Month: November 2010

Almost lost in the hills

Today we got in the little Suzuki and drove up into the hills near Dona Ana. The roads were pretty washed out, but the view was gorgeous.

Ok, this is irritating. What happened to the button for posting my photos in this iPad app? Did it get removed in latest update?!? Damn it. That was the only good thing about this stupid app.

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monday… as we approach thanksgiving day

my mom is super anxious to make everything perfect for thanksgiving, although there will only be 8 of us here, and i don’t think any of us are going to be judgmental of any of the things she’s worried about. but ok.

today we went over to best buy, where i bought the new macbook that i’m typing on right now. wow. i now have my very first NEW computer since the early 90’s, when i had a compaq presario as a graduation present. i’ve been trying to use it to download the new operating system for my iPad, though, and something keeps going wrong. i will have to do some research.

after best buy, we stopped at sam’s club, where we didn’t buy anything, just browsed for a while. then we went to ruby tuesday’s for lunch. our waitress had one of those irritating squeaky baby voices. what is it with that voice? irritating as fuck, is what it is.

then we went to the grocery store and stocked up on things for the week, including for thanksgiving, and walgreen’s to buy a tiny amount of bourbon for the chocolate pecan pie. i was carded. 🙂

home again, home again. mom got obsessive about cleaning the floor, i screwed around with my computer. after a few hours, i said i was needing a walk, and mom said she’d come with and bring the dogs. so we walked around, a bit further than cey walks, when he goes.

my knee has been really giving me problems. i think it’s all the sitting and driving here in new mexico. i would really like to go hiking in the hills, but i guess next time. oh well.

eventually we went to see the local highschool perform high school musical. atrocious. seriously. a couple of the kids were ok actors, and a couple were ok singers, but as a group, if any of them could have stayed in key for 2 secs it would have helped a lot. really bad. but fun to rip on.

when we got home, we hung out in the pool for a while, drinking frozen daquiris. cey had turned the temp way up, so it was seriously hot tub temperatures, and i was really happy. it eased my knee a lot. i’ll sleep better tonight.

and on that note, i think that’s it. sorry no pics today. 🙂

what day is it again??

yeah, i know i said that recently, but i’ve lost track.

ok, sunday. yeah, and i didn’t journal on saturday. so i’ll start there.

saturday: woke up, hung out with mom and cey, then headed into historic mesilla for lunch at la posta. had a blackberry-habanero margarita. good, but not as good as a chipotle margarita. should be easier to copy, though. talk to me about that in a few months. then we walked around and looked at the shops. talked some more.

then mom had a baby shower to attend, and brought me with her. we survived. it was kind of boring. cute decor, though.

then we got back to the house and hit the pool/hot tub for quite a while. finally it was dark and i was cold, so we went in. hung out a bit, then mom and cey went into their bedroom to watch a movie (they’re doing that now as well), and i messed around online and read my book for a while. and listened to music; that was key. it was really nice to listen to my music.

this morning, i slept in a little. woke at 9:00 or so. hung around for a while, helped plant some peas in the garden, then we drove to palomas, mexico, to go to the pink store.

here is lunch at the pink store (well, so far we’re only on margaritas and chips and salsa):

and here’s mom and cey shopping in the pink store:

the pink store is fun. we go there every time i come to visit, and they give us margaritas while we walk around. mom and cey bought me a pretty cool day of the dead mirror/figurine thing. i didn’t think to take a picture, so i’ll try to remember to do that later. it’s all wrapped up right now.

when we got back from palomas, we cleaned out the fridge to make room for thanksgiving shopping supplies, and then cey and i took the dogs for a walk around the block. here’s a picture of the view of their street. seriously, check out those mountains.

Then we went to see Harry potter, which was fun. I ate tons of yummy buttered popcorn, and people didn’t talk all the way through the movie, hurrah!

Back home we watched the American music awards for a while, and now I’m in bed. Yay!

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Travel days

Yesterday I left Lincoln Creek. Glesy drove me to the train station.

Here it is, in case that’s interesting!
A guy asked me not to photo him. No problem. No, I lie… He’s on the edge of the first shot I took.

When the conductor came by to check my ticket, she said, “I bet you’re not from centralia.” hahahahaha. “Actually, I am,originally,” I told her. “oh… I guess you’re probably glad not to live there anymore!” 🙂

Then when we got to Seattle, the guy who’d asked not to be in my picture said, “so, are you glad to be getting home?” to which I replied, “oh, I won’t be home for another week or so.”. This spawned the predictable conversation, so I won’t record it.

