Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mmm...cinnamon-y drizzle

Daddy and Maysen: Dorena Lake, April 2006
These days are fading. The temperatures are falling around Oregon. Well, I say that today, which high is only 71 today. However, this weekend will be back in the 90s. Perhaps I'm just ready for fall. I took a bath last night in my jetted tub and watched the wind blow through my bathroom window. I love the coziness that fall brings: chili, dark evenings, cinnamon candles, blankets, drizzle.

And I love Netflix. We order a movie, takes 1 day to process and 1 day to get here. And you set up a queue and when they receive the movie you sent back, they'll automatically send you the next one on your list. We usually watch 2 a week, if we have time. But I love being able to get just about any movie (no matter how new or old) for a mere $10/mo.

This past weekend we went to a furniture store "moving" auction. I really wish I had a moving van in the parking lot. We would have bought a ton and resold it for profit. We went the last day, and things were going for dirt cheap! Solid oak table/chairs $500, entertainment centers $200, leather theatre sectional with all reclining seats - $600. We ended up getting a new couch and loveseat - originally $2300 for $500. Then I turned around and sold our old love seat/sofa on craigslist for the same - $500 within 1 day. We got some Thomas Kincades and a nice big mirror for our bedroom also. This weekend we'll mount our flat screen LCD TV on the wall. This should be an adventure because it calls for power tools and cutting a hole smack dab in the middle of our living room wall. I'm scared as hell. If you don't hear from me for awhile, that means that I'm in jail for mudering my husband for a gigantic hole in the middle of my living room wall ... and no TV covering it!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My family rocks

So, as many of you know, my sister Jenn is getting married in October. Now, I'll be the first one to say how much I love my sister. With all my heart I love her. But ... she has no clue about this wedding! Which is cute, in a way. "Do you guys want a unity candle?" *blank look* "What are you doing for pew bows?" *even bigger blank look*. So, we sat down and started a mondo details list. Mainly so details could get figured out: cake topper, punch bowl, cake cutter/server, flowers, center pieces...all things she really hadn't thought of. And with the wedding being a mere 2 months away, we had to get settled.

I talked to Sherrill (mom-in-law) and was telling her the comical stories of Jenn's blank looks. And she picked up the ball and started helping me with more things to think of and do. We started talking about flower bouquet center pieces and arrangements at the church. I said I didn't know, but was thinking Jenn wanted some sort of floral arrangements and she has come through 100%. Sherrill's mom, grannie Shirley, has Parkinson's. Back in the day she arranged flowers and all that jazz. Her Parkinson's was getting bad until 2 months ago she had the deep brain stimulation surgery and almost all her tremor is gone. My point is, she said she'd be willing to do Jenn's flower arrangements for all that -- Nate's dad is a minister, so the church is flooded with silk flowers and greenery. So, all those materials are free (well, most of it). I even asked if soemone could be over at the reception hall to make sure the cake got set up right, and Sherrill replied with "You know I'll do whatever needs to be done". It's a huge weight off my shoulders because I know it'll get done ... right ...

My point is that I really love my family! Not only my biological one, but the one I married into. They've not only accepted me as their own, but MY family as well. When my mom was here in December visiting from NC, they welcomed her with open arms and invited her to our Christmas dinner/gathering. They offered their home to my sister when she was traveling from Chicago to here, as a stopping resting place. Always been the one to ask "How can I help?". And I know that if I ever needed anything, they'd be right there with whatever I needed. It amazes me everyday at how great these people are.

Shirley's sister, Bonnie, watches Maysen on Wednesday's and Friday's. They are so good to Maysen and are always there for us when we need them. Bonnie even sewed 2 of my shirts today and was 'happy to do it'. It's just very heart warming to realize how lucky you are to have the family you do. I truly love them all.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Please Help.

