Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

MC is taking me to a Winterhawks game and dinner...we may meet up with my sister's "party RV" that will be tooling around town later that evening. What I'm most looking forward to is that marvelous New Year's midnight kiss.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I have a weakness. They are called Lindt Truffles Extra Dark. Delicious dark chocolate shell and smooth filling.

None of that Hershey chocolate nightmare. This is the real thing when it comes to chocolate. (yes...I'm a snob when it comes to chocolate treats...)

I'm addicted. its 7:28AM and I just ate the last one.

All is right in the world at this moment.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


There is nothing quite like ruminating on changing your life at 8AM on a Thursday morning.

My thought process:

I'm looking out at a gray sky and wishing that if it was going to look so cold and dark that it would at least give us a little more snow...

Snow would mean its cold, however, and I can't go running if its that cold cuz I can't breathe.

Which reminded me of how hard it was to breathe in general when I first started.

And that took me to lifestyle changes and what I'm going to do in the New Year...

So, in an effort of looking back...In the past year, I've accomplished the following:

1. Worked a lot
2. Stayed married (harder sometimes than I thought...hahaha)
3. Dejunked my house and junked up the garage
4. Finished all house projects (getting ready to sell)
5. Found two potential renters that are waiting on me
6. Lost 37 pounds and went down 6 BMI points
7. Lost custody of the kids to Cruella Deville
8. Travelled all over Oregon
9. Took up geocaching
10. Started running

Not that those are the top 10 necessarily...but those are the ones I want to spend a little time on in this blog.

1. I'm now working from home. Very convenient as I sit in my pj's typing this, BUT...I miss the water cooler. I miss being interrupted every few minutes with a question...all I do these days is put the nose to the grindstone and actually work work work. I'm at least 10% more productive at home with noone to talk to than I was at work with quick trips to the coffee shop or just hangin' out with my coworkers chatting about the weekend or the evening or details about a project or two.

2. I stayed married. I laugh, but I consider that a real accomplishment this year. This is actually all part of numbers 2, 3, 4, and, I stayed married, dejunked my house, finished all house projects and we lost the kids in the custody battle. Those last three really put a huge strain on my marriage to MC. We were both so stressed out....trying to get the house ready to sell...trying to figure out the whole custody thing...trying to understand why the law automatically thinks a woman is a better parent...just because she is a woman. (especially since Cruella Deville can be evil, mean, and just plain psycho...)

5. In the absence of selling we have two renters on the hook right now...actually one that is willing to look at a lease option to buy. We're just waiting on MC's call to duty....please let it come soon...please!

6. Ahhhh...the great weight loss saga. Those 37 pounds actually have only been gone since starting this process in July. Prior to that I probably gained 37 pounds. :) But, for the purposes of this looking back, I've made some big lifestyle changes for MC and I to help us reduce our waist sizes. I've been reading up on cholesterol and blood sugar and crying into my water jug that I'm at an age where those words are realities in my life. *sigh* You can't be young forever, I suppose. and with adding number 10 to this one...much of that loss and increase in stamina has come from running. I'm down to a 12 minute mile. Ha! Thats way better than I was when I started (17 min/mile) and I run about 6-8 miles a week...

8. Traveling...I love it. It makes me happy to jump from location to location and see cool things. I've been to every corner of Oregon this year and most of the places in between. I saw the Oregon caves, I went to the beach, I camped in the mountains, I crawled through the Crack in the Ground, I drove so far and long that my alternator gave out in LaGrande...Gaaah. Now that was an adventure. And now adding number 9 to the mix...I geocached in the high desert, through streams and marsh, in parking lots, on the side of the freeway, up in trees and behind rocks. Its been a great adventure that I will continue for many years... what do I do with this information? New Years is only a few days away and it will soon be time for me to put on paper my goals...what will I put on my list next year? What will I be striving to accomplish? How will I continue to better myself, my marriage, my life in general.

Its almost too much for 8AM on a Thursday morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

By the way....we got snow!!!

A Christmas miracle! It suddenly started snowing big fat flakes at 11:50 on Christmas day. It snowed on and off for about 3 1/2 hours then disappeared. It was wonderful and beautiful and the perfect gift.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A December birthday

The younger turned 8 today...

He and his dad went to WONDERLAND...a nickle-video arcade place that MC used to frequent in high school. They played all kinds of video games and won tickets to cash in for a prize. When the prize guy found out it was Chortles birthday his 12 tickets turned into 895 tickets. Thank you video game man for letting him pick out so much junk...errrr....treasure.

He got secret agent stuff from me and his father. Secret agent pens/decoder and a secret agent message launcher. I fully expect to find scraps of secret agent paper all over the house for the next week. I hope one of them says to give me a big kiss.

My mom/stepdad sent him a card with 8 dimes taped to it. He was so excited to put them in his piggy bank. $0.80 is almost enough for a dollar store trip. He can't wait until he's 10 and gets a full $1.00!

