30 December 2012

Year in Review Meme

It’s back! The New Years Meme!   You should do it too, it’s a fun way to look back on your year.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Break bones, be in the hospital and on bedrest.

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

Yes, I believe I did or at the very least looked each of them in the eye:
My resolutions for 2011:
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 as jackassery.

My resolutions for 2013:
1. Get debt free (excepting the mortgage) by the end of the year.
2. Figure out this work thing.  I’m not feeling it anymore.
3. Be healed.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope but a few acquaintances did.  Welcome to the world Baby Liam and Baby Emma.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, death didn’t visit us this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

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

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Healed bones.  Savings.    

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Snow days with the kids.  April 9 & 10  (injury & surgery) Whatever dates I got the cast off and walked.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Walking. No exaggeration.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Falling down the damn stairs

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Oh. My. God.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane tickets

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Kevin. He’s been my hero this year

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The entire GOP & it’s brethren

14. Where did most of your money go?

Same as last year: Bills, Racecar, Vegas trip. Books. Mochas!

15. What did you get really excited about?
Walking. Vegas. Christmas with the nephew & monkeys.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Shake It Off - Florence & the Machine

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

– happier or sadder? Happier, in the grand scheme of things.
– thinner or fatter? Same somehow.  I think it’s called physical therapy.
– richer or poorer? About the same

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

Being on my feet

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

Not being on my feet

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Eve - at my parents
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I always have a difficult time choosing favorites. Castle, Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Scandal, Long Island Medium, Project Runway. OMG: Ghost Whisperer.  Greys Anatomy

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

No. I'm not a hater. It's a waste of time

24. What was the best book you read?
The Witness by Nora Roberts.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Eric Church.  And installing music on my phone.

26. What did you want and get?

27. What did you want and not get?
A CPSA championship (same as last year)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
21 Jump Street. Something Borrowed.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
44 and I had lunch with Kevin, went Christmas shopping, & went to my nieces holiday concert

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to stand and/or walk

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Track pants, sweatshirts, one shoe.

32. What kept you sane?

Mochas. Kevin. Television.

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

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Presidential election.  Gay marriage in Washington State. Gun control.

35. Who did you miss?

No one that I don't usually miss.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Krista, my physical therapist

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.  Last year I asked for time.  Woo buddy, did I get it.

23 December 2012

Santa's Elves Don't Have These Problems

I've spent the day wrapping presents.  This is not something I'm good at so it's not necessarily something I *enjoy*.  I do enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I'm finished.  I do enjoy the image of the presents under the tree as well.  I just enjoy it more when Kevin does it.

I'm ahead of schedule this year, go figure.  Usually I am still wrapping on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  This isn't a sign of procrastination so much but a result of So Many Kids.

There are a few wrapping challenges this year.

Firstly, I bought a coat again my nephew's wishes for my niece.  Revel in it's wonder:
Fur, Grover colored purple, fuschia lining. So. Awesome. for a Six & A Half Year Old Girl
I had to find a nondescript box and use a wrapping paper that none of the other kids presents are wrapped in.  The tag will say "From Santa".  This will teach the nephew to tell me "No, because she'll ruin it in minutes."  As I told Swistle: "That is an invalid argument."

We bought light sabers for the boy littles.  The problem being that they came two-to-a-pack.  So, do we take them out and wrap a super-awkardly shaped toy?  Do we leave it in a box, have the boys open it together, and risk a disagreement over which one they get? 
This, I assume, is instant karma for buying the boys such a gift.
My brother-in-law's present is still somewhere in the snowy midwest on an UPS truck.  I had to print out a picture of what it's supposed to be with the caption of "Santa is running late but his elves will be dropping this off soon..."

We bought my nephew-in-law a gamefly subscription.  How does one wrap an internet subscription?  I printed the receipt, the Welcome Email, and a card reading "Two Months gamefly Subscription".  I'll have to wrap it in a small, flat box that fortunately I received a present in earlier this week.
The bonus awkward part of this is that my niece has NO FILTER WHATSOEVER and always loudly inappropriately comments upon presents. "He has this one!  It's too small! This isn't the right one!"  I am cringing in anticipation about this gift.

Along the "somewhere in the snowy midwest" portion of gift ordering, my mom's gift has yet to arrive.  It is promised to be here by Christmas day so I'm assuming it will be here tomorrow   In the meanwhile, the rest of the present sits unwrapped.

