Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. Great, another cold. My third one in three months. My immune system has been compromised because of my illness and my body is jacked up. Merry Christmas to me.
I needed to get firewood, clear the stairs, take out the garbage and do a few other things outside. Of course I didn't want to go outside. It is cold and we have 10 inches of snow. When I got outside, I decided I should clear some of the snow off of our van. I unlocked the van, grabbed the scraper and shut the driver-side door.
Crash. Shatter. Small avalanche sound.
This is the results.
Needless to say, Webster's Dictionary of Curse Words was running through my head at that moment. I have no idea what happened. There was only a few inches of snow on the rear window, not enough to cause this damage. So then I needed to triage the whole situation. Every time I touched the window more pieces fell, little pieces, the size of pencil tip erasers. More snow in the van, more glass chunks in the snow. Ten inches of snow. Bah!
Shop-vac to the rescue. I ended up having to bust the whole window out. I shop-vacd our driveway full of snow. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was crazy. I spent two hours outside cleaning up the mess. I ended up having to put a tarp over the whole back end of the van. Have I mentioned yet that we don't have a garage? Have I mentioned the ten inches of snow we have that is preventing the van from getting out? Have I mentioned that we live at the end of a dead-end road? Yeah.
I manage to get the van out after some fun times shovelling out loads of snow. We get it to a shop. $400 later...
Next. I'm still sick and feeling worse after spending so much time outside. We get back home and our neighbor points out that one of his trees has fallen onto our property. Missed the house by inches and is now resting on our lilac & forsythia trees. Out comes the chainsaw.
Fast forward to the middle of the night. I can't sleep. P comes in the bedroom at 1am. "Mommy I'm gonna throw up." I get her in the bathroom just in time. Clean her up and get her back to bed by 2am. 7am she wakes up all bright and chipper. Bah Humbug!
Posted by 32 Flavors at 11:27 AM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Because snow rarely happens here. We had the best of luck to have it snow while at my parents' house. Way better than being at home. And we got snowed in an extra day. Darn.
She doesn't mind her wet jeans at all. I'm too cheap to buy sleds, snowsuits, boots and such. Who knows if we will ever have the chance to use them again? Most of the time the snow is gone the next day, or the same day.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I'm holed up at my parents' house this weekend for a little R, R & F (rest, relaxation & food). I was reading the local newspaper and had to pass on some great stocking stuffer ideas:
1. Light bulbs. I kid you not! Lest you think (as I did), that they were off-their-rocker and being cheap, I read further and saw that they didn't mean just your regular ol' light bulbs. The kind that would shatter into a dozen bite-size pieces in our stockings. No people, they meant the fancy-pants LED light bulbs. Thank goodness. I would be over-the-top happy to receive LED light bulbs in my stocking.
2. PUD gift cards. What is PUD you might ask? Public Utilities Department. Riiiiight. I'd like to ask Santa to pay for my utilities for Christmas. It would be the best gift ever! I promise that I have been a good girl this year....
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After reading my posts for a while, you may come to think I am a bit odd. I am. You would be too if your world looked like this some days. On the one hand, I look like Rebecca Romijn for the first time in my life. On the other hand, the children look like evil minions. Which is so unlike their true angelic personalities.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
One of my favorite apostles from my church died this week. I have grown much because of the messages that he has shared over the last few years. Here are quotes and links to some of my favorites:
"Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life."
Come What May, and Love It
"Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives."
"...She may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."
"I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife."
Posted by 32 Flavors at 9:37 AM
The other night I was out late and came home to my husband shouting for me to "Come quick!" I look down the hallway to our bathroom and see R sitting on our bathroom stool and my husband laughing hysterically. Apparently, R had been sleepwalking and my husband wanted to see what she would do and not interfere. Men. So you figure out the rest of the story. Ha. Ha. Guess who had to clean up the rest of the story?
R was still not awake while I gave her a shower. She would follow my commands, but she wasn't there. It wasn't till 10 minutes later that she woke up and asked why her hair was wet... Did I forget to mention she didn't remember the incident the next day???
