Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm such a nerd!

Really, if you've read this blog for any amount of time, you'll agree with me completely!!!

(It's OK to agree. I'm the first to admit my nerdiness!)

I did actually get up when my alarm went off this morning...if you can believe it.

OK, you got me....I set it to go off 15 minutes earlier, so I could continue on with my current "hit the snooze 17 times" trend.

But, however it happened, I got up when I should have today! I was able to take a shower, sit on my closet floor and stare at my clothes until an option jumped off the hanger at me, then help get the trash out for garbage day.

Mot had taken quite a bit of it out already, so I got the stuff from upstairs and from the basement. As I was taking the recycling container out to the curb, I noticed no one else on the block had theirs out yet.

I still have yet to figure out our trash pick-up schedule, after over a year and a half of living here. The holidays completely mess it up....and I've never seen a holiday schedule printed anywhere.

Because picking up stray recyclables scattered around my yard by the wind was the last thing I wanted to do tonight, I put them back in the garage. If the garbage people DO pick up today, at least the actual garbage will be taken. The recyclables can wait a week without creating a 'funk' in the garage.

I go back into the house, and just stand in the kitchen looking at the clock. Wow!! I'm really running ahead of schedule (read - I'm not dashing around like a crazy person because I'm really, really late!) what do I do??

Well.....since this week is a complete 'watch what I eat failure' (due to the holiday tomorrow), I'll use this extra time by treating myself to Burger King for breakfast!!!

(I know, there's no rationalization to this idea, but it made sense this morning!)

As I'm driving down my street....I notice garbage cans out on the curb. seems my neighbors are slow, or out of town.....because the rest of the neighborhood still seems to think they'll be trash service.

So, I turn around and drive back home to put the recyclables out. (you see, I'm a nerd, told ya!!!)

I was still able to get breakfast and drive to work....and arrive early. There is no traffic....I could get used to this!!!!! :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

What to do, what to do??

My sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year.

Pro: I don't have to rush around and get my house super special "oh my god, people are coming" cleaned.

Con: Non home cooked Thanksgiving food. Yes, she has the grocery store catering department make it for her.

Pro: The food isn't horrible.

Con: The food isn't wonderful.

Pro: Family getting together on the holidays, shouldn't matter what we's about being together and being thankful.

Con: I have to spend it with her in laws!!! They aren't even my in laws, and I have to deal with them!! We can never have a holiday or celebration at her house, without them. She specifically said it was going to be an our side of the family only event this year.....and I find out yesterday that they are coming.

Maybe I can contract the Ebola virus between now and then?

Maybe someone can send me a letter with a strange powdery I can spend the holiday in some sort of quarantine chamber?

Maybe the FBI will come and take me away....because I have now googled Ebola and anthrax from my work computer for the benefit of this blog entry? :-) :-)

Men and cleaning

Mot finally had to go back to work on Saturday. He'd been off work since the 29th of October. It's nice having him home....but it's also nice for him to go back, so I can have a little time to myself in the house. It's not like there are things I can't do when he's there.....that's not it at all.

Well, I take that back...there is one thing I can't do when he's there.....clean and organize. Oh, he doesn't get in my way when he's home, that's not it. And, if I ask him to help clean, he will...that's not it either.

I mean, he'll help...but it's "man cleaning."

Ladies (and men) out there, you know what I mean!! There may as well be a starting gun involved....because the minute the cleaning's off to the races!!!!!!

Guys - if you're doing some sort of construction project around the house. You all know how fixing one issue, usually uncovers another issue that needs addressed. Cleaning is the same way.

For example.....the kitchen needs cleaned. OK.....dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, and counters are wiped off. Occasionally a broom comes out. Right?

NO!!!! Look at the sink....where all those dirty dishes were. There is now a "land of disgustingness" that was uncovered when you took those dishes out. The food in the drain trap.....yeah, that's going to smell like hell in a couple of days. And it will be YOUR 'super sniffer' that walks into the house one day in the future and says "what's that smell?" And then you're going to wonder why I will snap and snarl at your for asking. This is why!!!! You could have prevented the whole thing by doing more than the minimum expected. :-)

Or another example. As you're putting dishes away, you close a cupboard door, and notice the front of the door has a smear of something on it. (Where do these smears come from, anyway??) wipe off that cupboard door (if we're lucky - because it's not on the house cleaning list for the day).

Now stop.....did you not notice that there were other doors affected? Maybe you'll have to take a couple of minutes to wipe them down. It's soooo much easier to do it every once and while...instead of waiting until the week of a holiday, when guests will be there. that time, removing those smears will require power tools. And you'll be grouchy because you have to help...and it will take forever.

When that happens next time (and you know it will), do me a favor and think back to when you saw a smear the first time, and didn't do anything about it. :-)

Doing the laundry. The only time we're in the laundry room, is to DO the laundry. That room needs cleaned sometimes as well. Look around. Does the floor need swept? Does the rug on the floor need washed? Is there a smear of liquid laundry soap running down the side of the washer?

When cleaning the litter's handy if you also sweep around the litter box. Anyone who owns a cat knows that they don't keep all the litter neatly in the box. They'll fling it around...the have it in their paws and leave it on the floor by the litter's just the way it is. And, when you have a house of barefoot people (as we are always barefoot), sweeping that up is helpful to the enjoyment of BEING ABLE to walk around barefooted.

Our house is normally very picked up....but we don't spend a ton of time cleaning. We're not home that much...and we don't have kids, so we can afford the luxury of less scrubbing. But, when we DO set out to give it a good scrub, it needs to be done right. Then we don't have to do it again for a while. You can make a list of things that you know need done...but there are others to be discovered along the way.

In our house, once the list is done, Mot bugs out. I am left to do the things that were uncovered along the way. When he sees I'm still cleaning, he gets all nervous. "The list is done, what's she doing?" When he asks what I'm doing...I tell him. And he replies "It's not on the list".....well, NO IT ISN'T. But think about it.....I'd spend all day writing the list, if I had to list it all.

Maybe I should start putting it in WoW terms??? Honey, you can go to fight a boss, and have a general idea of what that you need to do to kill him....but the step by step "this is EVERYTHING you have to do" is not listed in those books. Some things you have to figure out and do along the way. You have to acknowledge what needs done, without someone telling you.

I've found it best to give Mot lists of things to do. In fact, he asks for list. As I said before, he helps around the house....allot. I'm very lucky that way! A person off the street may look at these lists, and think "wow, he's doing everything, what's she doing?"

An example of a list for Mot
1) dishes
2) sweep
3) clean bathroom

What it means for him
1) put dishes (that fit) in the dishwasher, leave the others and say "I'll wash these later"
2) sweep the open, easy to access places around the house
3) wipe down the toilet and sink, and sweep (see #2 for sweeping parameters)

What it means for me
1) clean the sink, the drain trap, wipe off the counters, clean the table, wipe down the wall next to the stove, wash those dishes that he'll wash later (but in reality stay in the sink for over a week and produce another smell he has to ask about (Mot, if you don't agree with this...just think "meatloaf pan", I rest my case!!!!), and last, but not least, leave a note for him to clean the stove off
2) take a broom around the house, to pull out the tumbleweeds of cat hair and dust bunnies from the places the dust mop won't reach, shake out any rugs....and then dust (his dusting is to bad, I don't even put it on the list anymore - but I think he's dusts like crap, because he hates doing it, and knows I'll do it, if he does a bad job)
3) clean off the faucets, sweep behind things, clean the side of the toilet (you know, down by the floor on the side), wipe down the gook from the baseboards (what's with that?), toss the towels and bath mat in the laundry, and scrub the floor

It's just so much easier to give the house a good cleaning when he isn't home. I can spread it out over the whole day. (do a load of laundry, clean the kitchen while it's washing, then put it in the a movie or a recorded tv show.....then fold that laundry, put the next load in the dryer, clean the some tv, and dust on the commercial breaks......etc, etc)

This is the time when linen closets get cleaned out and reorganized. These are the days I pick up all the hunting gear and put it on the shelves specifically FOR the hunting stuff in the basement. This is when I finally clean out that kitchen cupboard and get rid of a ton of stuff we never we don't have to battle every time we put dishes away or are looking for something.

