31 August 2010

Woke Up in September

This morning we woke up to the sounds of rain. To me, it's a welcome sound. To Kevin, who works outside all day, not so much. We are now starting the season of hearing Kevin say "Oh good. It's raining." in a withering sarcastic tone every. single. morning.

It's beautiful out right now because everything is still green. The flowers look happy as I haven't so much been diligent in watering them this season. Missy Jo is inside, fidgeting. Apparently she just can't get comfortable.

It actually felt nice sliding on jeans & a sweatshirt this morning. The windshield wipers were kind of soothing. There were puddles to splash in on my walk to work. All in all, I'm happy to see the rain today.

I had the great idea of trying to video it for y'all. The first video I put my hood up in the middle because I realized that I HAD a HOOD and Needed It. The second one ended with Kevin yelling "What in the hell are you doing!?!?!?!"

The third one, well, I gave up after the third one but it's still kind of cute. If you listen, that noise in the background is the rain.




video

30 August 2010

The Food Thing

I am in the Lifestyle Change versus Dieting camp.

If we look back five years ago, we would find that I ate like the average American teenager: soda for breakfast, starchy lunch, convenience food for dinner, snacks. I did work at a preschool so it was like a constant parade of food. I'm telling you: toddlers have all the luck. They eat all the good stuff because they need it to grow.

I've mentioned before that we've changed how we eat A LOT over the last two years. We went from processed foods, red meat, and soda to none of that. So essentially, I am like a reformed smoker.

Kevin and I are also from the "Just Do It" way of life.

The doctor said "no red meat"? Okay, done. Well, not that easily but you get the gist.

"No more processed foods" Well, that sucks but okay...it's better but there are just some things I just won't make from scratch.

Oh and the hyperglycemia from the Graves Disease...that's just so much fun *shaking of fists* To get in the habit of having Kevin eat every three hours is just a JOY. Also, to not fall into the habit of eating with him? equally as joyful...she writes sarcastically.

Turns out Kevin's body also doesn't refine sugar well so soda was replaced. I never would have thought that I would exist in this world without soda but here I am: alive and well. Go figure. Although I have replaced it with my beloved mochas so that turns out to be a wash. I do drink a lot more water now too...1 freaking liter a day, thankyouverymuch...so that's good.

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" I have heard that since watching Saturday morning cartoons. Until recently, I wasn't a fan. Actually, still am not a fan but I grit my teeth and eat a bowl of cereal every morning after Kevin leaves. Does it help? I am not sure. Kevin has oatmeal every single weekday and it has helped his cholesterol numbers so there's that. Maybe once the weather turns I will consider oatmeal but right now I have to force myself just to eat my Cheerios.

I guess if *I* can learn how to cook & eat more healthy then anyone can. I can now cook chicken, salmon, and halibut. Turkey is my new best friend. My constant friend Coke has been replaced by a water bottle. Can I just mention that I miss the sound of a soda can opening? Yeah, that's as pathetic as it sounded in my head.

I have developed about ten things that I make for dinner and they rotate-ish every other week. Our lunches are the same, same, same as we are both Creatures of Habit. His is turkey or tuna sandwiches while mine is the trustworthy PB&J.

What do you eat? Is it the same each day or do you switch it up?

29 August 2010

16 Things

The Lovely Creative Kerfuffle is having a wee contest over at her bloggity place! It requires a bit of thought and some homework:

your homework? list 16 big events in your life (either in a comment here or on your blog). next thursday, sept. 2 i will pick a winner and send you a box of treasures. the treasures inside will depend on the winner. my treasure box included some very cool penguin items, among other things. what does it take to win? i won't know until i see the lists. maybe it will be something on your list that makes me lol or touches me deeply or stuns and amazes me. i don't know.


16 Big Events in My Life

1. Discovered I wouldn't have any help for college, thus didn't go.
2. Married Michael
3. Divorced Michael
4. Kevin
5. Working at the school
6. Stopping working at the school
7. 2006...a year to myself to do what I wanted & did.
8. Exploding
9. Rolling the truck
10. Losing a friend to meth
11. Losing a friend to mental illness
12. Losing my Dad
13. Family moving in next door...twice.
14. Kevin getting sick/diagnosed/treatment/healthy
15. Three deaths in six months in mid 2000's, two more a few years later.
16. Taking a good job after my unplanned sabbatical.


I realized as I wrote this out that these are mostly endings. I don't necessarily like how that feels and that I reflected that way. I guess I'd rather see things as beginnings so let's reframe:

1. Graduated high school & worked full-time as a nursery/preschool teacher.
2. Had a fairy tale wedding that had a nightmare ending
3. But gained me a Prince Charming
4. Got an opportunity to grow with a fledgling school & left at it's prime.
5. Took a one-year (albeit unplanned) sabbatical.
6. Gained my pyrotechnicians license then retired years later.
7. Learned that a few of the scariest things to happen can also be good things in the long run.
8. Learned about loss...a lot.
9. Learned about family. Not quite the Waltons but not the Manson family I was used to.
10. Took a good job that I need to practice being grateful for when so many others don't.

There, doesn't that feel better?

