A Friday in Gig Harbor

Emma and I visited a friends’ shop in Gig Harbor this weekend while we were at the Hood Canal.  It’s a coffee shop/wine bar/pottery painting studio.  Basically, it’s AWESOMENESS x 3. It’s called Java and Clay Cafe.

 I didn’t experience the wine bar part of it, because Emma was with me, and well, it was the middle of the day.  Of course, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a nice cold beer in the middle of the day, especially a tall cold Blue Moon with a slice of orange in it with lunch, mmmmmmm…..but for some strange reason, it feels weird to me to drink wine during the day.  I can’t explain why.  Just a quirk I guess.  Oops, got side tracked there for a minute…..ok back to Java and Clay…. It’s right on the main drag through Gig Harbor (and not too far from my 2nd FAVORITE place there, the Tides Tavern). They have a little lounging spot in the Coffee Shop, and tables. I so could have curled up on one of those chairs and sipped away on my coffee, but I didn’t think Emma would appreciate me ditching her in the paining studio….so I refrained.

They also have two large rooms used for the painting studio. ANDDDD there’s a fantastic deck where you can sit and watch the world go by when the weathers nice (I love to people watch too). I’d like to take advantage of that sometime this summer. Looks like a fun place for me and my laptop to blog away…..OH! And did I mention they have COFFEE? 🙂

I DID partake in the java (of course!), and in the painting of pottery.  Two things I LOVE.  Making stuff, and COFFEE. Pretty much a perfect combination.  Emma had a hot chocolate.  Both, were excellent! Here’s Em’s hot chocolate….


This was the first time I’ve been to a paint and take pottery studio. We have something similar in our area (sans the coffee shop/wine part), and I’ve been meaning to go ever since Emma was old enough to hold a paint brush, but for one reason or another, just hadn’t made it yet. So it was a new and fun experience for both of us. Oh yeah, and did I mention they have COFFEE there too? Ok, just making sure.

Emma chose a sea-turtle to paint, and I chose a plate (crazy and original, I know). We got the run-down of how it works along with some tips from the super nice gal that helped us, and got started. All the colors you can choose from, speckles or no speckles, all the different animals and other figures, mugs, plates, and just about anything you can think of to paint.  It was there.

It can be dangerous for a person like myself, because I could EASILY spend the ENTIRE day there messing around, and could EASILY lighten my wallet by several hundred bucks too, I’m sure. It was a good thing we had plans to go to my Brothers house for dinner that evening.  That put somewhat of a time limit on our stay. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have probably had about 20 other things piled up on the table to paint.  When Em and I finished our first selections, we both decided we needed to do one more.  Her next choice was a bunny, and mine was a tea-bag rest (yes, I was just in a wild and crazy mood ALL day). It was SO much fun tho!  Emma totally dug it.  I think she’s hooked too.

I started to feel a little guilty when I took my brushes and dirtied paint tiles and stuff to the sink at “someone elses” place.  The idea is, that you just put all your dirty stuff in the sink, and the staff cleans them up.  I get that it’s their job, but It just felt wrong to go put a bunch of dirty stuff in the sink and walk away . (We had quite the mess going on).

I did manage to pre-rinse though (I couldn’t help it). The gal that helped us just laughed and said “That just means your momma raised you right”.  That was sweet of her to say.  I never really thought about it before, but I suppose she’s right.  THANKS Mom!

Now we just have to wait for our stuff to be fired in the kiln and then we can pick them up!  We are both so excited to see what they will look like afterwards. They do give you the option to have it shipped when it’s done if you are not local, but we come to town often enough that we can wait (says the person with slim to no patience).  😉 

Once we left Java and Clay, we headed to Port Orchard (a few miles away) to have dinner with my brother and sis-in-law (SIL), so Emma could get in some time with her 4 cousins.  But first, had to stop to take a pic of the Harbor.  It was such a BEAUTIFUL day! 

We arrived at my Brothers house, and there were a million neighborhood kids everywhere, all playing in the street. Reminded me of how we played when I was a kid, you know before all of the child abduction, kidnapping, and murdering started getting “popular”. One of my nephew’s wanted to stay inside and read, but my SIL promptly kicked everyone OUTSIDE to play. So being the obediant nephew that he is, he takes a chair out to the middle of the lawn and sit’s down to read.  I guess, yeah, he was technically OUTSIDE playing……   Floki (the dog) looks like he’s looking to the house saying “Uhhh, dad?  That is NOT playing.  He won’t throw my bone….”

