Monday, June 27, 2011

This thing

I did this thing a week ago. I'm still kind of trying to process it.
One of our firefighters died of a sudden heart attack recently. He was 38.

It touches me on many levels. My Honey had a heart attack near the same age. He survived.
It was one of "my" firefighters. I had met him, knew his name, would have had a beer with him.

I was conflicted about being a part of the historical team. I'm not that great. Was it intrusive to the family? What in the world should you take pictures of at a memorial service? What would the family think?

His wife asked for people to photograph the memorial service. For the kids. That made it a lot easier.
For the kids, for his wife.

RIP Batillion Chief Rasmussen. You are missed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just a few pics

Chaos #1

Father's Day
Camping #2

Our "front yard"
Camping #2

Camping (part one)

This will be the story about our first camping experience since school has been out.

I took us camping from Sunday through Wednesday the week after school got out. I figured it was a great way to start off the summer. And it was, but it wasn't without its own little misadventure!

We camped close by because I figured I could haul the trailer out there and back myself without being too stressed or causing too much stress. I also figured if we didn't have fun or the weather was yucky we weren't too far from home. So off we went.

My Honey came out and helped us set up on Sunday, stayed that night, went home and showered because he had to go to work. Me and the kids just hung out. They are old enough to go play (mostly) unattended. Bubba doesn't let Hannah get too far away and she keeps him in line so I let them wander from our campsite to the two sets of toys and a little to the water. I was cautious of the water. It's really high so the swim area is mushy grassy wetlands, mostly it feels gross underfoot so they weren't too interested.

On Monday night my girl DW and another friend from work joined us. They got a campsite across the park and unloaded their stuff then we all sat down for dinner together. Kind of. Between us we have 6 kids between 3 and 9 years old and we had an extra. DW had to run to the store and while she was gone chaos ensued! Somehow our dog got off her leash. No biggie, DW's oldest and her friend were on it trying to get her back, not that she went far! As that is going on the two littlest girls (3 and 4 years old) locked themselves in the camper from the inside. We were trying to tell them how to undo the lock (the red switch) but it wasn't working very well. Fortunately, some other work friends had arrived so I wasn't the only adult! One of them was helping with the dog and got her all taken care of. One was coaching the girls from outside the camper, another one was working with Bubba to break into the camper through the crawl spaces under the beds and yet another adult came to find me because one of DW's kids had crashed on the bike! He was wearing flip-flops and stubbed his toe which caused a crash and damage to his knee and elbow. We've all done it! And it only takes once. Pretty sure he won't be wearing flip-flops while riding a bike anymore! So all this happened in the span of about 10 minutes. It was crazy good. Luckily the burgers didn't burn :)

That night we were all going to crash at our site, all the kids in a tent, the adults inside, but it just ended up not working out. The two littles tried, bless their hearts, to sleep in the camper in the bunks, but it just didn't work out, meanwhile all the big kids were trying to do the tent which would have been okay except for the "spooky eyes" someone kept making at the more tender of the group. Needless to say everyone got split up and DW took part of her tribe back to their site, my kids ended up in our camper and the two oldest girls got the tent (which is probably what they wanted all along).  And my poor DW slept in her car because she was a good mom and left all the blankets and sleeping bags for the kids so she was cold. Not our best night.

We were supposed to stay until Wednesday, but I was so fed up after that night I packed us up and we went home on Tuesday, which actually worked out really good. I can't imagine working Wednesday night after one more night camping. I would not have gotten any sleep.

Speaking of work. I'm done with night shift for this year and let me tell you, it was the most disappointing night shift ever. Only because it wasn't busy at all. I loved my work peeps, but the hours sucked and it just wasn't worth it. My Honey and I talked about it, sounds like next year I might just work overtime on the weekend nights to get my fix. So, it's back to days... tomorrow.

All in all, our camping has been fun so far! And aside from the wind it's been nice weather too. I have a great start on my tan :) A few more weeks of work and then we are off again on another adventure!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Camping (Mis)Adventures

So let's see.... We have been camping since Sunday, and it was fun, but not without drama. Let me just say I am so glad we were close to home. We learned a ton and were able to make several runs into town for this and that!

Monday Dorika got into something that caused her to break out in hives all over her body. Called the vet who said "oh yeah, Viszlas are very allergic..." so we ran her into town (a whole 10 minutes away) and got her checked out. After a bath and some drugs she was released and is doing just fine.

