Just gets you happy!

I like my i-pod.
I like this, too!

Portland on a Friday Night...

We drove the kids up to Portland on Friday night. They were going to see the band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Roseland Theater. Wow...that place is one of the funkiest corners in Portland...right on the corner of Burnside and 6th Avenues! Freaky people, transvestites, drunkards, sleeze-bags, homeless folks, and openly-affectioners everywhere. It was a show within itself for Hubby and I to watch as the kids exited the car and headed into the theater.

After they were safely in the door of the theater, we were off on our own adventure. We love heading into downtown PDX with no real goals. One time, we parked the car and hopped on MAX, just wondering where we'd end up. Heck, the ride is only a few bucks, so why not? On that night, we ended up at the old Memorial Coliseum, where we purchased tickets to see the Portland Winter Hawks play! I hadn't been to a hockey game since 1984, so it was grand fun! Another time, we parked under the Fremont Bridge and watched some large ships heading down the Willamette River, toward the Columbia! It was a cool scene because there is a lot of traffic on the bridge, making lots of noise, which we hardly noticed, due to our focus on ships.

Now back to this evening...Friday, September 28, 2007; We parked the car in a lot and started walking. We went into 5 jam-packed eating establishments before we finally found one with less than a 30-minute wait. P.D.Chang's China Bistro was a score! The atmosphere was absolutely awesome! Noise, movement, roudy bar, quiet dining room...we, of course, ended up in the bar. Our waiter was Noah and he was a gorgeous, ding-batty hunk. I asked him to recommend dinner and I ordered what he suggested! Salt-and-pepper prawns over organic brown rice. I had a tall Widmer Hefeweizen with a twist of lemon! Hubby had spicy calamari, also with a tall brew! We left feeling satisfied and excited about our luck!
Of course, the concert didn't end until midnight, so we roamed about on-foot, just watching people, absorbing smells, and laughing.
The kids had a great time and were really sleepy on the way home. They told us of their concert adventures (it was an indoor theater and they were amazed at how many dumb people there were trying to smoke joints...as each got caught and was removed).
I love my family...


Cheap Date...

Carnivorous Hippy stopped by and we sat on the deck, chatting away. We requested delicious martinis, compliments of my Handsome Husband. Man, did he deliver!
Bombay Sapphire Gin,
Dry Vermouth
2 large Spanish olives
Shaken, not stirred...
BIG artsy martini glasses.

Within about 1.5 hours, I was OUT! I hit the couch and struggled to get back up for the rest of the evening. By bedtime, every single muscle in my body ached and my head was spinning! I swore then and there that my BIG martini days were over! No more weeknight cocktails. Beer? Maybe, but, man! I've become such a lightweight...which makes me a cheap date! I think Hubby likes that part. No explanation necessary...



Definition of brain fart :.
(brān färt)
1. (n.) Malfunction of the brain on a given thought process, usually occurring during an important situation.
Notes: Also: cranial flatulation, brain cloud, brain cramp
Submitted by: Anonymous, Topics:
Behavior & Lifestyle, Health & Medicine
2. (pron.) When one conveniently forgets something just at the right moment when he or she is asked an important question. In the act of trying not to look stupid as one is they cover it up by indicating that they had a brain fart. Unlike a normal fart, these leave no revolting odor or any clue to their presence.
Example: Bob: "What day of the week is it today, Fred?" Fred: "It's chili day in the cafeteria!" Bob: "No!... I asked what day of the week!" Fred: "Oh, brain fart... It's Friday."
Submitted by: Herman_the_jewish_Dinosaur, Topics:
Behavior & Lifestyle, Health & Medicine

Okay, now that I've spent some time developing background for all of you (in ESL, we now call this "frontloading"), I want to explain;

Yesterday while I was away from my office, assessing Kindergarten students in their classrooms, someone dropped a note off that said, "Looks like we don't have enough people to present to tomorrow, so the workshop is off."
Whew! What a relief. See, as a Trainer for our school district, I frequently have to conduct large group workshops which update our ELL staff on current research-based strategies, assessments, and programs for getting kids on-board with English...

Anyway, while driving into to work this morning, I happened to notice that a colleague had left me a message on my cell phone...so, I found out that we WERE doing the training.
Which leads to my brain fart.
I had to completely shift my thinking for the day and had no time to consider all that entails...

Now, I'm home, I've had a martini, and the brain fart has exploded.
That's it...not a real story...just one day in my life...


Good After Conflict with a Teenager...

I like YouTube. I found it. This brought me down and got me ready for a good night's sleep after this evening's blow-up.
Hope you enjoy it, too.
I love Horowitz...


Seaside 3-Course Challenge!

