Thursday, December 27, 2007

White Christmas and a little deer

The foundation guys seemed to prefer working in the snow rather than the rain. They like our project because they are all outdoors men and enjoy driving past elk herds in the fields on our street. Plus, our little deer family come to check them out during the day. Yesterday when the crew got here they found the place where the deer had spent the night. There were steaming indentations where they had been sleeping until the truck pulled down the drive. One of the little ones came back later for a nibble under the trees.

It's official

I have made it through all the red tape and am on the rosters as a substitute rural mail carrier. I will be going in for training in January. Just like old times.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pics from Kathy

Kathy took some pictures on the day of the move. I have posted them on Flickr. If you want to see more, click here.

The house is up on it's cribbing waiting for the foundation. The foundation crew is scheduled to start building the forms today but it is pouring rain so I don't know if/when we will see them. (Oh! They are arriving as I write this!)

As you can see in the above pic, it is MUDDY! And guess what? Russell seems to really like mud. Yesterday Matt went into the house to check on things and try to shut some of the windows that came open during the move. There were little muddy cat prints all over the floor. There are also little muddy cat prints all over the shop. We tried to clean his paws last night but he has managed to get mud into every last nook and cranny.

Here is a picture of our little mudskipper POST paw cleaning!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Moving Video

This is a huge, 8:30 minute video. I hope it doesn't bog your systems down too much. Also, let's face it, I'm no Andy. This is a dark, blurry, choppy mess that only a mother could love. Except mine. Mom, cover your ears around the 4:00 minute mark.

Love, -M

Mood of the Day: RELIEVED!!!!!

I have had a BIG SLEEP and I feel much, much better! Many of the pictures of the move came out dark so I have put descriptions with everything on Flickr and hopefully your imagination can fill in the rest. You can view the whole set of photos here.

I am going to work on the video clips sometime today and hope to have them posted later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It finally happened!

Same house, new lot! I will post more pictures and video later, once I have had some food and a nap.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winds of Change

Last Sunday came and went without a house move. This was no surprise to anyone in the area. It truly has been an ugly mess for those in the flood zone and the utility companies have been scrambling to get everything put back together.

This coming Sunday is a different story. I am asking you all to cross your fingers and send some positive energy our way.

Here is the way things stand: The permit is still not a done deal but could possibly be approved today. The weather for Sunday is iffy but not potentially calamitous. The utility companies should finally have some crews available. And best of all, Matt's business trip has been postponed so he will be here. It seems like this Sunday should work find for many reasons, least of all my sanity. I thought I was handling the delays and stresses fairly well until my face started breaking out and every joint and muscle began to ache from unconscious clenching (too much info?)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Quick Update

It is very unlikely that the house will be moved this weekend for a number of reasons. First, the office from which we were waiting for the permit (Washington DOT) is in Chehalis (currently underwater) so we are no longer on the top of the list of priorities. Also, both utility crews we need would be traveling from the north and I-5 is still closed. There is no way for them to get to the site. That means the move will probably happen on Dec 16 and that sucks big time because Matt will miss it. He will be back in Los Angeles and absolutely cannot change his trip due to work constraints.

Here are some pictures of the flood taken on Tuesday. I can't credit them because I don't know who took them. Tom emailed the link to me. Anyway, to clarify, we are on one side of the water, the utility crews are on the other side of the water and the permit office is in the water.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Well, Matt got home from Los Angeles last night and arrived under clear, starry skies. It was too dark for him to see the extra high water in the rivers and standing water in places where there shouldn't be water so he is skeptical about our ferocious rain and flooding. He keeps teasing me that we are all just a bunch of excitable sissies. But I will just show him this associated press article that I found on the internet this morning and he will have to believe me. Here are some excerpts about the places near to us (in red):

The drenching rains and howling winds were gone but flooding concerns persisted Wednesday, as anxious residents waited for waters to recede so they could see what was left after this week's fierce storm.

The storm, which killed at least seven people, battered the Pacific Northwest before moving on Tuesday, leaving behind flooded homes, fallen trees and washed-out roads, including the region's largest highway.

