Category Archives: That’s How We Roll

Say Wha…???

It’s time to pack my bags and close up shop.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m going to shut things down here. There’s an entire household that needs packing and moving. My husband is retiring and we’re headed back across the country to our home state of Washington.

Say WA

That was the tourism slogan back in 2006. No, they didn’t ask me.   I prefer to say The Evergreen State.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me why we are moving. Cost of living is one reason. Every time friends here in Northern Virginia ask us to stay, I ask if they are offering to pay half our mortgage. That pretty much ends the conversation!
Another reason for going is family. Nearly all of our extended family lives in Washington, and my mother’s illness and death solidified the desire to be closer.  My two oldest boys have chosen to attend college there and seeing your kids once in 9 months is too long to be apart at this stage of the game — at least according to this mama!  Of course, the weather is a factor. I can’t get away from this hot, humid summer fast enough! And finally, throughout my husband’s career, Washington State has remained home to us. We grew up there, we attended college there, we met and married there. Two of our children were born there. We have kept our residency status with our driver licenses and our absentee voting ballots. We even managed to be posted there twice during the past 21 years.

But if you need more reasons, I’ll try to help you with a few images:


This lovely photograph of the famous 14,410 foot peak was taken by a family friend.

And it’s not just  Mt. Rainier that is so wonderful. Washington is full of mountains, with two mountain ranges (Cascade and Olympic). Here are the Olympic Mountains over Puget Sound at dusk.
[click to embiggen]

Puget Sound is nice, but there’s more than just salt water. Washington has over 8,000 lakes and ponds. The Columbia River powers the region with several hydroelectric dams, the most famous one being the Grand Coulee Dam. If you don’t already know about it, go ahead and click the link and be amazed!

But maybe you don’t like water or glacier-covered peaks. Would you like a volcano? Mt. St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980 (she was a pain in the ash, as they say) and has been politely burping and letting off steam ever since.
And of course there is plenty of hiking and camping to be enjoyed.

I will return to blogging, although perhaps not in this particular spot in the internet. I’ve got some changes in mind but they aren’t quite ready for publication. Please keep me in your reader/feed or somehow on your radar. I’ll post the new link when I get my act together again.
I will be back in some form or other, hopefully by September, and I’ll be blogging from this place:

♥KC

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Musical Monday: The morning after

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Monday

Back to school after Spring Break and sleeping in for a week (well, some of us slept in) — I think this song might be needed to get boys moving this morning!

The Breakfast Song (by The Newsboys)
[lyrics by Steve Taylor, music by Peter Furler]

Hold the milk, put back the sugar
They are powerless to console
We’ve gathered here to sprinkle ashes
From our late friend’s cereal bowl.
Breakfast Clubbers, say the motto
That he taught us to repeat:
“You will lose it in your gym class
If you wait ’til noon to eat.”

Back when the Chess Club said our eggs were soft
Every Monday he’d say grace and hold our juice aloft
Oh, none of us knew his checkout time would come so soon
But before his brain stopped waving, he composed this tune:

[Chorus]
WHEN THE TOAST IS BURNED
AND ALL THE MILK HAS TURNED
AND CAPTAIN CRUNCH IS WAVING FAREWELL
WHEN THE BIG ONE FINDS YOU
MAY THIS SONG REMIND YOU
THAT THEY DON’T SERVE BREAKFAST IN HELL

Breakfast clubbers, drop the hankies.
Though to some our friend was odd,
That day he bought those pine pajamas
His check was good with God.

Those here without the Lord,
How do you cope?
For this morning we don’t mourn
Like those who have no hope

Oh, rise up, Fruit Loop lovers –
Sing out sweet & low
With spoons held high
We bid our brother, “Cheerio!”

[Chorus]

Friday 5: Blessings (when Boring is Good)

Betty wrote about blessings a few days ago, and I thought I’d do the same here. Her post started with the thought that she didn’t have anything to blog about — life was good, but possibly boring. That certainly rang a bell!

1. Life with my husband

“You are the perfect woman for me because you’re so incredibly dull.”

