Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy 2013!

I am sorry to be so late with the blog. Travelling really took up some time, and what a trip it was from MN to Tacoma, in the middle of December.

Let me just give a few of the highlights-

Dave picked my up at the airport after I took the red eye from Seattle--


---to Minneapolis on Thursday, Dec 13th

IMG_0213 Not a lot of people chose to fly at that time I guess. Dave was 1/2 hour late and very stressed due to a little problem with planning. The barrier he originally set up for the cats was an epic fail (cats can get through 6-8 inch spaces, just saying).

(Cat demonstrating futility of “Barrier”-she is on the wrong side of said containment area….or right side, depending on her point of view)


And the packing, well let’s just say organization and trial runs didn’t fit into the equation. The dogs were lying on top of each other AND there was no room for my one smallish carry on bag.

But we set off. As soon as we did Jack hit the front seat-

IMG_0214 He wasn’t about to miss out. Not only that, but after a few hours of me fighting with him to get in the back, he got so cranky he starting spitting and hissing and therefore got to ride in the front all of the first day. On a pillow.


And the bird, yes, the bird. Although I had requested he ride in his carrier, he instead came in a cardboard box with his toy stand covered with a blanket.

This is how he rode on day one-


It was a grand time we had. And we really had lovely weather on day one. Mostly sunny, slightly overcast at times. No snow, no rain. Only two short wrong turns.

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And when we finally reached Wyoming, we reorganized the car, walked the dogs (who were really, really, REALLY obnoxious), fed the cats, fed ourselves, and went to bed at 7.

After 12 hours of sleep, we started again and had a much better day. Dogs had way more room, cats were kenneled for the duration, and bird rode nicely on shoulder. Weather stayed clear, sunny and



at times, cold-


It was rocky and craggy and got cloudy by the time we hit Missoula



We again got the dogs out, settled the cats in for the night, brought the bird in and this hotel stay was much more relaxed. Much more….

The last day we headed for the dreaded mountain passes. We made it over the first pass and into Idaho.

Photo: Driving straight thru this state. Just sayin'.

Then all we had left was Eastern Washington (windy, snowy and oh so boring)

And Snoqualmie Pass-

Photo: Last hurdle before home

It was a little snowy crossing over, but no chains, we had traction tires and 4 wheel drive, so all was well. We hardly even slid (we saw one very bad accident on the east side and several people in the ditch on top but we made it with no prob)

Trixie was so happy, and could hardly wait until we arrived-


She looks a little stressed out, doesn’t she? Well, yes. She likely is.

And they are still a wee bit clingy. Although I took Beta over to the Soggy Doggy Dogwash yesterday and he looks just fabulous. Better than he has in years. Or at least the past three months without me.

But that story, and a few others, is for the Christmas/New Year’s blog, which will be, of course, after New Years.

Still no furniture-we are starting to think maybe we didn’t need it to begin with. We did get a desk and dresser from storage, and a chair which Jack has taken over. Dave sleeps on the living room couch now and I have the air mattress-having admitted defeat to the sleeper after a week of not being able to turn my head either way because of the stiffness of my neck-not to mention back, legs, arms, feet, and hands. (Our queen air mattress had a cat problem so now only the twin survives and only one person fits there…) But surviving we are and so to United Van lines I say:

Ha and touché United! We CAN live without it. The good news is that Thursday, Jan 3rd is the day. AND we can take 1000 dollars off the bill as it’s 100/day for everyday after the delivery date, which was Monday, Dec 24th. Wheeee!

So, I immediately spent the money saved on window treatments for the bedroom. But that’s also another story.

In the meantime-Happy Happy New Years! And a fab 2013!

Pictures from the road----






Jack needing a stretch after a long day of pillow riding. Dave, Mr. Pillow, extremely jealous.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hello to all, and Happy Holidays too-

I have so much to blog and so little time. Well, actually, so little furniture since my furniture has decided that the move during the holidays was just too stressful  and so, as a collective group, vetoed the whole thing and is remaining in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.

Luckily for me, the clock started ticking today. So, after December 24th, every day my furniture and I remain parted, it costs United Van Lines 100 dollars. At this rate, my move will be free. It’s not like we didn’t give them months advance notice.

It’s kind of confusing, like at Umpqua bank last weekend, when they didn’t want to take a check for 18,000 from US Bank. Really, they said they didn’t want us to open an account, and that we could take the money elsewhere. Seriously. It remains a question for customer service. Which I’ll be asking soon. I want to ask the movers some pointed questions too, but they still have my furniture so I think conversations with them should be limited to “Good Day and Thank You”, and probably not what I would like to say while I am sitting on a folding camp chair typing on a desk consisting of two cardboard boxes and a shelf from the kitchen, admiring my suitcases full of clothing.