Some were spending Wednesday looking for the lost. In the Lewis County town of Winlock (That's us!!), a dive team planned to search normally tiny Wallers Creek for Richard Hiatt, 81, believed to have been swept away when a bank gave outfrom underneath him.

"It happened so quickly," daughter-in-law Sharon Hiatt said Tuesday as searches continued. "That's the only possibility, that he fell into the creek.". . .

. . . National Guard troops were summoned early Wednesday morning to help evacuate a 20-unit trailer park near Elma threatened by the flooding Chehalis River, Kelly said.. . .

. . . As the water started to rise outside their Lewis County home, Terry Roberts moved his cars to higher ground, shepherded his wife and two children into their RV and hit the road.

They didn't get far.

"We were on dry road and all of a sudden, the water started swirling around," Roberts said, standing with his wife in a temporary shelter in Chehalis after being rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. "That's when we got on the CB and called for help."

Roberts, 64, was among the hundreds who fled their homes after the storm.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who toured the ravaged region by helicopter Tuesday, touched down at a high school shelter in Chehalis and offered encouragement to the roughly 40 people staying there.

She also ordered a plane to deliver food and emergency supplies to the high school in Pe Ell, about 25 miles to the west, because the roads were blocked by water.

"It's hard to comprehend 5- to 10-feet under until you see those houses," Gregoire said.

The governor also flew to the water's edge on Interstate 5, which has been shut down since Monday at Centralia because of flooding. At one point Tuesday, officials said a three-mile section of the road was under as much as 10 feet of water from the surging Chehalis River.

The interstate, which is the main north-south route between Portland, Ore., and Seattle, was expected to be closed at least through Thursday.. . .

. . . With I-5 closed, state officials were recommending a lengthy detour -- Interstate 90 across the Cascade mountains and down U.S. 97 through central Washington to the Oregon border -- a route that roughly doubles the three-hour trip from Seattle to Portland.

David Dye, Washington state's deputy transportation secretary, said workers were cleaning up lots of debris -- "garbage, tires, dead rats everywhere" -- while they waited for the water to recede.

On the edge of downtown Centralia, waist-high water the color of chocolate milk covered streets as police used small boats to get to houses in flooded neighborhoods.

More than 300 people had to be rescued in Lewis County, many being plucked off their rooftops by helicopter, Sheriff Steve Mansfield said.

Chehalis City Manager Merlin MacReynold said between 70 and 80 people had to be rescued in the city limits alone. He called the flooding worse than the 1996 deluge, which is still legendary in the area.

So it is still a bit messy here. There is no going north for at least another day. The freeway closure is from mile marker 68 to 88. Our exit is 63. We are really lucky we are not 5 miles north. When we were looking for land one of the main requirements was that it be as high and dry as possible. So we are fortunate that the only water we have to deal with is what falls from the sky, not what spills over from nearby rivers or dikes. On our property the standing pools of water are gradually seeping into the saturated ground. As far as we know the rest of the family made it through OK too. Ben is in Olympia and I don't think he has to worry about flooding in his place, Andy is in Bellingham and they got hit but not as hard as Lewis County apparently. Tom and Kathy are dry too. So, yeah! Today I will be looking around to see if I can find out what we can do to help the people who were affected by the floods. It's a crappy time of year to have your house under water.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Maybe my time and energy would be better spent building an ark rather than building a house. I haven't lived here long enough to know if this is normal or if we are having above-average, continuous, torrential downpours.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bad mojo is contagious!

So yesterday after I wrote my Jonah Day post I headed off into the snow to see a movie and do some shopping with a semi-confident feeling that my blue mood and black luck was over. Meanwhile, it seems I had infected Ben, Tom & Kathy w/ my bad mojo. The three of them had planned to go Christmas tree shopping but before they left, Tom sliced a chunk of finger with an axe!! After a trip to the doctor to get stitched up they left to get the trees. By this time Nathan had come up from Portland so the four of them headed out. The trees were selected and Ben & Nathan headed north in 2 cars while Tom and Kathy headed south in one. Not too long after, in the wild mess of snow and sleet, Ben spun his car and crashed into the median. The weather was so bad that Nathan, traveling behind, didn't even see the accident happen. Ben is OK and Tom still has his finger so everyone was pretty lucky in the face of bad luck! ha ha ha.