MC's parents gave him K'nex. His favorite build'em things. This set has a MOTOR in it. He can't wait to build a windmill. I checked out the how-to guide and requested a peacock. Very cool toys kids have these day.

Little miss giggle was really excited to help open the package. There was "SO MUCH PAPER" on it...they ripped and tore it and he got to use his new pocket knife.

Oh yes...8 is a coming of age and is rewarded with a first pocket knife. After a lesson on whats what he became quite the little expert in opening, closing and cutting carefully with his new sharp blade.

I think Its been a good day today.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I want snow!


Out of the bosom of the Air.

Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,

Over the woodlands brown and bare,

Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent and soft and slow

Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take

Suddenly shape in some divine expression,

Even as the troubled heart doth make

In the white countenance confession,

The troubled sky reveals

The grief it feels

This is the poem of the air,

Slowly in silent syllables recorded;

This is the secret of despair,

Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed

To wood and field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Half full...

Here it is just after 5pm and I am now home from a long day at work. Started early today and had to host a conference at the NIKE campus.

Now its just after 5pm (I think I said that already...) and its dark outside and I've got to eat some dinner before Mr. C and I rush off to Gag's choir concert then take her out afterward for a b-day dessert.

I would rather go running right now.

So I'm feeling a little frustrated about that...but because I'm trying really hard to be a glass half full kind of girl I thought about all the people in this world that are in my position but have a dog to take care of too...then I thought about people with a dog and a cat...then a dog and a cat and a kid...then a dog and a cat and 6 kids...

...and a hamster.

And suddenly my little grump about not being able to go running right now seems much less grumpable than it did a few minutes ago.

I just can't believe there are women and men in this world that can juggle job, animals, spouse, kid(s) and still manage to exercise.

I'm humbled and impressed.

Teach me o' wise ones...I sit at your feet...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Secret Agent

I'm working from home right now. And YES, I was actually working. This blog is a much needed break right before I get dressed to go running at the HS track. So, anyway...

I've been playing secret agent trying to figure out what is going on in our culdesaq with the water guys. I know I could probably walk out there and just ask, but how do you think these men would react to frumpy "housewife" still in pjs at 11AM? Good grief - I'm still in my slippers and you should see the state of my hair. Fortunately, I don't mind that much as I consider pjs and nightmare hair as one of those perks of working at home.

Little do they know that my work is superbly important to the universe. I am saving the world by saving energy just a little at a time...of course, all they would see is my huggy kissy pj bottoms and old slippers. Their minds would be immediately made up that I am not someone to be reckoned with. I'd hate to have to come up with some kind of revenge tactic like letting the air out of their truck tires or some other juvenile act.

So, in secret agent mode I check out the gigantic hole they cut in the street and watch the water spilling out. unfortunately for all you...the photo doesn't do it justice because its also garbage day and that darn trash can from my neighbor is in the way.

I must say...they don't exactly look hard at work do they?

The secret agent has left the building.

PS...does that picture make my ankles look fat?

*****Edited at 11:29AM*****
Waiting has ended. They came to me. "Ma'am, (still can't get over the fact that I'm old enough to be called ma'am) we need to shut your water off from 1-2pm." With my superb skills as interrogator I learn that the pipe did not break, but rusted through. Will most likely be done with repairs today, but he doesn't know how long it will take for them to fill the hole and asphalt over the top. My work here is done.

I wonder if they came to me because they saw me peeking out the windows?...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Attack of the Sugar Cookies...

They look innocent enough don't they...all red and green and white with stars and dots and candies here and there.

They look so cute and friendly..."Come me!," they say. Innocent girl peers at them with innocent eyes. "Oh, how cute those sweet cookies are," she says.

Without a word they attack her...

And the only way to survive was to EAT THEM ALL!

No, the poor innocent girl didn't wake up from a dream. This really happened. I know because it happened to ME.

Sorry for the scary Christmas story, but I want to make sure everyone knows the truth about sugar cookies.

Run fast...they are coming...



Being the lowpoint of the neighborhood definitely has its disadvantages. In the four years I've lived in this house I've had a few pooled water incidents, but nothing like the flood of 2007. And now...after what we just finished going through there is a Tualatin Valley Water District guy outside inspecting what we believe is a broken mainline pipe under the street...a broken 6 INCH mainline pipe under the culdesaq. Water is bubbling up through the concrete...a river of water flowing into the storm drain...and he tells us to just wait until they can get a crew out there...oh yeah...and by the way..if it starts to bubble up in your yard or if you lose water pressure call us and we'll come running quicker.

Uhm...why are we waiting for the disaster before we fix the potential disaster?

Two weeks ago I spent 24 hours on flood watch with John - we filled 12 sandbags and stopped up our garage and built a riverbed for the water to flow past our house and out into the greenspace behind it.

