Monthly Archives: July 2010

I’m Dyeing!

I have had several sock yarn blanks lingering in my knitting wardrobe that were just begging for color.   

“Old Glory”

“Wildflowers”

 

Elsewhere, we are now officially signed up as a Foster Family for Furry Friends pet rescue. Steve is our first foster, but we made an agreement that ,following his medical treatments and the removal of his “nuffies,”  should he settle down and resume getting along with Bonny and Roxie then we will adopt him.  If he continues to acts like a pill afterwards then he’ll be ready to go live with another family.  At least we know he’ll still get a good home. Furry Friends is picky about who gets to adopt their animals.

We may be asked to take in mother cats with kittens and other wayward kitties in the future on a temporary basis. My DH isn’t too thrilled, but he likes the words “Temporary” and “Adoption”. Especially as they now relate to our current feline problem. He too, is sick of the cats fighting.

People are coming by soon to pick up some larger items we are getting rid of via Freecycle. A1 comes back today from cheerleading camp and we’re going to my parents’ house for the weekend. Cheers and happy Friday!

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WTF Wednesday, Short and Random

I’m short (relatively at 5’3 1/2″) and always random so this week’s WTF Wednesday shall be too.

WTF A1:  Yesterday A1 left for cheerleading camp, which is being held several hours away.  I stressed upon her the importance of taking her cell phone and charger.  I also told her to take HER charger and not mine.  Hers must be lost, because she took mine.  Driving down to retrieve the charger, and embarrass her in the process, sounds slightly appealing. However, today I’ll just go buy another so I can make some phone calls in a timely manner.

WTF Steve: First on the top of phone calls to be made is the inquiry about Steve’s fostering and low-cost veterinary services.  This past week he went from being a sweet and cuddly teenaged kitten, to being an obnoxious bully who channels evil spirits.  Yes, his head has grown rather large.

Actually, his head hasn’t grown, it’s the twins hanging around the tail-end that have grown (no picture). He insists on asserting himself by fighting with and intimidating Bonny and Roxanna. He’s started playing very rough with the girls too and he’s been biting and scratching them in the process. He also continues to shred every bit of paper in sight.

I left this roll of paper towels out after cleaning the bird cage. They were only there for about 2 unattended minutes while I took out the garbage and this is what he managed in that wee amount of time. Hopefully a trip to the vets will nip this problem in the bud.

WTF Advertisers: Yesterday we pulled up next to a commercial van while at a stop light and my girls started laughing.  A glance, followed by a double take, out my window revealed why they were laughing.  Who ever applied the graphics to this van had to realize that the pull handle to this side door was in an awkward location. I’d even venture to say that he/she chuckled as the TruGreen guys drove away with their van.  Would this qualify for Fail Blog?

WTF Disasters: There are very few knitters who will ever actually run out of yarn. I don’t mean running out of yarn from a specific dye lot to finish that last inch of the sleeve on a sweater.  I mean really and truly running out of yarn and having nothing to knit with, not even day-glo orange R3d H3^rt acryclic. Still, the very idea strikes fear in fibery hearts everywhere. Should you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world with no sheep and where all of the retails stores containing new clothes and craft supplies have been obliterated then here are some knitting alternatives.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Knit-a-Dishcloth-from-old-Clothes/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Knit-Plastic-Bag-Handbag/

Hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday. Off to go pick up a phone cord and make some calls. Cheers!

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A Weekend Plus Several Days

6 days! My goodness, time got away again. On Saturday my DH convinced his friend that taking us out on his boat would be the most exciting time ever.  I don’t know if the friend had fun, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We met him down in Salem then drove up to Lake Detroit.  I think everyone in the State of Oregon who owned a boat had the same idea.  It took an hour to get launched and parked because mayhem surrounded the boat ramp.

A2 enjoying the ride

My DH on the inner tube

a sock in progress

We all took turns riding the inner tube except for our host.  Not that he didn’t trust our driving, but there is a $200.00 fine if you’re caught driving a boat without a license and local law enforcement was patrolling both via boat and car.  Afterwards we drove back to Salem then went out for Sushi.  The restaurant (I can’t remember the name) was a nondescript place in a strip mall, but the sushi was wonderful. 

