Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where The Hell Am I?

Got drunk on Thursday. Woke up in Palm Springs on Friday. That's not exactly how it went down but that pretty much sums things up.

We got Home from our Second Home on Thursday and invited some friends over for dinner. We had a couple of cocktails and ordered in dinner. Opened a bottle of wine and listened to Mr. Friend tell us he had a flight the next day to Palm Springs. (Mr. Friend is pilot.)

We all looked at Mrs. Friend and said, "You should go too. For New Years." That was quickly amended to, "We should all go to Palm Springs."

By midnight, we had tickets to Palm Springs.

The task for today is to figure out how to get back home.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Less Is Not More

My ass is getting bigger, not smaller. So why do jeans, nowadays, cover less of it? I suppose the answer is self-evident. Larger butt = less coverage, given the jeans themselves are a constant.

I contend that jeans are not constant. As evidence, I give you this from 1983:


These jeans actually cover this woman's posterior. My jeans would not. Not, especially, if she were to sit down. And, I paid MORE for LESS (which follows the bathing suit rule of fashion, when I come to think about it).

But who really wants to see my rear end? Okay, let me rephrase because I can already hear you yahoos making noise. Is it really necessary that I should look like a plumber every time I bend over? Keep in mind the middle of a middle-aged woman is intended to be hidden from view. What are love handles to one are muffin tops to someone else. What's cute on a young woman is, frankly, not as interesting when skin has lost its elasticity. Need I say more? No, I thought not.

I love my jeans. Don't get me wrong. They look great with a crisp white shirt and a pair of stilettos. As long as I don't move. As long as my white shirt is long enough to reach or even - is it too much to hope? - fall below the waist band. (Oh, but that is a different diatribe.)

What is a woman to do these days? Suffer through it, as far as I can tell. Suffer as women always have with fashion. And so you will find me endlessly hiking up my pants to try to maintain a sense of decorum because actual dignity is out of the question.

Maybe I should buy a skirt.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Resolutions

My baking soda box reads, "Change every 30 days," to which I say, "Once a year is the most you'll get from me."

Justification

I'm eating pie for breakfast. Ginger pumpkin pie. However, there's a very good reason for that: It's a travel day. Which means, housecleaning. Which means, cleaning out the fridge. Which means, eating leftovers. Ergo, pie. I'm just doing my job.

And speaking of which, I bought a second black purse yesterday. Exactly like the one I bought two days ago. So now I have two friggin' black purses that I don't need and I haven't even decided that I want. (What's wrong with me?) BUT, there's a very good reason for that: I saved a whopping $14 on the second unnecessary black purse, so there. It means I have to return the first unnecessary black purse but that was worth $14, right? Just doing my job. (And, yes, the Kindle fits in there, no problem.)

Of course, I found a nice black coat (that goes nicely with my black purses, btw) at the second store. So I got that, too. Needed it, yep. So, there's that. But, I've got to hurry up and get out of this town before I buy anything else.

Better finish up this pie and get a move on. Wait, there's pizza in the fridge too....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Seattle's In For A Baby Boom

Eighty-three percent of Americans rate rainy days and nights as the best time to have sex.
Well, yeah—because what else is there to do when you can’t play golf or drive with the top down?
It's High Time for Conception: Studies Show Peak Times, Weather for Sex

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Purse Therapy

I don't even like purses. At the same time, I am oddly attracted to them. It used to be I didn't carry one because I got tired of hauling everyone else's crap around. Diapers, kid toys, husband's wallet - forget that nonsense! Carry your own stuff! I got very efficient after that. I only took what would fit in my pockets.

Is it me or have jeans gotten tighter since then? Plus, the stuff required to get through the day has expanded. For example, when I wasn't carrying a purse, cell phones hadn't even been invented and now I can't live without one. Car keys looked like keys back then. Now, they look like Oreo cookies or something. Larger, needless to say. I have two house keys, two car keys, keys for the office, keys to my mom's place (3), a bicycle lock key, and two storage locker keys. Those won't all fit in my pocket. I have prescription sunglasses. I suppose I could wear them on a chain around my neck in case the sun comes out but ...

Oh, what the heck. I need a purse. But how many purses does one need? Further, how many black purses does one need? Specifically, do I really need the black purse that I bought today? One that is more expensive than any other purse I've ever purchased? Do I really need that?

I was going to take pictures of all my black purses so you could vote or give me counsel. I have three with me right now and at least two more at my other house. However, I realized rather quickly that the arguments for and against would fall along gender lines with the women saying, "You can always use another black purse" and the men asking, "What's the difference between one black purse and another?" I fully understand what the men are asking. It is, in fact, my quandary. At the same time, this gender will also ask, "How many black shoes does a woman really need?" which, in mind, disqualifies the entire gender from entering into the conversation on black purses.

I also bought a wallet. I can't remember the last time I carried a wallet. (What's gotten into me?) It's black, if you must know, and could double as a clutch so technically, that's another black purse. My current wallet is a rubber band. A real wallet just adds needless weight to an already heavier than necessary satchel. But I bought it anyway.

I'll go ahead and put my money in my wallet and then put the wallet in my purse and then go to the store. Try it all on for size, as it were. And see if there's anything else I really need.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Don't Let Them See You Sweat

In not sweating the small stuff, it helps to know what the small stuff is. In the thick of it, none of it seems small and it's easy to feel victimized by circumstances. Time constraints, chore lists, and expectations (real or false) conspire to pressurize to combustion.

What if fill-in-the-blank doesn't get done? Are there any real consequences? Another question to ask is, could s/he have said it differently? As in, what was the proper thing to say/ask? If there is no real answer to that question, the problem lies with with the offended party and the matter qualifies as "small."

What happens when something really BIG comes along? That's a different story. It should be dealt with appropriately, whatever that is. But if one has practiced letting the little stuff go, the bigger stuff filters down to take its place on the priority list, effectively becoming smaller.

The REALLY BIG stuff sucks. There's no way around it. But what if we think of the REALLY BIG stuff as equally good, as bad? Then  REALLY (bad) BIG stuff deserves no more attention than REALLY (good) BIG stuff like family, health, love and kindness, and all that.

Okay, I realize that may have come off as cynical, that last sentence. But that's small stuff. Let it go.

Life is good and I realize that's not always easy to hear. And, I realize that's not True for a lot of people. For a lot of people, life is packed with REALLY (bad) BIG stuff and I have nothing to say that will placate those people. In fact, whatever makes me feel better about my life, day, obligations - whatever - won't mean spit to someone who's REALLY down and out. When I think about it, it makes all that I've just written seem pretty trite.

Which makes all of my/your garbage really, really small stuff.

I hope you didn't sweat the small stuff this Holiday Season. I hope it was really good big stuff.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mrs. S.

I wonder what Mrs. S. is doing right now. I know that in my house, Mr. S. spent a lot of time watching football and when that was over, he watched golf. How desperate do you have to be to watch golf? But, I digress.

I think Mr. S. gets far too much credit. What does he do, exactly? In my house a giraffe makes the toys and it's the elves that make the mess. A mess of paper and ribbons that streams from room to room. Every room, in case I didn't make my point.

And then, Mr. S. has the gall to wonder why Mrs. S's hair is white and steam is coming out of her ears with the sound of train whistles. And, by the way, when's dinner? And, did you make my favorite pie? And, I'm hungry.

And, OMG.

