Friday, December 31, 2010

Learning as I go

Everything I need to know about life I am learning in hockey.

Practice this morning was great. I got a little encouragement from Coach Cal and some words of hope from other team members. It seemed that this morning was mostly the experienced players so I pushed myself a little. Oh, and Coach Cal HAS noticed that I don't push myself and was hollering at me about today: "PUSH YOURSELF RAINEY, HARDER!! PUSH IT!! THERE YOU GO!!" gee. thanks. It was good tho. Can't say I've ever been yelled at like that before! Oh maybe once or twice in an aerobics class, but she was yelling at everyone, not calling ME out! So what am I learning? Practice is helping. I have improved. I can stop!

We worked on a lot of zig-zag drills today to get our speed up and our balance better and cutting in and out of other players to feel more secure. And then we did some of them backwards. Oh backwards how much you mess up my brain! And cross overs, you know when you're going around a corner, or turning on an opponent? You have to be good at cross overs. Everyone has a strong side so they make sure to do drills on both sides. Dang coaches. What am I learning? You gotta work out the kinks on the "weak side" too. Uncomfortable is good.

I took Bubba to my last practice, he just needed out and My Honey had hurt his back so it was better to take one of the kids. After I asked him what he thought and he said it was pretty cool. I have been toying with the idea of getting them into skating as a once a week physical activity (swimming won't work out this quarter) so I asked him if he was interested, explained that skating lessons would be like that, a workshop where you learn a new skill. He enthusiastically answered YES! This morning I took Miss I so My Honey could go to work on time, since Bubba is getting more comfortable staying home alone now. She liked it too and is interested in lessons! Yay :) Thursday ice skating lessons. I am looking forward to seeing their progress and maybe even getting one or both into hockey in the spring.

Ah yes, my 2011 intention. I am using both words. Love and Balance.
I am interested in their connection. How they will play out.

How about an update on my 2010 word Courage?
I would have to say I feel like I ended this year a lot more courageous in many aspects. From communication with My Honey to playing Hockey. From choosing not to spend a lot of time with people who suck me dry to saying "yes, I am playing in the tournament in February." YIKES! I said "yes!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"I, for one, am not much company for anyone without my artistic soul feeling up to par." Madeline Bea

I attempted to get busy with the camera this month and take some photos for a self-imposed daily challenge. My girl DW (who is a much more dedicated photographer than I am!!) chose words for the days of this month and set to taking pictures every day.

I found myself, as I said earlier, rushing to get the picture done so I don't think its all quality work and if you look at the photos this month, especially the past week or so, you can (well I can) see a difference. Its not a bad thing, just a thing. But I do find myself not feeling quite like myself so the quote at the top of the page seemed appropriate. I also find if I am not feeding the physical activity part of myself I am not much company either, and since its been nearly two weeks since I played hockey, I'm feeling a little sub-par.

TWO WEEKS! And I have to wean myself down to one practice a week because I work at 3am starting Monday morning so not getting home from practice until 7:30 or 8 is a bad idea. But, I just read that practice this week isn't until 7:30 am instead of 6, so I probably can't go to that. Getting home at 9 is too late, My Honey has to work. Am I sounding whiny yet? Because that's how I am feeling. I guess I could go use my YMCA membership. I could go take a walk. The kids are at grandmas (for the night!). It's still light out.

Have I mentioned life with a cat yet? Shes pretty cute. Her name ended up being Mister Pickles. (Thanks LK!) as I type she is sitting across one arm. I kind of like it. I have not had a cat in 12 years. She is so good. Hasn't cried at all, sleeps really good and used the liter box right from the start. Lets hope "Lola" is the same way when we get her next week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wind down

Good lord I hate the post-holiday melt down, I mean LET down. No, I mean melt down. Its near, I feel it. All that emotion that I've kept bottled up. The stress, made much less-so by my sisters who helped me pull off the family dinner here (thanks girls, Shell - you rock my social planning world, LK - you rock my cooking world!)

The anticipation - will it all work out? Did we get enough for the kids? Do they have the SAME NUMBER of presents (I tried to pre-load this by telling Bubba that he may not get as many presents as Miss I because his stuff is more expensive these days). Will they behave? Will we make it everywhere? In once piece? With smiles on our faces? Am I forgetting anything? AnyONE?

The clean up. I'm not really OCD, but maybe a little. I like clean living spaces. Well, more like un-cluttered. I'm the one with the trash bag picking up wrapping paper and bows and tape and ribbons. Not only that, but we decorated all around the house and it all has to come down. Soon. I am committed to waiting until next weekend, I'm off for four days.

The food. Translation: my jeans don't fit. You know how this ends: with a "healthier eating plan" for the new year.

The New Year. My word for 2011 is evolving. It's somewhere between Love and Balance. Both of which give me hives. I get all itchy thinking about either one for very long. Susannah has a post somewhere about choosing a word or intention for the year somewhere on her blog (I'll be dammed if I can find it today!) and a couple of great worksheets. Check her out. Unfortunately, I can't get my printer and my new laptop to work together on a regular basis (ha! sounds like my real job too!) but what's to stop me from just filling in the blanks?

I know, where are the pictures? So far this month I have missed currency, share, sweet, crash, bar, and pure ... is that all? We chose words for the whole month, so I have a week left. I really enjoy the time behind the lens, but I have found myself rushing to get the word of the day done, so they don't feel like quality pictures.

Friday, December 24, 2010


This photo was taken last month while Bubba and I were on a walk. The neighbors at the end of the block have several bird feeders in their yard, which the birds appreciate!