Today Tom, Kathy and I were at the sister house stapling plastic to the open doorways. It's not a big deal to have them open when the rain and snow fall straight down but we are expecting high winds so we sealed it off. While we were there we spoke to the owner of the property about unexpected bad luck. He said that yesterday his son split his bottom lip open and his dog jumped up, hit his wife in the face and gave her a black eye! Great Googeley Moogeley!!! What in tarnation is going on up here?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Jonah Day

So, yesterday was kind of a Jonah Day. Things were going along fine until the house mover called to say that the permit wasn't going to be ready in time for a Sunday move. So I scrambled to cancel all the utility crews that were lined up. Then I called the various other people who would be affected by the change. Matt had planned to come home from Los Angeles on Saturday night to be here for the move but moved his ticket until Tuesday since they really need him down there. So I am husbandless for a few more days - frown. And, to top it all off, the power went off at 3:30. It stayed off for 2 hours. I gave up, lit my candles and lantern, crawled into bed and read a book with the help of my flashlight. Then Ben txt'd me that he was coming down to Toledo for dinner and did I want to come? Truthfully I was having a pretty good wallow in self pity and considered keeping my head under the covers for the rest of the day. But I pulled myself up and had a really nice evening w/ Ben, Tom & Kathy. I still continued to spread a little bad mojo around though. Tom had prepared a piece of fish for dinner. He took it outside to grill it but before he got it on the grill the fish and platter crashed to the ground so the three of them had to eat ham instead. After dinner we watched the end of Polar Express and put up a few Christmas decorations. But I had one more crappy moment before I got back to the sanctuary of my cat filled bed. As I was driving home I came upon two trucks stopped in opposing lanes on a narrow country road. The truck in front of me pulled ahead as I approached and I noticed a large deer on the side of the road. Her legs were collapsed but her head was up and her eyes were bright. I am certain that she had been hit by one of the trucks and had broken legs. I knew she was going to die, either by the effects of the accident or by a mercy shot from one of the trucks. My eyes pricked and my chest hurt all the way home. I hope I never hit a deer or elk. I can't imagine that the damage to me or my car would hurt as bad as watching such a beautiful, elegant creature die.

Today I am going to go see a movie. I think it is best if I borrow someone else's life for a few hours. Cheers.

Friday, November 30, 2007


You've got to be freakin' kidding me!!!!

The house move is postponed AGAIN!!!!

Turns out the permit application was missing some information and the permit will not be ready by Sunday. Now the word is the house will move on Sunday Dec. 9th.

Crimeny. Give a girl a break already!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snow (sort of)

Woke up to a dusting of snow this morning! Not a big deal to you folks in Utah but certainly a little thrill to me. Matt is in Los Angeles again for work so he missed it. But not to worry. With our luck it will snow on the day of the house move so he will get to "enjoy" it on that day.

Una debates going out into the white stuff. She ended up stepping out just to the edge of the snow and then decided it was better to be inside.

Someone else was more adventurous than Una. My guess is Quinten.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A few steps closer

Well, things are still moving forward on the house. While we were in Utah, the crew came up and rotated the house so that the back is now the front. This will make it easier for them when they set it in position in our yard. From what I understand, the ramp will be built on Friday and/or Saturday and the house will be on the road at 7am Sunday morning. We will have utility crews from the cable company and the power company out with us. Each crew will cost about $1300. That sucks. I really hoped we would be able to move the house on a weekday and not have to pay time and a half but, after all the delays, I am just glad it will be moved at all. The hemorrhaging bank account seems the least of my worries. In case you are wondering, the weather from now until well into next week, including moving day, is rain and snow showers. Joy.