On Sunday I called Karen‘s cell phone.  Her family was camping near Mt. St. Helens and we’d planned on trying to connect up for a quick visit. As it turns out, they were just packing up their tent because the campsite turned out to be rather small and inconveniently located .  They went spelunking in the Ape Caves and then joined us in the early evening for dinner and a sleep over.  I was so engrossed with visiting that I forgot to take any pictures. Her kids are all getting so big!

Monday morning A2 had a root canal, A1 had cheerleading practice and Karen had plans to meet up with some friends down at Powell’s so we ate breakfast and said our goodbyes early.  Thankfully my DH had this Monday off, so he was able to ferry A1 to and fro.

A3’s summer cold morphed into a double ear infection several days back. She’s so thin and frail lately that even small colds wipe her out and she stops eating and drinking. Even harvesting the vegetables she grew from the seeds she started in Girl Scouts did little to rouse excitement from her.

Thankfully she seems to be doing better today.  We thought another trip to the doctor’s office to check for pneumonia might me needed. 

A1 left this morning for Cheerleading Camp held down at OSU.  Even though she’s going to be a Freshman this year it still felt like child abandonment as I drove off and left her with her friends.

Over the past few days I played around with some chunky handspun and my loom and ended up with this scarf.

This afternoon a package arrived containing the following items…

This was a birthday present from Cindy.  Could she be any sweeter? Thank you Cindy! It’s just what I need to finish up (and start) some projects that are in the works.  Should free time arrive I will delve into the new woolly treasures. In the meantime, some finishing is in order.  While waiting at the dentist office with A2 I knitted the rest of the sock started on the lake, but it was frogged back to the ankle because the heel looked funky.  A few more afghan rows were finished as well.   Last week I received an OTT light, complete with a magnifying glass (from my dear friend, Marta, who must think I’m getting old or something) for my birthday. She must have heard me complaining about not being able to see at night. So now there is no excuse for not finishing up some UFO’s.  Time now to go cook dinner. Tonight is the season finale of Deadliest Catch. That’s pretty much the only thing we watch any more.  I don’t want kitchen chores, etc. to interfere with viewing time. Cheers all!

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WTF Wednesday on a Thursday!

I always swore that I’d never turn into one of those preachy, nagging mothers. The ones who illicit eye rolling and groans from their children, who’ve stopped listening three seconds into the conversation.  I firmly believe that children need to make their own mistakes, not be tethered to or limited because of their parent’s past blunders. They’re smarter and more resilient than we adults give them credit for.  Besides, life today really is different from what it was back in the day of the dinosaur.  The best parents are those who listen, rather than lecture.

That being said, I’m embarrassed to say that I have, indeed, become one of the very preachy, nagging mothers I used to scoff.  Becoming one was a gradual transition. So gradual in fact, that I was completely unaware of the metamorphosis.  And to make matters worse, not only do I preach, but I find myself repeating the same things over and over again. I resort to using tired cliche’s.  My witty,  opportunistic daughters take great delight in twisting my words and proving me wrong every chance they can.

WTF Parenting Advice Blunders from this past week  included:

1.  Last week, while walking around the high school track we enjoyed this lovely view of Mt. St. Helens. My middle daughter, who had been unfairly torn away from reading Manga and forced to come along, complained that she was bored and wanted to go home.  I expounded on the virtues of fresh air and exercise. I pointed out the lovely scenery. I reminded her that mosquitos are more apt to bite stationary people.

