Saturday, December 29, 2007


I didn't figure out how to do the creative gift ideas I had this year, but I did end up doing a few things for "needy" people around. More like random acts of kindness, but they just thrilled my soul.

I can fruit so I tried to make someones birthday a separate event from Christmas by sharing peaches and pears as a birthday gift. I was able to give leftovers to a neighbor of my moms that I happen to work with, he was very grateful. (Only a single male would go out Christmas Day looking for somewhere to eat.) And I am working a short OT shift for my gal DW. She seems very excited to be able to spend NYE doing something more festive than working.

Lastly, I started to work out (that was for myself). How could I not? I got a new iPod nano-thing. I used to think I was cool enough to get the latest technology. I am so not. I couldn't figure out how to work the silly spinner-not-a-spinner button-thing-y. I think I have it down now. I love it that I can sort my music by "work out" "cool down" and stuff like that. It makes it more motivating to go to the gym. Next door to work. That is free. That I have been a member of for the last 8 years and used maybe 24 times. Hopefully it will stick and I will be a hot, buff chick by spring. One can hope.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lists, lists, lists

I have been meaning to make a list of things I would like to do to our house since we moved in 5 years ago. Some of them are simple - curtains. Some are more complicated - storage for arts & crafts stuff.

I am kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal when it comes to money stuff. If its there I spend it. Some of the things I want to do require a little more cash than what is available at any one time. What that means is I would have to SAVE for awhile to have all the cash dollars available to do some of the projects on my list. So here is where I start. I am going to make a list of some things I would like to SAVE for this year. Trust me, this is a huge step. HUGE.

1) Curtains in the living room. Approx cost: $700 -$1700
We have this great big, huge picture window (9'x6') that looks out into the backyard. Currently it has an old blind on it and that's all. I would like to put some new trim around the window, a new blind that would keep the heat out and some curtains up that would go with either the chairs or my couch, which ever happens to be parked in front of it at the time. It would actually be nice to replace the whole dang window if possible, that would probably add $1000 because of its size.
CHALLENGES: I hate to ask for help and I need it when it comes to window coverings. I just don't see the potential. Only the ugly.

2) Upstairs bathroom update. Approx cost: $350
I would like to put in a new shower curtain, matching towels and accessories, clean up the linen closet and get new bath rugs too. This is probably the easiest of all the projects and the least expensive too.
CHALLENGES: This seems like such a dumb project. Bathroom, whats the big deal?

3) Master Bedroom makeover. Approx cost: $1500
It needs it. I have sheets hanging over curtain rods that are nearly falling off the walls for window coverings. Theres no rhyme or reason to my bedspread or blankets. And the pillows need to be replaced. I would also like to get a second nightstand. We bought a new bedroom set - headboard, foot board, dresser - a few years back but have never gotten the second nightstand. It also needs paint.
CHALLENGES: Finding just the right thing that we both like.

4) Dining room table/chairs/curtains. Approx cost $2500-$3500
I could probably get by with just chairs for now, the kids are going to continue to trash the table, might as well not replace it until they are older - specifically Miss I. But there is a sliding glass door in there that is in desperate need of replacing. We were just talking about it yesterday and we think we could even put in a window instead of the slider ... but that's going to add a ton more to my estimate. Either way the window also needs a new curtain and blinds. It would be really nice to get the kind of door or windows with the blinds built in.

5) Basement remodel. Approx cost: $5000-$7000
This is the biggie. But its not "my" project it's a family project. We talked a couple months ago about what project to tackle this year the upstairs living room or the downstairs laundry/spare/family room. The latter won. We have a great space in our basement. Right now there are 3 separate rooms - laundry & bath, spare bedroom and family room. But the rooms are all kind of choppy and don't flow very well at all. Its my least favorite area of the house.

We would like to re-do the bath/laundry/spare room into one continuous space. I use the spare room for my laundry folding so it would be nice to just turn around and there is my folding table (aka bed) instead of having to go around and through the door. The family room is a great space, large, but arranged really bad right now. There is this HUGE storage area - it's as long as the room is, maybe 15 feet by 3 or more feet deep. There are drawers down one side and across the bottom and it has sliding closet doors over it. The drawer fronts are wood and the closet doors are a different paneling and the rest of it is a faux brick. Its the ugliest thing ever. It would make a great play space or an extra 3 feet to the room. Right now the drawers are stuffed with toys, video tapes, arts and crafts, spare towels. You name it.

The rest of the space is being used for storage and the entertainment center. It would be nice to turn it into something else ... arts and crafts, computer or workout area maybe? And turn the focal point of the room around to another wall where we could build in an entertainment center. It would use the space a lot better. That room also has the potential to adjoin with the spare bedroom. Its not necessary but would be a nice touch for guests. There is also a door out to the back yard that needs to be replaced and My Honey would like to put down some wood floors too. That doesn't sound like too much does it? Hee hee hee.
CHALLENGES: Time. Keeping the kids out of it when we start.

6)HVAC. Approx cost: $10-12,000
We don't have central air. Or heat. Most of the time its not that bad. But there is that month to 6 weeks in the winter when the temps are below zero and that month to 6weeks in the summer when the temps are over 100 when it would really be nice. The reason this project would cost so much is because there is not duct work in our house. Our heat source is "radiant heat" which comes from coils in the ceiling. Currently we have at least one set of coils that isn't working. Unfortunately it's in the kitchen. Brrrr in the mornings. So this project is very expensive. And it will be time consuming, dirty and probably loud. I am afraid to have an estimate done. I don't want to find out it will be twice what I think it will be.

Hmmmm, now that I have spent an imaginary $40000 I guess I better go get some lottery tickets, enter the publishers clearinghouse sweepstakes, sign up for a ton more overtime and get to work!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I took my camera to the shop today. Unfortunately it has to be sent away - just like my computer did - and it may be up to 3 weeks before I hear about it. I sure hope its not expensive. For me, a non-animal person, its kind of like taking the dog to the vet ... What's it going to cost, is it worth it or should I just give up the old one and go get a new one? I know, I know that's cold and harsh to say about an animal. You have no idea what I am going through with our dog right now. Shes old, and she is starting to show her age really bad. Moving slower, just doing weird things. And I have had to ask myself how much I will put us all through for her ... I still don't know. So its a similar kind of thing with the camera. What will I put us all through for her?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas re-cap

Well, how I'd love to post some Christmas pictures, but guess what? MY CAMERA BROKE. About an hour into Christmas Eve it quit operating. The shutter won't open. So I refer to the troubleshooting guide which tells me to take it to a repair shop. Dang it! And its a beautiful frosty morning and I cant take pictures. Bummer for me.

Otherwise Christmas Eve and Christmas were pretty good. Christmas Eve I worked and then we went to My Honey's family for our traditional fondue dinner. MMMMM. We had to make a last minute run to the liquor store (yes for the churchy side of the family) for brandy for the fondue. We came back bearing a brown bag and you should have seen the look in my Brother-in-law's eyes! It was priceless. Good times. The kids were very good and we came home with a truck load of stuff. It was late and the kids crashed out!

Christmas Day I had off. We expected to be awakened by the kids at 5:30 because that's the regular time, but Nooooo, they slept IN!! No one was up and around until after 7! It was really nice considering I had slept very poorly the night before. We did our Christmas thing-y here. Opened presents to and from each other. At 8:30 we started to get ready to go to my moms house. She was having breakfast for everyone and... more presents! We got there a little late, but they kept mimosas and biscuits and gravy for us! MMMMM more food. We ate and then opened presents.

I have to say it was one of the least stressful Christmases at my moms. Even with my Step-dad (they are divorced) and Auntie-Aunt there (they don't always get along well). Everyone did really well getting along. I find myself sometimes playing a kind of mediator role for everyone and I made a conscious decision not to do that this year, so it was a lot less stressful for me. And, what do you know, they got along on their own! Maybe I cause more problems than I solve. Hmmmm, food for thought.

WOW, last Christmas sucked!!! I just re-read this post... I had forgotten how crappy last year was. Funny, it seemed like it would never end when I was in the middle of it huh? But here I am and what a relief. I definitely made some good decisions last year.

Harry's favorite gifts this year were $15 cash and a roll of blue painters tape. Blue tape is the best ever! He uses it for everything. Making webs, snowflakes on the windows, blocking the doors, hanging up pictures on the walls, holding projects together.

Hannah's favorite gift appears to be her new doll and all the accessories my mom found her; a crib, car seat and stroller. Both kids have actually been having a good time with them.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Face

Here is the new face of Bubba. The school found he had a vision problem a couple months ago. I took him in and sure enough he is "very far-sighted" so here we go. Glasses. Not only do I have a six-year old, now he wears glasses. He's growing up isn't he?