It was amazing. The culdesaq was under at least 18 inches of water. It made a lake out of our yard and front stoop...if I'd been 12 again I would have been out playing in it. Now that I'm much more grown up and responsible (Ahem...yes I am ... no you're not...YES I AM!) I can see why my parents never joined us in frolicking around in the water when we were kids.

Of course, dare I complain with so many places in the world going without water at all? I'd be happy to share...I'm sure the whole Oregon Coast would have been happy to share...that flood of 2007 was a real disaster for some areas. I suppose we got off easy with a wet crawlspace, a $90 sump pump purchase and achy backs from digging. was really only Mr. Chucklehead's back that was achy...I offered, but he demanded on being the manly man.

So here I sit now checking off my checklist...shower...CHECK...(a girls got priorities when there is a possiblity of no water for 24 hours as they rip up the culdesaq to locate the pipe break...waterproof boots...CHECK, filled up all my water jugs...CHECK...and put them in the fridge...CHECK...and I would just like to say that its days like this that I love my mother for teaching me the value of a years worth of food supply. I don't have nearly a year's worth (getting ready for the move and all), but we'll definitely survive for the 24 hours.

The moral of my story? Don't buy the house in the low point of your neighborhood and just a little preparation can really bring peace of mind and next time I'm going to go out and play in it. If the water guy doesn't care...maybe I need to learn the glass is half full side of a flood?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gobble Gobble

It Thanksgiving week! I really always loved Thanksgiving. As a child I spent it with my mother's side of the family. She is one of 9 children and each of those children have 5+ children of their I have 50+ first cousins on that side of the family.

I LOVED having a big extended family. I'm very close still to my aunts and uncles and my cousins that were around my age. I could call them up or visit them at any time and that is a good feeling to have so many people that love you.

ANYHOW....on Thanksgiving we'd all get together at a highschool in Eastern Oregon (which is where we all lived and where my uncle was the PE teacher/coach...) and all the families would bring food and we would eat and eat and eat... I don't remember a thanksgiving where in my young mind there weren't at least 200 people present (everyone brought friends) or where anyone ever went hungry.

I'm sure my young eyes remember a great deal more food than perhaps was actually there, but recreating in my mind I see 7-8 gigantic 20-pound turkeys, 20 different types of salad, a pile of rolls as tall as me, and least 15 different kinds of pie. I remember my aunt's cement mixer that would make the mashed potatoes. It was a big commercial kitchen mixer but I always thought it was a cement mixer. And piles of stuffing, frogs eye salad, large ladle-filled bowls of as far and as wide as the cafeteria counters would hold.

But my favorite part of Thanksgiving was always the pinatas. Multiple pinatas created for various age-groups of cousins. It was the highlight of the day. They let us hit at the pinata from youngest to oldest within that age group and the strength of the pinata was in direct proportion to how old you were...

The older you got the more like a rock they became.

We would hang the pinata from the basketball hoop, blindfold the "hitter", spin them around until they were dizzy then laugh hysterically watching them try and hit the pinata which one of my uncles would swing wildly and raise up and down. It was near impossible to hit it, but occasionally one of us would get lucky and land a solid hit that would split it apart.

Then came "the sweep." Its a strategic pinata move that all children who do multiple pinatas in their life eventually learn. It consists of a running leap into a knee slide with your feet touching and knees wide open. Your arms are spread wide with your face near the ground as you slide into the pinata candy and essentially sweep the greatest amount of treats into your holding pen.

Thanksgivings are much smaller now...quieter. I think we'll have 12 people at my house this year. But for my stepkids and nephews I'm definitely making a pinata...I'll be teaching this young generation "the sweep" this year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Neverending Story...

Scene: Red-faced with crazy hair and beady red eyes the wicked stepmom advances upon frightened little blond-haired blue eyed angelic face.

Wicked Stepmom (WSM): C'mere you little brat!

(grappling with frightened angel - one hand yanking her hair and the other pummeling her body.)

Enters heroic 16-year old sister.

Heroic sister (HS): I'll save you!

HS pushes WSM, but WSM stops her by throwing out an arm hitting HS in the chest.

HS: You b**ch! Don't you ever touch my sister again!

WSM: You try and stop me.

HS rushes WSM and slaps her across the face.

WSM: Aaaaaaaaahhh (high pitched scream sounding earily like dying witch in Wizard of Oz)

Closing scene: WSM rushing from room chasing HS to beat her into bloody pulp.

We found out about the above lie because Gag had asked to come live with us. "I hate my mother! I want to live with you daddy!"

These types of stories for over 2 years now...

Its all very clear to me...

1. The hatred that Cruella exhibits toward me. Would you be nice to someone you thought behaved like that to your children?

2. Gag has really made a statement this time about her character (or lack thereof)

The funny thing is that Gag doesn't believe she needs to apologize for the big lies she's told because...

I told her she lacked character for saying those horrid lies.

