Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prologue and CH 1 of Faefever

with more to come, so make sure you bookmark it.

Click on the widget to make it full screen and there is a zoom function for those who need it (me).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Olympics are over...

And I for one am sad. It's made me realize there really isn't anything on tv right now other then Project Runway. Sure, there were events I wasn't interested in but more often then not it was the Olympics I was tuning in to. 

I was going to do a blog about some of my favorite moments of the Olympics but instead, I'd like to do a blog on everyone's favorite moments. My mannions are an international lot so I know there are many wonderful Olympic stories out there I don't know. So I'd like for you to email me your favorite moments or stories from the Olympics, Leihaha@gmail.com. What made you cheer? Who made you cry? Were you as sucked into it as I was?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The story you've been waiting for...

Yes, the day that Leiha went hiking. Su has been clamoring for this story since I mentioned it to her but I told her she had to wait for my blog LOL. I can't blow my wad ahead of time. Kathy and my dad try to go hiking a lot during the year. Try being the operative word. Kim and I decided we need to exercise more so when Kathy asked us if we wanted to go hiking we agreed. I did tell her she couldn't sleep in (she sleeps way more then I do, I know! Shocking!). We were supposed to leave at 10am but didn't leave til noon. She's lucky I still agreed to go. I told her I wanted to be back in time for my nap LOL.

We went to pick up Jordan after we got my dad and he was with Kelsey who is my brother's stepdaughter so we crammed into the car and piled her in with us. Kathy and my dad picked the trail. What do I know about it. My only question was how long was it. My sis said 2.7 miles. I thought I can do that. Well we didn't hike up a hill we hiked up a mountain and she didn't tell me 2.7 miles was ONE WAY!

Luckily for you I brought my camera so you could experience the hike with me. Dad said to make sure people traveled at least in pairs. I was leading the end of the pack, LOL. That's right I was rolling with the 58 year old! This was where the others waited for us a little ways up. Since they waited for us as soon as we took pics off we were again. Groan! I wanted to rest but it was still early in to the hike. We stopped at this cute little bridge. Of course I wanted more pics.
If you look closely at the pic below you'll see that I'm just starting to glisten. I am a sweater after all. Luckily there was a lot of trees for shade and it wasn't too hot. Temp wise it was perfect. OK, the trek continues. Here's the next place they stop for us This is my fave pic from the day. Of course it would have been perfect if I was in it but then would the photog have taken such a fab pic if it was someone else? I doubt it. Now I'm starting to get tired. I am, after all, quite out of shape plus this is a pic from the last time I went hiking. Yes, that's Jordan so as you can see, it was many years ago. At our next stop (keep in mind, basically a stop is them stopping for us so when I catch up we continue on) I needed to sit down and catch my breath. We see some people come dow and I ask them how much further. They say a half an hour. A half an hour! Shoot! I've been walking forever or so it seems, LOL. I am not happy to hear there is still so much to go.

Now it's Jordan and I at the rear but we chug along. He doesn't like to talk when he hikes, I think that's why he went forward, LOL. I kept trying to talk to him. I should have brought my ipod. The others were racing up. Kathy wanted to make it to the top and because we left late we had to be back by a certain time. 10 minutes later I ask these other people who are coming down how much further and they say we're halfway there. WTF!?!?!?!? I've been walking forever!

I did have to take a pic of my dad cause his outfit cracked me up. He's been wearing suspenders for 20 years at least! I need a walking stick also. OK, more hiking. The next guy I see says 45 minutes. OK, he broke me. Mentally I was done. The hike was getting longer the more I hiked! I kept going on but my heart was no longer in it, LOL. I started taking more and longer breaks. Finally I told my dad I was done and to keep going without me. But I got bored so I got up and kept going. Well I had to, I was being stalked! There was this bug that kept flying around me. I couldn't tell if it was a bee or a giant fly. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if Jeff Goldbloom's head was on top of it's body. Because I didn't know if it was a bee or not I couldn't swat it. When I stopped and sat he and his friend kept flying faster and faster around me. It was terrorizing me! I had to keep walking just to get away. The higher I got the less shade there was and the trip started getting rocky.

As I was crawling along I saw a garter snake and then could hear it go thru the brush. That made me think of wild animals. As it was, I felt like I had saw more of mother nature then I wanted with that snake sighting. I told them if they want me to go hiking again I want a combat knife. I can't deal with that kind of wild life without being protected.