Next day. This is what I woke up.
Posted by 32 Flavors at 9:21 AM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As of late I have been dreaming heavily and remembering my dreams. They have all been a little on the slightly crazy side. What dreams aren't though?
So here is a rundown of some of my more interesting dreams:
1. I dreamt I was one of Barack Obama's daughters. I was getting a wardrobe makeover a la Sarah Palin. We also rode around in a beater pickup truck and Daddy Barack was wearing overalls.
2. I was in the Middle East against my will. Pretty much like Sally Fields in "Not Without My Daughter." Complete with all the melodrama and burquas as well.
3. Dreamt that a Winco was built a block from my house. Sad I know, but I was soooo happy when I woke up.
4. I went to my Ob's office with a friend to get Botox. Because I was sick. The friend will remain unnamed because she was getting Botox done as well. And she reads my blog.
5. Fighting space aliens. Including fist fights, jumping walls, flying, etc. I think I might have been Will Smith, although I never got a good look at myself.
So now for the piece de resistance. This one isn't so much a weird dream as a dream I have had many times. Meaning at least 20 times in the last few years.
The dream is always the same. I know that I am married, and I know that I have kids, but I am in my senior year of college. I am moving into the house that I lived in during that year, although my roommates are different. Sort of like the guys from Animal House, completely undesirable and male. I am struggling to get unpacked and get ready for school, I just can't seem to get anything done.
Flash to the first day of school. I can't seem to make it to the HUB to get my class schedule and when I do get it, I have already missed several classes and am late for my next class. I try getting to that class but for some reason I can't find the classroom. I finally get there and class is over. I then have to make my way back to the HUB to get my code to open my mailbox. This is really important for some reason. I get the code, accidently forget it and the mail people won't give me the code again.
This is where I freak out in the dream and wake up. I've been picking it apart for a long time and could use some fresh insight. I always try to address what might be nagging me at the time or what I'm struggling to get done, but I still have this dream. Any thoughts on this dream?
Friday, November 28, 2008
I love my socks. Really, really love them. Check them out.
They are the coolest socks ever. I found my first pair of these socks in college and there has been no looking back since then. I have always had a hate/hate relationship with shoes and socks. I have large, wide feet and never found socks that fit right, unless they were men's socks. Yuck. And don't get me started on shoes...most of the time I can never find anything in my size that I like. I also prefer to go barefoot or as close to barefoot as I can get, and these socks get me close enough. Which is also why I wear Birkenstocks. Even in the rain.
Fun fact: My mom, a brother, a sister and I all have the same exact size feet. Birkenstock size 40.
So back to my socks. They are the best ever and they stay on my large feet quite nicely. Most of them even go up to my knees. Each sock is unique and no two socks are similar. So, sometimes I end up with a pair of socks that looks like this:
Now for the downside to these socks. They cost $11 per pair. It's ok if you feel a little queasy right now, I know I do when I go buy them. I just bought myself a whole load of new ones and I asked the salesperson not to tell me what the total was...I'm such a tightwad as it is, it really hurts to buy these socks. I do have regular socks and try to wear them, because my mom taught me when I was younger that You HAVE To Wear Socks With Your Shoes. But then I'm back to my original problem. I attempt to mend them to get a few more wears out of them, but it really doesn't work because these socks are stretchy and then I end up having a seam on the bottom of my foot. Yuck.
I relish these socks during the winter for their leg-warming abilities. And they are so purty.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Posted by 32 Flavors at 12:58 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am addicted to my daughter's toys. Specifically these adorable little animals. She must have at least 50 of them and they take up no space whatsoever. 5 or 6 of them fit nicely in the palm of my hand. That is my definition of the best toy ever. And they are so cute. How could anyone not love these little faces?
Guess what someone is getting for Christmas? Yep. In my defense, animals are her favorite thing to play with and she plays with these every day. Me too. Well, ok, ALMOST every day.
