Saturday, May 27, 2006

They Can Rebuild Me, They Have The Technology

In the midst of all the house hoopla yesterday, I forgot to mention that I am hooked up to a heart monitor right now. A couple of months ago my heart started beating irregularly. It feels like my heart does a somersault in my chest. The first week it happened it was doing it a lot. My friend had the same thing happen to her and the doctor told her to cut back on the caffeine so I did to no avail. So I became alarmed and went to a cardiologist. The monitor is the last of a series of tests that I have had and of course my heart hardly ever does it now, days go by with nothing. So I am thinking it was stress because at the time it started I was totally stessing out about the prospect of selling my house, I wasn't sleeping well because my mind was going all the time with speculation and list making.
Anyway, I have 5 electrode thingys all over my torso, they all come down into this central line and run into this tiny box about half the size of a tv remote. And all I keep thinking is that I feel like Steve Austin, and every time I make an entrance through a doorway I hum the Six Million Dollar Man theme music. Thankfully, I get this thing off at noon today. I'm driving myself crazy with all the humming.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Dream Come True Part 2

We are in escrow!

Now, if you are familiar with this story then you know about how I came to own my home in Spokane. I totally believe it was a God thing. I also believe that He wouldn't work one half out so perfectly and not work out the other half, which is me selling my house here in Monterey. I knew it would work out and the house would sell eventually, but I had been praying that the house sell would work out so perfectly that again I would have no doubt that God had a hand in it. So a couple of weeks ago I stepped out in faith and reserved a date to get the moving van. I had decided that whether the house sold or not, that I was moving on June 26th, and the rest would have to be up to God. I always had enough money in my savings to get me through until I moved, however I had not anticipated buying a house in Spokane so soon and paying 2 mortgages for the past six months. So now I have depleted my savings and I was looking at having to borrow money to get by, which I really did not want to do. I worked really hard at trying not to worry about the money and I was mostly successful because I felt that no matter what happened that God was in control. So I just did my part in keeping my house clean for showings and open houses. At the last open house when Dolly did her thing with the rat I felt kind of spiritually defeated for a day but got over it pretty quick. Then this week I got not one but two offers on the house, one was much lower than I could accept, but the other one was pretty close. We countered and they came up to the exact price I determined I needed months ago when I first started the sellng process. These buyers are highly qualified, there are NO contingencies, and they want a 30 day escrow. So today we go into escrow and I will get my money on June 26th, yes, the day we are supposed to leave here. The timing could not be more perfect. That's because it is God's timing.

I know there are people out there who say that it would have happened the way it did anyway, and they are probably right. However, I am a believer in God and use the tenets of my faith to guide me in my life. I am not one of those crazy fundamentalists, who I believe give us Christians a bad name. I'm also not one to evangelize, you will never hear me pushing Jesus on you. But God has done a lot of really cool things in my life and if you want to know more just ask me.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Didn't know I would miss it until today

Max is graduating high school next Friday. After the graduation we are having the family over for what I'm sure is the last get-together we will have in the family home. Max asked for cake from
. They have the most decadent desserts around. They are a family owned restaurant here and have a very loyal local following because everything they make is fabulous. Anyway when I was ordering the cakes I got to chatting with one of the daughters, I'm not sure which one but I went to high school with her sister I think. We were talking about how much Monterey has changed and how expensive it all is now. They are having trouble finding wait staff and kitchen workers because people can't afford to live on those wages anymore, they have to work more than one job nowadays. It's a shame. We were saying that we don't see what all the fuss is about Monterey, yes it's pretty and by the ocean but should that mean that only the rich can afford to live here? Most of my friends I grew up with have already moved, I'm one of the last ones to go. She congratulated me on my courage and wished me well. I wish her and her family well too. I will miss Rosine's.