The next people I saw told me 20 minutes which made me happy. At least the time finally went down instead of up. Apparently they said the same thing to Kim and Kathy who were way ahead of me. When Kim heard that she was done, LOL. So as soon as she came my way I was done too, I wouldn't want her to walk down alone, LOL. Apparently Kat says she turned around 5 minutes before they got to the top. Oops! Where are the kids? Kathy bribed them to get them to the top. If they made it ahead of her she would give them $10. Even though Jordan was exhausted he kept going. Me, I wasn't getting paid. Here's a pic shortly before I turned around.Kim and her light feet were bouncing down the mountain. Me, not so much. So she would walk aways, wait for me then walk some more. I really needed my ipod, LOL. We were able to chat for a lot of though. The trip down wasn't quite as long as the one up but it wasn't a breeze either. We'd been hiking awhile so it took awhile to get down. Since I've had a ton of dental work I live in fear of falling on my face. Don't worry, I fell on my ass instead, LOL. I was walking down some rocks and they were wet and my foot slipped. Luckily, because I was stepping down it wasn't a far fall although it wasn't pleasant plopping down on my ass, it didn't hurt too much. Luckily, no one was around to see.

I passed some girls giggling on their way up. Their friend was peeing in behind the rocks which kept her hidden if you were going up but not so much on the way down. I told her don't worry, I'm not going to look, LOL. As I was walking my ankle kept rolling but I kept catching it. Well one time I didn't and down I went. This time I fell to my hands and knees and that sucker hurt! Of course my first thought was for my camera. Luckily I protected it as I went down, LOL. My next thought was shit, that hurt! I slowly got up and hobbled down. I was able to work out the soreness from my ankle. Again, no one saw, whew! Of course I told Kim all about it, LOL. The good news is the knee I landed on was the one I had my brace on (can't find my other brace). I've decided I also need to wear my ankle braces and Kim had a brilliant suggestion, why not wear an inflatable sumo wrestler suit and she can roll me down. Since I felt like I rolled down already, why not do it with some protection?

Remember what I looked like going up? This is what I looked like coming down. I keep telling you I'm a sweater, LOL. Nancy says people who sweat are healthy. I'm the healthiest girl you know then!Finally we made it down the mountain! It made me think of the movie The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain, except it was a mountain going up also! Kim and I sat in the car waiting for the others to show up. First Kathy who ran down which my dad says wasn't smart cause cougars like to attack people who run. F*ck, where is my combat knife!!! I should at least unpack my swiss army knife, LOL. Next were the kids and finally dad. Yes, the old man made it to the top and I didn't but hey, he has a stick, LOL. As it was, I had hiked for almost 3 hours. I was exhausted and sore!

The next day my dad called to see how I was. Then he started going on saying Kim and I should start carrying a backpack. I told him I couldn't carry myself and you want me to carry a backpack? That's why we have you, LOL. Then he mentioned at least carrying my 10 essentials (does that include a combat knife?). I told him I did carry my essentials. My lip balm!

And thus my beginning adventures in hiking. Yes, I'll go again but I'll have to lay down some guidelines. Let's go on a trail that's a little less of an incline. There was snow at the top of this hike! No I didn't see it but just knowing that should state that's not an appropriate hike for me, LOL. Did I mention Kim saw a mouse on the way down? I'd also prefer a hike with no killer mosquitos or wildlife of any kind. Alright, that's pretty harsh, butterflies are acceptable! Kathy says it there's no mountains it's not a hike, it's a walk. I'm ok with that!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nancy's white trash birthday party...

Now that Nancy is on a healthy kick there's a bunch of foods that she enjoys that she no longer eat so her birthday she wanted to have spodi (cut up fruit and clear alcohol made into a punch, she had it last year and wanted it again) and roasted hot dogs and bologna sandwiches. Yes, you read that correctly. Once she told me the menu I told her she was having a white trash party and she might as well embrace it. I wanted everyone to dress the part but she wouldn't tell people that so I was the only one embracing my inner white trash. I didn't wear a white tank because I couldn't find a black bra to wear underneath it. I know I own one but I think it's in the shed packed up. So I wore a jean skirt with leggings and my gold digger tank, LOL.

For my contribution to the white trash party I wanted to make fluffernutters. I had had them before at a different WT party and really enjoyed them. What is it you are asking yourself? It's a marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwich.

It doesn't sound fabulous but the taste is dare I say it? Tasty! If you plan on making this at home (and really, why wouldn't you?) I recommend a really thin layer of peanut butter or else it will overwhelm the fluff. Since it was a WT party of course i had to use the butt ends of the bread, LOL.

I was only going to bring that but then my friend told me about this super easy recipe and I was curious enough to try it. It was equal parts concord grape jelly and yellow mustard. You slowly heat them up and then you add little smokies.

I love me some little smokies.I think the last time I had them was in OR when Su and the gals came to town and her and Nancy made pigs in a blanket for breakfast. Kim talked me into getting the ones with cheese and we mixed those in with the plain ones and it was delish! I liked the cheese version but I'm a cheese kind of gal, LOL. Apparently, WT food is ugly but good.

Nancy's party was hosted at her friend Alicia's house because it's bigger. There was a ton of finger foods and I was in heaven. Some other goodies were meatballs, a meat and cheese tray, shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit, pot stickers and sushi. Not only that but there was a twinkie trifle (my fave) and a german chocolate turtle cake (Nancy and Kim's fave).

