Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mail Call

I know everyone who reads this will now say "Dang, this really IS an awful lot of nothing!", but I maintain that you all knew that going in. So did I, and it is in the spirit of nothing that I present to you, my mail!

Okay, this is getting ridiculous now. The charities will not quit sending me mailing labels! The problem is, I would love to support them all but I can only afford to support myself and my family at the moment. And it's a catch-22, because if I send a donation to just one of them, you know that an avalanche of mailing labels will come and make me feel even worse!

I also received this welcome note from my new dentist. It says: "We look forward to helping you meet your dental goals." I didn't even know I HAD dental goals! What are they? And what happens if I fail to meet them, even with their help? I can't bear the thought.

Then I got this postcard:

This freaks me out. How did they know I'm German? Yes my last name is Mellinger, but my maiden name is Smith, it's my mom's side that's German. This will keep me up tonight for sure.

Then to top it off I get a check from PG&E for $0.86--like that's going to make me feel better, I can't even go to the Dollar Tree with that!

I can't believe I'm longing for the good old days when the mailbox was full of credit card offers and Oriental Trading Company catalogs. Wait, that was yesterday. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a shampoo sample! I can hope anyway.

Monday, September 25, 2006


So the other night I am going to bed, like my light is off and I am getting into my bed, when I hear fearful wailing from downstairs. "Mom,Mom, you have to come here right now!" So I go downstairs and not in a very good mood because I was almost in bed, and Max is freaking out because there are large amounts of these bugs in our house. All over the door and the floor and walls surrounding the door. It was pretty freaky. So we kill them all as best we can, clean up after the massacre, and go to our friend the internet for answers. And boy did we get answers.
The lovely little bug that you see above is called a Box Elder bug. They live in Box Elder trees and other shrubs. They are harmless, but they want to come into your house as soon as the weather starts to cool. All ten million of them. The only defense a person has against these bugs is to spray them with soapy water, which kills them, or seal up your house so they can't get in. Max chose the latter, and masking-taped his door all around the edges to seal out the bugs. So far it is working. We will keep you posted.
I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of things that we will have to get used to in a four season area.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Fun Fall Saturday

Yesterday I had the good fortune to attend two events that I have been wanting to go to since before I moved here. The first was the Moscow Farmers Market. Moscow, ID (pronounced Moss-co) is a college town about 70 or so miles south of here, home to the University of Idaho. The town itself is cute and kind of funky. The farmers market is very comparable to the one in Monterey, with farmers, craftspeople and food vendors sharing the space. There were a couple of Mexican food booths, and I ate a couple of tacos that reminded me of home. The thing about this market is that it is in a smallish town and it thrives. Spokane is huge compared to Moscow and our farmers market is tiny with no food booths or crafts. I don't understand why Spokane can't have what Moscow has, the potential here is huge. Oh well, it was a nice drive with good company.
Just a couple of blocks from the market is the Moscow Food Co-Op. It is a store sort of like a local smaller Whole Foods. We don't have a Whole Foods in Spokane, so it was nice to go there. I found the salad dressing that I used to buy at Whole Foods but have not been able to find since I moved, hooray!
After that we got back in the car and headed back north to the small town of Fairfield, WA, which is about 25 miles south of Spokane. I was going to attend The Farm Chicks fall show! They have two huge antique shows a year, and people come from all over to attend, they fly in from other states even. We get there, and of course the place is packed, the grange hall was overflowing with mostly women of all ages trying to buy old stuff to decorate their houses with. I have been to antique shows before and while they are good places to remember your childhood (Hey, my grandma had those dishes!), I don't have the resources to decorate my whole house like that, so I don't buy much if anything. I had my eye on an old framed hand-tinted picture of a landscape, but I didn't get it and now I wish I did! Anyway, it was fun, and now I can say I went to the Farm Chicks show.
And to top it off, the weather was beautiful, not too warm, just perfect and sunny. It was a great day.
Tonight is Sunday Night Supper Club, Max is making cupcakes. The fun never stops!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vital Updates

-- A few weeks ago I posted about the Adopt-A-Hobo for $1.00 sign I saw. Well, the hobo has raised his rates. Now the sign says Adopt-A-Hobo $1.50! Does he carry around a pocket full of quarters to make change for the people who give him $2.00? I'll bet not!