Just returned from another Cross-Country Team Adventure! Corvallis High School's Varsity Team completed the big invitational in Seaside, Oregon! It was quite an adventure, driving up a car full of rowdy, funny kids! The hotel experience, as usual, made me so happy to have a great kid! This team is so awesome...they know how to have fun without screwing around and making more work for others! Here are some of my favorite pics!
Every single team member fit into the spa at the hotel! My daughter is in the background, having just returned from a walk on the beach...Hotel Room Toga!

The start of my daughter's race! There were more than 200 girls running this particular race! It was amazing!

Mid-Course...I managed to run up some hills and found the girls running! I couldn't believe it! The had just come through the mud flats...about 3.5 miles into the run. Daughter was exhausted! I felt bad for her, in a way, knowing there were still many miles to go...The finish!This is where it all would end...

Sara, Coach Megan, Malory and Stewart after completing their races!
Team photo! Yeah...that's my girl in the middle. She's an animal!
During the awards ceremony. Everyone was all together on the hill. It had been a very long day...


In the Garden...

Fall is coming on strong! While out wandering about the garden rooms, I found some little treasures I'd like to share! Here is the locally cultivated lily I'm planting on Sunday. It's called "Salmon Star." Right now, it's sitting by the front door so that we can enjoy its amazing scent!
The old table on the back patio...I've had this garden table for more than 15 years. Hubby wanted to "fix it up," and I had to explain, calmly, mind you, that it is exactly what I want it to be...
This beautiful planter has a history. I purchased it from a local artist. It is new, but it was cast in a found mold that was 150 years old. It's filled with mini-hyssop and cherrybelle campanula.
The tomatoes are bursting out! I picked more than 300 individuals on Tuesday!
A blurry view of my 75 gallon water garden. I bought this watering trough 7 years ago at a Philomath feed store. It's filled with mini-cattails, water iris, umbrella plant, and curly-rush. There is a 4-year-old goldfish in the tank who controls mosquitos. He is HUGE and very aggressive, killing any new fish I add to his territory.
The entry to our driveway.
My "Ma-maw Rose," I planted when my favorite grandmother died 2.5 years ago. She loved pink roses...and I loved her...
I'll be hacking down this volunteer Rudbekia (Black-Eyed Susan) on Sunday. It makes passing through this pathway almost impossible. I lassoed it up with some jute on Monday, as it had flopped over!


The First (sort of) Negative Encounter...

I'm in a new building with a new staff, doing a completely new job.
I am a Literacy Coach 1/2-time and the ELL Instructory for the other 1/2!
I love it!
One staff member, today, however, turned her back on me a stomped away.
The story goes like this...
She came to talk with me last week regarding an 8th grader at the school who is having trouble getting transportation. This school is a "school of choice" school with a lottery system for getting in. If a family chooses to enter this school, they are passing up on the free transportation to and from their neighborhood schools. Makes sense to me!

However, this child's family lives way out of town but only the father drives...the mother cannot drive...
This staff member came and asked for my help. She wants someone to find out if there are other families from the school living in the same area as this child, so he can "catch a ride" each day. Well, it's not my job to do that. See, I used to do that sort of stuff. I used to go all-out for families like this, but I made a commitment to sanity.
I did make a few calls around the district to see if there are any funds available or any folks who can help out with this situation. Of course, the answer is: "Well, his family signed him up for this program. They can get free transportation if they would transfer him to his neighborhood school." Duh...
But, when I talked with the staff member mentioned earlier, and told her the district's viewpoint, she threw her arms up and said, "Gawd!" as she stomped away from me.

The old me would have gotten upset. The new me just blogs about it.


Soooo...Well, Dumb

We were bored.
We are bad.
This is what happens when the Hubby goes out of town...
The entire house goes wild...
I apologize to my children's children...well, it might be a few years, but I feel I owe them that...

So, here's my apology:


More Window Issues...but, the Garden Looks Good!

Oops...We seem to be having trouble with windows around here. While working in our Family Room, where he just replaced a HUGE 8-foot-wide slider, Hubby tried to pry off the trim on one of the side windows...
His intentions were good, but the results?

It was painful watching the glass S-L-O-W-L-Y crack and crumble. At least it was safety class. A 79-inch high piece of plate glass could probably do some horrific damage!
BUT, the deck area is looking good! A cool little vignette. I painted the Mary Engelbreit-style birdbath about 8 years ago. I've broken its top at least 4 times, so I bought something smaller this time. It looks out of proportion. Newly repotted annuals make for a pretty picnic table!
I created a mini-ruins at the base of the big Japanese maple right off the deck. Ooooo...

I've gotten into the raised herb beds and done some major work. I actually dug out the 18-foot high Cardoons that had taken over 2 of the beds and looked quite ragged, now that summer is nearing the end...and I put in a lot more culinary sage, anise, basil, thyme, and lavendar! I really like this pot...and I put in a new annual, just so I could enjoy its beautiful purple (my favorite shade, no doubt!) And, finally (for now) the 12-foot tall "bundle" of perinneal sunflower (Helianthus spp). Hubby hacked it back pretty hard recently, complaining, "I can't even get through the pathway anymore!"



