Monday, March 27, 2006

Feats of Great Thrift

What’s the old pioneer adage that is quoted regularly in Relief Society? “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” I always feel guilty when I hear this admonition because I know full well that, although I have plenty of stuff already, when I come across that perfect _____ that is just so me, and only costs $___, I am going to purchase it. The good news is that I love thrift stores; so the number that follows the “$” is generally less than 20.

In spite of my compulsion to purchase, I do feel a great sense of satisfaction when my shopping is in harmony with the wisdom of my pioneer ancestry. Last Saturday, I attained new heights of thriftiness when I hung curtains in my kitchen. I am really proud of these curtains because they are quite chic and probably the thriftiest thing I’ve ever made.

The top layer is a retro pre-fab lace curtain purchased at Savers. The green under-layer was also a Savers purchase. It started its life as a tacky tablecloth with a funky lace border. I purchased it for the lace—to tack on the edge of a tank-top, for layering (see image 1). At Christmas, the lace-less tablecloth turned out to be the perfect color for our Christmas breakfast décor, a Wilson-sisters tradition (see image 2). And finally, the tablecloth was the perfect size to cut in half and sew onto the back of the aforementioned lace curtains presently hanging in my kitchen. I love them.

(pictures to follow soon)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

The good news: I ran 13.1 miles on Saturday.

The bad news: I didn’t run 13.1 miles very fast.

The good news: I saw several people I know, some from out-of-state!

The bad news: I only saw my out-of-state friend in passing (during the race) and didn’t get to talk to him afterwards.

The good news: I have a few pictures from the race organizers and my friend Belle (to be posted at a later date).

The bad news: I look funny in the pictures taken by the event organizers--very determined, to the point of looking ornery!

The worst news: The reason I didn’t take any pictures of my own was that my camera won’t turn on. It makes awful grinding sounds and has difficulty retracting the lens.

The not-so-worse news: My camera is still under warranty.

The best news: I had a great time and plan to run this course again.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kara on the Line

I'm running a race tomorrow.

Today at lunch I was reveling in the Friday-ness of the afternoon. It suddenly dawned on me that if today is Friday. . .then tomorrow is Saturday-- which means my race is tomorrow.

Although I've known it's been coming for a few weeks, I was immediately nervous and dreading those last ten minutes on the starting line, waiting for the gun. This is a feeling that anyone who has ever found themselves on a starting line of a long-distance race will be very familiar with! I'm sure you sprinters out there get nervous for your races too, but do you spend up to 30 minutes ON THE LINE? It's the best and the worst part of running!

I'll let you know how it goes and post some pics next week.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Darling Clementine

A most interesting article at theorizes that naming-trends are driven by socio-economic levels, with today's high-end names becoming tomorrow's trendy names of the masses.

I don't think my name has ever hit any top ten list, but I was disappointed to see a few names I like (and would consider using should the occasion arise) on the list of up and coming names.

I hope they don't up or come.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Long and Winding Road

I took a trip home to see my family this weekend. The weekend was great and worth the drive up—but I’m not so sure it was worth the drive back. The trip usually takes about 5 and a half hours in normal weather conditions. The conditions last night were not normal.

Sunday afternoon’s weather report predicted mostly clear skies and roads, so I was surprised when the storm continued to worsen. I was traveling 20-40 mph (speed limit 75) and saw several cars off the road—and nearly ended up in the median with them. It was my own fault. I know better than to brake while changing lanes on a snowy road, but I saw 4 cars off the road ahead and my immediate response was to both slow down and get in the far lane. I started sliding across the freeway at an angle and was saved from getting stuck in the median by a mile marker, which has left an impression on my car. (I’ll post a picture of the damage after I get the car washed—luckily, the dent isn’t very bad, and would be hard to see in a picture before it’s washed.)

In addition to the weather, my driver’s side windshield wiper stopped working, and I had to pull over several times to clean off the windshield so I could see the road.

I had anticipated getting home around 11:30pm, but was grateful to finally be home at 2am. Needless to say, I had some difficulty staying on my toes during our 2 hour staff meeting this morning. That’s not too much of a problem though, since our manager does all the talking for the first hour and 45 minutes of meetings.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Survival of the Fittest?