But hey, it’s Christmas, right? And it could be worse. I could be out of a job, homeless, cold, hungry and wet. And I’m not. So for that I am thankful.

So to all my friends and family, Happy holidays and all. And I will catch everyone up by the end of the week. I promise. There are some pretty good moving stories coming out of this. 

Thinking of all of you out there and sending the best wishes for now, and the new year.

Let’s make it a good one.


The boys, 26 years ago.   

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I am the Pied Piper

Christmas is coming….I think. I can’t really be sure. I can see lights, trees, decorations. Nina has transformed the place-

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And this guy is happy to be out of his tote for the season


But Christmas for me, at least as far as planning and organizing is, well, not so much.

This is how I decorated


Yeah, it’s called packing…again.

This week, on Thursday at 12:50 in the AM I am flying back to Minneapolis where Dave, Beta, Trixie, Jack, Chat, Elvin, and Lefty the bird will be picking me up and driving us all back to the west coast. Dave is nervous about the mountains. I am nervous about the plains. I think this says something about our individual life experience. Had about three feet of snow in the mountains this weekend. No worries.

I managed to get 20 Christmas cards done. I really did. With a Christmas letter. And bought a few presents. We’ll see how it all unfolds. Shopping today in N Seattle with my sister so maybe I can knock it out before the date actually arrives. I haven’t watched TV in a long while so I have missed all the holiday movies (sad) and not seen any commercials (happy). So maybe, once I get back in the swing and get a few Hallmarks under my belt, it will seem more like the season.

Thought I might get more organized yesterday, but had a wee bit of stress over losing my car key whilst running at Pt Defiance, getting a ride home in the back seat of a cop car, getting a ride back to Pt Defiance with Rosie and the extra key, and then having someone come up to the car and present me with the lost key. Yep. It really happened. I then had my hair cut and my gal gave me a head massage because she thought I needed it. I needed it.

Then last night I went and saw Brandi Carlile in concert here (here means the link, not that I live here) in Olympia.


I tried to take pictures of the stage because I knew in the dark I would only get a blurry picture of Brandi and the band. I pretty much ended up getting blurry pictures of the stage too-


That’s the best I could do-of course, the least blurry pic has the stage hand in it. Jeesh.

I have to say it was the most fab thing I have seen in ages. The venue was great, the talent of all the band members was nothing short of awesomeness, and I loved it. I wished Dave could have been there too. Although not sure it’s quite his gig….

And, after all that, I am going backwards in my timeline. Just shakin’ things up a little.

Week before last (am I really that late…..) I was in Wenatchee doing an audit. Before the snows came.


A little termination dust (as we used to call it in AK). Don’t ya just love some hills and mountains?

We left early, at 3, but by God we hit Friday traffic in the rain just out of Bellevue and all was lost. Sad, but so very true.


It literally took hours to get home from here. Well, two hours, but it’s like a 45-50 minute trip at best. We need to blow up some mountains to make room for more highways. No wait, then we’d be the midwest! I’ll suffer. And note to self, refuse all out of town audits on a Friday afternoon.

Last Saturday I did a mystery quilt class because I had to sew. HAD TO.

It was much fun, the pattern easy and quick, and it’s a very nice venue.

Here’s my work space


And the doors to the balcony-it was pretty sunny and I didn’t realize they had a beautiful view of Mt Rainier until it was too late to take a picture, oh well.


And an example of the block. It’s not mine, I had more muted colors but you get the picture.


Sunday I was over to see my old friend Jacquelyn. I went to nursing school with her. She moved out here shortly afterwards and is now married and has a baby. And a beautiful house, by the way. A wee bit jealous of the view-but I still love my little house…

IMG_1281 IMG_1277

Seriously cute. Jackie is as sweet as ever and I was glad to catch up with her. She lives about 5 minutes from me and I hope to see her regularly.

And lastly, if you think I have been pining away for my pets-fear not. I am like the Pied Piper of house pets. This is the picture of my room last week-


That would be every pet in the place hanging in my domicile.

What can I say? Now, off to be merry-

Stay tuned for the excitement of our trip next week! Should be fun….

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Last of the Address Changes

And Happy Holidays to you too!!

I am in the home stretch. I think. I had the brilliant idea to buy two couches so we’d have something to sleep on when we got to the new house on Dec 15th.

