lord..... are there any songs at all on this i-pod that I actually listen to? I do have to admit though, that this is a really pretty song, and one that might be comforting during a break-up.

Prom Scene:
"I'm Alive" by Celine Dion
Okay, this is a little more like it. Prom was a time to Part-ay!

Life's okay Scene:

"I'll never tell" off the Buffy the vampire slayer musical episode soundtrack
Why yes, I do have Buffy songs downloaded onto my I-pod.

Mental breakdown Scene:
"Cryin'" by Aerosmith
Tee-hee - It's hilarious what comes up. Very appropriate song I might add. Not one I'd personally choose, but remember it's a game!

Driving Scene:
"The Sun" by Maroon 5
I must be driving a volkswagon convertible with the top down on the sunny california coast in this scene.

Flashback Scene:
"Love is a Many Splendored Thing" sung by Barry Manilow
A true flashback yes. I love Barry Manilow.

Getting back together scene:
"My heart will go on" by Celine Dion


wedding Scene:
"Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith
Must be a shotgone wedding.

birth of child scene:
"Save Me" by Queen
I don't think I have ever even heard this song, but I have to admit I was a bit scared upon the births of my 3 children..

final battle scene:
"Anakins Dream" off the Star Wars Episode 3 Soundtrack

death scene:

"Jesus of Suburbia" Green Day

I can't beleive I let my son listen to this. I just downloaded the lyrics to this song. It's no wonder I am dead in this scene. Apparently I did a lot of drugs.

funeral song:

"Only one Road" Celine Dion
A beautiful waltz. In reality, would never pick this for a funeral song, but who knows.....I'll think about it.

end credits:
"Another One Bites the dust" Queen

Okay, so I cheated on this last one......the song I actually got was "Your Eyes Open" by Keene but that's a stupid song to end my life movie with, so I pressed forward on my I-pod and got Another one Bites the dust....which is much funnier.

Feel free to join the fun yourself, I'd love to see what you have on your MP3 player....and e-mail me your results please.

November 11, 2006

Family Hostage Situation

I have been a lot nervous all day since I found out about this family hostage situation that took place two nights ago.

Normally, reading about things like this.....makes me shudder and then wonder a bit why the world has gone so terribly wrong, but this.....(as it turns out) happened right here in my very own neighborhood. Literally right around the corner from me down the street that connects to mine. This is scary 'cause this one hits way too close to home.

I have always felt very safe in this neighborhood. All of this has changed and now I find myself feeling a kind of worry, I've never known before. Since we've never felt the need to activate our security system in the last five years we've lived here, We scrambled last night to remember our security code and double check windows and doors.

Thankfully the family (parents, 2 boys,1 girl and their dog) wasn't physically harmed. Although, I can't even imagine their emotional state.

Say a prayer.

November 09, 2006


I had a dream last night. (sidenote: Yes, I realize that dreams are only interesting to the person who does the dreaming and not at all meant to be an entertaining story to anyone else..) but who cares. I had a dream and you are going to hear about it.

So shape up or ship out. (ooh I'm channeling my mother from my teenage years again)

Anyway my dream...

I was in a store. A store kind of like Home Depot or somthing like that. Which is strange, 'cause in reality, I've only been into the Home Depot like maybe 3 times in my entire life. But I digress..... In my dream, I was in home depot and I was anxious that I wouldn't get my sisters birthday present mailed out in time for her birthday. Because ya know in dreams, home depots also have a Post office....and in this one, apparently a ballet dance class being offered in a back room of the wherehouse.

Okay, so anyway......I'm frantic, trying to find the wrapping paper aisle so that I can wrap and send off my sisters knitted gift to her. Instead I come across the mylar balloon section, but not before I notice that plastic folding chairs are on sale for .89 cents a piece. What a deal! I'll just stack a few of those over here to the side so I can purchase those on the way out.

I pick out the biggest silver balloon I can see and literally run psychotically down a really long corrider that seems to be getting longer and longer and then this is the part in my dream where my legs start to fail me and are getting heavier and heavier and now I can no longer run,let alone walk. I find myself combat crawling down the hall and sobbing that I will not make it in time to send off her package, while noticing girls in pink tu-tu's rolling their eyes at me.

The next thing I know....I am at the counter with a roll of wrapping paper, my trashed box with knitted gift inside.....and a big (well gi-normous) balloon. The lady is yelling at me and saying that the balloon won't fit in the box and therefore cannot be mailed. I have a simple solution.....just tape the damn balloon onto the top of the box. No problem now. All is solved. Except....for the life of me, I can't remember my sisters address....(or my school locker combo for that matter.) (oh nevermind that's another re-curring dream I have) Anyway, what is my sisters address???? It just won't come to me. I'm scared now......I have to get this in the mail!!!!!! Help Help.....someone help.