TAG! You're it!! Post in the comments (and CK's too!!!) or post on your blog. Even if you don't have a blog, try it anyway. Trust me.

28 August 2010

Sometimes

At my last high school reunion I heard "You haven't changed a bit!", which is good to hear when you're not entirely sure that people won't gasp & point & whisper. No, I really didn't think that but I also didn't think that I would be questioned as to whether or not I am a vampire.

My favorite moment of the reunion is when I sassed an old friend and she nearly did a spit-take into her beer. She hugged me and kissed me on the cheek, laughing and said "I just f*&king love you."

But I have also been told that I haven't changed in a negative tone. While I don't agree with this in any way, shape, or form, it made me realize just how much that I have.

Anyone who knows me in real life and has been paying attention knows that last five years have kicked my ass and certainly changed who I am.

I am quieter. Believe it or not, this is me: quieter. I listen more & talk less. I've found that I enjoy being an observer.

I am calmer. While the ADD still rides on my shoulder, I have learned to use it to my advantage. I am not the super active person I used to be. Again, I still have my moments but they're less.

While I retain my Queen of Smart Assery Crown, I am nicer now. I just don't have the energy for the negative. It's too heavy and a waste of time. On the flip side of that coin, however, I do not suffer fools gladly. I don't have the patience for drama and ignorance.

While this makes me sound all centered and zen, I surely am not. I am trying to be. I guess that's all any of us kind strive for.

Sometimes change isn't tangible. Sometimes it's not "Wow, you've lost weight" or "You haven't aged a bit." Sometimes it's more subtle than that.

And sometimes, we don't even realize it's happened until it's over with.

26 August 2010

Pardon the Interruption

We apologize for the interruption in regularly scheduled programming. We have been interrupted by Dawson's Creek.

Well, not Dawson's Creek the show actually, but by our friends FROM Dawson Creek.

I was expecting to meet them in town during the weekday to give them some parts they had delivered here. In a most Dale-like way, they ended up coming to our house which then turned out to all of us going to dinner.

This group of friends are the ones that really, really, really make me want to become Canadian and move. However, it would entail moving not only into another country but nearly into our northernmost state. The Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek.

So, while it's a late night, it is totally worth abandoning all hopes of a schedule in order to spend quality time with our faraway friends. At least, without the noise of the racecars and the rest of our dear Canadian friends...that's on Saturday.

My point being is that tonight we made a memory. That is more important to me than being tired in the morning, or not eating a healthy dinner, or anything else. Tonight we were in the company of our friends. Nothing can put a value on that.

25 August 2010

One Year

One Year today since my Dad passed away.

My youngest niece posted this video on the Facebook and I thought it was sweet. When I commented, she replied:
it just makes me smile when i think about grandpa.. makes me try and be happy thinking ill see him again one day.. at the end when its the old man saying "come rock a while" it sorta reminds me of him.. i love it.. ♥


24 August 2010

Blog Roll Bio

We all have blogs that we follow, they are ethereal creatures that morph and change. Sometimes we stop reading and sometimes they stop writing. If we're lucky, we get to know our bloggers via comments, etc.

I have a blog roll on the blog...there on the right, page down, see? I don't think about tidying mine up much. I feel horrible when I realize that I haven't added someone so don't think that if you're not on the roll, I don't read. It's just the short attention span thing. If you comment or follow, I really do try to check your blogs/twitters out as well. (Hi Jen!!)

There are a few friends that aren't writing right now. (Hi Bea!!!) It's funny how we miss people when they don't write like we miss a friend when they move away. I have difficulty taking their names off the list though, it just makes it so permanent.

I love photo blogs. I am fascinated by them. The Cliff Walk photographer lives somewhere near me. I think I've figured out where and if it is, he has a Toyota pickup covered in Happy Meal toys. If anyone has a good photo blog to share, hit me with the link. Search "Daily Photos" and before I know it, an entire afternoon will have passed. (I follow Bellingham, Seattle, and Las Vegas)

I am also a news nerd. I read The Huffington Post and the Daily Beast, as well as Jezebel and TMZ. Local news and national news as well, even though they tend to repeat. My blogger boyfriend remains Andrew Sullivan, even though he's completely opposite of me: gay, conservative, Republican, and British.

I tend to stay away from pregnancy/family/parenting blogs because we don't have kids and because I find myself wanting to give unsolicited advice. But I still read a few. On the flip side, there are some car world blogs/sites that I visit regularly but I try to keep a wedge between those two worlds when I can. However, on that note, I must mention my new, actual friend, Paul, who takes the most incredible racing photos I've ever seen. Even if you could give a sh*t about racing, he catches many humans and nature at it's best.

I started to read Free Anissa when she had her stroke and everyone was making videos and sending cards. Anissa really showed how small our world is. I started to read Karie after she was featured on BlogHer. I "met" Jamie because she was my first follower thusly I am eternally devoted to her. I'm happy to mention Creative Kerfuffle has become a blogger-friend because she reads & comments and I in return.

There's the lovely Swistle. She can write about the dishes in her sink and I will read with rapture. There is the special insanity of The Bloggess. There is the witty storytelling of Pearl and Melina, who combines photography and prose, who was kind enough to comment so that I could enjoy her blog posts.

