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"How I Live" Archive

My favorite four-letter word…

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

SOLD!  Sold.  Sold.  Sold!  One more time… SOLD!  We’ve had our other house on the market for almost a year and half, and FINALLY yesterday, we officially sold it.  I never thought this day would come!  It seems like it was decades ago that Cindy was peeking in the windows with me at the new house, and that Angelina was standing in my aqua sewing room at the old house the day before we put it on the market.
Home at last
It’s been hard times owning two homes - the “new house” and the “old house” - this horrible economy is touching all of us in one way or another.  I just hope everyone else who’s been negatively impacted sees a light at the end of their financial tunnel soon too.

A while back ago, I made my own St. Joseph to help sell our house. If you google St. Joseph, you’ll find all you need to know about him. I combed google images, and came up with my own version of St. Joseph… St. Joe-Joe-a-Go-Go. My post about him WAY BACK in September 2007 is here. My more “traditional” St. Joe-Joe-a-Go-Go pattern is still available.

Fast forward to now-ish. We got another buyer (the other two buyers bailed, lots of heartache and trouble). When I asked Joe-Joe to find us a NICE family this time to buy our house (after dealing with those not so nice buyers)… Joe-Joe did just as I asked. It took him a while, but he did find a nice family - even though we had to drop our price way, way, way low (ouch!).

One has to be careful what they ask Joe-Joe.  When I first made him, I asked Joe-Joe… “will you please find us a buyer, and fast”.  Well… the NEXT day, our neighbor came over and asked us about our little travel trailer in our driveway, and were we interested in selling it.  Sold.  [edited in: I just read my Sep. 07 post. It was St. Anthony who sold the trailer!]  So next I asked Joe-Joe more specifically… “Joe-Joe, can you please find us a buyer for our house on such-n-such Ave.”.  Enter bad buyers.   After great financial cost to us and us bending over backwards… the buyers walked.  So then I ask Joe-Joe again, but this time I ask him for a NICE family to be our buyers.   Like I said, it took him a while, but he came through.

So really fast forward to now-ish.  We were waiting for our closing date to soon approach.  It was just around the corner - only a few weeks away.  All was going great, inspections great, yada yada.  Just waiting on the buyer’s lender.  I get an email from my friend Sharon inquiring about Joe-Joe, and I think… why, I’ll just send her my Joe - and she can be his new momma!  The day she received him… is the day we got the call that there’s a hick-up on from our buyer’s lender.   So I ask Momma Sharon and Papa Hunka if I could have temporary joint custody with Joe-Joe, and if he could take a trip north to visit his old mum for a few weeks.  Sharon of course said yes and would do so as soon as she got back home.  And then a bee flew in my bonnet.  I told Sharon to hold off… I had an idea…

I made a new Joe-Joe… this one different, a little less traditional and more my style… a little bit HelloKittyBabushka-ishy, but still holding the bluebirds of happiness.  Hello Joe-Joe!
Hello Joe-Joe
I finished Hello Joe-Joe last Wednesday morning, placed him on my shelf-o-joy… and by that very Wednesday afternoon I get the call saying to meet at the title company on the following Friday! Done. Sold. Freedom.  Thank you Hello Joe-Joe!
Hello Joe-Joe

I’ve added Hello Joe-Joe to my freebie arsenal of patterns - you can get Hello Joe-Joe by clicking here. May he bring you joy as a guardian of your home & family… or may he help you sell your house… or both!   Keep him in a place of honor and do not pass him on if you make one for yourself.  If you want to gift one, you’ll have to make a new one specificly for the recipient… but that makes him all the more fun and special!  Plus it’s always fun to play with Crayola crayons!

~Whew that was a long post. And now I must nap.

Cranberry Harvest

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Recently we got to help our friends harvest their cranberry bog on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula. When I say we got to help, I mean that my hubby husband worked and I took photos.

