Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.
Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you.
Alrighty, here I go!
1. The high school graduation of Offspring #2 and the gathering of family and friends to help celebrate. Steven Colbert was in attendance on the cake. Offspring #2 had a great 'high school career' and is off to a great start in college now.
2. The performance of Offspring #1 as Viola in Twelfth Night at The Skagit River Shakespeare Festival. She is such a talented actor, and watching Shakespeare under the stars this summer was wonderful!
3. Visiting my cousin and his wife in Tennessee for our summer vacation. A highlight was going to Dollywood with Presbyterian Gal. (OK, I'll admit PG was only with us 'virtually'.)
4. Forming the "Empty Nest Hiking Club" with Hubby. While it has been weird to be "empty nesters", going on scenic hikes in the beautiful Pacific NW has helped take the sting out of it!
Hmmm... trying to think of one more...
5. Driving (with Hubby and Offsprings 1&2) to Portland last night in the driving rain (fairly spur of the moment) to go to Powell's Books, a lovely dinner at Jake's and bop around Pioneer Square. Ah, the full nest -- very good.
Bonus: God-sighting: I'm pretty sure God was on the Crosstown Trail on our recent snowshoe trip to Mt Hood.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
"How did this blog get started?", you ask. Well, we were goofing around via instant messenger and I just sort of set up a blog for her when she came up with the brilliant blogger name 'Dust Bunny'. She was a bit reluctant to actually enter the blogging world, but after I rounded up some protesters supportive to the cause, she decided to go with it.
So hop on over to Dust Bunny if you get a chance and welcome/encourage her!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
After the service we went to my mom's for our annual Christmas Eve snackin' feast and present opening. This morning we saw what Santa left in our stockings, and now we are getting ready for Christmas dinner.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. I know Marble is, because he did find the catnip in his stocking:
photo by Offspring #1
Sunday, December 23, 2007
photo by Offspring #1
Friday, December 21, 2007
My family was dreaming of a White Christmas... but since we live in the Pacific Northwest, we had to drive to the "White" part.
The Full Nest -- yep, Offsprings #1 & #2, Hubby, and I -- went to Mt Hood to go snowshoeing today. We had lots o' fun, and it was an incredibly beautiful day, as the mountain was blanketed by freshly fallen snow.
Perhaps it's because my 'work day' is spent in somewhat dimly illuminated exam rooms (ah, the life of an eye doctor), but I have a special appreciation for being in the great outdoors.
(picture of Offspring #2 and me taken by Offspring #1)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
My aunt recently sent a newspaper clipping from their local paper featuring a story on the food pantry and picture of my uncle. (That's the picture from the paper on the left.) The story was about the cupboards getting bare. In all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, people were forgetting about the food pantry. But just since the story ran, donations have been pouring in.
I love that my uncle is still going strong at age 81, and proud of the work he's doing.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I'm baaaaack! Since my last post I've made a trip up to Bellingham (via Amtrak) to pick up our van which had been stranded there getting a new transmission. Due to work schedules, etc. Hubby joined me the following day, and we were able to attend Offspring #2's jazz concert on Friday night. (Offspring #2 plays a smooooooth trumpet and he did great!) Luckily, I-5 opened up just in time for our return trip (it had been closed due to flooding). We were saved from what would have been a very lengthy detour. Yesss!
About a week ago, Diane tagged me to do the "Christmas Three Meme" which involves answering three questions about Christmas. So at long last, here are my answers.
What are your three favorite Christmas songs and who sings them?
This is a difficult one because there are lots and lots of Christmas songs I like, but I'll go with:
1. Do You Hear What I Hear? with good ol' Perry Como. This one is all tied up with nice childhood memories.
2. Let It Snow because it is catchy and I love snow. I don't have one particular artist in mind, but I will say Diana Krall does a wonderfully jazzy cover of this song.
3. In the Bleak Midwinter by James Taylor. JT does this song beautifully on his James Taylor at Christmas album.
What are your three favorite Christmas foods?
Christmas foods remind me of my grandmother, and I loved the way she made:
1. Christmas Ribbon Jello (which included red and green jello and cream cheese)
2. "Pfeffernuesse" (peppernut) cookies which had lots of powdered sugar to get on one's nose, all around the mouth, etc. :)
3. Date filled cookies. These were especially good warm.
What are three Christmas Secrets?
I'm not really a 'secret' type person so I have no clue how to answer this question. So. I am going to take a blogger liberty and change the last question to... What are your three favorite Christmas movies?
1. The Bishop's Wife with Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. Classic! And Cary Grant as an angel--not a stretch!
2. White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney... although they should have done a little more editing because it did drag in the middle.
And, I'm saving my favorite for last...