I have been taking some time away from the computer over the weekends, I am finding the need to unplug. An after-effect that I have found with that is that I miss my friends. I kind of love that.

Our world is small and getting smaller. The internet with all its craziness has been kind enough to give me the above friends and more.

Is there a blog that I should be reading? is it yours?

23 August 2010

News & Notes

Today is the last day of my mini-vacation, or mini-break if I want to be
all London-y.

Thursday I just slept-in and stared at the walls all day. My brain needed to be non-functioning. I think it was in sleep mode most of the day. Then Friday was my Saturday because I had to get all my chores and shopping done. By Friday night the house was sparkling and our cupboards were full and our bags were packed.

Saturday we went racing. A 4:30 wake-up time sucks but sucks even more on a Saturday. Wisely, I planned ahead and purchased iced mochas on Friday night so that I was fully armed with caffeine and sugar.

But what about "cheating douchebag"? you're wondering. Well, Cheating Douchebag raced last year and was illegally equipped...I guess is the the easiest way to explain it....so Kevin's sole purpose was to best C.D.'s record this year.

And he totally did. People cheered. People clapped. It was awesome.
We stayed BY OURSELVES in a lovely hotel on the water in Port Orchard.



We had pizza at a local restaurant a friend highly recommended. We went to bed early and all the that it implies then I fell asleep watching Pride & Prejudice, my fave movie. Then we were actually able to sleep in because it was raining.

We tried McDonald's iced mochas on the way to pick up our car trailer at the track. They weren't awful but they weren't Starbucks either.

By 3 pm, I was home, totally unpacked, with the laundry nearly done, and just chilled. Nice. the dog was momentarily happy about our return but then non-too-subtly seemed to resent our return as if to say "Remember? Remember that time that I had the entire house to myself? Those were good times..."

Today, I slept in a bit and my father-in-law hand delivered an iced mocha to the door so well done. Missy Jo broke her lead in the truck on Friday so I was a little concerned about avoiding taking her to get a treat. (WA state has leash laws for dogs in the back of trucks) It took a little convincing and two treats hidden in her breakfast to get her to relent. I think she still suspects there is a chance that we might go, judging by the hopeful and watching eye every time I pass by.

Now I am eating leftover pizza and reading on the deck in the sunshine. I am finally finishing the book from the Tweaker adventure. The Forgotten Garden. It is a good read, kind of a grown-up fairy tale with three generations each telling an intertwined story. I wish I had picked it up during the winter because it is an excellent book to cozy up and get lost in.

Tomorrow it's back to "normal". If not for the need for food & shelter, I would totally call in dead tomorrow.

22 August 2010

Best/Worst

BEST Part of the weekend:
Hotel on the water in Pt Orchard
Cheers/handclapping from the crowd
Rainout
Beating Cheating Douchebag

WORST Part of the weekend:
The existence of Cheating Douchebag
3 Hour Drive Home
Rainout

20 August 2010

This is Not My Beautiful House Part 4

So, it was a bit of an adjustment from being just Kevin and me to a "family". We ate dinner next door a lot, which was good and bad. Good that I didn't have to cook and bad that we gained weight because the sister-in-law doesn't cook healthy and bad that we didn't have regular time together as a couple anymore.

It took a little while to create a sort of wedge and boundary between us. Kevin and I are independent and next door, well, next door not so much.

Kev's parents were feeling left out as well. They were used to their kids being nearby and now they were 25 minutes away. Again, this is a tight-knit family. If you get one, you get ten more. But the Moody House was a split-level with the in-laws living upstairs and the aunt & uncle living downstairs. Retirement was not a worry for anyone because they had each other. It was a wonderful set-up for everyone.

Then Uncle Don died unexpectedly. That was a blow to the family like no other. Suddenly everyone's plans shifted and changed and fell apart. This was also the time that Kevin was sick/diagnosed so bonus round points for us.

Problem solving began. We had over three acres between the two properties so we would just move the parents up here. But how? and where? and when?

They stuck it out in the Moody house as long as they could, in attempt to not uproot the Aunt who didn't want to leave. Although frustrating, we understood: it was where she'd lived for twenty years and it's where she felt closest to her husband. But push became shove because the father-in-law was retiring. (He worked well past retirement age...he still works part-time actually because he is badass)

Then The Aunt became sick. She was hospitalized over Thanksgiving weekend and was gone on Tuesday. Heartbreaking. She just didn't want to live without Uncle Don and she didn't want to move.

Now we're mourning (times two) and we're closing a house and we're moving Kev's parents, essentially, in with us. Thankfully at this time I wasn't working. If I had been working, this would be written from the cozy confines of an asylum.

House shopping began. Kevin & I had just gone through this for our new house so it felt like deja vu all over again, except on a much smaller scale. Trying to get six people to agree on anything was impossible. As much as we said "It only matters what you think", they wanted us to feel comfortable too. Also, because it was in the b-i-l's yard, they wanted their approval on the outside appearance as well.

Days blended into weeks into months as we tried to close a house that's been a home for nearly thirty years. Going from a 1300 square foot house to a 399 square foot house is a challenge like no other. To say that we inherited a lot of stuff is an understatement.

