Saturday, June 25, 2011


Yesterday the man's son kissed bachelorhood good-bye.
He didn't seem to mind a bit!

As my regular readers know, I am not normally a wedding person.
Some people really get into the whole idea of weddings...
sparking TV shows about bridzillas,
how to plan the perfect wedding,
tons of wedding web sites,
movies about wedding planners,
and that event that all little girls are supposed to dream about all their lives
until the day they say
"I do."
Weddings are a huge commercial industry!

My wedding was not a big affair and that was the right wedding for us.
Make a quick and serious commitment...
then get past that to the barbecue.

This wedding was much more traditional.
The beautiful bride included traditions from her
Italian heritage that were interesting and new to me.
It was a very important wedding because it was family.
As formal weddings go,
it was in a wonderful setting in the country,
complete with babbling brook
and lovely landscaping.
Tables were set on the lawn and the atmosphere was charming.

The ceremony was not long winded... a good thing...and had a nice message.
We all had a good giggle when the bride pulled her cheat sheet
of her vows out of her bodice.
The man said "Hey, she uses her bra as a pocket too!" and elbowed me.
Everyone cheered at the kiss.

Little N was the flower girl.
Her brother, Te was the ring bearer.
The bride's daughter, R was one of the brides maids.
We had a lot of people we cared about standing up there.
That made this wedding extra special.

It was a very nice evening with family and friends from both sides.
The food was delicious.
Everything was as perfect as any wedding could possibly be.

By nature I am a wallflower at social gatherings,
unless I know the people very well.
The man was called away off and on to do photos, etc.
and had many people to visit with in the gathering.
But Mom and Dad were there... the man's that is...
so I sat at their table and visited.

Eventually I slipped away to the truck so that I could
call my son Boo.
It was his birthday.
I missed it last year, because I had just moved here and had promised him that I would not miss this one.
I'd never missed one before that... ever.
Of course he understood that this was a big family event that we could not miss.
While I called, I missed the cake cutting!
I have photos of everything else though...
from the setting to the actual show.

I was the driver, so no booze beyond a couple of short cups of beer
before eating.
We didn't leave for hours after.
All in all, it was a great night.

When we signed the guest book... the man left it to me to do this...
I was tempted to put "the original Mr and Mrs H".
That's because we all have the same names.
He has his dad's and she has mine.
But I didn't.
I wasn't sure if joking in a guest book is appropriate.
It did make me smile to think about it.
I'll let future readers wonder why they signed their own guest book.

We got home late.
The man was hungry so I made him a grilled cheese.

Ok... I have to ask you how you make your grilled cheese?
The man likes his with miracle whip inside on both pieces of bread.
Its really weird to have to slather something on all the different
sides of bread and quite messy!
I don't use anything inside mine except for cheese and maybe a tomato slice.
I guess there is no wrong way or right way,
but I'd never heard of that before.
Kind of like pizza... you can put what you want on it.
Still, I wonder what other ways you can fix one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


When we first got Roxy we put her dog food in a giant Tupperware container with a good sealing lid.
This was due to my association with a friend who worked for Terminex who,
once told me that critters go where ever they can find dog food...
and that dog food was an excellent bait for traps.

We have been fortunate not to have indoor critter problems...
so far...
with the exception of ants.
(Which are as inevitable as death and taxes.)

So... into the Tupperware with Roxy's food.
Then it was stashed under the kitchen bar counter,
next to her food and water dishes.
There it stayed until an ant attack forced us to move her dishesto the shop,
where ants did not bother to go.
I'm not sure why that is.
Yet, sure enough, the ants did not follow.

The first time I spied the shop mouse,
she was looking pretty fat.
Never a good sign with a mouse.
The next time she skittered by in the corner of my vision,
she was slimmer.

I like mice.
I used to have a large walk-in closet in the house where I grew up,
that my mother allowed me to use to raise mice to sell as a business.
I had at one time 28!
(All in cages of course.)

The man, however has no sympathy for mice.
I must agree that the wild variety are not good for human living spaces,
but I'm kind of funny about killing them.
I'd rather catch and release.