Here are the the Angels…..

It was pretty much a PERFECT day!

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I’m Blogging Too

Over the past several weeks, after starting my blog, I, of course, have spent more time in the evenings and weekends on my computer. I found a fantastic way to manage this, that’s a win-win for both me AND Emma.  Two words.  McDonald’s Playland. Yep, I took Emma over to McD’s got us a snack and a drink, and headed for the play area. 

I think I have only done that once before.  I’m not usually a huge fan of the place, let alone all of the kids running wild around like little wildebeests (yes, that’s really how it’s spelled. I had to google it). And I am NOT a fan of screaming children either.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster for me, huh?  Well surprisingly, There were only a few other people in the play area, and only a couple of kids. And it was QUIET.  do you believe that? I sat down with my laptop and my HUGE iced tea, and got busy.  

Emma ran off to play, coming back periodically for a nibble of food and a drink.

surprisingly, it was fantastic!  Not at all what I was afraid it would be….a room that smelled like feet, PACKED with screaming kids, and snotty slobbery babies…..

So naturally Emma asks me what I’m doing when I’m on my computer.  I tell her I’m “blogging”.  She asked me what that means.  I explained that I have my own space on the internet (arent I COOL?), that I can post pictures, ideas, crafts, and thoughts, to share them with people. I don’t know if that was a good enough explanation, but it seemed to satisfy her curiosity.

Later on during the same weekend, we went to the Mall to get a second pair of these super cool shoes I got at Lady Footlocker.  (They were so comfy I wanted to have one pair to wear strictly to the gym, and another pair I can abuse the rest of the time.) Emma is a member of the “kids club” at the Mall, so that entitles her to a FREE balloon, ANYTIME we go to there.  WOW. That’s darn near priceless considering the meltdowns over getting and not getting a balloon that we have had in Fred Meyer and other stores that SELL balloons, and well worth the $5 annual fee for the membership.  🙂  So we stopped at the information booth to get her balloon. 

We walked by Myfroyo (If you don’t know, it’s a frozen yogurt shop) and of course she reallllllyyyyyyyy wanted to go get some.  I said no, we haven’t even eaten dinner yet.  That was followed by more pleassssse and some mildly irritating whining…..”but it’s healthy“! I said “No, it’s not healthy, it’s just a little better for you than ice cream”. (I left off “until you put all the crap on top that they call “toppings”, cuz I didn’t want to completely burst her bubble). With that, I kicked it into high gear to get us into the store and back out of the Mall, STAT.  I was loosing my patience rapidly.  (I know, not ME, right?)

Phew, mission accomplished.

When we got back into the car, Emma asked for a pen. Which I handed her. (Don’t freak out, she likes to write and draw in the back seat, and is not one of those kids that does either of those things ON SEATS.)  I hear her start sounding out words while writing on her balloon.  Words like Daisy (our cat), Riley (our dog)….pretty soon she asked me how to spell Myfroyo, and then frozen yogurt.  She finished up, and handed me back the pen. I asked what she was doing….

Her reply was “I’m blogging….on my balloon. But I didn’t tell them I have a hermit crab and I spelled out frozen yogurt so kids, like two, or three years old won’t argue with their parents about it (Myfroyo) being ice cream.”

Well that was awfully nice of her to think of the poor parents, after the ringer she put ME through not 15 minutes earlier.