These are the days I iron those new curtains, because no matter how long you let them hang, the wrinkles they get from being in a package NEVER go away. Believe me, I've tried. In fact, the curtains I took down, to replace with the new ones this week......well, I put those up nearly 2 years ago, and the packaging wrinkles were still there. :-) :-)

Please realize that I understand not all women have the cleaning gene....and not all men need to have their hands held. This post is full of generalizations based upon my house....and other houses I know. There are always exceptions to the rule!! :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No matter what I do....'s going to piss someone off. I've come to learn this, and actually expect it. It's a given....even if you're in the right....people find a way to twist it, so that you feel as though you're the one who's being outrageous...the one being a bitch.

I'd like to be able to say "I give up, I don't care anymore".....but I just can't do it.

I do care what people think of me. I mean, I don't care if they think my house isn't worth enough, or my clothes aren't the most expensive, or that I weigh more than I should....but I do care that people think I'm a good person.

Isn't standing up for yourself....and not allowing people to disrespect you (or those you care about)....something you should do though? Being a good person doesn't mean you have to be a shrinking flower, doesn't mean you have to stand back and take it, does it?

I try to speak to the offenders themselves, face to face.....but sometimes I don't. When I don't, it's usually to keep life from becoming unbearable for someone else I love. I have a blog, so I can vent about things.....especially to vent about those times I wasn't able to speak up, when I really wanted to.

But I also know that the world has a way of making things happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. It's as if there's no hiding, no matter what you do.

I actually think it's better that way....but darn if it doesn't make life hard.

I have a magnet on my fridge....its says "Life is too important to be taken seriously." I try to live by that. My husband....he can, and does, do it. No matter how hard I try to hide the fact I've had a crappy day...he's there immediately....with a joke, a smile, a hug. He tries to make sure that I don't take life too seriously. When it seems like there is no escape.

He loves me completely, truly and thoroughly. What more in life can a person want or need? Happiness and Love.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just not quite right....

Omaha's final Linens and Things store is closing it's doors. Robin and I found out on Wednesday, and thought we'd head over to see what kind of deals we could find.

I bought two throw pillows and a cover for the futon in our den. (ok, cover is a fancy term for fitted sheet - I admit it!!)

The futon mattress is brown, brown and....well....brown. It's still in really good shape, but ugly...and doesn't fit the colors in that room at all. The walls are kind of peach-ish..while the bookshelves and molding (base boards, etc) are white. So...brown, brown, brown just isn't doing it for me.

As we're walking around LnT, I see these really cool pillows...from there I picked up a fitted sheet and called it good. It's the den, the office, the World of Warcraft need to spend a million dollars, but something HAD to be done!!!!!!

(camera phone pic - pardon the blurriness)

(And....don't say it, the sheet needs taken off and ironed...I know. I just haven't had time, or the motivation yet!)

I also purchsed a new broom for the basement (the one we have is upstairs when we need it downstairs...and downstairs when we need it's annoying!).....and a welcome mat for the front porch (Halloween themed!). Aren't clearance sales fun? Kinda like garage sales, you just never know what you're going to come away with!

I'm not a furniture re-arranger, like some of my friends (Robin). :-) But I am a decorating re-arranger. Our bedroom is painted a greyish brownish color. The comforter and curtains are navy blue. We call it the 'womb room'.....Mot works 24 hour days at the fire department, so we needed a dark room conducive to daytime sleeping.

I've been wanting to change the color from navy blue to red for quite some time now. I found some light blocking curtains in a red....but didn't buy them. I didn't buy them for many reasons....#1 everyone is going red on their bedrooms it seems, I hate being one of the masses #2 because everyone is going red, you can't find it - so I couldn't find a comforter to match #3 we have 2 light haired cats....'nuff said.

Thursday at lunch, I had a major blow up with my boss, and needed to get the heck out of Dodge. Where did I go? LnT of course!

Good thing I didn't buy those curtains...they were actually too short! 63 inches, and I need 84 inches.

But, I did find curtains (the right length) AND a duvet for our current comforter in a Butterscotch color.

When I got home, Mot helped me hang the curtains and put the duvet on the comforter.

You know what?? This color isn't doing it for me, at all!!! Ugh!

When I woke up this morning, I figured out the issue. The walls are a color from the "cool" side of the color wheel, whereas the curtains and duvet belong on the "warm" side.

(My elementary art teacher would be so proud! It's the same reason I can't wear skin tone doesn't do well with warm tones.)

But, I think I can fix this!!!!

(again, I know that I need to iron these's that same lack of motivation)

Here's the plan....I'll get one single curtain, to hang between the two butterscotch that matches the walls. And I'll also get accent pillows for the bed (I know, me - accent pillows?) to match the walls. Thus - drawing the two conflicting colors together!!!! :-)

Is this a good plan or what?

So, with that plan in mind, I went back to LnT for lunch today. Robin insisted we go. (hehe)

(by the way, if you're keeping score, this is the third day in a row I've been there over lunch - I'm surprised they all don't yell my name when I enter the store, as they did when Norm entered the bar in Cheers)

I found some greyish pillows and some curtains to match them quite nicely.....but after some thought, I just bought the pillows. If they work with the walls, I'll go back and get the curtains...if not, I can always use them in the guest bedroom...or something!

The biggest bummer about the whole thing? I bought an oil painting when I was in South Korea a few years ago. It's got different shades of greys. TOTALLY doesn't work in the room now. I'm hoping that bringing in these grey accent colors, it will help. If not....I'll have to figure out something different.

The artwork will be decided later, something will call out to me. Maybe once I get those pillow and curtains with the grey, it won't need changed?

Continuing with the trend....

What trend you ask?

The "please, I know things could be better here at work, but smile for crying out loud.....sit back and try to relax...there's nothing we can do about it!!!" trend.

Mel and I were chatting online about this and that, and it came out that she was watching Looney Tunes.

(I didn't know if was a Christmas gift though, that just makes it even cooler!)

Because I love Looney Tunes, I had to get on YouTube while we were chatting. These are a couple of my favorites.....

1) What's Opera, Doc?
2) Rabbit of Seville


Thursday, November 20, 2008

5 Year Olds.....


When in Rome....

My post yesterday about Bobby McFerrin.....I sat in bed last night wondering why the heck I wrote a post about him. I mean, I think I actually had a real post in mind when I logged on, and then went off on one of my tangents.

Work is a very depressing place right now. They're laying people off....and the rest of us have now entered the "no laughing, there are people loosing their jobs" domain.

It's the world of "why aren't you sitting at your desk working every single second of the, you can't go to the bathroom or take lunch....there are people losing their jobs!!!"

So, because I'm normally a look at the silver lining kind of person...the atmosphere here is suffocating my normally cheerful spirit.

(how many times CAN a person use the word normally in a sentence? I'm trying for a world record of some kind I think!) :-)

And when one is on the brink of going insane....what do they do??? They can either join in the mass hysteria....or they can try to find the happy and goofy things in life = hence, Bobby McFerrin yesterday.

Watch out folks!! You just never know what I'll dig up today. :-)

Let's we go!! Any oldie, but a goodie!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Are you sitting down? I want to admit something to the world...I really like that song. I know....but I can't help it. It's happy...and light...and silly!

It's ranks right up there with I Can See Clearly Now, Ma Nah Ma Nah, The Rainbow Connection (as sung by Kermit the Frog), and multiple assorted pop songs from the 80's.

I have a friend that would shoot me just for admitting I like this song. For some reason, she hates it. Or maybe it's just a general hatred of Bobby McFerrin??

(my sister in law told her daughters that she'd ground them if they played Free Bird on Guitar Hero - so the phenomena of threatening death or grounding for playing certain songs appears across the country)

He does some happy go lucky stuff, I admit that. But I once went and saw him in concert at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha....and I was blown away. Any person that can sing, and harmonize with themselves earns my respect as a musician.

The things he does to put a modern twist on classical music....well, it's just plain cool.

This one cracks me up...especially when they introduce him as Bobby Mc Perlin. :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Emotions, aren't they crazy?!?!

My aunt (my mother's youngest sister) passed away in April from cancer. She'd been fighting it for 3 years or better.

Her final passing was due, largely, to her doctor ignoring a mass he saw...and then not admitting it until it was too late. The story is very long (and emotional)...but it is what it is.

My uncle (her hubby) and I have a pretty close bond. It wasn't until I married Mot that we started hanging out with them more. But, since he's been in the family, I've always enjoyed his presence. He's know where you stand with him. He's trustworthy....he'll bend over backwards to help friends and family.

Our family is strange. (what family isn't? right?) But, I think the main reason for my bond with my uncle is that he feels as though he's an outsider in the family. And even though I AM part of the family, I feel like an outsider as well.

