Monday, December 31, 2007

A Little Bit About Nichole's

Nichole is my niece. She is my late brother's daughter. She was born when I was 7 years old. We are closer in age than me and my sister who is 12 years older than me. Nichole spent every weekend with us while her mom worked and so she is more like a kid sister to me than my niece. She has a husband Eduardo and 2 daughters Eraya age 6 and Kristina age 21. When my brother died last February, Nichole inherited his house and has really fixed it up nicely. All except for one thing--there is no heat in the house except for the woodburning stove which doesn't heat much. I stayed there for 5 nights. Heat is not something you really think about unless you don't have any. Winter nights are in the 30's and 40's in Monterey, but really it is colder because of the dampness of being next to the ocean. Staying there was a lot like camping, I was never able to get warm. Fortunately, sleeping space is at a premium, so there was always someone sharing the bed with me.
Monday night: Eraya and Freida who is a fat rottweiler and used to belong to my brother.
Tuesday night: Max and Cracker who I wrote about here and is now a really sweet cat. Max would not sleep under the blankets because when you are 19, sharing a bed with your mom is creepy. He froze.
Wednesday night: Eraya, Kristina and Cracker.
Thursday night: Freida, who slept right next to me and kept me warm all night.
Friday night: Cracker, who slept right next to me and kept only my calf warm all night.
All is all it was a very good visit and I'm grateful to Nichole and her family for letting me stay there, and particularly thankful to Kristina for giving up her room and bed to me.

PS I crossed everyone (except for the maybes) and everywhere off my list! I even got to go to Gianni's Pizza and I got to watch Dan Green on the news. I like the Q6 news team, but I miss Dan Green, he is hilarious!

I miss you Dan Green!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Message From The Homefront

Today is Wednesday the day after Christmas. I am at my niece's house in California. It has been five really long and really fun days. Highlights, in no particular order:

1) Watching Fay's Twelve Days Of Christmas at my nephew Jason's house. This is by far the funniest Christmas video I have ever seen. I tried to find a clip of it on the internet but I could not. Just buy it, you will not be sorry.

2) Going to Candy Cane Lane tonight. They still have my two favorite displays from when I was a kid. The robot, and Santa riding a stingray bicycle pulling a sleigh full of singing reindeer. I will post pictures when I get back to my computer.

3) Going to Christmas Eve service at my old church. I saw a lot of people at once and they all seemed happy to see me, it felt really good.

4) Sitting in Mary Russo's kitchen this morning getting the lowdown about all my old neighbors and my old bunco group.

5) Making peanut butter balls at my sister's house, which are my favorite things that she makes at Christmas. I got to stir the chocolate and also I was quality control. Nice work if you can get it.

6) Going to Trader Joe's. Hopefully the four jars of peach salsa I'm bringing back in my suitcase won't break on the way home.

7) The huge hug that my niece Eraya gave me today that lasted about 5 minutes. THAT is the stuff I will really miss when I go back home to Spokane. I have gotten more hugs this week that I have in the past year. That needs to change.

And I still have 3 days left! Hope all of your holidays were happy ones.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A List of Lists

1) In 36 hours we leave for California. I have so much to do to get ready, but instead I choose to procrastinate by blogging. And by watching Clash of the Choirs--Patti LaBelle rocks! At least I can fold laundry and pack while I watch. Last night I did most of the laundry, here is what I have to do tonight and tomorrow night:
Clean the kitchen.
Finish the laundry and fold it all.
Clean my bathroom because Steve said he was going to change my leaky bathroom faucet while we were gone, but he probably won't so then at least I will come home to a clean bathroom.
Pack--that is always fun! Can I tell you how many times I forget to pack a nightgown?
Finish the Christmas cards, I only have a few left, that's a good tv time activity.

2)Then once we get to Monterey, I will have 3 days to visit these people:
Dick and Cesca
Patrick Jessie and Richard
Joe and Mary
Lisa M.
Ray also Ray's mom Rina
The Edigers
My old neighbors on Via Verde
possibly Erik
perhaps Laura
and I would love to find David Long and give him a big hug.
All those people in 3 days? Piece of cake!

3) Also, I will have to go to my favorite eating places:
Turtle Bay Taqueria at least twice
Black Bear Diner
Mal's Market for a big sandwich with turkey and bacon and avocado and garlic spread. Oh garlic spread, how I have missed you!

4) I am finally starting to get excited about Christmas. Hope you all have a great one!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Supper Club, the G-Rated Version

So last night was Supper Club. It was at my house, the theme was breakfast for dinner, and the plan was that we were all going to decorate gingerbread houses. Well, I was the only one that bought one, so we only had one to decorate. Fortunately, one was all we needed!

There were a lot of ideas, and I think all of them got used. There's a firepit, a couch, a cemetary, bunnies, raccoons, and a tree made out of Life Savers that to me looks more like a fountain. Also, there is a snowman wearing a jaunty hat. He used to be anatomically correct, but I removed his parts because...well, because. The X-rated pictures are here. Here is the cleaned up version. Even without the snowman's parts and Apu on the roof it is an awesome gingerbread house!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What Kind Of Fool I Am

So Max and I are in Costco recently and we get to the checkout and I notice this display:

Stamps with knitting on them!!

So I get all excited and say "Look Max, knitting stamps! Fair Isle! Fair Isle!"
(Which is the type of knitting with more than one color at once.)

And Max's reply is the classic I-am-so-embarrassed-to-have-this-woman-as-my-mother-right-now response: "That's great, Mom. Time to go now."