Bubba didn't eat and drink enough on Tuesday so he ended up in the ER that night to get hydrated. That could read more like "I didn't pay attention to what he was eating and drinking and nearly ended up killing my first born from dehydration" but he's NINE and was offered plenty of food and drink throughout the day (and he really wasn't THAT sick, he was refusing to eat or drink though, and had thrown up twice, so we decided an ER visit was warranted.) Unfortunately (?) the ER drama wasn't too intense, just a liquid form of something to take away the nausea and then sips of Sprite for about 30 minutes to make sure he would keep it down. But hopefully he learned his lesson.

While out playing one day, the boys found a rattle snake. Fortunately, My Honey was out walking the dog and got to be the hero to a TON of people around by keeping the snake away from them until the Park dude came and corralled it. Where did he learn how to keep snakes away? Playing with them as a kid ... who knew?

Was there more? Wednesday we just took it easy. We packed up the boys in the truck and drove to check out some campsites for another time. We found a couple we liked and some really neat geography that I never knew was out there. Something like this:

This picture doesn't really do it justice. The area is called Dry Falls and its pretty remarkable.

It was nice to be close to home, I had a hockey class I went to on Monday night and we all went to the puppy class on Tuesday. Later I will tell you about the hockey-drama. Nothing too bad, just misinformation that worked out pretty funny.

Anyway, we're home now, ready for another trip. These little set-backs don't get us down, no way! Just paving the road for a perfect trip to Pearrygin next month.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A few pics

Here's a pictorial of where I've been the past week or so:

Inside a store in Seattle.
Hee hee hee, I got asked NOT to take pictures inside!
Yay me, I can mark that one off my bucket list :)

After the rain. One of my peonies.

These girls. Peas in a pod. I'm afraid they're gonna be the "I dare you" types.
Notice the one on the right has her hand IN the paint!

Yellow flowers from a walk awhile ago

Pinkish-purlpeish flowers that smell vanilla-ish in my front yard.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I stepped a little outside myself this past week - okay A LOT outside myself.

The training I attended was a "conflict resolution/working well with others" type training. I think I do okay, I chose to attend the training so it wasn't like the boss said "I think this would be really good for you."

Of course, one of the things that happens is a personality profile. We had 4 coworkers fill out a questionnaire on us and then we put the results on a grid. The personality types used in this class are Amiable (gets along with everyone), Directive (do-ers), Analytical (thinkers) and Expressive (talkers). I graded myself as Analytical however my co-workers did not. They graded me as Directive (?!!). One of the activities involved breaking into groups of like personalities and working on something. As a personal challenge, to get a little outside myself, I sat with the Directives instead of the Analyticals.


I honestly did not fit in. But kind of did.

There were two very dominate women at our table. The difference I saw between them and me was that they couldn't hear what others were trying to say to them. They. Were. Right. (It's a trait I guess). I found myself wanting to hear with the others were saying and trying to understand so I can deal with that personality type better. (Just in case you wonder, it was the Expressives). That was the difference. Even when I finally was able to speak over them and ask the Expressives a direct question which they answered and the information was SOOOO useful, these women didn't hear it. And they didn't care. It really pissed me off. THAT is why there is conflict in their workplace, with them, that is why they were at the class. Unfortunately, they are not flexible. At. All.

There was a lot of word usage that was offensive to the Expressives too. Things that came out "Well I would do this FOR them, or BECAUSE of them" instead of phrases that included or acknowledged them. It was so interesting to me. But so hard to sit at a table of these bossy bitches that don't care, because by association that is what I am, right? I really wanted to be with the Analytical people. Really.

But it was good. I am glad, no matter how uncomfortable it made me (and it made me sooo uncomfortable) that I chose to sit with the Directives and get a taste of my worst self. It's pretty bad.

That was really a small portion of the class which was otherwise very good. Stuff I have heard, and applied but a refresher is always good. I also had a great dinner with LK at The Pink Door where we watched a trapeze lady do her thing. Some nice shopping downtown and I made a new friend. I know! How unusual for me since I am generally a keep-to-myself type person. All in all an interesting experience for sure.

Things I am looking forward to this week:
Camping and my last few night shifts, camping and a week of vacation :)
Hopefully, the weather will warm up and be sunny

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Who me?

We finally had a nice day yesterday. I stepped away for just a minute and I came back and found this!!  She is cute though.

I'm out of town for a couple days at a training on the west side of the state which means I can see my sister and instead of staying at a hotel I can stay with my Dad. Hopefully I will sleep better here than at a hotel where I find I wake every couple hours (so tiring). Hannah was begging me to come along, "I will stay in the hotel room while you go to the class, Mama." Cute, but no dice.