Ladybugs, snails, wiener dogs, huskies, mice, butterflies....too many cute options.
Our happy little world...complete with 2 pink piggies, jet ski and a soaker tub. Notice the tiny toothbrush & toothpaste in the foreground? Too cute...
Used the word "cute" - 5 times.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I got this from the Duchess over at Yarnnation. I thought it would be fun. Feel free to do your own. Highlight what you have done, leave the rest alone...
1.Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band I was a band geek in high school!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped NEVER EVER!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort In Seattle? Seriously? Not ever gonna happen.
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping I left a choice item of clothing on...
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors Does Ohio or North Dakota count?
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing First & last time.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted Painted my own portrait.
48. Gone deep sea fishing Duh. Although I didn't actually do the fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris Been to the bottom. I didn't have enough money to go up it.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie A TV movie. With MacGuyver!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies Never! I was a Campfire girl.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma All the time in college.
65. Gone sky diving NEVER!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar And how about making it too!
72. Pieced a quilt YEAH RIGHT!
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible Skipped boring parts. Sad, I know.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own
Tag, YOU'RE it!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Some mothers make fantabulous dress up outfits for their children. I don't. I give my children old socks. They don't know any better and they absolutely love it. Hopefully none of their friends will let them in on what a bum deal it actually is. Now these aren't just old tube socks, my feet have to have fancy pants socks. I cut off the feet when they are dead and they use the rest as leg warmers, arm warmers or clothes for their animals.
Notice my lovely model P sporting her personal favorites.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I know I'm not supposed to play favorites. I'm supposed to love them both equally, but I just can't. Bad of me, I know. I feel guilty that I can't give them both the same amount of love and attention. It's just too hard. I focus more of my energy on the one I like better. I know that if I just gave the other one more love, more attention that maybe I might learn to appreciate them more.
I just don't think I can.
So, I think I just need to get it out and say it -
I love one of them more than the other.
My eyebrows that is.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I went to my parents' house and had me a little vacation from life last weekend. Well, most of my life that is. I had to bring the kids. Bummer, I know. We had fun anyway. We made the best of a bad situation. Lemons & lemonade, you know.
It's not all that bad though. My mom takes care of me and my kids. I don't even have to get up with them in the morning. My mom is so nice. Oh, and the cooking. Fabulous meals. We had a great salad with quinoa (Keen-wa) in it. And apple dumplings. And yummy soup. And an amazing barbecue chicken made out of cranberry sauce and Russian salad dressing. Weird I KNOW, but it was so good. Must go raid the fridge now...
One of my favorite things to do while I am there is play games My husband isn't really a game kinda guy, so I get my fix with my mom. This time we played Yahtzee. 37 DICE YAHTZEE! So much fun. So many dice. You need a cup to hold all the dice and a box to contain them all. Sometimes we decide on getting just 1 roll, other times, we get 3 rolls and have to fill 3 spots. This time we decided we would get 4 rolls and had to fill 2 spots. My score was over 1,000. I think it was my personal best. And I lost. So much fun. We decided to play a regular game afterwards. You know 3 rolls, 5 dice. BORING. We also like to play Scrabble. Usually with at least 10 letters. Love it.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Yet another Alaska story. This is the week for them I guess. While in Alaska, I also had the opportunity to work in Ketchikan for a short while at another fish processing plant. It was the first time I ever worked at one in a city and it was awesome. I had only been married for a few months and it was a honeymoon of sorts for us. We were transferred there after the end of the season at another cannery. When we arrived in Ketchikan it was the end of the cruise ship season, shops were still open and the weather was still fairly decent. We very rarely had to work, so we had plenty of time to explore. Our place was above a mini-mart that sold "Chester-Fried Chicken". We could hear the timer go off occasionally and then a waft of oil & fried chicken. Good times.
So, I was reading Newsweek. I love Newsweek. Especially "My Turn". It usually has quite interesting essays. Here is the link to the essay that I was reading.
