Thursday, July 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

How do you get your man to make you a breakfast sandwich?

When you’re laying in bed, waking up, nuzzle him and ask him if he’s hungry. When he says yes, say “You should make yourself a breakfast sandwich. With cheese. And while you’re at it, make me one, too.”

Your man will inevitably pinch/tickle/bite/punch you, but you’ll giggle and be cute, therefore he won’t be able to resist and you will, in fact, get your breakfast sandwich.


It’s been so hot here, I have a heat rash in my cleavage.

TMI? No such thing on this blog.


My next door cube neighbor just got one of the new VOIP phones (I’ve had one for almost a year) and she discovered that she can change her ringtone. Instead of a ring now, I hear a man’s voice say “Are you there? Are you there?”

Haha. Yeah, that was funny the first two times it rang. I sense it won’t be funny for long.

My ringtone is a classic rotary dial ring. Unique, no?


The light at Mercer is SO LONG that I can:

File all 10 of my nails
De-cathair my outfit
Floss my teeth
Pluck my eyebrows
Organize my purse
Swiffer the front section of my car
Start a blogpost


I came up with a new hairstyle. I call it “Woke Up Too Late To Blow Dry My Hair But Thank Gawd I Have Gel Cause Now I Have That Hip Disheveled Look”.

And I bought some temporary color, so Todd is going to help me color my hair tonight. I need some foofin’.


Todd and I watched It Might Get Loud last night. You’re not going to care very much if you’re not into music or guitars, but for those of us who are, HOLY CRAP.

To watch The Edge (from U2) ask Jack White (from the White Stripes) to teach him the basic riff for “Seven Nation Army”, and then to watch Jimmy Page (from Led Zeppelin) join in and then three of the awesomest guitar players jam together….well, it just makes the brain explode.

Ya gotta like guitar players to get it.


And, as always, I leave you with cuteness.

(Well, this IS an armchair, is it not?)

(The wide angle of Tom's tushy)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mourning Fading

I am happy to say that things are back to normal here in Raechelle-land. Maydell was laid to rest last week, so I think that’s helped with the sadness.

Needless to say, last week was a crappy, crappy week. But after waking up Saturday morning and making the conscience decision that I was going to have a good weekend with my husband, the stars fell into place and Todd and had one of the best weekends we’ve had in a long time. The beautiful summer weather help tremendously.

I slept in Saturday, then joined Todd across the street for brunch with our neighbors, Dave and Greg.

Side note – I think I’m entering a new age bracket. In the last two weekends, I’ve attended two brunches. Each invitation led me to believe it was a come-hang-out-maybe-grab-a-muffin-and-a-mimosa kind of thing. Oh no. Val’s brunch-n-book exchange two weeks ago was a sit down, with tablecloths and quiche kind of event. It was lovely. Cold, but lovely. Then yesterday, Dave had told me to just wander over whenever I got up and about (the scheduled time was 9am. On a Saturday. Ha! Not even for a mimosa.) So I headed over about 10am. I knocked and opened the door but didn’t see or hear anyone. Oh no! I thought. Did I miss it?! Then I heard laughter outside, so I went through the kitchen, out to the back patio and found a group of nine people sitting around a table with linen napkins and fancy glasses. Another sit down! I’m glad I wore a dress.

Anyway, I met up with my hubby for breakfast with a few neighbors, then we all walked a half a block to California, set up our camp chairs and watched the West Seattle Grand Parade. I’m normally not a parade kind of gal (except the Solstice Parade) but this was low energy, not crowded at all, and a good excuse to just sit in the beautiful sunshine. I have to say, the police motorcycle brigade, both Seattle and Vancouver, were my absolute favorite. We chatted with one of the Vancouver officers while he was parked, blocking traffic, and learned that they’ve had to alter their routine in the last few years after they had a major accident that permanently disabled one of their officers. Very sad. But they’re formations were just incredible.

After the parade, we took Kayleigh and Lydia to the beach then garage saled. Yes, it’s a verb.