He thinks he's a hero if he put his finger on the knot while Mrs. S. ties the bows on the packages and carved the Roast Beast. He even ... and, what's this? For me? Why, it's exactly what I wanted.

I don't have any idea what Mr. and Mrs. S. are doing but this I know. He needs the longest night of the year to get done what he needs to get done, and it'll be dark at the North Pole until April so they can sleep it off.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Grandma's House

The term is more convoluted since I became one. We are celebrating Christmas Eve at my sister-in-law's house and she's a grandma, too. And our two mothers are great grandmas. And I have another sister-in-law that will be a grandma in about six months, although she doesn't know it yet. (This year's family drama which will become unavoidable very soon.)

If you include all the grandparents (who know they're grandparents) there will be seven of us at tonight's gathering which amounts to approximately 33% of the total revelers.

Next year, there will be (at least) eight of us. A perfect example of the aging population.

I'm just taking a short break between baking and dish washing before taking off to Grandma's House. Safe travels to all who are venturing out today. And, keep an eye out for the Fat Guy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Charlie

For me, Christmas begins when I get a card from Charlie. Without fail, I get one and it's almost always before I've gotten around to sending one to him. I just got his card the other day. It's the twenty-seventh card I've received in as many years. And we've never met. Still, it's something I look forward to every year.

I was married (the first time) in 1984 and Charlie, a college classmates of my parents, was invited. He didn't come but I made up an index card with his name and address on it anyway. Everyone who was invited got a card whether they came or not. The cards also tracked what people gave for a wedding present so I could appropriately thank them. And then, the card file became my first Christmas Card List as a married woman. I had been instructed to send each one a card my first Christmas as Mrs. So-And-So. And, so, I did.

I heard back from several to whom I sent cards. But Charlie's was my favorite. He thanked me for the card and then asked who the hell I was. Not in so many words but since I had signed the card with my new married name, he couldn't make the connection to his former college classmates.

So I wrote back, "I am the daughter of ..." and explained the situation of having been instructed to mail greetings to everyone on the original guest list.

The  following year, I received a card from Charlie. And, the next year. And the next. For 27 years.

Now, he uses a computer so sometimes I hear from him at other times of the year. But I still get a Christmas card. Every year.

Which is awesome.

Merry Christmas, Charlie.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No Post Today

The post today is there is no post today. Today, I took a day off to play Santa's elf, running from here to there to finish all that's on my list and I nearly did so. Finish, that is. Now, I've got dinner simmering on the stove - which needs stirring - so, really. I just don't have time to post. Not to mention every day - who has time for that? Really?

So no posting. Can't be done. I'm just too busy.

I have to check the list. Twice. And compare it to everything that's laid out on the dining room table in little piles, organized by intended recipient. I have to stir. Again. And check for doneness. So, I'm sorry, dear readers. No post today.

All that's left is the menu. I have the general idea. The roast is already ordered and I figure there will be some vegetables and potatoes. Oh, and don't forget pie. And wine. So, there's at least one more run to the grocery store. On the busiest day of the year. No sweat.

And I should probably do a little housekeeping. You know, just straighten up a little. I usually like to hide things in the oven or the dishwasher but they'll be in use. Maybe the washer? Or dryer? Which reminds me, time to advance the laundry.

Dinner's about ready and it's time to get it on the table. Oh, wait. The table is covered with all the presents. I suppose we could eat under the tree to make things even.

Oh, well. Just so you know. There will be no post today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Awry In A Manger

We let Carter set up the manger this year. He's never seen these figures, much less been able to touch them before. We didn't decorate for the Holidays at all last year and the year before that - well, he was much too young. These figures were hand painted by his Great Great Grandmother and a couple of them are too fragile for him to handle, even this year.

I set him on a stool and let him arrange the figures however he saw fit. Pop quiz: Where's baby Jesus?

I don't think he's familiar with the story of the manger. But he understands the concept of a barn and he knows animals go in there so that's the first thing he set about doing. Getting the animals in the barn. There just wasn't enough room in there for all the people. He got a shepherd in there, and the Three Wise Men, but Mary and Joseph didn't make the cut.

Baby Jesus is there but he's hard to spot because it got a little crowded in there. He's under the camel. The one that's front and center. Actually, back and center is more accurate.

Who knows? Maybe that's the way it really was. Maybe all that the visitors who traveled afar could see after their arduous trek with their gifts of adoration was a camel's ass and a filthy barn.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sex In The City

We went to Bank of America in Portland today and had to snake our way around the parking garage looking for a large enough parking spot for the Escalade. (How un-Portlandia is that? We should have biked or walked - sporting Birkenstocks in either case - if we really wanted to fit in. Anyway, the car was borrowed.)

We found a big open spot on the second level and as Hubby tried to negotiate the behemoth of a gas guzzler between two white lines, I noticed there was a man in the back seat of a car a couple spaces away. It was odd because he seemed to be the only one in there so I looked to try to figure out what he was doing. At first I thought he might be trying to wrestle a small child into or out of a car seat. He wasn't seated in the back seat but appeared to be kneeling. 

He seemed to notice our arrival but turned his back to us. He was wearing a crisp, white shirt. The kind someone at the Bank of America might wear, for example. Then I wondered if maybe he was changing his pants. Maybe he had just finished working out and thought it better to change in the garage rather than the gym. And, then, I thought differently. 

Because, I saw flesh. 

It looked like an elbow but it was naked. No white sleeve. Mr. White Shirt was suddenly laying down as if hiding from view. Or, perhaps, hiding someone else from view.

I wanted to look. I really did. Not to see who was in the car or what they were doing. Not for any need for voyeurism. 

I wanted to see if they were laughing. Laughing at having been caught. I wanted to hang around in the elevator lobby while Hubby went upstairs for a business meeting. Whoever was in the back seat of that car had to get out sometime, didn't they? I wanted to see their faces. Don't ask me why. Maybe because it was a hilarious.

It was ten in the morning! Who was was so anxious to have sex, they conspired to take their coffee breaks at the same time to meet for a quickie in the parking garage? An office romance? An  affair? Married people? Ha! 

I never saw who owned the elbow but I image whoever it was said, "What was that?" when she heard us drive up. And I imagine he said, "Don't worry. They didn't see us," whether he believed that to be the case or not.

Or, maybe that's Customer Service at B of A. I might have to think about opening an account.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Insert Panic Here

Don't get me started on what's left to do. I was feeling pretty good about it all until I turned around and realized I hadn't really done anything today. Oh, maybe I did a little but if I could get half as much done as I avoid, I'd be - well, I'd be Wonder Woman is what I'd be. As in, I Wonder How That Woman Gets All That Done.

Cleaned the apartment, so that's good. Went for a walk and got caught up on my reading, so that's good. Prepared a report and ordered inventory, so that's good. But only spent about two hours at my PAYING JOB which is not so good.

Good thing my boss isn't reading this or she'd be PISSED. The trick, so far, has been to produce something that looks really great around 4:30 in the afternoon, something that took me 10 minutes to put together and is completely unsubstantial but looks impressive. That'll work until either 1) someone catches on, or 2) I really need to GET SOMETHING DONE.

I see a panicked, mad dash to Target in my immediate future.

Peeps

I'm going to move my Twitter account from lynnlynny to Lynn_C_Dot.



Please make a note of it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Give Up

I can't figure out how to provide an ePub of Now & Then without actually publishing. What I want to do is provide a link to a copy of Now & Then (in it's current first draft form) that you can download and read on a portable eReader. I found various sites that will make the conversion but then how do I make it available to you? I can upload the ePub to Google Docs but when I try to download it to my Android phone, I get a message that says I don't have the software to open the file.