Dinner last night was, in my humble opinion, a tremendous success! We had french onion and beef with barley soups, dee-lish-us bread, fruits, vegies, cream-cheese-ham-roll-thingys, shrimp, meatballs, lots of food. PLUS, two delicious desserts! We could have fed another dozen people! Many thanks to everyone for making it so much fun and so yummy!

Today is a chillin day, we're going to take the kids sledding then me and mine are gonna do nothing. LK and hers are headed home. Later tonite we are going to have our family Christmas, then head to My Honey's parents house for our traditional Christmas Eve fondue dinner. Can't stay out too late tho, I work at 3am.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Good food, good wine, good family party.

Merry Christmas


This is the new cat.
Fluffy, or Fuzzy, or Fuzz Ball, or Angel or something.

It appears she is tranquil, but really I think she was just trying to shut all the chaos out.

The first night was perfect. She and the dog get along really well, she slept in the bathroom without meowing at all(!) and she seems to like us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


DW's picture gave me an idea:

This was the baby Jesus in a manger at the Preschool Christmas program.
He is the King, right?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yesterday's word was frolic:

That's Bubba in his outdoor wear, frolicking in the new "duck blind" he created while it was snowing yesterday. We lost a tree under the weight of the snow last week and this is what he did with the branches. We had to cut the bugger down because part of it blocked the driveway. I hate to loose the bird habitat, but I really didn't like that tree anyway!

Today's word is bar. I have some ideas ...

We got it all done yesterday; ice skating, Christmas shopping, and kittenS. Yep, we got two. One little-little and one 7 month old. I figured if the kids got sick of the little-little, I would still have one I am interested in so they would both be getting taken care of. Not really, but sort of. The 7 month old is very cute, white with grey and other color splotches and BLUE eyes. She makes me think of a oyster shell for some reason, so that may be her name, Oyster, (not Shell, I can't name a cat the same as my sister). The other one looks like a cat. Striped, grey and white. She is very cute and I wouldn't be surprised if her name ended up being something like Baby. It will be up to the kids tho.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today's word is frolic. I plan to get a picture of ice skating frolicking later.

Our date was great. We continued to talk kitty, went out to Thai, created out Christmas menu, figured out who we needed to shop for, visited some friends who just got back from Argentina a month ago and tried a new yummy drink; chocolate covered strawberries and cream. It is delightful! Very sweet and just right for dessert. (It's a strawberry cream tequila, Rose something, and double chocolate vodka served over ice. DEE-LISH! You could even add soda water to give it some fizz if you wanted to. It reminded me of an iced "steamer" type drink you would get at a latte stand... what are those called? You know, ...!! ITALIAN SODA !! That's it! Sheesh, been trying to come up with that for over 12 hours!)

Our dinner menu is going to be .....
Beef barley soup, fancy breads from Great Harvest Bakery, a cheese and cracker dish for people to nibble and a vegie tray. Drinks will be juice or milk for the kids, wine and beer for the adults plus our new fancy dessert drink with or for dessert. I may see if LK will make an apple pie or two for dessert. Not very fancy, not really that original, but it should cover all the bases from finicky-lighter-eating kids to hungry adults. And we will be able to put out some of it ahead of time to nibble on since our last guests won't get here until after six. There will be 16 of us! I am pretty excited, but I woke up thinking about bowls, spoons and stuff like that. I'd rather not use paper and plastic, so we shall see.

I am also really excited to use my Christmas table cloth and napkins, they are very cool with poinsettias on them, but they don't match ANY of my dishes. Oh the drama of a matchy-matchy table!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Ahhh, the word of the day:


No, that's not the word for the day; it's "perspective". No, I have not taken a picture yet, but I just got an idea...

Meow refers to The Christmas Dilemma:
One feline or two?
Kittens or cats?
Do we take into consideration my son's ideal cat: "black with two white feet and yellow eyes"?
What about the more mature (1-2 year old) tabby and her 9 month old light-color calico-looking daughter? They already know each other and have lived together, but have outgrown "kittyness."
Who knew there were upwards of fifty cats out there for adoption between the Humane Society and The Crazy Cat Lady?
Where do we put the litter box?
Will they sleep with the kids like they want?
What do they really want in a cat? Do they want something playful or just to pet?

Lucky me, right now this is my biggest problem in life.

OOOHHH! And guess what else? I get to host Christmas dinner for my side of the family in my house!! I am actually really excited! Mostly because LK will be here to help me :) Oh, what? I forgot to tell you that part? :)

It's been a good couple days off so far, a couple of my girls came over yesterday and we made cookies, today at lunch My Honey and I got to go look at kitties. Tonite we have a date! And tomorrow there is a family skating party with the hockey girls and their families. We haven't told the kids yet, they will be VERY excited! Then My Honey and I are going to do our Christmas shopping. All in one day! All done!

For the hockey fan(s)
Today's practice was good. There were only eight of us so it was a great workout. The drills are becoming more familiar, my skating feels better, but stopping is still not there.

It's supposed to be cool looking. Both feet are supposed to "shoosh" together at the same time bringing you to a stop. SUPPOSED to. I look more like a flailing 2 year old. I can't seem to get my feet together. I can't seem to get stopped. Cal, one of the coaches, told me I need to get my hips into it (have I ever mentioned I don't belly dance because I'm not that in touch with my hips?) and, he says, I have to "pop" at some point to get both of my feet to work together ... uuuuhhh, right. I will keep practicing.

