Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Remy Recap

Good Morning to all! I thought I would cheer up this cloudy and kind of dreary Tuesday morning with some adorable pictures of the cutest little pup in the whole wide world....

We recently got him a new bed, which he is quickly growing into. He loves his new bed. This morning, as I was getting ready to go to my wonderful annual female doctor's appointment (ew, gross, disgusting, puke - I KNOW!), Remington did not want to get up. He just LOVES laying on his new bed. It is made of cedar chips and other soft things and covered with a fluffy cover, which of course has camouflage on one side.
Look at how big he has gotten!? He can already reach the counter tops and the stove if he quickly sneaks in a jump up. Of course I scold him and sometimes give him a little swat on the butt (not too hard though, don't worry!). I can't even imagine the pictures when I have children someday. There just might be hourly updates of: "look how big!", "bigger now", "even bigger now". It is going to be ridiculous people... for now, enjoy how cute my puppy is!
Okay, last one. I know this is not the clearest, but it is just so dang cute. Remy has gotten really fast. We are talking full on sprint, I-know-I-just-did-something-wrong, you cannot catch him. For having such short little legs, he is so dang fast. I blame it on the fact that he has twice as many legs I do. However, when he takes off, I just hope I can distract him (or abuse his love for food) and offer him a treat to get him to come back as he runs off into the sunset.

I  know what you are thinking, "Where in the world are photos of Aruba?" That's exactly what you are thinking, I know. However, Aruba is a little camera shy. Maybe she has figured out what when I pull out the big-black-clicky thing, it's time to scatter. She disappears almost every time I get it out. Remington on the other hand is quite the model. He does all sorts of cute things like roll in the grass, let the wind blow his ears back, cocks his head to the side. He is a little ham and I love it. So, excuse Aruba for being a diva, but maybe I'll get some with my phone sometime soon and you can "oooh" and "ahhh" over her cuteness too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

9 Days Later

I haven’t written in over a week. I have felt like something has been missing. Every day, I’d say, “Okay, today, I’ll find 30 minutes, crank something out and hope for the best.” 9 days later, no blog, just guilty feelings.

First, let’s catch up. 

Gardening has been fun. A ton of work, but I love it. I have lots of pictures to put up sometime soon. Maybe I’ll do a photo blog and walk through everything outside. For now, I’ll just say that the hostas around the oak tree and north side of the house look pretty good. The grass is coming up really nice on the north side as well. [Side note: last summer, the Hubs pulled out tons of buckthorn trees. Yes, you read that right. Trees, not bushes. And he has been working on turning the overgrown jungle into a beautiful lawn.] I also met my best gardening friend, Round-Up and sprayed the living daylights out of the weeds infesting my garden. It is the most fantastic invention. Spray. Weeds die. Amazing. 
The crazy weather season has officially started. Last night, we had swirling, spinning clouds that dropped up and down. Today, a tornado warning is out until 8pm and we are under a severe thunderstorm warning too. I love it. I know, storms = destruction = ruining peoples’ homes. However, I love weather. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, nothing happens with the weather. It rains, it gets foggy, it gets sunny and round we go. Not too thrilling. In stark difference, Minnesota is crazy. We have amazing winters with blizzards and huge snowstorms. 

Then, there is summer. Summer is my favorite. You can feel the humidity build in the air, the perspiration on your skin. In the distance, the thunderclouds proclaim their seriousness with their mountainous towers built on top of dark grey and green foundations. As the storm rolls in, the pounding rain echoes off roof tops, slams into windows and sends birds ducking for cover in barns and sheds. Sometimes the tornado sirens go off as the clouds turn the scariest color of green. Last summer, while the sirens were going off, the Hubs and I went outside to see what was going on. The worst of the storm had passed. As the clouds began to part a calm settled in the crisp air and it was so much fun to watch the powerful storm move on. Storms are my favorite. Yes, they are big and destructive, but the massive power and grandeur is moving. Incredibly beautiful. 

Here are some pictures from a couple weeks ago when a storm passed by us. There were taken in our backyard: 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

[ Guest Blog: A Minnesota Vacation ]

Is writing, being creative, imaginative or just thinking outside the box even if it is with a pencil or crayon hereditary? Is is something that can be taught? Honestly, I don't know. I like writing, being imaginative and I'm not the only one. Some of my family members are also very talented writers, musicians, painters, singers, storytellers, song writers... the list goes on and on and one. I asked one my sisters to write a guest blog... enjoy!

