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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Photo 75 - Birthday... Cake?

Each month, the City celebrates the birthdays for the month. Usually, we celebrate with cake and ice cream, but this year, we were asked if we had a preference. I'm not a big cake eater, so I requested Rice Krispie Treats.

This is not the first time I've requested them in lieu of the traditional frosted fare. No, that happened years ago with my mom. I wanted RK Treats and told my mom as much and when we got together for my birthday, I was disappointed to see her carrying out a large sheet cake.

I tried to put on a happy smile while everyone sang "Happy Birthday" and I blew out my candles, but inside I was rather disappointed. The one time I'd requested something, and I still got cake. At least, I figured, it was going to be carrot cake which was a close second to RK Treats, but... I don't know. I wanted the treats, ya know?

I blew out my candles and my mom handed me a knife and cake server and asked me to start dishing out cake to everyone. What happened next can only be explained by exhaustion, high-blood sugar coma, or a long-time questionable faith in my mom's cooking, but it was really hard to cut the cake. I literally had to saw into it!

I remember thinking maybe she'd burned the cake. I remember thinking after a few minutes that maybe she'd frosted Rice Krispie Treats for me. I never in my life would have conceived of what she'd actually done!

When my mom returned from her trip to the kitchen to get plates or somesuch, she stopped short in the living room and busted up laughing, almost as much from the fact that I'd tried for so long and so hard to cut the "cake" that I'd actually cut it, as to her practical joke.

She walked over to me, picked up the frosting (yes, that's right, the frosting), revealing a cake pan of RK Treats.

She'd frosted and decorated a box lid.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Photo 74 - Clothing Organization

Another shining example of my tendency toward ARO's disease-- otherwise known as anal-retentive organization. In my defense, however, doing this really does help with getting ready in the morning. And, for those of you worried that Short Person lacks a certain amount of expressional freedom, she does open up the packages and mixes and matches if she feels like Mommy completely lost her head over an outfit pairing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photo 73 - Spotted Dick

I was walking the aisles of Fred Meyer, thinking about how long it had been since I'd done a blog on "Shopping with Mel" and wondering what types of insightful things I could bring to your attention, when this caught my eye. After this, there was really no need to blog. I'm sure you can feel my hilarious horror through the computer. The saddest thing, is that the photo on the side of the package really resembles ground up... er... yeah.

I don't even want to know people. I don't even want to know.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo 72 - A Short Person Self-Portrait

Each Friday the students in Kindergarten Enrichment bring their poetry notebooks home. Each poem has a drawing that corresponds to it. I chose to photograph this one because it was a self-portrait Short Person had done of herself and I found it interesting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Photo 71 - Toilet Paper Roll Potion

Sometimes, I think the most terrifying words are "Mommy and Daddy. DON'T come into the bathroom. I'm trying something, and I'm not sure you'll like it. So... just stay there."

I saw nothing wrong with her doing whatever in the bathroom. I know her well enough to know she's not doing something she's TOTALLY not supposed to be doing-- like getting under the sink-- so we just let her be.

She said she'd been trying to create a "potion". With water, toilet paper, and a toilet paper roll, no less.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Photo 70 - Flowers for Drea

Flowers for Drea.
I probably would have preferred to skip a picture, but... I'm the proverbial Elephant in a Glass shop. I don't know why, but whenever I set out with the best intentions, things never go as planned.

The flowers didn't reach her in time. They said it was guaranteed same-day delivery, but the couldn't do it. No florist would deliver on a Sunday. She passed away later that day.

On Monday, heart-heavy, I received no less than three phone calls from the company telling me they had attempted delivery earlier that day, but that they needed a suite number. Even though I had talked to them each time and told them the circumstances, relaying that I would need to get ahold of a friend to get it and would call back, each person that called seemed to not have read the notes or communicated with anyone. I was forced to repeat the same thing over and over again.

What followed was the WORST customer service experience of my life.

When I finally received the email from my friend stating that at this time it would cause more pain that they needed, I attempted to cancel. They wouldn't allow it. I would have preferred to send the flowers to another of my friends who was hurting terribly, but without an address there was nothing I could do. So, I had them delivered here.

I hate that they are on my desk. I really do. Beautiful though they may be, the reason they are there is heart-wrenching.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo 69 - A Bejeweled Break-through

I reached the 200,000+ mark. A friend suggested I take a picture, since I may never see it again. I decided he was right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Photo 68 - Rest in Peace, Drea

I met Andrea, Drea as most of the Dreadnaughts called her, online. A group of women who were brought together by the love of one author, Judith McNaught. Later, I was privileged enough to meet her and spend time with her in person.