I know...very wrong of me to thing that a 17-in one month girl would be able to handle facing her own lies. Enter Gag..."We're even now...I don't have to apologize. She made me cry for 3 hours!"

Cruella, of course, backed her up and was horrified at my hateful expression toward her daughter.

Problem solved. Gag hates me more than Cruella. The world is now at peace.

S-kid weekends....

wear me out.

tear me down.

exhaust me.

make me crazy.

drive me to drink.

cause heart palpitations.

frustrate me.

How would you know it when you look at these cherubic faces...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I love me because...

I'm part of a group of women all working to lose weight. We've been giving mini-challenges to each of them really stuck me...

Tell yourself you love you. to the mirror I went.

Me to self, "I love you."

*giggle* Shifty playing at the corner of my mouth. Hard to look at me when I said that. So again...this time more assertively...


It felt good.

So I took it to the next step...

Self to me, "Why do you love me?"

And boy if that didn't stump me for a minute...I started out tentatively..., "Because I'm a good person?"


Because I am generous with myself, my time, my money, my stuff....and because I like to help other people.

But what about YOU...what do you love about you?

I like my sense of humor and I like my laugh. Actually, I like laughing in general - it makes me happy.

And on it went...this little conversation with myself until I had a chance to really tell myself today the reasons why I like...scratch that...LOVE me.

If you think this is easy...I challenge you to try it. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The full 30 minutes...

I've been working on getting my mile run time down, but this week I was thinking about my goals and I realized that I need to really work on endurance more than speed.

For me, its more important that I can run as long as I need to instead of being a sprinter and going in short fast bursts. Not that I'm anywhere close to being a sprinter, but I was thinking futuristically and decided that I wanted to be an endurance runner and not a sprinter.

So, I changed my routine and today I ran a full 30 minutes WITHOUT stopping. This is huge.

At 5 minutes I checked my watch...gaaah...25 to go!

At 10 minutes I peaked over the tough part...mostly because I had the perfect song to run to...

At 15 minutes I thought...this is what I would normally stop at...maybe I'll just go another 2 minutes and then I'll have "improved."

At 17 minutes I thought, "I can make it to 20 minutes..only 3 more to go."

At 20 minutes I stopped watching the time and turned the treadmill to distance to see how far I could go and told myself that I would run until it read 1.5 miles then I could stop.

At 25 minutes I reached 1.5 miles and thought to myself...I've got to go the last 5 minutes.

At 28 minutes I knew I wouldn't stop until the calories lost read 300 no matter what the time read and wouldn't you know 30 minutes it all came together.

Three months ago I could have NEVER done that. I would have flopped on the floor after 5 minutes and been depressed at how out of shape I was.

I'm proud of myself today. I'm proud of how far I've come and today I can actually see the finish line and it doesn't look too far away or too hard to get there.

Today I ran the full 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Blair Witch and Geocaching

Have you ever seen the Blair Witch project? Well, Mr. Chucklehead hadn't so we watched it the other night...a little suspense...not really scary, but gets you thinking about the woods and the dark and the things that go bump...

Now that Mr. Chucklehead's toes are healing nicely we decided to go for a little geocaching to get in our exercise for yesterday. We decided this a little later in the is a holiday weekend and all so we took our time doing ANYTHING yesterday. I left it to him to find a couple of good caches that would have us walking around a couple of hours and he did me proud.

The first one, called the end of the sidewalk was not really at the was a good 20 minute hike up the side of a Portland west hills "mountain." We had a great time...eventually found it and logged our finds.

The second one was two part. We had to find the first coordinates to be able to move on to the second. Well, by the time we had found the second coordinates it was already getting later in the day...we found two access points to the was clearly marked NO TRESPASSING and had hazardous chemical signs posted...uhm...yeah...not going that way. The other was about 3/10 or a mile across what looked like a large field.

The sun was starting down and although there was plenty of light we figured a quick little walk wouldn't hurt and we'd get back in no time at all.

We started off across the field and quickly realized this would be a little different than we thought. Bushwacking started immediately...we found poison oak :( and eventually stumbled onto a "logging road" which was actually just tracks made my a CAT. Followed those for awhile and well, to make a long story short...found the cache just as it got dusky dark. The kind of dark where you can make out whats 5 feet in front of you, but further than that its quite ominously be frank...Blair Witch woodsy dark.

I freaked myself out...but in my defense the spiderwebs were out to get me. We had to bushwack it back out...found what we thought was the field, but wasn't...continued to bushwack and made it back to the car after spotting an owl, deer, skunk and a few bats...

Luckily there were no stone piles or weird hanging stickmen anywhere near it.