I’m wondering where exactly she thought we were going to “post” this informatin on her “balloon blog”.  The kid cracks me up sometimes.  🙂 

For Ribbons

This weekend was the Run For Ribbons 5k.  It’s a run/walk for ALL cancers.  They give you a t-shirt with a blank ribbon, and you decorate it with the color(s) that you are supporting.  I did mine in gray for my step-mom who has brain cancer, and lavender wich represents all cancers.  Tasha’s was dark blue for colon cancer, and lavender as well.  I know I had shown Tasha working hard on her shirt in one of my other posts.  Here was the second day of decorating….and you can see she is still JUST as focused on the task at hand as she was the first day.  🙂

Waking up that morning I was pleasantly surprised that the sun had held on another day for us.  Yay!  But…by the time we got down to the park, the wind had picked up quite a bit….and it was c-c-c-cold!  We both had long sleeve shirts on under our newly decorated t-shirts, but we were really hoping not to have to wear a coat…..cuz, that’s kind of the whole point, to show what you’re supporting by the way you decorated your shirt. Besides, there were some crazy people, I mean, adventurous people wearing shorts and no layers. If they could hack it, so could we.

We went and signed our waivers, and took a looksy at the booths they had set up for Ribbon Fest, that were all but being carried off by the wind.  I felt bad for all those people, trying to hold down all the papers on their tables, while the tent they were standing under was about to blow away too.  Our looksy didn’t last long.  We realized we had an HOUR till the walk/run actually began. Rather than risk death by exposure, like a couple of diehards (not), we hurried back to the parking lot to sit in Tasha’s car with the heater and music on for the next hour. Here we are “braving” the elements in her car….

And here is Tasha saying “Dude, what is UP with this WIND!

I cannot believe how many people were there!  It was awesome.  They had a 1 mile walk, and a 5k run/walk.  We of course, chose the 5k (remember, we are diehards).  😉

It’s sad yet amazing at the same time to see just how many people’s lives have been touched by cancer.  The support is strong though, that is obvious.

Oh, and I of course, had my choose joy necklace with me…..I was supporting cancer, and it was supporting me.  I know it sounds a little “kooky”, but it really IS a great reminder, having it hanging around my neck 24/7.  Every time I catch a glimpse of it, or feel it….I remember ….to CHOOSE JOY, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

So we hoofed the 5k in the hurricane along the Columbia River (which had white caps the entire morning), along with literally hundreds of others.  There were small kids, baby’s in strollers, teenagers, “real” runners, people in wheel chairs, and elderly folks.  There were a couple of elderly couples just trudging along holding hands…..just how I imagine Tasha and her hubbs when they are old and gray.  It was so cute.

We made it to the finish a couple of minutes over the one hour mark.  The couple minutes was my fault, I managed to get a blister on EACH foot (I belive in equality) and had to take my shoes off to examine them at the halfway mark.  You know, to see just how much pouting I could do the rest of the way.

Blisters, frozen ears and lips and all, it was an AWESOME way to start the day.

When we finished, my mom and Emma had arrived at the playground in the park so Em’s could play a little, in the hurricane.  They brought Riley.  Here he is standing with his ears blowing in the wind.  I think he looks like the flying nun when they do that. His shadow in this reminds me of that commercial where the guy is sitting in a chair in front of a giant speaker, and his hair and everything around him is being blown backwards.

How many hands??

Just something funny I have to share…… I was dropping Emma off at the B&GC befor school.  She had a stuffed animal with her, and dropped it as she was getting out of the car.  She looks down at it, and says “THAT’S because I don’t have ten bazillion HANDS”. 

Funny, I find myself saying those EXACT words every time we get out of the car with all of her “stuff” in tow.  Then she said, “I wonder why we only have TWO hands?”.  I’ve wondered that very same thing most of my life.  🙂

Now where did I put those pants??

So…..I had a rough weekend.  Found out something at the end of last week that I would rather not have known.  It knocked the wind out of me for a couple of days.  I haven’t felt like writing, or doing anything creative whatsoever for the past couple days. (I hope that comes back soon).  My daughter spent the weekend at her dad’s, so it gave me some time to just think about things, not having to hide tears from her, and try to put things in perspective.  Think about the direction my life is going to take, and not take now.  

My first thought was, no way am I going to blog about this.  No one wants to read about “doom and gloom”.  I know I don’t!  But I have found lately, that reading things that could be considered “doom and gloom”, can have a positive impact, because shining through that, is someone’s positive outlook, hope, faith, and lots of other gifts that emerge from pain.  Besides, sometimes that’s just life.  It’s not always pina coladas and flip flops. I have also realized, that writing about it, is a great way for me to sort through it all in my head.  To break it down, and pull out the positives. As I have mentioned in previous posts, it’s theraputic for me.

