Friday, December 30, 2011

A Post Fit For a Queen

I am fully aware that I have been absent around here as of late. In my defense I have been sick. So sick in fact that I barely finished my Christmas shopping and for the first time in many years did not send out our annual photo Christmas card. I am pretty devastated about the latter but it just wasn't going to happen. Chris got slammed with the flu first and then like the wonderful sharing person he is he passed it on to me. And in true form I got way sicker than he did.

I really hate being sick around the holidays, it takes all the fun out of it for me. I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights--didn't happen. I love to shop--didn't happen. So thankful for an amazing husband who picked up the slack for me. Christmas Eve and Christmas day was fun times with family but I just didn't feel like myself and was so disappointed when I was barely able to eat any of the delicious turkey dinner Chris and I cooked on Christmas day. Just when I was starting to feel better I decided to go to the doctor today for a chest x-ray for some bad pain in my left ribs. I wanted to make sure I hadn't cracked a rib from my violent coughing fits last weekend. Sure enough my ribs were fine but good thing I went in, because the chest x-ray--while showing my ribs were fine--showed I have pneumonia. Hooray! Just in time for New Years. Suffice it to say our plans for tomorrow night are now to stay in and not go have fun with our friends Tammy and Jeremy and others. So yes boo hoo for me. This sucks.

But as the title of this post would suggest, this isn't about me. It is about the Queen, Today is my dear friend Carly's birthday and for her and her alone I sit here posting on my very neglected blog. I probably should be in bed but my love for Carly prevails. You never know where you might meet friends who became an important and special part of your life. A wedding in Seattle brought Carly and I together and I am so very thankful. Happy birthday to the greatest Canadian in all the land. I hope your day was special!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daft Awesome

I've got a song stuck in my head. I hate that, because whatever you do, it won't leave.  In fact, as I am typing this, I have YouTube open in another window and its playing said song as we speak. In fact, the whole "movie" is playing.

If you ever have time and you're into techno/anime, go watch/listen to Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Its basically an entire anime movie set to Daft Punk songs. It's pretty cool. The specific song I have in my head is "Digital Love." Love that riff.

I tend to sometimes get sucked into a YouTube vortex. I will click on on video, and so on and so forth, aaaand there goes 2 and a half hours. Like right now--I'm watching an episode of Star Blazers. Awesome. Good thing the wife's still sick. Nyquil for her, useless internet videos/music for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicken Soup and Thermometers

You must forgive me for neglecting this space the last few days. I thought I lucked out and the nasty cold/flu bug that got Chris a couple weeks ago had left our house without bothering me. Well, I was wrong. It decided it couldn't leave without paying my body a visit. So, my weekend was spent in bed or on the couch. In the last 3 days all I have eaten is any combination of chicken soup, crackers, applesauce and oatmeal. Easy weight loss plan I suppose. Ha! Between the two of us these last few weeks I think we have kept Vick's (NyQuil, DayQuil, VapoRub), Tylenol, Mucinex, Chloraseptic--spray and lozenges--and of course Halls in business. For reals.

Being sick has got me seriously behind in my Christmas shopping etc. I do have some shopping done, but usually I am well on my way to being done by now and have things that need to be shipped well on their way. Hopefully in the next day or two I will have a package sent off to Edmonton for the family up there. We haven't even got to our Christmas cards yet. Sigh! So, if your Christmas card is late now you know why. 

On a totally unrelated note it was raining skittles in Seattle tonight, literally. Beast Mode baby!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

An Oldie But a Goodie

A post I wrote a few years back when I participated in a Blog Off for Breast Cancer with some blog friends. I know it is such a cop out to make this my post for today. Truth is, I don't feel well, it's been a long week and I am going to bed. So read and enjoy :)

I love to go camping. I love the whole idea of escaping the city and getting away from it all. No TVs, no computers and no telephones. Just peace and quiet for as long as you choose to stay. I only have two rules when I go camping and they are as follows:1. NO BEARS, none whatsoever. None of this telling me they don't ever come around or only one is sighted a year. It doesn't matter, it's a rule and it stays that way. Chris broke this rule one time and I nearly killed him. There is only ONE exception to this rule and that is if it is The Berenstain Bears, because let's face it, they are cool.2. There HAS to be a working toilet within walking distance of the campsite.After that I am up for anything. I love the outdoors and I love the simplicity camping can bring into your life. Call me crazy, because I like a running toilet but at least I am not one of those girls who has to cart all her makeup and hair products with her when she goes camping. One of the reasons I look forward to camping is so I can leave all that stuff behind and not worry about it for a few days.

