Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Story of Two Chip

Once upon a time there was a tubby lil beagle by the name of Chip. I'm not sure exactly how she got that name but I heard it was due to her love of potato chips. She should just have been named Food, since she couldn't ever seem to get enough of it.

She was the first dog I ever remember as a child. Chip begged scraps, she stole food and she made a weekly tour of the neighborhood in search of neighbors who couldn't resist those big brown begging eyes and would give her food. Due to her love affair with food, she became quite chunky--but it never stopped her from waddling around a four block radius in search of yummies. This was in the days before leash laws and Chip was a free spirit who loved not only food, but people. Through her our home became a puppy nursery. Litter after litter of wiggly little doggies were born and loved and given away over the years.

As time passed, she began to have issues with her back legs until finally she was paralyzed and couldn't walk her route any longer. My dad took her to the vet who counseled him to let her go so she'd be out of pain. Dad coulnd't do it. He gathered Chip in his arms and drove her home.

For a few months Chip lived in our dinnete at the end of our kitchen and wore disposable diapers. She was still eating and seemed, well, chipper, so how could we put her down? After a time Chip's love of food cured her. We began to put her food on the other side of the room and she started crawling to it and gradually regained limited use of her back legs.

One day we were outside mowing the lawn with our electric mower and Chip was ambling around us. We used an extension chord that wasn't in the best condition and for some reason Chip didn't like that chord. She bit into it, I heard a yelp and saw her leap into the air and land in the shed. She didn't take the steps, she flew. Her legs worked just fine after that.

The shed was her home and one day she didn't come out for her breakfast and we knew she was gone. She is buried in our yard along with countless other beloved pets we've lost over the years.

My father is a dog person and always needs to have a dog and we've had a succession of them over the years. At some point he began expressing a desire to have another beagle, but this time he wanted a little one.

One day a tiny little beagle ran into our garage and never left. It was a small box beagle. We searched for the owner but never found them and finally decided she'd come to us for our dad.

Here's the lil monster with my Allison. Her name is Two Chip and although my father loves her dearly, she seems to love us more and is always hiding in our room and and cuddling on our bed. When dad goes to bed at night he has to come into our room and hunt her down because she's always with us.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Never blog when you're down....

or despondent or depressed or heartbroken or lost....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Busy Day

I had my job interview this morning. I thought it went well, but I'll only know if it went well if they call and hire me. They said they'd make the decision this week.

Then it was off to grocery shopping with the entire family, sans The Boy then home to put things away. A quick lunch and then it was off to take hubby to work---again with all three girls in tow. After dropping him off up in Everett we went to see the skin doc who informed me that I'm just fine and there is no skin cancer. Wheeee! Then it was to my sister's house for a bit before going to the back to school barbecue at Ashley's new school. We met her teacher and toured the school.

Here's Ash and Steph at our picnic table munching on the burgers and chips.

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Here's Ally at the same table. Have I mentioned how much fun she is since she decided she's a teenager? Yeah, not so much.

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Then it was off to the mall for some back to school binge spending. My bank account was screaming uncle by the time we were done.

Here's Ally finding a really cool jacket, which we did buy.

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Ashley discovered a way cool shirt and a hat, which she wisely and maturely put back on the shelf when she realized that if she got those two items, she wouldn't be getting the shoes she wanted. Still, she did look cute in the outfit.

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Stephanie was there shopping too but managed to avoid my cell phone cam. Really, it was too bad because you could be now looking at a picture of her in her new black yoga pants with the word "PINK" written on the butt.

And now....I wait up to pick up Lance from work at eleven.

Me? Tired? Nawww.......

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Timing is everything...

Today hubby and had to run several errands. First stop, my doc where I had to sign more forms to release this and that and I may have signed an agreement to hand over my first born. Did I mention that yesterday at the same doctor's visit I was told I have skin cancer? Yes indeedy. Tomorrow I visit a skin cancer speshulist for a biopsy. I hope they just remove the entire thing.

