Sunday, September 28, 2008

Once upon a time, a very long time ago...

... (like about 17 years ago), in a far-away land called Oceanside, there lived three adorable babies named Aleks, Kat, and Jake. Once a week, the babies' mothers brought them to a neighborhood playgroup filled with all the babies that had been recently born in the Land of Oceanside -- and there were many of them.

And it was good.

When babies Aleks, Kat and Jake were almost two, baby Jake moved far, gar away to the Land of Barcelona in the far away country of Spain. Babies Aleks and Kat missed baby Jake (one would presume) and Aleks and Kat's mommy and daddy missed Jake's parents, who had become their dear friends. Not long after baby Jake and his family moved away, Aleks and Kat moved to the Pacific Northwest. When baby Jake's family moved back many years later, they moved far away from Jake's twin friends.

As the years passed, Jake's parents and Aleks' and Kat's parents kept in touch, but the babies grew up with nary a memory of their times together.

One day, when all the babies had grown into strong, handsome and independent young adults, Jake's mommy called unto Alek's and Kat's mommy to tell her that Jake had been accepted to attend the institution of higher learning in the Land of Seattle, where Aleks and Kat presently lived. Although Jake and Aleks and Kat were nonplussed, since they had no recollection of their friendship of years passed, their mommies were exuberant, looking forward to the day when their children would meet again.

That day came when Jake's mommy sent textiles and other goods to Aleks' and Kat's mommy's home and she brought said wares to Jake at his new home within the walls of a local fraternal order. Upon receiving the news that the textiles had arrived, the strapping lad who was Jake appeared at the the waiting chariot. No sooner had he come upon the chariot, than a beautiful maiden named Katherine stepped from it.

Sweet Maiden Kat and Strapping Lad Jake looked upon each other for the first time in 17 years on that day -- and the friendship that began as babies so many years before was instantly re-kindled. Aleks' friendship with Jake was also re-kindled, as Aleks swore his allegiance to the same fraternal order that Jake had sworn to earlier in the present month. So once again, many years since they met by chance as babies, Aleks (here with his befriended maiden), Kat, and Jake have met again as young adults and have again become fast friends.

We know not what the future might bring for our lifelong friends, but they enjoy knowing that, because of their parents' friendship, they were companions even before they could walk or talk.

What develops from here is up to them.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh, to Be THIS Organized!

I got on a plane here yesterday...

..and headed to Dad and Lou's new house in Ashland, Oregon to celebrate Dad's 80th birthday with family.

Now you'll see why I decided to make Dad a functional letter sorter!

This is my dad's workshop:

In Dad's life everything -- absolutely everything -- has a place. As a project manager, I aspire to such meticulous organization, but not sure I could ever achieve this!

Before Dad and Lou moved into their new house, Dad determined where all the furniture would go by this method, as presented by my brother.

He made a to-scale paper model of the house, then created to-scale paper furniture and just experimented.

The result is a beautifully decorated house that looks like it was built to accommodate each piece of Dad's and Lou's furniture!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Guest Blogging Today

My post, "Teen Drinking, Sex, Curfews, and Partying. (What We Do)," which I wrote last year, is a featured post at On the Flipside today. Head on over there and comment away!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dad's 80th birthday: What To Give the Man Who Wants (and Wants For) Nothing?

Memories, that's what. (And Dad, if you happen to be reading this.. stop right here!)

My dad and Lou recently moved to a new house, and in doing so, they freed themselves of unnecessary stuff -- both figurative and literal. (They'd been living in the house that my dad and mom shared, and although Lou knew and liked my mom, I think that house was probably a bit too full of her spirit.) So when Lou invited my brothers and me to come to Ashland, Oregon to celebrate Dad's 80th birthday next weekend, I had no idea what to give him that wouldn't end up being just another thing.

My dad is fastidiously organized (I come by it honestly) and is a firm believer in everything having its place -- especially paperwork. So I spent the weekend making him something that's both functional and sentimental.

I started by scanning and otherwise collecting photos from my family's past -- pictures of my three brothers and me from our early childhood through now. I also gathered photos of group shots of my parents and brothers and me. Then I gathered photos of my dad's eleven grandchildren and printed black and white versions of all the photos on regular printer paper. (Cheap and easy!)

I had bought an unfinished letter sorter at the local crafts store and "assigned," by way of photographs, each of my three brothers and me a slot, so Dad can organize letters and articles that he sends to each of us.

I then brushed Modge Podge over the photos to provide both glue and a shiny coating.

It only dries to a shine though; it's nerve-wracking to put this white glop on photos because it seems like it will never dry clear and smooth!

After finishing adhering the the individual photos to the "mail slots," I added group photos of my birth family to the sides of the box.