After only two laps she sat down in the grass next to the track and refused to budge.  The run/walk wasn’t appealing to me either, but I would never let the girls know it.  Instead, I handed her my phone, camera, water bottle, keys and anything else in my hands or pockets, then kept going.   All went well for a while until I looked over and couldn’t see her. My pile-o-crap was still there though. A rather ugly, hurried  rush to the spot revealed that she’d actually only moved a few feet away and had layed down in the long grass.  I just couldn’t see her from the track.  I didn’t really care that she was laying down, but momentary panic, combined with physical exertion from slogging over to her made me grumpy. I snapped at her to “sit up” and “stop moping!” To which she replied, “I’m just enjoying the scenery from a different angle mom.”  She had my camera and was taking pictures of flowers, grass, etc.  Touche’ A2!

 

2.   A3 does not like sleeping in her bedroom alone. Many nights she falls asleep next to me in my bed, and is later moved by my DH. The next morning we usually find her sleeping on the living room couch or curled up in a ball near the edge of one of her sisters’ beds where she’s stealthily tried to sneak in during the night.  Up until she was five she preferred sleeping alone in a dark room, now the thought terrifies her.  She has nightlights, a bedside light, we routinely check the closets and look under the bed, but she still doesn’t feel comfortable. I’ve recited every speech known to parents about there being nothing in the dark that isn’t there in the day time.  Upon finding her in living room several mornings ago I launched into one of my speeches. Finally, in an exasperated voice, she told me, “I’m not afraid of the dark, Mom,I just don’t like my room!”   What’s not to love? It’s pink, has a castle on the wall, she’s surrounded by her favorite toys!  She then rattled off a list of reasons why she doesn’t like her room. She says that the tree outside her bedroom window looks like a face and it creeps her out, which would explain why she repeatedly closes her blinds during the day after I open them.  “Ridiculous!” I told her.  “You’re exaggerating! It’s just an ordinary tree and nothing to be afraid of!”

Um, maybe she has a point. The tree, does indeed, have a face.  A grouchy, frowny face with a big mouth.   We won’t let her watch Poltergeist. Ever.

3.  Remember childhood songs like, “Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts…”,  or “Comet, it makes  your mouth turn green, Comet it tastes like gasoline…” and “Don’t ever laugh when  a hearse goes by, or you may be the next to die”?  I’ve taught my girls all of these charming lullabies.   Well, the other day while in a Portland suburb I got the giggles when we spotted this car.

A1 saw what I was laughing at and said, “Mom, you’re not supposed to laugh!” Which, in turn, got A3 upset. Apparently she took the song seriously.  But I couldn’t help myself. The details on the car were morbidly hilarious. 

I proceeded to tell my girls that the song only applied to hearses currently in use with a real, live, dead body being transported.  This is obviously (I hope) someone’s personal vehicle so it doesn’t count. Once A3 was assured that I wasn’t going to keel over while driving we all started singing the song together. 

4. Raising three daughters to be confident, independent young ladies not obsessed with the shallow trappings of peer pressure is hard. From an early age Disney relentlessly bombards them with images of princesses who need to be rescued and whose lives aren’t complete until they marry a prince.   Girls’ toys aren’t much better. There are toys like Bratz dolls that look and dress like cheap hookers, or mall shopping games that include pretend credit cards. One oft-repeated lecture in our house is, “You need to go to college and be able to take care of yourself, there are no knights in shining armor. They don’t exist!”  Last week during a walk they spotted this fellow looming in the trees. Excitedly, they pointed out that it was a real knight and that I was wrong, they still existed.  My only comeback was, “That’s no knight in shining armor, he’s all rusty!” 

This thing was huge! It had to be 10 feet tall. If he hadn’t  been on private property we might have ventured a photo alongside him, oxidation and all.

 

5. Frogs rock!  I grew up in the middle of a cranberry bog with a maze of irrigation ditches and sumps just full of the critters.  Collecting mason jars full of murky water to hold frog eggs, frogs and salamanders were favorite pastimes.  That being said, we decided to share some love with this local amphibian when we found him during a walk.

After reading  about my endless rantings against princess mentality, this appears hypocritical on my part.  A point not lost on girls.  I told them we were just appreciating the frog, and that we weren’t looking for a prince.  However, this frog was huge! Had he turned into a prince then he might have worn the armor shown above.

