Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year, New Life

My niece gave birth to her third baby tonight. We passed part of the evening playing Uno in the waiting room. Here's Stephanie and Allison and Lance playing cards. Allison was plugging her ears because we were being too noisy apparently. She doesn't do well with noise and especially any arguing.


Here's Lance and Ashely....


And here's the most wonderful reason we put aside our grand new year's eve party plans. Our newest family member....


As I was walking down the hall from the birthing room, I was crying. One of the nurses asked me if I was ok. I said yes. She followed me a little further and I kept crying.

"Are you sure you're ok?"
"Yes...I just wish I could turn my teenagers back that small again"
"Oh honey.....I totally understand. Boy do I."


The Last Monday of 2007

Exciting, no?
Well, ok.

Today's agenda. Find out why my phone is interfering with my wifi connection. This does not make me happy. I'm #34 in line to chat with an online-customer-care professional. My fervent hope is that they speak enough English for me to understand them.

I brought my husband breakfast in bed this morning. He's so sweet....and deserves it far more often.

So many things to think about for the coming year-- but nothing I care to write about here for now.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I woke up this morning and my eyes were aching--a sure sign that things aren't going to go well visually for me today.

I did manage to proof ten articles I'd somehow managed to write this week--and found that I must have been on crack when I wrote them. There were an amazing number of incomplete sentences, sentences that made no sense whatsoever and bad grammar abounded. I knew I wasn't thinking clearly last week, but goodness.

At any rate.... one ebook off to a client, five articles off to another and the ten uploaded to my site for my subscribers and I think I need to rest my eyes for a bit before they explode.

and people don't think I work..... Ha.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Remote Controls and Imminent Death

Remote Controls and PMS
Pamela's column for December 26, 2007

You’d think that after being married for twenty years, my husband would have learned how to catch any subtle hint I may toss his way. Sometimes I’ll shiver and he’ll know I’m cold. Or I’ll suddenly turn bright orange and have flames shooting out the top of my head and he might understand that I’m having a hot flash and know that it’s time to duck, cover and roll.

As I said, a husband should just understand the hints that his wife sets before him. Like the one I casually made yesterday. It went something like this:
“Get me a remote control that works for the tv or I will kill you”

Not subtle enough?

Last night in bed we were watching some show and the commercial came on. You know how commercials suddenly raise the volume on the television from just right straight to I will make your ears bleed? Well I was working on my laptop and the noise was deafening and distracting so I asked him to mute it for me.

He stuck his fingers in my ears.

I’m not kidding.

I’m fairly certain that no jury in the world would have convicted me of murder had I suddenly bitten off both of his fingers and choked him with them.

Then he spent five minutes pushing every button on the remote. He probably did that because the look I gave him raised his personal threat level from SAFE to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. I swear to you that he is beside me in bed right now and he is STILL pushing buttons on that dead remote.

Even people who live in trailers have remote controls that work.

I said that to him, which caused him to break into a humorous (or so he thought) story about a guy he works with who had the same TV as a neighbor did and they would giggle and guffaw as they changed each other’s television channels through the walls of their mobile homes. Still not amused, I told him that see? Even his friends from work WHO LIVE IN TRAILERS have remote controls.

I don’t want a remote control for my garage doors, I can live without that. I don’t want a remote for my stereo (mostly because I don’t have one) or one that regulates the temperature of my house, turns on my lights or one that even claps on or off.
I want a remote control for my television so I can CHANGE THE CHANNEL WHEN I want to. How 1970’s of that is me? People in the 1970's had remote controls for their televisions and vcrs. They may have been tethered to the machines, but still.

Now…..imagine that you have no remote control. You don’t feel good. In fact you feel pretty darn crappy because you have PMS, among other things.

PMS + no remote control = imminent death.

This should be the kind of thing a husband with twenty years of marriage under his belt should immediately sense. This should cause said husband to leave the house and go directly to the store. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars just BUY YOUR WIFE A REMOTE CONTROL BEFORE SHE KILLS YOU.

(editor’s note: the columnist wishes her audience to know that yes, she is quite aware that there are worse things in life than having to get up and manually change the channel on the television set. She also wishes you to know that she adores her husband and would never bite off his fingers and choke him to death with them. Unless of course she was provoked and then that whole ‘justifiable homicide’ comes into play, especially if there are any married women on the jury.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I learned it from my daughter. This is Miss Ashley Rose, taken this month at my Aunt Helen's funeral.

Ashley at Autie Helens funeral

If you look closely (and you'd have to look closely because it's not easy to see unless you're looking for it) you'll see that her right hand is paralyzed. My little angel had a stroke in the womb. The right side of her body doesn't work like everyone else's does. She has defined courage for me since her birth 9 short years ago.

Not expected to walk, much less talk, my baby angel is a walking talking miracle with more courage in her little pinky than most have in their entire, healthy bodies.

As most of you know, I've been having some health issues lately. Today I was finally told what's wrong with me. I have Multiple Sclerosis.

I will not let it beat me. I have a courageous little angel who has shown me the way and I will not let her down. I can't.

I can beat this. I will beat this.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things could be worse, yes I know. Thank you.

Since we only have one vehicle now (thanks Chris) I drive Lance to work around three every day. Today I drove him the massive 4 minutes to work, then turned around and was pulling out back on to busy 176th and saw a black cloud, a fireball explode into the sky....oh, just about where my house was.

Hand over my mouth all I could say was "Oh please Lord...not my children...Oh, oh..oh...."

It wasn't my home, thank goodness, but it was close. I'm still not sure what happened, but in the space of just minutes there was no fire and then the entire house was engulfed and burning to the ground.

Naturally I took a cellphone video. Perhaps this was the universe's way of showing me, 'see? it CAN be worse!'

Eye'll be home for Christmas....

Yesterday hubby took me to eye doc.

Eye Doc: "Have you been in a car accident recently?"
Me: "No"
Eye Doc: Have you had a head injury recently?"
Me: "No"
Eye Doc: "hmmm...."

I hate it when they say hmmmm.

Eye Doc: "when is your MRI?"
Me: "Tomorrow"
Eye Doc: "Good"

You know the feeling you get after you take cold medicine? Your head feels all big and floaty? Yeah. Only I haven't taken any cold medicine. And my eyes keep going wonky on me. This doesn't make my writing work flow like it usually does.

The good news is that my retinas are still attached. Yeah for attached retinas! The bad news is....we don't know.


Friday, December 14, 2007

On the 14th Day of Christmas you don't want to know ...

But you're going to find out anyway so I might as well share with you my very own personal version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I'm sure you're thrilled. Go ahead, sing along. After all, it's going to be so festive. No, really. I promise. Break out the eggnog.