Growing up in Kansas was at times boring, lonely, isolated, dry and hot. That is a big change to how I live now. I was used to the rolling prairie, miles and miles of nothing but pasture. After moving to a busier NE Kansas, and evenutally Oregon, I didn't realize how much I took that for granted. I recently stumbled across a blog that takes me back to those days. Susan used to live and work in busy California owning and running her own bakery cafe. She gave all that up twelve years ago and now lives on a huge sprawling 280-acre, 140yr old farm out in the middle of Missouri. She writes about the daily, innocent mishaps that take place with her animals (kids), takes daily pictures of life around the farm (which are absolutely refreshing), and shares recipes and things from her garden. I read her blog yesterday and it broke my heart. Click here to see why:

The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation, or Wildlife Animal Sanctuary, has been the home to more than 155 lions, tigers, bears, jaguars, leopards, Mountain Lions, Lynx, Bobcats, Servals, Wolves, and other wildlife since 1980. The residents of the Wild Animal Sanctuary were abandoned, abused, illegally kept, or came from other terrible situations. The vast majority of the animals were so-called “pets” - and were confiscated by law enforcement officials - usually within the first six months of their lives. They also provided permanent refuge to surplus animals from zoos and other wildlife facilities, where they face euthanasia due to over-breeding. Due to limited funds, the Sanctuary is being shut down, and any animal not adopted or financially supported will be euthanized. You see, I have always been an animal lover. And although reality sunk in long ago that I could never save the world and all the stray animals, things like this still tug long and hard at me. Susan brings light to ways (despite how little those ways may seem are) can really effect other things in a big way. Her refreshing idea of donating money in someone else's name is a great idea. I encourage each and everyone one of you (how few of you there are) to do the same thing. I know I for one am hoping to buy even ONE more day in honor of the Big Cats. Please visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary's website for information on how to help.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ms Martha Stewart

Ok. I feel much better now. I am not sure what brought on that melt down a few days ago, but with the help of brownies, I'm much better. I'm off all week this week (Dr D is touring Stanford with his son). The joke around work is "Do you still work here Leslie?" Uh. Well, sort of, maybe? I still get paid and benefits, but am I really there? 2 days a week, maybe? Yes, I have the perfect job.

I am just turning into all sorts of TV personalities lately. Yesterday I took the latter part of the morning and did some shopping. I was amazing how well Maysen did in an actual STORE CART, but he did great. I was impressed with how well this floral arrangement turned out for my dining room table. The vase and silk flowers were all on clearance, so I had a hay day. I think my limited flower-arranging skills came out in full force and didn't fail me, although there really isn't much there to arrange. I think that I may even ask my sister if she would like to borrow this for her wedding. I will be in a burgandy dress, and the other bridesmaids will be in a similar color as the vase. Like my new fridge? Well, we've had it for about 3 months now. That was the last of the changing out all appliances to stainless steel.

Since my antique collecting side has come out lately, I've been doing more of a antique look in my living room. I'm not sure why. I added a shelf above our reading chair (and Maysen's "naughty chair") and carried over half of our set of antique Children's Story Time book set from 1936. That lantern is from 1921. Above on my eyebrow (for those of you who don't know, it's the shelf thing built into my wall) you'll see the 1892 set of red encyclopedias that Nate's grandma gave him 2 yrs ago at Christmas with a school box simulated from back in the 1940s. I changed out a reddish vase with a more neutral old-style pitcher I filled with dried baby's breath and eucalyptus leaves. Pay no attention to the cords behind the stand (sounds like Wizard of Oz "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" - hey Jenn: "And now let the joyous news be spread..." inside joke ... sorry). Well, anyway. I did some slight revamp on my decorating. I only wish the stand was a darker wood, but can't bring myself to stain it. It's solid oak and I am afraid I'd ruin it by trying to stain it.

MMmm... I have Crock Pot chili brewing in my house. It was cloudy and cool when I woke up this morning and chili sounded good. That and an apple/cinnamon candle burning. I think I'm ready for autumn!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

B---- mode.

I need chocolate brownies. I'm in a bad mood. I had a great weekend with Jenn and Matt for his birthday up in Portland, but today got shot all to hell.