We played a 4 on 4 scrimmage again today. I wasn't that great. Well, actually, I don't know. And to be perfectly honest, I am afraid to ask. What would I do if they told me I wasn't good? Or if they told me I wasn't getting any better? Or that I am screwing up practice for the other players because I suck? Yeah, I am afraid to ask. Cal is encouraging, he keeps telling me this or that is better, but...

One of the things we did today was a speed drill where we pushed the net down the ice and back with a partner as fast as we could. Poor J got stuck with me, so she says "when we get to the end you stand still and I will push the net around you." Good plan J. While on our way to the other end of the ice she is yelling at me "THE FASTER YOU MOVE YOUR LEGS, THE FASTER YOU ARE GONNA GO!!" That might give you an idea of how bad I am. No offense taken, I know she means well and maybe that's what I need, someone to yell at me to pick it up a bit. To push me a little harder, because I certainly don't push myself!

So I am working up the courage to ask someone how I am really doing and what small thing (don't give me too much!) can I do for the next few practices.

And finally ... IT'S CHRISTMAS BREAK!!
Two weeks off from school!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Oh, the joy of homework.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Taken with my "cheap" camera at work, we don't have any packages under the tree yet.
Plan is to go power shopping on Saturday, get it all done in one day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catch up

Word of the day Sweet

Word of the day Satsuma

I have missed a few days. It was a busy weekend with family parties, company and work.

The first picture is of Bubba's birthday cake. Yesterday was his 9th birthday so he chose Dairy Queen and ice cream cake for his family dinner.

The second is of little cuties oranges or satsumas or tangerines or mandarins, whatever they are. I have something to say about oranges, but I will save it for a day when I have more than 10 minutes. And I have a story to tell about Bubba's 9th birthday but it also takes more than a few lines.

I missed a day: Share. I am still working on it.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Of course I had an idea in my head for the word "family" but it didn't pan out. I thought about making a slide show of family photos ... Yeah. Nope.

My other first thought was to get a picture of an animal family or my family. Neither of those worked out either.

Finally I got off my lazy bum today and went for a walk intending to find my dang "family" picture. I ended up at the park near Porters Pond. Holy cow, the water was sooooo low! It felt like I could walk into the middle of the river. Anyway, back to family! (Which is exactly what happened at the park!)

There is a memorial near the parking area that has been financed by several ... you guessed it FAMILIES. So I thought I would get a picture of the bricks on my way out. Then I ventured a little further into the park. Lo and behold I found a lot of things. I found a picture for one of the days I missed: Spacious. That is exactly what the park was with the water so low!

All in all a good day. Great hockey practice, lovely coffee date with my girl DW, a semi-random act of kindness for some folks at the Y, cleaned the house (yes, I am having company this weekend), short walk and some photography. Yeah, good day!

You want hockey?

I am up early mostly because Miss I kicked her covers off and for some reason that becomes MY problem! I am up early secondly because we have practice at 6 and I couldn't get back to sleep.

Practice. What does it entail? Well, first of all, on Friday it means getting up early. Once I get out of the house and down to the rink then I have to get suited up. What does that mean? Pretty much covering every joint with some kind of pad - putting on my "fat suit", if you will.

It all starts with the shorts. There are these great spandex shorts called breezers that go on first (yes, the order makes a difference). The have two 2"x2" squares of Velcro on each leg (one on front, one on back) that our socks attach to.

After the breezers you can either start in on the shin guards or go for the socks, I have become partial to guards first, the socks are a little easier to pull up then. The socks are really more like way over sized leg warmers, they go over the shin guards. The shin guards actually protect your shin and knee, they Velcro around your calf so you still have pretty good mobility, but you aren't going to bust a kneecap or get a bruise on your shin from a puck, skate or stick.

So you strap on your shin guards, pull up your socks, Velcro them to your thighs and then take a breather. It's a lot of work adding all that. Next I usually put on my skates. Hockey skates are the bomb! They are hard plastic all the way around. No flimsy leather like the ones you rent when you go ice skating. Oh no, these ones have to protect your feet from sticks and pucks and others' skates too. They take some muscle to get on. The locker rooms are usually a tad cool, so by now your hands are a tad cold and you re trying to get your feet into these hard plastic molds, then pull the laces tight. Last week I had cuts on my thumb and index fingers, lacing my skates was horrible!

OOPS! (and this has happened) I should have put on my pants first! This is where keeping an eye on what others are doing has paid off. We wear these huge-ass shorts full of padding. Ladies, if you are worried about how large your ass looks, hockey isn't for you! These shorts add about 18 sizes to an already sensitive to criticism back side, but the padding is worth it. The shorts have pads on the front, back and sides. I have sustained some sore spots from falling, but no major bruises thanks to these shorts. They are worth it! So these should go on before the skates or else you might tear them.

Now the fun begins. I have the most trouble with the upper body pads. First there is a chest and shoulder protector. I think the problem might be its a size too big. It Velcros around your chest and the shoulder pads are held in place by the jersey. Getting the jersey on has to be the biggest challenge. It seems to get caught in the back where you cant see or reach to make it right. Again the locker room becomes a source of help!

Once your chest and shoulder pads are on and the jersey is in place you are nearly done. I learned a couple practices ago to put on my elbow pads after the jersey otherwise you're just fooling around with the Velcro all night. The elbow pads Velcro above and below the elbow and boy are they a necessary evil!

After that you are nearly ready to hit the ice. Gloves and helmet are all that is missing. Gloves are the very last thing to get put on, usually left then right, the right hand carries the water bottle to the team box, the left holds the stick ALL. THE. TIME.