Finally, the house sold and we closed it up. Finally another house was chosen and ordered. It sounds so anticlimatic now but it sure wasn't. The in-laws lived in their fifth-wheel, in our driveway for seven weeks. Seven. Weeks.

Seven weeks of our every coming and going being noted. "You were late to work today" or "Did *firegirl* have to get something at the store last night?" Seven weeks.

Finally their house arrived and was set-up. It took about a day to move in and unpack. They now live on the other side of our shop so we have a buffer and the B-i-l is part of the Witness Protection Program.

18 August 2010

This is Not My Beautiful House Part 3

I came home from work one day after Joe disappeared. There were men in his yard, wandering around and checking stuff out. As there hadn't been anyone around for months and they didn't look like Joe's regular "friends", I went home & called the Sheriff.

Two minutes later, my mom calls "Did you know the sheriff has been called to your next door neighbor's house?" She has a police & fire scanner on 24/7. (makes me batsh*t crazy) I explained what happened and said I would call her later.

She calls about thirty minutes later and she's laughing. "You called the sheriff on the... one the.. one the landscapers!"

Thanks Mom.

Turns out the house had fallen into foreclosure. I called Kevin, who called his brother who called his wife who called the courthouse.

One month later, the brother & sister-in-law bought the house next door. Much like the song in the title of this post, Kevin and I both said "My God, what have I done!?!?!'

A few days later they came up to see the house...yes, they bought it without seeing the inside...and Kevin said it was creepy to walk in there. Our dog at the time, Aussie, didn't want to go in but finally did then quickly ran outside with her tail between her legs. Kevin brought her home and convinced me to come down to see.

I have to admit, it felt like walking into a murder scene. The house had such a dark vibe that it left you chilled and headachy.

I can go on for a full day about the condition of the house but I will make a bulleted list:
*over 200 nails in the kitchen ceiling...clearly, someone was playing with a nail gun
*Crooked, hand painted, hot pink, vertical stripes in the den
*a person-sized hole in the bedroom floor, leading outside.
*every door was broken with fist-sized holes in most.
*Dog p*ss stains in every room of the house
*there was a garbage filled camper outside and a truck over the embankment


I would have never bought it, just based on the dark vibe. But they wanted to live up here so badly that they were willing to do the work. It took over a month to get it livable and even then, I still didn't feel comfortable in it.

It is a nice house now. To their credit, it is a home. The vibe is gone and now it feels like they've never not lived there.

Oh wait, I have to tell you one more thing about this part:
Remember "have you seen my cat?'

Kevin tapped out painting and decided to work outside. He brought down his weed-whacker and began clearing the back yard. He came in about thirty minutes later, pale as a ghost. "Come outside. Don't attract attention, just come outside."

He had uncovered three little crosses in the backyard. There were the cats.

Kevin threw the crosses away and we never told anyone in the family what happened. Because I think after everything, they would lose their sh*t about that.

Two houses down...two houses to go...

17 August 2010

This is Not My Beautiful House Part 2

We bought the house nineteen years ago last Saturday. The property is a little over an acre and bordered by a creek. Although it was taken over with weeds, brush, trees, etc. so we bought it on faith that the creek actually existed. I wish I could say we took pictures but we didn't. It was so overwhelming that it didn't even occur to us.

We didn't care though. Kevin's commute was almost an hour long and mine was a half-hour. It took a little bit for us to adjust to living so far out. There was a store about four miles away but it had convenience store prices so if we needed something, we mostly did without until the weekend.

For a little while we had no neighbors. The property on one side wasn't developed yet and the house on the other side appeared uninhabitable. Then the devil moved in. The devil's name was Joe, he had a common law wife whom we called the Crazy Lady because she had these lifeless, bright blue eyes and she kept asking us if we'd seen her cat. We had never seen a cat.

Joe was a thug. He was a biker. He trashed everything he owned. He also had an epic temper, it took nothing to set him off. He had pit bulls, really not nice, stereotypical pit bulls. He used to start his truck at 6 am every morning by holding the accelerator to the floor and leaving it there. We used to lay in bed and pray that the engine would blow up. So for the first few years, we simply didn't make eye contact as we went about our daily lives.

There were plenty of calls to the sheriff. I told you the one story about him holing up in the house. When he finally left permanently, it was because the county drug swat team swarmed the place. Rumor has it he swims with the fishes now. So all's well that ends well.

Kevin's sister-in-law's father bought the property next to us a few months after we did. He basically plunked a mobile home down and called it good for the first few years. With his help, we were able to uncover the creek and lower property so we could actually see & enjoy it.

Fast forward about eight years later, we had adapted to living in the country quite efficiently. The first winter we had two feet of snow for about two weeks. We experienced some really intense thunder & lightning storms that got caught in the mountains. We had an unidentified animal living in the woods between the father-in-law-in-law's house. We've had an earthquake. It's been an interesting nineteen years.

Then the family moved in.

16 August 2010

This is Not My Beautiful House

Someone asked the other day how I ended up living in a commune. I, of course, don't actually live in one but it sure feels like it some days.

