30 October 2014


Unbelievable.  I can't understand how this keeps happening again and again.

I've started this post a few times.  I just cant EVEN wrap my mind around another school shooting, let alone one that isn't that far away from here.   We know people that have children/siblings that attend and work at
the high school.

It's not a typical shooting, which I think makes it worse.  It appears to be an impulsive act of a heartbroken teenager.  It is an After School Special in the worst of ways.

Bottom line: there is no understanding this.

In 21 Days

We booked our trip to Vegas for next month.  I really had reservations (unintentional pun!) about going with the whole being unemployed thing but I figured a few days away won't hurt anything other than our savings.

It will be a working vacation for Kevin because he will be crewing on our friends racecar.  I'm pretty doggone proud of him, as he's grown into the guy that people seek him to help.  With these new responsibilities, he has gained so much more knowledge and skills.   I'm curious to see where these new talents take him in the future.

When he crews here at home I don't usually go with him unless we're racing as well.  Instead, I cyber-stalk him and watch on the track video.  In Vegas I will probably spend more time at the track than usual because otherwise I might not see him much.  Also, I need photos! I do want to watch the racing too, especially since so many of our friends are racing, just not three solid days of it.

This is going to sound a little awful, but the very best time I had in Vegas was when it was just the boys and me. The boys went to the track and I slept in as long as I wanted, I went where I went and for as long as I wanted.  I learned how to drive in Vegas proper instead of just the Strip.   It was truly a vacation for me.

Last year, you might remember, I was super frustrated because a certain family member left her cane home because she "didn't want to deal with it".  This same person needed me to go buy a cane 24 hours later because she couldn't walk.  Also, she doesn't do any of the self care that is required when you have a major injury. (braces, proper shoes, CANE, rest, ice, limited mobility, none of it!)  Copious amounts of complaining and needing accommodations, oh yes that she does.

So, i was hoping that she wouldn't go this year because she recently had another surgery for her injuries but alas, not so much.  The Nephew and Fiance are going so I'm hoping that will alleviate much of the babysitting duties.  Otherwise, I have fear of gunplay.

Next up is the other one.  The other one who is neurotic and makes Eeyore look like Tigger.  He doesn't trust anyone or anything.  The sign says turn left to get to the place with the thing and he will question the sign.  We began teasing him so much that he stopped this behavior, a little bit.  Another example was we had been on the highway to the Grand Canyon for thirty minutes when he insisted that his GPS said we were going the wrong way. He muttered about it so much Kevin got off the highway, asked for directions, then got back into the van without saying a word and returned to the highway we were traveling on.

So, fun traveling companions, they are not.  To add insult to injury, our BFF Mike isn't going this year so he won't be there to provide respite.  I've seriously and sincerely considered drinking again just for this trip.

My plan is to spend more time than usual at the racetrack, even if it is sitting out in the rental car listening to the radio and racing and reading a book.

We have been there so much that we've seen all that we really want to see.  I only have three things on my list this year: the Wheel, the Mob Museum, and taking Kevin up on the Eiffel Tower.  The fact that two of these require heights is not lost on me. My plan is to go at night so one can't quite see how far up you are.  I did the Eiffel Tower in the daytime and that was a big mistake so at night will be much better, for sure.  We're going to do these the first day in town so the remaining days will be at my disposal.

I love the Titanic exhibit and have walked through it twice but I admit I might sneak another visit.  We did all the CSI Experience exhibits so we don't need to do that again.  I want to go to the Arts District too, I've only driven through.  We need to go eat at the PepperMill.  We keep saying we're going to then never do.

So, in three weeks I will have four days in Vegas to break the monotony that is my life right now.  Essentially, I'm just relocating from the couch in our house to the couch/rental car in Vegas. Plus, maybe alcohol.  Or counseling.  Or both.

So, what's my point?  a) we're going even though it's not the most grown-up thing for me to do.  b) we're traveling with very challenging people. c)I'm hoping to spend my vacation reading books and watching mindless television.

