October 28, 2010

Clown Car, Camera Baby and the Exploder

I know how you are all waiting with bated breath to see what has been going on in my life, and now..............your wait is over!

Last Wednesday my F.O.R.D. Exploder started to make the same noise it did a few months ago. I had taken it in in June to have the ball joints replaced. Well, as I was driving to work Wed morn I heard the SAME NOISE again and I started to freak out. Called the shop where the work was done and they could not fit me in until Friday morning. Ok, I will baby the damn car until then. Friday morn rolls around and I take my car down to the shop. They take it for a cruise around the block, put it up on the rack, take all the tires off, check the ball joints, my breaks, my tires and do some general poking around and guess what???? They could not find a SINGLE SOLITARY thing wrong with my car! Are you frikking kidding me? I had been sitting in the waiting room, reading/texting/finger nail biting until the diagnosis was given. It was a huge sigh or reflief but really? What if it comes back? "Well, ma'am, when you hear the noise again drive it straight over." Gee, thanks. Just another instance of a GIRL bringing the car in to have the awful, horrible, ghastly noise NOT HAPPEN for the mechanic.

Later on that day, I called the camera repair shop. Yes, my camera was ready for me to pick up. I drive over there and this is what they tell me: the good news is your camera can be fixed. The bad news is, we have to send it to the manufacturer and it will take 2 weeks to get there and for them to get the price estimate. Then it will take 2 weeks for repair and then another week to ship back. SO you mean to tell me that I would be without my camera for 5 weeks AND you are not sure how much it will cost me???? They tell me it should be less expensive than replacing the lens but other than that, they are not sure how much. No thanks. I took the camera home with me and decided I could wait a while to have it fixed. The camera still takes pictures, I just can't zoom in at all.

2 years ago, before the purchase of the Canon Rebel, we had a Fuji digital camera. The screen went Tango Uniform and we had to send it to the factory for replacement. Well, I was without a camera for Thanksgivign and Christmas and I will not do THAT again. I have no pictures to scrapbook of that years holidays and that is unacceptable!

Yesterday, being I work for an insurance company, Hee Haw sent me an email asking to get a quote on a possible new car purchase. I was enraged, literally shaking, when I received that email. I waited until after my webinar conference was over to start to look at it, only to find out that Hee Haw had called in to my office, spoken with my boss, and got the figures he needed. He ended up purchasing one of these:

His is a darker gray, but nonetheless, here it is. He looks RE-DONK-U-LOUS driving it, and as CHB pointed out, it looks like a Clown Car!!!! That is just icing on the cake! The reason I was so upset about this? He nickel and dimed me out of almost $300 per month in child support, complains all the time about not having any money, and he went out a bought a new car?????? I thought my heart was going to beat straight out of my chest I was so mad! I know I accepted the lower amount of money, I know that he is selfish, but honestly? With all the problems with my Exploder, and knowing that if my car died I am up shit creek without a paddle, I was experiencing some major jealousy over his ability to purchase a new car. Oh yeay, that's because he has an extra $300/month to spend............. but I'm not bitter. Really, I'm not.

Digital Scavenger Hunt

A couple of weekends ago the kids and I attended the Digital Scavenger Hunt. CHB put this event on. Here is how it goes: You break in to teams, arrive at the Clubhouse, bring your dish to share, camera and good attitude. CHB gives out the rules and lets you know when you are expected back, and then you are given THE LIST. Each item on the list is worth a different set of points, and the team at the end with the most points wins!

Lil C, Doodle and I scoured the list for what we wanted to do..... The countdown at the door commenced and we all scurried to our cars! The weather outside sucked: rain, wind and just generally gross, but it was no deterrent for the fun we were going to have!








 Bologna face mask




 Giving a stranger a dollar


 In front of the fish counter at the store

Thank you to the helpful young man at Safeway for showing Lil C the correct way to apply deodarant.........

 Behind the register at Taco Bell




 Wearing a dog callar, leash and on all fours at the local pet store........




 Doodle and I wearing the BEST lampshades that Goodwill had!


 Pink and red scarves......

Doodle and I doing the Bunny Hop in front of Goodwill. Good times!
 Everytime we saw a VW bug it got away before we could get out and take a picture! This one turned out to be the best anyway because of the license plate!!!


 Skateboarding, hockey or baseball anyone???


 Doodle at the local terriyaki joint with a container of sauce AND an employee


 New hats, courtesy of Fred Meyer's

This nice boy took pity on Lil C and danced with him in front of the bathrooms.........