When I met Kevin, he lived in town about three blocks from his parents and five blocks from his parents. It was nearly a dealbreaker for me, his family being so close literally & figuratively.

A year after we'd lived together, he decided that he wanted to buy a house. We started to look around and contacted a realtor. Neither of us had any big ideas of what we wanted in a house or neighborhood.

We looked at one house which was actually quite similar to the duplex we were living in. We were waiting for a walk-through with another realtor when we got the call about the property where we live now. The price was right and it was a sell-by-owner situation so we rushed to check it out.

It was nearly 25 minutes from our town, and north which means more extreme weather and less people. We loved the property, no neighbors to speak of (at the time), and best of all: we could afford it. We bought it and was moving in within a month.

I will admit: it had an old mobile home on it. It was 1970's chic but it didn't slow me down a bit. I told Kevin that I could de-cheeze it fairly easily.

It had green shag carpet, of course. We knew we would have to replace it but we weren't that worried about it. Until the day we moved in.

Our friends & family were supposed to show up at 7:30 am to move but showed up at 7:00 instead. I got into the shower while Kevin got everyone organized. By the time I came out of the shower, the house was empty.

So, I played catch-up. Kevin & his mom were there when I got there and I remember Kevin frowning when I pulled in. "You have to go back to town" he tells me. I remember thinking that the deal had fell through or Kevin had changed his mind about us or any of the hundred things that could go wrong. But I didn't think about had actually happened.

There was a Very Pissed Off cocker spaniel living in our house.

Very. Pissed. Off.

Cocker Spaniel.

The assh*les that sold our house left it there for two days, inside. Animals love Kevin but this one? not so much. It paced from one end of the house to the next until it finally sequestered itself in the laundry room. Kevin, bless his heart, thought about keeping him but the entire family voted a big, fat, NO.

I had to go back into town to call the Humane Society to pick him up. And buy carpet. We couldn't move in until the dog moved out and we replaced his littler box.

A few hours later, the Humane Society picked up the unhappy dog and we had industrial strength blue carpet for the entire house. We had a houseful of people until it was dark then everyone left and we went to bed.

I will remember forever the first time that Kevin turned out the bedroom lights. PITCH DARK. It was the country, no streetlamps, no neighbors, no outside lights yet. PITCH DARK. I bought nightlights the next day so that we could at least get to the bathroom in the middle of the night without loss of limb.

Tune in tomorrow for the next chapter.......

15 August 2010

A Thousand Words

It's so effing hot this weekend that I can't think so it's a picture montage for y'all



Really Kev? What are you? Sixteen?



Don't pick the roses...next to the nuclear facility...the camera did some funky stuff to those roses




Missy...on watch for her dreaded nemesis, Maggy.




this just made me laugh earlier this week...

See you tomorrow friends!!!!

14 August 2010

Thunderstruck

The terrestrial radio station I usually listen to is JACK FM. It is mood swing radio, playing everything from George Thoroughgood to Black-eyed Peas to U2 to The Fray.

They just played AC/DC - Thunderstruck. This song makes me a little sad. I know, you're wondering WTH is she talking about?!

Fireworks season was last month and I would have normally been busy coordinating shows, crews, and paperwork. Sadly, that part of my life is finished. It's been three years and I am still in pout mode. (wondering what I am talking about? click here) Kevin said not very long ago that he is surprised I let it go so easily.

Anyway, why would Thunderstruck make me wistful was the question:

We had a list of songs we wanted to set off fireworks to. Thunderstruck is one of the songs on the list. It has a perfect tempo for such a thing. As I listen, I can choreograph it in my head. When to make noise, when to make light, when to do things in rapid succession, when to fade to black.

I loved that part of setting up the show: the choreography, because that's what it was. Like a play or a movie, there has be a beginning, a middle, and an end. There are many factors that have to be considered beyond that as well. There is expectation regarding time, tempo, and style.

There is the human factor as well. There were five to six guys on the crew and each had their own personality when it came to doing it. Some are methodical, some were quick, some had a perfect rhythm. It used to be that I could watch a show and tell you exactly who was lighting when.

Part of what made our crew work is that they were all friends for years and had worked together for years. So like a dance or theatre company, they each had their own routines and they meshed well together.
Link
One of the best shows we did was the show after 9/11. It was set to patriotic music, Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith, Jimi Hendrix. Songs that usually I roll my eyes at, simply because they've become trite instead of inspiring. But that day, during the most patriotic of holidays, after such a momentous event, everything took on a more meaningful purpose & intent.

The music was louder than usual and the guys could hear it and light accordingly. It was the only venue that we could do it. The crew sang as the show went on, the crowd was louder than usual, and the moment was bigger than anything any of us have ever experienced. I am still amazed at the power of that moment.

Moments like that is what makes me miss fireworks.

13 August 2010

Shower Scenes

I forgot to come back & tell you my second favorite Brad story!

Brad & I have been friends since I was seventeen years old. We connected immediately. It's always been on a friend level. Well, there was that one time but it passed...anyway...

When I was married to Michael we lived in a townhouse apartment. You know, I really liked that apartment. If I could have just moved Michael out & stayed, I totally would have done it.