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. ~Henry David Thoreau

One of my favorite things about camping is the fire. I love to sit around the fire. I could sit there for hours and stare at the glowing orange of the fire and listening to the crackling of the wood. I love the peacefulness of it. The fire serves so many purposes. Obviously there is the whole keeping you warm thing, but aside from that how else would we survive an entire weekend on hot dogs and marshmallows if we didn't have a fire to cook them on? What about s'mores? They just wouldn't be possible without the fire. I remember camping in 1997 with some friends from high school and sending the boys to make us s'mores at all hours of the night and bring them to our tents. I also remember us all thinking it would be fun to go for a swim in the lake at like midnight--even though it wasn't even June yet. If you could only know how cold that water was. Me and the rest of the girls spent the rest of the night in front of the fire drying our hair. Perhaps the midnight swim wasn't the brightest of ideas, but thank God for the campfire to dry us off that night.
A lot of people who are hardcore campers make fun of me and tell me I am not a real "camper" because I refuse to camp in the mountains or in the middle of nowhere. I like to go to a campground where there are other people around, and where my only social interaction during the trip is not some bear or wild cat who attacks me as I pee behind a tree. That just does not sound like a good time to me--seriously--it doesn't. I have been afraid to camp in the mountains for as long as I can remember. There was no experience that I went through that made me scared. It is just a general thing. Big ass wild animals live out there, so why would I want to go? And yes I know, before you waste your time I will say it for you. Bear attacks are rare and as long as you keep your food away, etc you will be fine. I know this, but it still doesn't change my mind any. I get that it is rare for a bear to walk up to your tent, rip a hole in it and drag you off in the middle of the night. But attacks do happen, and my luck I will be that one person it happens to. Therefore, I figure if I leave them alone and stay away from their place of residence then I will be fine.My favorite camping trip that I have ever been on is when Chris and I went camping on the Oregon Coast for a week. We stayed at Beverly Beach State Park which is almost right on the ocean. The Oregon Coast is among my favorite places and if you have ever been there or seen it in pictures you know why. Our campground was fairly big, yet quiet. We were happy to have found a site surrounded by trees and it was almost as if it was our own little place. In the evenings when it got dark, we would go for a walk along the beach and enjoy the views of the stars and listen to the crashing of the waves that we couldn't quite see anymore. All along the beach you could see bonfires and hear people talking and laughing. At our own campsite Chris would make us a fire and we would sit around for hours talking, drinking cheap beer and roasting marshmallows.

The first night we were there it was pretty late when we arrived and already very dark. We carefully unloaded the car, and used the headlights to light the way as we set up the tent. After everything from the car was unloaded we decided we would lite a fire and jut relax for a few hours before we climbed into out tent for the night. Chris was in the tent changing when he called out to me to ask me to grab the lantern from the car. Now this lantern was not one of those new-fangled battery powered plastic ones, this thing was the real deal. Old school with fragile glass and even more fragile mantels. The kind that basically turn to ash at the slightest touch. There I was, lantern in hand walking back towards the picnic table. Well, I didn't make it that far. As I was walking back I completely forgot about the cement block in front of our parking spot, and I tripped over it and went flying through the air. I landed almost face first on the cement, scraping up my arms, my elbow and my hands. The lantern did an acrobatic show of its own, flying through the air and hitting the ground and bouncing back up off of it with the loudest bangs and clangs you could imagine. It was almost midnight--you could have heard a pin drop and there I was making all the racket I possibly could. Once Chris realized that for the most part I was okay he could not stop laughing, and after a while I saw the humor in it as well and could not stop laughing myself. Miraculously I was more damaged than the lantern was, not a scratch on it. Tell me, how does that happen? How do I fling a glass lantern through the air, have it come crashing down on the cement and somehow it doesn't break? Whatever the reason it certainly gave us a good laugh that night. Although I was feeling a little sore and stuff from my fall when I woke up the next morning.
Lets talk about raccoons for a minute. Now, people would have you believe that raccoons are cute and therefore they are harmless. Let me tell you people, this is just not true. Have you ever encountered a raccoon? They are frightening little creatures and the thought of their claws scratching at my face gives me the shakes. Like at any campground--you will always have raccoons. We were very careful to keep all food and garbage away in the hopes they would stay away from our campsite. One morning we woke up after it had been pouring down rain all night to find muddy raccoon paw prints all over our picnic table cover and our camp kitchen. Little buggers had made quite the mess in search for a midnight snack. The next night they got pretty brave when we were sitting by the fire and they made their way towards the picnic table. Chris ended up scaring them off, but for a while they just stood there staring us down and hoping we would drop something they could snatch up.