Side note – I have decided I want to be a grandma’s house. I want to have a toy box full of toys for all of our friends who have kids. I want to have some plastic play stuff out in the back yard, so we can hang out back there and the kids can play. I want to have some sippy cups on hand and maybe some tiny plastic utensils. I want the kids (and their parents) to love coming over to our house because we have everything they need.

So Todd and I picked up a free plastic slide, a box of sidewalk chalk, a bag of dinosaurs, a bag of cars and fire trucks and a doodle board. I need to get some coloring books and some toys for babies, so Trish and Dan don’t have to lug things over to our house for Rosiland.

All I need is the doily table cloth and you can call me Granny. Wait! I HAVE doily table cloth! And it’s on the table right now!

Saturday evening, I took Todd out for dinner. It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice dinner, just the two of us, and since we’d both been kind of icky last week, it seemed like a good time to bond. We went to Jak’s down at the Junction. Yummy yummy yummy. I’d never been, but Todd promised it was fantastic. And boy howdy, was it.

After dinner a couple of drinks, we walked back home to find two boys hanging out on our front porch. Gawd bless my daughter – I told her she could not have her male friends in the house while Todd and I were gone. So she made them stand on the porch while she and Lydia cooked them dinner. Mac-n-cheese.

Must remember this loophole in the future.

Todd and I were a bit too mushy and happy to be in the house with five teenagers, so we took our bottle of wine and plopped down out in the front yard. Once the kids left for the Movies on the Wall, we fired up the Wii and rocked out like a couple of young/middle aged parents can do after a bottle of wine. I rawked the hell out of “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar. Even those high notes at the end.

Ask our neighbors. I bet they heard me.

After the exhaustion of Rock Band, we curled up in our room, while the kids, back from the Movies on the Wall because they had no chairs and were uncomfortable, hid away in Tyler’s room to watch the exact same movie that was playing at the wall. Wonderful.

And it was a restless night. Hotter than a hippy in Kerrville and no breeze. Todd ended up on the couch, where there WAS a breeze from all of the windows open, and Tom took advantage of the open bedroom door to sleep with me.

Sunday, yet another brunch. Only we hosted and it completely wasn’t planned. I wanted to make dutch baby. I wanted to be social. So we called our trusty good-for-last-minute-plans-that-involve-food, Steve and Stephanie. Of course, you have to have mimosas when you have a brunch (complete with doily tablecloth) so that always starts a beautiful sunny Sunday off on the right foot.

After Steve and Steph left, and Todd took Kayleigh over to her friend’s, he and I got ourselves together and went to Crate & Barrel. My dutch baby was just barely enough for six people so I needed a bigger dish. Luckily, we still had some money left on our gift card, so we also bought some tea spoons for jam. As mom and dad taught us, tea spoons have that nice, long handle to get down in the jar of jam. What a great tip.

And then there was lunch and popping in to get our wedding rings cleaned at Ben Bridge, then spending yet another gift card at Victoria’s Secret and then a little java frappuccino before heading back home.

Once home, we were attacked by a vicious nap, so the original plan of grocery shopping was dashed. Oh darn. But a couple of hours later, we got our second wind and worked on some administrative stuff and made a light dinner and then tidied up the house, and then finally, bed.


I do love the summer here in Seattle. But if you think I cram a lot into a weekend during the fall and winter, you should see me in the summer.


Our 10 day forecast shows nothing but blue skies and high 70/low 80 degree weather. Now THIS is why we put up with nine months of winter.

Although, ceiling fan shopping may be in order soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remembering Maydell

When I lived in West Virginia, Maydell would pick me up every Sunday morning for church. My parents didn’t go to church. But for some reason, they thought I should.

So Maydell would pick me up, take me to Sunday School (where I would dip my Cheetos into my ice tea), then drive me home. I’d hop out of her car and run up to mom, who, in the summer, would be laying out on her folding lawn chair, listening to the radio. My pool would be up and filled and I’d immediately change in my swimsuit (or not, it was the country) and jump in.

That’s one of my favorite memories from West Virginia. I think of that scene whenever I hear the Bellamy Brothers or Don Williams.