Check out this website:

Really cool music!


I'm a palindrome

Got weighed on an official scale at the doctor's office yesterday.
I cannot reveal my actual weight, but I will say that the number of pounds is a palindrome.

If you aren't sure what that means, go back to your middle school math class.

Anyway, here's how I plan to deal with the issue:

1. New meds. My old meds for anxiety and sleep disorders aren't doing their job well anymore. I've been taking them for about 9 years and have a new doctor who says it's time to "move on."

2. Walking. Carnivorous Hippy and I took off today and did about 1.5 miles. Believe it or not, I drove back over the route we took, just to be sure.

3. Healthier eating (HA!) I love food. I desire it. However, I am very capable of eating well, so Hubby and I decided it's time to quit drinking so much beer and eating so much pizza. Besides, I'm going over my budget each month since we eat out so much...

4. Savor my new job. It's a miracle, folks!

5. Weigh myself everyday. I read it in a magazine.

6. Join Weight Watchers again this Winter.

That's a start. I am not fully dedicated, however. It helps to have a husband who really does love me "no matter what." I've never experienced this level of unconditional love...even from anyone in my family...well, except for my Ma-maw...but, she's gone now.

I don't want to be a palindrome anymore...unless, of course, the first digit is a 1 and the middle digit is a 5. (It's a 3-digit number).



A Great Laugh After a Long Day...

I can't wait for him to be gone...


My Tribute to Carnivorous Hippy

Remember Vita's backwards underwear?
Remember your comment about your bra?
Here it is, Girl!
You rock!


Gagging, Whacking, and Disposing...

I have a very strong gag reflex.
When I was a kid, if I heard either of my little brothers vomitting, I'd vomit.

This evening, my neighbor came over, shouting my name in the driveway!
"Look what I caught in my fireplace!" She was holding a plastic bag. Immediately, I knew something bad would be coming, and the gagging began.
She asked my husband to help her with it..."IT" being an almost dead possum. It must have been stuck in the fireplace for quite some time and was barely alive. My husband has a very "manly" side to him, sometimes, and killing and disposing of possums is one of his favorite chores. In our old neighborhood, he committed genocide by completely ridding a full cul-de-sac of all possums.
I know, there are those of you who, right now, are saying, "Those cruel, cruel people." Well go ahead. You're welcome to come and relocate rodents anytime.
So, Hubby took the bag and decided he was going to whack it on the hard driveway surface!

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I shouted, as I began gagging and choking. There was no way he'd be doin' that business here...so, instead he went down the block a ways and did his thing. In the end, the bag with the dead possum
ended up going in the garbage can.

My neighbor is one of my sweetest friends and I'm glad she knows she can come get help from Hubby anytime, since her husband left. However, I told her that next time, she's on her own when it comes to varmits!


Pineapple Guava

I bought a new plant from my friend, Tom. He's been working on creating a very nice organic nursery for years. I've joked, over time, about all the shrubs and unusual plants throughout my gardens that I've purchased from him; I refer to those plants as being part of "Tom's Memorial Garden."

A month ago, I bought a plant called a Pineapple Guava from him. It's native to Southern Brazil, Argentina, and other parts of South America. It will do well in our climate, although it probably won't produce any fruit. That's OK...I'm growing it for its evergreen leaves and pretty summer flowers.

Today, I put it in the ground! I decided to place it in a raised bed along our back patio. First I had to pull out the overgrowth of spearmint in the bed and really give everything a good watering. Of course, I have a collection of birdhouses on the back fence which have no birds. Instead, they are filled with wasps! Big, Fall-starving, nasty wasps! While I was working away, I accidently bumped one of the birdhouses. 6-10 wasps shot out and nailed me! I usually scream while I'm being stung, but I didn't this time! I just turned my hose on myself, as I was running. I tripped over the wheelbarrow, but didn't even get a scratch! I ended up with only 2 stings, which is good! One was on my forearm and one on my hand. I've been stung on my neck and shoulder before, which is soooooooooo painful.
It's weird. We don't kill the wasps around our place. They eat so many little gnats and bugs that I find them a helpful addition. I just have to remember to be on the lookout...


Can You Spot the Problem?

My daughter was issued her uniform for cross-country yesterday. It took me a minute to see what she was giggling about for so long. If you're not from around here, you might not even notice...but, if you are from Oregon, well...


Ummmm....Lovely Compost!