Chris and I have not been camping for a long time. We are both hoping this summer will offer some opportunities to camp in some of the beautiful places out here in New England. We have yet to take Belle camping. That should prove to be very interesting as she doesn't like things with four legs so much and I am not sure she realizes that she would have no chance against a raccoon.

If you hate camping because you have been and it just isn't for you then I respect that. But for those of you who have never been and say you don't like it you need to try it at least once. I have a feeling that you might just like it.

What I like about camping is you can get really dirty. Either you're all by yourself, so no one else sees you, or everyone you're with is just as dirty as you are, so nobody cares. ~Anonymous

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I know some of you are probably wondering how Treevey our Christmas tree is doing, so I thought I would give you an update.

Treevey is doing great. She is drinking lots of water and smells fresh and clean. She brightens up our living room and our lives.

She is fulfilling her destiny as a Christmas tree in the best way she can.

Thanks Treevey!

Mucus...Not As Cool As You Think

I'm sick. I hate being sick. I hate being sick because I can never imagine myself ever being well again. Luckily I rarely get sick, which ticks my wife off because when she gets sick, it always seems to be for a week and its pretty bad, whereas I get it for a day. Or maybe half-a-day. This time, however, the quick turn around was not to be.

So last Sunday whilst driving home from Seattle, I started feeling crappy.  No nausea, just fever.  Sure enough, we stopped in Woodland for dinner, and I got out of the car and immediately started shivering. So we got home and I took my temperature, and it was 101.9! That's rare for me...or maybe well-done! Ha!

Anyways, I decided to go to the ER just in case. I checked in, they ran all the tests: blood, urinalysis, chest x-ray, etc. Nada. My diagnosis? "Fever of Unknown Origin."  Greeeat. So I went home and basically stayed in bed the next two days. It must have been viral, as Evey didn't get it.  The fever went down, but this schizo virus can't make up its mind and decided it wanted to hang out in my lungs. Y'know, cause having asthma since I was a baby isn't enough--now I get to cough up all sorts of amazing colored mucus and wheeze like a 90-year old man who smoked for 70 years who is now on an oxygen tank! Hooray!

I have been hitting the Nyquil every night, and medicating with Mucinex as well. I think its winding down. I even had to reschedule a root canal, as me sitting in the chair coughing up a lung probably wouldn't be the best idea as there are multiple sharp objects in my mouth.

So in review: Being sick is dumb.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Letters to Santa

Every year Chris and I make Christmas lists. Mostly they are for each other, but we also send them out to those in our families who like to have an idea of anything we might be needing or wanting in particular. I always feel like a little kid sitting in her room creating a letter to Santa, writing down all the things I wish for.

I really am a pretty easy person to shop for. It really doesn't take much to put a big smile on my face and have me giddy as a Christmas ham. In fact, a new pair of socks with a fun design on them has been known to make my day. I don't expect much and I always grateful for whatever I am given. 

What I love more than getting presents is giving them. I LOVE Christmas shopping. I really really love it. I love giving someone something I know they wanted or even something I totally just bought on a whim but knowing they love it. It makes me so happy. 

What is on my wish list this year you ask? An Oilers jersey, a Kinect, socks, slippers, light for my kindle etc. 

So, what is on your wish list?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Cute Niece to the Rescue

Once again I am left speechless, or in this case typeless. Shocking I know, since on a normal day I don't shut up. Just ask Chris. So for days like this I am thankful that I have the cutest niece in the history of nieces.
For real, who needs to read my rambling when you can just look at the cuteness oozing from this picture and spilling all over my blog. Annika just turned 1 last week and she is just too cute for words. This could be my favorite picture ever. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

Adventures in Christmas Trees


 Any guesses what we did tonight?

We actually got out tree yesterday. It didn't have a very good start to it's life with us but that was yesterday and today we have welcomed Treevey into our lives with open arms. We of course had a strand of lights out which required a trip to Rite Aid to get some new ones. This of course gave us the excuse for a stop at Starbucks for Peppermint Mocha's and Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops. So the tree is up and decorated, we watched Elf which has become our tradition when putting up the tree. Belle was no help, she just laid on the couch and watched. Go figure!