Another Thanksgiving. Another whirlwind trip to Utah. We started off in Park City with Doug and Nancy. Then we headed to Roy for a night with Kim and Angie. After that it was off to Ogden for 2 nights with my parents. Then, back south to Salt Lake with Dar and Win and finally one last night in Park City. We had a wonderful time visiting with our families and, as always, we felt there just wasn't enough time. We spent Thanksgiving Day at Kim and Angie's house. They did a great job hosting. Angie had everything all ready to go by the time we got there Wednesday night so there wasn't much for us to help with. We just got to sit back and enjoy the day. Doug and Nancy arranged for a day of 4-wheeling. I'm kind of a chicken but I threw caution to the wind and was able to keep up with the pack. It was REALLY fun.

Kate, Nancy, Doug, Jason, Me, Matt

No, I didn't get a tan. I have dirt everywhere. My teeth, my ears, my eyebrows, my fingernails, are all filled with grains of grit. Yum.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I almost don't dare to type this

We have a moving day!!!! Our house mover's wife just called. In the midst of the funeral and whatnot she got word that the permit is ready and so we can move forward. The tentative plan is to build a ramp out of the property the house is on now the day after Thanksgiving. We won't be here for that - you knew it would shake down like this didn't you? Moving day will be Dec 2nd. Matt has plans to be working in Los Angeles then but will probably change his ticket. Everybody cross your fingers now!! I won't even bother to ask what else could go wrong. We have crossed so many hurdles already on this house move I don't want to tempt fate.

R.I.P. Wayne Grippin. Your wife is a quality individual. She is very professional, even in the face of tragedy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friq and Fraq no more *cry*

2 Nissans are better than one!

It's the end of an era. Friq and Fraq got Washington license plates this week. We didn't bother to get vanity plates this time because one of them (shhh, it's Fraq) is going to have to be sold so I can buy a vehicle suitable for mail delivery. Of course I won't be selling Fraq if I didn't pass my USPS driving test. I took the test up in Tacoma on Friday. It is really weird to be tested on something that had become somewhat instinctual - second nature if you will. I assume I will pass. I am not a bad driver - haven't had a ticket since Jan 1990 - so here's hoping the test went alright. I won't have results for about 3 weeks! Back to Friq and Fraq, we love these cars. I will really miss Fraq when we sell it.

Hot Cat

Some sappy sucker (me) bought Una a heated cat bed. Having a heated bed isn't enough for this princess. She must have her bed up against the space heater for maximum heating. What can I say? She's old. She has made me very, very happy over the last 14ish years. I can't help but indulge her.

Volcano Boys

Matt and James trying out their X-ray vision. Somewhere in those clouds is Mt. St. Helens

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some pics of the last few days

On Friday Bailee joined me on a trip to Portland to pick Matt up from the airport. I had a grand plan that we would do some shopping on Hawthorne street, graze on munchies from the Indian grocery and perhaps have an appetizer at the Vietnamese restaurant and then head over for some "fun" at Ikea before heading to the airport. After picking Matt up we would go out for a nice dinner. My plans were bigger than my time frame. I picked Bailee up from school but we were delayed in getting to Portland because I had to stop in Longview to pick up some copies of our revised footing plan. When we finally got to Portland it was nearly 4:30. As luck would have it James, who is on a road trip from Utah, arrived in Portland just before us so we met on Hawthorne street and did a little shopping at the bookstores and specialty markets. I am sure Bailee was bored to tears though she didn't show it! We left Hawthorne to go to Ikea (the part of the trip Bailee was most excited about) but I misjudged how long it would take to get there. By the time we arrived we only had 20 minutes before Matt's plane landed (Ikea is airport adjacent). But, as luck would have it, his plane was early so after 5 minutes in Ikea we got a call from him wondering where we were. Sorry Bailee! Maybe we can do Ikea up right next time. Bailee, James, Matt and I then went to dinner at the Blue Moose Cafe - where the pic above was taken.

On Saturday after breakfast at the local truck stop (surprisingly good!) we did some illegal wandering in Lewis & Clark State Park. We didn't know it but the park closed in October. We are not great rule followers. We left our car on the side of the road and went in on foot. So beautiful!

Here is a tree growing out of an old stump.