Take Ashley from Lil Blue Boo.  She was diagnosed with cancer in October 2011.  Her story has inspired me.  No, not the part about her getting cancer.  I don’t enjoy reading about the trials and pain she has been through with her diagnosis.  What I have been inspired by, is her ability to embrace what has happened and totally turn it around, into something so inspiring and encouraging.  I’m comforted by following her life.  It makes me feel like everything will be ok.  And deep down, I KNOW it will be, I just wish I could push the fast-forward button sometimes and skip to the part where it doesn’t hurt anymore.  (Yeah, me and everyone else on the planet, I know).

So, Friday, I made it through my half day at work, managing to avoid eye-contact with anyone so they couldnt see my bloodshot puffy eyes.  That also helped to avoid any questions like “how are you”, or “is everything ok”….which in my current state just leads to immediate tears, so, NOT a good thing.  I spent more time crying on Friday day than I spent not crying.  Ugh.  Not fun.  I had to go pick up a couple t-shirts for my friend Tasha and I, that we are decorating for the Run For Ribbons 5k next weekend.  It’s a walk/run for ALL types of Cancer.  I am choosing to do mine in Grey (Brain Cancer for my Step-Mom) and Lavender (for ALL cancers).  So, I went to the Cancer Center “incognito” wearing my sunglasses the entire time, yes, even inside the building, to hide my eyes.  Luckily it was sunny outside, so I was hoping everyone would just figure I forgot I was wearing them.  I picked them up, and went home to spend some time with my girl before her dad picked her up. 

Sidetrack for a minute……about a month ago, I ordered a beautiful Choose Joy necklace from The Vintage Pearl, that were created for, and are being sold to help pay for Ashley’s (Lil blue boo) ever increasing medical bills.  They have been so overwhelmed by orders, (fantastic!) that they have to close the ordering down, make more, and then ship them.  I received notification that mine was going to ship, and anxiously checked the mailbox every day the following week (last week) for its arrival.  Wouldn’t you know, I walked down to the mailbox after Emma left for her dads on Friday, and there it finally was.  The day when I could not shut the darn faucet (tears) OFF.  The day when I really, Really, REALLY needed that reminder.  That’s timing. So, of course, I was standing at the mailbox in tears like an idiot. Here it is……I don’t think I’ll ever take it off….. 

Ok, back on track now…….I headed over to Tasha’s so we could do the shirts.  She rescued me AGAIN.  She saved me from throwing myself a pity-party the rest of the night.  I know I would have inevitably ended up doing it, regardless of wanting to or not.  Here we are doing our shirts. Tasha is getting VERY into it.  Teehee…..

As for the rest of the weekend…..my friend Brenda tried dragging me out of the house during the day on Saturday, but I wasn’t able to “locate” my “big girl pants” till about 5pm.  😉 So I finally put em on and went over to her place for the evening.  She just recently had her house built, and moved in.  It’s a beautiful house!  (She definitely has a knack for home interiors.) After the hard times she has had lately, I’m so happy for her to finally have a place of her own and a fresh beginning in it with her son!  We had some dinner and ended up talking about fun stuff, and not so fun stuff, until 1:00am in the morning.  Let me tell you…that is like WAYYYY past my bedtime!  I can’t remember the last time I saw 1:00am, where I wasn’t just letting my dog out to go potty.  It was awesome to chat and spend the time with her. 

Sunday, started feeling a little more like a normal person, and one that hadn’t just had her heart ripped out of her chest. I got Emma back then took Emma her to a friends birthday party.  They had it at the Gymnastics Gym so that’s always fun for the kids.  Wears them out FAST.  😉 See…..

Anyway, I guess now, I just need to focus on what I learned from this little “blow”.  It’s pretty darn hard for me to do for a couple of days.  My head says suck it up and be thankful for the things that are positive in my life.  My heart says OUCH, please hide me.  I’m going to Choose Joy.  I HAVE to Choose Joy.  Why would I want anything else?  I feel selfish for feeling so defeated by this, when there are others out their, like my Step-Mom Tutu, and Ashley, that are fighting for their lives.  I get to wake up each day and know that I am healthy, and my daughter is healthy.  That is the most important thing.  I suppose I need to think about the little lecture that I gave Emma after her pout-a-thon at Shakey’s Pizza (read about it here). That beyond the basics, everything else is just “frosting”. 