On the first day of Christmas
My cell phone company gave to me
notice that my son had texted fourteen hundred times in one week

On the second day of Christmas
My son gave to me
notice that he was failing math

On the third day of Christmas
my coed called to say
You have to come and get me
and I'm not flying home alone either!

On the fourth day of Christmas
my husband said to me
The cats have horked in two places
and if you don't put them outside I will be killing them soon

On the fifth day of Christmas
I had a stroke!

Fourteen hundred text messages!
Son failing math!
Girl NOT flying home!
Cat hork on carpeting
and a stroke in my parietal lobe!

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love gave me to me
CAT scan and bloodwork!

On the seventh day of Christmas
Verizon said to me
We turn your phones off unless you pay big bucks

On the eight day of Christmas
My sister said to me
I'm sorry but our Auntie Helen died

On the ninth day of Christmas
disabled daughter says to me
my brace hurts and I'm not wearing it anymore!

On the tenth day of Christmas
my cerebral cortex said to me
You really don't need to see out of your right eye

On the eleventh day of Christmas
ER doctor says to me
Ma'am you going to get an MRI

On the twelfth day of Christmas
our son calls us to say
Airbags went off but I'm ok

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You're going to hear about it anyway, so I just thought I'd do a blanket-telling right here. In fact. just so you know? Don't expect any Christmas cards from me this year.

C'mon, lets sing it all together now!

Fourteen hundred text messages!
Son failing math!
Girl NOT flying home!
Cat hork on carpeting
and a stroke in my parietal lobe!
CT scan and bloodwork!
Removal of phone service!
Death in the family!
Leg Brace not working!
Right eye goes kaplooey!
Get an MRI
The airbags went off but car is totaled now.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another ER, another cute ER Doc

I've been working from a local kawfee shop the past few weeks. It helps to get me out of the house so the mattress monster can't suck me back into bed. On Monday I was working for about four hours and I was on a roll.....really getting a lot done.

Suddenly my left eye started giving me some weird signals. There was a lovely little circle of flashing colored lights. It started out small and then got bigger and bigger and bigger until it was REALLY festive! So festive in fact that I had trouble seeing anything BUT the blinkie little lights. Wheee!

So I did what any sane person would do. I unplugged my laptop, packed it up, got my keys and drove myself home.

Yes, I made it. Hubby was not too pleased that I'd done that of course. I was just scared and wanted to get to him.

My blinky lights had cleared up by the time the ER doc saw me. The CT scan was fine, as was the bloodwork. Now I'll be having an MRI and a heart echo to see if I'm throwing tiny clots.

The fun never ends! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Committed to the Holiday Season

Happy Holidays!
Pamela's column for Pacific Publishing December 5, 2007

As the old year fades and the New Year approaches our thoughts turn to the important things that we ponder every year around this time: can I eat one more frosted sugar cookie in the shape of a Christmas tree and not have the buttons on my shirt turn into projectiles that will take out everyone in the room?

Overindulging at this time of year is a big problem, one that causes bigger problems, big being the operative word here. I’ve decided that it’s time to take drastic measures and I’m going to take you with me because I’m too afraid to go alone.

I have discovered a way to keep fit and trim and during this perilously high caloric season of overindulgence and I owe it all to my youngest child.

In watching her behavior over the past year I’ve noticed that she tends to eat what she wants and never appears to put on any extra poundage or have her clothing turn into weapons of mass destruction. It took me awhile but I’ve finally discovered why.

Bad behavior. You can lose weight by being naughty—and no, not that way, although I’m sure if you look long enough you’ll find that someone somewhere has created a naughty workout to help you feel the burn. No, this is what I like to call Fitness Fits.
The premise for this approach to keeping the pounds at bay is simple. When you don’t get your way, and quite frankly just how often to you get your own way as adult,
pitch a fit.

There are a few classic moves that you might remember from your own childhood if you can reach that far back into your past. First a few things to consider before you fling yourself to the floor and begin your Fitness Fits

• You’re not as young as you were when you last used this workout. Throwing yourself down without first making sure there’s an air mattress to catch you may result in severe bodily injury requiring a call for the paramedics. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. They’re usually pretty good looking guys.
• Make sure that the person you’re performing for is watching. It’s all good and well to use Fitness Fits as a cardio workout, but wouldn’t it be even better if it helped you get what you want? It’s a win-win!

Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s get down to specifics. Classic moves in this program may feel a bit silly to you at first, but remember that you’re going back to your roots. It might help to visualize yourself as a three or four year old that’s just been told NO by their mommy or their daddy. Of course now you’ve been told by your doctor that you can’t salt your food any longer because of some silly hypertension issues your body is raising. Fitness Fits will help you get back in touch with your inner child so you can annoy those around you.

Here are some of the tried and true methods of Fitness Fits:

• Place your body on the floor on your back. Kick your legs repeatedly. Usually 4 sets of 20 should get your heart pumping like a well oiled machine. Primal screaming is an excellent enhancement to this move.
• Body Rolls. It helps if you pretend you’re on fire to make this move work. Stop, drop and roll. Repeat the roll. Keep rolling. Unless you have an unobstructed pathway, you must roll back and forth as fast as you can.
• Body Twisting. This is a variation on the Body Roll in that you stop rolling occasionally to twist your body into positions you haven’t been able to reach since before you hit puberty. You’ll either increase your flexibility with this move or put yourself into traction.
• Body Slamming. I don’t recommend this move unless you’ve already been committed to the psych ward and are enjoying the benefits of a well padded room, which is a very real possibility if someone sees you doing this one. Slam your body repeatedly into walls, furniture, floor and if you’re really good, the ceiling. As always, guttural noises increase the effectiveness of this exercise.

I hope I’ve helped you here with some new ideas to make your holidays a bit cheerier, a little more exciting and increase the probability that you’ll end up in protective custody of some sort. After all, nothing says holiday cheer like involuntary commitment.
Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snow? Riiiiiiight

I have come to realize that when the weatherman is shooting off weather bulletins every other commercial as breaking news and telling us that snow is imminent, that we will in point of fact receive nary a flake.

Except for the flake on the television promising my children snow.

It's when they don't warn you that you're gonna get hammered. That's just how it works.

Ok, back to work on this.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Website Launch!

It's up! It's running! It's ALIVE! Pamela's Ghostwriting Service & Exclusive PLR Membership Site

It looks good in IE but sorta icky in Firefox. I will be fixing that shortly, and when I say 'I', I mean my programmer because I am a clueless wonder when it comes to programming.

I'm also offering my members a private forum, article directory in English and soon to be in Spanish as well.

I was up until 3:30 this morning working via the web with my very patient and very ill programmer, Jeri Lynn. She was so sick, but kept on working. She's an amazingly wonderful person. I recommend her quite highly.

At any rate, there it is.

I think I'll go fall over now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Birthday!

Thursday is my birthday. I won't tell you exactly how old I'll be, but suffice it to say that it's an anniversary of my 25th. No, I'm not 50, so hush.