After the doc's office we stopped at my sister's to drop off my niece's laptop. While were sitting there in our suburban, my sister came out to talk to us. She started talking about the whole job situation and how she's been applying to the school district and she knows I have as well.

"Pam, I'm sorry to tell you but they're not going to hire you you know"

"Really? I---" Rrrrrrrrrr-ing goes my cell phone.


"Yes this is Pamela. Sure, wonderful. I'll see you tomorrow at 8 a.m"

"Who was that?"

"The school district Human Resources. They want to hire me for that Spanish job I applied for"

Hilarious.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's his birthday so of course we went to the hospital...

I mean what would a birthday be like without a trip to Children's Hospital? Thankfully it was nothing serious. We got the results of Ashley's MRI back and there has been no further brain damage but the Neuro wanted us to go to the lab and get a blood draw and urine sample.

So it's Lance's birthday and that's what we did. Ashley and I had a good conversation about the blood draw.

"MOM! You KNOW I hate needles! Call that doctor back and tell him I HATE NEEDLES!"

"I think the doctor already knows that honey"

"I don't want to do it!"


This is followed by her pretty blue eyes beginning to brim with tears.

"Sweetie, put on your big girl panties, suck it up and get it done"

Now there's a look of shock on her face as if to say how could you NOT sympathize with me when a blood sucking fiend is going to POKE ME AND TAKE SOME OF MY BODILY FLUIDS!!

She then began to pitch a fit and I gave her the 'big girl panty' pep talk again and again and again. I can't get all serious with her because then she really does start to cry.

"Mom you don't understand!"

"Yes, I do. Put on your big girl panties, suck it up and be thankful you live where you can HAVE someone poke you for blood! Do you know how many other little kids don't get to do this and need to do this???"


At any rate, she did it as you can see below.

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And except for her trying to get off the chair and run right after he'd swabbed her arm with antiseptic, she did just fine. He was very good at his job and got it in faster than I've ever seen done.

Of course since it was Lance's birthday we also had to go to the Middle School and take care of some business for Allison, our newly minted 7th grader. The school gives each student a laptop to use for the year. Of course we have to pay $100 for the insurance so the whole 'giving' thing doesn't really apply. We spent two hours there this morning. Here she is getting is set up with a school tech and The Birthday Boy looking on in parental pride.

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Her cousin Nicole got her laptop there the same day and then she came home with us to my Dad's. Here they both are in all their glory. Laptop Queens.

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Now the birthday boy is taking a nap in the bed behind me as I write this blog post. He's so tired and I'm glad he could take a vacation day off work to stay home. I just wish we'd been able to do something better for his big day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blackberries

Every August we spend time getting pricked and poked, fighting off bees and spiders in order to take advantage of the juicy blackberries that abound here in the Pacific Northwest. Today my husband and I (alone!) went picking at Discovery Park up on Magnolia in Seattle. We used to pick berries there when our first two kids were little and even before that when we were dating.

If memory serves, the berries were big and plentiful back then. Today, they seemed a bit sparse and much smaller.

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The weather, thank heavens, is much cooler than it usually is in August so the picking wasn't as hot and sweaty work as it was last year when we picked them along the Orting River. THOSE were some enormous berries, probably due to their close proximity to the water.

Here's a gratuitious shot of hubby picking this morning. Isn't he cute?

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Later tonight I'll bake those berries into a pie and serve it warm and gooey with some vanilla ice cream on the side. If he's lucky there might still be some left when he gets home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I miss our piano

We left it behind at our house for our renters. There is no room here for it.

We need to find a house to rent so we can bring it home to roost with us.

I miss waking up to Allison playing her heart out in song each morning before school. Here she is playing Pirates of the Caribbean...



And here she is playing another favorite...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You're never too old to play with trains!

And my lovely mother-in-law is living proof! They ran an article on her in the paper, along with pictures, about her community service with real-life trains in Nevada.

The article is Here. Go on, click the link. Then you'll see where my husband gets his good looks and why he never ages. She doesn't either!

