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Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Family Outing

Canadian geese can be pests (and create a mess), but when they take their little family out for a walk in the park, it can be quite fun to watch.


These geese used a lot of teamwork in watching the babies. There were a total of 6 adults, 4 were watching the babies. The other two acted like teenagers, making noise, running around, and hitting up the humans for bits of their dinner.


It reminded me of watching a kindergarten class on an outing to the park.


I takes a lot of attention to keep track of this many little ones.


This one looks to me like she is sending her little ones out into the world, and a little nervous about it.


This mallard got mad when the geese invaded his territory.


Grandma tells it like it is

Grandma: It's been a long time since you checked my cholesterol. Don't you think you should check my cholesterol?

Doctor: Well that depends, how much longer do you plan to live? (?! - by the way, Grandma is 97)

Grandma: I think I'd like another ten years.

Doctor: Well then, we'd better check your cholesterol.

Go Grandma!

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Reading Room

For the past couple of months Mr. H has been encouraging me to pack up my goodies and go spend a day studying in the reading room in the Suzzillo Library at the University of Washington. It's just a couple blocks away, but I've been resisting.

For some reason I felt intimidated.


I'm not sure why, in fact I think my IQ went up a few points just by my walking into the room.

This is such a beautiful room, and the people studying in the room treat it with respect. I love how there is a quiet in here that does not exist in other parts of the library. No jabbering on cell phones, no printers, no copiers, no high heels clacking.


Once I got over the gawkfest and took a few pictures, I was able to settle down and get some work done.


It was so nice to have a quiet place to work with no interruptions. Every once in a while Mr. H is right.

Where do you do your writing?

60 things about CoffeeJitters

I've been working on a new about page and to that end, started brainstorming little factoids about myself. I'll share them here. The about page is still a work in progress.

1. I grew up in Alaska.

2. I have four little brothers. Yes, I was the oldest and the only girl. I couldn't beat them with brawn but I had other ways: "If you go steal two cookies from the kitchen, you can have one of them."

3. I like funny people. I grow weary of mean funny people.

4. I live in Seattle.

5. I have difficulty functioning in large bureaucracies.

6. I love figuring things out. I can entertain myself for hours trying to figure out how something works.

7. I love my country, but I believe integrity should be valued over patriotism.

8. I love to eat. I love to cook. I'm much more proficient at the former than the latter.

9. I love to have someone else clean up the kitchen after I cook.

10. I love to read and I wish I had more time to read.

11. I spent a summer working in Denali National Park.

12. I'm related to President McKinley.

13. I'm lazy.

14. I love to take photographs but I really don't know what I'm doing. Most of the cool photographs I take are really just dumb luck. I'm signing up for a photography class for next quarter.

15. I tend to notice things that other people walk right on by. Sometimes this makes me incredibly lucky. Often this makes me easily distracted.

16. Drawbridges and other feats of engineering turn me on.

17. Even if you were trying to help, I believe that if you are doing something that makes the situation worse or in retrospect turns out to be bad, you should stop doing that thing right now. The same applies for the war in Iraq.

18. I am turning into a morning person. I don't know why that's happening and quite frankly its scaring the crap out of me.

19. I believe democracy is a wonderful form of government, I wish our government would subscribe to it. (Count all the votes.)

20. I believe in God.

21. I believe it should be required for all Americans to learn a second language in order to graduate from High School. It helps you to understand that the world does not revolve around you. It will also help us to catch up with the education standards of the rest of the industrialized world.

22. I believe that Obama will be a better president than Hillary; this has nothing to do with her gender. Obama is better at listening and comprehending what people are saying. Better than John McCain, too.

23. I believe that travel helps you become a better person because it forces you to re-evaluate assumptions and stereotypes and see the world for what it is.

24. I dislike walking on eggshells around people and if I have to do that for any length of time, I am likely to exit the relationship.

25. I don't have a favorite color and every time someone asks my favorite color I give them a different answer. I tell the truth every time. I tell them what my favorite color is at that precise moment; right now it's turquoise. I've learned "What is your favorite color" is a bad prompt for password recovery.