He's been such a good sport. Its not easy to have your eyes checked. It's also not easy to be the only kid in class wearing glasses. I am glad it worked out that they came in during Christmas break. He has a chance to get used to them and have family tell him how cute he looks before he hits the students in his class.

He was cute when we picked them out, he wanted "Harry Potter" style glasses with round frames. So the tech-gal had to find a book, order a special pair that ended up being back ordered and then discontinued so we had to choose another color. But they are here now and he is very happy with them. Did you know there are something like 300 different styles of glasses for kids? Who'd a thunk?

Christmas party 2

I was right. That was my favorite party so far. We ate well, had our favorite wine and then played pool. I have not played pool in a long time, and I used to be good. Real good. My Honey plays every week on a league, he's good too. Real good. We were a pretty good team, I could use some practice.

At a party a few months ago we had come up with a name for our dinner group, "Les 6" and we said we would buy shirts for everyone. Well the shirts came in last month so we hung onto them and gave them to everyone for Christmas. It was great. We wore ours to dinner but no one noticed. Then they opened their presents and all hell broke loose. Screaming and yelling and carrying on. It was a lot of fun. I had a particularly incriminating picture of one of our members so everyone got a copy of that and I had taken the "namiste" picture at another members house so I made cards with that for them. They turned out pretty good.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

First round

My first round presents are wrapped. Shew.

I finally bought a tree last week. We went to this little stand at the south end of town (kinda like the bad side of the tracks) and dickered with the guy to get this scrawny Charlie Brown type tree. It was fun, and I love the tree. We brought it home, I used the "Christmas tree saw" to give it a fresh cut on the base and then we brought it in and decorated it. Just white lights and gold balls. There have been a few handmade ornaments added since then. I pulled out the star that my father in law made a few years back to put it on top but my son stopped me. "No Mom, we have to put a Santa hat on top." So we did. Our tree topper this year is a Santa hat. Don't ask, I don't get it either. But it gives the crooked tree more character so I left it.

My Dad, his wife and both kids came to town last weekend. It made for a few late nights (I had to work) but it was worth it. We all went to a family party for that side of the family. It is always good to see everyone. Its sad, sad, sad that we don't see them more often. I have two uncles and an aunt and a grandma that live in town, I talk to the uncles through work pretty frequently, but never see the others. I don't even know what they are interested in. And theres my two cousins that I don't even know. Sometimes I get down about it, but its just the way it is.

I was talking to a friend about Christmas stuff, seeing family and all that the other day and he said I was lucky to have family in town, his is all spread out. It got me thinking and trying to appreciate the fact that we get to go to 3 different Christmases. That we get to cart gifts all over town on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, that we are expected to be here there and everywhere toting the kids as we go. I am trying to appreciate it. I really am.

Tonight is another party. It will probably be my favorite of the season. We have a group of 6 (Les 6) that started to meet during happy hour over a year ago. Happy hour didnt last long enough so we started to meet for appetizers/dinner and drinks at someones house. We always have a great time. Tonight is our Christmas dinner. Last I heard we were having Tai food so it should be good.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Count down

Only a week until Christmas. I still have shopping, wrapping and card-sending to do. Where did the time go? Oh I know - to work that's where. Bastards took 30 extra hours this past month. Oh well, it will all get done, it always does. I have the majority of this weekend off which is a good thing. Maybe I can duck out for a cross country ski on Saturday or Sunday? That would give me something to look forward to and a way to relax.

It snowed here today. It was nice. It warmed up though during the day so a lot of it melted away - bummer. It is cooling down though and appears we may get some more snow tonight. Bad thing is that the roads are bare and wet so it will freeze then new snow on top of that could mean really bad driving conditions but that will mean a really busy day at work tomorrow! yay

A funny thing happened the other day. Miss I was being naughty, I don't even remember what she had done now, but I was telling her how naughty she was and she PLUGGED HER EARS. She looked me right in the eye, said "Mama" and then plugged her ears without batting a lash. And continued to stare me down. I totally cracked up! I had to lower my head so she couldn't see me, get rid of my giggles and then look back up to finish our conversation and there she was with her ears STILL PLUGGED. I could not believe it. She is only 2. TWO! What happens when she is 12 or 14 or, heaven forbid 16??? Anyway, we ended our session with her taking a time out in her room for being disobedient and disrespectful. I am still reeling from it though. Plugged her ears. And stared me down. Little punk.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


One of my officer-friends had an old tattoo embellished last week. He came up to show it off to me during his shift one night/early morning. I left my frequency in the capable hands of a team mate and followed the officer into our break room where he disrobed to his waist to show me the tattoo on his shoulder.

As we were walking back to the break room I had this little voice in my head asking me several questions: What will everyone think, me and him leaving the room at the same time? Should I really be going to look at his tattoo at all? As he was disrobing I had even more questions: Is this okay? What if someone walks in? What will they think? (Probably lucky girl). And, I think I better leave the door open.

At the same instant we both said something to the effect of "this looks really bad, I hope no one walks in." Well, no one walked in and I got a good look at his tat (among other things) on his shoulder. It started as a hand drawn portrait of his daughter that the tat artist was able to re-create. That in and of itself was very tasteful. The work he had done last week took 6 (yes SIX) more hours of work. The artist embellished the tattoo with an open book, musical notes and a staff, drama masks, flowers and a lot of other things to represent her interests. It turned out very cool. It goes from the tip of his shoulder to his elbow and nearly all the way around. It really is a piece of art.

He has several tats. Another hand drawn portrait of his son on the other shoulder. Which will eventually have embellishments as well and a pin-up type tat of his wife on his belly - I cant even explain this one. Again its very tasteful (and yes I have seen it) but not something I would get done.

Anyway, I just can't get the image of him half-naked in our break room out of my mind. I figured I will see him in even less this summer when we go boating and stuff since he is Best Buddy's dad, so whats the big deal?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Man in the house

Why having a man in the house is entertaining. They never grow up and enjoy letting kids be kids. One thing I am not so good at. (Yes those are diapers - clean ones).


They built gingerbread houses - note to self: next time, build the houses before the kids decorate them. They don't stay together very well.

We had dinner at the Mexican place. The owner loves our kids, so she came over and said hello.

The boys stayed up late (8:30) and then talked until late you know 9:30. Then they were up at 5:00 ready for the day (note to self: Best Buddy wakes up happy and early, just like Bubba, so get plenty of sleep the night before).

Bubba went to the classmates party Saturday (yet another note to self, this one I learned from someone else: NEVER HAVE A BOWLING PARTY FOR TWENTY 6 YEAR OLDS - they don't have the attention span to wait their turn). It was total chaos.

We started our Christmas shopping Saturday. We weren't very successful, found a few things. Then we dropped in on some friends who were sensitive to our need and provided margaritas! MMMMM, thank heavens for friends with well stocked bars! They also intrduced us to the wonderful David Sedaris. I had heard of him, but I hadnt heard him. Funny. We borrowed a CD to listen to later, we were all laughing hysterically at his story of being an elf during Christmas! Thanks guys.

Today, I had to an overtime shift. It was alright, not too busy but I had entertaining folks I was working with so the 6 hours went by pretty fast. And lastly, tonight we have My Honeys work Christmas party.

All in all a busy weekend when you look it at, no wonder I am tired.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Another First

Thanks to my sister who suggested and highly recommended quiet time for my son. You rock! I have instituted it during Miss I's nap time for Bubba. He doesn't have to sleep but he does have to spend one hour in his room quiet. It only happens on my days off, but it is worth it. Especially when we have some kind of big deal going on. Like, say, he gets to have his FIRST SLEEP OVER!!

We had planned a McDonald's party Saturday for his birthday, but I didn't get the invites out to his classmates soon enough... someone else beat us to the same date. So, to avoid the competition and any hurt feelings it might cause, I cancelled his party at McD's and we came up with Plan B. Plan B was to have dinner Friday night at the Mexican place down the street "so they can sing to me" and then have Best Buddy spend the night. Then he can go the classmates party on Saturday and no one is the wiser. So tonight is the Friday night.

