5 Things out of 100
1. Skirt? socks? shoes? purse? Thank you.
2. Frothy hot chocolate after a long walk on a cool evening.
3. If you knew my kitchen you would understand why this makes me whimper.
4. My Boubeh curled up on my arm as I type.
5. Rotisserie chicken.

We had brunch with the Youngbloods at the 5-Spot Saturday morning - it was yummy! They are both very funny and we hope to have them over for dinner on a night when it's warm (Kate is allergic to cats so we will have to dine on the back patio). Of course - this means we will have to scrape all of the cat hair from the patio, too. Hmmm....
After brunch we spent some more time getting organized for our packing. We have many dump runs ahead of us.
Also on my HUGE list of things to do today was "WASH CAR". While driving the second load of stuff to drop off at Value Village, I passed the Ballard Beavers Girls Softball car wash, and I knew it was karma.
Once they finished the giant truck ahead of my car, they all RAN to my car and started scrubbing. It was hilarious. I thinks there were twelve girls on my car at one time. My car probably died a little bit and went to heaven right there on the spot. They even scrubbed the nooks and crannies of my hubcaps!
This weekend I also repotted a bunch of plants, worked out a system with Bruce across the street for more dump runs and taking our appliances away, started work on Amy's school project (she graduates this spring!), had a BLT followed by a rice krispie

treat (my mouth is now shredded), got some stuff to treat my corn on my baby toe - all the while yelling YAYY! CORN! and embarrassing Sean, went to Marc's Partner Party, made a garbage HEAP in the garage, went to the grocery store, and washed and dried and put away all of the laundry. I feel like a new woman. A new woman that needs a nap. And her nails done.
The following week will continue to be busy - either with social plans or more packing. This is where it all begins....

Continuing the Goodbye Installments....
Goodbye rooster made out of nails and string. Someone worked very hard to make you. Someone named Gary Lawler, in 1974. I know this because he initialed the front and etched in a cool looking signature in the back. He even did the Christian fish symbol with the 1974 in it. The back also has handwriting saying "Happy birthday Mom! Love Gary & Marilyn, Kelly & Tara".
This rooster made me happy for many years. Surprisingly happy, considering it's a rooster made out of nails and string. His most recent location was the backsplash of our stove - a location I don't recommend, as he is now covered with a sheen of cooking oil and bits of food. His frame is also broken.
Gary, or I guess Gary's Mom, thank you for donating this rooster to whatever thrift store you donated it to. He had a new happy home with a loving couple and three cats. He will be missed.
I am documenting him on my site so I will always "have" him.
Goodbye, Rooster.
P.S. Yes I Googled the names, but there were too many matches to narrow it down.

Happy Friday

Todd. Bicyclist. Architect.

Emily, Andrew, and Janet
Today was another beautiful day... tra la laaaa.
Sorry folks. I'm sure something devastating will happen soon. But in the meantime! Sunshine! Good music*! Everything's blooming! There's blood in my urine! Okay that one's not so good. But I go in for another pee test next week and if it's still there, then we.... I dunno what we do. But something. Ultrasound to be scheduled. I have a corn on my baby toe! She shaved it off with a razor! Speaking of corns on toes (yayy!), here are the links to my new (*red) shoes, Jen! (hit Multi View!) May more corns abound!
*Good music meaning that today was Guilty Pleasure Friday at JA, and we were all instructed to bring "Music that you're ashamed to admit you love". It was great! I survived through the entire Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill CD and some CD by the Dixie Chicks.
I, of course, brought in FOUR mixed CD's.