By now I am well aware that I am embarrassing my son, so I just keep going--"I am so going to get some of those stamps for my christmas cards, and I think I will just use them all the time after christmas too!"

Max then changed his tactic and said "Uh--okaaayyy."

Which basically told the world that My Mom Should Be Riding Faythe's Crazy Train!

And shut me up.

How did he get to be more clever than me??

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Need A Tissue From Crying With Laughter

It is Saturday morning 8:30 and I am stuck in my office because there are teenage boys sleeping in my living room and even though I need to get out there and start my day I decided to be nice and let them sleep because who knows how late they went to bed and you all know how teenagers need their sleep so they are not grumpy when they wake up.
That being said...
I have been on Yahoo's cool pick site and I found this comic called Basic Instructions. This one in particular had me laughing so hard that I think I woke the boys up. Oh, it only woke Leo up.
Well, I think I will go out there and make breakfast, that will get them going. Or I could just keep reading comics and let my laughter do the job. I'm going with option B. Have a fun day!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ten Years Gone

When September 11, 2011 comes, it will be the 10 year anniversary of the worst thing that has happened in our country in my lifetime. There will be moments of silence and quiet reflection, and assessments of where we are now and how far we've come. Today, I am reflecting and assessing, because it is the tenth anniversary of my own personal 9/11. Ten years ago today, my husband walked out on us.

I was a stay at home mom with two children, and I was blindsided. In an instant, my life turned upside down. And although life did eventually get better and take me down great paths that I never imagined I'd be on, it never was the same. Part of me still wishes it was the same, not that I wish to have my marriage back, but I wish that things weren't such a struggle from being alone. I wish I had someone to share my day to day life with.

When I look back at the last ten years, I see how far I have come emotionally and spiritually and for that I am extremely grateful. I am happy most of the time, which is a great thing. My kids are not criminals or drug addicts, and we have a close relationship. Life is good.

But today I will pause and reflect, probably cry a little bit, take another deep breath, and continue to move forward with my life.

Have a great day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go

It snowed like crazy all weekend, and then the rain came and overnight our winter wonderland was gone just like that. At one point I was driving through snowflakes that were so big they looked like pieces of kleenex. That was yesterday, today it's just wet. I guess it's good because the roads are no longer icy, but it's no longer pretty either. Saturday was awesome, I decorated the christmas tree while enjoying the snow falling outside the window, I felt like I was in a christmas card. I put on some James Brown and all was right with the world.

Then on Saturday night was my company's holiday party. It was at the Spokane Convention Center. It was so much fun! Sadly, I did not win any of the prizes they were giving away, but there is always next year (I said that last year too). After the party a bunch of people went out to C.I. Shenanigans for drinks so I had a couple and then got a ride home because it was snowing hard and I didn't feel like I could drive. Thank you Christie and Shawn for getting me home safely.

Yesterday morning I retrieved my car from downtown, went to church, picked Leo up at his friends house, and went home, where I stayed all day because it was snowing so hard, it was a lovely weekend!

Now it'a all just a memory, especially the snow!


Monday, November 26, 2007


I came from a place where it never snowed. How I lived without it for all those years I do not know. We are currently experiencing our first snow of the season. It is almost 11pm and I just got back from taking a walk in our neighborhood with the boys. It is magical out there. Max took some long exposure pictures from our porch:

Everything is glowing and so beautiful.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here We Go

Here is the Christmas decorating progress so far:

I just had to go back to this post so I could see where I put what last year. It is still November so I am getting an early start on the decorating this year.

By the way, Thanksgiving (it seems a lot longer than 3 days ago) was a big success! We are still working our way through the leftovers, it was mostly all really good. And by mostly I mean that the stuffing sucked!

Anyway, my big plans to have the house all decorated this weekend are falling through fast. But that's okay, because except for the boys, my christmas shopping is done! Since we are going down to California for Christmas this year, I ordered all my family's gifts online and had them shipped to my sister's house. Just another reason to love the internet! So far the best most appropriate gift I bought is for my nephew and his wife.

IF YOUR NAME IS JEREMY SEEBA OR JENNY SEEBA, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK!! I mean it!! You will only be spoiling your christmas. I know, because I found my christmas gifts in my sister's closet when I was 12 and I peeked and it was clothes and they were ugly and my christmas was ruined! SO DON'T CLICK IT JEREMY AND JENNY!!

Everyone else click here.

Awesome, huh? You just can't find that stuff outside of the internet!

OK I have spent enough time on here, time to decorate!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gearing Up

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

So last night I started cooking. I made the stuffing and also the spinach dip. I was totally stressed out because I have little idea about cooking and no creativity. Plus, I am trying to replicate my sister's thanksgiving dishes, so the pressure is on. So naturally, when I'm having a cracker crisis in the middle of Rosauers, my sister is nowhere to be reached! In fact, she was unreachable the whole night! The nerve!!! I mean, how am I supposed to know if she puts water chestnuts (which according to the recipe, are optional) in her spinach dip if she won't pick up the phone!! So I just took deep breaths and soldiered on. The main reason I got through cooking at all last night is because I played Wild Planet by The B-52's, it calmed me right down and got me singing, and by the time the CD was over, everything was made!

Look, real ingredients in my trash can, not just fast food wrappers--

Oh yeah, that little Snickers bar helped me get through it too.

So this morning I am not too stressed out because we are Rotissering the turkey. Steve is taking care of it, so all I have to do is Set It And Forget It!! I'm putting the sweet potatoes in the oven at noon and everything else after that. I just have to clean up a bit and them I am set. I may need some more good music to get me through the gravy making portion of the program. I'm thinking DEVO.

