Happy Hallowhine

Here’s our night as told in pictures (with detailed captions.)


Yes, I know I said she was going as a skunk, but she never said any such thing. Next thing I know I’m upstairs sewing fifteen feet of tulle to make a tutu.


Even adding makeup and jewelry to the tutu getup, she was still as happy as a clam. Such a girl.


We headed off to meet up with the cousins. Violet was a little intimidated by all the super heros and the puppy.


This is the ’08 picture with her cousins. Note the addition of the puppy this year.


Once she realized that they were actually her cousins, she settled down. plus, we gave her some candy.


After a couple more stops, it was time for home and bed. Aren’t these two the cutest ever?


wwpd? (what would peta do?)

Today’s post goes out to my brother Coloray who caught a king salmon the other day weighing twenty pounds dressed.

I wish I had a picture on me to show you how enormously huge this fish was; it reached from the ground to his hip and he’s 6 feet tall. gi-gan-tic. unfortunately, being pregnant I am now pretty much repulsed by the smell of any raw fish, although that may or may not have had anything to do with the four fish I cleaned the other day. Translation: we’ve got a several pound hunk of king salmon in the freezer all for AJ. Yes, he’s pretty happy.




Violet is to the vacuum cleaner as a tigress is to an elephant. She stalks silently in the shadows..always watching. Slinking slowly with her belly to the ground she moves in for the attack. Alone she knows she stands no chance at a kill, but nonetheless she will study and learn everything about this beast as she waits for the perfect time. At last, the vacuum falls silent and she seizes her opportunity.

And that is how in the middle of vacuuming this afternoon, I came to see my sweet little daughter run up and hit the vacuum cleaner as soon as I turned it off.


That’s so punny

Retailers are guilty of many crimes. One of these is their literary creativity. Since the holidays mark that blessed time of year when retailers are pulling out all the stops in a grand effort to make your life all better, this is quite possibly the best time for advertising puns. Let me put it this way; just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Case in point: Falltastic, Fright Aid, or Spooktacular.



While the word paradigm is often used interchangeably with the word  perspective, it is important to realize that it refers to a perspective shaped by a pattern or prototype of thinking. It could of course be argued that all perspectives are shaped in such a way, but when we choose or allow one or two key elements to define our response to everything we see, we are operating under the paradigm of those key elements.

Every day I have to reshape my paradigm. Re-choose, reassess, remind. Today mine started out as unfairness; everything was unfair about heading off to church in our cozy sunday cheer only to have AJ get called in on the way to church resulting in a drive back home, saying goodbye and heading off to church alone with Violet. Yesterday my paradigm was discontent. Discontent over my little house, my loud neighbors, or my lack of a yard.

Good thing God is always there for those reality checks. It was a blessing to sleep in this morning and have a leisurely time getting ready for church, and I do have the lifestyle of the richest ten percent in the world. Even if both of those weren’t true, there’s no denying my needs are met and my God is awesome. Re-choose, reassess, remind.


only a shadow of greatness

Today, on this day of October the 22nd 2009, my holiday season has officially started. I think I may be starting a tad early this year, but after having turkey dinner and eggnog in one day, this decision is kind of out of my hands.

We spent the evening with an old highschool friend of ours who treated us to the turkey dinner and we stopped by fred meyers on the way home because it seemed the right thing to do. It was.

Violet was very entertained by our friend’s roommates. She liked Michael so much she even let him draw a mustache on her. That’s true love for you.

In other news, pumpkin eggnog is amazing.


Gotta Walk The Walk

When I was a girl, I prided myself in being able to keep up with my dad’s steps while we’d be out herding the sheep in or crossing the river to the garden. While not without some effort, I had perfected long loping strides in an effort to avoid the walking/running-to-catch-up-and-look-silly-in-the-process effect. Plus, it made me feel about ten years older, which–when you’re eleven–is awesome. When I got into highschool and we moved from Eastern Washington, I realized that only farm girls with dirt under their fingernails walk like that so I eventually dropped the habit.

