Friday, December 29, 2006

license to ill

Did I mention that Paige is now a licensed driver? She took her test on the 19th, and what a freaking nightmare. Wayne and I are so irresponsible sometimes.
Things we didn't remember we needed until we were out the door and on our way to the test:

  • Current vehicle registration. Wayne's registration expired late November, and he still hadn't renewed it. My van has a current registration but old tabs. We have license plate covers, and we are too lazy to remove them in order to apply the new year tab.
  • Current insurance card. Our card expired on 12/2/2006.
  • Paige's Driver's Ed certificate
Needless to say, it was a frantic 45 minutes prior to testing. We drove separately. While Paige and I drove to the department of licensing, Wayne got the tabs, headed back to the house to print off a new insurance card. I called him as he was leaving our development and asked him togo back and get the damn driver's ed certificate.

He made it to the DoL 10 minutes before her test. Yea!

She goes out back to wait for the tester, who is about 25 minutes late, and the tester won't test Paige because the tabs aren't current.

Wayne didn't put the new tabs on once he renewed the registration. DoL lady came in and told me our vehicle is "not good." I explained that the reg is current and all we have to do is put the little sticker on to be good to go.

"No. You can be on stand-by at 1pm."

This was at 12:15, and she told Paige she was cutting into her lunch hour.

Wayne went out back and broke the damn license plate cover (no wrench on hand to remove it the right way) and applied the stickers. The tester, who is your stereotypical gruff female DoL worker, was out back on her umpteenth cig.

Needless to say, we waited until 1pm.

At 1pm, a different person came out to test, and he was really nice. Paige misplaced her permit within the 45 minutes between the first and second test, but he was okay with it. The test took 5 minutes, and she passed with an 88%.

Then we had to hunt for the lost permit. Paige never left the car from the beginning of the first test, when she gave the DoL lady her permit until the end of the second test. We think the DoL lady had it on her clipboard, but it didn't matter. Paige didn't need it anymore because she was, at that point, licensed to drive!

Afterwards, she immediately went to her dad's.

She came back this Tuesday, and she has driven only a little bit. We have no insurance on her right now-- Tuesday we will. She is going to cost us over $200/mo. more on our insurance. We need to get her a beater vehicle that we can get just liability on and that won't completely inconvenience us if she totals it.

The first night she drove off on her own, Wayne was sick with anxiety. He was literally throwing up and dry-heaving. I was excited; he was ill. Can you see how we handle these things differently? I am so happy to not have to chauffeur her around anymore-- she's my high-maintenance kid, as far as "take me here; take me there" goes. He's ill over the idea of her out there driving, the cost of insurance, gas, etc. I say, let her get a damn job! He's not so on-board with that idea. I am all for it. Let the girl gain a work ethic and learn the value of money while helping to off-set the cost of her growing independence.

Ummmm... what else is happening here?

Oh, I start a class in 10 days and I have ONE couple? What is up with that? I had a TON of calls, and they all fell through. If I only have one couple, I will cancel the class. I cannot teach for just one couple. I've done it before, and it was a great couple, but they just didn't get the full value of the class.

Also, I keep thinking I need to get a real job. You know: clocking in, time cards, paid a regular wage kind of job. I get nauseous just thinking about it because I haven't had that kind of a job since 1998. My neighbor had a baby in July, and she is thinking about going back to work. I entertained the idea of possibly doing childcare for them. I don't know. I think I need a more real job than that. It's just that I know that I know how to take care of babies. It's my comfort zone. Ugh. This is just stressing me out, so I'm going to stop now.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Shouldn't Be Alive

Okay, I am slightly buzzed, which is the only way I can even consider relaxing so close to Chrustmas. Am I the only one who is wound tight before Christmas? I think the arrival of my period two days ago doesn't help. Oh well. Better a period than another baby, I say. Ugh. That's another blog altogether.

Okay post #2 for today is all about freezing and mountains.

If any of you tuned in to CNN over the past week or so, you have probably seen the story about the climbers on Mt Hood, in Oregon. This story comes after the tragedy sufffered by the Kim family from California. Each of these news stories made me so sad. I was so hopeful that James Kim would be found alive and that the rescuers would find the other two climbers on Mount Hood.

No such luck in either case.

(Okay, I was far too buzzed to continue this post last night; I saved it and will continue with it now).

Wayne and I were watching "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on Discovery Channel last night. The first episode was about a trio of men who were climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska. They get caught in a storm on the mountain; one guy leaves the other two, so he can bring back help. It was just disastrous and difficult to watch. All three men survive with fewer limbs and/or fingers/toes/nose.

It was just so similar, as far as I know, to the three guys on Mount Hood. All week I kept hoping that the men would be found alive on Mount Hood. When they found the first guy, Kelly James, deceased in a snow cave, I still held out hope for the other two, Brian Hall & Jerry Cooke, to be found alive. They just haven't been found at all. Yet.

It completely amazes me that people put themselves at risk by climbing mountains. It fascinates me-- their drive to get to the top of these high peaks. I so don't have "it" in me, whatever "it" is. I kind of wish I had "it"-- that drive.

The other episode was about a family in, like, 1992 who were on their way from California to Idaho for a funeral. They got stuck in the snow after taking a route that was actually closed for the season. They were, of course, unaware that the road was closed. They had their infant son with them, too. They seek help; dad ends up leaving mom and baby in a cave while he seeks helps. he actually finds help after walking miles upon miles; mom and baby are rescued. Mom and dad end up losing only part of their feet, as a result. Read about it here and here.

I was reminded of that saga when the Kim family was in a similar predicament a few weeks ago. The same situation: dad left the mom and kid(s, in this case) to seek help. However, mom and kids were found first and only later was the dad found, frozen to death.


fa la la la la la la la la

Christmas tizzy. That's where I am now, or actually, what I am coming off of. It has been a crazy week of tying up loose ends in anticipation of The Biggest Holiday of the Year!

We celebrate a secular holiday, as I think I have mentioned in the past. Wayne is Atheist, but I am too wimpy to declare myself as such. I prefer the wishy-washy label of Agnostic.

I was raised Catholic; well, for my first 13 or so years. Maybe a little longer than that. As an adult, I have struggled with the whole "raised Catholic" thing and the Agnostic thing. I love the ritual of the Catholic church; I love the idea of a virgin who carries the son of God, births him in a manger (unassisted "home" birth) and so on.

Mary is my favorite Christian hero. She's like a biblical Wonder Woman of sorts. I love that I can go into a Catholic church and see beautiful images of Mary and the infant Jesus that just make me want to cry. Even if I don't believe that Jesus truly was the son of God (whomever "he" may be), conceived via immaculate conception, the story makes me cry. I get all choked up when I hear the Christ-y Christmas songs. I mean, how can one not-- believer or not?

Wayne asked me the other day if I was going to go to church on Christmas eve. I got a wild hair a few times and dragged the family to services on Christmas eve in the past. I don't feel that need this year, but I have to admit, that I miss the beauty of mass at Christmas. Protestants just don't know what they are missing. The Catholics have the mass thing down perfectly.

Anyway, I participated in a Secret Snowflake exchange with a step-parents group that I've been a part of for years now; my SS gave me the CD "Letting Go of God" by Julia Sweeney. It is wonderful, so far. She was raised Catholic (far more Catholic than I ever was) and was a practicing Catholic well into her adult years. This CD is a 2 hour monologue that details (in a rather humorous way) her transition from Catholic to Atheist. It is so interesting, and so much of what she talks about, I am like, "YES! That is exactly how I feel/think!"

It was a perfect Christmas gift for me.