Good goin' Gramma Bonnie!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fans and not the good kind

I've had fans in my life---those who follow my writing and send me emails. Those who read my columns in the newspaper and write to me to ask me to help them become a published writer or to critque their work. They're fans and they're wonderful but right now I'm talking about a different kind of fan.

The kind that moves air.

I have two in my bedroom and it's still not enough. I'm considering getting three or four or seventy more and installing them so that my room resembles a wind tunnel.

Take that heat and humidity! :::shakes fist::

Yeah, I know. It won't work. Mostly because we're so crammed into this room that having just the two fans is pushing it a bit.

I really could use more fans. Did I mention it's warm out? No? Well it is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Fun

The weather has been warm. Unseasonably warm. Ok, maybe not unseasonably, perhaps seasonably and that's another reason I dislike summer. I don't hate summer, I just don't like the high temperatures.

And before all you people living in a land where the sun never sets and the liquid in your eyes dries up on a regular basis, yes I realize the temperatures here are not really that high.

Just indulge me here, wouldja?

Since we moved to Seattle, I have lost my Ice Cave. This was our bedroom with a window ac unit that I usually cranked up to 'see your breath' levels on a regular basis. Therefore, I am warm. Hot. Horribly and uncomfortably blazing hot.

So today I decided to throw caution, and good fashion sense, to the wind and wear my bathing suit in public. With people around. And small children. There was a lake involved, with a floating dock with diving boards and life guards. I have pictures.

Don't cover your eyes. Stop that. They're not pictures of me. I may be unseasonably warm, but I'm entirely indifferent to your eyesight. I have pictures of some of my children. Hubby and I took our three girls and two of my sister's girls to Lake Washington, Matthew's Beach to be exact and there we got wet.

In this picture you can see Allison walking towards the camera in her brown tankini. So cute. You can also see the floating dock.

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I swam out to that dock, climbed up and then sunned myself on the deck. This is something I've not done since highschool. I'm sure that some people there were amazed that someone like me would dare subject them to....the sight of me. In my defense I was hot. And just get over it already.

Here's a picture of my niece Jessica and my oldest daughter Stephanie.

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Because the weather is going to remain warm I may be indulging in this kind of public behavior again in the near future. Consider yourself warned.

Here's what happens to our beach towels when we get home. See? We are responsible people, even if I'm a bit reckless by subjecting the unsuspecting public to the sight of me in a swimsuit.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Sick

My entire digestive tract has been in spasm since last night. I really thought I was going to toss my cookies around 3 a.m. so I went downstairs as quickly as I could (the bathroom upstairs isn't working) and then I lay on the couch for a few hours in pain.

Ugh.

The girls wanted to get out for a while and do something while we had the car. (Have I mentioned that having just one vehicle is horrible??) so we went down to the humane society to get a dog license for Cassie and look at all the cute doggies and kitties there. Then we stopped at Safeway to get some drinks and went to Carkeek Park for a few minutes before we had to get home and get hubby off to work. I never got out of the car at the store or the park. I was in too much pain. Talking hurt. Breathing wasn't much better. I took two sips of water and thought I had swallowed razor blades.

No, not my best day ever.

I then slept for a while at home. Home. I guess I mean my Dad's house. Is this my home? I'm struggling here...and for reasons I'd rather not go into in a public way.

I feel badly for my girls when I'm like this and can't even be there for them or do things with them.

And if we don't get another car or find a way to get him to work via carpool, camel or magic carpet, I'm going to lose what's left of my mind.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

There are neighbors and then there are neighbors...

I was in heaven today. And by heaven I mean back in my old neighborhood with all my old neighbors. Yes, some of them are old but that's not what I meant. I mean they were my neighbors four years ago before we moved.

It was like coming home today, in a prodigal-son sort of way. It was the neighborhood barbecue/picnic and we were invited as 'special guests'. Everyone hugged us to death and then we sat around eating and drinking and talking. The talk turned to how to get us back into the neighborhood. Someone said we should make the owner of our old home an offer. Someone else, who isn't on friendly terms with said house owner, "Kill her"

While I think that sentiment isn't what I was going for, I'm sure it was said in jest. At least I hope it was.

