Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - The Top 10 Highlights

It’s hard to believe but another year is coming to an end. As a child I remember my folks complaining about how quickly the years went by; I was unable to relate because they seemed to just drag on for me. But at the ripe old age of 35, I get it. The years pass by in an instant and with each one that passes the speed increases.

When I began thinking about 2008 my initial response was negative, thankful that it was almost over. After all, my faced another fight against cancer, my brother Jimmy had one of those “one bad thing after another years,” my job was more frustrating and challenging than previous years, my birthday sucked and Thanksgiving was a family drama nightmare. But then I decided to list the “highlights” from 2008 and my list numbered 15 after only a few minutes of brainstorming. Feeling better about my outlook on 2008, I decided to create a Top 10 list of my favorite 2008 memories, and here it is:

10. Replacing my 13 year old mattress with the most wonderful mattress in the world, even if it’s so tall that I can barely get up on it.

9. Being able to see clearly following my eye surgery in June. I had no idea what I was missing and I love being able to drive at night again.

8. Having my mentor, Pauli Marr and my mom in town at the same time, we laughed until we cried, we laughed until it hurt.

7. Creating a wonderful birthday celebration for Jimmy’s 30th in May.

6. Sharing Seattle with my Cuz (Karri) and her Huz (Dale). We soaked up the sun, ate too much, drank too much and had a wonderful time.

5. Getting to know Barney, the cutest Beagle in the entire world.

4. Rejoicing on Election Night with the rest of the country as history was made and the wave of change swept across the country.

3. Paying off my debt to Oregon State University and finally receiving my degree.

2. Celebrating my 5 Year Cancer Free Anniversary with laughter and tears and a trip to my favorite beach in the whole world.

And my top memory of 2008….

1. Surprising Don with tickets to Vienna Teng in San Francisco on his birthday. I’ll remember the look on his face for the rest of my life. And the trip rocked too.

Here is hoping 2009 is filled with as many wonderful moments! Happy New Year!

December Weekend Wrap Up

Running a bit behind in my Weekend Wrap-Up posts so here is the entire month of December in one post. Enjoy!

