Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Independence Day Weekend (coming up!)

I'm jumping the gun a bit, but have nothing else to blog about.  So happy 4th of July!  Our weather is supposed to be nice and sunny (which would be a welcome change), so I may wander down to the city pool for swimming and sunning.  Hopefully, the local children won't be too horrified at the sight.

The girls will be at camp, as will Miss Lucy, so it may be a quiet weekend around here.  I did get an invite to go camping with the P's, but the thought of setting up The Taj Mahal (as the ginormous tent is affectionately nicknamed), plus finding/purchasing all the camping supplies I'd need and a long drive up to Priest Lake is kind of daunting.  We'll see though. 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Pia brought back some wonderful fabric when she went to Africa a few years ago, and I've never been able to find a good project for using it.  But Martha Stewart came to my rescue with her Reversible Hat pattern.  For once, there's a Martha craft I can make!  And my hat turned out pretty cute, it will be perfect for the beach (if the weather ever gets hot enough to go to the beach). 

Side One:
Side 2:

I Love This Ad

This ad makes me laugh EVERY time I see it:

I think it's the husband saying "you look like a beach angel!".  Kills me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maybe It Just Isn't Meant To Be

Me riding a bike.

I got out Bertie the Bike today.  She has had a year of rest in garage due to last summer's "bwoken awm" debacle.  But it was gorgeous weather today, I needed to get something for dinner, the grocery store is like 6 blocks away, so it seemed like the time to renew acquaintances.

A year off of bike riding did NOT do me any good AT all.  Mind you, the route to the store is just a teeny bit uphill.  I was panting like a walrus by the time I'd gone 2 blocks.  Bertie is a fool-proof bike, with only 3 speeds.  I normally keep her in 2nd because, well, that's the only speed I know.  But I "downshifted" lol into 1st gear.  To get up the probably < than 1% incline.  And I was going about as slow as a human can go on a bike and still be making some sort of forward progress.  I'm blaming the tires, which I'm positive need air.  But I don't know how to check that.  I was wearing a helmet, so Safety Sam can relax.

I made it up to Albertsons (you remember, that's where strangers give me their game tickets).  My bike has BOTH a hand and foot/coaster brakes.  I panicked, not sure which to employ to stop my forward progress (I was being passed by snails, who flipped me off on their way by).  So when I put on the brake, I tipped over.  In the parking lot.  In full view of whoever was lucky enough to be shopping at Alby's.  I'm sure I made their day, and I'm probably getting millions of hits on my youtube video as we speak. Oh, and my thighs were so shocked at being exercised, they momentarily locked up and I wasn't at all sure I was going to be able to get back up. 

People, maybe I just wasn't meant to ride a bike.  Those who know me, know my long and dorky history with bike riding.  Me and the bike, we just don't mix.  Perhaps I just wasn't meant to have 2 wheel transit...

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Officially Summer!

The ice cream truck just drove by!  Lulu and I wanted to dash out and buy a Spongebob ice cream bar, but our truck driver goes through the neighborhood at about 45 mph and we aren't that speedy.

Weirdly, the truck was NOT playing "The Entertainer".  Is there not a law that mandates this as the official ice cream truck song?


I had a great time going through old family photo albums while I was visiting Mom.  She doesn't remember who is in most of the really old pictures, which is too bad.  There are some wonderful photos from the 'teens and 1920s.  Maybe Judy or Susan will know who some of the posers are, and we can write down names for future viewers...

I borrowed a few pictures that I really really loved:

 Freda Herseth, B-Z and me getting fancied up for a tea party (for you youngs, those are SLIPS we are wearing.  You had to wear them under your dresses so you'd be all flouncy and fancy.  We're going for the slutty preschool look here, evidently)
 BFF's B-Z (or Beezie as we spelled it then) and me looking all cute in front of our somewhat sad Christmas Tree.  Yay for sailor dresses!  We must be 3 and 4 in this picture?
 Joey-Love and me looking quite saintly for our First Communion, 1961.  This was during my very brief holy era; when Father McGirl asked which girls wanted to be nuns when they grew up, you can bet my hand shot right up in the air.
 Jon "Zoolander" Sundstrom's Saint Brendan's Grade School picture.  I'm going to keep this pic in my wallet and whip it out every time he teases the boys about being girly-men.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Things that Make me Smile

During my long, boring drive home from Seattle, I had plenty of time to ponder things that make me smile:
1. Crop Names in Fenceline.  I have mentioned this before, but knowing what those mystery plants are as I whiz past on I90 makes me happy.