I can convert to PDF and provide a link to download that direct to your portable device. I tested it and it worked fine. It just doesn't provide a very readable copy. So unless you can help me out (or you convert yourself from HTML to ePub and then sync to your device, which is all I can think of), you'll just have to read it here.

The HTML version will convert nicely to a portable reader having access to the internet but you won't have the ability to bookmark. So, I'm stuck.

That being said, I'll get to work on a final version which will be published, and therefore available for download to a portable reader near you.

Which, my secret agent man thinks is a better idea, anyway, than giving away free books.

Breakfast

Had breakfast with Ron Howard today at Mother's Bistro this morning. Well, not exactly with, more like at the same time and in the same place.

Too bad he didn't get a chance to meet me before he left.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm Exhausted

Went shopping today. What was I thinking? On the last weekend before Christmas? It's far in advance of the Day Before Christmas, as was our habit.

I remember, long, long ago, shopping at Toys R Us while Hubby's Ex had the kids. We'd buy all the things a Divorced Dad would buy. Things That Required Assembly.

We'd go home, pour drinks, and assemble. I would read the directions and Hubby would ignore them, thinking them more advisory than absolutely necessary. There were usually parts leftover but by the time we were done, we didn't care anymore. We'd be bleary-eyed, exhausted, and a little drunk.

We'd hide the debris and go to bed, delirious that we were about to deliver the most memorable Christmas ever. The next day, the silly grins on our faces were as much from our sleep-deprived fog of Christmas Hangover as from our silly delusions of providing love through giant presents.

We're older and wiser now. Much older, mildly wiser. We have a grandson and we leave all Items Requiring Assembly to his parents. Now, we just give love. Oh, there's other stuff under the tree but not a lot. It doesn't take that much to make a three-year-old happy.

Which makes us happy. The silly grins are reserved for our delight in him. And his wants are pretty simple. He wants a pair of scissors he can use himself. And some paper he can cut. And our time and attention, which we gladly give him.

Now, we get to shop for ourselves. And guess what? We got just what we wanted.

Green


It looks white, I know, but it's really green. I was worried about my over reliance on paper towels in the kitchen so I bought a package of washcloths at Costco and put dozen in the kitchen right next to the paper towel roll.

It worked. I use far fewer paper towels than I used to. By having several on the counter top within reach, I want to feel like I can use as many as I need although, as it turns out, I rarely go through more than one per day. But it's also nice to know I can have a fresh one whenever I want and it will never turn into something moldy and stinky like the dreaded kitchen sponge.

Anyway, for about $12, I can help save the planet, one paper towel at a time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Serendippity

Philip hadn't wanted to come but his wife insisted. She said it would be good for him, not to mention their marriage. He was too stressed out and going to this retreat would help him "find his center," whatever that meant. Tranquility, perhaps.

Sherry stayed home with the kids while he was away. She could have gone, if proper arrangements had been made but she was very nearly centered herself, she said. She didn't need to go to a retreat. He did.

And so he went to appease her.

It was a bizarre place with unusual guests. When Philip found out his roommate was a kidnapper, he was glad the whole family hadn't come. A hippy, in sloppy apparel and wearing copper rings in his dreadlocks, resided in the hut next door. Philip wasn't sure if the hippy was also seeking his "center" or if he had already found it and, in fact, worked there.

A grasshopper - the retreat's guru or swami or whatever he was - lived in a separate hut and kept to himself as Philip schlepped his bag to his quarters and plopped it on his straw sleeping mat. The tremor began approximately at that moment as if dropping the bag itself had been the cause. He looked at his roommate in alarm and said, "Did you feel that?"

His roommate went about his business which consisted of unwrapping his stash, sapphires, which no doubt were acquired illegally. The kidnapper suppressed a laugh as he tipped his hand, the stones dripping into a zipped pocket. His happy roommate backslapped Philip who was beginning to think he had imagined the shaking.

But then things got worse and the entire hut began to shake. A cappuccino machine, the only appliance in the room, and its chipped cups threatened to topple. Philip skipped from the room and found the hippy next door utterly unflappable.

"What's happening?" he asked, apparently unaware of the commotion.

"Can you not feel that?" Philip shouted.

"Have an apple," the hippy offered, seeemingly apropos of nothing.

"How can you have an appetite at a time like this?

"I can appreciate an opportunity for the soul to be appeased." The hippy propped up his feet before him.

The shaking became worse and it seemed the earth would swallow them all. Philip stepped around the hippy's appendages and ran to the grasshopper's hut. "Earthquake!" Philip was shouting.

The grasshopper was apparently meditating, balancing on an unknown apparatus.

Philip tried to appeal to him again, "Master! Mr. Grasshopper! Earthquake!" He didn't know what else to say to express his urgency.

"My student," the grasshopper began. "I applaud you for coming so far but you can certainly appreciate how far you must yet travel. It is an opportune moment for your comeuppance."

"I don't understand, grasshopper. How can you be so calm? You, the kidnapper, and the hippy. What do that have that I lack, grasshopper?"

"You lack," the grasshopper said looking at Philip, "inner p's."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sneaky

It seems that no matter where I put the laundry basket there is always at least one sock that leaps to the floor, in a desperate and futile attempt at escaping. What does one do with a sock that so desperately seeks independence? One considers rewashing it, doesn't one, when the floor upon which the sock has landed is that of a community laundry room. Who knows what was there before? Someone's undies? Dust bunnies, without a doubt, lurk there and who needs that? But dust bunnies are harmless enough so one readily shakes the sock into submission, simultaneously relieving it of any unseen coodies.

Does the remedy change when what has fallen to the floor happen to be one's own undies? Certainly, if anyone is watching.

Today, not one but two socks, matching, no less, sought to deceive me by hiding in the rear of the dryer as I emptied it of its dark relatives. But, no, I spied them huddled together in conspiracy - or was it fear? - shriveled in the corner, if dryers can be said to have corners. It almost worked, their plan, being dark in a dark vacuum, but it was their stripes that gave them away.

To the sock drawer with them! And let them tell their tale to the others and let the others heed their warnings.

Socks, be darned! My toes shall not go cold!

The Ex Mrs. Rogers

"Did the eggs hatch, then?" Ginger asked her sister.

"Yes," Gloria replied. "We are very grateful to have them to start over with." They were in the kitchen preparing the Christmas meal: standing rib roast, of course, roasted rosemary potatoes, cheddar and chive biscuits, sauteed spinach with garlic and toasted almond slivers, cranberry and hazelnuts on a salad of baby greens with honey Dijon dressing, and dark chocolate pots de creme for dessert.

They chopped, sliced, minced, and diced as they caught up with each other's lives. "I'm sorry to hear about Fred," Gloria offered.

"Don't be. He was an ass."

"But you were together for - what? - twenty years?"

"Twenty-two. And you would think I could learn to love him for who he is in that time, wouldn't you?" Ginger laughed.

Ginger was a professional dancer when she and Fred met but she gave up her career to be with him. Fred was what they called a Player. Most likely, he still was but Ginger managed to overlook the signs. Fred was overly friendly with neighbors of the female persuasion, which Ginger, in her denial, consigned to thinking of as merely neighborly.

"Fred had his faults..." Ginger said.

"Who doesn't?"