Violet, on the other hand, marches to the beat of her own drummer. We were in costco today and since I’d opted out of getting a cart (big mistake) Violet was running around the store with her harried mother trying to keep up. (Sometimes people give me dirty looks when she asks to be held and I say no. I’m pretty sure whenever they do that that God gives me one of the jewels out of their crown. This little girl is heavy when she squirms constantly). Anyway, coming from an afternoon of observation in the free zoo (PETCO) and Costco, I’d have to say that her walking style is The Viking Charge. What? You’re not familiar with The Viking Charge? Picture a hillside of Vikings running towards you at full charge. They were out on a raid and you pillaged their village only to have them come home for dinner and catch you in the act. There’s more–they’re mad. Their strides are wide, uneven and hectic as they eat up the ground under them. Their arms are windmills wielding all sorts of awful looking weapons. Their face is one giant screaming mouth with veritable steam coming out of their ears. Now picture a cute little girl in place of a 45-year-old man. Also, picture that she’s happy but just as excited about getting to her destination. Maybe thats why people give me the dirty looks.


no clue.

i have this plant.

it’s a forced bulb that I can’t remember the name of.

it is growing sideways.

At first the slant was slight as it inclined towards the sun,

but now no matter what I do, it’s journey is every day more horizontal than anything.

I have no clue what is wrong with this plant, and that’s probably the reason it is one of only three plants in my house.

1. a tough old bamboo that has survived all sorts of abuse and frequently yellows.

2. an african violet that periodically dies and comes back to life when i water it.

3. a plant now over 2 feet tall that insists on growing sideways.



Today was all about discovery. Violet has known for some time now that the three of us have bellybuttons. She frequently lifts up our shirts to check on said bellybutton and possibly to see what we’ll do if she subjects it to a number of research-related tests including but not limited to pinching, poking, scratching, etc. She also knows she has a bellybutton, but the problem is that she has a hard time seeing it what with all the overhanging-beer-gut issues that are so prevalent in early childhood.

Anyway, today her friend Isla came over to play and at one point Violet lifted up her shirt to see what was under it when she spotted another one of those wonders of nature. Yes, it’s true. Isla has a bellybutton too. Thus, most of the rest of the visit consisted of Violet pushing Isla down so she could lift up her shirt and observe Isla’s bellybutton.



I just realized this evening that the only new year’s resolution we’ve kept in its entirety is our goal to buy a new cheese every month. Is that bad? We were shopping for online christmas presents last december and saw so many cheese-of-the-month clubs that you could join to have them send you some expensive cheese that we decided to start our own. Every month since, we’ve gone to Haggen and picked out a gourmet cheese to try. It’s been an awesome journey though the Haggen cheese wheel. next year, I’m putting my vote in for shoes of the month club…or maybe purses…


it might flood

because it’s that time of year again. luckily we live in a spot that is fairly unlikely to get flooded (i.e. our house won’t get wet) but this time of year is always a little tricky because so many roads get blocked off due to flooding. Around here, you either live on a floodplain, or you have to drive through one.


words, definitions and musing

I was just realizing that I’ve never explained the name of this blog. I named it after my poetry blog which bears the same name under a different blogging site. On that site I wrote this several years ago;

contend with your
own heart
upon your bed.
brings thoughts
of a righteous

brings surrender
and prepares us for grace.
we shall become

I was thinking the other day about the ways my heart has grown through different life experiences. Great love and great grief which have both been known to me are the crucible that has caused me to grapple with God like Jacob and the angel. Only then, when my heart is all wobbly like a newborn lamb taking its first steps, or like a man with a broken hip, God has given my heart the gift of a tiny piece of His. And trust me, i’m a mean-small-hearted person, so a tiny bit of God is more than I ever was before.

and everytime…i become a little bit more splendified.


Just Say No To Holiday Hopping

Hello, and welcome to Holiday Hoppers Annonymous. You’re here because you have a problem. Here’s what you need to understand.

1. Do not decorate for a holiday more than one month in advance. Preferably within that calendar month.

2. Here at HHA, we have a zero-tolerance policy on decorating for one major holiday when a major holiday preceding said major holiday has not yet passed. i.e. Do not decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

3. Do not confuse HH with seasonal decor. Seasons are not linked to specific holidays per se, so it’s ok to put ornamenal gourds and your fluffy “fall colors” blanket out in the beginning of October and leave them till after Thanksgiving.

