28 May 2013

So Far So Good

Twenty years ago, last Wednesday, Kevin and I have been married for twenty years.  

Stealing from Grosse Point Blank:

Twenty YEARS.
Twenty years.

It doesn't feel like twenty years, not at all.  When we actually sit down and talk it through, we're all "HOLY SH*T! It HAS been 20 years!"

Because of everything that has been going on, we kept it low key.  We had our annual barbecue last weekend with friends and family, many of who were there at the wedding.  

Kevin's parents gave us a cute yard art puppy and some flowers for the rock garden. Once we find a place for it where Lucy doesn't feel the need to kill it, I will post a picture.

My mom sent us a card Ahead of Time (she always thinks it's either the day after or the day before) AND it was a sentimental one.  This is unheard of in my family.  Unheard of to the point of me doing the pageant girl teary thing and Kevin just leaned against the counter in disbelief.

Milestones make me nervous.  Yes, superstitions are silly but one can't help the weirdness of their brain.  I actually felt anxious up until the day, like something was going to happen to thwart the anniversary.

Now it's been twenty years and six day.  So far so good.

24 May 2013

Call Out

If you've been anywhere near the television or interwebs in the last 24 hours, then you've heard about the bridge collapse into the river.

First said: we're all fine.  Kevin's brother missed it by less than ten minutes.  The freeway closed *just* in front him. So, whew. Kevin missed it by over an hour.

We had just returned from the machine shop which was the opposite way by a half hour.  Kevin suggested we stop in on the parents so they could give us our wedding anniversary gift.  (20 years, the day before. Another post) 

We had only been there a few minutes when Kevin's mom's phone rang.  It was her sister telling her to turn the news on because the bridge fell into the river.  We were skeptical because the aunt lives out on the islands, Kevin's mom gets confused easily, and seriously: what are the odds of that happening.

Turns out, pretty effing good.

We turned the news on but it was only car and medicine commercials.  Curious and still skeptical, I checked the twitter.  First tweet: Skagit River Bridge fallen. Cars and People in the water.  And this picture:

Only a few times have I felt that scared and sick.  We all travel that bridge daily.

I began to immediately worry about everyone I knew.  I texted my sister in law to check on my niece and brother.  They couldn't reach my mom because her telephone was busy.  At least we knew she was home!

We watched, mesmerized by the news footage.  It seemed impossible: the fall, the fact that there were only two cars in the water, and early reports of no fatalities. 
I came home and turned the news on and sat and watched for over an hour.  The same reports over and over again.  Our phones blew up with texts and calls.

I obsessively checked the twitter, which is an incredible resource of information in an emergency.  You get updates in real time.  There were pictures and witness reports galore.

Then I checked Facebook.  My niece at Fort Bragg NC had posted, wondering if everyone was okay.  I replied to her that we all were and received an almost immediate response.

Kevin's niece posted that they were fine and I began to get status updates stating the same.  So I posted as well.  Within fifteen minutes, there were over a dozen likes from people as far away as the east coast and even Afghanistan.

It became a little community, watching as other friends and family posted that they were safe.  Each time reading them feeling a little more relieved.  It felt like when fireman, police, or soldiers encounter danger and afterward they "call out" to show that everyone is present and accounted for.

What an amazing thing the interwebs has become.  It was an actual lifeline during a time of crisis, provided news and confirmation of other's safety.  It made a horrible situation just a little easier to bear.

So, where do we stand now?   The freeway is closed because, you know: no bridge.  The arterials cannot handle the traffic so traffic is unmanageable.  The other bridges are being overtaxed as well, so that's fun.  It took Kevin two hours to get home tonight (thanks holiday travelers who don't have the sense to stay the eff home) where it normally takes 35 minutes. 

They say a few months to put an Army Corps of Engineers temporary bridge in place and even then freeway traffic would be restricted.  They're fixing just the broken span even though the bridge needed replacement BEFORE the accident.  Thank you, sequester.