3. The Snowman, a 1982 film based on Raymond Briggs' picture book of the same name. If you haven't seen it before, rent it! (You can read one review here.) The picture above is from the film.
If you want to play, consider yourself tagged! (How about it, Jiff?Purpletologically Speaking? Presby Gal? Are you in?)
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Woo Hoo! We just learned today that Offspring #1 was cast as "Marcy" in "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead". The play (which will be in April) is a dark comedy set about 10 years after the events in the famous Peanuts comic strip. It deals with Charlie Brown and friends as they tackle teenage angst. I'll bet Offspring #1 will have fun with this role. (And I'll bet Offspring #2 will enjoy the play since he is a big Peanuts fan.)
I recently stumbled across the quiz, "Which Peanuts Character Are You?" and decided to take it today. Turns out I'm Marcie. What are the odds?!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Will Smama over at Revgals writes: Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal...
1) dessert/cookie/family food
I've got to go with fruitcake. PeeWee Herman had the right idea when he used all the fruitcakes he received to build a new wing of his playhouse. (Fruitcakes are basically inedible, so why not use them as building blocks?!)
2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)
I'd say it's a tie between "Tom and Jerry's" (which just make me queasy) and Egg Nog Shakes (what a perfectly good waste of ice cream!)
3) tradition (church, family, other)
Our town has an annual Christmas parade which would be a nice tradition except for the fact that too many entries are logging trucks and cement mixers with little or no Christmas decoration on them. (If you are going to use the Christmas parade to advertise, at least try to disguise your motives a bit by putting some effort into decorating your entry!)
Nothing says "tacky" to me more than Santa kneeling at the manger. (Sorry if I've offended anyone who likes these!)
5) gift (received or given)
In 5th grade our class exchanged names for presents. I got somebody a nice board game, and I got a waaaaay-too-small pair of slippers. They barely fit on my big toe. I'm obviously still bitter.
BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.
I'm going to have to go with "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys. (A drag-racing Santa? Puh-leease. )
Just a little bobsled, we call it Old Saint Nick
But she'll walk a tobogan with a four speed stick
She's candy apple red with a ski for a wheel
And when Santa hits the gas, man, just watch her peel.
Wow, to balance this post, at some point I'll have to blog about my favorite seasonal things!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Click here if you want to see Presbyterian Gal and me spreading a little holiday cheer.
The big question: Are we good dancers?
The bigger question: Will Presbyterian Gal be ok with me "borrowing" her picture?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
While waiting for lunch at the Macaroni Grill in Portland yesterday, Offspring #1 quickly rendered this little scene to kick off the season, using the 'drawing paper' tablecloth and crayons provided at the table. (She only had 4 available crayons which begs the question: What masterpiece could she have created with an entire box at her disposal???) I think all restaurants should allow you to color on their tables and unleash your creative potential. (Hmmm... now that I'm thinking about it, wouldn't it have been interesting to do lunch at the Macaroni Grill with, say, Magritte or O'Keeffe?)
Friday, November 23, 2007
my family = Native Americans (even my mom got into the act!)
marie's family = Pilgrims (notice they all carried Bibles like good Pilgrims!)
Yep, we're doing it again next year.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving to my Blogging Pals! I am enjoying a cup of coffee and doing this quick post before the kitchen frenzy begins. (It's always such drama in my kitchen since I am the antithesis of Martha Stewart.) Offsprings #1 and #2 are both home so my nest is happily full.
Dinner will be around 1:00 (with "around" being the key word -- see reference to "kitchen frenzy" and "drama" above). Then, instead of having dessert right after dinner as we usually do, we will prepare for the First Annual Pilgrim and Native American Pie Sharing which will happen at 4:00. To help commemorate the original Thanksgiving (er... make that because we are silly), my family (dressed as Native Americans) will get together with marie's family (dressed as Pilgrims) and eat pie together. We've all worked hard (ok, not that hard) on our costumes, and I'm thinking this should be a fun, new twist to our Thanksgiving celebration.
Well, I better go check on my turkey -- Can I get it fully thawed in time?? The drama begins...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
With our van needing to stay up in Bellingham for repairs, Hubby and I decided to take Amtrak home today. (In a couple of weeks, Offspring #2 has a jazz band concert so we'll get to do the van-train thing in reverse.) Anyway, I've been wanting to try Amtrak for some time, so that actually worked out great! I liked being able to read, get a snack, etc. I especially enjoyed the scenery from the train window...