Tomorrow we will get to the rest of the decorations and the outside lights and then all we need to do is finish our Christmas shopping.

Now if someone could just order me a white Christmas we will be in business!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Muppets Say it Best

I had nothing to blog about tonight. Then I saw this on facebook so I thought I would make it my post for the day. Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Best Real Roses I Never Got

Today Carly posted about the super cute Christmas card her boyfriend Kevin made with crayons and sent to her before they had even met. I gotta give him credit, his skills with the crayon were above and beyond, and how cute that he did that in the first place. If you care to read the post and see pictures of his card you can do so by clicking HERE.

This got me to thinking about one of the cutest and creative gifts that Chris ever gave me. To this day, I think it is still one of my favorites.

A few years back when we were living out east in Boston we had decided that money was a little tight so we were not going to spend any money on Valentine's Day on dinner, gifts or even flowers. Chris and the other technicians had a workshop in the basement of one of the Starbucks stores where they would do paperwork and work on machines. Little did I know on this day Chris was a busy little beaver making me my most favorite bouquet of flowers he has ever given me.

I was so surprised and excited when he presented them to me that night and he was so proud of his handy work. He had made them from pink bubble wrap, steel wire and electrical tape. A dozen pink bubble wrap roses.

I keep them on a shelf in our living room. Love them! So there you go guys, a gift doesn't have to cost a bunch of money to make a woman happy. A little thought and effort will win us over every time.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tis The Season...Or Is It?

The calendar says it is Dec 2nd. The Christmas tree lots, the lights and the Christmas music everywhere would suggest it is indeed the Christmas season. But I am just not feeling it.

Perhaps it is just simply that we haven't decorated yet. Hopefully that will all be taken care of this weekend. Hopefully by this time tomorrow night, the tree will be up and we will be watching a Christmas movie and sipping on a glass or two of wine. But even then--something tells me it still might be missing some white stuff of the flaky nature (and I'm not talking about dandruff...)

Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta I am used to long, cold and snowy winters. Call me crazy but I loved those winters and I miss them. The cold and the snow just adds to the beauty of the Christmas season, at least for me. Even when we lived in Boston we always had a white Christmas. Winters there are not quite as cold, long or snowy as Alberta winters but they were good enough. We enjoyed some great storms out there and most importantly had snow during this season. I miss that.

It's not like we have sunny balmy weather here right now or anything. Sure it's a little cold but I assure you it likely won't snow here one bit this year. Just like it didn't last year. That makes me sad. Perhaps I should invest in a snow machine. At least that way I can make my own snow whenever I want.

How about you? What gets you in the Christmas spirit?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Remembering A Legend: Dave Niehaus February 19, 1935 – November 10, 2010

Below is a post I wrote on our sports blog (which we need to resurrect) back in August 2008 about out trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Dave Niehaus, who had been the Mariners play by play broadcaster since they joined Major League Baseball in 1977 was being honored and inducted into the broadcasters and writers wing of the Hall of Fame.

I suggest you take a minute and click on the below and listen to some of Dave's greatest calls. I could listen over and over. Still get goosebumps and still get teared up thinking of what we had and what we have lost. God bless him.

More audio at
Sadly, we lost Dave to a heart attack last November at the age of 75. Dave's family and friends, the Mariners organization and fans around the world were heartbroken at the loss of a legend. He was a gentle, kind man who made me love a game I never thought I would or could. I am forever grateful for that. I am also so thankful Chris and I had the opportunity to see him be honored that weekend in Cooperstown, it was an experience I won't soon forget.

Even though we never met Dave, we did have an opportunity a few years back to have a baseball, mini bat and program from the Hall of Fame weekend signed by him. While still living in Boston, we used our connections within Fox Sports Northwest (now ROOT Sports) to have our stuff signed. A family friend had us meet up with one of the producers out back of Fenway Park who took our stuff to Dave to have signed.

Dave is forever enshrined at Safeco Field with the below statue. Thanks for the memories Dave. Gone but never forgotten. My Oh My!!

August , 2009

--Its funny. Six years ago I would have been the last person you would have seen in Cooperstown, New York, visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I would have laughed at you if you had told me that one day I would end up there and would spend hours walking around and looking at baseball's past and present as it is captured within the walls of the Hall. I would have told you that you were crazy if you had told me that I would spend hours standing on a street waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars that have made the game of baseball what it is today. If you had told me I would attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and have a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and goosebumps from head to toe as they introduced the 56 living Hall of Famers I would have shook my head in disbelief. If you had told me that when they announced Hank Aaron and Willie Mays back to back that as they walked upon the stage I would have been moved to my feet and joined the thousands in thunderous applause for two of the greatest to ever play the game I would have told you to get your head checked. Me, love baseball and all it means? Not a chance. But you know, just when you think you have it all figured out, you find a passion for something you never imagined could exist.