I also remember playing in Maydell’s attic (I think it was the attic) with Cindy, Maydell’s granddaughter. Cindy and I were the best of buds. The attic had a couple of little, hidden rooms and it was hot as hell but Cindy and I spent hours up there. When I was small enough to fit up there.

I’d always stop in and see Maydell whenever I was in Nestorville. She still lived in the same house, at the end of my uncles’ road. We still sent each other Christmas cards and I had just gotten a letter from her before we left for West Virginia a few weeks ago. She sent me a picture she found of me, Cindy and some little boy, Andrew. I don’t remember him. I was about four in the picture. We were in Maydell’s living room.

I tried to see Maydell when we were in West Virginia. I had sent her a wedding photo of me and Todd, and I wanted her to meet him, and Kayleigh. We stopped by, but her car wasn’t in the garage, and I tried to call her the next day, but there was no answer. That’s Maydell – very social, always out and about, still driving at 88 years old and shuttling people to church.

So it was when she failed to show up at church on Sunday, that people grew concerned and a neighbor walked over to check on her.

And he found that Maydell had passed way.

But what is so troublesome, is that it appears that Maydell’s passing was not at all natural. There were signs that someone may have hurt her.

Nestorville is an unincorporated town of maybe 300 people. For the most part, everyone knows everyone, and everyone knew Maydell. There are some strangers who have moved in, and unfortunately, your mind tends to wander to those people as suspects. There was evidence left behind, and the state police spent all of Sunday at her house, so hopefully we will have answers soon.

In the meantime, my energy is sapped and all I want to do is sleep and/or cry. Maydell was like a grandmother to me, and it physically hurts to think that someone could do such a thing to her. I can still hear her voice as it shook and I still see her out tending to her garden. She was a gentle, quiet, loving woman who still had many vibrant years left in her.

So, when I get back to a better place and can be entertaining and funny, I’ll post more. Until then, I’m just going to curl up and remember the good ol’ days.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Thoughts

I’m wearing jeans today. I haven’t worn jeans in almost two weeks. And it’s been fantastic. These really aren’t comfortable at all. Maybe I just need bigger ones?



Our new cell phone law went into effect on June 1. In the past, talking on the phone wasn’t reason enough to pull someone over. If a cop pulled them over for speeding, and they happened to be on their phone, then they could get ticket for that. But now, cops can pull you over if they see you talking on your phone or texting.

I like this new law (because I have Bluetooth.)

While sitting at the SLUT light, I only saw two people talking on their phones as they drove by. This used to be how I killed time at this intersection – put the car in park, count the jackasses on the their phones.

But today, only two. Guess that $124 ticket is a deterrent, huh?


The taste of warm Coke or Pepsi immediately takes me back to Surfside Beach in Texas.

We moved to Texas in 1982 and my folks were so excited to live near a beach, we were there every weekend during the summer. And we were professional beach people. We had the truck stocked full of towels, coolers, blow up rafts, lawn chairs and the radio. We would spend hours and hours at the beach. And we didn’t wear sunscreen! Cause it was Texas! In the 80’s!

Anyway, the cooler would be stocked with Pepsi and cheese and bologna for sandwiches. I would nurse a Pepsi all day, because you know I don’t drink much throughout the day (unless it’s alcohol, but I was 8 then) and by the afternoon my Pepsi would be warm. And usually full of sand.

Anyway, I got a Coke out of the vending machine on Monday, and didn’t finish it, so it was still sitting on my desk. When I took a swig, it was warm and I was right back at Surfside Beach, in my little blue bathing suit, listening to The Bellamy Brothers and smelling the dirty beach water.

Good times.


It’s actually pretty beautiful here today - 74 degrees and sunny. Just lovely. Seattle had a major heat wave last week. But luckily, Todd, Kayleigh and I were in West Virginia where it, too, was hot and miserable but we were blessed with air conditioning. A luxury we do not have here in Seattle.

Todd and I are contemplating ceiling fans, though. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?


I leave you today with Elvis.