Hope everything goes well in your kitchens today and that you are with people you love! Happy Happy!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Grace is our cat who had the leg that stopped working and for a minute we thought it was going to be amputated but now she seems to be doing better. At first she just dragged the leg behind her, but now she is walking on it pretty well.

At the time we took her to the vet, he told us that we should stop feeding her canned cat food because she is too fat for a cat. She was skinny when we brought her home from the shelter but she eats every meal like it's the only one she's ever going to get. She eats her food and the other two cats' leftovers, not stopping until it's all gone. Well, at least that is how it was with the canned food. Now that we have switched to dry food only for all the cats, she doesn't seem to be eating as much as she used to. This has led to a change in her behavior.

Grace has become a beggar.

Whenever we are making something in the kitchen, Grace is now there too, staring at the food and meowing. Sometimes she is subtle: She will meow to get my attention and then once I'm looking at her she just stares at the food and then back at me. Other times she is more blatant:

It's kind of funny but sad at the same time. Max tried to give her a noodle but she didn't like it. She just misses her canned food! Max wants to get Grace a can of cat food for Christmas but I think that would be torturous to her. Meanwhile, we are all getting tired of the begging. Suggestions, anyone?

The Importance Of Writing Things Down

Today is Thursday and I should be at work except for I was throwing up in the middle of the night so I thought it best to stay home. I don't feel too bad right now, but not great either. I feel well enough to blog but not well enough to get dressed. So here I am.

Today I would like to talk about writing stuff down. I am glad I have this blog because every so often I read it and then I remember what I did and when I did it. I have discovered to my dismay that my memory is shot. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I smoked huge amounts of weed every day for 10 years while my brain was forming as a teen. But it is what it is.

One thing that sucks is that I don't recall a whole lot of my kids' childhoods. I look at pictures and I can remember them little but as far as remembering day to day events from the past, I'm not so good at that. Certain incidents are embedded in my memory for sure, like the time I caught Max at age 3 chewing a giant wad of gum at the store. When I asked him where he got it, he pointed to the floor. I freaked out, and that's probably why it made an impression on my memory. But the things they said that I swore I would remember because they were so hilarious, I have forgitten most of them. Except the ones I wrote down. Here is the best one, from Leo, age 3, while sitting on my lap and patting my boob.

"Mom, I don't play with boobs anymore."
"But I touch them a lot!"
"I pet them like they're dogs."

I think that is pretty darn insightful for a three year old. And if I hadn't written it down at the time, I may not have that memory to cherish today.

So people, if you want to remember stuff, write it down!

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Think That's Everything

1) I have been feeling like winter is dragging it's heels, but this morning it was 24 degrees outside, so I guess it will be here soon enough.

2) My kids have a ridiculously long list of dishes they want me to make for Thanksgiving. I cannot believe the extent of their delusions, they act as if I can cook or something. Actually, I CAN do most of the stuff on the list, except for the stuff I have never made. Like turkey. And yams. And gravy. Other than that, everything will be just fine!

3) One of the things I like about my job is that I get to use highlighters and post-it notes a lot. Little splashes of color that brighten my day.

4) Leo's slippers are almost done! In fact, I could probably finish them tonight, if I wanted to. But you know I won't!

5) Three dinners were cooked in my kitchen tonight. First I made a pot of spaghetti for Max. Then I made taters for me and Leo, which is basically fried potatoes with bacon, eggs and cheese. How can something that tastes so good be so bad for you? Then Max made another batch of spaghetti because he didn't like the one I made. So now I am stuck eating a ton of pasta for a week. Oh well, there's worse things I guess.

6) Still attempting to listen to Led Zeppelin on XM. It kind of sucks because they seem to play the same 20 songs over and over. I still haven't heard "That's The Way" or "Since I've Been Loving You" or "Achilles Last Stand". I have, however, heard "Kashmir" 27 times.

7) OK, now you're all caught up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Best News I've Heard All Week

This week has been crazy busy, both in and out of work. I have been feeling completely overwhelmed by work and social commitments, and I don't see it letting up until maybe Christmas. So tonight at about 9pm I am finally coming home after being gone since 7:30 this morning. Any time I can get alone in the car is good time, because I have XM and I can listen to it loud without kids complaining about how they are not deaf yet and could I turn it down. I swear they are channeling my mom. So I'm in the car and I look at the XM display and it says this:

Channel 59
Led Zeppelin 24/7

I screamed and almost ran off the freeway! I started hyperventilating and tried not to wreck the car while I fumbled in the dark for channel 59, hoping that it was true, and it is true! XM has a dedicated Zep channel for the next six months!! I don't care if I have all their CD's, this is awesome!

If you had told me when I was a teenager that in the future there would be a Led Zeppelin channel, or that Devo and the English Beat would play in restaurants, I would have laughed in your face. Well, the future is here and I'm happy to be in it. Led Zeppelin on XM is like an oasis in my crazy desert. Life is good.

It really takes so little to make me happy!

Friday, November 02, 2007

What-EVER! I Knit What I Want!

South Park fans may recognize the title of this post, changed ever so slightly.

So anyway-

I have a knitting blog but I don't post on it anymore especially since I got in to Ravelry. So I will make my confession here.

I have been cheating.

A while ago, well, quite a while ago, I told the boys that I would knit them each a pair of slippers. I started with Leo. I asked him what color he wanted his slipper to be and he said red. ARRRRGGGGH!! I hate red! But they are his slippers, so red it was. I got one slipper knitted but not seamed together.

I started the other one but I am not very far along. So a lot of time has passed and now it is almost winter and Leo wants his slippers. I tell him that I am working on them, which I am, just hardly ever, that is the part I leave out. Meanwhile, I have been working on (and finishing) other projects that I like better.