So...moral of the story is don't watch the Blair Witch Project if you plan on bushwacking through the forest at near dark. I know most of you don't have to be told that, but for the select few who think like Mr. Chucklehead and I...just a little word of caution. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I found my smile today! It seems that this day is the opposite of yesterday...there has been much productivy and much happiness. Actually it started late yesterday afternoon when I watched the Youtube video of Miss Teen USA - S. Carolina's answer to why only 20% of Americans can point out the USA on a map. no offense to anyone from S. Carolina, but I had tears rolling down my face and I had to watch the video about 8 times before I'd had my fill. That was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. She just threw out buzz words in random order as she attempted to make a complete sentence.

If you haven't seen this video then I highly recommend watching it just to see if you can make sense of what she said.

Just thinking about it makes me smile and so I'm crediting her for my positive outlook on life right now.

So forget the increase of a pound from my emotional eatfest a few days ago...With the jolly mood Miss S. Carolina put me in I'm bound to lose it plus the extra three I'm gunning for this week.

And if I don't make it... well...all I have to say is,

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have SCALES and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

Well said, Miss S. Carolina...Well said.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis and the freeway...

So...I was driving down the freeway this morning and had a huge dose of nostalgia watching two cars filled with teens...

We (the girls) had just got back from a rousing night of cruising Broadway in the city downtown. You had to be sneaky because if you cruised up the strip more than 3 times then the police would ticket you so it was a game to take as long as you could and then park and walk and you could jump in cars with boys as they were driving by if you wanted...(I know...insanity)

Well, this evening in particular this group of boys were "following us..." I admit that there was some flirting happening on both ends, but not only did they follow us as we cruised, but they followed us out of Portland and onto the freeway where we rolled down our windows and passed notes back and forth to each other as we sped down the freeway at 55 MPH...(wouldn't you just KILL your daughter if you knew she did stuff like this?)

And of course we then decided to pull over at a gas station and hang out for awhile...and that was an invitation to a party they knew about which led to more parties and more hanging out and well...the friendships of a lifetime.

Now these guy friends were an actual dance troup...well, they called themselves a gang or a posse...not the literal meaning of gang as you think of it today, but gang as in homeboys hanging out...they called themselved Flips-n-Effect...and they danced a mixture of techno, 80's and breakdance moves.

Us girls always pictured ourselves as the backup dancer/singers. Many a night I'd be in my bedroom singing ooohs and aaaahs to some late 80's/early 90's hip hop song while shaking my bootie around...(I can only imagine what my mother thought. )

And I'm telling you all this because today is the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's "mysterious... maybe it didn't really happen" death. Elvis is best known (at least in my opinion) for his dance moves...the man could really shake his bootie. And well...if I think of bootie shaking in my life it all leads back to that one fateful night on the freeway...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spiders and weight loss

I love being in my garden. I love green trees and plants and flowers. I love the smell of dirt and the feeling of the wind through my hair and sun on my shoulders.

I even love to pull weeds, rake grass, trim shrubs, and mow the lawn.

What I do not love is spiders...spiders are creepy looking...they move way too fast and if they were big enough you KNOW they'd want to beat us up, wrap us in a web then eat us. Thank goodness they aren't big in Oregon, cuz then I'd never be able to live here again.

So, I'm out in my yard today after about a 2-week haitus from working on a remodel project inside my house and wouldn't you know it but almost the entire yard, garden and flowerbed is covered in spiderwebs...Darn little buggers work so fast! So, off I went looking for a spider stick...(no way I go after those with my hands...even if they are gloved.)

As I was diligently destroying all their hard webmaking work and transplanting them over my neighbor's fence (shhh...don't tell, but I'm convinced is where they all come from in the first place) I decided that instead of cursing them I would use my big brain to think of 5 reasons why spiders are good for weight is what I came up with...

1. Spiders get my adrenalin going thus increasing my metabolism and the rate at which I'm burning calories.

2. Spiders demonstrate a persistant nature in that they always come matter how many times I move them, ruin their house, stomp on them or spray them...

I should have this same persistance with matter how much it pains me, bores me, or I don't want to do it... (you get the idea)

3. The urban legend about the lady with a brown recluse in her bunch of bananas from the grocery store that bit her and killed her has made me diligent in washing, cleaning and examining my food so I only get the best...thus ensuring I'm eating healthy wholesome fruits and veggies.

4. Fear of spiders is called arachnaphobia....thats a pretty good movie and I like that part where he sets the mother spider on fire with the flame thingy...and that has to do with weight loss because they live on a farm and that reminds me that being active like milking cows and stuff will help build muscle and make me stronger and thinner...? ( a bit of a stretch I know...especially since I live in the burbs...)

5. When I looked up the username spiderman on MySpace its a 35 year old male in Boston...which reminds me of the Boston Marathon and that is something that really fit people run...oh and he's a dance teacher and I like to play Dance Dance Revolution and that helps me lose weight.

So there you have it...once again...I'm looking on the bright side of things. :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

At the beach with grumpy

I went to the beach with grumpy this weekend. Yes...grumpy the dwarf...only he was disguised as a 38 y/o woman that absolutely REFUSED to have fun.