A shot of the canopy

Beautiful lichen growing on the side of a fallen tree.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Rock Bottom

After leaving message after message I've been getting more and more angry that our house mover hasn't called us back about the status of our permits and a moving day. I called him again this morning at 7:30. His wife answered. She told me he died on Wednesday. I can't imagine there are any more curve balls coming our way that can trump this. She was very kind, especially considering it just happened the day before yesterday. She asked for a few days to sort things out and get his moving crew regrouped and said she would call us back. I told her to take the time she needed. I mean what are construction deadlines in the face of death? It's a good thing I don't have high blood pressure.

I have plenty on my plate today to keep my mind off the house stuff. I have freelance work to do, I need to clean the shop in preparation for James' visit tonight, I have long overdue filing to get under control and I need that all done by 2:30 because I am picking Bailee up from school and she is joining me on a trip to Portland to pick Matt up from the airport. What's that old adage? Something about having the strength to deal with what is in my control and the patience to deal with what is out of my control? I am practicing that now.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Bailee & Matt

Bailee & Michelle

I assisted with her wardrobe and make-up. I forgot what a mess that greasy Halloween makeup is. Greasy face paint combined with a giggling subject makes precision goth make-up just about impossible. Oh, and Bailee superglued those piercings onto her face. Clever (and crazy) girl! In case you forgot what Bailee looked like before her Halloween makeover you can revisit this post and check the bottom photo.

Monday, October 29, 2007

What's up with the house?

Well, I'll tell you. Nothing much. Since the neighbors refused to let us go through their field, our mover is going to build a ramp next to the driveway since the driveway is too narrow for the house. It adds an extra days work along with some stress onto the job. We still don't know WHEN the house will be moved. Now the state police are in the mix so we have submitted the application to them too. This soup is seriously getting spoiled by too many cooks! At some point, maybe in the near future, maybe in the distant future, all the entities will be able to agree on a date and we can get the house over here. My half full glass is starting to seem kind of half empty.

Cherish the Ladies

Shortly after we moved to Washington we got a mailer from the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Cherish the Ladies, a traditional Irish music group comprised entirely of female musicians, was on the schedule. I am awfully fond of them and bought tickets on the spot. Well, as luck would have it, Matt ended up being in Los Angeles on the day of the concert so I asked Tom if he would like to go. It was so much fun! It felt wrong to be sitting in a seat and not dancing during the show. Although all the musicians were thrilling a few really stood out. Dierdre Connolly has a beautiful voice for Irish music. Donna Long played a piano solo that broke my heart.

The Witches of Toledo (+ Winlock)

Kathy invited all the local witches for coffee hour last Friday.

Leslie, Jill, me, Ardeth & Kathy

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I stepped outside this morning and almost slid right off the wood porch. The cars are covered with ice crystals and my fingers can't seem to get warm. Looks like the first frost is here. Is it wrong of me to wish for Southern California weather even in the midst of the fire disaster?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Helping out

Consider making a donation to Noah's Wish. They are sending teams to San Diego county to help the animals that evacuees had to leave behind. Imagine losing your house and then losing your pet who gives you unconditional love whenever you are down. Noah's Wish tries to take the added burden of losing pets off of the shoulder's of people who are already pushed to the limits of stress and fear. They did (and are continuing to do) a great job helping after Katrina. Also consider a making a donation to the Red Cross.

Monday, October 22, 2007

City of Fire

To my beautiful Los Angeles (and all of Southern California),

I am so sorry you are on fire. If I could send some of our rain down to you I would.

To our friends in the Southland, please be careful.

Love, Michelle


The field owner said no (see previous post). He doesn't want us moving the house into his field because he doesn't trust us to replace his fences properly. I am tired of this mess and we haven't really even begun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Well, it doesn't look like we can move the house out onto the road using the driveway. That leaves moving it sideways out into the neighbor's field and up onto the road from there. We knocked on the neighbor's door on Friday to explain the situation. He is thinking about it and I am on pins and needles waiting for his reply. He uses the field as one of his cow rotation fields so he is concerned about the field getting torn up and not getting fences put back right. Apparently he spoke with the people we bought the Sister House from when he saw all the activity. They told him they sold it to some people from California. When people say "California" up here they kind of sneer it out. I wish he didn't know that is where we are from. I can tell that, in his mind, being from California means we have moved here to destroy the moral fabric of the community and trample all over the locals. I don't want to pressure the guy and further enforce his opinions of Californians but I really need an answer. It looks like we have some less rainy days coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday and that is when the house mover would like to position the house in the field where it will sit for about a week until the actual move day.