She talks about the culture of Catholicism, which is what I tend to miss. She says that culturally, she is Catholic. But what exactly is it to be culturally Catholic? I feel the same way, but I'm not quite sure what that means.

This is the first year that I did not buy any Christmas cards with Mary and Jesus. Usually I get a set of secular cards and a set of religious cards; Wayne makes fun of me for it, but I feel like this is a day to honor Mary, if no one else. That poor girl! That poor woman! She suffered much. This year, my cards honored snowy trees and snowmen. Very secular all a round, which made Wayne happy. I think I am falling farther away from faith in God, which makes me sad a little, but I feel secure about it. It's a feeling of sadness in the same way that I feel about the day that Maya will stop believing in Santa Claus.

Julia Sweeney has a blog that is interesting.

As part of our holiday tradition, my mom came over yesterday to bake cookies with me. We made a bazillion cookies, and I was exhausted when we were done. I have one more batch to cook up today: cut-outs that I am doing with Maya, who is at a friend's house now.

Tomorrow our big celebration begins...after the football game.

Wayne and my brother just hooked up one of our Christmas gifts: a 42" LCD TV, which is now hanging on our bedroom wall. It looks suh-weet!

Happy Holidays to you all!

Monday, December 18, 2006

power outage

our power was out for 30 hours this weekend, and it was great fun. We've never had such an enduring power outage since we've lived together. It was crazy. It was all throughout the puget sound. Paige's dad and stepmom still have no power, and they may not get power until the end of the week-- or later.

It was okay, though. We had food, a gas fireplace and a propane grill out back. No hot water, however. We would have had hot water (we had a gas hot water tank), but we got a continuous water heater that uses an ELECTRIC ignition. How stupid is that?? Well, at least we never run out of hot water when there is electricity.

After Maya went to bed and Wayne and I had some time alone, we spent our time as any other hot and heavy couple would:
playing Scrabble, of course!

We played a sober version, first; that was far too difficult. Can I please have a vocabulary that consists of words longer than four or five letters? Ugh! I was playing Wayne; I easily beat him.

Then we played our not-so-sober version. Well, I played it, anyway. He couldn't focus and create words, so I played for both of us. We did quite well in the not-so-sober version. My vocabulary greatly expanded. I think I still beat him, though.

The Scrabble board was a beauty, so I took some pictures of it with the sole intention of a bragging blog.

I think some of the words might be real words. I bet they are all five letters or less, however. Sometimes I hate my damn brain!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

old news, but still...

I came across a letter to the editor almost two weeks ago that made me so mad, made my mouth drop open in disgust and compelled me to cut it out and read it to every member of my family.

The letter is re: the representative from Minnesota, Keith Ellison, who was going to take his "oath of office" on the book of his faith, the Qur'an. This had people completely enraged, which made no sense to me.

It came out soon enough that we Americans don't know diddly squat about our own government (duh) because the reps don't take an oath of office. They do a mass swearing-in type of thing and there are no bibles involved anyway. The bible (or Qur'an) is used as a prop only during photos.

Here is the letter in all it's patriotic greatness:

Someone should tell Ellison this is America, not Iraq


Last updated: December 2nd, 2006 01:31 AM (PST)

Re: Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and his statement that he will swear his oath on the Quran (TNT, 12-1).

This is an outrage. If Ellison wants to swear on the Quran, let him move to Iraq. Is this the same Quran that allows beheading and the stoning of women? Not in our back yard.

Someone should tell him this is the United States of America. If he is allowed to do this, what next for our country? We are already running scared of offending anyone, regardless if their objective is to blow us up on not.

Originally published: December 2nd, 2006 01:00 AM (PST)


I can't believe this person actually wrote that out loud. Billie Tilstra in Graham should be ashamed of him/herself. What American in their right mind would ever have such thoughts?!? A truly UN-American American, if you ask me.

I truly appreciate that The News Tribune printed that little letter because I have always been very proud to live here, in the pacific northwest, where we tend to be more progressive than the rest of the good ol' US of A. This letter is a reminder that there are ignorant, bigoted assholes right in my backyard! Howdy, neighbor! Ew.

Oh, and I just heard on the radio that the Moore Theater used to have separate white and black entrances. I was aghast. I've always told Wayne that there was no segregation here in Washington. I don't know why I thought that; it just seemed like Washington would be above such behavior. I guess I kind of forgot about the Japanese internment, too. Okay, so maybe Washington isn't exempt from a history of bigotry like I like to think.

Friday, December 8, 2006

cook this!

I love this show. Their family is a lot like mine. Their house looks a lot like mine. Chaos. Complete chaos. Always.

The other day I was watching TV and saw that the Roloffs were going to be on Rachael Ray. I'm not a fan of Rachael Ray; she's a little too perky for me to handle, so I've never watched any of her shows, but if the Roloffs are going to be guests, I'll tune in.

It was on earlier this week, but I watched the segment yesterday (love our DVR!!). She had them cook a meal that looked so good I completely changed my dinner idea for the evening and headed to the store at 4pm to get what I needed for this recipe.

It was so good. It was so easy. It was so quick. I think I am sold on Rachael Ray after just one 15-minute segment on her show.

It's called Paprika Chicken Stew with Potato Pierogies. I've never had a pierogi, so for those of you who have also never had a pierogi, it is a potato filled past shell. It's like a potato pot-sticker. I bought frozen potato and onion pierogies. There was also potato and cheese. Anyway, you boil them for a few minutes, then you fry them in butter until they get crunchy like a pot-sticker. So yummy.

My entire family loved this meal. It was hearty, filling and warmifying. Perfect for a cold night.
We ate the pierogies on the side not on top of the stew. We used sour cream and chives instead of lemon and rosemary.


Paprika Chicken Stew with Potato Pierogies

This is a great meal for a family because the longer it sits, the better it gets. Leave the stew on the stove top with the lid on and brown up the pierogies right before serving.


1/2 pound (about half of a package) smoky, good-quality bacon, chopped into half-inch pieces
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided plus some for coating the pierogies
3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, cut into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 rounded tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons butter
24 potato pierogies (if unavailable, serve over buttered egg noodles)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil for the pierogies.

Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, add the bacon and cook until brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pot with the bacon and brown all sides, about 5 minutes. Add onions, carrots and garlic, paprika, cumin, marjoram and bay leaves and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add the flour to the EVOO and mix to form a paste.

Add the white wine, scrapping up all of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes until the stew has thickened.

While the stew is cooking, cook the pierogies according to the package in boiling water. Remove from the water, drain and coat lightly with EVOO so they do not stick together. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and cook until butter turns slightly brown and gives off a nutty smell. Make sure not to burn the butter though! Add the cooked pierogies to the pan and cook until slightly browned on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Serve the stew in large bowls with about a tablespoon of sour cream and chopped chives. Or serve the stew with a sprinkle of lemon zest, rosemary and parsley. Place the pierogies on top of the stew and eat! Yields 6 servings.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

noble $84.50

This week was christmas tree hunting time for the family.

I don't remember ever having a pre-cut Christmas tree in all my life; I know we did have pre-cuts, but I was far too young to recall those years. The main tradition in my family was going out and hunting down a tree, saw in hand, whining and bitching in full gear. And tripping. Lots of tripping. My parents were cool like that.

No, not that kind of tripping. Tripping over cut stumps, blackberry brambles and whatnot.

But the big reward came at the end:

cocoa (or hot apple cider).

Yes, we had cocoa at home, but it tasted so much better out of styrofoam cups with water that was so hot it would burn the upper layer of flesh from your tongue--including all taste buds, which meant you couldn't taste the damn cocoa anyway.