For my birthday I'm launching a new writing business venture that I hope will be wildly successful.

I plan to donate a portion of the proceeds from this to Wonderland Developmental Center. This is where our baby Ashley was welcomed after her stroke. They taught her to talk, to walk, to be all that she could be, despite the limitations imposed upon her by her disability. Without their love and care, I'm not sure where she'd be today.

So, stay tuned for the link to my new venture. It will go LIVE on Thursday as a birthday present to myself and a huge thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Wonderland Developmental Center.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cascade Effect...

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from my sister. Seems her 11 year old was throwing up.
My 11 year old is staying with them.

The next thing I hear is the sound of puking coming from her 14 year old, who is staying with us. She threw up all over the family room.

Then I hear the unmistakable sounds of my 9 year old tossing HER cookies all over our bedroom floor.

Later, it's the 18 year old, home for Thanksgiving from college, rushing to the bathroom to upchuck as well.

We spend the night cleaning up puke, bathing children covered in puke, washing sheets and blankets and towels covered in said puke.

I got a phone call this morning that my 11 year old is now throwing up as well.

I'm not feeling too well myself right now....

....If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all....gloom, despair and agony on meeeeee.....

Anyone recognize where that song came from?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

Not sure why they call it that.....and don't feel inclined to google it either.

I overslept and was late to work. My boss (me) was not happy and although I have no fear of being fired, I do fear she will force me to work overtime today to make up for my lack of punctuality.

I took the ENTIRE day off yesterday! My fingers did not touch a keyboard for over 24 hours. And lo, the world did not cease to exist. Miracle of miracles!

We went up to Seattle and had Thanksgiving with the family. Good food, good times.

Came home and cleaned up the kitchen from the previous night's pumpkin/cherry pie baking frenzy and spent the remainder of the evening reading! Yes! It was heaven. Hubby asked me how I could stand to read when my entire life seems consumed by words. How could I want to read when I spend all day writing? I explained that it's a different dynamic. I get to be entertained, rather than be the one entertaining. I'm taken away and relaxed.

It's all good.

Ok, back to work before the boss finds out I'm taking a quick break to write this. I'm working from the kawfeee shop again in order to avoid the children who won't leave me be at home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pamela's Lament

I walked into the store this morning and saw a sign that read:

35 Days Till Christmas

I was less than amused.

And just a little frightened.

I saw a house with Christmas lights aglow tonight.

Too much is hurried these days. One season bleeds into the next, with no defined edges. I like edges. I like order.

There's not enough of it in my life sometimes.

Monday, November 19, 2007


No, I'm not writing while wearing a white sheet over my head--although that does sound appealing at the moment. I'm ghost-writing an eBook on ancient eastern wisdom for a client, writing various and sundry introductions on webpages for another client, finishing up another eBook on slow cooker cooking for yet another client and managing to do so from the warmth of a lovely coffee shop.

Speaking of doing things in a ghostly manner: my two youngest girls were playing a rousing game of Ghost tag the other evening with one of their friends. Ghost tag involves putting a sheet over your head (sans eye holes) and racing around the house at top speed.

You can just imagine what's going to happen next, right? Right. Head first into the wall.

Hey, where did that wall come from? Who put that there?

Ashley didn't break her nose, but it wasn't pretty.

Ghost tag is now verboten.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Baby is Baaaaaaack!

She's home from college. From her first semester away. Home for Thanksgiving.

She stumbled into the house around 3 a.m after driving for 12 hours with some other college friends. She'd never looked more beautiful.

I hugged her until she said, "uh....ok, that's enough. Hello? Mom? Stop!"

I figured I was entitled since it had been three months since I'd seen her. Oh sure, we talked on the phone, texted and exchanged emails, but that's not physical contact. I just needed to hold her for a few hours minutes.

You know how us moms are.....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seattle School District

Ah yes, I'm SO proud that you are my alma mater. I puff out my chest at your ability to do...whatever it is that you do. I think my friend No Cool Story says it best.

You really must read what she wrote.


I've found a new place to love. Forza. It's like a starbucks without all the pretentious coffee-speak and high prices. It also has FREE WI-FI!

I've been here for three hours and have gotten a lot done. I plan on staying for a few more hours until I finish up at least two eBooks.

Then I'm off to the grade school to work at the book fair. After that it's a doc appt. for me. (Double vision attack last night--never a good thing)

Then it's piano lessons for Ally and the whole make-dinner-clean-up-do-homework-drive-son-to-gf's-house deal. Busy, busy, busy.

Still working on my website launch. New scheduled date is the Monday after Thanksgiving. I sure hope it's able to work this time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I spent the entire day in bed.

Well, not the entire day. I got up at six to take The Boy to seminary but the surburban wouldn't start. It was frozen solid but I'm not sure that had anything to do with it.

I crawled back into bed for a bit.

That 'bit' lasted all day.

I do not like migraines. No siree. It's put me way behind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My sweet Ashley handed me a glass of eggnog just a bit ago. I hadn't asked for one and probably shouldn't have had one. My other sweet daughter Allison said, "Mom, she just pretty much handed you a glass full of death"

Hey, when you're right, you're right.

Doesn't mean I didn't drink it down of course. sigh.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

T-mobile hot spots

I'm such a newbie to this whole wi-fi hotspot starbucks thing. When I purchased a day pass on Thursday to work on my laptop there I assumed that the 24 hour pass I bought could be used anytime until the time was up.

Turns out it's a consecutive pass, meaning to take full advantage of it I'd have to be here at Starbucks for a full 24 hours. Now I don't know about you, but hello?? I don't know of a 24 hour starbucks and I certainly would not and COULD not spend a full 24 hours there working.

In the first place, my brain would explode from attempting to write 24 hours non-stop, secondly, I'd be buying too many caramel apple ciders and eat up any writing profits I'd hope to make during that time. It's not exactly a win-win.

So when I couldn't sign in today you can understand my confusion when it said I had to buy more time. I called, they understood my problem and gave me another day pass, that I have to use for a consecutive 24 hours to receive the full benefit.

It's nearly four here. This means I won't get to leave until four tomorrow. I'm sure the staff will understand when I tell them I can't possibly leave because I'll lose money.

Perhaps I should handcuff myself to the espresso machine.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


No, I don't drink coffee, but I do enjoy a nice hot apple caramel cider occasionally and I'm enjoying one right now. I decided that I was too distracted at home lately so I'm trying an experiment. After I drop Chris off in the morning I go right to the Starbucks and work from there for four or five hours.

This also has the added benefit of keeping me awake and not being sucked back into bed, which happens sometimes.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday is the new Monday...

Long day. Ashley had x-ray time after a doctor visit. Her weak foot was injured/strained in gym class. Then last night she had a strange thing happen. It wasn't a seizure, but it looked like one. Her right side locked up and she was in pain.