(This one is for Adrianne)
(Does anyone want the dark chocolate covered cashews from Trader Joe's? Because I just ate all the milk chocolate ones and I don't know what to do with the other half.) Supposedly Sean and I have a hot date in about half and hour to make Rice Krispie Squares. I could also go to see Henry Hanks perform tonight, but as it is, I've got cotton wedged between my toes, I just ate half-a bin of chocolate covered cashews, and the top button of my pants is undone. It just doesn't seem like I'm going anywhere for the rest of the night.
We had plans to have dinner with the Youngbloods tonight but my doctor's appointment made for a late dinner, so we're meeting for brunch tomorrow.
These two things went into the garbage tonight. I decided to clean out the laundry closet, and I even threw away things that we've had since Vegas (we moved away from Vegas spring of 1994). I should say that it hurt to throw away these things, but honestly, it was refreshing. That collage? I made it for Sean & my three year dating anniversary. A la 1991. The left side used to have maple leaves that Uncle Ronnie sent me from London (Ontario) and the right side was going to have daisies but obviously I never found the right way to put daisies on there. And I never got it framed, so over the years (and moves) many little items have come off. Sad in a way, I guess. On the sides of the heart are the classifieds that Sean and I posted for each other in the Yellin' Rebel UNLV newspaper (my friend Mike Keller was the editor).
We won't ever have those classifieds again - I threw away all of the other Yellin' Rebels after I made this collage. And maybe I should have peeled off the concert tickets and other such "real" documents, but it just wasn't in me. What I have I have with me, and I don't need things to remind me of that.
The "Just Married" is obviously from our wedding day, and although I know Aunt Nancy did a lot of work to make this beautiful thing, I need to remember that it's a ripped piece of cardboard, and I will always remember that we were surprised with a limo with all the trimmings. I have it in my memory. I don't need proof.
Styro? *zzzt* still there.


Berry Monster
Seattle has quite a few plants that grow like weeds that are very invasive. Bamboo for one. Roots down to four feet underground so if you plant it against a wall, your neighbor will be fighting bamboo in their own yard for years (unless your fence is buried more than four feet into the ground). Ivy? Don't even mention ivy in Seattle or people will get this look like they just ate something bad. It kills things. It will crawl all over the place, then up a tree, then strangle it. And it grows wild up here. It's not easy to remove, as many of you may recall from my neighbor cutting away her ivy about 4 years ago. It still grows in our back yard - we're still cutting it away every spring. It sticks like velcro to the ground, walls, anything.
Ferns grow like crazy out here too, although I don't know if they're dangerously invasive. But it is strange seeing them growing on street corners for no reason.
Lastly, berries. Blackberry bushes, brambleberry bushes - whatever. They thrive here and grow wild. And I mean WILD. I saw this vehicle by the cafe this morning and I was in awe - this sucker chomped up the wild berry bushes like crackers. (Note the ivy going up the stairs). It was a Seattle moment, I guess.
Today was JUST TOO NICE OUTSIDE. A bunch of us walked to the Metropolitan Market and then had a long lunch out on the deck. Lauren rolled out an office chair - man, we really need some lawn furniture out there. It made it difficult to do anything at work after that. It was as if I had taken a nap or something.
But still totally worth it.

Andrew, Todd, Cary, Me, Lauren, Lauren
P.S. Tonight? Either sorting the file cabinet, or sorting the second bedroom/office closet, or sorting my GIANT jeans/pants drawer, which I haven't done in about three years. Which should I try to conquer? Because NONE of these options sound fun.

Yesterday I bought two new pairs of shoes at Zappo's. I'm already second-guessing the red ones. I need more red clothes, I guess. Before you check me into Shopping Rehab, I'd like to point out that I got a bonus at work AND TWO, count em! TWO jobs doing web sites in the next couple months. WOO-HOO!
Hence the shoes.
The Johnston Architects party pictures are up - although I will be removing a few pictures today. Mary thinks we had a few too many pictures of us which made it look like we only invited ourselves. Which is my flaw since I usually take tons of pictures, but I ended up putting ALL of them on the JA site, which isn't necessary. So HURRY! NOW! Go see the pictures before I remove the personal funny ones!
Regarding my being an obsessive compulsive OCD Virgo, I signed up for this thingie via FLYlady.net which sends you e-mails reminders all day long saying things like "go drink some water" or "go outside for ten minutes" and "did you eat breakfast yet?!"

Alison & I yesterday morning
It's this system that helps you organize and keep your house clean and other nerdy stuff like that. I signed up yesterday. It's 7:47 a.m. and the clothes in the dryer are almost dry and every dish is clean.
If you can't begin to start cleaning your house because you take everything apart and put it back spotless and color-coded, then this system is for you. It's totally cheesy "love yourself" stuff too but I have to admit, I'm kinda having fun with it!