26. I don't like it when people quote scripture at me. William Shakespeare said it best: "The Devil can quote Scripture for his own purpose." Just because you're attacking me with verses doesn't mean you're not evil.

27. I fancy myself a writer, the purpose of this blog is to get myself accustomed to the idea of people actually reading my writing, and having an opinion about what I said.

28. I get angry when people make assumptions about what I'm going to say and run with that when I still haven't even finished the sentence.

29. I rarely drink. Not because I'm opposed to it, I just don't enjoy it when I do drink. I should clarify, I do love a glass of wine with dinner, I just don't like feeling buzzed or drunk.

30. I really enjoy moments of quiet. I rarely listen to mp3s or CDs; I'd rather have the quiet.

31. I recently quit my day job to become a full time student.

32. I think we should do away with the electoral party. This was invented at a time when the common man didn't have the time or inclination to pay attention to politics, and even if he did he had no access to information. Now there is enough information out there for everyone to have access to it, both men and women, and if we make the time and have the inclination to vote, that should count for something more than just electoral accrual.

33. I used to be a tour guide. "And we're walking. And we're walking. And we're stopping..."

34. I value integrity.

35. I value our servicemen and women and I feel bad that they have been put in this no win situation. I believe they cannot do their job and defend us if they and all their equipment are trapped in a quagmire on the other side of the world.

36. I want to be a mom.

37. I was blessed with awesome parents.

38. I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church - While I still believe some of what I was taught there, I reject more of it. In particular I reject the assumptions, hate, warmongering, bigotry, xenophobia, fear of learning, and brainwashing, yes I said brainwashing, tactics used by fundamentalist Christian churches.

39. If I'm having a chocolate crisis, a Hershey bar will not fix the problem. It’s boring and bleh. That’s not to say I won't eat the Hershey bar.

40. If you tell me to do something I won't do it, even if I was planning to do it anyways.

41. I'm a 37 year old college student and I frequently find myself completely surrounded by 18 year olds. Sometimes that makes me feel young, sometimes that makes me feel very, very old.

42. I'm a klutz. I fall down all the time. I usually have at least one bruise.

43. I'm a democrat because I believe in small government and long term solutions instead of the quick fixes and money/power grabs favored by republicans - figure that one out.

44. I'm a slob. My house is always a mess, so if you're planning to drop by, please give me a call first so I can stuff all the mess into the oven and closets before you get here.

45. I'm generally a happy person.

46. I'm having a bad hair day. It doesn't matter what day you read this.

47. I'm likely to say something completely inappropriate in a social situation because I don't know what to say, especially if I'm nervous.

48. I'm rebellious.

49. I tend to look at the world through the viewfinder of my camera, which means sometimes I have a hyperfocused view that may look quite different from the big picture.

50. I've been dealing with infertility for four years and now that 40 is staring at me, mocking me actually, I'm starting to get a little freaked out.

51. I believe life is too short to spend it around toxic people, even if it’s part of your job. Change your job if you have to in order to get away from them.

52. My grandma is 97 years old and she can still command a room; she walks in and everyone turns their heads and hangs on her every word.

53. My husband is the most fascinating person I have ever met. It completely turns me on that he can speak to me in Spanish, Tajik, Farsi, and Arabic even though I have absolutely no idea what he's saying (Ever seen "A Fish Called Wanda?).

54. My husband plays bagpipes. (And guitar and he just got a new Persian Tar)

55. My twenty year high school reunion is coming up in a year and I'm already freaked out about it. I need to lose a pound a week.

56. Sensitive people annoy me. I'm not saying that everyone should be brutish or hewn from stone, but please don't get your feelings hurt if I occasionally forget that the world revolves around you. I'm just kind of brutish like that.

57. Someday I would like to write a cookbook, but I never measure and I can't follow directions without changing something significant.

