Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not Cool!

Remember how I just mentioned that the A/C in my car went on the fritz for the second time in a month- and just when I needed to make sure it was working because I was headed back to the desert?

It was fixed again and I am gloriously happy that is still working while we are away in Palm Springs.

However, I would love to have you share with me the wonderful moment that I had when I came into my Palm Springs condo at midnight when I arrived here a few days ago.  Just imagine if you will the true disgustingness that is a refrigerator that probably stopped working right after our friends left here a little over 3 weeks ago.  Oh yes, the mold, mildew and the 'thank God that smell stayed inside the appliance and didn't permeate the whole place' aroma of said dead refrigerator was truly unbelievable.  We set our thermostat to only kick on the A/C if the temp rises over 85 degrees when we are away, so yeah let your imagination run wild on this one...

We were able to get a new one here in less than 24 hours and they gladly hauled the old one away for free- so yay!!!!  All's well that ends well.  But come on, you know your week wouldn't be complete without a good old testing of your gag reflexes...

So yeah, in the end I realized that it was a pretty old refridgerator (-OK, not quite as old as the one in the picture below) so I probably might have seen this coming, but dang I am so done with stuff that is supposed to stay cold that doesn't!

Refrigerator by patpichaya, found at

Friday, August 23, 2013

A True American Hero

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I am quite concerned about the future of our great country and the direction that America is headed in.  Especially lately, it seems that there is just so much to be sad about and not so much to feel hopeful for.  It can certainly be hard not to get caught up in the pessimism.

Then once in a while there is a light that breaks through, beaming and shining brightly enough to help us all remember the special thing we share as Americans and human beings.  Antoinette Tuff is one of those people that brings light and love to this world.

If you have not had the chance to listen to her 911 call, please take the time to do so.  Antoinette is the bookkeeper who helped to save the lives of the children at a Georgia elementary school when an armed and dangerous mentally ill man came onto campus apparently looking to kill.

In the end no one was hurt and the world learned of a wonderful woman named Antoinette Tuff, instead of what could have been yet another horrible tragedy.

Start the video at the 48 second mark to hear Antoinette demonstrate what real empathy and heart can do.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bullets In The Moment

Sometimes it seems like it's easier to blog when there's not so much that I could blog about, you know what I mean?

There's quite a bit going on around here.

It's not so much that I feel overwhelmed.  It's just that I'm not sure how to break it down into digestible pieces, rather than yammer on in a not so interesting way.

For today, let's go with the bullet points...

o  I have discovered that there is yet another layer of stuff that I am ready to have out of my life that is still currently residing in my house.  I am in the process of purging more things again, even though I am probably the least pack-rattish of any of my friends. 

o  I have spent many hours with my little chihuahua doing more kinds of training than I have ever done with any other dog that I've ever had.  It turns out that although he is still quite typically 'toy dog' shy with strangers and we can't seem to change that about him, he has an extreme ability to learn tricks very quickly.  Although I wish that more than just our closest friends could see what a happy go lucky little guy we have, I have decided that it is not any more likely that I will ever truly change my dogs personality than changing my own innate self, so we are going to concentrate on his strengths.  Since he loves attention when he is 'performing' and almost completely forgets his shyness, we will soon start agility training!

o   On the way back from our July 4th trip to Yellowstone, my suv's A/C went out as we were traveling over 100 miles of eastern Oregon desert and it was 100 degrees out.  Now a month after having it repaired for $900, it is out again.  Did I mention that we are leaving on Friday to go back down to Palm Springs?  Yeah, another desert.  If this car is not careful, it will find itself in the pile of things that I don't need in my life anymore!

o  Here in Seattle, this summer has honestly been the nicest, warmest, sunniest summer of my life.  I wish it would never end.  I am trimming back all of my trees and shrubs as much as I can to maximize the light later on this Fall.

o  I have become very interested in the idea of people deciding to live where they like to vacation.  Why do so many of us spend so much time convincing ourselves that we couldn't do that? 

o  I love that my husband is easily the most easy-going person that I have ever known.  I used to find this a tad annoying and now I don't even know why I was ever annoyed by that!

