Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I have been thinking all week, what did I want to write here about Thanksgiving. I know that this is the day we express our thanks for things that are good in our lives. I, like so many others, have a a lot to be grateful for. However, I do want to use this moment for two things, one kind of serious, then one silly.

With so many wrong doings in the world, we should work as hard as we can to be kind to one another. There may be people you don't agree with on a number of topics like religion, politics, personal decisions, ect. All any of us want in this life is to find some hapiness and do things that we enjoy. We can spend time being angry and bitter, but that only wastes time. With so many changes on the horizon, and many more we will need to fight for, lets not waste time fighting each other and be kind to each other. Be kind to people you don't know as those people may be helping you later down the line. For those people who can truely live this way, I am thankful.

I wish EVERYONE the best and hope that you have things you are thankful for and that you experience kindness from others and you are able to show it in return.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving countdown

I am watching a Thanksgiving special on the food network. I always thought you should toast the bread you use, huh. Tyler Florence didn't toast the sourdough cubes. Sorry, that's a little random.

So this will be my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. I will admit that a part of me is a little sad because I always associated Thanksgiving with the meal. So this will be a challenge. I am making Derek a turkey breast, but everything else will be vegetarian. Sage and mushroom stuffing, Green beans, potato au gratin, and i have "chicken" breasts that I really like that I am pretty confident they will be very tast smothered in gravy. Plus the ceremonial pickles and olives. My mom would always put out the bread and butter pickles and black olives while she cooked to keep the kids busy. So I continue it because, well because I am :)

What dishes do you all have?

So I am working on getting over a cold or the flu. I had planned on Christmas shopping last week, but I was in a NyQuil coma for the most part. So I am starting now. I am also starting on my Christmas cards. I love sending Christmas cards. So if you are a regular reader of my blog and I don't have your address, email me at

So Derek and I are two weeks into the podcast and it is going pretty well. Derek is pretty excited about how many comments we've gotten on the blog and how many followers. It has been a lot of fun to brain storm with him. I don't say it enough because I try not to be overly mushy, but he really is a good guy. So enough of that hehe!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here we go...

Stars and Tartan are offical...

Episode one is available on iTunes. The links and stuff are all available at!

A big thanks goes out to my friends who encouraged me to do this, you know who you are :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Johnstons Make a Podcast

After a lot of consideration and thought (and a ton of encouragement from friends), Derek and I have decided to start our own podcast. We will be doing a personal journal style podcast about what we have going on in our lives and what we're interested in. We are both very excited about it and hope to have the ball rolling in the next week or so.

I think this will be a good opportunity for my pals out there in podcast land to get to know Derek and Derek to mingle with the lot of you.

In the mean time, we have a website up, that's kind of bare right now, but we'll be working on it. It is located here

Here's to new starts and junk and stuff.

Boo to the Haters and Song of the Day 11/13/08

A pal of mine shared this web site with a bunch of us on the Twitters. So I am using my blog to share it with the bunch of you.

It's a list of some of the contributors to the Yes on 8 campaign, where they work, and the area they live in. I found it appalling and interesting.

and the song for the day...

All You Need is Love, by the Beatles

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One of the reasons I love him

borrowed from Qcast and Walt, thanks for posting guys :)

Song of the Day 11/11/08

I borrowed this from the Daily Purge's blog.

It's a New Day, by Will.I.Am

Monday, November 10, 2008

No title because I am not so creative today

this last week has been emotional for me. And when I am overly emotional or stressed, I get to experience the wonderfulness of a migraine. hurrah! So I called in sick and downed some drugs and slept until almost 3 this afternoon. I am now catching up on Chef Jeff Program and CSI Las Vegas.

When I thought about writing more about how I was feeling about what has been going on with the election and everything else, but I strangely feel relieved. Not about the election so much, but my feelings with Robbie, my mother's health, and my parents' job status. I realized that there are things I can't control and things I can. There are things I can fight for and things I can't. Why should I dwell on these feelings, I need to move forward and do what I can to make things better.

Moving on.

Saturday, Derek and I went to see Zac and Miri Make a Porno. Funniest movie I have seen in a long time. I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith and I certainly not disappointed. Plus you see Jay's junk! We then went to the Targets and started purchasing things for Christmas. We went to Souplantation for lunch. Souplantation is a salad, soup, and pasta bar. What I like is they indicate on their labels what is vegetarian friendly. Plus they have a frozen yogurt bar. Fat free dark chocolate yogurt is so good!

I am so very happy that autumn has shown itself finally. Yesterday was raining and dark and today has also been chilly. I know this sounds like crap for those of you in the northwest and the east coast, but really, when you spend May through October in temperatures in excess of 90, 60 feels damn good. And that means soup! I made a yummy corn chowder last week and I have the makings for a mushroom soup. I had planned to make it today, but I still am kind of wobbly so Derek picked me up some La Salsa. The owner knows I am vegetarian and takes care in making my food. I like the taco salad, black beans, rice, a ton of romaine lettuce, avocado, sour cream, salsa, and I drizzle of their avocado hot sauce. So good!

