Thursday, December 23, 2010

Portland Zoo Lights

My little niece is visiting from Minnesota for Christmas week.

MW is very excited as he adores his cousin. They've been racing around the house playing hide and seek, pausing only to play frantic games of Mario on their Ds, then off they race, running around again!

It's been wonderful having another girl in the house :) She's been dressing poor GabbyAbby in all the silly dresses I have collected along the way, hugging her close as if she is a living doll.

Gabby politely purrs while shooting me pleading looks, longing for escape.

Last night we took the kids to the Portland Zoo Christmas lights. You can see pics of it Here:

Today I'm taking MW and the Niece over to my hair dressers place to get their hair done. MW is being a great sport and has agreed to get his hair done along with his cousin because he knows she is excited about it.

It's not even Christmas yet, Peeps--but this has been one of the best Christmas's ever. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas, Peeps!!

May your Christmas be filled with family, love and warmth.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

They feasted...and it was Good!

My chosen feast?

Cheese and garlic bisquit with honey butter
Wild mushroom stuffing
Garlic mashed potatoes
Chilled prawns with spicy cocktail sauce
Dungeoness crab legs
Clam fourentine
Salted sturgeon
Chilled Salmon
Pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan pie

I did feast. And it...was...GOOD!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

This year I am not cooking Thanksgiving meal. This year Lord V, MW and I are going to Salty's Restaurant, across the Columbia River from us. The menu? Is THIS.


Carved Turkey with Chanterelle Mushroom Gravy

Corn Bread Stuffing

Wild Mushroom Stuffing

Apple Bourbon-Glazed Ham

Rosemary & Garlic-Crusted Prime Rib with Creamy Horseradish

Salty’s Famous Seafood Chowder

Chilled Dungeness Crab Legs

Poached Peel & Eat Prawns

Smoked Gouda & Bay Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese

Blackened Salmon with Sweet Thai Chili

Salt-Crusted Smoked Coho Salmon & Pancetta Sage Tartar

Salmon Canapé with Lemon Dill Chèvre, Red Onions & Capers

Chilled Snow Crab

Salt-Crusted Sturgeon with Fried Caper Lemon Aïoli

Warm German Potato Salad

Caesar Salad with House-Made Croutons

Fresh Vegetable Platter with Ranch Dipping Sauce

Creamy Oven-Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Pancetta Bourbon-Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage Butter

Honey-Glazed Yams

Seasonal Fruit Platter

Artisan Cheese Tray

Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Soup

Fresh House-Baked Breads

Assorted Cookies

Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Bring. It. ON!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thar Be Snow in Dem Dar Hills!

Bah humbug.

I'm so not ready for snow :(

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mega-Mindness on a Rainy Saturday Afternoon

MW and I spent this blustery, rainy afternoon holed up in Cinetopia theater watching MegaMind 3D.

Not a bad way to while away a couple of hours...not terrific...but not bad.

I confess, I really wanted to see the new Harry Potter flick but bought Megamind tickets online thinking Harry Potter would be sold out.

Wrong. There wasn't even a line!

Seems the Potter magic has fizzled.

Ah well. It lasted longer then I thought it would.

Right now our home is filled with the smells of chicken casserole bubbling in the oven. I sliced up a quick cucumber and red onion salad, tossed it with white vinegar, splenda and cracked black pepper and slid it in the fridge to marinate.

Hungry anyone? :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Foggy Saturday

The house is quiet. Outside our windows fog presses close, thick as cotton candy spun on an earth tone cone.

MW is at his Dads house now. Gabby Abby lays sleeping on my legs. Her tiny body radiates comforting heat like a hot water bottle placed lovingly between sheets on a chilly winters night.

I can feel Christmas lurking. It is now that time.

The seed starts small. The one that whispers inside you to begin feathering the nest to settle into winter and all she brings.

A sudden yearning to dig out the crock pot and fill the home with the scent of simmering soup and freshly baked breads.

I am done mourning Summers end and have begun to revel in the coziness of Winter.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In the Shadows of Autism

Tonight is a difficult night.

I purchased some board games for MW and I to sit down and play together with.

Easy ones. From ages 5-8.

MW is almost 13, but is just now beginning to enjoy the challenge of playing a game against another person.

I wandered the aisles of the store carefully choosing games that would not frustrate him.

Monopoly JR. Guess Who. and Trouble with R2D2 inside the bubble because he loves/loved Star Wars.

He chose Guess Who.

We sat down to play but there was some assembly required...meaning every plastic piece had to be put together and then the little face cards slide into the plastic things.

Much struggling but we got it all done and it was time to flip the pieces up so we could start.

He flipped a few up but others fell down. Out of frustration, he picked the board game up and shook it to make the plastic pieces all stand up at once...

but that made all the face cards slide out.