It's finally picking up at work, just in time for me to return to day shift. Nice.

The night before last I had the following people report things to me within an hour: Ashley Tisdale, Ron White and Brian Adams. No kidding! It was totally hilarious. The first one was a total fabrication, but the other two were real people reporting real things. Sometimes my job cracks me up.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The cats growl

One of our cats, Mister Pickles, who was recently rescued from the neighbors chimney, growls. The first time I heard her growl was shortly after we brought her home. I heard this weird noise, found her with a mouse in her mouth and the other cat, Survivor Jane inching closer and closer to her. She got really loud when I tried to get the mouse away from her and it scared me so I let her keep it. (I know, eww!)

Mister Pickles is a master huntress. She has left many, many birds, worms, and mice for us all over the house. God bless her. I really didn't miss that at all while she was trapped in the chimney (I will get to that in a minute). Last night I heard her growl and I had to go see what "treasure" she had brought in. Oh wow, a bird. Thanks kitty, now let go so I can throw it out. I had to chase her into Hannah's room, trap her under the bed and then lure her out so I could get the bird away before she dismembered it and really made a mess. Then I went back to bed only to wake up this morning and find her with another bird in her clutches. This one she had made a mess out of. Feathers everywhere. It is sweet that she wants to show us her prowess, but please keep the livestock outside. I really don't need to see what you're hunting.

As for the chimney, the week before we got the dog, Mister Pickles went missing. We noticed on a Wednesday afternoon she hadn't been around and could place her at home on Tuesday so we just kind of waited around. Bubba was a wreck - supposedly, but this all happened when his school work crashed in around him so it could have been an avoidance tactic too. Needless to say, I was less than sympathetic! Fast forward a few days, we picked up the dog on Sunday, got used to having a dog and one cat and then the neighbor came over to ask if we were missing a cat because there was on caught in the chimney. I went next door and sure enough, Mister Pickles was rescued from their chimney. She was soooo dirty. More than that she was pissed because we had a dog! They are still trying to make friends. It's been a slow process.

So that's the story, the cat went missing and was found a week later in the neighbors chimney. She likes to hunt and growls when you try to take away her treasure. Just like all of us. I growl when my treasure is taken away too.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I really wanted it to be fleas

I've been breaking out for the past couple weeks. A little here, a little there. No big deal, really. Just itchy. But it's not going away. In fact, I keep breaking out in more and more places. The last straw was my face. Finally, I decided to do a deep cleaning in the only room that never gets more than the laundry picked up and the sheets changed. My bedroom. I figured if there were bugs getting to me they must be coming from in there. So I did it. I broke down the bed, cleaned up the dust bunnies and dogs and elephants under there and behind the curtains, stripped and vacuumed the mattress and box spring and hoped these bites would discontinue showing up. No luck. Weirdest thing? No one else is getting them.

So then I start thinking what else could it be? Maybe the cats have fleas? So I buy them flea collars. No good. Really? What the hell? Maybe it's hives? A quick search of google images leads me to believe that's probably what has taken over my skin surfaces. So I take some Benedryl and go to bed. But I gotta wonder what is bringing them on. "Stress" my husband and sister tell me.

Stress. Lets see. I don't have any more stress right now than last year at this time, or last month at this time, in fact, February and March were more stressful when Hannah was so sick and I didn't break out then. I'm not working more hours, I'm not doing more stuff, I'm not sure what "stress" they're talking about.

What about my sleep and workout habits. Oh. Those. The ones where I get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time? The workouts I'm too tired to do? Where the only thing I really do is take the dog for a walk. My workouts that don't exist since hockey ended? My workouts that have not included a run in 6 months or an aerobics class in nearly a year? Oh, maybe that.

Kids. Maybe the kids are causing a little stress. Bubba has had a very rough few weeks. He got caught in a major lie at school and has rued the day. He has been grounded from TV, fishing, having friends over, fly-tying, you name it, he likes it, it's been banned for the past three weeks because he lied about school work. Important (to the school) school work.

Solutions? Well, about the sleep .... Not much until my shift changes in July. I think I have done everything possible, short of begging my doctor for something. Some of it works, but we have a new puppy and she likes to be awake during the day.

What about the kids? Rent them out? You can have them by the hour or the day, weekends are extra cheap right now. Kidding. This too shall pass. School is only a couple more weeks, but we are going to stick to a similar schedule for school-type work that we are doing now. Especially for math and reading. Wish us luck. The past few weeks have been full of yelling and tears and fights like I remember having with my mom (but not about school). The kind I never wanted to have with my kids.