Thursday, December 31, 2009

Au Revoir, Mr. Uber Busy Year

This past year will forever be The Turning Point in my life.

I got my first Mother’s Day card, I helped sell my man's house, I bought a house, I got married (still baffles me), and I finally left the continent and visited that strange, far away land of Hawaii for the first time (shut up – it was strange and far away to me!)

Holy crap, no wonder I’m tired. And have twice the gray hair now.

I am very much looking forward to a quiet, uneventful 2010. I’m ready to get back into Friday night movie nights with friends, spend Saturdays cleaning, and enjoying some down time. I miss girls’ night dinners, and random shopping on the weekends and laying bed on a Sunday morning, chatting with my boy…uh…husband.

Oh, but don’t get me wrong. This past year has been more incredible than I could have possibly imagined. I never thought I’d ever be able to buy a house or raise teenagers or find someone who was willing to put up with my quirky neurotic self. And then whadya know?! BAM!

So, goodbye, 2009. It’s been fun.
But let’s get back to the mundane, shall we?

Happy New Year, everyone.
Be safe.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Lull

It’s that quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s, when I finally have a moment to sit down and say hi.


I would like to tell you that we all had a wonderful Christmas, full of joy and cheer and general merriment, but unfortunately, that would not be true. As noted before in my blog and Todd’s, holidays and special occasions tend to trigger some anxieties and heavy emotions for our son. And such was the case on Christmas day.

But we did get to spend time with the family in Bellingham on the day, and Santa brought us a Wii and Rock Band, so on Christmas evening, Kayleigh, Todd and I got our rockin’ on (well, I had a cold, so my “rockin’” was a bit raspy and low energy) and I sung 100% on “Hungry Like the Wolf”. So, that’s something.

Saturday was a semi-lazy day, with a quick trip out to Doug and Ann’s for their holiday open house. The rest of the weekend was spent in jammies, either reading or watching movies and eating. A perfect weekend in my book.

And now I am back at work. I’m still sniffling and sneezing, and I’m just pooped from actually being up and awake for so long, but hopefully, I am on the mend and ready for a par-tay on Thursday night.

Oh, but there won’t really be a par-tay. We’re just hanging with Trish and Dan and playing games. I wanted to go to a par-tay so I could get all gussied up and wear uncomfortable shoes, but neither one of us are up for that this year. We’re looking forward to a nice, quiet evening with a couple of good friends. Very low key. Very low energy.

Unlike 2009.

At least we get to be together this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve

Ah, to be a kitteh kitteh....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Typical Sunday Morning

Mr. Pushy Kitty (aka Tom) doesn't care what your plans are. If there's a warm body on which to lay, he's happy.

And then later in the day, the kitties move to the bedroom and snooze the afternoon away.

I can't believe Elvis is comfortable.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice

Today is the winter solstice. The first day of winter. The shortest day of the year. Tomorrow, our days get longer, one little minute at a time. And none too soon.

A funny piece of trivia for you… I bought Ruby on the Summer Solstice of 2006. And I bought her replacement (un-named thus far) during the Winter Solstice of 2009.

Granted, Saturday wasn’t the solstice, but close enough for story telling purposes.

The Husband and I headed off to Car Pros at 10:00am Saturday morning. I knew I wanted to buy from them again. That’s where I got Ruby and they were pretty painless to deal with. I even recommended neighbors to Car Pros and received a $50 when they bought a new car from the same saleswoman I did.

This time, I had done my homework, of course. An excel spreadsheet that listed the cars I was interested in, along with their dimensions, price tags, mpg, and features I wanted (heated mirrors, sunroof, mp3/iPod port, rear defroster and wipe and keyless entry). After much surfing at work…uh…research, I decided to go with the Elantra Touring.

You'll have to pardon the dude in the background. Daylight is limited up here these days, so I took this pic on my lunch break. I was pressed for time.

It’s the next generation of Elantra hatchbacks, even though the body is not at all an Elantra. The hatchback is much more flat and cut off at the back, but there’s still ample amount of room in the “trunk”. It’s a lot more solid than Ruby, and over four inches wider in the wheelbase so it feels like it hugs a bit better. But all of the standard features inside are very familiar – another reason I like it.