And candy canes. We went to the places that gave away the regular size candy canes; those were the best. I hate the tiny candy canes. We just tromped our asses out in the wet and cold and spent a fortune on a tree that is going to be put on the curb (or the woods out back) in two weeks, so you better give us freaking full size candy canes.

This is a family tradition that I have continued with my own family now. The kids usually bitch and moan, as they did at the pumpkin patch. I actually considered buying a pre-lit artificial tree this year because my neighbor has one, and it looks so good. I couldn't quite go there yet, however, and when I mentioned a fake tree, the kids flipped out, which was nice. It made me think that they really do appreciate the ritual of going out and finding The Perfect Tree for our Perfect Christmas.

We didn't get to the tree farm until 4pm, which meant we had 15 minutes of daylight left to find The Perfect Tree.

Here they are, the tallest of our troops, armed (with saw) and ready to find the one tree that meets Mom's criteria for The Perfect Tree.

Paige checks it out:

Wayne checks the needles (these are Grand Fir, my favorite christmas tree):

Brittani...self explanatory:

Maya wants a little tree:

But we're thinking more along these lines:

Paige thinks she's found The One:

Ha, ha, ha, ha... No.

Maya wishes her opinion counted. It doesn't. Yet. Actually, the only opinion that matters is mine.

Paige lecturing her younger sibs. As usual.

And this is what Brittani thinks:

This picture is, like, the one picture that could sum up my older kids:


Searching high; searching low:

Still no tree:

See how dark it was by the time we threw in the towel? We ended up buying one of the pre-cut trees that they had at the entrance to the tree farm. I almost cried because tradition is something I love, and change is something I detest.

We chose a 9-10' Noble Fir (a first for us) for $84.50. For a tree that we will toss out to the curb for the boy scouts to pick up the week after christmas. What a waste. The fake tree route 9with lights already placed in abundance on each branch) is looking better and better.

Getting the tree up is another blog altogether.

Happy Holiday, peops!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

brit brit and a confession of sorts

As everyone knows by now, Britney and Kevin have split.
I was hopeful for the girl. I thought, she's seems pretty devoted to her kid(s). She was one of a handful of celebrities who are actually seen holding their children. Her wild days were past her, and she really beginning to seem to me to have her maternal hat on somewhat squarely.

Well, there was THIS.

and THIS.

and there was THIS, TOO, but I think this last one was just overblown. Anyone who actually holds their babes in arms will come across a moment where they may stumble. She might want to consider a sling for Jayden, however.

So she leaves K-Fed. Smart move. That decision gave me hope that she would continue to make wiser decisions for herself and for her kids.


Of course, soon after her separation, she began leaving the kids at home and partying with the scourge that is Paris Hilton.

I remember when I split with my previous husband-- I started hanging out with a friend who was somewhat toxic for me. I think it's normal for women who are finally free of and independent from a burdensome man to transition to a female friend who is equally toxic.

My friend was named Melissa Maier. She was so much fun! We clicked really well together pretty much immediately. She and I worked together as CNAs at a nursing home in town. We worked the swing shift (3p-11p), which left us with time to go out after work and time to sleep in in the morning. Did I neglect to mention that I had a 4 y.o. daughter at the time? Okay, well, I did. Paige was pretty much on her own or cared for by my mom in the mornings.

I was not a good mom. I was self-centered and focused on what I needed at the expense of my child's needs. I even allowed Melissa to, at times, discipline my child.

Looking back, I am totally embarassed by my lack of concern for Paige. Obviously I loved Paige, and I cared about what happened to her, but i was simply too preoccupied with what I wanted to see what she needed beyond the basic necessities. It takes work to be consistent with discipline, and I was too lazy and over-worked to deal with being consistent. I let Melissa take up the slack. She wasn't always the kindest person with her words towards Paige. I think she may have even begun to see herself as a parent-type to Paige.

Paige was a holy terror, as either my brother or sister will attest, but she was totally a product of her child-rearing. Kids who act up like she used to are often acting out to attract attention. Any attention (including negative) is better than zero or minimal attention; is better than feeling like your parent sees right through you except to yell at you.

It makes me so sad to see other women doing exactly what I did. It's difficult for me to say anything about that type of behavior without sounding condescending, and I have definitely been accused of looking down upon others from my high horse. I'm not, though. I have so totally been there, and I know the damage that can be done on so many levels.

Melissa and I eventually moved in together (ROOMIES! YAY! How FUN!), and Paige was miserable. Partying was intensified. Paige was usually gone for those parties because she did see her dad regularly, but then she would have to deal with tired, cranky, too busy for Paige mom. Sometimes hung-over mom, too. I thought it was all okay because i would party while she was gone. How could it possibly affect her?

Melissa was definitely my Paris-- until she started stealing money from my checking account, lost her job because she was always high and would call-in to work and then she eventually moved out. Abruptly with no notice and leaving me responsible for 4 more months on a lease that I could not afford on my own. I doubt Paris will do that to Brit-Brit, but you know what I mean.

I wonder how many women surround themselves with a toxic friend after a big break-up-- the kind of friend who can smell vulnerability and a desire for rebellion in a person and who feeds off of that to her own benefit. I've known other women who have gone through the same type of thing, but the difficulty is that a relationship of that type is not really recognizable until damage has been done. To kids. To the mother-child relationship. To the woman's financial well-being. To her mental well-being. And so on.

Poor Brit-Brit. She's just trying to assert her independence. She's trying to feel like she's not suffocating.

I hope she curbs her partying a bit simply because she will never gain back these years with her kids. Anyone who says to her, "Girl, you need this! Your kids are fine; they won't even know you're gone" etc are not doing her any favors. Our kids do not ask to be brought into this world; we brought them here, so the least we can do is respect their presence.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

you can get anything you want...

Maya and I just finished watching Alice's Restaurant. If you don't know what Alice's Restaurant is, you have horrible parents. No lie. As it is for many people, Alice's Restaurant is a Thanksgiving tradition for my family; I used to roll my eyes when mom would put the record on, but it always made me laugh. Arlo's a funny guy. And I used to think he was cute-- just look at the album cover. He was cute.

For all the times I have listened to Alice's Restaurant, I don't think I've ever seen the movie. I'm sure I have, but it isn't in my memory bank.

I liked it. It was sad. Maya said to me, "Don't cry mommy..." I didn't expect it to be so sad. I was really impressed at how well it has held up; it didn't seem dated--especially with our troops endlessly serving in Iraq.

There was a very nice love scene between Arlo and his chick; it wasn't graphic at all. There were bare limbs and backs. No breasts or pecs. Totally PG. Not even PG-13.

Wayne calls minutes after the scene and Maya wants to talk to him. She tells him: "Mommy and me are watching a movie with sex in it, and I don't like that part."


We ended up having a discussion about how sex is something that adults do when they feel very strongly about each other. When they love each other. She still thinks sex is gross, and I told her that's good because she's not an adult; sex is supposed to be gross when you're 6. Duh. I also reminded her that sex is how one conceives (makes) a baby. her reply: "oh, okay."

I figured we were done.

Several minutes later, she says: "So you had sex because you wanted me and Paige, and daddy had sex with Brittani's mommy so he could have Brittani, and two plus one is three, right?"

I answered yes to all of her questions.

The she said, "I'm going to write that down!" and she ran to her whiteboard. I was afraid of what she'd write. Was it going to be a 6-year-old's drawing of baby-makin' sex? I am not one to thwart creativity or inquisitiveness (unless it interrupts my movie!), so I allowed her to proceed to express our discussion on whiteboard. In purple pen.

Fortunately, she wrote 2+1=3.

My girl is going to be a mathematical genius.