My family loves us both....but neither of us feel as though we fit in.

But anyway, back to my aunt. It's been 8 months since she passed away. My uncle handled it well, but took it really hard. He worshiped her, would do anything for her, and loved her endlessly.

I recently found out that he's dating someone. He called to talk to us about it, but I wasn't home. He called Mot and I, and my grandmother (my aunt's mom)...because "you guys hold the only opinions that matter to me...I don't care what anyone else thinks."

I've only talked to him once since I found out.....we went out with my uncle and new woman (I don't even know her name, ugh!) on Wednesday night. By the time I got there (had a quartet rehearsal first) he had been drinking and was feeling no pain. I keep waiting for him to call me...and I really hope he does. I want to tell him that I'm happy for him, and want him to be happy.

Maybe my actions that night spoke volumes and he doesn't need to call me. I did my best to not show how uncomfortable I was. But I also want to tell him the truth, and how it makes me uncomfortable. Not because I want him to stop...but because I know I won't be able to hide my uneasiness...and I want him to know he shouldn't do anything different. It's just me having to deal with life.

I wish him all the happiness in the world, he's a good guy and deserves it! He really does. And I'm happy that he's happy, I really am.


When my aunt passed, I didn't really grieve. That's me, so it's no surprise. I can explain and verbalize my emotions to a T. I have no problems speaking my mind, and telling people how I feel. But, my way of dealing with death, is to ignore it completely. It's almost as if I pretend those people who have left, have done just that...only left. Maybe on vacation, maybe moved?

I don't sit down and think "my aunt moved and I can't talk to her." It's not that easy. It's just a frame of mind. I just know that I can't talk to her anymore. I can't hear her laughing any longer. But I try to keep the sadness away.

So, even though I'm happy for my uncle...and realize that he's still a young guy, and can't live his whole life grieving.....I'm having a hard time with him dating. It's just weird.

He's been in the family forever, and when you say his name, you say my aunt's in the same sentence. That's just the way it is.

When I see him sitting close to this woman (who seems very nice, by the way) MAKES me grieve for my aunt. It FORCES me to admit to myself that she's gone.

I cried the day after we went out. It's like it makes it official, she's not there any more. Denial was much more fun.

I know, what a downer post, right???? I apologize.

Where's the fire?

Or in this case, where's the crash??

My drive to work takes 15 minutes on a busy morning. It's all interstate, and a tiny smidge of city streets.

It took me 45 minutes today!!!

Why, you ask?

Heck if I know, I answer!

About 5 minutes into my trip (1/3 of the way there), all three lanes of traffic come to a screeching halt. And for 30 minutes, we inch (and I mean INCH) along the road. I drive a manual transmission car. Love it! But, after 10 minutes, I was beginning to rethink my love!

3 inch heels and a clutch to not get along in the real world, especially when forced to stop and start 40 million times in one morning. :-)

At that 30 minute mark, I drive under an Amber Alert sign.

You know, those electronic signs over the roads, that give out helpful tips on your drive "Caution, roads may be icy"....."Amber Alert, looking for a 2003 Ford Focus, License Plate blah, blah, blah".

Today it says "Crash ahead. Left 2 lanes closed, merge right"

Crash ahead? Why does this statement catch me off guard? I mean, it's simple and to the point. I usually respect simple and to the point. But the word crash seems a little unprofessional in the world of road signs...doesn't it??? Or am I crazy??

I drove along in those 2 right lanes for 5 minutes (after the doom and gloom sign)...and saw nothing. Not one little thing! No wreckage, no broken glass, no bumpers or bits and pieces of cars....nothing!!!!!

In fact, the only thing I DID see, were people noticing the absence of carnage as well. They were beginning to drive in those 2 left hand lanes, where the imaginary 'crash' had occurred.

Maybe that's it? The aftermath had already been cleaned up, and they just hadn't changed their sign? Or better yet, maybe it hadn't happened yet, and they were just planning ahead??

Nuns probably score higher than I did on this...

bedroom toys
Powered By Favorite Sex Toys

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Missing: One Russian Church

MOSCOW - Wanted: One missing Russian church. Last seen in July. Reward for its return. Orthodox officials in a central Russian region say an abandoned church building that was to be put back into use has been stolen by local villagers.

Orthodox priest Vitaly of the Ivanovo-Voskresenskaya diocese said officials last saw the two-story Church of Resurrection intact in late July. Sometime in early October, however, people from the nearby village of Komarovo, northeast of Moscow, dismantled the building, he said.

Villagers apparently sold it to a local businessman, one ruble (about 4 cents) per brick, Vitaly said.

How did his head fit through the doorway?

In the middle of my already busy week at work, I was reminded that I had signed up for an Advanced Microsoft Excel class, and it was Thursday. Ugh!

I was actually looking forward to the class, but this was the worst week for it to happen!! There were three of us from work going, so I knew it was going to be fun. If the class was horrible, we could talk and laugh (or even leave early). If the class was good, then we'd all learn something...and I'd have someone to go to lunch with.

When we walked into the conference center room, I fought the urge to say, "No way! Forrest Whitaker is teaching our class!!"

I kid you not...this is the guy that taught our class. He looked EXACTLY like him. If the Excel thing never works out, he can get paid huge dollars to be his standin.

Right off the bat, I knew I wasn't going to like the guy. Why such a snap judgement, you ask?

Just as class is going to start, he says "sorry folks, I know this is rude, but my wife asked that I do something this morning, and I just remembered." Now, first off, picture Forrest saying it...their voices were even identical!!!!!

Then he gets out his cell phone, and makes a call....right there in front of us. I was wondering what kind of silly 'skit' this was. Then realized he was actually making a call. OK, that was fine, but he could take it out in the hall, yes?

He really made a production out of this call!!!

"Yes, this is {name redacted} calling to find out how I can obtain tickets to the Presidential Inauguration. You can reach me at {phone number redacted}. I look forward to hearing from you." There was more ego babble during the call...but I didn't have a chance to write it all down verbatum.

1) I did write his phone number down, out of habit, and just because I could
2) What a pompous prick!!! Are we supposed to be impressed???

While he was making his call, one of my coworkers noticed that the muzak in the room was still playing, and quite loudly. So, he (and another person in the room with the same idea) got up to see if they could turn it down. They weren't able to figure the system out, so my coworker left to find someone at the hotel to turn it off.

When Forrest got off the phone, he asked where the gentlemen who got up went....and looked at me. I told him he was checking on getting the music turned off for us. And Forrest says "this music?"...and turns off the speakers to his laptop.

I laughed, and said "yep, that must have been it." But Forrest didn't think it was so funny.

"Did he not like my music? Was it bugging him?" He didn't ask those question seriously...he asked them smuggly, pompously.....

When my co-worker returned....Forrest proceeded to make him feel like an idiot for trying to help out!

Strike 2

Then he starts the class. "My name is {redacted}, and I'd like to thank you for having me to Omaha. It's a little cold here, but I think I brought some hot air with me to warm things up. You'll love the winters, but the bugs are horrible."


As I scroll through my notes for the day (which consist of excel topics, and blog notes)...

Numerous times during the day, he calls himself an expert.

At one point he asks for someone to chose from the 4 options we were talking he could give us an example. A woman in front of us picks one of the 4 options....and he says "Variables? I hate variables. How about I give you an example of another option on the board. Will that be ok?"

The lady gave him this 'eat shit and die' look, and didn't say a word. :-)

I see that I wrote down his hourly rate. He designs Excel reports and macros for people....I mean, he IS an expert.

(cough, hack, gag)

He charged a particular client $2500 for 15 hours of work. That's what....roughly 167 bucks an hour?

He speaks very well, but says "pitcher" when talking about a "picture." Big pet peeve!

All in all, he really thinks allot of himself. I admire people with confidence in themselves....but when they tell you how confident and awesome they's ugly. :-(

That's's complete...I'm done...

Let my normal blogging life resume!! I'm finally caught up on reading the blogs I missed the last two weeks.

No more comments on your blogs a week after you post them. I'm no longer in the past. I have joined everyone else on the planet in the present!!!!

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 8 - Sat)

It's about time, right??? Nej finally gets around to telling people about her last day of the Portland vacation?

(crickets chirping)

OK, I know darned good and well that you are all as excited about reading my vacation posts as you would be if I invited you over to watch slides of my vacation. But, the original reason for starting this blog, was to put my vacation journals into the electronic world, so to speak.

