30 December 2010

New Years Meme

Nipped from All & Sundry again this year. Here is Last Year's for handy reference.

You should do it too, it’s a fun way to look back on your year. If you post it in your blog, will you add your link to the comments here? I’d love to see your answers!!

Strangely many of last year's answers still apply...

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I feel like the Magic 8 Ball...answer is unclear, check in later.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?



I did make them and for once, I believe that I managed to at least bump into each resolution and make its acquaintance.

My resolutions for 2010:

1. Continue cooking more.

2. Continue to simplify, in every way.

3. Try to remember not to enter into melodrama of any kind. I believe Swistle referred to it jackassery.

These resolutions worked out so well I am keeping them for 2011!!!


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?



Nope. Everyone is beyond that age/stage of life again this year. With the exception of five little monkeys that are new to our family. We do have a good friend who is due to be a new daddy in a month or so.


4. Did anyone close to you die?



a few friends & acquaintances but no one close to us. We are starting to be at the age where we cringingly check the obituaries.


5. What countries did you visit?



"Oh Canada, our home & native land.."


6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

I am not really sure, actually. That feels good to say.


7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 3rd...first fireworks without my dad
October 16....Kevin's win at Pacific.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?



Writing nearly every single day, with a few notable absences due to impending death.


9. What was your biggest failure?



I'm drawing a blank, so that's good right? I guess not writing more.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

C. Diff....ugh...


11. What was the best thing you bought?



Plane tickets...books...my Vegas hoodie.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?



Barack Obama. He inherited a mess and is fixing it, all the while encouraging us to do the same.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?



Someone who shall remain nameless.


14. Where did most of your money go?



Same as last year: Bills, Racecar, Vegas trip. Shiny side is we paid some debt down this year.


15. What did you get really excited about?

Christmas with the nephew & monkeys.


16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

"Smile" Uncle Kracker


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? Happier, in the grand scheme of things.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, to my surprise.
– richer or poorer? Richer this year, surprisingly. We've been Lucky.


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



I don't have a clear answer actually.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?



Being sick, for sure.


20. How did you spend Christmas?



Eve - at my parents and it was uncomfortable & tense.

Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement.


21. Did you fall in love in 2009?



Multiple times.


22. What was your favorite TV program?



I always have a difficult time choosing favorites. The Mentalist, Castle, Brothers & Sisters.


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?



No. I'm not a hater.


24. What was the best book you read?


The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


To my surprise, the GLEE soundtracks.


26. What did you want and get?



Everything, I suppose. We're at the time of our lives that if we want it, we can usually get it.


27. What did you want and not get?

A new vacuum cleaner, I only have myself to blame.


28. What was your favorite film of this year?



It is a tie between Up in the Air and Leap Year. Opposite ends of the spectrum.


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?



I turned 42 and I spent the weekend doing whatever I wanted, mostly.


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A little more job satisfaction.






31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?



Casual, comfortable. I have reverted back to dressing like Wednesday Adams.


32. What kept you sane?



Mochas. Kevin.


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

Craig Ferguson. Hello, my naughty monkey.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?



PROP 8 continued battle & Don't Ask, Don't Tell.


35. Who did you miss?



No one that I don't usually miss.


36. Who was the best new person you met?



I met her in 2009 but my brother's girlfriend fits the description the best.


37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.



Everything is temporary. Hold on, hold tight, for this too shall pass.


29 December 2010

No Longer Trapped in the Rubble

Today I finally put all the decorations away. I can see my desk again. The house has been returned to normal. It's so depressing. I don't enjoy this time of year because everything seems so plain.

Today it snowed a bit so that was nice. It wasn't an official snow day because it happened on a vacation day and there wasn't that much. It was still pretty and helped with the blehness.

I've one more vacation day to myself and I am not sure what I will do with it. I really didn't have any goals set for this vacation so I've accomplished that much.

Usually I try to begin the new year with a clean house so that's how I will be spending Friday. That coupled with a Hoarders viewing has me wanting to clean closets, again.

Clearly, I've been up to f#$k-all these past few days and haven't been writing. I felt compelled to toss this up & see if it sticks.

I hope this finds you more motivated than I am!!!

25 December 2010

Tears at the Dinner Table

Christmas Day was one the most fun days I've had, ever. The addition of five monkeys added a remarkable amount of cheer & excitement to the day.