  1. 45min from home we hit traffic jam. Took shoulder and took nearest exit, which consisted of an option of hwy 99 to Eugene. Got to top of exit - not sure which way highway is. Looks like traffic moving again on freeway. Got back on. 1/2mi later dead stop again. 15min - still nothing. Took median the rough way and got back on freeway in other direction back to exit. Destined to find 99. Find 99. 1,498 people all going 50mph. Hit *dead stop* on Hwy 99 because of a 4-way stop outside of Halsey. 25 min later at the stopsign we look over at the freeway, traffic moving again. Go to freeway. Every 5 min hit a patch of 987 cars all going 35mph. 2 hours late picking up Bean at inlaws.
  2. Go to buy our new laptop (couldn't do the iBook anymore ... I like Windows better). It was on sale until YESTERDAY. Now $200 more. Nate didn't want to pay $2300 for laptop. So, no happy laptop for me, yet.
  3. Get home. Bailey, who we left in the backyard, is now laying sprawled out on our driveway. She tore down a weak part of our fence and has been on an overnight adventure around the neighborhood. I guess I was glad she was still at our house (...or am I?), I'm surprised her nose didn't take her on a trip around the town!
  4. My Clinque makeup/perfume didn't come. Supposed to be here yesterday.
  5. Nate's check ... from Aug 1 not here yet. No biggie, just need/want to shop.
  6. I've been looking at Pottery Barn and I'm now realizing my decor in my house is total SUCK ... and I want all new things.
  7. Need to grocery shop, but too damn tired.
  8. Can't load pictures anymore on my page for some reason using Explorer. I have to use Mozilla.

...and I'm not even on the big R ladies and gents! How about that one! I just need to be bit in the ass by one of these babies ... wasps living in the birdhouse out in my yard.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Upclose, wet Birdie

Monday, August 7, 2006

I just bought an iPod Nano this weekend. Holy hell, I can't wait to jam to this thing on my walks. The sound quality is awesome! I waltz around with that thing in my ear and try to talk to people "normally" and apparently I'm screaming at them. In my head I'm all "Ok, Leslie, talk soooffft" and then the horror spreads across their face as I open my mouth. It was as though I was sceaming "FFFIIIIIIIIIRRREE" Oops...guess I'd better turn 'er down some.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Last for Dodge Ball.

Sitting outside today on my picnic table after picking
hydrangeas and black-eyed Susans from my yard.

Maybe it's just us ... but lately I feel like Nate and I are the dorks being picked last for Dodge Ball. When we moved from Kansas to Oregon, we suddenly found ourselves the "new" people in town, as the population is only 4,000. So, we didn't worry too much when we really didn't make "friends" right away. Nate was in college, and it's hard to find people to "hang out" with when you're just taking classes. I had started my job, and although I love my co-workers I am the youngest person there, the next closest being 38 with 2 kids almost out of highschool. After the first year we invited our neighbors over for dinner. They're an OK couple with a son that's only 5mo older than Maysen. They stayed over for about 1.5 hrs and then bolted. When we'd be outside, we'd say hi .. but what's with not returning the favor? I mean, not a "You'll have to come over next time" ... or "come over". Nothing. Immediately when you get married or become a couple, you suddenly have to find other friends who are "couples" ... and it's almost as though you have to start "dating" other couples as friends. So, when we were never invited back it's like reject-mode. What's wrong with us? It was that corny joke you told ... no it wasn't ... it was your cooking ... no! Then it's "Go to church to meet people". Well that's fine ... but what happens when I want to cuss? Then I sort of have to not really "be myself" - not because I cuss all the time, but I think I'd feel like under a microscope all the time. Well you get the picture.

Then we bought a house, and our new neighbors are pretty cool ... the kids are all close, it's a quiet cul-de-sac, would do anything for you, but everyone's sort of always to themselves. They pull up, get out, wave and down their garage doors go. What happened to BS'ing outside on the porch? The other day, Nate took one neighbor's dog back to them because it got in our backyard. The parents came home and Nate mentioned "Did your daughter tell you your dog was in our yard?" Didn't mean a dang thing by it, just an FYI ... and they acted like Nate was saying "Keep your damn dog in your yard!" Because ever since then, they won't even acknowledge us. They pull up and they look like the crash-test dummies - hands on the steering wheel, not a move made. It's like "Oh shoot, honey, those asses are outside - not a move!!! They won't notice that we don't notice them if we don't move". It's amazing what offense people can take over nothing. And the father/husband was coming out the other night. They had a new truck in the driveway. Me, being neighborly said "did you guys get a new truck?" As I started talking he became all rigid, NO EYE CONTACT, and said "Nope .... borrowed it" ... but the "borrowed it" part was said right as he shut the door behind him going inside. I stand holding the garden hose "What the hell?" I'm sure now that Nate is working at Weyerhaeuser he'll come across a couple to date!

I am, however, playing Bunko on Wednesday after work at Lana's, the radiologist's tech. I have no idea how to play, but I'm told it's really fun after a few drinks. And it includes yelling "BUNKO!" at the top of your lungs ... that'll be really fun after a couple of drinks.