Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home for Christmas

We get a new power cord while we're in Oregon, so regular blogging may resume when we get back to Oklahoma. But I wanted to blog our journey to Portland. Since we're still computerless, I couldn't check flights or weather. We got to the airport in Tulsa and discovered our flight out was delayed and would cause us to miss our connecting flight. It was looking impossible to get another flight to Portland since travelers are so backed up because of the weather.
There was a man in front of us making the same journey, and they told him the best they could do was a flight tomorrow afternoon. Josh was determined that would not be an option for us, so when it was our turn, we asked the lady, "How close can you get us tonight?" We were ready to accept Boise, or even Salt Lake City and a rental car to get us home.
She found one ticket getting into Eugene at midnight and had one opening getting into Portland at midnight. We were going to split up and meet at my parents'. As she was about to book them, she said, "I have two to Eugene, do you want them together?" We decided that would be better, so she printed our tickets, and I called my parents to update them. We were turning to walk away when the lady said, "Oh! I have a bunch of openings on the evening flight to Portland suddenly - do you want them?" Yeah, we want them! We rushed back to her, I told her she was a whiz. Josh was so excited he said, "This is better than the casino!" I think she got a kick out of us.
We had an extended layover in Denver, but we made it to Portland in one day. I'm so excited to see Portland under so much snow! I'm pretty sure this will be my first ever white Christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hap-Happiest Season of All

So, blogging at work is not a productive use of my paid time. However, I am doing it this morning to tell you a few things:
*Adelaide ate our laptop's power cable, thus the necessity to blog at work. I hope this is a sufficient excuse for my recent blogging silence.
*I pass a bread factory every morning on my way to work. I hope every day that I get stopped by the light on its corner so I can sit there and smell the deliciousness.
*Since we have abnormally tall ceilings at home, we got a 9 foot Christmas tree. We finished decorating it last night and it looks b-e-a-utiful. Again, the lack of home computing may delay any picture posting.
*Lastly, I want to blog all the delicious things we made/are making for the holidays because I have been so excited about them. We made Thanksgiving dinner for Josh's resident team that had to work Thanksgiving night. We made the whole shebang from scratch and dropped it off for them to discover in their break room. I hear it went over well. For Josh's family, we made homemade spinach dip (which we will repeat for Joe & Meg's party tomorrow), pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and the traditional green bean casserole (love it!). I made two different soups with the leftovers, both delicious, one creamy and the other tomato-y. Tonight I'm making apple flautas for my fiesta-themed work Christmas party and tomorrow I'm whipping together dinner rolls, a pumpkin pie, and that dip again for the Ibanez's party. I think I'm happiest in the kitchen.
*I know I said "lastly" already, but this is horrificly hilarious. The Red Cross is collecting Christmas cards to send overseas to soldiers. One of them read as follows, "Dear soldier, thank you for giving your life for our country. And if you don't die, I'm happy for you. You are very brave. Love, Susie. P.S. Merry Christmas!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Night In

This week, Josh will be gone every night on call for labor and delivery. I need to find some projects to keep me busy. Some ideas -
I finished Lindsey's quilt last week, so I think I want a break from sewing projects. I do have a coat pattern that I want to make, though.
I miss writing songs, though they were never very good, I wish I could get back into the groove.
Maybe I'll start by keeping a journal again.
We bought a stair step today, I'll probably start training for next summer's trip up the three 14ers.

It's been a nice homey week. We've had lots of tea, spent time with family, and planned house projects. We got our tickets to Portland for Christmas. We leave 12/23 and we get to spend a solid week and a half. We'll be there for at least part of my mom's birthday, we'll leave the afternoon of the 4th. Hurray!

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. We're having Josh's four teenage girl cousins stay over for a night. I anticipate lots of giggling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lili Marleen

Last Thursday on the 60th floor of the CitiPlex Towers (Thanks, Oral!), I got to play for the Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Dinner. I played old jazz songs mostly, and threw in a little James Taylor of course. But the coolest part of the gig was the uniform that I mentioned before. The 93 year old woman to whom the uniform belonged during WWII came to the dinner. I got to sit at a table with her, and she looked so proud. We honored her during the presentation and I sang her favorite WWII song, Lili Marleen. She had her little handkerchief and was dabbing her eyes. It was so neat to be able to do that for her! The whole night was just wonderful!