Ok, I am going to finish watching CSI. Yummy Grissom! lol!

Thanks everyone for your emails and comments regarding my last post. It meant a lot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Would Have Married Him

I preface this post by saying some of the details of what ocurred in my life during this time are hard to remember, some of them may not be exact, but are close enough for the sake of my entry.

This will be a hard post to write. I don't think I will ever let this go because it is a very big piece of me and I haven't told anyone some of these feelings. This will be my post devoted to Robbie.

When my mother was first divorced she worked at a fabric store called Value Land. My mom can sew the shit out of some clothes. But anyway, she met Sandra. Sandra is about the same age as my mom, married, had three children. For those of you who read often may recall me mentioning my best pal April. Sandra is her mom. She also has two brothers, Timmy and Robbie. April is my age, Robbie was a year younger, and Timmy is my sister's age.

I think I was six when my mom and Sandra started hanging out. Thus started my 20 plus year friendship with their family. We would do beach trips, slumber parties, I spent a lot of time with April, Robbie, and Timmy. A large part of my life was spent on Chambers street.

One of my favorite memories of my time at the Chambers St. home was when April and I were 9 maybe 10, we decided we were going to run away. We were not unhappy kids, we just wanted to live in the clover patch. The clover patch was a small green area about two blocks away from Chambers St. and we would take the dogs there all the time. So we packed up our clothes and some oyster crackers and went outside to get on the bikes and go. We had left a note on April's door letting everyone know we were running away, but we would be back. April's dad came home from work and told us we forgot to say goodbye to everyone. April's mom flipped! She told us to sit on the couch and watch the Mickey Mouse club and "enough of this running away shit!" We fell asleep on the couch bed and never did make it to the clover patch. There is an Albertson's Grocery there now.

So April went to college up north. Although we are about the same age, she was a grade ahead of me. So, I would still go over to Chamber's street and spend time with Robbie. When I would get bored I would call Robbie and we would talk about random junk. I think I talked to Robbie more than I talked to April those two years she was away at school. Then it happened. I started to go you know, I really really dig Robbie. I didn't dream of ever saying anything to him or anyone about it because I was a shy little flower then. So I kept those feelings to myself.

On Robbie's 17th birthday, He and his dad came into the burger king I worked at. He said today's my birthday and I said awesome and told him I would hook him up. I made him a double bacon cheeseburger with a heart attack amount of bacon. He told me that April had sent me something and it was at the house. I went by after work to pick it up and spent a little time talking to Robbie about Halloween that had just passed. He asked if I had a picture of him and I said no I didn't. He said don't move and went into his room and gave me a picture of him dressed like a cap on Halloween. Robbie even drove an old old cop car. He was weird hahah! I took the picture and the stuff from April and went home. This was the last time I saw Robbie alive. Even now, it breaks my heart to say that.

In January, April was down from school and came into the burger kings and said she was picking up some food for Robbie. She said he had some weird cough and couldn't shake it so she wanted to cheer him up. I told her to tell him I said hey and I hooked him up with the bacon. Didn't think anything of it.

The rest of January is a blur to me. When Robbie didn't get better, his dad took him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with leukemia/lymphoma. And it had spread through his body so fast that they could have come in a week earlier, they wouldn't have caught it. I am not sure of the details because I didn't and don't want to know. What is in my head is they placed him in a drug induced coma to put him through crazy chemotherapy. When it was time for Robbie to come out of the coma, he didn't. He was being kept alive by the machines. I had gone in on January 31st and said hello to everyone. I couldn't go in and see Robbie because they were changing tubes or something. I became so uncomfortable, I left and said I would come back tomorrow and see him. Shorty after midnight, His parents has decided that it was time and let him go. My mom had let me sleep because I had to be at work at 4am.

That night I had a dream that Robbie and I had got married and he was happy and healthy and when I woke up on February 1st, I felt in my heart that I needed to tell him how much I really cared for him. I went to work and called home at about 8am and asked how Robbie was doing. My mom said after midnight Vanessa, they let him go. I hung up, walked into the storage room and fell to the ground. I couldn't cry. I was just numb and couldn't get my brain straight. I needed to go home and of course everyone called in sick and I ended up being at work for almost 15 hours. i still don't know how I functioned and kept the store running.

I was a rotten friend to April during this time. The way I grieve, I become very introverted. I need a lot of alone time. I couldn't be a shoulder for her and I have expressed to her that I can never forgive myself for failing her as a friend. Shortly after her and I had that talk and a good cry, my mom took our picture and this puffy eyed, red faced picture is the favorite of us. this may sound weird, but I felt that it was one moment that April and I came back together and we're real friends.