 (Our long, proper kitty)

(Elvis 'tocks)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Week at Pisswilly Ranch

The trouble with spending any time in West Virginia is that I fall into the pace of the hillbilly. Which makes it even harder to return to reality.

I checked my email maybe twice a day, just because Mom’s computer is always up and running, or maybe Todd was online and asked if I needed to do anything before he shut down. There were never any emails. And I was just fine with that.

You can’t get any cell phone reception at my folks’ so there was no need to even turn on my phone. I was completely disconnected from real life. And it was so nice.

Then we get to the airport and everyone is on their laptops, or texting and cell phones are ringing everywhere, and it’s like being lost in the jungle for a long time, only to return to civilization and realize that civilization is really annoying.

Despite being annoying, here I am on Todd’s laptop, 35,000 feet over Michigan, working on this blog post. So my annoyance is extremely short lived, huh?

So!  Notes from the trip:

The Milwaukee airport employees are super nice. Going through security was extremely easy and stress free. Unlike SeaTac airport, where the employees are cranky and snap at you if you don’t move quickly enough.


Detroit has a really nice airport. There’s a red tram/train/thingy that runs above you. It’s very pretty.


We had a ton of family out on the 4th.   Family that I hadn't seen in ages and family I've never met.  Including my mom's sister, Jeannie.  See the resemblance?

(I don't care that I look like crap.  It was freakin' hot!)

And, of course, we had the obligatory sibling photo.


Audra State Park, on the Tygart Valley River, has a fantastic swimming hole. No, we didn’t actually swim there, but Todd and I walked out onto the rocks and kicked around in the water a bit. There are huge rocks in the middle of the river and the water is only ankle deep over most of them. Just lovely.

 (Tygart Valley River)


I still cry every time I leave Nestorville. My folks live about 12 miles from there, but we drove over to see my uncle and to get down in the creek. The last time we went there, to say goodbye, I bawled on the drive out. It’s just such an important place to me.

As is my great grandmother’s grave. We went by to say hi, and as I dusted off her headstone, I started to cry. She’s been gone seven years now, and I still miss her terribly.


My parents have an incredible front porch. I believe it’s 10 feet wide and 30 feet long. I never got tired of sitting out there and just watching the birds or the squirrels or the bunnies or the deer. If you’re going to go on vacation and have set the goal of “not doing a damn thing”, my parents’ porch is the ideal spot.

(The Porch)

(Me, relaxin' on The Porch)


Goober, their cat, is a hoot. He talks to mom when he wants to eat or wants to go outside. Mom talks back to him, which makes her look like a crazy cat lady, but it’s also comforting that she’s got a little buddy who gives her a hard time.


Kayleigh is not a country bumpkin. I think I got to her too late. She didn’t care for the creek (WHAT?!) and the bugs were starting to get to her by about Thursday. Getting burnt in the little inflatable pool didn’t help matters, either.

We did, however, enjoy a Slip-n-Slide.  Well, Kayleigh enjoyed the Slip-n-Slide.

(Kayleigh, slippin' and slidin')

This is proof that 35 year olds should not attempt to slip-n-slide.



Traveling is getting harder. My patience is shorter and my back and legs don’t like sitting for five hours. I will never again give my parents a hard time about not flying out to visit me. I get it now.

But Todd is wonderful travel companion. He balances me out.

Oddly enough, this is the only picture of the two of us.  Huh.

(Happy, sweaty couple)


Thank goodness I cut my hair the day we left. It was 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity and that hair on my neck would have driven me insane. As would putting it up in a ponytail every day.


And I leave you with Ma and Pa.

Don't let that look on his face fool you.  He's really happy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Random Pre-Vacation Thoughts

Dear Mother Nature,
Come on!! Really? Rain, 50 degrees? Really?! What’s wrong, honey? I hope you’re okay. I hear that next week you’re going to give us 75 degree weather. That’s more like it! Not that I care, because I’ll be in West Virginia in 85 degree weather and brilliant sunshine, but I’d like my friends here to have some summer weather, too.