The kids were very enjoyable, even when they got tired and overwhelmed. The eldest announced about mid-day "This is the best day of my life. Seriously. Ever."

The older boys have realized that Kevin is a good playmate. He is, in fact, just a large child himself. They played war in the neighborhood for about two hours before Kev finally had to tap out.

At dinner the kids were all gathered at the end of the table while Kevin and I were in the middle. C2...the second oldest...kept looking & laughing at Kevin. To make it more funny, he kept doing the "I'm keeping my eyes on you" gesture and teasing Kevin.

Finally, Kevin said he was going to throw a bun at him. Of course, C2 was all "Whatever" because really? how likely was that to happen.

Without warning, Kev picked up a bun and winged it at C2, about ten feet away. In slow motion, we watched C2 turn just in time for the bun to bonk him on the forehead and bounce away. It landed on his plate so there was momentary confusion of WTF just happened.

The adults just fell out laughing. We were all laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our cheeks with intermittent bursts of laughter for minutes afterward.

Kevin gave the boy the best Christmas story ever, for sure. Lord knows we'll be telling it for years to come.

24 December 2010

All is Calm...

We're at the point of the holiday that I want to hit the slow down button. Everything is finished & ready. Everyone is relaxed and happy. Anticipation is slowly building (unless you have five little ones and then they're raising the roof)

The tree looks so nice with the presents underneath. It makes me a little sad to take the presents away from it.

Kevin & I have tried to have a just-us-two Christmas before but it isn't at all like the jewelry commercials portray it. It's actually kind of sad and awkward. It's the only time that we miss not having children.

I think that is why we're both excited about spending time with five little monkeys tomorrow morning. They haven't had much of a Christmas in the past and we can't wait to see their excitement and awe of all the presents we've bought just for them.

Don't tell Missy but I even bought her a big chewy bone to help while away the day tomorrow while we are next door.

This morning we took candy to the mocha stand for the girls. We even planned ahead by buying mochas for tomorrow morning so we'll be fully awake and anesthetized before entering into the craziness that is Christmas with this family.

Meanwhile, I am going to sit quietly and enjoy holiday movies for another hour until it's time to pack up and go.

I hope this finds you surrounded by loved ones, peaceful, and happy. The merriest of Christmases to you.

23 December 2010

All the Stockings are Hung

I set the bar really high for myself this year. I have the intention of giving brownies to my family this year. I have 1.5 batches done. I need three. Note the use of the word "intention."

This is why I don't bake. I don't have the attention span nor patience for it. I just don't. I will, however, give myself credit for beginning tonight versus tomorrow. I am sure the stores won't be sold out of brownies tomorrow if things go horribly awry.

First batch went well. Second batch remains undetermined. There may be egg shell. There may be a funky crust due to a momentary lapse of eggs post-pouring of the batter causing a remix. Batch three is in the oven.

Luckily, thankfully, strangely, the radio station suddenly kicked the holiday up a notch: Step into Christmas by Elton John, I Want a Hippopotamus, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies, and We Need A Little Christmas by GLEE. This happy little soundtrack kept me from feeding the #$&()@#&%( brownies to the dog.

Meanwhile, Kevin is out shopping with his brother so that guarantees he's having less fun than I am. His brother is a horrible shopper. H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E.

On a happy note, all presents but the Pillow Pets are wrapped. They are waiting for Kevin because I know that kind of wrapping is beyond my paygrade.

So, tomorrow will find me watching Christmas movies & specials all the live-long day.

Tell me, dear ones, What's your favorite Christmas song?

22 December 2010

News & Notes

I always forget how much I enjoy being home until I am for a few days, or at least at home without the plague. I've really had no schedule this week other than the whole Santa deadline.

It's Wednesday evening and we're watching a movie, something we haven't done in what feels like forever. (Wall Street 2...the first one is one of Kevin's favorites) I can't remember the last time we just sat & enjoyed a movie.

This is my second movie today in fact. I watched Leap Year earlier while wrapping presents. A lovely little movie and just another one that makes me want to go to Ireland.

I cleaned a closet and organized, again, Monica's closet. It's little things like that which get set by the wayside during the busyness of days.