And the helmet. First things first with the helmet. If you sweat, you want to wear a bandanna to keep it from dripping in your eyes, it also helps hold your hair back. I've played a couple times without and it sucked! I have never wore something so tight fitting on my head! This thing isn't going anywhere, not that I would want it to, but its quite the brain container. Hard, black plastic with a face shield (mine resembles a grate) and a chin strap. There is padding inside, but its hard too. I really need to invest in my own helmet, the one I am borrowing starts to hurt my head about 30 minutes into practice.

Pretty much getting the gear on is a warm up. It takes about 15 minutes. But its worth it! Another time I will tell you about the ice, how it isn't soft, or smooth!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I don't particularly care for this picture, but it was easy. Yeah, I too the easy way out. All I had to do was edit it and post it.

It came from my trip to Oregon in October. The first evening I took a walk to a nearby rest stop/park thingy at sunset. I passed this little statue/memorial on the side of the road. It made me wonder who set it up and why. I figured it was a memorial of some sort. One interesting thing was the rocks that had been collected in her arms. I don't know the significance. The white and red striped candy cane-thing makes me think it had been there awhile and I guess that makes it okay to post during December :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Today's word is twinkle.

My son's eyes always have a twinkle in them, so do Miss I's but she spends Wednesday nights with grandma so no picture of her eyes. And its not the same kind of twinkle, I will save them for the word mischievous or sassy or something like that.

I am so glad it is my Friday. I was pretty much done with work today, I don't know why, but I was. I am off the next two days, hope to get the house cleaned up a bit and a hockey practice in early Friday morning and then it's going to be a busy weekend. Work 12 hours, company on Saturday, family Christmas party Saturday night, work 12 hours, family birthday party for Bubba Sunday and then a few more (short) days of work. I am looking forward to it, but its going to be tiring!

We had a great practice on Sunday. There were only 8 of us (as compared to 15 or so the past month) so toward the end we played a 4 on 4 scrimmage the width of the rink (instead of the length). I have no idea if I am playing "right" but it sure is fun! I don't know the difference between offense and defense, but I know which goal I am shooting into and who my team mates are. I have no idea what a right wing or a left wing is (was that facing OUR goal or the other team's goal) but I can sure out-cuss them! I am pretty sure, and not so proud, of the fact that I was the pottiest mouth out there! I didn't mean to and it's not like it's a goal, but I sure was cussing!

It takes a TON of concentration! A friend of one of the coaches described it really well saying something like "it requires all of my concentration, I can't think about ANYTHING ELSE" that's totally it! There isn't anything I have ever done that was as mentally and physically challenging at the same time as hockey. Not that I have a huge repertoire of things I've done, but still. I think as it comes more naturally (HA!!) it might be less like that, but for now its very invigorating, challenging and tiring all at the same time. I get home sweaty, hungry, amped, tired and sore!

I love it!

There are a couple tournaments coming up that I am thinking of playing in. One at home and one away ....

Monday, December 06, 2010


This has been one of my favorite Christmas-ornaments-turned-sayings for years.
I am pretty sure this was a gift I received as a birthday present from a co-worker at least 15 years ago. I have always loved the hope the saying holds. It also started an infatuation with snowmen as a Christmas collectible.

I LOVE getting Christmas stuff for my birthday!

Did I mention I decorated yesterday??!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


It was decorate day at my house today. We put up the tree and put out all my Christmas collectibles. It is always a fun and frustrating event. I love getting out all the stuff, I hate the mess. I love remembering where my stuff came from, I hate that I have not taken really good care of some things and they are getting "old". I love having so much crap to put out, I hate not having enough surfaces to put things on. So Christmas and I have a love-hate relationship.

The tree turned out ... nice? I tried not to stress out about the kids hanging everything in the same place, down low. I am trying not to stress out that The Kings are on a low table where little hands might not be able to resist them and that the mantle looks a little naked. But I am glad we did it. I was a bit of a scrooge last year and the kids are still having fun with the decorations. They each have a tree in their rooms (another thing I am trying not to worry about) and keep running around with "presents".

Behold, the picture is not of my house, it's all the cinnamon ornaments the kids decorated a few weeks ago.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Well, I totally missed a picture for "currency" yesterday. I was a little sick. Looks like DW picked up the slack for me, she posted three pictures! Way to go. I'll take the stocking or a hundred :)

Today is a different story. It was Bubba's kid-birthday-party-day! He and I started to talk about it awhile ago, he suggested that snow shoeing might be fun. I tucked it away in my brain and pulled it out on .... Monday. Turns out you can't rent kids snow shoes anywhere (I found this out on ... Thursday.) Plan B was to go sledding which worked out really well. There is a hill just down the road at one of the schools, the boys and Miss I had a great time! Truth be told, so did I when I got a chance to ride a sled alone. My Honey took a ride down too, but he has a bum ankle and didn't get to sled as much as he would have liked.

So we sledded, ate pizza, drank hot cocoa, opened presents and had cake. The end. Bubba kept saying he was having a really good time and so did the other boys. The picture is off all our stuff piled inside the door after we came back, with some fun added!

Tonite My Honey and I are headed to the hockey game "GO WILD" and tomorrow will be a get the laundry finished and the house cleaned up before I go back to that early 3am shift again. UGH.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Today's word is peace.
I spent the day running around and have plans for tonite (My Honey and I are going to see Rodney Carrington) so .... This is what I found in my back yard, which was quite peaceful this evening. Not quite what I had gone after today, but neither was IT from yesterday. (That happened to come from an EXIT sign if you were wondering.)