It hurts, for sure. 😦  But I’m going to take the positives with me, and flush the rest. I have to keep the faith that someday a man will walk into our lives that will love Emma and I, as much as we will love him.  Until then, we will live our lives to the best of our abilities, and we will continue to choose joy everyday, in everything we do.  Because…..well…..WE CAN. 

Where’s the weight machine for THAT?

I grew up snowboarding, waterskiing, and knee-boarding. Despite being fairly athletic, and in shape during those years, I would always have those horrendous first days of each season, where my muscles felt like they had JUST been discovered for the first time EVER.  I could have snowboarded my heart out all winter long, dropped my snowboard and hopped directly on the knee-board, and would not be able to walk or reach a box of cereal from the cupboard for the next three days.  No matter what, you simply use a completely different set of muscles for each sport. 

I discovered this weekend, that this also apparently applies to (although I wouldn’t really call it a sport…) spray painting. Yes, I said spray painting.  I started a small project I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m doing a photo collage in the hallway, with some of my daughters drawings turned into photos, mixed in with some cute pics of her, all in white frames.  So I took a bunch of old plain and painted wooden frames, dismantled them, and began to spray them. I’m not a “seasoned” spray painter, but I figured I should start with primer. Right?  Sure.  About ten minutes into it, the can stopped spraying.  The directions say it’s an “any angle” spray can.  They lied.  I tried all the tricks suggested to see if it was clogged, to no avail.  So, I decided to scrap the primer idea and go straight for the painting,  (By the way….I am not a real patient person, probably something you should know). I did two coats. I don’t know how long it took exactly to do the spraying, but they turned out great!  The next day, I was fine, but the 2nd day….ohmygoodness…my hamstrings (the muscle that runs the length of the back of your thigh) were tighter than a gnats arse! And my thumb and pointer finger were aching like you would not believe.  Really?  From SPRAY PAINTING?  Clearly, I need to focus on a couple different muscle groups the gym. Point me in the direction of the hand muscle machine please?  Haha.

I’ll show you the collage when It’s done (after I complete physical therapy….only kidding). For now, here is my first batch….

Crazy Amazing

Monday’s used to be the most dreaded day of the week for me. It meant the weekend was over, and all I had ahead of me was 5 grueling days of WORK.  That is….until this Monday.

It could have easily been not JUST a Monday…but one of “those days” AND a Monday, combined.  My darling daughter wanted desperately to bring her mermaid Barbie to school. My answer was no. So, we went to school with tears, which is never fun.  In all the commotion of getting her and I ready and out the door, and having the Barbie battle, I left my lunch sitting on kitchen counter.  Sounds like a rough start to the day doesn’t it?  Normally, after all that, combined with just MONDAY, by the time I got to work I would be about ready to put some Bailey’s in my coffee and call it a day.  But strangely, by the time I pulled into the parking lot at work, I was surprisingly feeling kind of care free.  I realized I had my coffee (yes…I caved and purchased my $5 cup of coffee on the way to work). I was listening to the radio (which I can do now without bursting into tears or having to quickly change the station to avoid this song or that song…do you KNOW how many songs there are about cancer and breakups??), For lack of a better descriptoin…I felt “light”. I havent felt that in a long time, let alone on a Monday morning.  I believe that this “Choose Joy” thing is ACTUALLY working!  It’s starting to happen without me even realizing it!  Wooohooo!!

You may not realize how big this really is for me.  I mentioned before that I am (unfortunately) a natural-born pessimist and worrier. So, this isn’t just your regular mostly happy person having an attack of the positives….no, this is like CRAZY amazing…..glass started out half EMPTY and not only filled itself up, it started overflowing!

I’m seeing, that Monday, and any other day of the week, is just another day that can be filled with fun, creativity, humor, and love. I just have to spend 8-9 hours of it at work…but other than that, it’s just another day. It’s actually a very liberating feeling. Bring on the week and whatever it has to offer!

Something to try and remember….