That quilt I'm making wasn't done on Saturday, but I took it to the baby shower anyway so I didn't have to show up empty handed. After she opened it, I told Lindsey, "I'm gonna need that back." She got a big kick out of that, and I left with my present. I'll finish it in time for her baby, she's still got a month to go.

I'm working on altering an actual prom dress to be an eighties prom dress for a friend for Halloween. So, I have to finish it by Friday to take to work (along with a pot of minestrone soup - unrelated, but worth mentioning because it's delicious). I'm turning it into a bubble dress with netting sticking out from the bottom. It's gonna be real.

Tonight, after I eat homemade zucchini bread and homemade vegetable soup (I love fall!), I'm going to buy pumpkins so we can carve 'em tomorrow. I'm pumped! (Get it?!?)

And finally, Adelaide learned to dig this week. Flower gardens beware!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One of the Cutest Things I've Ever Seen

And I didn't have a camera! So imagine if you will...

Josh walking through our neighborhood holding Adelaide's leash by the middle so she learns to stay close. And following closely behind is our 19 mo. old niece holding the leash's end "walking Josh and Ada." I know. It's adorable.

Adelaide is pretty sharp. We've had her for just over a week, and she's already learned the command, "sit." Now we're working on, "I know it's exciting, but you don't have to pee everytime Josh comes into the room." She just loves him so much she can't hold it in.

Otherwise, I've just been quilting trying to get ready for a baby shower on Saturday. So far, I have just two squares sewn together. Will I make it? Oh, this one's a nail-biter!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Things I have neglected:
1. This blog
2. Settling on a name for the dog we're getting TOMORROW!
3. Paying attention to the debate last night (I fully intended to, but I had friends from work come over and we had some wine and got to chatting over the vp candidates)
4. Quilting

Things I've been doing instead:
1. Going to the Tulsa State Fair
2. Gardening with Josh
3. Cooking delicious food (if I may say so myself)
4. Practicing 40 old jazz songs for a dinner gig

Extra fact about my dinner gig:
I get to wear a 1940s Red Cross uniform (I'll look like an Andrews sister - google it) while playing my guitar and singing delightful music for a few hundred people.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Tell Me

I went to play volleyball tonight at a church in Sapulpa. I was on a team with some of the girls from work who play regularly. They let me fill in for a missing player. Now, there was a setter on the team that was struggling all night. She never called the ball, she rarely put it in the right place, and she was rarely in the right place herself. Now, I'm not a professional setter by any means, but that was the position I played, and it's my very favorite part. So, near the end, after watching her fumble all night, I thought, "I bet she's not the setter, but is just playing it because someone is missing. If that's the case, I wonder if she'd switch with me." So I decided to ask. You tell me - was I an inadvertant jerk? Because this is what happened:
Me, as we rotate - "Are you the regular setter for the team, or are you filling in?"
Her - "No, I'm the setter."
Me - "Oh, 'cause... good job..."
Later, when almost everyone was gone, I asked if I could set for a couple rounds because it's my favorite. She shot me down saying she needed the practice. No argument there. But I get the impression that she wasn't very happy with my existence.

Also, this weekend in Oregon was wonderful. The best 39.5 hours ever! We went to Shari's, Baja Fresh, Powell's (we got 6 or 7 books for only $35), my cousin's wedding to hang out with quite a few Higleys, an REI used gear sale (we got a pack for our dog for more than 50% off), good ol' BNC, and of course Happy Panda. We played board games with my family and with Jason and Melissa. We got to see Sam and Bryce, who told us all about various animals and the sounds they make. It was chock-full of awesome. Just the way I like my weekends.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My voting decision

The Republican National Convention was on OETA during Nova time. I hurried home planning to watch a documentary about Hitler's secret sunken ship. I blame John McCain. Decision '08 - taken care of for me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day to Day

Josh's painting got here, yay! Which means our anniversary has ended, but it also means the house is put together. So, I've got some pictures ready to load; but in the spirit of sportsmanship, I'm waiting until Josh is ready with his pictures so there will be no thunder-stealing. We'll put them up at the same time. It will be fair. But my album will be so much cooler.
We went to a party at our neighbors' house this weekend. I'm excited to be a neighbor! Two girls just a little bit older than we are live next door, and we met a lot of their friends who apparently have Nazarene ties. There was a lot of SNU reminiscing and a few Nazarene jokes, set to some background music of Feist, Kanye, and James Taylor, while eating delicious homemade sushi. Our neighbors are great!
I will leave you with this fantastic picture that just made my night. My dad turned 50 yesterday, and Josh and I got him a sweet hat. See:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Two Days in a Row!