Get well soon,


CB and I went to see Eclipse last night (I am not ashamed!) It was still cheesy (“I’ll never love anything more than Edward!”), and Edward still talks through a clenched jaw, and Bella still has no personality, but it SO MUCH better than the last two movies. SO MUCH BETTER. Vampires actually had their arms and heads ripped off. Granted, there was no blood at all (except when dufus cuts her self on purpose), but still – there was death. Right on.

And when Jacob was carrying Bella through the woods, I leaned over to CB and asked “How could one possibly refrain from kissing his neck?” (unless you’re married because I’m married and I would NEVER kiss a 17 year old boy’s neck. Because I’m MARRIED. And I could go to jail. And I’m married.)

That boy looks like he’s been Naired from the neck down. He is as smooth as a baby’s butt.  (Notice I did not show you any gratuitous six-pack shots?  Because that would make me a pervert and MY HUSBAND would be very unhappy with me.  Because I am married.)


And speaking of Twilight, Jenn at Jennsylvania is freakin' brilliant.  For your entertainment, she uses her Twilight action figure dolls (swear ta gawd) to act out her version of the movie for you.  She did this with New Moon, too.

I want to be this woman's friend.  I want to have drinks with her.  I love how her brain works. 

You must read the post.  Even if you don't know the story.  You must.


This picture is very familiar to me:

Tom likes to sit on my chest while I’m reading, then he’ll lick my face.
And we wonder why I’m sneezing my head off all day.

Oh, but the kitteh is so worth it.
Love my kitteh. And going to miss my kitteh terribly while we’re on vacation. Todd says I can’t take him with me. Hmph.


Speaking of vacation, I leave with you a haiku.

Off to warm country
Mountains, creek, family and rest
Already dread return

Do not fear, dear reader.  I'm sure I'll blog from West Virginia.  You know how I love to share my vacations (and pictures) with you.

Until next time....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Exactly What Is The Lesson Here?

Ya ever had one of those days where you wonder just what the hell the Universe is trying to do to you? You start to think you’re being punished for something or wonder if there’s a lesson to be learned.

Take Wednesday, for example.

Todd made iced tea yesterday afternoon. I opened the fridge later to find the iced tea on it’s side and iced tea in both drawers and running out under the fridge. So, I take the drawers out, sop up the floor with paper towels, and notice that the tea has run under the mat by the back door. So, I pick up the mat….but it sticks to the floor. And when it finally does come up, oh my god, the stench. Apparently a bio bag had sat on it at one point and leaked. And the floor was soaked. Still. So, the mat drips everywhere (including on me) and I throw it out back and I get more paper towels to sop that up. Then I get a bucket of Pine Sol to wash the floor but it appears that the ick has run under the fridge. So, we move the fridge and oh god, more stench. After scrubbing the floor I look around and realize those drips are everywhere (and there are drips from the drawers I pulled out of the fridge) so I figure I might as well mop the whole damn floor.

I move everything out of the kitchen and get the only bucket I can find, which is a smidge too small for the mop (this was my first mistake – using a mop. I usually strap on my knee pads and wash the floor by hand) but I’m careful and just dip the mop in as far as I can while it’s folded (one of those fan flapper maps that you use the handle to squeeze it and get the water out).

Only my hand is wet so the mop lets loose and flies open, thus breaking the plastic bucket and sending the water out onto the kitchen floor.

So, not only do I have stench and drips everywhere, I have a huge puddle of Pine Sol water. So, I use paper towels to sop up the Pine Sol water, which feels ironic.

I go through a roll of paper towels sopping up the water, then after digging around for 15 minutes, find another bucket that will actually accommodate the mop (I’m tired and frustrated and not willing to get on the floor at this point). So, I finally get floor mopped and the stench is starting to dissipate and we are finally ready to cook dinner.

Fried chicken.

Which means I have to spray down the stove, the countertop and floor in front of the stove after dinner because there is grease everywhere.

I am so done.

But the highlight for today? Aside from being a mere one day away from vacation?

CB and I are going to see Eclipse tonight at the grown up theater. With adult beverages. Despite how much you hate the Twilight series, it makes for a fun girly evening.


Note: Number of times I used “So,” in this post = 10.