31 December 2008

New Years Meme

Nipped from Dynamita at Blissful Dyn, who nipped it from SundryMourning

I haven't been in a writing mood...or my brain hasn't been in the mood, shall I say? So, I'm ending the year on an easy post...Please play along blogger friends!!!


1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
This was the first year when I didn't sit on a board, committee, run a business, or manage anything. Whew!! What a relief!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really set any this year. I don't think I will for 2009...it's just an exercise in frustration for me. I don't have that kind of attention span.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not yet, a friend is due any minute though!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, that was 2004, 2005 and 2006. We lost a lot of people in those years so I think we deserved a little break.


5. What countries did you visit?
Canada (:-D It's not a "country" to us but it technically counts.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
a week ago, I would have said time at home.


7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 2 - Rolled the truck
May 28 - Kevin's birthday
July 3 - First year that I haven't done fireworks, ever.
November 19 - racing in Las Vegas for the first time.
Election Day

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not developing a drinking problem! (:-D
Sanity?

9. What was your biggest failure?
Rolling the truck. You don't get a much bigger FAIL than that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
See above...bumped head, dislocated shoulder & hip. FUN!!! I'm thankful, as it could have been so much worse.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
iced mochas? We really didn't make any big ticket purchases this year...oh well, plane tickets would work, huh?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Kevins. His never-let-them-get-you-down attitude.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Nephew...but he's turning it around so it's okay.
Dad...the whole cancer thing...but he's going to do it his way.

14. Where did most of your money go?
1) Bills
2) racecar
3) Vegas trip



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Vegas Baby to race.


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Roll With Me...Montgomery Gentry

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier! Things are resolving themselves nicely.
b) thinner or fatter? About the same
c) richer or poorer? It's all a matter of perspective, I suppose. Richer in money, Poorer for bills, Richer in friends & family.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worried. Fretted. Stewed. Fussed. How many synonyms can I come up with?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Eve - with my family,
Day with Kevin's family,
Week - 6 days straight with Kevin.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Repeatedly

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Brothers & Sisters now...October Road before the tv exec. jerks canceled it.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I don't like the word hate anyway. There are people I intensely dislike, I'm not Jesus, but I'm trying to let that go too.

24. What was the best book you read?
Bronze Horseman series by Paulina Simons

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The re-discovery of country music and my ongoing love of John Mayer & Jack Johnson and SIRIUS radio.


26. What did you want and get?
snow days


27. What did you want and not get?
Wii and a laptop


28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Becoming Jane/Dan in Real Life...I can never choose just one.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It snowed A LOT on my Very Big Birthday so we had dinner with my brother & nieces, and my b & s-i-l, and nephew. It was a nice day, all in all. Oh, and I turned 40. whatever.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not working because I sold the book.


31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
casual, comfortable and climate appropriate...I work in a 100 year-old building. And I'm trying to ditch the Wednesday Adams attire...


32. What kept you sane?
iced mochas


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Barack Obama


34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Presidential race and Prop 8


35. Who did you miss?
A lost friend


36. Who was the best new person you met?
hmmm...I am trying to think of someone new I met this year. I am sure there is someone.


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
People are going to do what they're going to do and nothing can change it.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

So now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around

And I'm lovin' this town and I'm doing alright

Aint' worried 'bout nothing cept for the man I wanna be

I'm thinking maybe it's time to be livin' the rhyme

When I'm singing a song about nothing but right

And it'd sure be nice if you would roll with me

29 December 2008

Random Item/ Quote of the Day


This was last year's Christmas present from Kevin. Until a week ago, it sat on the kitchen counter. Then it snowed and Kevin was bored so he hung it. It is above the door that goes out of the kitchen and into the mudroom. You know, on the way OUT of the house. That should be fun for unsuspecting visitors.

My other sign came from the old house and it says
"The only reason I have a kitchen is because
it came with the house."


So, yeah. Cooking = My not strong suit.

And to make this post even more fun...this was one of today's daily quotes:

What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and
prospered, someone else would do it for you. -- Nora Ephron

27 December 2008

Fa la la la la la

Nope, that's not leftover holiday cheer, that's me with my fingers in my ears in a most eight-year-old-like way.

I'm ignoring the pile of junk behind me that needs to be put away, I'm ignoring National Geographics auto-dialer calls asking me to renew, I'm ignoring the melting snow outside making a tsunami-esque mess of the driveway, yard and walkways. I'm ignoring that Sneaky Little Bastard wants to have a post-holiday party. I'm ignoring that Kevin, while I adore him, is driving me freaking crazy because he's bored. I'm ignoring the dryer and the dishwasher. I'm ignoring the unmade bed.