And, of course, it’s loaded. Because if you’re going to be forced into buying a new car, get the NEW CAR. It has the mp3 aux port, along with a USB port (so I could put music on a thumb drive and use the USB). The stereo controls are on the steering wheel, the huge radio display also give the temp outside and there are heated cloth seats (aka butt warmers).

And the uber cool feature that I still haven’t figured out how to use is the bluetooth thingy. I turn on the bluetooth feature on my phone, throw it back in my purse and forget about it. If someone calls, I push a button up where my overhead lights are and BAM. I’m talkin’ on the phone. The salesman programmed my phone in for me, but we didn’t have time for him to show me how to put the numbers in or the do the voice recognition or whatever you have to do to actually place a call. I can only answer calls. Which is fine for now.

The only negative thing about it is that I really, really wanted red with the black interior. But the dealership was having a hard time locating one nearby, so I drove the silver one off the lot. Now I notice that everyone on the road has a silver car. I blend. I don’t like blending.

I took CB down and showed it to her this morning. She oohed and ahhed. She said the silver was very “refined”.

It really is a nice car. I’m just having a hard time being excited because I really didn’t want a new car at all. And this whole process has been a colossal pain in my ass. Carless for three weeks, rental car fun, getting turned down for an auto loan (damn mortgage), dealing with car salesmen the Saturday before Christmas and to top off - this great new fear of driving in dark, rainy weather. Fantastic!

Yesterday, Todd said that he was sad that I wasn’t more excited about this car. I compared it to his house burning down. Everyone comes over after you rebuild and says, “Wow!! This is a great house!! Aren’t you excited about your new house?!!”

Well, no, not really. Sure it’s nice, but I really didn’t want my old house to burn down. Ya know?

I’ll get over my grumpiness soon. I do enjoy all the bells and whistles on this car and it’s fun to drive. But I’m still just mourning the loss of my best buddy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rare Mushiness

How does one know she is PMSing?

She cries every time she hears “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts (because she actually bought the song off she hears it a lot).

What the hell is happening to me?!
Oh. Right.

I must love my husband or something.



I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Universe (Auto Division)

I'm beginning to think you are upset with me.

First, a five car fender bender on the viaduct. Poor Ruby. She's a goner. Lesson learned. I'll be more careful.

Then yesterday, I received a ticket in the mail. I cut the yellow light too close. But in my defense, it had just changed yellow and it was raining and I had someone behind me so I was not going to slam on my brakes. But the camera flashed - I saw it in my rear view mirror. Fine. I'll pay the stupid ticket. The first ticket I've had in 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS.

Is this because I left Ruby alone, on the street, for 10 days while we were in Kauai?

I picked up a rental car today. I got tired of being chauffeured around. Although, maybe a chauffeur wouldn't be such a bad idea. I don't seem to be doing very well, huh?

The rental is a Sebring.

Better than The Beast from January, but still. It's HUGE. And it's the smallest one they had. They said.

So, in conclusion, my apologies, dear Universe. I have wronged you somehow, and I am deeply sorry. But please leave me and my car alone from now on.



Friday, December 11, 2009

I Am Not Ashamed…Okay, Maybe A Little

Saturday was a family movie day. Todd and Tyler went to see “Men Who Stare At Goats” (which I really, really want to see) and Kayleigh and I went to see “New Moon”.

Of course.

Because we’ve read allllll of the books and we saw “Twilight” when it first came out and yes, it was just horrible, but COME ON. Pretty vampires.

I was totally on Team Edward in the beginning. I like ‘em when they brood.

But after seeing “New Moon” and my, how Jacob has exploded into adolescence, I may cross over.

I still think Edward is a cutie, but the lack of chemistry between him and Bella (and the enormous amount of chemistry between Bella and Jacob) makes me see Edward for what he really is. A drag on the story. The movie was so good when he wasn’t in it. Bella had personality! Then Edward comes back and Bella goes back to twitching and talking through her teeth. Blech.

But the movie was entertaining. So entertaining, in fact, that I went to see it again with CB and Trish on Tuesday. At a grown up movie theater – 21 and up, with alcohol.

Coincidently, Todd posted this pic to Facebook - and tagged me and Trish:

Just so you know, I am NOT a Twilight mom.

