Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hair Don'ts

Here you have it: a woman going mad with a house on the market and not being able to work on hands-on projects to keep her creative juices flowing. Add to the mix that our computer C drive is filled to capacity and I can't fiddle with our digital downloads presently. Reading a magazine was my option and here I stumbled upon a website presenting how to "do" a new you. (If you'd like to check it out, go to www.lhj.com/tryahairstyle.) I did have a bit of a problem matching my natural hair color, so I have gone a bit more gray here, thinking it was better than their brassy blonde option.
Wes really liked the spunk of this character in the movie, so I'm calling this coif the Ratatouille Chick. "If I Could Turn Back Time" I'd choose the Cher.
In search of the perfect mother/matronly haircut? Try the Donna Reed 'do!
This is the Mrs. Brady look. How did she do it with six kids? A moment of silence, please, for creator of the mullet.
Because I liked the movie You've Got Mail I'm calling this look the Meg.
The oft-requested look to emulate a famous Friends star...I call this the Jennifer.
This look I am calling Marilyn because of a sweet person I know who has hair just like this!
I call this the Shayne look because of the Bachelorette who won Matt's heart recently. Was she ditzy or what? Should I be embarrased to admit I like this show?
Finally, I leave you with the option of red called the Shayne on Fire. Shame on me for wasting my time like this...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meeting the Little Man

What a thrill it was to get the call that Andrew and Baby Will (aka Little Man) were coming to Chi Town!! Ever since we heard the news of his arrival, I was just itchin' to meet the little guy and get to hold him and kiss the top of his head covered with dark Timi-inspired hair! And, Andrew's inspiration of the blue blue eyes was also noted.
Our visit, though short, was certainly sweet. Little Man was well taken care of by his brave Pop.
Andrew seemed so comfortable traveling with a young baby, and I am proud to be his Aunt. Timi, please kow you were missed on this visit...it must have been so hard for you to be apart from your guys!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another One to Love!

A is for about time! We all watched and waited for news of the birth of our newest family member. We knew her parents and brother were anxiously awaiting the birth of this newest baby...would it be a boy or a girl? When? How long? How much? What name? Finally, when I called my sister to check in for the morning, she announced: "She's here!" And her name is Nora Claire. All are doing well. Another child is welcomed to the world - and the family welcomes her with much love and affection. Now we have three Great Nieces and two Great Nephews...and it's simply - well - great!
A close up of the sweet little newborn. I love how her eyes are tightly closed in slumber and her little lips have those little peaks of perfection. And the fuzzy hair that I could kiss on top of her lovely head, the rosy apples of her cheeks, and her little ears...it's L-O-V-E!
Here is little Nora Claire with her dad, Eric and her "Georgia Deb" Great Aunt.
And, yes, I did make a bag for her, too! This was the fastest creation ever as I knew we were passing through on our way North and I could hand it off in person. Besides, I had to see this little sweetie myself as she was only one day old...I love newborns! Congrats to this special family of four! We love you Eric, Cherith, Cal and Nora!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Pink Suitcase Chronicles #4

Seriously, I think I might be going a little nutty with this Pink Suitcase thing. I mean, really. I loaded her up in the rowboat, rowed past our dock at our lake cabin in/near Iron River, Michigan, schlepped her out onto the raft, and positioned her there so that I could get a head-on view of our cabin in the background. Meanwhile, camera in hand, I am bobbing up and down in the boat due to motor boats motoring nearby. The waves rolling knocked the suitcase over, almost sending my beloved pink traveling companion plummeting into the water! Sheesh! This brings us to our recent trip to the Upper Peninsula. We spent the recent long holiday weekend there with Anne, Jed, John and Kari. What fun we had: eating, watching old family videos, swimming, boating, playing games, visiting friends, swatting mosquitoes (okay, so not so much fun with this one!) fishing, thrifting at St. Vinnie's and more!
Each year, we wonder if our good ol' speed boat will start up...she's getting to be an old gal now.
But, yep, it looks like she is up to it for one more summer!
The 4th of July celebrated U.P. style is quite unique. The morning parade has hordes of people that you never see otherwise. Trucks of all styles are in the parade with waving folks in/on them. We even saw a yellow School Bus and a Charter Bus in the line-up this year. Unfortunately, the spewing water Cement Mixer was not in attendance, but the spouting fire truck with hose was, so we still managed to get ourselves doused and drenched again. Fireworks started at about 10:00 PM. We parked in a gravel lot near Ace Hardware and cozied up with the mosquitoes. Horns honk when a particular explosive spray is appreciated. Nearby revelers shoot off rockets, light sparklers and throw "poppers."
Here our group gathers for a birthday party at the White Stag. Five birthdays in a little over three weeks is a lot to celebrate. Following our party, we all went go-karting...as usual I was the slow poke of the gang.
Times spent with my family are simply the best! Thanks, again, little pink carrier, for carrying clothes for this time together - we'll soon be on the road again to more adventures!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wanted: A "Gets It" Buyer