For the weekend 12/5 - 12/7:
  • Woke bright and early to ferry Don and Kat to work so that we would have to deal with only one car during the days festivities.
  • Ran home to shower and get ready to truly face the day.
  • Attended the Seattle area P.E.O. reciprocity meeting with several of my chapter sisters.
  • Caught up with friends from other P.E.O. chapters.
  • Picked up Kat at work and dropped her off for her Spa day.
  • Ran home to walk Barney, change my clothes.
  • Picked up Don at work and headed to The Parlor in Bellevue to play some pool.
  • Once the first drinks were served I couldn't take it any longer and I forced Don to open his birthday gift from me. Needless to say, the surprise was worth the agony. You can read his account here. (He says it better than I could.)
  • Ran to pick up Kat when she was done spa-ing and she joined us at The Parlor.
  • Celebrated Don's and Kat's birthdays with dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.
  • Woke super early so that I could run to the office and pick up the boxes that I had been gathering for Kat's impending move.
  • Cleaned and prepped the house.
  • Hosted the Christmas Party for my P.E.O. Chapter.
  • Laundry, coffee, errands, the usual Saturday morning bit, but this time on Sunday.
  • Stopped to assist a biker that had taken a nasty spill on her way to work, more about that here.
  • Had breakfast with Don and Kat at Crystal Creek Cafe.
  • Spent the afternoon packing up all the breakables and kitchen stuff in Kat's apartment.
  • Prepped and got myself ready for the week ahead, all the while marveling at the fabulous weekend it had been.
For the weekend 12/12 - 12/14:
  • Woke bright and early to head off to the airport for our flight to San Francisco.
  • Enjoyed the flying experience aboard Virgin America, much thanks to the abundant leg room of Main Cabin Select.
  • Headed into San Francisco via BART.
  • Arrived at our hotel not sure if they could check us in but they could, and they upgraded our room. Yippee!
  • Settled in and headed out to explore the city. It was a beautiful day so we jumped on a cable carFisherman's Wharf.
  • Wanted to lunch at Cafe 8 but arrived amidst the lunch rush so we headed to Fisherman's Grotto
  • Had Fish "n" Chips at Cafe 8.
  • Picked up a few fun things and enjoyed the yummy smells at Boudin Bakery.
  • Boarded the cable car for the return trip to the hotel.
  • Relaxed for a few hours in the hotel room.
  • Got dressed and headed out a bit early for our dinner reservation.
  • Enjoyed some wine in the bar at the House of Prime Rib followed by a spectacular dinner. Truly an evening to remember.
  • Stopped at the hotel bar for a nightcap where I was stupid to let Don write on my hand not just once, but twice.
  • Fell into bed "comfortable numb" from an incredible evening food, drink and merriment.
  • Slept in a bit on Saturday morning and then jumped back on the cable car and headed to Ghirardelli Square.
  • Had breakfast at Lori's Diner.
  • Picked up some chocolate at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.
  • Walked along the waterfront to Pier 39, spotting Santa over and over again.
  • Walked up to San Francisco Brewing Company for a few pints.
  • Headed back to the hotel to change clothes and store the treasures we had picked up.
  • Took a cab to our favorite North Beach restaurant, Firenze By Night.
  • Enjoyed the unbelievable gnocchi and another fabulous dinner.
  • Kiss a few Italians, I just couldn't help myself.
  • Took a cab to the Palace of Fine Arts and enjoyed a glass of wine in the lobby while waiting for the show.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the performance by The Paper Raincoat.
  • Waited with great anticipation for the beginning of the Vienna Teng show.
  • Soaked up every note of the Vienna show, the highlight being when she dedicated Shasta to Don in honor of his birthday thanks to an email sent by Kat.
  • Spent some time talking to Alex Wong and Amber Rubarth (of The Paper Raincoat) following the shows and picked up some signed copies of their CD.
  • Walked blocks and blocks to find a cab to take us back to the hotel.
  • Stopped by the hotel bar for a cup of tea before heading to bed.
  • Woke on Sunday morning in time to shower and head downstairs for massages at the Hotel Spa.
  • Headed back to the room to pack and check out.
  • Jumped in a cab and headed to The Carnelian Room for an their unbelievable Sunday brunch.
  • Stopped back by the hotel long enough to pick up our bags and head to the BART station.
  • Arrived at the airport to find our flight was delayed due to the rainy weather.
  • Hung out in the airport bar while waiting for flight information.
  • Sat next to a Mr. T look alike on the flight home.
  • Arrived home to Seattle and the frigid cold.
  • Unpacked and headed to bed with a big smile on my face, what a wonderful weekend.
For the weekend 12/19 - 12/21:
  • Cleaned and did basic household stuff.
  • Had planned to host a Christmas Party on Friday evening for several friends from work but everyone cancelled for fear of driving on icy roads.
  • Relaxed at home with Barney.
  • Watched some cheesy Christmas movies.
  • Laundry, coffee, the usual Sunday bit.
  • Stopped by for a cup of tea at the Teacup's new Queen Anne location and decided that I want to become a tea snob.
  • Bravely ventured to the grocery store, Don did the driving, to gather up the turkey and all the fixins for Christmas Eve dinner.
  • Made Lasagna in anticipation of dinner with the Black family only to have them cancel due to the impending storm.
  • Declared that since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
  • Enjoyed lasagna while watching the snow fall.
  • Tried to watch It's a Wonderful Life but my VCR ate the tape despite Don's efforts to get it to work.
  • Watched White Christmas instead, while "White Seattle" was happening outside.
  • Braved the snow and cold to head to Bothell to help Kat unpack her belongs.
  • Had breakfast at Crystal Creek Cafe with Kat and Don.
  • Was disappointed in my packing skills, especially since I had bragged about how good I was, when I found a couple things broken. :-(
  • Spent some time in the evening prepping for the week ahead, happy that Christmas is almost here.
For the weekend 12/26 - 12/28:
  • Worked on Friday which was difficult as it was painfully slow.
  • Put my pajamas on shortly after getting home from work.
  • Had the perfect turkey leftover sandwich for dinner (bread, cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, gravy and mayo on white bread.) Yummy!
  • Watched some more cheesy Christmas movies.
  • Slept until 9:30 a.m.
  • Watched some more cheesy holiday movies.
  • Finally decided to get out of my pajamas and take a shower around 3:00 p.m.
  • Had another turkey leftover sammich for dinner on Saturday night, oh the yumminess.
  • Slept in again.
  • Decided to stay in my pajamas all day.
  • Watched some more cheesy Christmas movies.
  • Prepped for the week ahead and marvels at what a bum I was all weekend.
New Years Resolution for 2009 - be more timely in my weekend wrap up posts. ;-)

2008 Test

You Remember 80% of 2008

You were paying attention during 2008.

And you remember what happened really well.

You'll be able to talk about 2008 for years to come...

Even when most people have forgotten what went down.