Something is going on...

I think tomorow I will go and write during the day in nearby starbucks. There's less distractions there than here at home and I seem to be easily distracted of late.

My new website launch has been pushed back until we can work out some glitches in the system. I have the BEST people working on it. I am surrounded by good friends and I am blessed.

Friday, November 02, 2007


In my quest to take over the world Internet, my programmer and webmistress are here today, tonight and even spending the night. We're working on my launch that is scheduled for Monday.

Stay tuned for more details.... We're pulling an all-nighter, something I haven't done since college (or with sick kids after that) with the hope of getting everything up and running.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Procrastinator Thy Name Is Pamela

Do you ever do something you don't want to do, in order to get out of doing something else that you don't want to do?

I did that today. I spent all morning cleaning and de-junking our bedroom/office because when I sat down at my desk and saw all the clutter I just couldn't work with all of it around me. Uh huh.

It didn't stop me for the past month, but suddenly it's annoying me now? Yeah, I don't think so.

I think I've just been putting off finishing up this eBook for a client because I can't get my mind around it....sooooooo I'm stalling. Procrastinating.

Now my room is clean and I'm STILL not working.

Get a grip Pammy. Anyone have a grip they can loan me? Mine seems to be out of service right now

And with that I'll end with a picture of my girls Allison and Ashley and my niece Nicole standing in front of a Llama this weekend. We went to a pumpkin farm with them and they had a blast. (My girls are on the right)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Schwarzenegger an action hero yet again?

I was watching CNN (gag, choke) and just heard Wolf Blitzer ask if Gov. Schwarzenegger is reprising his role as an action hero in the California fires.

I've talked to family and friends down there and so far they're all right, but are packed and ready to run.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to Balance work and family

Is it possible? I feel torn most of the time. I've got so much work to do, and I love the work I'm doing. It feeds me, creatively.

Then I feel as though I'm neglecting my children at times because I AM working so much.

It's a fine line. Does anyone have some advice?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Autumn colors

Hubby kidnapped me on Tuesday and forced me to drive though a beautiful valley, full of trees that are changing colors then took me to a bakery and coerced me into buying a cinnamon roll. I told him my boss wasn't going to like it that I was missing work

Here's a tree at Flaming Geyser State Park. If you look closely you can see the Green River.

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Wind Storm?

They've issued a wind watch for today and tonight. Wheeeeee!

Last year's windstorm was such fun. Hopefully it won't be a repeat. I took the girls shopping yesterday and picked up some coats on sale to keep them warm. Here's Ashley all winterized. She was so proud that she got her gloves on all by herself.

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I'd post a picture of Ally too but for some reason my cell didn't send me the picture....

I have about 16 more eBooks to finish writing for clients so I'd better get to it. This week I've written eBooks on the Law of Attraction, Visualization, Cold Sores and Fever Blisters, and there were a couple more that I can't think of right now. to work.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Seeds and More!

How to make Pumpkin Seeds, Ghostly Treats and much, much More!
From the mind of a Nationally Published Humor Columnist

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I've created a one-of-a-kind Halloween eBook with over 30 pages of hauntingly good content for this Halloween season! You want to know how to make pumpkin seeds? It's here! Want to spice up your Halloween party, for kids OR Adults? It's here! From Pumpkin seed recipes to how to create your own haunted house, this book covers it all!

» Spooky Treats You Can Make At Home
» Creating Your Own Haunted House
» Disguises & Costumes
» Halloween Fun And Games

All 30 pages with graphics for only
$27 $20!

It's a bargain, so make your payment today and you will receive an email sending you to the website download page to receive this fantastic collection of Halloween Treats!

I'm only selling a LIMITED number of these eBooks, so hurry and get yours now!!

Happy Halloween!!!

Someone has an ugly sense of humor...

Just before one in the morning my cell phone rang. I'm always up that late, usually I'm up until three or four in the morning working.

I looked at my cell phone and it read Restricted. When I answered I heard someone sobbing. A woman. I thought it was my sister. She kept saying that dad was was dead.

I nearly came undone.

After a few moments I realized that it wasn't my sister, and I thought some poor soul had called my number by mistake.

Until I found out this morning that my sister's phone had run a few minutes after my phone call. The number was Restricted.

I'm thankful that my father is all right and once again I'm disappointed in some of my fellow human beings.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's all fun and games untill someone loses a cell phone

Ah yes. Such fun.

I drove up to Seattle to take my Dad to lunch. We ate haute cuisine at the Northgate Mall. Ally and Ash had Kidd Valley of course.

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Then we visited my sister for awhile and I tried to do some work on my laptop while I was there but the system I was piggy backing on wasn't strong enough to send files and I had to shut my system down. We played at Paramount Park, and then at Carkeek Park. This was the park of my high school youth. I stood there in the middle of the big green field and I swear if I squinted I could see Ben, John, Kevin, Carin and I running around, laughing and playing frisbee.

So I called my best friend Carin, who has mysteriously gone from a Pacific Northwest girl, to a desert dwelling suburban mom. I sat here.....

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and as I watched the sunset, we reminisced about the fun we'd had, and how odd it was to be standing where I was, with my son who is now the age I was when this was my park.

Melancholy.... and some sadness. It's a strange feeling to look back across the years to the person I was, and see the person I've become.

Meanwhile, the children played. There's a huge slide inside a Chinook Salmon there. Ally climbed in and mugged for me.

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They all played on the teeter totter together.

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As I was driving out of the park my son realized his phone was missing. We went back and retraced every step. No phone.

Suddenly all my calm and relaxation went out the window and I spent the next half hour on the phone with Verizon, explaining things to them, having them explain to me how the phone that was lost had gone over our minutes by, oh, 1400 minutes.

Guess who has a whopping phone bill? Yeah. Great end to the day.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Can it already be Tuesday? It must be. But I thought it was Friday yesterday....I'm so out of whack with my days and nights.

With hubby working the swing shift, neither one of us manages to get to sleep before three in the morning most of the time. Its insane.

We're hopeful he can get on days soon so we can get our days and nights back the way they're supposed to be.

Since it's only 11:15 I still have four hours at least to finish writing that client's eBook.

Ok Pammy....back to work.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Miracle

Happy Birthday Ashley!!

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Nine years ago today they wheeled me into the operating room after telling me you might not survive. No one knew you'd had a stroke, we only knew you'd stopped moving and your heartbeat was fading.

Then they told us you wouldn't walk or talk or become all the things that you've grown up to be today. You are truly my miracle child, the child so close to my heart that when you hurt, I cry.

I'm grateful every day for you and for the things you taught me. Thank you for being my baby angel, baby girl.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Little Gym

I took a break from writing today to take my two girls to the Little Gym for a free class to see if they enjoyed it.