"...but he was a slave to his phone. He would text while I was talking to him. Drove me mad. Phone calls, e-mail, text - if it came over on his goddamn phone, that took priority. Over everything. Over me. Didn't matter if we were out to dinner, or in bed."

"Even in bed?"

"Well, no. He was attentive in bed. But that's not my point."

"So what happened?"

"I told him I wanted to go to Belize for Christmas." Ginger was seasoning the beef.

"And?"

"It was Sunday, and I was making stew. Fred was watching football and fiddling with his phone. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said 'Belize.' And then, later, I told him I needed him to run to the store for a couple things and his filter kicked in."

"My husband has that filter, too." Gloria laughed. "Somehow, no matter what I say, all my husband hears is, 'Blah blah blah sex blah blah.'"

The roast was in the oven and they were melting the chocolate in the double boiler.

Ginger let out a sigh. "Apparently, 'Belize' sounds like 'bay leafs'."

Gloria asked, "And that's it?"

"Yes, that's it."

Genes

I think I'm genetically predisposed to not getting anything done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Joe

Favorite food? Does coffee count? Coffee, in a red cup. Preferably, a dark roast brewed as espresso and served as an Americano. Yep, that's it for me. If you exclude liquids, then really the experience of eating is what I like best about food. I don't have a favorite food unless you call creative combinations of ridiculously expensive local organic ingredients presented beautifully on stark white dishes food.

I can't tell you where I got my love for food. There's not a gourmand at all in my ancestry. I can, however, that I come from a long line of coffee drinkers. In fact, I'm sure that my grandmother invented espresso, or something like it. She didn't invent it in the sense that it's been around for over a hundred years in Europe. She invented more in the sense of what Americans came to know as overcooked office Bunn-o-Matic sludge. God love her, we drank it anyway. Usually, with a knife and fork.

We drank it until it became the stuff that ran through our veins. Until we didn't really mind the taste anymore. Until it was routine to add a little water and cook it some more in the microwave if it had gone cold. Or, what the heck, just drink it cold.

But one develops taste along the way, doesn't one? And one begins to discern between burnt coffee and aggressively strong coffee. One also learns you can't drink the stuff all day and keep your teeth. (Right?) So you figure out how to pack in the most coffee into a single punch and, voilĂ , espresso.

And so I drink it because it's in my blood. And I love it because it's an homage to my grandmother.

Anyway, that's the way I remember it. Truth be told, and I'm off topic here, my grandmother was something of a legend. For much, much more than her coffee. But that's a topic for another day and better told by a much better storyteller.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Egg Squeeze Me?

"Gloria!" The farmer yelled to his wife who had run back into the house to get a light bulb.

Dayo, the farmer's son, asked him what the matter was.

"The light's burned out in the incubator and the eggs won't be warm enough without it."

The poultry farm had suffered in recent years. In fact, the six geese were the last to go. He missed the hens and Gloria liked the doves but the swans were mean and the partridge was sickly anyway. They'd built an incubator to keep the goose eggs in hopes they would hatch and they could rebuild their business. Holidays Are For The Birds.

"Gloria!" he shouted louder, elongating the first syllable.

He had been teaching his son how to take care of the eggs. Every day for the last month, they went to the barn to take temperature readings and to turn the eggs. The incubator was simple and did not have a fan so it wasn't enough to take the internal temperature of the incubator. They had to measure the temperature at the top of each egg.

Dayo would hold the thermometer above each egg and report the reading to his father. "One oh one point five," he'd say, to which his father would reply sternly, "Celsius, Dayo. Celsius." His father, a Canadian, felt it was important for his son to be acquainted with the metric system and insisted the measurements be in Centigrade.

"And, in-egg?" his father would prompt. The temperature inside the egg had to remain below 40.5 C. Again, he would have to remind his son, "Celsius, Dayo. Celsius."

Twenty-seven days had passed and it was nearly time for them to hatch. They had increased the humidity in the incubator from 55 to 75 percent in anticipation of the goslings' arrival and they no longer rotated the eggs. The goslings were positioning themselves for hatching and rotating them would confuse them.

But today, when they went to check the eggs, they found the bulb had burned out. Everything could be lost.

"Hurry, Dayo! Give me a reading!"

"One hundred, Father!" Dayo shouted.

He did not reprimand his son because there was no time. They would lose everything if they couldn't save the eggs.

He barked, "In-egg. Celsius, Dayo!"

And then it started. The eggs began to hatch. They needed that light bulb now. Both of them began to shout, "GLOOOOOORIA."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Now & Then

It's done. Finally. The first draft anyway. The last chapter has been posted. Check it out. (Click on the Now & Then tab at the top of the page if you haven't done so already.)

I'll work on getting a link to a downloadable ePub and will let you know when that's done.

And then, I'll work on the second draft.

Whew!

And, thanks for reading.

I believe!

My favorite holiday stories are the ones we write ourselves. The ones that begin with, "Do you remember the year when...?"

One such story takes place when our youngest son still believed in Santa. His older brother had figured things out but was content to let his little brother continue in his belief. That, in itself, was a Christmas Miracle. Big Brother loved to torture the living daylights out of his little brother to no end. Maybe he still believed, a little. Enough to let Little Brother have something of his own, something shiny and good. Maybe someone really was watching, this time of year above all others.

We were coming home from Grandma and Grandpa's house on Christmas Eve, and we were telling the kids that maybe - just maybe - Santa had come while we were gone. We bought them bicycles that year. A green one for Big Brother. A blue one for Little Brother. We figured we wouldn't be able to wrap them so we put them in their bedrooms for them to find when we got home. So we were trying to encourage the idea that it would have been a perfect time for Santa to come. While we were gone.

Oh, no, Little Brother explained, Thanta can't come until it noeth. (He had trouble with the letter s but for some reason, snow became no rather than thnoe.) Well, this was a predicament. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Are you sure he can't come?

No. It'th not noing.

A fairly serious discussion ensued on the topic but we could not convince him. We searched the sky for snow, hoping for even a snowflake so the magic could happen. We pulled into our garage and went into the house. Put away your coats, boys, I said. They ran into their rooms and tossed their coats on their beds. One saw a bike. One was still concerned about the no.

Still, Big Brother didn't break the spell. Little Brother ran to the big picture window in the living room to resume his search for no. It hath to no, or Thanta won't come!

And just at that moment there was a light in the sky. It was an airplane or a satellite but that didn't matter. To Little Brother, it was Santa. He pointed. He shouted. He was sure. It was him! I can thee him!

Let's go outside and get a better look, I said. He ran into his room, past his blue bike with a red bow, grabbed his jacket, and out the front door we went.

Do you think it's really him?

Oh, yeth, it'th him.


We watched the light until we couldn't see it anymore. It's was a magical moment to actually see - or make believe you see - Santa in action. Not just the man but the entire entourage. An amazing, imaginary sight.

Little Brother was elated. Santa was probably the biggest concept he could get his head around. An epic moment for a six-year old.

We came back into the house, silent in our reverence and joy. Put your coats away, boys, I said for the second time that night. To their bedrooms they went.

And then it happened. Little Brother came running out of his bedroom. He wath here! He came! He had finally seen his bike.

He ran back to the picture window and searched the sky for another glimpse at the Fat Man. I believe! he cried. I believe!

And ever since that night, I do too.

Red And Green

Balls. My favorite holiday tradition. In fact, we've had red and green balls since as long as I can remember. It was family time together, rolling the balls between our hands, dusting them in sugar. Waiting in anticipation for the balls to cool so we could pop them into our watering mouths.