Sleepless in Seattle is on television, that always makes me happy. Kevin gave me a funky lamp for my desk, I'm so enjoying that. I have a week left of vacation, I'm relishing that. I am wearing my favorite socks. I like the sound of the rain on the roof. Kevin is outside!!!! I'm happy about that. My friends on Facebook are regularly updating because everyone is stuck home, just like me.

While I'm Grumpy - Santa's Alternative Elf, I am still grateful. Grateful that the neighbors are working together to clear the driveway. Grateful that Kevin has holiday time to be home. Grateful that I have presents & fun things to put away. Grateful that I have electricity so the phone will ring, the dryer will run and the dishwasher will wash.

I am grateful...but still a little grouchy about it. Nothing that a homemade mocha, a movie marathon and burning a yummy candle can't fix.

24 December 2008

Merriest of Christmases

Taking a moment during the holiday to wish everyone a very happy Christmas.

I hope everyone takes the opportunity to take a breath, step back, and take in the moment.


May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown

23 December 2008

*Pause*

The news today is that it's Not Snowing.

But wait, there's more on the way. It's going to be a White Christmas, and New Year and perhaps Easter. As my BFF D has been reminding me DAILY, be careful what you wish for. Everyone knows that I love snow days, even after the post-snow day rollover in February. I still love the snow. yes, I'm sick, I admit it. And my friends & family resent my undying love so it's a good thing it's Christmas & they can't kill me.

But Seven Snow Days. Seven! Two Feet of Snow! Even this is testing the boundaries of my love. I was home with Kevin for five days and with the dog seven days. (I think she's more resentful than I am, actually. Every once in a while I catch an eye roll and sigh. I know she's thinking "Remember when you guys went away on a trip and I had ALL OF THIS to myself? Yeah, good times." ) Exhibit A:

How does she manage to look so annoyed?

Kevin went back to work yesterday only because the temp was slightly above freezing. He's in a safety meeting today and then it looks like we are joined at the hip for the next five days again.
While I love him dearly, I realize just how clearly I need to be alone for more than fifteen minute increments. Bless him, with our recent Vegas adventure, he is without a project. Sigh...

On the good (?) side, I've been catching up on my television watching. Although everything is re-runs this week and to boot, DISH Network is having an argument with the ABC affiliate in Seattle and isn't broadcasting ABC anymore. WTF. I'm giving it a week and then I'm ordering DIRECT TV.
(I just called DISH, they gave me a $5 credit for 5 months for the inconvenience of not having ABC. This is not actually a credit but an adjustment for paying for something I'm not receiving. Nice try DISH. The customer service rep said it's ABC and not just the Seattle Affiliate that they're arguing with so someone is not being truthful. KOMOTV just says "We're not using DISH, subscribe to DIRECT TV)

Meanwhile,

I've discovered Still Standing, the sitcom with Jamie Gertz. I actually like it. And Rita Rocks, which I thought I'd hate but I actually heart a little.

And What The Hell with no Christmas programming on? No Miracle on 34th Street (either version), no It's A Wonderful Life? Even the made-for-television syrupy Christmas movies on Lifetime/Hallmark/ABC Family haven't been on! I was COUNTING ON whiling away hours with that stuff. This is not helping my Holiday spirit.

Tonight, on Christmas Eve Eve, we have to brave the stores to finish shopping that I put off for budgetary and scheduling purposes. I was going to leisurely shop this week, on my own, slowly browse Target and whatever store caught my attention...but noooo......................Okay, focus on time with Kevin. Focus on buying gifts for my beloved nieces...focus on not being in the house...*deep breaths* Whew.

Okay, so here I am. Paused. With no schedule, I'm being lazy and unfocused. No Sunday Fiction...that's next on my list...haven't started, er, considered, the Great Book Purge of 2008 or cleaning the closet from hell. One reason is that I can't get out of the house to dispose of whatever I decide to discard. So I'm stuck in a reverse version of Give A Mouse A Cookie.

And now, Kevin just called. He's on his way home, early. I am now doing the Oh My God, I Haven't Done ANYTHING Today dance.

But I did get his secret gift wrapped & hidden next door so it's all good.

Oh, and it's snowing. Again.

Oh, and he called again...he got an unexpected Christmas bonus!!

***Merry Christmas* !!! *Happy Snow Days!!! ***

20 December 2008

Viva Las Vegas

It occurred to me that I never re-capped our trip! Well, it's been a month now so the healthy glow of Las Vegas has faded a bit as has my need for a blow-by-blow travelogue.

So, we'll do a Top 5...

In the movie A League of Their Own, Tom Hanks yells at the players "There's no crying in baseball!!!!" I thought of that the first time that Kevin pulled under the Arch at LVMS. It was just such a huge moment for him and I was so proud I could burst. I had to wipe my eyes repeatedly so I could see where I was walking. My nephew did the whole "We're not making eye contact" while we were up there or surely we'd both be crying like babies.