A Minnesota Vacation
Kylie asked me to write a guest blog about the last week and a half that I spent with her and Jay. For some reason, it’s been really hard to figure out what to say…it might be due to the fact that I didn’t do much of anything while I was there; one afternoon, all I did was lay in the sun and stare at the green trees, although I think that may have been shock after emerging from bare, stubbornly brown Calgary into shockingly green Minnesota (So beautiful! I’m in love!). 

Still…I didn’t really do much of anything while I was visiting, which was exactly what I wanted to do. Somehow, Kylie always manages to accomplish everything on her To-Do list while simultaneously hanging out with me, who is plagued at the beginning of each summer with a desperate, almost feral desire to never work another second of my life (I’m just coming out of this phase, buuuuut I’m not quite in the clear). If I remember correctly, this completely made-up, delusional phase justified the following: I sat in the kitchen and drank coffee while Kylie cooked delicious enchiladas; I curled up with Remy on the floor while she washed the dishes; I laid in the grass while she cleaned up the yard and weeded her front garden; I rode in the back of a trailer while she dragged lawn debris to the burn pile; I slept in while she was up and doing stuff around the house…I’m sure there’s more, but what I’m not convinced of its being interesting enough to put on the internet for people to read, so I’ll stop there.

Despite my post-school apathy (how is it that I’m writing more about myself than Kylie, when this is her blog? Switching the focus as of NOW), we actually did do some stuff! The whole McCoy family went to Wisconsin Dells, which Kylie wrote about earlier. It was so fun! It’s weird how a vertical drop that throws you into a cylinder of raging water can be fun if you just add a tube and three other terrified people to watch on your way down. I really like the McCoy family too, they’re great! So glad Kylie married and became a McCoy, so that my family could include such awesome people!

Also, Kylie and I took a day to go downtown St. Paul. The history center had an exhibit about George Washington on one side (very stately) and a chronology of underwear on the other (not so stately? How would George feel about that, I wonder?). Within blocks on one another is the history center, the capitol building, and the St. Paul Cathedral, so we walked to all of them (actually saw some real live lobbyists in the capitol building…so we have proof that they actually exist. If you don’t believe us, we have pictures!). I loved going downtown and seeing all the history that’s in Minnesota; Oregon’s got nature on its side, but honestly, I’m really tired of hearing about the stupid pioneers. But Minnesota’s older and…cooler! There, I said it, downtown St. Paul has better history than Oregon does. Really cool!

Capital Building Rotunda
Capital Building Supreme Court
St. Paul Cathedral

Haha, also, I can’t write without mentioning our visit to Betsy Simons' house on the lake in order to fulfill my bucket list items of 1) fishing, and 2) going canoeing (Technically, my list specifies my owning of a canoe, but canoeing with Kylie and Betsy while wearing a plaid lifejacket and singing Pocahontas was even better). If you don’t know Betsy Simons, but are reading this blog, you need to immediately befriend her, because 1) she’s incredible, and 2) her house is awesome! She has a tire-swing, a fire pit, a boat, a canoe, a fisherman father who’ll teach you to fish for as long as you want, and a mom whose an excellent cook. AND, to top it all off, they’re all really really nice! Definite friend material, Betsy, definite friend material. 

Swinging, at the courtesy of Jay

Otherwise, we just hung-out. I loved getting to see the life they’ve set up in their farm house since last August. Their home is so pretty, inside and out! Kylie and Jay are good decorators and I can’t believe how beautiful their lawns and woods are. I’m feeling a little homesick, and 1) I was only there a week and a half, and 2) it’s not even my home…that’s how cool it is!

Also, Jay is awesome. Can’t write about my vacation in Minnesota without mentioning how much I love my brother-in-law. He’s really great: he works hard, plays some mean softball, drove us all the way to Wisconsin Dells (or almost all the way? Can’t remember), let me shoot his rifle (was that a rifle? I don’t know now), isn’t ever in a bad mood…yep, the list could keep going, but I’m going to stop. Love you Jay!

Learning to shoot a gun

Practicing campfire skills with lighter fluid & a Christmas tree

  And Kylie. I’m so glad I got to go visit her so soon! I had imagined what her newlywed life was like, but nothing that I imagined was as nice as what it’s actually like! The cuteness of Remy and the mischief of Aruba can only be understood when you meet them (particularly Aruba…you don’t realize how awesome she is until you’re playing hide and seek and she’s taking swipes at your face. Doesn’t seem like that’s how it should work, but that’s how it is). And I know I said this before, but it is so so so beautiful where Jay and Kylie live! The house, the yard, the acres behind them, Minnesota in general: so beautiful. 