OH! I forgot to mention that Arlo's wife has a youtube! It's kinda cool.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

(recipe) only the best baked potato soup ever

It was brought to my attention that I neglected to post the baked potato soup recipe at the end of my previous post. Duh.

I have been making baked potato soup for years, and then I lost my recipe. I'm totally a "follow the recipe-- or at least try to" kind of girl. Usually I misread the recipe (or don't read it all the way through first) and then I screw it up.

This recipe is better than my last baked Potato Soup recipe-- less involved. I like less involved recipes. Simplicity is my middle name (actually, it's Christine, but you get the idea).

Only The Best Baked Potato Soup Ever

Prep: ~25 mins
Cook time (not incl. potatoes & bacon) ~30 mins
Servings: 6 generous portions

12 slices bacon
2/3 c. butter
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
7 c. milk
4 large baked potatoes, meat scooped out, toss peels
4 green onions, chopped
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. sour cream
1t salt
1t ground pepper


  1. Brown bacon, crumble, set aside (this is the most time consuming portion of this meal-- have your husband cook the bacon, if possible. Let him get bacon grease spit at him).
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add bacon, sour cream, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until cheese is melted.
I serve this with a loaf of French bread (or is it french bread?).


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

let it snow...

Well, be careful what you ask for.
All I wanted was a 2 hour delay of the school day, but instead, school was canceled. There wasn't even very much snow, but it was icy. People were sliding all over the damn road-- especially those super cool SUVs and pick-up trucks.

I drove Britt to a friend's house. Paige walked to a friend's house (she was being completely rude, so I refused to drive her). There's no school again tomorrow, so Kels and Brian were here for dinner, and the three of them are in the hot tub now.

The kids all loved my baked potato soup. You should try it. I'll put the recipe at the end of this post. For now, it's picture time!

I have yet to figure out how to photograph my house in a way that makes it appear even somewhat attractive. Having Wayne in the picture helps :-)

As you can see, we didn't get much snow, but it was enough to bring the entire puget sound to a halt:

to da left:

to da right:

I drove today, and while I was coming home (around 4:30), I took a few pictures. I was driving and trying to not rear-end the person in front of me. While on the cell phone.

Just kidding.

It was balmy today:

Nice color to the sky in the background:

I managed to avoid rear-ending this person:

The mountain (Mt Rainier) looked awesome. This time next year, a Lowe's will probably be in the foreground lot:

Happy Snow Day, to all!

Monday, November 27, 2006

potty pitchers

Okay, here is the downstairs powder room "before":


Here's a weird angle. Wayne obviously took this picture because I am only 5'2", and this is an angle I have yet to see.

Now, the new and improved powder room (I'm thinking about changing the outlet and light covers to stainless instead of white):

The walls are green, which is hard to see because I suck at taking pictures. I love it! It seems bigger now, believe it or not. I don't know if I should put a framed print of some sort in there or just some It'll come to me. It looks so much warmer now.

I'm so psyched to get moving on the rest of the downstairs. Next, wood floors in the front room and dining room. I think I've convinced Wayne to go with hardwood instead of laminate. Alcohol and sex-- that's all it takes to convince Wayne of anything.

Forgot to mention: it's still snowing! I'm hoping for another 2-hr delay!

It really only takes an accumulation of this depth to bring our entire area to a complete halt. Rain, we can do; Snow? We're screwed! Everyone around here knows that snow in the PacNW means: NO WORK!!! NO SCHOOL!!!

i'm a lucky girl

I got my two hour delay today. I was so happy. So, so happy.
It snowed last night (or this morning-- I was sleeping), and it barely dusted the ground, which was enough to keep me warm in my bed until 8:30am.
It was delightful.
It is snowing, again (turn to Monday Night Footbal, if you want proof!), so we may have another two hour delay tomorrow. I am absolutely gleeful.

I'm totally ready for Winter Vacation. Unlike a lot of parents, I love when my kids are out of school. I hate schedules and being in school requires some degree of scheduling, which stresses me out.

What else...

Oh, my powder room is finally finished. We put back the molding; we hung the mirror, secured the sink to the wall and put in a new towel rack and toilet paper holder. I even bought new hand towels: light brown, light purple and sage-y green. Nice.

I have pictures of the completed room, but i need to upload them on my other computer, which is in use by one or more of the kids right now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

i have zero follow-through

Yeah, I pretty much suck at this NaBloPoMo thing. I messed up on the 15th (for good reason!) and forgot to post, but I thought I would redeem myself by continuing to post daily. What's one urp?
Then I slacked on Friday and Saturday. I seriously thought I did blog on Friday, and yesterday was too busy and then I was too drunk-- too drunk to even do a drunk blog.

Yesterday Wayne and I cleaned our garage. It was a monumental task, and we're still not done. It's better, though. We took 1,700 lbs of trash to the landfill. 1,700 lbs of trash from in and around our house. I feel horribly guilty about how much trash we create. It's sick.

I am giving away some things on 2good2toss. Some people will take anything that's free. Roll top desk--taken. 3 30" tall bistro chairs and a tabletop from fountain-- I've received about 6 emails from interested people. They usually want both the fountain and the chairs, even though they are listed separately. I have a push-mower I'm going to list, too, so we'll see how long before that is taken. It helps that I'm giving everything away for free. I imagine the people who want this stuff have 20 cats, a few cars up on blocks in the front yard and maybe a toilet that they use as a planter. Their home is over-run with tons of stuff that they will use "someday, somehow."

I gave a ton of shoes, clothes, books and toys to the Goodwill. Wayne said the lady at the donation station was thrilled because we have "great stuff." When he told me that, I started to wonder if I was getting rid of too much stuff. If I didn't, though, I would be like the person I described in the paragraph above-- sans cats because Wayne is deathly allergic.

The dump is an interesting place. I remember being so excited to go to the dump with my dad when I was a kid. Back then, it really was a landfill. Dad would drive to the edge and push all his trash over the edge to the depths below. It was kind of scary.

Now, we pull into a large warehouse-type area that is all concrete. We dump our stuff into a pile, and a front loader thing takes it all away to wherever. New Jersey, maybe? It is so much garbage. So many people. We rented a U-Haul to take our trash over, and there were at least 3 other U-Hauls while we were there, which pretty much grossed me out. We used the U-Haul to take away wet, nasty trash, and next someone may use it to haul their beautiful, brand new leather sofa set. Ew.

Last night, after a hard day of loading crap into a U-Haul, we decided we needed to get out. Maya was invited to a slumber party, so it was a great opportunity to go out for a nice dinner. We even dressed up. Yes, I wore make-up. That is a big deal. I had several lemondrops, which were double-shot lemondrops. That is a big deal. That is something I should have paid closer attention to. I did sleep well. And hard. I awoke with a minimal hangover-- nothing that 3 ibuprofen and a peppermint mocha couldn't cure.

We might get snow tonight. Cross your fingers for me because I don't want to get up and get Maya off to school in the morning. I need one more day. Please, please, please just give me a 2 hour delay.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

gobble, gobble

It's Thanksgiving, so I think I will list some things I am thankful for, in no particular order.

