Thursday, June 26, 2008

Of taverns and pull tabs

Before I moved to Washington state, I thought pull tabs were these things you yank off of a soda or beer can (back before some of you were born!). In WA state's pub vernacular, the two words take on a whole new meaning pertaining to gambling for paupers. For a mere fifty cents one can enjoy a little rip-strip surprise that reveals a small jackpot or loss icons of "fruit salad."

My first time experiencing this phenomenon was at Green Lantern Inn on the Washington coast. Our group of work colleagues tore open a total of $350 in a single night, keeping only a portion of it as we kept rolling it back in to more tabs, effectively driving the barmaids crazy.

Just last week, the future in laws were in town. We had time to kill post-oyster shucking/harvesting at hood canal, waiting for the Southworth boat so we stopped into the Blue Goose tavern along South Kitsap's waterfront (Retsil) and engaged in this cracker-like art again. We were out $40 (Lucas') until the very last strip revealed a win of $118, pulled by my future mom in law, Farah. Twas awesome.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Girl in Traction

I've been hurtin' this week, getting "crunchyneckitis" as I call it. Too much puter work time, combined with a tweaked height on my desk chair (my kids lowered it) landed me in massage and manual traction to fix the left wing (shoulderblade) pain and crunchy neck.

Stress, awkward left mouse clicking and tensed posture can do that!

This is where I introduce the island's best kept secret and my weapon of defense in pain--the tool giver: Andra DeVoght, physical therapist and yoga instructor. The twisting, stretching and pulling she did yesterday to affect my torqued neck; and stretching and deep tissue work on my rhombo-somethings SAVED ME! I can sleep again. I can turn my head to the left (more) again. I can work again!

The lesson: if you feel pain, listen to it. Try to stretch it out. Breathe through it. Andra sends me packin' with the tools I need to take care of this stuff when it comes on. I previously saw her for therapy on scar tissue tightness/pain.

For the first time in probably 12 years working desk jobs--with these fleeting, two-week long episodes of pain bugging me, I finally have the tools to remedy Crunchyneckitis and Wingithurtosis.

Worth every penny!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What happened to warmth?

This is the gloomiest June ever! I can't stand it. It's cold, it's cloudy, windy, rainy, grey! What the hell happened to warmth in June? It froze over, apparently.

The flowers are out there in bloom. Globe thistle is waiting to explode. Lemon thyme has cute little purple blooms. The irises opened. The poppy popped (pink!). Even the petunia came back this year when it's not supposed to. You'd think with these little troopers, we'd be crediting nice weather. Not!

I need sun baking my skin. I need a warm ocean to set myself adrift. The smell of Hawaiian Tropic, rotting mangoes (or loquats!), the coo of doves and mynahs waking me up in the morning, and the sound of gently lapping waves.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is very much IN order under these circumstances.

Cold weather (even just colder than my comfort level) exacerbates my Raynaud's Syndrome. In the cold, I completely lose circulation in my two right fingers and thumb. All the blood circ is gone and it looks like a vampire sucked the life out of em leaving only a sallow pulp. When I finally warm up again it takes a long time for the finger blood to come back...they then get red and hot before going back to normal. It's not debilitating; it's more irritating than anything. These are the things cold weather brings out!

A little sun, please?!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Red Bicycle Sushi-- 2 yums up!

We returned and the restaurant whose sushi timeliness was all wrong last time; they DID US RIGHT this time. We loved the Unagi, the Alaksa Roll, and the salmon rolls.

Tasty, tasty!

PS PLEASE TELL ME THAT'S NOT THE FINAL COLOR OF THE RED BICYCLE EXTERIOR! Cobalt blue on brick w/red window trim looks like something on the street of Tijuana! I feel bad for the neighbors and the Pharmacy, which must be forced to look at it daily. From the inside, it's all about the food.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Down Memory Lane

Scrapbook those photos!

Recently the X moved to another island locale and kindly released to my possession a folder full of old photos, representing a fraction of what was. I was told that other photos succumbed to a soggy basement, which I dreaded might happen.