Anyway, that was my vacation. Everything was perfect, except for the long plane ride home, which reminded me how inconveniently far Minnesota is from Oregon…can I trade California’s Paris Hilton for Minnesota’s Paul Bunyan? 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raining Weeds

Have ever been in a writing mood? Maybe a reading mood? or just a thinking mood? I'm in a writing mood, but nothing exceptionally inspirational is on my mind and nothing too out of the norm has happened.

So, here, read about my morning:

First off, my gardens need some serious weeding, planting, pulling, spraying of round-up and sunshine, but it's raining. No, it is a pouring. I had heard that the forecast for today was light showers scattered throughout the day. Well, guess what? The forecast was wrong, no shocker there. I was out in the garden, bearing the wild outdoors since it was only misting. After all, any true Pacific Westerner wouldn't just give up in a light rain, right? I figured I could handle myself for a while. I got out the good ol' rusty trusty farm truck and headed out to rake some leaves.

As soon as I was in the middle of everything,  having half the leaves in the back of the truck and the other half scattered randomly around underneath our beautiful towering oak tree (stupid tree leaves), it started to pour. I mean, soaking right down to your underwear pour! However, rain never killed anyone right? So, of course I didn't go inside! Drenched, I got all the leaves, moved out my little plants I bought earlier this morning to soak up as much water as they would like and got my soaking self inside. HOWEVER! I did get something accomplished! I've been working on the front garden and have some update pics. (Please just take the size of the plants and times them by 3, maybe 4, they are tiny and make it look like I am kidding!). Here is a before and after picture of the front garden:

Crazy, hey? That's what I like about gardening. You can see where you have come and where you are going. You can see change happening. I still have 20 some more plants to plant and thousands (no, I'm not kidding) of weeds to pull. I just might cheat with the weeds though a bust out some round-up to hurry things along. I'm ready for some brightly colored flowers people!

On a completely different note (keep up with me here!), I drove my sister #3 to the airport this early morning. (There are 5 sisters and I am #1). It sucked. Just two weeks ago, I had to do the exact same thing as I drove sister #4 to the airport. A couple weeks before that I had to take my mum to the airport. All of them visited for about a week. All got to experience a newly cleaned, decorated and beautified pink guest bedroom upstairs. All got to experience life with us for a week. Now it's just me and the Hubs. Yes, the animals count too, but the conversation is a little hard. I don't like it when family leaves. It's like a small piece of me that feels whole only when we are together, is suddenly gone. I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of things, as we have had a steady stream of visitors for several weeks. But nothing, nothing, nothing NOTHING compares to having one of my four sisters, my mum or my dad around. They are all such special people. Oh boy, I'm getting all teary eyed. Time to move on...

Just in case you would like an update on how the animals are doing. They are WONDERFUL. By wonderful I mean sometimes I want to throw them at the wall, but their adorable little puppy and kitty eyes keep me from doing so. Only kidding. They are doing well, adjusting better and yet still really like to pick on each other. We did have one moment of peace, which was the cutest thing EVA!

It did not last long, as Remy probably attacked Ruba, dunking her head in the water bowl, soaking her soft fuzzy head only to tick her off, so she grabbed onto his big ol' head and the two started world war 3 in our kitchen once again. Maybe someday they'll get along. I'm tempted to let them duke it out, but considering Remy has doubled his meager weight of 17 pounds since he arrived in our humble abode, I don't think Ruba has good enough odds.

Enough bumbling on, I have laundry to catch up and hopefully (keep your fingers crossed for me!) I can go back outside soon and get cracking on the back garden. It looks like I actually planted weeds and have been encouraging them to grow with Miracle grow and classical music. Enough for now...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

You have to go!

What a fabulous weekend! If you are ever in the Midwest, live in the Midwest or have plans to come to the Midwest, GO TO THE WISCONSIN DELLS. It rocks, seriously. It is a must. The awesome buildings, creativity behind the rides not to mention the beautiful scenery all makes for an incredible time. We stayed at the Wilderness Territories, complete with 3 indoor waterparks, 4 outdoor waterparks, go-carts and pretty anything anyone's heart could ever desire. I know, crazy, hey? The whole Hubs' clan and my visiting #3 sister spent two very full days squeezing every last second out of our time in the water. Every park had a different theme, amazingly scary slides (My goal was to lose my voice, which I didn't but I did succeed in screaming on every slide- success in my books) and really really cool areas for smaller kids (kind of made me wish I was like 20 years younger and I could ride down the really cool kids slides, which would be awkwardly inappropriate now). We ran from slide to slide, took a break in the wave pool- where I almost died (NO I AM NOT KIDDING OR EXAGGERATING), then rode some more slides. Needless to say, exhaustion is setting in. I'm craving just laying on the couch and completely zoning out watching television while reflecting on the crazy swimwear people actually CHOSE to wear and remembering the terrifying-scream-required Hurricane slide. Weekend getaways are fun.. Seeing new things, exploring the wonderful Midwest. BUT it's always nice to come home. Especially when you are greeted by the happiest little puppy who's little butt just can't stop wiggling he's so excited to see you. It's nice to be home to your own sleep-like-a-baby bed, gluten free food you don't worry about and a delicious cup of caramel cappuccino from the good ol' espresso machine.