By the time hot chocolate was made, cookies set out and all the &%$# plastic pieces were hour had passed.

We made it through half the game and MW was struggling not to cry.

I pushed him to finish. I didn't want him to quit.

We made it but during the last part of play we talked about Christmas time and he asked if I was going to put out the Christmas box this year.

Ah yes. The Christmas box. A beautiful advent Christmas box that has little individual drawers you can put tiny presents in for him to open each day.

Except he's getting too old for the tiny box gifts and he fixates on wanting only the one thing he is fixated on.

This Christmas? It's Mario.

Everything Mario.

It's all he talks about. All he draws about. All he plays with.

He is consumed with Mario.

I explained how we were going to do something different this Christmas. A different Advent box. I had purchased an advent calendar that had Lego pieces inside each day where you could build a Lego character and by Christmas time there would be an entire Lego village.

"But I'll get Mario things, right?" MW asked starting to twist his hands in anxiety.

"No. Not this time. Not before Christmas."

"But WHY?!" He wailed, his man/boy voice cracking.

"Because, Honey, you fixate on things and only want that one thing. You want nothing to do with anything I or anyone else gives to you that isn't the thing you are fixating on."

"That's not TRUE!" He yells.

"Yes it is, Honey. You put them back in the bag it came in and don't touch them again."

"I can't help it!" He covers his face and struggles not to cry. "I hate that you think I don't like them!"

"I hate that I fixate!" He cries, slamming his hands down.

My heart is hurting but I cannot let him see. I calmly push him through this. "The advent calendar will be fun. You'll see. And it is my way of helping you not to fixate."

I went and brought it to him to show him.

He glanced at it and ran crying and screaming up to his room.

This, People--is the shadow land of Autism. The place where we push and stretch and struggle with our kids to get them to embrace pieces of life they resist.

It is a place of tears, sweat, anguish and incredible, unending, unconditional love.

I have a Mom's faith that with his tears a new fertile land will grow.

He will grow.

And he will thrive.

The tears hurt though. They seep inside my skin and jab at my Momma heart.

But I will be strong. Because he is worth everything.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Yes. Yes I DID go there!

I was mall shopping with MW the other day when we hit one of our favorite places: HOT TOPIC.

What did my Hello Kitty lovin' eyes spy?

What new Hello Kitty treasure did I pounce upon you ask?


And yes. Yes I did buy it.


Sunday, November 07, 2010


Well it turns out I don't have laryngitis but need to have throat surgery again.

With the miracle of in office laser surgery I've held it off going into full surgery for 2 years so I guess I cannot complain (too much).

Still annoying, though.

On other news:

I joined a gym in September and have been faithfully working out. I took advantage of hiring a trainer when I first joined as it's half the original training cost when you first join.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Twice a week she runs me through a gambit of exercises while she keeps an eagle eye on my form as I'm sweating my way through the routines. I have learned so much from her. It's not just added motivation to work harder while someone is watching you--it's doing the exercises correctly so your muscles get the most benefit.

Working out with her makes the time go by quickly. Sometimes I think, "Did I do enough to make a difference? Did I get a good enough work out?" My answer is in the wobble in my legs as I make my way back to my car and the aches and pains the next day from the millions of muscles she made come alive.

It's also in the inches I've lost since joining.

Best investment ever, Peeps.

An investment in my health, worth every sweaty penny.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Voiceless in Portland

I have been stricken with a terrible case of laryngitis that has lasted 2 weeks now.

Anyone who knows me knows how terrible this affliction is for me as I am forced into silence!! :(


How long can this last??!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back from Vegas

I have been gone this past week, spending time in Vegas with friends and Lord V.

We had lots of fun hanging with friends and seeing the huge decorated Hotels! Saw a couple of shows which was a treat.

Bought Souvenirs for friends and MiniWarrior back home and


Everything is HUGE in Vegas. Food, buildings, SOUND! OMG at the unstoppable, endless SOUNDS that bash at you from all sides!

Even laying by the pool was loud as they blared the music loud enough to make it almost impossible to read a pool side magazine!

I love my friends and love seeing new places but I must say--been there, done that--to Vegas and scratch it off my places to revisit.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Glass Walls and Islands

I blinked and 2 months have slipped past since I last logged on here.
I blame Facebook. It's like crack.

Lord V mentioned this weekend that I hadn't updated my blogs in so long and wondered if I had given up on them. I assured him I hadn't--but I thought I'd send that assurance out to blogland so you all will have your answer too :)

So much has happened during this off time yet so much remains the same.

MiniWarrior Update:

I have to think of another name for my lanky half man who towers over me and speaks in a crackling man voice.

