Monday, July 31, 2006

Brick Walls

As I sit here, waiting for some documents to finish printing, I'm reading through blogs and musing.

Ever have someone that you love dearly just up and.....quit....responding to you? You send emails, you text message, you leave messages on their phone, response.

You panic. Something MUST be wrong; why would they not answer phone calls and emails? But they are shutting you out, deliberately. Brick wall. Start climbing.

You take a casual approach. Send email every 6 mos or so with newsy news about family and mutual friends.


That's the scenario in which I find myself (going on over a year now), and today my heart is twingeing because of it. Most days I can brush it off and think, well, when she's ready, she'll come to me and talk about whatever it is that's keeping her away.

But today, ah, today.....

Brick walls. Should I keep climbing?

Friday, July 28, 2006

News of the small...

This morning as I was making blueberry pancakes (by request), I turned around to find No. 1 Son scoping out my behind with a magnifying glass.

This encouraged me no end! If you have to use a magnifying glass to find it, it must be pretty small, right??

Livin' in my delusional world.... :O)

News of the second offspring: this afternoon I needed to make a stop at Fred Meyer for some cake baking supplies. S. wanted to use one of those racecar kiddie shopping carts, never mind the fact that her knees go up to her nose when she sits in the cab part. Plus the things are virtually impossible to steer. I've been in more cart wrecks with those beasts than I care to count. However, why not? She's only 7 for one year, and that year is dwindling rapidly.

So she goes to the cart return in the parking lot and begins the arduous task of wrestling one out, against all the other carts in the way. She tugs and pulls; she pushes and shoves. D. and I are standing about 50 feet away, waiting for her to emerge, triumphant, with car cart. Finally after about two minutes of wrestling (I am biting my tongue so I don't crab at her to "hurry UP") - she comes out with the cart backwards. I feel her pain, those carts are not designed for mobility. About that time a grandfatherly person approaches her: "Would you like some help?" "Yes, please!" chirrups my daughter.

The kindly older gentleman proceeds to disentangle the cart, straighten it around.......

then put it right back in the cart return.

D and I double over with laughter at this unexpected twist. S thanks the gentleman, most sincerely, but she too sees the humor in the situation, and rejoins us, also laughing.

We found another race car cart inside the door, and the kids commandeered that one.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Eatonville Excitement

We took a family adventure today down past Eatonville in the Pack Forest, which is run by the University of Washington.

I must confess that at first, I was not pleased with the idea of all the chores and things I needed to do that would be left undone by my going on this trip.

However, dooty calls, ma'am! So, resolving within myself that if I could'nt be pleasant, I'd be as pleasant as I could, I discovered to my surprise that I was actually enjoying myself.

We drove into the forest a ways until we found the trail that leads down to a waterfall. After hiking for about 5 minutes, I realized exactly where we were. Except I'd never come to the waterfall by this direction before! All the previous times I've been to this waterfall, I've taken a left at the intersection in Eatonville by the grocery, then driven up past a bridge, then pulled over to park, marched along a railroad trestle, then down on a trail to the waterfall. So this was a new adventure to a familiar location for me. (Photo taken by my cellphone, so it's not the best quality). I remember hiking with Ruthanne all through this place one time. We had no clue where we were or where we were going, but it was fun all the same!

Today we picnicked in the shade at the foot of the falls whilst D and S found crayfish, sculpin (a tiny fish), and various other critters. I believe we provided a few horseflies with their own lunch as well! Then we hiked back up to the top of the falls, and back down around to a lake where there's red-legged frogs. I decided to march up the trail a way while the family filed down to the pond, and wouldn't you know it, I was the one who found a frog! We caught it, looked at it, then let him go in the pond. This is what he looked like (but I didn't take this photo):

5 minutes later, D re-caught the same frog, and was attempting to secret it in his backpack for a take-home treasure, but we... dissuaded him from doing so.

It was a lovely day for hiking, but tiresome for the shortest one in our family (which isn't saying much, she's a tall drink of water for a 7 year old). We timed our trip so that we could take the kids to their karate class on the way back in to town.