I went shopping yesterday and in two stores I nearly finished. The only reason I didn't finish is because I forgot one stocking stuffer completely and I am still struggling with the whole couple gift thing. I swear I am going to kick my brother right in the shin for that dumb idea.

I spent my giftcard yesterday also. I bought a new bedspread and blanket for our room, finally. It's only been a year since I decided to change.

Kevin loves it. He hates the decorative pillows because he's a guy. It went as far as two photographs being taken, presented to the family, and voted upon. Kevin totally lost.



Tomorrow I will begin the day grocery shopping so I don't have to enter a store again until at least next week. After that, I am going to bake brownies to pad the impersonal giftcard gifts that my brothers are receiving.

Let's talk about toys! Have you seen the Lego board games? Those look cool and yet confusing. Rubiks cubes are popular again? Baby Alive also? Can I just say that it feels impossible to buy a non commercial toy for anyone over the age of six. Plush toys, omg, I would have adored those as a child.

Please tell me, fellow dog owners, that your dog is shedding too and it's not just mine? FTLOG, I am ready to scream. I've threatened to shave her so many times, I think she's starting to get a little jumpy. Kevin has been brushing her every to every-other day but it just seems to piss her fur off. We even have the Furminator comb, which rocks. Meanwhile, my vacuum is choked with dog hair.
So, other than the dog hair, my vacation is going well. I hope it continues to do so.

And you? How are all of you doing?

19 December 2010

A Very Merry Unbirthday!

It's been a fun weekend! We had dinner on Friday then Kevin & I managed to make yesterday my unofficial birthday without even talking about it.

I slept in, Kev got me coffee, I didn't do any chores or shopping. I just hung around the house. A very nice day indeed!

We went to Johnny Gringos...which is Carino's to the people who aren't Kevin. One of my favorite places to eat. Just Kevin & me and no phones. A Christmas miracle!!!

We walked across to the mall to look at books and/or perfume for a birthday gift. (this has become our tradition: going to the mall & getting to choose what I want. It's fun!) The one book I would have paid full-price for wasn't in stock: Kate Morton's new book

So we went to Macy's to buy perfume and bumped into one of my black sheep, redneck, cousins so there was an uncomfortable ten minutes.

And Macy's isn't stocking Escape by Calvin Klein. W.T.H. is up with that?

We walked back through the store where I decided to buy two glass snowman ornaments and another ornament. They were on clearance so essentially three for the price of one!!! Hooray me!!!

Now today was much different. I didn't sleep in because I had to go to town today, we needed groceries and I wanted to get in & out before everything got crazy.

I went to Michaels so I could finish a project and finish my mom's present. Below is my Nate Berkus inspired project. When it isn't the holidays anymore, I will replace the snowflake something else. It must not be too hideous or noticable as Kevin hasn't mentioned it. I wish I could take a better photograph...I will keep trying.



Then I went to two Cenex stores (Country Stores or Farmer's Co-Ops in your neck of the woods)
for Pillow Pets, of all things. They had them for $14.99 where they are $19.99 at least everywhere else. I bought them for the triplets. (great suggestion CK!!!!)

Then I went to Freddy's and bought groceries. I made a quick break for it just as it started to get busy again. My nephew text me while I was there: "I'm in Target. FML." He's experiencing Christmas shopping for children for the first time.

Then I wandered around the house doing chores and little projects. We had dinner leftovers for lunch and now I'm heading next door for dinner!

It's been fun having birthday wishes via Facebook and text. One of the good developments of the interwebs.

This was a text from one of my co-workers that made me laugh:

"Happy Birthday to you. You work in a zoo. If we were some primates...I'd fling you some poo..."

18 December 2010

Looked Fear in the Eye

and said "Okay thanks, let's not meet again".

I don't enjoy being underneath cars, never have. I've done it to check for leaks or pick up something that has inconveniently rolled underneath or handing Kevin a tool. If the car is on jackstands then it's worse and better. Worse: it can fall (not really) and better: there is more space to move underneath.

Kevin is rebuilding his fuel system on the racecar. His dad & brother were both unavailable so under the car I had to go. Not just a little bit either but full body, on a creeper, under the car, for a period of time. Gah.

One sound that I enjoy is the sound of an impact wrench. Today I got to *make* the sound. It's kind of a powerful feeling actually if I weren't facing the fear of being under a car.