My little brother's gift barely fits in the box I have for it and I have no other boxes.  Also: I left his birthday gift home on Thanksgiving, unwrapped and forgotten.  Do I try to wrap them together in some yet-to-be-found larger box or wrap them separately?  Do I use birthday paper for one and Christmas for the other?  Wrap them separately in the same paper? different Christmas paper?  This is much too over-thought and difficult.  He's 49 years old, I doubt he cares. Although this is the brother that one year the presents are clearly bought on the fly and then another year, they're thought-out and expensive.  So, that makes this easier, yes?

Elves don't have these problems. At least not on television.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

17 December 2012


My plan was to write this weekend and schedule posts so that I was once again part of the world and so I didn't have to worry about it over the holidays.

Then Friday happened.

I think everyone will recall for the rest of their lives where they were when they heard the news, much like the Kennedy assassination and 9/11.

I was on the freeway, headed to work.  I checked my phone and that was it.  All I could do is silently repeat our kids names, as if doing so would undo the loss. But by doing so, it felt like they were safe.

It just didn't feel right to post after Friday.  Everything felt frivolous and ridiculous.  So, I didn't.

I did, however, spend some time with the kids on Saturday. I hugged them hard, rubbed their backs, played with their hair, and snuggled.  I had to purposefully not think of twenty little souls as I did it but knew nonetheless that I was being extra affectionate because of them.

The kids seem blissfully unaware. I hope that they stay that way as they are on winter break now.  If only us grownups could be as well.

14 December 2012

Unimaginable Grief

Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all differences of intellect.  
The wisest know nothing.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

06 December 2012

And Now A Word from Our Sponsors

A few years ago when Kevin was considering racing the car in Las Vegas, Kevin's dad jumped at the opportunity to tow the racecar there.  As a lifelong truck driver, retirement was a little boring so he jumped at the chance to travel. The fact that he was taking his son to the big show and watch him compete was a father's dream.

This was a relief to us because we were struggling with taking two weeks off and the daunting task of driving all that way.

We had decals on the car trailer that stated the "team" name, car, and driver name a while before this adventure.  I remember ordering them and marveling that we had become one of the big boys that we never thought we could be back-in-the-day.

With the decision to race in Las Vegas we also added the parents name under the "Sponsored by..." before they left for Vegas.  It literally, actually made them cry. Kevin's mom said that his dad would always smile when he saw the trailer and that he had bragged to his siblings about it.

This year for Christmas we're giving them a decal for their van that reads "Official Sponsor of ....Racing"  I can hardly wait for them to see it.  We can't decide if we want to wrap it up or just "install" it on the van. 

This is a circuitous route but stay with me...

We are a cash-only couple.  We don't have credit cards or car loans.  This is a personal choice and also the result of past poor choices.  All in all, this is a really good thing.  But racing is expensive. Crazy expensive to some (most).  However, we don't have children and this is what we do. 

If we know something is coming up, we have to save and plan and when things break as they do in racing, it takes some serious planning.  It also takes prioritizing. For instance, Kevin works an extra day, sells an extra something, or does a side job.  We just make it happen.  Other racers have been known to take second mortgages to fund their hobby. This is insanely stupid to me.  Most have dedicated credit cards for it.  You often hear "I have to pay the card off before I can..." Slightly more responsible but still at risk for making stupid choices.

Kevin decided earlier year that he wanted to step up his program. This means a bigger engine which is a large expense.  So he parked the racecar early this season and began to sell parts.  He had a solid plan and a timeline of what needed to happen and when.

One evening Kevin's dad called and asked him to come over and that he needed to talk to him.  It was kind of late in the evening and Kevin's dad never makes these requests so we immediately worried.

About an hour later, Kevin returned.  It turns out that his parents had been saving up and wanted to give Kevin some money toward the engine upgrade.  Kevin is fiercely independent and fought against this.

But he has no defense against teary, sentimental parents:  "We are your SPONSORS. It says so on the trailer.  We haven't done a good job lately and we need and want to do this."

How the hell do you argue with THAT?  Who knew that with such a simple decal would bring on such responsibility?

Not a great picture  but gives you an example.This is me following Kevin, just outside of Mission, BC.

01 December 2012

Live Blogging Saturday

6:00 am...blearily send Kevin off to work
6:03 am...go back to bed. FTLOG
9:36 am...wake up because the television is playing Ghost Rider 2 and OMG

9:30 am...Coffee and chocolate donut holes (a.k.a. "the will to live") while watching news-lite: Good Morning America Saturday

10:30 am...begin feeling guilty that I am unshowered, with chickenhead, still in pajamas.