** This seemed appropriated for The Sunday Creative, too. **

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


See more here

** Coincidentally, it's World Aids Day **

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A few pix

Just a few pix of our weekend. There are PLENTY more!
The first picture is a cropped piece of a light fixture. Miss I, My Honey and Bubba viewed the picture and all set out to find it.... Only Bubba knew, right away, what it was and where to find it. Pretty clever kid.

The second is part of our T-day feast. Bubba helped me edit it. He thinks it looks like an old fashioned picture.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Day on the West Side

Since it had been stormy all over the State, I worried that traveling on Wednesday would be a pain ... I was so wrong.

Our drive was just fine, no problems on the roads that we couldn't handle, not too much traffic, our only challenge was the hour wait for the 10 minute ferry ride. If we hadn't stopped for dinner we would have made the early one, but the rumbly in my tumbly (and a couple of antsy kids) made a stop necessary.

Once here its just great! 12 of us squashed into the Big House, no phone, no TV, no radio. We have Internet and I have a camera! And we had snow and high winds last night (luckily no power outage). The kids are going to bed well and sleeping in (like past 7!) the food is good and plentiful, and there is a fire going all the time.

Life is good.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

First-ish snow!

It actually first snowed on the 11th (yes, before my birthday, which I love) but this is our first snow that stuck around, and is still here, and we might get some more!

This was taken on a walk up to "the canyon" with Bubba yesterday morning.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The first week

No, I'm not going to do weekly updates on being 40, it's all I could think of to call this post.

My birthday was great! We planned an evening thing at a coffee shop to hear Camille Bloom and ended up planning a dinner thing too. I had a blast at both! Dinner turned out to be a large crowd (18 of my friends and family!) and we ended up with a dozen at the concert. Yeah, I felt pretty special. The dinner special just happened to be a pound of prime rib which is one of my favorites. So I ordered it and ate up! MMMMM! The crowd at dinner was diverse; my mom, auntie, My Honey's parents and one of his sisters, a high school friend (thanks FB), my sisters, and some friends we have made through My Honey's work. My work girls, sisters and My Honey were at the concert. It was a great night.

LK stayed the whole weekend even though I was working, and we ended up getting to go out to dinner on Saturday night with her and Shelle. MMMMM, another good meal at Chateau Faire la Ponte. I had a blackened rack of lamb and it was very good. The best part was their french onion soup. MMMM! We ended our evening at Hastings (the only bookstore in town) we were looking for some kind of inspirational-type books for 2011. Can you believe its nearly 2011?? EEK! Anyway we ended up in a pretty animated discussion and I wondered what others around us might have thought of the way we were "harshing on each other" (good phrase, LK). We were good with it tho.

Yesterday was Miss I's FIFTH BIRTHDAY. Holy moly. Five. I'm not sure what to say to that. She is every bit of five. Stubborn, but lovable, feisty but sweet. Independent but helpless. I took ice cream and sprinkles to her preschool today for a birthday treat (because I am too lazy to get or make a cake) served in special dishes (I did make a trip to Goodwill for those) and she was the most helpful little thing, getting the dishes of ice cream and setting them down for everyone, it was very sweet. I was very impressed with her helpfulness and cheerfulness and willingness. Some times she is a doll. Other times ....

Pictures to follow. I am still getting used to this new laptop!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's almost time

My Fortieth Birthday is nearly here!

My Honey tells me that I "don't seem to be having as tough of a time with 40 as you had with 30" ... Hmmm I wish I had been blogging then to see if he is right.

I do not recall "having problems" with turning 30. I do recall I had just changed jobs, we had a pizza party (with beer, which was a big deal back then) and that is about it.

I might have been stressing about being out of shape and getting worse because I had broken by collar bone earlier that year and hadn't really gotten back into working out, plus now I had a totally sedentary job. I might have been thinking about the fact that I was turning 30 and didn't have any kids yet ...

Fast forward 10 years:

I have done two triathlons, I am playing hockey and we have two kids. I am doing the same job (which is surprising) and life is ... well, its good.

I am thankful for my family, My Honey, Shelle, LK, my Moms and Dads and aunties. My dear friends (girls, you know who you are.)

To celebrate a whole bunch of us are meeting up at a coffee shop for live music! I am very excited! It should be a fun, fun night.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fall in my yard

Miss I went to church today and she is singing to us:
"I like to do what God likes to do.
I like to do what God says is best.
God is good, God is great ..."
To some made up tune in her head.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Third

I went to my third practice at oh-dark-thirty today. (In January 5:15 is going to seem like sleeping in!) Another great experience. I'm slowly getting the hang of stopping, falling, turning, falling, hitting the puck around and falling. I wasn't the worst one out on the ice today, so that helped my confidence a little.

Stopping still requires so much stinking concentration, it will be nice when it's second nature. I can't figure out the mental block I have about it. It really isn't that hard, get into a low sports stance (like you're doing a squat) put all your weight on one leg and the other leg slides sideways along the ice, well, actually you push it out, to slow yourself down. I guess it seems counter intuitive for me, that's the same motion I use to get speed so it's a mental block I can't seem to overcome. I should really try and get out on the ice for awhile this weekend just to practice.

Turning, or switching directions, also requires a lot of concentration. It reminds me of rollerskating. Remember rollerskating? Remember learning to skate backwards? Remember learning to switch directions from forward to backward. THEN remember learning it all over again the opposite direction. Yeah. It's a lot like that. I don't feel too bad at that particular skill, when I can do it on my stronger side, but when my opponent goes to my right I really have to think about what I am doing. The coach gently reminded us this morning that we should always have our eyes on the opponent so we can know where they're going next. Oh yeah.