At any rate, it was wonderful to be there and to feel so wanted.

One lady neighbor said to me: "Look, I've put on 15 lbs since you've been gone"


I held out my arms and said, "Look, I've put back all that weight I lost since I've been gone."


She said, "Pam, you are so beautiful, everyone here loves you. It doesn't matter one bit. Look at you, look at your daughter Stephanie. She's a knockout. Where do you think she got her looks? You're beautiful!"


I burst into tears. No, really. I did. I hate that I've gone back to where I was before and it's so hard to like myself that I gave up even trying. Self-esteem issues abound with me. I know that how I feel about myself reflects in everything I do----though I try not to let it happen.

At any rate, it was a good day despite the wind and the rain. Allison came back from girl's camp all dirty and tired and worn out physically and emotionally.

I got some pictures of my Dad playing Uno with Ashley Rose. So very cute. I had to take them with my cell phone tho because our camera has gone missing. I never found it as I was packing the house up so I fear it's truly gone for good. I loved that camera..... sigh.

Ok, it's off to bed for now. Church comes early in the morning and then Lance has to go to work again.

Oh, and the best part of today? My sister's dog is back with my sister! Three calm dogs are much easier to live with than three calm dogs and one wild puppy-dog.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Miss me?

Probably not. That's ok. I've missed you enough for the both of us.

Since we don't have Internet here at Ye Olde Dad's House, I've resorted to piggybacking on a wifi signal from some neighbor who has obviously not learned how to encrypt their signal. Thankfully. Once we get up and running I'll go door to door offering my services re: how to encrypt one's wifi signal so that someone close by cannot piggyback on your internet.

Until then....I sin.

Moving has proved interesting to say the least. Living with my children in the house I grew up in is interesting. Living with my father is interesting. Living with four dogs is interesting as well as hazardous. Hazardous because they tend to swarm and can very easily knock you over if they smell food. Or if you're thinking about food. Seriously dangerous on the stairs. I'm quite surprised to find that so far I've escaped being knocked down the stairs by them.

Speaking of stairs. They are very steep. This being an older home, the stairs were built when builder's thought it would be amusing to see if they could install stairs at an angle so steep that it would give mountain goats vertigo . I don't think I even noticed how steep they were when I was growing up, but since I've lived in a new home with nice wide comfy stairs, these older ones scare me.

My laptop is also on the fritz right now so I'm using The Girl's (shhhhh don't tell her) while she's out with two males of Latin descent. My laptop guy Jeffrey is coming over here at midnight to see if he can whip my laptop back into shape. I keep getting the blue screen of death.

So that's enough blogging for now. Oh, one more thing. It's hot. Very hot. I moved here and it started a heat wave. Also? The food prices here are WAAAAAAAY higher than in Puyallup. I mean really. Horrible. I'm thinking that my kids should all stop eating now.

And the dogs here. Oy vay. Did I mention there is four of them? One is just staying for the week while my sister is at girl's camp with her two daughters and my Allison. Meanwhile, my bedroom is so small I have to crab sideways around the bed.

But Lance loves his job. That makes this all worth it. I think.

Friday, August 01, 2008

We did it!

We moved and we have the pain to prove it.

Ouch ouch ouch ouch. From head to toe, Lance and I are in agony, but we did it.

Oh sure, there are boxes everywhere, but we did it!

Today is our 21st wedding anniversary and we spent it by taking Ashley to Children's Hospital for an MRI on her head to see what other brain damages she's sustained. She was a real trooper and managed to mostly stay still for the entire procedure. Afterwards I treated her to breakfast in the cafeteria. She was very good about taking her pills this morning without complaint as well. I'm so glad because I'm not sure I had it in me to go another ten rounds with her.

As for what we're doing to celebrate our anniversary? I think we'll just collapse in bed and whimper a bit before we pass out. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.