And now I'm parched with thirst! I drank plenty of water on the trip, so it must be that hoagy sandwich I ate for dinner. Or maybe the garlic-stuffed green olives I put in the Greek salad! :) I have to thank Lavonne for my acquired taste for garlic green olives. She brought them with her to our house for Thanksgiving dinner one year, and I have had a hankering after them ever since.

Off to the watering hole I go!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I just have to say....

God bless you, my sister over across The Pond!

Don't do owt that you shouldn't! :)

or should that be "nowt" ?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Meandering Minds Want to Know!

Is it just me, or has the Big Orange B been rather beastly today? I've tried to leave comments on various esteemed persons' blogs and no dice.

Probably a good thing. I need to read more and talk less.

The forecast was for 83 and sunny today. Let's hear it for! They were OFF BY TEN DEGREES.

I had to go soak my head in the pool to lower my body temperature. The house thermostat tells me it's 88 inside the house. The butter was left out, and it turned into a puddle on its plate. We continue to use the grill for all food that needs to be cooked. "You want what for breakfast, honey? Eggs? You like them raw, I hope?"

Made beef shish-kebabs for dinner. Now that was good. The potatoes I skewered/grilled were more on the cajun side of doneness (i.e., blackened), but everyone still ate them. We finished off the meal with... ice cream of course! I have lots of ice cream. I think next time I'll halve the recipe.

It was so stinking hot Sunday that the evening church service was canceled. (The building has no air conditioning and gets rather like an oven with their westward-facing windows). So my plans to dispose of all that extra ice cream into the Sunday Night Faithful came to naught.

As I was link-hopping earlier today from Mounty' s Corner, I stumbled across something that forcibly reminded me of Ancient Krell music. (If you don't know what that is, your science fiction knowledge base is sadly lacking. Start by renting Forbidden Planet). It was rather mesmerising. I post the link here for your edification and enjoyment. And A-musement. Actually, it's not accurate to say I was a-mused, because I was indeed musing about tones, waves and scalar patterns, and just staring at the dots. :) It's the Whitney Music Box. Go ahead, click on some of the other tones he's incorporated.

I think I should get the halflings to bed. What is it about summer? My routines are all out of whack, and so am I. I'm used to getting up before everyone else, starting the coffee and a load of laundry, then settling down into the big green La-Z-Girl rocker/recliner to read and study James and Proverbs. (Then do a sudoku or two...).
Instead, lately it's been roll out of bed, shake head in disbelief at the time, go start coffee and (perhaps) laundry - wake up kids, filter and chlorine treat the pool, feed the kids, drive them to swimming lessons......

....then sit in the bleachers or the car working on my piano studio business. Now how messed up is that? Here I have a God-given break of 30 minutes that I'm using to work on other things.

So, I must drag myself away from this computer (though there is a fan right next to me comforting me :) ) and toss these kids into bed! With all possible dispatch!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

ice cream day

This is the absolutely most fabulous day for ice cream ever! Until tomorrow, that is!!

It's a mere 92 degrees now, 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I have Jennifer's Famous Ice Cream Recipe turning in our electric ice-cream freezer on the back porch (too noisy for inside the house), and everyone's in the pool----erhm, except me. Back in a bit.

AAAHHHHHH, MUCH better. Splashing about in the pool did the trick. Now I'm all showered up and feeling cool and crisp. Now where's that ice cream? Still churnin' on the back porch. I'd better get out another sack of ice, or it'll be midnight before it's ready, with this weather!

Hm. Just checked on the ice cream, and it was coming out the top. So I stopped the churner, brought in the ice cream, and just guzzled some vanilla ice cream about the consistency of a milkshake! YUM.

For the curious, here is . She gave it to me without even having to look at a recipe card, which she thought was pretty sad, at the time! (grin)

Jennifer's Fabulous Family Ice Cream Recipe
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 quart whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 junket/rennet tablets, dissolved in a little bit of water
Beat eggs with sugar; add cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Pour into 1-gallon ice cream freezer. Add milk to the fill line (a little less than 3/4 gal. will be needed). Add rennet last. Freeze according to machine directions.

Eat right away; save some for later; enjoy on hot days, cold days, or when you've had a bad day; put in on your oatmeal instead of boring old milk; put between two large oatmeal cookies to make an It's It (ice cream cookie sandwich I used to eat in California)---the possibilities are endless!

