29 September 2008

Tummy Trouble

My nephew copes with, what we think is, IBS. About two weeks ago, he backed up....he'll be so pleased I'm discussing this with the world...meaning that he was constipated with a capital C.O.N.S.T.I.P.A.T.E.D. It was so bad he ended up in the ER twice.

The night we went to see Vince Mira, he went along. He was meeting friends there and was supposed to go on a blind date. Kevin was telling me this as we walked out to the van. Without thinking, I quietly asked Kevin "Does she know he can't poop?"
I got that look from husbands that you get when you say something wildly inappropriate. (or is that just me? :-) I laughed and said "I said it quietly, to you. Not to him at least" and he smiled.

During dinner, we were sympathizing with the nephew about his issues. Kevin leans forward and says "You want to know what your aunt said about you?" and he proceeded to tell him what I said, over my laughing protests. Needless to say, the whole family went up in laughter.

Later, on the way home, we were teasing him off and on. Finally the topic changed and Kevin said "When monkeys fly out of my ass..." (one of his trademark comments, entertaining isn't he?)
Again, without thinking, I said "And *Nephews Name* is jealous."

The nephew groaned, of course but then said "Will you guys get Off My Ass! and I mean that literally!!!!!!"

28 September 2008

Day Three

It's been three days since my brother went to Chicago and so far, so good. The girls have been checking in regularly because they're angels. Just ask me.

They're always busy, it amazes me. When their dad was giving me their schedule, I was exhausted. They have school activities, the eldest is on the Homecoming committee and is a Firefighter Cadet. Amber has flute practice, they are both in choir. I don't think they're doing sports this quarter...usually there is basketball or volleyball. Sprinkle in friends, church and chores. whew! I don't remember being that busy at their age.

The youngest is so precocious, it's so funny to talk to her. She has the requisite "like" and "whatevers" thrown into every conversation. She tells me all the details of her day whereas the Eldest plays it a little closer to the vest.

On Saturday night, they checked in. I asked them "What's the plan for tonight?"
"Well, April and me, we're just going to watch movies and chillax."
I am going to talk like a thirteen-year-old from this point forward.

Tonight I have to ask the first grown-up question: Is Your Homework Done? Including the youngest flute practice, which she hates. Fun. I totally expect them to fib. Of course they will. It's their job at this age. Heaven help me.

The best moment was talking to the youngest last night. She mentioned that she didn't sleep well the night before. On high alert, I asked her why. "I think I was just worried, with Dad being gone and all." We talked about that for a minute and then she says:
"But you know what, Auntie? I just think it's so cool that Dad trusts us enough to let us stay here by ourselves. That's just so cool."

*sniff* *tear* "Yes, honey, that is so cool."

They're the best kids ever.

27 September 2008

Northanger Abbey

There usually is a stack of books and magazines next to my chair. Right now, it's a strange mix of books I want to read and books I intend to read. The difference being is the books I intend to read are the ones that someone has recommended or have been on the best-seller list. (Secret Life of Bees, for example)
The books I want to read are the ones that I pre-order through the book club.

Right now I am in book #3 of a series set in early 1900's Russia. It's actually #1 of 3 but I unfortunately, accidentally, started with book #2. Oh well. The kicker of these books are that they are 600 pages EACH. Normally, a book of that thickness and weight would probably not be on my list of things to read. But the story has been so good, I've stuck with them.

This is not to say that I don't sometimes look at the book longingly and think "Can't you be just 300 pages and one pound lighter?"

Oh, by the way, it's Paulina Simons. The Bronze Horseman, Tatiana & Alexander and the Summer Garden.

But the reason this post is titled Northanger Abbey is because I'm also reading it. I know! Apparently I am just not reading enough.

The reason I'm reading it is my current obsession with Jane Austen. In the movie Jane Austen Book Club, they talked of Northanger Abbey, which I didn't know about. I have all the other books, how could I have missed it?

But instead of buying it, I went an alternative way. I did this before to read...hmmm, I can't remember now...never mind...

You can register on Classic Novels.com and they will send you a chapter a day to your email.
Very handy! Every evening I read a chapter of Northanger Abbey while making dinner and it's easier than juggling books.

Now, I am a book snob. I don't care for paperbacks. I usually only read hardbacks. So, reading it from the monitor screen is a stretch for me. But right now, it's working for me.