Sidebar: the house is a disaster, by my standards and probably most at this point:

Decorated Christmas tree with the open box still nearby. 
A schizophrenic mix of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations throughout the living room & kitchen. 
House hasn't been properly cleaned since before we left on our trip. 

10:35 am...Shower. (also: "the will to live")

10:45 am...Cutting my bangs, because this is a *GREAT IDEA* when tired and overwhelmed.

11:00 am...Can't decide where to start so, you know, blogging.

11:15 am...Kevin calls to check in.  I confess that I don't know where to begin (he responds: "With all the Christmas sh*t, you mean?"  He is So Santa's elf)  But leave out all of the above.  Because husbands that work six days a week, ten hours a day are not sympathetic with the plights of a lazy housewife. lol.

11:30 am...going with  Swistle's Drop in the Bucket theory this morning.  Laundry started.  Dishes in dishwasher (but can't start it because the refrigerator needs emptying and the garbage out so stalled.)  Bed stripped.

11:35 am...Trimmed bangs are okay, so far.

11:36 am...You know what's a good idea?  trying to solve a pillow problem on our bed, which includes dissassembling a headboard.

12:12 pm...Kevin calls to say the truck is ready. (Oh yes, the clutch went out. The day AFTER the television adventure. Did I forget to mention that because YEAH.)  This means two things: riding with my father-in-law, who *GOD BLESS HIM* is a Whistler and going to my former husbands neighborhood and PAST his house.  This is not anxiety making. at. all.

12:15 pm...bed reassembled. We won't know the success level until tomorrow morning.  Laundry progressing nicely.  Know what's not-awesome about safety gear?  It's light colored.  Excavation work is not known to be delicate and clean.  Thus equaling stock in Spray & Wash with Resolve.

12:18 pm...lunch.  Oh, I forgot to give the dog breakfast. Well done me. If I give her a treat, she won't tell Kevin. Maybe. She promises nothing.

1:29 pm...bathrooms done except the floors. Laundry still progressing.  Yukky garbage out, I am grateful that is usually Kevin's chore.  I even made the time to fold up all my summer wear and store them in our suitcase.
So, essentially, I'm halfway done.

1:31 pm...remember when we were in Vegas?

1:42 pm...Oh the facebook. Such a good time waster.

1:56 pm...Strange milestone: stood on a tall stool to water and trim plants for the first time in almost eight months. Yea me!

1:58 pm...Halloween & Thanksgiving decorations in the office AND the calendar page turned.  Now it's really getting crazy up in here.

2:03 pm...Speaking of crazy. I'm pretty certain I turned off the bedroom television when I left the room and now it's on.  Yes, you're very funny, Dad.  Now knock it off.

2:32 pm...Tree officially finished. I'm not sure what "officially finished" means but there you go.  Extra decorations are going to the kids.  I really need to stop buying ornaments. Really.

2:35 pm...Game is upped.  I have to leave with the in-laws in twenty minutes.  What can I do in that time?  Let's just see!!!

Ate yogurt, drank water, and changed clothes
Dusted and polished in the living room and dining room table.
Resented having to leave the house.

4:45 Back again. 

4:50 pm...vacuuming.  It feels like I'm not never vacuuming.  I am just as resentful as the dog at this point.

5:05 pm...mopping.  The whole house smells like PineSol. Not exactly the Christmasy scent but at least it has "pine" in the title.

5:30 pm...Kevin went next door.  I've avoided it all I can: time to put the office back together after Monica's Closet vomited Christmas decorations all over it.  Plus the addition of the gigantic television box and uncomfortable recliner.

5:31 pm...Dog is displeased that I am in her room and touching her stuff.

5:45 pm...Cannot find my childhood Santa lamp.  Cannot find it.  Defcon 10 has been reached.  Oh, look up, it's stored on a shelf above my head.  All is calm again. Santa has been found. I repeat: Santa has been found.

6:00 pm...Dinner is ready next door. 

7:15 pm...Back again.  Untangled Christmas lights on kitchen floor.  Bop dog in the nose with the plug-in.  Again: she is displeased.  My punishment shall be her lying in the way of everything.

7:35 pm...Lights are up on the back door and deck.  Once again, stood on something to reach.  I am enjoying this new skill!