6. Why pay someone else to do something you can do yourself? Thriftiness has been a way of life for us both by choice and necessity.  I’ve done everything from hanging and finishing drywall, to coloring my own hair (since I was in high school on the latter).   In light of summer I decided to blend some of my “natural highlights” with fun, sunny blond shades.  Yesterday my eldest pointed out that I looked like the Bride of Frankenstein.  

Oh, well, it’s only hair! I’ve seen worse come out of salons.

 

7. Finally, I told A1 that while young we all do things that we’re later embarrassed about.  Last week I sucked it up and took her to the mall so spend some early birthday money she’d been given. I hate malls.  A visit to Hot Topic had me feeling a little self-conscious.  There was nobody else over 30 in the whole store and most people had multiple piercings and donned black plether.   Being the dutiful mom I held our bags, phones, etc. so she could explore.  At one point she asked me to hold something for her, so I stacked it on top of the pile.  No sooner had she walked away when a very bouncy, male clerk popped up next to me and loudly exclaimed, “You’ve got Bieber Fever!” WTF? The “item” A1 had asked me to hold was this bracelet.

Isn’t he that pre-pubescent boy who always has hair hanging in his eyes?  We couldn’t pay and leave fast enough. Someday I hope she cringes at the thought that she wore this.

Cheers!

p.s. I still knit sometimes

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Wednesday’s Winner!

Thank you to everyone who contacted Red Rose Tea regarding their decision to discontinue including figurines in many of the varieties and sizes of their teas. 

Good intentions to have an impartial judge draw the lucky winner didn’t go quite as planned.

The judges were extremely  impartial.

One might even  say they were indifferent

with actions bordering on down right rudeness.

Luckily A2 was ready and willing to lend a hand.

And the winner is:

 Congratulations Wendy! I’ll send you an email.

I’ve not forgotten WTF Wednesday, but it will be on Thursday this week.  How’s that for a WTF? Cheers all!

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Ten on Tuesday

Featuring 10 random happenings from the past week

1.   The girls and I went to the  aquatic center in Clackamas last week. We were all exhausted by the end of the trip, but it was worth the drive and expense. I found a favorite pink slide (open on top because I’m very claustrophobic and the closed ones made me feel like a turd being flushed to its doom).  Surprisingly few adults chose to use the wave pool or water slides. Instead most sat in chairs near the end of the pool and watched.  Sacrificing dignity for fun was a worthy trade.

2. The yard bloomed in spite of willful neglect. 

A lone zucchini plant blossomed amid the thistles.

          New  lavender plants yielded their first sweet smelling harvest.

Random flowers (mostly from our yard, but the butterfly bushes hang over our neighbor’s fence into our yard).

 

3. I started knitting an afghan.

 

4. I’ve been immortalized by having a Lego figure made in my image. This was created at the Lego Store in the Washington Square Mall, where you can assemble your very own characters. Knitting needles weren’t offered as accessories, but the large coffee cup works.  A3 delights in building Lego prisons and locking me inside.

 

5.  We fed mosquitos.  All attempts to enjoy family outings were thwarted by pesky, blood-sucking insects the size of squirrels.

overlook of the Ridgefield Bird Sanctuary

5. We stumbled across a little tea house that I’m  excited to try out. The hours of operation are limited and the tea service is a bit too long to keep my girls occupied, so making a planned reservation with a grown up is in order. Anyone care to join me for a cuppa?

 

6. I spun. This is 3.5 ounces of The Enchanted Knoll’s ” Black Magic Woman” that was a gift from Jessica last year during Sock Summit.  It’s black Merino Wool blended with sari silk pieces and assorted colors of sparklies.  The singles are about a sport weight and I’m not sure how they will be finished. I’d like to ply it to add strength, but I’m not sure with what,  or how many plies, etc. 

 

7. Visitors came! On Saturday our friends, Marta and Dale stopped by. On Sunday my Mom and Dad drove all the way out for the afternoon too.  We love company!  No pictures were taken because everyone was too busy visiting.