  1. My new Marie Antoinette Soundtrack CD that came in the mail yesterday
  2. The pretty in pink iPod Nano with which I can listen to the new CD. The iPod is only the best thing ever. After flush toilets, of course.
  3. Sleeping past 6:30 today. Yea!
  4. Maya watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade-- damn near made me cry.
  5. My family still sleeping at 9:59am (except Maya)
  6. Wayne is off all weekend!
  7. The rain. Everyone else hates it. I embrace it, love and am so grateful for it. Only because *I* didn't get flooded.
  8. My mommy.
  9. My daddy.
  10. My wonderful husband. He really is the best. I love him the mostest.
  11. My kids, even when they annoy me and make me cry.
  12. My home, which I am grateful for every day. I never thought I would be a home owner.
  13. My van. I thought I would be driving my damn '95 Tercel forever.
  14. My sister, even though we have distanced.
  15. My brother. He's always the same :-)
  16. My grandma-- cancer free!
  17. My grandpa-- getting better!
  18. My niece and nephew-- good kids going through some tough adjustments.
  19. My maternal cousins, even though I'm not so fond of them right now.
  20. My paternal cousins: Jesse, Julia and Nathan. I miss them. I hope they are well.
  21. My aunts and uncles-- those who are living (Donald, Debbie, Janet) and those who are part of my memories (Dan, Rita).
  22. My paternal grandparents, who my children never got to know, but who are such a part of my childhood memories. It makes me sad that my kids will never see what a true K***** Thanksgiving is like. "AI-LEEN!" Bring on the Gallo, baby.
  23. My new tile floor, which proved that Wayne and I can work together in stressful situations and not want to kill each other. Yes, we may even be able to survive The Amazing Race. (I just spoiled myself when I looked up that link...dammit, Chos!)
  24. Swearing, which really helps us be able to work together without killing each other. "ASSHOLE" goes a long way in expressing how one feels about another without having to resort to physical violence.
Okay, I have ton and tons of reasons to be thankful on this day. My life is better than I ever imagined it would be. I'm happy, healthy and have lots of people whom I love and who love me (hopefully I got that who and whom right).

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I wish everyone a nice hot meal with people who give half a damn about you.

(btw, the Marie Antoinette CD, which I finally finished listening to, is too awesome!!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I have had seven inquiries about my class in two days. I can tell I'll be full by Xmas. Yay!!

I mentioned in an earlier post that people post a lot of recipes and photos of delish food on their blogs (bastards!), and I rarely cook. Well, thanks to the holidays-- and I guess my birth order-- I am a cooking fool this week. Today I made a three-layer carrot cake that is the moistest cake ever with a cream cheese frosting that is like biting into a cheesecake. It is the best frosting ever. The PTA is hosting a teacher appreciation dessert thing tomorrow, which is why I made the carrot cake. From scratch. Oh yeah, I'm in the motherf'in PTA, too. How bad-ass am I? Fuck yeah.

I also made chicken marsala, but it's so easy to make-- it just sounds like it would be complicated.

I still have to make squash soup, pecan pie and green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, which is Thursday, for those who don't live in the US o' A. Like, I never know when Canada celebrates Thanksgiving. I didn't even know they did until a few years ago. Did pilgrims land there, too?

Anyway, while I am working away on three different dishes, my younger sibs, who are both now in their 30's, are bringing lame stuff like cheese and crackers. Puh-leeze!

Speaking of pilgrims, I was watching the Mayflower show that aired on the History Channel (damn, I sound old!). It was good-- so far. I still have to watch about half of it. When I watch shows like that, it becomes so obvious to me how ignorant I am about American history. There's just so much to remember! I should be grateful I don't live in Italy or something and have to learn Italian history-- now that is really so much to remember.

We got a sauna today. I can't wait to use it, but first we must create a space for it. In the garage. Right here:

Yeah, we have to clear all that out. We rented a U-Haul to get the task done (Saturday), and I'm listing stuff on 2 Good 2 Toss.

And the floor that used to look like this:

now looks like this:

The walls are green now, too, which is hard to see in the pictures. Where there once was carpet, now lies tile. I love it, love it,love it! I am ready to tile the kitchen, but Wayne is so not there yet.

I love this angle (below)-- too bad I was too lazy to move the broom and the vacuum attachment out of the way. Oh well. You can see a little bit of my new favorite sucker, too (my Dyson). Laundry room is to the left and powder room on the right.

I am quite proud of how it turned out.

Well, I am going to go see my husband, who has made himself scarce around here the past 5 days due to his two jobs (he's clocked about 88 hours in the past 5 days--straight).

Monday, November 20, 2006

the end

Tonight was the final class of my fall Bradley series.

It was such a great class, too! They all seemed to learn so much, and I can't wait to meet their new babies.

Off to watch heroes...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

please note:

I'm a freaking blogging fool tonight! This is what happens when one is deprived of all media for a week. BINGE!!!!

Okay, I was using the NaBloPoMo Randomizer, which is a nifty little do-hicky, and I am impressed that someone made it up. It probably requires mathematical skills, of which I have few, to create something of that nature.

So, as I was perusing through the randomizer, I cam across this link about a BIG HORSE. It is no way ENUMCLAW -like, so don't be afeared to click that link. It's just stupidly funny.

I must mention that, in my perusing of blogs using the Nifty Little Do-Hicky a/k/a the NaBloPoMo Randomizer, I have noticed that a lot of people cook home cooked meals. I know this because they post recipes with pictures that stir up my salivary glands. I made tacos this week. They weren't very photogenic, however.

Friday, November 17, 2006

planning ahead

I am so doing this next year. I know you want to do it, too.

big meanies

Cops have been in my thoughts for two days now. Not constantly just passing annoyed thoughts.

There was THIS article in my local paper. I don't actually live in Tacoma, and there is most definitely a reason why I don't (won't) live there: I have three kids, and I have the option to live elsewhere. However, I think it is completely out of line for a Tacoma police officer to blow off the citizens of the city that employs him (or her). I can only imagine the citizens' frustration.

Then there was THIS FOLLOW UP article.

Really, is everyone just supposed to up and leave Tacoma, the third most populated city in Washington, simply because it's Tacoma? Tacoma, the land of gangs,within Pierce county, the meth capital of the western US. It's an urban area and has all the features and flaws of any urban area across the US. It's probably much quiter than most cities. There is crime, and police, for whatever my opinion is worth, should be working to forge relationships with stewards of the community rather than dismissing their concerns.


Then there was this video from UCLA. I know this kid was being disorderly or whatever. he was breaking the rules, pushing the enevelope, but he seemed to be trying to leave until they tased him over and over. I love how the students stand a safe distance back but are definitely trying to defend the guy. I like how the cop, towards the end of the video, says to one guy, "stand back or you'll get tased." They wave those things around like it's no big deal. Ugh. They need to take my friend's effective parenting class.

This video shows student reactions to the video. One kid says that the guy deserved it because he didn't follow the rules. Since when did not following the rules justify tasing? There was a time when civil disobedience was somewhat respected. We won't react until you act. That time has so passed us by. I just wonder: how easy is it to get up and walk away after being tased? They kept yelling at him to stand up. I don't think that would be very easy, but I've never been tased.

Tangent, sort of.

When I was in my twenties, I listened to a local radio station that played Crimestoppers PSAs, and they guy who read the details of the Crimestoppers cases was "Officer Lee Giles." He was always very Dragnet-y in his voiceovers. There was even a major radio dj duo who had a character based off of Officer Giles (at least that was what I always thought).

We were in South Carolina for a good two weeks in August, and when we came back to town, once we got over our denial of the end of vacation, we started reading the newspaper again. I was shocked to come across a story about Officer Lee Giles. Blows my mind.

I am off to catch up on Nip/Tuck.


I apologize for my lamest of blogs over the past several days. It's been hell week, but now it is (almost) over. Yea!

Ever since the girls (Paige and Brittani are The Girls) were little, we have, on occasion, taken them out of school for various activities: the fair, the beach, the tulip festival, the movies. It's harder now that they are older because they have after school activities and to miss classes isn't as easy as it was in 4th grade. Now there is major make-up work to be done when they miss a class.