I think I will have to have the Eggs Benedict one more time before I go.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fun Is Where You Find It

This post is about my morning cup of coffee. A little while back I got a
Senseo coffee maker, which I totally love! They use coffee pods, I guess if that makes me a pod person then I'm okay with that. Anyway, shortly after I got the Senseo I was reading on a coffee website about milk frothers so I got myself one and let me tell you I am so spoiled with my homemade nonfat lattes at home that I will never get outside coffee again if I have a choice. I have saved a lot of money, money that the big coffee place with star in the title will not be getting. HAHAHAHA!!!!
So I make these lattes, which I call lattes because they have a lot of milk in them, but I'm pretty sure that a latte is not made like this, but I was so excited after I made and tasted the first one that I exclaimed to no one in my empty kitchen that "I am a barrista!!", which is a total delusion on my part I know. (Wow that was one sentence, I don't call my self the Queen of the run-on sentence for nothing, why put a period when a comma will do just fine!)
ANYWAY--Here is what I do. I put exactly 1/2 cup of milk into the microwave for exactly 44 seconds. Then I pour it in the milk frother and plunge it exactly 9 times. I pour the frothed milk into a large mug and run the Senseo coffee into it on the 8 oz. setting. Then I put flavored creamer into it, the current flavor is Coconut. It's SO good!
You may be wondering what this windy meaningless post is leading to. Here it is: The Senseo coffee comes out in two places so you can make two cups at once is you want. But I dont so when the coffee comes out into the white milk it leaves two brown spots which look like eyes to me. So then when I pour in the creamer I put it where the mouth should be, so every morning my latte smiles at me:

Sometimes my coffee resembles Eric Cartman from South Park, on those days I shout "Respect Mah Authoriteh" before I take the first sip.

Okay, now you know what a goofball I really am. To most of you that is no secret. Fun IS where you find it, fortunately for me I never have to look very far or very hard.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Five Weeks And Counting...

We load the truck on June 24th, we get in it and drive away on the 26th, and we arrive at our new home on the 28th. That's not very far from now. I have so much to do, but I have done so much already. As long as I keep moving forward I can get it all done. Also during this time we are celebrating Max's graduation and Leo's 12th birthday, both events involving parties here. Hectic times ahead...

Did I mention that I am driving the moving van???

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wax Psychology

So the other night we go to Dennys. It is not my first choice when we go out to eat, but my kids like it and I usually use the opportunity to have breakfast for dinner. So, we are there and Max asks the waitress for some crayons. Time passed and it became clear that she forgot so when she comes back Max asks again for crayons. She had an "oh yeah I forgot" moment and then went and got the crayons. This is what she brought back:

Six orange crayons. We were quite puzzled. Did she think that Max was going to color his paper placemat so furiously that he would need six orange crayons to do it? Even if the crayons were evenly distributed among the three of us, did we each need two orange crayons?
Anyway we had a good laugh over it, which was good because previous to that my kids had been bickering to the point where I was ready to just get in the car and leave them there, so that kind of broke the tension and put us back on the path to harmony.
Hey....maybe that waitress was smarter than we thought!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I have a great postscript to this post.

I have been alerted to a free summer movie series that plays outdoors in Spokane, and they play much the same kind of movies as they do at the State!


AND did you know that Spokane is getting Washington's first Sonic this Spring?

Just knowing that I could be drinking an Orange Cream Slush while watching an old movie outside is almost too much goodness for me to take. Now, if I could only talk ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY into moving...

Another thing I will miss...

This is the first rose of the season from my little rosebush. This is an heirloom rose, I wish I could remember the name of it. I got it about 9 years ago at a place in Watsonville called Roses of Yesterday and Today. The picture doesn't do the colors justice, pinks and apricots, just beautiful! I cut it and it is now in a juice glass sitting next to me so I can smell it anytime I want, it is by far the most fragrant rose I have ever encountered. I will miss my little rosebush!

