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!