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Showing posts from September, 2008


Yesterday my nephew Chad stopped by the house for a visit. I found him and his girlfriend in the living room with my father.

Chad is the fourth of the five children my brother had. He was once this tiny little baby boy who crawled into the trunk of my hubby's porsche and said he'd ride in there because he so wanted to be with us. He could have ridden in the backseat only there wasn't a backseat in the car. It was a two seater and we were dating and oh....where did that time go?

..pulls myself back from the way-back-time-machine before I get lost...

At any rate, Chad stopped by. He's shorter than my boy now. More pierced and tatooed. He's taken a different path than the one that was laid before him as a boy. It's stunning to me how the choices of the parents create such an impact on the children. Despite that though, children have their own free agency and make their own choices about things after awhile and the line between what happened due to poor pare…

Bailouts and Boeing Strikes

I'm the first to admit that I don't know enough about the entire bailout vote that didn't pass. I will say this...

Bailout the crooks and those Gucci-wearing-golden-parachute-getting rich boys? I don't think so. Where is all that bailout stuff helping the little guy who can't make his mortgage payments? Greed is what got this mess rolling in the first place and you shouldn't reward greed.

Boeing and IAM please start talking to each other. Puhleese? From the article I read last night in the Seattle Times, it doesn't appear that there is any movement in the negotiations because they're not talking to each other. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Good news for us is that I've got those flyers going out to the school today for the kids to sign up for early morning Spanish class. Hopefully I'll get at least ten kids per class---maybe more. It's not exactly a golden parachute or a bailout but I'll take what I can get.

Oh....on the good n…

Boeing Strike

We've been on strike against Boeing for three weeks now. I say 'we' because you know that whole we-become-one thing when we got married? Which means that what happens to him, happens to me, yada yada yada. Of course when he eats only I gain weight, but that's another blog post.

Yesterday we got paid for being on strike. A whopping $150 check. We'll be drawing that fabulous sum (don't be hating me for the riches) each week we're on strike against Boeing. Cuz, you know, $150 will surely cover everything here at Rancho Troeppl.

It's ridiculous. The two sides aren't even talking to each other. At the end of the week we lose our health insurance. Gone. Zip.

I don't know about you, but I've got four kids who like to eat and tend to grow after eating. This requires new clothing to be purchased. I also have people I owe money to. None of them are likely to come calling in the middle of the night with baseball bats to break my legs if I don…

Monster Hedge

Today after we picked the kids up from school, I decided that the day was so nice that it would be a good time to tackle the Monster Hedge. It was huge job and though we're still not completely finished, it does look a lot better. As an added bonus our sweet doggie (who is terrified of water) fell into the pond while we were out there.

My father happened to be down by the pond when it happened and I was on the other side of the creek. I saw her go in and I screamed. Like a girl. Seriously, it just came out of me. It scared my father so badly that he jumped and looked behind him at the pond, because I was also pointing as I shrieked.

Then he really freaked out. He didn't know what was coming out of the pond at him---it looked like The Swamp Monster---all covered in slimy green goo and mud. Once he realized it was our not-so-graceful-pooch, he leaned over and grabbed her collar to haul her out. Of course she then did that whole body shake thing and sprayed him with mu…

Things I Love About The Boeing Strike

There aren't usually too many silver linings in the dark-rain cloud of having your husband out on the streets in a strike against their employer. While it's stressful and uncomfortable and just plain aggravating, there are a few things that I'm enjoying.

This is one of them.

Having my husband home in the evenings. The kids absolutely love it---and I know he does as well. Helping out with the daily homework is just one of the perks of having my husband out on strike.

Stealing food

This is Amy and Cassie. Amy belongs to my father and Cassie is our dog. According to my father, his dog is partially human and mine, well mine is stoooopid. I took this today as they both longingly watched me eat something. They are beggars of the first order. You can't see her, but my father's tiny beagle is at my feet, also begging.

Night before last our dog got into trouble. She stole and ate half a bag of cat food during the night. In her defense, my father has reduced her food to once a day and she's been getting more exercise than she previously recieved so she's hungrier. Due to her consumption of the cat food, my father declined to feed her that day.

Sooooooo, last night she broke into the box of dog bones that was on the floor by the basement door and finished the entire thing off. There may have been ten to fifteen bones in there. This did not please my father. He chastised her severely.

Of course last week his dog got up on the counter and stole the…

I can stop if I want to.

I know, I know. You're getting tired of my Smilebox addiction.

Well just so you know, I can stop anytime I want to stop. I can. I mean it.

I just don't want to stop. So there.

Yes, I'm like that. Go figure.

So tonight as I was waiting for the second rise on the delicious pizza dough I'd made, I took a looooooong walk with my hubby and youngest daughter and three mutts. There are so many parks in Seattle and surrounding areas. I love living here.

And so here. Smilebox. Yes, again. Hush.

Make a Smilebox postcard

You can't be serious

One of the perks of living with my widowed father is that we're here to take care of him when something goes awry----as things are often wont to do. We spent a good many hours in the local ER on Saturday night with him. He hadn't been feeling too well so we took his blood pressure and it was so high it could have rung a carnival bell.