Here are some other pictures I took of the flowers in my garden yesterday:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Real Estate Horror Story To End All Real Estate Horror Stories

I am mortified. Today my realtor held a brokers' open house, meaning that it's an open house for the realtors to see so they can tell their clients about the house. I do not stick around for these things, I was having coffee at Shannon's. When I get home later, there is a message on my machine from my broker to call her. Apparently while the house was full of realtors, my cat Dolly decided to come in the open front door with a rat that she had caught and proceeded to dismember and eat it in the middle of the kitchen. All four of the realtors there at the time are deathly afraid of rats, dead or alive, so they all watched the bloody feast from a distance. Then after Dolly ate the rat she was all bloody and I guess she wanted to clean up, so she jumped into the kitchen sink and sat there all bloody, cleaning herself. My broker doesn't know what to do so she calls her husband, who leaves his job to come over and clean up the rat leftovers and blood that is now not only on the floor but is on the kitchen counter and sink as well. God bless him.
I was floored, I didn't even know what to say to my broker when I called her back. But by that time she saw the humor in it and said it was the funniest thing that ever happened to her at an open house. I believe I will be sending her some flowers today.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weekend Update (Not the one with Tina Fey)

On Friday night my kids and my nephew Jason and his fiancee Jamie went to see the Giants play the Dodgers. The Giants got whipped, BUT it was Willie Mays' 75th birthday and so there was a cool ceremony with a lot of old famous baseball players there like Reggie Jackson, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda. AND they were giving out Playstation wigs, so it doesn't get much better than that. Except if the Giants had stomped on those stinky old Dodgers. (That website belongs to Jason.)

In other news, we are babysitting a kitten! His name is Cracker, and not because he's white, even though he is. My niece Kristina rescued him by paying ten bucks to a guy that was about to shove a firecracker in the kitty's butt and light it. Isn't that awful? Anyway, we are glad to be watching him until Wednesday. He is very small and cute, but he has fleas, so last night I bought a flea comb and went to work on him. The flea count is 50 so far and we can still see more on him.

It's hard to get a good picture of him, he is always jumping around. This one was last night, he fell asleep during the first flea session. You can't really tell his size, but he is about as long as my hand. Darling!

Happy Mother's Day you muthas!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Things I Will Miss #3

When I was a kid, all the other kids and I would go to Saturday matinees at the State Theater. The moms would just drop their kids off with some money and go across Alvarado Street to do some shopping at JC Penney or Woolworth's. The State had a big balcony and we would always sit in it and throw Hot Tamales or Good and Plenty candies at our friends in the main floor seats. Boy those were fun days. Probably not for the theater owners, though. When I was a teenager they closed off the balcony and made two tiny theaters out of it. That was awful. Anyway, a few years ago the multiplex came to town and the old State Theater fell on hard times. Too bad, too. It was a grand old theater in it's day.
THEN... about two years ago they closed it and began restoration on it. This restoration involved re-opening the balcony, hooray! About a year ago they opened back up and started showing old movies in it. I wasn't sure that our town was big enough to support this kind of theater, but it is and it's great! I have seen the Beatles in "Help", "The Haunting", "The Maltese Falcon", and my favorite "The Wizard of Oz"--Sing Along! I tell you , you have not lived until you have sung "We Represent the Lollypop Guild" with about 350 people. I have sat in the balcony every time I have gone, and yes, my kids and I have launched candy off of it. Don't worry, we made sure not to hit anyone!
Anyway, the next, and perhaps last, movie I will be seeing there is also a sing along:

This will be fun! I have already been practicing singing "Just a Spoonful of Sugar".

If there is a theater like this in Spokane, I have yet to find it.

State Theater, I will miss you!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hello Hello

My son Max has Ver-ti-go!! (Apologies to U2). But really, Max has vertigo. He was hospitalized overnight on Sunday so they could run a bunch of very expensive tests, and they determined he has vestibular neuritis, and inner ear condition probably caused by a virus. POOR MAX!! His world is spinning like nobody's business, and will probably continue to do so for two weeks or more. This means he can't drive, so I am back to driving him everywhere AND it is the last three weeks before graduation, so everything has become more complicated and crazy. But that's okay, it takes my mind off of my house not selling! Anyway, we are getting through this one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. They gave Max pills to stop the spinning but they make him sleepy, he's not sure which is worse at this point. So please put Max in your thoughts and prayers that he gets through this thing while still getting everything he needs to done. Did I mention he has to present his Senior art project at a gala tomorrow night?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where Dreams Can Come True!