My husband actually said this a few months ago. Oh yes, he did! I wrote it down and told him I was going to blog it,  so he decided it would be best to clarify his statement…

a)  Dull is good when the man is an introvert.. It makes the wife easier to live with and less expensive (AKA, low maintenance).
b) Dull is more comfortable to live with… the home is for serenity, safety, and comfort.

We do lead a somewhat dull life. We rarely go out and we rarely host a get-together, but we have comfortable and pleasant times at home together.  My dh used to say that I was “cheap to keep” — he has tempered that into the more palatable “low maintenance.”

2. Girls’ Night Out... or perhaps I should call it Girls’ Night In
There is a small group of us that are getting together on a semi-regular basis at one person’s home. For the cost of a box of hair color (bring your own) and a bottle of wine to share, I had my hair colored, cut, and styled a few weeks ago.  While this blessing isn’t at all boring, it does keep me rather low-maintenance… how many women get a color, cut, and style for under $25?

3. The DVR and on-demand television
I’m not a big TV watcher, but it sure is nice to know that I can record a show and have it on-hand to watch whenever I feel like it! (This is something we will probably give up as an “unnecessary expense” when my husband retires.)

4. Hanging out with family
On any average night, you will find us sitting around the dining room table talking over supper for at least 45 minutes.  On Friday nights, we normally have “find dining” while watching a show we recorded on TV. Wipeout is the favorite for all ages.

5. Friendship
There were 4 of us squeezed into a NYC-sized hotel room last Saturday night, two of whom had never met before Saturday morning. After the show, we stopped at a deli for some hot soup and then came back to the hotel. We had planned to change into something warmer and go back to Times Square to people watch. Instead, we changed into pajamas and talked in the dark until long after 3AM. 

Musical Monday: Holding on to The Dream

When my kids were young, they assured me that they weren’t white. They pointed out that they were “beige” and some of their friends had “light brown” or “dark brown” skin.
We are all Colored People.

I love this video — both the music and images.  (Unfortunately, you’ll have to click through. EMI and Vevo make things a bit difficult.)

 

Colored People

Pardon me, your epidermis is showing
I couldn't help but note your shade of melanin
I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement
Cause I see (the) beauty in the tones of our skin
We gotta come together, and thank the maker of us all

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
And we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

A piece of canvas is only the beginning
It takes on character with every loving stroke
This thing of beauty is the passion of an artist's heart
By God's design, we are a skin kaleidoscope
We gotta come together, aren't we all human after all?

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

Ignorance has wronged some races
And vengeance is the Lord's
If we aspire to share this space
Repentance is the cure
Repentance is the cure

Well, just a day in the shoes of a color blind man
Should make it easy for you to see
That these diverse tones do more than cover our bones
As a part of our anatomy

We're colored people, and we live in a tainted place
We're colored people, and they call us the human race
We've got a history so full of mistakes
'Cause we are colored people who depend on a Holy Grace

We're colored people and they call us the human race
We're colored people and we've all got to share this space
We're colored people and we live in a tainted world
(red, yellow, black, and white)
We're colored people, every man, woman, boy, and girl

New Year’s Eve

After I got home from the bluegrass concert/CD release party, SuperDad heated up a pan of brandy, dropped in some raisins and almonds, and lit it on fire. Voilà!

The name of this victorian-era game is SNAPDRAGON. Technically, one should use raisins for the beginners and currants for a greater challenge.

I think I just blew the “normal family” status.

Musical Monday: New Year’s Eve edition

I couldn’t get my family to budge from the house on NYE, but a friend kindly invited me to ride with her to a bluegrass concert, er… CD release party for one band, with another band as their opening act. I failed to video the event, but here are a couple of  YouTube videos to enjoy featuring each band:

JAKE AND THE BURTONES

That banjo player? He’s 16 years old.
__________________________________________

And here is the band that headlined the event. They just released their 2nd CD titled “Soul Bucket”.  Yes, I bought the CD. Now I’m itching to buy a harmonica.