They did! I brought my laptop with me so I could work while they were in there tumbling and rolling and racing around. It looked like they were having such a good time. I think I'll sign them up for this.

Also, I took down the comment moderation thingy, but I'm afraid I'll have to put it back up again as there are some very ugly-souled people out there who don't seem to have a sense of humor about much. I don't need that negativity in my life...and neither does anyone else coming here to read.

Buh-Bye mean spirited people.

And now....back to work. Yes, it's nearly midnight. No, I'm not done yet.

Thursday, September 27, 2007



did I mention busy?

It's truly amazing the difference a week makes in your life when there's been such enormus changes taking place.

I may not be around as much....but I'm all right. I'm good in fact. Life is good. And only getting better.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend is done....

I spent the majority of the weekend working, sending three finished eBooks to clients. I'm loving what I'm doing more than I ever believed possible. I received an email from a client this morning and I thought I'd share it.

Hi Pamela,

I must say I'm very impressed with what you've given me here. Your writing style stands out for me as world-class. I was a newspaper reporter for six years and editor for four, and I know an exceptional writer when I see one.

Your work also stands out for me in how you went to the added step of adding appropriate graphics and formatting it... a very nice touch I appreciate.

In fact, this is the first time I've received a ghostwritten book that would be ready to sell as is. In other words, dare I say it's perfect as it is?

Thank you - you impress me as being in a league of your own, and I am interested in learning about your services for other projects, although now that I've swelled your head ;-))....

So I sent him my client price list and I look forward to getting more and more work as word of mouth spreads about my work. Not that I need any more just now, I'm pretty busy.

Loving what you do and being able to do it for a living is perhaps one of the greatest things on earth. That and a hot chocolate fudge sundae of course.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Life is good....

...and getting better all the time.

I've been working extra hard of late, even having to miss out on going to the fair with hubby and the girls in order to work for twelve hours that day.

I'm quite excited about my work now, mostly due to the fact that I've been given so much of it, and am getting more all the time. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of me, but I'll handle it. I've delivered three eBooks to clients in the past three days and I have more to go.

Today I took the grand step of talking to an acountant and began the process of setting up an LLC for my business.

Next step, taking the family to Hawaii! Wheeeeeee!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So You Want To Make Money Online??

WOOO HOOOO! I was just given RAVE reviews of my eBook by some BIG NAME Internet Marketers!!

e-Writing for Fun and Profit
A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money By Writing Online

If you’re interested in purchasing my eBook, send $21.77 to my paypal account at pamelatroeppl at, then email me the confirmation number and I’ll send you this incredibly fun and easy guide to making money doing what you love.


For everyone that purchases my eBook, I’m tossing in an EXTRA BONUS that will make you even MORE money!

I'm having such fun with this and you can too!! Come on and join the party!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm Being Stalked

Pamela's Column for Pacific Publishing

September 16, 2007

I’m being stalked. I’m not sure the police can help me with my situation. To tell you the truth I probably brought this on myself. I was too nice, too giving, too available and encouraged the attention from this person when deep down inside I sometimes felt like screaming “Leave me alone!!” and running far, far away. But I didn’t. I stayed in this relationship probably longer than was healthy and I fear I caused this dependence. I know the experts counsel stalking victims that it’s really not their fault, that the stalker has issues and that you are not to blame.
They couldn’t be more wrong in this case. I know I made mistakes with this person. I gave them money, I paid for their cell phone and I even bought them clothes. When we went out to eat, I always paid. I know, I know, I was gullible. I should have known better and stood up for myself.

I admit it. It’s my fault.

In the past week I’ve gotten 1,375 text messages, 47 phone calls and 68 emails from my stalker. I’m scared. A restraining order is not out of the question.
I told my sister about all the texting and calling and emails. She had some sage advice for me.

“Tell your daughter to leave you alone and grow up. Her first year at college is going to be a challenge but she’s not making it any easier on herself by constantly contacting you”

Then she suggested that I not answer the phone for a while and I got goose bumps. Not answer the phone? Don’t respond to the text messages? Ignore the emails? Could I do that? Go cold turkey?

I’ve thought about it and I’m not sure I can simply quit this relationship. We have a kind of co-dependence thing going on here. She needs me for the money I provide and I need her because she makes me feel needed and for the fact that she’s talking to me.

I admit it. I’m easy. She’s been a teenager for five and a half years and she’s spoken to me more in the past week than she has in those five years. Oh, she’s a sneaky one. Communicating with me in order to break down my defenses is a clever plan. How devious of her.

And all it took was sending her out of state to college. If I’d known that breaking down her walls was as easy as moving her 900 miles away I might have done it when she was 14. Now that I think about it, I wanted to send her far, far away when she was 14 but the law said I couldn’t.

Of course she didn’t have a cell phone when she was 14 so her ability to stalk me would have been severely inhibited.

Oh, here comes another text message.

“I love you madre”

Now I’m worried. Someone has obviously stolen her cell phone.

“Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?”

“Ha ha mom. Very funny”

It’s not funny to me. I’m concerned. I think I’ll send her an email and see how she’s doing.

I'm Being Stalked

There’s something to be said for having the kids back in school and being able to spend time alone with the spousal unit. We got up this morning and got all the offspring off to school then fell back into bed and slept. Sleep = exciting for us middle aged doddering fools.

I’ve been texted, emailed, phoned and harassed by the freshman college daughter for the past week. I’m considering changing my phone number, my email address and quite possibly my home address if this keeps up. I think she’s stalking me. A restraining order is not out of the question.
Ah yes, this is what I dreamed of when I thought of my fledglings leaving the nest and being adults. It’s thrilling. It’s amazing, really. I feel incredibly free. No, really.

I can hardly wait for an entire empty nest. I think around that time I’ll be moving to a cave in the Andes with no cell service.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Do you know what pain is?

It's listening to your beautiful daughter crying on the phone to you from over 800 miles away and there's nothing at all you can do about it.....nothing...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cascade Orthotics Casting Day...

Ashley was pretty good about the whole thing. She should be, I think this is her 7 or 8th time being casted for a new leg brace. You can see a slideshow of her here doing her thang.

She's getting a new kind of DAFO, which moves easier and is designed to help children with her form of cerebral palsy move more naturally.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Hubby and I are taking our youngest to Seattle to be casted for a new DAFO (an articulated leg brace to help with her spasticity issues). I'm truly amazed that she's being so good about this, as she's refused to wear her brace for some time now.

The old one has grown too small and a new one is needed. She's even expressed interest in getting a hand brace to keep her thumb out of her fisted hand. I'm so thankful for her willingless to do this and that her level of maturity is allowing her to recognize the need. And all this from a little 8 year old!

Monday, September 10, 2007

What a long strange and expensive trip it's been....