A scarf for myself:

And these awesome wrist warmers, also for myself:

By now Leo is pretty irritated with me, so when I knit in his presence, I work on his slipper, but during my lunch hour at work:

I am knitting this cute hat for, you guessed it, me!

I am cheating on Leo's slipper with a hat!

I feel so much better for having confessed. Leo is sleeping over at a friend's house tonight -- I hear my hat calling...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up

1) Yesterday Faythe and I made the rounds, to Costco, where I am pleased to say I ordered new not-for-work glasses, then to The Pop Shoppe (yay, pop!), Cassano's Italian Market (yay, meatballs!), and finally to Holy Threads (YAY, YARN!!). Faythe's boyfriend Ryan hates me because he says I am a bad infuence in the yarn buying department. He said I took Faythe to Holy Threads but I maintain that I took myself there, and that Faythe just happened to be in the car.

2) Faythe invited me to her house for her famous fried chicken, so I made the Cassano's meatballs for the boys and went over there for dinner. Ryan was possessive of the chicken because there were only 24 drumsticks (ONLY 24 for four people, please!) but he didn't have to worry because I only ate 3 of them. He is just lucky I didn't bring the boys! After dinner we watched the Big Joe Polka Show, which is always a good time. Thanks Faythe for having me over.

3) Yesterday I found out that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have released a new CD called Raising Sand. I had a gift card for Hastings that the boys had given to me for my birthday, so I got it today. It's great! Robert Plant sings soft and sweet, quite a departure from his Led Zeppelin days, I like it.

4) Yesterday afternoon Leo was laying on the couch and our cat Grace was laying on him. She jumped off because she heard me in the kitchen, so I told Leo that Grace was fickle. Leo got a funny look on his face and said "Doesn't that mean poop?" I said no and he said "yes it does, fecal means poop!" That got a big laugh out of me. I can see how he mixed up those two words, they sound alike but boy are they different!

5) This afternoon we are watching The Karate Kid with Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi. Wax on, wax off!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Target Is Too Far Away

Last night I went to the Super Target up at the Y. This is about a 20 minute drive from my house. The other Target in the valley might be a little closer time-wise, but it is not a Super Target, just a plain old Target. And if I have to drive 20 minutes, my Target had better be a Super one.

I don't get up to Target nearly as often as I'd like to. Back in California the Target was about 5 minutes away from my house, so the phrase I'm Just Gonna Run To Target For A Minute was said a lot. Up here, there are no more quick runs to Target. Now we figure out if we can justify the trip by going to another store or eating place while we are up there. Last night it was Red Robin.

Anyway, after we ate the boys went to Borders and I was on my own at Target. With no one around to bug me, I took my time and browsed the food aisles, which I haven't done in a very long time. I was very impressed by the foods under their Archer Farms label. It's gourmet type convenience food at a low price. I wanted to try a lot of it, but just ended up getting Peach Mango Salsa, White Corn Tortilla Chips, and Tierra del Sol Coffee Pods. And some milk, which was 4.28 a gallon!

Here is my point. I wish Target were closer so that I could go more often. That's it. Target, hear my plea!

I have a whole other Target subject about how they spoon feed us pop culture and tell us what we like, but that will have to wait because I have to go to work now. See Ya!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All I Want To Do Is See Clearly, Is That So Wrong?

To properly start this story we need to go back in time. March 2006! I know that's not very long ago, I probably used one too many backs in that last sentence, but it's my blog and I can be corny if I want to.


Back in March 2006 I got bifocals. They were awful! I couldn't focus on anything properly, so I never wore them, I just wore my old glasses. Which I am still wearing. Now I have a job which requires that I do a lot of close paperwork, and I have found that these bifocals which I hate come in really handy to see the stuff in my desk clearly. Problem is, when I look up, nothing is in focus, I have to tilt my head down and look upwards to see anything at a distance clearly. My misery and frustration led me to Costco. I decided that since my vision has changed to Mr. Magoo level, I needed new regular non-work glasses and also new bifocals for work. In the interest of saving money, I would use my bifocal frames, which are still new basically, for my single lens glasses and then just get a cheap pair of frames for my work goggles.

So I'm at Costco for over an hour looking at frames and trying to figure my stuff out, and in talking to the optician Jo we figured out the problem. She adjusted my bifocals so they sit lower on my face and now they work great! Thank you Jo! Now I am just going to get new non work glasses, but I can't decide what kind of frames to get. Peoples glasses say a lot about them, not just "I can't see my hand in front of my face". I have always been a wire rimmed gal but now I am leaning toward a more colorful plastic frame. Every time I tried one on Max said I looked like a crazy old lady who thinks she's young. Well, that sounds right to me! So plastic frames it is! Faythe, do you still want to go to Costco for glasses?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some Things

1) I went to Bible Study on Friday night. I had a group in Monterey but not here. I only just finally found a church a couple of months ago. This seems to be the group for me. They all seem very nice and I could see these people as being my friends. Hooray!

2) Yesterday my friend Heather from work let me tag along to a friend of hers house for their monthly craft morning. It was great to meet new crafters and sit in a nice home that was not mine and drink coffee and knit. I met alot of new people this weekend. That is a good thing!

3) Max and I went to see this movie called The King of Kong. It was a documentary, and it was great! I highly recommend it, especially if you are a video gamer.