We were going out, I think. It's a little blurry why Brad was at the apartment. My bff at the time was upstairs taking a shower. Brad and the bff had flirted and perhaps had hooked up...I remember having a party and coming down the next morning & they were spooning on the floor by the dining table. Oh, to be twenty again. That sh*t just doesn't happen these days.

Brad heard the shower and asked who was up there. When I told him, he grinned and got an evil look in his eye. I started to laugh because you just *knew* something good was about to happen.

He went into the kitchen and began to root through the cupboards & drawers. Choosing one thing, discarding it, and choosing another. Finally he came up with a red spaghetti server, you know one of those weird slotted, curved, spoon things.

He began to sneak up the stairs and I couldn't stop laughing. I remember he paused and went all Pink Panther on me, gesturing and shushing me. He crept up the remainder of the stairs but got the giggles and had to stop. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and watched as he tiptoed across the hall, paused, then whipped open the door silently.

He disappeared and for a second there was silence. Suddenly, all you heard was the shower curtain rings sliding across the rod and Brad screeching "Ree! Ree! Ree!" like the soundtrack of Psycho.

Bff screamed like a horror film. I was momentarily concerned that someone would call the cops & wouldn't that be awkward to explain.

Brad came tearing down the stairs, stopping at the bottom and doubling over, laughing his fool head off. All you could hear from upstairs were gasps and then a stuttering "Y-y-y-you guys are M-m-m-mean!"

I'm sure she wet herself in the shower & I'm certain that Brad & I were pretty damn close.

Believe it or not I have a second shower story that I just remembered while telling this one.

I don't think I was living with Kevin yet but was over there. He/we lived in a duplex with his bff living in the other half of the duplex. We loved living next to him.

Kev's bff came in while Kevin was in the shower, smiled, put his finger to his lips, and snuck into the laundry room, which was next to the bathroom. He fussed with something for a minute then walked out and returned home.

All of a sudden, I hear Kevin yell "Son of a B*tch! Sanders!!!?!!!?!!!"

Bff had shut off the hot water tank at the spigot. He was safely at home before Kevin ran out of hot water.

It's good to have creative & devious friends.

11 August 2010

I Hated PE Anyway

Add this to the "This Sh*t Only Happens to Firegirl" file.

I've talked before about having poor joints, specifically my hip. It's a genetic thing and a "I haven't treated myself well" thing.

Genetics are fun. My mom has given me a zig-zagged spine, not scoliosis but a zig-zag. So that's fun. The family has Irish/English roots so it's not like we're made from hearty stock in the first place.

Then there's the rolling the truck thing and the growing up poor thing and the not eating enough vegetable/fruit thing.

In high school I had pain in my left knee that felt like bone-on-bone. I was miserable and nothing would make it stop. Finally, the old, family doctor said that it was juvenile arthritis and growing pains. He signed me out of PE for forever. As I hated PE, this was a good thing in the long run. It's how I ended up in choir actually.

When I was in my early twenties, it went away. I don't know how or why but it went away. So well done me.

Sunday, guess what came back? Yeah. Out of the clear blue freaking sky I had knee pain again. I had forgotten how much it hurt. I waited for it to go away until last night when, in solidarity, my hip went out. *awesome*

Now my hip can go out just because it wants to. It doesn't matter if I am sitting, standing, sleeping, chopping wood, (yeah right, as if) it can just dislocate. It's been better lately so that is good.

Off I go to the magic chiropractor today. I told him what was going on and he frowned. Dude rarely frowns. I knew I was in trouble then. So we do the thing and yes, my hip is out and so is every other joint from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

The knee didn't correct though so he looked at it further. He frowns again and looks at me......

"Your tibia is dislocated."

What

The

Eff?

Only me. Only me could dislocate an entire LEG.

10 August 2010

From the Holy Mother of God Department

I haven't done this for a long time. As you might remember, the YW has a boutique where clothing is given away to women in need. It is 100% free, voluntarily staffed, and stocked with donations.

With the donations come treasures and horrors.


I found this one today and actually exclaimed aloud:



Then we have this gem from The Good Ship LollyPop....


And from the Amish Collection...or as I know it: Seventh Grade...


This one I titled "Nana? Is that you?" but it defied photography. The pants are pin-striped. But polyester is really all you need to know.

09 August 2010

Daisy

"Pet me or I'll eff you up"

This is Daisy, my stalker. She is our non-family neighbor's cat and she's approximately 200 years old. Poor old girl is an outside cat and misses her owner who is fighting cancer.

Each night when I walk down to get the mail she yells at me as I walk past. She's skittish, rightfully so, of the road and waits until I am returning up the road, yelling the entire time. If a car goes past, she freezes until it passes.

Like many cats, she chooses how to be petted. She likes her tail stroked so I don't know how many times I've had to say "I don't want your ass." As a typical crotchety old woman, she has bitten me twice. Not puncture bites but just enough to (try) show me who is boss. A quick swat and a "I will kick your ass" seems to take care of any further attempts. She is, after all, old and probably a little feral.

