Wednesday, December 31, 2008
You have come such a long way to get to this point in your life today. You have traveled so many miles on a journey filled with so much, including sorrow and happiness, pain and joy, defeat and victory.
Lay down everything that is a burden. And turn everything else over to a power greater than yourself.
It is a time for peace.
It is a time for love.
It is a time for joy.
Today I know that I am at choice. Today I have all the willingness... all the energy and all the guidance I need to continue to choose the path of peace and love and joy.
Happy New Year.
Monday, December 29, 2008
It was a very Merry Christmas.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Notice the blue neon sign: "ALL ARRIVALS." Shouldn't be too hard to find who you are picking up. Now, the IF airport has been renovated but when I came it wasn't an airport. It was a room. And this was it.
How could you talk for 1084 minutes! 18 hours! And for only $20. In PA it $20 might get you 20 minutes. MAYBE half hour. And where in SAM hill did they come up with 1084 minutes. Not exactly a nice round number.
In case you can't read it, the sign on for real estate says "PERSONALIZED DRIVE BY LIST." My mom and I couldn't get over it. Maybe because in Pittsburgh "drive by" normally refers to a shooting and a death. In Idaho it means.... what exactly. I don't know.
Fireworks are illegal. All kinds. They are illegal and they are dangerous. But, not here! Here you can buy them on every street corner all summer long.
This is my brother-in-law Nick. Standing on the back of his car. Watching as he gives someone directions. You see you can stand on the back of your car and do that here because there are no trees. And no one cares. It's not vandalizing some one's property or anything like that.
This is Nick's dad, Phillip. He made us dinner our first or second night. I thought it came off the chuck-wagon! Now, of course, I know dutch oven is some of the best cooking around.
And who knew horns were decorations? Not I, said the Patty.
For you natives. I am not scoffing. I am not poking fun. I am pointing out differences. I love my life in Idaho. It's nothing I ever expected. And pretty much every Friday night when Ken asks what I want to do for date night... Eat n' Park comes to mind.
Monday, December 8, 2008
*P.S. This picture does my pain no justice.
Friday, December 5, 2008
When I went inside Ken asked if I would mind running to Albertson's to get some eggs for the meat loaf. So, me and my newly cleaned car take a jaunt to Alby's (as Karlenn calls it). It was there in the parking lot I heard it. The Salvation Army Bell Ringer. I watched her for awhile before getting out of my car. She looked at everyone and smiled and rang her bell hoping someone would drop a few pennies in. I was really surprised by how many people avoided her. Some people went in the out doors. Some people zoomed by her looking the other way- yeah, couldn't even look at her! Sheesh! Some people looked at her a shrugged as if to say, "Sorry- I can't even spare a dime." Now, I know that some people really can't spare a dime. Some people live on a really tight budget. But some people can! Some of those people were probably going into Albertson's to buy snacks! Or Egg Nog! Not necessities! And on the Bell Ringer rang.
So, I hefted up my bucket and headed straight for her. I was ready to dump all my change into that little red bucket. I walked up to her and told her Merry Christmas and started putting my change in. She was so happy and very conversational. She asked all about my Christmas plans and where I found all this change and if I had kids and on and on. It just brightened my day. A family with some little kids walked by and they asked their mom if they could have change to give to the lady. She told them no. So, I (overstepping my boundaries) told them they could help me put some of my change in. The mom let them do that and soon we were all talking about Santa and Christmas and giving to people.
It was such a cool experience. Putting change into a red bucket. It changed my whole night! I walked into Albertson's beaming. Waving to strangers, whistling Christmas carols, helping people reach things on high shelves! I was the epitome of Christmas Cheer! And I am planning on keeping it that way. So- scrooges beware!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
A turkey sat on the backyard fence
Singing a sad, sad tune.
Thanksgiving Day is coming gobble gobble gobble gobble
And I know I'll be eaten soon
Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble
I don't like Thanksgiving Day
Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble
I would like to run away!