It was about the "Bridge to Nowwhere". This proposed bridge was for the city of Ketchikan. The city really is only a few blocks wide in some areas, it is...odd. You can only get to Ketchikan by boat or plane. There are no roads in or out of town. This town really could use that bridge, it literally has nowhere to grow (go). I know what some of you are thinking. We just got through with the elections....please no more politics....STOP & DESIST NOW!
Guess what? I'm not. I just thought the essay brought to light the other side of the argument. Things are rarely black and white. Especially Ketchikan. It is mostly gray. I think the Cullens would like it there.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Sorry for the poor video quality...
This is not a political endorsement. I love how P says Barack Obama, and 44 IS her favorite number.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
This is a Paula Deen recipe and it is great! I love butter and Paula loves butter. I think we could be friends. This is really the best stuff ever and never lasts long while I am around! Enjoy!
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
8 T. melted butter
Filling: 8 oz. softened cream cheese
8 T. melted butter
1 t. cinnamon
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
16 oz. powdered sugar
1 t. nutmeg
Mix all cake ingredients well & pat into greased 9 x 13 pan.
Beat cream cheese & pumpkin until smooth, then add eggs, vanilla & butter. Next add powdered sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well and pour over cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The center must be a little gooey because this is a gooey cake!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor the bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.
Posted by 32 Flavors at 7:30 AM
Monday, November 3, 2008
There was a story in the newspaper last week about a fishing boat that sank and half of the crew lost their lives. Here is a link to that story. As I have mentioned before, I worked in the fishing industry in Alaska quite a bit. One of my jobs was working on a boat in the Bering Sea. Whenever I hear about these stories, I am always grateful that my experience was mostly positive and nothing truly bad happened.
Our boat was huge compared to other boats that you hear about in the news. Our boat was well over 300 feet long and was called a catcher/processor or factory/vessel. We caught the fish and then we processed them right there. We had a crew of over a 100 people. The boat I was reading about was over 100 feet long and had a crew of 11.
We worked 15 hour days, 7 days a week, which compared to cannery hours was a piece of cake! My husband and I were thankfully able to work together. Not that that meant much. We really couldn't talk because it was so loud. We did get to look at each other however. We didn't eat meals together. We didn't even get to sleep in the same room. Forget about trying to sleep in the same bed, it was a twin. We spent our first anniversary working on that boat.
It was a very different experience for me, after having worked several summers at a cannery. I remember the sobering experience of having to practice putting on a survival suit and hoping that I would never have to use that skill. Part of it felt like a school-time fire drill, the other part felt scary. We were very sheltered on the boat and we weren't allowed to go out on the deck very often. Several times we had the opportunity to go and see the captain and his view. Nauseating. The waves really freaked me out.
I only remember one time having to stop working because the weather was really bad, but that didn't mean much. We worked in treacherous conditions. We ate in them. We slept in them. Trying to take a shower was fun as well. Let's put it this way, I did not shave. There were railings everywhere and on everything. In the hall, in the shower, on your bed, at your table....for the longest time after working on the boat I would make jerking & grabbing motions if something was too close to the edge of the table.
Another sobering thing was realizing what the value of your life was worth. Once, a worker in the freezer area of the boat was blasted with something, I think it was freon. I just remember whatever it was was not a good thing. I remember watching as they tried to keep him conscious and alive, while everyone else kept right on working. That boat wasn't going to turn around for him. We heard many other stories of similar incidents, where the captain would only go as far as to meet a ship that was going back to land to save someone's appendage or life. Terrifying.
I have nothing but sadness for the families of those men and for others who risked their lives and lost them.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
This has to be one of my favorites. It is soooo good and perfect for yucky days. I got this recipe from a dear friend who was kind enough to share it with me. Not the healthiest meal, but I like to think all the veggies counteract the butter & cream (yeah right). I like mixing up the texture by adding minced & chopped clams and by dicing & chopping the veggies. I've also made this with just evaporated milk - it's ok, but the cream is what really makes this tasty. I've found that about half of each is good, but any more than that and I can notice the difference too much. Enjoy!