And then there is hitting the puck. Did you know you're not supposed to smack it like a golf ball or baseball? You're supposed to gently catch it with your stick, like it's an egg -- !careful! don't break it! -- and then gently slide, or push it wherever you're aiming it. I don't know if I am explaining it very well, but it ain't what I thought! Then switch directions and do it backwards! I had some challenges keeping the puck coming to me. You're traveling backwards scooping the puck toward yourself instead of pushing it out in front. It was messed up!

Falling. What can I say about falling?
Today I am in a little more pain from falling than the last two times. I took a hard crash on my left shoulder and hit my helmet-clad head on the ice (thank goodness for the helmet!) I think the number of falls is actually good, that means I am not stressing so much about staying upright. And as I fall, I will learn better balance and what it takes to keep me where I should be. Right? Right.

Lastly, since adding hockey isn't enough for me, we added swim lessons for the kids. Back to back lessons which means I can get a workout in! And I started to read a book on personal finance that makes sense. Go figure, something on personal finance that makes sense to ME! Actually, My Honey has been listening to this guy for awhile now, telling me stories now and then. I finally broke down and started to read his stuff. It's making sense and that scares me, that means it's simple. I gotta say it's encouraging, empowering and, you'll LOVE this part, opening lines of communications about finances that we've not had before.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The short story

I have felt like a misfit at times. While others were getting invited to parties and out for drinks or whatever I sat home feeling a little sorry for myself (okay, sometimes A LOT sorry for myself.) I have often commented to My Honey that I felt like I was forgotten or invisible to others. And thought to myself that I must be unremarkable.

It has tested my courage to be sure. Some of it is about putting myself out there, trying new things that sound interesting, and getting involved. Not waiting to be asked. Just showing up.

Recently, like the Thursday before last, I was invited by a teacher at Bubba's school to a jewelry party. "Sounds fun!! Someone thought of me!! I must be okay!!" I checked in with My Honey and he said okay.

I had a great time at the party (not caring what others thought, but being "me" at the same time) I connected on a social level with a couple new women and I got reminded about a long-time wish; women's hockey.

About 5 years ago (FIVE?? holy crap!!) our babysitter and a friend of hers, invited me to play women's hockey. I thought it sounded great (!) but never got around to it that year or the next, or the next ... Fast forward to that Thursday night and someone totally unrelated is bringing it up. Telling me about practice and once again I feel a stir. Like it's something I should try. NOW. I check in with My Honey and get the same type of response as usual, "if you want to, but when will you find the time?" I sent our old babysitter an e-mail to find out more.

That Sunday (a week ago) I have not heard from the babysitter, but I see the friend and all she says is "6:00 tonite?" And I know. It's time. So I tell her someone mentioned it Thursday and I am very interested. She invited me over that day (that day!!!) to get suited up. So I did it. I went to her house, got suited up in all the stuff I need to play women's hockey.

I don't ice skate.

I've NEVER played sports.

But what the hell.

So I show up on Sunday and get ready to practice. It was pretty phenomenal. I'm not sure I feel like I belong, but I feel like I am making progress, like it was a step in the right direction of finding ... hmmm, finding something out about me I guess.

I showed up again on Friday morning for practice. I really do like it. A lot. I don't feel like I am doing it for anyone but me. No one has any expectation of me so I am not letting anyone down at all if I don't skate well or I don't ever figure out how to stop (it's an art form!) There is no expectation of performance, no requirement to do well or be the best or to take care of anyone but me.

It took courage to say yes to the party which led to hockey and I am really, really grateful I have not given up on myself. I still see me as having potential.

You have potential too my lovlies.
It's never too late. I am taking up a team sport as I near 40.
Have I mentioned its'my 40th birthday in less than two weeks? EEEEEEKK!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

One more thing

This is the coolest thing.
Those are my guys.
He is my neighbor.

Trick or Treat

Miss I dressed as a princess of some sort for a costume party last week. She especially loved wearing make up and getting her hair curled. Such a girly-girl.

Of course Bubba is a hunter this year. He also loved wearing makeup ..err, I mean painting his face. He did all that on his own! And then chose the pose for the picture.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mo' Fall

The temps are still mild, but the leaves are changing and the waters are receding.

Bubba and I went to the park on Wednesday so he could fish (he's such a little Huck Finn) and I could take some photos. Miss I was at grandmas so we could each do our own thing. He's starting to be MUCH more independent. It's a good and a bad thing. He has even started walking home from school with a friend (!) and yes, I am following and making sure it goes okay!

It's my long weekend and we have nothing planned. It will be nice to just hang out, get some cleaning up and winterizing done and be free to do stuff if it comes up. Maybe I will take a few minutes and jot down the rest of the stuff from my trip.

Friday, October 15, 2010


My trip started out great. Nice day for a drive down to Portland, didn't get lost ,(it's a pretty common occurrence, no big deal, every road leads somewhere,) found the Naked Winery in Hood River (try the red called Orgasmic!), made my way to my sister in law's house where I had dinner and then we headed downtown Milwaukie somewhere to find a wine bar. Turned out to be a pretty cute place, Wine:30. And this is where my trip could have turned to crap. We went out and my car wouldn't start. At. All. Dead. I guess I've already told that part, but, bear with me.