You can repeat it as many times as you'd like. (If there is another Thanksgiving Day song out there I'd love to hear it.) Unlike this sad little turkey in the song, Ken and I had a fantastic Thanksgiving Day break.
We went to Boise to spend the holiday with his Mom. We got there around 7 on Wednesday night and had potato soup with her and Tracy. Tracy is her boyfriend. Now, I never told her and maybe I haven't told you but I LA-HOVE potato soup. The creaminess. It's so filling. We visited for awhile and then me and Kenner headed over to our hotel. We're not stuck up- and we love our family.... but I also really like making every mini trip a vacation. PLUS (!!) we got to swim. Everyday twice a day. I'll admit, this was my first year swimming on Thanksgiving Day! It was pretty cool.
For the holiday Mom also invited her friend Debbie over. They don't like turkey (crazies) so we had prime rib. The crust on that piece of meat... spectacular. There was mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and cranberry stuff. And pies. Wow- were there pies. Apple, lemon custard, pumpkin, and a cheesecake. All those pies for 5 people! But believe me, I wasn't complaining. One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is watching the dog show. It's on AFTER the parade. I like placing bets on who I think will win. Even though the judges pick the same breeds every year. Constantly picking the Husky! Those judges! This year Best in Show went to the Pointer. Definately a spectacular and adorable dog- but- I didn't think he should have one the whole sha-bang. They had a gorgeous Samoyed. Gorgeous.
We spent the day with his mom and that night Ken and I ventured out to the Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of Boise. It was amazing! They decorate the whole thing- every branch is smothered with Christmas lights. They are playing Christmas music and they give out cocoa and cider and it was a good kick-off to Christmas. (Not to mention incredibly romantic.) Ken bought me a little star ornament as a memento.
Friday, Tammy took us to the Festival of Trees. Different companies or people donate decorated trees to St. Al's and the money raised goes to medical research. All I can say is, there will be plenty of research done this year! There were over 200 trees! And these trees go for thousands of dollars! THOUSANDS! There are different prizes given out and, of course, there is a People's Choice. I voted for a red and gold super over the top tree. But now, I am wishing I voted for the S'more tree. It was really cool. Decorated with s'more stuff! Graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows. Pretty incredible.
We swam one more time before hitting the highway back home.
If you want an exciting ride drive across the state of Idaho. Thrilling.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Here's a view of the room. I am serisouly thinking of mailing all of this the New Era. Or maybe starting a business. I think there is some real talent here.
Here are the awards we gave. We ordered them off of Oriental Trading. 12 for 11 bucks! Dylan calls them Piston Cups. Karlenn made personalized labels for them. When the girls gave their "acceptance speeches" a few of them held these above their heads and thanked their parents, the academy, etc.
We even got the leaders to dress up! Don't they look killer?
Here's me. As Liza. Glam Queen. Super hot.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We all know coming up with the idea is the hardest part. But after only one day of extreme brainstorming we decided to do a Night at the Oscars and it sky-rocketed from there. We were going to give each girl an award for the project she worked on this year, there was going to be a red carpet, fancy dinner music, elegant appetizers, and, best of all, everyone was to wear formals. How many times do we get to dress up now that we are over 18. (Some well over 18.) I have to admit we came up with a million ideas and I didn't think we'd be able to pull off half of them. But, Karlenn and I put our shoulders to the wheels and didn't look up until it was done.
First... the room. We hosted the event in the Kodak Theater (aka the primary room.) We sent up 5 round tables with white table cloths for the girls to dine at with their parents while they watched the award show. Each table was divinely decorated with centerpieces (Thanks Sheree.) that included those white/clear flat marble things, a white candle, and gold or silver star garland. Then we had 5 fake trees decorated with white Christmas lights, stars of random sizes hanging from the ceiling, and strands of Christmas lights around the room to illuminate our evening. We even decorated the primary podium to make it seem more "real." We found these cool old film reels in the library and decided that they were there for our use so we hung one from the podium and draped the whole thing in red velvet. (It was really a red plastic table cloth... but totally could have passed for velvet.)