-- I continue to receive free address labels from charities, I have well over 100 now. This insanity needs to stop. I can never hope to use all these labels, I am starting to feel bad.

-- I have been watching a lot of the new fall season tv shows. I can safely recommend Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Kidnapped was okay, but I don't know how they are going to drag the story out all season, but whatever. It was good to watch The Office again this evening.

-- I have also been knitting a lot lately. At the rate I'm going my afghan will be done by next summer when I will really need it.

I realize that some of these updates are more vital than others but it's all I got tonight.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Today was Max's first day of college. This has caused me to pause and reflect. Tomorrow I will celebrate my 45th birthday. That has REALLY caused me to pause and reflect. I went into the closet and got out one of the photo boxes. Here is what I found:

This is in the hospital after Max was born. I look like crap but at least I was young!
Seriously though, at the time of this photo I had only been a parent for about a day and had no idea what to expect. My only hope was that I wouldn't hurt or kill him because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. Turns out I did ok. He is excited about his classes and is ready for whatever the next four years has in store for him. I'm excited for him. Not to mention broke from paying tuition. I am looking forward to his future, but if I could have stopped time at one point during his life, it would have been this one right here:

You can see why. Enjoy college, Max. I love you.

Okay, that was sappy. So let's end this post with a silly picture of the boys when they were little.

That's better. I'll say goodbye while I'm still 44. Goodbye!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Fair

Oh Yeah!

Thursday night we went to the Spokane County Interstate Fair. I was anxious to see how it was in relation to the Monterey County Fair, which is the fair I have attended almost every year of my life. Was it bigger, smaller, what? Well, I'm happy to say that I really liked it! It is laid out differently than Monterey's fair so it's hard to say size-wise if it's larger or not. But there is a lot more stuff to see. More crafts, quilts, art, animals, and the biggest corn dogs I have ever seen! I was very happy to see that the Quilters Guild had a quilt raffle because I always entered the one in Monterey, maybe this year will be my year to win. But the highlight for me every year is the chickens. I do not know why I am so drawn to the chickens, other than the fact that they are the coolest looking things ever. Max even got a chicken to say Spoko Mojo, who says chickens are dumb? Anyway, this fair has about 10 times more chickeny greatness than my old fair. We also saw really cool goats, sheep, llamas, and giant rabbits. I could kick myself for not bringing my camera! And since there is a lot of farm country surrounding Spokane, there were lots of tractors and other farm equipment on display. Farmers are lucky that they get to drive those things. And then as we were leaving we passed a stage that was having a karaoke contest and the guy up there was doing "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. We gave him credit for having the balls to go up there, and that's all I can say about that.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that this fair is a suitable replacement for my old fair, better in many ways, but if I had to choose one it would be Monterey because Tower of Power plays there every year.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Terribly Unimportant Things To Say

A buffet of nothingness awaits. Dig in!

1) Today in Spokane the weather was just like in Monterey, overcast and in the low 60's. This is quite a change from the hot summery weather we have had since we moved here in June, it made me miss my hometown.

2) The company I work at is located right next door to a bakery. Not a little bakery that does donuts or cakes, this bakery. It's big, and every morning when I get out of my car the smell of the bread baking is heavy in the air, oh it's wonderful! This afternoon as I left work I think they were baking cinnamon rolls, yum!!!

3) Leo had to go to the ER the other night, he fell playing football outside and couldn't move his arm. We were in and out, x-rays and all in about 75 minutes, just another reason to love it here. PS Leo is okay, nothing broken.

4) People in Spokane like to back their cars into parking spaces. A lot. All the time. I don't understand it, and since I'm not a very good backer-upper, I buck the trend and pull my car into the space.

5) They also like to park facing the wrong way on the street. They used to ticket for that in CA, I guess up here nobody cares. Sometimes I think I'm going down a one way street because all the cars face the same way on both sides, but I'm not.