We attempted to jump it with no luck, so my brother in law took me back to my hotel. They had a busy-ish morning the next day so I didn't ask them for any help getting things going the next day. I just figured I would take care of it. And I did. The next morning I went downstairs, asked for a phone book and called Les Schwab and a cab, with some assistance from the WONDERFUL front desk clerk -- she was awesome! As I said, the guy from Les Schwab was there when the cab dropped me off, and I was nearly ready to roll. Those Portlanders are something else, doing that stuff in the rain with a smile on their face! Way to go! You guys are my heroes. I was irritated to be out in it for just a few minutes...

So off I went back to the hotel. Awhile later my sister in law called to check in and see if I needed anything. We ended up meeting later at Peet's coffee - another yum stop! I ended up there on accident while searching for the Clackamas Center. Then I drove in circles trying to find my way out. Luckily my sister in law was able to give me directions when she arrived later.

That night we went to a birthday party in Portland for my brother in law. It was at Old Town Pizza. MMMMM!! Yes, I wish I had taken my camera, it was a beautiful building with a lot of neat brick and woodworking, cool lighting and windows. After dinner we moved the party to Prost!. Another fun place that would have photographed well. It had stopped raining and we sat outside where it was a really mild evening. I met some friends of my sister & brother in law and had a couple drinks. Later it was back to the hotel.

It's fun to see so many neat places. My hometown gets a new place once in awhile but once you've been there, you've been there. Old Town Pizza is a do-over with the family some time. Prost! is a definite do-over with My Honey.

The next day wasn't without its own adventure. My dad in law's tire had gone flat. Not just flat, but a hole in the white-wall flat. Needed to be replaced, flat! On a Sunday! So he worked on that for the better part of the morning then it was off to Claim Jumpers for lunch and then on to the coast. We left rainy Portland for the beautiful coast. Who knew?

It was fun hanging with my mom & dad in law and my other sister & brother in law, but kind of lonely for my family too. I felt like a 5th wheel a LOT, and had to do some serious talking myself out of feeling left out, because I wasn't. Ever. But it's just one of those things, you know, that recording that plays when you're feeling vulnerable or uncomfortable or something? That one. I just had to turn it off a few times is all. Tell myself I was being ridiculous. Because I was.

We ate well! One night we ate at Tidal Raves, which was pretty good. The view was gorgeous and of course it was time for the sunset which made it even nicer. We waddled home after eating a HUGE dinner. Oh, and the Pendelton Lemonade? MMMMM!

Another night we at at Georgies. Now, that's the place! I had a delicious Artichoke & lime soup, (to die for! just think of artichoke dip, in a bowl, all for yourself. So rich, but so delicious) and halibut with pasta and alfredo sauce on the side. MMMMM! MMMMM!!! (Double-MMMM!!)

There's more to tell, check back later --

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lost in thought

I am still thinking about my trip south. There was so much that happened.
Two nights in Portland (at a hotel by myself -- heaven), a couple birthday parties, a swim with my nieces, a nice drive down the coast, BEAUTIFUL weather, great eats. A relaxing time with my sister in law, her hubby, and my mother and father in law, that spectacular kayak trip, and some interesting themes that kept popping up.

Do you ever see a bunch of movies that are all related somehow, same actor, same kind of story, same city? Or read several books in a row that had similar characters, or issues, or names? Serendipity. That's how that whole trip was. This theme of, well, I don't know what to call it, but remind me to tell you how it relates to wind machines and the environment. I know. But it works!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010




Holy cow!
I might need one of these,
Or two :)

Our guide, Linda, was terrific, my dad-in-law went with me so it was just us and Linda. She was not too chatty, but just informative enough. Let me lag behind taking pictures and recommended a FABULOUS place for dinner. I highly recommend Georgies in Depoe Bay. Very yum!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Yep, really. That is the sunset at the beach last night!! WOWZAH :)

And today? I'm wearing shorts!

(These are un-edited. I have been reading the how-to manual on my editing program. Hopefully I will get something great posted soon ...)

Saturday, October 09, 2010


What a great Portland experience so far!

The hotel is great, the gal at the front desk went above and beyond helping me get some phone numbers for Les Schwab and a cab to fetch me. Les Schwab is awesome, coming out in the rain to change my battery, better than that, I got to my car AFTER them and he had already started working on it! And then I had some great service at Peet's coffee and, well, its just been a great day.

Thankfully, it WAS the battery, so now I am up and running again :)

Now, if someone would just take the rain away. Actually, it isn't that bad. I'm not quite sure how to deal with wet pant legs tho ... lesson; don't sit with my legs crossed under me! I end up with a wet bum!

Going, going, gone

Well ....

I am on my way to the Oregon coast via Portland. I had intentions of stopping to photograph how beautiful the gorge is on the way down, but I didn't. Yeah, I know, I sound like a broken record when it comes to that don't I?

I did stop in my favorite little town, Hood River, and found a great winery called the "Naked winery." Funny little place! I will tell more about that later, I left my purchases, which have all the fun details I want to copy down, in the car which is DEAD.

Yeah. The car is dead. I found my way to my sister in law's house, we had supper, found my hotel and then went to check out a wine bar a couple miles away. We finished and went to my car and ... nothing. No lights, no "click, click, click" no nothing. LUCKILY she and my brother in law were still with me so I was safe and all. But still. Dead car. I figured it was the battery, it has never been replaced, and the Jeep is going on 8 years old. We tried to jump it, but as soon as I took my foot off the gas pedal it died again. So this morning I will call someone, Les Schwab probably, and get it taken care of.

Buh-mer! Stuck here with no wheels for now. Oh well. It's raining anyway.