Should have ordered in

Over the weekend, in addition to Choosing Joy, Emma and I “chose pizza”.  They just opened up a new Shakey’s Pizza not far from our house.  I had not been to or seen a Shakey’s since I was a kid, living in Astoria, Oregon. We decided to check it out.  The pizza tasted just like I remember it and was pretty good.  That’s where the similarities end.  The sign outside said established in 1954, so maybe I was hoping for more of a step back in time than I got.  Here is the pizza….we went with the ole standby….

 I remember the Shakey’s in Astoria pretty vividly.  The exterior had these really cool glass bulb/circle like windows, in different colors.  It let light into the building, without actually being a window.  It made for a pretty cool atmosphere.  When you walked in, you could order your pizza, then go over to the long window with a ramp where you could stand and watch them make the pizza’s.  (I’m sure the employees loved being watched by 7 yr old pizza critics all day long).  But being 7, it was pretty fascinating to me. There were a couple of pinball machines in the corner. The only video game I remember was the pac-man game that was under glass in a table.  So you sat at the game, looking down through the glass table at the video screen. Those of you that are OLD, like me, will know exactly what I’m talking about.  It was so cool. 

The Shakey’s we went into last night, first of all, had a bar!?  And a big screen TV.  You still ordered from the counter and then sat down to wait for your food, but alas, no pizza creation “viewing area”.  Sad.  At the far end of the restaurant, was a kids game room…..like Chuckee Cheese (a.k.a. parents hell).  I was NOT happy to see this…..and gave a huge internal sigh as soon as Emma saw it.  It was complete with those tickets that spew out of the games, that kids can turn in at the “prize” counter, for a cheap toy. I hate this mad scramble for as many tickets as you can get….rather than casually enjoying some fun games, it ends up turning into a bloodsport, for both the kids AND the parents.  Ugh.  I can’t believe how competitive some of these parents get, all for something that will most likely get lost in the car on the way home, or ends up in the trash soon after. So much for a relaxing evening out at the local pizza parlor.  It quickly turned into a timed event to see how quickly she could finish dinner and get to those GAMES! I’ll admit, there was one plus in the game room, they had old school ski-ball.  I LOVE ski-ball!  I could play it for hours!!  Emma likes it too.

 

So we only purchased the MINIMUM of “tokens”, so Emma got to play some games.  She did enjoy several of the games that DIDNT vomit out tickets (heaven forbid), like ski-ball, and a boat racing game called H2O something….. Here she is boat racing

 

When we counted up the tickets, and only had enough for a necklace at the crap counter, I mean “prize” counter…it led to a meltdown.  This was NOT okay with me.  As soon as we got to the car, we had a long discussion about being thankful for what we have.  What are the things we really need in life? Food (pizza), water, shelter, love, and each other.  THOSE are the essentials, everything else is just “frosting”.  A fun bonus. She got it. The tears dried up, and we ended up having a great rest of the evening. 

I don’t plan on going back anytime soon, unless they bring back the table pac-man, the pizza creation viewing, and LOSE the whole game ticket RACKET they have going on in there.  So parents…be prepared if you plan on going to dinner there.  🙂

Someone I want you to meet

Remember how I said I had more than one Muse?  (You can read about another one here.) Meet Tasha. 

 

No, not the tall hairy one in the hat….she’s the cute blond with the infectious smile.  We started out as co-workers, and quickly became friends. I can honestly say that I have laughed harder with her, than I have with anyone else.  She now works for another company (booooo), before that, our offices were just down the hall from each other.  Close enough that she would send me a crazy instant message on my computer at work, and then she’d wait and listen to hear me laughing….then she’d send me a message that she could hear me laughing, and that made her laugh.  I know, it’s crazy, but laughter is medicine, its good for the soul, and she provided me LOTS of it.  During lunch we drove down to Joe’s Mini-Mart so we could get a GIGANTIC diet soda in Styrofoam cups.  Joe’s was the only mini-mart close by that had Styrofoam cups.  Why does the type of cup matter? An important fact I didn’t know until I met Tasha, is Styrofoam cups don’t sweat.  (You didn’t know that, did you?) So you can leave it on your desk all day long without the watery mess on the outside of the cup.  Plus you can write your name or draw pictures on it with just your fingernail. How had I made it this far in life without this gem of knowledge, I don’t know.  So to Joe’s we went.  Almost daily. 