Clark County, Nevada hosts an annual tournament of champions called the "Corporate Challenge." This involves pitting teams of pasty white paper pushers against one another to determine which company/agency has employed the least-weak individuals. Sports range from horseshoes to soccer, including a track meet for which I competed in the mile last year.

At the Water District, employees and their family members are invited to participate in a T-shirt design contest for that year's Corporate Challenge logo. At 4pm on the day before the deadline, I decided to enter the contest because designing a logo sounded more interesting than any of my actual assignments. Besides, the winner receives $50 and free shirt, not a bad deal!

The fruits of my efforts (a play on the District's logo) can be seen below (left) alongside the winning design. It appears that the rules of natural selection breakdown when we promote people with bad taste to positions of power.

(The colors are not quite right.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Boots and Boats

To the lovely ladies who have commented on this blog to date:

Your skills of persuasion amaze me. I have actually considered purchasing a $250 pair of shoes as an inheritance for the children I will certainly have once the boots secure me a husband. These cowboys boots are obviously superior to a pair of
ruby slippers! (sold at Christie’s for: $600,000)

You have altered my entire boot-life-paradigm. Amazing! Your finely-honed skills lead me to question why you are all working in the public sector. With the exception of
Ann, we may all be working far below our potential.

As it is, we do work for Uncle Sam and are political junkies to some degree (especially Ann). Therefore, I would like to abruptly change the subject of this entry and pose a political question:

In what ways do you see the port security issue as similar/different than airport security?

(Please do not be dissuaded by the suspiciously short-answer-exam sound of this question. I am just perplexed by the issue and thinking about writing my congress-people—but I want to make sure I’m not missing something or misinformed before I do.)

I have been surprised that congress (purportedly with strong constituent backing) is moving so aggressively in a direction that seems to be so counterintuitive. Isn’t port security the larger issue, which remains ridiculously insufficient whether a company in Dubai purchases the right to park a few boats in our harbors or not?

Thoughts anyone? Insight?

If not, we can just talk about red cowboy boots.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Aroma Therapy?

My place of employment is training me to be a professional water taster. I'm not kidding. It sounds crazy, I know! I had no idea professional water tasters existed, let alone required 80+ hours of training and a like amount of practice. (Yes, I get paid to practice tasting water-- sorry the position is filled.) Maybe I'll expound on this later, but in the interest of brevity, I'll confine this entry to the most fascinating thing I learned in training today.

Did you know. . . that vanilla is a natural odor suppressant? Mattress manufacturers use small amounts of vanilla to mask the smells that occur in the manufacturing process (wood, glue, synthetic materials, etc.) so that your mattress doesn't smell like anything when it is delivered by the RC Wiley guys. Crazy eh?!

Go home and spray your bed with vanilla-- apparently it's the bedroom equivalent of 'new car' spray!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Heel, Toe, Dosie Doe

I have never owned a pair of cowboy boots, but have long thought them a valuable addition to one’s wardrobe. I simply haven’t found a satisfactory pair at a satisfactory price.

Today I found the cowboy boots of my dreams. Unfortunately, at $250, they are not satisfactorily priced. But if you are satisfied by the price you may write to me and tell me why you love these boots and I will tell you where you can find them. (Boots like these deserve to go to a good home.)

PS- there is only one pair, so act quickly!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Just Do It

I’ve wanted to start a blog for quite some time, but refused to begin until I was ready to make it a good one—really worthwhile.

While I have no delusions of this being an inherently worthwhile blog, I recently came to the realization that I use the “do it right, or don’t do it at all” argument as an excuse for not doing several things I should have accomplished a long time ago.

A short list includes:
- Decorating my room
- Organizing the “I might use this in my real job” pile of stuff from school
- Keeping a journal
- Sending a package to my brother on his mission in England*

Isn't it ironic that perfectionism is what drives me to complete inaction?! Does anyone out there suffer from this disease too? Any ideas on treating it?

In my effort to overcome this debilitating disease I have started this blog. Here is it. It’s not going to be perfect. What you see is what you get. But at least I started!

* Congratulations Craig—you are the first person to be mentioned on Kara_Line. Too bad you won’t even see this for another year and a half!

The Beginning of The End

Welcome to my weblog. You're probably going to hate it and write me horrible emails. In fact, nevermind. I give up.

(see first entry at
Sad Journal )