7:56 pm...I think I'm done.  Everything is done except one last load of laundry.  It can't be started until I'm done with my bath.  That's right: bath.  I've so earned a soak in my huge tub.

Sidebar: the last time I used the tub was shortly after I got out my cast.  I got in with very little confidence of getting back out.  Kevin was in Canada at the time.  I am not the smartest girl.  I did, however, come to the conclusion that I should wait awhile before trying again.  Almost six months later seems like a reasonable amount of time.

8:15 pm...Distracted by the last set of Christmas lights.  I detangled all of them, just to discover that the last third were out.  I guess Kevin has a(nother) project tomorrow.

8:20 pm...Daunted by the thought of waiting to draw a bath and opt for a long shower instead.

8:40 pm...Start the last load of laundry.  It is never ending. 

8:44 pm...Finishing this off so I can go sit down.  The house is clean and frocked.  The truck has returned home.  I didn't have to cook.  Now I'm going to watch something on our big theatre of a television.

And to all a Good Night.

30 November 2012

This Post is Irrelevant

It's that time of year!  Time for our annual trip to Vegas. Also: time to obsess about packing.

Once again, I am building a mental packing list in my head.  We are staying an extra day this year so that's fun. And requires an extra set of clothing.  As a chronic overpacker, this is a bit of a challenge.  There is a weight limit and I usually get awfully close to it.

Overpacking was a great thing when we got stuck overnight in Portland two years ago so I am sticking to my overpacking ways. Also, it's not like I have a train-like series of suitcases, I only bring one large one and no carry-on.

This what I've decided thus far:
I am only bringing one extra pair of shoes because as we've talked about before, I only can wear certain shoes.  That makes that part easier, I guess.

I think I might pack my Dockers instead of jeans, that will help.  But they wrinkle so badly in suitcases and i hate that. (and ironing)

I usually don't take a bathing suit or track pants but I need to try to do my physical therapy while I'm there so I need to add them. (did you just laugh at me? Okay. Fair enough.)

The most challenging part is the toiletries.  We're there a week so travel size isn't quite enough but it's too much to pack full sizes.  I have some larger containers I found last year and I'm going to get creative with some tupperware containers and ziplock bags.  I am TSA's dream.

I've considered just buying what we need when we get there but then I have to bring it back anyway.  Plus, Kevin will buy t-shirts, I will buy another Vegas sweatshirt, and who knows what else. Our bags are always heavier when we return home.  I think it's the dirty laundry. Dirty clothes are heavier. Fact.

Somewhere I saved a helpful packing list from Real Simple, I need to go find that again. Not that it will purge the obsession, that's just silly talk right there.

*Jeopardy Music*

Guess who forgot to click "Publish"  *THIS GIRL!*

I was on a quest for a purple, zip up Vegas hoodie but alas, it was not to be found. Instead I compromised with a white & pink striped hoodie that Kevin loves.  Again, it's kind of Ed Hardy style so there's that.

And I bought it to prompt the elusive purple hoodie to show itself. Not so much.

I packed my p/t clothes and you guessed it: totally didn't use them.  I did use the giant jetted tub in our room so I get a half-point there.

While we were there, we ran out of Listerine and hair spray.  Not crisis situations but will be noted for future reference.

We did have our checked-in luggage searched.  Both ways.  Thankfully, they were gentle.  I believe it is the black Clinique bag that triggered the search.  (for those of you who have those...don't use them, TSA does not enjoy.)

I was momentarily glad to be overpacked as the airplane had to make two loops around before landing here at home.  I just knew we were flying back South for the winter.  I don't think I would have minded though.

See, sometimes good things can come from being like I am.  Sometimes.

28 November 2012

Television Died. Thus: Remodeling.

It turns out that our television was not haunted by my dad but was instead on the way to obscurity.  We were watching a movie and *blink* off it went.  Not to be turned on again. Ever.

Perfect timing, I might say, two days after returning from our trip.  However, we didn't spend as much as usual so we had a little change left over.  Also, perfect timing in the sense that everything, especially televisions, are on sale right now.

In the youngest-child like way, we headed into town even though Kevin had plans in an hour-and-a-half.   I did a brief internet search before we left though.  Four sites, five minutes, and we were out the door. (the frugal amongst you just groaned, I heard you.)

Believe it or not, we went to Best Buy even after the two nightmares we have had.  Partially because they eventually resolved the issues we had and they also had the consistently lowest prices.