I don't use the word miracle seriously.  It was a simple miracle that only two cars went into the water and three people were sent to the hospital.  Two are out and one will be just fine. No fatalities.  How did that happen?  There are no explanations.

Also, the collapse was a combination of a semi-truck driver error and an old bridge.  I'm cutting the driver a break because he made a mistake.  He stopped as soon as it happened and is taking full responsibility.  I cannot imagine how god awful he must feel.

Remember: in times of trouble: call out. Tell everyone that you're okay. It's so easy to do these days.

For more information: google Skagit River Bridge.  Oh, and it's pronounced SKAJIT, not Skaggitt.  We forgive you for saying it wrong, everyone does.

13 May 2013

News & Notes

First said: Must to remember "PUSH PUBLISH, NOT SAVE

Life has returned to sort of kind of normal.

The Nephew had returned home to his fiancee and kids until last Monday. (after about two weeks at his parents, then about two weeks at home)  He ended up back in the UW hospital with drain issues.  This, we believe, has set back the surgery date again.   It just seems like it's taking forever and the surgeon says Yes, it does take forever.
But he's gaining a little bit of weight.  He doesn't have that concentration camp survivor look to him, more manorexic now.  His sense of humor has returned, which made us really realize just how sick he was.

The sister-in-law got a boot the other day so she is a tiny bit more mobile.  They will only allow 50 lbs weight bearing.  All of us women just thought the same thing "Might as well be nothing at all."

Because it's a break in the foot, there aren't any screws and plates like in my leg.  So, if I understand it right, she can rebreak the newly knit bones whereas I didn't have that concern as much.  So, that just sucks.

Her shoulder won't be healed for two more months TWO.  So, her arm spends a lot of it's time strapped across her belly.  That is more miserable than a broken off foot like I had. (Kevin's description, not mine.  It makes me wince/laugh)

I am still not working full-time.  I am a miserable beast by the end of a week that consists of 32 hours.  When I mention this to medical professionals, they say "Yes, that happens."

So, this is my sign from the universe to just work part-time.  I'm just going to embrace it and be happy.  And burn through all my sick leave.  And de-accelerate our retirement plans a bit.

Working in social services right now is challenging.  Because of the broken health care system, we are getting more clients with unaddressed mental health issues.  It is so wearying.

Our race season doesn't start until the end of June, which is good because we're not remotely ready.  First off: puppy.  Second off: the engine is at the machine shop still and we're about $1000 away from being finished.  We're not worried about it, per se, this is just unusual for us.

My niece graduates from high school in about a month.  I can't believe this, time goes by so quickly.  Also, she's the last one.  The next graduations are going to be in the "grand" category, my nieces and nephew's kids.  The eldest of the bigs will graduate in 2021.  Isn't that MIND BLOWING?  I graduated in the 1900's!!!!

I want to work on the unfinished part of the backyard with some native ground plants but see above referenced $1000.  Also, it's on a hill and I'm not able to manuever that well yet.

I started a book by Lisa Kleypas and it's good.  But I haven't been able to return to it due to life.  Very frustrating.  She is another author from the Pacific Northwest so that's happy.  Kristin Hannah is the other that I like. (thanks to Swistle) but not Debbie Macomber, she's one of the few authors that I couldn't finish the book.

It's time to switch out the closet with summer clothing and I really am going to do it but it seems silly to go work in a closet when it so beautiful outside. But because it's beautiful outside, I need to have my summer clothing.

Because my main source of entertainment has been television lately, I've become shall-we-say very interested in entertainment news.  Not tabloid stuff, although I find TMZ Live on Sirius very entertaining, but Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter kind of news.
The Upfronts are happening right now where networks announce their programming changes.  I watched notifications in my email as this show and that show was cancelled. 

Sidenote: when did "cancelled" get changed to "canceled"?