This is where I wake up....and that funny dream eraser thing comes over my mind and takes it all away to probably never be remembered again....except for I come down the stairs, and upon looking at the calendar....I notice that today is Nov. 9th. My sister Andrea's birthday.....and my dream all comes flooding back to me.

Dear Andrea,

In reality, I didn't knit you a gift. Or haven't been to the post office in weeks. In reality, I would never forget your address. In reality, this blog posting is your birthday gift. In reality, I wish you the happiest birthday ever. And in reality, I miss and love you very very much. Happy Birthday sis. You are always on my mind.( And I have my dreams to prove it.)

Love, Lisa

Nysie is sooo gonna kill me for that picture.

My Sister Andrea Inez now.
Isn't she so pretty?

November 08, 2006

November is Here!

November is a month that I normally don't look forward to here in Minnesota. It usually marks the beginning of extreme cold. (I'm a cold temperature wimp) But today's the exception. It is 55 degrees out right now and it is looking to get up about another 10 degrees by this afternoon. I love it! Thank you Mother Nature!

I suppose this cabled hat and scarf set that I knit up for Livvie is gonna have to remain shelved for just a wee bit longer.

Like I'm soooo disappointed. NOT!

November 05, 2006

Day of the Dead

Dias de Los Muertos (also known as) Day of the Dead. Yes, it sounds very macabre, but really it is a positive and joyful celebration. A time to celebrate the lives of people whom we've loved and lost to death. A Mexican holiday tradition.

Okay, so I'm not Mexican, sue me.

But I am latina. More specifically, Bascillian. (Not even really sure I know how to spell that) but basically my ancestors on both sides are from the most northern basque regions of Spain.

Myself, having grown up in California and having parents and grandparents who were born and raised in New Mexico, I feel very connected with New Mexican culture. However, not so much with Mexico's. But this year I am celebrating Day of the Dead ......and yes, it will involve knitting!

Soooooo........I have knitted these in memory of my dead sister Julianne.

Legwarmers! Yes totally 80's, I know.

But ya see, my sister (Julianne Romero) was a dancer in the 80's. And not just for fun ya know. It was her passion and it was her career. She graduated high school early so that she could entertain on a cruise ship. By the time she was in her early 20's.....she had danced and sang pretty much the entire world over. Tragically, her career and life was cut short when it was discovered (at the age of 24 while she was in Mexico on vacation) that she had an in-operable brain tumor.

It was a very sad time.......and I've talked and blogged much about her....but in trying to come up with a knitting project to make in her honor, I came across a leg warmers pattern in the one skein book.

A perfect thing to knit for Day of the Dead in Julianne's honor because leg warmers remind me of her and of this poster she had in her bedroom while growing up.

Ever since I could remember, I looked up to my sis. Not only because she was 7 years older than me and therefore taller, but because she was a spirited, happy, independant person. Everything that I wanted to be.

She never seemed to be embarrassed by her "little sisters". Even when she was a teenager, she seemed proud to have me around. She was very thoughtful and generous. When I was little I would often find little presents hidden under my pillow from her. A pack of gum, or a book of stickers.....especially on the days that she would be leaving for her next cruise.

My sis. hmmmmmmm.......She taught me to love musical theatre. She taught me how to carry a tune,the importance of good dance posture, how to act and entertain on a stage. She inspired me to be a generous person, a good friend, and an excellent pen-pal.

I miss her a lot.

Today I will be celebrating Day of the Dead with many friends. Eating drinking,laughing and remembering. And will feel proud to put her knitted legwarmers on the Day of the Dead altar in her memory and then give them to my own daughter to wear to her own dance classes.

Here are some lyrics to an 80's song that was a favorite of Julianne's. Another thing that reminds me of her.

Happy Dia De Las Muertos.

October 18, 2006

Shakespeare in Love

Here's the pattern.....

It's called Shakespeare........and I fell so in love with knitting up this little goody that I will make myself one too.

Anyhow, this sweater is for my best friend Laura. No, I didn't keep it. Although beleive me, I was desperately tempted to. I also didn't knit it in the yarn shown on the pattern either. Instead, I chose Lana Grossa Royal Tweed in a brown. I was looking for a very fall autumn-y feel that matched the socks I just also finished knitting for her. I had a rocky start. Just a tiny mistake, really. Somehow, I forgot how to yarn-over. Uh-oh! (okay, big mistake as brioche is made up of lots of yarn-overs. But, once Kelle (the knitting wizardress) helped get me on the right track....I was up and running. Thank God for Kelle. What a gem.

