Happy Birthday R

Yesterday R turned 29. Fuh-uh-inaly. I forget that he’s younger than me, so when his birthday does come around, it’s a slap in the face that he’s not turning what I will be soon turning.

So I woke him up with his favorite cookie filled platter. Oreos.

“All of this for me?”

We normally don’t exchange gifts for holidays and such, but lately we have been giving each other birthday gifts and laughing at how badly we are at gift giving.

First up, a wooden ladle for when he cooks stew and chili. He mentions it every time he makes those meals.

So he was pretty excited.

No really. He was.

He was, darnit.

And then, straight out of Sky Mall magazine, the Posture Pro for R’s slumping shoulders.

At least he thinks they are.

And like true soulmates, he looked at the exact ad in the magazine but never took the next steps to purchase it.

No, only this idiot did.

Oh well, I got a good laugh out of it, so it was worth it. And he did take it to work this morning, so there.

Happy Birthday R!

Loose Lips Sink Ships

In grade school, we had to interview someone who either fought in or lived through WWII. I called my grandpa and asked him several pre-written questions.

I wish I had done that more often.

But I do remember him telling me that his brother (Dad – can you verify this?) was shot. However, because he was carrying a bible, it slowed down the bullet enough to not incur too many injuries.

I’d always wondered how plausible that story was.

And then, while I was staying with A, I saw this on her coffee table.

It is a metal cover designed specifically for soldiers during WWII and were put in their front shirt pockets to protect their hearts.

Is that neat or what?

Yes, it’s finally part three.

I arrived outside of Seattle to meet my childhood friend. We hadn’t seen each other for quite awhile, however our families still keep in contact via Christmas letters and, now, Facebook.

Problem is, you can’t squeal very well over the internet.

And poor A just wasn’t used to it.

Her first taste was on the way home, through this tree-lined street.

Can it get better than this??

And then I squealed over breakfast. French toast with fruit and yogurt.

Uh, hello A. I’m moving in.

Later I paused to take a nerdy photo in the farmers market.

But it didn’t take too long before I squealed over a collection of the world’s largest shoes. It cost 50 cents.

And was well worth it.

The next day we stayed around her neighborhood and ran by the water.

I stopped a few times to “tie my shoelace.”

And ended the visit with a tea room lunch. You know, I had never been to one before? Loved it.

A wouldn’t wear a hat. Hey, I can’t bully around everyone.

But I’ll try.

I had such a great time and cannot believe it took this long to catch up again with an old friend.

Spring Break – Part 2

I have become a train lover.

It took a bit of prodding and pulling, but by the end it happened.

The train I took from San Francisco heading to Seattle left at 9pm. It arrived the next evening at 7:30.

And I didn’t get the sleeper cabin. [Gasp!] Yes, I actually planned to not shower. Sue me. Wait, don’t. Garage sale season is coming up and I need the money.

I sat at the station like an excited little girl waiting patiently with arms crossed around my luggage (wishing it were a carpet bag). When I heard the announcement of the trains arrival, I of course was the first standing on the platform.

Off came a few passengers for a smoke break and on came me. I found my seat and sat down eager for what, I didn’t know.

It didn’t take long before I did. About an hour into trip, the train came to a halt. I stopped watching the girl in front of me making a move on the guy sitting across the aisle, and looked out the window.

A man was dragged off the train, thrown on the ground and pinned there by several policeman. We later found out he had carried weapons in his baggage.


The flirt in front of me finally made the move of all moves and boy accepted. They ended up leaning against each other for a snooze.

I had no one.

So I scrunched up in my seats and tried to make the best of it. A couple hours after I finally quit hearing slurping sounds from seats 22 A&B and started dreaming, the shouting started.

“You B@$*&#! You stupid F&*$)#& B*$&*!! ”


I sat up to watch the verbal form of the wood chipping scene in Fargo unfold. Man, it was bad. And scary.

The train attendants pulled the man down to the first floor. Then we heard them call the sheriff in the next town over to meet the train in ten minutes.

As the train slowed down in the middle of a pasture, out walked an old-fashioned looking sheriff, straight out of 1888. Or maybe I was still dreaming. All I know was that it felt surreal at 3am.