Before that moment, Kevin has to be buckled in before he can race. We buckled him early before his first race so he could just chill. I tried really hard to keep everything routine for him. To ensure that he doesn't get too hot in his firesuit, I stood with his door open until right before he was called up. Now, I had been trying to think of the right thing to say in this moment. Finally, I fell back on something we say on a regular race day. I leaned in, patted him on his arm and said "It's just another race." A nervous cackle emanated from that boy that I have never heard before. It was the first time he'd shown nerves, Ever. It made us laugh and we continued on.

On the day of Eliminations, Kevin cheerfully introduced himself as "The Guy Whose Ass You're Going to Kick" to his competitor. Classic Kevin.

Kevin & his dad had a moment on the last race day. Kevin's dad was the reason this whole adventure was possible. He was so proud of his son the whole trip, he couldn't hardly talk about it without getting emotional. At the end of the day, Kevin disappeared for a moment. Our friend gestured behind me and I turned. Kevin and his dad were hugging it out. It was a very sweet moment.

We rented a van while we were there because there was seven of us. (Toyota Sienna...a kick ass van, if I do say so myself) On the way back to the hotel after being eliminated, we were all kind of in our own heads. The radio was playing and Montgomery Gentry came on, "Roll With Me".
It was the perfect song for the moment:

So now I'm slowing it down and I'm looking around

And I'm lovin' this town and I'm doing alright

Aint' worried 'bout nothing cept for the man I wanna be

I'm thinking maybe it's time to be livin' the rhyme

When I'm singing a song about nothing but right

And it'd sure be nice if you would roll with me



The trip, of course, had it's frustrations but those are the Top 5 moments for sure. Unforgettable.

19 December 2008

40. Forty. Me 4.0

As of 3:35 pm today, I am forty years old. I still Cannot say that without a head shake of bewilderment. 40? Seriously? Oh. My. God.

I'm not vain about my age, although I have always been able to brag about being the baby. The baby of the family, the youngest of my friends, but now, I'm 40. That's not the baby of anything.

I am told I don't *look* forty, which is good, but really not that important. I know I don't behave 40, if there is such a thing. I don't feel the need to refer to my age as 20/20 or 39 forever. It just is.

But this birthday does bring with it a sense of wonderment.

Time really does pass quickly. It is not a cliche.

Drama from the past does just seem like that: Drama. Nothing more, nothing less.

Family and friends really are what's worth having. Without them...nothing.

While I haven't achieved the one goal that I set for myself, I find myself looking at it with a shrug and a meh. Apparently, it just wasn't meant to be on that kind of timeline. Try again, time for a new goal.

I do feel a little like Sam in Sixteen Candles. She expected to wake up feeling different, changed, on her sixteenth birthday just to find that everything is pretty much the same. I do feel the same.

I still have the same family, the same husband, the same dog. We still live in this cozy life that we built ourselves and while mistakes were made along the way, here we are.

I am 40. 40 years of being a daughter, a wife, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a granddaughter, a friend. I hope that I have earned each of these titles proudly. I sure will work the next 40 years to improve. And maybe add a few more.

Me 4.0

18 December 2008

Brothers

I have two older brothers. The eldest is ten years older and the little brother (as I call him) is five years older. There is quite a span between us as I was a whoops. Gosh, if you really want to make your mother flip her wig, imply that you were a whoops. But it couldn't be more obvious that I was.

Anyway. I like having brothers. I am sure I say that as I haven't experienced sisters but I just think that there is a comfort in brothers.

My eldest brother I call "Brother Dear". It's from the Peanuts cartoons, Sally refers to Charlie that way. Peanuts were huge when I was younger so their storylines, sayings and expressions are hard-wired into my brain.

I rely on my eldest brother to be the sensible one. He's usually the calmest of us all. He's a firefighter and a single dad of teenage girls, it's going to take a lot to rattle him. I believe I've learned my roll-with-it attitude from Brother Dear.

We've grown our relationship only after I became a grown-up. He was out of the house when I was only in third grade. That's a big gap in our relationship! He tried though. Before he left to go into the Army, he built me a tree house, he taught me how to climb trees, took me to movies and tried to fit a few years into a small amount of time. He said once that he was conflicted about joining the Army as he would miss a large chunk of my childhood. But he did what he had to do and we got through it.

Now he's the one that I call when our parents are pissing me off or I've rolled my truck or whatever. He's called needing help with the girls or once even help sand-bagging river dikes. (how's that for "country'?) To sum it up, we have each other's backs.