Kevin is good with people. He knew I wasn't too excited about being there so he was all Let's Get This Sh*t Done. As soon as I was no longer needed, he pulled out the creeper and helped me up just like nothing had ever happened. Other than saying "You're officially a drag racer's wife."

I have my favorite hoodie on and as luck would have it I actually had to wear the hood part so my hair didn't get caught in the creeper wheels. It also came in handy to catch two washers that fell. Also in the luck department: I have my glasses that acted like safety glasses.

So, now I can do f*ck-all for the rest of the day because for ten minutes: I was bad ass.

Not really.

17 December 2010

And to All a Good Night

Tonight I had an early birthday dinner with the fam and Brother Dear, Ames & Little Niece. It was a night of food laughter and fun. Even a sombrero might have been worn.

It was fun to blend the two families together & I think I will make an effort to do that more often. It felt like a glimpse of our future.

I am now laying in bed watching a Christmas movie and feeling peaceful. I will write more tomorrow and maybe even post an embarrassing photo.

16 December 2010

Good News

Again let's have some happy up in this joint...

I received a raise AND a bonus today. I suddenly love my job more.

Tomorrow is my last day of work for two whole weeks.

I received some great Christmas cards today! (looking at you C & CK!)

The house is finally satisfactorily decorated for Christmas.

I gave one tote full of Christmas decorations for 5 cute little monkeys to enjoy

Street Corner Symphony (click the link, no really. Click.The.Link!)

I put on my new-ish regular size pants today and dare-I-say: baggy

Your turn poppets! What's your good news this week?

15 December 2010

Squirrel

The past two days I found myself mired in the ADD. It rarely frustrates me when it happens, usually I try to emulate Kevin and harness the powers for good. Not so much though. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Each start something new and each stop wasn't because the task was finished.

This isn't my usual "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" routine where I have eleven projects going at once. It was a a much more frustrating than that. I actually had the irrational "Eff it, I'm going home" thought. Because now that would be effective.

I think it is partially because I'm going to be on vacation (yes, again, shut up) in a few days and I think I'm just having one of those cycles where my brain is all Ricochet Rabbit. I acknowledged my frustration to the Universe but I was too distracted to hear it's answer. (joke, people, joke)

Finally I fell back onto a trick from when I was in high school:

Cleaned off my desk.
Piled up all the projects and set them aside.
Turn out music/television/whatever. In this case, the Eddie Izzard documentary.
Make a List.
Start at the top & work my way down.

This helped because I not only accomplished a lot on my list I also got to listen to the documentary. And yes, that's how my brain works. It needs the background entertainment. If I would have gone into the Cone of Silence, I would have ended up playing Solitaire on the computer & looking out the window.

Today was a little better because I was tired from being out last night. I also just had two projects left to do before I leave. Both of them mindless tasks, which are busywork but definitely needs finishing before I go.

On Monday I visited the lovely Swistle via the interwebs. She talked about her In the Bucket In! mechanism. This was tremendously helpful to me, as always, because Swistle is my friend-before-blogging friend and I was reminded of that friendship while reading. Also I immediately wanted to go visit and accomplish nothing together. We're in the same, albeit drifting, boat!

More importantly, she reminded me "One step at a time. One drop in the bucket is still progress."

Meanwhile, it has taken me nearly two hours to write this doggone post. I had to finish watching Craig Ferguson, I had to talk to Kevin...who is working nights tonight saving Stanwood again...and laundry...then The Sing-Off came on...then I had to find the links for this post so then I found myself watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons...gah!!!!!

So poppets, do you ever have these days? How do you work through it?

So Sorry

We went to my niece's Christmas Choir Concert last night and it was 11:00 pm before I realized that I hadn't posted.

They sung this song last night and shortly into it a few people began to stand and I momentarily thought that it was going to be a flashmob. To my disappointment, not so much. Simply, probably, Catholics.

So here is the original instead...



13 December 2010

Building An Ark

If any of you have watched or listened to the national news, you know that we've had 40 days/40 nights worth of rain over the weekend. The Pacific Northwest had what they call a Pineapple Express which is a storm system that brings a lot of warm & wet weather our way. Southeast Washington received six inches of rain in 48 hours. Six inches. We "only" received 3-4 inches of rain. So, once again, this area is experiencing flooding.