Notice the chewed up corner on the top left corner of the pattern? FYI, this projectalmost didn't get completed....but thankfully I caught Moose (in the act) before he could do any real damage.

"Who Me? Us dogs always get blamed for everything, when all we wanna do is sleep in strange places."

Here is the sweater (in pieces) with me halfway through the front....

And it is two days later completed.

(Yes, I Rock)

And....they compliment the socks too, just as planned!

Monday afternoon I felt giddy while wrapping it all up very Pretty like......
and extremely releived to give my hands a break from knitting.

And Tuesday morning I went to the Post Office and sent it express mail overnight so that it could get there (Illinois) by today October the 18th.

Guess What? Yes, she received it today.... and loved it!!!!

It's always nice when someone appreciates all the hard work and love that is put into making their gift. In fact, when I was on the phone with her this evening. She said that she was wearing it and that it fit perfectly!

Eeks! I am beside myself with joy!

Coincidentally (and not at all related) today at SnB there was a discussion on gift giving. We all have slightly different views on it, but in my opinion.....I beleive that people give gifts (even when specifically asked not to) simply because it makes them feel so good in doing so.

I am reveling in my joy of successful gift giving.....and birthday remembering.

October 16, 2006

I DID IT !!!

Only my Stitch and Bitch Friends will understand when I say this! But I did it! Few thought it was possible....or should I say.... few said it was very ambitious of me to take on this project. But this only drove me to work harder. (I am a rebel by nature - I think they were using reverse psychology on me) Anyway, it took me exactly five days from start to finish. I had a couple of very long nights knitting brioche and frogging brioche and re-knitting brioche and re-frogging brioche ....and yet again re-knitting brioche. And when that was said and done, then I ended up having to drive out to St. Paul and purchase more of this glorious tweed because I was two skeins short. But BY GOSH DARN GOLLY.... It's done! And it's beautiful and I can't wait to post pictures, but I can't just yet.

Happy Birthday Laura on OCTOBER 18th!

October 10, 2006

The Birds and the Bees

A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers:

"Well son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!
Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date
via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded
room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I
was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall,
and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little
Pop-Up appeared that said:

You got Male!"

(My Aunt Tiny e-mailed me this one.....I just couldn't resist.)

October 07, 2006

Yarn Store Treasure Hunt

This is my pathetic attempt to blog about the Yarn Store Treasure Hunt that took place here in the twin cities last month. I wanted to blog about it then, but woop-dee-doo...other things in life happened and I've finally just gotten around to it.

Aahhh.....I remember the day well. Saturday, October 7th, 2006. It was more fun than two gals are allowed to have on a one day road trip in the twin cities visiting 6 yarn stores, one coffee shop, a gas station, lunch at Frosts and a side trip into a cute little stationary store. Good times... Good times....
Amy drove....because well, I don't really like to. and also because I can't read a map as well as she can when lost and also because it is fun to joy-ride in her green vw bug....and also because well damn-it she's the one writing a guide book on traveling in Minnesota. She knows her way around these parts much better than I.

We feasted on lunch at W.A. Frost in St. Paul. It was delicious.

and this is what our desserts looked like. Isn't this just beautiful, people?

I could've sworn that I took more pictures that day. But I can't seem to locate them on my computer. But yes, besides all of the eating, and getting lost and getting a parking ticket and drinking mochas with "fun" on top. (that's whipped cream folks) we did manage to get around to all of the yarn shops and receive a charm at each one for participating in the treasure hunt. Whew!

When all was said and done......I came home exhausted and with all of this to show for our Girls Day Out....Road Trip.

October 05, 2006

Dog-gone Goofy!

FYI, If I am ever invited into your home, and I immediately kick off my shoes, start eating the food you have out, and dig through your cupboards for coffee cups and sugar, please don't be too alarmed. It only means that I feel completely comfortable and welcome in your home. And hey, If you have Dancing with the stars on the boob tube, well all the better. Here I am at Kelle's house doing just this.

I guess it's obvious that I enjoy my Knit Nights out. Although, I think Kelle's daughters may think I am a little bit goofy. Perhaps not at all how a guest in your home should act.