58. Sometimes I have panic attacks. Sometimes I'm afraid I'm going to have a panic attack. Both situations suck.

59. I believe that you should not pledge anything unless you actually understand what you are promising. I have nothing against anyone saying the pledge of allegiance at any time, however I believe forcing children to take an oath of which they have no understanding further degrades the general understanding in this country of what a promise is.

60. I believe you should always re-evaluate your stance. There are always opportunities to learn new things. Sometimes new information, or the discovery that someone lied, will reveal the fact that your previous opinion was flawed. There is nothing wrong with correcting yourself when you learn. This is not flip-flopping on the issues. This is being responsible. As such, everything on this list is subject to change.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finding Beauty in Strange Places

020, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

A few months ago, I tossed aside my purse and repurposed my camera bag to serve both it's original purpose and carry all my bits that the purse would have handled.

This may possibly be the smartest thing that I have ever done.

Now I carry my camera around with me every where I go.

I look at things differently when I have a camera handy. I notice things that otherwise would have escaped my attention. I focus more on the here and now and less on where I'm going and where I've been; I forget to worry. As a result, I'm happier. And to double that happiness, I actually know that I'm happy. Right here, in the here and now, not a distant memory of some former happiness. I'm happy, and I know it. Clap your hands.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My life is a musical

The other day, Mr. H and I were watching Rules of Engagement, part of our Monday night comedy line up after The Big Bang Theory (seriously, pee your pants funny) and How I Met Your Mother.

Audrey had just gotten a promotion and she wanted her husband, Jeff (the Patrick Warburton character) to take her to a Broadway play - "Maybe even a musical - where people might even burst into song for no earthly reason."

At that moment I realized my life is a musical.

My husband bursts into song for no earthly reason (other than he's just really happy). It doesn't matter what he's doing, washing dishes, walking down the hallway, looking for something interesting to magically appear in the fridge. He makes up funny, silly songs too.

Of course there is no singing out in public or skipping down the sidewalk, but just wait, one of these day's we'll have a child and I'll bet we'll see him doing that with him or her too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On eating better

I had the munchies this morning. Real bad.

I went out for a walk and stopped in one of the mom and pop shops to get something to eat. I don't know how long I spent in that store, but I think the guy behind the counter was starting to wonder about me. I spent a huge amount of time looking at the cookies. Wow, there's a lot of cookies out there, even in the Mom and Pops. I looked over the nuts and the chips and I was about to give up when I spotted the apple chips. You see, I'm unofficially officially on a diet - meaning I'm going to watch what I eat and eat less garbage but I'm not going to weigh everything I eat or spend all my brain cells counting fat grams and calories.

Something about the apple chips caught my attention and said "yum" to me. The fact that they came in flavors like cinnamon and caramel certainly didn't hurt anything. And it said right on the package, "A heathier option." Well, if one is healthier than two should surely help me rack up some good fruit and veggie karma. I bought both the cinnamon and carmel flavors and took them back to my little den where I sit and curse my computer, my professors, my %^$& lack of abilitiy to concentrate or string one coherent sentance after another, and anything else I can think of to blame for why I can't seem to get these papers done.

Back to clacking away at these papers and nibbling away at the apple chips as I type. Four hours later, as I'm staring around the room giving my eyes a break from the monitor (I've been at this since 6 this morning) I catch a glimps of the nutritional info on the back of the apple chip bag.

Each bag contained 2.5 single ounce servings. Each serving had 140 calories and 7 grams of fat. So after happily munching away on two bags of apple chips and blissfully thinking I was gonna get some kind of kudos for actually eating an apple, I actually consumed 700 calories and 35 grams of fat. So much for not counting calories or fat grams. At 540 calories and 29 grams of fat, I could have gone ahead and had a Big Mac. Gah! I'm so depressed I might need some chocolate.

Monday, May 26, 2008

How did I get so lucky?

Aaron, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

Do you ever sit back and look at your spouse and think, "How on earth did I get so lucky?"

Here's Mr. H, wearing my hat (after I asked him to), and pouting about it.

