Thursday, January 27, 2011

Family Ties

Every single day for the last week has been a bit insane. We were blessed to have my husband's father in town, so it has been a lot of driving and adventuring and eating. I gained three pounds in a week. Seriously. In other words, it has been awesome.

We attended a Belgian beer festival on Saturday- and we couldn't have had a better time. My brother came up to visit (his second time in the four years we've lived here), so the four of us ventured off to try all sorts of delicious brews. I took one for the team and decided on being the designated driver- and it was a blast, even sober. The few beers I did try were phenomenal - Rogue's Menage-a-Frog was a favorite, as well as Georgetown Brewing Co's Braggot.

On Sunday we drove down to a gun show. Honestly I was a little apprehensive, as I had never been to one of these events.. and I was hesitant to walk in the door as a female non-conservative... but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone was to me. I was a bit blown away by how many people tried to sell me a pink gun though. Just because I am a woman does not make me prone to buy a crappy pepto-bismal colored firearm, just so you know.

While the hubs was away working his crazy hours, we also took a drive to my hometown (We drove by your house, Mrs. M, and I waved for memory's sake!). I sometimes miss living in Sequim, I really do.. but I don't know if I could live so far away from Seattle. I'm starting to get attached to the niceties that we have here.

So it's been a very full and wonderful week.. and I'm so sad that my father-in-law is back down in Vancouver. I am thrilled that we have him in Washington at all though. I think it's especially good for my husband to spend as much time with his father as possible. We all know how short life is, and you never know how long we have with the ones we love.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I'm come to the conclusion that I need to start giving back. I am so blessed, I have everything I need in my life and I'm healthy and happy. Now that I'm at this point, I really want to start giving back.

What would I do? Not sure, but my contenders so far:

1. Salmon - It may sound weird, but salmon have always been linked closely to my life. They're a sacred fish to me- they remind me of my family and of my life. There's a group that gets together once a month to help clear known salmon runs.

2. Teaching English as a Second Language - This requires a lot of thought, as the commitment is a big one. Twice a week for at least a year. But it's something that could really change someone's life- helping someone to be able to communicate with the people around them... It'd be a wonderful thing.

3. Local Library - We have a new and gorgeous library being built 2 blocks away. It'd be nice to help them out.

4. Purrfect Pals - The hubs and I want to use our professional quality equipment to help a nonprofit organization find homes for abandoned felines. They were able to help us when we had no other options... We owe it to them to give back. We have already been in contact with them, so this volunteer project is officially on its way.

5. Community Garden - There's a community garden in Redmond that donates food to the hungry. I desperately want land so I can grow my own food, but realistically this isn't going to happen anytime soon. I can use this urge to play in the dirt for good, and not just for my own stomach.

So there you have it - 5 things that have been weighing on my mind. I want to make this year a good year, not just for myself but for the people around me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Long Live the Snaggle!

I had a moment of verve the other day and scheduled an orthodontist appointment. Today was the day, so at 11am (1/11/11 at 11am! har har) I ventured off to see what technological advances have been made in orthodontics in the last 13 or so years.

Apparently not much. At least not that would help me.

Because of the way my teeth were treated, the orthodontist is hesitant to even touch my teeth. And due to the lower crowding he suggested removing one of my lower teeth (um, what?) to make more room (why can't you just move them forward where they were? They were in a perfect position at one point...).

And to be fair, he did take imprints and will be trying to figure out a plan of attack that will work for me. I have an appointment next week to discuss my options (if any). I just don't understand how my dentist was so "your teeth are awesome, everything is in basically the right place, it should be an easy fix to straighten them out" and yet I walk into an orthodontist's and they're all "hmm, yeah, I don't think I want to work on your teeth. kthxbye."

Okay, okay. I'm not an orthodontist. So I really don't have a clue as to how the magic really happens. All I know is that I walked away feeling completely depressed that I may be banished to a life as a snaggletooth forever.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Message to Myself.

One of my new year's resolutions is to work on my language.

Not even learn another language.. no... I need to refine my current one.

I've always been one to get a kick from saying zingers, hilarious (to me) insults, jokingly teasing people. It is more apparently when I'm nervously hanging around people I'm uncomfortable with. I'm not sure what to say so I opt for something silly and sometimes hurtful. And then I spend the next 3 days lamenting why I said such things, ultimately hating the person I become when I'm around other people. And I love to rant.

And perhaps it's my new found religious tolerance (yes, I'm cultivating that too!), and perhaps it's a cornerstone of a philosophy that I respect...

But I'm done. I don't want to be a backbiter. And I don't want to be so negative. Teasing people isn't really all it's cracked up to be, either. An unknown sage once said "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people."

So I'm determined to at least be average.

And I can't help but feel that I'm not the only person who needs to clean up my language.

("Venomous Political Rhetoric" can be exchanged with all sorts of things, including "Slander" and "Malicious Teasing" and "Rants of Frustration." Or, even "Words." All words have impact- it's time I choose my ammunition more carefully.)

If you've paid any attention to the news lately, you'll know what this cartoon is in response to...

And while the insults keep flinging from side to side, I can't help but think that all of this hatred really began in our own living rooms. Who do we have to blame for all of this mud flinging? And what happens when people actually believe our rants of frustration and irritation?

What if our politicians are merely our caricatures? When did it ever become okay to be so hateful to one another? And is it really ever in our best interest to be rude to another person?

Being Prepared: Part II

The loot from Cheaper Than Dirt has arrived, and we are reasonably ready for a natural disaster.

Three. Boxes. Of. Stuff.

All sorts of goodies in here- CB and am/fm radios, magnesium flints, compasses, two different types of blankets, MRE's... you name it and chances are it's somewhere in this photo.

Including stuff to help deal with radiation from a nuclear attack. And wool blankets to keep us warm.

And platoon kits stuffed full with medical supplies, hopefully enough to keep us and our neighbors patched up if necessary.

"But how on earth would you carry all of this?" In a molle style backpack, of course!

I can't believe how much stuff can be packed into that backpack. When I saw those boxes I thought I had over-ordered. But much to my surprise, everything packed away neatly. I have enough supplies for the two of us to survive comfortably for about a week. If we were to ration, it could last us much, much longer.

Hello 2011 - I'm hoping this is a year of feeling secure and prepared for whatever life throws at us.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Being Prepared

Life has been good to us lately. A little too good. I'm not one to be suspicious (this may be a lie) but anytime things go too smoothly I start to worry.

What would happen if my husband left me?
What would I do if a giant earthquake hit?
How do I survive chemical warfare?

You know, the typical housewife-y stuff.

So today I spent a good chunk of my day preparing survival kits. If we are ever in a bad situation that we have the good fortune to survive the initial blow, it'd be nice to have the tools and supplies needed to stay alive.

I ventured to my most favorite of favorites NRA supporting army surplus survival outfitters ( and dropped exactly $333.14.

What did we get? I'll do more than tell you- I'll show you. In about 3-5 business days. But in the meantime, talk to your friends and your family. Are you prepared for the unexpected?

Happy New Year!

2010 might have been the greatest year of my life. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't the least bit sad to see it go... but here's to a whole new year and a whole new slew of opportunities.

In the words of my favorite Neil Gaiman :
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

I'll drink to that.