PNW natives are used to this. We know where not to live if we don't enjoy replacing all of our stuff every few years. The areas that flood are usually the farmlands and small towns up in the mountains.

Sandbagging is almost a required skill for many PNW citizens. You can't have lived here long with out experiencing that grueling task.

Why, yes, I have sandbagged...and not in the Republican way. Actually shovels, actual burlap bags, actual sore backs, arms, legs, and everything else. If it weren't for the dire consequences, it's actually kind of fun.

When Kevin & first began dating it was 1990 and the year of the 100 Year Flood. I remember a bunch of us getting into trucks and heading down to Conway to sand bag. The radio was making constant, panicked requests for volunteers.

The fire department saw strong men and immediately put them on trucks to go out on what they call the island. They made me stay at the fire department where I filled bags and helped distribute food.

Hours later the boys returned looking grim. They'd no sooner got off the truck when a boat came up and the officers told everyone to evacuate. The dike had broken. We loaded up & headed home, disappointed and worried. We watched on television as everything went underwater. Even my friend Brads house went under, what a mess. There wasn't a person that wasn't effected by the flooding in some way. Kevin's work was underwater and the flood resulted in the company's demise a few months later.

The other sandbagging experience was a few years ago...gosh, 2005? I think...Brother Dear called with just a hint of panic in his voice. He lives in a dike district that floods often and works for the fire department so he was "in the know". The dike was at great risk of giving way near his house so he asked me to go get his girls & take them to the parents. Yikes.

I took flood routes (like snow routes) to the brothers house, bundled up the girls and took them to the parents. Then returned to the fire department to sand-bag. Brother Dear wavered between pleased & worried.

I can still see the setting in my head. Everyone working with tractors, sand, bags, shovels, and most of us strangers. Someone said something and we all looked. Like something out of an action movie, here came striding in was the Army Corps of Engineers. Looking like National Guard, they reorganized people and sent many home. Like before, there were warnings that if you lived in the neighborhood to get home & pack. Brother Dear sent me home at this point.

Can I just acknowledge how powerless you feel? There's just nothing to be done in a situation like that. Worry. Listen to the radio and watch the news. Wait for the phone to ring.

The dikes held but it was close, very close. Brother Dear said that there were two places that if you touched the side of the dike it would undulate like a waterbed. He said that it was the most unreal feeling and sight.

So, present time, Kevin got to work today at 6:45 am and was immediately in a truck to help truck down rocks to shore up the flood wall that protects the town of Stanwood. All day he trucked back & forth, hauling rock. He said it is very stressful because of the traffic, the police escorts, the television crews, and just the situation. He's exhausted tonight, already asleep.

This is the news video and this is incredible video of the river that is causing all of Stanwood's woes.

The rain had stopped but is due to begin again, only not as severe. The damage is done and now everyone just has to be patient. Depending on how the night goes, Kevin could be right back in a truck tomorrow. we hope not.

I took this picture of our creek this morning. I couldn't get a shot yesterday because it was raining too damn hard. The water was higher yesterday, for sure but you get the idea. the stuff that looks like smoke in the upper right corner? Mix of fog and rain. We live at 750 ft elevation and get that sometimes.


We can be thankful that if our house ever floods so is, oh, the Entire World.

11 December 2010

Lights of Christmas

Last night we went on our first family outing with all the kids. It was so much fun, I can't even put it into words.

First off, five kids...two of whom are identical...are busy. They were perfect angels the entire time, not hardly a fuss from any of them. They are polite and confident, without being precocious. Miss Thing, the youngest triplet and only girl, is in charge. She had the grown up boys following her every command. Sweetest thing to watch, ever.

After pizza and soda, we went to the Lights of Christmas which is at a multipurpose camp not far from Kevin's work. A group of volunteers put out over 1 million lights and displays that actually requires a map & few hours to see.

There is so much to see that it is difficult to take it all in, even for the adults. Kevin & I found ourselves repeatedly saying "Look up" and "Did you see the..." I've included the video below, even though it doesn't quite grasp how the lights look. The video focuses on the churchy displays but trust me there is so much more.

I know that the triplets favorite colors are pink, blue, and green. I know that one of the trips says "I'm scared" when he means he's embarrassed. I know that the eldest is wise beyond his years and trying not to let anyone know. I know that the middle needs a little more care in drawing out. I asked him how he thought the lights got up into the trees and he shrugged. "Ladders? Or did they throw them up there? Did monkeys do it?" I asked him. He looked at me incredulously and shook his head. "I don't think monkeys can do that" he said with just a little doubt in his voice.

