30 November 2011

Where's Waldo?

Last night I tucked him under one of Kevin's pillows on our bed.  Kevin luckily found it before falling asleep as I didn't think it through and anticipate him finding it in the middle of the night & screaming like a girl.  

The poor stuffy dog has been found in all kinds of places this week:



(under my chair)

 (This one needs no explanation, I suppose)


 
(under the dresser)

Where, oh where, will we find him next?

29 November 2011

Preschooler

I just saw another email stating how important a food diary is.  I can see the merit in this if you have a health concern like an allergy or auto-immune disease.  But if you're simply dieting or have food issues, I just see it as a way to beat yourself up. 

Good Morning America had a segment on how telling your friends that you're dieting can sometimes be counter-intuitive.  That's right, your friends want you to fail.  I am not sure what I think about that.  I would like to think that my friends aren't complete bastards but I've experienced otherwise in the past so there's that.

Anyway...if I were to keep a food diary, it would be simple: Copy & paste the average preschooler diet and we're good to go.  Well, preschoolers don't drink coffee but other than that.

Breakfast:
If I eat something, it's cereal (Cheerios) or cake.
Coffee...lots of coffee or I have no will to live.

Lunch:
PB&J...sometimes tuna, sometimes bologna.  I warned you: PRESCHOOLER
Grapes
Yogurt
Used to have chips but I'm a grown up now & have abandoned those. (stop laughing)

Snack...this is inconsistent.  If I'm making dinner I will do tortilla chips & salsa (shut up, I know what I said) or crackers & cheese if it's the weekend. 

Dinner is usually turkey something or other, salmon something or other, or chicken something or other.  With vegetables, fruit & milk.  It's rare that we have red meat.  (rare, red meat. Get it? I'm so funny. Not really)

I don't snack at night, at most I will have a piece of Dove Dark Chocolate & warm milk if I feel insomnia coming on. 

So, yeah.  Preschooler.  I am not the size of a preschooler so I'd really like to talk to someone about that.

You're up, poppets.  What do you eat?

27 November 2011

No Dogs on the Bed

Today is the last day of vacation, I'm sad to announce. We're both not ready to return to work but am ready to return to some sort of schedule.  With that, I did chores & errands like I normally would this weekend.

I also considered frocking the house for Christmas but I just couldn't get motivated.  I took out a few things but just didn't have the energy for the tree. I did manage to put up outside Christmas lights on our steps and set up the Christmas village. (which I am going to relocate, I don't like it there.)

In the meanwhile, I put away the Thanksgiving decorations and decluttered a bit. 

I brought home a dog awhile ago, a stuffed one. (or a plushie, or a stuffie, depending on where you are from)  He sat by the front door for awhile.  Today I decided that he would rest on our bed.

Kevin came in and announced "Get that damn dog off the bed!" and I laughed. Only he would refer to it as a living thing.

Hours later, I went into our bedroom to change clothes.  The dog was gone, stuffed under the bedding, Godfather style.  (if you haven't seen the movie, this is irrelevant)

He is, if nothing else, entertaining.

25 November 2011

Thanksgiving - a recap

My family:
Little Brother & his girlfriend broke up. (not during, that would be awkward)
Niece acted her age.
Mom held the boys dessert/birthday cake hostage until they put up the Christmas tree.
Mom asked Kevin if he's always been so loud.  (new hearing aids, and yes.)
Skirted political talk & called Little Brother out on "What's wrong with being gay?"

Kev's Family:
Too much food, too many people. (both problems & blessings)
Snuggly Girl Little
Rascally Boy Littles
Helpful Oldest Big
No one threw any food.  (yes, it's happened before)
Christmas planning

We slept in today and both have been wandering aimlessly.  I've half-heartedly begun getting organized for Christmas.  I shopped on Amazon for my first ever Black Friday Sales. 

I finally put on the station that plays Christmas music 24/7 until midnight January 2.

And I'm torturing the dog.  She hates these:

Entrance to the office, note her bed on the right.  
I laid down in the hallway to provide you with the dogs eye view

24 November 2011

I'm Not Afraid

One of my favorite quotes is "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."  ~ Mark Twain

I went on the New York Roller Coaster while we were in Vegas.  As I said before, it was life affirming.  (It also made me question my ability to manage my own life.)