Our anniversary celebration started June 9 with the James Taylor concert. Even though the day was technically last week, the celebration isn't over until Josh's painting gets here from Oregon. First the guy has to paint it, I can only nag so much from 2000 miles away.
Anyway, we went out to celebrate on Saturday since Josh can stay up past 8 on the weekends. We did the dinner and a movie thing and took the opportunity to go see Dark Knight. It's not very often we pay to see a movie in the theater, so when we do, it's gotta be worth it. The movie - awesome, the theater - biff! There was this big ol' blurry spot along the top of the screen for most of the show. About two-thirds of the way through the movie stopped. The lights came on. Everyone is saying, "Whaaaaaat? Batman was just about to rock the Joker on his motorcycle! That can't be the end." Of course it wasn't, the movie came back on after a couple minutes, and we finished in fine style.
We expected there to be some acknowledgment of the failure, maybe free tickets waiting for us when we exited. Now, this isn't an unfounded expectation since the last time a theater had a technical mishap we didn't have to ask for compensation, they were ready for us with it at the door. This time, we had to hunt down a manager, who hadn't even heard of the problem until we mentioned it. No big deal, we asked what he was going to do about our ruined movie experience, and he gave us free tickets for next time. But what about the whole theater full of people who did not get their free tickets? Little did they know, all you have to do is ask!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not Accepting Applications

I can't believe I haven't blogged this conversation yet.
Scene: Convenience store counter, a large, grey haired, African-American gentleman enters and asks the man behind the counter
"Is that yo' wife?"
"Uhhh, no."
He turns to me
"You got a husband?"
"How many?"
"How many husbands?"
"Just the one."
"You want another?"
"No, I think I've got my hands full as it is."
"Oh, but do you want to take my application, just in case."
"I don't think that will be necessary..."
"Yeah, I don't have very good references anyway."

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Few Funny Things

1. I just remembered that our neighborhood is called Beverly Hill (just one), which makes me laugh. These houses are like 1200 square feet. They're cute, but they're old. Anyway, somebody thought they could make it sound more glamorous than it is. "Yeah, I live in Beverly Hill."
2. We buy tea to drink, but we buy it loose leaf. So my mom gave us these empty tea bags that we can fill ourselves to brew it. But they are called T-Sacs. Who's idea was it to leave off the k??? I get a little grossed out everytime I get the box down.
3. In my database at work are a lot of people who live in the area who have funny names. Some are harmlessly funny (Les Moore or Angel Fisher), some are more unfortunate (Mr. Glasscock), and some I would be uncomfortable trying to pronounce inoffensively (Ms. Bitsche).

That's all I have for you this morning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Life

This week has definitely been an adjustment. With Josh in the surgery rotation, we've been going to bed quite early. He gets up at 4 to be at the hospital before 5. Since we've gone to bed so early, I can't sleep for too long after that. I've been going to work at 7:30, which is nice because then I'm off by 3:30. But even then, Josh doesn't get home until at least 5:30, often later. It's so strange because he'll get home in time to eat, maybe read for a little bit, and then go back to bed. It's okay for a while, but I'm glad this lifestyle has an end date, and I bet when it gets close we will be more than ready.
On the plus side, I kind of like being an early riser. I get to bum around in the mornings, enjoy a cup of coffee, look at our fantastic garden (yes, Josh did build a waterfall; my job was mostly digging in the dirt), and take my time getting ready for the day. Who knows, maybe I'll adopt this habit permanently. Yeah, we'll see.
My job is still good. It's been a lot of fun moving to an office of mostly girls, and it seems that every week someone is retiring, or having a birthday, or having a baby - so we get to party! There is always cake somewhere. Who doesn't look for that in an office?
Lastly, the house is almost completely box-free! The garage is another story...

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Red Cross

After a week of sleeping late, blissfully spending my days putting my little home together, and going anywhere I pleased in the middle of the day, I have returned to the life of the employed.

