Thursday, April 30, 2009


Sometimes it's hard to be mad... Even when you should be.


Today feels like a Shel Silverstein kind of day.

Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

~From Where the Sidewalk Ends

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My little entertainers

So I'm sitting at my computer and I turn to look at two of my kids playing next to my chair. Every stuffed animal they have is on the floor beside me. I ask what they're doing and they told me they're pretending they're in Las Vegas. Trying to suppress a smile I ask why Vegas?

Glenn: "Well, we work there."

Me: "Oh really? What do you do?"

Glenn: "We work there. Her name is Sparkle. And I'm Diamond."

Me: "I see. And what are the animals for?"

Glenn: "Oh, well the bears dance with us."

She's Sparkle and he's Diamond and they work in Las Vegas... Who teaches them this stuff?!

The other shoe

The company I work for, like so many other nowadays, is in the midst of layoffs. Supposedly they'll be finished with this round by Friday (though I imagine that means a new round will be announced on Monday). So, that being the case, would seeing this hanging around your group's area make anyone else nervous?

And where IS that other shoe!?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What we love about being moms

I want to be just like my mommy when I grow up!

The women over at ShutterSisters have asked women to show what they love about being moms.

I have 3 children of my own and I know that we all have fears of "am I doing this right"? We worry about their nutrition, the example we set for them, what they see on TV, who their friends are... Worry is printed in big bold letters in our job descriptions. So how nice is it when our children, the ones who see every single mistake we make out of love, tell us that they want to be just like us anyway? Even during our oops moments our little ones love us unconditionally with such innocence and freedom. Part of me hopes that my daughter will be like me. Part of me worries that she will.

Two girls, two decades apart, and yet so similar

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swim in your own direction

View from the top

We took two of the kids hiking today at a park in the middle of town. The airplanes fly almost directly overhead as they're landing at the airport so you get some pretty close up views (this wasn't the closest we saw today). The third picture is the summit marker (4,846 ft above sea level). It was a beautiful day today and, being a little chilly, was just perfect for some exercise.

There are two playgrounds at the base of the trail and we polished off all of the remaining energy the kids had. I love days like this!

Friday, April 24, 2009


This guy has many amazing photos of marine life but this one is my favorite. If you have some time, go check him out.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Everybody Wants to Be a Cat

Today is a pretty low key day but I found a (sorta) new song I'm completely in love with. Psapp does such an amazing version of Everybody Wants to Be a Cat. I've been playing it over and over and can't get enough. The backgroup music on their tracks is so eclectic and quirky. I'm going out to find this album!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gotta have that gumball

These geese were in front of the mall today. I walked out the front door and there they were. What a great surprise!

Today was my 2 year anniversary at work. How fitting, then, that I took a personal day and wasn't there. Ha. I've been pretty stressed the last couple weeks and I figured a little decompression would be good.

I started my day off at the mall. I got a few things but the highlight, I thought, was a woman who was several months pregnant and asking everyone if they had change for a dollar. I didn't have enough to make a dollar but I had a quarter, which is what she wanted. She was trying to buy a gumball. She was craving one so badly that she tried to give me her whole dollar for the quarter. I have to admit that I never really had cravings while pregnant. I said I had cravings for hot fudge sundaes but in truth I just wanted them. I hope the gumball was as good as she wanted it to be.

After that I went out to the California state line (about 15 minutes away) and bought lottery tickets. My mother used to say that you may never win the lottery but if you play you can afford bigger dreams (currently $107 million big). I like the theory of a man who won $250,000 last week. He said that he had bought two tickets. One for losing, and one for winning. So I bought two tickets myself.

While I was out there a woman was setting up a prank on her husband. She was going to fake him out that she had won $100,000. (She figured that if she tried to make him believe a million it wouldn't work.) This was in revenge for a prank he played on April fools day that, personally, I don't think was funny. He is in law enforcement and he had a fellow officer come to the house and tell her that there had been an accident and he died. They took her down to identify the body and when she got there he was fine and laughing. Did I mention she's pregnant? What if she had miscarried or something? I can't imagine how to find the humor in that one. Has anyone ever played a joke on you that you didn't find funny?