My relationship with my Little Brother, called that because he was the younger of the two boys and frankly, the least mature of all of us, is a little strained. Our relationship was not a great one growing up. While he was my brother and took care of me while my parents were gone, he was not the easiest guy growing up. He is, unfortunately, still not the easiest guy. He is Droopy Dog...if anything is going to go wrong, it will for him. I've learned to be adamantly positive due to Little Brother, if nothing else but as a coping technique.

But that's the way of families. We each have our quirks. I am a big fan of the birth order theory and as we've aged, I've watched us each fall mostly into our categories. Due to the age difference, I have tendencies toward both youngest and only child. Leave it to me to be complicated.

It's comforting knowing that in my old age, I will have my brothers to rely on, connect with and remind me of who I am. The Little Sister. The One Who Speakest Beforest Thinking. The one that "handles things."


As we traverse along the mine-ridden path of aging parents, we bond more & more. My maternal grandmother lived to be 103 and maternal great aunt lived to be 104. I will hopefully have a long time with my brothers. And neither of them will ever let me forget it. We've become a team. We grew up as The Moore Kids and lost that as adults. I see it swinging the other way now as our parents age and fade away. Even though we're all in our *cough* forties now...someone turns 50 in March though...we've become The Moore Kids again.

Oh the comfort of brothers. Never letting you forget where you've been, who you are and when you've screwed up.

17 December 2008

Snow Day!!!



Snow in Western Washington is an Event. It is fairly normal that We get a few inches of snow Here, as we’re in the foothills and tucked against a small mountain. But today, nearly everyone was snowed in!

We got about four inches of snow Monday night. There was already ice underneath, so that’s fun to get around in. We woke up to snow this morning and now it’s after 8:00 pm and I think we have one foot of snow, all said & done. They are predicting a bit more tomorrow then again on Sunday. For the first time since 1990, we are looking at a White Christmas!!!


This Event is fine with me, of course, because I’m a second income and I was scheduled for vacation as of Friday anyway. However, this also keeps Kevin at home. An excavating company can’t do anything in the freezing and snowing weather. Yikes. That’s going to leave a mark! Oh well, I guess everyone is getting socks for Christmas this year. *shrug*


Kevin, for the most part, is bored so that equals Driving Me Crazy. Now, I couldn’t love him more if he were twins but Oh. My. God. Personal Space. (imagine me swinging my arms in a circular motion) It is difficult to write with interruptions from him & the dog. Or watch a movie..."whatcha watching?" or...whatevs. It's a good thing he's cute.


And, because I'm the last remaining human on earth with dial-up, the internet is putt-putt-slow. So that's fun. Not the day that I had planned, at all.


Meanwhile, I took some pictures with my trusty old camera, so I have to wait for them to be developed but I do have these that I took with my cell:



This is the view from our deck. Kevin took it because I'm not tall enough to peek over the deck railing without standing knee deep in the snow.



Missy Jo has been running around the neighborhood like a Kerazy Person playing in the snow. Check out the blur that is her tail. Apparently snow is crack in the dog world.


This is the In Laws cute little house. It looks like a postcard, doesn't it?

Stay tuned for more chapters in the Snow Day Chronicle. I may be posting for Bail Money soon...



15 December 2008

Christmas 1970




Walk along with me on another trip down Memory Lane. I have these two photos, that even though they are of me, I find too cute. Venture with me to 1970...

I was two years and five days old in this photo.
Check out the baby hair and I have no idea why I don't have pants on.

Again, the lovely 1970 (yet spartan) decor. The carpet was there FOREVER. Seriously. They still have that end table. And probably the ashtray too. I know for sure that Mom still has the snowman candle.

Those are my mom's legs...thin after three kids! But that could be attributed to the cigarette in her hand. Gotta love the parenting in the old days.

I remember the buggy...I don't think it lasted very long and I have suspicion that two older brothers probably had something to do with it.

Those look like pajamas that I am holding but in a mail order bag. My mom used Montgomery Ward a lot when we were young. But we are still in Grandma-made pajama territory here. They look masculine so it could be I was making off with my brother's new pj's and this is my "Oh, these? I was just folding them up for you!" expression.

14 December 2008

Sunday Fiction

An hour. Just when she didn't need to have an extra hour in her day, she did.
Kelleigh contemplated what to do. Hiding out at work would be obvious to her staff that something was afoot. She could stop at the grocery store, or even the liquor store, but she didn't really need anything. She couldn't call Delly, she still wasn't speaking to her.


Finally deciding that she was being ridiculous, she went home. She parked the truck in the garage, Eddie still had the car, and trudged upstairs. With no energy left to contemplate anything else, she free fell across her bed. She laid there, face down and allowed herself a moment of freaking out. What is Andrew doing back? What does he want from me? What else could possibly happen at this point? A litany of what's, who's, and why's ran through her head untended.