However, I want everyone to go back with me in their memories to when I first blogged about moving to Tulsa and said, "...maybe I'll find a sweet non-profit to work for..." Well, folks, that dream has also come true. I was hired by the Tulsa Chapter of the Red Cross. I get to spend my days processing donations and directing the money into the proper disaster funds. The excitement level is similar to my previous job (ahem), but now I am busier and I get the satisfaction of knowing my number crunching means something to needy people.

Plus, if disaster strikes, everyone gets shuffled around and goes into superhero mode. So I could be asked to gather volunteers, or hand out food, or field phone calls, or clean up debris, or anything. That possibility excites me, too. Not that I'm hoping disasters happen to people just so I can feel good about helping, of course. But since they do happen, it will be nice to be able to do something.

Anyway, I've put in three glorious, non-profit filled days and am just so pleased about the organization, my coworkers, what I get to do, how close it is to our house, and just everything about it.

Sorry. I'm finished gushing about it now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Alas, for the days of Crest Foods...

Josh and I are on a quest to find a new grocery store now that we're in Tulsa. All you OKC folk are lucky to live in the land of Crest Foods, and so far nothing here seems to compare.
However, I did have an interesting encounter at Reasor's today. I had just stepped into the hair product aisle when a stranger said, "Excuse me?" I turned to him and he informed me, "I am a painter, and I just wanted to tell you I think your hair is beautiful and I am going to incorporate it into a painting. The way you did it is just lovely." I said thank you, and that was all. He left, and I thought, "Gee, I guess I should braid my hair more often." Yep, just a braid. Apparently a very effective braid, though.

In other news, our so far unmentioned trip to Chicago and Portland was awesome. Again, in convenient highlight form for you:
1. Pickle and Tabby were awesome hosts, have a supercool apartment, and live down the street from a sweet independent coffee shop.
2. Charles' wedding was beautiful and a lot of fun. Quite a few people took full advantage of the open bar, giving us a couple very funny stories.
3. My mom's new oven makes a noise identical to the sound of Mario breaking open a coin box.
4. Seafood is delicious. Tillamook ice cream is delicious. Papa Haydn's is delicious. McMennamin's is delicious. Elephant ears are delicious. Et cetera - I don't think Joe and Meg will eat again for a month!
5. Free $30 bottle of wine from Nehalem Bay Winery. Go if you happen to be driving up the 101 between Tillamook and Cannon - it's fantastic!
6. A broken airplane meant we got an extra day in Portland and were able to hit the REI used gear sale and the Saturday Market after all.

Thanks Oregon friends for a great time - we'll see you in December!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Life List

People have these lists of things they want to do before they die, right? Ya know, things like "go skydiving," or "see the pyramids," or "climb Everest." I've noticed that these lists exclude things like "get married" and "have a family." I guess those things go without saying in most cases.
Anyway, excluding the aforementioned "givens", I could only ever think of one thing that I would regret never having been able to do: see James Taylor live in concert. This was a major lifelong dream that I never thought would really work out.
You can probably guess where this is going: Last night Josh took me to see JAMES TAYLOR LIVE IN KANSAS CITY! Best. Concert. Ever. We were seriously only ten or twelve rows back. The music was phenomenal. That man can sing. He's got soul - and a nice sense of humor. He played almost all of his greatest hits album, and almost all of his new album. It was beautiful.
But now I don't have anything left on my life list. I guess it's all down hill from here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our House Is A Very Very Very Fine House

What a weekend! We had quality help in both OKC and Tulsa, so thank you - everything went so quickly!
Saturday we got everything in the house and a lot of things put away. We even entertained that night. Well, we brought the only constructed chairs into the living room and had coffee among boxes, but it was fun!
Sunday we painted the TV room. It. Is. Yellow. We taped ourselves into the room and said we wouldn't leave until it was finished. Unfortunately it took a lot longer than we planned, and we started to go a little crazy. We had to cut our way out and take a break.
Monday we put together the last of the furniture and kind of organized everything. Things are mostly in place, we just have to put stuff on the walls and load up the attic.
It's exciting having a home! We have a place that people can drop by anytime, and our stuff looks so much better than it did in our retro-ghetto condo. Not to mention we have squirrels, birds, and rabbits that run around our yard - it is awesome.
I want to go back and live there right now. But first I have to finish work, then we can go to Chicago, then we can go to PORTLAND, and then we can finally call it home. Then you can come over.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Moving Day(s)!