Rex's perch

Todd & Tamsin
Todd and Tamsin had us over for an amazing Mexican dinner - we had food all over the place. We brought corn casserole* and a peanut butter cake. The PB cake is a bit dry - more like a snack cake. It's fixable, though, so I may try it again but add.... something to it. Don't know what yet.
* Oh man I need to update that recipe - I make it a bit different now. But instead I have to put away my laundry and go to work!

Natasha's Knitting!

The cats work her in

She passed the test

With Jalen
Natasha had her third knitting lesson tonight - I frogged her scarf so many times and made her start over, I can't believe she's still talking to me. But some day she will look back and realize why I did it.
She got this horrible (horrible, horrible) yarn at the Fiber Gallery, and some woman told her "This is what we use to teach people how to knit." How torturous. It's cotton 6-ply (I think) with absolutely no fuzz or fluff or give. It doesn't stretch. It gets frayed when frogged. It requires size 7 needles (that's pretty small for someone's first lesson). I usually recommend something like Magnum yarn (two stitches per inch - it's like ROPE but fuzzy) and size 19 needles. I fear that her first scarf is going to take about 60 hours. And that's no fun.
She's a trooper, that girl. When I had to take apart her scarf for the seventh time, she just turned her head. And she's now purling, so she's well on her way to a ribbed scarf (see below).
Today I woke up early with Sean and started rushing around to get out the door in time. Then I realized it was ten after SEVEN, not eight. DUH!

She's on her way!

Dommi & Shane's scarf

The Johnston Architects anniversary party was fabulous. By lunch time we were constantly doing stuff to set up. A tent was assembled at the top of the stairs and the bar was set up, and we were putting the finishing touches all around the office. And it was a BEAUTIFUL day. I walked to the Metropolitan Market twice to buy fresh flowers. Bad day to wear high heels, though.
I made my way through the crowd, especially excited for the chance to catch up with David Brooks and his friend Carol, plus I saw Clayton O'Brien-Smith and Jacob Youngblood, as well as the many babies that have sprouted from our staff. We had all the doors open and candles lit and food abound (although I was a bit frustrated with the spanikopita - don't these people know that it takes two hours to vacuum the office? Every time someone took a bite, flaky bits of phyllo dough were drifting down their shirts, onto the floor, sticking to their chins - mental note: no spanikopita at parties unless it's outdoors).
Shane was in town for about 30 hours, so he stopped by with Sean. I was happy to have him there to mingle with my co-workers. Jon and Amy stopped by, too!
It shut down around 10:45 and I hobbled in my high heels down the stairs and drove straight home where I drifted into a Very Deep Sleep.
Saturday morning I woke with a start because I realized that I left THIRTY HOCKEY TICKETS in my desk drawer at work. So I told Sean "I'm um... going shopping!" and drove all the way over to work again to pick up the tickets. The office smelled strongly of flowers from all the arrangements which was really cool.
I then HAD to go shopping because there is NO time that I tell Sean that I'm going shopping and come home with nothing, so I drove all the way down to Old Navy downtown and bought a couple t-shirts.
At 6:30 we headed out to the hockey game and approached the crowd waiting at the south side of the International Fountain, as planned. Sean was surprised, but not shocked. See, I've probably thrown Sean about NINE surprise parties in his life, and I made the mistake of not doing anything major for his birthday Wednesday. So he kinda knew something was still coming. Had I planned better, I would've at least had a bunch of people over for dinner the night of his birthday, but I didn't realized how obvious a quiet birthday would be. Oh well. He was still happy to see everyone there.
Sean's Surprise Hockey Birthday Party

