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"I Heart Oregon" Archive

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

A view from a future hot tub off the MB???  Hmmmm....What was supposed to be a summer filled with camping, and gardening, a trip to Victoria, BC (one of my fave places on the planet)… is now a summer of painting, packing and chaos. We bought a new house and are selling our current one (oh the stress of it all). It seems like so many of my bloggy pals are moving too… must be some kind of bloggy moving virus goin’ around.

We’re not moving far… just six or so minutes from our current home. We’re trading in the city life at Case de Zombie for country life (as you can see from the photo of our new backyard). From a house of stairs to a one level rancher (our reason for the move). Life at El Ranchero de Zombie will be grand… but for now it’s a circus. I hope to be able to blog and to visit your blogs at some point in the next month, but I’ll have limited Internet/email/blog time as the paint cans & brushes, the moving boxes, and the to-do list all scream my name.

I hope you all have a great summer and I hope to see you all again soon!!! Don’t forget me, k. And for you friends who are moving as well… there’s a bottle of rum with all our names on it and I’m ready to hit it with you all and celebrate!

Hearts & Crafts,
Monica (and Mimi too) :)

His & Hers

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

His & Hers… or what’s better known at our house - what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine. Ok, not really. But since I’m the Director of Operations (aka Hazel) I get to call it all mine. Right? Right!

Because everything at our house is a constant WIP, DH decided to start a new WIP. He and I are really not so different. He has his tools, I have mine. He has his fibre, I have mine. He has his stash, I have mine. He has his WIP’s, I have mine. I have my WIP’s shoved gently stored in a cupboard and out of sight… he has his WIP’s for all to see (read: me).

Last weekend was another busy day in the yard on the landscaping WIP (still a WIP btw), and DH starts digging a notch into the hillside off the back deck. DH got the bee up his butt to start his fantasy outdoor kitchen. Being that it was our 17th anniversary and I was feeling a bit lightheaded (apparently), I whispered those five little words every man fantasizes hearing his wife say… “Want to go to Lowe’s?”.

My suggestion was to go the following morning, but the sparkle in DH’s eyes told me otherwise. I guess it’s like The Little Blue Pill…. once you take it you have to use it right away. So we dropped everything and headed to Lowe’s. Friday night, 8pm and an hour’s drive to Lowe’s. SURE… why not! And to top it off… dinner at 11pm at Jack in the Box (and my JITB two taco fix). Happy Anniversary darling! DH did his thing - he calls it loading the truck.  DS and I do our thing - we call it an opportunity to goof off. In my case it’s a blogotunity, in DS’s case it’s a myspaceotunity. The apple does not fall far from the tree!

Making the difference

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

I don’t like to write about my family publicly, or even say/write their names… but today is an exception (sort of). Today I want to give props to my wonderful husband (T-man). Not only does he do so much for me and our family, he’s out there volunteering and helping others as well. Because I am so [expletive]ing proud of him and in light of April 15th kicking off National Volunteer Week… I’m bending my rules and posting about T-man for receiving the Clatsop County 2006 Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Not only does T-man put in many hours on the job, my endless honey-do lists and happily volunteering where I volunteer (my quilt guild) and still have much time for family time… but somehow he finds and makes the time to volunteer with the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Department Underwater Recovery Team. Being a diver is not always exciting or full of adventure. Most of the time it’s a recovery mission of the most tragic of circumstances. I know it’s something I couldn’t do, and all the more why I’m so proud my T-man does this and does it with such compassion and caring. Photo: left to right… T-man, K9-man (K9-man nominated T-man for the award). Thank you to Clatsop County’s Volunteer Coordinator Brandi Helligso and the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners for the nice reception and ceremony!

And speaking of Clatsop County (jeeze, have I mentioned that enough yet? Or as I like to call it… Catsup County), anyhoo… FINALLY something smokin’ hot and cool spent with our tax dollars! Yes, this is my Maggie’s new big sister… K9-man’s new car. Is it wrong to love a car? Because I really love my Magnum. All the more why I’m so excited over K9-man’s new car. Of course Big Sis is packed with WAY more goodies then my Maggie (and makes Maggie look like a go-cart), and not to mention can run faster and is armed and can make someone pee their pants when they see her in the rear-view mirror! Paying property tax is no fun, but I like to think this is where my entire check went to - if only that came with driving rights!!! A favor to anyone driving around Catsup County… if you see K9-man and you’re both stopped at a light…. PLEASE - slide your sunglasses to the tip of your nose, slowly tilt your head down and look above your glasses and say, “Nice car… but Monica’s is nicer”.