And now I have just about a full gallon of homemade ice cream out in my big freezer. OY. Think I'll take it to church tomorrow night!

Friday, July 21, 2006

This kind of weather only happens between 14 and 21 days a summer here, so why am I complaining so much?

I just checked the thermostat inside the's currently 10 pm and the needle is still pinned at 90ยบ - the highest it registers.

We spent a luscious time this afternoon in the kids' 9 foot round kiddie pool, after we'd gotten back from grocery shopping in air-conditioned stores like Trader Joes, Great Harvest Bread Company, and Costco.

Now I'm contemplating dragging the sofa and TV to the back porch, where it's only 85 degrees, so we can watch Monk in the (relatively) COOL evening.

Another two days of this, then back to 80 degrees. And Lord, haste the day! :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


...that's an Army noise. Gutteral, all-purpose expression of joy, excitement, disgust, what have you. Pronounced "HOO-ah!"

So my army friends tell me.

It's a useful expression when one has just noodled out some minor complexities of CSS with a rudimentary knowledge of HTML.

Which is, being translated: Look up there ^^! There be a header at the top of this page!!

(Way to go, Grasshopper! ^5.) Yes, I talk to myself.

So this means I can make the header BETTER. Because white doesn't really work with this scheme. It's too stand-outish.

Cookies to whoever can figure out which musical masterpiece is depicted in the header! Alberti bass, key of C...
(Honors will probably go to Crystal, but you never know.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just had to know.

I am nerdier than 71% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


Anybody know enough CSS to enable me to post a header at the top of this blog, rather than over to the side? I borrowed some code from others who DO have headers, but I'm unable to get it to display. I know this is a "me" problem, lacking experience.

I await your expertise and suggestions, whoever you may be.

And now, lunch.

Edit: ok, I think I know what I did. I set up the #header part in the css section, but never included a < id="header"> later on in the page content. Must play with this later to see if my suspicions are right.

Somebody just spoon feed me~! LOL

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blog Tweak, Part One

So I finally sat down with the blog template CSS, my trusty Paint Shop Pro (version 6.0, a veritable dinosaur now, but I still love it), a photobucket account, and a web page open to hex color codes and went blog-tweaking.

I'm not finished, by any stretch. I like the bkgd color, but not so sure about the popcorn. I need another color worked in here. And I need to figure out how to tweak this template so it includes a header. I'll have to go steal some more ideas from other blogs~! :) wuahahaah.

I thought about using a daisy motif as well, but couldn't come up with an artful intermingling of daisies with popcorn! ;) Will have to play some more.

It's after 10 pm and I have children awake still. Sigh. Summer schedules are lovely! Stay up late, get up late, etc. EXCEPT that both kids have to be at the Fife Pool by 9:20 for lessons. So those kids had better shut their eyes pretty quick!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Letterboxing - Our First Experiences!

See? TOLD you I'd do it on Friday.

I was at WalMart this morning (shudder) buying school supplies for the kids (I live for the 20 cent glue special, the 10 cent notebooks special, etc....)---and while I was there, picked up a smallish spiral notebook to log any stamps we might find whilst letterboxing.

Later this afternoon, armed with a printout of directions to several boxes hidden around the Puyallup area, the notebook, my multi-colored inkpad from Stampin' Up!, and a stamp of a cat playing the piano--- we set out.

First on the list: Bubble Tea! I've never had it before. So downtown we went, purchased a Bubble Tea (it's a smoothie with tapioca in it. Go figure.), and retrieved our first letterbox! oooh, am I telling too much?? There's rules about being discreet. ANYWAY. Inside a ziploc bag was their small notebook, a hand carved stamp (that seems to be The Thing That Letterboxers DO To Be Cool; make their OWN STAMPS), and a pen. I stamped Pianokat in their log, along with today's date and who we were-- and recorded their hand-carved stamp in my log. Mission accomplished!

Off to Bradley Lake Park for letterboxes 2 and 3. We found them without much difficulty. The problem was trying to be discreet so people wouldn't know what we were doing. One of the "boxes" used was a small, cylindrical container with a screw-on cap about the size of a container of face cream. Again, hand-carved stamps ruled the day.

So the kids, at the time, were all, "so NOW what? is this IT??" My hopes for a fun, family hobby began to evaporate. Oh well.