8. I turned 43, but if anyone asks my age I’m claiming to be 53. That way strangers will think I look younger.

9.  Over 30 people have sent emails to Red Rose Tea regarding their decision to discontinue adding figurines in the boxes of tea. Thank you!  Anyone contacting them before Midnight tonight will be entered into the contest to win yarn (or a hat).

10.  My cell phone died.  This wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that we eliminated our home phone last year so now nobody can reach us.  Maybe that’s a good thing because we’ve heard no bad news!  My DH has an unused phone I can transfer service to. Hopefully the memory card from my old phone can be revived, there were some numbers and messages on it we need/ want.

That’s about it for my “Tuesday” list.  The old memory isn’t up to snuff, so something important was probably left out.  Hopefully nobody will take omissions personally, they’re truly accidental. Cheers!

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WTF Wednesday With A Contest!

Welcome to another mid-week post. This week I’m including some summer activities you can undertake, mostly in the privacy of your very own home, that will qualify you to enter a contest!  Busy readers can scroll straight to the bottom for  contest information, however by doing so you’ll miss the meandering prose of a middle-aged  mom, which in turn will cause the elastic in your undershorts to fail in a public place, ending in utter embarrassment, all because you didn’t take the time to read this in its entirety.

WTF Activity The First: Letter Writing: Several days ago my dear friend, Karen, apprised me of some dreadful news. The Red Rose Tea company has decided to stop including the collectible figurines in their boxes of tea.  WTF! We love opening new boxes of tea to be surprised with these little bits of inexpensive pottery.  We’ve amassed quite a collection over the years too.  The girls enjoy sifting through our box of figures and looking at animals, people and various statuary from the past. We each have our favorites.  A3 has started her own little collection that she keeps in her room (which she wouldn’t allow me to photograph).  My mom still has some from tea going back to when I was little. These older ones look similar to the new ones, but they are slightly larger and seem to shine more. The latter feature may be attributed to years of being lovingly admired and handled.

Red Rose has already stopped including figures in all of their specialty teas and in any boxes smaller than the 100 teabag count of their regular black tea. The only way consumers of small boxes can get the figures is to send the UPC codes, along with shipping and handling to the company. And gone are the days of surprise because the consumer must specify which figure he/she wants. In 2011 even the large boxes will be empty and require buyers to follow the same process. Because we only buy the larger boxes we were unaware of the change, and would have remained so until next year when we opened up a new box and couldn’t find the coveted figure.  Karen’s own diligence led her to contact the company, and here is the reply she received:

Karen,

We are no longer putting the figurines in the boxes of tea. There is however an order form that you can cut out and mail in with a UPC code per figurine to obtain the figurines to finish your set.

 If you have further questions please feel free to contact me.

 Sincerely,

Jenifer Daley
Direct Marketing Supervisor
Redco Foods, Inc.
One Hansen Island
Little Falls, NY 13365
(315) 823-1300 ext. 467

I realize that this company’s decision to stop including a premium with their product will save them money.  I also realize that the world won’t end if we don’t keep adding to our menagerie. However, the demise of this program does signify the end of a tradition that I enjoyed sharing with my own children. 

My disappointed outcry might not make a difference, but I intend to write an old-fashioned letter of complaint to Ms. Daley at the above address. In addition, a strongly worded email will be sent to the address below.

 info@redrosetea.com

WTF Activity the second: Helmet making: Is your sleep constantly interrupted by night-time alien abductions? Do the little gray guys have their way with your reproductive cells? Do alien implants make airport security screenings a nightmare? If you answered yes to any of these problems then this site has the answer.

http://www.stopabductions.com/

You can order your very own do-it-yourself protective helmet kit.  Included are the special anti-mind control fabric and complete instructions.

WTF Activity the third: Shredding: Identity theft has mushroomed with the computer revolution and subsequent invention of the World Wide Web (thank you Mr. Gore).  Experts recommend completely destroying all papers containing personal information.  Many people now own personal shredders to slice unwanted credit card offers into fun little bits of confetti. If your home is like ours we end up with bags of shredded paper each month, which must then be sent to recycling .. where hopefully small, evil gnomes don’t painstakingly piece and glue documents back together  so they can sell our information.  Recently, by chance we discovered a more organic and thorough way to dispose of our papers.  We call it the Steve-O-Matic.