At the very, very tippy-top of the box, I added a tiny silhouette of Mom... just sort of my quiet tribute to her. There are a few photos of her with the rest of the family, but I just like the silhouette of her and wanted to find a place for it. Lou wouldn't mind; Lou knew and liked my mom.Then I added photos of Dad's grandchildren to the front of the letter holder -- individual shots, group shots, cousins, siblings... every which way!

Then I added black velvet ribbon to the edges and borders and voila! I hope he likes it!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Where'd Everyone GO?"

Poor Shasta just doesn't understand.
Shasta considers Kat her mommy because, from the second they met at the "puppy farm," there was a connection.
We all show Shasta plenty of affection, but petite little Kat is the only one who regularly holds Shasta -- who is now a good solid 80 pounds! And now Kat's gone most of the time and poor Shasta just doesn't understand.

Elisabeth, who was already in college when we got Shasta, is more the crazy aunt who regularly drops by to spoil Shasta rotten with a trip to the dog park a run around Green Lake. Shasta knows that Elisabeth will allow her on the couch and that, when Elisabeth's home, Shasta doesn't even have to stay on her cable outside.
So Shasta waits. She waits for her sisters and brothers to come home from school... but they just don't show up like they used to, and poor Shasta just doesn't understand.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte is Back!

So I take back what I said about Fall. Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte is back and all is good with the world!

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The Pacific Space Science Needle Center Turns Six!

I took this shot from the education wing of the Pacific Science Center last weekend:

Why were we there, you ask? Because Jack turned THIS many and had a rip-roarin' science party!

Is he the most adorable kid EVER, or what?! (Well, my own not included, because that wouldn't be objective!) I'm tellin' ya, Rebekah, he's a star! Get that paperwork in! ;-)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Noooooo -- I'm Not Ready for This!

No, this isn't another post about empty nest.

It's... THIS:

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Elisabeth and Kat have always been close (yet very different)... and apparently Elisabeth is always on the left in photos and Kat is always on the right! Interesting.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dad-oration: Then and Now

I've started on a new project: digitizing thousands of family photos taken over the past 25 years. It'll be an ongoing process for at least a few months, so brace yourselves -- you might be getting to know our family THEN as well as now!

I had to post these pictures of Peter and Tom, who have always been absolutely connected. I just love this picture taken when Peter was about four. If this ain't the look of love, I don't know what is!

Fast-forward a few years, and this is what you get:

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Don't Wanna Talk About It, Okay?! Part (no) Drei (eyes)

Part one, the day Peter flew the coop, occurred exactly a month ago.

Part two, the day Kat took flight, occurred almost exactly two weeks ago.

And now look at Aleks, packing for college in a bunch of garbage bags (as any good frat boy will do):
(I think the fact that I'm hot-flashing fast and furious through it all is cruel... just really, really cruel!)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Make-Up Sleep, Kitty Style

They say never go to bed angry, but Boo and Bailey must have had a cat-spat today because I found them like this:

Boo's a typical guy: he's got way too much pride to just say, "I'm sorry, Bailey. I know you saw the mole first, and I should have let you do that cute little lady-pounce you do, but I just... I just -- god, it's the HUNTER in me, baby! I'm sorry, Bai."

Instead, he tries to sneak in a little debonair maneuver. He tests the waters...

But Bailey's not falling for it. She's been here before. "Oh brother (father/husband... whatever you are), do you think I'm falling for this? Gimme a break."

"Although I must admit... your pawsies are kinda cozy right... there. And, well --damn... I forgive you, Boo. Just next time, let me get the mole. I'm soooo beyond moths! G'night."

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Wassup, Wasilla?!

Just noticed this on my FeedJit site:

Now WHO in Wasilla, Alaska would have any interest in this l'il ol' measly blog?!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Practicing for Noni-hood

So I didn't get to go back to Germany today, but I did get to babysit for sweet baby Nora, the daughter of my co-worker, Rebekah -- and that made the day very nice indeed!

Rebekah had a late afternoon meeting, so I picked up Nora at daycare and brought her to her mama... but only after we did some ladies' shopping and some cooing and giggling and generally made fools of ourselves. (You're right -- a four-month-old really can't make a fool of herself, so I pretty much committed the foolery for both of us.)

She wasn't so sure when I first picked her up: "Can I see some identification, lady?"

But she warmed up to me pretty quickly, and then it was all about showing off those adorable BABY BLUES!I swear, girls have an innate instinct for the camera. I said, "Say cheese!" and she knew exactly what to do!
Right in the middle of our antics, who should show up, but the Big Boss-man (on the left) and two of my co-workers! Of course everyone wanted a cuddle!

(OK, not true -- only the grrrrrrls really wanted a cuddle...)

And then Nora's mama showed up and I had to relinquish my baby-fix to her adoring mommy. It was painful!
So I'm practicing to be a Noni (a cross between "Nana," Tom's mom and "Omi," my mom) because really, I might just be one within five years! I'll just be getting used to empty nest, and then all the chickidees will find their way to Noni's Nest... I HOPE!

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