What about you?  What's up in your life these days?  
Sometimes the fun is in the details!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A New Adventure!

 This past June I celebrated with my nephew, Nathan, as he reached the milestone of finishing elementary school.  I drove down for his big day and had lunch with his family.  I also brought him this balloon as a way of indicating both my pride and my wish for him to continue on with his education.

Although it was an exciting day I couldn't help but feel a bit of underlying worry. 

It is the local custom to finish elementary school in the fifth grade where my nephew went to school; not the sixth grade as I am accustomed to.

My nephew has always been able to keep up with or exceed the educational expectations of any classroom, but his social issues often create some real trouble that even the best teacher struggles to deal with.

I have continued to wonder over the summer how Nathan would do with the big transition to middle school- with all it's new responsibilities of having to move from one class to another all day, keeping organized with the proper supplies for each class, navigating each day as one of the youngest yet tallest and biggest kids in the school.

Although I know that my nephew will eventually be perfectly capable of dealing with all of this I haven't been able to keep from worrying.

Then one day last week I got a most interesting phone call.  It was my nephew's Dad, telling me that he wanted my opinion on something.  He was considering homeschooling for Nathan.  He had many of my same concerns, especially about the transitions into this next school year.

Wow, my mind was reeling.  I have to admit that I have many times believed that Nathan would benefit greatly from homeschooling, even before my worries about the transition to middle school.  I have actually believed in, participated in helping with some subjects for our neighborhood kids who are home schooled, and loved the homeschooling idea for a very long time.  I grew up with close friends who were home schooled and came to the public school for band classes and sports. 

I also know that homeschooling is not for everyone.

Although my secret heart's desire has been for my nephew to be home schooled for quite a while now, I have also faced up to the idea that asking his Dad to do that is asking a whole lot, as he is a single parent. 

True enough, Nathan lives with his grandmother as well as his father and yet I have just never been able to justify asking them to do this for Nathan.

Turns out his Dad is more than willing to be as creative as he possibly can to help out with home schooling and Nathans grandmother is also more than willing to participate.  I have also signed on to take Nathan for a couple of weeks at a time just as I do during holidays now.  I will be doing it more often and helping out with his schooling process when I do.  Hopefully, that will help to keep Nathan & his Dad as close as they are now, without too much over exposure and frustration creeping in!

We have all agreed to try this for one year and see where it goes, knowing that often the first year of home schooling is the toughest. 

Nathan will stay in his local after school program for social interaction and his grandmother will take him to that on most afternoons. 

I am excited to be joining the home school movement and I will let you know how it's going!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sometimes Randomness Is Fun

So I'm here tonight doing something that I feel like I must be the last person on earth to do... and I can't imagine how this particular project managed to slip through the cracks what with all the going through and living with less stuff I've done over the last few years (in my effort to move cross country).

That's right folks.  I'm getting rid of my VHS tapes- yup, every last one.  Anything worth keeping, such as fine family memorabilia will be stacked up and taken to a place that will convert them to DVD.  Otherwise, it's all gone.  Out the door.  Heck, I won't even miss it!

 Stock photo by anankkml, found at

The only thing is-  I'm wondering if I am really and truly just about the last person on the planet to do this.

To support my theory I found this little gem on the best of craigslist:  (Who even knew there was a 'best of craigslist'?)  It's from somebody in Portland, Maine who finally rid herself of VHS in November of 2012.  Enjoy!

Lot of VHS tapes - FREE!

It's finally happening. This is the moment you have been waiting for your entire life. What's that, you ask? Peace in the Middle East? Well. no. Official word on the Arrested Development movie? I wish! An end to the seemingly insurmountable polarized political climate that has stymied any conceivable progress in our country? Ha!

It's none of these things. But here's what is happening--I am FINALLY getting rid of my entire collection of VHS tapes. Hear me out.