You had to switch clothes with a team member.......... Lil C is really rocking that aqua tank top!
Once everyone was back at the designated meeting place, another team would check your pictures, add your points together, and turn them all in to CHB. Also, each team had to come up with a name.......... we were of course Team Wicked Witch!

Once all the points were added, a winner was announced. Team Salmon Egg Rolls! Each team had given $5 at the start so they won $55 buckaroonies. Way to go! The potluck commenced, everyone laughing and looking at all the other team pictures. The kids had a great time, I had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again!

*****It was Team Leggo My Samaniego that won, NOT Team Salmon Egg Rolls******

October 21, 2010

Camera "baby"

I own a Cannon Rebel EOS XSI. I am in L.O.V.E. with my camera. I'm not kidding. In the divorce I got the camera........ much to my delight!

2 weeks ago, Lil C dropped my camera. Poor guy, I hollered and yelled and cried about my camera as I inspected every inch of it. To my utter dismay, my lens no longer zooms out to the full extent. It is kinds stuck in the zoomed out position and that sucks for taking photos.

So, on Tuesday, I took my camera in to a local repair shop. The nice man behind the counter told me that yes, he CAN fix it. He should have the estimate for me by Friday and that repair would DEFINATELY be less expensive than replacement. That is great news, however I am not sure what his idea of less expoensive is.........

With a heavy heart, and a few tears, I left my "baby" behind. It is the worst feeling to know I can't take any pictures until tomorrow, even though I have nothing to take pictures of. As a budding shutter bug, I feel at a loss without it. Please, please, please cross your fingers for a VERY low repair bill, as I can't wait to be reunited with my camera. Sing with me: "reunited, and it feels so good. reunited and it's understood............"

The holiday's are approaching..........

Last year at this time, as most of you know, I was experiencing my first holiday season as a single woman/mother/divorcee.

I find myself in a completely different situation this year. Things are going well with PB and I am in a good place in my life right now.

So, with the holiday's fast approaching, I find myself in a unique predicament. PB and I have not talked about it yet, but WHEN the conversation happens, I wonder how I will feel if he invites me "home" for the holidays. Am I ready to deal with meeting his family? And, being this year I have Lil C and Doodle for Thanksgiving, are THEY ready to be involved in that, and is it even right for me to include or burden them with this?

A lot of  thought goes in to making sure that the kids, as well as myself, are completely compfortable in this situation as I move forward in my relationship. I don't want to push or force anything, and their happiness is very important to me. So, what's a girl to do? Guess that question will be answered after I talk with PB. Obvously it's weighing on my mind now though. It's uncharted territory. I don't want to mis-step. Maybe you can help a sister out?

October 15, 2010

Sister Suffragette.......... (take 2)

Sister Suffragette...........(take 1)

(I received this via email from a friend of mine and thought it good enough to pass along to all of you. Our vote matters, so please, do your part. )


I do not know who wrote the original of this, but it shows how far we have come & how much further we need to go.

To all you ladies, don't forget to vote this November, this will be one of the most important elections in our lifetime, our country is in need of serious help. Please keep in mind as you vote what your ancestors went through to secure your right to vote.

This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.
The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
(Lucy Burns)

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
(Dora Lewis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.
(Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/nwp/prisoners.pdf

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because -- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.
(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought

kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party]

headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.
(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.')

History is being made.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because-

-why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?

Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

October 11, 2010

Relaxing weekend?

Let's just say I was more than happy to have this week be over with. It was just one of those weeks I don't want to repeat E.V.E.R. again.

Friday: NO SCHOOL DAY for the kids...... this means that I get calls left and right during the day. "Mom, can I go to ______ house and play?" "Mom, can I ride my bike to the park?" "Mom" "Mommy" "Mother......." AAAAAHHHHHHH! Lest we forget I actually have a J-O-B that allows me to put a roof over their heads.........

Ran around like a chicken with my head cut off when I got off work: pick up kids, drop off kids, go to the bank, library, grocery store then home; only to go back out to pick up and drop off kids, then head to Costco with CHB.

Saturday: Lucky us. Up again at 6:30am to get Doodle and Lil C ready for soccer games at fields about 20 miles away from the house. Up first: Lil C and the Orange Crush. The weather was cool but dry until about 15 minutes before the game was over. Then the rain came. Great. I am from the Pacific Northwest so OF COURSE I didn’t bring an umbrella. Cuz that's how I roll.........