First the bogs are flooded.  This is known as a “wet harvest”.  The berries have already been paddled to loosen them off their vines.   Not even sure if they’re on vines.  Cranberries that have gone through a wet harvest will end up being processed into drinks and cranberry-stuff-in-cans.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are corralled like an oil spill.  My husband’s 19 years in the Coast Guard has certainly come in handy.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are pulled and pushed, and making sure none escape.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are raked and guided to the big green stairway.
Cranberry Harvest
Cranberry Harvest

Cranberry rain.
Cranberry Harvest

Cranberry Harvest

My husband (left) and “the Cranman” (right) get the cranberries settled into their crates.
Cranberry Harvest

The cranberries are now almost ready for the trip to Ocean Spray.
Cranberry Harvest

Next stop.  Ocean Spray.
Cranberry Harvest

I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the warehouse.  In a nutshell… the cranberries were weighed, poured into a giggly thing, traversed on this belt and into a wiggly thing, then poured into crates and loaded onto a semi-truck.  Destination unknown.  I was allowed to take photos in the “lab”.  My husband and I got a thorough tour of how the cranberries are sampled and tested.  Lots of big words chock-full of consonants that escape me now.  Color is checked, acid levels, this and that levels.  Touched.  Rolled.  Squeezed.  Blended.
Cranberry Harvest

So if you open a can of Ocean Spray cranberry jelly, and you hear that slurp-woosh-goosh sound as you free the jellied log-o-cranberry from it’s tin prison… that’s just the sound of me wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, September 8th, 2008

Signs of life… my life.  Getting back into the swing of things after our vacation (I’m STILL in de-vacationize mode). Signs that I was nearing Home Sweet Home. I know, bloom where you’re planted blahblahblah (actually, words I live by), but home really isn’t Home to me unless my family’s there too. It was SOOOO great to go home and be with ALL of my family (special shout out to Jodie… Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, Oy Oy Oy), as well as hang out with my peep n peep. A trip of a lifetime for me. More trip stuff later - after I finish de-vacationizing and catching up on everyones blogs.

Good-bye Oregon. We’ll be back, I promise (or more appropriately… I warn).
Road to Cali

Signs I’m getting closer to home… time to turn on the A/C.
Road to Cali

Ahhhh. The sign that I’m home…
Road to Cali

I took this photo for Kathleen from my iphone to taunt her. A pay-back because she did it to me a few months ago. But my evil (but oh so fun) plans backfired on me since she was getting ready to leave… for Paris. PARIS! So if there are any fellow Cali ex-pats who are looking at this photo and feel like I’m taunting you… well, I AM. Maybe this is how I’ll finally get to Paris myself. If the day ever comes when I get to go to Paris, be assured I will be posting taunting and tantalizing photos of crêpes.  Holy crêpe!

Field Trip

Friday, August 8th, 2008

A little field trip to Pomeroy Living History Farm near Battleground, Washington. Please keep your arms and hands inside the bus at all times.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Last weekend was Pomeroy’s 13th Annual Quilt Festival, and it was MAGICAL! The theme this year was butterflies. My friend Karen (queen of the butterflies) was the featured speaker, and I was her Vanna quilt holder at her Saturday performances (ok, not a *performance*… a speech slash lecture slash show-n-tell… but since there was a stage, and I happened to be on it… well… it became a performance). Sit down. Buckle in. Hold on.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Quilty bliss.

Pomeroy Quilt Show


Pomeroy Quilt Show

I’d like to add some aqua paint or drape a quilt on this tractor. Silly me… it’s not decoration, they actually use this tractor. It is a tractor, right?

Pomeroy Quilt Show

The fresh picked beets were calling my name. And some sour cream. And some herring.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

The fence is not to keep the farmer in, it’s to keep me out. And the deer. Nibble. Nibble.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Outside of the blacksmith’s barn.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Inside the blacksmith’s barn. Much fun was had during a round of Let’s Tease The City Girl. Ok, so I don’t know the difference between horse shoes and shoes worn by loggers - but I CAN navigate the L.A. freeway system with one eye closed.

Edited in: A priceless comment from Karen, “Now, I have to tell the story of the blacksmith shop. There were some horse shoes with big cleats on them hanging on the railing in front of us. I asked the blacksmith why they had cleats on them. He said it was to help give traction when they were logging. And Miss Monica added, “I bet it helped them climb the trees!” Ahh, the visual image of those horses climbing trees……..