Last night Lord V remoted our new Apple TV box to his computer and displayed images of MiniWarrior from toddler years on. *sigh* My heart still aches from those images.

Where has my little boy gone?

Time spins so quickly. It's like an unstoppable tidal wave that crashes over me no matter the walls I erect to stop it's on coming rush.

My little boy will be 13 in a couple of months. 13. When did this happen?!

13 and yet, I still see glimpses of my little boy.

He is still in to Star Wars but right now his obsession is Mario and Luigi. He carries them everywhere. He prattles to them in an Italian accent then cracks himself up, giggling in his crackly half man voice.

He still loves hugs and kisses from me but now avoids the little Mom touches that I can't seem to stop doling out. The little leg pat, the tiny stroke of my hand on his hair. He flinches from them and gives me a long suffering, "Mommmmmmmm stop!" in response.

I won't stop though. I can't stop. I only have him for a precious short time before I lose him completely to manhood.

It is all so conflicting. I adore him. He is the very air I breathe and yet, he makes me nuts. He prattles on endlessly with question after question after question until my brain feels like it's stuck inside a vice and is going to explode from the pressure.

I can't wait to see him on Wednesdays when he comes to stay with us from his Dad's house--and within 15 minutes I'm grinding my teeth pleading in my mind for him to go upstairs to his room and give my poor brain a rest.

He is never. EVER. Quiet.

He talks non stop. And if he isn't talking he is making sound effects. He is never at rest. He paces, he flaps, he shifts, he runs, he...makes me nuts.

God help me. I adore him.

I've been watching the show Parenthood that has a boy that plays an Autistic kid. Some of the script is over the top on how the boy Max plays being Autistic--but some of the writing is so dead on that it makes my breath catch and my heart squeeze.

The last episode had the Mom of Max going to an Autism support group. A lady in the group opened the discussion talking about how she cried at McDonald's.

She spoke of spending all day with her son and how much she adored him but how exhausting it was to be with him all day.

How she has to be on guard in every situation. She has to be hyper aware of every influence, sound--light--environment, that might affect her son. How she watched every flinch, every facial movement of her son so that she could anticipate if he had too much stimulation or if something was adversely affecting him where he might spin out of control from over stimulation.

She talked of the incredible pressure that weighed on her all the time from this vigilance. How it made her feel like she was on an island alone in a world crowded with people.

I felt my breath catch.

I remember that feeling. Deep, dark and oh so intimately.

Until you deal with an Autistic in your life on a day to day, hour to hour basis--you really cannot understand the pressure. The loneliness. The isolation you feel just trying to keep your head above the emotional waters while trying to raise your child. The exhaustion. The guilt. The incredible love you are consumed with for this sweet complicated child.

People say they understand--but when the child is cranky or moody or whiny or demanding you see the flash in their eyes that says, "This child isn't special needs, they are just spoiled." That is the ultimate pressure. You feel like you should stop and explain to each and every person what it means for your child to be Autistic and how they aren't spoiled or bad or...they are wonderful, brave, sweet, complicated human beings who have to battle for everything us "normal" people take for granted.

I am no longer on an Island alone, though. My Island is filled with wonderful people who truly understand our MiniWarrior. They embrace him, love him and genuinely admire him then turn to me and tell me what an incredible Mother I am.

I look at them surrounding me on our Island and I shake my head. They don't understand. I am just a normal Mother. It is everyone else who is helping to raise our MiniWarrior that has made him who he is today.

For those who have followed my MiniWarrior stories and remember how I used to take him to the Mall to stretch his ability to handle environmental stimulation (after a Child Psychologist told me he would never be able to handle more then 20 minutes a day outside our home)...

I have a victory to share.

This weekend I met with my girlfriends to get our toe nails polished before our Vegas trip. I took MiniWarrior along and let him cruise the Mall while we had our girl fest.

He has never done this alone before and had only been to this particular mall a couple times before. But I had absolute faith he would do well.

He was anxious but after noting where our nail place was in the Mall, he headed out to explore.

He had his wallet. (stuck in his front pocket so he wouldn't lose it)
He had his phone. (so he could call me if he got lost or anxious)

He roamed the Mall then popped back because he had tried to call me but his phone didn't work. He didn't stress, just found his way back to me to let me know he had tried to call.

I figured he had hit a dead cell zone in the mall and explained that to him then told him I wanted him to go eat something. He nodded and headed out again.

He found the food court and purchased two burgers. Lost two dollars in a vending soda machine but did not get angry. Instead--he walked over to an Asian food cart and ordered a water.

He came back juggling his water bottle and told me about the vending machine taking his two dollars. No stress, just matter of fact--then headed out to search for more Mario items as our toes were not quite finished yet.

I was so very VERY proud.