6) The leaves on the tree outside my bedroom window are starting to turn yellow, I think summer is over for real and fall is on it's way.

7) That's it. I'm going to go knit now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Am A Bad Mom (Same Song, 99th Verse)

True confession time here. Let me start at the beginning. Max is an artist. He creates art and sells it to other art people he has met on the internet. Recently he created a button, you know, a pin. He is beginning to mail them out, and he wanted a little bag to put the pin in, one of those tiny ziplock kind of bags about 1 square inch. He had found a bag once on the street in Seaside that had designs on it, it probably was used for drugs. But he liked that the bag was decorated and so he decided to try to find those bags here to buy. Well he found the shop that sells them. It is the shop that sells the bongs and drug paraphanalia. So what do I do? I take him there, of course! I told you already, I am a bad mom!
So we go there and buy the bags. Actually I buy the bags, because Max is broke and I am a sucker when it comes to supporting his art. They cost $4.00. I have no money in my purse and this place doesn't take checks (duh!). They will take my debit card but the purchase has to be over $5.00. So what do I do? I buy a blunt wrap. I would put up a link but then you would go to a drug website. A blunt wrap is a giant rolling paper for smoking pot. I bought it because it was a dollar. I am practically a criminal!
I know there was a time in my life that I would have bought that paper for my own personal use, but I am SO not that person anymore. THANK GOD!!!
PS I threw the blunt paper away.
PSS Here is a picture of the bags Max got.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Today I was putting away my yearbook from the KISS conversation with Max the other night, and that sparked a look through all my yearbooks. I have all my Jr. High and my junior and senior high school ones. I keep them on the bookshelf in my living room, and I always have. They started out as the books that had all my friends pictures in them, but over the years they have evolved into reference books. It seems like usually they get pulled out when a former classmate or teacher dies or makes the news. But today it was purely for entertainment value, and that is the best reason for anyone to pull out a yearbook. My junior high and high school years were 1973-1979. At the time, just like today, we were influenced by the popular culture of the day. As time has gone on, the Seventies have become frozen in time, a bygone era of pre-AIDS free love, fun fashions and innocent drug consumption. And in my yearbooks are perfect snapshots of those times. Take, for example this picture:

This is one of my favorite pictures from my 8th grade yearbook, it beautifully sums up popular culture in 1974. At least popular culture in Seaside, California.

So I encourage you to keep your yearbooks close at hand; just like us, they do indeed appreciate with age.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Mutimedia KISS Experience

You had this album, admit it!

Yesterday while I was at work Max watched the movie Detroit Rock City. If you haven't seen it and you are around my age, I encourage you to watch it if for no other reason than the soundtrack is awesome! Anyway, the movie is about 4 teenage stoner guys in 1978 trying to get to the big KISS concert in town. Max wasn't even born until 1988 so movies like this are little pop culture history lessons to him. So last night we were talking about this movie and Max asked me this question--Was KISS really that popular?
Uh, yeah, they were. Not so much to me and my circle of friends, we were in the LedZeppelin-Aerosmith-AC/DC camp, but we thought they had some good songs. After all, we modeled our teenage lives on the KISS lyric (sing it with me) I-I, Wanna Rock and Roll All Niiiiight, And Party Ev-er-y Day! Yes, KISS was popular.
So to illustrate my point I go to the bookshelf and pull out my 1979 Monterey High yearbook. I could do a whole other post about fun with yearbooks, but I'll save it. Anyway, I thumb through the pages until I find this one autograph by some guy who's name I don't remember because he signed my yearbook as Peter Criss, who is the drummer for KISS. He even drew a picture of a cat, because Peter Criss had the cat face makeup. Max looked at the autograph, then laughed and said "What a loser!".
I hope Max never goes through the box in the garage that has notes and other teenage memorabilia of mine in it. Then he will never find out what a loser I was too--
Signed, Mrs. Jimmy Page