Unfortunately Best Buddy has school all day (maybe it was a good thing) so I am going to pick him up at 4ish and then we have an hour and a half to kill before dinner so I bought some gingerbread houses for them to assemble. Only I forgot Miss I, so I am going to make a quick trip to Safeway so she can make something too. Heaven forbid she have to find something else to do. It would be torture for the both of us!! After dinner, Frosty the Snowman is on at 8 so we will let the boys watch it if they want to, or they may choose to watch The Robinson's since Bubba will get that at his party tonight. All in all it should be a fun night! I tried to make it a little more special by letting Bubba choose some snacks for them for tonight and we picked out a "Cars" cake. (Which I proceeded to smoosh, but he is the most gracious thing ever, "Oh that's okay it will be fine.")

Saturday is the classmates party, (mental note: buy girl gift for 6 year old) and then My Honey arranged a babysitter so we can go shopping! See, I didn't need to worry at all.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Aaaah the quiet ...

As I sit here the fire is crackling, my fingers are clicking and the kids are tucked away quietly in their rooms. Lucky me.

I have been thinking about two things pretty obsessively lately (actually
there are three things, but maybe the third another time).
These two things are
Interesting duo isn't it? Who doesn't think about money at Christmas? But its not like that. Its like this: I am usually freaking out about Christmas, getting presents bought before a certain date, "henning" (a new word used to describe me yesterday that is pretty accurate) My Honey about shopping, because I am not going to do it myself, all that. This year I am totally sitting back, making a conscious decision NOT to worry about it. We will shop when we shop. So far we don't have a single thing
bought. Nada. And I ain't worried.

The thing is, I don't want to do regular shopping this year. I would like to help someone without instead of fattening our coffers. None of us have to do without (us=family). We have what we need (and then some) when we need it. I feel like there should be more to it this year than that. What can we do for someone else? Or how can we honor another with a gift of ... here's what I mean. One of my Brothers In Law is a veteran, one loves to hunt. As the gift to the vet, I would like to send agoodie box to a soldier. As the gift to the hunter, donate a scholarship-type thing in his name to the folks that provide hunter safety courses so that someone that wants to the the class, that can't afford it can. That kind of stuff. We all have interests that could be honored in ways like that instead of with presents that just clutter our already overabundant lives.

How would you feel though, if all you got from me was a little white envelope with a note in it that said "you don't get a present this year, someone else does?"

As for finances ... My Honey has been listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio or the web or something. He's got some pretty radical ideas, but so does My Honey. I am his only obstacle . And I sense some major changes for next year coming. I don't know how they will play out or what they will be, but I know that he wants to work hard at paying off whats left on the house, get some money socked away for kids education and make sure we are set for retirement. We do a little of this now, but I sense that the bar is going to be raised. That my free-spending days are coming to an end. Its going to be a rough road. Even worse than giving up caffeine which I did 3 weeks ago! Quit old turkey. But, here I am 3 weeks later, I feel better, I have more control over what I put into my body and I hope to never go back. Although me and Diet Coke have been friends for a LONG time, and I miss him, it was time to kick him to the curb. And my money and control issues are deeper than Diet Coke. But I have been being prepared for what lies ahead, I know I have. And I have the right support to get through it.

And that third item? Well, maybe another time.

PS what is up with Blogger??? I had to re-edit this 7 times (make that 8) to get the
paragraph spacing correct??? I hope it will be a short lived glitch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

From my cozy chair

Its back, my laptop is back. I am so happy!
And guess what was wrong? NOTHING. The computer people found nothing wrong, and somehow it is working again. Go figure. Just needed to do without for a few weeks to know its possible I guess.
Its finally a Friday for me and I get more than one day off. I think it worked out so I get 3! In a row! Yay me. And I have a whole lot more to say about what a crappy mood I am in, but I have to go back across town for a stinking meeting at work, one of the many things pissing me off today. So that's it for now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More 3-5

This post keeps coming back to me.

Today, at oh-dark-thirty, Good Morning America was in Leavenworth filming a mock-up of the annual Christmas Lighting Festival. Leavenworth is close enough I had to go. (See the one about going to the filming of a show, it wasn't the Today show, but it was close enough.) So, on my day off, I awoke at my regular time (2am) and got ready for my day and headed west. The drive would have been uneventful if it hadn't snowed several inches last night. My Honey and I agreed (well, I gave in) that if it snowed 4 or more inches I wouldn't go. Luckily it didn't snow 4 inches, so I went. It was a slow drive out, just for caution, but other than that, I had no problems. As for the guy whose truck had flipped, well, he would have another tale to tell.

I hung out up there for nearly two hours just looking on. I didn't get too involved. By the time I got there a crowd of maybe 50 or so had already gathered in "the" spot, and not knowing anyone to crowd in with I just hung back. It was fun to watch everyone, watch the crowd grow. There were probably 300-400 by 4:30 when I left. People of all ages, kids, a tour bus of old folks from Roseburg Oregon, lots of people dressed in traditional Bavarian dress. They had performances lined up for an hour or so of dancers, choirs, the hand bell choir, lots of folks. Its fun to see a large group into something. Its so not me - being into something. But it sure is fun to observe.

I gotta tell you, my favorite thing wasn't the Bavarian folks, it was the guy dressed as Sponge Bob. I am sure he got broadcast, who could have resisted?

My pictures didn't turn out too well, apparently I was shaky, so they are all blurred, except this one of the horses.

All in all I am glad I went, I would have preferred to see HOW the stuff was done, but it was fun to be there. To say I was. Now if my toes would stop stinging and feel normal again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


After this post, I actually ended up with 3 hours to myself so I did all the things I had listed. It was so me.

Today I have another large block of time to myself. I got off work at 9am (yes that's a full work day for me) and finally got my computer shipped off, came home to work on a scrapbook idea I had for our great-grandmas (its a failure) and I have an appointment at 11 for some kind of health check through our insurance company. They pay me $25 to find out what my body fat is. Not a bad deal except I have had to fast all morning. Nothing to eat for the 4 hours before the appointment. No big deal if I hadn't been up since TWO O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I am so hungry. I think I will treat myself to a nice lunch afterwards.

We did Christmas pictures with the baby cousin for grandma the other day. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Isn't he angelic like that? (Its a farce!)

And her! What a beauty. Be careful though, looks are deceiving!

There are some great ones of the baby too, but I don't have her parents permission to post them here. We had them done at Wal*Mart. They did a pretty good job and when we split the cost of the CD 3 ways so we all have all the pictures, it worked out pretty good.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Almost Forgot

I was tagged (nice new look btw) and need to tell others my 5 favorite somethings. I couldn't actually think of something I had 5 favorites of until yesterday. I was shopping downtown and that was where I came up with My 5 Favorite Downtown Stores:

1. Antique Mall (pretty self explanatory)
2. Collectors Gallery (another antique store)
3. Guilded Lilly Home (just a beautiful store full of beautiful stuff)
4. Arlberg (sporting goods)
5. Wok About Grill - not technically a store, but it is a downtown favorite

First Snow

I really wanted to post this photo two days ago, but three 12 hour shifts has kicked my A. I am just about asleep right now. Thankfully I have tomorrow off. Once I wake up, hopefully in time for dinner, I should be ready to tackle my next really long week. This holiday crap is almost as bad as late summer was.

It was fun to get the first snow of the season! It wasn't much but we went out and watched it fall for a few minutes. I think once Miss I gets to play in it she will love it. She wasn't so sure the other night. It might have been my looking out the dark window and going "Ooh!ooh! I need to get the camera" and then disappearing downstairs in a hurry. I think I scared her.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A bit o fun and a rant

Big plans today! Its Festival of Trees this weekend. Me and a group from work are going to meet this afternoon (3:45 if you're interested) and tour the goods and have our kids pictures taken with Santa!! There is also a Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday I am thinking might be fun, let Miss I dress up in a fancy dress with ribbons in her hair? Bubba might even think that was fun too.
Did I mention he dressed in his suit for Miss I's birthday? It was so cute. He originally had his jacket and pants, shiny shoes and a tie on. But he started to look hot so I told him he could take off his jacket. It was so cute and it was his choice, he picked it out.

Speaking of Bubba, someone tell me what to do. HE WONT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. I went off the deep end the other night when he woke at 1am and was yelling "MOM I'M SCARED" I ran in there and told him to shut up. I never use shut up, I use a loud voice (yell) often, but never shut up. I still feel bad. Anyway, even though we re-arranged his room, took the bunk beds down, took all the stuff that makes shadows off the walls, everything he asked us to do he still has trouble. Dang Harry Potter book. I never should have read it to him. Or maybe it was the Goosebumps he was watching unsupervised. I dunno but I am so done with it. Finally Miss I has been sleeping though the night and now him. UGH.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Day After

THIS was one of my birthday presents. Grandma helped the kids make a cake! How sweet is it? Bubba did all the writing in frosting on the top - and no, there weren't enough candles. In fact it is still sitting the same way on the counter today. We never ate any last night. Why you ask? How could I resist chocolate cake on my Birthday? Well, lets just say when you and the kids try to go to bed at 6:30 or 7pm, chocolate cake at 4:30 sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

I am thinking of using the photo from yesterday for our Christmas card this year. Not sure what to say with it though .... Maybe "Namaste" I learned that phrase in Yoga, my instructor explained it as "the light/spirit in me sees the light/spirit in you." Yeah, maybe that.