People, my husband is hot!

sunny afternoon in seattle

sunny afternoon in seattle, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

I heart Seattle.

I moved to Seattle from Alaska the first time in 1992. I walked around the city for months in a constant state of wow. Sixteen years later I've still got a crush on this city.

I've been sitting here trying to figure out what it is about Seattle that makes it home for me. It starts with the water. I've got at least 4 drawbridges within 3 miles of my home (don't get me started on drawbridges, they get me all gaga too).

Follow that up with the culture of this city. I love living in a place where education is actually valued. While there's always room for improvement, and I'm sure some of you Seattlites squirmed a bit at my last statement, education is valued here. Moreso than many other places in this country, including the place where I grew up. Hell, take a look at our library(s). And our colleges. According to Encarta, we top the list as one of the most educated cities (which, on the downside, doesn't help me much when job hunting).

There is so much more: the food, the people, the easy access to recreational activities, the easy access to the rest of the world (I'm from Alaska, that's relevant). I just wish I could afford to live here. There is no buying a house in this town.

What is it that makes your corner of the world home?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Enough with the lips moving and the sound coming out"

Or, what my husband said to his mother-in-law.

Before you gasp in horror (or secretly cheer) they were just joking around. It made me gasp, but for a different reason. That was just the sort of thing my dad would say. I could see him sitting there with a full on belly laugh, his feet sticking straight out in front of him (he always stuck his feet straight out when he belly laughed), if he heard my husband say that. He would have loved that line, and he would have filed it away in the back of his brain for future reference looking for a really good opportunity to whip it out and use it.

I miss my dad, but I'm struck by how similar he was to my husband.

What about you? Do you find similarities between your significant other and one of your parents?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sometimes You Just Have to Drop Everything and Watch the Sunset

I've been trying to be very intentional about noticing the little things lately. It's so easy to take things for granted, to not notice.

Then some days there are things that refuse to be ignored.

I went a little snap-happy on the sunset tonight. These pictures were taken within 5 minutes of each other.

sunset 076
sunset 064
sunset 018

What grabbed your attention today?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

His Tar

For weeks my husband sat waiting for the mail. He would check the mail several times a day, pout, and double check again to make sure there wasn't a little yellow package slip tucked in the corner of the mail box. Today the little yellow package slip arrived and Mr. H ran up to the desk to pick up his new baby.

What, pray tell was in that package?


I've really got to do something about those book shelves. They are embarrassingly dishevelled. Really people, I take better care of my books than that, its just that I reference them frequently and I have yet to hire a library tech to re-shelve them for me.

Oh, what? Yeah, you wanted to know what was in the package. I'm feeling a little ADD today.


The package came with a hard case, replacement strings and it's own special pick (and plenty of bubble wrap to keep me entertained).


It's a Persian Tar. Shipped from Iran a month ago. He's already playing like he's had it for years (he's one of those annoying people who can pick up any instrument and make music come out). Mr. H is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Language and Civilization in 3 weeks and starting his masters program with the same focus in the fall. Said tar is his graduation gift.


In case you didn't know, a tar is a persian lute. Wikipedia link here.

And this is what it sounds like:

Now I'm off to play with bubble wrap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

After the Rain

This weekend was gorgeous. We had record breaking highs to accompany the crowds at the street fair, and plenty of sunburn to go around. With the wonderful weather came the pollen, and the allergies. (And the sinus headache.)

Last night it rained. It was such a relief: the water cleaning the air and leaving everything feeling fresher, crisper, the colors are brighter, the streets washed clean (ok, well not so much the Ave).

This morning Mom and I went for a stroll and we discovered this little critter out for a stroll as well.


He was seriously out in the middle of traffic - well foot traffic anyways.


Look closely at his shell (you might have to click to enlarge). It's so translucent you can see what look like blood vessels inside. Any biology experts out there know for sure whether snails have blood vessels in their shells?


What is wrong with me? Why am I taking pictures of slimy things?

I gotta admit, it was pretty cool to see.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Because what goes better with guns than beer?