Strangely, we managed to get the store manager as our salesperson.  The strange part being that he had the same name as my eldest brother and no one has that name under the age of 75.  Even then, it's the kind of name that old people flinch at.

He was very patient with us old people.  This is the first time that I've honestly felt old in a situation.  Technology changes so quickly and I've never been one to keep up with it until I have to.  Then to add insult to injury, a woman in her sixties asked Kevin a question then proceeded to know two times more than we did.

A few minutes later and off we went with a new 46" LED television.  It was on sale at about 30% off so well done us, considering our impulsiveness.

Again, Kevin had plans so I dropped  him off with his brother then I went home to the broken television, with a new television that I can do eff-all with. So I watched Glee while sitting on our bed and eating pumpkin pie, as is reasonable.

The next morning, Kevin and I woke up, got coffee then proceeded to join the current century. Kevin went out to get the television from the van then came in from outside and said "Dad is coming over."
"I expected as much. No problem." I say.
"...and Mom is coming too."

His mom is sweet but tends to wander.  Wander as in wander into the master bathroom because "I don't remember what it looked like."

I sat her in Kevin's recliner with their snorty, overweight, annoying, "little" dog and a photo album. My work here is done!

We set up the television, which went relatively smoothly, until it didn't. More on that in a minute.

But first:
Kevin arranged our furniture when we moved in about six years ago.  We've exchanged a love seat, at least one recliner, and added the world's ugliest table.  (I'll try to take a picture. It kind of defies photography in its awfulness)  Despite the furniture swapping mostly everything is where we put it when we moved.

We have an entertainment center with an attached bookcase that Kevin's dad built.  It was built specifically for our old television so the new one wouldn't fit.  This makes Kevin happy as he has been itching to be done with the entertainment center. In his defense, it does take up a lot of room.  But it's a corner unit so *shrug*.  And it has a bookcase.  Bookcase. No need for further discussion. Bookcase.

An hour later and we've rearranged the bookcase part of the unit so it can stay, exiled the big uncomfortable recliner that I only sit in if I have broken bones, and scooched every piece of furniture inches this way and that.  Decluttering also occurred along the way.  Kevin gets to hang more pictures! His favorite (shaking my head, not so much)

Now the room feels too big and the television feels like we have a Broadway show in the living room.  The dog is very appreciative of having more space in which to distribute her never-ending shedding.

We sat down to enjoy the movie theatre and whilst playing with television settings we noticed that the sound kept disappearing.  Because it's new technology, we pushed buttons and frowned. Turned it off and on. Pushed more buttons. Frowned more. 

Finally I went on the interwebs and GUESS WHAT!  The television has a hardware issue that includes disappearing sound.


4:00 pm on Sunday and we disassembled everything, loaded it into the van, then returned to the store.  We didn't even bother changing out of our track pants & hoodies, that's how dejected we were. We were willing to go full redneck.  At least we wore sneakers.

Our new best friend the manager with the old-as-Moses-name exchanged the television with no hesitation whatsoever. With A Better Television at the same price so that's good, I guess.  All said and done, we were back within the HOUR.  It's a twenty-minute-one-way drive so Us=winners, other than the whole defective television thing.

I guess this is one way to remodel, get rid of your 36" monolith of a television and viola! living room transformed like a Jetsons episode.

Thanks, Dad (?) (you never know)

26 November 2012

Some Days It Breaks Your Heart

I am back to work after having almost two weeks of holiday.  It nearly feels as if I've never left.

Working in social services has it's ups and downs. It's challenging at best.  Today, I've had my heart broken twice.  It's only 3:30

While taking an appliance repairman upstairs, an elderly woman who lives here stepped off the elevator before us.  She's an ethereal beauty - a classic grandma-esque lady whose mind is starting to wander.  I watched as the repairman saw her, registered who she was, and saw his heart break into many tiny little pieces.

Just now, as "River" by Joni Mitchell (one of my faves) plays on the radio, a woman came to the front desk.  Looking closer at her, she has a new black eye and accompanying scratches.  It is clear that she is distressed and lost.  Lost as in "how did I get here?" versus "I have no idea where I am."

My role in this situation is always that of a guide.  "Have you called here? Did you do this? Here, try this".  With this poor soul, the lost feeling overwhelmed her and she began to cry.  This is where I just want to lie down for a while. 