I'm so bummed that The New Normal was cancelled.  It was like an irreverent (more) Modern Family and I really liked it.  The other shows that were cancelled I wasn't that surprised about.  Oh, except Southland.  WTH TNT with cancelling Southland?  A very good, real, drama.  Yet reality television continues to exist.

It just seems like shows aren't on long enough to develop anymore.  I don't understand it.  It's also as if NBC is determined to be the lowest rated network, which is so strange after dominating for so many years.

I've been fascinated with the Jodi Arias trial.  She reminds me of someone I know and it's provided me with quite a few chills down my spine.  I watched the verdict be read while still at work.  The only other verdict I've watched like that is OJ Simpsons.  I'll remember that for always.  The phone rang and it was my friend, all she said was "What the EFF just HAPPENED?!?"

So, that's about it.  Trying to re-acquaint ourselves with normal. 

04 May 2013

The Bluest Skies You'll Ever See are in Seattle

or ninety minutes north of there.

This is not color-corrected.  Taken with my Droid through the windshield about an hour ago.

Jealous, much?


Happy Spring y'all.

Lucy Lou Who

As far as puppies go, she's pretty good.  She doesn't enjoy being outside alone but then, who does really?

She's done minimal amount of chewing or whining, nothing that makes me want to scream.  She knows sit, lay down, down, and considers stay.  She knows "come" but not if she's hot on the trail of something us mere humans can't see or comprehend.  (that's the hound part of her, they tell us)

She does enjoy fetch but occasionally the ADD kicks in and she gets distracted.

She knows the difference between "Go to bed" (crate) and "Go to your pillow", which astounds me.

She likes to sleep.  She has the best expression if you wake her up.  I just accidentally made a noise and she looked at me like "EFF man, I'm sleeping here" like some stoner college kid.

We have toys in the living room for her that stay there, toys in the yard that stay out there and we try to keep toys in her crate, just for the crate.  But she'll disappear for a minute or two then the next thing you hear is her bunny-hopping down the hallway because she's freed her toys from their fate in the box.

She knows funny commands.  If I say "UH OH" loudly, she scoots away from what caused the exclamation and lays down with her head between her paws.
And I swear to god, she does the "Aren't I cute?" thing when she's being naughty.  Yes, you are cute but you're going to Daisy Hill Puppy Farm if you steal my books again.

She knows "Shush", except when there are birds around.  Birds must be yelled at.

Like Missy, she learned "Out of the kitchen" and "Back Up", which are mutual commands usually.  She, too, has learned to lay down *just* at the edge of the kitchen floor.  I think Missy is teaching her the way of things from beyond. I guess that's what I get for hitting her with the truck.

Oh, and that.  Yep, we've gotten to a point where we can lightly joke about that.  Things like "We know what you do to dogs..."  If you can't joke about it, then what's the point.  It doesn't take the pure awfulness away.

I do wonder if Missy and Aussie (our first dog) are somewhere yelling "We weren't allowed on your lap!"  (80+ pound dogs so: no) and "We didn't get to ride IN the truck with you! This sucks!"

I do see where perhaps it was a good thing that we didn't have kids: 
We  don't like people touching our stuff. (she stole a paperback book off the shelf)
We don't like clutter
Yet, we buy toys we don't need.
We are desperately close to "We can't because of the puppy..."
We just want to sit and relax.  No we don't want to chase the red dot, chase the red dot, chase the red dot, CHASE THE RED DOT".

I do realize that getting an "overlap dog" while Missy was still with us would probably not have worked.  a) she thought she was a people and didn't like other dogs b) someone touching her stuff and c) Lucy Lou is 135 miles per hour, often.
I picture Missy just laying on her pillow with the expression of "Make it stop, FTLOG."

I am trying not to post endless pictures of her on the facebook.  I did post one with a funny caption yet I have tens of them on my phone.  I'm purposefully not being that person.  Even though she really is cute.