Thursday, December 27, 2007

Before Christmas Says Hello, It Says BUY BUY BUY

Remember a while back I said I was going to have a "spend as little as possible"
Christmas? I think I did it. Sort of. For my father I made a "Ramella Radio Hour" cd with Holiday tunes. Hosted by Moi. He loved it! But then I bought a $10 coffee card at his favorite Barrista drive through. I didn't feel it was enough...

For my mother I made her a "Music to Paint By" cd with various Enya and Loreena songs. I also bought her a $10 purse organizer (which...oops...she already has) went in on a rock/crystal candle holder (have yet to pay my share) and bought her an electric bean sprouter machine from a Korean store. Total, including debts outstanding = $100.

For my dear friends I got some great pictures of Moscow, Idaho from the early days. Thanks to Kym at the Latah County Historical Society for her help and enthusiasm! I also made a bear out of a sock. Total = $57 Pictures, frames and sock.

I also made some bird seed wreaths = free because my neighbor provided the materials. Thanks Rhonda!

Finally, a gift for my special friend, Robin Rilette: A cd with my singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." Now. This is especially special to Robin because I did it in my nerd alter ego voice. She loved it. Price = priceless!

My gifts were good. Thoughtful and nice. Yet, I felt they were wanting. It wasn't enough for me to give my mom a cd I made. I had to buy her some big ticket items. I found it interesting that while walking in the mall I had a urge to just buy things. I started to question my gift choices. Am I being cheap? Will they think I am cheap if I just give them this? Maybe I should buy a gift card to supplement.

I had to get out of the mall stat. I was starting to feel guilty for no reason.

Frankly, this has been a financially challenging year. My close friends know this and wouldn't expect me get into debt for Christmas. But there is something inside me that is so willing to do that. Why is this?

Merry Belated Christmas My Listener. Happy Late Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Soapy Water, Theatre People and Taxi

I went to Soap Lake to visit my friend, Bobbi (with no E). We had a great visit and she took me to a Masquers Theater Holiday Party. I managed to almost embarrass her and myself several times. I love meeting strangers. Especially ones full of drama. Many asked me why I was there and I told them I was there to celebrate Hanukkah with Bobbi.

Person: "Oh!? Are you Jewish?"
Me: "No. I'm not one of the chosen people. But Bobbi is."
Person: "Bobbi? Really? I didn't know that?"
Me: "Yeah (finger to lips) but it's on the down low because she hasn't told her mother yet."
Person: " ...?"
Me: "Well. You know it's..."
Bobbi: "SUEANN! What are you doing?"

Bobbi made Latkes... which for the life of me I am saying LatKEYS and thinking of Latkah from Taxi. Remember that show? It came on at 7pm and after that was my bedtime. Yup. My parents let me watch Taxi and I went to be dreaming of Tony Danza.

Everyone at the party was associated with the Masquers Theater. They are very nice people and seem to attract men by the name of Don.

After settling in the Hostess, Mary, said I had to play a game.
Mary: "You have to tell us a secret about yourself that no one else knows!"
Me: "But I just met you people!"
Mary and Masquers Gang: "Oh! But you can say anything because we don't know you! Yeah but it has to be true!"
Me: "uh...ok... (the stares were intense - like theater lights!) Well. I don't think even Bobbi knows this...Sexual reconstructive surgery is really not that expensive."

They laughed. I got out of that one! Phew!

Then Bobbi took me to her secret club - the Businessmen's Club. Apparently, they have very cheap chicken dinners...that's why she became a member. I bought Bobbi and I two Cosmopolitans had made her pay. (They don't take plastic!) What was cool was talking to the ladies there about the attention spans of today's youth.

What was I talking about?

Oh's youth. Attention... OH! LOOK! Flip This House is on!

Shoot. I really need to stop playing the video games, listening to my Ipod ALL THE TIME and chewing Bubbalicious.

Seriously. We met another Mary and she works with kids. She says it is a whole lotta work to get them to pay attention then what it used to be. This thought was confirmed by a Jr. High Art teacher recently. Unplug your kids people!

At Bobbi's house we lit the Menorah and watched the candles burn. Happy Hanukkah Bobbi!

The next morning I had to leave early to get to work - so I could talk to you, Dear Listener! But on my way out I stopped by Soap Lake to get some of the water.

All night long I heard about the healing properties of this Alkaline lake. Cancer curing, skin irritations curing...could it work on my allergies?