I'm always tempted to give them whatever is handy...kleenex, bus tickets, chocolate, $5, a puppy. Whatever, something, anything, to make them feel just a little bit better.

Some days it breaks your heart.

23 November 2012

The Lights Went Out

We went as a group to the Mob Experience at the Tropicana the first night we were in Vegas.  The Tropicana is one of the oldest casinos left in Vegas and a person can feel it while being inside.

The Mob Experiment is much like the Titanic Exhibit in the idea that you are immersed into the way of life.  The exhibit is decorated in Prohibition time with dark alleys, barrels and artifacts. 

There are occasional live actor "guides" that talk you through the next step.  They sound and appear straight from The Untouchables.  There were also holograms/videos of known mafia actors that continually told the story of the mafia and gave instructions as to how to proceed.  So, a good mix of role-paying and passive interaction.

We were stopped by a wiseguy in an alley.  We were given instructions to make a drop with a gangster in a sidewalk cafe.  The wiseguy asked us to repeat the instructions and everyone was quiet.  Reflexively as a nerd-girl, I repeated them.  "Ah, Blondie here was listening.  You look like a good girl, you take this envelope and make the drop."

We continued down the street and was approached by another wiseguy.  He asked who had the goods and I had to step forward.  This is where I say that I do not enjoy role-play.  But I somehow managed to do it without giggling.

I was lead over to the cafe and seated with the mob boss.  Again, referred to as "Blondie" he gave me/us an explanation of what to do next.  I completed the drop and then we were instructed to continue.  I will say that it was difficult not to giggle or sass.  Also, my mouthy friends became quiet.  That was kind of weird.  

We were then taken to the cop shop and interrogated as a group to give up the goods on the mob boss.  He was actually pretty funny.  I kept wondering if any of us were going to cave in.  We didn't have an opportunity to discuss it beforehand and somehow we all decided to lie to the police officer.

After that, we were guided  through the museum part of the experience.  My only complaint was there was too much reading and not enough interaction.  This is where we lost the boys. 

The last part was a mini-documentary on the making of the Godfather.  This was very interesting.  All but one of the boys had seen the movie so they all sat in rapt attention.

Finally, we were led into a backroom. We were instructed that we were going to appear in front of The Boss and our fates would be decided.  We were then led out to another back alley and loading dock where the final hologram greeted us. 

To be honest, I can't even remember exactly what was said.  It was very intimidating as the hologram also had two enforcers with big effing guns in their hands.  It was cold and creepy.   The hologram told us that while we did successfully manage to complete the drop, we didn't measure up.

The boss told the enforcers "Take care of them, boys" and walked away.

The boys looked at each other then faced us, lifted their guns and SHOT US.

The lighting changed, there was a wind effect that buffeted you to simulate the bullets hitting you. The noise was incredibly loud.  I don't remember even hearing anything from our group.  It was surreal and a little upsetting.

We walked out dejectedly wondering why we got whacked.  Of course, the brother-in-law got a tremendous amount of sh*t for wearing that g.d. safety coat. His wife is certain that he is the reason we were whacked.

22 November 2012

~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

I wish a healthy, happy day with those you love!

15 November 2012

Adventures Thus Far

My brother in law chose to wear a construction green, reflective, work coat to Vegas. So you can imagine the massive amounts of teasing that he has received since making such a poor choice.

Total strangers have commented on it but I believe the best one of all was at the airport in Vegas when the gentleman from the shuttle bus asked if he was parking enforcement.

We visited Pawn Stars again. It is cool to see items that you saw on the television show.  There is a guard/bouncer at the front door. He had an ornate walking stick and I asked him if it was a whacking stick or a walking stick.

He told me a story about a nun in his school that gave it to him after he threatened to take it from her after she threatened to hit him. He said it keeps him humble. Funny how a simple question can turn into an interesting story.

Then we went to the Mob Experience  at the Flamingo Hotel. This rates an individual post.

Because it's Vegas, after that we came back to the hotel, had dinner then went up into the tower to watch all the crazy people on the rides and jumping off the building. Something I feel confident in saying I will never never never do.

Our friend Mikey  did not convince me this time to lay on the floor and look over the edge. That was a one time mistake that makes for a good story.
( Imagine being 855 feet in the air, laying on the floor and looking over the edge straight down. Enough said)

Today my sister in law and I returned to the CSI experiment to solve a murder. This case was more difficult than last years but it's still one of the most fun things we have done here.