It's October already and the kids have been back in school for a month. Which means, I have been knitting much more than usual. I have two works in progress right now. Log cabin baby blanket..... and finishing up on best friends b-day present. Yes, that is TWO projects at once. ( I think that is called multi-taskin' y'all.) Now, I'm not gonna mention what Laura's b-day present is, but let's just say, that sending her flowers again this year for her birthday, and keeping this little knitted goody for myself instead, well that has been seriously contemplated. (no no Lisa! Get that evil thought out of your head) I can't screw up her birthday yet again. I am determined to get her birthday right this year! I do really hope she enjoys this though as much as I am enjoying knitting it, because working up this Merino from ArtYarns is (as Stitch and Bitch friend Beth so perfectly put it) it's like knitting with chocolate. A definite treat.

Hey, have you noticed that I haven't blogged in a very long time? I have only one thing to say about that.


Obviously, being the verbose person that I am, why limit the subject to only one word?

Moose. He has regressed. I thought he was potty trained (for the most part), but yesterday he peed indoors. 3 times. I really should be grateful that it was on the hardwood floors each time, but c'mon... Geesh! It's been a month since we've had him and I take him outside like every 30 minutes!

There is just no need for the pee.

and so, Byron and I sat him down last night and had a nice little chat with him, and I'm thinking that we may have gotten through, 'cause today..... Not a single accident so far.

"I'm sorry mom and dad, I'll try harder not to pee inside anymore."

Moose has also officially found his voice.....and (like me) is not afraid to use it. Man, he can really bark up a storm when so inclined. So yep, we'll be sitting him down again tonight for yet another lecture.

And so, I continue to use Moose as my constant excuse for not getting things done. Like blogging, and housework, and paying bills and the like. *wink*

Now, to address the rumors circulating about my transition from "normal person" into "Goofy pet owner." Yes, it's true. I've crossed the threshold. Which means,

1. There is little else that I talk about.

2. I'm quick to offer unsolicited advice on the right and wrong way to train your pup. Mine is the right way! (Regardless of the pee-fest in my house yesterday)

3. I use that downright goofy, high pitched baby talk to him and assume that he understands every single word I am saying.


4. I Come up with cute nicknames that in reality aren't so cute. Like...."my little Moose-o-llini, or "There goes The Moose-inator" or "How's my little chocolate moose doin' today?

Yes, I have become that neighbor lady that I use to quietly make fun of in my old neighborhood back in California. I just can't help it. Moose is just a sweetie-pie. I am now part of the club....and if you are not part of the "goofy pet owner club", well then you just don't get it.

September 08, 2006

A tribute

I am so saddened by the death of Steve Irwin. I wasn't a huge loyal fan or anything, but he was such a very fun bloke that was hard not to like. My kids, when they were a bit younger, watched this crocodile hunter a lot on animal planet video tapes that my dad used to record for them and send to us B.C. (before cable) Well, before we had cable anyway.

Anyhow, I am surprised at how hard the news of the crocodile hunters death has hit me. I am still constantly thinking about it. About his wife, Terry and their 2 young children that he left behind. How incredibly sad.

Then the memory came to me. My son Ian (when he was 4 years old) wanted to dress up as Steve Irwin at Halloween. I probably didn't remember it right off the bat, because honestly it was a costume that I put the least effort into. I found it at Wal-mart for $9.99 and picked it up as just for dress up play. But he insisted on wearing it for Halloween. It was a short lived Steve Irwin phase he went through, but now that I think back... he was so in awe of the spitting cobras, and crocodiles that the fun Australian handled.

So in tribute to Steve Irwin. Here are a couple of pictures of my son Ian doing his best impressions of him.

If you look closely you may notice on the back part of the words... Crocodile Hunter and logo, Hard to see, but it's there. I also sewed on a huge tarantula to his shirt. Notice the long snake around Ian's neck and the huge crocodile he is holding at his side.

It was a great costume, that got a lot of fun responses from other parents at the pre-school holiday parade.


Long Live Animal Preservation!

September 04, 2006


We've been impatiently, counting down the days and minutes and getting everything
ready for this moment. The day finally arrived on Friday. BTW, I am pretty sure that I am way more prepared for this family arrival than I ever was with my own three children. (Sad, I know)

So, without further delay, I am thrilled to announce the newest addition to our family.

MOOSE Dickinson

But you can just call him MOOSE.

Moose is a Chocolate Lab and he was born on July 11th, but he was finally ready to be picked up and brought home with us on Friday at seven weeks old.

Oh, and he does have a middle name too. It's Todd. (named by our neighbor, whose first name happens to be Todd.
Coincidence? I DON'T THINK SO!