One thing that was clear was these photos had been very selectively filtered. There was hardly a presence of a father in any of them, as if the children had been conceived by aritifical insemenation or something! As I scrapbook, it's starting to look like they had no dad. Which is ridiculous.

Early on, I was primary photographer of most all of the baby photos, but those photos taken with me in them show there was always a child on my hip, my lap or tethered to me by the faithful Gerry carrier backpack, aka "Zach's external womb." Precious. Alex liked the Snugli, we found.

Looking at pregnancy and pre-pregnancy photos was a riot! Oh, my chiseled abs of yore! It brought me a lot of joy to see these photos of my little cherub-cheeked baby boys, and I am committed to getting all of the pix into the baby books and photo books.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Raccoon in the heezee!


Varmints, outside.
Humans, inside.

That's my takeaway after a very scary encounter with wildlife IN MY DAMN HOUSE. A quiet evening, much like tonight, lights are down, plants are watered, and David's away. It is me, the computer, sudoku puzzles to take my mind off of words and letters, and only the whirring of passing cars.

Until: HISSSSSSSSSSS!

"Be quiet kitties," I say. We have a new cat, and an old cat, and they are still warming up to one another very slowly.

Several more minutes of low, low HISSSSSSEs got by, and this bitch is getting annoyed. I look up to a mirror reflecting the landing of the stairway to my bedroom and I see what looks like a mighty big old cat...but it's not just the old cat. I turn around and see IT'S THE OLD CAT STAVING AWAY A BIG ASS RACCOON!

I screamed at the top of my lungs, jumped on the futon next to the living room door and swung the door wide open. "GEEEEEEEET!!!! OUUUUUUUUT!!!" The cat lunged for the raccoon as it fumbled down the wood stairs, and through the living room and out the door it went, just as it came in.

It got in because I'd left the front door cracked for the new cat, who likes to be outside. All that time I thought I was hearing two cats, it was the Raccoon hissing at the cat!

Later I'd discovered the thing had toured the entire upstairs and my bedroom, eating the cat's food clean and drinking his water. I gave the cat lots of love for being so brave. Meanwhile the other, Lucky, was so "Cat-atonic" from seeing a raccoon exit the front door she was petrified to come in.

You better believe I looked under my bed that night!
Honey, I think we need a cat door.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A home for Heidi and David

Thanks to our trusty Seattle mortgage wiz (and my longtime friend from our high school days in Boise) Eric Lofstedt held our hands through a nervewracking process of seeing how David and I looked on paper in pursuit of a home mortgage.

It wasn't D that was the problem at all; it was me. A little over 3 yrs ago, I was ending a 14 yr marriage soon after facing certain financial death. I had naively co-signed an SBA loan with the X that went south in shrieking flames. Ch 7 bankruptcy is no fun, people! Try being a single woman with no credit--trying to rent a home, get a car loan; this is a bigger challenge. Even doctors were billing insurance claims to the guy when it was me all along providing the family benefits.

But I did it. I worked diligently to restore my credit and paid off loans, finished my car lease--bought and sold the car in fact, and established new credit through it all. The result? Good credit is mine and I'm solid once again. Eric was half astonished by such a rebound.

We crunched numbers. We can buy. Now his only advice is, "start shopping." Do you know how cool that is? To be a homeowner again is liberating; the man who owns the house we rent has promised us first option so we may not even have to move. Vashon has lots of possibilities. Time will tell. Wedding, buying a home and adding to our family are all on the horizon. Time can wait for the home, at least!

For a quarter, heck yes!

Yesterday en route from one child's baseball game to another's, I had to stop by NW sports for a certain boys undergarment. The place didnt open on time so I found myself wandering to True Value's sidewalk displays. THEY WERE CLEARING OUT PLANTS @ just 25 cents per! Holy crap! Me and a few other women started a veritable pirate's looting of plant booty. It was awesome. I scored thyme, oregano, lavender, Supertunias, geranium, creeping geranium, and a trailing type of dianthus.

AWESOME when things like this find YOU.

Planting today!