I am a married woman!
And I know those boys mean jail time for a woman my age.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

RIP Ruby

My baby has been totaled. I just got the call. The frame is "crushed". I have to go clean her out.

This hurts more than I ever thought possible. She was my constant through the break up. She was my closet while couch surfing. She was my breakfast table on the drive to work. She was beautiful.

I guess I'm getting a new car for Christmas.
Yay, me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Post Honeymoon Post

I’m really slacking, aren’t I? Man.
Just can’t seem to get everything caught up.

Todd already got his post honeymoon post up, which was a great day by day account of our time there. But you know me. I always like to throw my $.02 in.


Kauai was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that by the time our last day rolled around, Todd and I were sick of the beauty. Too much beauty! No more beauty!


We started out in Waimea, on the south coast, and stayed there Tuesday through Sunday. We became very familiar with the south shore. Then we checked into the Hilton, on the east coast, and drove around the east and north shores. You can’t really get to the west shore. But we saw that when we took the infamous sunset dinner cruise.


The sights during the sunset cruise to the Na Pali coast were absolutely incredible, and the ride was a blast. Bouncing on the waves, getting splashed and soaked from head to toe. Thrilling! The return, however, was hell. Period.

I’ve never gotten seasick. Never. But coming back, the water was rough, the wind was painful and I just felt queasy. So I did the worst thing you can possibly do; I went down below. Which of course, just made it worse. It could have also been the buffet food on the cruise. And thank goodness Todd and I didn’t partake in the alcoholic beverages during the cruise (I KNOW, right?) I can’t imagine how bad it would have been. At one point, right before we docked, I actually made a mad dash (as “mad” as you can make on a rocking, wet boat) to the head. But, thankfully, was spared the actual sickness.

Until we got back to the hotel. Oh, it was not a good night. But afterwards, all was right with the world and I was ready for a mai tai.

I bounce back like that.


November is the beginning of the rainy season, so there were showers every day. No big woop. We’d just hang out inside until it was done, the go back out to the pool, or down to the beach (Salt Pond was our beautiful beach of choice). The rain didn’t make the temperature drop at all. The only rain grrrr was that it hindered our pool plans at the Hilton. Such lovely pools and spas. But on those days, the rain was more fierce and the temperature did drop, so it was just too icky to be out in it.


The rain also prevented us from seeing the beautiful, clear blue beaches, which was probably my biggest regret. But during one rainy day drive, while following the guide book, we found Anini Beach. It had clear water, even while it was raining. We decided that’s where we will buy our summer home one day.


I am curious about the animal situation over there. The dogs and horses we saw tied up did not look good at all. Too short of leashes or too small of pens. And there were lots of stray cats, some of which were not healthy at all. And the chickens! My gawd, the chickens. Apparently, during Hurricane Iniki, the chickens all got loose and started reproducing like no one’s business. Now, they’re running amuck.

At one point I was sitting on the patio at the Hilton, reading, when a rooster came up to me. Then another one. Then another. Then three chickens. I tried to ignore them or politely shoo them away, without freaking them out, but they were very comfortable just staring at me. I ended up going inside. Too close for me.


Trying to see the Queen's Bath was an adventure. I don't know if we ever really saw it. We hiked (inadvertently, in mud, mere hours before we were supposed to fly home), we found the edge of the earth, we found signs that warned us the sea would sweep us away, but now I'm thinking the actually swimming hole was a bit farther down. Regardless, it was amazing. And scary. And boy howdy, did our legs hurt the next day. Oy.

Afterwards, we cleaned up and changed in public beach restroom, then headed off for the airport. Good times.


Another interesting thing in Kauai is the speed limits. You go from 50, down to 45, to 35 to 25, then you come to an intersection. Once you’re past the intersection, WHAM! Back up to 50. It made driving the length of the island a little longer than expected.
Oh, there so much more I could babble about, but we need to get back to random posts about shoes and birds. I’ll just sum up with it was wonderful to be able to bond with my new husband without any distractions from real life. I totally understand the meaning of a honeymoon now. And am so sad that we can’t do it once a month.


You can see all of the pics (including multiple self portraits because we are picture hogs) here.

(Please pardon the photo of me licking Todd’s face. There were cocktails involved. Cause it was our honeymoon!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

They've Got Weapons Now!

Because their pointy little beaks and sharp talons just aren't enough!