But later on this evening, when I discovered that there was one at our own, walking-distance Clarks Creek Park, they wanted to go RIGHT THEN. So we headed out, trying to find the box titled "Everything the Light Touches." I know we found the right log, but we didn't find the box. I gingerly put my hand inside the hollow log (eeeewwwww, what's IN THERE?? I was scared of something with 8 legs, or something slimy...) finally rummaging around, carefully, up to my shoulder in rotting hollow log. Never found it. It was dusk by this time, and I was wanting a flashlight. So we gave it up, for the time being.... and we'll try it again later when there's more light. And A. there to stick his arm in there instead of me. He has more courage!!

so the tally is: 3 finds, 1 not found. Very cool! Note to self: must carve own stamp to get "cool points!" :)

"The track 'Hot Shot City' is particularly good"

Looks like I stumbled across an internet phenomenon today. Apparently David Hasselhoff, of Knight Rider, and more recently Baywatch fame, has a singing career. So much so, in fact, that he's even released an album of greatest hits called "Looking for - Best of David Hasselhoff."

You should see the glowing reviews on Amazon! Go ahead, click the link. (caveat: this could be addictive). There's 1008 reviews of this album, and most everyone gives it 5 stars. Those who do not must be ogres or deaf, apparently.

Here's a sampling:

Like the Colossi of antiquity, his magnificence is both awe inspiring and humbling. His oeuvre is living proof that the Dumbing Down phenomenon theory is just speculation.

Never before and never again will such genius and mastery of the senses coalesce into a body of pure bliss as has in this work of blinding brilliance by David Hasseldorf.

David Hassenbloff Has made me see the lyrical light. Pre Hoff i used to listen to acts like Zepplin, Elvis, Marvin Gaye until i discovered the Sultan of Song himself David Hasseldorf.

Mr Hasselkidds has here encapsulated the epitome of all that is music. . . .I simply cannot recommend this album highly enough. The song "Hot Shot City" is particularly good.

Shame on you, world!! How could you spend so many years alive without discovering the thrilling, godlike music of David Honkerpoff?!

This engaging, challenging type of art not only transcends one's expectations of expression but creates new forms of aural communication. This is the art invented by the one and only Darvis Hypercraft.

If someone were to ask me what my definition of "timeless" was, I would open my shirt and show this CD hanging from its gold chain.

...and the raves go on! It will suck you in if you go there. Just take my word for it. I don't want to tell you how long I've been sitting here, reading the reviews and laughing my head off. Too long.

Go write a review yourself if you like, and be part of the next All Your Base! :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

3 Things Meme--Tag free, so don't worry!

Mrs. Blythe hit me with this one, and I didn't remember until just now. :)

3 Things That Scare Me:
1. Spiders
2. Hairballs
3. Drowning (the whole idea of suffocation)

3 People That Make Me Laugh:
1. My husband
2. My kids
3. Monk (from the TV Show. I know, he's not a "real" person, but there it is)

3 Things I Love:
1. Rainy days, an afghan, a book, a mug of coffee and no time committments. This is ONE thing. :)
2. The smell of freshly mowed grass
3. Strawberries and cream

3 Things I Hate:
1. People interrupting me while I'm playing the piano
2. People misunderstanding me
3. Sales calls

3 Things I Don't Understand:
1. Sewing
2. Advanced mathematics
3. The affinity for rap music

3 Things On My Desk:
1. Godzilla: Pack of Destruction box (this belongs to my son)
2. A flyer for MegaBloks "Dragons: Metal Ages" (this is something my son wants)
3. A bottle of cough suppressant left over from when A. was as sick as a dog back in Mar/Apr.

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:
1. Listening to my son practice piano ("Iroquois Lullaby")
2. Listening to my daughter play Pajama Sam on her computer
3. Baking a blueberry pie with the blueberries taken from our bushes :)

3 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
(whoa, like heavy, dude)
1. Visit Europe. Specifically the British Isles.
2. Learn to play a stringed instrument. Cello or guitar.
3. Write.

3 Things I Can Do:
1. erm... ooh, here's one: I read reallyfast. Shockingly fast. Like, "I can't believe you finished that already?!" fast. UNLESS it is nonfiction. Or Moby Dick (LOL)
2. Cook
3. Sing like Aretha Franklin. well, I try.