I finished off the early afternoon with another first. I sat with my book (still on Moby Dick) in a coffee shop and read. Sounds fairly common but surprisingly I have never done this. I also got to work on a few projects today and I'll post pictures as I get those wrapped up. I hope your days were as lovely as mine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gaea is in a mercurial mood

When I moved to Nevada my mother jokingly told me that if you don't like the weather here just wait 5 minutes and it will change. I *thought* that was a joke. But I was wrong. This is a picture uploaded by a friend here in Reno to facebook yesterday. Yesterday it snowed (our high temperature was reached around 9:30am) and this weekend will be absolutely beautiful. Go figure.

The view from the office around 11 am yesterday


So the gist of my morning conversation is this:

ME: What's up, Joe? You seem to be having a down morning.

JOE: Ugh. (covers face with stuffed animal and crossed arms)

ME: If you don't tell me I can't help. What's up?

JOE: (After a pause) My candy at daddy's house is going to go bad.

ME: You're easter candy? Honey, candy doesn't go bad.

JOE: Yes it does! It's like cake.

ME: Joe, no. It... Ok, would you like to call daddy tonight and have him bring your candy over?

JOE: Yeah!

ME: Ok, now can we go to school?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


There was a post very similar to this by Char over at Ramblins that I really loved so I wanted to do something similar. So here is me:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm a girl who's often compared to guys, a "guy in a skirt" if you will. I own all my own tools, I've always done the painting and home repairs, I shovel the snow in the winter time. If something needs to be done then I'm not waiting for a man to come do it for me (even when maybe I should). I appreciate help at the home improvement store but I hate the guys who tell me how to do everything, assume I can't do it anyway because I'm a girl, and call me Sweetheart.

I'm also called a hippy a lot by people in Nevada which I find hilarious because coming from Oregon where there are real hippies I know that a true hippy would be offended that someone driving a jacked up 4x4 truck and who thinks patchouli is smelly (sorry to the people who like it, I don't mean to offend) would ever be considered a hippy. I'm also told that I'm a living contradiction (the whole hippy, redneck, girl next door combo) and I fell in love with the word enigma. I like being an enigma, it fits me.

I have a hard time being a "girl". I'm more likely to be friends with guys because I get them. The girls that I am friends with are, like me, half guy. We don't talk about shoes, makeup, or the stereotypical girl stuff. The only "female" topics we discuss are the men in our lives and our kids. I love strappy sandals, the really dainty ones, and they give me a nice twinge of happy but I refuse to talk about shoes for 3 hours on end no matter how much I like them.

I cry sometimes but not as often as maybe I should sometimes. I'm always the strong one who, no matter how bad it sucks, may cry but will always suck it up and go on because Life Goes On. Many times I've been in a situation where I watched the people around me break down and I was jealous that I couldn't do the same. I don't mean just cry but they turned into complete total wrecks for a couple of days. I wanted to be a mess but I'm made of stronger stuff and just couldn't do it. I always land on my feet.

I love bright colors and I think the colors I would paint a room scare some people. Green is my favorite color because it reminds me of the outdoors. I loved the green that was everywhere in Oregon growing up (it was SO vibrant) but I couldn't stand the clouds and the rain. Now I live in Nevada, a desert. Originally I tried not to look at the hills because I thought all of the brown was ugly but now I see the beauty in it, too. And I'm completely in love with our blue skies. When people ask me if I ever want to move back to Oregon I tell them that "I miss the green but I love the blue more".