Then... our appetizers. We kind of went over board- but why the h not?! It was the Oscars for crying out loud. We had mini quiches, those cold deli swirls (from Sam's) that are Soooo good, and mini cheesecake squares. To drink, there was sparkling apple juice in champagne flutes. I'd say the cheesecake was the biggest hit. I gather this because there was not one piece left! We got 65 squares. We only have 5 girls. Yeah. Can't blame them though. Me and Kar sat at a table by ourselves and we scarfed down all 12 of ours no problem-o.
Finally... the girls. They looked fantastic. I loved seeing them dress up and get excited and act like movie stars. They needed a little motivation at first to get silly. Who better to provide that than me? I was told numerous times I looked like Liza Minnelli. I wore a short black wig and tried to make my eyes look really big via makeup. I had on a glittery gold pants suit with a white fur coat and tacky tacky jewelry. Karlenn wore what she has dubbed "The Chinese Dress." She looked great. It was long and tight and green and she had her hair all curled and topped the ensemble off with bright red lipstick. (I bet it was hard to keep Ben off of her! Wowzers!!) All of the girls really delivered. I thought the beehives were the cutest. We had some old formals for them to wear- but told them they had to be modest. I figured they would wear a little sweater or shawl over their shoulders. Nope! They both opted for white t-shirts UNDER their dresses. It was adorable. Every one looking smashing. Seriously, over the top.
It was night for the history books. It was a ton of work- but I really liked making it so special for the young women. I could tell it meant a lot to them (and their parents). Couldn't have done it without Kar.
Now I am just waiting for the next opportunity to wear my wig. It makes me feel like a different, "wilder" me.
P.S. Don't worry... I taught the young women how to suck the helium right out of those balloons. They thought they were "high" when we were through.
Monday, November 24, 2008
2. Two shows I love to watch: King of Queens and Wheel of Fortune. Do you know that the lightning round starts everyday at 6:49. Not 6:48. Not 6:50. 6:49. On the dot. Pat gives the wheel it's final spin.
This is my father in law. We were coming down off Table Rock and I couldn't seem to get my camera to work. He was ready to help out. He always is. He's an extrordianry man.
I was walking around my house and just couldn't shake these chills! I put on sweats and tucked my pants into my socks (excellent insulator). Still cold. So I put a sweater on over my sweatshirt. STILL cold. I put a ski hat on. STILL COLD! I walked around covered by our huge love blanket but, the temperature didn't seem to phase Ken. He continued walking around in his basketball shorts, an un-matching T shirt, and black socks. Happy as a lark. For 4 days I froze. Then I checked the thermostat. 55 DEGREES! The heat had "mysteriously" been turned off. I cranked that puppy up to 80 and waited for Ken to get home. He wasn't two feet in the door when that cock-eyed son of a gun said, "Why is the heater on?" "Because it's 30 degrees outside!" "We're not turning it on until Thanksgiving!" "Hells Bells we're not! I'm freezing." "If Sean and Rachel can do it- we can do it too! You need to learn to be grateful." I spent the rest of the evening cold- with no heater on- trying to convince Ken I was grateful for heat and I would be even more grateful if he would let us use it. But, no.
I think somehow this is his way of getting one up on those two. So, a special chilly thanks to Sean and Rachel. You have reduced our utility bill- but caused some serious Popsicle toes.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Rusty's new address 2706 1/4
So, we inherited a little apartment for him from Ken's dad. It's nothing big. Just a one bedroom, studio-style apartment. It needs a little freshening up, but Rusty loves it. We wants to show everyone his new pad. He loves to run in and run out and run in and run out. He's moved all his toys in there and is insisting on eating in there too. I don't know if I should put my foot down on the eating or what. I crawled in to see how spacious it was and Rusty made it quite clear I was not welcome and this was his space and he doesn't go crawling into my bed--- at least not while I am looking.
Luckily, he didn't move too far away (he's under the back deck). So, he does come and visit us when he can, but we just have to face it... our little pup is growing up.