On my way to Oregon I passed the "Namaste Winery" and just about had to pull over because the name made me cry. I was sad for her girls, going through another holiday season without their mother, sad for the timing, it had to be near the one year anniversary of her death, just sad.

Last week I heard about a young couple who will soon be separated by death. The woman has cancer, she has 2 weeks to 2 months to live. I CANNOT IMAGINE. This couple has dealt with one type of sickness or another for at least the past 7 years, nearly their whole marriage. They are a beautiful example of standing by each other, seeing it through to the end. I know a few men (and women) who might have given up along the way. I am keeping them in my prayers. They may have a rough road ahead. They planned a trip to Hawaii and are there now. A ton of folks in the law enforcement community came together and raised several thousand dollars in a matter of days to present to them before the left. It was very touching.

Well, this turned into a downer post. Sorry. Guess I needed to talk some stuff out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Year

It's my birthday today!

I cracked up a co-worker when I told him I was 22. He knew it wasn't true, but he wasn't sure how to tell me. Then I blew him away when I told him I was really thirty seven.

It's been a good year, my 36th year. And I can't wait to see what thirty seven holds.

If I had to tell you one thing I am proud of this past year it's how I handled the issues I had at work. And I am just going to skip my most abhorrent behavior because what's the point?

So here's to thirty seven. Cheers!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

See me in 3-5

Sort of a meme, although I wasn't "tagged" I thought it would be fun:

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments.. what is it?
1. Produce: Cesar supreme salad in a bag
2. Bakery: Blueberry bagel
3. Meat: Pork loin
4. Frozen: Ben & Jerry's Triple Carmel Chunk
5. Dry goods: Hmmmm, I dunno

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?
1. Hat
2. Long sleeved t-shirt
3. Leopard print flannel pants

If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. “Bubba!"
2. “Be careful with that"
3. “May I help you"
4. “You're kidding me"
5. “What are you doing?" This one comes with many inflections

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you'd probably be in a pretty irritable/bad mood?
1. Caffeine
2. Love from the family
3. Eat

What are 3 things that you have in your bedroom that have been with you for the longest amount of time?
1. Dresser
2. My Honey
3. Bedspread

You're driving down the road, and suddenly you're hit with this sense of road rage. What 3 factors probably contributed to it?
1. Red Lights
2. Dumb drivers – not pulling over for emergency vehicles
3. Kids fighting in the back seat

You just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?
1. Getting a massage
2. Shopping/window shopping
3. Reading
4. Computering
5. Nothing

We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
1. Gift shop
2. Elephants
3. Monkeys

You just scored tickets to the taping of any show of your choice. You can pick between 5, so what are you deciding between?
1. The Today Show
2. Deal or No Deal
3. Oprah (her favorites show if I had a choice)
4. Survivor (good one DW)
5. Ellen

You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?
1. Strawberry cheesecake
2. Wild Mountain Huckleberry
3. Pralines & Cream

Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?
1. 2 sets of keys
2. Wallet
3. Cinnamon Apple lip gloss
4. Lotion
5. Calendar

You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in pursuing a career in. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 3 careers would be fun for you?
1. Writer
2. Teacher
3. Photographer

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Its early afternoon Saturday, but my weekend is over. I have to work tomorrow morning. So this is it. My sister came to town, we had a fun time re-arranging and de-junking Bubba's room, preparing dinner for my side of the family (her relatives too) and then getting Miss I's birthday stuff ready. She and her son took off an hour or so ago.

Dinner With the Family was fun. Mom, Auntie, LS1, LS2, brother-in-law, niece and nephew were all here, at my house for dinner. I loved it. It really helped that my Girl Friday came and cleaned on Thursday and that LS1 was here to help me. She did kid watch while I shopped for dinner fixins. We had BBQ chicken sandwiches. Nothing fancy, but it was good.

Miss I's 2nd birthday party was great. I did a brunch for family and some friends today. We had a Mexican fritatta, crepes (my specialty) canned pears & peaches for the crepes (with whipped cream of course) fresh fruit (bananas, grapes, oranges) and my Mother In Law's specialty; cardamom bread. It's always a hit and it's delicious. I have tried but I can't make it as good as she can. Its just a hint of sweet (could be the powdered sugar icing on the top) and yummy with the cardamom in a sweet bread. I also made cinnamon biscuits and we had bite-sized cupcakes for her cake. I highly recommend bite-sized cupcakes. No extra plates needed, lots of people will eat more than one, the are pretty cheap and cute! I bought white and chocolate, arranged them on a cake plate, put two candles in the ones in the center for Miss I to blow out and then served them around the room right off the cake plate. EZ!!!

Of course she got spoiled rotten with presents! De-junking her room is next. I am gonna put all the baby toys in a box for my newest niece. She will like some of these things in the next year.

She is so cute lately, she has figured out that she can control lots of parts of her body. Her hips, her tummy, her long little legs, neck, toes, its cute. Her dances are getting so funny.

We have been watching The Little Mermaid lately, there are a lot of musical things in it and she sings or dances along. We put in Shrek the other day and at some point in the movie there is music similar to that in Mermaid where Ariel is singing. So Miss I starts to sing. And I realize its what I call "princess music." Anyway, one of her gifts is "wrapped" in a bag with the Disney Princesses on it. Miss I sees it and starts to sing the "princess song" it was so cute. I didn't even know she would put something together like that. Another smarty.

Oh yeah, and speaking of smarty ... We went to Bubba's first school conference the other night. With the exception of penmanship he's doing really well. I was pretty happy with is grades.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Well, I wanted to participate in the blog everyday in November-thing, but I ran into a technical problem - my laptop is TU. Heaven forbid I blog downstairs on the OLD computer. No way. Looks like that's what I will have to do for awhile because the drivers appear to be corrupted and the dang thing won't connect to the Internet so, after My Honey has put at least 10 or more hours into it the Presario-people say "send it back." Box it up, gather all your paperwork and send it back to us. Oh wait, they send me a box. Well that's handy. Hopefully it won't take too long.

Our Female Family Gathering was wonderful. The Ocean was beautiful, we had SUNNY days. Not a drop of rain the whole time. My drives to and from were just wonderful. Alone in the car, me and my thoughts, my music, my whatever. It was fantastic.

Halloween was fun. I have pictures, but guess where they are? Yeah. We saved them to the external hard drive, but I am just too lazy to go ... wait, here it is.

Miss I's 2nd birthday is on the 18th. I work that weekend so we are having her party Saturday. I had plans to have lots of people over, but never got invitations sent out so we will just have family over and call it good. (She'll never know right?)

My sister is coming over from Bremerton today and staying with us so we should have a fun, fun weekend.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Follow up

I got the house cleaned after all. With the exception of vacuuming, I desperately need to take the vacuum to the shop for what I hope is a minor repair, the switch doesn't work.

After what started out as a 2 hour overtime shift turned into 6 hours and nearly being up 24 hours, I am still irritated at work.

The toilet is back in working order. (WHEW) I am so thankful for that. My Honey took care of that while I taught someone to can pears on Thursday.

I still don't know which way to lean for a re-model project. Maybe once the rental stuff is cleared up I will feel like thinking about it. Speaking of the rental, I went there today. Its a single wide mobile home on a small piece of property here in town. We lived in it for years 2-10 of our marriage. It was just right for then.

One of the outbuildings on the property is an old pickers cabin. Agriculture is, well, used to be the main thing here, so the farmers had living quarters for their workers at or near their orchards. Our property used to be an orchard and has two such buildings left. We use one for storage, we let the renter use a smaller one for their storage and the lawn mower and stuff related to the rental. Its about 10 x 20 and has an 8 x 8 lean-too that was a bathroom. We lived in this "cabin" for the first year of our marriage. As I looked around it today and thought back to much simpler times I can't believe how differently we live now. Its worth a post all its own. Suffice it to say that all the laundry I put away yesterday would not have fit in the "closet" we had in the cabin. (AND THAT WAS JUST PART OF THE CLOTHES WE HAVE)

I am so looking forward to going out of town, I think I am getting a bit stressed though, I am CRANKY today. I just found out that one of my relatives wants to gamble a bit at the casino nearby. I hadn't counted on that. Fun Fun Fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nothing to say

Well, I was thinking I wanted to post something today, but what I should really do is clean the house.