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She's gone. Off at college. Another state away from me and I've never spoken to her more. Text messaging, phone calls and emails. I know this is going to be a struggle for her, but growth doesn't come without struggle. Please keep her in your prayers.

We had a serious car malfunction while we were there and had to cut our trip a day short. Seems the back axle seal broke and the fluid that spewed out, contaminating the brake pads and other stuff. Ever try to find a car service place open in Idaho on a Sunday afternoon? Yeah, it's not easy. We had to pay them to tell us there was something wrong with it. Hello.....we already knew that.

Then they told us exactly what the problem was and how much it would cost to fix it. This is when I threw myself on the floor, kicking and screaming and begging for mercy. Or at least to have them take my first born in payment. No deal.

We decided to try and limp it home as slowly as we could. Ever drive 800 plus miles below the speed limit while truckers whiz past you, pointing and laughing? It's not fun.

At any rate, we're home. She's there. Now I'm going to go fall over.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Me? Cry?

I finally packed it in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Another three hours and I would have been up for a total of 24 hours. Go me! I would have gone to bed earlier, but I was finishing up (or trying to!) the last of some client's articles on the game of pool. I was contracted to write 25 of them. I'd like to finish them before we leave to take Steph off to college. Then I won't have any writing projects until I get back, which will be nice. I'll be able to concentrate on crying about my baby girl leaving the nest for the first time.

...I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry........

Ok, I'm going to cry. There's this little squeezing that's starting in my heart and is only going to get stronger as the time nears for me to get her situated in her dorm room and hug her goodbye.

I'd better pack some tissues!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Nap? Are you kidding?

Yeah, that nap I thought I was going to get? Didn’t happen. I’m a mom and I work from home so that’s why. I’ve spent all morning working on writing articles, learning more about SEO and Internet marketing strategies and niche marketing and affiliate marketing.

My head is buzzing and no it’s not from the No Fear I’ve consumed. Ok, maybe it’s partially due to the energy drink I just had.

I’ve made a big pot of chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight, the kids are still at school (yay!) and I have more time to write and get some work done.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy being on a schedule again? Oh yes. Yes, I do. Muchly.

Ok, I'm up already!

One child off to the first day of seminary and school, the next two are laying in bed just waiting for me to tickle their toes and wake them up.

Or not.

I finally fell asleep around 3 this morning and was up by 5:30. Let’s see….carry the two, multiply by the square root of zippety-do-dah and ayup, no meaningful sleep for me!

Once the lil darlin’s are off on their bus, I think I might hear my bed calling to me. Do you hear it too?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's back to school time once again. Tonight was the Back to School Barbecue at the elementary school. Mmm....nothing says the end of summer like burnt hot dogs and lukewarm lemonade! Yum!

My girls brought their backpacks and their school stuff. We met their teachers and I like both of them, as do the girls. One mother told me the summer is too short, when I was thinking it was too long. Another said it was just fine. It's funny how opinions differ from one family to another. I only think the summer is too long because I'm not a fan of the high temperatures we sometimes suffer have here.

Here are my beautiful girls, waiting to see their teachers.

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Tomorrow is the first day for Chris as a junior in high school, Ally as a sixth grader and Ashley as a third grader. Ash is in a 3rd/4th classroom split, so she'll be getting some extras, which is great.

And The Girl heads to college at the end of the week. Listen and you'll probably hear my tears falling around that time.....

Sunday, September 02, 2007

She's going to need a fork...

Column for Pacific Publishing
September 1, 2007

As a lot of you know, our first born tax deduction will be leaving the nest this week and going to college in another state. Which state you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I think she’s going to be in the state of Confusion, which is not to be confused with the state of Yes-I’m-Blond-Why-Do-You-Ask?.

Case in point. My little fledgling will be living in a dorm with four other girls. There will be a kitchen there. For cooking. Meals. Do you see where I’m going with this? If she wants to eat food she will need to make it herself. This will require some work on her part other than walking into the kitchen, saying ‘ooh that smells good when is dinner?’.

A few months ago she made a frozen pizza and nearly had a meltdown. This is a girl who aced her SAT, who was in the Gifted Programs through school and who reads the classics for relaxation. This is not a dumb girl, but she could not figure out how to bake the pizza and asked me to bake it for her. I declined, informing her that she would soon be cooking for herself and learning to make a frozen pizza on her own might be a good first step in the right direction.
She was not pleased, but did manage to bake the pizza without burning down the house or injuring herself. I counted this a success, albeit a small one.

My daughter will be flying to her new school with lots of luggage and we had the following conversation the other day:
Tax Deduction: “I’m going to have a microwave there, right?”
Me: “Yes, you’ll have a microwave and an oven”
Tax Deduction: “When are we going to buy groceries?”
Me: “For who?”
Tax Deduction: (expressive eyeroll) “ME, mom. I’m going to need to take groceries with me”

At this point I’m staring at her open-mouthed with one of those looks on my face. The one that clearly says ‘you can’t be serious here’. She ignores my look, as usual, and goes on to list the canned goods she’ll be requiring. Canned goods. To take on the plane in her luggage. I snap my mouth shut and ask her if she thinks they don’t have groceries stores where she’s going.

There’s a long pause as she thinks about this question. I can almost see the little hamster on the wheel in her head going around and around and not getting anywhere, so I try again. I am gentle with her, as scaring her is not my intention.

Me: “Um hija? How about we go grocery shopping when we get there?”
Tax Deduction: “But they won’t have the same kind of food that I like there!.”
Me: “Hija, this is not Mars you’re going to. There are stores there. They stock food. In fact the very same food that you find in the stores here, you’ll find there. I promise.”
Tax Deduction: “Are you sure? How do you know?”
Me: “I’ve actually been where you’re going and the only time I had to shoot a deer for meat was that one brutally cold
winter when there was nothing left in the barn and we were starving, so I got out my trusty gun and followed some
tracks in the snow. Well about that time…”
Tax Deduction: “Mooooooooom!! That’s not funny!”
Me: “I didn’t think so either. Have you ever had to gut a deer with only a dinner fork? I tell you what, it’s not…..”
Tax Deduction: “Mom, stop it!”
Me: “Fine, ok. But I’m almost certain you won’t have to kill your food there and there are stores stocked with everything
you’ll need, so we’ll wait to shop till we get there, ok?”

So now my beautiful blond tax deduction will soon be leaving the nest. I better make sure I pack her a fork.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ebay here I come!

I’ve been toying around with different ways to earn my keep here online and there is a massive amount of information on how to do just that. The problem is that most of them cost you money to begin with and I’m more of an ‘I can do this myself’ kind of girl. Just point me in the right direction and I’ll read and study and learn it all by myself. This past week I’ve felt like I’ve gone back to school and am studying full time! (Oy vay such a headache I’ve got!)