Then we went to the Paris Casino which is absolutely gorgeous. we went up the Eiffel Tower replica at 800 something feet in the air, with a glass elevator that looks out over the strip. This was another example of how I shouldn't be in charge of my own life. I don't usually mind Heights but this was definitely a test of my courage.

After stopping at a souvenir shop we returned to the hotel where I took a nap, watched daytime television, and ate ice cream.

Ahhhh...Vacation adventures.

08 November 2012

Knock It Off, Dad

So the dog has been doing that wake up out of a sleep and come to attention thing lately.  Or the staring intently at a wall/door/window/space.  I don't mind admitting that it freaks me the eff out.  She did it last night right before we went to bed. Thanks for the nightmares, dog.

On Halloween I watched a 20/20 episode about the paranormal.  I am a half-believer in all of this stuff, one reason is that it's just fun to think about.  Add to that my recent obsession with the Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium and hello, overactive imagination!

One segment on 20/20 featured the Ghost Hunters, which I've never seen.  Having grown up in the 80's, my immediate perception of ghost hunters are the Ghost Busters.  But these guys are serious.  The segment had a very Blair Witch/Paranormal Activity feel to it.  I don't think I could watch this show.

One of the guys uses his dog as a spotter. On camera, the dog did what Missy does: stare intently at a wall on high alert.  They showed on the video replay that a voice can be heard that seems to say "The dog can see me."


Even Kevin was all "That's just Effed Up."  Then looked suspiciously at Missy.

And then our television shut off the other night.  No reason.  Hasn't done it since.  Just shut off.

Kevin just looked at me and wistfully said "Remember when your dad didn't live with us?"

Because my dad would totally eff with us like that.

PS...while I was writing this, I realized that I had a few past posts that were along this topic.  I looked them up and thought it would be fun to re-post them via links.  Enjoy!


07 November 2012

I'm Not A Streetwalker

I don't carry a purse.  I really dislike them.  I don't like having things hanging off of me and I worry that I will leave it behind because I have no attention span.  I want to be able to put my id, money and lip balm in my pocket and be done.

When I have to carry something, I have two bags that I use.  One is a miniature backpack that I had Kevin cut off the straps.   The other looks like a little doctor's bag.

What do I keep in it?  My ID, a brush because I have baby hair, fingernail clippers, lip balm and Tylenol.  So it's not like I need a huge bag.

The newest idea I had was using a small makeup bag to store my ID, etc. It's perfectly sized and it's brightly colored so I don't worry about losing it.  I can slide it in my pocket and I'm good to go.

When I've traveled I hated having carrying a purse.  It's a necessary evil because you want to have stuff with you in the airport, plane, etc.  I use my Dooney & Burke satchel for that. 

But once I'm where am I am going, I'm over it.

Then our friend said that the best way to figure out who are hookers in Vegas are the women that don't carry purses.  Yikes.  That's awkward.

05 November 2012

He Put a Ring On It

The nephew and his fiance have been talking about marriage for over a year now.  They were originally going to get married on 11.11.11 but the loss of their lease took that opportunity away.  We've referred to her as his fiance this whole time, knowing that it was inevitable and being very hopeful about it.

It is with great joy that I tell everyone that he formally asked her and she said yes. It's not like there was any doubt but you know, a person always worries.

I haven't heard the proposal details but he planned it out. I imagine it was very sweet.  No grand gestures, I'm sure. He's not that guy.

Now I'm going to be the mother figure sobbing in the audience as they get married.  He's the closest thing we have to a son.  And this means that the kids are our forever family as well.

Now the fun of planning a wedding.  A wedding with five kids to consider.  A big family wedding, maybe even here at the house.  I can hardly wait.

04 November 2012

Screw Heads, Screw Head, Roly Poly Screw Heads

Did any of you sing along with the title?  It's kind of an obscure reference.  Dr. Demento has a song that is called Fish Heads. I was going to add the link but hooo boy, is that some bad 80's video.  (save yourself, don't look it up)


I bought new sneakers today!! 

I didn't get the pretty, pretty purple ones that I've been coveting because they're ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS for the love of sweet baby jesus.

But I did get a pair of ASICS on sale at the Fred Meyers.  Instead of $75,  they were $55.  Hooray.