Sounds simple? Apparently it isn’t because a lot of you were planning on bringing out the christmas stuff before Thanksgiving.



Pearl and Violet at the dollar store. Pearl following Violet around while holding a freshly broken figurine as Violet continues to sweep a path of destruction and strike terror in the hearts of said dollar store employees.


Comet–it tastes like Listerine.

I guess my grandpa used to brush his teeth with Comet to whiten them. There’s an old song that my mom used to sing us from back when people thought this was an OK way of having whiter teeth that goes like this.

Comet–it makes your teeth turn green.

Comet–it tastes like Listerine.

Comet will make you vomit,

so take some Comet

and vomit


pretty catchy if you know the tune.

Anyway, I just thought of that because I did what I never do and bought Listerine the other day. But here’s why.

When I go to the store and buy a bottle of purple Listerine, I expect it to taste different. Seriously, it’s purple. I had all these expectations of lavender-citrus, or berry-fresh or something to go with the whole purple thing. Imagine my jaded lack of surprise when I swished and found it just like any other color of Listerine. I purposefully do not buy Listerine because of the way that it tastes. I used to like it because I strongly espouse to the whole No Pain, No Gain way of approaching life until my dentist told me that ACT mouthwash is better and when I used ACT my whole world was opened to the possibilities of swishing a pleasant mint flavor instead of a gum-burning experience that leaves me checking to see if anything is swelling inside my mouth. I would probably die if I swallowed Listerine. This is also why I swish and never (never) gargle my mouthwash. Less chance of swallowing it.

Side note: I was at a thriftstore today. I saw a pitcher, and on the price sticker they had written, “As is.” Really? No 90 day parts and labor? No, in-house service? No 30-day return policy with original receipt?


Clayre Turner is Awesome

Today’s post goes out to my friend clayre who just ran her second or third Chicago Marathon. Marathon running is for crazy people. She said her time was 4:36 which means that she was running for four hours and thirty-six minutes. That’s crazy. I have very little interest in being able to run for that length of time–i’d much rather run a marathon in 35 to 40 minutes. Anyway, Clayre is awesome.

Alright, so a couple of things.

1. I have the hardest time putting the fitted sheet on the bed. No, it is not always obvious to me which side is the short side. Yes, I purposefully buy sheets with some pattern or stripe.

2. Tonight while driving home I was thisclose to hitting a skunk. If you’ve ever hit a skunk before, you know that the only nice part is that no one tries to get rides from you anymore.

3. Since AJ works in healthcare, I get a fair amount of enjoyment saying things like “Knock ’em dead!” or “Break a leg!” when I send him out the door for work in the morning. Is that bad?

4. When Violet and I were in Costco today they were baking their cinnamon-raisin bagels and the smell was exactly like my grandma’s kitchen when I was little. My grandparents always had cinnamon-raisin bread when we would come up to visit on vacation. (This was back when we lived in the wild woods of eastern washington and coming to seattle to visit was a once-a-year occasion.) Every morning my grandma would give us a bowl of cheerios with a buttered piece of cinnamon-raisin toast and we would sit in the kitchen nook watching the squirrels on the patio. Sometimes the sweetest memories of childhood are the ones you never expect.


Baby Fever

In case i’ve already blogged on this topic, please bear in mind that the Pregnancy Fairy went out of her way to sprinkle extra Forgetfullness Dust on me, so…

So here’s what I realized today. With the exception of Eve, no other woman has ever been the only one she knew that was pregnant. Seriously, people make jokes about there being “something in the water” but it’s no joke. I’m pretty sure that it’s a biological response to ensure that children always grow up with friends their own age. Since i’ve gotten pregnant, i’ve realized that I now have a bagillion friends who are either pregnant or who are soon to be pregnant and they just don’t know it yet. It’s a little strange.

Anyway, ladies my advice is this; either cross your fingers or cross your legs. Baby Fever is going around and the only cure? More cowbell.


Today’s headlines

We went thriftstoring just for fun.