He answers to MOOSE.

homecoming was fun. We took turns holding him on the car ride and then when we finally got home, we played with him all around the yard.

The sight of a new puppy brought out all of our neighbors and their little ones to meet and greet. I think all the excitement wore out Moose, cause after a bit he just plopped down on the grass for a quick snooze.

Oooh...Awwww.... isn't he just the sweetest thing?

and in knitting news.....I've started log cabin.
Inspired by Deb from Wound Too Tight.

Okay gotta go get some sleep. I'll be up in a couple hours with puppy. I'm on potty patrol tonight. (yawn)

August 30, 2006

Told 'ya So!

This evening I did the dreaded school shoes shopping for my youngest. We did end up finding two pairs of shoes over at Von Maur after much torture. I don't really want to talk about that, though. The most important thing is, is that we did what we set out to do.

Anyway, while there, Olivia wanted to ride the escalator up, and so we did. Many times. At some point, I noticed, in the Junior's section...IZOD shirts. Ohmigod, IZOD LACOSTE shirts are back. You know, ...the polo's with the alligator on it. Or is it a crocodile? Anyway, yes, IZOD shirts have made a comeback. Too Cute. What wasn't cute was the very unfriendly sales lady who corrected me when I pointed and called them IZOD's. "They are called Lacoste shirts", she says. "Yes, maybe nowadays" was my reply. oops and then I said it...oh no no no.....I actually said these 5 little words....."But back in my day"........"They were called IZOD. Yes, I actually said those five little words....("but-back-in-my-day") Sadly, they spilled out of me so quickly and naturally that I scared myself so, and found myself quickly trying to do the math in my head as to how many years ago 1984 was, when I had to have the IZOD as part of my wardrobe. But the young sales lady didn't let up. "Uh, No." She corrects me again. "They are called Lacoste shirts. ONLY Lacoste"

Normally, I'm not one to argue, but it is now 8:39 pm. I am tired. I've been up and down the escalator like 5 times now...I've just spent the last hour wrestling my seven year olds "happy feet" into about 10 pairs of quite sensible gym shoes. (None of which she was at all happy with) and to top it off. I am due to start my period. So seriously PMS'ing here friends. It didn't help either, that this waifish 20 something year old...looking all fresh and perky is trying to correct me, ME on fashion names from the 80's! I don't think so, little one.

Anyway, we talked it out, maturely.

I told her I was right and she was wrong and that hey, nowadays, she can call that stupid little crocogator whatever the bleep she wanted to, but I was gonna continue to call it IZOD!

So I came home and googled IZOD. and now I have closure.

August 23, 2006

Past, Presents and ........well....Bowling!

Lots of celebrating going on here lately. 10 days ago was my wedding anniversary and today is my birthday. Yep, I'm like 36 (or something like that) But, Whatever!

Let's face it, It's the presents that are the most exciting part of the whole birthday celebration right? Well, yesterday...the gift receiving began early as I opened my first birthday present. I got a call early in the day, from my Local Yarn store (coughknitwitscough) informing me that there was a gift there all ready for me to pick up from my mom and dad.

I was giddy all day long, waiting for Byron to get home from work so that I could finally go and see what it could be. Is it a book? Could it be some lovely malabrigo yarn, perhaps some needles or a felting kit?

Get this!

It turned out to be a $100.00 gift card!

Holy Moley Buckets of Yarn! I can get it all. The book, the yarn, the needles.

Ah - the gift card - such a great way to say "Happy Birthday Lisa!"

So, just imagine the size of smile that put on my face. Anyway, so mom and dad (who live in Nevada) are always talking about their ever increasing senile moments. Okay, I'm sorry, but (with all due respect to the parental units) I just don't buy it. Let's see....they remember my birthday still every year since like um 1970. (or some year like that) but Whatever! They remember the name of my Local Yarn Store.....AND they remember that I'm the daughter that loves to spend frivolously. Clearly they still got it goin' on.

But what's up with those sideburns, dad?

Anyway, an awesome gift that my fellow knitter/Hooker friends can appreciate hearing about.

Speaking of hookers. I have decided to become one. (Sorry Kelle - the threats only make me want to rebel even further) So FYI mom and dad....this gift card could likewise be used to further my hookin' talents through classes. Oh, get your non-senile minds outta the gutter.....hooking? crocheting? What's the diff?

Thank You Mamma and Daddy!

Tonight, it will be dinner and bowling with Byron and the kids and then coming home for cake and ice cream and hopefully the opening of lots of presents.

Yes, there had better be presents!!!!!