Saturday, February 20, 2010

Magical Trip

The Butterfly House

Inside the monorail

Our swanky new ride home

Well, i know i said it was going to be pretty quiet around here, but i couldn't help but share.
Yesterday we spent our day in Seattle, enjoying the beautiful weather and awesome Mars Rover exhibits that fueled, yet again, Cookie Monster's desire to build robots. We had a very blessed trip to and from home on the bus/light rail/monorail and back. All with only a 1/2 mile walk home.
Hoping you are well! We'll be getting working on more off our winter tans this weekend.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wow! Ash Wednesday Already?!?

Yup, can you believe it?!?

Today we visited Lakewood for Mass. Fr. Bro-In-Law gave a great homily, especially as it was also the school children's Mass. He gave us quite a lot of food for thought, as is the usual with him. He is a very blessed individual with the gift to relate to his sheep he is helping to corral. :o)

He asked the kids about what Lent was about and likened it to serious conversation and time spent with a loved one. The concept being that if the kids wanted to talk with their parent about something super serious, would they go to a really noisy restaurant (the kids' all suggested Chuck E. Cheese) or would you go to a nice quiet restaurant (the kids' suggested 'some fancy place their parents always want to eat'.) I love the Masses where the school is in attendance!

So Fr. Pete's message regarding the season was issued as such: It is time to make your life quiet. Cookie Monster has given up 30 minutes of computer a day. I think i will follow suit. I am going to take an Internet break for the 40 days of Lent. So, this old blog will be "dry" for 40 days while i take this time to put toward a few more things that the Lord has put me in charge of.

Hoping you all have a wonderful season: restorative for all, whether you're Catholic or not.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Groovy Baby!

Scouring the MLS to find another possibility...and i have to tell you, if i was more into that Pack Rat/Lounge Lizard/Hep Cat kinda 50's and 60's style, i'd have to bug Moose to buy this house.

I don't think i could live there for the rest of my life, but right now, it's rockin' my socks, i have to tell you!

Isn't it totally cool?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Iiiiiiiit's Baaaaacccck!!

Yard Work! Woo hoo! This evening, Moose is feeling much more like himself and was looking for a project--especially because it was super nice (and sunny--ding) outside. So i gave him a laundry list of things that need to happen in the garden, finished up's schoolin', and high tailed it out to spend some time in the sunshine and garden with my Sweet Baboo.

Moose got the garden path dug out (again), since the grass has overtaken the Celtic Cross garden and the woodchip path around it. We'll be investing in some more wood chips. I'll be trying to figure out a real planting scheme for the beds in the garden...since it's proxmity to the grass doesn't bode well for a straight kitchen garden. Needs some anchors to keep the majourity of the weeds and sod out, and use the little open spaces here or there for some lettuce, herbs, usw.

I'm trying things a little differently this year too. I've been reading alot about companion planting from Sally Jean Cunningham's book. Some of her methods will help a lot with the huge 4x10 ft garden pad we have. I'd tried to plant it in it's entirety each year, but the weeds devour the joint, so the need to figure something else this year was a priority. Especially if we are putting up a for sale sign during the growing season.

And i have planted some seed already.

This post will contain my running list and i will be coming back to it, adding over and over again.

2010 Garden:
3 rows of Sugar Lace Snap Peas (planted 2.15)
1 sq foot of Olympia Hybrid Spinach (planted 2.1)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

What bad can you say about a day where you wake up to a love letter penned just for you from your Sweet Baboo, even though he's is sick?

Last night, to kick off Valentine's apparently, we had a surprise. We attended our old parish church for Mass since Moose wasn't feeling up to speed. And last night was the night the priest there does monthly blessings for wedding anniversaries. We were the only ones. So our family had to stand in front of the church and Moose did all the talking. Cookie Monster was there to witness this time, unlike the last. :o) Lo! and behold it was the night for a 2-fer, because as soon as we got back to our seats, the priest asked all the married couples to stand up and gave all of us a blessing.