And if K9-man’s car is not cool enough… here’s another baby in the county. Look at this smokin’ hot Charger (and hopefully not in your rear-view mirror)!

Fratellie’s beware.

Winter Wonderland

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Taking a break from playing in the snow, just a few pics I took of BEAUTIFUL Astoria. It snowed buckets of snow last night! Needless to say, it’s a Snow Day here in Astoria. I won’t bore anyone with too much blah, blah, blah about the snow… but I’ll post all my pictures to a gallery later (if you’re interested). But for now… there’s a sled calling my name! (
Wende has some awesome photos on her blog too! What’s really funny is that she has a photo that looks like one of my photos. I was half expecting to see me taking a photo in one of her photos!

Hey Wende… next photo shoot we should meet up so I can shoot you shooting me shooting you shooting me. What? Um… you know know what I mean, right?

Night time is play time!

These last two photos were taken at about 1am. One is looking up our street (no flash because it was really that bright out). The other one is of DS checking out the snowfall in our backyard.

Little Mid-Century on the Prairie

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

By now I’m sure this is old news, but since I’m newly energized with electricity… I’m a little late. Ok, so we had this huge storm. I mean a HUGE storm. In other places they’re called hurricanes, each assigned with cute little names, everyone evacuates and Anderson Cooper is on the next flight in. Here in Astoria we wheel in our rubbish cans, put on a pot of coffee and hold on (we had reported gusts of over 100 mph).

I took it upon myself to name this storm “Nellie Olson”. A pesky little twit she was, and she brought us back to Walnut Grove times. Some here are still living in Walnut Grove… STILL with no electricity! I have fantasized about living like Laura Ingalls Wilder, a simple time with a simple life… living off the land and lunch in little buckets.

Our night in the storm changed all that. Our house was filled with candles (thank you IKEA), the fireplace roaring (thank you WIND for finding your way down our chimney), and hot coffee provided by DH who boiled water on the campstove outside (thank you FRENCH PRESS). We played checkers, watched trees sway, I did some redwork (thank you HILLARY LANG!) by lantern light (so very Ma Ingalls, though I’m guessing hers was not a Hello Kitty lantern). We watched my newly cleaned windows get pelted with pine needles and branches praying they didn’t break. Dinner was an epicurean delight of hot dogs roasted in the fireplace. No news and no tv… but I did have one tower on my crackberry and I was able to go to kgw.com to get a little news. Note to self… keep crackberry fully charged before next storm. Like Ma reading us a story before the fire, we listened to DH’s scanner and could hear all that was going on in the county. Stormotainment. I never could have imagined how many wonderful people were out there making it safer and better for us out there! Thank you to all of you!

At around 1 am things start to settle down and things eventually become quiet. Really quiet. WOW… our lives are so filled with noise, that once you’re without power… it’s so quiet! We had DS sleep in our room, away from the trees on his side of the house. We all tucked in for the night (a cold night at that) and I slept better then I have in years! Ahh… so quiet!

Time to wake up to our morning alarm clocks… the sounds of chain saws. Up the street, down the street. Here a chain saw, there a chain saw… everywhere a chain saw. This is the point where DH is envious and I can smell a trip to Lowes in the air. I thought we had it bad… downed and damaged fencing, a snapped tree (a big one) and my glass patio table that went airborne onto the lawn (which yes… we did vacuum!). No more photos of my coffee on the table for PKM. For me the mess was the worst. Cleaning the sidewalk, the yard, blah, blah, blah. Cleaning is so not my gig. And then I found out about my neighbor Wende and her mess… first I saw it IRL and then on her blog. I’m not feeling a bit sorry for myself… only gratefulness. The storm also brought out us neighbors. Hot coffee and cigarettes served up fresh in my driveway as we planned a pot luck with our thawing food (thank you again FRENCH PRESS and campstove). The power did go back on before our big feast, so no Little House on the Prairie style cooking… but it was a blast.

Long story short… we’re still cleaning up and getting the fencing back up. DH got to go on his fantasy Lowes shopping extravaganza and got his new chain saw. Can you smell the testosterone? The fencing was a sting on the wallet… but soooo nothing compared to what others have to deal with. After cutting the snapped tree, DS discovered we had a great view from atop the tree and snapped this photo of Astoria at dusk. I really like this photo even though it’s hard to see. And that my friends… was our night with Nellie Olson.