I will say:

I am pissed about something at work, (but what's new.)

We had to TAKE OUT THE TOILET in one of our bathrooms because it got that plugged (note to self: close the door when not in use so the kids don't stuff it again). When My Honey put it back he then realized that there are other problems. I don't know exactly what, but something about the ring around the drain (the one under the toilet) is broken ...

We are thinking of doing a re-model project for this winter. Either the living room or family/laundry/bathroom. Either one would be a lot of work, but fun.

We have to get our rental cleaned up for a new renter in December.

I only have one week left until I get to go out of town. Alone. AND I scored an extra day off! Its costing me one, but it will be worth it.

School carnival on Saturday. We're going as a pirate family. ARRRGG.

And it guess that's it for now.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Miss I

I am thinking Punkin Head no longer suits my youngest. She is growing up and into herself and forcing us along the way. She is quite the sassy one, a careful observer and independent. Her new pseudonym shall be: Miss I. "I" for independent. I also like it because she has these EYES and I fear as two creeps up on us "I" will become a staple in her vocabulary. Miss I suits her in many ways. So from here forward "Punkin Head" is officially retired and "Miss I" it shall be.

Just today she pulled a Miss I. She went to the craft area, pulled out a bag of play dough and another of clay, marched herself to the table, set the bags on it then helped herself into her chair to play. And there she sits. Playing contentedly with clay. Its great having kids who like crafty junk. They get paper, pens, crayons, clay or play dough out and area occupied for awhile. Its interesting because each of them already have a preference. Miss I likes to play with clay. She is experimenting with drawing, but so far seems to prefer clay. Bubbas is drawing, and now writing stories with his pictures. Its been fascinating to watch his writing get so much better since the beginning of the school year and watch him put words and pictures together.

There is a school carnival coming up in a couple weeks. Bubba is selling raffle tickets (just a dollar each, pretty easy sell.) I took him into work to sell them a few days ago. He went to each person, used their name and asked if they wanted to buy a raffle ticket. His little sales pitch went something like this: (clears throat) "Lisa, would you like to buy a raffle ticket? I am selling them for my school carnival, they are one dollar each." Then he would answer their questions. It was precious. Who could resist? It was cute though, one gal wanted to buy more than one ticket and he said no. "Because then there wont be enough for the others to buy." Isn't that sweet?

Friday, October 19, 2007


My girl, DW writes about things she doesn't do, and I loved it. It was a closer glimpse into her life and much of it rang true for me too.

Here are some things on my list:
I don't always reply to my kids when they say "mom ..."
I don't (intentionally) watch TV - so you would think I had a lot of extra time
I don't pay attention when I spend money
I don't follow through well
I don't keep a list of "things to do" so nothing gets done
I don't put laundry away after its folded
(Until recently) I didn't cook dinner
I don't clean regularly

And I can get to feeling bad about it all. Guilt is the worst. It can become so consuming, overwhelming and just plain unbearable if left unchecked. It leads to anger, discontent and depression. It's hard, though not to feel guilty, when it comes to wanting to give our best and not being able to for whatever reason; time, money, disinterest, rebellion. Then, when guilt has settled in, its even harder to shake. It takes a lot of energy. A lot of positive self talk. A lot of asking for compliments, "Did you like dinner?" A lot of prayer, thankfulness, and awareness of our value.

So I try to keep in the front of my thoughts the things I DO do. Its a fluid list, but here is what I accomplished this week:
I washed and folded clothes (putting away was optional)
I cleaned up the kitchen each day (not every room, just the kitchen)
I didn't let the dirty laundry pile up too bad
I have cooked every night since Sunday (technically, since the beginning of October we have only eaten out twice, and someone else has cooked twice) WOW! Yay me
I met with my girls this morning which encouraged me
I worked my scheduled shifts and an OT shift
I met with my trainee to discuss some issues
I am taking the kids for pictures today (Antiquities, thanks again DW)
I got through another week of Bible study. That sounds bad, I am enjoying it, but it is a lot of time.
I shopped for Halloween costume stuff. (Which netted me a great pair of black boots for $3.50 at Goodwill, they are for my pirate costume, but I have worn them several times already)

Well, its not where I thought I would go with this post, but its where it went.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rambling (again)

We had a busy weekend and then into a busy work week. I have not figured out when to blog on this 3am schedule.

Friday we went out to Smallwoods Harvest with the kids cousin. We had originally planned on going in the morning, but it was raining so we went in the afternoon which turned out to be a little nicer. It was fun, the kids played all over. Swings, train, pumpkin patch, stick maze, petting zoo, everything.

On Saturday My Honey and I went with another couple on a wine tour.
It was pretty fun, but the bus was very uncomfortable. We visited 3 wineries and a production facility where they grow, smash and bottle for other wineries. My favorite place was the Chateau Saint Laurent. It had a beautiful facility, but my favorite wine was from Chateau Faire Le Pont. It just didn't have the bite of other wines. Mmmmm. I might get on their wine club mailing list. Then again, I could just drive the 4 miles across town to buy a bottle or 3 when I am out.

Sunday I got called into work for a few hours but it was alright. I worked with a ton of folks I don't normally see so it was good. And then back to work on Monday. With a trainee. The Trainee is doing alright. Sure is a lot of extra work.

(check back for more pix, blogger isn't loading right now)

Friday, October 12, 2007


It was out elementary school night at the varsity football game last night.

The kids got in free with an adult, we had our own cheering section (on the visitor side) and then the kids got to go out on the field to welcome the home team back at halftime. It was a lot of fun.

Bubbas favorite part of the football game was "The whole thing, I liked the whole thing, it was so, so fun." When I asked him about going out on the field, did he cheer the home team he said "No, my mouth just did this (and he makes a wide-open mouth and eyes face) and nothing came out." It was funny. The larger-than-life-varsity football team left him speechless. (Finally! We found something).

In other parts of my life:
I had (another) weekend scheduled in November to try and get out of town. This will be my third attempt since June. My first was in June to a Women of Faith conference, I couldnt get the time off and had to cancel about 2 weeks before the event. Labor Day just didn't work out for a lot of reasons. Now I am trying for November. Its just a Female Family Gathering with the in-laws in Oregon, but it was AWAY.

Then, My Honey came home from work one day and said he had a training to go to. The weekend I was away. Normally it would be okay except my babysitter (MIL) is going to the Female Family Gahering in Oregon so that leaves me high and dry without a babysitter and another weekend canceled. It was really disappointing. I said to my sister-in-law that there better be something better waiting for me. (Little did I know)

So I sucked it up and tried to think of a solution (to get my way). Then the brains of our family operation came up with the solution. "Call your dad." Great idea. Only he meant "Call your DAD." Dont go through his wife, call him direct and make the plans. YIKES. I have only called him directly for things twice in my life. And neither time was a success. It took me 3 days to work through a lot of feelings and emotions (I couldn't even think of it without getting teary) before I could do it.

Finally I called, and I spoke to him and I asked. And he was happy to make the arrangements, take a couple days off work and watch the kids. So I get to go to the Female Family Gathering in Oregon in November. Lucky, lucky me. Part of the appeal is the drive. Alone in a car with the music turned up loud, loud, loud! What ever I want, just driving. Its been a long time since I went alone on a road trip.
At least since Bubba was born almost 6 years ago. Ahh. Just 3 weeks.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mad Hatter

It was spirit week at Bubba's school. Each day the kid were encouraged to wear a specific color and today was "wear a hat to school day." Pretty big deal since hats are taboo. When I asked Bubba which hat he was going to wear I was thinking of baseball caps. He has a red one and a blue one. "My Santa hat" he tells me. Well there you go. I love his individuality! I never would have thought of wearing anything but a regular old hat. Clever. That kid. Clever.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Our school Open House was Tuesday night. Bubba's teacher let us look at the journals they have been working on. They can draw pictures and write words or just draw pictures. Of course Bubba is drawing and writing. My favorite page was full of yellow orange, some pink, red and a brown mountain-looking thing in the center of the page. He had written "sunset very prity" on the bottom. It was priceless. I can't wait to get that for a keepsake!

This week at school has been a lot better. I think he was missing his grandparents and just didn't know it.