We've enjoyed a family Wii date--rented a couple new games to try out--and i was blessed enough to get in a small amount of time to sorta relax at the local cafe and work out some lesson plans for the next two weeks (when did i become that hyper-organised homeschool mom with the lists, eh?) and now 2/3rds of us are recessin' the chickens while 1/3 of us is cleaning out some junk.

I went through my yarn stash....ei yi ei! Found just a few things that i can part with no prob. This is just the cotton alone. Oy!

Then when i gathered all the other yarns, half finished projects, usw. that i have....

this is borderline abominibal!

Those knitting needles will be smokin' over the next few weeks. After that, i don't think i'll need a new washcloth for at least 3 years.

I got a couple Valentine's projects done...made a couple of Valentine garlands with that super cute pattern i found, and ended up sticking with the original heart pattern, while adding a few stitches to it to make it work for me. I just loved the conversation heart theme....i can't wait to make felted hearts to write sme of the old Necco sayings on YEARS DOWN THE ROAD FROM NOW WHEN I NO LONGERS HAVE SUCH A HUGE STASH OF YARN!

(Look, Linda, look!!! I can't believe i did it!!!)

Over the past week, we were looking at houses too, and had another beauty that we really liked striped off the market before we could bat an eye. Grrrr. That's getting old. So i think we are going to spend some time just cleaning out the house. I don't mean "Mr. Clean"-in' out the house, but like actually taking her down to the furniture....or emptier. Then we'll strike will the iron is hot on the next beauty we see.

Hoping you all had a great Valentine's day with ones you love!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just Popping In

Busy weekend--looking at farms for sale again. Whew! Found a gorgie one, but it is practically on top of Mt. Rainier, so we aren't sure it'll make it past a couple night's of sleeping on it. But, boy it sure is quiet and picturesque out there!

But wanted to toot my own horn, if i may, and celebrate my 7 lbs gone since January 1st!! Woo hoo!! (Especially exciting because i am 7 days ahead of schedule!) After a disheartening 1.2 lb gain a couple weeks ago, i wasn't certain today's weigh in wasn't going to go all that well--at least that is what the Wii was telling me. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the receptionist said, "Oh, you go girl, you lost 3.2 lbs this week!"

Yaawwwwww-hooey! Actually, i believe my exact words were, "Hallelujah, Sweet Jesus!"

Maybe the fact that i can actually run along with the Wii Fit is helping now.

But most importantly....43 more pounds to go before it's baby making time again! :o)

Sorry, maybe that's a little TMI for my blogosphere friends, but i am very excited to reach that goal! We need a Moose, Jr. ..... and whoever else can come along before that phase of my life is over. Especially if we buy a farm--we'll need all the free labour we can get! :o)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mid Winter Break

Oh boy, if only it was for something interesting and fun that i needed a vacation!! Like going back to Ireland. :o)
What were we thinking changing spelling cirriculum?
We went with a cirriculum that requires that i get a 2 week head start on completing the lessons myself. :o\ Ei yi ei! But it will be good in the long run for C. monster--it's all about creating a better, brighter future, eh? As with most subjects, it is one of those things that half the book doesn't apply because she's reading at a 4 or 5th grade level already. However, the beginning of the book is where she'll learn the rules to spelling...and she'll be bored again, but i hope that we'll race quickly through the easy part and get to the words she doesn't know how to spell; like confectionary or kitchenette.

So, since i have about 12 steps to master, 98 phonogram rules to memorise and busy work assembling notebooks and cutting flash cards and such to do **before** i can start learn the lessons like "why 'you' is spelled like it and still can be considered an English word", i am forcing myself to take a little break from here for a couple weeks in lieu (ooh, maybe i'll learn the reason why 'lieu' is spelled like that, too!) of learning basic spelling rules, properly this time...especially so i can teach my kid! :O)
Hoping you all have a wonderful couple of weeks, and i look forward to catching up with you when i return. It's going to be the hardest thing not reading about what you all are up to for that long!