Pomeroy Quilt Show

I heart chickens. I sure miss my mine, especially at times like this.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Entrance to the big barn, greeted by my favorite flower (I love how the dahlias match the quilt).

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Inside the big barn, this quilt knocked my flip-flops off. I’m a sucker for solids.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Outside of the big barn… an occasional aroma in the air would remind us these guys were there.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Lunch time! We could eat in the “farm cafe”…

Pomeroy Quilt Show Pomeroy Quilt Show

or we could dine in the tea room. Karen treated for tea. Though I had an Americano, because that’s how I do tea. I also skipped on the Strawberry Soup. Wasn’t really my thing. Had there been some Belgium waffles under it, and whipped cream on top… then yes I would have devoured it.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Time to clear the scone crumbs off my chest… it’s show time.  A little pre-show PR with Debbie and Karen.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Karen’s presentation was “Depression Era Quilts”. Karen is always entertaining and informative. She’s the Mike Rowe of the quilt world. Quilty Jobs.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

Every now and then I see a vintage quilt that just sucks the air right of me. This is one of them. Not only was it beautiful, but the workmanship was exquisite.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

The hexes are so tiny and so sweetly fussy cut. I imagine this took decades to make.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

If you look at this photo in super-size-me… look at the binding on the gold quilt - and you can see the binding size’s relation to the scale of the hexes.

Pomeroy Quilt Show

A wonderful day, with wonderful friends, wonderful weather (overcast… love it). Hard to end the field trip… more photos to see (and no funky piggie smells) here.


Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Mine! Or as Doe told me (ala the seagulls from Nemo)… mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine…
Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine....

Thank you all for your support - and helping to keep the American economy rolling. We’re all doing our part, eh. I called Flowers N Fluff and paid via phone, and sweet, sweet Robin from Robin’s Parcel Express picked it up for me and brought it too me at our Redwork Club at Karen’s house. Robin holding on tight as I snap her pic, and no time to fiddle with the camera… that’s a heavy table she’s holding!
Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine....

Show and Tell at Redwork… Karen shows a goodie she found in Sweden recently. I think it says “stockings”.
Socks in Swedish?

Another Swedish gem. It says something in Swedish. We don’t know what. But it gave me the idea to embroider something that says, “Etwas auf Deutsch”, and I’ll be asked, “what does it say?“, and I’ll say… “something in German”. “No… what does it SAY?!“… again… “SOMETHING IN GERMAN”. Round and round I’ll go. Kinda scary how easily I’m able to entertain myself.
Something in Swedish

We all went gaga over the vintage Lady of the Lake quilt top one of the ladies brought.
Vintage Lady of The Lake

The colors of the prints were amazing and in such great shape.
Vintage Lady of The Lake

A very fun day, all in red. But sadly… there was a lot of blue too. Very, very, very blue.

Edited in: I do not know why the Anna Lena links are not working at the moment, but I’m sure they’ll be working again soon.

What to wear, what to wear

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Going through the motions of getting ready for Market. Not quilt stuff - but clothes stuff. I’m a t-shirt, jeans, hoodie and flip-flop kinda gal, so finding clothes that look presentable and yet still I feel comfy in, well… it’s a CHALLENGE for me! I’m sick of shopping and finding nothing that pleases me.

So I’m sitting in front of my computer (and conveniently right in front of my iSight), in my jammies, and day dreaming of what it would be like not to have to worry about what I was going to wear… and my only worry was what color to pick for that day…
Fashion - My private Hell
Fashion - My private Hell
Fashion - My private Hell

Nah… I think I’ll keep shopping.

Bad Poets Society

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

The T-man and I met on Valentines Day. We were both young and skinny. And this is my story.

We met at bar.
You did not have a car…
but you did have a big white boat.
I watched you from afar,
no you did not have a scar…
I liked what I saw under that dark blue coat.

With my girlfriends we all danced,
no men for us to prance.
I took the big chance,
and asked you to our dance.