4) Yesterday I took a tumble down some stairs. Actually, I slid on my butt and back pretty hard down brick stairs. My butt and back are bruised and I twisted my ankle a bit. I was moving really slowly this morning and ended up not going to church, which was unfortunate because I finally knew some people that I could sit by. Oh well, there is always next week. I am getting around a bit better now, hopefully I will be in good shape for work in the morning.

5) Speaking of work, it's late, going to bed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My friend Joe called me last night. I can honestly say he is my oldest friend. Here is our first picture together:

I am 4 months old and he is 3 months old. Our sisters are holding us. Joe and his family lived 2 doors down from us. In fact, when I moved up to Spokane, Joe's mom was still 2 doors down. Growing up, I spent as much time over there as I did at my own house. Joe had cool boy toys that my mom wouldn't get for me, like Hot Wheels, Creepy Crawlers, and a train set. I remember when we left the train set plugged in and almost started a fire in their living room, we got in big trouble for that.

The neighbor that lived in the house between our two was this older lady named Angela. She put up with us for our whole growing up. I don't know how she did it. She was kind of snooty and liked her house and yard to be perfect. She probably did not like the fact that we had worn a path into her lawn from cutting across her yard all those years. I mean, why go down my driveway, along the sidewalk and up Joe's driveway when I could just walk through Angela's yard? She was always complaining to our parents about us, but the worst time was when we pushed over the top tier of her retaining wall so we could use the mortar in between the bricks for chalk rock, which we used to write our names all over said wall. Our parents were pretty mad because they had to pay to have her wall rebuilt. I say that if a couple of six year olds could push over a wall, then it wasn't a very good wall to begin with!

We were cute but we were stinkers!

Around the time this picture was taken, it was my moms birthday so to celebrate Joe and I got into the liquor cabinet and drank a bunch of Bacardi 151. We were about as drunk as two 15 year olds could be and we decided that since we knew each other our whole lives, that we should be married. (Man, I am laughing so hard right now.) But my best friend Tami would not marry us that day, so that was that. There are so many other memories I have of Joe during those years: riding his mini bike back and forth between our houses for hours, cruising (at unsafe speeds) in his awesome 67 Camaro that he fixed up, the list goes on and on.

Now we are grownups! Last night on the phone we agreed that while we may look old on the outside and have aches and pains now and then, on the inside we are still young and immature. We talked about our last trips to Disneyland and reminisced about how when we were in our early 20's we would just get in the car on a Friday after work with Steve and Dana and just drive down to LA for the weekend. We were young and spontaneous back then, now it takes an act of Congress and a second mortgage to take our families on vacation.

Anyway, Joe is happily married for many years to Mary, they have 2 kids and he makes his living as a fisherman. We talk every few months and it is always great to hear his voice.

This is my favorite picture, it sits framed in my bedroom:

Left to Right: Joe, Karla, Mike and Steve

This photo was taken about 3 or 4 years ago, in Steve's mom's driveway. I have known Joe forever, Mike since kindergarten and Steve since 2nd grade. They are still my closest friends. I am so blessed!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

That Max!

So we are coming back from our lovely fall outing today and we get to our house and there is a sweet little squirrel sitting so cutely on our wall. I say oh how cute and Max says awww then he rolls down his window. I think he is going to talk sweetly to the darling squirrel, here is what he said:

"Get the hell off our property, you bastard squirrel!"

I just never know what is going to come out of that boy's mouth. It's my fault. When he was little I would laugh at the stuff he did and that just encouraged him. Now pretty much everything that he says and does is for a laugh. Unfortunately, I am still encouraging him. I can't help it, he's funny!


Fall, Year 2

Last year was our first fall here. I was totally awestruck by the colors of the trees and just amazed at fall in general. I thought that this year I might be just a little bit used to it, but no. It is fantastic. Today was a beautiful day with temps in the mid 60's, so I thought I'd take my camera out while I ran an errand.

This is the view from my driveway looking across the street to the left. If I look to the right I see this tree:

This is also the tree I see out my office window when I am on the computer, it makes me so happy!
These next pictures were taken between my house and my destination. I just zig-zagged around till I found cool trees. I didn't have to look very hard, they were everywhere! There was no way I could take pictures of them all, but here are a few.

These beautiful trees really are everywhere you look:

Even in front of ShopKo!

I hope I never get used to the beauty of the changing seasons here. When I lived in Monterey I rarely went to the beach. I have realized that the ocean just doesn't do it for me. It's all about the trees. If you live around here, get out this weekend and enjoy this awesome season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Is Coming!

I have yet to get the decorations out. I am, however, making a bold move in order to increase the number of trick-or-treaters we get here. (Last year we had eight.)

Yesterday I bought a bunch of full-size candy bars. My aim is to be the Lady Who Gives Out Full Size Candy Bars. I still remember the one we had in our neighborhood growing up. I'm hoping times haven't changed too much and that a full size candy bar is still impressive enough to establish a reputation and get the kids coming to the door. Because I can't afford to be known as the Lady Who Gives Out iPods, although that would bring them in for sure!

So this month you can call me Karla Mellinger, LWGOFSCB.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Shame

Well, today was Greenbluff Day. Going to the apple festival at Greenbluff is a fun time. Faythe, Jennifer, Brad and I piled in my car this morning and went up there for our 2nd annual outing. Last year it was all new and we were just taking it all in. This year we knew what to expect and so we came prepared to mock.

This is my shame. I am a mocker. I see the humor in things and I can't help but share my observations with my friends. So naturally I have gravitated towards like minded individuals and now we go places which have excellent mocking potential. Like the circus. And Greenbluff.

Don't get me wrong. I do not go there for the sole purpose of mocking. It's beautiful country and I love the community spirit of these small town festivals. It's just that sometimes things are funny. And I try very hard not to make fun of people directly because I do not like to hurt anyones feelings. Sadly, that was not the case today.