Isn't It Always The Way?

A couple Sundays ago, i broke down and bought this on my grocery shopping trip.... It had been at the grocer for about a month, with a very good price on it and their 10% discount for whole packaged goods. I was very good the first few times i saw it--an immediate about face and out of the bulk food section's general vacinity. Alas, it finally wore me down, as i kept thinking of all the things we make with oats, and how handy it would be to have "mixes" put together for the week or tons of granola on hand.

And as one would generally expect after such a took over and destroyed my grand plans. :o) I got sick, had a few appts to kept, played catch up with other things when i healed....well, no more ignoring the bag o' oats now!

But here it sits...still waiting for my elbow grease to repackage it. So that is on my list today. I'll be packaging up some dry granola bar mixes, some cookie mixes, and some granola mixes in jars and ziplocs. The rest i'll store in the freezer for breakfast or meatloaf/burger additives.

Then, it's off to schoolin'

UPDATED 2/9: With half of the bag gone, i now have:

  • 18 bags of various flavoured (pumpkin spice, cardamom, cinnamon) mixes for peanut butter granola bars
  • 4 bags of dry granola mix
  • 1 batch of granola made
  • 3 batches of granola bars made.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Anniversary Tea

Yesterday, we surprised Moose with an anniversary tea and he surprised us by taking the day off. :o) A few weeks ago, as we drove past the tea room where my friends had a surprise birthday party for me last year, Cookie Monster saw it and said, "You know, Mom, we should really take Dad here. If you wanted to go for your anniversary, i wouldn't mind coming along." ;o)

Speaking of C.m., she took this picture. We look like proud home owners, eh? Don't i wish!
And once we had made reservations, my parents called to surprise us with a gift certificate to tea. Thanks, Mom and Pop!! In the first 1/2 hour of our meal yesterday, 5 trains went past, blaring the horns, as if it was a strange coincidence of the universe....My dad **loves** trains, so it was like my parents where there, sharing the day with us in spirit. :o)
(P.S. Sorry, Pop, but this is the only picture i got of the fleet. Excitement's over. You can go back to looking at the other more professional train geek's photos.) :o)
As soon as we were seated we received teapots full of Irish Cream tea, Afternoon Garden Party tea (a black tea with blackberry, currant, and other fruit flavours), a hot chocolate with homemade Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam and scones. quiver!

And after our meals of sandwiches and quiches, we received the daintiest of desserts.

Moose was worried about his tea "etiquette" being improper, but i think he carried himself beautifully for his first experience. After all, it wasn't like he tried to lick the orange creamsicle mousse teacup clean! :o)

C.m. enjoyed her lemon sorbet.

And i just enjoyed the inside of that amazing house!

The mouldings rock my socks....
it's what i invision and hope every building in Heaven to be like. :o)
I mean, really, come on now....
wouldn't you die for a staircase like this?

I think we have a budding photographer on our hands, as C.m. took this picture too.

All in all it was a great family day of adventures...and we were blessed with C.m. charm and wit. Especially from her anniversary card to us, with little notes written everywhere to correct the cards wording. :o) And she especially liked that it said, "Boy, i'm glad it's your anniversary, because without you....(the inside reads) there wouldn't be a me!" :o) She got the biggest kick out of that! :o)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Not Just Kids That Make You Feel Old

The day was Feb 3rd. An unlikely day for a wedding. I still remember the getting up early, yet still being late to the church. We changed into everything there. I remember slipping on the sweet ballet flats that my Dad helped me decorate with peach coloured ribbon roses and some hot glue. My parents gave me my wedding pearls. Moose gave me my "something blue". I forget where i got the penny for my shoe, but it also covered the "borrowed" rule. Moose in his tux!! He cleaned up good! The laughter that filled the church when Moose spun around and saw me for the first time in my dress. He was sooo adorable and i am so glad there was a picture of his face that captured the moment.