2.  Calling the fat dogs across the alley "Piggy and Munchy".  Everyone needs a chubby pair of some persons or animals they can nickname Piggy and Munchy.  It's a guaranteed day brightener.  I also got the intel from Lisa that P & M earned their mean nicknames the summer they stole plums from our tree (like we were going to eat them) and then engaged us in a cross-street rock war.

3. How much little kids love wearing bandaids.  I'm talking to you, Ms. Logan.

4. Finding a single ripe strawberry in our patch and eating it before the slug does.

5. Learning that Southwest is having a 3 day fare sale, and just happening to have money in my bank account!  So I bought a ticket to DC for dirt cheap.

6. Listening to 5 hours of songs from my junior high school days on above-mentioned trip across the state.  Most of them were heinous.  No need to relive that musical era, central Washington radio stations.  But it was still kind of fun and it kept me awake.

7. Seeing what a tiny shrimp our mom is.  She's about as big around as my pinkie.  And I'm the Incredible Hulk when I stand next to her.  She's still feisty though.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Sleepover!

No pix, as my cell phone battery died, but I had a fun sleepover with the P's last night.  Lorraine invited me over for dinner (yum marinated chicken), and to watch Jon break in his Father's Day present.  A wood chipper, perfect for the mountain man.  The boys were helping feed branches in when I got there, and no human limbs were sacrificed. 

Lorraine and I took the dogs for a 5 mile walk (and if you've ever tried to keep up with Ms. Speed Racer, you'll understand why my legs are sore today), then she invited me to sleep over since it was pretty late and we'd consumed a fair amount of wine. 

I woke up this morning to Mikey and Liam snuggling in with me, then Al joined us.  It was pretty much "The Human Jenga Game" after that.  We had an excellent breakfast, and the boys gave Jon handmade cards and gifts.  The twins are hardcore garage sale shoppers, and they scored two handmade fishing lures plus a very nice painting of orcas (which they said are Jon's favorite animals), so there was lots of excitement as Jon unwrapped his gifts.

Mike and I planned what we are going to do for his birthday next month (he will be 6, which I can't believe).  We decided on lunch (his favorite restaurants are Tomato Street and Outback, so we may go to one of those) and I voted for Target to buy a birthday present.  But he snagged the Toys R Us ad from the Sunday paper, and we spent at least an hour going over the 4 pages, and discussing the merits of each item.  He's hoping for a new bike, which isn't my plan, but he gave it his best shot.  Second choice was a Nerf weapon of some sort.  We shall see.

It was so fun to hang out with the boys, they are getting so grown up.  RJ gave me his MP3 player plus a list of songs he needed to have downloaded.  Luckily, Pia was able to provide most of them.  He's quite the tween boy.  High on his request list were Bon Jovi, Kid Rock and Lady Gaga.  He and Alex headed off to Camp Reed for the week, hopefully the rotten weather will improve for them.  Liam and Mike are doing day camp at the Y.  Mike is really irritated that he's not old enough for sleepover camp.  Soon, my little man, too soon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Manly Yarn for a Manly Man

Remember how I've been complaining about being in a knitting slump?  Despite having tons of yarn and patterns?  Well, that hasn't prevented me from adding to the stash.

And when I saw this yarn from 3 Irish Girls with the color name "CARSON", well, it just had to find a home in my stash pile(s).  Sharon describes the colorway as "manly", which suits our little Carsie to a t.  I think it may become a hat, as he is such a fine hat-boy:

lol, I didn't notice him wearing Hadley's "hair" hat (3rd row far right) until just now.  He rocks the braids.

On Housekeeping Duty

Just had to show the fruits of this morning's scrubbing on hands and knees.  Man, there was a LOT of hair to clean up in the bathroom.  We are a shedding bunch apparently (and not just Lulu). 

Note the cheesy toilet seat cover I found in the closet and immediately put on the fugly semi-broken seat.  Sadly, the shag cover is an improvement.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Packing Her Grip

Katie and Lucy-Lou are heading out to camp for the weekend.  Getting the suitcase packed is known around here as "packing a grip" :-)  I packed her dog food, a plastic bowl, a couple of toys and the all-important tennis balls.  She is ready to go, and watching out the window for her mom to get home.

