Monday, November 18, 2013

It goes to 11 ...

In one of those Facebook memes, I was assigned 11 things to share about myself, particularly things that some people might not know about me.

I emailed the list I wrote to The Husband, who said it was "amazingly candid." I didn't think it was that revealing ... and then I went back and read through them. Maybe there's some honesty in here I didn't quite see at first.

Here's the 11 I shared, plus some bonus ones. (I was first assigned four, which were pretty tame. I've also pasted those onto the bottom of this post.)
1. I love baking, but I rarely get around to it anymore.

2. When Daniel was born, I asked the nurse, "Does he have red hair?" She said, "Yes!" I said, "How did that happen?"

3. Few things make me as happy as hearing Daniel sing. Or laugh.

4. I enjoy doing laundry.

5. My favorite teacher in grade school was Mrs. McCarty, my second-grade teacher. She helped me through having to wear a patch on my eye and being an overly sensitive child. We've stayed in touch through the years; she is still ridiculously amazing. We share the same alma mater -- Saint Martin's. One time someone saw me chatting with her at Homecoming and asked if she was my sister.

6. John DeWeese makes me laugh harder than I knew was possible. He gets me and my eccentricities -- and he takes really good care of me.

7. I love baseball. I eventually want season tickets to the Tacoma Rainiers.

8. Yes, we want to have another child. But God has a different plan for the time being.

9. The best thing my parents ever did for me was give me a younger sibling to be my companion. Noreen defines BFF for me. We can communicate with just a look or a random word.

10. I quit playing basketball after the CYO coach (my friend's dad) pulled me aside at the end of the season and told me I was good but too fat. I was 10 and totally devastated. (It is one childhood memory that still makes me cry.)

11. Despite the theater degree and the desire to be a professional singer, I have horrible stage fright when it comes to singing alone in front of people.

12. I love crystal and china and silver. I wish I could own a shop where I could sell fine china and all sorts of classic home stuff -- and make money doing it. I love Lenox and Wedgwood patterns and Waterford crystal and those sorts of things.

13. Yes, I am loud and talk a lot. But I am not remotely the extrovert I used to be. I don't care much for big parties where I don't know people. In fact, I shy away from events like that.

And the original four I posted when this Facebook meme first started:

1. I still have dreams of being a professional singer.

2. I like to go to Mass during the week.

3. I do not like mushrooms.

4. I can drink caffeinated beverages before bed and not have a problem falling asleep.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A farewell to my sweet Henrietta Honda

When I think about Henrietta, I think about ...

... buying her with my dad. We went together to Seattle on a Monday night in January. I had searched high and low for the perfect two-door Accord in gold. She was surely perfect. And we got a great deal. It was a very special adventure with my dad.

... calling her my "hot, single-girl car." Then I met John about a month after buying her.

... driving her to Montesano to spend weekends with my then-boyfriend -- you know, that guy who would become my husband.

... my friend Amy laughing at the dark tinted windows, the dice hanging from the mirror. I think she called me a Tacoma homie.

... when the guy who backed into her in the Safeway parking lot and dented the crap out of her door. Daniel was small and was in the back seat. He laughed when the collision occurred; he might've said, "Mama! Fun!" I cried. I was scared for my son and myself, mad that Henrietta was damaged. But Henrietta kept Daniel and me safe.

... the "Godspell" soundtrack always being in the No. 2 spot in the CD player.

... my mom saying, "Oooh, I like this car" every time she got inside.

... turning up the music loud and dancing and singing. I felt so free driving Henrietta.

... that V-6 engine merging me flawlessly onto the freeway.

My 2002 Honda Accord EX-V6 with leather was fast and fabulous. I never had any problems with her. And I am so sad letting her go. She served me well. And we had FUN.

And while I loved her so much, she was a completely impractical car for a family. Have you ever tried getting a child in and out of a two-door car?

Her miles were getting high. Her windshield was cracked. The driver's seat had just developed a tear. The SRS light stayed on. It was getting close to time for a new timing belt.

And I still had to get a kid in and out of the that cavernous back seat.

But, man, she was an awesome car. And I will miss driving her every day.

Enjoy your new adventures, Hen. You are the best car ever.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My hard-hitting interview with my son

The subject of today's investigation.