I checked my bags in left luggage and walked to the waterfront, heading in the direction of the pike place market. I was saving my hunger for a curry beef humbow at the Chinese bakery across from the market, but when I passed ivar’s, I could think of nothing but fried oysters in hot sauce.


There were some seriously large gulls eyeballing the diners through the glass.

The woman near me took her fries out to feed to them. Sucker.

And here’s an interesting fusion cuisine:

I wandered around a bit, then got a message from Alicia that she’d be heading my way shortly after 2, so I headed back to the train station to meet her. We walked and talked, and drooled over fluevog shoes, then went to zig zag cafe to drop off the liquor Karl and Erika asked me to take. The owner, Kacy, pronounced jenever with the French j like this: “JEN aver” teehee. But he DID comp our drinks for the delivery, so he can go ahead and pronounce it however he likes.

After, we went to some fancy restaurant Andalusa for dessert and wine. alicia’s friend John usually works there Thursdays, but he wasn’t there, alas.

Then we went back to her place, and chatted some more until bed time. Here she is next to the picture frame she made for her photos after re-doing her windows:

I’ve now known Alicia for exactly half my life. Wow. Which puts interesting perspective on Michi and Nathan, the other 2 people I doggedly hang onto throughout the years. I’ve known both of them since childhood. Crazy. I met Alicia during freshman orientation for the honors program at eastern wa univ. We were wearing almost the same clothes and hairstyle. 🙂

Ok, this morning Alicia drove me to work, we had breakfast there, then I took the bus then light rail to the airport. Found a massage place, yay!

Now my layover in albuquerque has been lengthened considerably. I landed at 5:20, my next flight was scheduled to depart at 6:25, but they were delayed in Denver and I’m stuck here until 9:25. If I’m lucky.

Drinking beer and eating a burger here, I spoke with a guy married to a Swedish woman, who, it turns out, was very interested on where in wa state I’m from. When I told him centralia, he was very funny. He’s from port orchard. Honestly I can’t remember where that is, but that’s ok. We chatted for a bit, about living abroad, learning languages, and trying to fairly visit all family wherever they are. He and his wife live in Denver now and have to visit family on two continents, so he gets it.

Oh, and young hetero ob-gyn. I resisted the urge to ask him what the draw is.

Ok, clearly the beer is getting to me. We are up to the minute in updates now. I’ll go back to waiting for my flight. And drinking beer.

Shiner Bock- yum, but nothing special
Rio Grande Outlaw- dark bitter lager with a really interesting fruity bite.

Further update: my flight didn’t depart until 10:30pm. Long travel day. It’s 2am now, and I’m just getting ready for bed.

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Last day in centralia

But 1st, just in case you didn’t believe me, here’s the hot tub at bill’s:

The lights in the background are at dad’s house.

Ok, Wednesday…
Dad had to work, and I managed to sleeping until after 9:00, amazingly! Then matt called, and we talked for a while.

Coffee, shower, and started the dough for make-your-own pizzas. A little cleaning up and also making sure I had everything I’d come with, and clean laundry.

Finally, into town to fill up the gas in the car I’d been using, and run some little errands. Wandering the aisles at rite aid, I found the art supplies and bought some watercolors and paper for the boys. Then to Starbucks to do some internetting.

I’d forgotten that Washingtonians consider coffee shops social places, where you can in fact start conversations with total strangers. I remember that when I first moved to Minnesota I was really lost because people were really taken aback if i talked to them at coffee shops. So I didn’t know how to make friends and meet people, and it took me a pretty long time to figure out how to do it right for Minnesotans.

Anyway, yes, someone started talking to me, and we chatted off and on while we both messed with our computers. Linux geek, carpenter, works at hospital. One funny thing: What is it about how I seem to gather conspiracy theorists to me? Happens everywhere I go! Oh well, at least they’re interesting. None of that stupid small-talk, or at least considerably less of it.

Right, eventually I left to get the groceries I needed and get stuff ready for dinner. Dad was home early and we munched on goat cheese some guy he knows made, drank wine, read the paper, and waited for jack and glesy to arrive. They were a bit late, and had dori with them, which was unexpected, but I’d prepped more than enough of everything, just in case.

The pizzas were a big hit. The boys each made their own and ate them all up. Jack and Glesy were pretty surprised.