Later on the drive home he said, "I was a little nervous to walk in the Mall by myself, Mom--but I had a blast! We should do that again!"

"I'm proud of you, Son. I knew you would have fun."

"Yeah. A guy told me I had a great smile." He added out of the blue.

I felt my Mom heart stutter a tiny bit...

"He did? Was he someone who worked at the Mall?"

"Oh yes. I had gone to his shop to ask him where the stairs were because I couldn't find out how to get to the bottom of the Mall. I told him I was tired of looking for the stairs and was going to be like superman and jump over the rail..."

"The guy laughed and told me where the escalators were then said I had a great smile."

Ah. Yes. That's my boy. My brave, charming, sweet, funny man child who not only conquered the halls of the Mall but completely shattered the Psychologists glass wall prediction.

Booya, Baby.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day Goodness

MiniWarrior and I went RV camping this weekend with some friends of ours in Warm Springs, Oregon.

So. So. Beautiful!

In the camp store I read a flyer that said, "We get 300 days of sunshine".

To us rain soaked Washingtonians--that's our version of Heaven!!

Saturday our friends rented a pontoon boat and we cruised the lake. All around us were towering layered rock cliffs dotted with dark green pine trees and light green sage brush.

I lay back on the pontoon bench and watched bald eagles swoop from the cliffs and soar above me. It was like being in another world.

At night we sat around the campfire pit telling stories underneath the canopy of stars.

I'm not a real lover of camping--but it was hard not to be seduced into the camping world when immersed in such beauty.

I must admit, it was really nice to come home to space and carpet and hot showers and Lord V who stayed behind to watch the animals.

I missed him and the warm and loving life we have created in our home :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Visitor

More pics at


Monday, August 02, 2010


I walked up to the array of work elevators this morning and a man beat me to the UP button.

"Good job!" I said, giving him the thumbs up and a cheeky grin.

"I read your mind!" He said with an answering grin.

"Not hard to do on a Monday morning" I said with a sigh and pointed to my head. "There's not much up there yet!"

"That's not what they say on the bathroom wall!" The man quipped back.

I burst out laughing.

"Damn that Mr Clean and his magic eraser, that was supposed to be gone!"

He belly laughed as I stepped out onto my floor.

I made a pistol with my hand and aimed it at him.

"That was a good one!" I said, firing my finger trigger. "Pow, you got me!"

I could hear him laugh as the doors closed and the elevator whisked him away.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

What then is this fleeting thing we call life?

What then is this fleeting thing we call life?
We laugh. We cry. We fight. We sigh. We wish. We dream.
So many tumultuous emotions-so many.
For what?
What is the point of all of this? We are such fragile sacks of skin.
Time moves so swiftly, blurring everything around me.
I try and embrace each precious moment. In quiet times when surrounded by my little family, when I am most content-I close my eyes and breathe in the moment. I freeze the memory of the moment in my mind. A photograph I pull out in emptier times and stroke a finger along and smile a rueful smile for I know. I know time is fleeting.
Nothing lasts forever-or even for a lengthy time. It is here, and then it is not.
What is the point of all of this? Is there anything more? If there is not-then why the struggle? What is the reason for this bastardly struggle we call life?
I am now of the age where people are picked off, one by one. They are here and then they are not.
I miss them. I feel their loss deep inside me like a hollowed out crater.
I understand religion and the deep need to believe there is something more than this short existence and then--? But I cannot find escape in its hallowed walls. It is not the haven of peace for me.
I’m trying to wrap my mind around this fleeting thing called life and am fully, deeply, exhaustively aware that as I struggle to comprehend—time is continually moving forward, running over everything in its path.
I feel …powerless.
And yet, each morning I rise, dress, pack my work bag, close the door to my home tucking my little family away—and drive into the day.
Another checkmark on my timecard. I am here. I am present. I am…
I am wishing I could magically gather all whom I love and have loved and surround myself with them. I want to hold them close and freeze time. To stop the bullet train of time.
I cannot.
I cannot. So I will continue onward against the tide of time and do this thing called life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time Keeps on Slippin'...

Time moves so swiftly at times I feel I blink and a month has passed.

It's all so subjective.

When all things are wonderful we wish to freeze time to keep it from moving.

When things are bad, we wish for it to grow wings and like the wind.

Nothing we wish for stops the endless time drip.


Embrace what you have now before the next blink.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily *Snort* & Other News...

Other News:

Tomorrow is my birthday. Ughiddy Ugh Ugh.

I be old I tells you. Old.

but my life? *sigh* My life be wonderful :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Day on the Water

Lord V and I spent the day on our boat.

Gabby~Abby wanted to go and was quite disgruntled when I removed her from the travel cart :)

We zoomed down the Columbia River towards Portland and turned into a quiet area that was lined with quaint house boats.