My oh my you were a little shy,
and I fibbed a little lie…
and pretended to be shy.

This dancing was not so bad,
oh the fun that we had.
We were getting into the groove…
[brown - chicken - brown - cow]
and then I made my move…

Smack - you’re mine!

The Week After

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Thanksgiving has come and gone at El Rancheo de Zombie - and what a memorable Thanksgiving weekend is was! No fancy dinner table or foo-foo foodie food shots… this is what you get - it’s how I roll.

Our super-duper nice neighbors across the street from us invited us over for Thanksgiving. Their guest list was 55 people… what’s three more, eh! Their guests included three or four film crews filming their Thanksgiving (they are filming a new “Deadliest Catch” style show here… but with logging/loggers). The T-man had invited some of his family over, so DS and I amused ourselves all day by peeking out of our windows and watching all the action and wishing we were there. I hope it all doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.

And then the big moment came last Saturday night… the Seaside Yuletide Parade where T was the Grand Marshall! So very exciting and I was so, so, so proud. I ran into a friend and told her the T was the GM, and some guy overheard me and started in on me about how poorly the parade was advertised. I had to be nice and polite (I was Mrs. Grand Marshall - royality after all!), but jeeze… dude I’m sooo gonna blog about you! You found it didn’t you? You’re here, right? Peasants.

The T was asked to light the city Christmas tree as well. HOLY CRAP! But as he was up there with the MC, along comes this unshaven guy in what looks like red pajammas… and upstages him and throws the switch! The nerve. Didn’t catch the guy’s full name… Something Claus. Still very exciting though as T got to be in the spotlight with the bearded Pajamma Man.

Here we all are. On the left are George & Mary… our surrogate parents. Isn’t Georgie cute! He looks like a Lebanese gnome with his hoodie on. And then there’s my super hero, me, and our wonder-kid DS2. I know, I know… I don’t look like Izzy from Grey’s Anatomy that I tell everyone that I look like. Something was wrong with the camera (again!) and freaky thing… I ended up looking like Hurley with tits. What is wrong with your cameras people! Thank you for the wonderful photo Renee… even though I think your camera is broken.

With Turkey Day over, I have officially embraced the holiday season! I’m so buhhumbug about the early start of the season… the ads, the sales, blah, blah, blah. Sans Target though - I could watch the Target holiday commercials year round. I say it every year, “this year I’m going to decorate early”! And this year I did! Though I scaled way back - there’s some 5 jumbo Rubbermaid totes still full of stuff. I like to rotate a bit (that’s code for I’m effing lazy).

Another tradition we have, and it’s not a welcomed one - is our family tree controversy. I want faux… DS2 wants real. I just don’t have the heart to cut down a living tree that provides us with clean air, keeps our hill from slipping, is a jungle gym for squirrels, owls and birdies… and is just a magnificent living gift of beauty from Mama Nature. I know… pass the granola. Right in our own back yard we have our own Christmas trees to choose from… but I just couldn’t do it. I guess I’m like the dairy farmer who drinks soy milk. If you peek through the trees, you can see Paula’s house on the hill. Hi Paula! And if you peek out of Paula’s window you can see my house! All we need is a Zip-Line. And if you squint really, really, REALLY hard… you can see The Mountain.

Two points for me… another year of the faux tree and I’m as happy as a clam on a canceled dig. Now that we have a bigger living room (The Pit as we call it), I need a bigger tree. A nice fat n chubby one - unlike our current tree, Mary Kate. After Christmas sales… I’m watching you!

My cherry on the top Christmas decoration. We had a big one of these candle twirlly things at one time. I was fascinated with it as a child… and still fascinated with is as a pseudo adult. It’s in the attic somewhere. I got this little gem a few years ago when Target had their “Alpine” collection. My stuff is all very German and Swedish, so Target did me good that year. Last year too with Tord Boontje’s yummies. My image of Heaven is being surrounded by loved ones and it’s decorated with Tord and Alpine Christmas yummies. Oh, and Moda is up there too!