The water was delicious. I highly recommend it when you are craving fish.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Handmade Gifts! SO CUTE

I was googling craft ideas for Christmas gifts - one Chanukkah gift for my friend in Soap Lake...and came across these sweater kids! How adorable! Then more searching resulted in this site:

Buy Hand Made

I also was taken in and lost at least 30 minutes looking through all the handmade gifts here:


I'll take a photo of what I am working on - it's a secret right now but will be 1. cute 2. recycled or partially thrift store material and 3. handmade by yours truly.

I remember a former Aunt of mine made me a doll. It was one of my favorite toys. This cloth doll had four faces and a bonnet. So you could swing her head around to sleeping, happy, teary or upset. Her dress was white with black little rose buds...all hand made and wonderful to me. I saw her again with I was 24 and told her how I loved that toy. She was very touched, just as I was.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Challenge!!!

I used to be one that would overspend every Christmas - taking the whole hear to catch up...only to repeat the debt cycle again.

Well. No more. I am going to make gifts, recycle things or regift...Let's see how little I can spend and how much cheer I can give!

Here is a comment from a listener about a great card idea!

About ideas for a purchase-free holiday...
You've probably heard this already, but, considering that emailed greeting cards are a bit impersonal and homemade cards can be quite labor intensive, last year we sent out "freebie cards" -- all the cards that we receive, year after year, from Nature Conservancy and other nonprofits, but we can't bring ourselves to toss. Over the previous few years, we had accumulated about 100 of these blank cards, so we sent them to our friends and relatives, with a short note inside that offered the usual "past year's events" and an explanation of our odd card (we usually send very creative homemade cards, but last year we had no time).

I won't waste any more of your time. Your blog must just create a snowball of work!

We really appreciate your sense of humor and personality (?!) on the radio.
Thanks to all of you for bringing David Sedaris to us!

-Andy G.

Thanks Andy! What are you doing to save $ this Holiday season? How does it make you feel to give or not?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Week Overview of Water Conservation Challenge

Day 3 came and went...then Day 4 was Thanksgiving and well...conserving water went down the drain. Which reminds me of my trash challenge - that convenience outweighs conservation a lot.

Frankly, I am disappointed by this challenge because it is really hard to gauge my water usage. I have a friend who knows a student that is working on a water calculator. He will get me in touch with her soon. Maybe I will try the challenge again?

The only thing I know for sure is I am more aware of the amount of water it takes to do well...anything! I have trained myself to not be queasy at yellow toilet water. I also don't have the water on full blast when I do the dishes or brush my teeth. I have it at a small, steady stream.

Yeah. I'm bummed out about this challenge.

O.K. I'm over it now. On to my next challenge! The Buy Nothing Christmas! Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Watch Out for Scams and Bad Grammar

I am looking for a new home for my two cats. I've placed ads on Petfinder and Craigslist. You would expect scams and scuzballs to prey on craigslist, but petfinder? I'll get to that in a second.

My Folks told me about a lady who lost a few thousand in a craigslist scam. She was sent a check for some furniture, deposited it at the bank and proceeded to wire a moving company $ to send the furniture. Well, the moving company was fake. The check didn't clear. She was out a lot of dough. Here's a similar story

Not long ago, I had furniture for sale on craigslist. I got a similar response as the story above - in fact, I got a $3,000 check! But my buffet was only $200. Everyone at the office knew it was a scam. So did I because of my news junkie parents. I took the check to the bank and they gave it to the FBI.

Back to my cats. I got this email. It upsets me that they would go after people with pets...they mention petfinder. First, who would ship their pet like this? Second, my pets are not for sale. Finally, what's with the English?

am Tori Scott writing from Philadelphia,PA, i came across your advert on pet finder concerning your pet,which i will like to adopt for my sick daughter who lost her pet{sholly},in a train accident when she was away for a vacation with her friend, and as a result of this her companion{sholly} died by shock.and this had also make my daughter found her self on a sick bed in the hospital,But thank God she getting better but she will never stop crying,thinking and fighting every one because of her lost companion,Mean while i promise her to get another lovely pet for as long as she can assure me a quick recovery from her sickness and thinking, so this had make me contact you about your advert to know if he/she {pet} is still available and i will like to know your asking price $$?..while i will also need to know if he/she is up to her date with her shot....? neutered....? de-wormed....?, i will also like to know if he/she is a indoor/outdoor pet...?, and how old is the pet, and how long have you been with her, and i will like to know your reason for letting him/her go?....please get back to me with all the question as well as your asking price,Mean while i want you to know that i will be responsible for the transportation for him/her from your location to our home at my own expensis okay?..Note my form of payment will be a certified check

Sick daughter? From PA and looking at a Pullman, Washington ad for a cat? Get a free kitten at the local humane society Tori Scott! And take your daughter to the hospital...and one more thing! Spellcheck and you may get more people to fall for it!

