Monday, February 27, 2012


So, how was YOUR day? I am getting mixed reports from all my friends. One reports that her teenager locked his keys in his running car for the second day in a row, her dog chewed up her phone, and her own car wouldn't start. Another friend, on the other hand, enjoyed a close-up view of a bunch of otters playing in the wild.

As for me, hmmmmmm......... my day at work had its usual ups and downs. Trust me, you don't want to hear about them. When I got home, I discovered that Weston can multiply two three digit numbers together and Shane can do front walkovers. Then I had to go to the dreaded swimming lessons, followed by a stop at the store for wine and various other necessities. Sadly, my shopping skills were severely degraded because I was doing what I like to call multi-tasking but what you might call gossiping or chitchatting. In fact, I was busily receiving the all-important daily reports about poodles and otters from my pals and as a result I neglected to bring home the most important bag: the one with the wine and breakfasting supplies for my two small children. One can't go without wine, now can one? Well, maybe another one can, but not this one. In any case, I had to trek back to the store, most definitely a forkable moment.

Oh, wait, I bet you don't know about the fork rating system yet. You will, though, because everyone definitely needs to read about it. It was invented by Leah, one of my most stunning, brilliant and funny friends from Korea. She is writing a new guest blog at, so please go check it out; you won't be sorry! Comments would be greatly appreciated, so let her know what you think. Maybe even share your own fork story! She also has some fantastic advice for when your friends are having those fork-worthy days. It might surprise you, or not, to know that she highly recommends chocolates and margaritas. You can adapt her system to your own needs, though. For example, say your friend goes shopping and accidentally leaves her wine at the store. I'm pretty sure you know how to help her. Want to come over?? Please? And don't forget the chocolates! Good night, my friends, I hope your day was great, wherever you are!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Okay, okay, no more crocus pictures! FINE. But sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't, right? Or so I've heard. Anyway, we are home from the beach. It was the usual collection of sand, pop rocks, frigid water, wine, bingo, arguments, running, rocket launching, howling, shopping, peeing on the beach and trashy television. I'll leave it to you to sort out the kid activities from the canine fun from the adult pursuits. I bet you won't get it right, either, but it doesn't really matter, now does it? Because we're home and what goes on at the beach stays at the beach. And that's all I have to say about THAT.

On the way home, we stopped at Doraville. As you may know, Doraville is what my mother's grandfather, Josef, named his homestead, after his wife, Dora. Josef spent years clearing trees to build his house. The picture on top is of an apple tree located at the original orchard near where the house stood, and the second one is the view down the hill from near where the house was. When Josef first claimed the land, it was thick with old growth fir that he cleared by hand. He was quite the writer, Josef was, leaving us, among other efforts, years of journals detailing his exploits. One of my favorite stories is this one about the winter of 1887 when he was nearly killed by giant trees crashing to the ground in hurricane force winds.

Perhaps slightly ironically, then, the homestead is now my uncle's sustainable tree farm. While we were there, they were logging a stand of fifteen year old trees with a super cool machine that clips them off near the ground, strips off the limbs, and lays them down, ready to be placed smartly into a self-loading log truck.

I thought the boys would like the tree clipper; because who doesn't love diesel powered equipment? I have no idea what's it's really called, but I think tree clipper is pretty suitable, so that's its name from now on until I die. We watched it for a little while, and then the boys ran off to the true attraction on the farm: thick, sticky red-brown mud. Seriously, that stuff is nasty. I wouldn't even let them in the van, and you know my standards for car cleanliness are pretty low. Plus the van was already full of the remnants of all the questionable beach activities noted above, so you'd think a person with substandards like mine might feel that a little mud wouldn't hurt anything. But you would be wrong; that's how bad it is. I knew before I let them play in it, of course, because I spent almost every summer of my childhood there, along with many, many weekends, and I was often coated in the stuff myself. I don't like to stifle their creativity, though, and feel strongly that a willingness to get filthy is an admirable trait that will serve them well. Still don't want it in the car, though!

So I made them strip down and roll around in the wet grass and wear trash bags the rest of the way home. I figure that's good for them, too, because coming from Josef's family, they are definitely meant to be country boys and there's not always a hose or even a rusty cattle water trough when you need to wipe the muck off, am I right? Oh yes, I'm a country girl, you didn't know that? As long as the country has wine and a thrift store, I'm good. But I have to admit, it's good to be home to the 'burbs where there's a Starbucks and an eco-friendly dry cleaner on every corner. Have a good weekend, my friends! I'll be doing laundry and picking caked-on red brown clay out of little tiny crevices. And drinking wine.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Are you guys sick of my crocus pictures yet? I swear, I am obsessed with those things. They are growing next to the sidewalk and I have been down there three times trying to get the picture I am imagining in my head. No such luck so far, and I even sprawled out on my stomach on the icy concrete to shoot them head on. That was super fun but at least no one threw any beer bottles at me. I hate it when people throw empties.