3 Ways to Describe My Personality:
1. Loyal
2. A bit spacey. But I really do have a few brains here.
3. Friendly. Golden retriever-type.

3 Things I Can't Do:
1. Sew
2. Make my checkbook register match my bank statement. That's why there's Microsoft Money.
3. Lie and get away with it.

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:
1. God, as revealed in the Word
2. Bach. as in, the dad. Johann Sebastian.
3. Barry Manilow. JUST kidding! (That was for Mrs. Blythe's benefit)

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To:
1. Yourself, when you are feeling down.
2. Anyone who advises you to live contrary to God's revealed Word.
3. Enya. (Ye gods, does her music EVER sound different?)

3 Absolute Favorite Foods:
1. Mexican food. All kinds. Carnitas especially!
2. Strawberries. Chandler variety grown in coastal California.
3. Popcorn

3 Things I'd Like to Learn:
1. To understand the ins and outs of how to manage finances/invest/save! But I'd like to learn it by osmosis, rather than expend any effort.
2. To speak Spanish fluently
3. To play Baroque music well. ugh. so fussy.

Beverages I Drink Regularly:
1. Water
2. Coffee
3. Iced Tea

3 Shows I Watched as a Kid:
1. Wonder Woman
2. Laverne and Shirley
3. Dukes of Hazzard

"They have a [blog] troll."

Today I've been pondering 'Net safety, anonymity, and the responsibility that Christians have to let our speech be always "seasoned with salt."

Let me be clear: I am not against personal privacy. It's only reasonable to guard your personal information zealously. I don't even have a problem with anonymous posters dropping by and leaving their two cents *coughRichardcough*.

What I do have a problem with is those persons who, under the cloak of the "Anonymous" label, decide to flame, harass, and otherwise be just plain stinky to those with whom they disagree. If your opinion on a matter is different from mine, great. Tell me. But be polite. You draw more bees with honey than you do vinegar, anyway. Take some classes in persuasive speech and see if I'm right.

If you don't like something I do, or something I believe, fine! You may tell me, respectfully. And I may ignore you, also respectfully. To my own Master (my Lord Christ) I stand or fall. Not you, nor your opinion of me. I have done away with slavery to fallible (wo)man's opinions.

You do not have to be a sheep bleating your approval to me. You are allowed to disagree, and should. But man up/woman up/alien up (jk) and take ownership of your comments if you do.

I post this as a preventive measure, rather than a reactive one. I've just witnessed a troll on another blog make ad hominem, denigrating comments to the blog author under the cowardly flag of "anonymous." Any such behavior here to me or my four readers will not be tolerated.

So, enjoy your visit here at and so it goes...

.....and don't feed the trolls.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Since Rebecca's all fired up about geocaching these days, I learned about something new today that sounds really cool - vy. similar to geocaching - called letterboxing.

It's like a big treasure hunt. People post clues on the 'Net about how to find their letterboxes, and when you find their (waterproof!) box, inside it is a journal, a rubber stamp/ink pad, and whatever else. You carry a sketch book, rubber stamp and pad with you, and you stamp their journal with your stamp, and then you stamp their journal with your stamp! It's like leaving a calling card.

I've already looked at and a few other places and there's lots of sites in Washington to explore--including 7 or 8 here in my town. I plan to do this with the kids. I just have to find a rubber stamp that represents our family. Maybe a turtle stamp, or an olive stamp! :)

THen again, maybe I should just let the kids have their own stamps. I know D will have some sort of dino, and S will choose a kitty, or a puppy, or a horse... :)

I"ll have to see if I can get A. interested in doing this too. I know there's a letterbox at the local Bubble Tea shop. A good reason to go in--I've just never made the time to do it!

If we like this well enough, we can make and hide our own letterboxes. I didn't see any listed for DeCoursey Park, though there's about 5-6 at Wildwood Park.

Anyway. That's my new interesting thing of the day.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Day 3: The Main Event

I learned my lesson: close the blinds and the kids will sleep in longer.

Saturday morning we decided to go out to breakfast. We'd seen a sign for "Sambo's" further back on Hwy 101, and having fond memories of both the book and the restaurant chain, decided to give it a go.