I subscribe to two magazines, Cottage Living, and my all time favorite magazine ever, Country Living. I peruse it's pages and dream of someday having a little country home of my own, decorated with fresh flowers, weathered wood furniture and overstuffed chairs and couches slipcovered with faded floral prints. Alas, for now it is just a dream. My new house is less than 10 years old, a sign of practicality and the reality that at this point in my life I do not want to do the repairs and upkeep on an older house. But maybe someday.
So I keep on reading Country Living magazine. Recently there have been some new contributors to the mag, and they are Teri Edwards and Serena Thompson, better known as The Farm Chicks. They have a huge country antique sale twice a year in Fairfield, WA, not far from Spokane. I will miss their upcoming show this month, but I'll be at the September one for sure. Anyway, I have been aware of the Farm Chicks for quite a while, so I was very happy to see their design ideas gracing the pages of my favorite mag.
Yesterday I received the June issue, and as I'm looking through it my attention is drawn to a sweet picture of a country rose floral arrangement set in a vintage wicker purse. Isn't that darling, I say to myself. Then I read the caption, which I am going to quote and hope I don't violate any copyright laws!

"Buds for a buddy look especially appealing presented in an out-of-the-ordinary container. Here, Serena Thompson proffers fresh picked roses in a vintage wicker purse lined with a bread pan containing water-soaked floral foam. "Imagine giving this to a friend who's just moved," says Serena, who developed the idea with fellow Farm Chick Teri Edwards. "It instantly brightens a room."

Dear Farm Chicks--What a coincidence! In July, I will be "a friend who's just moved"--to Spokane! Can you imagine giving me an appealing floral arrangement? I can! I'm sure it will instantly brighten any room in my house!! Thanks! Love your new friend Karla
PS- Or I will take a cake like the ones you made in the May issue, it's totally up to you!

Hey, a little creative grovelling never hurt anyone!

Friday, May 05, 2006

What's in a Name?

The other day Leo was watching baseball and he came out to where I was and said "mom, I think it would really suck to have a last name like Pujols". He seemed like he had been giving the matter some thought. He didn't say anything else, just turned and went back to watch the game.
For those of you who don't watch baseball, Albert Pujols is a baseball player. His last name is pronounced "POO-holes". I know Leo is amused by this because whenever Pujols is at bat he yells "POOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOLES!" at the TV. It makes sense that Leo would find this funny, after all he is 11 years old. He also loves to get right next to me and fart, preferably a silent but deadly, and stand there until I get a big nasty whiff of it and make a face, at which time he collapses into fits of laughter.
I told Leo that the only thing that would suck more than having the last name of Poo-Holes would be having to correct all the people that mispronounce it.
"Uh, Mr. Pujoles?"
"It's Poo-Holes"
Leo agreed that would definitely suck even more. He really felt for the guy. But then we decided that he had the name for so long he was probably over it. Also the guy is a great baseball player, he gets respect for that I'm sure.
I have really enjoyed talking with and listening to my kids as they have gotten older. I never know quite what the subject will be, but it is always interesting and often funny. I hope they remember to call me when they are grown up!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Can't Wait to Taste Everything Once (or Twice)

My new future Spokane friend and fellow Supper Club-ite Jennifer Olsen has launched the new version of her website called Taste Everything Once. While the old version of the site was mostly a blog, this new version is a terrific resource for restaurant reviews, upcoming food-related events and discussions about food in general, whether prepared in a restaurant or in your own kitchen.
Visiting her website and participating in the forums have really got me looking forward to moving and settling into life in Spokane. I have met Jennifer at the Sunday Night Supper Club, she is a great gal, and won't it be fun to ring her up and grab a bite somewhere!
Thanks Jennifer for all your (and Remi's) hard work on your website. Getting to know you and the Spokane virtual food community has really helped put a positive spin on what could be a very difficult transition for me. I look forward to meeting more of the Spokane foodbloggers in person in the coming months.