I’ve created a SAT prep blog and an SEO marketing blog where I shamelessly promote books and learning courses and the like. I’ve made a little bit, which has only whetted my appetite for learning more.

Now I’ve ventured into ebay and came up with a great idea that I hope might fly. It’s here on ebay if you’d like to see my latest endeavor.

Ah well, this is keeping me off the streets and mostly out of trouble.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jump Me

I spent an inordinate amount of time in my vehicle today. I waited for The Boy while he had a job interview to work at the Fair starting next week. It was a very long wait. I sat there reading a book, not realizing that my headlights were on. When I tried to start the suburban all I got was click…click….click. Not a sound you want to hear when turning the key in the ignition.

As the clicking was happening, a group of four gangsta lookin' kids were walking past me. One of the kids asked me if I needed a jump and did I have cables. I said yes, I did. He said they'd be back in a few minutes.

I waited. Standing next to my upraised hood with jumper cables in hand, I wondered if I'd been stood up. I wished my beautiful blond daughter was there like the last time I had a dead battery.

The gang of four finally came and jumped my vehicle. I slipped the driver a five dollar bill, thanked him profusely and then said "Please tell your momma that she raised you right'.

The kid got a big grin on his face, sunlight glinting off of his shades and he replied, "Yeah, my momma done good by me"


She surely did.

Monday, August 27, 2007


My newspaper editor sent me an email saying the following:

We got lots of spam....
...but no Pam.

Sadness consumes us.

This would mean I have been neglecting (horribly, woefully and awfully so) my column writing of late. I've been so busy writing articles and web content for OTHER people that I've let go of my own writing career. Not good. I need to find a way to get back on that horse, so to speak. My muse seems to have abandoned me in all the stress of my life. Who could blame her? I'd abandon me too, but I have people that depend upon me so here I'll stay I 'spose.

I'm ok. Just in a funk. Now, back to writing more ezine articles on how to play the game of pool. Billiards. 9-ball. Could anything be more boring? I think not.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I’m still alive.

Life is continuing. I think. Bumps and bruises are all a part of the journey.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Blackberry Season!!!!

Today we took the girls down by the Orting river and picked large amounts of blackberries. I'm quite certain that the girls ate more than they picked, but that's what childhood is for, right? We picked so many that I froze some, made two blackberry pies, plus a rather large blackberry cobbler. Here's our day in pictures. And yes, it is delicious.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pierce County Fair

Lance and I took the girls to the Pierce County Fair today. The Boy slept in and didn't want to go and The Girl is still up in Seattle, so it was just the four of us. Horses, and doggies and kitties and cows and crafts and carnival rides. Lance and Ally took the rock'o'plane ride together.

They had fun, even if the ride wasn't Allison's favorite experience there.

Here's Ally and Ash with a cow and her calf. Ashley was a bit nervous getting that close to something that wasn't formed into a Big Mac yet. Yee haw!
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Games were played and stuffed animals were won. Before this picture was taken, only Allison had won a stuffed animal. Ashley desperately wanted one, but the game required two hands to play and she simply couldn't manage it. Ally said she would play the game again to win her sister a big stuffed animal. Then she leaned into me and said quietly, "And if I don't win, Mom, I'll just give her mine"

My sweet, preciou and giving 11 year old daughter touched my heart.

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I have more pictures but I've decided to relent and not bore you to tears any longer. Did I mention that scones were consumed? Oh yes. Warm, gooey with raspberry jam and delicious. It was a delightful day.

Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie would have done this a long time ago…

Nothing to report. Nothing going on. Oh wait, The Boy has a girlfriend. And The Girl is preparing to empty our bank accounts as she gets ready to leave for college. The two remaining younger girls are once again sans cousins. We've had cousin Nicole living with us for the past year or so. Ok, it was only a week or so. Or longer. I've lost track. I tend to do that a lot lately. Lose track, I mean.

Hubby has been working a bit of over time, I've been spending hours on the computer with my writing and we've turned two house cats into outdoor cats due to their inability to understand that peeing on human bedding is a no-no, that puking up on carpeting is verboten and that soil in pots with plants is not the place to do your bidness. Since Twitchy (an unfortunate creature born of Uncle Daddy and Auntie Mommy) and Mommy have been put outside, there have been no more bio-hazard incidents within the house. We're still feeding them and loving them when we're outside, we just don't allow them indoors any longer.

It's better this way. Trust me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hubby surprised me with a beautiful day at Mt. Rainer ~~picnic and all! Just the two of us. It was so nice up there, I could have stayed all day, but he had other plans~~a delicious dinner at a fancy restaurant. Here's a slide show of the pictures we took today.

Our dinner ended with burnt creme on the house at the restaraunt. They even served it to us on special plates.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Twenty years ago today I married my best friend. The man with the kindest most gentle heart. Today we celebrate twenty years of love and struggle and growth and laughter.

Twenty years ago these two young kids had no clue what was about to happen to them.

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Someone should have warned us! Now we have teenagers, and mortgages, and car payments and teenagers, and pets and piano lessons and teenagers. Did I mention teenagers? No one stepped up to tell us all these things. Well, one person did tell Lance not to marry me. No, make that two people. I suppose they were trying to help, but since then both of the naysayers have been divorced and we're still going strong.

We have been blessed.

Did I mention teenagers?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Harry Potter

I spent over three hours at McDonald's today. Ally, Nicole and Ashley ate their way through burgers and fries and then played for the rest of the time on the enormous play-thing they had there while I read Harry Potter.

I finished the book.

You see, I had to leave the house in order to do so, because my son kept stealing the book from me. Now it's in his hands and he's reading, reading, reading. I'm grateful he's reading and thankful to Ms. Rowling for creating this series that ignited a reading frenzy in my son, as well as many other children.

I only wish the series wasn't finished….and I also wish I hadn't succumbed and eaten a meal while I was there at McDonalds. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Me, three girls and the open road.....

More fun with the girls today. Lance stayed home because we were going to be gone so long. (Didn't get home till after 7:30 this evening) We drove south towards the rivers and lakes and forests as far as the eye could see.

We ended up first at a park on the Cowlitz River, where we had lunch.

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There was a play area there and Ashley had some fun with that....

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Ally found a tree to climb. She loves climbing trees.

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Nicole decided to join her.

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The river was a muddy brown and didn't look too enticing for swimming. Here's Ally in front of the river.

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The girls thought the boat launch area might be better.....nope. The water was still quite murky.

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Further down, there was a lake and we decided that the girls could swim in it. There was a road that went down to the lake...right into the lake. It used to be a road, with a white line down the middle, but I'm not sure just where it used to go. Now it goes straight out into the water..and just keeps on going.

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They said the water was warm. I took their word for it.

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We finally found my brother's house down there in Randle. After a visit there, we turned around and headed home. The girls talked me into Subway for dinner in Eastonville and then we finished driving home.