Robbie's school was kind enough to award his diploma and his aunt accepted it on his behalf. His school also held his memorial service in the theater. My mom says it was so amazing that so many people came together for him because he was a tough kid.

So today would have been Robbie's 29th birthday. And usually, I have a little cry and remember him and I waltzing at Nights at Vienna (a Costume Ball), Going to his first violin recital when we were 12 and 13. Going to his first play when we were in high school and him coming to mine. Him telling me what a douche my boyfriend was and how much better I could do and deserved. Sitting in the tool shed and watching McGyver on a portable TV since his mom wouldn't let him watch it in the house. His laugh. I miss his laugh and I hear it when Timmy laughs.

This year was a little harder. When I was in Idaho, Robbie's mom asked me if I had anything of Robbie's. I couldn't participate in the ransacking of his stuff, I knew he would hate that people were going through his things. I told her no and she said she had found something that she felt was appropriate. It was the name tag from his job. A job I had encouraged him to get. I have been thinking a lot about what kind of man would he have been. What would he have done if he had more time. A piece of my heart will always belong to Robbie and I miss him terribly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am elated That Obama will be our president! I am so thankful that Americans came together and said yes to change! I am so hopeful and optimistic of our future.

At the same time, my heart is broken. Proposition 8 was passed 52% to 48%. I have been in tears all day long. I honestly believed that I lived in a progressive state that was above this bigoted shit. From what I understand there are already lawsuits in place that they predict will ultimately go to the California Supreme Court and the amendment will be overturned. Why is this even up for vote?! I don't get it, I just don't!

I don't understand why people are afraid of equality.

I am in a loss for words.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finally, Fall Makes an Apperence and Song of the Day, 11/02/08

So after a month of 98-101 degree weather, today we have dark clouds and a high of 66! Hurrah! I love fall and winter so much. So to celebrate I made a tummy corn-potato chowder. Not entirely from scratch, I used a V8 southwestern corn soup as a base. Added onions, garlic, white wine, more corn, potatoes, and a spoon full of sour cream. It was so good. I have a broccoli soup from V8 I want to use, but am having a tough time thinking what I can put into it to make it my own. Derek doesn't like broccoli so I really have to jazz it up so he doesn't think that's all it is. And Derek reads this so hiii!

Work was pretty busy so the time went by pretty fast. I love when we change the clock back, yay for an hour of sleep! I stayed up watching this show about past presidents. It was actually quite interesting. I love history junk though. I fell asleep about midnight and Derek wakes me up at like 2am and tells me I need to change my clock! Normally I would have been annoyed that he woke me up, but an hour of sleep I didn't think I was going to get made me happy.

Um, I think that's it...Oh Yea, song of the day. No special lyrics, just reminds me of my best pal April. Poison Arrow, by ABC

Saturday, November 1, 2008

yaaaaay lay-offs

On Monday, I was sitting down for the night and my phone rings. It's my mom. The first thing I think is oh no, scooter died. (Scooter is her 15 year old cat who isn't doing so great). She said I just need to talk to someone on my drive home.

As of January 15, my mom will be laid off from her job. Her whole department will be laid off. My stepdad, who works for the same company, has been put on warning that his department could be next unless they show cause to keep them. So both my parents may be unemployed. It stresses me out a bit. I know they will be ok, I have to believe they will.

In other news...

Our air conditioner broke. This might not seem like a big deal to most of you because youre expecting snow, or it's been cooler than normal. All last week...the highs here in the east county was 98 degrees. Today doesn't seem so bad, but it really doesn't get warmer until later in the day. Our air conditioner will be fixed on Thursday. So I am hoping it continues to cool down and we won't need it, but it will be ready for next year.

Now that Halloween is over, I can start concentrating on The big holidays in my house. Well, Christmas. I start shopping now. Because money is so tight, I need to start now so I can cover all my bases. Thanksgiving will be easy since Derek and I both work and I am throwing together a vegetarian Shepard's pie for dinner. I actually learned a recipe for Shepard's pie from Paula Dean, I will need to adjust it to make it vegetarian.

This lady on TV is making peanut butter pancakes. That sounds really good!

That's it for now, other than election day on Tuesday! I know there is a lot of disagreement on the two candidates. I support Obama because he focuses on the things important to me. I am by no means going to preach to you all, but I do ask that you look at what is important in your life and vote for who you think will make our standard of living better. I believe Obama/Biden will do this for us.

Those of you in California. We need to vote NO on Prop 8! Regardless of what you think marriage should be, it discriminatory to not allow all tax-paying Americans to have the same rights. This, to me, is like saying a white man cannot marry a black women. i mean how ridiculous does that sound. You love who you love and everyone should have the same right to marry and live the life most of us strive for.