Before she even realized it was happening, she drifted off asleep. She awoke a few minutes later to a pounding on the door, the sound of her name being called, and then footsteps on the stairs. Knowing it was Andrew and having no will to resist, she continued to lay there. She didn't think about the intimacy of the setting, just that she didn't have the energy to get up.


"So,what are we doing?" She heard Andrew's voice in the doorway.


Kelleigh didn't even lift her head, "Nothing, Andrew, we're doing nothing."

"Where's your truck? It's not outside and I thought maybe you ditched me."

"Not that you don't deserve it. It's parked in the garage."

"In the Garage? How did you manage that? When your grandma lived here, you couldn't fit a playing card in that garage."

Kelleigh turned over on the bed, away from him. "I cleaned it out when grandma died, the racecar is at Eddies and I parked in the garage."

She heard Andrew come closer and felt the bed dip down when he sat gently next to her. She could smell him and had to willfully resist the urge not to curl herself around her. Twenty years ago, this would be fine. But not now. Not today.

"What's going on Kel? I know I've been gone a long time but even I can tell something's wrong. Tell me."


He reached over and smoothed her hair away from her face with a gentle hand. Finally, she opened her eyes to look at him. "Andrew, the list of what's Not Wrong would be shorter."

Santa's Workshop



We awoke to six inches of snow outside this morning! Hooray! Snow Day!


Now I'm cozied up on the couch, watching Hallmark Channel and Fa-La-La-Lifetime Christmas movies. It's dropped six degrees in an hour and is a crisp 24 degrees. Brrrr.

There's no time like the present to finish my Christmas cards, especially after my post ranting about them. (:-O

13 December 2008

I am a Genius!!

Today is errand day. Saturdays I get groceries, pick up our Post Office Box mail...also known as "Bills"...and do whatever else needs doing that I can't get done during the week. It was supposed to *snow* this afternoon, so I went early and armed with an iced mocha.

First stop: Michaels. This is Such. A. Dangerous. Store. I was extremely pleased that I busted out of there with only a $25 tally. I picked up a picture frame for Kevin's Christmas present. It was not only EXACTLY what I wanted AND 50% off!

Then my aforementioned frustration with the House that Refuses Decoration
was also baby-stepped. I finally found a garland for our tree that I love. It wasn't the red/green/gold woven garland that I am still on the hunt for but a string of red/green/gold beads. Kevin was skeptical/incredulous that I would put them on an already decorated tree. He clearly forgot who he was married to.



And then, I found an ornament that I simply couldn't live without. I would have simply dropped dead the moment I stepped out of the store without it. We can't have that, being the holiday season and all so I bought it. ALSO ON SALE!!!




Then I went to Target for basic necessities and came out of there remarkably unscathed, beyond buying tape because my only roll is Still in the racecar trailer.

Next Stop: Fred Meyers (Kroger for you East Coasters)
Not only did I get my regular groceries but I found the EXACT HOLIDAY TOWELS that I didn't know that I really, really wanted.




Now I'm feeling better about our house! Because I had the pure genius idea of this:

I. NEED. NEW. DECORATIONS!

I feel so much better now! Christmas can now continue as regularly scheduled!


Quote of the Day

I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face...I say to myself, I’ve lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along.

-Eleanor Roosevelt


12 December 2008

The Island of Misfit Toys

The Malibu Barbie Dream House doesn't tolerate decorations as much as our old house. It's not like it throws open the door and tosses them out or anything. It just seems so obvious when I decorate for the holidays.

The new house has cleaner lines, vaulted ceiling, not so much clutter...bric-a-brac is a better word. So anything I put out just seems to scream "LOOK AT ME! I'M A DECORATION! I DON'T NORMALLY BELONG HERE!!! LOOK AT ME!!!"

(gosh, I'm over-thinking this aren't I?)

I think there was more surface space in the old house. That's one difference. Also, it was decorated in what could be best described as country cottage. There were lots of nooks & crannies. The living room was large with lots of cozy furniture. (three arm chairs & a couch!!)
Okay, enough of that. I'm talking about the new house.

But it's even an issue of where to put the Christmas cards we received. In the old house there was a faux beam separating the kitchen and living room. Perfectly lovely for displaying Christmas cards. No such luck in this house. For four years, they've been precariously balanced on the dining room table. Waiting for us to bump the table and set them domino-ing all over the floor.

So, I've been picky about Christmas decorations in this house. I have the tree decorated so that's lovely. Kevin's mom gave us this strange LED Christmas tree that I set on a little table. The requisite Santa light is up. I set up my little Jesus corner in the hallway with the creche and nativity snowglobes. I have a fake pointsettia in the mud room, next to the keys. Oh, and I have lights on the decks and around the back door. So, it's not barren. It's not The House without Christmas.