Thanksgiving in Utah - the wrap-up

This post has been sitting in my "draft" box for over a month now. I didn't think it was a good idea to post it at the time I wrote it since I was very angry, hurt, upset, disappointed. However, a month has passed and I still feel angry, hurt, upset, disappointed so that is likely not going to change and I figure that I neglected my blog long enough and its time to POST THE DAMN THING.

So without further ado... My Thanksgiving, in bullet points. Warning: family drama ahead.

I spent Thanksgiving in Utah with my family. I haven't been home for a holiday since moving to Seattle in February 2005 and now I remember why. It was busy, crazy and TONS of work. I was looking forward to spending time with my siblings and step-siblings which turned out to be a disastrous combination. I learned that the things I appreciate in a holiday celebration are not things that my family does well. I love them, but drama free family gatherings just aren't our thing. Here are the highlights:
  • I had dinner at Dave & Kristen's prior to leaving so I could pick up some things that they wanted taken in the car.
  • The cutest nephew in the world taught me all about the Wonder Pets.
  • I learned how to put chains on my tires.
  • Packed and got ready for the drive.
  • Picked up my first Egg Nog Latte of the season in Ellensburg, Washington en route to Salt Lake City.
  • Made the drive in 12 hours and 40 minutes, which isn't bad considering that my stops had to include potty time for Barney.
  • Met with clients at 2 hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley and uploaded the latest software in their machines.
  • Had lunch with my Dad at Mimi's Cafe.
  • Met my Mom at Harmon's to pick up some random items for the Thanksgiving feast.
  • Enjoyed a quiet dinner with Mom, Rick and Jimmy.
  • Helped Mom with the grocery list for the big shopping trip.
  • Drank beer and ate lunch with my Mom and step-Dad at Red Rock prior to the trip to the airport to pick up the family.
  • Got in a fight via cell phone with my brother Dave who was, in my opinion, being a stubborn ass.
  • Made up with Dave later in the evening.
  • Loved having story time with the cutest nephew in the world.
  • Wore "Fuck Cancer" t-shirts (Mom and I) on Wednesday while cooking because that sums up our feelings on the subject and it was the 6-year anniversary of the end of chemo for me. (We took pictures which I promise to post.)
  • Went with "the girls" to have pedicures.
  • Made the decision to paint my toenails orange in honor of the OSU Beavers.
  • Cooked and cooked and cooked and when that was done, we cooked some more.
  • Found out that I am a "bitch" for making my dog behave. Siblings can be so helpful for personal insights.
  • Ate Chinese food at the "kids table" on the night before Thanksgiving thoroughly enjoyed my nephew Gabe, who is a crack-up and a bit obsessed with Bruce Banner.
  • Collapsed into bed, completely exhausted.
  • Bravely opened 2 packages of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the cutest nephew in the world. I think I made him a forever parade fan.
  • Stuffed the turkey and got it roasting.
  • Cooked and cooked and cooked so more.
  • Found out that I was a "bitch" yet again for trying to get everything on the table at the same time.
  • Taught my step-Dad's cousin how to make Crescent rolls. I thought they were "self-explanatory," apparently I was wrong.
  • Finally sat down at 10:00 p.m. when my Cuz (Karri) and BFF Jenna came over for pie and some girl time.
  • Bravely opened more packages of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Celebrated my Mom's 63rd birthday with her by shopping and running errands.
  • Enjoyed catching up with friends and many of my Salt Lake P.E.O. sisters at the open-house in honor of my Mom's birthday.
  • Cleaned up from the party with the help of Jenna.
  • Packed the car, again with more help from Jenna. Why she puts up with my family drama after all these year, I'll never know.
  • Fell into bed, again totally exhausted and tried to sleep but only managed to get 3 hours in.
  • Left Salt Lake super early so that I could be home in time for the Civil War game.
  • Arrived home in Seattle exhausted, but so happy to be home.
  • Watching the Civil War game with Don and ate the yummy dinner he had made.
  • Yelled at my father after his "thanks for including us but we won't ever come again" call.
  • Proclaimed that I will never again paint my toe nails orange as it clearly didn't help the Beavs.
  • Slept in my own bed and got 12 hours of wonderful sleep.
  • Spend Sunday organizing, unpacking and finishing up the Christmas decorating.
  • Spent the next week or so trying to recover from the emotional, physical and mental exhaustion of the trip.
My Mom was thrilled to have the whole family home for a big holiday and she had a ball despite the drama. I don't know how she does it. She thrives on chaos, it exhausts me. Hope your holiday was filled with a bit less drama than mine.