I am hoping to meet up and go on this photo walk tomorrow. Sounds fun, yeah? I might just need me an umbrella though. What? I don't own an umbrella? Nope I live in the desert! I don't think I own waterproof shoes either ...

Friday, October 01, 2010


I had a little help editing my photo today. Miss I helped me pick out the picture and then she made the editing choices on this one:

I went back to the original and made my editing choices:

Lesson: We see the world differently and I am going to NEED to remember that.

It's going to be a fun night for everyone. Grandpa is surprising Bubba with a fishing trip after school. My dad and his wife are on their way over and will be staying with the kids while we go to the hockey game! I don't know why, but they are really excited to see the kids?

Too bad I have to spoil the whole weekend by having to work. Thankfully it's not at 3am!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


"The only glimmer of good was that she wasn't alone in the end." Thanks Shelle. That was my sister's response to yesterday's post. Having been there, done that. She is so right.

We scored REALLY GOOD seats for the game tomorrow night! I hear it's recliners in the lounge. How does a person thank the giver of such a gift? I received the tickets third hand, so I bought him a coffee when I ran into him this morning, (as if that even comes close!) but what about the guy that gave the guy the tickets? Is a phone call to say thank you sufficient? I have no idea.

My mini-vacation is getting close. One week away! It's been funny, planning this getaway. Nothing has gone smooth, but I haven't cared. The latest hitch was daycare. I had planned on Miss I staying 3 days at day care, turns out day care is CLOSED one of the days I needed. Right in the middle of the trip. Luckily My Honey was able to take the day off so it worked out just fine.

I was actually at the point where I debated wether to go or not. I figured it was going to be a pain to plan child care (my number one care giver is going on the trip too) and, I wasn't sure how accommodations were going to work out. Then I read this in the journal: "each travel experience offers a true reflection of who I am" and I knew I had to go.

I am so in love with this book. I have read it 4 or 5 times and it is literally falling apart (LK might have something to do with that!!) I love the pictures, I love the words and I love the messages inside.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blowing off steam

This post is not for the faint of heart. Really and truly.

On Monday night a co-worker sat down in his seat and answered a 911 call from a woman trapped in her burning apartment. Long story short, he listened to her perish in the fire.

Everyone deals with these kinds of incidents differently, he wasn't his normal chatty self when I got to work at 3am and I didn't push him to tell the story. We've worked closely together for several years and I know when to back off.

Later in the day, I heard one of the supervisors reviewing the call. Everything is recorded in a dispatch center, our phone calls and radio traffic are reviewed for a variety of reasons. Plain ol' curiosity was the reason here. How did he handle it? How did she sound? What did she say? What really happened? I heard bits and pieces yesterday, I listened to the full 2 minutes of the call today.

OMG. It was horrible. Folks, I cannot even tell you how horrible. For me, the worst part was knowing in the end she dies. For someone else it was hearing an explosion in the background, for another person it was how "not like TV" it was. The lady wasn't screaming her head off like you might expect, in fact, she was pretty freaking calm all things considered. You could hear she was in distress, and she was stating very clearly "I'm on fire... It's burning me... My bed is on fire... I can't get out of here..." In the end the line goes dead.

But you know what happens to us, at work? We keep on trucking. He proceeded to pick up call after call of reports of this fire and other incidents going on in our area for the rest of the night. Never missed a beat. I love our dispatchers. I love my job. But some days it really sucks. Some days there's nothing to laugh about.

When I saw him this morning I told him I thought it was a "real shittin' ass call, and I'm sorry anyone had to take it. You handled it well though." Because that's all there is to say. He did handle it well. There just wasn't anything else to do. His perspective is very different than mine... He was a firefighter before he started to dispatch. He sees that call differently in his minds eye. He knows what it looks like in real life, only now he has audio to go with the visual. That was the most disturbing part for him.

So, really I'm just venting. I had the wrong work group today to really get this out (too many others wanted to be the center of attention) so you got stuck with it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall is here

Well I took the kids out to Smallwoods where I found another rainbow!

Not only that, we saw a real live one on our way out there! I didn't get a picture of it, but it sure was pretty stretching across the highway.

They are all set up for harvest out there. Scarecrows, sunflowers, pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, a hay bale maze, a prop maze and a cow train ride. We had a pretty good time. I have hundreds (no kidding!) of pictures to edit before I share them.

And My Honey is home. He had a good time golfing and playing poker.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Silver Lining

Another rainbow came my way today:

Bubba went fishing this morning, so I took Miss I to the farmers market. It's getting to be pretty slim pickings, but we found a few goodies. Plums, grapes and pumpkins. OH! And Honeycrisp apples. They are so delicious. Worth every penny! They are a short run, very sweet apple. Yum, yum, yum.

Since Bubba is out fishing it's another girl day. I am really glad I left her at daycare yesterday! We are going to meet some friends for a Harvest Festival this afternoon and then its off to another hockey game for me!

Hopefully the kids will do a repeat of this morning. I had to wake Bubba at 7 to go fishing at 730 and Miss I slept until about 715! That's what I'm talking about! I got SIX whole hours of sleep in a row! We're talking major news here, my sleep is usually interrupted every couple hours by something or other. I feel pretty refreshed today.

Lastly, you know how something bugs you and you just can't quit thinking about it? Yeah, like that. Well, today, one side of my brain said to the other side of my brain "I'm bored with that." It was kind of a strange feeling. So I guess I'm done with it. That's a good feeling.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My rainbow

I went out looking for something.
I found a rainbow.
Orange could use a little help, but it was close.

Hockey was awesome! We won :)