31 March 2010

Putting the question to rest

I am pleased to report,
to declare, and to state,
that contrary to my previously,
and frequently expressed lament,
that I might not meet my new niece,
Kayci Joy, until she is in high school,
that THIS very weekend, I will prove my own
predictions obsolete. Unless, of course, something
happens to prove otherwise, B and I will head to Fargo
to meet our precious niece and hopefully prove to her how
very much she loves us (smile) while being reminded how much
we love her. That part will not be difficult. But I am every shade
of excited.
Yes, I am equally excited to see my other nieces too, and hang out
with two of my three sisters. (We will miss you Jen!)
It is all part of the wonderful celebration
of this very Holy week.
And I am grateful to participate in it all.

29 March 2010

We DID consider paying someone else to do the work...

I will say this about my dear husband,
he is a trooper.
When the dishwasher installation
wanted the best of him,
he kept at it. Dishwasher install successful!
When the new bathroom light fixture came out of the box
bent and mangled,
he simply returned it and hung it in place anyway.
And when the replacement faucet revealed that the existing
copper piping was longer than needed,
he returned to the hardware store yet another time.

I am his biggest fan. Go you, B! I can't thank you
enough for all your efforts and expertise!

25 March 2010

in the category of awkward (ALL shades of awkward)...

"I was set up," my roommate begins.
And so goes the story of another well meaning
married person, who discovers they know two
single persons, and that they need to force
two said singles together.

This particular instance included the well meaning
person, we'll call him Bob, holding my roommate's hand
and walking her to the other single person. Bob then
led the conversation including,
"do you want to go out with her?"
"do you want to go out with him?"
"Good. There. Now you have a date."

You can about imagine Bob rubbing his hands together
with a satisfied grin about him, as he considers
what a good deed he has accomplished.

What Bob might NOT realize is the conversation
after his interference, which included the boy
saying to my roommate,
"sorry about that.
You don't have to go out with me if you don't want to."

Maybe my 39 years of singleness, multiple set up date
experiences are blurring my perspective here, but really,
I'm thinking we could avoid these situations.

I know Bob's type, and I know he means well.

20 March 2010

Speaking of games...

So today is the day!!!
For the last year,
the planning and scheduling commenced.
One of our neighbors invited us
to participate in a board game decathlon.
The inspiration for the evening
came from My Boys episodes (search for the one with Game Decathlon in the title).
I have no idea what games we will play,
only that video games are not allowed,
and we will have partners,
and prizes.
Now, we shall see how I do with maturity tonight...

15 March 2010

you know you're too competitive when...

B's kids love video games. And I, well, I like games.
For the most part, I have plenty to do and can keep busy.
But when K got Super Mario Bros for his birthday,
and they kept begging me to play,
I caved.

And so we played.
More accurately, my player kept dying.
And so there are these flower power flowers,
and these power giving mushrooms,
that randomly are available to give lives
or grow you bigger,
or grant you a propeller,
or you can become a penguin (very fun),
or give you the power to have ice or fire,
or you can become very tiny and invincible.
(All very attractive options, especially when,
did I mention, my character kept dying.)
Only, if you know anything about these games,
and playing with multiple players
(which, I really don't know that much),
any one player can get much further ahead than the others.
Thus, the opportunity for these flowers or mushrooms,
while they might dispense enough for four players,
if only one player is at that part of the game,
(can u see where this is going?),
and they activate the certain power,
may actually prevent the other players from
receiving the extra boost, life, etc.
Upon detecting that my character had one remaining life,
I implored my fellow players to not "activate"
until everyone (well, namely my character)
could get there.
But that strategy failed.
The first player got them all.
So, I maturely threw down my wii remote,
said I didn't want to play with such selfish
teammates anymore, and righteously (ha!)
stomped out of the room.

The jury is out on whether or not I am smarter
than a fifth grader,
but the verdict returned that I am certainly
not more mature than one.


14 March 2010

best laid plans

It's time. We made the decision to list my condo. I love the space and have completely loved living in it. It has been a delight to host friends and family through the years. The neighborhood and neighbors add to the pleasure.

Nearly eight years ago, a friend of mine helped me pack my belongings in his pickup and fit the larger things into his flatbed trailer. I drove from Zeeland to GR and another friend helped me unload. The unloading took about an hour. Since then, I've replaced the loveseat with a full coach, a few chairs. To accommodate my nieces I acquired and assembled bunkbeds. My sister offered some things for me to store because she did not have the space, so a sideboard, some end tables, some lamps, and even an additional bed joined me. Suddenly the 1800 square feet did not seem so empty. And then my roommates arrived and added their treasures. And, because I have more storage than my neighbors, I shelter their bikes and outdoor furniture. Whether it was my intention or not, I have definitely filled the space.

This weekend B and I are in GR to move most of my things. I suspect it will take a wee bit longer than the move in! The other desire was to attend my church. We arrived yesterday afternoon, we picked up the uhaul. We packed and assembled boxes and emptied shelves. My sister arrived to consider her items and determine what she wanted with her. Things were falling nicely into place. That is, until I awakened just now, and realized that we did not factor in the time change. And we will not make it to my church. Sigh. Sadly, watching Charles Stanley is not the same.

09 March 2010

eavesdropping? okay, maybe I was

It was one of those crazy date lunches,
you know, the really romantic ones
where I met B at McDonald's.
He was picking up the food,
I was getting the drinks and
settling into a spot to sit for a spell.
Of course, I kept him guessing,
not going to our "usual" place.
So when he rounded the corner to find me
I was already engrossed in the conversation
across the way.
It was the manager of the McDonald's, actually,
who appeared to be taking his lunch,
and was chatting with one of the "locals."
These are the conversations I enjoy overhearing.