Well, Orange Crush win the game (yes, back on a winning streak) and Doodle and I are now wet. We pile in the car and head 5 miles East to Doodle's game......... Lil C and I drop her off at the field, (the girls had to be there an hour before the game to do pictures) and head to the nearest Starbucks. I needed more coffee and Lil C wanted to use a flush potty. We walk in to the Starbucks and stand in line for our order. Lil C goes to check out the bathrooms and they are locked. It is a coded entry and they are having some technical difficulties with them........... great. I'm still waiting for my coffee, there was about 4 orders in front of mine.

This young gal gets her order called out, a Chai Tea, and she picks up her cup. She takes a sip, turns to the guy and gal with her and says "this tastes like water". She turns back to the barista and asks her if she put water in it. The barista replies yes, there is water in it. The girl then rolls her eyes and says, "Well I only want this much water and the rest milk. I didn’t realize I needed to specify. (in a super snotty tone). Can you re-make it?" At this point the guy with her says, and very loudly, "This is why I don't like Starbucks. Their coffee tastes watered down." Here I am thinking to myself, why the hell are you in here then? The barista fills a few more orders before she remakes Bitchy Tea Woman her Chai Tea. The barista calls out her order and BTW picks up her cup again. She takes a sip, and I swear the other people waiting for their drinks are all looking at her and holding their breath, and wouldn't you know it? BTW is STILL not satisfied with her drink! She rolls her eyes again and marched out of Starbucks stomping out on her high heeled boots, looking like the true yuppie she was............

Lil C watched this exchange and he was looking at me like "what the heck is wrong with that woman"? So I turn to him and say, "some people just aren't satisfied no matter what you do. If she doesn’t like the tea, guess what? She can go somewhere else.........." He laughs and we grab my coffee order and head back to the field where Doodle was.

Since we are ill prepared for the rain, we get totally soaked while watching Doodle's game. The Ice Breakers pull out a 2-0 win though! We race to the car and speed our way towards home. We are in the house for a record 12 minutes in which we: changed our clothes, hung up the wet jackets, spread out the wet chairs to dry, used the bathroom and grabbed our dish to share for the next event. A digital scavenger hunt! (More details to come in a separate post).

After the hunt, and a potluck dinner, we head home. Lil C was off to spend the night with his best bud, Doodle wanted to have a friend of hers spend the night. SO after another 20 minutes of drop off and pick up we are back home with 2 girls and I can finally sit on my rear and relax. The girls help me decorate for Halloween, after I relaxed for about 30 minutes, and they played until midnight.

Sunday: Nothing to get up early for............ oh thank goodness! I made the girls pink pancakes with chocolate chips and they had some milk. Of course I had coffee! After Doodle's friend was picked up we headed to my office to paint my co-workers room. Doodle played on the computer and kept herself entertained. 4 hours and 1 achy back later, we called it quits, and headed towards home with 1 stop along the way to pick up Lil C.

A blessed hot shower and 3 Advil later and I sit and relax for a while.... Doodle went to play with her friend, Lil C watched a movie and I read my book. Later that night I went over to PB's house. We sat and talked for a while and watched some tv. Ron White, the comedian was on. Best part? Hearing PB laugh so hard he was crying! He smiles a lot but I don’t hear him laugh like that and it was one of the best sounds.

As I lay my head down last night, I only had one thought in my head. Please, please, please let this week be better. Ok?

October 8, 2010

Lil C, goofball/teenager/soccer player

Yes, I have a teenager. Sometimes it is hard to admit that because it makes me feel extremely old. I know at 33 I'm not THAT old, but when you start having kids right out of high school it makes you feel like the same age as the rest of the people who have kids your age. (And no, I'm not knocking the 38+ croud, just sayin.......)

Anyway, Lil C lets me take a lot of pictures of him; with a stipulation or two. If no one he knows from school is around, and if I don't embarrass him. (You and I both know that it's my job as a mom to embarrass him right?)

So, last Saturday, after Lil C's soccer game was over, a crushing blow to the ego's of the entire team since this was loss number 2, he came and sat by me to watch Doodle play her game. I thought this would be a great time to capture some updated shots of him.

This is what I got:


I gave a little direction and got this:

+

 Although he looks a little confused, instead of a "thinking face" right?


I guess this shot was to show me how the hair needs to be done in order to look your Sunday best on the field.