Meanwhile, there are two totes in the closet, chock full of decorations. AND...I have a Thomas Kincaide Christmas village, which is BEAUTIFUL and I LOVE IT. But the outlets are already over-loaded on the entertainment center/bookcase so I'm hesitant to plug in MORE things. Sigh...

Added Bonus: my family only visits our house yearly. Yep, yearly. For my birthday. So, my OCD self wants them to see the house in it's normal state. I know, it's irrational...yes, the fact that the family visits annually, yet lives 30 minutes away and that I'm hesistant to decorate.

I am sneaking up on it this year. Yeah, that's it. I'll take one tote out this weekend and at least consider taking some of the stuff out. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Meanwhile, blogger friends....how do you decorate for the holidays? We can even share pictures on your blogs...

11 December 2008

My Hometown

I went on a drive on Sunday. It wasn't a long drive, just fifteen minutes away. I was craving a hamburger and feeling a little out of sorts. So I drove down to my hometown. As I don't live or work in the same county anymore, I am fairly anonymous there. Or I feel anonymous.

There are few things more centering than returning to your hometown. Familiar sights, familiar sounds and memories around every corner and even though the town has considerably grown, there are still familiar faces.

Every street has a memory: my best friend's parents house, the high school, an old boyfriend's house. The old video store. Hals. Thoughts of "Oh, they finally fixed up that house" or "Where did that street come from?" The tiny house where Kim used to live. No, not that Kim, the other Kim. The street that leads to my old apartment. Memories of mischief abound. Memories of milestones, as well. Memories that so easily get buried in the day-to-day of adulthood.

Suddenly, I'm feeling seventeen again. Young, arrogant and with opportunities all around. While I'm facing a big birthday soon, the years quickly passed away . I only spent a few minutes there, it was just a quick recharging. A remembering of what used to be and a memory of what the future was going to look like.

Luckily, my present reality and my imagined future aren't that far apart. Well done me.

10 December 2008

Christmas 1974


Last night as I was posting, I was reminded of a picture of my brothers and I at Christmas.
I looked through my album but it wasn't there. But in a serendipitous moment, I found this gem:

There are just so many things to look at in this picture!

I am five years old and not wearing my glasses. Those are clearly pajamas that I've outgrown but refused to give up. Also, my paternal grandmother made me pajamas every Christmas so perhaps my mom was trying to make the pajamas last. My guess is that I was stubborn though. (;-D


My most favorite present throughout my childhood was Fisher Price Little People. You can see I was in heaven with this house. As our neighbors have an A-frame house that I played in during the summer, you can imagine the awe and wonder! Also, I kept the box forever! Not only was I a little OCD as a child...I kept all the pieces in that box...it also had pictures of how it could be set-up and of other Fisher Price toys!

The red coat on the couch was a new winter coat, I think. It was red with fleece lining and a hood. Reflective tape had recently become popular and it had a band of it around the back, as you can see the shiny in the picture. I also think this coat replaced a fluorescent orange coat I had chosen and my mom hated. (apparently I had dreams of becoming a construction worker, I don't know)

We usually got a collective kid gift of a game and I think that's backgammon on the couch. I don't remember playing it much, but I was pretty little. My "younger" brother Gary built models but I don't remember that ship model. Also, as we were allowed firecrackers & such unsupervised, models and some toys didn't last long. (think "Sid" in Toy Story)

Let's see...what else? The wood paneling (real wood) is still there. The windows have been replaced but there are still windows there. They still have the glass water jug and I'm pretty sure still have the same cat tails.

The couch is long gone. While it was sturdy and huge, perfect for three kids, it was scratchy. Also, if you hit the cushions, dust would puff up in a nice little cloud. This was due to the cushion filling breakdown, not to my mom's housekeeping skills. It was also a huge tattletale if we were jumping on the cushions while my parents were (frequently) gone.

The throw pillows were a hideous, and again scratchy, avocado green floral pattern. They matched the two recliners my parents had. Oh the joy of 1970's decorating!

Have I mentioned that my parents still live there and bought the house in 1957?

Thank you for accompanying me down memory lane! I will see if I can find the picture I was *actually* looking for later!

09 December 2008

Random Item - Christmas Edition

It doesn't feel like Christmas until I dig Santa out of storage. (I originally wrote "take Santa out of the closet" but there was entirely too many puns so I changed it.)

This light-up Santa is probably older than I am. I am not sure where he came from...my guess is Avon or Montgomery Ward...but he's always been a presence at Christmas. He usually sat on the kitchen counter at my parents house, next to the window.

We used to have a light-up ghost at Halloween too but I don't know whatever happened to him. It's a pity really, because I'd love to have him now.