If anyone would like to help us load or unload, here's what you need to know:

Today (Friday) we'll have the truck starting in the late afternoon. If you'd like to call or swing by, we could use a little extra muscle getting stuff into the moving truck. I promise to have Kool-Aid for all volunteers.

Saturday through Monday we'll be in Tulsa. Stop by 1135 S Sandusky to help carry stuff in, unpack boxes, or maybe paint a room! Or, if you're not into the unpacking thing, give us a call and we'll do a coffee break. I'm sure we could use several during this adventure. I will keep a lemonade pitcher full at the house for all helpers.

Give us a call or show up if you want to do anything! Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Almost There

Well, we didn't go to Tulsa last weekend. So all that worrying and rushing were for naught. I did get almost all of it done though; I still have to go to Tmobile, which I'll do today.

I only have six more days at work. It's kind of sad. I started training my replacement this week, which means I have someone shadowing me all day, which means no blogging, blog-reading, or internet-surfing.

Nothing yet on a Tulsa job. It's just been tough interviewing and contacting people from OKC, and asking them to wait until June 9 to let me start. I figure it'll be nice to have a couple days to settle into the house and devote to the job search when we get back from Oregon. If nothing turns up after a while, Starbucks here I come!

And in case you were wondering, Josh and I had shark for dinner last night followed by some delicious chocolate mint brownies. It was tasty.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We're getting ready to move in a couple weeks, and I'm pumped! But this week is so action-packed, I don't know how I'm going to get everything done in time to (maybe) take a load of stuff to Tulsa on Sunday. Here's the low-down, in no particular order:
I'm working on a secret project for a friend of mine. I need to finish phase one tonight.
I need to take my phone back to T-mobile again so they can fix it again.
I need to sew curtains for the soon-to-be-wed Vandervorts and somehow get them to the honeymooning couple before we move.
I need to make cookies (yes, need) so our houseguest will have a snack while I'm at work.
I have a client seminar Thursday that will almost make me late for TV night at the Ibanezes.
I need to enjoy the Vandervort wedding and see all the visiting Oregonians there.
I need to pack up my sewing stuff and other things for a moving trip to Tulsa.
I need to see the Herberts while they are in town.

Save the T-mobile trip and the work deal, these are all things I enjoy doing and am excited about. So, needless to say, it is not a mega-stress situation like a med school test block might be. The only challenge will be fitting everything in before Sunday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Working for The Man

I had an interview yesterday with the Bank of Oklahoma. I think it went well, but I need to decide what I'll do if they choose to offer me the position. The people were nice, and I could definitely do the job, but I don't know how comfortable I would be with the change of environment. I like working in a small office; I don't know how I'd feel about working in a cubicle, at a corporation, for The Man.
Maybe the pay and benefits will help me make a decision. My loyalty and good attitude can be bought, I'm not ashamed to say it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Downs and Ups

Yesterday was the big day - Closing Day. We had been in constant communication with our realtor and thought we had everything taken care of. We even had a load of stuff in the truck to drop off at our house once it became our house. We Reeses are on top of things.
Then at 12:30, with our closing scheduled for 2:00, as I am saying goodbye to my coworkers, one of them mentions the cashiers check.
The what? You mean we can't pay with a check of our own? Apparently this is common knowledge, gained by the experience of purchasing a home. Wait. This is our first home, that is why we have a realtor - to tell us things we wouldn't know offhand.
So I call our realtor, who says yes, we need a cashiers check, and she is working on getting the amount and will call me back. By 12:40 (cutting it a little close, aren't they?) I had received two phone calls telling me two different values for our check. One from the realtor, and one from the mortgage lender. So, we try to get to the bottom of this, as our chances of making it to closing on time are growing slimmer. Our realtor neglected to pass on addendums to the title company and mortgage lender with necessary information, like who is paying closing costs. After some lecturing from both sides about the others' failure, we get our hands on what we are told is the correct number. By the time we got our check and got to the meeting, it was 2:30, but everyone was just starting to be ushered into the conference room. All we missed was the waiting.
Ahh, that mess with the check is over... or is it? The paperwork we are signing has another amount on it. Arrgh, our confounded realtor! It worked out, as our cashiers check was made for a higher amount, they just gave us a refund for the difference.
Thanks to our realtor for helping ease the stress of buying a home.
On the plus side, we own a home now! Cheesy first-time-home-owners pictures to come.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Love to Pack!