Kevin and I haven't had many opportunities to be around young children together. After twenty years together we've experienced most everything with each other. To be able to watch him hold Miss Thing's hand, pose for silly pictures, and lift the Trips up to see things and make the older boys laugh was the best gift I could ever ask for.

Five little kids and a whole lot of lights just made Christmas bright.




09 December 2010

News & Notes

Here I sit, bleary eyed and muddle brained. Caffeine is not doing the trick today. It's Thursday. There is only one cure and it's called Friday.

My office was given a box of chocolates (how many of you just read that in Forrest Gump accents?) that had Jesus's name written all over it. I compared it to being in Las Vegas where they slap "Vegas" on everything and sell it. Yes, I just compared Vegas & Jesus. Let the smiting commence.

I randomly emailed my besties the other day that I am so over the Mean Girls in celebrityland. I am not a fan of Kathy Griffin or Chelsea Handler. While I can appreciate some of their humor, it seems like it's mostly based on holding someone else down and I don't like that. Salon.com had an interesting article this morning about it. Worth a read, I suppose. Mean Girls, Celebrity Edition

I am actively thinking about the couples gifts for my family. Gift cards are probably the best bet but that just isn't...I don't know...I like gift cards but it's not fun to wrap or open and there is no immediate gratification. For Little Brothers birthday, I bought an Amazon giftcard and put it into multiple envelopes, each filled with a little confetti, and then taped it to a bag of m-n-m's.

So, I am open to suggestions. There's Little Brother and his girlfriend and Brother Dear and his girlfriend. Each of them enjoy cooking, one couple enjoys reading, one enjoys movies (but buys new movies even during Christmas/birthday times) one is into motorcycles and the other is into fire department, one has food allergies and one does not.

Then there's Kevin's family where we are focusing on kids. There are 2 seven-year-olds, one six-year-old and three nearly four-year-olds. I don't buy weapons ever. I'm not a big superhero or commercial toy fan either. Luckily, the Nephews kids don't have Any Expectations for presents (one wants a yo-yo, another wants skates) so shopping should be easy.

Did I ever tell you that I did color my hair a darker color? The brown brought out some ginger in my hair so that was interesting. Kevin was meh about it and so was I after the initial excitement. I do think that the darker brown will look okay but it will definitely enhance the fact that I am a white girl. (:-D So, after the new year I will be returning to blonde. Kevin has requested what I call stripper-blonde but that's not going to happen.

Did everyone see the Oprah commercial? The one where she's all crying and emotional then yelling for a tissue? Isn't that awesome?

The passing of Elizabeth Edwards was quite the sad one. I can only hope that I can be that brave when my time is here. I imagine that these words will be quoted for years to come:

“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact on the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”

08 December 2010

You Complete Me

Someone has been taking up space in my head and I was beginning to get frustrated. Oddly, it was my ex-husband. Before you go all *gasp*, let me clarify...

Every once in a while a character will form in my head and rent an apartment. I've moved a few characters onto the old computer to get them out of my head. Then they languish on the hard drive, waiting for me to return and complete them, in the parlance of Jerry McGuire. But until I pack them up & move them out, they take up space. It's a relief to write it all down so I can reclaim that corner of my brain.

I like to think of names for characters, give them characteristics or habits, create the life they might live. It's like a grown-up version of playing house.

The fun part of this is that it isn't the real version of the former husband. It's like an alternative version. A future version. And it has nothing to do with reconciliation or anything like that because that is so not going to happen.

I have no idea what he looks like now. I haven't seen him in about twenty years...so weird...I have no information at all about his life. The person in my head is pure speculation and imagination. It's entertainment.

I can make him bald. I can make him nicer. I can change words that were said. I can visit karma upon him at my own discretion.

This new resident is an example of why I like this quote so much:

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E.L. Doctorow

07 December 2010

06 December 2010

Good News

Along the "Dear..." lines, I've decided that today is a good day for Good News and not in the televangelist way.

Good News from...

Coworker/Friend who IS getting their house after finding a pipe is just a funky yard art & not environmental hazard.