When I had kids, I taught them to make red and green balls. I made chef hats out of paper towels and tape, tied on aprons and stood the boys on stools so they could manufacture their own balls.

Now, I have a grandson and it's time to pass on the balls. And fish. Herring, pickled and creamed. Another tradition which sounds disgusting even to me - and I like it. Not together, of course. Herring with balls. Can you imagine? Just the thought is a trifle sickening. No, best to keep the balls and herring separate. Safer that way.

I lost the recipe for the balls last year. Turned the house upside down for it. Got an e-mailed copy that was lost in translation either by the sender or the recipient but they weren't the same. Had to throw them all away. Such a sad, sad waste.

I'll turn the house upside down again this year because it's time to make the balls again and maybe I missed it in last year's search. The kids are already asking for them and the grandson is too, although he's not old enough to really know what they are yet. But they're delicious, the balls are. That much I can say.

I already have the sugar, red and green, to roll the balls in. All I need now is a truckload of butter. And a recipe. I need that recipe or all is lost.

It's just not the same without the balls.

And red and green fish is gross.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Somewhere Between Naughty And Nice

Maybe you're like me and don't get - presents, shall we say? - like we used to. And yet, I find myself preparing myself just in case I do. Got to be prepared, just in case. Such as in the case of an accident, you might say, good to have your nice drawers on and such.

I know some of you are still getting presents pretty regular. Being young, and all, it's to be expected. I'm sure you're ready. Permanently on the nice list, as it were. Then, there are others that have no expectation of being so lucky as to get presented with - ahem - a present. Does that make you naughty? No doubt, unprepared.

But, there's always hope, isn't there? No matter who you are. How old or how young. How naughty or nice. It's a bit like Cindy Lou Hoo, that belief, although maybe not so innocent or naive. But that's what this time of year is for, isn't it? A little hope?

Ah, yes. A little hope. For a present. Somewhere between naughty and nice.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Party Pleaser

Cook a Hormel peppercorn pork tenderloin according to directions. While the roast rests, prepare buttered rosemary rolls. For the rolls, I substituted Pillsbury biscuits for the frozen dinner rolls called for in this recipe. Make 20 biscuits according to package directions, adding butter and rosemary and salt according to the recipe for buttered rosemary rolls.

Make a honey dijon spread. I used coarse ground dijon mustard - about a quarter cup - to 1-1.5 tablespoon honey according to taste.

Slice the pork tenderloin into very thin slices.

Assemble sliders: rosemary biscuit, pork, a little honey mustard (doesn't take much), add a little baby lettuce greens = twenty pork sliders that I guarantee will be eaten up at your next gathering.

They're great reheated too. Take off the lettuce, wrap in foil, reheat about 10 minutes in 375 oven. Yum.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From NPR

Library Phantom Returns


Ten gifts. All accounted for. And that, it seems, is the end of our story. Somebody who chose and whose neighbors chose to never identify spent the spring, summer and fall expressing her thanks for the continuing existence of libraries, museums and books in Scotland, "a tiny gesture," she called it.

Tiny, yes, but also, in its way, very grand.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Occupy

There is a protest movement occurring right now. On. My. Face. Three protesters (which might be better than calling them blemishes but I don't know) are now occupying the right side of my face. I've asked them nicely to leave but they have declined. I've tried blasting them with Clean & Clear but they only grow stronger. They are beginning to form their own government. I don't know what they want. I have yet to hear their demands. (More potato chips maybe?)

They know I can't touch them, as much as I would love to. I have to face the public and what would they think if they saw what I had done? I would rather stay inside and hide from any face-to-face encounters until these interlopers pick up and leave. Forever.

I could pierce the top of my right ear and the right corner of my mouth and dangle a chain between the two. That might disguise them or possibly draw attention away from them. I could wear a Phantom Of The Opera mask that would allow only one side of my face - the left side - to be exposed. Maybe a wild hairdo or dramatic eye makeup as distraction.

That is why, (boss / chairman / president ), I couldn't (come into work / attend the board meeting / present my report). I'm being occupied and the disruption to my normal (workflow / attendance / stellar reporting) is unavoidable. As much as I would like to change this situation, I know the damage they can do and I must wait it out.

Until then,
I sit on my hands.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Empty Again

I know I've said it before, the second cup of coffee isn't as good as the first. I don't know why this should be when I brew each cup individually. I use the same beans, the same grinder, the same water and espresso machine. Is it because my mouth is coated with the bittersweet delicious memory of the cup before that taints the taste of the cup to come? Is it because I've brushed my teeth in between? Tell me your secret, oh red coffee cup. I will obey in order to sip again another first cup of coffee.

Thank goodness, there's always the first latte of the day....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Accidental Prose

Never fear, I am here, to cheer or jeer as you cry in your beer. Leer, my dear, at treasures near. Hear the deer? Afraid before the spear as last year when you shed your tears for in arrears were your peers. Have you not ears? Queer. On your rear, you shift gears with mere amperes to appear shear. Steer clear of your soul’s auctioneer. Seek instead a mountaineer, and veer towards the atmosphere. Shed your inner puppeteer, drop your bandoleer. Be freer, dear, be freer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alas

I came to the office thinking it might inspire me to get some work done. Sadly, it's not working.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Speaking Of Old

I saw my brother. We met at an Oregon hotel and upon check-in I was asked if I had an AARP card. I was asked again the next day at breakfast. I was able to produce said card, qualifying me for discounts my little brother isn't old enough to get, but I liked it better when I was asked to prove if I was old enough to drink.

Reunion

I didn't go to my high school reunion. I graduated 30 years ago and for some reason, I never went back and stayed in touch with no one. It wasn't until very recently, through Facebook, that I only started to reconnect. Still, it wasn't enough for me to endure the awkwardness of a reunion with people I hardly knew. Old people, if the pictures are to be believed.

But the reunion found me. One did, anyway. I happened to be on Facebook lamenting the discomforts of our small apartment when I noticed a post from a high school classmate who was excited about promoting her novel on her first book tour, her current stop being Portland, just across the river from my tiny apartment.

A flurry of text messages produced phone numbers and before I knew it, we were planning time to get together. Right now she's giving an interview to the local newspaper at the Wordstock Festival at the Portland Convention Center and then we're off to lunch and 30 years of catching up.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Secret

I think the secret to a long and successful marriage is this: Try not to kill your spouse.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Didn't Even Notice

3.2 magnitude quake rattles east Renton Thursday afternoon

Still True

America differed from Russia in that its government existed under the form of a democracy. The officials who ruled it, and got all the graft, had to be elected first; and so there were two rival sets of grafters, known as political parties....
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, 1906

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodbye, Netflix

I elected not to continue my streaming service with Netflix. As of today, I'm DVD only. Of course, Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, sent me a personal message* of apology for screwing things up but that didn't change my mind.

And so, on my last night of streaming, I streamed Food, Inc., a very good movie that intrigued me as well as angered me in more ways than one. Something you should see.

And, so what? I liked the movie. I don't know why I reached out. I guess I was just frustrated by you always wanting more and more, but giving less and less. But, believe me, it didn't mean anything to me. It just sort of happened. Don't walk out on me!

Up yours, Netflix. Or, Qwikster. Or, whoever you are.