Miller and Anheuser-Busch have designed a limited addition "cammo can" to attract the hunting and fishing demographic.

You can find the full article here.

I can see Ashton Kutcher now: "Dude, where's my beer?"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

University Street Fair

Every year the University Street Fair lands in our back yard. There's a little of everything here. And food. Lots and lots of food.

This slide show is a new thing. Do you like this better - or when I just highlight one picture at a time?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Did you lose something?


Friday, May 16, 2008

Crows Quarters

028, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

This crow found quite the posh place to build her nest. This statue stands over the main entrance to the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington.


Communication Skills

Senator McCain agreed with President Bush that "talking to 'terrorists and radicals' was no different than appeasing Hitler and the Nazis." (New York Times 5/16/08) This was in response to Senator Obama stating that he would engage in discussions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the democratically elected President of Iran.

I'll be the first to acknowledge there's a lot I don't know about international relations, diplomacy, and politics. But it seems to me that there is a difference between talking to someone and agreeing with them.

Isn't it possible that we can engage in coversation with another party without caving in to every one of their points? Isn't that what happens when we have political debates? Does allowing someone to talk automatically mean that you agree?

As soon as you plug your ears and start yelling "la-la-la-la-la, I'm not listening to you" you have effectively cut off and eliminated any opportunity to learn. The more you get them to talk, the more you learn about their vision, their plans, their motives, what makes them tick... That knowledge is power, not a weakness.

Oh, yeah, we're Americans, we don't need to learn anything from anyone else, they should just learn from us. Why is it that the rest of the world hates us? Freedom? More likely arrogance.

I'll cut this short and just leave you with this clip of Senator McCain calling for talks with Hamas

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Are you lookin' at me?

I spent quite a bit of time soaking up the sun from Mom's balcony this evening. It was 80 degrees, but she got just enough breeze off Puget Sound to make it quite comfortable.

This flower was staring at me the whole time - so I took a picture of it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Coffee with Mom

Mom, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

After class I stopped by Mom's place and dragged her out for a walk. It's so nice to live nearby. It's nice to be able to stop by and say hey let's take a walk and then stop and get some coffee. Today we walked to Chanterelles in Edmonds. Great little cafe.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sonrisa Modern Mex, Seattle

052Sonrisa Modern Mex is a relatively new addition to the University Village. The outdoor dining area is complimented by a sitting area with oversized chairs and an outdoor fireplace. We found the flickering of the interior fireplaces rather inviting as we were walking along outside in the cold. Inside the restaurant, we were immediately taken in by the lighting throughout the restaurant, and the tiling on the bar. The place looks lovely. The service was wonderful as well.

The food - the food aspires to mediocre. The Guacamole was wonderful, full of huge chunks of avacado and served with plantain chips along with the usual corn chips. The plantains were a nice addition to the chips, but they weren't really anything special and I certainly wouldn't want a whole order of them alone. The corn chips were fresh, but much to greasy. 016

Mr. H ordered the Baked Chile Relleno (Roasted poblano pepper stuffed with ancho rubbed chicken, apricots, golden raisins, pepperjack cheese, cilantro and onions. With salsa verde and red enchilada sauce and achiote rice). It was underdone,the cheese hadn't even begun to melt and the chile was still tough. But the flavors were nice so it wasn't too bad.

I had the Picante Primavera (Penne pasta sauteed with roasted shallots, roasted garlic, zucchini, asparagus and spicy salsa fresca. Finished with grated cotija cheese). This struck me as intriguing so I just had to try it. Each of the ingredients was wonderful on its own. The garlic was mellow the asparagus had a wonderful flavor and texture. But I 024found myself picking though the dish for specific items, a bite of asparagus, a bite of zucchini, several bites of garlic; each one delicious yet together they just didn't work.