Be careful dear listeners.

P.S. Day 3 water conservation: I'm beginning to feel guilt for the amount of water I drink.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 2 Water Conservation

Day 2:
It started out as a good day. I took a shower, military style, and plugged the tub to gather the water. Even showering military style leaves a lot of water in the tub. So guess who gets a bath? MOCHI!

How's that for reusing water?

While the dog was on the couch, in his cozy, feather down blanket...I cooked some pasta for lunch.

I used half the amount of water I normally do and the noodles cooked fine. I then poured the hot water into the sink to wash the dishes. Notice the Eco soap!

Then I came to work. I had to flush after every visit to the Ladies Room. 3 flushes. I'll have to do some math to figure how much water I lost there.

Haven't gotten my water report yet from my fair city...

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Bangs, Spaghetti Sauce and Beans

The first day of my water conservation challenge is going well. No shower. Instead, washed my bangs in the sink. Why do bangs get so greasy so fast? Oh right! They rest on my forehead. Afterwards, I felt good. I used what I needed and curbed my excess.

I saw this video on water conservation and laughed!

With this video in mind, and the story on Marketplace about celebrating American excess and charity. I started thinking about our Food Banks.

I called the Walla Walla Food Bank and asked what were their most needed items. Spaghetti's sauce! That surprised me. It was also what I ate for lunch. It was also in that video...he was washing dishes with spaghetti sauce.

Here was their list: Holiday foods, spaghetti sauce, pasta, cereal, peanut butter, and for areas with a higher Hispanic population - beans. Bottom line - food banks need protein.

So with my conservation - I am also looking at my excess. What can I give so others have what they need?

List of Washington Food Banks
List of Idaho Food Banks
List of Oregon Food Banks

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ready? Set? Slash!!!

Here I go! Monday, Nov. 19th is when I start my water conservation challenge. I will end on Nov. 26th.

My goal: Decrease the amount of water I used by 50%!!! My fair Pullman is mailing me my household average. I will post that on Monday. But so far, I have learned the average person uses 80-100 gallons a day. I wonder what my average is? 90?

1. All my water usage counts. So visits to friend's toilets count in my challenge.

2. I will recycle my water as much as possible - example: Used Bath water in the washing machine. Which is going to be a pain because my washing machine is in the basement.

3. While there may be medicinal reasons people drink urine, I will not.

4. Alcohol does not count. hehehe

Those are my rules. If you have suggestions let me know before Monday!

Sometime next week I will have an interview with Mike Barber, who works for the State of Washington Water Research Center. I'll share with you what I learn!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robin and Sueann

WSU sent a very nice photographer to take photos of Robin and I. They plan to use one on their website's Staff section.

I hope they use this one! LOL! We have a lot of fun here!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sueann's on the Radio and Brused Books n Gifts

Here is the Marketplace Money interview by Tess that aired on Sunday.
Tess Interviews Listeners...Sueann is in here!

How fun is that?

I was at Brused Books in Pullman looking for some travel books with a dear friend. I came across a section in the book store that sold Ten Thousand Villages Giftsn and recycled goods. I was impressed with the newspaper coasters. I have been thinking about doing a "no new, no purchase" Christmas this year. These goods gave me some great ideas. But if I had to purchase gifts, I would buy from this store, or the website. It makes me feel like my money is more powerful...that I'm getting an even bigger purchase than just a coaster.

Hmmm...reminds me of public radio! How's that coffee by the way? I tried some and WOWZA! That's a kick! Thanks D&M coffee and a big thanks to you for renewing!

I'm pretty sure I was suppose to start my water challenge today. But, instead, I will begin next Monday. I plan to call my water works folks to get some numbers to compare to.

Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Water Conservation Suggestions

I had a great conversation with T in Yakima about conservation. He had some helpful suggestions for my new challenge; Water Conservation! During my Trash Challenge I was taken aback by the amount of...well...EVERYTHING that I use. Trash was on my mind, but then I began to realize how much water I was using. I mean, I love baths. I love super soapy, hot dish water, I love my dishwasher. I really like to flush my toilet every time...Then I hear this report on NPR: Southern States Drought My baths and flushing seems foolish and wasteful when humans need to drink it to live. What luxuries we love but what do they cost?

I need your suggestions on water conservation; Websites you have been to, organizations you know of and your stories too. I plan to start monitoring Nov. 12th. I will do this for 7 days. My goal is to decrease the amount of water I use by 50% - more if possible. The first week I will monitor how much H2O I use. This includes drinking water, all household and outdoor water, and somehow water used at other places. I MAY try to figure out how much water is in my hard liquor too. Which reminds me of Mark Twain:
"Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over!"