*Not only can you find the full text of his e-mail at this link, but you can also find Huffington Post's take on Mr. Hastings' follow up e-mails. Definitely, worth the read.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Walla

I think we said, "Strawberry" or "This way, that way." All I remember is, "One orange cookie!"

We watched a movie where the subtitles indicated "walla." I was very entertained to find out what that was.

Kelley Point Park

Today's walk.

Friday, September 2, 2011

$16 Million and The Velcro Number

My husband remarked, to no one in particular, "We just paid $16 million for that guy!" We, meaning our local professional football team. And that guy, being someone who apparently wasn't doing his job last Sunday.

I know it's pre-season but I'm thinking, if my body was worth $16 million, the last thing I'd do is throw it in front of a 300 lb. gorilla.

I don't know how much our much esteemed football team pays for a kicker (I'm guessing less than $16M), but that's my guy. That's the jersey I wear. Last year it was #10, and before that it was #3. (Put those numbers together and you get my birthday.)

I'm worried the kicker's mom isn't in the stands to cheer for them. (I'm worried for all Special Teams but what can one girl do?) I'm worried that no one cheers for them or knows their names. So when #3 was on the team, I had a jersey made with his name and number on it, just like the bigger boys. And after a couple of years of cheering at the top of my lungs every time he ran on the field, he left me. Went to St. Louis. (Wham! Bam! Rams! - the traitor!) I met him. Had my picture taken with him. Worshiped him. And, he left.

I didn't get a #10 jersey which is good becauase he's gone, too.

Now, it's #5. (Go, Jeff!)

Now, I just wear a jersey with a Velcro number.

L'emmerdeur (A Pain in the Ass)

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 63% but the audience only gives it 50%. I vote thumbs up on this one. On Comcast, it's free* which raises its score considerably.

*Free with a subscription to everything else.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brought To You By The Letter P

This week's menu so far has included:

Pork and Pasta salad and Peaches
Pizza
Poultry and Potatoes with Peas
Pesto Pasta with Poultry and Peppers

Tonight, it's Pasta Primavera and tomorrow, it's Pesto Pizza.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just In Time For Fall

New leaf-peeping foliage app from Yankee magazine
Yankee's new Leaf Peepr app, free and downloadable for iPhones and Droids, lets users check color status by region or zip code, and also offers interactive elements like the ability to upload new reports and photos to YankeeFoliage.com's fall foliage map. Leaf color on the Leaf Peepr app is coded as green, turning, moderate, peak, fading and gone.

Read more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bad Hair

Okay, so this pic says so little but this is about fair play.

Love those glasses.

A Thousand Words

This picture says so much. Let's just start which Who is that guy with the goofy grin? This is circa 1970? I imagine the subject may know the answer.

But what else? He's making pizza. A family ritual. Every Saturday night, followed by Sonny and Cher and The Carol Burnett Show. The way I remember it, though, the crust was my job and the camera was his so I have no idea what happened here. Oh, and did you notice? The pizza was rectangular? Made it on a cookie sheet. Continued that tradition with my kids, too.

Also, the counter top is not red. It used to be red. So, this photo must have been after a very expensive kitchen remodel. I also want to point out the radiator but I can't, really. It's hiding behind the ventilation between the counter top and the stove. See it there? Right behind the toaster?

The Toaster?! That's the toaster. I'm telling you. It's a legend.

See, now? You thought this was about about the guy with the goofy grin. (Love that guy.)

Danny Westneat | Report we've had '78 minutes of summer' hit a nerve | Seattle Times Newspaper

Danny Westneat | Report we've had '78 minutes of summer' hit a nerve | Seattle Times Newspaper

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lady Bug

From Drop Box

Don't Worry, It's Natural

From Drop Box
Last week I saw a sign that read, "Pretty Clean," which was the name of a housecleaning service and I thought that was a pretty good name for a pretty good service.

Before that, I saw one that read, "Fish With Confidence." I really like the idea of confident fish.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kudos

A friend of mine wrote this, available on Kindle from Amazon on July 15. Laura and I went to high school together. We were in the same graduating class, cheering on the football and basketball teams with our skillful dance moves at halftimes, taking the Pom Pon squad to Number One at State competition.

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly.

It's been about 25 years since I last saw Laura in her California home, pregnant with her second daughter. After that we pretty much lost touch with one another, until we reconnected roughly two years ago on Facebook. (See? There's a perfect example of how social networking works.)

That's where she posted about NaNoWriMo which gave me the inspiration to write a novel myself. Laura is my muse, my biggest fan, and the one who gave me my first big break as an author. Okay, still exaggerating, but only slightly.

With her encouragement, I wrote 50,000 words in thirty days and I'm almost halfway through a second draft of what came out of it. She also directed me to On Writing by Stephen King which led to many other books on writing and publishing. Enough to encourage me, at the same time overwhelming me to the point of giving up on the possibility of ever being published.

It's nice to know it can be done and it can be done people who love life, love their families, and love to write.

Congratulations to my friend, Laura! Thank you for your inspiration. I can't wait to read it!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turtle alert! Flights delayed at JFK as terrapins cross runway

One tweet explained why the reptiles avoided airport security: 'We go straight to the runway because it takes 5 hours to get out of our shells for the TSA ...and the shell pat down option is too awkward.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2009791/JFK-Turtles-Flights-delays-New-York-airport-mating-turtles.html#ixzz1QoCMSpst

Politics | Colbert gets conditional OK on campaign finance | Seattle Times Newspaper

Politics Colbert gets conditional OK on campaign finance Seattle Times Newspaper


"I don't accept the status quo," he told the crowd, brandishing a portable credit card processing machine. "I do accept Visa, Mastercard or American Express."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Overlook Glen

That’s the name of a housing development that placed an advertisement on the front page of the Seattle P-I’s website. I’m thinking Overlook anything was a bad idea from a marketing prospective. Why would you want Overlook in the name of something you want people to look at? And while iPad wasn’t a sexy name, it was, nevertheless, enthusiastically adopted by popular culture. By the way, if you want to take a look at Overlook, you can win an iPad.

It’s better than Probe, I guess.

But, never – never - should you overlook Glenn.

Drowning Here

Went to the dentist yesterday where they cleaned my teeth with some super-charged water pick that sprayed highly focused water at my gum line. All I could think was I hope she doesn’t slip with that thing and That air hose is useless, stuck to my lower lip. I’ve usually swallowed whatever detritus they were hoping to suck up before they ever get around to it anyway, so what’s the point?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Just Went to the Library In My Pajamas

I can now check out digital books online from the King County Library System, straight to my phone. From my living room, while drinking coffee, in my pajamas. Sweet. I downloaded The Confession by John Grisham this morning and the process was surprisingly simple and quick and, besides the property taxes imposed on me for the privilege (which I unhesitatingly voted for), it was free. I'm very excited about reading it.

I just finished In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan which was very interesting. I listened to the audio version which was about 6.5 hours long, the perfect length for a weekend road trip. If you liked Super Size Me or Nickel and Dimed, then you might like In Defense of Food. I guarantee it will change the way you look at food (and food-like substances).

(Michael Pollan also wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma which I haven't listened to but is on my list.)

Very Cheesy. Very Funny.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Duck!

What did the parrot say to the rubber duck?

Polly wants a quacker.

Deep

A problem cannot be solved by the mind that created it.

-Albert Eistein

17,782 Ducks get in line at Magnuson Park

Rubber ducks make up world's longest row of rubber ducks in Seattle, WA, Sunday, June 5, 2011. Yellow rubber ducks stretched one mile long at Warren G. Magnuson Park.