IMG_1261 IMG_1262

(Pillows included Dave-although the arm rests on the leather are very pillow like-I know because I lay down on it just to test it out).

So, being the smarty I am I took full advantage of the holiday sale, bought the couches, and then found out they can’t be delivered until the 18th. Foiled again. Oh well. I did get pretty good deal.

Speaking of Holidays, Thanksgiving happened somewhere in there….

I didn’t take one picture of my family. Seriously. I should steal some of my dad’s pics though. He was busy taking pictures of the woman folk working the kitchen.

I did get a couple of the food.

IMG_1257 IMG_1256

I have to say, you can NOT ruin a Butterball Turkey. Which makes me wonder what do they put in those things? Yikes.

I was up to Seattle to pick up my race packet on Friday. It was rainy and Seattle tried to trap me in its insidious web of streets that don’t lead to the freeway. You can see it, you will cross it, you will go under it, but you won’t get on it. I have paralleled I-5 for miles trying to crack the code of the elusive on-ramp. Friday I was able to get out safely, and not all together out of my way. Miracle. I also bought a very bright pink shirt so the drivers can see me when I run at night. I hope.

Saturday I became a true Washingtonian when I got this-

IMG_0198 That, my friends, would be a WA license plate. Now the other drivers can’t blame my driving on being from MN. I had to weigh my car to get that, by the way. It’s not easy here in WA. And, if your car doesn’t pass the emission standards, they tell you right out to sell it before you even cross the state line. Just saying.

Sunday I ran the 1/2 Marathon of the Seattle Marathon. Golly but that was challenging. I was right on the hour mark at halfway, and was hoping for 2 hours, but really, 2:04 and 30 something. As I have commented before, I sort of lost the will to live at mile 7 or so. It took some serious guzzlement of Gator Aide and a little walking to get back into the spirit of things. It’s hilly here. But I do love the course. I signed up for the Rock and Roll in June, and I think it’s the same course only backwards, which makes me a little afraid as I think it’s more up hill backwards……

But, I saw the Space Needle lit up


I am such a sucker for the space needle. What a tourist!


I parked feet away from the start, which was sweet.

Right across from the Music Experience Museum, or whatever it’s called. It’s a weird shaped thing.


I know. That’s only a piece of it.

I wish I could tell you how many racers there were. A lot. I was 1054th and 48/219 in my age division. But, how many were there in the race? Last year I think there was something like 17000 participants in all the events? Gosh. It was fun, but I am not sure I was having fun at mile 7.2. Not at all, especially after the big steep hill. But, in hindsight, sitting comfortably in my warm room, it was a great experience. Now I have to hurry up and sign up for something else before I lose my MoJo!

Seattle Marathon

Resolution Run?

Next weekend I am signed up for a mystery quilt class. Kind of nervous but I have to do it. I can’t say no to the mystery.

I’ll let ya know.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The One in Which I Bought a House

I mean it this time.

I suppose everyone remembers this house



Sorry about this pictures—I thought they copied in to my files as regular pictures and guess what? That didn’t work so well. Dang it.

There is a link but I don’t know how long it will stay up. But I think you are better off with the link than my pathetic attempts to get the copied pics up on the blog.


But I couldn’t resist the kitchen.

It all went like this. If you recall the last post, and you might want to review because my house buying is like a whirlwind, I was waiting on inspection and purchase of another house. It really needed a lot of work and so after inspection we (meaning my realtor-Mr. Man) asked for many repairs and routine maintenance, which hasn’t been done since about 1998. The request went to the seller a week ago Friday. I waited Sat, Sun, Monday and by Tuesday I was getting a little impatient. I had a meeting at the bank Thursday and I needed an answer about the repairs, which may have affected the price tag of the house. On Wednesday I was frantically e-mailing Mr. Man and I was NOT happy. He called me that evening and told me there were some hang ups regarding agreement of the repairs, which I don’t have time for because Dave and I are driving out starting the 13th, and we need to have a place to live.Then Mr. Man said the magic words-the buyer was unable to come up with the funding for the Grandview house and it was mine, all mine. For that moment.

This is the house I wanted all along-the very first house I tried to buy. I am over the moon. I went today and finalized the rest of the deal and here is the proof-

IMG_1235 - Copy

Here’s Mr. Man and me with the sold sign up ready to go. Pretty hilarious huh? Mr Man is about hysterical because he is finally done listening to me bitching at him.


If I’d known I couldn’t copy and paste the pictures of the website I would have taken better pics today. But I think this one says it all.

Sold. To me.