There was a great buzz with the wedding party--Moose was the first of his siblings to get married. I remember his sisters so excited to have another sister in the ranks. His younger brother standing on the stairs behind me as we all were readying to walk down the aisle, teasing me about the typical cold feet feelings just before one "takes the plunge"--he was pointing out the back door to the place and i was reassuring him that he might need to hold me back as i was ready to run out into the church and "get this over with--I Do Already!!!". My dad in his tux (the only time he's ever worn one.) My mom in her beautiful emerald dress. Both walking me down the aisle, and having this great pause....when we looked up and we realised that half of the church was standing room only with Moose's family, and in the other half of the church was three little half-pews of my relatives and close friends scattered throughout (remember the wedding scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Yeah, just like that!) I remember our dear friends reading. Clinging on to each other's hands while saying "I Do's", just wanting to be done with all the people staring at us. :o) Signing our certificate on the alter in lieu of sloppy wedding ceremony kisses. Recreating a ceremonial kiss for the photo album. :o) Leaving the church and my uncle driving us through the old city cemetary to bide time before the reception. The perma-grin on my partner in crime, MacD's, face--she was also so excited because she was also on her first date with the gent who she is proudly married to now. She kept me sane. Jules kept me confident. Come to think of it, my sis in law brought her date who is now her hubbie, too.

Moose and i couldn't have picked better "wingmen" in the two friends we had by our sides that day. His best man offering to dump my glass of champagne after the toasts and refill it with beer. Thank God!! Wonderfully entertaining speeches that oozed love from them too. Dancing with Moose like we had actually learned something at our dance lesson. :o) We had really good salad and tortilini and we were both bummed we couldn't have seconds, let alone finish our firsts! Sad that our reception only lasted a couple hours, but excited to get to the reservations at the B&B that was an old 1880's Victorian Farmhouse. I think the only time we were more tired than our wedding day was the day we brought Cookie Monster home a year and half later. The next day we got to spend hours with our friends and family at what would be our new home, relaxing and chatting. The morning after that.....zooooom, we were off to Ireland.

I remember most of it like it was yesterday. Doesn't that count for something? What i can't believe is that it has been 9 years!! 9 YEARS, PEOPLE!! It seems like it's been forever....and looking back makes me feel so old (how pathetic is that, eh?) I can't even imagine what it will feel like when we've been married for 20 years. Sheesh! I can picture it though...there is this card at our local natural foods store that has an elderly couple standing at the sink--the husband in his wifebeater and boxers and in her floral nightrobe--the husband is drinking his glass of water and the wife is grabbing his bottom. That's so gonna be us--on our 40th. :o)

It's the little everyday quirky things that are the cherries on the sundae, eh? Moose thinks its the funniest thing when i talk with my hands and loves the sound effects i make when i'm just physically too tired to think of how to say something. I love that when he gets so tired or overwhelmed, he gets really goofy and cheezy comments pour out of his mouth. He's one of those types of people who looks in the mirror every morning, combs their hair, and then shrugs. I love that about him!

Congrats, Moose! We've put up with each other for 9 years so far and to tell you truly, there isn't anyone else i would rather spend the rest of my life with trying not to drive each other too bonkers. I *love* you!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guilt By Association?

Moose got his mug in the paper this weekend. By accident.
See him there on the left? For a news story about lobbyists, no less.

He just happened to be in Olympia on the day of the annual Roe v. Wade protests. Yet, he was on company time. He also just happened to be in the hall standing next to a well known lobbyist. While a news reporter was lurking about. Never good for people who like to maintian a lower level of ananimity.

But to be implied to be a lobbyist?!? Oy!!

Good thing they didn't get his name, or i might have had to gone back to using my maiden name or into the Witness Protection Program. ;o)