Snippets of life

  • It’s been a very strange “spring” here.  The constant rain and grey skies are downright depressing.  Last night there was snow falling on Snoqualmie Pass!  This is simply unheard of  in June.  For the first time that I can remember, I haven’t filled my back deck containers/pots with flowers- yet.  Digging in mud is simply not appealing to me.  I have three hanging baskets and haven’t had to water them at all — Mother Nature is doing it for me.   We are used to rain around these parts, but it’s been a daily occurrence now since last October.  Sigh.   Hovering in front of our heat dish in June is crazy!
  • When we first told people that we are going to Palm Springs for a week in July,  they thought we were nuts.  After all, we all know what the weather is like there in mid-summer… blistering hot!   Guess what?  We’ve begun to hear a few “got room for us?” comments passing people’s lips!  We’ve decided that if all the summer we get is that one week in Palm Springs, then that will be OK.  At least we’ll have had a week of sunshine, swimming, and cook outs.  Yeah…. we’ll call it our “compact summer”.
  • I love feeding the wildlife around here (except the deer which annoy me no end).  I’ve had quite an array lately of large and small creatures, squirrels, hummingbirds, and other birds of many types.  The latest being a Western Tanager.  They love the sunflower seeds and suet that I put out regularly.  The hummingbirds have been devouring the sugar syrup in the feeder lately – probably in shock at the cold temps and trying to just stay fueled! 
  • Work has been particularly difficult lately.  I LOVE my job – and I’m not just saying that.  I work at a great place with exceptional people, doing something I dreamed of ever since I was a little girl.  No, it’s true!  When I was about 10, my mom and I used to volunteer one Sunday a month in the church “nursery”.  I was crazy about babies and it was my only chance to be around them.  Who’d have known that I would spend my entire career (now pushing  29 years) taking care of babies?  I believe it was divine intervention… but I digress.  Life at work has been really tough of late.  A series of extremely unfortunate events has happened involving people from work.  One nurse died quite suddenly and unexpectedly – and that really shook us all.  Since then (that was last month), there have been at least four other really sad and difficult things happen to either one of us or our significant others.   Every day we look at each other and ask quite literally “what could be next?”  In the mean time, I think we are appreciating each other a little more, and looking at each day as more of the gift that it really is.
  • We had a fantastic weekend two weeks ago when son #2 and dear DIL were here!  The guys went golfing and the girls did a bit of shopping 🙂  It was really extra special when DIL went with me – and encouraged me – to get some of my long, wild hair chopped off.  Never having had a daughter to hang out with, it’s sure been fantastic to now have my dear DIL!  Woohoo! 
  • Speaking of my dear DIL, has anyone ever heard of Silpada jewelry?  I’ll admit that I hadn’t, and I’m not a really big jewelry lover or wearer… however – this stuff is gorgeous!  She is getting into doing the Silpada home parties and I’m hoping to have one in August.
  • While “the kids” were here visiting, I made a really yummy breakfast casserole!  I took a couple pictures which I haven’t downloaded yet, but if they turn out, I plan to do a post featuring it plus the recipe, of course.
  • On the subject of food…………. I think I’ve mentioned in earlier posts how much I like Martha Stewart’s EVERYDAY FOOD magazine.  This month they have a recipe that I want to highly recommend.  I made it on Sunday evening, and honestly, it was so delicious!  It’s from issue 52, May 2008.  “Flank steak with asparagus and snap pea stir fry”   Long name, but not too many ingredients, and super yummy.  We left out the 4 cloves of garlic because we were both going to work the next day and it still turned out to be SO flavorful! 
  • I’m thinking that may be enough ‘snippets’ for this time.   Time to have a wander outside and breathe in some of the freshest air in the world.  Yup, one good thing about the rain, it REALLY cleans the air and our air is nearly medicinal,  it’s so clean 🙂
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December weather and other musings

winter-road.jpgGood grief, it’s been MUCH too long since I’ve made a blog entry.  I totally skipped over Thanksgiving, and here we are on the fast track towards Christmas!  Ok, time for updates.  Thanksgiving was my only holiday off work this year, and we were happy to share it with both son and daughter in law, as well as a large group of neighbors!  We did a potluck at our next door neighbor’s home, and it all turned out wonderful.  Family, friends, good food – a grand success. 