On vacations with Mot, I (normally) carry a journal with me, and write in it each night before going to bed. This vacation was different though. As, I didn't consider it a true vacation, and didn't even take my journal along.

Why didn't I consider it a true vacation?? Because I didn't really get to help with picking the destination, the time of year, the accommodations, and what we were going to do. I don't get many of them, so vacations should be relaxing things. Hiking, kayaking, camping, enjoying nature and life without electronics, people, and stress.

So, when Saturday arrived, it was bitter-sweat. Vacation was almost over, and I had to go back to work in two days. I was actually looking forward to getting back to work, as it was more relaxing than this past week. I found I couldn't be myself this week...and it really frustrated me. There was no one keeping me from being myself, no, I was to blame for that!! I'm quiet and tense when around people I don't know. Raised by a very shy mother, the apple doesn't fall far from that tree, let me tell you!

I may know who Mot's brother and family are, but I don't know them. Not at all. And after another week with them, I still don't. Or maybe I do, and I just haven't figured it out yet?

But ANYWAY....back to my Saturday in Portland.

We woke up later again this morning. Which is funny, because waking up later there is like waking up REALLY late here. As our bodies still hadn't adjusted to the time change thing.

Mot went to jump in the shower, and came back about 2 minutes later. He couldn't find his shave kit (toiletry bag). We searched all over that room, and couldn't find it anywhere. It wasn't in a drawer in the bathroom either. (we didn't find it until we got seems he packed it, and forgot)

When we finally got downstairs, Mot's niece was up and around. I can't believe how grown up she's amazing really!! We only get to see her and Chris every 3 or 4 years it seems.

We had been told that after getting them Guitar Hero as a family xmas gift last year, Sarah was the one that really took to it and went hog wild. So it was fun getting to play a little with her and the twins.

Bill and Sharon made a really great breakfast for us all that morning...pancakes, apple flambe (sp?), and bacon. Actually, Chris made the bacon. It took him 30 minutes on the grill, cooking it slowly over a low heat. And I can honestly say, it was the best bacon I've ever eaten!!!

It wasn't much after our breakfast (brunch) that Mot and I had to say goodbye. Chris and his brother left a few minutes before we Chris had a soccer game to play in. Of everyone we had to say goodbye to, the twins were definitely the most upset we were leaving. They are awesome little girls!!! Very shy and standoffish to us at first...but once we all bonded, it was tough leaving!

From their house, we loaded our luggage, and headed to the airport. Mot was insistent we get there 2 hours early, and I just went along with it. 1) not worth the argument 2) if I argued and then we were late, I'd never hear the end of it! :-)

We ended up going to an airport restaurant near our gate to sit, relax, and order a bite to eat, before we got on the plane for the 4 hour journey. Yes, 4 hours! You see....when flying back from Portland to Omaha....United makes us change planes once. Which would be fine...if they didn't make us change planes in Chicago!!! Yes bloggers, get out your maps of the US....we literally fly OVER Omaha on our way to Chicago to change fly to Omaha!

They do it to us every time. In fact, when we booked our tickets this time, we made sure they WEREN'T going to do it...and then two weeks before we left, the airline called with itinerary changes. And they sent us to Chicago!!! How does this make sense?????

Anyway, our waitress was horrible. The place wasn't busy, and it took her forever to get to our table. We had to get our own menus from the little waitress station in the back. One fellow walked in after us, and asked her for a menu as she walked by. She said "They've over there" and pointed.

We finally were able to order and get our food, and about the time we had it all eaten, she brought Mot his drink. :-)

The flight from Portland to Chicago (ugh) was OK. There was an in-flight movie even. At about 2.5 hours into the trip (just as the in-flight movie ended), I had the worse claustrophobic attack. I am sooooo bad!!!

(which is funny, because I love spelunking...I'm also terrified of water, and love to kayak - I'm a weird one!!!)

Mot and the gentlemen in our row were very nice about helping me through it. We talked about all kinds of stuff. In fact, the guy we were sitting with actually made the trip interesting. He was fun to talk to, and very down to earth.

About an hour later the pilot came on the intercom, as usual, to tell us he was beginning the descent into Chicago, and we all needed to sit down and quit walking was going to be bumpy.

As we were getting closer to the airport, you could hear the landing gear go down...and he again came on the intercom to tell the flight attendants to "prepare for landing."

About 10 minutes later, the plane engines roared, and the pilot made the plane fly almost straight up. (OK, maybe not straight up...but the plane changed from going down, to going up....quite drastically!!!) UMMMMM.....OK, that was weird.

The landing gear went back up into the plane, and we kept going up.

Then we leveled off, and were just flying again.


The pilot comes onto the intercom "sorry folks, we missed the runway, we were coming in a little hot and are going to try it again."

WTF!! Don't they have instruments and flight towers, and stuff??? How do you miss a runway?

About 10 minutes later, we started the whole drill over again...landing gear down, plane starts to drop in altitude. Everyone on the plane fastens their seat belts a little tighter, while continuing on with their cover up the doubt we were having with our pilot.

He wasn't kidding about missing the runway...on the first attempt, we couldn't see the lights of Chicago....I thought it was because it was foggy or rainy. No, it was because we were still in the clouds....we wasn't kidding when he said he missed it! The second time around, we came down out of the clouds and could see the city. Ugh!

Then, when we're close to the ground, flying just above the runway to land...the left wing of the plane dips, and the right wing shoots up into the air. I can't believe there weren't scrapes on the left wing tip from that one. Lake effect wind shear....not so good when landing. It's always better to land with the plane parallel to the ground, not perpendicular!!!!!

In Chicago, we had approximately 2 seconds to grab a bag of chips and a candy bar from the little airport bookstore. We went from plane, to bookstore, to plane to Omaha as fast as we could walk. That little having the try landing twice thing really ate up the time between our flights!!!!

During our flight to Omaha, we found we were surrounded by UNL (University of NE @ Lincoln) art students. We also found out that the girl in the seat ahead of us spent the whole flight TO Chicago puking her brains out.

(side note - we also found out that airplane puke bags are made cheaply....the bottoms of them kept blowing out on her on their flight to Chicago....the girl sitting in our row was unfortunate enough to have been hit by the 'shrapnel' on that flight)

I sat in my seat thinking "please don't puke in front of me, please don't puke in front of me."

(luckily she took Dramamine before the return flight and slept the whole way to Omaha - thank goodness!)

Before taking off...the lights inside the plane would all go off...then come back on....then go off....etc. This happened 3 or 4 times. "God, get me out of Chicago!!!"

The ride back was fairly uneventful for the first half. The girl sitting in our row was funny, and we all talked about this and that. At one point, she wanted another can of ginger ale...but the flight attendants had already been around to serve drinks. She asked ours if he could bring her a can....and he said yes, "For a $.25 after service service-fee." When he came back with the can, she tried to give him a quarter, he laughed. Seems he was kidding and she fell for it.

And that is when the weirdness began. We couldn't get rid of the guy for the rest of the flight. It was like Hannibal Lector does United Airlines. He was one strange dude. Our UNL friend got up to let Mot get out of his seat....and when she stood up, the seat cushion came free. We were laughing about her floatation device coming loose. He came up behind her (more like snuck up behind her, none of us saw him - how to you sneak up on people on a plane?) and said "no, your seat cushion isn't your floatation device on this plane...this is...." He knelt down as close to her as he could, and literally pulled out the floatation device from under her seat.

Then, he asked where we were from....and someone said Nebraska. So he says "Nebraska huh? What is there to do there?" We all said nothing, hoping he'd leave. Nope!!! He didn't. He says "I'm from South Dakota." And pulls out his driver's license to show us.


Then I said "South Dakota, so what's there to do THERE?" ( I couldn't resist! ) The guy lives in a state bordering NE for crying out loud!!!

It was then that Mot returns and our UNL student asks Hannibal to take her empty ginger ale can. He says "For a $.10 garbage fee."

For crying out loud!

He stood there and hovered over us the entire rest of the flight. At one point, he actually sat on the floor in the aisle, like he was sitting with us. Talk about spooky!!!!

Robin and Aaric were waiting for us at the airport when we arrived. They took us home and helped us unload. We all sat in our living room and talked for a while...but everyone was tired, so they left.

HOME!!!!!! There was no better feeling than to finally be back in the safety and comfort of my own home!!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Calgon, take me away!!!!