I love hiking and camping and don't do it enough. The oceanside is one of my happy places. Especially a little beach in Oregon called Strawberry Hill where there are wild strawberries, sandy beach, rocky areas, tide pools, sea lions and good agate hunting. I used to stand at the edge of the tide looking out at the ocean and feel an immense sadness that I could never really be part of something so beautiful. That even if I were to jump in and give myself up completely to the ocean, while I would be IN it, I would not be PART of it. It still makes me sad sometimes.

I have great luck in my life. It's partly about always landing on my feet but it's more, too. I win prizes on the radio a lot but I don't try that hard. I only got a two year degree but I still worked my way into the job that I want working with people who have bachelor's degrees or more. Even when finances were really tight I always managed to pay the bill. I sometimes think that I have an invisible valet that just makes things go how I want them to.

I love books. My long-standing favorite books are Anne of Green Gables, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, and Life of Pi. I've always loved to read and when I was in the fourth grade my grandmother gave me Anne of Green Gables to encourage it. After reading that book I spent a year wishing my name was Cordelia or at least wishing it could be Anne. Now my daughter's middle name is Anne but I'm sure she'll wish for something else, too.

Cooking is not something that I do all that well. Oh, I make the basics and my kids get healthy meals, but I'm just a decent plain cook. I'd like to do more. I do love to bake, though. Cookies are often made at home and taken to work so I can have the fun of making them without the guilt of eating all of them. I won't bake with plain vanilla. My mother always used mexican vanilla and now I do, too.

I love the website because I know that I'm not alone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A happy place

"A book, too, can be a star, 'explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.' "
~ Madeleine L'Engle

I love Powell's books! I've mentioned this place before but in case you missed it, Powell's is a huge group of warehouses all tied together into one enormous book store in Portland, Oregon. And every area is crammed with bookshelves higher than I can reach. A lot of used paperbacks go for only $3 or $4 and on my last trip I came home with dozens more adventures for my collection (hardbacks for $8.50, anyone?).

Me with my babies in front of my happy place:

Just imagine an entire city block of this:

Well THAT'S new!

So my evening after work started out simply enough. I left work around 6 and Boyfriend and I had no real plans so we drove down a couple of roads we hadn't been down just to see where they go.

We saw this new subdivision of $600K+ homes that we're going to crash at lunch time tomorrow because they just looked too cool and unique to not look at the model homes. Not like we could afford them but it's still fun just to check them out and see the ridiculous kitchens and baths. I can't wait!

Then we decided a simple dinner sounded good and we headed down to Bully's Sports Bar. It's always nice and how do you go wrong with drinks and burgers? And hey, since we were right next to RC Willey and talking about houses, why not go window shopping through the furniture? Maybe we'd get some ideas and at the very least I'd get a better idea of his tastes.

As we walked inside the greeter told us that tonight they were having a customer appreciation night and there was pie, ice cream, and a raffle at 8pm. Sounds like fun! So, being about 7:30 we wandered for 20 minutes or so and made our way to the back room where we entered ourselves in the drawing. What fun! Boyfriend won a remote control Hummer (his 2 yr old is going to LOVE that if he can get it away from daddy). I won a set of Ginsu knives and since my current set of knives were 2/$1 at the dollar store and break easily (what do you expect for $0.50 knives) I'm of course thrilled! Oh, yeah and PIE! As in, one per family, take the whole thing. How great is this night?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Living alone

Sometimes being all by oneself in a house can be nice. You can eat whatever food you want, watch any shows you like, work on crafts, read your book quietly. Yet sometimes, it's not so nice.

I have lived in this house since last July. About once a month someone rings my bell or knocks on the door after dark (after 8pm, even as late as 1am). When I look out the window no one is there. I'm pretty sure it's just some neighborhood kids (I live in a very quiet, almost Stepford, kind of area) and if I knew that was true I'd be okay with that. But the fact is that it creeps me out. I'm just sayin'.

Channeling domestic goddess

Today I am channeling my mother. And I am so impressed by her once again. Why? My mother raised 6 kids (the five girls pictured and our older brother). And yet, somehow, we each felt loved and taken care of. We managed to grow up without killing each other. We had enough time devoted to us. AND she didn't need to be committed once a month. So I know it's possible and I'm learning.