Work went pretty well this past week. 3am sure comes early! I did pretty well getting up. I worried about Wednesday morning. Tuesday was the open house night and My Honey had a meeting until after 9. I had to do the open house, dinner and get the kids down and myself in bed. I hoped we would all be done by 7:30. And we were. In fact I think we were all asleep by 7:40! Yay us!

Friday, September 28, 2007


I am going to an "inductive" Bible study on the book of John. As we were discussing it today, the facilitator said something about journaling ... Of course the first place I thought of was here, I keep some paper journal too, but not much and not very often (kind of like here). And I wonder how it will all work out - or if. But I have wanted to talk it out so here goes.

We have gone through 2 introduction weeks. We read books 1-9 the first week then books 10-21 last week. (Well that's the idea anyway). I feel challenged in a lot of ways. Challenged because I still don't get what the whole "inductive" thing is. Somehow it is supposed to involve all your senses/abilities by making you search for the information. Challenged because its harder to read the passages without the section breaks. In a regular Bible they have "Jesus feeds the multitudes"-types of section headers. For this study, they pre-print all the text by chapter and verse, but without any "Jesus feeds the multitude" types of headings and it really throws me. And challenged because I feel like I don't get it yet. Hopefully, after the introduction weeks that will change. (Note to self: it would help to read the whole weeks lessons in advance to know whats coming up, you missed a very key thing this week. And last week.)

I did find as I was reading (and re-reading) the passages that I wasn't as moved by some things without the section headers as with them and I was surprised. How is it I could read about the crucifixion and not be moved? But I was reading with a different purpose I guess. I don't know, I am still trying to get a handle on the whole thing.

But anyway, I am glad to be going, I am glad for the challenge of it and I am glad that Punkin Head is doing well with the babysitter.

I am also glad that my shift changes on Monday, that the weather is mild, and that I have a 4 day weekend (woo hoo).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Practical Application

I love to read. I read lots of different stuff. Most recently I am reading The Five Love Languages of Children. Its full of great stuff about how kids (and adults) need to have their "love tank" filled regularly and it goes into the 5 ways that our tanks get full. Physical touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service and words of affirmation. I have tried to figure out my own love language on several occasions and I just don't know. Sometimes it seems to this and sometimes that.

Last night I read the chapter on acts of service. It speaks to being a parent which is the ultimate act of service for 18 years plus "active duty" after that. And how exhausting it can be physically, mentally and emotionally. (No kidding).

Fast forward 8 hours or so. I wake up to get going this morning, I go into the kitchen and 3 light bulbs are burnt out. Not just one, but THREE. (I don't know how, it just happened.) Since I am master-light-bulb-changer, I get to work. I get those done, start to make breakfast and Bubba yells to me "Mom I don't have any clean jeans, and I checked the laundry and there aren't any there either." You're kidding me, right? Nope, no clean jeans and nothing in the laundry room either except a BURNT OUT BULB. So I go to work and get that one changed too.

About now I am ready to do some yelling and screaming about how APPARENTLY, I am the only one that knows how to do ANYTHING AROUND HERE, and I remember what I have read about words of affirmation and I wonder who I will destroy if I choose to loose my temper. Because I have been there. I have had my spirit crushed by words thrown out in anger and frustration by an unthinking, reactive parent. And its taken me years to get over it. And I realize that its a strong secondary language for me, but acts of service would probably be numero uno.

Now the challenge of explaining that to My Honey.

The things I am proud of looking back to this morning are that Bubba is self sufficient. He knew where to look and took the initiative to check for jeans before he had a meltdown and that I was able to reach DEEP inside and keep my cool.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Catch up

(Well, got caught up on my drafts)

Its just been busy. Work, school, life.

My Honey has been working hard on our driveway. We sit on a high corner and the driveway tends to collect water in mass quantities right where we park. So a rainy day equals a flooded driveway, wet shoes, wet pants, big mud puddle, the whole works. He dug out some of the old dirt and rocks, leveled it better, built up the end of the driveway at the edge of the road and then we got a load of gravel. And then it rained. And there wasn't a puddle in the driveway. My Honey is my hero.

I am sitting here watching Punkin Head (who is nearly TWO YEARS OLD) play with a necklace and the dog. She keeps wanting to put it around the dogs head so she calls the dog "eer oodie, m'ere." But the dog just sits there. So she goes to the dog and puts the jewels on her. Rudy just sits there and lets her because Rudy is the best dog ever. Then Punkin Head says "der go." Its just so dang cute.

She has been so good the past two weeks with babysitters. We have had several new childcare experiences and she has done so good. She took a fall off the steps out front recently. Face plant onto the "welcome" mat. More like the sandpaper pile. It put road rash on her poor baby skin face from her eyebrow to her mouth. Of course the first thing I think when I see her in the mornings is "will this scar?" Pathetic huh? She is such a nutty thing. Funny how kids in the same family can be so different.

Bubba is doing fine at school. I sense some tough days coming, he is having more meltdowns at home. I don't know what the underlying issue is ... I need to do some investigating on that one. I have heard several times this week that he misses his old school so there is something. When I asked what he missed he said "art class" so maybe its just as simple as planning a craft each week on Thursday or Friday? I guess I could try that. Goodness knows we have the resources. Books, supplies etc... Although it could be that he misses Grandma, she has been gone all week.

And work. Well it goes on. I change back to day shift (3am to 1pm) at the beginning of October so that will be nice. Evenings with the family and all that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


(Also continued/finished on 9/20)

Shew! Last week I got my life back into full swing with Bubba's school, work and my own social life. It was nice to re-connect with the Women's Bible study gals after all Summer. I will miss them when my schedule changes but already got myself connected in another Bible study so I feel good about that. I also got involved in our school's Site Council. Essentially its a grade-level representative from each grade, the principal, school psychologist and a parent representative (me) meeting to review learning issues. From what I gather reading, special education and math are big issues (although our school has the highest WASL scores in the two county area) and its difficult to schedule extra help for the teachers when it fits into their daily schedules. I have a lot to learn but I think it will be fun.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


(I started this a couple weeks ago, thought I'd finish 9/20)

I so love parties, but I so hate them.

The memorial service was very,very nice. Each of the kids shared a memory of their mother. Talk about tear-jerker. How about the one that was supposed to have her as his core teacher and helped prepare the classroom and went to school last week and she wasnt there? But it was beautiful and they chose to speak, they weren't made to which was really sweet. The two youngest really leaned on their father who was proud as can be and the two older ones were just funny and sentimental.

After there was a party at a local athletic club. Thats the part I hated. We got there, ate and stood around as I identified people to My Honey. "Oh, thats so-and-so he/she was this or that." But did I go say Hi? Nope. Not my style. First of all, would they remember ME? Second, they're talking to someone else right now. That kind of stuff.

The same thing always happens. I would rather watch the crowd from a distance than be involved. And I am perfectly happy, enjoying myself a lot.

Friday, September 07, 2007


How lucky am I to live just 30 minutes from here? It was just beautiful yesterday. The weather is still warmish (80's with some wind) and I really enjoyed my time alone. Unfortunately it was a little bright for any good photos and there weren't as many colors turning as I thought yet.

My 10 days off were great. I enjoyed being able to get Bubba into the school routine. We walked to school several times which was just wonderful for me. I need more exercise. I was able to can peaches and tons of pears, thanks to my notes from last year it made it really easy and motivational. I cleaned a bit and just got kind of settled for the next few months. I had a massage, haircut that kind of stuff. It was nice.

And we had a 3 day weekend as a family. So we cut down a tree!

I know, what about the birds, what about what it gives to the environment. So what? Have I ever told you what it did to my house and yard?? It had yellow needles that it shed each spring, they would track into the house on everyones shoes, pile up in the yard, in the entry way, all over the welcome mat. And it had red berries, sticky, yucky, not suitable to eat by human, red berries that fell off of it every fall. They were so gross. I am so glad to see it go. Plus I got to run the chipper, I was such a stud-chick. Not quite as cool as My Honey when he pushed the tree down, but close. That's one of the greatest things about My Honey; he will let me try anything. Unlike the Man Of The House I grew up in, who was through and through chauvinist "You want to do what? How do you even know what that machine is called? You're a GIRL." My Honey will let me try the power tools, often offering to teach me how something works. Like the chipper and the chainsaw. I told him no thanks to the chainsaw, maybe later.

So the tree is gone, the pantry is stocked, Bubba is off to school and I am relaxed. That was my vacation. Well, most of it, there is also the part about going to my first PTO meeting (I am such a nerd), my first meeting with Bubba's teacher (even more nerdy) and a meeting with the Principal (the ultimate nerdy, I am looking into volunteering on a committee).

