Drumroll Please...

If you guessed Annie Oakley to this year's annual Halloween Costume Guessing Game

then you would be correct.

If you guessed that Dan would wear a fresh new pair of cat ears from WalMart, you would also be correct.

Thank you for playing.


A Morning Update

1. Great breakthroughs, y'all.  I'm incredibly happy about the fact that some of my biggest and best realizations in my life right now are ones that are surprising me, and ones that are coming as the year speeds away and closes out. 2012 was CRAZY. And the things I learned in it are ones that will change the whole rest of my life, and I am so happy about it.

2. I was in the bathtub on Friday, trying to soak out a mild head cold, and I look over to see Revvy silently standing in the doorway with my spectacles in his mouth.  Trying to decide if you're going to run after a puppy soapy, naked, and cold OR be blind for a week while you wait for new glasses is a terrible position to be in. I went with option A. I now have pneumonia. (not really, but you know)

3. Spent some time at the Ranch, and saw my mom ride Posie for the first time since her injury in May. It was really nice, and I'm really happy she didn't die, and didn't have to stop riding horses, and that hopefully riding Posie all summer helped the first ride back go a little smoother. 

4.  Spent some time talking with Dad about some of his amazing stories from his many years buying antiques in the midwest. This man has more stories than Joe Biden.

5. I'm starting to think about taking advantage of Dan's free tuition benefit for both of us at UVU. I'd like to take a few business night classes. So that I can stop pretending I know what accountants do and actually know.

6. I think my time with the Friesian is coming to a close, as his owner is feeling better and the days are getting shorter and colder. I'm sad about it, but it was an experience I'll always be grateful I had. 

7. I never blogged about the Space Jump, but it will suffice to say I loved every second of it, and I cried. Also, I drink a lot of Red Bull. I know it's bad for me, and I shouldn't, but I'm really proud that my caffeine addiction funded one of the best private space projects of the early 21st century. I hope this isn't their last. 

8. This morning was certainly not my last Red Bull.

9. Or my last corn dog for breakfast.

10. And not the first.

11. This is why I'm always sick, isn't it?

12. I married a truly wonderful man, who supports my dreams and ambitions, and I will do everything in the world to support his, too.  Yesterday he spent about 5 hours in a historic latrine at the Ranch pulling out 1950's soda bottles and ceramic wares. I support his ambition to spend 5 hours in a historic latrine.

13. Even if Gov. Romney, who I do not like and will not vote for, wins the electoral and the popular vote, I would still want the Electoral college to be overhauled. Even if Pres. Obama wins the electoral and loses the popular vote, I would still want the Electoral college to be overhauled. I would rather have my least favorite candidate fairly elected than my most favorite candidate elected by someone else who will never be me because of where I live. That's all I have to say about politics at this time.

14. Here are some photos I took that I had printed for Dan's new office at UVU.  These are from our Labor Day trip to Kanab.

Elmer and Leah Jackson's Barn, Kanab, UT. 

Coral Pink Sand Dunes 

Freaking awesome moss plant monster at the Coral Pinks 

Windmill at Kanab City Park 

View of Cliffs over Kanab from Jackson Flat Reservoir 

 Dan wandering in a meadow on the Kiabab Plateau, where his ancestors settled and farmed sheep.

Kiabab forest fire remnants 

 Clouds over the Kiabab
 North Rim of the Grand Canyon

The following two photos are a little project that Dan and I took on- we found some obsidian pieces that had clearly been handled at some point long ago, and then quite a few pottery sherds. Because it's a federal offense to remove primitive artifacts from public lands, we decided to arrange them in a memorable way, photograph them, and then more or less return the pieces where we found them. I really love how they turned out. 

Enjoying the North Rim!



Halloween is my favorite holiday. The buildup, the anticipation, the creativity, the dark underpinnings, the cheap and industrious ingenuity required to make a costume...I love it all.  Costume inventions are always the cherry of my Autumnal Sundae- I have never bought a complete costume, and except for the very poor pajamas I made in 8th grade (should the crotch be at the knees like that?) and a pillow I made last week (thanks, Sibby!), I cannot sew. So I usually end up going through the box of bizarre things I own and taking a trip to D.I. to find whatever I don't have to make a costume which is usually so hodge podge and obscure that most people have no idea what I am.  This year will probably be no exception.

As a kid I used to be really into the dead person costumes and scary costumes (dead bride, medusa, skeleton), and then in college I tried to be "cute" (a harajuku girl, the statue of liberty, a gypsy, and once I was "fall break" which involved covering myself in fake leaves and wearing a sling, haha), but now that I am old and married, my love of dress-up has morphed into these strange homages to history. Last year I was Frida Kahlo, which I still don't feel was properly appreciated for all its awesomeness. It was uncanny. And the year before, Daniel agreed to go as The Hindenburg with a tinfoil hat and me as a dead passenger. That was a good one.

Halloween 2004 

 Halloween 2005

 Halloween 2006

 Halloween 2007

 Halloween 2009 Yes, yes I did reuse my gypsy costume. Thank you for noticing.

Halloween 2010 

Halloween 2011

This year is no exception, and while I went back and forth between two great women, D.I. made my choice for me when the perfect items presented themselves to me. I don't want to spoil the surprise (you're on the edge of your seat, I KNOW), but here is a hint from her personal journal:

"Another dry Meeting for Worship. Sometimes I feel that I would just as soon shoot myself before sitting through another such. Friend Methuselah Mills stood and spoke during Meeting – again. Why must he speak every Firstday??? And toss that infernal coin up in the air over and over whilst speaking? If I had my .22 I’d shoot that thing right out of the air. Hmmm, that gives me an idea…"

(This post may seem early, but one of my besties is throwing her annual ghoulish shindig on Saturday, where my costume shall be revealed.  GET. EXCITED.)