Last year, I discovered the show Cold Justice,where they solve cold cases, but in real.  I watched that every afternoon and many episodes of Castle.  I would go upstairs and get a snack from one of the food court restaurants in the early evening so I wasn't stabby when the boys got back.  I had books to read and a view of the mountains and crazy people jumping off the Tower.  It was really nice.  But the mornings were spent sightseeing with someone I didn't necessarily enjoy.

20 October 2014

A Little Happy

In the past month or so I've heard two stories from our friends that just give you faith in humanity again.  With the news being so MUCH lately, I figured it was important to share something that makes us all warm and fuzzy inside.

Our friend is Vietnamese and returns home regularly.  Each year she takes truckloads of coats, clothing, and blankets to leper colonies.  Literal leper colonies.  Any of her extra income goes back to charity not only in Vietnam but here as well.

Her mother is in her late eighties and her health is failing.  They don't have care facilities where she lives so she is being cared for by family.  On one of her trips, our friend showed her mother photos on her tablet.  Her mom was fascinated with being able to see her successful American daughter and her life in the photographs. 

So, my friend made a plan to post photos daily on the facebook and then her cousin shows her mother the pictures and updates.  The cousin reports that this makes her mother very happy and gives her something to look forward  each day.   It makes her so happy, in fact, that she asked our friend to:
"Please write a thank you note to the company for letting her see photos of her daughter and family every day."

I know, right?  How sweet is that?

(Oh, unrelated side note: The Nephew took one of the bigs to Hooters for his birthday. (I wasn't pleased)  He posted a photo on the facebook, showing the big smiling with the waitresses.  In the perfect example of "OMG my mom is on facebook", his great grandma posted a comment saying "Happy Birthday honey. Have fun!" )

Next story.

I keep bumping into our friend and her toddler daughter on Friday mornings at the grocery store.  Julie made the joke that we would see each other next Friday too. Then she corrected herself and said that they were going on a trip.

Julie is originally from Mississippi.  She makes regular trips home but it's difficult for her family to travel this way.  Her grandmother is in her nineties and is about to begin living in an assisted living facility.  She hasn't met some of her other grandchildren or any of the great grandchildren that live on this coast.  Julie's mom had a great idea of renting a motorhome and bringing her to see everyone before she goes into the facility.  She realized that the monthly cost of a facility would be equal to the rental so why not. Julie and her little one are flying out to travel here with them.  (Julie's a CNA)

Isn't that a great idea? I mean, sure, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong but seriously, what a kind thing to do.

So, there you go.  A little happy to lighten the mood.

16 October 2014


I have been home now for much longer than I had planned and it is depressing and demoralizing.  To combat bad things from happening that naturally occur when you've had a sudden and unplanned major life change, I've crept back into old habits that I cultivated when I was home with broken bones. (like writing really, really long sentences)

I still keep a schedule, as if I were working.  As Kevin leaves at 5:30 am, this leaves a lot, lot, lot of  times on my hands.  I have twelve hours to entertain myself. 

To keep track of the days so I don't lose time, I assign specific tasks to specific days.  Things like laundry, shopping, and cleaning.  I am literally telling myself at 5:30 in the morning that today is Wednesday so there is laundry and vacuuming to do.  Yes, I'm all up in the glamour here.

My new best friends Gilmore Girls and old best friends Greys Anatomy help pass the time well enough but one can't spend that much time with anyone without getting a little stabby.  The internet actually becomes boring after awhile, go figure.

One of the recommendations for people battling depression is to have a pet.  I've had dogs for the past 23 years and they do provide for a distraction.  They need feeding and to go outside and come back in and to go outside and come back in (x infinity).   They make a person get up in the morning and be somewhat active during the day.

Lucy is different than our other dogs.  She requires one-on-one attention too. Our other dogs were hunters and security kinds of dogs that just wanted to monitor the goings-on outside. Lucy wants to play and have scritches.  She wants to lay on your lap and sleep. 

This is good, I love this about her.  This is also bad because how in the world of sweet baby jesus are you supposed to get anything done when you've got a snuggly, warm puppy on your lap?  In this case, she is a demotivator.  There are simply few reasons to get up when a puppy is sleeping on you.