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Brain Hurts

So I've started this new job and it's been a few weeks now and by my estimation I should be getting with the program pretty well now. Except I'm not. Because there are a million different little nuances to this job and just when you think you've got it down there is something else to screw up on. And I am not exaggerating when I say a million little things. My supervisor told me I am doing a good job and that it takes several months to barely learn the job. So that is why my brain hurts. But it is a good "no pain no gain" kind of hurt. I had been kind of concerned that my brain was turning to mush because I wasn't working. No worries about that now.
Leo started Middle School yesterday, it is quite the adjustment from elementary school and requires quite a bit more in the thinking department as well. He comes home from school starving and exhausted, he eats and falls asleep on the couch. I totally relate.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Poor Timing x 2

For Sale

So a few weeks ago when I was going to join the work force again I decided I needed a Salad Blaster to take my lunch salads to work in. They are the ones that hold the dressing in the lid, you just push the button on top and the dressing comes out. I had seen them when I first moved here at Rosauers but didn't get one at the time. So I go back to Rosauers and they don't have any. This prompts me to go to several more stores around here but of course I come up empty-handed every time. Finally I buy one on eBay, after shipping it costs me nearly $10. So I get it in the mail and the next week I am at a different Rosauers and there they are on clearance for $3. So I buy one because, well because they were $3. Now I have two but I really only need one, I will sell you one for only $10.

Then, also a few weeks ago, I was getting tired of writing my return address on envelopes so I decided to order some address labels. Also about $10 after shipping. Well, two days after I place my order I get mail from some organization that wants a donation and inside are 24 address labels that just got mailed to me out of nowhere for free. Then two days after that the March of Dimes or someone sends me 72 more labels out of nowhere for free. I swear, all you have to do is donate to one place and everyone else finds you and courts you with free mailing labels. So now I have 250 labels that I paid for and 96 that I didn't. I use about 12 a month, good thing I'm not going anywhere.

So maybe if I order some new cookware for $10 I will get a Le Creuset oval oven sent to me out of nowhere for free. Hey, it could work, I'm on a roll!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Musical Holidays

Today is the Third of September. This means that today I will call my friend Elizabeth out in Oklahoma to wish her a Happy Third of September. We also celebrate the Third of June with a phone call. Here is why. A long time ago we were listening to Papa Was a Rolling Stone by the Temptations and the first line of that song is "It was the third of September" and Elizabeth noted that the song "Ode to Billy Joe" started with "It was the third of June". And we were wondering what significance the third had in songs, but we figured that songwriters used the third because it's one syllable and sounds better that singing It was the twenty-seventh of September. Anyway, on the third of June and the third of September we call each other and celebrate. Most of my family and friends know about this tradition because I call them sometimes too to wish them a happy third. Usually of June, because that's the day that Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahchee Bridge. Which sounds better than the third of September, because that was the day that my daddy died. Anyway, happy Third of September everyone!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sour and Sweet

This week was crappy. I woke up Monday and my back was in total spasms and I couldn't move. 3 days and 3 visits to the chiropractor later, I am okay now. However my household completely fell apart while I was laid up. I can keep all the plates spinning decently when I work full time if I am well, but as soon as I am sick or in pain, those plates start dropping left and right. The fact that this happens irritates me. A lot, apprently, judging from the meltdown I had on Thursday night. It was not for nothing though, as my kids are much more helpful now that they have seen their mother perform a total freak out, I think it scared them a little. It would have scared me too, except I knew it was PMS hormone fueled, so I just went with it and got good results. Don't tell the kids though, it works better when they think I am batshit crazy.
So yesterday I get a call from my fellow Sunday Night Supper Clubber Jennifer N., inviting me to an after-work happy hour at a place called Jimmy'z. It seems she is friends with the chef there, Andrew. Let me tell you, it IS who you know, because I have never had such a good restaurant experience ever. My boys came down and we had the best dinner, served personally to us by Andrew, who is an awesome chef by the way, that steak was the best. Jennifer and I had fun getting to know each other better, and we decided that we all need to get together more often. Sounds good to me! So even though my week was crappy, it ended well.
Now it is the weekend and tomorrow we are going to Pig Out in the Park with my pseudo-Uncle Buzzy and his wife Jan. So if you are one of the (growing) handful of people who I know here, and you are down at the park tomorrow evening, maybe we will see you! Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!