 Here's the link if you want to see this crazyfun place.


PS..... For those who don't know, I have the best mother in the world. Yes, the whole wide world. She taught me to be a woman of God, be independent, how to do my laundry and the correct way to fold shirts. No matter what anyone tries to tell me, there is a wrong & a right way to fold shirts. Pants too. She taught me cool things in school like phonetics, which I hated passionately at the time but am so so so glad that I know the different sounds "ough," "ea," and "ei" can make and the rule of using "I" before "E" except after "C". Seriously, it's helped me more than any other subject, even math! I learned Holland Chili from her, the power of Dawn soap and a thorough deep felt appreciation for a good cup of espresso drank slowly to savor all the flavor. I love my mother. Happy Mother's Day Mum!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Jayo

The lack of internet has been seriously hindering my ability to get online and blog. We do not have internet at our house, which I both like and dislike. Obviously, there are not unnecessary hours spent on Facebook or whatever other site is the latest craze. But at the same time, it's crazy just how much the internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. So, now that we are all caught up on my weak excuses, let's get to the good stuff.

Today is Cinco de Jayo, for those that don't know. It is the 5th day of May, which is also the Hubs' birthday. Birthdays are a big deal to me, which is something that was ingrained into each of my sisters' and my brains from when we were very young. My dad played a big part in this as he loves surprises. Loves. When my #2 sister and I were younger, my dad carried us downstairs to the basement with paper bags over our heads to surprise us with a pancake & orange julius dinner/picnic complete with a candle on our little child-size table. Look at the pure joy on my face (I am on the left, #2 Sister is on the right). My dad loves to surprise anyone, everyone and definitely on birthdays.

So today is the Hubs birthday. We aren't doing anything spectacular considering the fact that I bought him the BEST PRESENT EVER! Yeah, that's right, a puppy. However, I am attempting to make this day a little more special then normal with random surprises, like his favorite donuts and a homemade caramel latte for break at work. Yeah, best-wife-ever, I know. Only kidding. I just get a little carried away with surprises and the sort. Here's the birthday Hubs and his best-birthday-present-from-his-awesomest-wife-ever Remy!

Yup, this is quick. Yup, this is light. However, I have lunch to make and cupcakes to bake.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Exploring & Hospitals

We spent part of the weekend running around outside. We explored the old Turkey barn, found deer bones and some of us had the luxury of taking naps. We also had to drive down to the hospital a couple of times. The Hubs’ grandpa had surgery and we went to visit him a couple of times. While we were visiting this weekend, I realized how nervous hospitals make me. So, I jotted down a couple thoughts to distract me since I had forgotten my good friend Harry Potter at home. Here’s what I wrote sitting in the CafĂ© enjoying a delicious machine-made cappuccino in the largest size Styrofoam cup:

I have never tried writing a blog from anything but a laptop of some type of computer with a full keyboard so that I can use all ten fingers. Currently, I am on my precious Evo which I love oh so much but unfortunately lacks said keyboard. So here it goes with my right hand thumb.

We are sitting in the hospital waiting for one of the Hubs’ grandparents to get out of surgery. Everything sounds hopeful. He is one heck of a fighter and has beaten the odds since ago 30, which he wasn’t supposed to live past. Crazy. He is now 91 and one of the greatest old people I know. However, we are sitting in a hospital. I have to be honest. Hospitals give me the willies. The smells remind me of memories I almost forgot about visiting my great grandma in the hospital before she passed away. I l remember the dark hospital room with pale curtain half closed, her papery cool skin, the clean smell that permeates somewhere deep inside your nose, her tired smile and I remember the sad feeling in the room. I miss my grandma. I remember her smile. It was soft. I don’t remember what her voice sounded like, or how she spoke- maybe we have the same inflections, I’ll never know.

To give an update on Grandpa, he is doing well and recovering beautifully. Like I said, he’s one heck of a fighter. He’s already cracking jokes and asking for more grandbabies.

Remy & Aruba are calling my name as well as my coffee with french vanilla creamer mixed with hazelnut and breakfast. Here's one last shot from this weekend. Goofy pup....

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