When the man spied the mama mouse, he set a trap.
Whap! Whap!
He quickly dispatched two mice bodies to the dumpster.
I admit to being a mite sad at this,
but they were mature mice who had lived full mousey lives.
Better a quick snap of the trap than slow death by playful kitties.

Not long after I spied a tiny puff of fur with a pink tail by Roxy's dish.
One of the food pellets must have been a feast to someone so tiny.

To tell or not to tell...was my question.
Yes it was a wild rodent full of nasty germs and disease.
But darn, it was cute!
I didn't say a word.
(Shame on me!)

Roxy ratted me out!
That pig bull nose of hers began to snuffle and search.
Who's been eating my porridge?
She spent hours at a time trying to track my fuzzy secret friend.
The man noticed and the trap came back out.
He uses peanut butter for bait... another tip from Terminex man.
The first night... nothing.
the second night... nothing again.
Yay! Yay!
Unfortunately on the third try
the poor little fellow got the ax.

I wasn't at all surprised when I spied a flash of fur this morning...
close to Roxy's dish.
Where you see one mouse, there are at least six more.
She's out there snuffling again.
Sadly, we have plenty of peanut butter.
More dumpster funerals to follow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Happy Birthday Mom and Ron!

Two of the three birthdays I have this week.
The other is this guy...

My first born... that you know as Boo.

June is a very full month for us!
We have four birthdays and a wedding.
The wedding is the man's oldest son's... which falls on Boo's birthday.
That will be easy for me to remember.

In fact, Thursday we have the rehearsal diner,
then the wedding on Friday evening.

Weddings are okay... I'm not a huge fan of them.
Some people really get into going to them.
They are nice family events that are full of hope and joy.

But I would rather celebrate birthdays!
Its good to have one day a year where you celebrate
that one special person.
Which everyone deserves!

So here are the reasons that I celebrate each of my birthdays
here today.

Mom is my MIL.
But unlike some MILs, she's also a dear friend.
We met through the man, true enough,
but we began talking on the computer everyday before I went to work or after.
This is before the man and I decided to be a committed couple.
Even if, heaven forbid, the man and I would not have gotten to that point, I know that we still would have remained friends.
We can talk about anything.
She has a great sense of humor and a lot of varied interests that I share.
We're both pretty crazy about the man.
As you know, its not always easy to break into a new family.
Mom and Ron both have accepted me into theirs.
It is a comfortable feeling.
A good fit!

Ron was a teacher and so knows the ins and outs of life with students.
That was a great connection for me.
When you work in a school, you live in that community
even after regular work hours... with all the functions involved.
When you move around in the world outside, you tend to see things and think of how that could be applied to teaching
or of interest to your students.
Its automatic.
Its nice to have someone around with other school tales and who has an idea about the school life.
he puts up with me flicking him crap!

As for Boo...
This was my "training child"...
the one where I had no manual and still had to figure out what to do with the kid... and not break him in the process.
Fortunately, he was the best baby on earth...
when I had his sister,
I could not believe how difficult she was in comparison.
Boo is bright, funny and very compassionate.
As a child he often ended up in center stage.
He was picked from the audience by THE Yo-Yo man himself,
Tommy Smothers
to come up on stage and learn a yo-yo trick at the state fair.
While in school, there was a traveling troop of professional actors who came every other year to put on plays with students.
Every single time they came to our school during the years that Boo was enrolled, he was picked for the lead role.
The actors were different each time and had no clue that he had done this before.
Boo was like that...
a very attractive child, with an open personality that did not quit.
He tried everything and feared nothing.
A natural.
Gee... can you tell I'm his mom?

Happy Birthday my June people!
You are all very much loved and appreciated.
Here's to many, many more!

Monday, June 20, 2011


This was the man's birthday last year.
It was quite a family and friend celebration!
I was still new then.

This year, I didn't manage to get photos of the event.
Dead camera battery.

Not a big party, which kind of surprised me.
I thought that maybe since it was Father's Day too that his kids might want to plan something.
But you know how adult kids that are are... 20s and 30s.
They have families of their own, jobs and big plans.
Jr. is going to marry this Friday... I've no doubt that they are busy!
Mom and Ron are off on a long trip to visit family and not available.