While you can get to know someone online, it isn't quite the same as being with them in person. Andrea was funny and witty and caring and smart online and in person, but in person she also had a spark of life that impacted everyone she met. Even years later, I can still remember with such clarity moments of being with her. In Houston, meeting Clay, her smiling and laughing at something being said while I took their picture. In Vegas, looking over her shoulder at me, her tiara sitting somewhat angled on her head and the feather boa wrapped around her shoulders. In a hotel room as she lay on the bed, a tired smile on her face.

The images are so strong in my head that I thought maybe I had photos of the moments and spent the weekend looking for them. But, I don't. They are memories in my mind that add substance to how indelible her spirit was.

Today, she lost her battle with cancer.

I hate cancer.

Something Wonderful was Drea's book. She was the Duchess of Hawthorne, in every way. For me, there will be no other that can remove her from that position. So here I sit, on the couch, tucking the photos I do have of her into the book, thinking...

Andrea, every time we looked at you we saw something truly wonderful. Rest in peace and may the heavens be lit with your smile.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photo 67 - Staci's Surprise Party

My friend Staci's surprise birthday party was today. This is another picture of some of my favorite people.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Photo 66 - Perched on a Truck

Short Person was really mad at me. We've been having some attitude problems now that school has started. Anyway, she was staying outside with her Daddy, and this was her perch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Photo 65 - Open House

Short Person's Open House. Showing Daddy her artwork.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Photo 64 - Calm in the Storm

Needing calm in the face of the storm, I reached out to those who knew him. In my life, I have been blessed with some of the most incredible friends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Photo 63 - LJS's Hands

LJS's Hands. Beautiful, aren't they?
I have a thing for men's hands. I always have. He and I often joke that the only reason I married him was for his hands. There's some truth to it *wink*

I've been working on gathering photos of my Top 10 List of Men's Hands and figured I'd start with his.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Photo 62 - Terrible, Horrible Door

The door Short Person couldn't open.
She had a pretty Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day!

Short Person and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

The following recollection is a narrative of the events of September 15, 2009.

Short Person woke up and started to get ready, looked at her clothes and declared she didn't have anything "cute" to wear. Mommy told her to get dressed anyway, and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Short Person wanted hot cocoa with her breakfast, but her mommy said they didn't have time, and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day.

When she got to school, she realized she was the last one there and told her mommy that she was tired of having the "late mommy" (officially, for the record, we were on time) and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day!

Even though Mrs. Bessler's class was fun, when it was time for recess she forgot to bring her lunch outside, and she knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

Mrs. Sunderland sent her back inside to get her lunch, and it was only on the way out that she realized she didn't know how to open the door, and she knew it was going to be a TerRibLe, hOrRiBlE, NO good, VERY BAD day!

Short Person went to knock on Mrs. Bessler's door, but there was no answer. She went into the office, and no one was there. So, she sat down on the stairs to cry and scream that it was a TeRRIbLE, HOrrIbLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY!

Someone finally heard her and let her back outside, so she ate her lunch and went back to class and learned as a group how to open the door. When her mommy came to get her, she asked her mommy to sign a contract stating that she NEVER had to go to Kindergarten Enrichment and eat lunch again! Her mommy said no, and she knew it was going to be a TERRIBle, HORRIBle, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY!!!

Later that night, she asked for hot cocoa again before bed and her mommy said they didn't have any, and Short Person knew this had been the most TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, WORSTEST, NO GOOD-EST DAY OF HER WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!!! and then went to bed.

The end.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photo 61 - Lunch Time Organization

Anal-Retentive Organization at its finest. Just in case you were wondering what it might look like.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Photo 60 - Scrapbooking Car Crunch

Today, I had a fabulous evening of scrapbooking. There was such peace and joy in being with a room full of women, of like mind, that you are totally comfortable with. I didn't get a great deal done, mostly just tried to get re-organized for next time (since I put it aside for a few months, much to my husband's consternation). But, I did finish the journal cards for our Christmas Ornaments album. FINALLY!

I even had a good time despite the fact that my car got crunched in the parking lot.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo 59 - But by the Grace of God

"But by the grace of God"

First person I thought of this morning, and the phrase I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Photo 58 - Short Person's First Dental Appointment

Short Person's first dental appointment. She got her teeth cleaned, and we got to discover how many cavities she had. Shortie was extremely curious about the tooth feeler and the polisher, but didn't care much for the water or suction.

Don't blame her on that one! I consider it one of life's top 10 tortures.