Oh man, I can't stress how stupid things are here at work right now!!! It's 4:23 pm, Friday afternoon...and 5:00 can't come soon enough!!!!!

I'll be catching up on my reading and posting this weekend. Nothing planned, but a hockey game Saturday night. I can't wait!!!

I'm forgetting what my house looks like these days. :-) :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'd like to thank the academy.......

Well, maybe she's not technically the academy...but she writes a rockin' awesome blog! So that's close enough in my book. Me! from Escape from Dullsville has given me an award!!

I got an award!! Can you believe that? Little old me????

I'd like to say right now that I apologize for not posting the news sooner. You see, work has been horribly boring the past few months, and I've had all kinds of time to read blogs, find new blogs, and write on my own blog. We were in Portland last week, and when we got back....well, I didn't have to get caught up on my reading and writing as I had planned. No, just when the economy decides to take a big ole dump....I get busy. So, now I'm trying to catch up on my reading, and award accepting! I'm only 5 or 6 days behind...that's not too bad, right????

This is my life folks, messed up!!!!! :-)

So anyway.....thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, for the legalities of the award.
  1. Post the award on your blog
  2. Link to me for giving it to you
  3. Link the originating post here (not really sure about this one)
  4. Pass the award on to 5 more deserving people
  5. Post these rules for the recipients
Any my five winners are.....the envelope please......

Amoeba with a Blog
Lyvvie's Limelight
Average Girl in Average World this is where it gets hard. You see, Sass @ thelifeofsass was given the award (by Me!) at the same time I got I'd hate to burden her with having to give the award to another 5 people. But at the same time, I'd like to give her a little props for an awesome blog. :-)'s the hard part. I'm as shy as they come. I mean, introverted...."you call Pizza Hut to order the pizza, because telephones terrify me" shy!!! 2 year olds sitting on Santa's lap for the first time are more brave and daring than I am when it comes to talking to people I don't know.

So....I'm leaving the 5th slot open...for all of those blogs I read....but I feel like a dork telling them I've given them an award....when they don't know who I am.

Yeah, I'm silly, I know it, I admit it, and people love me anyway. What's with that?? :-)

So, anyway...thanks again Me! You rock chick!!! :-)

(the orchestra has now begun playing that music that says I must wind up the acceptance speech, and let the next presenters onto the stage)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 7 - Fri)

We got up and left the house on our own this morning. We both needed some alone time. In our regular lives, besides work and occasionally going out with friends, we're loners....home bodies...whatever you want to call it.

We tried to find a diner, or breakfast serving establishment (that wasn't fast food), but finally gave up. Burger King won....we had places to go, people to see. Well...places to go at least. :-)

It was then, that we realized we hadn't grabbed my DSLR for taking pics that day. So....we turned around and went back to the house. Mot ran in really quick and grabbed the camera, and came right back out. I knew that Bill was wanting to get some work done that morning, and Sharon had said something about needing to work I wanted to stay out of their they didn't feel obligated to do something with us.

We stopped by Gerber knives, but they didn't have a factory tour, or a company store. We called a couple more knife companies, and they all said basically the same thing.

We went to Kmart and bought some wrapping paper for the Christmas gift we'd bought the family one of the first days we were there. Would save on shipping, and if they wanted to open it while we were there this week, it would be available.

We were supposed to meet his brother, wife, and two friends of theirs for lunch. Terry and Cindy are awesome people we met the first time we visited Portland. So meeting them for lunch was going to be great!!!!

Lunch was supposed to be at Juan Colorado. Which just so happened to be right down the street from Gerber. We actually drove by it and saw it on accident...we weren't looking for it yet.

So we went in, got a table, and started to order drinks....when I noticed it was 11:00, and no one was there yet. It was then I also noticed the multiple Juan Colorado addresses on the front of the menu. Argh!!!!

His brother wasn't answering his phone, we didn't know Sharon's cell we called Terry.....and he confirmed what I feared.

Terry "Where are you guys?"
Mot "Juan Colorado, where are you?"
Terry "Juan Colorado"
Mot "Yeah, no one specifically told us which one, so we were guessing we'd picked the wrong one. Where are you, we'll be right there."

Terry, Cindy, Mot and I have a good time talking about Mot's brother. He has no clue about pop culture. Movies, music, the works. Whereas the 4 of us are movie buffs...and even better, the 4 of us seen to like the same kinds of movies. Every time we talk to them, we trade recommendations. I recommended Black Sheep...they recommended Zombie Strippers. :-)

After lunch, Mot and I FINALLY got to go to the one place we really wanted to go this year while we were there. The Portland Japanese Gardens.

Holy cow!!!!! I can't tell you how cool this place is. It's in the mountains on the outskirts of Portland. You have to drive up zig-zaggy one way (only one car fits at a time) streets, through multi-million dollar houses to get there.

The gardens are amazing, spectacular, stupendous.....heck, I can't come up with enough words to describe them!!!!




Here's the link to them all.

You'll notice a few duplicates. Most of the shots are taken with my little point and shoot, as it was raining off and on...but Mot had the bigger camera, and took it out when he could.

We were told to be out of Portland by about 3:30 on Friday....and we left the gardens just about it worked out well. Since we were still not ready to go back to the house, we headed towards the Woodburn Outlet mall. I wanted to go to the Columbia store there and see if we could find the matching base layers bottoms to go with the top Mot got earlier in the week.

We stopped at the camera store in the mall...and about spent allot of money. (ugh!) The newest Nikon D300 (or 300D) is smokin' cool!!! But sanity finally took hold, and we left the store. :-)

We did find the bottoms for Mot at the Columbia store. We also got him a sweater. (Are you keeping track of how much clothes Mot bought this trip?)

We stopped at the Le Creuset store to see if they had the wok we'd been looking for. They did...we didn't buy it. Our bags were heavy enough as it was with the books we'd bought at Powells, the new hunting coats his brother got us for Christmas, and the clothes that Mot had purchased already. :-)

From the Le Creuset store, we walked past the pretzel place...what good mall trip is complete without a giant pretzel?? I ended up getting a hot dog in a pretzel...yummy. :-) :-)

We stopped and drooled in the Bose store, and wandered through a purse/bag/shoe store (Cole Haan) on the way out. I left with nothing...but ended up turning around and going back in. I splurged on myself!!!!!

Sharon was making these pineapple and rum drinks in the blender when we got home. They were tasty, but I'm just not a pineapple girl. :-)

Bill went to pick up his son (it was his weekend to have the kids) we played with the twins until they returned. We cracked open the guitar hero when Chris arrived, and just hung out with him some. Man, he's growing up!!!!!

Sarah (his daughter) was playing at a football game in the pep we were in bed when she arrived.

We tried to get as much packing done as we could that night...and then figured we'd finish the next morning, before we had to leave for the airport.

Oh, and remember those base layer bottoms that Mot found? Well, they were youth Chris got a new pair of base layers that day. :-)

Merry Friggin' Christmas

I'm not a big lover of the Christmas holidays.

I mean, getting together with family (in some cases) is great. Eating so much you have to loosen your belt a notch, or unbutton you jeans is wonderful. Seeing lights on the houses in your neighborhood (as long as they're done well) is fun.

My sister and I enjoy Black Friday shopping every year. We know there will be people, crowds, lines...but we don't care. We make it an event....we save money when shopping for the season....we laugh, we get coffee at the one coffee shop open before 5:00.

But, the music playing in the stores starting the day after Halloween....the endlessly repeating cheesy Christmas carols rewritten to sell someones product......children screaming because the mall St. Nick has scared them half to death.....children telling their parents what to get them, and parents going broke trying to do it.....

I LOVE buying gifts for those people I know, those people I see or talk to daily, those people that will love what you get them, no matter what it is. But then there's the worrying about what to get for those people you really rarely see, and don't know that well. Will they like it, do they have one, how much should I spend, are they spending money on me, etc, etc.

But any old hoo....back to the reason for the post.

It's November 12, 2008. Christmas is nearing the one month away mark. I got news from work yesterday that we will be shutting down our offices from December 24 - January 4.

Don't get me wrong, not being here for almost 2 weeks rocks!!!!

Being told a month from Christmas that you will be off those days by either using your vacation or taking it without pay...well.....that's not so cool. (what is being salaried good for anyway?)