(Seattle Times, pics)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Checking In

It's been a while. Thing is, I can't think of anything to say. Or write about.

Right now I'm sipping a latte outside a Nordstrom just as it's opening, purses beckoning for me to browse the half-yearly sale. I've been good today. I had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and I've done my walk for the day. But the last few days I've been pretty damned lazy. Not walking, eating out, and not writing a single word.

I guess you could call it a vacation and excuse me for my lax behavior. Lazy is what you're supposed to done on vacation, after all. We're in Vancouver (WA) today and should be home tomorrow. Yesterday, we explored Camas (WA) and Cascade Station in Oregon. Last week we explored the Columbia River waterfront on the Washington side, downtown Vancouver, Uptown Village just north of downtown, and the historical Hough District including the Historical Museum in the old Vancouver Library.

Between last week and this, we ventured to the Oregon coast where we walked on the beach, did a little gambling and shopping, more eating, and where I sang Crazy by Patsy Cline in a karaoke bar. I suppose that was interesting.

Did I mention eating? It's hard to eat well on a road trip unless you're lucky enough to bring your kitchen with you. We did find some gems along the way. Something to look forward and plan for next time. That's my favorite part about travel. Finding really good food and the adventure of discovering it.

The stores are open and my cup is empty. Time to walk on.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Morning Toast

I prefer my toast in the morning and I love the way it smells, unique but appetizing. Hubby is on a business trip so I indulged in a little solo toast. I took my time, butter, jam, espresso. Satisfying, but somehow not quite fulfilling.

I made a video. It's raw and amateurish but I know there are voyeurs when it comes to toast. Don't watch if it's not your thing.

It's been my experience, however, that many think it's magic.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Other Toaster

I feel a little dirty. Like, perhaps, I shouldn't be telling you this. My husband brought home a newer, younger toaster.

He's often talked about bringing a newer model into our home - for years, in fact. I was the one who resisted. I've been faithful to one toaster for so long, the idea of trying something new - especially with the old toaster watching - feels more than awkward. It feels plain wrong.

My toaster and I go back nearly 50 years together. You don't just toss that aside like it didn't matter. Like it wasn't significant. My faithful toaster still resides in its usual space, underneath the counter. I've not displaced it. Meanwhile, the Other Toaster still sits, unopened, untouched in its box on the counter. I can hardly bear to look at it, much less toast with it.

And even though I haven't made a single move towards the new toaster, the old one protests by making toast even less appealing than before. It's never in the mood, it seems, to get hot on both sides of the bread. I have to stop and start and constantly readjust just to get a little toast. Is that too much to ask? I don't ask often. Maybe once a week, if that. But still, it takes coaxing.

My husband has been patient. He's waiting for us to get acquainted before he starts toasting on his own or we start toasting together.

I'm not willing to give up toast. I like toast. I'm even willing to try new things. But a new toaster? I hope my husband knows how much I love him just to even consider it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hang It

The only trouble with getting caught up on laundry is I run out of hangers. Ideally, I would have some laundry in the hamper awaiting the wash cycle or some in the dryer waiting to be folded. Or, both. There's some exact formula which maximizes hanger usage and minimizes actual work to be done. Such as wearing whatever just came out of the dryer rather than putting it away. Or putting the same sheets on the bed (after washing, of course) so you don't have to wrestle folding a fitted sheet.

The dishwasher holds a similar property. The best time to unload one is just before dinner. Set the table from whatever's in the dishwasher and you don't have to put it away (which is the whole argument for having two dishwashers - one for dirty, one for clean).

Here's my cleaning tip for the day: don't. You can't tell how dirty your house is until you start cleaning it. And if you can't tell it's dirty, why start?

So there you go.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something About Turnips

The blood bank parked their mobile unit in our parking lot today. You could pay your taxes and bleed all at the same time.

I'l have to talk to the marketing team about putting our logo on the bus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warning

This office is chronically low on chocolate. Until supplies are restored, you can just forget about getting your tax return prepared.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Declaration

LET IT BE KNOWN that folding fitted sheets is NOT a form of witchcraft.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Announcing the PlayWrite Gaming Tablet

Aside from being the thinnest, lightest, and most energy efficient tablet device available today, the PlayWrite has the capability to run an unlimited number of games on its revolutionary operating system.

Learn more here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

100

Goals are wonderful things. Or terrible. I guess it depends on where you're at. They can be daunting or trivial. But they're always excusable. It's easier to delay what can be done today until tomorrow. Always.

But the sense of accomplishment when one reaches one's goal is just that. A sense of accomplishment. Something to be proud of. Even better when one reached the same goal yesterday and the day before. The goal morphs and it becomes about the streak, the number of days one can string together more than the goal itself.

There is always adversity. Each and every day. It doesn't matter the goal, there are forces determined to get in the way, temptations to distract. Some distractions are good and worthy things in themselves, but distractions nonetheless.

Congratulations, if you have a goal and have found the fortitude to meet it. Good for you.

(Btw, my goal is to walk every day. Today is day 100. Haven't missed a day yet and it feels good.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Where They Thinking?

SR 520 bridge/boat collision

More here:


and



Tooth Decay

Have you ever had a case of gingivitis? Let me tell you, it makes menopause look like a cakewalk. I woke up Friday morning with a swollen gum between two teeth. I thought maybe something was stuck in there. Saturday it was more irritated and my gums were now swollen in front and in back of a tooth. I wasn't too worried about it. It didn't hurt and I figured whatever was irritating my tooth would eventually work itself out.

Sunday morning I woke up in a sweat. If you are female and around my age, this is not an uncommon occurrence. My temp was 99 but the glands in my throat were swollen. I took some Advil, took the day off work (like I have time for this) and spent most of the day in bed. I was feeling better by late afternoon and figured it was better to take care of myself than crank out a couple more tax returns.

Monday, temperature was 102, throat glands very painful. Again, the Advil did a good job of managing everything but I called my dentist. Something was most definitely going on.

Gingivitis? Are you kidding me? I don't know how this happened but I did share a toothbrush with my grandson last week. Probably a mistake in more ways than one. I read online that gingivitis often occurs in puberty during hormonal changes. Damn, this getting older! I'm definitely experiencing hormonal changes.

Because of menopause, I'm thinking, I got something that's worse. Night sweats galore! Temp is 101 this morning. Throat is sore, it's hard to eat anything that isn't soft. Good news, Advil and a stronger-than-Listerine rinse is providing relief. Other than that, I'm trying to let this virus run its course. No need to see my doctor unless the fever doesn't start to abate soon.

Oral hygiene wasn't the problem. I've always gotten glowing reports every six months from my dentist. But it's a problem now. My gums are very sensitive to brushing and flossing is nearly out of the question.

I'll be happy when this goes away, glad to have menopause as my only affliction. This is nonsense.

P.S. To add insult to injury, I also have bad breath. (That's the injury.) The worst of it is I don't know I have bad breath. (That's the insult.) Someone had to tell me. I can't taste it or smell it. I'll try to avoid close contact but if I notice you backing away, don't worry about it. I know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just Another Day

It’s tax season here. Well, everywhere I suppose. I live at the office now and eat two-thirds of my meals here. I’m deprived of sleep but have an ample supply of coffee. The only way I can tell that one day has become the next is that my clothes have changed. I'm thinking about hanging a sign in my window that reads HELP! NEED LATTE!