Well, maybe not nerdy, but I am trying to get myself involved in the school somehow. I just don't want to watch my kids waste time or grow bored like I did. Not that parent involvement would have changed that, but maybe. One never knows. Plus, the more eyes and ears I have watching out for my kids the better right? The more involved I am the less likely they are to act out right?


I went to visitation at the funeral home yesterday. I hemmed and hawed not sure if there was a point to it. Coincidentally it was at the same place where I went to my first funeral ever, and where my friend Jen's life was celebrated last year. I am glad I went. Mike seemed pleased to see me, shared a few stories and left me for a few minutes to say goodbye. You know, I don't think he was pleased, more like honored. Yeah. Honored. I stuck around a few minutes, I wanted to say a few words to him alone, I heard a few more stories that gave me more peace and then had the chance to say thanks. Thanks for allowing me in their lives, for sharing his wife with me when I needed her, to which he replied "It was our honor, Renie always felt that way."

Tomorrow is the memorial service. I am sure the church will be packed. I am sure I will cry a bucket of tears. My Honey is so good to me, he made arrangements for a babysitter in the morning so he could go with me. I hadn't even asked him. What a guy. And tomorrow I return to work. Thankfully I should have some time to get myself together between the service and work.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Breathe it in
Breathe it out
Listen to your heart beat
Theres wonder in the here and now
Its right in front of you and
I don't want you to miss the
Miracle of the moment.
(Steven Curtis Chapman)

I have been hearing that new song on the radio lately. Its one of my favorite Christian artists Steven Curtis Champan. It reminds me to breathe in and out, it reminds me that even when life is just, well unfair, and seems to be coming undone that there's a miracle in every moment.

A good friend and strong influence on my life 20 years ago passed away early yesterday morning. She had battled colon cancer for the past two years. We knew it wasn't curable, her death wasn't unexpected but dang! She leaves behind a husband and 5 kids. Yep FIVE. They range in age from 6th grade to first year of college. The oldest was able to speak with her on the phone from college, in Montana, just minutes before she died. Can you imagine? What must his flight have been like. Coming home to a new household, a new family order, a new life. Every time I hear that song these past few days (I heard Sunday she wasn't doing well) I cry a little for the kids. I cry a little for her husband and I cry for myself too.

Someone asked me on Sunday why I had taken the week off. I told her it was my scheduled vacation, from a pick last year. But now I know why.

Friday, August 31, 2007



I learned something last night.

I learned that there are times in my life that are over where I have not finished going through the grieving process and they still hang over my head. I continue to wonder what I did wrong or why it’s not the same.

It was interesting to come to this realization when I did. I had called a friend with whom this situation exists, I wanted to get together and talk. She is a party consultant and had a party scheduled so she invited me to go and then we would go out after. So I went. There I was, in a room full of strangers with whom I ended up having a lot in common. One gal was describing how she had known several of the women that were there from a really good time in her life, and although she had grieved when that time ended, she still valued the friendships in their new way. BINGO! I was right where I needed to be to hear what I needed to hear.

It was exactly the words I needed to tell my friend what I have been through in the past few years with her. Not like it’s her fault, but I just hadn’t moved through the grief process with our relationship and that’s what I needed to hear and what I needed to tell her. I miss what we used to be, but it is (has been) time to move on to what we are becoming.

And if that’s the only thing that comes out of this week's vacation, it was so worth it. But I don’t think it will be. God’s not done with me yet. He gave me a whole list.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

School daze

First day of school.

well, sort of. Wednesday was the official first day of school, but for Kindergartners it was just an orientation day. 1 hour to find the classroom, recess line-up place, bathrooms, meet the teacher, stuff like that. But TODAY, now today was the real first day of school.

I took Bubba to school, we were met by hundreds of kids yelling and running all around the playground. He was in heaven! "Look, they're playing with the ball that wraps around the pole, and basketball and.. and.. and.." it was great. When his Best Buddy found us it was all over. They ran off and played. It was so nice. Best Buddy spent the whole day at school yesterday because he is 1st grade so he knew the ropes. They ran off and played soccer and basketball.


I haven't seen Bubba that excited about something in a long time!! His whole face lit up, his eyes got wide open, he ran to his class room line-up-place and that was that. Down the hall they went. Into the Kindergarten unknown.

And that's that so far. I don't have an after school report because hes not home yet. Punkin Head and I have a couple hours to do what ever. So we went and got an oil change, hit the farmers market and we're home already. With 2 more hours to kill. I could clean, do some laundry, but why? I'm on vacation. Oh yeah, did I mention that? 9 more days off. And yes, I am leaving town. Either a couple nights in Bremerton, Sequim or some unknown location yet to be determined. I would really like to go camping, but its been years and I don't think I even know how to start a fire anymore.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Don't mess with Dispatch.

One of our Dispatchers answered a call the other day from a man with a very thick middle-eastern accent, who said he had a delivery for her. She asked who the delivery was addressed to, because we often receive calls for other agencies through our center. He said that's why he was calling, he needed her name and address to make this delivery. Smelling a scam, she played along. She fished for all the information possible from this man including the name of his business, the number he was calling from and how he go the number he was calling.

He wasn't forthcoming with information (imagine), but she persisted.

He told her that he had some prize money for her to claim (although he didn't know her name or address) and she would have to get him a cashiers check for $200 to claim her 1.2 MILLION dollar prize. She was so good. She told him nothing personal, asked if she could have some time to think about it and could he call her back in a few days?

Fast forward two days - he called back! She laid into him. Told him she thought he was scamming her, that he should be ashamed of himself for taking money from innocent people and that she would never, under any circumstances give him any money or her name.

The best part of this whole scenario is that all the phone calls took place on recorded lines in our dispatch center. She made a CD of the whole thing, took it to one of our friendly Detectives who is going to use it to warn others about this potential scam. He has already taken it to a local talk-radio show to play it and to the Senior Center to let them have a listen so they know whats out there!

The moral of the story is NEVER give out personal information on the phone. Ask for a name of the person you are talking to, a business name and a call back number if what they are offering sounds legit. If they are legit they'll provide all this for you and allow you to call back. If its not legit they'll start to tell you things that don't make sense. Things like, this is a special offer, you have to decide now, you can't call back because I won't be here, the phone number goes to a large center or something like that.

Be smart. She could have been out $200. And then I bet they would have called back and asked her for more and more. Don't let it happen to you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Its my "Friday". I am going to spend the next two days tagging, organizing and selling all our useless junk at a yard sale. Unfortunately it looks like it will be yucky weather, but I guess at least we won't be too hot. ("Yucky" means a little cloud cover, cooler temps, you know - 70's)

If she hadn't been up until 2am I might think she was so cute. (The picture is from over the weekend, not at 2am)

Friday, August 17, 2007

On and on

"Is this real . . . or has this been happening inside my head?"
"Just because it has been happening inside your head doesn't mean it isn't real."

I just finished the 6th Harry Potter. I like how the author tied all the books together in it. There were several of us at work reading it, but we started at different times so we all had to wait until the last person had finished to talk about it. It was kind of funny, those that finished first were using the new IM to talk to each other about it.

The new IM is one of the (few) good things from the upgrade. We can now IM anyone on duty, signed into their MDT/MDC. (Quite a discovery nightmare for those on the legal side of things.) At least it passes the time. One of the deputies and I were making up a story the other night line by line. It was actually fun and kept me awake until 1am when I finally got off work.

Hopefully the 1 am stuff is over soon. The person out on sick leave causing the 2 hour hole in the schedule is being checked off for duty this week. Yay! I just can't seem to get caught up on my sleep even when there is the opportunity. Like last night, I finally drifted off around 11:30, then the dog started to bark at midnight, Bubba had a nightmare around 3am (which brought him to our bed) and then Punkin Head woke around 5. So much for a good night sleep. And tonight is a possibility, but Bubba is talking about dinosaurs and what happened to the cavemen ("did they get eaten?") so I have a feeling it could be another nightmare night. I think that he's stressing about school.

We went for his Kindergarten assessment on Thursday. The school district where he will attend was using an assessment test to determine if kids would be in all day or 1/2 day Kindergarten classes. The "low-level learners" were being put into a full day class and the other were being put into the 1/2 day classes. Guess what Bubba will be in? Yeah, 1/2 days. The assessment went something like this:

"Hi I am Mrs. A and I will be doing the assessment for (checks her clipboard) 'Bubba' "
The first thing they assessed was his recognition of letters. They had a piece of paper with rows of letters on it and he had to point to and identify as many letters as he could in 30 seconds (I think). So off he goes. He gets to the end of the second row and says "Hey, why were there 2 H's in that row?" (So much for full day classes)

The next 20 minutes are a blur of questions like "What is another word for vehicle?" "How are a boat and a car different?" and "What rhymes with mat?" Some copying shapes (not letters) and then number sequencing. Mrs. A said a number and Bubba had to repeat it back to her. She added a number up to 5 in the sequence. When it reached 5 he says "I can't do that many." And he was done.