The desert menu was interesting; a couple items included habanero peppers in the description. I wasn't feeling that brave, so we opted for the flan trio. The flan trio is described as being a chocolate, vanilla and berry brulee. What arrived was a dish with six compartments. Three ramekins each with a custard, one berry, one vanilla (the only brulee), and one chocolate. The remaining three compartments had whipped cream, one strawberry flavored with a strawberry on top, a tiny speck of plain vanilla, and chocolate flavored whipped cream with chocolate chips. I must admit, this is precisely what the menu said. But whipped cream with chocolate chips didn't work for 037me. None of the whipped creams were very good or even interesting. The creme brulee was good. The strawberry "brulee" was bland and over sweet and the chocolate "brulee" (neither of these two had been touched with a flame) was terribly thick, like fudge. I'm not one to leave dessert on my plate, especially where there is chocolate involved, but I couldn't eat this. I didn't even bother to ask for a box to take it home.

So would I recommend this place? That's an interesting question. Certainly not for dinner. However the bar is nice, the service is great, they have an extensive inventory of tequila and a talented bar tender. The guacamole is great. The happy hour menu boasts $5 appetizers, $4 house margaritas, and $3 draft beers. I say, if you want to meet friends for margaritas at happy hour, this might be just the spot.

Sonrisa Modern Mex
2614 NE 46th Street
University Village
Seattle, WA 98105


Sonrisa Modern Mex on Urbanspoon

Those were his words, not mine

063, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

Mr. H and I were wandering around the mall this evening when we came across this item. I mentioned to him that it would be awfully nice to have all of my rechargable items organized and ready to go so that in the morning I could just grab them and run. He responded that this item was "anal-retentive foofiness."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Losing Ambience

012, originally uploaded by coffeejitters.

a few weeks ago, I made fun of this sign.

Apparently I have the power, because now, Ambience is closing.

That's not quite what I had in mind.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Gift

In 1991 my mom brought home Matt; I was not happy. I was no longer living there, it shouldn't have been a big deal. But I still had a bedroom at the homestead, and I was asked to pack up my belongings in "My" room and either take them home with me or store them in the basement so Matt could have my room. But that wasn't really the issue either.

Taking in kids was nothing new in our home. I had four younger brothers and we had all, at one time or another, brought home friends to stay for extended periods of time. My parents took in my cousins, and kids who had aged out of the foster care system, and runaways (there was always a phone call to the parents to let them know where the kids were). My parents would not turn their backs on a child in need. Eventually they decided to start taking in foster children, and Matt was the first of many special needs placements my parents took in.

But Matt was scary. He was a 16 year old, severely developmentally challenged kid that had been held in a hotel room 24 hours a day for the past three months because they could not find a home that would take him. After a lifetime in the foster care system, Matt had an attitude, and he was very difficult to care for because of his medical needs as well. Along with an improperly formed brain, Matt had cerebral palsey and hydrocephalus; he functioned at the level of a two year old. He was difficult to look at. His hair grew in funny little tufts around the scars from all his brain surgeries, he shuffled along all bent over, he had a vocabulary of only 50 words and he was a head banger. By head banger I mean tMatt09hat whenever he was frustrated or angry or for whatever other reason he would haul off and slam his head on whatever hard surface was handy, often drawing blood. He terrified me. I did not like the idea of this kid living in my parents house.

Why am I using this Mother's Day post to tell you about Matt? Because Matt became a part of our family. My Mother would not give up on him. No matter how hard it was, no matter how many late nights she sat up wondering "what have I gotten myself into," she would not be just one more foster home that sent him back to that agency. He deserved better than that. And we learned a valuable lesson about acceptance and love, because we all came to love Matt. As he became more accepted and comfortable in our home he started to blossom at school, and at church where Mom took him every Sunday. By the time he passed away in 2000, he had touched so many lives that his funeral was standing room only. An entire community had learned a lesson about acceptance and love.

Mom has always been a caretaker. It's her calling, her gift, and she's very good at making people feel better when they are ill. When my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October of 2006, we were all devastated, but we all knew that he was in the best hands. While the doctors may be prescribing the chemo and performing surgeries, and the nurses attending to vital stats, it was Mom that cared for him and faught for him. She was the one that kept him going, and made sure he kept his brain active, and held his hand through the emotional rollercoaster of dying.