Now...don't get me wrong. I also *hate* the beach. I hate hanging out with all of my best friends. I especially hate spending money on adorable clothing, eating seafood at an incredible restaurant and walking along the sand while dipping my toes in the cold Oregon surf.

In fact, if anyone ever invites me to their beach house for a weekend again I will absolutely refuse to have fun. I will NOT laugh or snuggle with my best friend in the entire world and I will NOT eat a single chocolate and I will NOT enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine. Bah humbug!

So, in reality...I had a did 5 of my other was just that grump sitting there with a humph scowl on her face that really made me wonder how in the world you can be unhappy with your best friends while on vacation?!

Peeps...let me tell you that life is WAY too short to be time you can't seem to make that frown go away I want you to call me. Dial me up and I'll do my best to put a smile back on your face because smiles make people so much prettier and really...can't you think of one wonderful thing that life has to offer?

Like pickles. YUM. How can life be bad when pickles are part of the equation. Or the color orange. Its my absolute favorite color (with yellow and blue close second and third picks) but whatever color you love...its so wonderful. And how about tulips...if tulips didn't exist then MAYBE I can understand a day or two of grumpiness because then you couldn't write terrible poetry like, "Roses are red, Violets are blue TU-LIPS are for kissing Woo Woo!"

So someone else happy. Love life...enjoy your time here with family and to someone you miss today. Tell that special someone you love them. Give a dollar to a panhandler...close your eyes and just feel the sun on your face, the wind in your hair or smell the earth and trees around you.

And next time...just stay home from the beach if you are gonna be such a grump!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Farmer's Wife

On days like today when the sun shines and its the perfect weather outside I dread being at work. I dread sitting behind this little desk tip tap typing on my computer screen. Its days like today that I wonder if I shouldn't have been a farmer...or farmer's wife...

That was an option once, you know. A few years back...I was dating Mr. was the drama of the century as he is not of the same religious faith as the majority of my family. There was suddenly a flutter and a flurry of eligible young men that were called to my attention.

One in particular will always remain fresh in my mind. His name is Buster. He is the proud father of eight children. He had a wife who passed away from cancer a few years earlier.

Buster was the choice of my grandfather. He was from a small town, a hard working farmer, of the "right" religion and best of all...because of my elderly age of 30 was the perfect mate because he already had children.

In all the years of my life there are few things my mother and I agree on. Me being all wrong for Buster is one that I thank God for often.

Of course I could see right away that Buster was all wrong for me. A farmer? Not my style. I'm a professional business woman! Not only that, but he was nearly 10 years older than I was and how in the world would we be able to date - we lived hundreds of miles from each other?

All that was a quick fix according to grandpa...I needed a man like Buster...I could just move in with grandpa and why date? Buster needs a wife and I need a husband...?! (I swear I'm not making this up.)

Leave it to my mother to put it in a way that grandpa could understand, "Oh no dad! She can't marry Buster. Those kids would starve...have you ever tasted her cooking?"

Well - I suppose that if the one reason I can't marry Buster is because of my cooking then I shall be glad that I have no idea how to use a crock pot, can burn rice without even trying and wouldn't know a souffle from a succotash.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mute the conference call!

I swear...some people have absolutely no respect or consideration for others. Its like they are totally oblivious to the world around them and what is happening.

I had to present an online seminar today and I must have repeated 15 times, "Please mute your phone lines so other participants cannot hear what is happening in your personal office space." Sure enough...Mr. Paynoattention in the middle of the presentation starts jibberjabbering with an office mate...

"Hey Charlie! Yup, I'm in a webinar." is everyone else listening to you. Cut the string Chatty Kathy.

An on and on it went until I finally interrupted our very distinguished speaker and repeated in the best "listen up or I'll kick you in the shin" voice...PLEASE MUTE YOUR CALL...

And would you guess that he starts talking about muting the dang call?

"*6 to mute eh? Hmmm...well if we just press this it.... (pause in conversation because he actually had it on mute) .......and then it comes back on and you aren't muted anymore."

Perhaps the electronic waves that center around his universe and computer caused massive brain damage or he may be a "real" blonde...those characteristics aren't limited to women, you know.

I think he is just so involved with his little world that the idea of anyone else being disturbed by his "oh so important" comments just never occured to him.

My colleague sitting next to me was laughing. She thought it was the time she was on a conference call and all of a sudden she heard a toilet flush.

I'm not opposed to a little tinkle while on the phone if you need to, but for hells sake...learn how to mute your phone!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just when I had wicked stepmom down...

Its been a long long long long week for me...and if I am being perfectly honest I was absolutely dreading having Chortle and Little Giggle here this weekend. We're in the process of moving, the house is a mess, I have a million things to do and I guess I had decided to be a big grump about them being here all weekend long. Not that there is anything I could do about it, but hey...why not just make things as difficult as possible, right?