I have a thing for kitchen windows. I need to find a flickr group for that. I’m sure I’m not the only kitchen-window-weirdo. I hope. I’m not a big fan of this pop-out window (it’s on the honey-do list to be changed), but it is providing some good space for my holiday crap items-o-love (and an unwanted lounge for my two naughty cats). Just need to replace my purple plant thing with some little poinsettias.

Finally I can use the little dust catcher shelf above my cabinets! Merry Kitchenmas!

And speaking of my kitchen window… the other morning I panicked - thought there was a fire in the woods across the street. Turns out THAT BALL-O-FIRE I saw from my kitchen window was a glimmer of sunshine during a foggy morning sunrise. I have more pics of it here. It blew me away!

New Year’s Resolution #1dash2008: Shorter posts.

New Year’s Resolution #1dash2008a: More posts, less words.

New Year’s Resolution #2dash2008: Tell everyone before January comes that the Mimi’s Quilt-a-Long and Jingle Jolly galleries are open! (Under “Freebies” in my sidebar).

New Year’s Resolution #3dash2008: Don’t make resolutions in November for January.

New Year’s Resolution #4dash2008: Don’t make resolutions. Period.

And now I must nap. Seriously.

My hero

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I practically blog about everything, but I always like to keep it private when it comes to things about about my DH and my boys. But I’m breaking my own rule (again) because I’m so stinkin’ proud of my DH.  The T-man was named Coast Guardsman of the Year for Astoria (OR) from the American Legion in Ilwaco, WA! You can read the nice article friend Connie told me about by the Pacific County (WA) sheriff here. And if that’s not enough… the T-man was asked this morning to be the Grand Marshall of the Seaside Holiday Parade! I suppose I’ll be sewing my super hero a cape and crafting him an extra large crown with built in neck brace soon… but he’s so worth it.

But the T-man can’t have all the fun… I’ve asked him to refer to me as Mrs. Grand Marshall from now through December.

30% more calories - 85% less words

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

It’s been a busy and fun weekend. The Anna Lena quilt retreat, our big storm yesterday, and even some tiding of my office. I feel like I’m a million years behind on stuff (especially emails). Even my flickr needs some tiding up so I’d thought I’d do a less word-more photos post. My “Corners of my Hood” I guess.

The little quilt I started at retreat from the fabrics that silly lil’ Doe taunted (pimped) me with. I named this quilt “That silly lil’ quilt” - only because “I’m such a whore for fabric and Doe is my pimp so I made this - and now I need a cigarette” was going to be too long for a label.

DS2 FINALLY got his driving permit (fourth time’s the charmer), so we’ve been taking the less traveled roads to give him some good driving time and experiences. One late afternoon we were driving and DS2 suggested we go to Quizno’s (which I can’t stand) and eat our meal at the beach. With an idea like that… I’d eat Brussels Sprouts swimming in Lima Beans (all things I REALLY can’t stand). And the salad at Quizno’s was “OK” (said with little enthusiasm), but it was one of the best meals EVER! This is an iPhone shot, and I’m really pleased how well it takes pics.

Speaking of iPhone… I took this shot with my phone as well. Not like having a real camera, but it sure takes better pics then our first camera that we had 10+ years ago! This was in the parking lot at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Hillsboro, OR (shout-out to Jessica!). I went gaga over the reflection of the tree on the asphalt.

Oops… lots of words up there. I better cut back or I’ll have to edit my title. Sooo… back in our hood of Astoria’s countryside…

Youngs River Road

The Jet Puff harvest on Youngs River Road.

Lewis and Clark Road. The day prior to this shot - this valley was filled with zillions of cows. It was an amazing sight to see… you just have to imagine it now.

Netul Landing off Ft. Clatsop Road

Sacagawea and Pomp (Jean Baptiste Charbonneau) at Netul Landing
Updated 01/23/08: 01/23/08 - Sad. So, so, so sad… Sacagawea and Pomp appear to be the latest victims of meth theft. I’m sad and angered. I’m feeling fortunate I took this photo when I did, though it makes me cry when I look at it. Read more at The Daily Astorian and KGW.

Ft. Clatsop Road through the dirty windshield

And last but no least… The Girls

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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