Well, it turned out that the restaurant wasn't part of the chain; it's a local landmark-type place. I should have taken a picture of the tiger with the parasol out front of the building for Rebecca, but I forgot the camera.

The place was packed: a good sign. The food was all made from scratch, and the portions were huge! We had the most fabulous dining-out breakfast that we've had in years. It was comparable to the Sunbreak Cafe in Auburn, WA, but even a little better. I have half a Denver omelette that we're going to share today before we leave for home.

After breakfast, back down to the beach. I had a bridal tea to attend at noon, so I was down on the sand for about 1 hr before having to leave. I did actually go into the ocean at this time, just so nobody could say I wimped out. But really, I've spent a great deal of time in the Pacific Ocean as I grew up, and I know how to body surf, and really, I'd much rather be WARM and DRY now!! Still, you can't convince your kids of that. So I was out there, very briefly, earning some "cool points" in the waves.

The bridal tea was close-knit and special. Ruthanne and Kelly came up with some good eats, too! :) I always love cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and Kelly also made some toasted bread spread with a mix of creme fraiche, dill, shallots, and dijon, then topped with smoked salmon. We spent the afternoon laughing and trading stories, then finished with a time of prayer for Lora and Dave as they embark on their new life together.

I returned to the hotel to find the family in the warm pool. They'd spent about 3 hours at the beach (A. was turning pink, most surprisingly; he rarely burns)---then after a brief lunch they decided to hit the pool, where they'd been for about 1.5 hours. I joined them (warm water, you know) and the kids stayed in for another 1.5 hours.

For the wedding, Lora and Dave changed the order of things about. Due to sunset lighting issues (for pictures), we had the wedding feast FIRST! That was fine by the kids, because they were ravenous. The caterers served scallops in a white wine cream sauce (I had seconds), planked salmon with mango-cilantro salsa, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp cocktail, clam chowder.... it was all good. I was wishing I was still hungry, because it all tasted so good. (This is not what they wore to the wedding, btw!)

After dinner, we headed back over to Fishing Rock for the wedding ceremony. It was beautiful in every way, except for my son sneaking off different places, and the fact that my battery was going dead on my (Audra's) digital camera. With the setting sun and the roaring surf, we stood and watched Lora and Dave exchange their vows. Sniff.

Here's a family shot following the wedding:

Uncle Bob, Aunt Naomi, Dan, Ruthanne, Dave, Lora, Donna, John, Kelly, Loren. My batteries were virtually worthless by this point, so it was "snap" and hope for the best!

Following the ceremony and pictures at Fishing Rock, we returned to the beach house for cake, etc. I was given the honor of cutting the cake, which the groom's mother had brought down with her from Bellevue. It was a 16" (diameter) Latvian torte. (I didn't realize Latvia had its very own torte recipe! lol) Dear mother said she was told that the cake would serve about 40 people., in my experience, more like 80+ ~! There were plenty of leftovers. The torted cake was white with 2 filling layers of bavarian cream, and the middle filling layer of apricot. The outer frosting was like a French buttercream, or a Swiss meringue buttercream in a light mocha or chocolate, I couldn't decide which. Buttercream frosting in the US is a cold-whipping process; French, Italian, Swiss buttercreams all involve cooking. It gives a lighter taste, textured more like a buttery whipped cream but with greater stability.

Heh. Listen to me wax rhapsodic about cakes. Sorry.

The kids had had enough fun and excitement by 10 p.m., so we made our farewells and promised to almost possibly keep in contact just slightly better than we have done in times past (a nebulous promise; much safety here) and returned back to the hotel, where the kids collapsed, and so did we.

So this is my last post from the road. It's a lovely, foggy morning, much like I grew up with on California's Central Coast. I can hardly see the sea! When I began this post, there was a bit of sunshine hanging about, but then the fog rolled in, obliviating it. Everything's a misty shade of grey. And now that it's 8:30 a.m., I'd better be the one to get the ball rolling, get the show on the road, and any other cliche you can think of. After all, A. has to lead Bible study at church tonight, and we have miles to go before we sleep.

Don't worry. We will not be taking any hypoteneuses on our return journey.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Day 2: Beach, Bookstores and BBQ

Sing Ho for the life of a tourist!!