Also, another snippet of bad news is that the county road people will only let us move the house on Sunday. That sucks because we will have to pay time and a half for all the utility crews that need to be on hand and since it is elk hunting season finding willing workers on a Sunday will be hard. It is a little funny that they are holding us to a Sunday move because the house is directly across the street from a Mormon church so Sunday is probably the busiest day of the week on that street.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Playing with dollies (or We're off to see the Wizard)

The sister house got lifted onto dollies yesterday even though we still don't have an actual move day! There are so many entities that need to be involved (county, utilities, highway patrol, etc.) it is tricky to nail it down. It is raining like crazy today. I went to take pictures and got soaked. I don't know if I have mentioned it but the house is the same width as the road we live on so we will really be messing with the traffic once the move gets going. Our moving contractor is the one who has to deal with county permitting. I am curious to see what type of traffic control they will request.

If the deluge from the sky had been less I would have taken the trouble to arrange some striped socks and pointy black shoes in this picture. I think the house looks like it could have fallen from the sky out of a tornado.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Well, looks like the house will be rolling down the road on October 23th or 24th. We have been extra busy getting everything in order. Right now we are making sure that all the utility companies are on alert so they can move any lines that hang too low for the house to pass under. We have the pad at our place graded and we have taken down two trees (*weep*) so the house can fit onto the lot. We still need to take down a fence to get her in here. Over at the house there isn't much left to do. We need to clean up the bricks from the chimney demo and take off the front porch.

Got a call from the bank that our construction loan funded yesterday so we are ready to roll. And how do I feel about all this life changing activity?


Here are some shots from our trip to Bellingham. The central part of the trip was going to see the band that did all the music for Andy's movie. I didn't take my camera to the show because when they played the night before the drummer's wife's wallet was stolen. Big bummer because Andy danced and I have no photographic evidence! A little background - Andy was a film major at Western Washington University. He filmed a movie there called The Dream Garden. He is still editing the movie so none of us have seen it yet.

Matt, Maggie Anderson (the drummer's daughter), Andy & Bailee

Lisa, Jolaina (the star of The Dream Garden), & Bailee. They all live in Toledo so we get to see them often.

Colin & his daughter Keira. Colin and Andy are partners in film. They make their movies together. As Andy was making The Dream Garden, Colin was filming Room 113.

This is Bailee, Jolaina's sister. She is a delight! Matt and I are sooo going to adopt her. Here she is seen standing on a bridge overlooking a waterfall that she fell into once upon a time. I wouldn't say she is accident prone but I would say she is very adventurous and so her potential for disaster is higher than normal. Love ya Bailee!

When the mice are away . . .

The cat will play! Matt and I went to Bellingham over the weekend to meet up with Andy and his friends up there. He went to school in Bellingham and shot his movie there so there were many people to meet and places to see. While we were away Tom graded the pad for our house! Here are some before and after pics.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Congratulations Jenny!

Maybe it was a truck?

Fun weekend - no pictures

I managed to not take a single picture this weekend despite the fact that we had the whole "new" family together. Andy was up from Los Angeles, Ben was down from Olympia and Grandma & Grandpa were visiting from Carson. Bob and Lani also came to play with us. On Friday night Ben, Andy, Matt and I went to the Toledo High homecoming football game. Toledo got SPANKED! We didn't stay for the entire game. After the game we went to a Toledo bar for a little local flavor. There is a ridiculous rivalry between the towns of Toledo and Winlock and we were joking about it all night. I almost got us into a fight by saying too loudly that I prefer our tavern (Frank's Hideaway) in Winlock over Harry's in Toledo. Relax people. FYI, if you want scary, mean drunks go to Harry's. If you like your drunks dopey and happy go to Winlock. I like my drunks dopey and happy. I hope nobody from Toledo reads this!!