When we left, she wanted to know if she could come back the next day. Pretty good sign for enduring tooth health. I hope. Have to fill those cavities first!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Photo 57 - The Toy Fairy

Supernanny Owes me $50

This is a photo of the "gift" the toy fairy left Short Person. It is the conclusion of the above story. We did not get her both games she asked for since the expense was a little too much for us right now, but it didn't matter. She was absolutely thrilled to have found the gift in the tree.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photo 56 - A Mountain of "Stuff"

It took a bit of coaxing, but I'm impressed with my little girl. This mountain of toys and clothes all came from her room to be given away.

I'm particularly impressed with my tootsie-toes in the shot.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Photo 55 - Body Art

When confronted with the task of persuading a 5-year-old to spend 12 hours with you going through every one of her toys and articles of clothing, you will let her do anything. That includes drawing on your hand... and foot... and back.

She got very creative with the drawing on my back. On it, she drew a picture of a person saying "I hate you". The instructions were, if I were to run into a monster I should show him my back in order to scare him away.

Supernanny Owes Me $50

I really like Supernanny. True, the kids are probably coaxed and staged. True, they do a lot of editing to make a "show". But, even knowing this, I still like it. It makes for a great vaccination for the "I want another baby blues".

Last night's show was a rerun, which was okay since I had never seen it. The couple on television had six kids and a father who was leaving for a year an a half tour in Iraq. The second youngest was probably about two and still using a pacifier and one of the things Nanny Jo wanted to do was wean her off of it-- in one big splash movement! No easing into it.

The way they accomplished this feat was by telling the little girl that the binkie fairy was going to come that night and needed to collect the binkies to give them to all the new babies that needed them. Surprisingly, the little girl agreed and they set off on a search through the house to find them all. They put them in a bag, hung them in a tree, and told her that the fairy would come during the night and replace the binkies with a thank you gift.

Now, understand at the time that I was making Short Person clean out the toys in her room. She has lots of toys that no longer get played with, but that we haven't weeded out because she's sentimentally attached to them. A few days ago, I finally convinced her that we needed to go through them because she was getting older and her playtime fun had changed. She likes Barbies and color books and polly pockets, and we simply have no room to store these new items unless we do some fall cleaning. Which meant that her ability to collect new toys was going to diminish.

She was watching the show with me, and somewhere in her brain the fairy idea just "clicked". Since what I was thinking was that she'd want a new Barbie and some Barbie clothes, a total cost of maybe $10-$12, I went with it. Sold the idea that yes, we could hang all these toys outside and the same fairy would collect them for the little kids that needed them and then leave her a thank you gift.

"Great!", she said, and enthusiastically set about bringing toys into the living room to go into the bag. "I know exactly what I want! I'm going to leave the fairy a note!"

Turns out she wants two new Leapster games-- Tinkerbell and Ki Lan (sp?) Total cost? $50

So now, I'm trying to figure a way out of the hole I dug, while still accomplishing the task of toy weeding.


On another note about the same show-- and in no way am I making light of this scenario, which is way too much of a reality-- it was an emotional episode. The father, who was leaving for 18 months to a hostile country and war, was at odds with his teenage daughter. Unsure how to relate to her. There was a scene where they are finally communicating about the fears that they both had and crying.

Short Person looked at me and asked why they were so upset, to which I responded that they were afraid that the daddy wasn't going to come back home. Short Person looked at me and said, "Oh. I thought they were worried he was going to get dead."

*cough* So much for sugar coating the subject. Little too perceptive these days, I think.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photo 54 - More Painted Plate

Another day at The Painted Plate. We finished the necklaces and Short Person started a mug.

Title and Registration

I've long since realized that I was placed on this earth for God's amusement. It's a story that happened in a Bi-Mart parking lot and has continued on since that point. Someday, I'll tell the full details of how I came to the discovery that God needed humor and that I happen to play in a big gigantic comedy for life, but not today.

Today, I will just remind you that my life is very much the stuff great, long-running sit-coms are made of, and that I will forever be grateful to Staci for putting it that way. Because, although I see the amusement, it's easier to deal with the frustration when thinking about how wonderful an episode some trials would make.

Our story begins with the purchase of the new truck. A blue, Ford F150, with a full back seat. It was the major selling point for us, since it meant that we'd all be able to go, places that require a truck, together as a family. Christmas tree shopping might be a little less comedic, but we were willing to let that slide.