After dinner we just hung around a bit. The boys played with glesy’s camera. Iver is actually really good at it. Orin was just goofing off mostly. Eventually they were too tired and so it was time to go. Dad and I stayed up chatting for another couple of hours but eventually we were tired too. I tried to read late, but was falling asleep on my iPad pretty soon.

Orin getting a cute picture of his family.

Iver wanted to take a picture of me taking a picture of him, but Orin got in the way. 🙂

Iver upside down with dad and dori.

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Tuesday, a quiet day

Unless you count the earthquake.

I woke up early, 7ish, and was lying in bed around 745 or so when there was a noise like when the pressure change makes the doors shift. Then there was a huge vibration/shift, like the wind from last night was even stronger and a particularly hard blast had hit the house. But when I got up, dad had the news on and they eventually declared it a 4.2, near mossyrock. So there you have it, my first, if unexciting, earthquake.

Last night I discovered that I’d left my toiletry bag at jack’s. Oops. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ll explain: I THOUGHT it had been in the car when i’d stopped for groceries, and I hadn’t locked the door. This is a disaster because I am allergic to cocamidapropyl betaine, a common bubbling agent, and sensitive to many other common things found in shampoo, shower gels, and even toothpaste. Before discovering this I suffered regularly from huge sores that looked like herpes in some stages and impetigo in others. Nasty, in other words. The dermatologist helped me test some products that are safe for me, and trying to replace them here would have been a nightmare. Besides, I hate going to sleep without brushing my teeth. It feels gross.

So anyway, I was feeling pretty grungy today. No plans, though, except to find out if my bag was really at jack’s, or if I’d have to do a shopping expedition.

After coffee, dad asked if I wanted to go for a walk to one of the ponds back in the woods and see if there were any ducks (or grouse). He gave me a small 20-gauge shotgun, and took something else himself. We followed bear tracks back through the woods, lots of apples in the poop, and heard a grouse once but didn’t see it. At the pond, no ducks. Dad says he’s never seen NO ducks there, so I wondered if maybe the quake had something to do with it. Nice hike, though. When we were almost back, dad challenged me to shoot a few targets, and I’m proud to say that although it’s been quite a while since I’ve handled a gun, I hit each one. Square on. Oh yeah. I was always a pretty good shot, but it has been a long time, so I expected to miss.

After lunch, dad had some projects to do, but I was sleepy, so I stayed at the house and dozed with my book. Then we went in for dinner at jack & glesy’s, and dori and her daughter joined us. After dinner I made poffertjes for dessert. Yum. Iver really loved them. 🙂

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Yesterday, Monday

It’s Monday night.
I’m writing this from the hot tub at bill gross’ place. Dad went off to a fire meeting and won’t be back until late, so I thought, “what better opportunity?” and here I am.

At first I carried my swimsuit up here. Then I remembered that not only am I in the middle of nowhere with a hot tub, the lights are in in both my dad’s place and bill’s, and so no one’s likely to come to check out weird things either. The nearest neighbor is my 2nd cousin Doug and his wife. I can see their place from here, but only the lights. Not bad for privacy, in other words. So now I’m here in the hot tub under a cloudy sky, with the moon playing peek-a-boo. Nice.

Today I spent a little time driving around centralia, looking for a massage place. I could really use one. Yes, I know the Internet or phone book would have simplified that search a bit, but it was also entertaining to drive around town.

So I’m 2 days behind in journaling. Let’s sum up:

Yesterday I drove into town, and stopped to use the wifi in my brother’s place to check driving instructions, so that I could go visit Aimee in the hospital in Portland. Then I hit the road. About halfway there, I realized I’d forgotten to eat, so I stopped at subway. Yuck! Seriously. I will be abiding that from now on.

Got to the hospital just fine, and Aimee is definitely recovering, which I was relieved to see. I expected her to look much worse, but she actually only looked skinny. Oh, bacterial spinal meningitis, before I forget. Not good!

I only stayed about 45 minutes, because she was looking pretty understandably tired. My only other friend in town was in bed sick with a cold, or at least I hope only a cold, so I headed back north. On the way I stopped at target, just for a wander. Bad idea. Oh well.