Saturday was spent with the women in the house doing women stuff and the men outside doing men stuff. Kathy, Lani, Grandma & I were inside baking cookies while Tom, Bob and Grandpa were outside trying to get the Cat running again.

Sunday everyone drifted back to their own towns and things quieted down. It was really wonderful to have everyone together under one roof for awhile.


I picked up our building permit from Lewis County on Friday. The permit was the last piece of the package needed for our construction loan. We will be signing the loan papers on Tuesday. We are going to try and get the Sister House moved to our property sometime during the week of Oct. 22nd. I don't know if that is actually possible since there are a few different entities that all need to be available at the same time and we also need some cooperation from Mother Nature. The week of Oct 22nd is important because Tom leaves for a few weeks of hunting at the end of October and when he returns we are into Thanksgiving and we all know that schedules get a little loosey goosey once the holidays start

I feel as though I have been chugging up a huge roller coaster hill and we have just rounded the crest of the first giant drop. Here we go!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

After the rain - cue uplifting music

Portland visit #3

Matt and I went to Portland for the Finntroll concert on Wednesday night. We headed down a little early to grab some dinner. Many people ask if I miss Los Angeles. The answer is that I miss it most when I want to go out to eat or go to a movie. If I never eat another grilled cheese sandwich made with Kraft Singles and Wonderbread and served with a side of tater tots it will be too soon. My point is that it was a treat to head toward the land of "real" restaurants. From the book we selected Ken's Artisan Pizza because it was a cold rainy night and the warmth and aroma of a wood fire oven sounded perfect. When we drove by though the place was overrun with customers. We are neither patient or well adjusted to standing in the rain so we just drove right on by. Since there seemed to be a bunch of other options in the neighborhood we parked and walked. In the next block we ran across Navarre - also listed in It was the happiest of accidents. These people are food geniuses. Never have I smiled so broadly whilst eating turnips. They were served with brown sugar sauce and it was inspired. We also ordered braised greens, the pickle plate (mostly for Matt - but I did eat a pickled bean), home made bread with olive oil, prico (yeah!! fried cheese!!), and Matt had some steamed clams because he has decided that ocean filters don't count as animals. He may be have a point, I don't know. For desert I had THE BEST PIE EVER - peach/raspberry. There is no point trying to describe this perfect pairing. Matt had spice bread with goat cheese and honey. Just his style. I tried it but it didn't hold a candle to my BEST PIE EVER.

We were trying to time everything so we got to the venue after the opening band played. We were doing alright until the bridge we needed to cross was closed and the detour sign lead us into a no man's land of underpasses and signage voids. So we got to the concert a little after Finntroll started playing. They are such a happy metal band. A brief description of them is the marriage of "traditional Finnish hoedown music,"humppa", mixed with folksy black metal." We had a great time. I took a snippet of video. That lasted until I got busted by the bouncer. Here's my question: what difference does it make if I get a little footage to amuse myself and friends. It's not like the quality is bootleggable or anything. It is useless to pretty much everybody. Oh well. Here is the footage. It will stay here until I get reprimanded by someone who cares (?).

The hair swinging kills me. Is this a parody of a parody? See Dethklok. And Dethklok on MySpace.

And Dethklok with Finntroll music (!!! - check out the name on the store at the very beginning). The crowd went bonkers when this song played. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A boring week