Well...I was doing a pretty good job of being cold and standoff-ish. I had the ignore you pose and ice stare down and to top it all of Mr. Chucklehead and I had a spectacular fight...errr...discussion... right before he went to pick them up.

When it came time to eat dinner, I *almost* chose to eat alone later instead of suffering through a meal with whining and chitter chatter and stories of the last 3 weeks at Cruella's house...I mean really...wicked stepmom's don't have to suffer through that do they?! BUT...I relented when Mr Chucklehead used his best *puppy dog eyes* and asked me to join them so we could eat as a family.

He asked Chortle to say the prayer before dinner and darn it all if that kid didn't just melt the heart of the ice queen and cause the Grinch's heart to grow two sizes...

Out of Chortle's mouth comes these words, "God...thanks for giving me such a great and wonderful dad that plays with me and loves me and thanks also for mother. My babycakes mommy cuz I really love her too." (babycakes is my *love* name around our house)

He called me mother. For the first time ever...he called me mother...and his babycakes mommy...

And well...after that I just didn't have it in me to play wicked stepmom...

Funny how things like that happen when you need it to the most.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I am dejunking. I just spent the last two days going through my craft supplies and getting rid of most of them. How in the world is it possible to have so much CRAFT junk that it takes two days to go through it.

I've seen worse cases...hoarders, packrats, crafting freaks that save every scrap of ribbon, paper, buttons, bells etc. All to create a fabulous piece of art that will sit in a book on a shelf and be looked at occasionally...

Hmmmm...don't get me wrong. I'm a scrapbooking fiend...well, I used to be, but now I'm a serious craft-tote wielding woman that knows what she wants in a scrapbook page and what she doesn't.

Stickers are my downfall...I hoard them...I love them...I want to paste their sticky stickness all over the place, but not really cuz they are so cute that means they would no longer be mine...I won't have them to look at and love and hold and hug and call them George... is part two...I have a whole under-the-bed tupperware container that is full of sewing supplies. Does anyone reading this blog know me as a sewer? (As in "one who sews" not under the city sewer rat!) No? why am I carting around a huge under-the-bed tupperware full of material, thread, lace and elastic?

The answer is this...someday I might BECOME a sewer.

You may now laugh hysterically.

Long live women who wish they were domestic like their mothers. MaryAnne would be so proud to hear that at least I aspire to her domestic Goddess greatness. She truly was amazing. She could make anything...shirts, dresses, pants, shorts, swimming suits, bras...for hells sake! I would perish in nakedness if I had to make my own clothes...

So - the moral of this story is...young girls...listen to your domestic mothers because some day you will want to be like them. I promise...its true.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Liar liar pants on fire...

Mr. Chucklehead finally got ahold of the doctor treating his children. It took a note with the words, "Lawsuit, subpoena and lawyer" to get him to call back, but when he did he also chewed out Mr. Chucklehead for a very interesting reason...

"Mr. Chucklehead, what concerns me is that you refused to provide your children with their ADD medication during your two week vacation with them."


What a surprise, Doctor. I had no idea my children were ADD or on medication.

Come to find out that Cruella Deville blames their unruly behavior in the Dr. office on Mr. Chucklehead refusing to give them their pills.

I wish I could send her an email saying Liar liar pants on fire...or another selection of choice words that express my true opinions.

Until then I humbly leave you to tend to a throbbing headache that occured at the mere mention of her name.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The 11th Commandment...

Mr. Chucklehead and I have been talking up a weight loss plan for a year now with little results or action taken. Well...the great diet has of tomorrow...right after we finish off the strawberry shortcake and whipped cream.

Yes...tomorrow is the day that our lifestyle change will take place and no more shall we suffer under the foolish idea that one or two whoppers won't make a difference (hold on while I just lick the bowl here...)

Yes...tomorrow is the day of liberation where I will tell my fat pants...NO MORE shall I be under your power. NO MORE will I lament that cute shirt that emphasizes the back back will soon be as smooth as a round curve on this pound cake.

My hair will shine, my skin will be creamy and soft (sort of reminds me of the whipped cream I'm licking off my spoon right now.) I will be a whole new woman.

We' ve got a 1-week meal plan in place. Our first actually follow the 1-week meal plan. Next week I'll be adding exercise to the meal plan...slowly but shortcakely...I mean surely we'll change our sinful ways.

Onward to skinny jeans and tight shirts.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ode to the Larson Leap

Mr. Chucklehead broke two toes while on vacation. He and the other men in my immediate family decided that it would be a good idea to rehash the Bonzaii Waterslide Championship for the person who can make it up and over the slide the fastest.

Bonzaii Record 2006
Last summer MC won at 2.9 seconds. Of course you have to defend your title. So - up and over he went ...once, twice, three times the charm.

He limped over to me and said, "I think I jammed my toes."