It's going to be awfully quiet around here this weekend without my girls; Pia has headed out to camp for her summer job.  Fingers crossed the weather gets nice!  I can walk down to Manito Park for a free concert Friday night and do some gardening if the weather chooses to cooperate.  Otherwise, it's house cleaning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Few Blooming Things

I am holding out hope that SOMETHING is going to grow in our garden this summer.  Here are some signs of life I found today:

This orange poppy was blooming out behind our garbage can.  Love these.
 More orange, this azalea is in our front yard.
 Potatoes in the Garbage Can are finally growing!  Katie and I are excited to harvest Yukon Golds come fall
 Our Topsy-Turvy Strawberries are doing pretty well.  We actually have some berries!  Maybe 3 apiece :-)
Okay, master gardeners, what is this plant called?  Love the purple, wish the orange poppy was next to it...

Monday, June 13, 2011


It's raining AGAIN.  This is the worst spring ever.  Our poor garden is never going to do anything but mold away.  Lulu and I are very glum, we had big plans to do yardwork today, but we are stuck inside. 

I guess I should be grateful I'm not sweltering in record-breaking 100 degree heat, like the Virginians.  But I don't feel grateful at all.  I just feel soggy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Driving Lesson

I was going through some old books this morning, and found this piece of art that Liam drew for me a a few years ago.  It says: "I Shoutid (shouted) Stop we wint (went) through? a Red!"  with Liam in the second row of the minivan yelling OOOH. 

Pretty sure this actually happened.  Wouldn't you miss a signal change with four boys riding behind you?

Happy Father's Day, Dad (OK, Read This Again Next Sunday!)

Hug your dad today.  I wish our dad was still here to hug...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trying to Keep Up

with the weekly organic veggie & fruit delivery.  This just arrived:

1 6oz Container Organic Blueberries
1 Bunch LOCAL Organic Spring Onions
1/3 Pound Organic Mixed Salad Greens 

1 Pound Organic Red Seedless Grapes
2 Ears Organic Sweet White Corn
1 Pound Organic Tomatoes on the Vine
2 LOCAL Organic Fuji Apples
3/4 Pound Organic Fava Beans
1 Organic Ataulfo Mango
1 Head Organic Butter Lettuce
1 Pound Organic Valencia Oranges
3/4 Pound Organic Carrots
1 Organic Ruby Grapefruit
1 1/2 Pounds Organic Russet Potatoes
3 Organic Bananas

Though I will say that I didn't get the fava beans, the spuds or the corn, dang it.  Sometimes they run out of stuff and have to make subs.  Not sure what I got in replacement for there, other than 1 sweet potato (which I hate).  

I have tried to eat at least as much fruit & veg as I throw in the compost bin.  So far, the compost pile is doing pretty well.  But I'm planning on grapefruit and mango for breakfast, and I'm making a stir fry right now with some of last week's bounty o produce :-)


The knitting slump kind of continues, I'm not super excited about any of my current projects:

"Chicken Boot Liners" for Alex.  These are actually a pretty cool idea, they go inside your rubber boots with a stirrup-y piece for the foot so they don't ride up, and the cuff goes over the top of the boot so they stay put:

But we're talking acres of plain old navy blue knitting.  Not very exciting.  So I only have 1 done.

"Crock Socks" for Allie Pallie.  Another clever idea, these are liners for Crocs.  I heard that little Pal worships her "dile" shoes, so decided to whip up a pair of these:

Again with the "I only have 1 done".  I think these are going to be too big for her tiny lil' feet.  But it only took me a couple of hours to whip up the first sock, so no excuse not to finish this project. 

"Rosalia" cardigan.  This is a "big" project, a cardigan for me. 

 This is the finished sweater (I'm only at the bottom border so far):

This is going to be quite fabulous if I ever get it done.  So I need to "unslump" myself and get going on all of these.

Knitting Slump!

Yikes!  I'm in a knitting slump!  I can't find a project that I'm real excited to start, despite the fact that I have 105 potential projects in my "knitting queue", 875 "favorite" patterns in my Ravelry Notebook, and a room full of yarn.

Maybe it's because I'm weaning myself off of Paxil.  Have I lost the will to knit/live?  Or maybe I just need a knitting weekend with my sisters, daughters, nieces and assorted babies & dogs...  Or maybe I need to liven things up with a knitting tattoo?