So, give it a try. You can choose a classic that you've never read and always wanted to. The worse thing that happens is that you get a few chapters waiting in your email inbox. Unsubscribe if you don't like the book or don't have time. No fuss, no muss!

24 September 2008

The Dad Thing

My dad was having what was supposed to be his last chemo treatment two weeks ago. Finally, the doctors admitted him to the hospital for the duration of the treatment because it never goes well. Yes, that seems like an obvious statement but seriously: it never goes well.

Imagine the most difficult person in your life.

Put them on chemo.



I checked in after this last round, after he got home.

"How'd it go? Was it okay being in the hospital?"

"It was like a VACATION!" he says. Oh, okay...I think...

Then he tells me:

"I went to the grocery store today and stocked up. You know what I got, that it turns out I can't eat but your mother's eating in front of me?"

"No, Dad, what?"

"Jalapeno Chips."


Panic at the Disco

So, my brother called this morning. Never a good sign. a) it was 8:00 in the morning...universal rule: don't call me in the morning. ((Because I'm usually running late and or sleeping AND grouchy))
and b) with the whole Dad Thing, I also experienced a little bit of panic tinged with a dash of "What now?"

Turns out, he needs to go to Chicago for A WEEK in two days. That means I have responsibility of The Girls (my nieces, the best kids ever) while he is gone. Now, they're 17 and 13 so it's not like they're toddlers. They're going to stay at their house unless something goes terribly awry. But still....

Normally, staying at the Grandparents is the default setting but because of the whole Dad Thing, that's not possible.

I went into Panic mode. "What-if's" flying around like the scary monkeys in Wizard of Oz.
Troubleshooting and problem-solving mode kicked in, thankfully shortly after that.

I mentioned it to my boss, who is a mother of two and in her sixties. She was nonchalant about the whole thing. "They'll be fine." "Who cares if they're late to school? Worry about the big stuff" And then I felt much better. She's right.

It doesn't mean that I won't sleep with my cell phone. Or that I'm going to do a drive-by of the house on Friday & Saturday nights.

Their neighbors...one of whom is Ross Matthew's mother...are on high alert for mischief as well.

They'll be fine. I'll be fine. I'll be the cool auntie. Please.

Random Item

If there were ever a fire in the house, this would probably be the item I would grab. It's my most favoritest gift ever.

My brother gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. It's the Seattle skyline and it plays "The Bluest Skies You'll Ever See are in Seattle"

The base rotates and it features a sailboat and joggers. Coolest snowglobe ever.


In case you miss it, it's lime green on the inside and is fully reversable. It expands quite a bit too! We were playing that "How many ways can we use it?" game!

Strangely, it matches the Muppet shirt even though they were from separate donations. Yikes.

There are no words...

for the horror that is this shirt. It's actually brighter than it appears and to add to it's attractiveness, it's made of a burlap-like material.

I have only one question: How many Muppets gave their lives in the manufacturing of this shirt?

Quote of the Day

Love is about knowing all the facts--good and bad--and caring about the person anyway. Where romance is nuance, love is encyclopedic.
—Lainie Keslin Ettinger

22 September 2008

To Jess & Torsten

Happy Happy Marriage!!
May you laugh today & every day!

21 September 2008


Nipped from my e-friend Terry.

Vince Mira

The Fam and I went to a concert on Friday night at the local casino. Other than it was drunk-thirty (we, unfortunately, could only get tickets for the late show) It was fantastic.

If you haven't heard of this kid, look him up:


He is sixteen or seventeen years old and sounds just like Johnny Cash. He is incredible! I have to think that somewhere, Johnny Cash is tapping his foot and smiling when this kid sings. He has his own music too and we loved that as well. Check him out!

18 September 2008

Adventures in Iceland

This morning's adventure was going to the chiropractor then to Kevin's work and then to work. The chiropractor is 20 minutes south of my home and Kevin's work is twenty minutes past THAT. Then I had to go to work which is twenty minutes NORTH of my HOME. Yeah, I pretty much toured the upper corner of Washington State today. Fun.

So, I went to the chiropractor, then the store to buy an ice pack because I forgot mine at home. Well done me. I bought one, got back into the truck, and opened the box.