Weekend Wrap Up - 11/14 - 11/16

My poor blog has been so neglected of late. I could give you the army of excuses, but I won't. I've just been introspective and haven't felt much like posting. I'm finally dusting off the draft folder and getting a bunch of these posts up so that I'm caught up. Here is the wrap-up for the weekend 11/14 - 11/16:
  • Accompanied my friend Suzie to UW Medical Center for surgery on her hand.
  • Listened to lots of little beeps for my annual hearing test.
  • Spent more time in the waiting room for Suzie to come out of surgery.
  • Listened to all the instructions and took Suzie home to rest.
  • Played pool and drank beer with Don at Rock Bottom Brewery.
  • Ran some much needed errands to Safeway and Pet's Mart.
  • Picked up a coat for Barney to keep him warm and dry.
  • Had dinner at Kipp's.
  • Ironed and got myself ready for the week ahead.
Exciting life I lead, I know.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it

Erin tagged me. I took this in my office with my camera phone.


1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW!
2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.
5. Tag 10 people to do this!

Ten? Wow, not sure I can come up with ten, but I'll try. How about Don, Kat, Chris, Kathleen, Anandi, Christina, Tanya, Lazy Triathlete, Brother O, and Laura, and anyone else who would like to play along, feel free! Please leave a comment on this post when you post your pic.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Test

Your Christmas is Modern

Your wish for the New Year is good health.

For you, Christmas is secular holiday. Religion doesn't play a big part in it.

You are patient when it comes to Christmas. You don't celebrate too early, and you don't like seeing holiday decorations in October.

You like Christmas traditions, but you're not uptight about them. You do things your way.

You like to celebrate Christmas your own way, and you don't like to have to compromise.

You enjoy Christmas more than anyone you know. Some might call it an obsession!

You try to give as much as possible during the holidays. You are quite generous.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Muffin Test

You Are a Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

You are smart, sophisticated, and savvy.

You love taking risks, and you are the first to know about new trends.

You are curious about the world and tend to have many interests.

You also are very talented. It sometimes seems like you are good at everything.

You are very social and inclusive. You'll be friends with anyone.

Even though you're very cultured, you're not a snob.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The sun

Spotted the sun peeking out between the clouds after I got safely home to Queen Anne.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Should I Be? Test

You Should Be a Manager

You're very organized, motivated, and methodical.

Fair and objective, you can see all sides of a conflict. You are a good mediator.

You are task oriented. You do well with deadlines and schedules.

And while you can be a task master at times, you're good at managing people and listening to their input.

You do best when you:

- Must have attention to detail

- Are in charge of people

You would also be a good accountant or personal assistant.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Miniature decadence

Life at the top

Headed to the top of the Bank of America tower for brunch.

Friday, December 12, 2008


The communion of sinners - San Francisco sourdough bread and Central California Pinot Noir. Rejoice!

Dancing with my Elf Friends

Another Elf ditty to get you in the holiday spirit featuring my elf friends and colleagues Christy and Amy. :-) Enjoy!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Castle Personality Test

The Castle Personality Test

You are scared of new experiences. It's hard for you to break outside of your comfort zone.

You like to think that people see you as dramatic and fascinating. You do your best to seem mysterious.

You are a very romantic person. You can't help but see the world as it should be.

Right now, you feel very trapped in your life. You often feel like there is no way out of your rut.

Overall, your life is very peaceful - if not a little solitary. Much of what goes on goes on in your head.

You feel like the fate of the future partially rests in your hands. You believe you need to help make the world a better place.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blue Sky

The skylights in the basement Sterile Processing department at Evergreen Medical Center makes the employees feel less like basement dwellers. Cool idea.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Velociraptor: 1, Jewells 0

Seen on Don's site and I so curious to see how long I could survive, apparently not so long.

I could survive for 1 minute, 6 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Sock Test

What Your Socks Say About You

You Are:

- Quite outrageous

- Very jolly

- A little bit different

- An awesome person

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Kat!

Happy Birthday Katharine!

On your birthday, I wish for you the fulfillment of all your fondest dreams.

I hope that for every candle on your cake you get a wonderful surprise.
I wish for you that whatever you want most in life, it comes to you,
just the way you imagined it, or better.
I hope you get as much pleasure from our friendship as I do.
I wish we were sisters, so I could have known you from the beginning.
I look forward to enjoying our friendship for many more of your birthdays.
I'm so glad you were born, because you brighten my life and fill it with joy.

--Joanna Fuchs