Last week, Hubby and I made a two night getaway to Las Vegas.  Got the airfare/hotel really cheap through one of those “cut-rate” airlines… “Allegiant Air”.  We had a lot of fun, saw two shows (my favorite thing in Las Vegas), donated a small amount of $$ to the Las Vegas economy, enjoyed a couple of two-for-one buffets, and then were more than ready to head home.  Yup, two days in Vegas is about all we can take.  It’s the perfect length of time to stay there, unless you have never been, and then you need a bit more time to see all the cool stuff.  Anyway, we arrived in the airport, all ready to head home…. but encountered a SIX HOUR DELAY!  I about went nuts.  When you arrive 3 hours early (and it’s a good thing we did, as the place was MOBBED, and the Allegiant Air desk took forever to check people in – due to a “new computer system” – which they need to get rid of, PRONTO!) and then get stuck sitting around for an additional 6 hours, NOT due to weather, but due to NOT HAVING A FLIGHT CREW there…. well, it was a REAL test of patience.  I think the moral of that story was… You get what you pay for.  We flew non stop, round trip to Vegas and had two nights hotel for approx $180 apiece.  Unbelievably cheap.  Again I say… “you get what you pay for”.  We arrived home about 2 am, totally exhausted.  And…. just to top it off, as we arrived, the snow was just beginning to fall.  Snow up here in the northwest corner of the state is a dreaded word.  We freak out when it snows, because it happens so rarely.  We got 6 inches overnight.  No big deal right?  Wrong.  Where we live (up on a hill), our “homeowners association” refuses to plow.  It is totally senseless.  One winter (2005) we were literally trapped in our home for a full week because NO VEHICLE could go either up or down the hills.  I remember thinking… “it’s a darn good thing that we don’t need an ambulance, or a refill of a necessary medication!”.   That year we had quite a bit more than 6 inches.  OH, did I mention that we purchased a 4WD vehicle from son and daughter in law over Thanksgiving?  Yup.  We wanted to be able to get in and out of here when the inevitable snow fell.     Well, the snow fell this time on Saturday.  Sunday morning rolled around and guess who needed to be at work at 7am?  Yes, me.  I put on my boots, brushed the snow off the new 4WD, and began to head down the hill, very slowly, very carefully, in 4WD-low.  Then I began to slide.  There was pretty much nothing I could do….  when it finally stopped, I was still in the road and decided, I would back up and go down a different hill.  Ha!  I did manage to back up a ways, but ended up like a total idiot in the yard of the people who happen to live at the top of the hill.  I called the hospital when I realized I was not going to be able to get out of the yard/driveway… and said, I was so sorry but I was stuck in snow and would not make it to work.  They were very understanding and didn’t read me the riot act for being such a dummy.  I got out of the car at 5am, and trudged on back up the hill to home.  Thank heavens I was wearing my boots.  About 2pm that afternoon, hubby was able to get the car out, as the RAIN had started and much of the snow had melted.

The next day (Monday) I was again scheduled to work.  We had a HORRIBLE storm over Sunday night into Monday (and all day Monday too).  I did make it to work, although the wind was so strong, I felt like I was going to be blown off the road numerous times, and the rain was pouring down in buckets.  There has been lots of very serious flooding in our state, but thank the Lord, it did not affect us here… on our hill.  I guess there are some advantages to being up high – as long as it’s not snowing!

Today Hubby and I went into town and got 4 new Mud & Snow tires put on the new vehicle.  Theoretically, it should be much safer to drive in the snow now….  I’m sure I’ll get another chance this winter to “try them out”! 

I love this time of year…. the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I also hate this time of year.  I feel like there is so much I need to do.  Today we did a bit of Christmas shopping – and it seems like we are just at the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Oh I did get some stuff ordered online, and honestly, online shopping is a Godsend!  This year it is our turn to host the annual neighborhood Christmas Party.  I love planning parties – I guess I just need to get a bit more organized so I won’t feel so darned stressed out.  I decided for one thing, to use already made appetizers from Trader Joe’s and Costco instead of making everything myself.  That will help!  And, I’ve purchased the “prizes” for the “Ugly Sweater” contest, as well as the “Christmas Karaoke” contest.  The “White Elephant” gift should be easy…. we have lots of stuff around here that I wouldn’t miss!  My problem is that I love to get people really nice things that I know they will really like – and sometimes I drive myself crazy, trying to find the “perfect” item.  I think I need to let that go — if I want to save my sanity. 

Wishing everyone a PEACEFUL Christmas season…. Calm and Bright.  🙂