Santa is a little worn. You can see the scratches on his left arm. I've been tempted to color them in with a red colored sharpie but then it wouldn't be the same. Christmas just wouldn't be the same for me without him. I may not put many more decorations out...more on that later...but I have Santa on the counter. He's all I need.

06 December 2008

Wagons East

The adventure in Las Vegas has rekindled Kevin's and my wanderlust.

Kevin has moved many, many times as a child. We tried to count once and I think we gave up after ten times. He's always lived here in Washington and has lived on both sides of the mountains. When we moved into the Malibu Barbie Dream House, he announced that he was never moving again. This surprised me and even then, I didn't quite believe him.

I, however, have always lived in the same county, not traveling further than 40 miles away from my parents home. It has mostly been a conscious choice. While I consider Washington my home, I do picture myself having another house elsewhere someday.

The first time this subject arose was when Kevin was offered a job, back-in-the-day, to work up in Alaska. He used to be a refrigeration mechanic and at the time it was a high demand skill in Alaska. We seriously considered it for a little while but determined that we couldn't leave the family and well, it was Alaska. And it was the right decision. So, this isn't the first time this subject has arisen.

As it's always just been the two of us, we don't need to worry about leaving behind children or grandchildren. We do have nieces and nephews but as they grow up with families of their own, our presence will be less important.

Kevin has always wanted to move closer to the East Coast or to the Southwest. He craves the nicer weather. With the racing thing, we live so far away from everything important that it has become increasingly frustrating. Especially as he grows in the sport.
In order to learn anything new, he is limited to the internet or magazines. He, too, is a research nerd and he thinks nothing of calling New York, North Carolina, Georgia to quiz people about racing. (our cell phone bill = exhibit a) It would be such a luxury to have the ability to drive to these places and actually see what is happening.

I wonder just how different his life would be if given the opportunity to be in the mix of the racing community. Would he have his own business? perhaps. Would he become a professional driver? perhaps. I can't help but wonder.

He has achieved so much, living so far away from the "action", I'm just curious as to what he could accomplish if we moved. And thank God for the internet. He has learned So Much with the internet and made so many stranger-friends. It is amazing

And me. I am always up for an adventure. For a long time, I said that I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. But having a taste of the Southwest makes me question that ideal. Also, my BFF K lives in New Hampshire and there are days that I sure would love to live closer to her. Also, it's not like my job skills are non-transferable. I can find a non-profit anywhere and I can write anywhere.

But now The Fam lives around us. Any thought of moving is impossible. It would be difficult enough to move just the two of us, let alone six of us. (:-D While we are grateful to have them nearby and as much as they make us crazy, it is a gift to have their support. Leaving just isn't an option. Although I did tell Kevin that if one more family member moves nearby, I am packing us up and leaving. He's come home to the car trailer & truck loaded and we're headed for parts unknown. He laughed but he knows that there is a grain of truth in that statement.

I believe in "everything happens for a reason" and I know that I just need to wait and see what happens in the future. Until then, we've made the agreement that later in life (defined as "after our parents pass") we will consider seriously moving to another part of the US.

Until then, who knows what opportunities will arise for us? What was it I said earlier? Oh, that's right: patience.

05 December 2008

Sunday Fiction

She stood quietly for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts beyond a scroll of "Oh My God". When she began her day, it never occurred to her that a mere hour later she would be standing next to Andrew. It was inconceivable; he had been gone for so long. He had become an apparition, someone she perhaps knew once. Not an actual person.

His voice brought her back “Kelleigh, when can I see you? Where?”

“Home” she answered without thinking. “You can come to my house. Tonight. After work. I have to go now.” She began to walk away.

“Kelleigh?”

She whirled on Andrew “God Bless America! Andrew! What!?!!”

Andrew broke out into laughter. “What the hell was that?”

Kelleigh couldn’t help but laugh in response. “I’m trying not to curse, especially right now.”

Andrew could only laugh and shake his head.

“Andrew, I swear to God if you don’t stop laughing…”

He threw up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay. I give up. You swear however you want to.” She raised her eyebrows in warning and he continued “I just need to know where ‘home’ is.”

She rubbed her forehead in frustration. “I live in my grandma’s house. Where I practically lived as a kid. You remember where it is, don’t you?”

“I can’t believe you still live there. “

“Well, some things change, some things remain the same, Andrew. You weren’t here. Now, I’m going to work and I will see you later. “ She turned on her heel and resisted the urge to run away from him. Methodically, she put her key in the door, opened it and slid inside. Overwhelmed now that she was out of his sight, she leaned against the door for a moment and tried to gain control of her emotions. Taking a few deep breaths, she straightened up, took a breath and went to work.

Mercifully she had meetings scheduled all day. She was working on grants and contracts for the library with her board of directors. This didn’t allow for swooning over Andrew’s return beyond a pang in her chest when she thought of him. She ignored it as much as she could, burying herself in budgets and paperwork.