I saw a crocheted hat that was clearly far too big for anyones head. I pointed that out to Faythe who is a fellow crocheter and knitter. Then I put the giant ass hat on my head and posed for a picture. Unfortunately, I did not realize the the hat's creator was standing right behind me as I was doing this. I did not find out until after the fact. And now I feel bad. Not for what I said or did, but that I got caught and pissed someone off. That was not my intent.

Will this stop me from mocking stuff? Heck no! However, I will try to be more careful from now on. After all, the Christmas Craft Fair is right around the corner!

PS--If you want Faythe's take on the day in all it's lurid glory, you can go

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Another New Word!

Said to us last night at Walmart by our cashier.

Cashier(to Leo): How did you break your arm?

Max (joking): I didn't do it!

Cashier: Good thing, because that would be some sweet revengeance!


Last time I checked the Bible, the verse was not "Revengeance is mine, saith the Lord".

And think of how idiotic Samuel L. Jackson would have sounded in "Pulp Fiction"--You will know I am the Lord when I lay my revengeance upon you!


Friday, October 05, 2007

TV Confessional

Well, it's the new season and here is what I'm watching, old and new.
First the new:
1) The Bionic Woman. I can't believe I said it. It started out of curiosity, seeing as how I liked the old one. And after two episodes it has now become a sort of guilty pleasure. My kids still think that I'm just knitting with the TV on and it just happens to be on that show. One big reason I am watching is because I love Miguel Ferrer. My biggest complaint is that his character should be named Oscar Goldman. I mean, she's Jamie Sommers, right?
2) Right after Miguel, I mean The Bionic Woman, is a new show called Life. It's a cop show but weirder. So far so good.
Are those the only new shows I'm watching? I think so. Last year was the big year for new shows, and I am still watching a lot of them: Heroes, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters. And I have to admit that I still enjoy Desperate Housewives, My Name Is Earl (last nights show was hilarious!) and of course The Office.
So that's everything that I watch. (Oh yeah, and Soul Train too, man I love those old Soul Trains!) It seems like a lot, but spread out over the course of a week it's really not much at all. So glad to have the DVR, that way I can watch when I want.

I started this post this morning before work when I was awake and everything, now I am trying to finish it but I am so tired, so I will let this post fizzle out in much the same way I am right now.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hi Again

Tomorrow is October, and since this week promises to be crazy with things like hair coloring, furnace cleaning and broken arm pin pulling, I thought I'd post today since all today holds in store is buying toilet paper, taking down my dead fuschias for winter, and going through my mail.

The fun never stops.

Yesterday I was supposed to do a bunch of these things but I ended up talking on the phone most of the day. My best friend Tami called from Maine, that was an hour. Then I called my good friend Dennise who lives in the other Washington three time zones away, that was an hour and a half. My dear old friend Flo from Portland called, there went another hour. Plus all the knitting I did instead of housework, and there went the day. Amidst all that pseudo-activity I did manage to watch Soul Train and take a nap, so I did get a lot accomplished after all.

The temperature this week started in the 70's and now it's in the 40-50's. Fall is taking hold. These next weeks will be beautiful here, I can't wait.

Aren't you glad you are still reading this blog? Ironically, all the really fun stuff in my life happened while I wasn't blogging. One week it was my birthday party AND a trip to the circus. My good friend Faythe blogged about these events, so you may have read about them. Here is what I will add:

1) About the circus: while there were some cool things like the tightrope and the trapeze, most of it was really cheesy. Where were the lions? And for that matter, where were the other two rings? A one ring circus? Please.
2) About my birthday: my birthday happens to fall on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. I am still deciding whether I think this is okay or not. Yes, it brings more attention to my birthday, but then everyone says "Happy Birrrrthday Karrrrla!", which gets kind of annoying after a while. Plus I don't like Rum.
3) On the Friday after my birthday, a bunch of us went out for dinner, drinking, bowling (which also included Bingo)(and more drinking)(the more beer I have, the better I bowl)(drinking does not help you win Bingo), and ending up at the karaoke bar eating giant cheese sticks at midnight. All I could think the whole night was "I'm in a really funny episode of Roseanne!", which was awesome. Thanks to Jennifer, Faythe and Kate for making my birthday week a fun one.

Well, that about wraps it up. Time to clean the lint out of my dryer now. Bye!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Postcard From My Blogging Vacation

Too bad I'm not blogging this week. Good thing Faythe is.

I don't plan on doing any more writing until October, so if you want you can go back into the archives on here, you might find some stuff you didn't know and didn't really care to know, or it might all be old news to you, whatever!

See you in October!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

No Motivation for Blogging

I'm not really sure who or how many of you actually take precious time out of your busy lives to read this blog of no consequence. I started this blog as a way for my family and friends to keep up on me and the boys stuff since we were moving away from everyone we knew. Lately our lives have been pretty boring, therefore I have had nothing to say about anything. And I can't imagine anyone wanting to hear about Bunco on Thursday night, even though I kicked butt in a serious way to the point that they will probably never let me play with them again. I could get all introspective and deep with my posts, but really, why? It's exhausting.

So I think I will take an official blog break for a little while, through the end of September, anyway. Of course, by stating this I will discover a million things that I have to say before October, so I may or may not pop in. I hope to catch up with you all soon. Take Care and Have Fun Out There.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, It's ON!