OK, so this picture is also a TOTAL exaggeration (one might even say fabrication) because there weren't any orcas. Nope, not one. But Puget Sound was still pretty without them...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I just read where Giovanni Maria Pala, an Italian musician, claims to have undercovered a "soundtrack" in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper". Pala placed the five lines of a musical staff across the famous painting and had the loaves of bread and hands of Jesus and the Apostles represent musical notes. The result, when the notes are read right to left, sounds like a requiem. Full story here. Of course I don't know if this is true or not, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility. Da Vinci was certainly one sharp cookie.
Hmmm... perhaps we should search other famous paintings for clues of hidden soundtracks. Maybe, for example, we could find out what Whistler's mother was whistling. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I was tagged by Mags for 10 random things. So here goes!
1. My favorite way to exercise is to ride my bike, because it allows me to sit on my keester while doing so.
2. In high school, I was able to walk on my hands. I haven't attempted this in a l-o-n-g time.
3. My first car was a buttercup yellow '67 Camaro, which I sold when we moved from Colorado to Washington.
4. I love using the binocular indirect ophthalmoscope to check for retinal holes and tears, but since it is worn on the head it makes me have bad hair days.
5. I am currently reading Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes. It's pretty darn good.
6. I believe creamed peas should be illegal. I cannot emphasize this enough.
7. I am sorry that Stephen Colbert dropped out of the presidential race. He had a good shot at my vote.
8. I skiied Big Sky Resort Montana the first month it was open (Dec '73) with some high school friends. We wore jeans instead of ski pants and got very, very cold. I drove the yellow Camaro to get there.
9. I have never taken Amtrak but think it would be fun to go on a train trip.
10. Unfortunately my last experience with church can be summed up this way. But I'm open to possibility.
I'm not sure who has been tagged... But how 'bout Presbyterian Gal, mompriest, Jiff, and HotCup ??
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Yesterday, The Empty Nest Hiking Club (that would be Hubby and me) went on another hike -- this one to Lewis River Falls near Mt St Helens. It was a 7 mile hike, so to borrow a phrase from one of the Joads (I think) in The Grapes of Wrath, "my dogs were tired" at the end of the day. (OK, they really weren't all that tired because it was easy terrain, but I like that expression...) Also, Hubby fell on the slippery rocks at one point and tweaked his shoulder. However, it really was a beautiful day and very nice hike. The trail goes through Douglas fir woods and there are three lovely waterfalls along the way. Pictured here are the Lower Falls at the very beginning of the hike. On the way home we drove by this great view of Mt St Helens so I had to get out and snap a picture.
If you want to see the photo slide show of yesterday's hike at youtube, click here. (I'd suggest using the small screen option -- it's more clear.) If you have had your fill of The Empty Nest Hiking Club, do not click on the link.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
(Hope you don't need insulin...)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
We always went trick-or-treating. (Mrs. Steinhaus a few houses down the street made the best popcorn balls!) Here's a picture of my brother and me in our costumes one year.
2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?
Offsprings #1 and #2 always enjoyed trick-or-treating when they were growing up too. We live in a safe, "trick-or-treating friendly" neighborhood. Here's a picture of Offsprings #1 and #2 in their costumes one year.
2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
Caramel all the way!
3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
We carve jack o' lanterns, and Hubby roasts the seeds.
4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.
We usually decorate, but this is our first year of the "empty nest" so I got lazy.
5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring out an alternate personality?
Hmm... I enjoy wearing costumes (e.g. to a party), but I wouldn't go so far as to say it brings out any alternate personality -- I'm not that great of an actor!
Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones.
In honor of Mrs. Steinhaus, here is a recipe for popcorn balls!
2/3 cup Karo Syrup
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
8-10 cups Popped Corn
Cook sugar, syrup, and salt for two minutes and mix with corn. Form into balls with buttered hands and individually wrap.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Here's the hike!
Friday, October 19, 2007
This week's Friday Five deals with food! Here we go:
If you were a food, what would you be?
I'll say Thanksgiving turkey because you can depend on it to be there, and it has something really good on the inside (the stuffing). Also, it can often be a little dry (not unlike my sense of humor). :)
What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?
One of the most memorable meals took place several years ago at a cool Chinese restaurant called Miss Kitty's in Deadwood, South Dakota. My family was visiting relatives in the Black Hills and so many people who are 'near and dear' to me (including my grandmother who has since passed away) were able to be there.
What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?
I'd have to go with either my grandmother's chicken noodle soup or her roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum yum yum.
When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?
When going to a church potluck, NO recipe of mine is sure to be a hit. I'm not the world's best cook. However, I'd probably choose a recipe from the "Fix it and Forget It" crockpot cookbook and hope for the best. :)
What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
Chocolate covered grasshoppers which my brother bought from a delicatessen when we were kids for the shock value. They were weird and crunchy.
Bonus question: What’s your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great meal?