It's been about a month now since our home has been on the market. Yes, we have had lookers and Open Houses. But, the perfect buyer has yet to step forward and recognize our house as a home.
We know it is not a mansion. We know it has a small kitchen. We know that only one car can fit in the garage.
We know the wooden floors have a creak here and there (hey-so do we!!). But what they don't know is that this is a perfect home to come home to at the end of a long day. It shelters us from winds and storms, heat and cold. There's been lots of love and good times in this home. We have raised our two kids here and I think they are ones who make the world a better place. We have a pretty garden with blooming perennials, and wonderful, big shade trees. The neighbors are fantastic. There's a Dairy Queen close by, as well as the wonderful children's book store Crocodile Pie. Kids can walk (walk!) to the elementary school nearby as well as the middle school. The high school is just a little over a mile away. There's a great library in town. Band concerts are held summer Thurday nights in the rose garden in front of the library. For beer connoisseurs, there's even a micro brewery and restaurant here! It's a lovely community that we have loved living in for twenty six years now...24 in this very house.
What's hard for me is to have people look at our home and not seem to see what we see, or feel what we feel. After a "visit" I feel I am being graded somehow on the abilities of my decorating, and the grades are not passing. For this, I think I need to develop a thicker skin and keep the faith that somone is out there who will love this place as much as we have.
Enough of this, though. Just please, think positive thoughts for us for someone who "gets it." And buys it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From "Eew!" (last post) to "Ooh!" (this post) - Final #3 P*S*C

Visiting Butchart Gardens in Victoria was one of the highlights of our entire trip. I think of it as paradise on earth. Now for a little garden history:

Robert Pim Butchart began maufacturing Portland cement in 1888, moving to the West Coast of Canada for the rich limestone deposits there vital to cement production. By 1904, wife Jennie had had enough of the ugly quarry pit! She formed an unprecedented plan to refurbish the bleak pit by having tons of topsoil transported to the site. This began the Sunken Garden area. Four years later, a Japanese Garden was completed. Eventually, a Rose Garden and an Italian Garden were planted. By the 1920's more than 50,000 people had come to see Jennie's garden creations! By now the number of visitors far surpasses that count.

I took so many pictures at the gardens that no blog could handle the count. Instead, I opted to go to Snapfish.com and created this personalized poster of our favorite shots and surprised Wes with it for his recent birthday. If you click on it to make it larger, perhaps you willl find us there amongst the flowers!

As a farewell to this P*S*C Number Three, I leave you with a parting shot of Mt. Ranier. We saw "her" nearly every day on our trip and she's one majestic "lady." If you should ever get the chance to visit this part of the country my only tip is to say, whole-heartedly, "YES!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Warning for Squeamish: Going Buggy! (P*S*C #3)

"What?? You've got to be kidding!" was my response when friend Marti told me that if we were in Victoria, we HAD to go to the Victoria Bug Zoo! Her parents had gone there and said it was their favorite place in all of Victoria...and they are pretty cool, happenin' people! So, map in hand, Wes and I set out to find this place and we ended up enjoying the zoo, too. Many things were learned there such as: insects having longer antennaes means their vision is poor, bug taste buds are often in their feet, and ears are in their knees! The zoo guides took us through all sorts of habitats and encouraged the visitors to have a hands-on approach themselves. In fact, we ended up going back a second time and I really don't even like bugs!
My personal favorite bug in the zoo: the pretty Malaysian Orchid Mantis who mimics an orchid flower.
Wes is holding the millipede. If this would be a bug beauty pageant, this one would win in the Miss Congenialty department. She let onlookers wear her as a bracelet, a "unibrow" and even as a moustache!
Check out the Thorny Devil. Enough said.
This green bug blends in well with green vegetation and is called the Australian Stick Insect. About six inches long and I was happy to look through the glass at this one!
Here I am holding the Great Green Bush Cricket. She's actually a Katydid with taste buds on her feet. She was pretty nice.
Here Wes holds a friendly tarantula.We learned that this spider is really not all that poisonous when compared to a centipede. And it gives you many warning signs before biting you:
1. First, it will try to run away and hide.
2. If you persist in the pursuit, it will raise up and shake legs at you and expose its fangs.
3. Still threatening it? This spider will eject its hairs towards you and is capable of 6 feet
range propelling of hairs!
Stick Bug, anyone?
To the left: the Atlas Beetle. This dude has three horn-like jaw appendages. Why? So he can carry a rather large log to the female who then lays her eggs in the log. Hey...you never know what you'll need to entice a "lady." And, in the same family, the Hercules Beetle. This one has but one spiky horn appendage.
And it obviously likes oranges.
Presenting the...er...ah...lovely
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. This little (not really at 2 - 3 inches in length) bugger comes from Africa and really does hiss to mimic a snake!
We didn't hold this one; our guide Eleanor did. The most interesting fact I learned about cockroaches was that they are capable of living for three weeks with head missing for the sole purpose of mating. I also think this is the little bug starring in the current movie, WALL-E.
So, here you have it, folks. Were you creeped out by this post? I hope Marti's parents can relive their happy memories with this one! We never knew bugs could be so interesting and b-i-g.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Waxy Expressions (P*S*C #3)