My father and I have a unique relationship. Unique in that we're rarely serious with each other. He often laments my inability to be serious, especially in situations that would usually call for a serious demeanor.

I don't do serious. At least not with him in an ER at midnight.

Nurse: "Have you had anything very stressful or frightening happen to you today?"

Dad: (pointing at me) "Well I live with her"

Nurse: (Not sure what to do as she glances at me) "Uh..."

Me: "Don't make me hurt you old man"

Dad: "You see? You see how she is?"

Me: "Oh YOU'RE going to see how I am Mr.&…

The Plague Has Arrived

Sickness has arrived---just in time for Fall!

It started with Daddy a little, then moved on to Ashley. She stayed home from school today. Then I got a phone call from The Boy. He was so sick he could hardly talk.

This may be punishment for his mistreatment of me, but I won't mention that to him until he's healed of course.

"See? God will strike you down if you're mean to your mommy"

Here's Ash on the couch all passed out and icky. Let's hope everyone heals up before Sunday because my in-laws are jetting in for the weekend!

Make a Smilebox postcard

The Boy Never Listens To His Mama

He's had an ingrown toenail since the dawn of time----or about three to four years. It just seems like the dawn of time.

This is what happens when your child is no longer small enough for you to bathe. You don't get to see their bodies and examine them for...oh, you know, life threatening items like infections that swell up the affected body part to twice it's size and cause it to ooze puss for months. Moms know that this is a bad things---teenage boys don't care. The more puss the better! Swelling? COOL! Can I shoot that puss out and hit my friend with it? EVER COOLER!

Then of course it's not so much fun when the pain becomes too much for their teenage-bravado to handle. This is when they mention it to their parents.

He's had three procedures on it already. None took. Now he's had another one and is scheduled for actual surgery on the toe to do some major slicing and dicing.

See what happens when you don't listen to your mama???

Make a Smilebox scr…

Tech Challenged Mommy

I know I'm not the worst but I know I'm not the best. At understanding all this new-fangled technology stuff I mean. I am the best and the worst at many other things, but that's another blog post entirely.

This morning as I was sitting here at my computer, my cell phone went off. Hmmm...who could it be at this hour? My sister? Nope. It was a reminder notice to pick up my baby girl's seizure meds from the pharmacy.

I didn't put that reminder in my phone. I don't even know how to put that sort of thing into my phone. I'm lucky if I can figure out how to change my wallpaper on the phone or change a ring tone.

She's nine years old people. She could do this stuff at five.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Carkeek Park---Again!

This evening we took Allison, Ashley, Chris and his friend Tim to Carkeek Park. These summer-like days of September are begging to be enjoyed and we are in the perfect place to enjoy them.

We took along our little grill, some brats, buns, chips, grapes and drinks and had dinner there as we watched the sun set over the Olympic Mountains. Gorgeous! Beautiful! As I said the blessing on our little meal I thanked Heavenly Father for giving us such an amazing world to live in and love.

After we ate we put the food away and went down to the water.

I wish I could describe the feelings that rose up in me as I walked up the cement walkway to the bridge and then down the metal stairs that are open so you can see clear through to the ground. I was reminded of how often I made this same walk as a teenager with my friends. The air smelled the same....the sky was just as blue...the water the same wonderous sight. I suppose I am the one that has changed, morphed into a mother and wife.

No longer …


Anyone who has known me for any period of time knows that I have a disabled sister. Once a week she goes for therapy in the pool on the grounds where she lives. Cheri can't swim per se, but she does things in the water that she can't do on land or from her wheelchair. Since we moved back here to Seattle, I was able to visit her while she was having pool time.

As I walked through the dressing rooms to get to the pool, my memory took me back in time to when my youngest was a baby. We spent a good deal of time there in that pool in a baby therapy class for disabled infants. Ash and I had such fun in that warm therapy pool week after week. We were there with other mothers who were all members of Wonderland Developmental Center, a birth to three organization that provided incredible support for us as we navigated through the shock and pain of Ashley's diagnosis.

It was and is an amazing organization and in another odd coincidence, Wonderland is now located in the school w…

The Universe is conspiring against me

This morning I was listening to two people gossip about another person and I didn't say anything. I'm not sure they understood it was gossip as such, because everybody talks about everybody else, right? It's not gossip, right? I mean, we're just sharing funny stories and talking for crying out loud, right? Geez Pam, don't be so judgemental.

So I kept quiet and as I went on my way I was all self-congratulatory about how I ddin't join in yada yada yada and how I would continue to try not to talk or gossip about others.

Then I met someone today who continued to do something....hilarious. Something you just don't do in front of others unless you're extremely well acquainted with them. And I SO want to tell someone, to blog about it and to have an enormous guffaw about the whole thing.

But I won't. I'm trying to be good. I really am.

The universe must be getting a good chuckle out of all of this right now.

::::slaps duct tape over mouth:::::

Is it just me....

Or did we skip summer during summer and then backtrack right back to it after the kids went back to school??