As confrontational as this sounds, it is actually a nice end to the day. Petting a grateful, lonely cat for five minutes bring us both some peace.


08 August 2010

Captured Moments

This is my new favorite picture. It was taken by a stranger last weekend who took the time to contact us to give it to us. The talent of a stranger captured a moment in time that will forever make us smile.

All day, every day people are taking pictures & videos. Moments are captured frequently. I read once that the digital age actually will hide or miss moments in history because there will not be pictures in boxes, negatives in desk drawers, or albums hidden on shelves.

People are quick to delete pictures that aren't what they hoped them to be. Whereas, in the past, those pictures would be printed and set aside. Pictures that perhaps not what the photographer wanted, sometimes contain details that become important in time. Or they languish on memory cards and hard drives, never to be seen again.

With the prevalence of photography now, it is safe to say that there are pictures of everyone floating about. This is not from a paranoid view but from a "Wouldn't it be cool to see those pictures?" Above is the perfect example.

Pictures capture moments, memories, history. What you might think of as a fail may actually be a treasure to someone else.

07 August 2010

Summer Rain

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~Langston Hughes


I like summer rain more than any other rain. There's a feeling about it that no other season holds, a peaceful, cleansing feeling. Summer rain colors the landscape with a Monet-esque brush; colors are vivid yet soft. The world takes on a fairy tale mood.

The rain has a musical quality here. It must be all the leaves. It sings like a lullaby, just as Langston Hughes writes.

Sleep well, friends. I will, with the lulling sound of raindrops on the trees.

06 August 2010

DUN

In the words of the Far Sides Garry Larson: I am DUN. After having a great weekend which allowed for little rest and a long, hot week, I am beyond anything reasonable. I am not fit for human consumption.

So....hmmm...what....

Suzy Pancake has not been seen since The Incident. We're all going to Hell for laughing.

My mom is disappointed that the nice Bryan Seacourt is not becoming a judge on American Idol.

Kevin is talking to his friend whom we refer to as Dumb John. Yeah, we have some interesting nicknames in our group.

I am texting my (fingers crossed) sister-in-law with so much sarcasm I am waiting for Verizon to shut the phone off.

My goal of saving the foxglove & wild daisies was thwarted by my kind father-in-law who weed-whacked while we were gone last weekend. But at least I know that they're called foxglove now. (thanks CK!)

I am pouting a little bit about not going to Blogher. I am considering Swistle's suggestion for a give-away for those of us who didn't go. Stay tuned.

LOL...Kevin just got one of those scam texts that says your credit card has been deactivated. He replied "EFF OFF".

For some reason I was thinking of my friend Brad earlier today...oh, I know why. Kent Boyd on So You Think You Can Dance reminds me of his son who was killed when he was seven years old. Anyway, I have lots of good Brad stories but this is my favorite:

Brad wanted to find The ONE. He was a bit of a whore when we were younger but it was all in the quest to find the one. Finally, he gave up. He stopped going out, whoring about, and just settled down. Sure enough, he met his wife shortly thereafter.

Brad is a creative guy with a WICKED side. OMG...I have to tell you one more story...Hello, ADD....but I'll finish this one first.

He told his "wife" that he decided that he didn't believe in marriage and that he was happy living with her for the rest of his life. She was most unhappy about this. Most Unhappy.

We had a family gathering for the fireworks and this was when Brad still was a pyrotech. His "wife" told me prior to the show that she was most likely moving out after the holiday because while she loved Brad, she wanted to be Married. I scurried to Brad as soon as humanly possible and told him "DUDE, you better hurry". He had a plan, but he wouldn't tell me about it.

So evening wears on. We do the fireworks show and come to shore. It's close to midnight at this point. Brad jumps off the docks, marches through the crowd, goes up onto the deck, kneels down with the ring, and proposes.

It was awesome. It still gives me happy tears thinking about it.

I love random memories like that. It made me want to call him.

Do you have a happy proposal that you've witnessed?

05 August 2010

Summertime



It's been so warm lately that it's probably making nuns curse. The above picture was taken at 11:45 am today. I had already had an iced mocha and emptied a similar water bottle.

A childhood friend referred to us Washingtonians as "mossbacks" the other day and I laughed. It's true: my webbed feet & fingers are drying out.

Being a lake kid as a child, I still want to go swimming every single day during the summer. Unfortunately, the parents live too far away to make driving down there to swim worthwhile.

My mom said that the Nieces asked to come out to swim the other day. After they were done, they were hungry so the mom made them tunafish sandwiches with chips and pop. As she told me about it, it reminded me of the hundreds of times she did that with us kids.

My childhood was not idyllic but that was a memory that is deeply ingrained.

What memory have you experienced through your children or nieces/nephews?



Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. ~John Lubbock

04 August 2010

So...Hot Dogs

Remember when we talked about being all healthy & stuff? Yeah. Totally out the window. Kevin requested mac & cheese and hot dogs tonight. Easy to please that guy is. And because we're six.

I was making "dinner" and trying to think of what to write about this evening when I had a light bulb moment "hot dogs".

Over the weekend, Kevin asked his brother for some ice to put in his mocha. B-i-l asked him why didn't he use his own damn ice.