She finished her meetings, returned telephone calls and finished up her daily tasks single-mindedly. With all of her concerted efforts, she found herself finished with her day early. An hour early.


Blog Love

I am still arguing sporadically with my home computer, because that's *fun*, and that has prevented me from posting as quickly as I'd normally like.

A shout out to my stranger-friends and fellow bloggers:
Dynamita at Blissful Dyn
Not Your Aunt Bea at This Wonderful Crazy Life
Jess at Du Wax Loolu
Swistle at Swistle

*muah*

The prompt for this sudden, unexpected show of affection is a post on my boyfriend Andrew Sullivan's blog. It sums up exactly how I, and I would guess most bloggers, feel:

"Alone in front of a computer, at any moment, are two people: a blogger and a reader. The proximity is palpable, the moment human -- whatever authority a blogger has is derived not from the institution he works for but from the humanness he conveys. This is writing with emotion not just under but always breaking through the surface. It renders a writer and a reader not just connected but linked in a visceral, personal way. The only term that really describes this is friendship. And it is a relatively new thing to write for thousands and thousands of friends."

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/andrew-sullivan-why-i-blog

I started this blog on a whim. I expected no one to read it, really. I used it as a coping technique and to encourage good writing habits while finishing my first book. (not yet published but oh well)
And it is been with ridiculous pride and excitement that I've made blogger friends and have watched the readership stats increase. It does make it more enjoyable for me, knowing that someone will take away something from these random words that I piece together into sentences.

So, thank you blogger friends. I hope that I've given you as much as you have given me.

04 December 2008

Scattergories

This is really difficult!

An email pass-along that's too fun not to post:

SCATTERGORIES. ..it's harder than it looks!
Hit Forward, erase my answers, enter yours, send it on to people including the one that sent this to you.
Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things.. nothing made up!

Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME:
Firegirl
BOY NAME
Fred
4 LETTER WORD:
Fear
GIRL NAME:
Francis
OCCUPATION:
firefighter
A COLOUR:
fuschia
SOMETHING YOU WEAR:
fox stole
BEVERAGE:
frappacuino
FOOD:
french fries
SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM
f i ngernail file
A PLACE :
France
REASON FOR BEING LATE:
f'ing around
SOMETHING YOU SHOUT:
Freeze!

And my given name begins with "K"...YIKES!!!!

03 December 2008

Season's Greetings

I am a believer in sending Christmas cards. I realize it's a lot of work, hassle and time but I feel it is a necessary part of celebrating Christmas. To me, it's not about tradition. It's about need.

The meaning of the season is to show the people in our lives how much we love and appreciate them. What an easier, and inexpensive, way to show someone? A nice card, a simple sentiment and your signature. It takes a minute, it cost less than a dollar. (if I had any sort of mathematical ability I would figure out actually cost...work with me here) How much more simple can it be?

And most importantly, it means the world to people.

Cynics grouse that it's all commercial. It's a "Hallmark holiday". Or my personal favorite "Why is this season any different than the others? I can tell my family and friends that I love them any time." Yeah, BUT do you? Probably not.

I see sending Christmas cards as a confirmation of love and friendship. As a opportunity to tell someone that I appreciate and care for them, when normally the subject would never arise.
It's an occasion to extend an olive branch, to apologize, to simply say "I'm thinking of you" even if you haven't spoken in weeks, months, years. It's a chance to say "Thank You" to friends, co-workers, the mailman.

It is a way to simply say "I See You."

Awhile ago I sent a Christmas card on impulse, right before the holiday. I expected no response, that wasn't the point. I received a quiet token of affection in response, without a single word being exchanged. It meant the world to me and gives me pause whenever I think of it.

I would have never had that moment if I hadn't made the effort.

All of this from a simple greeting card.

Merry Christmas.

02 December 2008

Tagged - One Word

Where is your mobile phone? pocket
Where is your significant other? digging
Your hair color? chemically-enhanced
Your mother? caregiving
Your father? sitting
Your favorite thing? books
Your dream last night? Vegas
Your dream goal? writer
The room you're in? office
Your hobby? writing
Your fear? snakes
Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
Where were you last night? Jimmy
What you're not? cold
One of your wish-list items? Wii
Where you grew up? Lake
The last thing you did? treats
What are you wearing? sweatshirt
Your TV? friend
Your pets? independent
Your computer? ailing
Your mood? caffienated
Missing someone? always
Your car? dirty
Something you're not wearing? hat
Favorite shop? Target
Your summer? busy
Love someone? forever
Your favorite colour? green
When is the last time you laughed? daily
When is the last time you cried? racing

Try it!

TAG!
Dynomita
Swistle
Not Your Aunt Bea