You would think Chris would be the one to blame for this love and passion I have for the game of baseball and the Seattle Mariners. But all the credit goes to my mother in law Linda. When I spent weekend at their house when Chris and I were first dating it seemed all they watched was baseball all weekend long. Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. At first I fought it. I swore up and down I would never watch such a boring excuse for a sport. Being Canadian and a passionate hockey fan the thought of watching baseball was nauseating. But slowly I got sucked in. I would sit with Linda and watch the games and before too long I was asking questions, and I was learning the players names and positions. I don't think we will ever forget the day I tried to say the name of the player who became my favorite Mariner. RP pitcher #17 Shigetoshi Hasegawa. I tried and tried but over and over his name came out in all sorts of odd sounds. We laughed and laughed. Shigersnooki Hashegowi. But I learned his name and with each game I was eager to learn more about different things. What a bunt was, what a double play was, what a ground rule double was. Before long I found myself fascinated with the pitchers and how complicated the art of pitching really is. The different grips, release points, the pitches. I couldn't get enough.
My mother in law may have introduced me to baseball and planted the seeds that would turn my into the baseball fan I am today. But it is Dave Niehaus that made baseball real to me. Night after night it was Dave who made me feel like I was at the ballpark sitting in the front row. It is Dave who gives me goosebumps when he utters the words he is so well known for. None better than his grand slam call--"Get out the rye bread and mustard Grandma it is grand salami time!"
There is nothing like it when a ball is crushed out of the ball park and Dave makes you feel as though you are right there--"that ball is belted to deep right field and that ball is going to Fly Away, My oh My!"

Dave Niehaus for those of you reading this and don't know who Dave is, he is the play by play announcer for the Seattle Mariners and has been since their inaugural game in back in 1977. In 32 years Dave has missed only 82 games. Quite the feat considering baseball has 162 game seasons. Through all the bad times in Seattle Dave has always been the constant. Game after game he has always been there. What makes Dave so special is how much he truly loves the game of baseball. He has a passion for the game that is heard in every word he speaks. If a broadcaster does not have a passion and love for the game he is calling then there is no substance to his words. They are merely that, words. With Dave you know it is more than a job to him. He has been living his dream for 32 years calling a game that he is passionate about and a baseball team he truly loves.Being able to be there and see Dave receive the Ford C Frick award and honored by the Hall of Fame was truly a special experience for me, one I won't soon forget. Dave is an honorable and gracious man who deserves all recognition in this world for what he does day in and out. At the end of Dave's speech he said--
" I know there are several bigger names who have preceded me in winning this award. There will be several bigger names after me to win this award, but no one will ever be more appreciative."
Dave is right that no one will ever be more appreciative but in my opinion he is the greatest there is. His name is much bigger and much more important to baseball and the Seattle Mariners that I think he realizes.Living in a city where people seem to move to and immediately desert the team the grew up cheering for just to cheer for the Boston Red Sox makes me sick. There is no loyalty in that and I think it's sad. Dave said it best when he said--

"Millions of fans from the northwest stand here with me today. Believe me, without them, I wouldn't be here today. Over the years, they have been my biggest supporters and they've been loyal to the Mariners through thick and thin, and there was never a doubt in my mind about Seattle being big league territory from the first pitch Diego Segui threw to Jerry Remy 32 years ago, it's been quite a ride and it's not over yet. Believe me, the best is yet to come."

Win or lose my heart is in Seattle with the Mariners. You will never see me cheering for another baseball team with the passion I have for Seattle. I thank Dave Niehaus for that. And he is right, the BEST is yet to come. And when that time comes it will be worth every moment of heartache. It will be worth every loss and it will be worth every season the Mariners have let Seattle down. My only wish is that Dave Niehaus will be around for that, I wouldn't want to hear anyone but him calling the final play in a Seattle Mariners World Series clinching game.

Dave Niehaus will forever be in the hearts of Mariners fans. Long after he has retired from baseball he will be in our hearts and he will always be the greatest there is in my eyes.
Congrats Dave, and thank you for sharing you love and passion for baseball with all of us. My Oh My!