A week ago T (the man's best friend)
asked what the man's kids had planned for the day.
"Nothing that I know of..."
He said
"Okay, we're having Father's Day barbecue... you're coming over and we'll do birthday cake too."

Very cool beans!

We always enjoy going to T's house.

I let the man sleep in as late as he wanted and quietly left him biscuits and gravy to eat in bed.

Early in the day, the man's youngest son showed up with a piece of German Chocolate cake for his dad and to visit for a little bit.
That was sweet!
I didn't tell him that I had a big German Chocolate cake already.

Mom and Ron called from where they were on the road.
The man's sister, D, called as well... as she always remembers to do.
My kids sent well wishes via text... we are a texting bunch!

Then it was time to leave for the barbecue!
This time there was an absence of the man's family.
Generally they show up there when there's a Duck party or whatever.
I half expected them to show up, not knowing if T had invited them or not.
But basically, we were crashing T's family Father's Day celebration.
So it was T's mom and step dad, sister and husband, brother J and T's family.

The food was so tasty... and I ate too much of course.
All in all a wonderful afternoon filled with a lot of laughter and good company.

Jr and his fiancee, B showed up at T's briefly to drop off a card
and say happy regards, but couldn't stay long.
They are not only getting married on Friday, but are packing their house to move when they return from their honeymoon in Hawaii.

R, his daughter put in a call on toward evening, so eventually all the kids had checked in to wish their dad well.
That made the man happy.
We made a stop by her house on the way home to drop off part of the cake
for them to enjoy too.
I got to wave at little N through the window.
She is such a cutie pie!

Home again, our evening was quiet.
The man had to be up early for work.
We didn't bother with a diner after such a huge afternoon meal.
We watched some TV and I had ice cream, he had cake.
That was about it.

Not a giant celebration.
But a mellow day and evening.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day all you Dads!

"Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life."
~Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

I think that about sums up what a father's role is in the world pretty darned well.

When I began researching for this post, I had no idea what I wanted to say.
I've told so many of my stories here about growing up---
I can't remember what I have or haven't told.

I thought I would list some of the valuable things my father taught me.

Cricket can explain the meaning of "value" to you here:
Believe me, understanding value is more complex than you assume.

Valuable things my father taught me:

* Fair is not a condition of life...
its a place you go to, to have fun.

* Do not put your bare leg against the motorcycle exhaust pipe.
(Painfully, I failed to listen.)

* If I did not do what my mother said, he would make me regret it.

* Think about what you read, don't just say the words in your head.

* The truth sometimes depends on who is telling it.

* If you don't turn down the stereo the first time I tell you...
it will disappear.

* There is only one thing teenage boys really want...
is to drive your vintage sports car ...
do NOT let them!

* If you call for a ride home be prepared to wait until I finish my beer.

* If you ever get pregnant before marriage, there will be no abortion...
you will have the baby, and spend the rest of your life raising it,
spend all of your money on it and countless hours worrying about it.
(That one scared the crap out of me!)

* Family are the people who love you even when you screw up.

* You can only spend as much money as you take with you,
so only take what you can afford to spend.

* Never drink Cognac as a quick shot...
your head will explode.

* If the bathroom door is closed... knock!

* "If I had to choose between saving you or saving your mother...
I'd save your mom. I can always have more kids...
However, if I didn't save you, your mom would kill me.
It's one of those questions where there is no good answer."

That's pretty much the wisdom of my dad in a nutshell.
Smart and often smart-assed.

He has delighted me, pissed me off, protected me, made me laugh,taught me and always loved me no matter how angry I made him...
and believe me, I did test that.
He has made my life interesting and still does
Here's to my dad...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Boy do I miss this little gardener!

Yesterday was my first day home alone now that the
man has gone back to work.

A man rang the doorbell.
It took me some time to get there as I was on the patio out back.
By the time I got to the door, I could see he was
about to throw his leg over his bike to leave.
I called hello.
He was in his mid twenties,
riding a black bike that had seen better days.
Plain jeans, Duck tee shirt.
Clearly not selling anything and no one I knew.

He motioned in the direction of my back yard gate.
"Hi. I've seen that old car sitting there..."