The three of us decided we wanted to see Marie Antoinette together, but it is really being pulled from theaters, I assume due to low ticket sales. I was going to take the girls out of school last week, but Brittani was sick for, like, three days, so she couldn't miss anymore school. We decided to go to the movie this week, Thursday(Yesterday), instead. It was after school because they each had their clubs that they participate in on Thursdays.

Brittani and I had some time alone before picking up Paige, and it was good. She's been in a mellow phase lately. The lying seems to have decreased-- that or we aren't as good at catching her as we once were. She and her BF broke up Wednesday. She said she felt good about it but that he was really sad. She feels free, so I told her it must have been the right decision. I'm happy for her. She made a good decision and she didn't get her heart broken. She said dating this one boy has been affecting her grades, and he's too clingy. I told her it was mature of her to see her grades slip and to take action to remove her distraction.

Paige and I, of course, got into an argument before entering the theater because that's what we do. That is our dynamic, and no matter how hard I try to change it, she still continues to want to have that dynamic. She's well-trained, I guess. Our fight this time was over Tolo. I am no longer funding her dances because she acts like a Royal Bitch to me anytime around a dance. It isn't worth it, to me, to drive her everywhere to get whatnot done to her hair, nails, etc, find her the perfect outfit/shoes, accessories to only be treated like a big steamy pile of crapola. I. Am. Done. She's old enough to get a job to fund her own extravagances.

The movie was great. Paige and I loved it, but Brittani, in her post-break-up status, thought it was too depressing. I can see that, too. It was sad.

Paige and I were talking about the trend back in the day of wearing powdered wigs and powdered faces. The big dresses. Who decided that was trendy? Who decided to sway away from women wearing dresses? I know nothing about fashion history, but I would guess the "women must wear dresses" rule died during WWII. But even before that, poofy had deflated. I say, bring back the poofy dresses with corsets that accentuate the cleavage. I'd have killer cleavage in something like that, and it would hide the cellulite in my legs and the wideness of my ass. Oh, and the shoes in the movie-- gorgeous.

I'm not even a shoe person, but who could resist shoes that look like confections?! Delish!

Marie Antoinette is a very pretty film. Kirsten Dunst was perfectly vapid in her role as MA. There really wasn't any depth to the film, but it was so easy on the eyes.

I need to read the book now. I love biographies.

When I got home, Wayne and I grouted the tile. Yeah, baby. Now my life can continue normally. I will post pictures after we get the new sink/vanity in.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


it is done!! I have two minutes to get this post in under the wire.


I forgot to blog yesterday. I woke at 3am and remembered. I am so pissed at myself.


Oh well. I lasted 14 days of daily blogging. It's not as easy as it sounds-- especially when one is super busy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

crazy ass mudder f'ers

I do enjoy reading blogs.
There is one blog that I read fairly regularly; the blogger is a friend of my sister's.
In her blog today, she wrote about how a blog another person wrote was commented (over and over) by crazy military wives. You have to read the other person's blog. You have to read what those crazy women have to say.

I don't agree with our presence in Iraq. I detest our President. However, I don't hate our troops. As far as I am concerned, they are men and women who are doing a job. They are contractually and legally bound to continue with their jobs until they are told they can go elsewhere.

I don't understand people who think that to be a Good American, you must support, unconditionally, whomever is president. Wha??? That's just crazy thinking. And to assume that every person in the American armed forces agree with and love the President is insane.

You will never see me hate on the troops. Never. I don't think we'll again see the military treated as they were during VietNam, but to state that only people inthe military or in government have a right to voice their opinions on American policy is just crazy.

Those chicks are crazy ass motherfuckers, man.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I had to teach my class tonight in Tacoma. Usually I teach out of my home, which is not in Tacoma, but my house is scary right now. Not conducive to relaxation, one might say. It looks kids of like a minor bomb went off here.

My friend, Jen, has been teaching at this chiropractor's office for a long time. He recently made an apartment next to the office available for her to teach in, and I love it. He wants to make it open for other groups, like LLLI groups, ICAN of Tacoma (that would have been so nice for us!) and Bradley teachers. He would also like a midwife and LMP have their practices there. It's a good, open space with enough room for a massage room and an exam room, plus a waiting area and bathroom. I thought it might make a good birth center, but that's a lot of work.

I'm thinking of teaching there instead of at my house simply because it is so easily accessible off of I-5. My house is out in the boonies. My students tend to complain about the drive, and I don't blame them. Traffic is a bitch, and class starts at 6:30--right in the worst traffic time. I'll have to think about it because commuting would really suck-- especially for a job where I make no money.

Paige had her final drive in driver's ed tonight. She can take her written test whenever and her driving test in two weeks. Wow. How did I get old enough to have a sixteen year old, anyway?

I am so tired again tonight. I got Maya off to school, and then Wayne and I went back to bed. We slept from 8:30 until 11:00. We so needed the sleep. I cannot wait for this job to be over, but we're already talking about tiling the kitchen and other two bathrooms ourselves. With those rooms, we'll add electric radiant heat.

Oh!!! One of my students had their baby; they had their first baby in 2004, and they took my classes, then, too. They had a baby girl on Thursday: 1olbs9oz and 20.5 inches long. She had her baby verrry fast-- she barely made it to the hospital. Half of baby was born in the elevator and the rest was born on the gurney as they entered the LDR room. No drugs. No tearing. Yea for them!! They are babymooning now. Have I mentioned that I love my job?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

painfully dull

another day spent tiling. damn. this is so lame. I am simply unable to post a blog of any interest because all my creativity is disappearing with each screw I drill into the damn backer board. Thanks god for electric drills. Can you imagine screwing 600 screws by hand?

Wayne and I truly understand, and are beginning to appreciate, the high cost of manual labor. God, so I appreciate it. If we had paid several thousand dollars to have a pro come and do this job, it would have been done today. We hope to be done by Thursday. Note that we began the project on Thursday. One week to tile 120 square feet of space. Novices.

Okay, it's 11:32pm, and I am coming in right under the NaBloMo wire.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

renovation continues

Okay, now I know why we usually hire people to do all the work around our house. DIY is over-rated. Highly over-rated.

We are on Day Three of our bathroom/mudroom/laundry room renovation. Wayne is working on zero sleep in 42 hours, and he is busting his ass. He was under the house today (always good times!), since we had to replace a section of subfloor that had water damage. He replaced that, which took hours, and now he is putting down the hardibacker for the tile. Painting is nearly done; I have two walls and edges that need a second coat. We are hoping that tiling can begin tomorrow afternoon.

I'm working with a mild hangover, so I've been hoping for Wayne to collapse in exhaustion all day, so I can sleep, too. But no, he's so fucking determined to get the hardibacker done, at the very least. He promises that after that, we can soak in the hot tub. yea.

Paige has two friends over tonight, and Brittani has one friend over. It's been busy around here today, and poor Maya was pretty much ignored and played with her Little Ponies all day. She is really good at entertaining herself, thank god.

We have no washer and dryer for an unknown length of time. In fact, the washer and dryer are sitting on our front porch! So white trash. I wonder if we will get a letter from the HOA.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Damn! Almost missed a day!

My internet was down all day today, which pretty much sucked for the whole family.
I had a candle party tonight, which was lovely. I miss so many of my friends; we get so busy with kids and mundane daily life that friendships take a backseat. It was great to reconnect. if only briefly.

Anyway, my friend and candle lady, Cassie, told me that ever since they started using a particular wireless modem (or whatever), they have problems connecting to the internet. We happen to have bought that same wireless modem, so I tried her tip (to disconnect the modem and reconnect it), and now I have internet. yea!