I know, you're thinking that a person can still read or use the laptop.  Well, the trouble is that she resents both of those forms of entertainment.  She requires the use of your lap and at least one of your arms and those items impinge on her use.

Yes, she is a dog. I can make her get down and I do.  But, really, why would one do that?  What kind of cold-hearted human would make a snuggly puppy move just so you can go to the bathroom or eat or write? 

Yeah, I need to get over this.  But, seriously:

14 October 2014

They Pay Cash

I had another job interview today.  If nothing else, I am getting plenty of knowledge on different businesses.  This is one that I knew I wouldn't take while sitting in the parking lot waiting for the interview.

One of the many things I do not enjoy about job search is the mystery of applying for jobs online.  Many listings don't include the company name.  I get why, they don't want a bunch of people crashing their gates, but it sure would be a little more helpful to know where you're applying.  I mean, is it like this morning at a place that I wouldn't want to work? Or worse, at a place I've already worked?

On the flip side, the mystery could open up possibilities that a person wouldn't consider otherwise. This is what I tell myself anyway.

Just not today.

It was a job in a medical office when I applied.  When they called, it was for a dermatologist office.  When I pulled up, it was clearly a plastic surgery office.  Shiny new office, discretely placed off the beaten path, smooth jazz playing in the background.

I already knew that I was So Not Interested.  Then during the interview, the person listed a task of "Often accepting $1,000 payments, usually in cash."

Wait, what?

"Oh yes, they usually pay in cash."

"In cash because?"

"They don't want their husbands to know they've had...treatments."

This is where I imagined this:

I believe the person doing the interviewing knew I wouldn't be a good fit.  At least I hope so.

11 October 2014

Picture Wall

Our hallway goes down the middle of our house.  I made it a picture wall, one half that is visible above our couch and one down by my office.  There are single frames and collage frames.  There isn't a theme and four different colors of frames. (gold, black, rosewood, and brown)

I've many, many pictures saved on the cloud.  Every once in a while, I will be uploading more or looking for something and I'll invariably say "I need to print this out."

But those of you who upload pictures of the cloud may know: they can get disorganized really quickly.  I've many duplicates and poorly named pictures/albums.  I feel like I should just bite the bullet, download all of them again, rename them, delete all the ones on the cloud and reload them.
I need a nap and a drink just thinking about it.

So, I indulged in a task avoidance chore.  I drug out the tote that has all the picture frames that I've bought, collected, or discarded over the past years.  The logic being that I needed to know what frames I wanted before I could consider photos.  (I know.)

I have plenty of frames so now I'm back to square one.  Sigh...

Maybe I will just make a list of each family member to ensure that everyone is represented.  I'm not going to worry that each side of the family is equally represented because that would be crazy making and unfair. 

The kids can go into collage frames.  The parents can be in individuals because there are significantly less of them.  I should also sprinkle in a few of our friends photos as well.  I took a candid one that has Kevin, his brother, the boy littles and two of our best friends that I adore.  It's a candid shot and no one is looking at the camera.  It's one of my absolute favorites.  If only I had more of those!


What is too cluttered? Disorganized?  Should I use uniformly colored frames?  The internet says that I should and I think the internet might consider shutting up because that's a much bigger project that I'm interested in.  But, it will look nicer that way.

Should I use a pattern or place them randomly?  They are randomly placed right now but only because Kevin has a weird habit of hanging things too high. (he's six foot tall, I'm five foot three so there's a little wiggle room there)  Also, he wants to make sure that the nails are into the studs.  I planned ahead in consideration of this and bought Command strips. 

I'm trying to channel Swistle's Drop in the Bucket theory.  I've figured out the frames, I have a few photos in mind so that's two drops.  Now I just need to print a handful to get started.

Did I mention that I'm nearly out of color ink?  Yeah, that's another small problem.  Easily resolved but it takes any spontaneity out of the project.

So, that's what I'm thinking about.

See? No rhyme or reason

08 October 2014

Stuff and Things

 I finally took Swistle's advice and tried watching Gilmore Girls.  It's been two days and I'm nearly done with the first season.  I will be sending invoices for my detox/rehab to Swistle.  Lol.  Kind of like Veronica Mars, I am unsure what happened in my life that I'm just now watching these shows.
Also, see you in about a week.