Old car?
That's no old car!
"That's my clown car!"
(He looked surprised by that statement, but chose to ignore it.)
This was the second time this week that someone had assumed that my clown car was not running and unwanted.

"I'm looking for a car to fix up and buy, you know for a family car..."

I laughed.

"Actually, it runs and I use it."

"Really? Okay. Sorry to bother you."
He looked at it unsure if I was telling the truth.
"Thanks anyway."
He mounted his bike and waved as he pedaled off.

I walked out and looked at my car.
Honestly, I am puzzled.
Yes, it could use a bath.
Otherwise it's still green all over with relatively little damage beyond one scratch, a small dent and a cracked windshield.
What about it said unwanted and unused?

Maybe its the windshield thing.
Up where I used to live cracked windshields are common.
There is a great deal of ice and snow in the winters
in Dumb Potter's Hell.
Even once the snow is gone, the little rocks they use to make the roads safe remain.
Trucks fly past and toss them at your windshield.
The one time I replaced it... in August...
I was hit by a rock two days after I got X to install it!
That was the summer of 2009.
It took it a long time to go from nick to crack... and by then it had more nicks that aspired to be cracks.
My how those little nicks have grown!

I suppose I should have replaced it again.
(My insurance does not cover windshield nicks.)
But once I decided to move here,
we knew that we wanted to use it for a trade in.
The windshield was unlikely to be much of a money factor.

I peeked into its windows.
It does look rather abandoned when you do that.
There was my smock and lunch bag from my last day at work in January.
The seat cover on one side is half pulled off.
The blanket that I like to keep across the back seat
was bunched in a wad.
My "car book"... in case I'm stuck somewhere,
looked like it was crawling for cover under the driver's seat.
Lots of dust.
A vacuum would do wonders.

I guess it has been a while since I last drove it.
I think it time to give it a make-over.
I've got the tools...
Armor-All, Windex, shop-vac and the washing machine.
Maybe people will stop asking me if I want to sell it.

Poor clown car.
I owe it that much.
I bought it for a thousand bucks going on four years ago.
I've only had to replace the clutch and windshield.
The engine has just kept chugging.
Yep... the least I can do.
Besides, I don't want to have to wait and do it the
day before I start work again and
have a billion other things to get done before I get busy on it.

Its supposed to get warm today and the sun is supposed to shine.
I'm still waiting for that but its only 9:30.
That's my afternoon project.
Until then, its house work and job hunting.
I need to water plants.
Maybe I'll even wax it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


What a perfect day!

Yesterday I was busy farting around in my outdoor office, just enjoying the fresh air and dog's company. The man was busy doing his usual morning stuff.
I knew we had errands to run, so I was not surprised at all when
the man began locking doors and shutting the house up ready to get going.
I simply closed the office and followed him out.

It is the man's usual habit to drive and not mention where we are going.
Its sort of a game for me.
If I ask, he tells me "Following the front bumper."
Therefor, it has become my habit to simply sit and enjoy the ride while I try and figure it out.
I like puzzles and brain games.
This is actually a challenge for me, since one of my other habits is getting lost.

I was not concerned when we pulled into a near by mall.
We pay our cable bill there and that's where the new Cabela's
recently popped into being.
We are frequent visitors to the mall, despite the fact that we rarely buy anything.

The man passed our usual parking area, but ok.
When he pulled into a spot by The Roadhouse Grill, I thought "Ah ha!"
We had gotten a gift card there for our wedding.
We went inside and got seated.

Now the man is one of the ut-most laid-back people that I have ever encountered!
He takes delays and whatever set-backs come up with true grace.
I tend to get excited over these things.
We managed to get the only non-hard-working waitress in the place!
I don't know what she was doing with her time, but it wasn't waiting on her tables.
She kept vanishing into thin air.

But I was with the laid-back man and it was a nice surprise, so I was
un-normally ok with the whole thing.
I like shucking the peanuts and tossing the shells on the floor.
A mistake since it took our waitress forever to bring us our sodas!
Still, I was not going to complain.

Then an unusual thing began to happen.
The laid-back man began to check his watch repeatedly.
This simply does not happen with this man!
How curious!
Eventually our food came and the man ate a bit and went looking for doggie containers.
Normally he would quietly wait for these.
Curious and curiouser!