This is the entry where you get to vote to see if Wes looks anything like Tony Blair as he has been told multiple times that he does! Once in Victoria, we headed to the Madame Tussaud's Royal London Wax Museum. There is Mr. Blair in the background with Wes in the foreground...what do you think? Hmmm...
Having never been to a Wax Museum before, this was a bit on the surreal side. Seeing the British Royal Family (and others such as some U.S. presidents, Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon -I am inches taller than he was, Elvis, Superman, etc.) as they appear to scale in wax was strangely odd.
Wes had actually seen in person one of the waxed wonders alive and breathing. Believe it or not, he was just feet away from Princess Diana when she visited Northwestern University in his tenure there many years ago. Never one to be "star struck" Wes came home to report she was stunningly beautiful with long, shapely legs! That certainly caught my attention!
So, let me know about the Tony Blair thing, okay?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Drama and Trauma on the 4th Level! (P*S*C #3)

How exciting...we were leaving Seattle and taking the fast Victoria Clipper to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
We needed to park our car in the parking garage and cross the street to boarding and - in typical Wes style - we allowed plenty of time! A spot was available on the 4th floor. Into the elevator on the way down and shimmy shimmy shake shake lunge bounce stop. What just happened here? Just the two of us in the elevator and dead silence. Wes pushed all the floor buttons. Nothing. He tried to pry the doors open. Nothing. He pressed the call bell. Yes...it rang. But no one out there answered. We were stuck somewhere between 4 and Ground! Here we are stuck in the elevator. At least the overhead lights didn't go off even though the push button panel lights did.
Wes was NOT amused. I found out that in this situation, he had less humor than I did. He looked at his watch a LOT! Poor guy!
The speaker phone in the elevator that finally alerted someone we were stuck...it was NOT a great system!
My pink suitcase was once again useful as I could perch on her in the elevator while awaiting help!
Finally, after what seems liked hours (but was under an hour) we heard a muffled voice outside confirming that we were in there and that he was going to help us get out. Then, the crank down started - four floors going down step by step. Now I know what it feels like to be a car at the mechanic's shop being slowly taken down from the repair platform!
Once the door opened on the lowest floor to let us out, I asked the fix-it guy (my hero!!) how often this happened at this particular parking garage and he replied, "Never!" Apparently all three fuses had blown. We scurried away to our boarding ship just in time. Thus ends the Drama and Trauma portion of our trip!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Ms. Sunshine

As a wee little one, this girl always had a ready smile and a hearty belly laugh - in fact, many comments were made about both! She has beautiful mega-watt "pearlie whites" and a twinkle in her eyes.
Anne brings sunshine with her wherever she goes. She is detail-oriented, a Pied Piper to children of all ages, a snappy dresser, a thinker, a reader, able to memorize songs easily and sings readily. Never one to sit still for long, and that continues probably right this minute as she is running here and there and fitting more life into her schedule than the average person. I would call her a dynamo! Today on this 7/07, we wish our daughter the happiest of birthdays. Seven seems to be our lucky number; we rejoiced the day she was born and have loved her sunshine in our lives for all the years since. As a girl doesn't always like her age known, I am not sayin' how old she turns on this day! But, if you see her today, wish her well - that is if you can catch up to her!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Matrimony Ceremony (P*S*C #3)

Four years ago, John headed off to college and the first week there he met Alex, and the two of them have been inseparable ever since then. We regard Alex as our Oregon son and also have come to know and love his Carlson family. So, when Alex and Marie invited us to their Washington wedding, we knew we would have to go - hence the purpose of the trip to the Pacific Northwest. It was truly a memorable wedding and reception. All the best to these two as they begin their marriage journey.
The guys are ready to go. Tuxedos? Check. Shiny shoes? Check. The ceremony beckons...
A first look at the 'newly pronounced' husband and wife The happy new groom and bride
The reception was held in a barn...not a working barn, mind you.
The Swedish/Norwegian wedding cakes - Uff Da!
It was a blast to dance with John at the wedding...I think I was laughing the whole time we were whirling, twirling, spinning and swaying.
It was also sweet to be able to see John with his best buddies, singing away at the end of the reception the song that they had sung together so many times as Carlson Crazies with the repeating words, "North Park, North Park, North Park, North Park...North Park, North Park!"
They truly are a band of brothers and as of this day, there are now two of them wearing wedding bands! Hmm...wonder who will be next. I hope they'll invite us to their wedding(s).