I upgraded our DVR and now I have two DVR's.  I do believe that I've made a mistake.  Now I'm all "Record all the things!!"

While shopping at Target last week I might have bought a cute plastic jack o'lantern.  I also might have wandered down the Christmas aisle.  I did resist buying three little sewn birds because OCTOBER.  Also, don't need them.  Just want them.  Probably will go get them this weekend.

Swistle was talking about planting seeds and bulbs and it occurred to me that every year I intend to do this and every year I forget to do so.  Well, this Fall I have no excuse not to do it.  Other than where to plant them where Kevin won't weed-eat them and where the puppy won't dig them up and eat them.  This is not insurmountable but definitely the kind of thing that slows down the process. I will not be thwarted by the likes of a weed-eater wielding husband or puppy whose nose is her superpower.

I tried Starbucks Iced Coffee from the grocery store and didn't enjoy it so much.  I tried the store brand and hated it.  Finally, I tried International Delight (what a stupid name) and it's not awful.  I doctor it with milk and vanilla and it's the best out of the three.  Now you can sleep at night. 

It's time to switch out my spring/summer clothes to fall/winter clothes.  We're supposed to be going to Vegas next month so I tend to drag my feet about this.  However, I'm not sure I'm going this year (unemployment and other issues) so I'm thinking I'll throw caution to the wind and just do it.  This is the kind of excitement I enjoy these days.

The big project today is to take the five sets of leftover shampoo and conditioner that have been languishing in the second bathroom and combined them.  I have issues. Exhibit A;


Ladies Home Journal has stopped publishing, sadly. What am I going to do without "Will This Marriage Survive?".  In the company's wisdom, they decided that replacing it with Shape magazine as a substitute a reasonable idea.  Gosh, I wonder why they went out of print with such clever management.

I rediscovered how fun the Dollar Store can be.  I needed office supplies, that I would normally just bring home from work, and it was the perfect solution.  I liked being able to buy a few files/envelopes/whatever instead a case of 100.  I know I probably didn't make a good fiscal choice and shut up, I don't care.

With all the time I have on my hands, I've been trying to find things to do to fill my time.  Oh, I know: writing but not so much.  It's the kind of dangerous situation that gets me to thinking "Oh, cactus and ferns would be fun to have in the house."   This is not good and innocent plants may die.

The pantry door has decided that it doesn't want to shut completely.  I asked Kevin about it and he said "Remind me about it" which is his way of procrastinating because he knows I won't remember when it's timely.  I could ask my father-in-law but I have a suspicion that it will turn into a much bigger project than I want it to be.  He has great ideas and is a woodworker, no worries there.  I just know that once started, a remodel will be forthcoming.  Although it would be nice to have a different door.  Meanwhile...ADD is a joy...I think I'm going to look it up on WikiHow or YouTube and see if I can do it myself.  I'll let you know what disaster ensues.

So, that's what is happening here.  Lots of glamour and stuff.

04 October 2014

Unconventional Opinions

Here are a few unconventional opinions that I have:

I don't understand why George Clooney's wedding was treated as if it was a royal event.  I mean, I understand that it's like, and I quote Kevin here: "It's like when that one guy married that woman years ago."

Guesses?  Maybe not.  We've been married one hundred years and speak that old married couple shorthand.  Warren Beatty and Annette Benning.

Lena Dunham irritates the hell out of me.  I think she's pretentious.  She reminds me of  that loud, "artistic" girl in high school that was so Outspoken about how she Didn't Care At All about being popular but, in fact, did Very Much Care.  Also, she used the words "craft" and "art" while being interviewed about her book and show which makes me want to kick bunnies.  She uses more words than necessary and most of those feel like they were culled from the Word of the Day calendar. 
Clearly, she just annoys me.

I don't think Jennifer Aniston was a victim.  I love that Brad and Angelina got married.

I think Beyonce and JayZ are way over-rated.  I don't understand the hype. There are many better singers and rappers out there.