We paid and walked an unusual double pace to the truck and
immediately drove a short distance to another space and parked.
This also was out of our usual parking area in the mall lot.
Out of the truck, we walked just as fast into the mall.
I thought, well, he wants to beat the rush where we pay our cable bill.
I hurried along and became even more curious when he turned into a different wing.
I could see that we were walking toward the theater.
Now the man has said more than once that the only time he likes to go to the theater is when its super hot and there is no air conditioner... because he can sleep while whoever watches the movie.
Clearly not a regular movie go-er!

We were in line before I got it.
Lost in a long list of movies on the header...

Understand this about me...
as a kid, I was not just a comic book fan.
I was an obsessed Thor fan.
We're talking about being at the pharmacy every week when the comic book guy would show up with the new comics.
When our parents took us on vacation I would nearly die over not being there to get my newest Thor comic when it came in.
There has never been a superhero like Thor!

As comic book movies go, I really liked it.
Hey, it had Thor!
How could that possibly go wrong.
It could not and did not.
It was also a nice clean movie fit for children.
Yes, there was battle.
That's what Thor does!
But it was not gore riddled.
It even had a positive message to it.
No sex or sexual suggestion to explain to little people.
There was hand kissing and one good smacker!
It left us open to a sequel.

Then back to the truck and following the bumper... this time I caught on quickly.
We were off to the Emerald City to get our certified copy of
our squeaky marriage certificate.
I can't change my ID, SS# or get my car title changed and my tags without it.
It wasn't ready yet.
Bummer deal!
But hey, two out of three is still a good day!

Back to following the front bumper.
I was in a great mood just enjoying the fact that I understood that I was utterly lost... again.
We seemed to be circling inside an industrial area.
The man fooled me when he turned into a parking lot where I knew he had applied for a job. I thought, oh... he's going to check in with them.
However, we were only turning around.
When he did stop, he pointed to a big brown building
and said he wanted me to remember it.

I thought... ah ha! There is a story attached to this place.
I bit!
I asked why.
The man said "Well that's where I'll be all day starting on Monday."
It took a few heartbeats to get into my head.
The man found a job!

Now I ask you...
does a day get any better than that?

Later, when I thanked the man for a wonderful day of surprises, he smiled.
"The only thing that bothers me about it is...
what the heck can I come up with to top it?Now you're going to expect something better."

I laughed.
"Oh, I don't know, but you'll think of something...
Maybe you better start thinking now."

He laughed back and shook his head.
"Silly Rabbit!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Warning! Blogger is being a deevil today and doing
deevilish things to my blog.
You may have to scroll way down to finish reading this!

What a beautiful day!
Spring has finally sprung in Oregon.
Its a perfect day for walking in the hills or fishing...
or visiting with the chicken next door.
I'd love to have a chicken, but Roxy would not.
I couldn't do that to a chicken.

Yesterday I had an interview.
I think it went well enough. I didn't sense the feeling that I'd never hear from them again, like I sometimes d
It lasted all of about 5 minutes... which doesn't sou
nd good.
However, the guy was nice and asked good questions...
as in questions that I think I fielded well.
I'd already had a phone interview, a meeting to learn about the company policies, its history and watched a lovely video.
What else was there left to cover in an int
I imagine they just wanted to sneak a peak and see what my personality was like more than anything.

I left the interview happy.
I think my last words to the interviewer
"Thank you for the opportunity. Now I think I'm goi
ng to go and buy a plant."
Out of context, it sounds kind of lame.

I did too... buy the plant that is.
When I returned home, this is what I found...

No, its not new. On the contrary, its a dated instrument.
But what it is, is an outdoor office that Randy set up to surprise me.
Last year when I moved down, I set Hal, my computer, up out on the patio. I have a thing about being outside.
However, cold weather drove Hal and myself insi
I set up shop in Randy's office.

We were playing 10,000 (a dice game) the other evening and I mentioned that I missed having Hal on the patio
but it is such a hassle to move Hal with all his various parts,
and promptly forgot the idea with the next
roll of the dice.

What a thoughtful and lovely surprise!
What a sweetheart!