1 can (6 oz.) minced clams
1 can (6 oz.) chopped clams
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 c diced & chopped celery
2 1/2 c diced & chopped potatoes
4-5 slices chopped, cooked bacon
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 quart cream or 1 pint cream & 1 pint evaporated milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. sugar
Drain clams over veggies in pot. Add salt, pepper & sugar. Add enough water to cover veggies & simmer until potatoes are tender. Melt butter & add flour. Blend & cook 1-2 minutes. Add cream & cook until thick, stirring often. Careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan! Add bacon, clams & cream to veggies, heat again until thickened.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
...don't put purple carrots in vegetable soup EVER AGAIN. Yuk.
I grew a variety of different carrots this year, purple, yellow, white and regular orange carrots. I harvested some this week and I thought it would be fun to put them in some soup, kind of a rainbow effect. BAD IDEA. The purple carrots turned every vegetable a nasty, washed-out, purpley color and turned the soup blood red. Try getting the family to eat that mess. Yeah right. I couldn't look at it either, but it did taste delicious. Now I have to figure out how to force them to eat it tomorrow as well...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
She knows what she wants. She is not afraid to ask for it either. Or remind you, not-so-gently of course, if you forget.
She is quite the artist and has a great eye for detail.. She has amazing drawing skills and the stories that she creates are so cool. Right now she is working on a 25 (now 37) page Halloween story. It's a masterpiece.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I had another girls night out with my mom and we had a blast. We started off the night by heading down to Fremont for dinner at Costa's Opa. But before we could eat we had to find parking. In Fremont, on a Friday. So we drove around a little (open to interpretation of what a little means (and crossing the Fremont Bridge several times)) and drove past Troll Avenue which is under the Aurora Bridge. I told my mom we had to go up and see the Fremont Troll. She had never seen it before, so I was excited to show her. The troll was put under the bridge and yes, that is a Volkswagon Bug in it's grasp. It's cool. I would looove to live on Troll Avenue. Who wouldn't?
Walking back towards the restaurant we saw a sign celebrating the installation of the J.P. Patches statue, so we decided to find out where it was. For those who don't know, J.P. Patches had a local t.v. show for YEARS. Maybe 20? He was a clown and the Mayor of the City Dump. He had a lot of fun friends come visit him like Ketchikan the Animal Man, Boris S. Wort, The Swami of Pastrami, and Ggoorrsstt the Friendly Frpl. My personal favorite was Gertrude, his girlfriend who is the masculine lady in the statue with him. She has hands just like a Michelangelo statue. And all the other parts too. (Don't get the wrong idea, she was only played by a man.)
You can almost see her 5 o'clock shadow.
The statue was designed so that people could add their own pins to J.P.'s jacket. I thought that was such an awesome idea.
My mom and J.P.
Cool side note - We got to see J.P. Patches at the Stanwood-Camano Fair a couple of years ago. He was just as funny as I remember. My girls loved him and still talk about him. The fun was that there were a lot of adults in the audience who didn't have children with them.
Costa's Opa is a fabulous Greek restaurant where they set cheese on fire right in front of our table and shouted OPA! Awesome. The food was amazing and I plan on returning in the near future. Avgolemono, mousaka, souvlaki, dolmades, spankopita....drool. The only thing I didn't eat was baklava - I was too full.
And for the last part of our fun night we got to go to a Dar Williams concert. She is another singer that I discovered in college. Ah, the good ol' days when you had unlimited access to friend's CD collections! She had Shawn Mullins open for her. He had the hit "Rockabye" ("Every thing is gonna be alright"....that guy). He was good, but Dar was awesome. She is quite the storyteller and the stories that led into her songs were so twisted and convoluted that I had a hard time keeping up/not peeing my pants cause I was laughing so hard. She's that funny/subtle. It was my first time seeing her in concert and I was not let down. Here are two of my favorite (of many) songs of hers:
When I Was a Boy
The Christians & The Pagans