We dropped anchor and lay on our boat like docked seals sipping chill beer and reading our books in the warm summer sunshine.

A very. Very. Enjoyable day.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sunshine Goodness!!

I have spent 3 glorious sunny days in my back yard, sprawled on a chaise lounge chair, sipping ice tea and peering over the pages of a trashy romance book at the boats zipping by on the river.

*deep sigh*

Gawd. I love Summer!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Savannah's Forgiveness

Savannah *my truck* has forgiven me.

Fortunately the cost of her tantrum was not monetary as her broken electronic fuel pump was still covered under warranty! It even covered the tow :)


So now? Now I'm careful to avert my eyes when a Mini Cooper slides into my view. I talk sweetly to Savannah and curl my lip into a (hopefully) believable sneer so she won't get jealous and leave me stuck on the side of the road in a tizzy.

good truck.*stroke stroke stroke* goooood truck.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

No Baby Bunny...

The baby bunny was gone this morning. I'm hoping it went back to hang with its Mom in a cozy little briar den.

So I have news. My truck. My lovely sweet truck which I have named Savannah--you know I had to name it--is in the truck hospital.

On my way home from work yesterday, on the last leg of my homeward bound journey, on the ramp...she just...quit.

I stared at Savannah in disbelief.

But. You are only 4 years old! You are too young to die! I admonished her giving her a frustrated smack on her steering wheel.

I talked sternly to her and then turned the key. She sputtered then quit.


key turn. Sputter. Quit.


I called Lord V and he came and rescued me, pushing Savannah up the rest of the way of the ramp and then it was all down hill to our house.

A bit hairy drive as my steering was stiff and my brakes were bricks but I made it by nursing my emergency brake and putting some oomph into the steering wheel.

This afternoon I left work early and called up tow truck driver who came and hoisted Savannah onto the back of his truck.

"You know" I said to the tow truck man, "I know why my truck quit".

"Yeah? Fuel pump issue?"

"Nope" I reached over and patted Savannah, "my truck is mad at me".

He gave me the hunted look of a man facing a crazy woman with no weapon in sight.

"It's um...mad?"

"Yep. You see" I said stroking Savannah's hood, "I've been squealing over the cuteness of Mini Coopers lately, tossing the idea around in my head about getting one when my truck gets old. Made my truck jealous. Hurt her feelings, I did."

I shook my head remorsefully. "I'm sorry, girl" I whispered.

"Well, let's see if she'll start up for me." Tow Truck Driver said, climbing into Savannah's driver seat.

Key turn...sputter. Quit.

"Nope. Trucks still mad at you!" He said with a grin and strapped a pull chain on the front of Savannah and began reeling her in. "I thought maybe 'cuz you apologized and talked nicely to her she might forgive you and start up again!"

We shook our heads in co-misery as we watched Savannah being pulled onto the truck bed.

"Just between you and me" Tow Truck Driver whispered leaning close to me, "You don't wanna Mini Cooper. I tow a lot of them."

"That bad, huh?"

"Yeah. Stick with your truck." He said with a wink, patting the front wheel of Savannah and climbing into his truck.

*sigh* So, I'm guessing sometime tomorrow I'm going to find out how much Savannah's temper tantrum is gonna cost me.

*tsk* Trucks. They are so temperamental!

Tiny Visitor.MOV

Tiny Evening Visitor

There was a tiny baby bunny outside our front door last night. It sat huddled on the drive, hunched in a tiny ball. There was no sign of its Momma.

I brought it some lettuce leaves and it ran towards me and hid underneath my legs. It was scared and I think because I brought it food it thought of me as its safe haven.

I sat for the longest time filming it with my iphone. It romped around the grass and drive, darting back and forth from the lettuce back to the grass.

I grew tired and climbed back to my feet to go back in the house. It immediately stopped its play and ran after me. It came and stood on my foot--its tiny feet soft and cold on my sandled foot and let me gently stroke it.

I did not want to take it inside as I didn't know if its mother was out hunting for food and would be coming back for her baby. I tried not to think of its mother being dead and the baby being orphaned. I do not know how to care for a tiny bunny. After work today I shall see if it is still in front of our house and then decide what needs to be done after that.


A Baby bunny was outside our front door last night.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Minnesota Adventures

Our Minnesota vacation with my brother and his family was wonderful.

MiniWarrior and I had a terrific time :) only now he wants to move to Minnesota so he can be close to his cousins!

Uh yeah...not gonna happen.

I tried to explain to him how Minnesota is mostly a snow place. He didn't care. I'd take him back at Christmas time...and let him experience the temperatures that are so cold they freeze the hairs in ones lungs...but I don't ever wanna go back to that so he's gonna just have to take Mom's word on it.