Got back to dad’s at 4:15 or so, earlier than expected. Dori was cooking dinner, and jack, glesy and the boys were expected any time. Dinner was yummy; Chinese style pork spare ribs, sauteed chanterelles, and baked potatoes. Then we pulled out the karaoke again and got down to business. Glesy wanted me to do bohemian rhapsody again (I’d butchered it a few nights ago, to great appreciation), and jack and I tried to do in general fewer slow songs and more silly ones. Jack did a damn good job on some jewel song. Dad likes the sentimental “belly-rubbin'” songs. Orin danced and iver horses around.

I took some movies of Orin (and even dad) dancing, but no photos all day. Later I went to jack and glesy’s place, and I drove the boys while their parents went separately. It was fun; I had them screaming and holding their arms in the air with every turn (even though I was actually taking it slower than usual; I never passed the others in their car, and dori caught up to me pretty quickly in hers).

Glesy put the boys to bed, and jack and I kept on singing until we were both hoarse and butchering EVERY song we tried.

I didn’t sleep all that well.

In the morning, this morning, something had shorted on the pump for the well, so there was no water. Oh well.

I hung out with glesy until the boys came home from school, and it was really fun, actually. I think she has some things in common with matt. Well, we had a good time chatting and generally hanging out. I was really tired, though, so was glad to head out to dad’s place again (after the fruitless hunt for a massage, that is). Even better, dad wasn’t home, so I went out to get some kindling, built a fire, and sat around reading for a while.

Dad got home pretty soon, and we had dinner and tried to find the cable for the motion-detecting camera, so we could see if we’d gotten any of the bear. When it was time for dad to go to his fire meeting, he remembered that he’d last used it up at bill’s (2 cats, and a few deer while trying to get a foto of a cougar), so I came up here to get it and here I still am. 🙂

Now then, I think I’ll turn this thing off and relax in the water for awhile.

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Saturday with Orin & Iver

Saturday, a better day

Not much really happened today. I woke up, hung out for a while with Dad, made juice and drank coffee. Then Matt called. He was happier today because things had gone well with the house-work and he feels satisfied. I’m really glad about the good day. I think he needs a lot more good days, and soon. Anyway, he was in a better mood, and that definitely helps my day start good.

I had to get off the phone because i’d promised Glesy that i’d babysit the boys, and so Dad and i headed into town to pick them up. Before leaving, we gave Bill the grocery bag full of chanterelles because he needed to head back up to Bellevue before getting a chance to pick some for himself.

So we headed into town. On the way, we passed Glesy, bringing the boys out to us. So Dad dropped me off with the boys, back at the house, and left for town to run a few errands. Glesy stayed and chatted for a little while, before heading off to work.

The boys are a blast. So funny, so creative. We were drawing and coloring, then Dad came back, and we took Bill’s little jeep thing back along the ridge and into some logging roads. We picked another bag of chanterelles and it rained on us a lot. Iver climbed into my lap for warmth, then fell asleep there, bouncing along. I can’t believe he can sleep while we bounce over big sink holes and occasional fallen branches. A deer ran across the road, and two grouse. When we got back, i thought for sure the boys would fall asleep, but no… they wanted to watch movies and cuddle on the sofa, but they didn’t fall asleep. We watched the Golden Compass, which was on TV, and soon afterwards Jack showed up to pick them up.

A pretty full day. Dad’s gone off to a Grange Hall meeting, and it’s only 8pm. I’m tired. I might be asleep by the time he’s home.

Tomorrow I might try to get down to Portland to visit Aimee and Ursula. Aimee is in the hospital with spinal meningitis, but improving. In the evening, Dori is cooking dinner, then I’ve promised Glesy that i’ll come spend the night so we can have some “sister time” after the boys go to school on Monday.

Did i mention i’m kind of dreading “sister time?” I’m not very good at it. I’d like to spend some more time with Jack, too. Maybe i can talk him into letting me see a bit of what he does for work.

Orin, Iver and Dad, driving through the woods

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Friday was a bit more depressing. Dad went to work, so i slept in, but not very late. It seemed late. I think it was about 8:15, which obviously isn’t very late at all.

I talked to Matt on the phone for a while. He was depressed. He’s been working so hard and having a rough time on a lot of levels. Then i went for a drive. I went over Michigan Hill Road towards Rochester, then followed Old Hwy 99 into Tenino, then back towards Tumwater to visit my grandparents at their Alzheimer’s nursing home. This time, neither of them remembered me at all. Last time i was there, Grandma didn’t remember me, but was comprehensible as she talked. Grampa remembered me just fine last time.