Last night Faythe and I went to the fair. We had lots of fun, as you can see here. Faythe's camera is much better than mine, plus my battery died early in the evening, plus she has the awesome chicken pictures! Boy we had fun in those animal barns, but that is not what I am here to say. This is my point: When we were looking at the crafts, specifically the knitting and crochet, we noticed that two women in particular had made a lot of the stuff and won a lot of ribbons. For anonymity purposes (plus I forgot their names) I will call them Martha and Betty. As Faythe and I were looking at Martha and Betty's stuff, we realized that we could knit stuff that was just as good if not better. So we decided that at next year's fair we are going to give Martha and Betty a run for their ribbons. Nothing less than a sweep will do. It's ON, Martha and Betty, see you next year!

PS--This painting right here was worth the price of admission:

That is one crazy dog! And this Santa, Max called it ZZ Top Carrying Asparagus:


Saturday, September 08, 2007

They Said It Would Never Happen

But it is.

It's supposed to be for one show only. But why would they go to all the trouble of rehearsing all that music to only play one time? I smell a tour. And I will be there, you can count on that.

The hope that I may see my beloved Zep once more takes a little of the sting away from that fact that DEVO is playing at the Puyallup Fair and I can't get out of work to go see them.

Well, you can't have everything I guess. But I sure want to try!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Not So Happy Labor Day Weekend

So I get a phone call Saturday evening, it's from Leo, he's down the street at the park and he is screaming "I broke my wrist, I broke my wrist!" into the phone. So Max and I rush down there to pick him up and I notice that his arm is shaped like an S, that cannot be right, so we go to the emergency where they take x-rays:

Both bones in his forearm are snapped and the ER doc cannot set them, it needs to be done Sunday morning in an operating room with Leo under anesthesia. So the bones are set now, thanks to some pins they stuck in there, and Leo is feeling little pain thanks to his new pal Vicodin, which he refers to as his "dope medicine". School starts tomorrow, and we are hopeful that Leo can make it through the day with just a little dope medicine. Of course, it's his right arm that's broken, so I will be typing his homework for the forseeable future.

Then last night in the middle of the night he was stumbling around and stubbed his toe with such force that it is bent and we think it might be broken too. The good news is that it takes his mind off of his arm.

Hope you all had a better weekend than Leo!

Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm Sad

One of my favorite things about my house is the big tree right outside my bedroom window. On weekend mornings I open up all the blinds and lay in my bed and look at my tree and think how did I get so lucky to have such a great tree to look at. Every season it changes and I discover more to love about my tree. Here are some pics of the tree in winter:

I have pics from other seasons but I can't find them right now.

So today I come home from work to find a massive hunk (about 2/3) of my tree is GONE. Seems my tree really is the neighbors' tree. And they are building a garage and had to remove the part that was in their yard. So now this is my view:

And if I look down--


To say I am sad and angry wouldn't begin to cover it. This comes on the heels of my neighbor on the other side cutting down 4 big fir and pine trees in her yard. I don't have any before pics but here is one I took today. Before, we could barely see a part of her house, now look.

I know that people have a right to have their property the way they want, but damn!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just Wondering

I have heard that when you lose an eyelash you should blow it off your finger and make a wish. Does the same hold true for a plucked chin whisker? Because I just wished for a pony...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

OMG Cartoons!

OK so now we have DirecTV and now we get Boomerang, which are all the old Hanna-Barbaera cartoons. Tonight we watched the Banana Splits and Wacky Races. The cartoons were funny but the gem of the bunch was a live action short called "Danger Island". What a riot! Anyway, I got on the Boomerang website and stumbled across a profile of one of my two favorite cartoonists, Tex Avery (the other being Chuck Jones of course). This got me thinking about some of my favorite Tex Avery cartoons, so I googled "Symphony of Slang" and guess what, they are all on YouTube!! I am so happy!! So now it is time for you to be happy too. Start Here. One of the best cartoons ever. Be sure to watch the above-mentioned "Symphony of Slang", also "The Cat That Hated People", and the "Tomorrow" series: House of Tomorrow, Farm of Tomorrow, TV of Tomorrow, etc. I don't care what anybody says, the "cartoons" of today simply do not compare to these. Tex Avery and Chuck Jones were masters of the genre, and that's that. OK, now I'm going back to YouTube to see if I can find "Hillbilly Hare". Found it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Changes Afoot

Well, this weekend I finally quit Comcast. Their phone service (VOIP) sucks, and our DVR was spotty too. I found out that with Qwest (I know) I could get DirecTV, a land line with unlimited long distance and fast internet for about $20 a month cheaper. We will see. So far the DirecTV has been great with none of the pixelly pausey crap that we were having with Comcast. The phone and internet won't be switched over until next week. This means that I will be getting rid of (go ahead spammers!) If I have your email address I will be sending a mass email from the new address, I think it will be a gmail one. Probably along the lines of my first name dot my last name at gmail dot com. Anyway, I may be without the internet for a few days so that should be interesting. Maybe I'll wash the dishes or vacuum. Hey, it could happen!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Easing Into The Weekend

Everything you need to start a Saturday off right:

The Big Four: Coffee, Knitting, TV and Telephone!

So I'm watching last week's Soul Train and even though it was from the 80's, they had a flashback to the 70's and showed a clip of Jermaine Jackson singing "Daddy's Home" backed by his brothers:

Who are putting into practice what I always say: When in doubt, wear all the colors!

Then we come to the Soul Train Line, which I LOVE. The song today is "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock. Lots of skinny ties, suspenders, breakin', poppin' and lockin'! I was struck by this fashion accessory:

Why is she wearing raccoon tails as a belt??? WTF???

And what misguided designer thought THIS was a good idea? Let's make everyone look like they have giant hips and butts!