You know what I'm thinking of right now? Dune. I'm thinking of that scene when they take the dead and squish out the water and drink it. OH! And right before they squish the body, everyone spits - because water is so precious to spit is a honorable action.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

David Sedaris Event PHOTOS

Above, myself and Station Manager (AKA one of my bosses) Roger Johnson. NOTE: David Sedaris asked for no photos to be taken. So I took photos of some guests!

It was a blast! David is so funny and...yes, said many things you can't say on public radio. I heard someone say, "He has a rather blue sense of humor doesn't he?"

It was great to see you there! And special thanks for coming and paying for the tickets...and being a member and also giving us a little extra. We raised a couple grand after the show and that really REALLY helps!

We got this message from a guest:
“I kept intending to send you a check and kept not having enough extra money to do it. My credit card balance is now low enough that I feel comfortable adding to it, so here you are. Your pledge drive at the David Sedaris show pushed me into sending now instead of later. The fact that it would only have taken 35 from each attendant to reach your goal really made me think, every dollar really does count!”

While I was checking out I saw David head across the street to the cafe there. I almost yelled, "Is that David Sedaris! OMG!" but decided to be mature and leave the hilarious man alone.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Marketplace Called Me

Guess what? Maretplace down in L.A. called me to talk about my trash challenge! It was a fun interview and they might, MIGHT (squeel!) use our talk in November! I made Tess laugh. I hope I was compelling enough for them! :)

My next challenge...water. Any thoughts or ideas? I was pretty busy with our pledge drive (which you probably know by now that we didn't make the goal) and so have not put any real thought into the water challenge.

Speaking of not making the goal - please pledge a few buck or more online to pay for our/your shows! PLEDGE HERE

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No Trash Man!

Darlings! I have two words for you. Pledge Drive.
The staff is busy prepping...we're pumped to GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY to support what you love and listen to everyday! And so, no photo of my last trash bag.

And no blog about those Nike Native N-7 shoes. Our favorite Ashley is from the Colville tribe...and I wanted to write about our conversation. Perhaps later? Let me just quote her. "So I'm not weird!"

And I wanted to gossip about Gillian Coldsnow and her fabulous new coat. Robin and her fabulous new speed chair (broken foot) which I take any opportunity to hop in and drive.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Day 6 No Photos Forgot Camera

Day 6:

Here is where the trust begins. I have no photos. My garbage bag rests in my car. I sneak out my garbage when the Fam isn't looking. The bag has only grown slightly since last we blogged. I hope you believe me.

I was washing the dishes and noticed how much water I was using. I am seriously considering doing another sustainability challenge with water. Got any suggestions on rules?

OH! I took all my tissue and composted it! Made some room for my seaweed packaging and potato chip bags.

Time to Care

Day 5: Friday. Chicken bones stink to high heaven and my plastic bag is showing signs of wear. I am pleased. I have today off to see the Fam in Puyallup. My mother will not be happy about the chicken bones so I finally find time to compost.

Time. I think that if we made sustainability easier people would do it. Imagine if we could throw all our recyclables into one bin? Someone else could sort it! Or we compost like the Koreans? They have cans just for leftovers and collect it all to feed pigs! They have these cellulose toothpicks that disintegrate and are edible (pigs).

I dug a hole into my bin, dumped the bones and some other food bits, buried it and as you see, covered it with a block. I learned from your comments about cats that dig!

Then I headed out to P-town.

Arrived. Hugs. Told Folks about the trash. Mom told me to leave it in my car. Went to the Puyallup Fair - Mom told me to leave bag in my car. Ordered a Gyro. It came with a paper plate and waxy paper. Got a coffee in Styrofoam cup. Pops and I drank smoothies made from...gasp! Real fruit! Came in a plastic cup. Mom told me to throw away my trash. I insisted. She gave me that scary Korean look. I held my ground...then THEN my Father (peacemaker) took the trash out of my hands and threw it away! Not even recycling it! He said, "Tell 'em that was my trash. I paid for it."

After he muttered something about 'earthy crunchies,' we continued on.

The Puyallup Fair does not make it easy to recycle. In fact, I do not recall many recycling bins at all. Now, Moscow! There's a town that recycles like the world is ending. I have been lectured by people my friend calls, "Recycling Nazis" before. But I would take "R.Ns" over no recycling.

Here's the Mo-Man doing his own reuse, recycling...hunting for cat poop. Dog eats steak, lamb, Gerber Ham baby food, ground beef, salmon and kibble, but hunts for poop.