Inspired by Amber over at Crappy Pictures, I decided to interview my 4-year-old son. He cooperated -- for the most part. Sometimes he said, "Mommy, you are asking too many questions."

Here's a glimpse of our interview, which took place before dinner tonight. (He and Daddy are watching "The Empire Strikes Back" right now, so I've stolen away to type this up before I finish the dinner dishes.)

When Mommy goes out with her friends, what does she do?

The Boy: Play.

I ask him to clarify.

The Boy: Play games.

How old am I?

The Boy. Ummm, I don't know. (Pause.) Uh, 20.

What do I dream about at night?

The Boy: Butterflies!

What brings you the most happiness? 

The Boy: Nuffing.

Daddy: Oh, come on! Nothing makes you happy? What about your toys?

The Boy: Legos! Angry Birds!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The Boy: Monster truck driver!

What is the meaning of life? 

The Boy gives me a blank stare.

What is life all about?

The Boy: Playing.

What do you love?

The Boy: Playing Legos.

When do you feel the most loved?

The Boy: Hugging you.

This mama's heart melts.

The Boy: No more questions. You ask too many questions!*

The End.

* Yes, kid, your mom's a journalist, and your dad's a former reporter. We tend to do that. But your 'tude is making me think you'll go into PR or government.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Ponco and Ruff-Ruff

My son likes to tell people about his pets.

He has a cat, Ponco, who is orange with black stripes. Oh, yes, Ponco also has green eyes.

His dog, Ruff-Ruff, is "brown all over." Well, brown and maybe black.

He loves them very much. He likes to run and play with them. Ponco likes to snuggle. Ruff-Ruff is very gentle.

"Kate, I didn't know you have pets," you're thinking. "You never talk about them."

That's because ... we don't have any pets.

The Boy has talked about Ponco and Ruff-Ruff for more than a year now. (In fact, it might be closer to two years.) We first heard of them when his classroom was having Pet Week at school, and the teachers said the kids could bring in pictures of their pets.

A couple of days into Pet Week, one teacher said to John, "You should bring in a picture of your pets! Daniel talks about them all the time."

John looked at her and said, "Um, we don't have any pets."

The teacher stared back. "Daniel says you have a dog and a cat."

Awkward laughter in the classroom, I'm sure.

So we asked Daniel, and he told us all about Ponco and Ruff-Ruff. (The only thing about pets that has changed in the time we've known about them is Ruff-Ruff's name. He was originally Ruff-Ruff-Ruff.)

He told us about them, their fur colors, how sweet they are.

And that they live at his grandma's house.

Yes, I said they live with Daniel's grandmother.

"But wait, Kate," you say. "Aren't both of Daniel's grandmothers dead?"

Yes, yes, they are. And both of them died before Daniel was ever born.

So, it's Pet Week again at school. Daniel has told his teachers about Ponco the cat and Ruff-Ruff, his dog, again. (This is a different set of teachers, FYI.)

They laugh hard when we explain that Ponco and Ruff-Ruff aren't really our pets, that our child has a very active imagination. And, no: His grandmothers don't have pets that he visits. His grandmas are both in Heaven.

So Miss Lana and Miss Megan suggested we go online or go through a magazine and have Daniel find pictures of his pets to bring in.

I sat down tonight at the computer with my sweet 4-year-old, and we found pictures of Ponco and Ruff-Ruff.

Meet Ponco. Daniel says Ponco is all snuggled up in her blanket at "my grandma's house."

Meet Ruff-Ruff ...

Oh, wait ... This is Ruff-Ruff!

OK, so one of those dogs is Ruff-Ruff. Daniel pointed at both of them in the Google image search and insisted both of them were Ruff-Ruff and that I had to print both of them off.

You know, I'm not sure how accurate the photos are. Because the pets live with Grandma, I've never seen them before ...

But we love them. We love to hear about them and hear about Daniel's adventures with them. They might be the best pets ever.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

What a day it has been, what a rare mood I'm in ...

There's not much more that could make this day wonderful ...

I awoke to glorious sunshine.

It's 5 p.m. now and about 65 degrees.

In March. In Western Washington.

This my favorite kind of weather. Warm, but not hot. A nice breeze. The snow-capped mountains still peeking out.