Off they dragged guy #2 and drove him away.

I tried to convince myself that this was the reason I didn’t want the sleeping cabin. But when I went back to my scrunched position I immediately disagreed.

But then I woke up to this: a sunrise in amongst Oregon countryside, complete with smudge marks on the glass. I immediately smiled and pretended I was camping. It was lovely.

I was still tired.

Over the speakers, they announced that tour guides would be boarding the train through a particular part of the trip.

I tripped my way up to the cabin and listened for a good hour or so. The two ladies above were the guides and they were adorable.

We passed through some great scenery and even saw a bald eagle dip down to a lake and then back into the sky. Everyone gasped and pointed. It was fun.

Later I saw another bald eagle in a field and yelled “look!” (completely out of nowhere too. I normally don’t make a sound in a group of strangers when I’m by myself.)

So I yelled “Look!” A group of people laughed and said that it was a cardboard cut-out. And couldn’t I tell that it was at least 10 feet tall?

I laughed. Then cried. It was embarrassing.

But the majority of the time, I sat quietly watching the different scenes go by. I knitted a bit. And read too.

I hardly talked though. And, to me, that was a wonderful experience. Watching people and countryside in silence…. laughing to myself, soaking it all in.

I would love to do it again. Maybe next time with a sleeper cabin. And also a friend.

Spring Break – Part 1

What is my deal? Is this the blogging 7-year itch… Otherwise known as the ‘Blitch’?

A coworker came in the other day singing “She’s lost..that blog-gin’ feelin’…. Woah-oh-oh… the Blog-gin’ feelin'”.

So after a lot of waffling back and forth, my husband told me to stick the blog out. I first felt guilty for spilling all of the dirty details of the blog’s and my relationship to him, but then realized he was right. I’ve come this far, I need to keep going. After all, the blog has been a sturdy partner. So what if it’s a little flaky and definitely not the bread winner. It makes me laugh and listens to all my drama. Let’s do it.

On with the show: My trip to California with Juice.

We had a horrible experience trying to get out of the midwest: flights cancelled, our planes landing in different airports, etc. The weekend was almost called off.

But then I came to after passing out, guilt-tripped her a bit, and we were back on.

But I still think…

Continental sucks. Woops! That was one of my new years resolutions broken.

Oh well. They do.

We finally found our craigslist property that ended up NOT being a scam. Huzzah!

And the next day we went sample tasting (of all sorts)… First chocolate and cheese…

Then olive oil with bread.

I could’ve done this one all freaking day. Go figure.

No literally. There went my figure.

Lastly, wine tasting. We met up with one of my college roommates and her husband. They belong to a couple wineries in Napa and hooked us up with a tour. We were handed a glass to sip on throughout it.

Towards the end she gave us a sample right out of a barrel.

Followed by a private wine tasting in the cellar…complete with wafers and cheese. It was great!!

Afterwards, we had a picnic and continued our wine-sampling right into the evening. We had to. It was Napa.

The next day, Juice and I roamed around a bit more… checking out the winery that hosted a 5K race we were supposed to run in if Continental didn’t suck and then high-tailed it to San Francisco.

..where we popped into a make-up store to freshen up.

We had dinner in Chinatown, milled around a bit, and then I had to leave.

And this is when the trip took a Fargo meets Wild Wild West turn. Bye California! Onto Washington!

I’m back

I tell you what. I hit a wall, man. A big one. Almost to the point where I didn’t feel like continuing the blog. Can’t explain why, but I think it had to do with the sun peeping out from the clouds and warm breeze in my hair.

That, and the chocolate cake I made recently. Yeah, that took up most of my time.

But I’ve survived this funk and am back in it.

So I’ll pick back up where I left you… albeit a few weeks late: my Spring Break trip to the west coast. I haven’t had a spring break since college, so was eager to use it. J came with me to the Napa vineyards where we met up with an old college friend.

Then I took a 24 hour train ride up to Washington.

Where I hung out with a friend that lived on the same block with me in grade school.

My blast from the past Spring Break, up next.


No, really, I’ll continue.

I’ll just dangle a piece of chocolate cake in front of the computer screen.