#1 I have no vacation left. I'm not a vacation hoarder, I use it. That's why they give it to us, right? To get the f**k out of here for a couple weeks a year, right? I just got back from vacation this weekend, there's nothing left. :-)

#2 A little notice of this would have been nice. It's the principle of it all!! Granted, a month notice is WAY earlier than we usually hear stuff around here, so how can I possibly complain???

(my sarcasm - is it dripping from your monitor? sorry!)

Do you feel my pain? Do you hear the frustration in my voice?

We can afford to do this. We'll have to cut back a little this month and we're OK. It would have helped to know this BEFORE spending money on vacation, but it's not the end of the world. I still have a job. That's what I keep telling myself.....

"Chill out Nej - you still have a job."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 6 - Thurs)

We slept in today, the twins were well on their way out the door before we drug our sorry butts out of bed. Felt good!!!!

Today, we were going to try and accomplish what we didn't get done the day before. Hit a few places we'd not made it to, but also get out from under the feet of his brother and wife for the day. I was sure they wouldn't mind having the house to themselves for a while.

We were wrong, Sharon asked if they could go along. Again, we were out there to see them, so I didn't mind. I was just worried that they felt they were obligated to come along.

First stop, Benchmade knives. Mot loves his, but used it to cut plaster walls and such when we were working on our house. So it's duller than dull. He knew he could mail it to them and have them sharpen it, but since we were in town, we thought we'd stop by ourselves (and he wanted to take a look at product in the company store). As Mot would say "you can never have too many pocket knives"!!!

The knife sharpening was going to take a couple of days, but they told him they'd ship it to him for free when it was done. I thought that was nice!!!

We did find some knives we liked, but believe it or not, left without spending a dime!!! We were about to get something, but I had a change of heart. You see, the gentlemen helping us knew that Mot is a fireman, it came up in conversation. And Benchmade offers a discount of 30% to firemen. The problem was that the salesman failed to mention the discount, until we were leaving with nothing in our hands. Had we bought something, we wouldn't have told us about it. Not cool. :-(

From Benchmade we drove to one of the many Columbia outlet stores in the Portland area. I love Columbia gear!!!!! I've been looking for a new winter coat for a while, and thought maybe we'd check out the outlet stores while we were here. (the no sales tax thing was an incentive as well!!)

I found a coat I liked. Mot found some base layer clothing, a vest and a pair of jeans. (and he says I'm the shopper) :-)

One of the things we wanted to get done that day, well....I could just tell it wasn't going to happen. Mot's brother's heart just wasn't into it. (heck, it wasn't into it when we left the house, so I had a bad feeling we wouldn't make it)

We ate lunch at the Shanghai Noble House (Chinese food). It was OK...but our waiter was cracking me up!!! He asked us how many, we told him 4...and he was off like a shot. By the time we'd gotten to the table he'd basically ran to, he was throwing the menus on the table...without stopping. He pointed at the table, and kept walking. :-)

After lunch, we'd decided that our main destination for the day wasn't going to happen. It was raining, and it was an outdoor place. Heck, the rain has never bothered us...and they live there. But it was obvious brother wasn't game. By then, we had about 2 hours before the twins needed picked up from daycare, so we decided to head home.

On the way, we passed their favorite surf shop (Gorge Surf) we stopped to check it out. While they were looking at new and used surf boards, Mot and I were checking out snowboarding gear. The idea of skiing scares the crap out of me. Something about two separate boards being strapped to my feet...plummeting down a hill and break neck speeds......ugh!!!

If you crash, one ski goes one direction and the other goes off on it's own merry way. I see broken, twisted and destroyed knees....and broken bones in general.

Snowboarding, on the other hand, seems allot more controlled. Both feet firmly below you....when you crash, you go one direction...all of you! I'm not saying it's any safer or easier....I'm just saying it doesn't give me the willies. And since Mot is bound and determined to get me on the slopes, snowboarding it is!!! :-)

After spending roughly $3000 (in our minds), we decided we'd better get out of there!!! As we were walking by the front check out counter, Mot noticed some watches. As I said, I've been looking for a sport watch. Something I can wear in the water, in the snow, in the cold, in the heat...but still looks nice enough to wear to work (which means no plastic bands, or flashbacks from the 80's). He pointed one out, and I fell in love. I'll have to post a picture sometime, as I'm not wearing it today, and can't find it online. But trust me, it's cool...and it's me. :-)

Found it online (mine is greenjust like this one, but the band is black, with a tiny bit of the green).

On the way home, Sharon decided she needed to get her acrylic nails filled, and asked me if I wanted to come along. The thought of getting a pedicure sounded I said yes!

We dropped the boys off, and headed back out to the nail place. I picked this iridescent blue/purple/green color (if you can't have fun with your toe nail color - when CAN you have fun?).

After the pedicure, we stopped next door at the Wine and Chocolate bar for a glass of wine. Nice place, wonderful was a bit pricey, but it's the experience you're paying for I believe.

One glass of wine later, we left to pick up the girls from day care. There are two steps on the front walk to the day care provider's house. I missed the second one. I missed it big time. :-(

Sharon heard the ends of my toes hit the concrete step....and I wiped out. See, I was wearing borrowed flip flops as to not ruin my newly polished toes. I misjudged the step, the shoes.....and went down! I wouldn't have been nearly as bad as it was, had it not been raining. :-) I went to catch myself, and that foot slipped on the wet concrete. Ugh!!! Scraped up the palm of my hand, and the one leg of my jeans were soaked. After Sharon and I stopped laughing, we picked up the kids and headed to the grocery store for dinner supplies...then headed home.

We had decided tacos sounded like an easy, light, fast that's what we ate. It was nice.

Just before dinner, I went upstairs to check out the damage to my leg, if there was any. Yeah - there way.....a big old scrape, ugh!! I'm such a klutz!! :-)

And, to make matters worse, I totally destroyed the new pedicure on two of my toe nails. Ugh. :-)

Crazy week already.

I've been pretty bored at work the last few months, believe it or not. It's why I have so much time to read blogs, find new blogs, keep caught up on current events, etc, etc.

But after being gone last week, I'm horribly behind in my reading. I'll get caught up eventually. But the OCD-ness in me won't let me just start reading new ones...I have to read what I missed in order. This could take me a while. :-) :-)

Another crazy thing....while we were in Portland, they were having record high temperatures here in Nebraska. High 70's, blue skies.....sounded nice!

This week in Nebraska....cold, frigid, rainy. We brought Portland back with us...but took it down about 30 degrees or so. :-) Don't get me wrong, I love this rainy, cold stuff. :-) :-)

Mot doesn't have to go back to work until the end of the month some time. I'm so jealous!!! But, he's helping out around the house. I've started a list of little things that can be done here and there on his days off.

* Clean out the freezer (and get it ready for this year's hunting).
* Get all the leaves in the yard taken care of (the trees were full of them when we left...they are now all on the ground waiting for us). (and they are now wet, soggy leaves...with all the rain we've gotten last night and today - yuck!)
* Hang the last of the shelves up in the den/office/library.
* Clean the guns from our trip.
* Unpack and start putting stuff from our trip away (it's all still piled in the living room).

The new release of World of Warcraft comes out at the end of the week...then I won't see him. He's such an addict!!! :-)

Slowly, but surely.

That's about the rate I'm going, trying to get my vacation posts up on my blog.

I've gotten just as far uploading the rest of our vacation photography.

I'll keep adding more as I post blog entries. :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 5 - Wed)

The twins (Sharon's girls) arrived Monday night while we were in Washington. Because we got up so early Tuesday for hunting, and had arrived so late Monday night....on Tuesday afternoon Mot and I had no idea we'd missed them Monday night. :-)

So, Wednesday am was the first time we were there for the 'getting ready for school' hurry in the house. :-)

Once the girls had finished in the bathroom and headed out for the bus, Mot and I took our showers and got ready for the day.

We had a list of things we wanted to our week was coming to an end pretty quickly. We planned on taking the rental car and the new GPS our for a test ride around Portland, and give his brother and wife some time to themselves in their house. Sharon asked if they could go along with us - which was fine by me. We were there to see them. We just didn't want to be too much of a was their vacation week as well.

Once everyone was ready, we headed out. First stop, Powell's books. A 68,000 square foot bookstore in downtown Portland. Heaven on earth for my bookworm hubby!!!! :-)

On the way there, we passed by Voodoo Doughnut. Their slogan "the magic is in the hole." Awesome!!! Mot wanted to stop and get a tshirt...but we didn't. We didn't want to seem too much like tourists I guess?? Dumb!!!!