It wasn't cheap, and our savings account was going to take a bit of a dip. More than we were really comfortable with, but if we were able to sell our old truck fairly quick, it would only be really bad for a few weeks. LJS had a plan that we'd drive the new truck for a month to make sure it was what we wanted and then we'd put our old truck up for sale.

In a perfect world, it would have worked that way, but this isn't a perfect world.

As it turns out, we got an offer for the truck two days later from a good friend and co-worker of LJS's. Three days later, the truck was not in our driveway when I came home from work.

"Where's the truck?" I asked, somewhat miffed that I hadn't gotten to give myself that final assurance that I'd gotten everything out of it. Miffed because I was sentimentally attached to the truck and unable to say goodbye. Crazy, I know.

"Oh, Robert came and got it."

"You found the title and stuff okay?"

"No. I just told him we'd give it to him Monday."

I hesitated. "Well, are you sure the title's in the safe? I don't remember seeing it there."

"I do. It's okay."

"All right. Well, let's make sure we pull it out tonight so that we don't forget."

I went inside and started getting dinner ready. LJS went to open the safe and retrieve the title, coming back out a few minutes later.

"Umm... it's not there."

I just looked at him. Thinking, but not really willing to say it. I didn't think we had the title. Ever since we'd brought the new truck home the few days before, I had been thinking about when we'd had it transferred, searching my internal memory database. We had paid it off at the exact same time we had moved and I never remembered receiving it in the mail. But, I didn't want to say it. Not yet.

"Okay, I'll search the financial stuff tomorrow and see if it somehow got tucked into there."

Saturday, I looked through the box of papers and found a title, but it wasn't for the truck. It was for the boat and I gave it to LJS. "This is all I was able to find. I didn't want to say this, but... I don't think we ever received the title."

"Great. Now what do we do?" He's agitated and very well should be since the DMV clock had already started ticking on their deadlines for doing things.

"Don't worry. We just have to file for a replacement title. It'll be fine."

There was a brief discussion about how long it would take to get the replacement, with me biting my tongue about making sure you have things in order BEFORE letting something drive away, and about other things that have to do with new and old trucks. Then, a few hours later, I was looking on the DMV website for the necessary forms to fill out.

Some of the parts of the form require information from the old title. A title we no longer had, so I needed to call the DMV, which put us off until Tuesday since they are closed Monday. I called, only to be told that if the title was in LJS's name, they wouldn't be able to give me any information. Since I was fairly certain this was the case, I had him call a few minutes later.

He called back. "Babe, they are saying that there is still a lien on the truck with First Interstate Bank."

"Yep. That confirms my theory that we never transferred it. I don't think we got it."

"Now what do we do though."

I sighed, but accepted the challenge. "I don't know, but I'll figure it out. I'll call you back."

To make this very long story a bit shorter, I'm going to move to the highlights of what happened after.

First Interstate Bank no longer existed. Bad.
They were bought by Wells Fargo Bank. Good, since we'd been customers for about 20 years.
They couldn't find the lien. Bad.
I found someone at WFB to work with that had a "team" of problem solvers he could work with to find it. Good.
They needed the current registration for the truck in order to look it up. Fine. I could get this, or so I thought.
I called LJS to figure out where all the stuff that had been in the truck had gone, specifically the registration. He informed me he'd thrown everything away. On Friday. LAST Friday. And it was on week later and the garbage truck had already come. BAD BAD BAD.
I searched the box of financial papers again and managed to find a copy of the registration. Good.
I took it to WFB, only to be told it could take several days to locate the lien. Bad.
A few days later, the lien release letter arrived. Good.

And then finally, a lien release letter, bill of sale, $55.00, and a replacement title form later, we were able to give all the papers to Robert.

Two and a half weeks after he'd driven it out of our driveway, and one heck of a "surprised I didn't bonk LJS over the head with the cast iron skillet after he told me he threw the registration papers way" later!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Photo 53 - Lunch Time Practicing

Short Person's first day of Kindergarten. Since we've chosen for her to attend Kindergarten and Kindergarten Enrichment, we needed to practice a few things-- such as lunch. Since Kindergarten Enrichment doesn't begin until next week, I decided to go ahead and pack her up as though she were going to be there. Then, I sat and ate lunch with her to find out what things we'd forgotten. Napkins topped the list.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo 52 - Office Move In Day

Officially moved in, complete with Tea Pot People my mom makes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Photo 51 - Chocolate Lava Cake

Short Person and I went out to lunch after her orientation day at school. After eating all her Mac and Cheese, she declared she was still hungry, so we split dessert. There was no way to eat it all, but dang it was GOOD. Chocolate Lava cake with vanilla ice cream. YUM!