We are slowly packing up and moving each time we visit Tulsa. This is wonderful because I get the chance to weed through our stuff and choose what we keep and what we give away. I'm very excited to slim down our possessions. Though our house is about the same square footage as the condo we've been renting, there is less storage space. However, there are infinitely more windows, probably because the side walls are not shared with neighbors. Windows would be awkward in our current situation.
The old owners are finishing the repairs, we are getting in on Saturday to measure the rooms so we can make decorating plans, and we close in five days.
Also, I have a job interview Monday morning. I think they're still hesitant to wait until June for someone to start. So, here's hoping I blow them away so they know it will be worth the wait!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Severely Awake

I can't decide why I'm more on edge right now. It was either finally seeing I Am Legend or the double shot of espresso in my free (that's right - free) coffee I drank at 9:30. Either way, I am severely awake and Josh and I are going to watch Juno now because we can't go to sleep after all that.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Angry Peppers?

I was making menu selections for a seminar my boss is having at Deep Fork Grill next week, and I noticed that one option is Angry Peppers stuffed with cheese and tossed with penne.
Can anyone tell me what an Angry Pepper is? What makes it different from another pepper? Why is it angry?

Oh the mysteries of life...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Much Better Now

After that self-indulgence of the last blog, I am going to tell you about all of the things that are going right.

1. The Crawfish Boil is next weekend
2. My mom sent me a birthday/easter package that should get here soon
3. We bought cheeeeaaaaap tickets to Oregon with the Ibanez-es!
4. We had an offer on a house accepted!

Okay, time for some elaboration on #4. We offered pretty low on the house and were quite surprised when he accepted. I will not post pictures or anything until after the inspections just so everyone does not get their hopes up. (But so far everything looks great, and the kitchen is my dream come true!) Seriously, don't get your hopes up. (But it has everything we want, and potential to make improvements for a better sell!) I don't want anyone to be disappointed. (It's awesome).

I just need a job for Tulsa so we can pay for this house once we're in it. I hope it comes soon, I am getting antsy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So Far, So Slim

We have two searches going on right now, and the results of both are less than satisfactory.

1. Buying a house or finding a reasonable rental. Our budget appears to be just slightly too low, but its our limit, so there's little we can do about it. We had an unfortunately lengthy offering/counteroffering/rejection process with a house in foreclosure. And now we don't know when our next trip to Tulsa will be to look at more options. I'm still hopeful. I secretly (well, not so secretly) want one of those supercute 1930's houses downtown.

2. Securing employment. I have sent out close to 20 resumes and letters with little to no response. Granted, I am asking people to commit to hire me and then to wait 12 weeks until I move to Tulsa. So, I'm expecting the search to pick up as we get closer to relocating. I'm sure a better timeline will make me more appealing.

This has been kind of a downer week as we remain busy, deal with people showing up at our place to fix up the condo for the new owners, and still try to figure out all of the above. We need something to work out right so that our spirits are lifted. Either that or we'll need to take a break from being adults sometime next week.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


This precious little old woman came by the office today. She had an appointment at the salon next door, but when she knocked, no one answered. So, we let her wait with us. I got her coffee and a cookie and we chatted about teaching and about being 90. She was here for maybe 10 minutes before she mentioned that today was Friday the 7th. It took some convincing, I had to repeat myself a few times, but she now knows it's Thursday.
She said, "Well, at least it was a nice morning. I made some new friends," and went back home. I guess I'll see her tomorrow morning, too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I was thinking about my Granpa today and thought everyone should hear about him because he was awesome.
Awesome thing Number One: His name was Buster.
Awesome thing Number Two: He was 5'3" and my grandma was 5'9" (6' with the heels she always wore).
Awesome thing Number Three: He was in a street gang in the late 1920s in Portland. Their name? The Albina Toughs (they lived on Albina Street). Their activities? Singing on street corners.
Awesome thing Number Four: He was a lifelong fisherman and had a fish rival, a huge bass in the Willamette he called "Washtub Charlie" and almost caught a few times, but never reeled all the way in. This story was written up in the Oregonian as one of Portland's old timey treasures.

When he was a baby, his mother got sick and couldn't take care of her children. They didn't think she would make it, so his older brothers were sent to a boys home and he was given to a neighbor family that didn't have any children. They agreed to take him under the condition that he never be told he wasn't their biological son. He grew up playing with his brothers, but not knowing who they were. When he was in his twenties, an elderly lady he was driving home asked him how his brothers were - and when he responded that he was an only child, she said "Oh, you never found out?" She took him to meet his mother (from whom I derive my red hair), sister, and brothers that night.