I neglected to shut the drapes our first night in the hotel room. After all, the sunset over the Pacific was beautiful, and it was even better by night, curled up in a squishy, swively rocking chair. And the sound of the waves coupled with the breeze coming through the window was soporific... for adults.

But once the sun came up on Day 2, the photoreceptor cells in both kids went into overdrive. Beginning about 6 am, the kids started to make subtle crashes, bumps and bangs calculated to wake up us lazy grownups! After all, there was a beach to be explored! Holes to be dug! Shells to be discovered! Waves to jump over!

It's hard to be filled with the Spirit at 6 a.m. and you're wakened from a sound sleep. Especially the "longsuffering" part, and the "joy" part. I eventually crawled out of bed, snarling, around 7:30. Better me than Andy. I quickly started the coffeemaker (mood enhancer!) and forced the kids to eat breakfast ("no beach until you eat").

Three of us made it down to the beach by 8:30 a.m. We left the fourth upstairs until he, too, could be "filled with the Spirit" ! (lol) I sat in my beach chair, digging my feet into the soft sand, whilst the kids buried themselves in it. When A came down later, he took the kids into the surf (the average temperature of the Pacific Ocean is like 51 degrees--BRR) while I continued to stay warm and dry!

For lunch we went up to the room and I whipped up some mean Trader Joe's white macaroni and cheese (no preservatives or fake colors), and a few organic beef hot dogs (no nitrates, nitrites, or other nasty cack) while we polished off my Crab Louie from the night before.

Then we trekked out and saw the sights of the town.

It is an established fact that when you go on vacation with my husband, you will invariably end up at a used book shop and/or a zoo. It's just the way things are. I had a few other things planned too: going to the glass foundry where they blow the glass floats that used to be used by fisherman (and are now objets d'art) -- you can blow your own for a mere $65! (no thanks) I also wanted to hit a candystore for some saltwater taffy. Something about beach towns and saltwater taffy going together. I think all-told we went to 3 different book stores and A. didn't buy a single book. Kids got a couple though! We also went to the outlet malls. A waste of time. S. decided she had to have a purple Old Navy lunchbox, so she squandered her hard-earned cash and bought one.

After shopping it was time for the pool--warm water, you know, instead of frigid salt water. I sat in the greenhouse that passed for an indoor pool until I felt ready to faint. I noticed the inside air temperature was 100 degrees! So I moved my chair to just outside the greenhouse/pool , still close enough to "watch" my kids, but much more temperature-friendly.

And by dinner, it was time to embark on the reason we came down to Oregon--the rehearsal dinner, day-before-the-wedding-type of festivities! We met up with the wedding party at a place called Fishing Rock in Depoe Bay. Beautiful--but a good place to stay away from the edges. :) The wedding will be Saturday at sunset. We followed the party back to an extended family member's beach house (did that even make sense?) and enjoyed a catered dinner of BBQ pork and chicken, red beans and rice, cornbread and orange honey, potato salad and pea/cheese salad, watermelon triangles and lemon curd/blueberry tartlets.

Some of my four readers will recognize these people, so I'll post our dinner companions, just for your edification and enjoyment. Even if you don't know them, they're such old friends that they're like family, so consider this an introduction to my family--albeit a spiritual one. :)
Loren and Kelly live in Seattle's Wallingford district now. That's near the Woodland Park Zoo, ask me how I know (*rolling eyes*) Loren's a financial planner at what he called a "boutique" firm--meaning, small firm with rich clients. Kelly works at World Vision in Federal Way. Loren thinks that 29 is still a little too young for him to be having children. (HE volunteered that information; I never have the guts to ask ANYBODY "when are you having kids?" because I feel it's not my business! But since HE said it and I know some of you will WONDER about it... there it is.

Ruthanne and Dan live in Kentucky, where they are in the youth ministry. I just realized that with Dan wearing his hair that way, he looks like Josh Groban! He tells me he cannot sing like Josh, however. Ruthanne, this time next year, will have her PhD and be Dr. Crapo. By the way, she would have me say that's pronounced "CRAY-po." She's in the process of writing Chapter 2 of her dissertation. I have trouble understanding what it's all about. Something involving Hegel, Sophocles and Antigone. She will defend her dissertation in Holland! And not Holland, Michigan....the REAL Holland.