 

Our Steve-O-Matic starts out by thoroughly shredding each sheet of paper into bite-sized pieces.  Next some of these pieces are efficiently spread around the house and hidden in the most remote recesses of our home, where no broom can reach. A good portion of the remaining paper is then “nommed” with special kitty saliva until the ink smears beyond legibility. Finally, the Steve-O-Matic eats the most important bits. Once eaten they pass through the kitty composter and emerge disguised as Almond Roca. This method is completely gnome-proof and guaranteed to thwart all prospective identity thieves. Unfortunately, the Steve-O-Matic does not discern between papers you want destroyed and those you wish to keep.

Contest:  The main reason for having this contest is to tell the Red Rose Tea company that we want our figurines back.  Many people don’t have the time to write old-fashioned snail mail letters any more, but if you take the time to shoot off an email to this address: info@redrosetea.com, then you’ll receive an entry in a random drawing to win a gorgeous skein of Kraemer Sterling Silk and Silver Yarn!

 

I understand that not everyone drinks tea or cares to write letters so to make this appeal to more folks I’m adding two more ways to enter.  The second way is to build your own alien abduction helmet (see above). 

The third way to enter is by showing one of your own animals helping you organically destroy your documents.

It’s also a sad fact that not everyone knits, therefore a skein of yarn would do little in their possession except collect dust. Should you fall into this category then I’d be willing to substitute the raw skein of yarn for a custom knitted hat in your color of choice.

So there are three ways to enter:

1. a. Write an email to Red Rose Tea asking them to bring back the figurines.  Send me a message saying that you did (I believe all of you to be honorable) and you’ll receive one entry.

    b. Write a snail mail letter and email me a copy to receive three entries.

2. a. Build your own alien abduction helmet and send me a picture to receive one entry.

     b. Take a picture of yourself wearing the helmet out in public send it to me and receive three entries.

3.  a. Send a picture of your animal in the process of document destruction and receive one entry.

    b. There is no “B” for this one. I don’t want to see the composted results.

Send all entries to this hpresson at comcast dot net (no spaces and replace the “at” and “dot” with appropriate symbols). Contest will end next Tuesday on July 20, 2010. Results will be announced on Wednesday, July 21, At which point (with permission, of course) pictures may be shared.

Cheers!

p.s. should you decide to make and wear the anti-alien abduction helmet would you please make a note first for all extra-terrestrial life so they can send letters to Red Rose Tea as well.  They won’t be able to read your minds to glean this information once you’re protected. A very good source informs me that aliens LOVE collecting the figurines.

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Hello There Saturday!

What a glorious summer morning. Today is supposed to be cooler than the past few days, but it’s still ideal for summer activities.   Oh, the possibilities!

Fishing sounds delightful.  My brother, sister and I grew up fishing and my parents still go quite often. My DH despises fishing with the fire of a thousand suns and my own girls would rather play in the water or try to keep the fish as pets than eat them.  

(Trout fishing, North Cascade Mountains, 1980)

Then again, sitting in the shade and adding a few rows to A2’s shawl also sounds like a divine way to spend this lovely day. A2’s design sketches were quite specific and I’m working out how to transition to the next section.

(at the point where the pattern will shift and the top edges expand significantly)

A mid-day stroll through downtown shops ending with a stop at our favorite local ice cream parlour would make the whole family happy. Ice Cream Renaissance makes all of their own ice cream on site and our favorites include honey vanilla, peanut butter and fresh berry.

Coincidentally, they just happen to be next door to Vancouver’s only LYS too… not that I need any more yarn, but visiting and stroking new skeins is always a treat.

The Bird Refuge  is bustling with wildlife and a brisk jaunt there would be more enjoyable than circling the track at the high school (I’ve taken up running/walking in an attempt to shed some winter layers).