My Dad was never a big talker, that just wasn't his style, but Mom always made us talk on the phone together even if we didn't think we had anything to say. Dad and I would sit there on the phone, sometimes it felt like forever, trying to think of something to say to each other. We talked alot about baseball, we talked about mom, we talked about work - his and mine, we talked a little bit about the cancer and it's side effects, we talked about the weather, but most importDSC_0676antly, we talked. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Dad. It's just that both of us are kind of loners - and completely unskilled in the art of smalltalk. The point is, I had conversations with my dad, about nothing and everything, that I hold dear in my heart, and I wouldn't have had them if she hadn't made us talk.

She is the glue that holds our family together, and through the most difficult time of her life, she found ways to meet each of our needs.

In the six months since my father's death, Mom packed up and moved to Seattle. Sure part of it was to be near me. But really she's here because she's taken over as the primary caretaker for my 97 year old grandmother. And she's loving every minute of it, because helping people feel better is what she does, it's her gift.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom. Thank you, and I love you.

Happy Mothers Day to the rest of you moms out there too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Precious Fragile Life: When the unthinkable happens

Yesterday I was introduced to a new blog. I don't know who directed me there because the moment I landed on this blog, time stoped. This is the heartbreaking, achingly beautiful story of matt, liz and madeline. Liz gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in March, and died the next day. This blog is about everything that happens after: a day by day account of Matt learning to be a father and grieving his wife at the same time. He has a strong community of friends, and a larger community of strangers reaching out to him from around the world. Madeline is lovely at a little over a month old and Matt is doing a great job with her. Every person in this story is beautiful, yet each new post brings more tears.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Who comes up with this stuff?

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that this T-shirt is in Kids sizes?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm not Blogger's biggest fan right now

I've reverted back to my old format. I changed to the new format on Saturday night/Sunday morning and for some reason, suddenly today, blogger decided to freak out and it could no longer read my code. My blog has been down for most of the day.

Oh yes I know there are bigger, faster, sexier blog services out there, and someday I expect I'll have me a bigger, faster, sexier blog, with tassels and a bell. But those things take resources like time, money, and know-how and at the moment I seem to be strapped for all three.

so instead, I give you this pretty picture I took on Sunday afternoon.



It's 3am and I still can't sleep. I've got to get up early in the morning. Once upon a time, I would have just pulled an all nighter once I reached this point.

I don't think that's an option this time around.

I feel old.

And tired.

Just not sleepy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Shhhh... ! Husband is washing dishes

I am starving right now.


But I dare not enter the kitchen or even acknowledge my husband's presence in the kitchen. True to the observer effect, the act of observing alters the observed, I dare not let husband become aware that I am aware that he is doing the dishes else said dish doing cease.

In which case, I would end up doing the dishes.

Update: Husband doing dishes = sexy

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Duck Watching

Today was one of those stunningly beautiful days that take your breath away and make you happy to be alive.

We took a walk down to Lake Washington and under a tree just off the dock at the Water Activites Center at UW, we found this little family of ducks.

If you look very carefully, you can see mama behind the tall grass on the right (her bill is sticking out near the top of a blade of grass).


She then herded her brood into a different area of their little marsh.


duck and ducklings

keeping an eye out for predators (we watched her shoo away a crow that got too close; Unfortunately, I missed that shot).

mama duck with ducklings

Of course mama had to eat, too. (Remember that, you have to take care of yourself first in order to have the strength to take care of others.)

Duck Family

Time for some more exploring

Duck Family

Mama came over to check us out. (she didn't seem to be too stressed out by our presence, but then we tried to stay as quiet as possible. We settled in and watched them for a good hour)


There were male ducks there as well


they spent a lot of time bathing and grooming


for the most part, mama was letting the ducklings explore more than she was herding them. But she wouldn't let them get too far away.

duck and duckling

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