Then we went to Nordstrom Rack. The outlet store for Nordstroms department store. Surprisingly, we didn't buy anything there. Even in the shoe department, can you believe that?? Me, not buy a pair of shoes?? I found an awesome pair I did like.

Here's the funny thing, Sharon did buy them. We weren't together, but when she opened the shoe box to show me what she'd gotten, I just laughed. Man, I should have bought them!!! That really would have been funny. Matching shoes. :-)

While Sharon was putting Mot's brother through 'try this on' hell....Mot and I went across the street to the Rock Bottom Cafe for appetizers. Once they met up with us, we ordered lunch.

By then, we'd run out of time, and had to get back to get them munchkins (twins) from their after school day care.

Because we ate so late in the afternoon, they just made a huge fruit salad for supper. You all know me and my anti-vegetarianism.....ugh!!! I passed on the fruit salad, saying I was still full. :-)

The 6 of us watched the Mummy 2, until Mot and I couldn't keep our eyes open any longer and went to bed.

No pics that day. Again, didn't want to seem too touristy. Me, caring what I look like, see what this trip was doing to me??!!??!!??!!

Funny :-)

OK, I just found out something. Blogs are posted by the date they are started, not the date they are posted. Interesting. will see that I'm finally finishing the daily blog entries I was working on last week while I was gone. But, it isn't showing on my blog as the most current entry, even though I just hit enter. How annoying.

Since the whole posting once a day during the month of November thing started during my vacation, it's pretty obvious the post a day thing isn't going to work. Which is a bummer, because I was looking forward to doing it. :-)

So, I'll try to remember to cut and paste my vacation week they show up in order - and you won't have to scroll down to find which ones you haven't read.

My apologies loyal blog readers. :-) Won't happen again. :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bring em on!!!!


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

It was the canned goods and running that killed me. Darn it!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 4 - Tues)

We got home late last night, as you know, so getting up at 3:00 am was a bit much! :-) But darn it, we had fun with the Hanks (David - Pool and Mary Ann)!!!!!!!!!

Today's hunt took place at Sauvie Island - an island in the middle of the Columbia River. Beautiful place - but at 4:00 in the morning, I wasn't concerned with the sights. It was dark and you could see nothing! I pretty much just drug myself out of bed, put on hunting gear and walked out the door on auto-pilot.

It was raining when we got there, as usual. The hunting processes at Sauvie Island are a bit strange, but here a quick and very basic rundown.

* It's only open every other day to hunt, during the hunting periods.
* You have the opportunity to apply to a lottery to win a reservation on the island.
* There are pre-determined hunting blinds and spots to hunt - and there are a limited number of them
* If you don't get a reserved spot, you show up extra early to wait in line.
* Once they open the line, you drive up and make a sort of mad dash to get your spot.
* We were late enough that we didn't make the mad dash. But since it was Tuesday, the line was shorter than usual, and it wasn't a big deal.

We got our spot, drove to the parking area, unloaded the gear and such onto the cart, took the dog (Lucky) out of the kennel and headed out. The boys were pushing/pulling the cart...and since they have much longer legs, they were very, very ahead of me on the muddy road to the hunting destination.

Once there, I was told to put out the field decoys (since I only had hip waders), while the boys got to play in the water putting decoys out there.

Once everything was set out and ready, we all walked into the corn field and waited.

Geese were out of season, and there were thousands and thousands of them flying over head. I, to this day, have a hard time distinguishing the ducks from the geese.

You see, being 'granola' as Oregon is....they have broken up their Canadian geese into like 8 or so sub-species. One of which, is illegal to shoot. They all look alike...and this one particular goose is the size of a mallard duck. So I was basically terrified to shoot ANYTHING the entire time we were in Portland.

We also found out that most of the ducks that are flying this time of year are nicknamed 'yuck ducks' seems they eat seafood (clams, mollusks, etc) and are horrible to smell or eat. But, Mot was bored, so he was shooting at them anyway. More just to bug his brother than anything I think. (I love that man to death!!!)

Lucky didn't care what kind of duck we got, she just wanted to participate in the hunt.
We ended up with 2 pintails, 1 spoonbill thing (yuck duck), and a redhead duck during the day. (no worries folks, we took them all with us, nothing is wasted)

The rain stopped for a while, and yielded to a blue bird sky. Not a cloud in sight. Next thing I know, I look off to the right of us...and I see this......

That set of storm clouds moved in within a half an hour...and produced this.....

You probably can't see it in the picture....but we were hailed on, badly. (if you click on the picture, you get a little bit better view) The wind was midwest tornado weather stuff. :-) So, again, for the second time that week, I was soaked. Yes, I was wearing hip waders, and a rainproof jacket....but the same spot that was soaked on Sunday (aqfter my fall in the mud), was soaked on Tuesday. The area that encompasses the top 1/4 of my thighs and my entire butt (and coordinating front portion of the body). Ugh!!!!!

After the storm blew over - blue bird skies again!!!!! Portland weather rocks. Really, it does. I love the stuff. I'm not kidding.

By this time, I had put my gun down, and was making sloshy, farting sounds in the mud with my boots. I was taking ears of corn off the stalks and throwing individual pieces of corn at the boys and in the puddles of water. I laughed when ducks flew over, and I was the one that had to point them out.

OK, I admit it, I was being childish. But I was cold, soaked to the bone, bored, and frustrated with the way the week was going.

{warning - frustrated tangent!!!}

There are certain.....well......childishly competitive things that go on with his middle brother when Mot is around. It's...well....rude and cruel to say the least.

We were driving home from something earlier in the week. Mot and I were talking about getting a set of touring motorcycles so we can travel around the country. He said he'd have trouble selling the Ducati, and I told him he wouldn't have to. He could keep it for 'fun' driving around town. He loves that thing. Then he said that he might make the few upgrades to it, so he could take it on the local track. Do a little amateur racing with it, for fun. His brother says "you can't do that, you're too old and fat."

Older brother is in no better shape than younger brother, so it was a tad ironic...especially since older brother has taken up surfing. :-)

I will say this....I love my brother in law. He's family, and Mot loves him. His new wife Sharon is awesome! They are kind enough to put us up in their house, and show us around town. People allow stresses at work, home, and generally in their lives affect them. Mot's middle brother is one of those people. It seems he can't shut it off.

He needs to surf more....laugh more. He has an infectious laugh - when you get to hear it.

Back to hunting. Here is a pic of some of my boredom in the mud. I could barely get my feet out of those foot prints I had them so deep. :-) :-)

Eventually, Mot got bored as well. We are totally two peas in a pod, I tell ya!!!! :-)

He started putting corn stalk leaves in his hat, I was putting corn stalk tassels in mine. Aren't we a match made in heaven!!!!!

We finally left. Thank goodness!!! As we were getting things packed up, I noticed a rainbow against the storm clouds that were moving in (again). It actually ended up being a quadruple rainbow. Can you believe that???? You can't see it in the picture, you can only see one, and little bit of the one below it. But there were actually 4!! Stacked on top of each other. What a cool sight!!!!

(those black dots are a small, yes I said small flock of geese moving across the sky)

On the way to the truck, Mot and his brother spotted some pheasant in the road. We went home with a pheasant as well.

You know what? I just realized that we were there the whole week, and never once ate duck or pheasant. Darn it!!

On the way home, we stopped to get some munchies....Mot gets grouchy without food in him, and we didn't eat breakfast. It was almost 1:00 by then. Buffalo sauce and blue cheese potato chips, surprisingly good. :-)

We met Sharon at Taco Bell once we got nearer to their house. She had to go in to work that morning, and wasn't able to hunt with us. :-(

From there we went home, cleaned out the gear and guns, and then I don't remember what we did the rest of the night. I really, truly can't remember. :-(

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 3 - Mon)

We got up early (again, but this time not because we had to...we're having a hard time waking up at 8:00, when that's actually 10:00 for us in NE).

Today we were going to meet a buddy of Mot's in Washington state. They met playing their addiction (World of Warcraft) online.

(Yes, we were driving 3 hours to meet virtual strangers - we're crazy that way.)