Best Season Yet

I'm so excited for Season 8 of "So You Think You Can Dance"!  I know, my life is so dull that a televised dance contest is a weekly highlight.  But we've been eagerly awaiting the start of season 8, and so far, it hasn't disappointed.  The top 20 dancers all look amazing (even the "Woo" guy), and last night's show had some incredible routines.

I haven't chosen a favorite yet.  My heart still belongs to last season's darling Kent:

I loved this crazy kid.  But I'm sure there will be contenders for my heart this season. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Greatest TV Show EVER.

We were watching "The Actor's Studio" last night, and the adult cast of "Modern Family" were being interviewed.  James Lipton asked  his usual inane questions, and briefly covered each cast member's rise to stardom.  Pia & I were OUTRAGED that he failed to mention Julie Bowen's (Claire on MF) star-making role as Carol Vessey on my all-time favorite show "ED".  Please, Lipton.  Not reminding the world that Julie played the love interest of Ed Stevens, Stuckeyville's bowling alley lawyer?  Epic fail.

Katie tried to claim that "NOT EVERYONE IS AS OBSESSED WITH "ED" AS YOU TWO CLOWNS".  I don't know about that.  Everyone should be, in my opinion.  Who doesn't want to hang out at the Smiling Goat?  Have Phil and Shirley as co-workers?  Be BFF's with Molly? or with Warren Cheswick? 

Why isn't this show available on Netflix?  A travesty.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If I Was A Rich (Wo)Man

I'd own at least one piece of art by George Flett.  He's a member of the Spokane Tribe, and he does these amazing pieces of "Ledger Art", with native dancers and other figures on old ledger pages. 

Guess I could save a dollar a week, and by the time I'm ready for the nursing home, I could afford it :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011


That was my nickname back in first grade, when this picture was taken.  I am wearing my VERY favorite dress, it was pumpkin colored with a white collar and I would have worn that dress every day if I could have (I just might have now that I think about it).  Note the classic Pixie bangs.

I think I look very sweet and shy in this picture.  Still shy, maybe not as sweet as my 6 year old self.  I loved my first grade teacher Mrs. Verner, and I was so excited to be learning to read!  "The Big White House" was our first grade reading book, still remember it vividly.

I'm collecting family pictures in a photo album on Flickr as I come across them.  You can view them here

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Here's my beautiful new ring that Pia and Katie bought for me at Artfest.  It's each child's birthstone.  And even hiddy August Peridot looks good!  I love it so so so much.

Plus, Artfest this year was super fun.  It's the first time I've been to our yearly art festival without there being a torrential downpour.  Lots of good artists this year, and it was neat that so many of them were creating fantastic art using found/recycled materials. 

Friday, June 3, 2011


The guitarist (Mike McCready) from Pearl Jam just did a bitchin' version of the Star Spangled Banner to open tonight's Mariner's game.  Jimi Hendrix lives!  PS: the M's are good again!  Yay!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Talk About an Exciting Life!

Scene: the Parking Lot of Albertsons

Stranger: "Would you like my Game Ticket?" (Albertsons is currently running a contest, and you get game tickets when you buy groceries)

Me: "Sure!"

Stranger: "I'm not playing their game, and you seemed genuinely excited when the cashier gave you your ticket"

Me: "I'm off to kill myself now"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Project Off the Needles

I finished my "Rivendell Smoke Ring" neck scarf thingy last night.  It scrunches up nicely when you put it on, so no need to have a giraffe neck to wear this.

LOVE the color progression in this yarn!  I'm working my way through a series of "Lord of the Ring" inspired knitting projects.  Yeah, I'm a nerd.  Sue me.

First Anniversary...

It was one year ago today that the apocalyptic event now known as "Bwoken Awm" (that is "Broken Arm" for those who don't hang out with 5 year olds) occurred.  On June 1st, 2010, I took the painful fall that resulted in a summer of sleeping in a recliner.

The arm is pretty much recovered, though I could do a LOT better on the exercising.  I bought a summer pass to the local swimming pool (an easy bike ride away), and plan to spend a lot of time working that arm in the water.  My weekly lawn mowing with world's worst mower is also helping to strengthen the arm.

I plan to stay far away from anything that might cause me to trip and fall today.  And I WON'T be watching "127 Hours" today.  Katie and I watched it last weekend, and let me tell you, I cringed big time when J. Franco broke his radius and his ulna.  OUCH.