I'm not necessarily afraid of heights but they can make me uncomfortable.  Not enough that I will allow my discomfort from going up in the Stratosphere, the Space Needle, or walking across the Deception Pass Bridge.


So it was with utter dismay that as we begin to climb up on the roller coaster's first big hill that our friend Miguel states "You know I'm afraid of heights, right?"  (this is where I lose my mind: "Are you EFFING KIDDING ME!?!?!")

"It's okay" he continues "I don't let it keep me from doing this." 

Then fast forward to after our trip when a friend tells us that they teach their daughters not to let their fears make their decisions.  For the second time in a week, I'm given two pieces of unintentional advice about fear. 

It is something I am going to think about over the next little bit.  The universe has whispered to me twice and I feel like I need to listen.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' "
   ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Happy Thanksgiving

22 November 2011

Random Item of the Day



This is Kevin's mom's chair.  It looks like a child's chair but she used it to rock her babies (her words)  I think it has further family history but it's sketchy.  Kevin's mom has memory issues so we have to eventually get the history from his aunt or uncle.

When it was time to close the Moody House (Kevin's parent's long-time home) we divided up many things, including this chair.  The parents had already designated what they wanted to go to who and the boys were responsible for the remainder. 

If they couldn't agree on which of them that would get it, then they played Paper Rock Scissors.  It worked throughout the whole time until it got to this chair.  Both boys wanted it but neither could stand the look of disappointment on either face.

So it lives here.  It's kind of in the way but it makes Kevin happy.  He can see it every time he sits down in his recliner.  I wish that we could continue the tradition but it's impossible.  Perhaps one of the grandkids can use it when the time comes.



21 November 2011

All is Calm

We've made it home safe & sound about four hours ago.  The washer & dryer are running, the house is clean, and we are completely unpacked,  Yep, unpacked. 

Once I am home from a vacation I have a deep need to be unpacked immediately. Not to imply that I want to forget my vacation but more to just quickly return to normal. Kevin also likes to just return home as if we've never left.  Thank God we found each other because we would drive someone else mad.

The nice thing about this habit, I guess I will call it, is that we're now in our jammies & chilling.  Tomorrow when we wake up, it will just be a quiet day.  No suitcases to trip over, no "I can't find socks to wear". Just a few more loads of laundry that I can convince myself is just "normal" laundry and not the remnants of a really fun trip that I wasn't ready to be over.

19 November 2011

News & Notes - Vegas Edition

This is being posted via my droid so forgive me if this has errors or appears stilted.

I am cozy in my hotel room with my feet up, a smoothie & a book next to me. There's a movie on and a view of the Strip outside my window.  We've been here three days and have two more to go.  Oh and it snowed at home while we've been gone.

We did the New York roller coaster again. Well not "we" *I* did. In the dark, which was More Fun! It is definitely Life Affirming.

Bought a pink Vegas Hoodie. So Happy!

We had dinner at Benihana for my brother & sister in-law's 30th anniversary.

We went to Coyote Ugly (like the movie) and had such a good time! I was invited to dance On The Bar...omg! (totally didn't)
I was flirted up by a lovely redneck who was strangely also from Washington. He was my people! We stick together in foreign lands!

We visited Pawn Stars. It is in the Top 10 most cool things I've done. The "Stars" weren't there but there were 2 people working that spent 10 minutes talking with us about the pawn business.  We saw many things that were featured on the show.

We went to the Bellagio to see the Conservatory & the Chilhuly Glass, both breathtakingly beautiful. One of the pictures I took is below.

We saw the MGM lions, the Seigfreid & Roy tigers and the dolphins at the Mirage. We went back to the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay. Its just like a trip to the zoo! We even ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafe which was neat but I was relieved to leave. (The ADD did not enjoy)

I returned to the Titanic Museum again. I'm happy to say that it was just as powerful the second time.  The passenger I was assigned survived so I still don't know how I would react if they didn't. I bought the book this time. I've been wishing for it for a whole year.