Last night Boyfriend came over with his two kids which brought the house up to 5 kids ages 2, 5, 5, 6 and 8. Lots of fun, lots of chaos. We let the kids have a sleep over and they spent most of the day together today. I think they wore each other out because now that two have gone home to take naps my house is SO quiet. I can't remember the last time my kids were this quiet. And I have a nice glass of ice water and my computer. Ahhh...

So, some of the more amusing highlights. I heard water running and we decided it was best to check it out. Turns out the two youngest were standing on a couch leaning over the half wall behind it and using the sprayer on the kitchen sink to, I can only imagine, make it rain in the kitchen. No harm done, really, just a little wet vinyl to mop up. Whoops.

The two girls (both 5) were playing with play-doh for a while and you might have thought it was Christmas morning when I pulled out the alphabet cookie cutters. They had a great time cutting out numbers and letters for a good hour. Erin kept running to me "Mom, look!" with her 1s and 5s. "The 5 is just like my name!" she told me. "Well, actually, it's like your age". She just looked at me for a second and said "That's what I said". Mmm, you are going to be your mommy some day, aren't you?

At the end, being told it was time to go home, Boyfriend's oldest was upset. She didn't want to go. At the same time that I felt bad for her I was also just a *little* bit relieved. Why relieved? Well, if she's upset about leaving then she likes it at my house at least a little. And it's important that she likes being around my kids because I can see this will be happening a lot down the road. So, no, I didn't want her to be upset but at the same time, yes, I'm relieved.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I remember

Well, kind of. When I was a little kid, probably right before my third birthday or just a little after it, I woke up one morning and could remember nothing. Well, kind of. I knew I was in my house, I knew who the members of my family were but I did not remember the days that had come before. I did not remember what foods I had eaten, playing with toys, interacting with people. Not even as recently as the night before. I knew the nouns of my life, but none of the verbs. I remember getting out of bed and walking down the hall that day. I felt like I was in a daze and I was so very confused. As I walked into the kitchen I recall looking up at my mother and I must have had an odd look on my face because she looked at me like I was acting strange. To this day I still have no idea why I forgot what happened before. I don't remember any pain that would suggest I'd hit my head or anything... But that morning, for the space of about 10 minutes, I remember everything in crystal clear detail. My thoughts, my feelings, my home, my mother. After 27 years, I have not forgotten that morning.

Up until I was about 10 or 11 I occasionally had the wild idea that maybe I was adopted or stolen. That there had been some trauma that caused me to lose my memories. If nothing else it explained to me why I was blond when everyone else in my family had very dark brown hair (I didn't know at the time that my mother was a blond child, too). I grew out of that but I still often wonder about it. Was that the day I truly became self aware? I don't know. Perhaps that was when I grew into using my long term memory. They say that children generally reach this point at around 1 but perhaps I was a late bloomer.

So in my earliest memories, I'm 3. I remember walking on a beach after playing in tide pools. I licked my dry lips and tasted salt. I had never tasted anything like it so I ran to my mother who was at the edge of the water with my little sister. I told her that my lips tasted funny and she explained about salt from the sea.

I remember taking the picture above with my father. I remember my mother telling me to go stand with daddy and I recall him being behind me as it was taken. The memory is so vivid, it's like I can almost feel him there behind me every time I think of this. Lots of my earliest memories are like that. What I remember the most is feelings, thoughts, and tastes. The pictures of most of them are a little fuzzy now, like a photograph with dream-sequenced edges. Only the centers of the visuals come to me now but the emotions and sensory pieces haven't faded.

I have 3 children now and I'm curious what their earliest memories will be. My youngest is now 5 so they've probably already had the experiences. I'll have to ask them in 5 or 10 years.

What is your earliest memory? Do you see the images or do the other senses come first?