Of course once B sat down, I stopped listening, er,
eavesdropping, and was completely present to him.
Much to my delight, however, the manager moved to chat
with the gentleman at the table next to ours.
At that moment, my female multi-tasking skills kicked into
high gear so I could listen to B AND overhear the table next to us.

What happened next was most exciting.
"You're a 'Bama fan?"
He asked, noticing my University of Alabama attire.
Our conversation covered the college football
championship game and his home state of Texas.
When B returned to the table (he refilled our beverages)
the conversation turned to Alabama and why we were here.

It turns out, the man's father grew up in the town next to B.
They probably went to the same high school.
(And these are not big towns, people, it was a very amazing discovery.)
So suddenly, the world was a smaller,
more cozy place in that Indiana McDonald's.

But it was the conversation exchange between
these two southern turned northern boys that really sticks with me.
The manager especially expressed that people
are more friendly and ready to have a conversation in the south.

so, what makes us northern folks so quiet, reserved, and, well,
perhaps downright unfriendly compared to our southern friends?

08 March 2010

Twister with a twist

As part of the weekend fun,
while we and Flat Stanley
awaited our delicious
Chicago style deep dish pizza,
C "invented" finger twister.

It was amazing to me that
the same competitive spirit that
causes us to push and knock one another down
whilst playing "normal" Twister,
also rears its competitive self in finger Twister.

Only, obviously, instead of knocking whole persons down,
we pushed against one another's hands and fingers, accordingly.
Additionally parallel, was the victorious sense of satisfaction
when you were the last person, er,
last hand standing, so to speak
(although, honestly, I can't personally attest to that,
as I never did win).
It was completely consuming
and a wonderful way to pass time
as we waited for our food.
I highly recommend it.

06 March 2010

Flat Stanley & the Garretts visit Hildred

In a rather uncharacteristic weekend activity,
we spontaneously drove to Hildred's today.
An even greater surprise awaited us.
Fargo's Flat Stanley was also visiting.
The terms of Flat Stanley's visit, of course,
were to engage some great adventure.

Part of the adventure included
serving pizza at Giordano's,
and working with 3D sidewalk chalk,
and sporting some funky shades.
We go all out for adventure
when Flat Stanley is involved.

04 March 2010

Anticipation: how I love thee...

We honor a few traditions in my family. We are not lavish in our birthday celebrations. But we do like to plan for special events. It seems strange to say this, since I feel much younger than 40 sounds, but, for all of our 40th birthdays, we have done something special. Except for mine.

Now, before you feel sorry for me, everyone would join this reminder train that I am the youngest child and have always been spoiled, pampered, etc. etc. (Groan!)

The beauty of my particular 4oth birthday is that it landed the day after my Dad's 80th birthday. And it happened just a few months before my Mom turned 80. Several years ago my Mom began thinking and dreaming and imagining and planning...
what if, for Di's 40th, and Dad & Mom's 80th, we do something really really special?

go to the Netherlands where my Dad was born and raised???

So, we are beginning to live into the plans. At first Mom scheduled for fall 2009. But for various reasons, including my graduate school demands, we pushed off until June 2010. And it is creeping its way into our imaginations and reality.

For example:
-I sent off my passport for renewal and name change last very week. And they have already cashed the check as part of the processing.
-We are discussing the places we will visit and the relatives we may meet.
-Lodging reservations are being secured.
-We are looking at the flights and hoping prices go down.
-And looking forward to the honor of
having Dad show us around his turf, among other things.

Oh, yes, I do love the anticipation.
Stay tuned.

02 March 2010

to our neighbors...about the car alarm...

so this very Sunday past, I had opportunity to meet a beloved friend for coffee. As per the usual, I went to start my car. As per not so usual, I turned the key to hear a not so welcome clicking noise, accompanied by an even more unwelcome chirp. My car alarm began to signal to all and every neighbor within well, the whole town, actually, that I was stealing my own car.

B rushed from the house with that "are you so silly, hit the panic button" look on his face to add just a little more excitement to my moment.

Um, yeah, about that panic button. I don't have a remote-unlock-panic-button-key-thingy.

If my husband looked confused before, trust me, my response regarding the absence of a remote key thingy, put him over the edge.

To get the full picture of this story, let me rewind a few years. I purchased my lovely lil' Honda from the owner who had installed an after factory remote opener with panic button, etc. I used such remote happily, cheerfully, responsibly, (mostly). Until one day, I visited my friend Beth at her very work, while they were cleaning up after an event. In my foolishness, I set my key thingy on a table. And it was thrown away. We scrounged through the trash looking for it, but to no avail. When I called an alarm company about replacing the remote feature, I was informed that my system really doesn't exist without the remote piece so I would need to pay $100+ for a new system, which would then include the new remote. Tempting as it was, I said no to the expense. My bad. I lost the remote.
Rejoining "the real-time moment" I have to admit, that advice seems a bit off, considering, the very alarm my car did not possess, was in fact blaringly (new word, anyone?) revealing its existence.
And it went off.
For ever.
It is still ringing in my head, honestly.

The bad news is (all the other up there= good news!) that the alarm is connected to the ignition so we couldn't even take the car somewhere to receive expert advice. And the only way I could "trick" the car and silence the alarm was to perform some try to start the car antics and crawl duke style out of the window. (Yes, that was a scream of another sort.) Fortunately, B saved the day and could figure out a way to permanently silence the beast. Unfortunately (we are so sorry neighbors and city!!), it could not be done without the door open which means the alarm continued for nearly an hour, without any decrease in volume I might add. But the best news of course is that after silencing it, and jump starting the battery, it is now running, sans alarm. Phew.

Have I mentioned how much I miss the Metro in Seattle? Public transport does have its benefits! Sigh.