I like a glass of Hefeweizen, a German wheat beer.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I was tagged by by PS some time ago for "Four Things". At long last, here are my answers!
Four jobs I've held:
After graduating from college then optometry school, I've only had one job -- optometrist! So I'll list my college summer jobs to round out the list of four:
* Directory Assistance Operator -- wow, that job really dates me since it has been obsolete for years! After saying "Directory. What city?", we'd look up the phone numbers in big honkin' phone books.
* State of Montana Water Quality Lab technician -- I don't miss how the sulfuric acid ate holes through my jeans. It taught me to major in biology instead of chemistry.
* State of Montana "Hydrologic Engineer" -- This was a DREAM summer job. A co-worker and I got to travel around the Bozeman, MT area (in a state vehicle) measuring and calculating the water flow in streams and irrigation ditches. This meant wading in cool streams on warm summer days with our equipment and enjoying some incredibly beautiful 'off the beaten path' Montana scenery.
Four films I could watch over and over:
* The Trip to Bountiful
* A River Runs Through It
* The Philadelphia Story (1940)
* Field of Dreams
Four places I've lived:
* Germany (for the first 6 weeks of my life -- ah, vivid memories; good times!)
* a small town in North Dakota
* Helena, Montana
* Loveland, Colorado
Four favorite foods:
* Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
* Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
* Knepfla (German dish)
* Grilled Trout
Four websites I visit every day:
* USA Today (it's my homepage)
* Google (to look things up)
* Revgal blogs (this should count for more than one)
Four favorite colors:
* royal blue
* golden yellow
* sky blue
* buttercup yellow
(yeah, I sorta like blue and yellow)
Four places I would love to be right now: (Can I take family?)
* The Big Apple: New York City (specifically Broadway Theatre District)
* The Mini Apple: Minneapolis (with side trip to the Dakotas)
* Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Four names I love but would/could not use for my children:
Dang, I can only think of two:
So there you go! I won't tag anybody else since I think this has made the rounds... But consider yourself tagged if you would like to do it!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
* Last weekend I left a huge carbon footprint traveling hither and yon. I won't bore Bloggerville with all the details, but part of the travels involved attending a wedding in which Offspring #1 was a bridesmaid. Offspring #1 caught the bouquet... Does that mean something? I think it means the bride has good aim (even though her eyes were closed). :)
* I spent ALL Monday evening playing 'computer fix-it person' with our desktop computer which had become intolerably glitchy. Woo hoo -- it seems to be behaving again so we don't have to call Will the computer guy to come over to the tune of $100 an hour.
* Work has been craaaazy busy this week. And today somebody was really cranky about our magazine selection in the waiting room. Hmm...
* Tomorrow Hubby and I head to Portland for continuing education. Lots of classes through the weekend. My rear end is sore just thinking about it.
* I was tagged for a meme by PS and STILL haven't done that... Will anybody care by the time I get to it? (Don't answer that.)
* I'm sure it's just because I'm tired at the moment, but I find this picture (and website in general) riotously funny:
Monday, October 8, 2007
You've probably noticed I've been in the midst of a little "blog snooze". That's because lately my busy life has been getting in the way of blogging (which is better than busy blogging getting in the way of life)...
Anywhooo... stay tuned... the blogging will return soonish...
(kitty pic from google image search)
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
It's October 1st and the start of "Buy A Friend A Book" Week! Website is HERE. (First heard about the website over at Yolanda's.)
The concept is to buy a friend a book out of the blue (not because it's their birthday or other special occasion) and just spread some book cheer! I think it would be fun to be on either the giving or receiving end of things. (OK, I'll admit the receiving end might be a teensy bit more fun though.)
Anyway, cool idea... (And I think GAFAB'ing would work too. You wouldn't necessarily have to Buy a new book, just Give a book you had already finished.)
Saturday, September 29, 2007
(By the way, for those of you who saw this last night, I fixed the choppy problem! Woo hoo!)
Friday, September 28, 2007
Ah, the first weekend of the... da da daaaaaaaa.... Empty Nest. Went on an impromptu road trip this morning to Winlock, a little town about 30 miles north of here. We've lived in this area for a long time, but Winlock is one town we've never explored. Turns out they have the (brace yourself) World's Largest Egg. Whoa! Who knew?! It is sort of ironic, yet fitting -- empty nest... egg...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Hubby and I are back home from the college move-a-thon! We helped Offspring #1 move from her 'summer apartment' into her 'school year apartment', and helped Offspring #2 move into his dorm room. Everything went well and they are both settled into nice, comfy places. Our house sure seems awfully quiet now!
I've got a wee bit o' bloggin' to catch up on. *yawn* Maybe tomorrow.