Thursday’s were “Mongo” days.  We went to a nearby Mongolian place for lunch, and looked forward to receiving our “fortune” in the cookie on our way out. This would sometimes indicate whether or not we needed to stop at Joe’s and buy a mega millions ticket on the way back to work. 😉  Tasha is the only person I know who LOVES to go to Mongolian, but literally only has like 10 noodles on the heaping pile of the “rest of the stuff” (jalapeno’s included). I mean, isnt that kinda what Mongolian is all about?  NOODLES?

Tasha is also what I like to call….um…..a freestyle parker. It’s where you just kinda go for it and pull into your parking spot, regardless if you are straight and aligned in the spot, or NOT. Before we’d get out, I tried to warn her about our “position” in the spot, but she rarely believed me….until we got out. 🙂

All of these crazy things make up one of my best friends.  She has had her share of health issues here and there, but you would never know it if she didn’t tell you.  She always has a smile on her face or a sarcastic comment to make you laugh, regardless of what she’s going through.  She doesn’t need to “Choose Joy”, she lives it already.  Every day. I can’t help but join in…..it’s contagious. Being around her makes my troubles literally disappear.  She’s not trying to make that happen…it just does. She has a loving, husband that supports her through everything and clearly adores her.  Their love is obvious….they are the couple you will see in the grocery store still holding hands when they’re 90 yrs old.  I’m positive of that.

I am so thankful she is part of my life! I WUBB you Tasha!

I Resisted The Urge

Today was a bit of a “mixed bag” for me.  Normally, Friday is a good day.  Wooohooo!  Two days to play!  Until recently, that thrilled the heck out of me.  But now that I have become newly single….not so much.  It takes some getting used to not having plans for the weekends.  Yes, I’m doing my best to try and fill my weekends when I can…but it’s not so easy this time of year….gets dark early, kinda cold and icky still. It’s always so much easier in the summer when it’s light longer, and warm out!  But, thanks to Ashley at LBB I’m still making the conscious effort to Choose Joy every day.  And so far….it’s working!

So, normal morning herding my lolly-gagger, I mean daughter off to the Boys & Girls Club (where she goes until school starts). Today is Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, so all the kids were instructed to wear Dr. Seuss hats.  Here is Emma in hers.   

I like to work longer days Mon-Thurs, so that I can have a short Friday.  This comes in especially handy during the summer when I am jetting (not really in a jet, just my SUV) off to Hood Canal, or headed somewhere to go camping, etc.  I can get an early start on the travel time, or, if I want to take the entire day off and leave Thursday, I don’t have to burn through as much vacation time, and still get a three day weekend. (Go me!). Anyway….I put in my few hours at work today, and then needed to go to one of my favorite craft stores to get a couple things for a project I want to start….eventually, sometime…ok, so maybe I just wanted to go shopping.  😉 Not too far into the store, I ran into this AMAZING display of what?? Flip-Flops!  Yes.  It’s March, and they have FLIP-FLOPS OUT.  

This alone lifted my spirits.  It’s coming….it’s really coming…SUMMER!  So after worshiping the wall of flips for a couple minutes, I wandered to another part of the store, and guess what I came across?  Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Wait ….wait for it….…ANOTHER wall of FLIP-FLOPS.  I had to catch my breath. Definitely no denying it now…it’s almost time for pedi’s and flip-flops, bbq’s and sunshine, cold corona’s and lime (and if you’re my SIL, jalapeño). It’s surprising, but I departed the store and did not have ONE single pair in my cart. Yep….I’m THAT strong. They also had these really cool tin buckets specifically for flip-flops.  It’s genius.  I may need to go back and get one.

So basically my day had its ups and downs.  And after turning on the tv and randomly ending up on a show called “Crave Pizza”….the cards seem to be settling down and ending up in my favor for the day.  I’m (drooling, and) learning all kinds of things about (drool) pizza (more drool)  Did you know it’s been around since at least 500 B.C.?  Me either.  Crazy.  Don’t mess with a good thing I guess. Tomorrow, in addition to “Choosing Joy”, I may need to also “choose pizza”. 🙂