I painted and ran kids around all day, and now I am slightly inebriated. Damn you, red wine. Pinot noir. I have to get the kidlet to bed and resume painting. Consider this my slightly drunk post for the day.

Thursday, November 9, 2006


I took these pictures about two weeks ago. I just came across them as I was going through some of my photos from this past weekend.

I was taking Maya to the bus, and I thought there was frost all over the lawn. We got outside, and it was obvious that it was spider webs. There were webs all over the lawn, the roses, the pumpkins, our lights...everywhere. I assume that a sack of spider eggs hatched in the night. The webs were all gone by the afternoon.

18 Days

Paige turned 16 in August and is able to test for her driver's license on November 24th, but she has to wait until the 27th due to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

She has no job, and Wayne doesn't want her to have a job. I think she should, at the very least, work weekends. The child has a pretty high standard of living, and it keeps getting higher.

She wants a car, but I am so not inclined to gift her a car. Hell to the no, baby. She can be a sweet child, when things are going exactly how she wants them to go, but god forbid you ask her to:
  • wash her dirty towels (or at least pick them out of the middle of the hallway)
  • clean her own damn bathroom, which is just yucky.
  • do anything around the house that makes life comfortable for anyone but herself.
I want her to drive; no, I need her to drive because if she doesn't start transporting herself places, she's going to drive me crazy. She doesn't understand that we won't be able to get her the 2006 Jetta that she has her heart set on (cannot believe she even thinks she will get anything better than a beater car). Insurance will be more, definitely. Gas, maintenance. The child simply has no clue how much it costs to have a car.

It was a bit of a debate last night. The fact that these kids just assume that they deserve a car once they turn 16 is crazy! Is the gift of a car at age 16 their reward for, what, surviving? I picked Paige up from school today, and I passed kid after kid driving cute cars while talking on their cell phones with anywhere from 1-3 passengers in the car.

I'm leaning strongly towards no car for Paige; get a job on weekends, save money and we help pay for a car. It will be hard on her, but welcome to life as we know it. I'm not quite sure how she will work out seeing her dad on weekends, if she has a job.

Oh, and my overly-indulged, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister wearing daughter, who spends a great deal of time each day straightening her professionally bleached hair has decided that she wants to be a teacher and to pay for her education, she will volunteer to teach in needy areas in the US and (hopefully) internationally. I hope she continues to aim for that as her goal, but I can't see her giving up the luxuries that surround her in her daily life. I would be very proud of her.

Anyway, Wayne is trying to blow the roof off our house. How can one person snore so damn loudly?

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Wayne and I performed our civic duty and put forth our ballots yesterday. We vote by absentee, and I deposited my ballot into the local drop box yesterday. I reminded Wayne several time to get his done, and he got his done in about half an hour or forty-five minutes after work.

He was putting his ballot into his secrecy envelope and then into the main envelope, which includes his name and address, and he signs and dates the envelope.

Well, as he was signing, he realized he had my envelope. I signed and turned in his envelope. I assume this means our well-thought votes are null and void. Dammit. He dropped his ballot off anyway.

Well, I awoke this morning to wonderful news:
  • Nancy Pelosi is the new Speaker-- the first woman to hold this position!
  • Maria Cantwell won (yea!)
  • Hillary won by an overwhelming majority. Hillary in 2008
  • Rummy is his-tor-yyyyyy. Happy dance!
I hope Darcy Burner will beat Dave Reichert. This morning, it was too close to call.

Other stuff:

My grandpa had surgery to remove his parathyroid yesterday. Recovery is slow but steady, my grandma said.

I bought the paint for our powder room and will, hopefully, be starting our painting and tiling of our powder room, laundry room and mud-area tomorrow. I think I'll start pulling up molding today. Yeah! Demo work!

This is the tile:

Originally, we were only going to tile the bathroom and later the laundry room. The project has since expanded. Of course.

Wish us luck with our DIY project; we've never done DIY before. We may be bruised and bloodied by the time we're done.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Randomly Before I Go

On our way home from The Mountain this weekend, I took some pictures. It was raining, so wayne held an umbrella over my head as I walked around and took photos. I felt like P. Diddy, or whatever he goes by these days.

Alder lake, where we went camping this summer, is drained or whatever. I guess it's probably dammed up. Anyway, here are some pics of the lake stumps.

Monday, November 6, 2006


I am so freaking tired right now.

I had class tonight, and it went really well. We did a half hour labor rehearsal, went over second stage labor, watched a movie (Psalm & Zoya) and each husband gave his wife a 20-minute foot bath and foot/leg massage. I love that part of class; I love looking around the rooms, seeing the couples working together so well, smelling lavender and whatever massage oils/lotions they've brought. The wives are always so surprised because I have the guys get the stuff together secretly. One guy even had his wife buy the stuff he needed, but she was clueless as to why. She said that one year he had her wrap her own Christmas present-- he told her it was a gift for his brother. They crack me up!

Only two more classes andthen I don't teach again until January.

More tomorrow. I need to go to bed.

Sunday, November 5, 2006


I am back and able to post from the comfort of my own home-- not while parked in front of a grimy gas station. Mobile posting, while convenient, isn't easy. Wayne has a Treo, and I am just not comfortable using it. He's on that thing so damn much that I have started calling him Paris. I feel all fat-fingered when I use it.

Our anniversary was wonderful. It rained the entire time, which is fine with us. We had our spa appointments yesterday, and it was, as usual, awesome. I am so happy that I live here in the PacNW because it really is the most beautifulest place to live.

Oh, and really cool: I got a new Nano. Pink. My Mini got fried somehow or other. I am in the process of d/l new iTunes software now.

Okay, so I was getting a pedi on Friday before we left, and I was reading the November issue of my favorite magaine: Vanity Fair. I love VF because it has lengthy articles that I am unable to read in one sitting, but it also satisfies my disturbing fascination with all things celebrity. I love Graydon Carter's editorials, too. He knows how to say exactly what I think.

Well, there I am in the lovely pedi chair, getting my feet scrubbed, nails filed, feet and legs massaged (oh, so nicely massaged), and I am reading this article, Rules of Engagement. The article had me squirming in the pedi chair; I truly felt like jumping up and out of there. I wanted to discuss the article with the woman who was doing my pedi, but she barely spoke English, and I speak no Vietnamese. I was seriously ready to cry.

I think that we, our military, doesn't need to be over in Iraq right now. The time to leave has come and gone, but we are still there. They, the men and women of our country, are still there. It makes me sad to think of the things they endure while in Iraq. It saddens me to think of the things they are forced to do to others to preserve their own lives. A person cannot help but to become changed while in war.

I haven't finished the article yet, but I am almost finished. The photog whose photos are in the article has a website, too; his name is Lucian Read (coolest name ever). You can see photos of Marines in Iraq here. Some of the men that are mentioned in the article are pictured there. You can see some of the portraits of Kilo company here. If those don't work, try here.

One of the guys from the article, James Crossan, is from the town where I went to high school. He's so young. They're all so young.

I am going to finish that article now with my tissues at arm's reach.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Still out

I am sitting in front of a gas station outside of mount rainier to post this blog. It's raining but no sign of snow. Boring blog #2 done. Back to normal blogging tomorrow.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Getting away

I'm using wayne's phone to blog, which is no easy task. This is going to have to count as my blog for today. I will have pictures, maybe, tomorrow.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Blog test

Hi. Mobile blogging test. Do I pass?

Partying all night!