Now, I had in mind the kind of ice pack that you bust in half and it activates. But no, this isn't the type that I bought. Of course not.

This ice pack's instructions stated "Find the gel bag in the center of the bag, squeeze to rupture and then shake the contents around to mix thoroughly." Seems simple enough.

I felt around and felt around for the gel bag and can't find it. It doesn't appear to be in the center.

WTH. So I shake the bag, to no avail.

I read the directions, again. Nothing.

Finally, I look at the picture example again and realize with a little bit of sadistic glee that the motion needed to burst the gel bag is a strangling one.
Ah ha! At this point, I am frustrated enough to look forward to this.

I strangle the bag. Nothing. *Insert a flurry of curse words here*

I strangle it again.


It was so loud that I actually closed my eyes in response. Then I had a moment of panic as I realize that it probably burst all over the cab and me. My first thought: chemical burn. My second thought: Oh, I'm never going to live this down.

I opened my eyes in relief to find that it hadn't. Whew.

But then nearly screamed & threw it as the &**$#$ing thing turned ice cold. (you know, the whole intention of the product)

And that's how I spent my morning: nearly thwarted by an ice pack.

17 September 2008

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated

Where the hell have I been, you ask? Around. About. Whatever.

Really though, I've been kind of chilling. Not spending much time on the home computer, taking a little break. It's nearly Fall now, so it's time for returning to a routine. Boo Hiss.

So, I get a handful of those Getting to Know You email pass-alongs frequently. Here are two that are out of the norm:


Four things, right now:

I'm obsessed with: Jane Austen. Andrew Sullivan. Las Vegas. Photography.

I really don't like: Halle Berry. Olives. Gum chewers. Fishing.

I just can't do: Sew. Pull-ups. (the exercise, not the diapers) Roll my R's. Karaoke.

I really want to do: Retire. Paint the living room. Hire a cook. Sleep through the night.

Which television shows most closely match Your Life?

Your family - All in the Family
Your inlaws - Everyone Loves Raymond
Your relationship - Mad About You
Your Friends - Ally McBeal
Your Work - A disturbing Mixture of Designing Women, Welcome Back Kotter and The Office


I fully recognize that this is half-assed post but it's 9:35 PM and my eyes are falling out of my head. It's the thought that counts, right? Right?

09 September 2008

Not Enough Clorox

So, Kevin works for an excavating company. He is the Pit Boss, which sounds like he works for Caesar's Palace but no. He manages about ten men, multiple projects, job sites, and army of heavy equipment. With this comes a few notable items:

He looks good in fluorescent orange or yellow t-shirts. No one looks good in those t-shirts.

Call me crazy but Oakley sunglasses has done wonders for construction workers. Well, at least some of them, notably: dump truck drivers. I'm already a fan of Levi's and work boots. Now add Oakley sunglasses...whew!

He works for two of the nicest men on the planet.(father & son...son is younger than me) Kevin used to work with his own dad, at the same company. His dad officially retired on Saturday so we had a party. It was with amazement that we discovered that the owners(s) of the company gave him $2500 and five $100 gift certificates to an up-scale steak house. How cool is that?

With Kevin's job comes an element of danger...I know, what is it about me and danger? I just don't know...He has some jobs that aren't "wife-friendly" that I prefer not to hear about. It's not like it's reckless or illegal, it's just jobs that I don't want to think what could happen.

He was working on a job site the other day and fell through an old septic system. Luckily for him, one leg went down and one leg didn't. (how he didn't *break* his leg, I'll never know) His boot was submerged, shall we say, and the ground was beginning to break away under him. Somehow, he rolled the right direction: AWAY from the sinking ground. He was able to get out with only a sodden boot.

There are two parts of this story that must be told:
First: his boss, The Younger - as he calls the son- said to the other guys:
"Not. One. Person. Laughs." Because, it's common to giggle out of nervousness when a close call happens. And really, there's a lot of comic material to be had about falling in a septic system. (I asked him if he had a shitty day, once he got home for instance.) But I'm a little bit in love with him for protecting Kevin like that.

The other part was what my funny and brilliant husband said he thought (and nearly said) when he realized where he'd fallen: "I was going to tell Jason to toss me a knife because I was going to cut my throat if I went all the way in."
Graphic, I realize, but funny.
Because: You. Would. Never. Feel. Clean. Ever. Again.