With a precious few highlights. Most of the week was spent in front of my computer - sometimes I was working and sometimes I was pretending it was a fire up to which I was huddling because I am COLD! Today Tom is coming over and we are going to figure out how to better close off the living space in here from the garage bay. Brrr. This week wasn't all blah. We got a new/old tub. I had been trolling the internet and home improvement shops looking for a bathtub I liked. I couldn't find anything I was willing to soak my bones in for less than $5000. Call me picky but I want a bathtub with beautiful lines. I demand form and function of my bathroom fixtures. Anyway, up in Centralia there is a place called the Northwest Tub Company that specializes in refinishing and reselling old tubs. The lions share of their inventory is clawfoot tubs but I already had one of those and wasn't interested in using it. So we traded in our clawfoot for this beauty: I have christened it The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. One last note on the week, Matt and I went up to The Olympic Club in Centralia and spent the night there for our anniversary. Ooooh, fancy, a night in an ancient hotel w/ shared bathrooms a mere 20 minutes north of our house. Whatever. That's what a homebuilder's budget and anxiety levels have reduced us too. It was fun in all sorts of weird ways. The bartender a the Oly club was a spaz. Always talking, always asking questions. Complimentary with our room rate were tickets to the movie theater in the complex. We saw Stardust (words can't describe the mess this movie is) and I now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I am not sure how that movie went over with the locals. The movie goers sure looked like good ole' boys and the movie's "acceptance and love for all (yes, even gays)" message might not have been what they were expecting. We at a ginormous pile of tater tots while watching the movie. Tater tots seem to be a recurring menu item in these parts.

The morning after our movie marathon we did some lightweight antiquing. That is where I ran across this alligator bag.

Words fail me.

Do you have any money burning a hole in your pocket?

Yeah, neither do I. But I might someday and if I do I plan to use some here so I am bookmarking this page so I don't forget. People helping other people directly. What could be better? Just thought I would share this site w/ my friends and family because you are all good people who like to do good things.

Love to you all,


Sunday, September 23, 2007

15 Years!

Matt and I got married 15 years ago today! We were very young (22) and I know there were more than a few people who wondered if we knew what we were doing. I did not feel nervous at all on our wedding day or the days leading up to it. I never worried that I was making the wrong move. I have spent the last 15 years with a wonderful man and the best match for me - no question.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What I have been up to this week. . .

Walker Lahmann LOVES balls

Matt and I got our Washington driver's licenses this week. Somehow that makes everything seem very official.

Tom, Kathy and Walker came over the other day. Tom and Matt put a cat door in the wall of the shop so that the cats can go in and out freely. That is if they ever figure out how to use their cat door. So far Lily and Quinten are the only ones who have used it without our help. Una seems disinterested and I am just not sure if Russell has enough in his brain pan to reason it out.

Those of you who know me from way back will get a kick out of this. When we first moved here we had trouble getting our mail forward sorted out. In my talks with the Post Master I mentioned that I had been a contract carrier. He asked if I would be interested in being a sub for the rural route here if he had an opening. I wasn't sure (it was the best of jobs, worst of jobs yada yada yada). On Monday he sent me a notice that he needs 2 new subs fairly soon. I thought about it an decided a couple of days a week can't be too bad. Only problem is, just like the contract carriers, rural carriers need to use their own vehicle. Now is not really the time for me to be adding another car to the fold. I take the rural carriers test on Oct 10th and am currently working on an application from the PO that requires documentation of my entire life. Hopefully I can figure out some car solution. I'll keep you posted (ba dum bum chhh).

Russell and Una. Russell is playing. Una is pissed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

This is how we do things in the country

1. We air our grievances in public:

Ran across this sign on my walk this morning. I didn't have my camera but I thought is was so funny I ran home to get it. I was afraid Allen would drive by and see it before I got back. Wonder who Allen is? How much does he owe? Why did he borrow the money? If he doesn't pay up, maybe I will learn the answers to these burning questions if his "buddy" makes good on the threat to let everyone know what a smuck [sic] he is.

2. We can our own goods.
I had some pangs of guilt yesterday while I was helping Kathy can marinara sauce. My mom did lots of canning while I was growing up. I never wanted to help and viewed the whole endeavor as pointless - I mean seriously, there was a grocery store right down the street! Now that I am grown up I find home arts like canning fascinating. As a teenager I thought anything as gender specific as home-ec was evil. Now I kind of dig it. Go figure. Anyway, sorry I wasn't more cooperative as kid mom. When you come to visit we will can something!

3. We bruise the crap out of ourselves.

Yes, that is my hairy leg. My bike turned on me and the pedal went for blood. Now the bruise is black - so pretty. I won't be wearing shorts or skirts for the rest of the season. I guess it's good for me that the rains started yesterday.