Mick at Lucky
Sunday I "took" Andrea and Mick to University Village and Target and Northgate Mall. I also had a date to "take" Manuel to IKEA later that afternoon. People, I BEG YOU, DON'T ASK ME TO TAKE YOU SHOPPING.
I bought a sweater, a skirt, five bras, six pairs of kneesocks, a replacement pair of earrings for Sean (I lost his when he handed them to me right before they rolled him into knee surgery), twelve IKEA drinking glasses (six milk glass, six red/orange glass), three houseplants, three plant pots, lunch at Zao, dinner at the IKEA cafeteria, and a box of Girl Scout cookies. Plus I filled my tank today. I'm surprised that bank didn't call to see if someone stole my ATM card.
As soon as I got home, I scurried into the kitchen to remove the older loser glasses from the cupboard before I even unwrapped the new ones. And of course Sean said "What are you doinnnnnnggg?" Nothing to see here! Move along!
We counted. We have 82 drinking glasses. NOT INCLUDING MUGS. But like I asked Manuel - how many times do I suddenly have twelve people at my house?
And he agreed - A LOT.
Sean and I have set a date for next Saturday to pack up the loser glasses and donate them. Then each Saturday we are going to set aside a two-hour block to attempt to clean out/pack up a certain spot in the house - some cupboards, some bookshelves, a tiny, tiny portion of the garage.... We have a lot of work ahead of us.
Oh by the way, pictures of the JA party with be forthcoming - I am going to post them on the JA website tomorrow, then make sure they're professional enough for Ray & Mary (they may not necessarily need copious images of Sean and Shane making faces on the business site, you know) then I'll link to them from here.
My feet - OH MY FEET. They've been throbbing since Thursday night and I keep abusing them.
Would you like something to drink?

Losers not pictured


Marc, my purse, and my americano
Today was the final full day of preparation for our Open House tomorrow night. My feet are BURNING.
Marc and I went to Swanson's Nursery for plants for the patio, then we stopped by my house to grab some planting stuff, then I ran across the street to Kim & Bruce's to borrow a big flowerpot, and we finally got back to work at 4. Then I planted everything. Then we gathered all of the garbage and recycling and I moved everything around and cleaned and vacuumed the office. I got home at 8:30.
But the office and the patio look fabulous.
Man I need to eat something besides Girl Scout cookies today.

It's much bigger than it looks

Euphorbia, anemones, grasses, and tulips to arrange

03-02-05 again
Today I worked my butt off cleaning up the office but man you should see it. I'm very happy with it.
After work I went straight to Group Health, only to find out that they were an hour behind schedule. We made an appointment for the next opening next week, but I also asked that my doctor be given a note requesting a referral for another ultrasound, so I can possibly skip the middle man. We'll see what happens.
I came home and passed out for an hour, then we went to dinner at Saltoro. He had the tenderloin with asparagus, I had the hazelnut-crusted cod. Yummy.
See that cosmopolitan in front of me?


Nose Dot Update
Because she had that glowing magnifying glass on my face, she was able to find a few other spots where I had broken capillaries and zapped those too - mainly on the left side of my nose. And that whole "gets worse before it gets better"? It's true. It's not crusty scabby like I thought, just crusty dry skinny, and I'm not supposed to use moisturizer so it'll dry out. But without moisturizer on my face, all of my skin flakes off - I have really dry skin. So I may be making it heal over a longer period of time since I decided last night to just start using moisturizer again and hopefully it'll still go away eventually. We made a second appointment for 6 weeks later to re-zap as necessary.
The past few days I have had a little "pain" in my left abdomen - not enough to cause too much worry - just when I sat down or stood up, it said "Hi". Only yesterday towards the end of the day, every time I stood up or squatted or sat down, it started going "HEY" so I made a doctor's appointment for tonight at six. And today is Sean's birthday. We'll just have to go to dinner a little later than planned. He gets his gift tonight so I can tell you about it tomorrow.
Some of you may recall the ovarian cyst of 2004, which is why I'm taking this "HEY" so serious. I fear that the sucker is back, or there's some scar tissue that's being weird. Either way, check it, yo.
And my breh, I'm sorry about the flower background - I sat down ready to type and realized that it's a new month, and wasn't in the mood to Photoshop some new header words. Flowers it is.
Today is Cleaning Day at work - we are having a big Open House Party on Friday to celebrate 15 years in business. This thrills me, of course (wine! catering! people!) but MAN, of ALL the times for my gut to be hurty. I'm IN CHARGE of cleaning day today. Dragging boxes around, dusting hard-to-reach crevices, moving window samples.... it's gonna be a fun day.
Now I gotta change the index page and news page and FTP all of this so I better get going. Those of you who wanna send well-wishes for Sean's birthday, have at it.