Ahhh...The delivery is made. We first tried to have him back his big truck into our fenced veggie garden area. Powerlines above proved to be a problem, so we moved the load out front, in the gravel parking area along our roadway.
Vrrroooom! The load of beautiful mint compost began its trip! I like hydraulics!
Wow! I might be working on this compost throughout the winter! There's about 12 yards of mint hay in there!
After the truck left, I threw Jim Dandy's "baby" on top of the steaming heap. He hesitated to climb up, but his teddy bear was not to be left behind...so, he jumped up the hill and snagged it!

My Son's Friend...

This is Tuan. He's very cool...was an English Language Learner
in my Kindergarten class 10 years ago.
What a great kid.


Tonight I'm Gonna Party Like It's 1969!

This was my favorite clip on Sesame Street when it first aired. I was 6. It was 1969. We lived in Columbia, South Carolina. It came on in the evening. My parents had never experienced children watching TV at night, so it was a real paradigm shift for them...


Back to School!

Meds are miracles for me. All is well in our home. Well, pretty much! :)

The kids were up and ready to head out for the first day of school. As per tradition, I took their photos...and they complained...
Both decided they wanted to ride their bikes, rather than drive the van. We live outside the city limits, so I find that interesting. They have to ride on the busy highway for a bit, but, oh well.


New Garage Door Windows Are On The Way!!!

In my life, this drug is a miracle.

Everytime I think I can "live" without it, CRASH!

Amitriptyline Tablet (Tab 50 mg)Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc

I would rank today as one of the WORST days of my entire life.

I know this is weird to put this on a blog, but, oh well.

I've taken my drugs and my mind is clearing.

It started about a week ago. I went to pick up my prescriptions (yes, I take several to control a wide range of issues...ALL related to brain function!) and one prescription required the pharmacy to call my doctor for an update. The pharmacist knows me well and said, "Well, do you have a few to carry you over until I get the call? When they call, I'll contact you."

I said, "Yes," which is true. However, I only had 2 pills left.

They never called.

Which is where the CRASH begins...

Add into the scenerio these factors:

1. My 2 beautiful kids were gone for 9 days with their dad on vacation in Colorado.

2. I moved into my new job/office in a new school with a new staff and a new principal. 1/2 of my job currently has no real clear job description.

3. I had meetings this week that literally made my head spin.

4. My mother was here yesterday and spent the night. The intent was to give the kids time to be with her and to head out in the boat on the lake. If you know anything about my relationship with my mother, well, you won't even need to read-on. She left this morning without even saying good-bye. We didn't go out on the boat.

5. I never got the call from the pharmacy...and never remembered the issue until bedtime, when I take my meds.

6. Due to no meds, well, insomnia resurfaced its evil head. My insomnia isn't about just lying in bed awake. My insomnia involves completely having panic attacks, rising heart rate, and anxiety. That means, while I struggle to fall asleep, every single issue in my life surfaces and requires my immediate attention. Of course, my brain wiring is off-kilter, so the issues are unreasonable and only 1/10 of the problem.

7. My husband has a tendency to be an asshole and to ask me lots of stupid questions while I'm freakin'. Yeah, it's true, most husbands, even though they are cool on the outside, can be really jerks deep-down.

The results?

Well, see for yourself...

Yep, that's right. One thing I DID have control over today was my throwing arm. I picked up a rubber boot sitting near the front door, after having a complete meltdown in my driveway and threw it right at a garage window. It felt so good that I picked up the 2nd boot and did the same thing.

Research has shown that the urge to throw, punch, or smash things does NOT relieve anxiety or anger. One doctor told me, after I once broke out the back window of our big Ford Bronco, that there is no conclusive evidence which demonstrates that such actions bring about relief nor calm. I agree. But, I still throw things. You know how we tell kids, "If you get real angry, punch a pillow,"? Well, think about it. NO kid feels better when they try this. It solves nothing.

My ex-husband used to taunt me when I was melting down. He quit doing that the day I threw my favorite Nelson-McCoy "pink and blue" sugar bowl at him from across the house. I'll admit, I have a good arm. It hit his knee and drew blood. Regardless of what research says, he did quit taunting me...

Lesson learned? Well, thank goodness the pharmacy was open today, even though it was a holiday. Thank goodness my pharmacist is a friend of mine. Thank goodness I recognized the glitch and went to get meds before taking out my hubby's truck's front window. The garage windows are cheap. A windshield? ...Thanks so much for "listening" and trying, for just a minute, to understand depression, anxiety, and insomnia. My mom is the same way. She takes the same meds. My daughter is appearing to have some of the same anxiety issues...



I Used to Eat Play-Doh...

I LOVED eating Play-Doh. However, only from a freshly opened can. If it had been played with, considering I have 2 younger brothers and we always had big dogs, the dough was a gray blob with black hairs sprinkled throughout. Also, there would be "mystery grit."
Ahhh, but fresh from the can???!!! It was salty and consistent!