*Z snaps*

(not so mini) Warrior got to drive my brothers boat:

and MiniWarrior caught his first fish! See?

Fish investigating my underwater camera before being snagged by MiniWarriors hook:

The hotel idea was a good one--although MiniWarrior didn't seem to need any de-stress time. We kidnapped my niece who is 3 months younger than MiniWarrior and dragged her back to stay with us in our hotel. Actually--I think she kidnapped us as she and MiniWarrior were inseparable during the entire week!

I really enjoyed my time with family and my one on one time with MiniWarrior. He is growing up so quickly and all too soon will be a man with a family of his own.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Vacation Has Begun!

MiniWarrior has completed 6th grade--with honors!

We attended an award ceremony for select kids and we were beaming proud when MiniWarrior was called up for an award in Language/Literature :)

This is a huge triumph for him as, if you understand Autism, one of the major deficits Autistics have is in language interpretation.

Did I mention how proud I am of him? :)

Tuesday, he and I are flying to Minnesota to visit my brother and his family. MiniWarrior is very excited to be flying again and to see his favorite cousins. This too is a triumph. Up until this past year it was not possible to take him on an extended vacation (away from his home comforts) without a great deal of stress.

I am still taking precautions in that I am renting a car and staying in a hotel with him so that if he should become overwhelmed and need complete defrag-from-people time we can leave immediately and head back to the quiet of the hotel room.

*sigh* Our MiniWarrior is growing up, Peeps. And as he is now officially an inch taller than me now--not so "mini" anymore.

MiniWarrior and his favorite cat, Harry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Will this rain EVER end?!!

We have had 2 sunny days in an entire month, Peeps.


I fear not even my Northwest webbed feet will save me from drowning!

duck foot pussy cat

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Gabby Abby

cuz I know you've missed her ;)

Monday, June 07, 2010


Before this Saturday, we have had rain 19 days in a row.

Saturday the Sun (finally) came out!

My little family and I spent as much time as we possibly could outside, drinking in the liquid sunshine.

I spent most of the day cleaning the fountain in our backyard terrace--which involved scooping a Winters worth of leaves and 3 billion tadpoles out of the green water.

I used a pool net to scoop the crud out of the water and emptied the net into a wheelbarrow.

MiniWarrior spied the billions of tadpoles in the wheelbarrow and rushed over to fill it with water so the tadpoles would not die.

Mommmmm you are suffocating them!


So yeah. Now? Now I have a clean fountain and a wheelbarrow full of a billion tadpoles resting by the side of the house...

The plague of Egypt will someday soon rain upon our heads...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Girls Night Out: Two Claws UP!

I met up with my favorite girlfriends Friday night for a girls night out.

We ate at California Pizza (I had a black bean, grilled chicken, spring roll appetizer for!!)

Then went and saw the new "Sex and the City 2" movie. From all I had read about the movie I wasn't expecting it to be good. Actually, I went into the movie expecting it to be horrible and was just looking forward to being with my girls.

Surprise, I loved it!

It is a total chick movie. I don't believe any man would "get" it. It was way over the top with ridiculous outfits and scenes...but the underbelly was real and raw and 100% who we are as women.

When a woman loves, she throws herself fully into that love. Be it the love of one's children, career, self, a man...a woman. We envelop ourselves in that love, living and breathing it as it brings us such joy.

But, in that envelopment sometimes we get lost. The very essence of who we are as an individual gets shoved into the broom closet of our lives. Most times we don't miss it. We are so busy we don't stop to know we miss it. But every once in awhile, in the naked space of a moment we feel the loss. A curious empty space that makes us pause and puzzle as to what it is we are missing.

This, the internal struggle of a woman, is what the "Sex and the City 2" movie captured so well. And I'll tell you. Sitting in the dark theater, squished in the middle of my girlfriends, belly laughing with them...I felt a vital piece of myself that I had forgotten come back.

I love my life. My family. My home. I am surrounded by love. But you know, sometimes? Sometimes it is that moment when you are laughing with your chicks and just being a "girl" that is... indescribably wonderful. Nothing compares to it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Rose Festival Pics...

I headed to my hotel after work yesterday, dropped off my bag, strapped Chanda in her backpack along with extra lenses and headed back out to the Rose Festival.

I've put up some of the images I captured on my AKatseyeview site.

Grab a drink and come on over!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chanda Meets Portland Rose Festival

The journey begins!

Mobile City

I shall return this evening, with Chanda in tow.


I changed my template and all the links to other peoples blogs I read disappeared! :(

Please post your blog link in a comment so I can add you again!!

Please. Please. Please.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rose Festival, Portland Oregon

I work in Downtown Portland right next to the Waterfront--where every festival that Portland puts on, is located.