We watched three Oscar Nominated Movies and didn't like any of them.  We turned one of them off about 35 minutes into it.  I'm disappointed and suspicious.

All of this makes me feel old.  As if I've reached the age when I just don't get pop culture anymore.  But I also think that qualifications for being a star and/or a celebrity  are just way, way, way too low.

02 October 2014

Pretty Pictures

I'm trying to take some of Swistle's advice of finding new things to interest me.  I actually sat down and thought about it.  What do I like to do with my time?

Read...well, that's easy enough.  So I made a deal with myself to buy a new author every other week or so.  That's how I read The Art of Arranging Flowers (Lynne Branard) and how I have A Single Breath (Lucy Clarke) waiting for me.

I like to write so I'm going to keep working on that.  I've been sporadic at this so far but every day is a new day. 

I like to take photos.  I'm horrible at taking photos of people, I just don't like intruding and I think that affects the photography.  Often I will try to surreptitiously take them with my phone then crop them to hopefully make a decent photo. 

I am pretty good at landscapes.  I kind of have the perfect canvas here in the Pacific Northwest so it's not all talent.  So, on my phone I have photos of sunsets, cloud formations, pretty flowers.  And many, many of the puppy. Seriously.  Even she is sick of my camera.

So, in this day and age, what could one do with photography?  Hmm, it's a puzzle.  Except it's NOT.  It's called Instagram.  I'm probably one of the few that don't have an account at this point. 

Selfies won't be featured there.  There will probably not be many puppy or racecar pictures even.  I'm going to concentrate on pretty pictures only, for now.

If you're bored, you can find me as Kellwynn93. 

01 October 2014

Life Options

Pinterest has become an interest of mine since I've been off work.  It's a fun little time waster that I can do for a few minutes off and on.  My only struggle is the categories.  Sometimes I find something that I just can't categorize.  I suppose I should just make that a category: unable to categorize.  Instead I have witty titles like Purple. 

Somehow, on my private Pinterest, I ended up following a teenaged girl. She might be a friend of my nieces, I'm just not sure.  (sidebar: I've found Pinterest is an easy way to communicate with my nieces so hallelujah for that)

This girl started pinning photos for a bucket list.  Simple photographs with simple text stating an item.  But they were kind of cool ones, like, "Buy a cart full of groceries for a stranger" and "Try all the items on the McDonalds menu."  I liked how clever they were.

Even though I'm not a fan of bucket lists, or any sort of goal setting actually, I started a Life Hopes board.  Like this:

The fun thing, to me, about this is culling through the bucket list items available.  Probably in denial, I'm surprised at how many of them I've done.  At first I wondered if I had led that interesting kind of a life.  Then I realized that I'm 45 years old and many of the items can be done just by growing up.

But I am considering making another board titled "Been there, Done that".  I think it would be fun to look and have a visual representation of things that one has done or experienced.

There are, of course, things that I won't ever do.  Having a child is an example but that's not by choice.  But on the just Can't Want To level, there are things that are posted that I just wouldn't consider.  Like sky-diving or traveling to the far reaches of the world.  It's fun to think about but most likely never going to happen.

So, again, if you're bored and you need just one more thing to check on social media, find me as Surely on the pinterest. 

I've Got the Time

Usually I am a pretty patient person (don't laugh) when I'm in a store.  I wait for the elderly and people with children.  I use my words and manners in crowded situations.  I'm not usually in a hurry for anything. Probably a window into why I'm late often, but that's another topic.

The other day we had rain after not having it for most of the summer.  While leaving the store, a mom and little boy with brand new rainboots were walking toward me.  So, there were puddles on the ground and a curb to balance on.  Lots of distractions for the young man, indeed.

So, I slowed my pace to let the little guy enjoy his new boots and the fun curb discovery.  I admit, I will often stomp in a puddle if given a chance.  How can you resist?

The mom noticed that I was waiting and encouraged him to hurry because the nice lady is waiting.  I smiled and said "Oh no, I've got time. Let him go. Who can resist puddles and curbs?"   She laughed and agreed and eventually they passed me.

I thought about how nice it is, right now, not to have to hurry back to a job or to be rushed to do much of anything.  I've got the time.