So here I sit... on this beautiful day
radio in the background...
with the sun shining and the wonderful s
mell of 'toonies
and pansies wafting in the air.
The type of day where all things are availab
le and possible.

Obviously I have nothing of importance to talk about...
but some days that's kind of nice t

Here's a few oddball thoughts:

Delta Air is in the poo can... they have been charging returning soldiers $200 a bag over the 3 bag limit to get themselves and their things home from service in the middle east.
I found this sign on a wall in a little strip mall i
n the Emerald City.

Do you suppose there is a secret society of dogs who
post these signs so that other dogs know where to find
cats to chase?

This is what the pig bull thinks of Hot Mamas sausages...

Who knew that dogs can blow raspberries?
Okay, that's enough nonsense for the day.
I hope it gave you a smile.
Today is too beautiful for any other expression.
I'm going to go enjoy the gifts such a day brings.
Big grins everybody!

Monday, June 6, 2011


The yard supervisor.

We've needed to replace a section of our fence for a while.
The neighbor's son ran into it when he was trying to learn how to drive.
Its never been the same.
Then a wind storm made it worse.

We went almost immediately to get the supplies needed.
Then the weather and availability of workers clashed
and the fence was put off until after the wedding.

So last Thursday we decided that with good weather on the way,
it was time to get it done.
Early Saturday morning the neighbor's older two sons and their dad
showed up to tear the old fence down.

The supervisor in the photo at the top of this page (Roxy) was furious.
How dare anyone take her ratty old boards away!
She barked so much and was so upset that she was banned to the house.
You wouldn't think that was much of a punishment,
but to Roxy, being banned from others is the worst thing ever.


She sulked. She grumbled. She continued to be upset.

All day.

The next day, after the posts had time for their concrete to set up properly,
the crew began the work of putting the new boards up.

We allowed the supervisor to come into the yard...
providing she could control her ah..."comments".
Unfortunately, we had to use a long tie-out to keep her in the yard.
Roxy has never been tied out.
She supervised with great intensity
and a degree of irratation.

Eventually it was finished.

The supervisor grabbed her duck and raced all over her yard.

She said it was perfect...

and demanded that we throw the duck again.

Now everybody happy!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Now that the weather is agreeable and the yard is in order
except for maintaining it,
we are ready to do most of our living on the patio.
Recently while playing a game of 10,000 on the patio at night,
the issue came up of kee
ping the light on.
We have a motion sensor light that is nice and bright.
But it seems we don't move enough for it to stay on.

We have another porch light out there too, but
when Randy tried to put a new bulb in it,

we discovered that the old bulb must have been too much wattage.
The bulb had fused with the plastic "glass" in the carriage style shade.
The pane was warped and the bulb seating was s
in the screw in thingie.

So off we set on a trek to the Emerald City
to this place...

Where you can find everything people discard...

including the kitchen sinks!

We rooted around for light fixtures and found tons of indoor fixtures
but no outdoor ones.
Its like that at "planet improvement centers".
Its sort of hit and miss.

Speaking of hits... this LP record siding was a hoot!

I also liked their creative method of decorating a plain concrete block wall.
But the garden at the top was my favorite area.
Used plants and the tuba made me smile.
Here's a bit more of the garden...

I've always liked that saw about one man's trash
is another man's treasure.
Here's the proof!

We never found a fixture that we liked. We'll go back again another day.
Places like this get my creativity perking.
I'd recently gotten an itch to make a mosaic for the back yard.
I saw lots of things that I could work into it here.
But things at Bring are not always cheap.
There is a cost to improving the world.

And T told me of a place in the Emerald City where artists
have gathered all sorts of stuff to use to make, well anything you want to make...sculptures, mosaics, wall art, garden art...
whatever your imagination sets flying!

Its open to everyone and a favorite place for teachers to take classes.
You can leave the mess there!
Or take supplies.
My understanding is that this is free
and as we all know, free is a great price!
I'm going to get directions and check it out.
I'll let you know what I find...
but if nothing else, its an adventure!

Tell us about your recent adventures.
Do you like to explore new places?
Get physical?
Exercise your creativity?
What the heck are you up to these days?