Many local farms have U-pick berries in season and my own garden needs weeding.  What to do!

Any or all of the above activities would be welcome; however, today my DH and I will be here, moving this and hauling it away.

New neighbors moved into the condominium directly behind our fence and they’ve complained about the smell of our grass composting.  They threatened to call the health department, but the Condominium Association President convinced them to wait until he could talk to us first. He was a delightful, older gentleman and he was very apologetic about their complaint.  After checking on-line I could find nothing stating that we’d broken any health codes. There is no kitchen or animal waste, nor is there a rodent problem.  The grass is confined to a fenced area in our back yard too, so it can’t be deemed unsightly.  I suppose that if they pressed the issue the new tenants could try to claim the smell as a nuisance, but I don’t know if that would fly in court.  Regardless, we’ve decided to just rent a truck and haul it away to avoid conflict. The green can laying on its side in the above picture is how much yard waste our garbage service will take every two weeks. Our yard isn’t huge, it’s just a little over half an acre, but that can size is laughable compared to what we generate. Moving this pile will be costly and smelly. Wonder what the new tenants back there will think about the smell once we delve into 4 years’ worth of grass clippings? Cheers!

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WTF Wednesday

WTF Souvenirs: While my eldest daughter was off on her adventures exploring our nation’s capital she made a special call home to tell me that she’d found the “perfect present” for me.  She prompted me to guess what it was, but I admit that this never once came to mind.

 Yup, she went there. But as I pointed out to her, it doesn’t say, “My Blog Sucks”. Therefore, if I’m wearing it only other people with blogs should be offended.

WTF Pollution: Tuesday was the first really warm day we’ve had in Western Washington this year.  This has been an uncommonly wet and cool year for us in the Pacific NorthWest, so fire hazards are pretty low, but it was still surprizing to smell smoke from someone burning.  Oops! the source of the smoke was closer to home.

 The lid to our coffee pot fell down from the top rack in the dishwasher and had melted on the heating element below.  Doh!  It took hours to air the house out from the carcinogens and this morning a hint of burning plastic still lingered.

WTF Summer Job:  Because of incessent whining about being busy and trying to keep up with my girls’ summer schedules it should come as no surprize that I’ve foregone the idea of finding a summer job.  I lack the organizational skills and time management necessary to make it work.  As such, I’ve returned to an old stand by to make extra money. Piles of “treasures” from garage sales, Craigslist, etc. now grace the dining room as they await their turn on the eBay auction block. The cats delight in the towers of plunder as they play tag around them and test out piles for playing “King of the Mountain.”  My girls are indifferent to it as long as they’re getting fed and the listing or shipping  times don’t interfere with their activities.  My DH though can’t stand it. He grew up in a military household where everything was pressed, polished and in its place 24/7.  Sorry dear!

 Yes, I’ve turned into  Fred Sanford  !

WTF Ew, Gross: A brief article stated that a New York City Abercrombie and Fitch store is closed due to a bed bug infestation.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100701/od_nm/us_abercrombie_bedbugs_odd

I wonder how many people have unknowingly tried clothes on there then brought the critters home with them.

WTF Troops in Trouble: In 2009 some Israeli soldiers made a video showing them dancing on patrol.  The video made it to Youtube and the soldiers are in trouble.  I doubt they’d make it on “So You Think You Can Dance”, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves by letting go a little bit.

I liked watching them more than Ke$ha!

Have a great Wednesday everyone. Cheers!