They were rating the kids 1 or 0. 1 meant they answered the question correctly, 0 meant that they didn't. Bubba might have had 10 zeros out of maybe 80 questions. Pretty sure he's going 1/2 day. Last year I wouldn't have minded, this year I think he's ripe for a full day experience. Oh well. (Maybe I will send him back to Montessori for the second half of the day? hahaha).

And then there's Punkin Head. She's . . . I don't even know how to describe her right now. Growing? I took her a bottle at 7:30 this morning thinking she would drink it then get up since she went back to sleep at 5 without any trouble. Apparently I was wrong. She slept until 11:30!! I could hardly believe it. She then took a nap from 3-4:30 and back to bed at 7:30. So I wonder what tonight has in store for me? She won't eat, she won't poo, she won't behave nicely.

Everyone seems to be going through a transition. Its making me crazy and angry. Nobody listens to Mom, they all just insist on disobeying. If this is the way the next few months is going to go, I am going to ship them out until they are better. The only thing they are doing nice is trying to play together. For about 5 minutes. But at least they are trying.

So that's the last week. I think. It was a long work week. We did get to take the boat out though. That was a highlight, how could I forget? We invited some friends of ours to go along. They were single and didn't have kids when we first started to boat together. Now they have been married 12 years and have 3 kids. It was a good time!

Today we took down the pool. It got, well, lets just say I could have sustained a pond with the water. It was a nice shade of green. So its all cleaned up, put away for next year. And soon the top will be on the jeep too. That's a sad day. Maybe we can get away with the soft top for a few months? Its so nice to have the top off, just the way a jeep should be driven right? Maybe we could take it off road once this season? Just to say we did. There's still Labor Day Weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kiss me Kate

Back in the day, a very dramatic, Shakespeare-loving actress/mom started a children's acting troupe for her kids and others that were interested. She called it "The Short Shakespeareans". I was one of the original kids, 29 years ago.

Last night we went to see the Short Shakes perform "The Taming of the Shrew." My first play. It was pretty cute. The actors and actresses range in age from 6 to 12. They memorize the whole play in the language of the times and everything. My sister and I took our 5 & 6 year old kids. The did pretty good until the last hour (turns out the play went until 10:30). Its a great experience. Bubba's favorite was the "guy that kept coming in falling all over the place" and my nieces' favorite were the horses.

I'd really like to share more but I am so tired. (Still)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Weeks ago I bought some new shorts. They're men's shorts so they come past my knees, and they are probably one size too big in the waist, but they're comfy, oh and they're camouflage print.

I came downstairs wearing said shorts and a cool new black t-shirt designed by and for the SWAT team thinking they would go together. Camo shorts, SWAT t-shirt, how could you go wrong?

My son takes a look at me and sort of laughing says "Mom, you look like a He."

I wore the outfit anyway. (over and over again)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Trip details

That was a rough week. We left town on Thursday afternoon, 4:30 ish maybe for Issaquah. It was a pretty rough ride. I need to invest in some how-to-spend-time-in-the-car-without-going-crazy-books. The kids were rotten, I was tired, it was a bad combination.

Issaquah was so nice. The weather was mild, you know 70's instead of 100's, the folks were great. We were staying one night with them, then an adult night in Seattle for us and then one last night with them. It was very nice. The adult time in Seattle was good. We stayed with some friends at the Seattle Hilton downtown which was nice. We ate at a yummy Indian restaurant, shopped, had dinner at a good seafood place (unfortunately they hadn't prepared the lobster recently, I ended up sick in the morning) and did the market the next day. It was a lot to squeeze into 24 hours, but we did it.

Back in Issaquah, we visited stayed one more night and then came home Sunday. Another rough ride. I really, really need to find/make/research car games. We travel often enough that it would be time and money well spent. It really wasn't as hard with one kid. For some reason it really sucks with two. No wonder my immediate family never traveled - there were 4 kids, and back then we didn't have to be restrained either, we could crawl all over the back seat and beat on each other.

Interesting note: my 21 year old step-brother is living there for the next month before school starts. He had a couple friends spend the night - a boy and a girl - on Saturday. Now, call me old fashioned but what kind of an example is that setting for a 15 year old? A 15 year old that just spent the weekend with her boyfriend and his family in Oregon. I guess, well. I shouldn't judge that's what I guess. I'm just jealous. I couldn't even go with friends to concerts when I was 15.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

couldnt even get a post done

This week didn't get any better. I was scheduled to work 2-12 hour shifts, well that turned into 4. IN A ROW. Then I worked my regular 10 hour shift until 11:00 and came back at 5am for a 2 hour overtime shift. I am so so so tired. Hitting a wall.

** update: I hit the wall, couldn't even finish the post. **

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week from Hell

Let me tell you a little about the saga that is my life the past few days.

Back to work Monday was THE WORST. We had a computer upgrade ... yeah, it didn't go so well. I walked in after being gone for 10 days without knowing. Just let me say it sucked ass. Literally, I didn't know how to do my job. It was a hellacious 12 hour shift.

Ready to crash at 1am, I go home, go to bed. 4:00 am (yeah, less than 3 hours after I went to bed) Punkin Head wakes up. For nearly TWO HOURS. Pretty much I think life sucks at this point. My Honey got up with her and I tried to sleep for a few more hours.

Tuesday things weren't much better at work. Just a bad atmosphere. The upgrade hasn't been so slick. The program has a lot of flaws for dispatch. Exhausted after another 12 hour shift, I crash and burn at around 1:30 am. Guess what? Yeah, she woke at 4:00 again. I am so tired today that I don't even remember how long she was awake, it might have only been 30 minutes. Either way it totally screwed up my sleep. Not only that, I had THE WORST call of my career. I take that back, it wasn't the worst call, it was the worst circumstances for my responders I have EVER dealt with. Hurt men on the lose with guns. The suspects ended up flagging down the aid crew that was on the way to standby at the house where the homeowner had shot an intruder. That is the most stressed I have ever been about responder safety EVER. I was physically ill. It all worked out, the bad guys are in jail and the homeowner is not injured. But can you imagine? The other sucky thing about this call is it was a minimum of a 45 minute response by law enforcement. His house is in BFE. It is by far one of the longest, and THE most stressful call I have ever handled. (On the bright side a nice letter went into my file about how well I handled it. The third such letter this month - yeah, you know it. I rock.)

And then (yes there's more) my MIL (babysitter) called yesterday at around 11 to ask if I could arrange for someone to watch the kids for awhile, she needed to see the dermatologist and they had an appointment at 11:30, she didn't know if she would be at my house in time for me to be on time for work. This rarely happens, so I am nto angry plus Wednesdays are our heavy staff day, so I was able to call out for a couple hours - which was nice. I got off at 11 pm (after only working 8 hours!!!) thinking I would get 2 extra hours of sleep. HAHAHAHA. The joke was on me. Punkin Head was awake when I got home. We hung out for a bit, I tried to feed her thinking she might be hungry and then I put her back down. She played in the dark until 1am when I finally went in and told her to go to sleep. No more playing (or something like that). Finally she complied and I got around 5 hours of sleep in a row. But I am toast today. Lucky for me I have an extra kid around! Bubba and his cousin are playing nicely outside and I have a few minutes to myself. Not long, they will be in soon to ask to swim.

So that's the week from hell. OH, and during all this, I am taking Bubba to swim lessons every morning and Punkin Head to a parent tot class twice. Crazy I tell you. Crazy.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Punkin Head has a new favorite thing "doolz".

I spent a couple bucks at yardsales and acquired a dress-up box of stuff from Auntie D and Punkin Head is in heaven with her doolz.

And, yes, finally she is walking. It's not 100% of the time but at least she is doing it.

And talking. Oh my. My Honey, Punkin Head and I were sitting on the couch today while he ate breakfast. Down the stairs came Bubba. "derz eewee" she says pointing at him. (translation "theres Harry"). She's putting a lot of stuff together. She wants to sit at the table like a big kid, she wants to play with play-dough like a big kid, she wants everything her brother wants. Not suprising, just exhausting.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Garden pics part II

This was one of the (few) hours I spent away from home.