This time, Grandma was asleep getting her hair done, and so i went to find Grampa. He was asleep in his room, so i let him be and went back to where Grandma was. She woke up and i talked to her for a while. I couldn’t understand much of anything she said. She is so tiny and old. She didn’t seem very alive at all. She told me she was tired, so i wheeled her back to the hairdresser and went to check on Grampa again. This time he was awake, lying in his bed. I showed him some pictures, and every once in a while, he’d interrupt to ask “Now, who are you again?” I’d explain, and he’d get really upset. He knows he SHOULD know who i am, and is really upset that he doesn’t remember.

Both of my grandparents probably SHOULD have died a few years back, when they were both still living at home, and Grandma wasn’t remembering everything. There were some resuscitations around then, if i remember correctly.

Seriously, WHY do we keep people alive past the time when they’re enjoying it? Just because we CAN doesn’t seem reason enough.

Ok, so after that, i headed into Olympia, and had a little walk around then settled myself into a coffee shop with wifi for a while. Then just before 5, i headed out to Nathan’s place, to see what he’s up to these days.

By the time I left, i was yawning constantly. So tired! Actually, i thought it was later than it was. I didn’t really think about it until i got back to Dad’s. All the lights were out, so i snuck in quietly and went into the kitchen. The clock over the stove read 10:00, exactly. Dad came out of the bedroom. He’d been up at Bill Gross’s house all night, which is why the house was dark, and had just come home himself. I was so confused. I was really sure it was the middle of the night.

A panoramic view off my dad’s porch. The farm you can see on the right side is where I lived as a child, except that all of our buildings burned down.

Nate at his fireplace, NOT a butt shot!

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a walk in the woods


Today was a holiday, but i didn’t realize it. Last night i had a horrible nightmare that woke me up at 4am. i couldn’t get back to sleep for a long time. I tried reading, but couldn’t keep my eyes open. Then when i’d give up and turn off the ipad (where the book is), i’d lie there awake. Ugh. I hate that.

Anyway, Dad woke up first this morning as a result. And made coffee. But i noticed that he did it the way i described (the required equipment was sitting out) and it tasted just fine. Yay!

I made watermelon juice for breakfast, then got to work on the brown bananas that were sitting on the counter. After the banana bread was done, we went for a walk along the property line, and into cousin Doug’s as well. Just in case we saw a grouse (which we did, but were a little slow to react), Dad brought along a .22.

First we walked up to the stream where i used to play as a child. There had been a small waterfall back there, about 3 feet tall, but it’s long gone. The beavers have changed the path of that stream countless times over the years. This time, though, one of their dams had made a nice waterfall, not far from where we used to play, so dad and i took a few pictures at it.

Later, in the woods, we found tons of different kinds of mushrooms. We picked some lobster mushrooms, which we were pretty sure were edible, but wanted to check in the book when we got back. Unfortunately, the book said that they are only edible when growing on “safe” host mushrooms. They are parasitic. So we ended up throwing them away because we hadn’t noticed what they’d been growing on. We’d found them growing up out of the mush in the path.

There’s a bear who’s been hanging around (dad and his friend bill accidentally destroyed its den a couple of weeks ago while clearing windfall) and we saw that it’d been sleeping right alongside dad’s back road. There was fresh poop all over and tracks, and several bedded-down areas. We also saw deer, coyote, raccoon and elk tracks. The elk was so fresh we’re pretty sure we startled it. Dad’s looking forward to elk season starting up. We also followed a pair of grouse for a while, but they were a bit smarter than most grouse, and didn’t just fly up into the tree and cluck at us.

I got kind of crazy taking mushroom pictures.

When we got back, there was a message from Glesy that she’d been called into work, and could we come get the boys. So we rushed into town and picked them up, then hung out with them for the rest of the afternoon. Jack and Glesy came out in the evening and i made them spek-kaas-gember (bacon, cheese, ginger) pannekoeken. After they left, Dad and I played rummy, which i won. I’m more tired than i think i should be, so it’s 8:45 and i’m already in bed. I’ll probably read for only a short while before crashing. 🙂

Dad works tomorrow, so i’ll try to sleep in, then go into town (Centralia or Olympia) and work in an internet cafe for a while before visiting my grandparents in their nursing home and then heading over to hang out with Nathan. If i’m up early, maybe i’ll call Katy and see if i can drop by her place for a while.

Me by the new waterfall

A really pretty mushroom that we didn’t pick.

Dad in the area we first heard the grouse

Big dark ugly mushrooms, and a little one.

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