CK has her first snow of the season!!!

Swistle went on a day trip to visit her brother & family sans children.

It's five more minutes until I am on my way home.

The Sing Off starts tonight. (it's a GLEE style singing competition. I know, I need a life)

I am on vacation in thirteen more workdays.

Boring but important: unemployment was extended today for thousands of people.

Christmas songs on the radio.

Christmas movies on the television.

Right this second, everyone is healthy & happy & doing well in their lives.

And here is a picture that will melt your heart that I have to share:


(nephew & one of the triplets)

What's your good news? C'mon, you gotta have one thing that is good!?!

05 December 2010

Punching Grinch in the Nose


I meant to post this the last post. These are the cards I put out from last year. One from Kevin's parents, two from my bff's and the first card of this season. Aren't they great?

Yesterday Kevin & I went down to North Seattle & had breakfast with two of my favorites boys, other than Kevin: a fellow racer and his toddler son whom I've adored since we've met. (both adult & baby)

This also gave me uninterrupted time with Kevin. It was early enough in the morning that his phone didn't even ring! a Christmas miracle!

The remainder of the day was spent going grocery shopping, which wasn't as horrible as I anticipated. I put my Starbucks Christmas CD in and just chilled. I realized that it was the first time I had been truly alone since before our trip. No offense to Kev but it felt nice.

I started feeling a little holiday spirit when I heard this song:




After I got home, Kevin went next door to watch UFC with his brother so more solitary time. I cleaned the house from top to bottom, something I haven't done since late October. Then I tackled second string Christmas cards. On Monday morning, all of our cards will be sent. Another Christmas miracle!

Today I slept in. We took the dog for coffee then I got stubborn. I put on Christmas music, organized the office and pulled out the Christmas tree & decorations.

What is that quote from Die Hard? "Yippy Ki Yea M'er F'ers!"


03 December 2010

You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch

I believe I've mentioned this before, probably about this time every year: I am having difficulty getting in the holiday spirit.

I truly think it is caused by two things:

We just returned from Vegas. It is quite a gearshift from no clocks, no schedule, no responsibility, and usually warm weather to wintery wonderland and holiday festivies.

This year we are also doing the gift giving differently. While it is easier on the budget, it takes away the enthusiasm of present opening. I know, I know I am not a child and Christmas isn't about presents but still.

This is worse than previous years though. Kevin's mom keeps worriedly asking if I have done anything yet.

Oh and I forgot to mention that my birthday is awkward again with my family. No one mentioned it at all then my sister in law loudly asked what we were doing. Insert sound of crickets here. Sigh.

Anyway...
I have managed to do three things. There are lights on the porch. My mother in law gave us a very expensive Nativity scene so that is on the coffee table.

My cards are done. Well the first string is. I still have to finish the second string, which consists of cousins and people we send cards out of habit. While doing the cards I chose my three favorite cards from last year. A pretty one from kevins parents and the cards from my besties.

So new goal = house will be frocked by Sunday night. Holiday ennui will be banished.

How is your Holiday Spirit doing?

02 December 2010

Thursday Takes

This is my first full week at week at work since before I got sick in October so this is the best I can muster tonight. First three are cell phone photos. The fourth took some research to find the perfect nuance.

Enjoy!
Missy's mission to control the laptop cord continues so subtly that
the mere humans almost don't notice. Almost.



This would make a great "guess the picture" but I don't have the patience.
This is the top of the Bellagio fountain where people make wishes. It's my favorite picture from this trip to Vegas.




These are my winter flowers, don't they look lovely under 2010's first snow?




Still with the separation anxiety....


01 December 2010

Dear...

Dear CK,
Thank you for posting your "Dear..." post & reminding me how fun it is.


Dear Radio,
Please stop playing "It's a Marshmallow World." It seriously freaks me out. Seriously.


Dear Alaska Airlines,
I am still a little bit in love with you. Thank you for getting us home safely.


Dear Luis @ Alamo,
I am having separating anxiety from the Chrysler 300 you upgraded us. Can I please have another one?


Dear Co-worker,
When you do your job properly, others don't have to be involved. Do the math.
Oh, I just returned from vacation so back-up-off-me.


Dear Dog,
Please stop looking down the hall as if you see someone. It's making me crazy.


Dear Dad,
Stop scaring the dog. It's not funny.