Second most fun thing was the CSI Experience.  I have never watched the show. ( I know, I'm one of three). They give you a CSI Investigators vest to wear, a clipboard and a case to solve. First step is the crime scene where you note all details, facts and questions. Next you run the information through toxicology, DNA, fingerprints, criminal database and some forensic tasks to determine what's fact. Then you examine the "body", which is a white manicquin (sp?) that a computer projects the anatomy onto it. The final step is presenting your case to Grissom via computer.  If you solved it correctly you receive a diploma. If not then you're encouraged to do it again.
It was So Fun! I want to go back to try it again!

It has been a beautiful trip, full of fun & friends. I wouldn't change a thing.  Two more days...what fun will be next!?!


17 November 2011

Quote of the Day

The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? 
Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.
Richard Bach


16 November 2011

If You Need Me...

I'll be here:

15 November 2011

Stop Wearing the Pumpkin Sweater

We've shared the Crimes Against Humanity posts in the past.  These outfits were photographed from the YWCA's clothing giveway program. (Dress for Success)
The program at my work is slightly different in that it provides clothing for all women, not just women needing work clothing.

I never in a thousand years thought that this program would be of any interest to me.  Now it's one of my favorite things to do with my day.  I love to play with the clothing donations that come in.  It's fun to create outfits to put up for display. There is a special kind of happiness in giving clothing to women in need.

I have learned so much about clothing over the years.  I knew on the surface about fabric or "fashion" but now I feel like I actually *know*.  I can put together an outfit in just a few minutes now.

Although I think I have this skill simply from wearing Garanimals as a child.  Garanimals was the clothing brand that had animal themed tags that showed what shirts & pants matched.

Because of the program, I now wear red shoes and "big girl shoes" instead of sneakers.  I have color in my closet instead of my Wednesday Adams black, and
I know what cut or style of clothing to choose that looks best on me.

Most of all, it makes me think about what I wear each day. It makes me choose items I wouldn't normally wear and it keeps me from falling, too much at least, into a rut.

Now it's your turn.  Go through your closet & get rid of the pumpkin sweaters & the stuff that you'll fit in "someday".  Give it away so that others may benefit please.  Most importantly though: try something new.  You'll see how fun it can be.

14 November 2011

Yeah That's Gonna Happen

I just text Kevin to ask what he would like for dinner.

He stated his choice then said "and get on it!"

I replied "Yeah that's gonna happen"

He replied "You know it!"

So I sent him this:


12 November 2011

News & Notes

In case I haven't mentioned it at least eleventy times, I'm going to Vegas in three days.

I spent today making sure that we have everything we need for the trip.  In that quest, I managed to forget sugar, which means no coffee and a trip back to town.  Sigh....

If you watched Grey Anatomy this week, Route 2 is actually Highway 2 and no, they didn't exaggerate the road at all.  It's a bad highway, for reals.

Chris Martin from Coldplay was interviewed by Howard Stern this week.  He seems like a genuinely nice guy.   He sung with just a piano and omg, he brings tears to your eyes.  Also, I thought Apple was a dumb Hollywood name but when you hear Chris Martin pronounce it? *swoon* I love it.

Here's the newest thing I'm trying now.  First was soda, then red meat then processed foods and now................chips.  Did you just gasp?  I know, I know.
 I seem to have grown an addiction to Pringles that needs some intervention.  you'll know that it's not going well when I'm on the national news for running a truck carrying chips off the road.

Guess what I did today?  I went back to Kohls...*facepalm*....I really dislike that store.  But I had a quest: a silver "J" to go with the other initials that I bought last weekend just to have Kevin ask why I didn't get our last initial. 

Okay, I'm watching Craig Ferguson and Dominic Monahan is doing Geoff Peterson's voice.  I have to say: I am having difficulty concentrating.  What a voice!

Hey, wanna talk about my upcoming vacation again?  No? okay!  (:-D

The thing with reading mindless fluff is that people can see the cover of the book and I don't like that.   I have a paperback of a Nora Roberts triology that I'd like to take on our trip but it's a used, older book so it looks like a bodice ripper.  Hmmm, what to do?  Swallow my pride & dignity or pack three other books.