He lived for 90 years in the Portland-metro area and had tons of pictures of the city through most of the 20th century. He had stories of everything from seeing silent movies downtown to hunting in Central Oregon to being in the Coast Guard during WWII (he was too short to be let in any other branch). He was pretty much fantastic and I'm kind of sad my kids won't be able to hear the story we heard every Christmas about the big Italian family that took him in for dinner one night during the war. Their table was so long, they threw the loaf bread down it like a football instead of passing it from hand to hand apparently.
I know this was long, but I love these stories, thanks for reminiscing with me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Talking to Strangers

Nothing makes you miss Oregon like pulling up to a gas station on a cold, windy day knowing you have to get out of your warm car, brave the elements, and fill up your gas tank yourself. However, this experience was redeemed yesterday by a snippet of conversation with the man filling up on the other side of the pump.
I was minding my own business, watching my money be sucked away, when I hear, "You are a lot braver than I am."
Although I had been singing probably louder than is acceptable in public when there is no music playing, I wasn't sure what he was referring to. So I said, "Pardon?"
"You're wearing a dress out here. It's really cold." He informed me.
"Oh," I said. And knowing perfectly well what he meant, I countered, "Well, sir, you would have to be really brave to wear a dress, that's true."
He didn't look as amused as I was, got in his car, and drove away leaving me to resume my singing.

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's Official

We got the word this morning - Josh is accepted into the Tulsa program for school! We're moving in four months! We're going to be close to Josh's family, we're going to buy a little house, we're going to get to live where there are parks and trees and well planned streets and good restaurants and less wind. It will be beautiful.
I have the tiniest of mixed feelings when it comes to work though. My job pretty much rocks the planet. I am very happy here. I have a great boss. I am not looking forward to telling him I'm leaving. I'm not looking forward to circulating another resume and going to interviews either. I know it'll be okay, it's more than worth it. I just wish it were over and everything were decided already. Maybe I'll find a sweet non-profit to work for. Tulsa is magical, I'm sure she'll have something perfect for me.
Anyway - back to the 99.5% of me that is ecstatic. I love moving! I love packing things up and reorganizing and getting rid of stuff we don't need anymore.
As excited as I am, I'm extra-happy for Josh. He loves his Tulsa. And he gets to be part of the free clinic program, which is fantastic.
I like change. It's exciting. You can make it whatever you want. And I choose awesome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Delayed Heat Loss

A lot of people lost heat a month ago in the ice storm. Ours is a little behind - we lost heat Monday night. It's all right, though. We built a roaring fire to stay warm while we played cribbage in the living room. The oven kept the kitchen warm while I made dinner, and a lot of blankets made sleeping warm. The worst part has been getting up in the morning! Getting out of bed is usually hard enough, but when the house is freezing, it's oh so much worse.
Oh well, we're making it, and I hope to get a hold of the landlady today so we can get it fixed. It's another little adventure, I guess.
Other highlights from the week: I shredded my body weight in paper. No lies.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Christmas Miracles Abound in Oregon

One of my favorite things about Oregon is heading into Portland and going through the tunnel on 26. Before you go in, you're surrounded by trees and it looks like you're driving through the forest. Then, when you come out of the tunnel, suddenly you can see the city - the skyline where there used to be trees. It's like Dorothy leaving black-and-white Kansas, going in her house, and coming out in colorful Oz. I love Oregon.
Here are some other highlights:
A lot of snow came down on Christmas - for the first time in Portland since 1937.
Bryce (my cousin's baby) likes me and dances when I beatbox.
Powell's downtown is always a highlight, but fitting 15 new books into a suitcase without going over the weight limit was a little challenging.

There was a night when we were walking in my neighborhood and the ground was frozen. There was enough of a frozen layer for us to slip on. But even though it was cold enough to freeze, we could walk without hats and scarves, with coats unbuttoned because there was no wind. It was still and pleasant and not too cold to be outside although it was in the 30s. Oregon is miraculous.

I always get jealous when my friends talk about seeing, eating with, and shopping with my parents. I can't wait to be in Oregon so I can do those things with my mom and dad and my good friends and not have to hear about it from a thousand miles away. That's what I liked best about being home for Christmas.