Finally, I gave up, and just started snapping photos until I got the one I wanted...........


My handsome young man. You are such a sweet boy. May you remain that way forever and ever.

October 4, 2010

CHB

It was CHB's birthday a few weeks ago........... she doesn't like to be given gifts. She doesn't want a party thrown in her honor. She doesn't want to go out to eat with the peeps. It is almost like she would prefer to shove the ENTIRE day under the carpet and forget it happened. Just sayin.......

Anyway, I have watched over the last few months in different blogs and in all the decorating catalogs, these canvas creations pop up. So I decided to try my hand at one. I went to the craft store and bought all my supplies:


Lots of this was needed!!
Plain 10x10 canvas 

Of course I used the Cricut and plain black paper 


Then I took the paint color I wanted, added some water and "white washed" the canvas. Then waited a few hours for it to dry. While I waited, I cut out all the letters on the Cricut that I needed.

It took me a couple of days to come up with the things I thought personified my best friend........ I had to leave some things out because as I started to work on the canvas, I realized I was gonna run out of room. That was a bummer......... so I chose the best ones.

After the Modge Podge dried, I hit it with spray glitter. (CHB loves loves loves glitter and I hate hate hate glitter so I compromised with the spray stuff) Here is the final product:


So, Happy Birthday to my best friend. May this year be the best there ever was.


October 1, 2010

My Birthday

Yeah yeah yeah. I know you haven't heard from me in a while, and I promise to get better about posting. Really. Don't believe me??? Guess I deserve that..........

Anyway, I think what I will do is slowly make my way through August and September so that by October, you will be all caught up. Ok?

My birthday was about a month ago, and I decided to work that day, and take the next day off. (I had the kidlets on my bday anyway, so this worked out perfectly!)

When I came in to the office, I was greeted by this on my desk:


Lovin these balloons!

 
Of course included in my birthday gift from my boss was my FAVORITE kind of spirit's.......... Three Olives. Yummy!


The ladies in the office got me some great cards, with some $$$$ inside and this de-licious chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate filling and chocolate topped. Seriously GOOD stuff!



My co-worker let me borrow her tiara for the day. Don't I look smashing???? I also went to the DMV that day to renew my drivers license. Now, as cute as I was looking I thought I might be able to get my tiara in my picture, but the gal in charge made me take it off. Suckage..........

Anyway, after work I went to PB's house. He was making some yummies for me for dinner. And he is SUCH a great cook, let me tell you! When I got there I was greeted by a b-e-a-utiful flower arrangement........


They were so pretty! (they lasted almost 2 weeks!)

Because I had taken the next 2 days off, PB had a surprise planned for me. He told me to pack an overnight bag. We loaded up my stuff in the truck: (camera and case, overnight bag, extra pair of shoes, phone charger and purse. Of course all he had was a few items stored behind his seat..........), grabbed some cold beverages for the road and headed out.

It was a gorgeous drive, and I took a lot of pictures, all the while having NO CLUE where we were headed.

The sun was shining, the temperature gauge in the car steadily climbing as we headed east on Highway 2. We stopped first at the store/post office/diner and then continued our journey.


We stopped at the fish hatchery along the way. The sound of rushing water greeted us as we made out way down the steps to get a closer look. I took a lot of pictures, there is one of PB in there. (He thought I was taking a pic of the water.....)

I started to get an idea of where we were headed as we continued our journey....... final destination? Scenic Leavenworth! A quaint Bavarian town nestled in the mountains. I LOVE LOVE LOVE going there! One of my favorite places to visit is The Hat Shop

Of course I found the most delicious witches hat and PB took a picture of me in it:

We toodled around town, in and out of all the cute little shops, had dinner at Ducks and Drakes: yummy flat iron steak and Jaeger mashed potatoes..........


The next morn before we left I had to have my picture on front of the big sign........ got some passerby to take a picture of us.

 A quick walk in the river..........

 Isn't it gorgeous?????
 And a stop at the hatchery........... so many fish!


 We walked around the hatchery and wound up at the river again. BUT the coolest thing about being there was seeing the wild fish spawn right in front of us! If I could have captured the moment I would share with you but I was so fascinated by what was happening I forgot to take a picture!

As we headed towards home, coming down the mountain the clouds greeted us. We said goodbye to the 92 degree weather we left behind, and hello to the 66 degree weather we headed in to.

All in all, it was a most excellent birthday. It made turning another year older that much easier........