The drive up was gorgeous. Where we missed the leave color changing this year in NE and IA (due to strange weather patterns) is in full swing here in this part of the country. I'm going to try and get some better pics of it this week...but my Canon DSLR is dead to the world (you can imagine how unhappy I am about that)!! Although, it's rained everyday we've been here, and will continue through the my little waterproof point and shoot is getting a workout!!! :-)

As we were nearing our ultimate destination, we drove through Aberdeen, WA. The sign as you're coming into town say "Aberdeen, Come As You Are." I loved that!!!! Upon further investigation, my deduction was correct....Aberdeen is the home town of rock star Kurt Cobain from Nirvana. Cool, eh?

Anyway, we arrived at David (Poole) and Mary Ann's beach front condo at just after 10:00 am. Poole (his online name) is a traveling nurse currently working at the Aberdeen hospital. But they live in Westpoint.

After introducing ourselves and doing the initial introductions, we took off for a tour of the area. We first went to a lookout tour, showing a view into Grey's Harbor.

(Mot and Poole on the Gray's Harbor lookout tower)

Poole is from Norich, Norage, something like that, in England...I'm still researching that one. His wife is from southern Texas. They met working at a hospital in Amarillo, TX I believe. Their 25-ish year old son is named Thor. I kid you not!!!

(this is a small view of the docks - port? - wharf? in Westpoint)

We then went to eat lunch at the One-Eyed Crab. Food was about as fresh as you can get for seafood. :-) Those of you that know me, know that I do not like seafood...not one bit. I ordered fish and chips (albacore tuna was the fish of choice)...I ate it. But regretted it later. I was ill feeling most of the night. My body and seafood just don't get along. But anyway!!!!

After lunch, we went walking down on the wharf, docks, whatever you call it! Westpoint houses some of the boats that fish for Alaskan crab (as in Deadliest Catch). We stopped to watch deckhands getting one of them prepared for the upcoming season. Name of the ship is the Balyhoo.

After that stop, we drove over to the ocean side of the coast. The waves were pretty scary, and unsurfable (there were quite a few surfers on the bay side).

From there, we went to the lighthouse.

The Gray's Harbor lighthouse is the tallest in Washington, and the third tallest on the West Coast.

Here is a picture standing on the ground floor looking up. (of course we had to go up in it!!!)

(Pardon the blurry pictures. I couldn't get one clear looking photo in the place, wonder if it's haunted?) hehe

(Mot walking up the stairs ahead of me.)

He really wanted to go up so he could see the lens. It was fully intact, which is pretty rare. In fact, the lens system was still in it's bed of mercury until 2004.

(close up shot of the lens)

(Mot getting ready to touch something, with a don't touch sign on it...aren't boys fun?)

After the lighthouse, we went back to their condo, made some tea, and gabbed for a number of hours. What an awesome couple!!!!!! :-)

We left a little after 5:00, and headed south in the direction of the bridge to Astoria. Everyone keeps talking about how awesome it is to drive across (5 miles). And, the route there was on the Pacific Coast Highway, so what's better than that??

Well, if it hadn't been raining, and completely dark 30 minutes into our drive, things would have been great. As it was, the trip home was.....well...interesting. As you can imagine, the roads along the coast are steep and twisty, with sharp drop offs into the ocean. Add to that complete darkness, heavy rain...and fog! Yeah, you get the picture.

About an hour into the 3+ hour drive home, I got the giggles. It was actually quite funny, if we weren't' being so darned serious about it. It lightened the mood. :-)

A song came on the one radio station we could find in those particular little mountains (that wasn't country or churchy)....the lyrics went something like this.

Can't go to school, cause I don't have a gun. Can't get a gun cause I don't have a job. Can't get a job cause I can't go to school. So now I'm looking for a woman with a gun and a job. Alice Cooper, gotta love it.

(ok, so that's not word for word the lyrics, but it's really close, here's what the words actually are)

Funny thing about the's called Lost in Amercia. It was ironic that song come on at the time it did. As we're driving across Oregon, on a scary mountain road, in the pitch dark, raining, foggy night. :-)

Anyway, halfway through this particular little mountain stretch, we discovered we're almost out of gas. Hmmmm......there are no gas stations here. Hmmmmmm.....oh well. We finally come across this little place...with the OLD 80's gas pumps, and a dude sitting out front. There is some crazy law in Oregon that says people can't pump their own gas. Something to do with being green and not spilling. I don't know. Anyway, neither of us wanted to stop there, but if we didn't, we'd be in trouble. The guy ended up being really nice and gave my tired looking Mot a cup of coffee for the drive. :-)

We have discovered that people in Portland can't drive in the rain. Now, in a place that rains ALL THE TIME, how is that possible???????

We got home about 9:30 or so....sat in the living room and talked to Bill and Sharon for a little while, then hit the sack. Up tomorrow at 3:00 am for hunting again!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tidbits and thoughts on our vacation (day 2 - Sun)

Today was our first day of hunting in Oregon. Bill and Sharon lease land, so that's where we headed at 4:30 am.

I have the worst luck when it comes to duck hunting. There are never actually any ducks just never fails. I go to Mot's oldest brother's place in North Platte - no ducks....we go to our buddy's land in Iowa - no ducks....we come to Portland, OR - no ducks. :-) :-)

(this is how much we both love it when we take pictures of each other)

After standing in the flooded corn for numerous hours, and seeing nothing....we all decided to take off across the field to the other side of the water....where we'd seen a pheasant flying earlier.

On my way across, my feet got stuck in the muck, and down I went. I was only wearing hip waders (think chaps), but, sitting in the mud and muck - well, that isn't a good idea. I was covered in mud, from the waist down. Nasty, icky, duck poop containing muck. :-)

(oh, I made the most girly sounding squeal when I fell....and none of them heard it, I couldn't believe it)

Not only did I fall into the mud, I then couldn't get back up and out. I fell because both of my waders boots were stuck, and falling didn't help loosen them. So, now I have a a gun in the air, my legs at odd angles with feet stuck in the ground, and no possible way to get the leverage I need to get up. So, I sat there a while.

Mot's brother was the closest, but he looked right at me (in my camo) and moved on. He didn't see me!!!! (guess the camo was working) hehe

I finally plunged my hand into the water, down into the muck, and pushed myself out. That was pleasant - not!

And then, to add insult to injury, a duck who had been sitting in the corn about 20 feet from where I fell in, and just as I got decided to fly away. I was a mess, my hand was coated in muck, my gun was raised at an odd angle from trying to keep it clean and dry....and this duck (we call it the f*ck you duck) flies right there in front of me. Everyone else was in the corn pheasant hunting, so I just had to watch it fly away. Figures :-)

The pheasant was never found, and there were no birds flying, so we decided to gather up some decoys (we were hunting in a different spot the next time we went out) and call it a day.

(Mot with a decoy on his head. Isn't he cute!!??!!??)

As we were picking up decoys, I heard a shotgun blast. I turned around to see Mot killing a duck....yeah, we got one that day....finally!

After we pulled in the decoys, I stripped down to my long johns and sat on Mot's coat in the hopes to keep the leather upholstery as dry as possible. We were all hungry, but there was no way I was going in anywhere, in my current state of dress/undress. I'm pretty sure Sharon as in agreement, and we were wearing nearly identical post hunting clothing. :-)

We ended up doing through the Sonic drive-through, then drove over to the Albertson's parking lot to eat. After we were done eating, Bill went in to get groceries, while the three of us waiting for him.

He was in there for what seemed like forever. :-) While he was gone, Mot proceeded to mess with every seat adjustment, mirror position and turned his seat warmers on for his return. (they are such brothers!)

We went home, unloaded the truck, and spent some time in the driveway with a hose, spraying the mud off of my our duck....and cleaning ourselves.

The boys played xbox for a little while, but Mot was antsy. So, the two of us headed off to Frey's electronic super store in search of a deal on a GPS. If we're going to get around this town on our own, we'd better find a way to do it well (and a way to do it to reduce arguments brought about by the "driving in unknown territory stress" that is sure to happen. :-)

Bill was making dinner when we got back. Mot decided to make up some margaritas, and right after he finished them...realized we had no fresh lime. So back out into the car we went, in search of margarita limes. :-)

After a LOVELY dinner (a word that his brother used to describe the food, and I will never let him live it down), we all sat down to watch a movie. No Country for Old Men Great movie, f*cked up ending. Not saying the ending was bad. There seems to be a trend with the ending reviews - people either hated it or loved it. I can actually say I'm on the fence on that one. :-)

After the movie, Bill and Sharon put in a disc of Rescue Me episodes. They just started watching them recently, and are still on season 1 or 2. I'm current on watching the show....and I was pretty I headed up to bed (where Mot already was).