Great scenery but it also makes for very clogged roads.

Add to this mix--Memorial Weekend and Glen Jackson bridge repair work that has backed up traffic for hours on a normal weekend...I will be staying at a hotel in downtown instead of enduring a grueling drive home.

I'm going to plunk my work stuff in my hotel room after work and then take Chanda into the hordes of people and Rose Festival activities.

Another Chanda opportunity!

You can see some pre-Rose Festival glimpses on my Mobile City blog:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trickle Trickle...

Sorry for delay. I have so many pictures I took on my trip. It's been labor to leaf through them and decide which ones to post and which ones will remain in the secrets of my PC :)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spent an extended weekend in New Orleans and Vicksburg Mississippi

So much to tell. So many pictures to post.

I shall start trickling them into my akatseyeview photo site over the next couple of days.

Wild storms, cancelled flights, monsoon rains made for interesting times!

I laughed through it all.

This is life, Peeps.  

An exciting roller coaster ride!

Bring it :)

Many thanks to Aafrica for her tourist tips!! It was great hearing your voice after reading your blog for so long :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

15 Days and Still No EWO...

It's been 15 days, Peeps...and I've still not seen EWO.

Strong with the Force I be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Don't Worry, I'm Yours (Jason Mraz vs. Bobby McFerrin vs. Israel Kamak...

Friday, April 16, 2010

I am Proud...

I know this is going to sound terrible.

But I don't care.

I no longer care.

And that, a major break through for me.

I did not pick up EWO at the airport.

I did not call her the night she arrived.

I did not call her the next day either.

My phone finally rang in the evening.

EWO was hesitant and talking like she was stepping on egg shells with me.

She did not know how to handle me. How to manipulate me.

I had changed the rules.

She gently pried...laying out traps in which to snare me into taking her into my home. Into feeling obligated and guilty so that I would drive her around and entertain her while she was in my city.

Slow drips of poison that I saw coming and stepped away from.

She will be here 3 weeks.

I will not see her until the 3rd week and only then so I can give her friend a break.

I have broken the hold.

I have begun walking the path that will remove her from my life.

She's had 44 years of me.

Its time to say enough.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Its That Time Again...

EWO is arriving in my State, my City, my Neighborhood, my Space...tonight.

She is staying (for now) at her friends house.

She did not call me.

She did not write me.

Her friend called to warn me last week.

And her Mexico friend called me (multiple times) to give me jobs to do once EWO arrives.

When will I no longer feel obligated to host this person who filled my childhood with shattered shards of memory that roll around and leave my insides bleeding?

Every day of my life with MiniWarrior and Lord V is filled with kindness and love. Gentleness and laughter.

I've become spoiled, wrapped in their love for me.

And every day it shows me what I missed when I was a small helpless prisoner in her house.

Every day it shows me what could have been. Should have been.

And I struggle not to let the empty space she created inside me fill with hatred.

I push it down by wrapping my arms around my precious son and kissing the freckles that dust his cheeks.

I shove the bitter tide back when I lean against the strong wall of my Lord V and hear the sturdy beat of his heart.

I'm trying.

Trying not to let her neglect and abuse of me win.

But sometimes?

Sometimes I feel broken and wonder if I'll ever repair.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Puerto Rico: Pigeon "poop" Park

So many many pictures to weed through of our Cruise trip.

I'm slowly putting them up.

Today's tour?

Pigeon "poop" Park.

Wanna see?

Go here :) akatseyeview

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hood River, Oregon

MiniWarrior is on his way to Disneyland with his Dad and family so Lord V and I are childless for a week.

We took advantage of a sunny, child-free day Saturday and headed out (with Chanda in tow) to Hood River, Oregon.

We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of America and every Spring we are reminded of just how beautiful the Northwest is!

Wanna see images of our trip?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pictures and Cruise story: Akatseyeview

For you faithful few whom have been following my blog even after my long disappearance to *mumbles* facebookland...

I have begun posting pictures of my cruise experience along with added blurbs of our trip which can be seen HERE at

See you there!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cruise blog

I have been busy uploading pictures of our cruise.

Many many pictures...

They will be coming soon :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goin' On a Cruise!

Lord V and I are joining our friends and going on a Cruise! I have never been on one and I am beyond excited :D

I love adventure, new places, new sights, sounds, food...*sigh* I can't wait.

Whats especially cool about this cruise is two of the ports we are going to I had been to when I was on my Internship year in College.

One is San Juan, Puerto Rico. I plan on dragging Lord V and our friends to El Morro--the famous fort that over looks the ocean and other places in Old San Juan that I can (vaguely) remember from my stay there in 1984.

Another stop is St Thomas. I have never been there--but we are taking a sailboat from St Thomas over to Buck Island where we will dive off the boat and snorkel around the protected reef/garden. This was my favorite place to snorkel when I spent part of my Internship in St Croix.