Multi Denominational Winter Greetings!

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

What should have taken me a day… took me a week. I love to decorate for the holidays… I just hate doing it. I’ve been hesitent to post these photos as they make my home look crappy and cluttered. But hmmm… what IF my home really IS crappy and cluttered… and I just now noticed it! Oh well… I guess you’ll have to stop on by for a Kaluha & coffee visit and see for yourself!

For starters… this is our tree. A real tree! We have an artificial one, but this year it’s staying in the attic. My DH got this as a gift from a very nice Oregonian who gives trees each year to service folks (police, fire, military, etc)… his way of saying Thank You. I do not know this man’s name (not for a lack of trying) and wish I could thank him for his kindness. If you know who this is… please shoot me a comment! Anyhoo… At our house there is no particular religion, we just kind of celebrate everything that suits our fancy (within reason of couse!). We’ve always had a Star of David on top of our tree, and I’m not alone… check out PAMKITTYMORNING’s tree! See… we really are twins separated at birth!

So here’s a shot of what looks like Clutter Central. This photo is especially poignant for me as I’ve not seen this table since the day after Thanksgiving when I stared stacking all my Christmas stuff on top of it. Last night my table reappeared! I guess this means I have to cook dinner again.

Our little buffet counter is somewhat clutter free too. This is where cell phones, laptops, cameras and everything else that needs charging lands. It’s where one of the few available electrical outlets is in this old house.

Tahdahhhh… I finished my Allsorts inspired Christmas pouches. “Pouches” still isn’t doin’ it for me… and “envelopes” sounds so office cubicle… must think of another word. Any ideas? Anyhoo… Wende had a great idea about doing it red, so I made the 25th in red. I like it! Thanks Wende! So the question is… what to put in them. Since DS is 15, little stickers or candy just won’t do. I’m putting one dollar bills in them and a $20 on the 25th. Oh I’ll have some fun too… some days DS will get a quarter to keep him humble. Bad mom, bad mom. I thought it would be fun to do little homemade coupons too.

My kitchen window. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to photograph this! I have more rooms, really. My swag looks so nice lit up and it has this nice glow. A flash photo makes it too bright… and no flash makes it look dark and dreary as like if we lived in, umm, Oregon! Notice the Star of David??? DS2 made that when we lived in Hawaii. And what does a kid in Hawaii make a Star of David from??? Chopsticks of course! I have another photo of my popsicle stick SoD that my DS1 made a couple of decades ago… just like the one PKM’s daughter Frankie made… but Blogger is being a [insert your own colorful word here] and won’t let me upload it. DS1’s Star of David is not neon like Frankie’s because Al Gore hadn’t evented it yet when DS1 made his.

Oh… and remember when I said there was no religion in our house? I lied. I faithfully attend my Swedish House of Worship, especially on the two holiest days of the year in July and December. Merry It Only Happens Twice a Year Sale!

WARNING! Dogs & Snow

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Consider yourself warned. If you don’t want to see photos of my dogs in the snow… skip this post! Dogs + Snow = 250 (photos). I’ve spared you of the entire collection from this morning’s winter wonderland at Casa de Pajama… so here’s about a dozen.

It goes without saying that schools are closed today for our first official Snow Day of the season (yesterday was a Snow Delay Day… 2 hr. late start). This is our 8th year here, and this by far is the most snow I’ve ever seen in Astoria. Astoria looks like a post card! Did you happen to catch the Seahawks/Green Bay Packers game last night… in the snow? It looked more like Green Bay then it did Seattle. I would guess the snow that fell in (into? on?) Qwest Field was nothing compared to Astoria’s snow last night! It was even prettier before the !@#$% snow plows came!

Paula has a photo of one of my favorite houses in Astoria… so worth a look-see!

Click on the photos and enjoy!

My new favorite photo of Liberty (aka Libby).

My new favorite photo of Madison.

My view from my kitchen window. This is my idea of entertainment while washing dishes!

My patio table just BEGS to be dressed and photographed by Alicia P!

Now at lunch time!

A little lunch time romp in the snow.

Which way to the fluffiest snow?

Snowball and Omlet take a peek at the snow outside and determine it’s best to stay in the coop.

Too cold for the Chickadees too! I just love how the snow is draped on my birdhouse roof and the tree is flocked by Mother Nature.

Madison is 3½… but she’ll forever be a puppy.

My words bring devastation… “Time to come in”!

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

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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