Wait...First, increase the volume to just below yelling and sprinkle in a few "you dumb bastard" and "assh*le" in there to get the full effect.

It went like this:

"Can I get some ice?"

"You have your own damn ice."

"I can't use mine"

"Why not?"

"Because there are open hotdogs in mine"

At this point, I'm all "Wait, what?"

"Well if you didn't tear open the hotdogs you wouldn't."

"I know that NOW."

At this point, I poked my head out of the car trailer: "You DID NOT tear open the resealable package AGAIN!?!?!?"

My b-i-l looks triumphant. "I know, right!?!"

"Shut up, shut up, shut up, the both of you."

And...scene.

This is a normal conversation in my life. Top that.

This Is Not Funny

...unless you're me. And you see this stupid mascot Every Day. Then I can understand the wanting to hit.

BELLINGHAM - IHOP's mascot Suzie Pancake was assaulted by a bystander at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, outside of the restaurant at 3619 Byron St., according to Bellingham police.

A 19-year-old woman dressed in the pancake suit was outside the IHOP, waving at passers-by, when 22-year-old James Manas approached her and began yelling at her and hitting the suit with his hand, Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young said.

A passer-by stopped Manas as he tried to hit her again; Manas then walked to a nearby bus stop, said Young.

The woman went inside the restaurant, where the manager called Bellingham Police, Young said.

Officers found Manas at New Peking restaurant, 1208 E. Maple St. Manas was cited for disorderly conduct, Young said.

Manas told police he had only been joking, and that he did not hit the pancake, Young said.

The woman was not injured, but was sent home from work early due to distress, Young said.


I think I posted about this before under "Worse Job Ever" but I can't find it.

03 August 2010

I Am Getting Old

Okay, I am beginning to feel old. I've watched two Biography shows...Rosie & Alec Baldwin...then I watched I Am Comic which featured all the comics I loved when I was in my teens-twenties. I remember these people when they were just starting out.

People Magazine is beginning to feature "celebrities" that I don't recognize. Then on second thought, perhaps it is because the definition of celebrity has changed. It used to be that you had to have multiple movie/television shows or *gasp* actual talent. Now you just have to have a sex tape, a famous father, or call it "The Iraq" during a pageant.

I am starting to not get the humor these days. Tosh 2.0 is lost on me. Saturday Night Live is hit & miss. I age twenty years watching America's Best Dance Crew, it makes me want to bang my head against the wall until the noise stops. Brett Michaels just cheated death for eff's sake.

Then there's the Justin Bieber...WTH is that about?

Get me my cane...and my linoment...my stories are coming on....where's the cat?

What makes you feel old?

02 August 2010

Every Pot has a Lid

I love this phrase. I also think it's true. Haven't you ever been in a mall or a restaurant and see a couple when you think "Now those two fit together" or "OMG how did they find each other?"

Have we ever talked about the Nerd Love theory? Theoretically Nerd Love is more strong than "regular" love because, really, what are the odds of Nerds finding each other? Nerds know they're nerds and know it's difficult/unlikely that they will find a soulmate so when they do...wow! Think Ricky finding his true love at the ski race in Better Off Dead.

Sometimes it takes a few tries to find your lid. It took me two tries to find it. It takes many people a few tries these days. Gone are the days of marrying young and staying together forever.

I was thinking about Liz Taylor the other day. The letters that Richard Burton wrote to her are being published soon so she has been prominent in the entertainment section. For all you youngin's (or the oldin's who have forgotten) Liz has been married seven...eight?...times.

I used to think she was crazy. Now I think she's just romantic. She believes in love. She believes in forever. She keeps on trying, no matter what. I think she has the right idea: just keep trying. It would be nice to believe in love so much that you're willing to just keep trying again and again.

Every pot has a lid and sometimes there are a few lids. Sometimes you just have to keep looking until you find it.

01 August 2010

Personal Best

Our friend M always reminds us to focus on personal best. Things may not always go the way we want, goals might not always be reached on the first try but a step forward is a step forward. Progress always has to be acknowledged, no mater how small of an increment.


When you reach, even surpass, a goal there are simply no words to describe. Relief, elation, pride, laughter. Excitement. It’s true, when you achieve such a momentous goal, you feel like yelling “I’m going to Disneyland!”


Kevin set his personal best this weekend. He reached his goal that he’s been working for the past nine months. Once again, I found myself nearly bursting into tears standing on a racetrack, surrounded by a bunch of guys, smoke, and chaos. I am not one for cheering while watching him race, I just think it's poor sportsmanship. But today was a different story. Today I cheered, I did the happy dance.


We were at our hometrack for the first time after months & months, surrounded by our racing family. As the lights flashed his numbers, a collective cheer burst out from the group I’m standing with, high fives and fist bumps all around. M just about beat the snot out of me. The Nephew & I had a moment standing on the track, much like in Vegas two years ago.


Then traveling down the return road to retrieve the racecar, you drive past the spectators. Having friends shout out congratulations and strangers give you thumbs up just adds to the pure joy.


It was a great weekend, one I won't forget easily. I can't wait to see the pictures!


What goal have you achieved that made you feel like you'd won an Academy Award?