Apparently Stupid Prices is going out of business…and I have a gift card there. yay.

Obama gets a Nobel Peace prize.

Next year I plan on entering the neighbors’ cat–not for anything she’s done, but just in case she does do something. Just in case.

Fall colors are sweeping the valley with a vengeance and no green leaf is safe.

Violet is so cute.

I have all our trip pictures up on Picassa. Now I just have to figure out to password enable it so only people I know can see the pictures. Right now no one can.

Seriously, Picassa web albums need an easy button.

We winterized our patio and I was glad we didn’t have a big yard until I saw the neighbor’s golden retriever…

Substituting leftover yellow cake mix for the flour in apple pie crust and strusel topping is AMAZING.

I love making apple pies with strusel topping instead of a crust because then you can stack the apples sky-high and when it’s done you don’t have a big gap between the apples and the crust.

Cost for making the  Grand Canyon Skywalk? 30 million. Cost to replace the stanwood camano bridge and add a lane? 85 million. Gotta love the WSDOT.



knowing how much icecream we have in our freezer right now makes me giddy.

Tonight we had dinner with some friends who have a little boy a couple months older than Violet. They spent the evening chasing each other around the kitchen screaming. too cute. She was pretty tentative around him at first because he is so much bigger and brasher, but once he showed her how to run around the island and scream loudly, she fell for him.


Today He restored my soul; with His rod and staff I was comforted. I was reminded that on my one side are green pastures and quiet waters are on the other.


kids these days…

Today Violet got made fun of on the playground. It was actually pretty cute. There was a little boy and girl who were playing on the big toys and when the little boy saw all the playground bark stuck to Violet’s sweater, he started chanting in a sing-song voice;

Dirty Baby! Dirty Baby!

To which his sister replied, “Don’t make fun of my baby!”


Found all over the sidewalk outside:

Scrawled in sidewalk chalk

many times over

the epitome of childhood teasing

Dani loves


With the bottom name furiously scribbled over.

In other news, apparently I do not have to have morning sickness for AJ to get sympathy pains; he’s had more morning sickness than I have with these two pregnancies combined!


Really? Really…

One of the fantastic parts of being pregnant is that everyone wants to ask awkward questions. There’s quite a few actually, but my personal favorite?

“So, were you guys planning this?”

Really? Really really? I mean, what do you say to that? Maybe I’m just a prude but we better be good friends if you expect to get more than a vague “oh, you know…” (Oh, and FYI: don’t ask me so that you can gauge the level of our relationship by my response.)

The question in itself is a funny one because it implies several things; that there is a time you arrive at that is convenient for having children, or that you should have a different response to the pregnancy depending on whether or not it was planned. Here’s the deal people: there is never a convenient time to have children. You most likely will not arrive at a time in your life where you wake up one morning and think to yourself,

“I’d like to experience sleep-deprivation in amassed quantities!”


“I’d like to discover how selfish of a sorry-ass human I really am.”

“Perfect, now we finally have enough money and time.”

Come to think of it, not even Sweet Baby Jesus himself would have been born if children had to be born at a convenient time. I mean seriously, an unmarried peasant girl? I’ll bet the whole issue of convenience occurred to her once or twice.

My point is this, seize the day–that combination of DNA is only going to come around once in this eternity. Just kidding. No, my point is only that children are awesome and nothing less than a divine blessing. Their unabashed connection to their own humanity is the key to revealing ours. It’s only the times I sink the lowest that I find myself on my knees.



growing into childhood

Today Violet had her first Haggen cookie. Haggen is the local grocery store with the best bakery in the lower 48 (or any other 48 for that matter). They give out free cookies to children who ask, which is a boon to any mom trying to think of motivators for a hassle-free shopping trip. If at first you don’t succeed, try bribery, right? No, just call it something else to make yourself feel better.

Anyway, I didn’t have a cart to contain her and no way to carry her constantly so I was running all over the store after her—cute, but not so productive. I decided right then that she didn’t actually have to be able to ask for a cookie for them to give one to her. Let me tell you, it worked like a charm. The rest of the trip I just carried it behind me as she followed along and took little bites off.