I am so excited to be able to see my old haunts again. I didn't think I'd ever be back to these places. Funny how life has circled back for me...but in a fun way :)

Did I mention I'm excited?! :)

Chanda is too ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coffee Dilemma!

I love Hazelnut creamer in my coffee.

I despise the taste of black coffee.

What does one do when faced with enough creamer for two bland cups of coffee or one really rich and deliciously hazelnut flavored coffee?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Gabby Abby

Just in case you were wonderin'...

yep...she's still adorable :D !

Dontcha think?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beach Trip

Thursday this past week--my weekend--began with a brilliant blue sky filled with the magical light of a surprise pre-Spring Sun.

"MiniWarrior" I called over my shoulder to the lanky 12 year old stretched out on the sofa in the family room, "Come here I want to talk to you about something."

"What I'd do?" He said, body taught, paused in full alert for an impending Mom lecture.

"Nothing. I just want to talk to you for a moment."

He climbed off the sofa and shuffled slowly towards me, trying to read the expression on my face. "Yeah, Mom?"

"How'd you like to skip school tomorrow and head to the beach." I said, holding back a smile at the wary look on his face.

Shadows disappeared as his grin scattered joy from his mouth and lit up his eyes. "For real? Really?"

"For real. Really."

"You're the best Mom, ever!" He exclaimed as he pumped a victorious fist.

Indeed. I am. ;)

As always, pictures of said event can be found here: akatseyeview

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Mom, I broke up with my girlfriend today.

MiniWarriors sat cross legged in the passenger seat of my truck, looking down at his tennis shoes struggling to shift his sad face into a stoic manly one.

You did? What happened?

Well, there is this boy in school who is my friend but my girlfriend doesn't like him and her friend doesn't like him so they are rude to him.

He glanced at me, frowning and shaking his head in disapproval.

That's just not nice. So today I said, "Why can't we just all get along. Why can't you be nice to Nicholas?"

My girlfriend got mad and got up and walked away from me.

I went after her but she kept running away from me. She told me that she wishes that I would just leave the school and not come back.

He stared down at his shoes again.

I told her that I didn't want to be her boyfriend anymore because she was being so rude.

He shot me a look to see if I was mad about his decision.

I lay a gentle hand on his knee.

I'm so proud of you. You stood up for your friend even though you knew your girlfriend wouldn't like it. That takes character, Son.

Character? He was puzzled by that word.

Yes. Character. It's what makes you a good person and what will make you into a great man. You stood by what you believed to be right and stood up for your friend.

Yes. He smiled and straightened his shoulders. Yes, I did, didn't I?

Yes you did and I couldn't be more proud.

I'm still feeling a little emotional, Mom about not being (girlfriends name) boyfriend anymore. He added quietly.

I know son. You made a hard choice. I'm so proud of you.

He smiled at me but his eyes were sad. We drove for awhile in silence.

Little boy freckles still dance across his nose but his shoulders are broadening molding his frame into a man.

My MiniWarrior is moving from Mini to Warrior.

My heart aches at the loss of the little boy but is soothed and filled with the sight of the wonderful man he is becoming.

Temple Grandin Speaks!

This article is so...SO awesome. It's like being granted a peek inside my MiniWarriors mind.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MiniWarrior Has a Girlfriend

I shall meet her on his birthday party this Saturday...

and shall try not to wring her 12 year old neck for calling 4 times before 7am today.




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christmas Decorations Packed...

I am slowly entering into this new year, 2010.

I just packed up all the rest of our Christmas decorations for the year--including our tree!!

Take heart, my Peeps.

My disappearance from my Blog is par for the 2010 course.

Oh and big news??

MiniWarrior turned 12.

You heard me...


I'm crawling back into my cave now until he turns back into the chubby legged toddler I remember.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunrise Birthday for Lord V

Happy Birthday, Hun.

I love you.

more pics here Akatseyeview

Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Chanda Pics :)

Wanna see the sunrise I saw this morning?


It was pretty :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I am...Slack-her!

Hi, my name is Haphazard Kat and I am...a slack-her.

My laundry is piling up.

My blog remains unposted.

I'm still in my PJ's and its 4pm.

My Christmas stuff is still up.

and for dinner tonight?

I threw chips on a pizza tray, baked them and set out fixings for Nachos.

Hey! I fried up hamburger for it!!

But served it all on paper plates so I didn't have to do dishes.

Yeah. I'm embracing this "do nothing unless it has to be done" New Years resolution with passion.

Well ok. Passion requires effort and that means work. So um yeah, I'm embracing it with a half hearted flick my nacho stained hand.

Good times.

Good times. ;)