I wear a 8.5 size shoe now.  I used to wear a 8. They warned me that this would probably happen. As luck would have it, I only tried on two pairs of shoes. The first were $75 and I liked the colors better but the curve of of shoe by the ankle bone *just* missed the screw heads.  I guessed that the moment that the shoes wore just a little bit, then the seam of the shoe would rub.  *shudder*

What a problem to have, really.  I really have to get over my squeamishness about feeling the screw heads & plates.

The second pair fit better, a little further curved down as to avoid any contact with the bumps, we shall refer to them now.  But the color is predominantly black with purple trim.  I decided that fit was more important than color, which is very mature but doesn't leave me not pouting over the pretty, pretty purple shoes that I really really want.

I know that I've mentioned this before but it bears being mentioned again: WTF with all the wildly colored sneakers?  I grew up in the eighties for goodness sake and I am surprised by the wild color combinations.

So, there is one more step (see what I did there?) toward normalcy.  New sneakers!!  

02 November 2012

Random Item of the Day

Here is the lamp that my Aunt gave me after she redecorated my mom's bedroom during her last visit.  "Your mom said you would like to have this" she whispered conspiratorially.  As I mentioned before, When I Was Six. 

It's ceramic with a hand painted rose.  The base is gilded and is chipping away.  I'm scared to clean it for fear of washing the rest of it off.

I replaced the shade with another one.  My mom has a knack of having lampshades that are too big & heavily decorated.  (fringe, edging, etc.)

I know the picture is a little dark but I liked how it turned out, so there.

01 November 2012

Casting a Vote

This weekend I sat down with my ballot & the voters guide to vote.  I do try to know a little bit about the candidates and issues but will admit to voting party line by default if I am unsure.  I also rely on the voters guide that one of the progressive organizations here in Washington State provides because the official state voters guide might as well be written in Japanese.

There were two referendums on the ballot this year that are Big Issues.  One I knew immediately how I was going to vote and the other I really wondered about.  I am still not certain about my decision.

It is a black & white issue.  There doesn't seem to be much middle ground to find, even though that's the whole point of a vote, I realize. There's not a "maybe" category.  I really leaned toward voting against it even though Kevin, my coworkers, and many others are in support of it.  Everyone seems definitive about it, actually. Except me.

I thought perhaps I was being overly-whatever about it, as "everyone else" is for it.  Then I thought Well, following the crowd blindly can be bad as well.  I thought about a similar law that is in effect in British Columbia and how my Canadian friends would feel about it.  They too would be in support of it.

But I still don't feel good about it.  I voted in favor, reasoning it by "it's better for the greater good".
It's just bothering me, the lingering doubt about my vote.  I know that it's nothing that is going to negatively impact the world as we know it  but still.  Sigh..............

Being a grown-up is hard.

28 October 2012

Where The Bodies Are

This seemed a proper Halloween post.

Where I live is pretty secluded.  We live on the boundary of two rural counties, not far from the Canadian border.  So it can get weird here.  Not many houses, just a gas station, a bar, and lots of woods.

Over the years, the neighborhood (because it's not quite a town) has become a popular place to leave bodies.  Yep, bodies.  Sometimes the act (of creating "bodies") happens here and sometimes it just becomes the final resting place.

Let's start next door. Across the creek from us is an older farmhouse. It used to be horse ranch.  A few years before Kevin and I bought the property, there was a murder.  The ranch owner (who shares the same surname as us but is not a relation) was murdered in his bed by his daughter.

For years, no one lived in that house.  When people did move in, they didn't stay long and rumor had it that it was haunted.  Finally a couple bought it, extensively remodeled it, and lived there.  Then her husband died.  He was just sick though, not killed.

Now, if we head toward I-5 (the freeway), a teenaged girl was dropped off either dead or for-dead after announcing that she was going to tell that her mother's boyfriend had been doing not-so-nice things to her.  The boyfriend now lives in prison for the rest of his life.

Go about a mile east further and the body of high school teacher was found.  He was killed by a jealous husband for having a relationship with the man's wife. As happens.

If you head north, the next exit is uninhabited except for a gas station.  There have been two overdoses at the gas station and one suspicious death of a man in a car at the actual gas station and one on the other side of the freeway.

If you head south-east, there is a backroad where the young man of a Canadian couple who disappeared from the ferry was found.

Then there is the Alger Six that I wrote about when it happened.  Their deaths are the most haunting.

Fortunately the woman with the slashed throat is still alive.  There have been no further details other than her husband is in jail, awaiting a trial.

So, there's the dead body tour of our neighborhood. Makes you want to live here, doesn't it?