This is The Acoustic Burgoo. They will be famous someday, and then you can say you heard them here first!  😀

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Musical Monday is a meme I discovered over at Thom’s place.

If you want to be an official participant, you can get the instructions by clicking on the badge.

And on that note…

We spent Thursday evening watching old Batman movies. Wow, I had a kitschy childhood! I never realized how Crayola-bright Robin’s outfit was, but mostly my boys thought we were nuts for thinking it was such an awesome show way back when. They’re pretty sure 1966 was a really really long time ago.

Here are 5 for your Friday, the last of 2010:

1) Have you seen Melli’s new grandson? He’s absolutely beautiful and wonderfully loved by an incredible extended family. If you need a shot of cute or “awwwww” these pictures will make your day.  (There’s an incredible backstory of God’s Grace, too, but I’m going for “awwwww” today.)

2) Humorous-Juniorous, my 15yo son, has asked me to forward all of the College Board SAT prep questions to him (they’ve been arriving in my e-mail inbox for months). He’s apparently enjoying the chance to answer the daily questions and finding them to be correct. Someone get this kid a scholarship!

3) Speaking of scholars and proud families, MusicMan made the President’s Honor Roll at his college for the first semester (complete with an impressive GPA of 3.86). This isn’t a “mommy blog” but I can’t NOT brag about how proud I am of him!

4) Aside from the overwhelming amount of testosterone running amuck in my house this week, it has been soooo nice to have everyone home and together. I’m trying to savor it, because when MM flies back to school next week, we won’t see him for 4-5 months.

5) For the first part of the sentence on #4, I will be getting a ton of spam… and not the kind you can fry up in a camping fry pan.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Do you have any plans for the evening/weekend? And are your plans as exciting as old Batman movies? 😛

Celebrate!

1. Last Friday night was Humorous-Juniorous’ birthday party. It was the first time we had met most of his friends from school (H-J is a bit of an introvert). It was a successful geekfest. Who else would talk about math and wish for a video game called Orchestra Hero? (Admittedly, that WOULD be very cool!) They partied with DDR, snacks, Mario Kart racing, snacks, stick fighting outside in the dark, S’Mores at the firepit, Monty Python’s Holy Grail, cake and ice cream. And did I mention snacks?
If you needed party ideas for a 15yo boy, you’re welcome! 😉

2. We live between 2 towns; the smaller one has a population of 600, the larger town is ten times that size. The town with the traffic lights (FOUR!) had its annual Christmas parade last Saturday. More photos here and here

3. SnakeMaster would gladly own a horse.


4. This is what the dining room credenza looked like on Monday. Procrastinator, who??

5. MusicMan, my college son, is flying home today. We haven’t seen him for over 4 months, so I’m sure you will understand if I’m absent much of the next few weeks.

I live with them, and they live with me.

Thank you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers over the past week. My worries have lessened a bit, and I am feeling more positive.

Last Friday was “white out” day at the elementary school: wear white and hope for snow. Snow was not in the forecast for the day, but amazingly it did snow about an inch. I think I was more excited about that little miracle than the kids were!

After a weekend of milder weather, we have returned to below-freezing temperatures and a cold wind.
Today is the perfect day for scented candles and cleaning the house.

Someone unearthed a string of white lights — for what, I do not know — and left them on the floor. They’ve been stepped on at least once. I’ve plugged them in a few times for the ambiance… and safety.

Musical Monday: Small Town Saturday Night

This is the band I went to see in concert on Saturday night. They were recording for a live album. (Do we still call them albums?)

Yes, there is a bassist there behind the mandolin player! He was home from college over the weekend and I saw him sing some backup vocals.
The young man on the right plays a variety of instruments, sings vocals and writes original songs. The mandolin player sings, plays guitar and banjo.
And the banjo player, who is only 15 years old, also plays the fiddle!

What a talented bunch of teenagers!

My family hopes I’ll outgrow my bluegrass phase soon, but I don’t think that’s likely… I expect these guys to be famous someday.