September heat wave. Wheeee.

No, I'm not a fan of the warm. Not in the least, but I will admit that the blue sky is pretty.

I will also admit that I'm a bit freaked out about things lately. Having hubby on strike, the looming eventuality of having no paycheck come in and yet still having those pesky bills to consider AND having to figure out a class curriculum for the entire school year within the next week.

No, no pressure here. Nope. None. I. Am. Good.

No, that's not my hair I'm pulling' Ok, it's my hair.


I was fingerprinted today.

No, I didn't get arrested but I did think about getting in trouble for the tiniest moment once I realized I could get my fingerprints done for free that way, instead of having to pay to have them done myself.

How could I get into trouble? Let me count the ways....

Oh well. It'll never happen because I'm too much of a law abiding and rule-keeping person to ever have that happen.

But I digress. I had my fingerprints taken and then I went to the school district offices to turn them in---along with another monetary contribution of over fifty dollars---so I can begin teaching kids Spanish.

While I was sitting in my suburban getting my paperwork all in order my cell phone rang.

It was my new boss. I wish I could say I remember his name but I don't. He wanted to know when I was starting because a bunch of kids showed up today for the class and there was I informed him that I was never given a starting date just a hazy 'you can'…

Short but sweet summer.....

Just because....

Back to BYU

My oldest offspring went back to college yesterday....the house seems quieter without her. I know she's where she is supposed to be and doing what she's supposed to be doing but did she get to be a sophmore in college already??

Make a Smilebox scrapbook

The Dog Whisperer

My mother once said to my father, "Bob, you turn every animal you have into a neurotic mess"

My mother has been gone for six and a half years now so she can't (or can she?) see just how my father is doing with his current crop of four footed beasties.

She also told him that after she died she just knew he was going to fill the house with dogs and cats.

I'm not sure if three dogs and three cats qualifies as 'filling' the house--but it sure feels filled with animals since we moved in here. He has a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Amy, a tiny Beagle named Two Chip and now we've added our Black Lab Cassie to the mix.

The animals adore him---especially when he has food. In the picture below he's holding one of the snickerdoodles I'd baked as three pairs of adoring and hopeful eyes are turned on him. And yes, you're not seeing things. The kitchen is yellow. Bright, bright yellow.

And yes, he did share the cookies but I think he only shared with Amy a…

This is what happens when you refuse to allow me to take a picture of you on your first day of school as a senior.

First, I take you to the doctor. Yes, I know you're a senior in high school today. I get that. I do. I realize my insignifcance in your life. No, you really don't have to spend the entire time there pretending to text all your friends. I'm used to being ignored by you. So, here we are at the doctor so she can have a look at your pus filled toe. No, go ahead. Text away. I have plans for you.

Those plans? Well, they involve not one but two (count'em, TWO) sharp pointy needles that will be pushed into your arm.

Oh sure, feign indifference. I know you're scared.

Get ready, get set........POKE!

Oh c'mon... at least give me the satisfaction of wincing.



I'll just have to find a different way to break through that I'm-the-coolest-thing-since-sliced-bread facade.

Don't worry. It'll come to me.

No picture of my Senior

He's a senior in high school starting today. There are no pictures of him this day because he declined to alllow us to take them. This is the first time in his schooling that we haven't gotten a picture of him on his first day of school.

So, sorry. Nothing here to see of him. I'm tempted to put up embarrassing photos of him from previous years---some of school and some not----those 'not' ones could be nude.

But I'm not that mean.


Hubby and I took the two girls to their bus stops this morning then came home to get The Boy. He didn't start until 12:30. While we were home I baked a double batch of snickerdoodles and a made a double batch of pizza dough to let rise for dinner tonight.

Lance took The Boy to school on his way to work and I'll go pick everyone up in a few hours. I'll also take The Boy to see the doctor because if I'm not mistaken, his two big toes are beginning to look a bit gangrenous to me. Yeah, that whole pus thing oo…

Back to School! <<>>

They're baaaaaaaaaaaack! Back in school that is!

Here's my two youngest waiting to head to the bus stop.

Ah yes, Daddy and his two baby girls.

The two newly minted 7th graders waiting for their bus. I'm so glad Allison is back where she wants to be---with her cousin Nicole. It took some doing to get her to smile. Apparently smiles aren't in vogue when you're starting middle school.

It's hard sometimes....

When my two year had given me an especially difficult time, I would go into her room at night and sit on her bed. As I brusehd her honey blond hair from her eyes I would silently cry to myself.

'I love you so much' I would repeat over and over and over and over to myself, wondering why things had to be so difficult during the day. My heart would remember all the reasons why I loved her---and would continue to love her no matter what--despire the bruising it would take during the day. She was, after all, just two and it was my job to help her understand how to be a better little person.

Now they're older...much, much older and I can't sit on their beds at night and brush their hair from their faces. My heart has been bruised and even broken and the tears wrung from my eyes could fill an ocean it seems.

No one told me when I brought those amazingling small and sweet smelling bundles home from the hospital that their births would be the least painful thing they could …