03 September 2008

Random Items of the Day

This is my favorite group of items, I think, in the entire house. They're to the left of my monitor.

The picture is a Jody Bergsma print that is absolutely my favorite print of hers. (least favorites: hung in the closet :-) )

The lighthouse is actually a candle-holder from Party-Lite. It was a gift from the staff at the school. It's soothing when I take the time to light it up. The camera won't pick up the lighting though.

The angel is from my brother and nieces. Made in Italy, it's a Catholic angel of something or other. I have designated her my writing angel.

The rock is from Dash Point...picked up at a low-point in my life. It's quite possibly the perfect rock.

And isn't it strange how the group goes together? It wasn't done purposefully, it just kind of happened. All of the items were given/gotten within years of one another.

Lighthouses have become a theme in this house & my life. I read once not to decorate with a theme that is not centrally located near your house. As I live in the middle of the woods, I guess I'm breaking that rule. In fact, the nearest lighthouse is a ferry ride away. *shoulder shrug* Oh well.

Random Quotes of the Day

We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness. ~ David L. Weatherford

We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey
the still small stirring within, the little whisper that
says, "Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone's
plea. You have a part to play. Have faith." We can decide
to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing
us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better
place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.
~ Joan Wester Anderson, author

The one law that does not change is that everything changes, and
the hardship I was bearing today was only a breath away from the
pleasures I would have tomorrow, and those pleasures would be all
the richer because of the memories of this I was enduring.
~ Louis L'Amour

Tragedy - update

Firstly, thanks to everyone that has called, emailed, posted, etc to see if we're okay. Indeed we are. We've been surprised as we've heard from people out-of-state and our Canadian friends.

The news changes hourly but the picture is becoming clearer.
www.komotv.com www.goskagit.com

The victims names are slowly being released. So far, we aren't aware of anyone we *know*. It still may be someone that we're aware of and/or encountered. One of the victims worked at the grocery store I used to go to in my hometown so perhaps once I see her picture, I'll remember her. To sound cold-hearted, we were relieved that the deputy is not one that we know.

As "Not Your Aunt Bea" said, it doesn't matter if we know anyone: it's still a tragedy. Everyone is subdued. It will take awhile for everyone to bounce. Our thoughts & prayers go out to the ten victims..eleven if you count the shooter's mom...and their families.

02 September 2008

Tragedy in a small town

The "town" where I live isn't really a town at all. There isn't even a zip code. But there is a gas station, my beloved mocha stand, a tavern, a church, a little store, a fire department, and a handful of mom & pop businesses.

While we don't know everyone's names, a la Mayberry, we do know each other...by vehicle, by dog, by "She walks every morning at 8, no matter the weather" or "He's in front of me every morning at the mocha stand."

Well, we're all doing our little mental inventory of the people with know & live near tonight. It turns out there was a shooting in our little town.
At last report, six people are dead, two are wounded and there are 7 crime scenes. Thankfully, the shooter is in custody already. He turned himself in.

Some of the shootings happened at the gas station where we get gas, buy mocha's, & stop when I've forgotten to buy milk or "need" ice cream.

We're sitting now, hoping that the people we know are safe. We sit and send thoughts out to the deputy who was killed. I am waiting anxiously to hear his name. Was it one of the deputies that help save my brother's life when we exploded? Was it one of the deputies that checked in with us the next morning? Was it the funny deputy that came when I rolled my truck?

Were the other victims acquaintances? did we know them from church? Is it the old guy that always has coffee at the Shell station & flirts with the women as they walk by? One of the dead drives a silver car...we're scrolling through our memory banks: does anyone we know drive a silver car?

They have a picture of the shooter. I don't recognize him but the expression on his face is one of a broken human. He has a record of mental illness. He's one of the lost souls. His truck looks familiar. Have I seen him at the mocha stand? It's quite likely.

So, it's with a worried and heavy heart that we wait for the news to announce the dead and the injured. Tomorrow we'll know. Tomorrow we'll go to the mocha stand to check on our friends that feed the dog handfuls of treats every weekend & remembers our names. I'll have to buy flowers to leave at the gas station tomorrow afternoon. Probably go to church on Sunday, for the first time in years; seems like it's time.

Send a shout out to whomever/whatever you believe in. Someone lost a loved one today.