Lance wants to know what we have planned for tomorrow. I'm too tired to even think about that right now.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Soggy but fun Monday...

Rain, rain and more rain. Not that I'm complaining. Ok, I'm complaining. It's not the rain per se, it's the humidity. I feel like I'm breathing in water. The air has weight and it sits on you. Surfaces in my house are actually damp with it. Me no like.

This morning we found out that they do a free lunch program thing in town, so we took the girls there for the lunch. Here's Lance with Allison, Nicole and Ashley holding the umbrella.

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Then we went to a beautiful park and took a long walk. When I say long, I mean long. Lengthy. Long in length. Unbearably long in the humidity. It wasn't raining but it sure felt like I'd walked through a warm wet drizzle. The girls had a great time running ahead and laughing. I know where all my energy went. They sucked it out of me. Ok, that and the cheetos, but that's a story for another time. We walked a couple of miles. Here are the girls in front of tree that toppled in our last great windstorm.

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More walking in the forest, more greenery and some animals. Ponds with water lilies dot the park and there is a large play and picnic area on one end. We might have reached it had we turned left instead of right. Turning right led us further on. MUCH further on. Sweat, pant, sweat some more.

Here are the girls by some greenery.

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Then we took the girls for an ice cream cone to make up for all the healthy walking they did. It all evens out, right? Now Lance is getting ready to go to work and the girls are pretending they run a hotel. So far they've brought me a plate of cut up fruit and some nachos. I took the fruit and declined the nachos.

I almost forgot something. This morning when we got up, Allison had gotten up before us. She'd made pancakes and blueberry muffins. She set the table beautifully and then we feasted. Allison is a absolute treasure. We are so blessed.

And now I have some writers to edit and some writing to do. Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Grass Is Always Greener…

I had an empty nest for a while. Stephanie moved in with my father, Chris has been on a fifty mile hike with the young men from the church, Allison and Ashley were staying at my father's house for a few days.

The house was eerily quiet. I only had to run the dishwasher every couple of days instead of twice a day. When I put something down, it was there when I went back to retrieve it. The girl's bedroom remained clean and their beds beautifully made. There was no one tugging on me to take them to McDonalds or to the store for something they just had to have. I can't recall anyone opening the fridge and grousing about there being no food in the house.

The first day was sort of nice. By the end of the second day I wanted them all home. It was too quiet. It was too clean. It wasn't right. The silence was ringing in my ears and I didn't like it.

Today we went up to Seattle and brought Ashley, Allison and their cousin Nicole home with us. My ears were ringing with the noise those three made on the drive home by the time we were only a quarter of the way here.

"I'm hungry!"

"We told you to eat something before we left"

"I have to go to the bathroom!"

"Me too!"

"I'm hungry too!"

"You'll eat when we get home"

"But I'm hungry NOW!"

"Then you should have had some crackers and blueberries with us before we left Auntie Julie's house"

You never really know how good you've got it until you don't have it….or until you do. Either way, I need to learn to be more content with what I have at the moment and not always yearn for something more. Or less. Or both. Sigh.

On the plus side of things, I finished all my writing deadlines clear through till next Thursday, so I can spend more time with the girls and less on my work while my niece is here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I waited until my house cooled down to a balmy 80 degrees before I left my ice cave (only room in the house with an ac unit) in order to clean my kitchen this evening. As I rinsed soggy fruit loops off of cereal bowls, scrubbed oatmeal detritus from spoons and emptied out a plastic container of tomato soup that had reached the stage of a science experiment, I pondered the past twenty years. How many mushy fruit loops have I scraped into the garbage over the years? What amount of desiccated oatmeal have I tried to sandblast off of utensils used by my children?

When I lived away from home for the first time at college, I had five roommates. One of them would get physically ill every time someone had filled a sink with dirty dishes and hot soapy water and then left it to congeal. Sometimes for days. Hey, we were there to get an education, not to be Martha's –in-training, ok? So what little tidbit from my past does my aging brain regurgitate up for me each and every time I come across my sink of congealed, cold, greasy dishwater? Wendy. Yes, Wendy was the roommate who had hissy fits over the slimy sink. As I plumb the depths of orange goo in an attempt to reach the sink stopper and remove it so the nasty liquid can glurp down the drain, I am reminded of Wendy. Wendy also comes to mind when I do laundry. You see Wendy would do her laundry and then sleep under it on her bed. I don't think I saw her fold and put away a single item of clothing in four years, it was all on top of her bed and used to keep her warm at night. Most times we couldn't tell if Wendy was in the room at all, because the mounds of clean clothes disguised her shape and hid her from view.

Wendy didn't like going to the university, so she decided to attend beauty school there in the college town center. We became instant guinea pigs for her and our follicles were soon held hostage to every hair style imaginable. This was during the 80's so you can imagine the horrors. Our hair was permed, blown out with a brush, and then curled into rollers the size of sewer drainage pipes. Our hair spray use in that house is singlehandedly responsible for the reason Al Gore now lectures on Global Warming. When my hair wasn't adding three feet to my height and five to my width, it was French braided so tightly in a circle around my head that my eyes wound up on either side of my head, enabling me to have the vision capabilities of a lizard. This was useful when I wanted to read two books at once. There was this one hair style that she called fish scales. When she finished it, your hair was woven so tightly to your skull that they looked like fish scales. This hair style was one of the most painful experiences I'd ever had up until childbirth.

Wendy was the most popular girl in our house. Every male that came within sight of Wendy, was smitten. She used to have three dates with three different guys in the space of one day. The rest of us would sit around eating fudge, drinking Tab and wondering how she did it. It's true, Wendy was gorgeous. She was thin and dark and beautiful. Oh sure, the rest of us dated, but Wendy was a serial dater. We envied her. She had big hair and all the guys. Who didn't want to be her? I did, in that I'm-not-sure-who-I-am-yet kind of way that some eighteen year olds have. Her life seemed so much better than my own. Beautiful, talented with hair and fighting off the gorgeous guys.

Her only issue was with greasy cold kitchen sink water, which brings me back to my evening. As long as there is cold greasy sink water around, Wendy will always be a part of my life. We haven't seen each other in years, but I'm tied to her whether I want to be or not.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Allison

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Our third angel turned 11 years old today. It's the hottest day of the year, with the temperatures into 3 digits and we had to have a party. Not inside, nooooooo. This had to be outside in the heat and sunshine. Yes sir, a good time was had by all. She had a pinata filled with candy and an enormous chocolate cake.

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Getting ready to bash the pinata!
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My father and my sister (with her two daughters) joined us up on Mud Mountain for the party. Here Allison is getting ready to blow out her candles, with her daddy and her papa watching over the excitment.

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On our way home I caught a picture of Mt. Rainier in my rear view mirror.

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