The IRS has ruined another weekend, I might add. It's bad enough that I work weekends as it is, but to tack another one on for good measure is just rude. April 15th is a Friday so what's wrong with just getting it over with? The 15th is a holiday in DC - that's why - so while they get a day off, I'm at work. And the next day, and the next day, and the day after that, ruining yet another weekend.

Here's the catch for the procrastinators who owe. Your taxes are really still due on the 15th. Bet they didn't tell you that, did they? When the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday (as it does this year), it is considered timely filed on the next business day (this year, the 18th). If your return isn't postmarked by then, penalties and interest go back to the due date of April 15th.

I'm thinking about changing the sign in my window to read HELP! NEED CHOCOLATE!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Since You Asked

Okay, nobody really asked but here it is anyway.



Note my place card. A loyal reader. (Thank you, Sandy!)

Prom Date

We went to the prom last night (the annual Commodore's Ball at Rainier Yacht Club). Got my hair done (which involved exactly thirty-eight bobby pins and industrial grade, anti-gravitational hair spray). Got my makeup done. (My washcloth revealed similar industrial strength products were used.) Bought a new gown. (It was beautiful.) Took two days to get ready. Meanwhile, Handsome put on his tux and was ready in about five minutes.

We had a wonderful time. I only attend one ball per year and it's magical. The commodores of each yacht club attend a total of fourteen each year. I can't imagine it's as magical for them.

In some ways, it's a silly, over-the-top affair. Middle-aged people, all dressed up, dancing the night away to music older than the DJ, music they know the words to, the women dancing with each other on the fast songs, the men joining in on the slow ones. Lights turned low, disco ball shimmering.

It's true, there are more important, more worthy things to worry about and spend time, energy, and money on. But for one night, it's nice to dress up and celebrate. Celebrate with the people you care about, enjoy each other's company, and take a time out from daily woes. Transformation, for just one night. That's what makes it special. And worthy.

And now that Cinderella is home, her face scrubbed, hair combed out, wearing her regular old clothes, it's time to contemplate real life again. Back to work. Laundry, dishes, toilets. Grocery lists and a few hours at the office. But it's worth it, for that one night to dress up as a princess and dance the night away with a prince.

I have some very lovely pictures. From prom, and other adventures, and I know I've been slow to post. I might have some time to get caught up later this week. I'll try to get some prom pictures up this evening. (The roast is already in the crock pot so I might have a little time right after the ironing.)

Cinderella, out.

Leftover Valentine


Thursday, March 3, 2011

up to the minute

this is live up to the minute blogging. I am currently on my treadmill dictating this post into my phone while walking at 3 miles per hour. there was a moment of sun today but I missed it. I worked straight through it. when I got home it was dark and it was raining. my only option was the treadmill. or so I thought.

I always thought dancing with good exercise but that seems to the mostly true when you don't intend to do it. at a nightclub for example are party. personally I like to dance wall in cooking. this might explain why some of my recipes turnout and some of them don't. I wonder if that's what happened to my christmas cookies this year. instead of watching the pot to boil I turn my back on in the kneeboogie.

so I tried to dance video on tv instead of my walk today. it's almost as moronic dancing by yourself as it is to be alone in a room on a treadmill dictating 1 blog. it was a dance instructor and his students, mostly female mostly young. macgyver pretty funny to watch but I cheered for the old lady in the back. it wasn't long until the old lady and I were just shuffling side to side trying to keep rhythm with the beat.

and 5678

sorry old lady you're on your own.

I still think dancing is good exercise. but I thought I should a few minutes on the treadmill just to be sure. I know I'm the 1 making the rules here I wanted to make sure today's episode counted.

my next published book - okay my first published book - ruby of photos take endurance 365 days of walking. problem is there's nothing much photojenic about working out on a lid on an elliptical machine in a hotel weight room or walking on a treadmill in indoors. but I've got to say I'm glad no 1 was here take pictures of me dancing in my living room.

lindsay dot out

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finally, Something to Write Home About

As a sometimes visitor to Vancouver (WA), I am surprised at the scarcity of quality eateries here. With Portland so close, I suppose no one thought it was worth it to have a restaurant on this side of the river. During one of my walks, I came across a diner that looked interesting. It had black and white checkered floors, red stools affixed on one side of a counter, the other side promising home made malted shakes and a "Grandma's Lasagna." Even though it was closed, it oozed nostalgia and I wanted to give it a try.

I asked a local shopkeeper if the food was any good and she said it was okay but nothing to write home about. Piqued, I asked her where I would go if I did want to write home about it and she replied Azteca Mexican Restaurant. I concluded, we have different mothers. Also, there are no foodies in Vancouver.

During one very special night out, at Red Lobster which is as good as it gets here, or so I thought, I asked the waitress what I ask almost everyone I meet here: Where are the good restaurants in Vancouver? (No offense intended to Red Lobster, or Azteca, but I'm looking for a restaurant where the best wine offered is not a Chablis, pronounced ShaBLISS.) I had just about given up hope when our server suggested three restaurants: 360 Pizzeria, Lapellah, and Roots Restaurant and Bar. Turns out all three are related to one another, each featuring a farm-to-table, local, sustainable, food philosophy that is not only trendy but tastes good - although I didn't know all that at the time.

Last night , we tried Lapellah which turned out to be a delicious oasis in a Fred Meyer parking lot. It's a stone's throw from the Columbia River, although you can't see it because Highway 14 passes between the restaurant and the view. Portland's airport is just across the river so the view also includes low flying jumbo jets. There's a popular restaurant just on the other side of the highway that has a much more spectacular view, if that's what you're into. But the food isn't nearly as good. Not even close.

Lapellah was worth taking a couple spins around the parking lot to find a place to park. I knew it as soon as I took in the smells from the kitchen just inside the door. The interior has been made to look like salvaged warehouse space with distressed wood floors that appear to have earned the description through actual wear and tear. Chandeliers hang in a room featuring exposed red brick walls and clean, silver, ducting twisting overhead, a glass divider wall made with embedded glass plates of assorted hues and textures, and as soon as I saw the wine rack and the specials written on the mandatory chalkboard (one of which we ordered), I knew I was in for a treat.

We ordered a ridiculous amount of food (for two) although it was difficult to choose because each item on the menu tempted us. We took turns reading the descriptions aloud, our mouths watering. (Kudos to the menu writer.) We had the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Calamari (lightly fried and plated with marinara sauce, black and green olives, and sprinkled with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese), the aforementioned chalkboard promoted appetizer special of the day (roasted asparagus, crispy ham hock, two slices of a baguette, and a poached egg), the Lapellah hamburger, and a piece of banana cream pie that wasn't really a pie. (I can't describe it adequately but it was more like the cream filling served on a sugar cookie but much better than that. I highly recommend it.)

To me, the standout was the burger. I ordered it with cheddar cheese, bacon, and a fried egg. It was stacked as tall as my water glass and I wondered why fresh Bibb lettuce was among the toppings. Was it a nod to (or a spit in the eye of) nutrition? A joke? The answer didn't matter because I ate the whole thing, the flavors blending into a perfect recipe for yum. Absolutely, the best burger I've ever eaten, bar none. And still, right now, I want more.

It was a Monday night and the tables were filled. The aromas were alluring, the food was a combination for the senses, the service was friendly and professional, the interior was interesting and private, and - bottom line - the food was good. Very good.

Definitely worth writing about.