5 days later we sat in the Orthopedic Surgeon's office and looked at x-rays of two fractured toes. The good news?

No surgery - Between a budding chiropractor, an avid soccer player and an outdoorsman they managed to properly tape the toes together. Taping them began the healing process so they didn't have to be rebroken and set again. There is no way to convey the relief in MC's face when he heard his toes wouldn't be rebroken. Imagine Guido in front of you with a sledghammer poised to crash down on the little piggy that ate roastbeef and the little piggy that had none.

Leap, slide...water surrounds the broken mess I call toes.
But it doesn't get better than keeping your Waterslide Crown.
All is worth the pain.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Beware of Lyme Disease - its running rampant!

Little Giggle is being preemptively treated for Lyme Disease. Now...I use the word preemptive because she hasn't actually been diagnosed with it, but because she got bug bites while on vacation and because those bites are now turning "rash-like" according to her hypochondriac birth mother they must be Lyme Disease.

SO...I'm throwing out a word of caution to anyone even thinking of a camping trip in the near future...

If you suspect that you've gotten bit by an infected black-legged deer tick and are now covered in a severe rash (that suspiciously looks like bug bites) and even if that is the only "sympton" of Lyme Disease you are displaying (others include nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms) you should immediately begin a 20-day course of antibiotics because you too have Lyme disease.

This message is courtesy of Mr. Chucklehead's ex-wife...feel free to contact me for further details.
And here I thought that this snorkel gear would keep her from Lyme Disease...she does look sickly doesn't she...or maybe thats just the sunshine glinting off her shoulders...

Yellowstone Vacation

Watching an elk after a picnic lunch

Little Giggle loves the wind...she's being a cloud

I know she loves me...wicked stepmom and all.

Swimming hole!

My pensive princess

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chuckleheads vs Wicked Witch of the West

Thats right...we're back to the crusade against Chortle and little giggle's mom....whom we prefer to call ED...thats right...Egg Donor.

We just had a great 2 week vacation with them and received notification today that they were so emaciated, neglected and sick when they got home that they had to be immediately rushed to the doctor. ED now insists that Mr. Chucklehead give up ALL visitation rights to them and "do the right thing" by never seeing them again.

At what point do you give up? Throw up your hands and say...take them! Ruin them! Destroy their little brains and make them think their father hates them...go ahead!

She verbally attacked us yesterday...physically restrained us from departing as she blocked us with her car and it was incredible how ugly one person can become in such a short span.

She insists that Mr. Chucklehead was trying to kidnap them...Ed is the only person I know that conjur kidnapping charges, destroy a fun 2 week vacation AND put the kids in the hospital in the span of a day. I should send her a trophy...ED of the year....for your hard work in completely destroying your children and preventing them from being productive members of society.

Congratulations ED.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Drink more water and be a better parent.

I can't do it. I've tried for 2 years now to play parent next to Mr. Chucklehead, but I'm telling you...Wicked Stepmom is my real name.

Thats right...I'm at a point where I understand the Malificents of the world...Cinderella's stepmom is like my twin sister...clean your room! Make your bed! Pick up your clothes!

Maybe its easier if you start out with them as babies...maybe if you watch them grow up you understand their quirks and twists enough for it not to drive you insanely crazy.

Or...maybe I need to drink more water? Its a well known fact that when I am parched I tend to make bad decisions, have a short temper and in general just be a growling ITCH with a b.

New motto...(everyone join in...) Drink more water. Be a better parent.

Sounds easy enough.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Chortle is into namecalling. He thinks its funny to make fun of other people. I really really can't stand that. It makes me madder than anything because he usually is picking on someone smaller and weaker.

Today it was the neighbor kid and the name was "big butt."

What do you do? I threatened him with names, but that defeats the purpose. I can't very well go around calling him poopy pants or something like that to teach him how bad name calling I retreated into what I know best....essays and lines. So Chortle wrote 100 lines of, "I will not call names."

It took him an hour. He worked hard at it and I was very proud of him. 100 lines...thats a tough pill to swallow...especially when your cousin is over to play.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Mr. Chucklehead turned 39 last weekend. Can you believe it!!! For his birthday he got a harmonica (which he asked for) and a handheld GPS (which he didn't ask for.) I got him the GPS because I discovered this great new treasure hunt for adults called geocaching. You have GPS coordinates and then people hide a cache and you go find it using the coordinates. So - very cool and I thought he might like it and I was RIGHT. We are now bonifide paying members of and our name is...yup...chuckleheads. We've found 5 sites. He's go every day if he could and loves travel'll just have to go there to read all about it. I bring all this up because our very first find we searched long and hard for the diabetes travel bug in honor of little Emma B and her new baby boy Ethan. Oh yeah and his daddy Jake should probably be included in there. Emma has had juvenile onset diabetes since she was 4...what a courageous kid she was and now she has a beautiful new baby boy...go visit their'll see he looks just like a Johnson. :)