One more television item: Glee's "first time" episode was perfectly lovely.  So well done!  I loved that they featured the straight & gay couple, they addressed being ready, waiting for the "right" person, and using protection. They hit all the perfect notes.  (pun intended)


Washington State just deprivatized hard liquor sales and I'm very disappointed.  It took two attempts for the law to pass and it was quite the debate.   Deprivatization bothers me on two levels: Costco spent millions of dollars to support the bill and I don't like that Costco "bought" the votes.  I really don't like the ease of access to alcohol now.  I can only picture my dad, a lifetime alcoholic, having now even more access.  It just makes me nervous and sad.  Oh, and 900 people are now unemployed and I'm not sure how many storefronts are closed.  In this economy, I just don't see how that is a good idea.


My mother is already done Christmas shopping.  Yes, we all hate her right now.


There are three voices that make me stabby: Richard Simmons, Jennifer Tilly, and Rosie Perez.  That's all.

11 November 2011

Spankings

i took one last look at the twitter the other night and watched with trepidation as Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) made a huge fail.

Remember Swistles Giant Internet Hand of Spanking? It's theory was put into practice right before my eyes.

He handled it as best he could with an immediate contrite and sincere apology. He went as far as to retweet the spankings that others posted to him. I am a little horrified at how judgy people became, how quickly they jumped, and how vitriolic they were.

When I read the initial tweet, decrying the firing of a certain coach, I thought "Hmm, I wonder what that's about?" Also, I was kind of waiting for a follow-up tweet. A joke, a clarification, something. Sure enough, the next one was an apology.

My first impulse was to tweet "Dude, read the headlines & delete the tweet."  It's incredibly sad to me that others impulses were to call names and judge.  Did not one of them think "Gosh, he's usually not like this. Something must be wrong."?

I guess my whole rant is that everyone needs to take a breath before posting on the interweb.

And I still will be a fan of his.  Because I hope that when I eff up next, I handle it the way he did.  With sincerity, contrition, and humor.

Happy Veteran's & Remembrance Day

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as 
it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis

09 November 2011

Sour Grapes

Today at lunch I received a text from Kevin.  He was wondering why he had such crappy grapes in his lunch:

(Jeff is the coworker)
 I just happened to be doing errands so I stopped and took this picture:


I guess his staff were waiting to see my response, wondering if it was going to be bitchy or funny.

Funny it was. 

And I win this round.

07 November 2011

Clip Clop Clip Clop Clip Clop

There was a story in my childhood that always creeped me out.  It was the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I am scared of horses.  I can appreciate them from afar but I have no interest in being near them. 

On Saturday morning my father-in-law left early, say 6:00 am-ish, and encountered a horse in the middle of the road.  It was not quite light out and definitely foggy.  It was by grace that my father-in-law spotted it in time to stop.  Surely they both would have died if he hadn't.

It turns out that the horse had been loose a while.  It had made the rounds of the neighborhood, including walking past our house. Twice.  Most likely in the middle of the night.

It creeps me out.  Clip clop clip clop past our house in the dark.

05 November 2011

Quote of the Day


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

04 November 2011

Fast Family

They say that you make your own family, “they” mostly being people who have come from dysfunctional homes.  I think the statement is true but I also think it’s something that we say to make ourselves feel better.

Of course I have Kevin’s family, they’ve become my core support system over the years. A rough transition for all who were involved.  Me a feral child who doesn't cope with intimacy well and they who assume that everyone has a family like theirs.

I’ve come to realize that I probably won’t have the relationship that everyone wants with their birth family.  I mean, I love my brothers but we just don’t have the framework to relate to one another.  It can be learned, or grown, surely but everyone has to be willing.  

As my nieces age, we spend less time together and that makes me a little sad.  I adore my sister-in-law but it’s just a challenge to sync everyone’s schedules and make things happen.  Also, there is guilt for not including The Mom and Little Brother if we get together without them.