So you can tell I'm having a great day so far and it's only 10:15 am! Future thrilling plans for the day are to shower, have a sandwich, and switch my phone service! Then tonight I'm going to Faythe's for chili made out of bear and other wild game! I just don't know how my heart can take all this excitement. I know I've only been up for 2 hours, but I think I need a nap just from contemplating my day. Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm In Love With A Parking Lot!

I really have never given much thought to parking lots in general, but tonight I realized that I love one particular parking garage here in Spokane. It's the one underneath River Park Square. I love it because it plays Muzak. Not just any Muzak, but Muzak from the 60's! Everytime I go down there I get super happy and calm like a Stepford Wife. I roll down all my windows as I'm looking for a place to park, and I drive really slowly with a big stupid grin on my face. Then when I get out of my car I spin around to the orchestrated music like Mary Tyler Moore but without the hat throwing part. At $1.00 for 30 minutes, it's way cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun. I think I might just go down there one of these days and park and just roll my windows down and knit. YEAH!!

The best part was when we were leaving the parking lot and all these people were down there and it was like they didn't notice or care about the Muzak so I said to my kids "Nobody is appreciating the music" and Max says "That's because they're SANE!!" I loved that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Trip To Costco

We went to Costco last night. I have been wanting a dry erase board for a while now, and since it is back to school time, they had them, so I bought one. I plan on using it for various lists and reminders. My kids, however, especially Max, plan on using it as a giant doodle board.

Notice my warning to them:

This amounts to an open invitation, and I took these pictures to document the before. The after I will post later.

I also got these:

Notice my warning this time:

Another open invitation, except I was telling the truth, they really won't like these! HAHAHA!!


What did I tell you? Here is what I found when I got home from work:

They also told me that they didn't like my snacks, I told them they wouldn't!! Lest we forget who we are dealing with here:


Sunday, August 19, 2007

This Happened A While Ago

I just found this as I was cleaning off my desk yesterday. It is a list of songs that played while I was in my car during my lunch hour knitting. XM is great! My channel presets are Classic Alternative, Indie Bands, Classic Rock, Album Rock, 70's, 80's, Soul and Disco. Quite an array of music. So I was knitting and surfing the XM and I kept finding great songs one after the other, I love it when that happens! So here is the list of what I think are great songs:

25 Or 6 To 4 -- Chicago
Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves -- Cher
Rat Race -- The Specials
Man Out Of Time -- Elvis Costello
Express -- B.T. Express
The Look of Love -- ABC
Love Plus One -- Haircut 100
Wild Thang -- Tone Loc

That was a fun lunch!

New Places

I went to some places in Spokane this week that I had never been to but had been wanting to go to for a while. First, my friend Jennifer and I went out to dinner at Mizuna. I never went there with my kids because not only would the bill be enormous, but I would have to take the boys somewhere else for real food right after. Teenage boys just don't fill up on four green beans arranged in a fan shape next to four scallops and a brownie-size serving of polenta. For me though, it was great! I'm glad I got to experience it.
The other place I went to last night was the Garland Theater. Max and I went to see "Knocked Up". It was raunchy and funny and touching all at the same time, my kind of movie! And it was only $3.50 to get in. I don't know why I had never gone until now, my kids have been there plenty of times. It's a good bargain.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life Is So...Lifey

I think that life should be fun, for the most part. Or at least interesting. Sadly, that has not been the case here. So I will try to take boring things and put an exciting spin on them by overusing exclamation marks. Here goes.

1) I had my hair colored and cut last night!! It looks fabulous!! It's shorter than I normally get it, plus my silver stripe is gone!

2) The boys went to an Indians game last night! The Indians lost!! Then they ate at McDonalds!!! (My kids, not the Indians!)

3) My kitchen looks like a bomb went off in it! And we haven't even made the peach salsa yet!! And now the peaches are getting overripe!!! Things are going downhill fast!

4) My cat Dolly won't stop meowing!!! What do you suppose she wants??? Probably to go outside and kill something!!

5) I put too much creamer in my coffee and now all I can taste is coconut!!

OK, that is enough excitement for one sitting. Have an interesting day. Here is some help: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! take as many as you need.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Sparkly Day

Today is a beaurtiful day here in Spokane. I just got back from the Farmers Market. Everything is in season now, and the market was packed. I came away with some goodies, though, and also was reminded of a happy high school memory by these:

This little bouquet of flowers reminded me of my old friend Jim. He was in my little group of rag tag friends, we called ourselves The Junkyard Gang and we called each other by our Junkyard names, which were taken from the turn of the century (the one before last). My Junkyard name was Gertrude. Other Junkyard Gang names were, Ethel, Hank, Agatha, Elmo, and Flo (which was her real name). Jim's Junkyard name was Igmo, which wasn't very grandpa-like, but seemed to fit him. He was really funny, and would do anything for a laugh. We exploited this quality in him often! But those aren't the memories I have today. My memory today was this. When we would cut school, which was almost every day, we would walk around town and in the spring all the flowers in the old Italian ladies' yards would be in bloom. I would get Jim to sneak into their yards and pick flowers for me, which he did at almost every house. And by the time we got to downtown, I would have a bouquet just like this one. Those were happy, carefree times. Jim lives in Portland and I hardly ever talk to him, but I think I will try to today.

Also at the market I got these:

There is already one peach missing from this box, it was great! We are going to make peach salsa today, even though we don't know how we are not going to let that stop us.

But first I have to wash my dishes. I put some of the flowers on the windowsill above my sink so I will have a happy dishwashing experience:

I wish you all sparkly days and happy dishwashing experiences!