Next time I will post some pictures of something else, I promise. I have some nice ones of piles of kelp and dendritic sand patterns, very cool. I hope you are all having a great week!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jennifer was Right About the Pot Smoking Mr. Rogers Goodwill

Geez, I hate it when she's right; it just makes her bossier next time. I gave the Edmonds Goodwill a thorough going over, and it definitely did not make my list of favorites. I would go there if I lived nearby but even Captain Kangaroo on LSD wouldn't make it worth the long trip. See the pants? I rest my case. Also, it was pretty small. One thing I did like was that the dressing room doors are unlocked so you don't have to get someone to let you in. I despise that about most Goodwills and have never understood why they are so concerned about shoplifting. It's not like they're going to go broke and have to report a loss to the shareholders if someone steals a $6.99 sweater. Or maybe they're concerned about Mr. Rogers toking up in there? I dunno, but it annoys the hell out of me.

They had a good selection of reading glasses, so I snapped up a couple of pairs. I go through those things pretty quickly and recently lost my last pair. They must be somewhere in my office, but I cleaned it up last week and didn't see them. I don't actually NEED reading glasses, you know, but I think they make me look smart. Well, okay, that's a lie. But I do find them to be multi-purpose, and pretty handy for meetings when I am trying to pretend I'm paying attention but am instead exchanging snarky messages with my equally inattentive friends.

And as if that's not enough excitement for one weekend, check out what my dad gave me in the most recent batch of junk he's cleaning out of his house:

I regret to report that my graduating class was quite large, and that the vote was nearly unanimous. My parents were as pleased and proud as you might imagine, though I note they DID save the thing.

That's the Sunday report, friends, I hope you all have a wonderful President's Day and a good week!

Friday, February 17, 2012


You guys all know my sister, Jennifer, right? No? Oh, you definitely should. You can get to know her a little over on her blog, but I have to say she's been a little lazy about posting lately. She should post a lot more, because she is chockfull of excellent counsel. She's also a little bit bossy. Somehow, it never surprises people when I tell them that. I don't know why. If you ask her, she will tell you that she's not bossy, she just always knows what you should do and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. You probably need to decide for yourself, though.

Just today, for example, I told her I was going to go to the new Goodwill in Edmonds. It's new, you know. I haven't been there yet. It's kind of a trek from my house but I need some new flowered coats. And possibly some boots. Also, I have had a strange craving for a denim skirt lately, but most of them are way too prairie and I think I might be too old for a short one. But I have high hopes for the new Goodwill having just the exact right denim skirt for me. Or at least I did until I got some sage advice from Jennifer. See, she has a theory about the Edmonds Goodwill: Rick Steves is from Edmonds, and he is ummm, less than fashionable. In fact, he wears fanny packs, so therefore Edmonds Goodwill must be full of nothing but mom jeans, pleated khaki shorts and stirrup pants.

I didn't actually know who Rick Steves was, because I find travel writing very boring and I don't have any cable, until she mentioned his efforts to decriminalize marijuana. Then it started to ring a bell, because I am a fan of that. Not because I have any interest in smoking pot myself, but if you want to, I don't think it's any of my beeswax any more than it's any of yours how many bottles of wine I suck down. Wait, did that sentence make sense? I hope so, as I am neither drunk nor stoned and so should be perfectly capable at fashioning a coherent sentence.

Well! That was a tangent; I'm not sure how that happened. It was like my keyboard was working itself! Anyway, she likened Rick Steves to Mr. Rogers, except for the pot part, but you know what? I think Mr. Rogers liked his doobies. No one could be that mellow without assistance. I mean, think about it. Not once in all those years in the hood did he let loose on those annoying whiny puppets. That's superhuman, man. She's right about one thing, though, all that pot smoking didn't improve his taste in clothes. I bet if he'd gone to the new Goodwill he could have found some stuff that was a lot more snappy than those ugly cardigans and slippers. If he was still alive I would totally invite him to go with me, because what could be more awesome than Goodwill with a baked Mr. Rogers? Since he can't go, though, I guess I'm on my own with my birthday Goodwill gift card and my optimistic nature. I'll keep you posted, Jennifer!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Tooth Fairy Better Not Screw Me Over

Do any of you guys remember two years ago, when my birthday lasted like six days and ended with boils? I didn't think it was possible but I think that one might be facing some stiff competition for the most ridiculous birthday ever.

I have been out of town all week busting my ass for the greater good, like usual, only extra hard. So hard, in fact, that I earned a sparkly tiara for my efforts, but that's a story for another day, except for the part where I put it on my head this morning so it wouldn't be crushed and then forgot about it and wore it to many usually tiara-free places. It DID seem like people were admiring me much more than usual, and some old geezer at the gas station told me I looked beautiful, so that worked out well. In fact, I think I might wear it all the time from now on.