As a kid, I was a huge nerd (or nerdette, as the case may be). A nerd who was obsessed with TV. It's probably inconceivable these days, but there was a time when a kid like me didn't have access to every episode of Full House at my fingertips. Viewers were slaves to the TV lineup. You either saw that episode of Alf when it aired or you had to find out what happened from your classmates at school the next day (for shame!). Armed with my family's VCR, equipped with a state-of-the-art auto-program function, the world was my oyster. I could tape things! And tape I did.

Now you can enjoy such classics as Edward Scissorhands, Children of the Corn, Pretty Woman, and The Great Muppet Caper. But that's not all!! The real beauty of these tapes are the hidden gems that lie within. You may think that you are just watching an ordinary version of Ghostbusters taped off HBO, but stay tuned! After the movie you might be treated to an episode of Growing Pains, followed by a snippet of The Sting! The Sound of Music may be great in and of itself, but think how much improved it is when it's followed by part of Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards from the 1990s and a few choice episodes of The Real World: Season 1! You may pop in Flatliners, only to find out how touching the series finale of Dawson's Creek really is. (Spoiler alert: Jen dies!) These tapes are replete with random episodes of TV shows and snippets of movies. Are you in the market for a VHS tape full of nothing but Buffy, Will and Grace, and Beavis and Butthead? You found it!

Some of the tapes will baffle you with their randomness. Pop in an unlabeled tape and see what you find! It just might be a mish-mash of Behind the Music: Jessica Simpson, South Park, the Jon Stewart Show circa 2004, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and some strange VH1 show starring Pauly Shore.

Did I alienate you with the Pauly Shore reference? Please keep reading. I swear whatever that show was, I did not tape it on purpose. But you know what I did tape on purpose? Every single episode of The Adventures of Pete and Pete. There, have I won back your trust and respect? Probably not.

Have I mentioned the news clips and commercials?? Sometimes they are better than the movies! We are talking references to the Clinton presidency (good times!) and the Unibomber while he was still at large!! If you have no idea who the Unibomber is, please stop reading. . .you do not deserve these tapes. The commercials for the "new" Honda Accord will make your own car seem like a friggin' DeLorean. (And yes, Back to the Future is on one of the tapes.)

There's also some personal history in there. If you are really diligent, you might find the news clip that features my sister's 4th grade class in the background in Newark, New Jersey's famous cherry blossom park! My sister was prominently featured, although I have taped over that particular portion with Beetlejuice. But you can still see some of her classmates at the tail end of the broadcast, after Beetlejuice ends.

Words cannot convey how much you need this collection. Hell, I'll even throw in my old VCR FOR FREE with the lot. I'm pretty sure it works and I might even be able to find the remote.

You may wonder why I am getting rid of these tapes. The truth is, at this point in my life they mostly just take up space and prove to be a hassle whenever I move. I need to spread the joy to others who can more fully appreciate them.

Here's the deal: you take these tapes off my hands. I'm giving them away. I do not want anything in return for this kindness. They are conveniently packed into cardboard boxes for easy transporting. But you have to take them ALL. This is an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it deal. I will throw in the VCR for free. 
How about you?  Give me your VHS stories- home movies, whatever!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Every time I hear the song 'Easy' by Sheryl Crow I tell myself that I need to look up who Jack Johnson is, because of the line that she sings: "We'll play Jack Johnson.  He's the new Don Ho."

Here's the video for Sheryl Crow's 'Easy':

Well, I finally looked up Jack Johnson and I have to say that although neither he or Sheryl Crow will be changing the world anytime soon I sure can hear why Jack Johnson might be just what I need right now.

Please have a listen to my new rain escape.

As I have accepted that I will most likely be here in the Northwest for yet another non-summer season or two I will definitely be loading some Jack Johnson music up for my next foray away from reality.

How about you?  Who or what helps you get through the times that it seems you would like to be somewhere else in space or time?
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