We returned to our home track this summer.  Our friends are all around. Everywhere I looked, there wa s a friend.  Steven who talked me out of a tantrum, Mig who doesn’t take my (or anyone’s) shit, Mig’s wife and daughters, the couple we refer to as “Our Canadian Friends” and many assorted others.  

It occurred to me as we sat around talking that this is our family.   These are our siblings and cousins and the people we call upon when things get rough.  These are the people that make us laugh, soothe our fears, and help us solve problems.  This crazy bunch of racers is our family. A fast family.

03 November 2011

Banned!

BFF C is in China right now.  Ever the brave soul, she's traveled from India through China on this trip.  She's been sending regular pictures & notes which is fascinating and a little calming.  I always worry when she's gallivanting around the world.

Today's email was very interesting.  Titled "Blogs", it says that this blog and the ever-so-lovely Swistle's blog is unavailable in China.

I am banned in China. 

I don't have a bucket list but if I did I would crumple it up & toss it away.  For I am banned in China.

*contented sigh*  My inner teenager just did a fist pump and yelled "YES!"

These are not Dorothys

I think I've found a source of happiness that most everyone can enjoy.

Red shoes.

I have two pairs now and it's surprising how much they make me happy.

The first pair is the LLBean slip-ons that Kevin calls my "comfortable shoes"

(one of our friends called these man shoes)


I can't tell the brand of the shoe...all I see is DP.  They are nearly as comfortable as the Danskos.  I love that they're slip-on, have a cushy heel and, like my Dansko's, make me taller. I bet with these I'm 5'4"!!

Happiness can be found in red shoes...or just shoes that you enjoy, I suppose.  I think the red makes you extra happy though.

02 November 2011

Fast Forward

I didn't write about going to my childhood friend's father's funeral...good gah that's a horrible sentence to punctuate...when it happened because there was just SO MUCH in my head at the time.

It was the first funeral - and it was a funeral, not a memorial service - since my dad's passing. It didn't trigger anything serious, I just felt a detached sense of observance. Surely it was sad but not the overwrought Lifetime Television kind of reaction one would imagine.

As we were discussing the service at the reception, I mentioned to my friend that it was nice that he and his brother spoke.  "How else would it be? He's our dad" he responded.

It made me take a  step back.  None of us kids spoke at my dad's memorial. The speaking was done by the Fire Department Chief and the Department Pastor. I don't know that it occurred to us to speak.  A stark comparison of two families in one moment.

My dad didn't want a service. He wanted a wake, a true one with alcohol and food.  I'm sure he was right irritated with the formal fire department service that was held in his honor.  Tough, I think, funerals are for the living not the dead.
(here's the original post about my dad's service. Get a box of kleenex) 

The most difficult was seeing my friends in pain, mourning their father.  A person is so powerless in that situation, either as the griever or the consoler.  Suddenly we were sixteen again, huddled together, us against the world.

Also, seeing how we have all aged, as humans are wont to do. It was a little disconcerting, as if life had suddenly been put into fast forward.

We all grow up, we all endure, we all pass.  We're all in this together.

01 November 2011

Wishbooks

Catalogs are starting to arrive now.  I love catalogs.  I rarely order anything but I derive pleasure from flipping through the pages.

Right now I have a car catalog from the boys, a catalog called "Potpourri" that has all kinds of kitschy stuff but best of all I have a Target catalog. Did anyone know they have a catalog?  It's mostly holiday focused stuff but I think I will keep it for awhile.

I believe my love of catalogs came to me as a child.  My mom always got the Montgomery Ward, Sears, and JC Penney catalogs in the mail.  What a great day when they arrived!

My mom used to keep them then let me cut out pictures to create scrapbooks, posters, dolls, or wherever our imaginations led us. I am sure that if snooped today I would find at least one vintage catalog.

We also used to get the Avon catalog.  One of my grandmothers often bought me the holiday themed children's jewelry.  I loved everything about the Avon catalog, even though we never ordered anything.

I will keep catalogs that has interior design stuff that I like with the thought that someday I will order something or find something just like it elsewhere.  It's when I do that when I remember being a child.  My mom called them...and still does...wishbooks.