I arrived home today with big plans to enjoy my birthday. A party, a Goodwill shopping spree: you know, all my favorite treats. The house was perfectly clean until I got there and lugged in about 8,000 pounds of work and 3,000 pounds of dirty laundry. Then, I took a nap and when I woke up all hell had broken loose. Shane was curled up on the bathroom floor, whimpering and surrounded by vomit. A trail of puke at least forty feet long and a disturbing red-orange color led from the kitchen, through the living room and down the hall. Meanwhile, Lloyd was yanking a loose tooth out of Weston's mouth with a pair of pliers. I guess he figured the whole carpet will have to be bleached anyway so a few more drops of blood won't make any difference.

It was all down hill from there, too. I cancelled my party in favor of popsicle shopping and the Magic School Bus. I'm still going to Goodwill, though. In my tiara. On deck tonight: 8,000 pounds of work, 9,000 pounds of yakked-on laundry, and a truly daunting volume of wine. I just hope that damn tooth fairy doesn't drink too much and fall asleep in her tiara again. I suppose she will be worthless when it comes to folding laundry, too. Happy Birthday to.... Oh, NEVER MIND!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cat Wigs

Oh, you guys. I swear, I NEVER know what I'm going to hear or see next around here. Last night the boys decided they needed wigs for Jake and Henry so they would look like girls. Or, 'goowuls', as Shane says. They wanted to know where one could buy such a thing, so I googled it for them, while telling them that there are probably not any cat wigs. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I realized there are totally cat wigs. Naturally, the boys wanted one right away, the pink one, and were quite dismayed when I informed them that there was no way we were going to spend sixty bucks on a wig for a cat. I mean, seriously, who would do that? Do you know how much wine I can buy with sixty smackeroos?

While they were pitching their fits, I posted the cat wigs on facebook, because what else would I do? As always, the best part of my facebook posts are the hilarious comments from my fantastic friends. Here are a few:

If any of my friends were going to discover cat wigs, I would bet it would be you.- S.

I'm totally buying one. My cat will look dashing in the Bashful Blonde.- S.

Oh and Thanks now my daughter wants a cat and a wig for it...Thank God the baby is allergic.- H.

Oh. My. Goodness. I have no words except "0h. My. Goodness. I have no words." -L.

How do you get a cat to keep a wig on??? -M.

And I'm the hard core one? -G.

After the boys recovered from the disappointment associated with my frugal approach to cat accessories, I told them they could MAKE cat wigs if they wanted, for a fraction of the price. We decided doll hair would make good wigs, but they didn't want to cut the hair on the dolls they already had, so obviously a thrift store trip was in order.

THEN, when I told my sister that I was taking the boys to Goodwill to buy dolls to cut their hair to make cat wigs with, she said, "You're going to make cat wigs out of doll hair? What a ridiculous idea. Why don't you just come over here? I have some cat wigs you can have." Every word of this is true. Can you believe I didn't even have a category for her until just now?

So, sure enough, I went over there and she gave me a bag of wigs. Two cat wigs and two little boy wigs. Let me just finish by saying there were mixed feelings about wig-wearing around here today. You may notice Jake is not in any wig pictures at all, and in fact is in hiding and hasn't been seen for several hours. Henry, however, cheerfully donned two different wigs and posed for a lengthy photo shoot. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Click or Climb 2012

Hey, guess what? It's time for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society's Big Climb Seattle. This is their annual fundraiser where a bunch of crazy people climb the 69 flights of stairs of the Columbia Tower to benefit blood cancer research. I first wrote about it in 2009; you can read that here.

I have clicked instead of climbed every year since then, but I was actually considering doing the climb this year on my friend Brandy's team. Seriously, it's true! I have known Brandy since she was in middle school, which was at least ten years ago, and I swear she looks exactly the same now as she did then, probably because she does stuff like climb 69 flights of stairs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, though, I am going to be out of town, so once again the badgers can kiss my ass instead of chewing my thighs. This time. Next year, though, BRING IT ON, BADGERS!

As you probably know, my mother died of lymphoma. As a result, I appreciate Brandy's stair-climbing and fund raising efforts for blood cancer research even more than I would otherwise.

Please consider donating to Brandy's team by clicking here. Or, sign up here and climb yourself! Because if I NEVER hear of someone I know being diagnosed with lymphoma or leukemia again, it will be too soon.

And, oh yeah, on a non dead mother related note, if you missed yesterday's post called 'Questionable Content' about my brilliant plan for new vending machine selections at my office and want to see it, let me know and I will send it to you. I took it down because it was kind of, ummmmm, questionable.