What's The Plan, Stan?

As we approach the end of my temperate sunny days filled with bare skin and leather sandals, a heavily clad figure approaches- her many skirt ruffles shift and exude a cold bitter wind, and block out the light of day. She brings in the winter, the long nights, the racing to and from buildings to cars to buildings, lest you linger in the frost too long. She barely nods as she passes; I am just one of many people who cower in her presence, and must keep the pieces of myself together while she commandeers the season.

Someone hand me my electric blanket.

This year I am trying to preempt the gloomies that come with winter- I am airing my grievances, shaking the cobwebs off of any lingering emotional questions, and heading into winter armed like Joan of Arc with the banner of God. I'm investing in a light therapy box, I'm training for a 5K with my coworkers to keep my exercise up, and I am moving full steam ahead into Halloween with decorations, elaborate costumes, spooky goodies, and pumpkin soups. I hate the implication that I dislike the fall- I love it. I just have to be prepared for what comes after.

I aired some grievances already this week concerning my need for a plan for the future. I have taken some steps in my life because I thought they were what were expected of me (they weren't), and some because they are what I thought I wanted (some are, some aren't), and others because I thought I needed some stability while I sorted other things out (I did.). And for the time being, what I have going right now is perfect, and just what Dan and I need while we sort out bigger ideas. Nothing drastic needs to happen now. I just need to know that there is more, and that I can get back to the things I have been working on all my life.

The realization I had was that I've been progressing, but I have not been growing. I need the growth. I need the challenge. Trajectory is meaningless without heart backing it up. Once I could sit down and make a plan with my family members (Dan, Jeoffrey, and Trask were obviously consulted) about our future, things felt better. And for it, I am less afraid of the cold dark days to come.

* * * *

I'll add a "Life Through Art" component here:  Edward Hopper has long been one of my absolute favorite artists. His use of light as a metaphor might only be matched by Rembrandt, and both of them have a glorious ability to capture the subtleties of the human soul in their work, despite being centuries apart.

Hopper paints a lot of lonely women, which have at various times resonated with me enough to bring me to tears in foreign countries. But the woman here, while alone, is not lonely. The box car takes her somewhere new, a smile on her lips, and the light inside illuminates her papers and keeps away the chilly dusk beyond the glass.



Don't worry. I get that I have a limited appeal. I have no ambition to become the next millionaire blogger because, frankly, I don't like writing about babies, I can't take very good pictures of food, and I'm not willing to give the whole world a daily glimpse into my psyche for you to pick apart and mock (though there is much to pick apart, and much to mock, I just prefer this to be done by the people I love most.)

But I did buy a domain with my many years-carried blog title.  Mostly because I don't like the idea of someone else getting it and doing something with it that's not horse and corn dog related. It's my placeholder in the digital universe, and no matter where you go or what you do, I want you to know how and where to find me. Are you an ex-boyfriend? a long lost friend? A total stranger looking for that grown woman with the Breyer Horse Collection in her master bathroom?  I'm here, and I'll always be here: freaking you out, making you laugh, reminding you what a catch I was and that you missed your chance to get with THIS.

I considered doing a redesign of my blog to go with the new site address, and I probably will add some new little buttons and bobbins and notions in the coming weeks, but overall I decided I've actually never been happier with how my blog looks. I know that less is more, and minimalist is all the rage, and white's easier to read BLAH BLAH BLAH.  But I feel like what I've got going up in here represents me, and I really love seeing the post go live just the way it looks now. And if blogging is not an entirely selfish venture, then you need a long sit down with Dr. Phil about why you put everyone else before you.

The goldfish comes after you, dear. Go get your hair did.

PS- the old address, www.lorraine-in-spain.blogspot.com, is still fully functional, and still gets you here. Now you just have two ways to find me, as do spambots. lucky you, spambots!! 


The Weekend, The Flu, The Reverend

This past weekend, I "put my shoulder to the wheel" as the mormons would say, and sent several hours at two barns, and then ran errands and cleaned and pushed myself right up until late dinner which Dan was nice enough to make for me. 

About 6 hours later, I had the worst stomach flu I've ever had. I writhed in pain until around 8pm Sunday night, and finally fell asleep to the sounds of Antiques Roadshow. I got up every hour, and then at around 7, I woke up and started getting ready for work. 

I had to stop and start a few times, unsure if I was really going to make myself do this. We have a mountain-load of work with a hard deadline in my department, and not coming in seemed like a bad idea. But I was not finding that deeper level to make me keep going.

Until Dan let in the puppy (who, yes, has officially been named Reverend Trask, or The Rev, as I like to call him).

I know we project a lot of stuff on pets, but dude, I'm not exaggerating when I say this dog was darn happy to see me. I literally never saw him at all on Sunday, and it's like he NOTICED. The money, the effort, the extra care that it takes to have a dog is entirely worth it the moment that fuzzball climbs in your lap and looks like they are going to die of excitement because you exist. That's it. You don't have to be the best, you don't have to kill yourself with millions of tasks on their behalf, you don't have to meet any expectations. You just have to exist, and they will jump around like you just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

For everything I've had on my plate lately, it was nice to be unconditionally loved for no reason at all.

And it got me to put on a dress and get my butt to work today, which is nothing short of a miracle.  Good dog.