My husband ran out this morning and bought some doughnuts from Pao's and coffee at Starbucks.

Then we went to the Easter egg hunt at our church. The Boy got good treats, we had a long, wonderful chat with the priest, and I got to talk to one of my mom's good friends.

Then it was time to PLAY BALL! Well, kind of.

The Tacoma Rainiers were having a big open house at Cheney Stadium. You could sign up for ticket packages (we did!), sample some of the ballpark's 2013 food (we did), jump around in a bouncy house (The Boy did), get a balloon animal made (done), visit with Rhubarb the reindeer (done, with photo!).

I have a couple South Sound places I consider "happy spots." A sunny day at Cheney Stadium is one of 'em.

Back at home, The Husband and The Boy ventured outside for yard cleanup -- weeding, planting, pulling up some dead stuff. Boy was so excited to use the garden tools he got for his birthday in February.

It was errand time alone for me. I charged up my iPod, opened up the sunroof in Henrietta the Honda and headed out.

I grabbed some great deals at Safeway, and then dashed over to Ace Hardware for a new trowel and some pansies. I am a sucker for a yard full of colorful pansies.

Next stop was The Ram on the Tacoma waterfront to fill the growler. (We said we'd bring some beer to Easter dinner.) On Saturdays, The Ram has growler fills at half price, so good beer at a good price. Can't argue.

While getting to the waterfront was a pain -- that joke about Washingtonians throwing on shorts and getting outside when the sun finally comes out, that's not really a joke -- the drive back to our house involved the sunroof and great music. (I was probably the only one on Ruston Way with Liza Minnelli blaring from the speakers ...)

Back home, I dug in the dirt, too. I got my new pansies planted in the flower box. Soaked up some sunshine. It feels great.

I feel great.

Thinking we'll cap off the night with dinner and egg-dyeing at my sister's house. My son is so excited to dye eggs with his cousin, and I can always use an evening with my sister.

Tomorrow is Easter, which is the most glorious, celebratory day of all.

God is so good.

To sum up:

Perfect weather.
Coffee and doughnuts.
Easter egg hunt = fun, faith, old friends.
Happy boys playing and digging in the yard.
Sunroof + iPod.
Good bargain-hunting at the grocery store.
Flowers for the yard.
Show tunes.
Time with my sister and her family.
I have so much to be grateful for.

Tell me: What are you grateful for today? And what makes you happiest?

Monday, December 17, 2012

What I needed today ...

I'm on vacation. That should leave me stress-free, right?

Yeah, I'm not wired that way. My mind is going a million miles an hour right now, and I'm full of stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, joy, worry, anticipation ...

Definitely not peace, though.

As I'm sitting at the computer today -- fretting over this and that, wondering my husband hasn't returned my email, concerned that my son is unhappy, feeling unmotivated to make a pedicure appointment or mail my Christmas cards -- I Googled "a prayer for the anxious."

This is what I got, and it's what I needed. But I need to take it to heart, embed it in my soul, particularly on days when I feel like this.

A Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, give me stillness of soul in you.

Calm the turmoil within, with the gentleness of your peace.

Quiet the anxiety within, with a deep trust in you.

Heal the wounds of sin within, with the joy of your forgiveness.

Strengthen the faith within, with the awareness of your presence.

Confirm the hope within, with the knowledge of your strength.

Give fullness to the love within, with an outpouring of your love.

O Holy Spirit, be to me a source of light, strength and courage so that I may hear your call ever more clearly and follow you more generously.

Wishing you all peace and comfort in the days ahead.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An excerpt ...

What's on my mind today? My husband.

Here's an excerpt from a note I wrote him this morning ...

I am sitting here feeling so blessed that I'm your wife and Daniel's mom. You two are the best things that have ever happened to me, and some days I just want to revel in the two of you and how much I love being a wife and mom. I loved snuggling you this morning; it made my heart happy.

You are so smart and loving and compassionate and creative. It's fun to be your wife and to see the ideas you come up with and the drive you have to see the world and to succeed. I am often in awe of your dreams and your determination.

Thank you for taking such great care of me and of Daniel. We are so lucky to have you. I could not have survived Thanksgiving without you, your comforting smile and your hard work to clean our house. Thank you, thank you, thank you.