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Independence Day Weekend!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!  Today is the day we Yanks wave our flags, sing patriotic songs, bbq, hang out with family and friends and of course, blow up fireworks.   We celebrate loudly and unabashedly because we live in a great country in a great time.  Constant news of economic struggles, political incompetence (from both major parties), environmental disasters and the bad deeds of a few rotten apples leave many people believing that we’re going to Hell in the proverbial handbasket.  Old timers lament simpler, safer, better times.  Times when children could roam streets safely, everyone worked hard without expecting handouts and the young respected their elders.  Nostalgic filters do wonders for memories!  The truth is, there was crime, unemployment and civil unrest then too.  The  biggest difference is that we hear the bad news faster and more often than we used to and it’s harder to block outside information from our private lives because of cell phones, cable tv, the internet, etc.  Because of this, now, more than ever, it’s important to disconnect ourselves and our families from the constant bombardment of negativity and restore the sanctuary of home by getting away from the computer, turning off the t.v. or simply turning off the phone.   Our country isn’t perfect, but life is pretty damned  awesome. My kids are fed, relatively safe and most people are still good at heart.  My ancestors struggled and worked hard so I could live here and raise my children in this land of hope.  To throw up my hands at the state of our society and lament a Utopian past (that never really existed) belittles the struggles they endured. They did this so that my pampered arse could sit in my safe, comfortable home espousing  philosophy and discussing knitting on the internet. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t exactly what they had in mind, but my point is, rather than complain, those living in the U.S.A.  should celebrate. I take this responsibility quite seriously. That being said, we whooped it up in grand style!

 On Saturday (which also happened to be my Dear Old Dad’s birthday, Happy Birthday Dad!) we went to our hometown celebration.  A local reporter covered part of the event and proclaimed it “Corny” and likened our town to Mayberry.  She’s right. That’s exactly why I love living here. Where else can farmers drive their tractors down main street to cheering masses while Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” blasts out from the judging stand?  And you’ll notice that our street light is featured prominently in this picture. Although technically, it’s just a four-way stop that blinks red for everyone, we still have one!

My DH, A2, A3 and I all enjoyed ice cream while waiting for the festivities to start.  A2 refused to smile for a picture, but remaining stony-faced was quite a struggle for her. The day was too beautiful not to be grinning.

A3 used her megaphone to greet each parade entry as it passed us by.

Old collectors’ cars and fire trucks were spit-shined to perfection and passengers took great delight in throwing fists full of candy to the audience.

A1 joined fellow cheerleaders in representing the local high school. She’s the second from the left in this picture.

If you look closely at this next picture you’ll notice what appears to be a giant, walking dinner roll. That’s actually someone dressed up as a potato, the school’s mascot.  I’ve no idea how the poor person wearing this could see and he/she had to be sweltering.  Would that make them a baked potato?

No parade would be complete without bag pipes.  These distinguished gentlemen sounded great, but I confess I had no urge, what-so-ever, to peek under their kilts.  The joke that “Nothing is worn under a Scotsman’s kilt, everything is in perfect working order” had my DH and I smothering giggles as we pondered these fellows and wondered whether or not male enhancement drugs were prescribed.  What can I say… it was hot and we were getting bored.

This old soldier and his vintage jeep looked just like GI Joe, but maybe  without  the Kung Fu grip!

Following the parade we went home to rest and eat.  That evening we drove back to town to watch the fireworks.  Several hundred people sat on blankets in a soccer field located between the junior high and elementary school.  The live music from downtown had stopped for the day, but loud recordings of patriotic songs (and a few, more modern ones) set the mood.  The fireworks were shot off almost directly overhead so we were able to literally lay back and enjoy the show.

On Sunday we did very little, but my DH replaced all of the batteries in the smoke detectors and I knitted a little bag for A2.  The zipper needs to be set and a firm blocking is still in order before it’s servicable. It’s just the right size for her D.S. and a few Poke’mon cards.  It was constructed with heavy-duty nylon to endure her rigorous usage.

 For dinner we enjoyed more bbq (pork chops today, hot dogs yesterday) and fresh summer fruits and vegetables.

Already full tummies were topped off with coffee and fresh strawberry shortcake. Summer food rocks! 

Watching neighborhood fireworks will round out the evening. Because tomorrow is a Federal holiday my DH has the day off . A1 still has cheer practice and A2 starts art lessons though, so we’ll still be busy.  Hope everyone here in the U.S.A. had a great time. For our friends living in other countries, you’re all invited to next year’s party. Cheers!

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