And now, for the lady and gentleman of the weekend: Lora and Dave! Love the matching shirt and dress!! Dave's parents went to Hawaii when he was 6 years old (this was before Lora was even born), and they wore these outfits. Now they've passed them on to Dave and Lora for their beach wedding! :) Actually, they only planned to wear these for the rehearsal.

Dave and Lora are both nurses at Good Sam hospital in Puyallup. He's a critical care nurse; she's in the ER. They met on a medical mission team to Sri Lanka following the tsunami of 2004.

And it's time to go. Wedding time! (I'm blogging one day late, so these are Friday's events).

More photos to come!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Day 1: Traveling is SUCH fun!

Word, people: shortcuts on Oregon highways do not take less time.

We attempted to take the hypoteneuse of a right triangle to save time getting to Tillamook. What we got was a loooong and windyyyyy roaaaaddd..... (but it didn't "lead to your door" as the song goes...)

After rapidly pulling over twice for my dear daughter, forcibly ejecting her from the car before she ejected her lunch - we were ready to forego the adventure of traveling on any more hypoteneuses and just taking the longer, but straighter way. Be it known, however, that the atlas did NOT indicate said road's windiness before we turned off on it. There ought to be a "Truth In Maps Act!" Citizens and fellow explorers across the fruited plain, stand up and be counted! We WILL NOT STAND for shoddy cartography any longer! We will dispense with all incorrectly marked maps forthwith. Forthwith!

By the time we arrived in Tillamook (not our final destination, but a tourist stop on the way) the kids were NOT interested in anything to do with cheesemaking. They looked like green cheeses themselves. However, being in the fresh air perked them up, and watching the factory production of cheese took their minds off motion sickness. Woot.

Arriving in Lincoln City (7 hours after leaving home), we immediately checked into our hotel and walked to the nearest seafood restaurant to enjoy fish and chips, soup and sandwich, Crab/shrimp louie salad, and pan-fried razor clams. (That's four different meals, not one!) Heading back to the motel, we decided to walk down the beach a ways. Kids put on their swimsuits. It's dusk, mind you, and getting chilly, but who cares about such details? Everyone else on the beach is in sweatshirts, but my halflings are out in their swim gear, oblivious to cold, and consumed with the thrill of being AT THE BEACH! We finally got them up to the room again, and tucked into the hide-a-bed in the living room.

And the afternoon and the evening were the first day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


"Elvis has left the building!"

We're leaving today for the Oregon Coast! WOOT! That is, we'll be leaving once I've packed...

I'm taking my laptop along, but I don't know if there will be free wireless internet down there. And I don't plan to go wardriving.

is where we're staying! Oh, goody! There IS WiFi!

So, see you Sunday night! Perhaps sooner, if I feel like logging on.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Five Things

Well, Tammy tagged me to do this meme, my first ever! :) BTW, a "meme," paraphrased from Wikipedia, is a replicated bit of cultural information. Memes on the internet are replicated by the power of hitting "send" or "publish." There, more than you ever wanted to know.

So, here goes. I have to change it at the end, because I don't have five blog friends! lol well at least not that I know well enough to "tag" them.

5 Things in my Refrigerator:
1. Rice Dream Horchata
2. Colby-Jack cheese slices
3. Trader Joe's Chocolate Soy Milk
4. Tortillas
5. Butter

5 Things in My Closet:
1. Wrapping paper
2. Calvin & Hobbes comic books
3. Suitcases
4. Bed linens
5. My clothes =)

5 Things in My Purse:
1. 2 pens
2. My checkbook
3. 2 Handi-wipes I saved from Famous Dave's
4. My wallet
5. Debit-card receipts that I need to write into my checkbook! evil, evil. sigh.

5 Things in My Car:
1. A sack of concrete
2. Beach towel
3. Expandable cooler for keeping groceries cold
4. 5-gallon bucket
5. Vegetable seeds

3 People I am Tagging: (but only if they want to!! I don't want to be a Meme Nazi.)
1. Crystal
2. Mrs. Blythe
3. Joysnatcher

Ciao! Off to have a cooking, cleaning, get-ready-for-a-party-tomorrow frenzy! :) it will be fun.