Okay. Not really.
I am so freaking exhausted right now.
Maya came down with a cold last night around 1:30 in the morning. She was up all night-- in our bed. When she wasn't asking for tissues, medicine, water or the bathroom (or just shoving her fingers in my armpit), Wayne was snoring so loud that I couldn't get any sleep. Then his damn phone starts vibrating, which he missed, and so it vibrated every few minutes for several hours. He was impossible to awaken, for some reason. Note that he slept while I dealt with Sickie Maya.

I am a cranky bitch today; I can feel it.

Last night we watched Click. It was kind of cheesy and predictable, but it was good. Maya cried.

I have two teenagers, Paige:16 & Brittani: 14, so I know how quickly your children's childhood passes by. You think you want it to go by so fast-- get done with the clingy baby stage, the nursing all the time, the neediness, the attitude that comes waaaayyy too early in their lives, the general, "I have to put myself on the backburner" feeling that happens while parenting-- but then it's gone. Kids hit an age when you are not The Shit. They hit an age, usually prepubescent, when they want less to do with mom & dad and more to do with their friends. It's normal and natural-- how else would you ever get them to leave the nest--but it makes one wish for more time with their kids when their kids actually wanted to spend time with them.

It makes me sad when I see parents who, like I did, try to rush their kids through childhood or try to find any opportunity to spend less time with their kids because it's gone before you know it, and you can never get it back. I try to tell parents, as I was told, to enjoy your children today. It can be hard; I know. Trust me, angelic children have not been borne from my womb, and there were days where I thought I was going to kill someone (myself, usually).

All that said about enjoying your children, Wayne and I are going to enjoy ourselves without our children this weekend. That's important, too, btw. It is our anniversary (2 years married & 10 years together)!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Okay, I'm doing it.
I am resurrecting my blog for NaBloPoMo.
Avtually, I have been blogging away on myspace, which really frustrates the hell out of me because it's crap; I don't even remember why I went back to blogging on myspace. Oh well. This month, I will be blogging here, and I will post the same exact blog on my myspace. I don't think anyone who reads my myspace really knows this blog ever existed.

Today is All Saints Day. The last time I attended mass was on All Saints Day in, maybe, 1993. Yes, I'm pretty certain it was 1993 because I was engaged to be married, and I thought I wanted to be married in the Catholic church. I only went that one time, and then I decided to get married at a winery.


It's not as though I haven't set foot in a Catholic church since then-- I've attended funeral masses and nuptial masses and baptisms, but never a tried and true weekday or weekend mass. I planned on attending mass this morning. Really, I did. There is a Catholic church right across the street from my development, pretty much. I drive past it daily, and last week, for some reason, I actually read the sign. I never read the sign at that church. They have mass masses, and I thought, I am going to attend a mass during the week-- you know, when only the elderly devout Catholics attend. I can sit quietly in the back, not receive communion and be unnoticed.
For some reason, horrible anxiety overtakes me whan I enter a Catholic church. It doesn't happen when I go to Protestant churches. I assume it is deeply seeded Catholic guilt. On one hand, I love the Catholic church. I love the ritual that is involved in mass, and I love the symbols that are used: statues, rosary beads, incense, saints. On the other hand, I don't buy the story. Of course, being a modern woman, I feel Catholicism is far too patriarchal, sexist, and kind of cult-like. The first time Wayne attended a Catholic mass, we went to a friend's son's baptism, and he was really weirded out. He was raised Baptist deep in the bible belt. The Catholic mass is completely foreign to him. He thinks all the "idols" at the altar area are bizarre and the ceremony and ritual during mass is weird.

All that said, I didn't attend mass today. Oh, well. Maybe some other time.

Last night was Halloween!!!
Halloween is a favorite holiday for our family. Every year we go to my grandparents' house for dinner, then we leave to trick-or-treat with whomever has brought their children (this year it was just my niece who came with us). This was a very quiet Halloween. It's amazing how much easier Halloween is when you have only one kid who is dressing up and trick-or-treating. We were out for about an hour and a half. It was fun; the weather was fab. It's been cold here the past two days (it was 21 degress at 7am today!), so it was chilly last night-- which I definitely prefer over rain.

We ran out of candy, there were so many kids out last night. Tons of teenagers, which is a bummer. Paige had onions and old shriveled apples to hand out to kids she deemed too old for trick-or-treating. Wayne told her that if anything bad happened to our property, she would be in trouble.

Okay...blogger is having issues with uploading pics, so I will do that later.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Cesarean art

I'm really bad at blogging here lately.
I was sent a link to a cesarean art site. I think it is very powerful.
While I was looking through her art, I was getting really upset. Last night I taught class 3 in my current series. One of the topics we discuss oh so slightly is cesarean. I was talking about how high the cesarean rate is nationally and how the VBAC rate is plummeting. Women who have already had successful VBAcs are being denied future VBACs. Doctors are telling people they do VBACs, but the reality is that they make it very difficult and pull out the dead baby card as often as possible. Many OB/GYNs cause women to make fear-based decisions rather than evidence-based decisions. It's irresponsible on their part. They are simply covering their own asses.

I was really getting upset, though, because my students (with one exception) are totally blissfully naive about birth. They don't know that since the cesarean rate is 29.1%, possibly two of them will have a cesarean birth. They believe their drs when they say they do VBAC or that they prefer to not do cesareans. BULLSHIT is all I have to say about that one. Of course doctors prefer cesareans. They feel more in conrol over how birth is occuring: time, place, recovery. It's all in the hands of their schedule. They don't understand how completely devastated some women are by cesarean birth. On a list that I read, one woman was just talking about how she could smell her own flesh burning during the surgery. They use cauterizing scalpels to make the incision to reduce blood loss, but moms are awake during most cesarean surgeries. they do feel pressure, hear conversations around them and can smell the smells that come with cesarean birth. All ofthese things (and more) impact her feelings about the birth of her child(ren). Birth becomes something that someone does to her rather than something she does for herself and for her baby. Many women feel victimized, lied to, deceived and violated after their cesareans.

Here is one of the pictures. Take the time to go through them all; they really do tell this one woman's story,and sadly, many women have a very similar story to tell.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Jessica does Whole Foods + I'm bored!

How insane is this.
I saw that today, and I thought oh my god, who wants to live like that? It kind of makes me feel slimey for loving celebrity gossip.

In other news, I need to travel more:

create your own visited states map

Saturday, April 8, 2006


This month is Cesarean Awareness Month.

Here are some munbers relating to cesarean birth and VBAC

Keep birth safer for mothers and babies. Join ICAN today! There is a special subscription rate for those who join in April. Basic subscription is on sale for $25 (reg. $30) and a professional subscription is only $60 (reg. $80!).

The Burgundy Ribbon
The burgundy color symbolizes birth. The pinning of the ribbon upside down symbolizes the state of distress many pregnant women find themselves in when their right to choose the method of birth for their child is dismissed. The loop of the inverted ribbon represents a pregnant belly with the tails of the ribbon denoting arms outstretched in a cry for help.

Envision a future where babies are born via sugery with anesthesia and without the benefit of labor. Yes, the benefit of labor. Labor usually indicates that the baby is ready to born-- the lungs are matured and the baby is ready to be out of the womb. Uterine contractions massage the baby and stimulate his readiness to breathe in the outside world. Labor allows the baby-- and the mother-- to go through a rite of passage before entering the new life they have together as mother and child. These are just a few benefits of labor and a few reasons why babies and mothers should be allowed to experience this meaningful biological process.

If we, as a civilized nation of people, do not step up and fight for our right, our daughter's right, our sister's and mother's right to birth without surgery, we are not as civilized as we like to think. Some things were not meant to be technological, and the increased use of technology does not always make for a better experience.

Increase maternal and infant health: promote natural, vaginal birth and VBAC.