We played games and of course, the kids wanted to be on my team. Actually Christopher decided to be on the birthday girl's team. Hist mistake, LOL. We played catchphrase and cranium in the dining room while others watched the fight. After the games they hooked up guitar hero and Kimberly has found her new calling in life, LOL. In fact when the party ended we took the guitar hero home with us and Kim and the gang continued rocking thruout the night. My first round on guitar hero let me know that singing is my calling.

Changes here, changes there...

...changes changes everywhere. First off, instead of doing a mega long blog of all I've been up to I decided to mess around with my blog, LOL. The changes aren't huge but I still spent hours tweaking. I really liked the layout the Badass warrior princess had so I changed mine. The one thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to get rid of the dashed line going down the left side of the side bar. I searched all over online to try and figure this out. How irritating! Anyone with any tips (Lin) feel free to share them LOL.

So I guess I haven't posted about the fact that I'm no longer house sitting for Linda. No, she's not home yet. After the gals left I was planning on being in Everett for a few more days and then head back to Portland but never ended up going. As many of you know, I'm the surrogate mom in my family and after being away for so long they really need me here so I decided to stay and be with my family.

Luckily, Nancy and I have been friends for 20 years (I know, I don't even look 20 years old, LOL) and she's like a sister to everyone because there are Manns galore hanging around the house when she gets home. Hence, the lack of blogging on my part. I intend to blog and then someone comes over or someone wants to do something and let's not forget the Olympics!

I have been having a grand old time watching them. You know I'm a total spoiler slut so I've been peaking before hand but not telling everyone else. I made Nancy stay up to watch that awesome 4x100 come from behind relay even though she wanted to go to bed and didn't care. She was happy she stayed up.
I was really rooting for Michael Phelps, I just thought he was a class act all the way and I loved how he cheered on his teammates. When he won he was pretty low key but you can see what a great time he had on the relays. Of course, it's scary pinning your hopes on other people so I'm sure a part of it was relief but I do think most of it was he loved the relays and being there with his teammates.

We kept praying for a wardrobe malfunction but I guess those suits are painted on because no matter how much they jumped up and down the suit didn't move. I know, we were bummed also, LOL.

Other faves have been the women's gymnastics and beach volleyball. I'm not much of a track and field kind of gal. Maybe because the men wear shirts, LOL.

Nancy and I did make a quick trip to Portland to pick up the things I had there. We times it so we could have lunch with her parents who were down there for work and her cousin Michelle. Lunch was fun but the highlight was taking them to the Super H Mart which turns out wasn't super, it was just an H Mart. I wonder where the Super went? Nancy's dad has been to Korea and he loves cooking all kinds of asian foods so I was excited to take him there. We had fun sampling all of the foods that were on display even though we wer stuffed from lunch. They also opened a frozen yogurt stand there which Nancy and I totally planned on having but then I found they had the red bean fish ice cream which I enjoy. It's vanilla ice cream with a red bean paste on top and encased in a fish shaped cone, LOL. Doesn't sound yummy but it is. I bought a 5 pack which was perfect for all of us. I didn't think her mom would enjoy it but she totally did. I was turned on to these by my friend Stef when I lived in LA.

I know I have more catching up to do. I promise to get on soon to talk about the white trash party and my adventures in hiking! Yes, I know, I can't believe it either.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sherrilyn Kenyon booksigning

Last week Debbie and I went to Sherri's signing for Acheron. I planned on meeting Debbie there since she had to work in the morning and I wanted to stay and chit chat (shocking, I know, LOL). I wrote down the directions quickly before I left. I normally write down the phone number of where I'm going to but I didn't this time. You can see where this is going can't you?

Once I get in the car I notice that my phone is dying. I call Nancy who is between jobs to see if I could meet her to get my car charger which was in her car from our drive to Portland last week. She didn't get my message until after I passed where she was. I was cruising along and about 5 miles from my exit when I see a sign about an accident, right where my exit was. Debbie calls me to find out where I am. I let her know I'm stuck but I'll be there soon. It took me about 40 minutes to get to my exit. I'm doing ok time wise since I planned to get there early. I was shooting for 5:30pm but now it was a quarter after 6. Oh well, Debbie was grabbing my number for me so no worries. I get off and follow the roads. I lived in Everett for 4 year about 10 years ago. I barely can get around Everett and this was not in Everett, I was in Renton.

I was in a residential area and as I was driving I was driving more into homes, I was totally lost! I called Debbie and her phone went to voicemail. I called information to get the number for Borders in Renton but there is no Borders in Renton ruh roh. I asked for the Borders in Everett so I could talk to Nancy when my phone died!

I stopped at a gas station and got gas while trying to find the Borders (I like to multi-task my stops). The attendant didn't know the area so he was no help and they didn't have a phone book so I asked this guy pumping his gas. He told me about the Borders in Southcenter. Well it couldn't hurt to go there. Another 20 minutes on the freeway and several wrong turns (I swear, every time I should go right I went left and vice versa) I made it to the store and the parking lot was empty. Turns out they changed locations. Thank goodness the other one was close but crap, this is becoming a comedy of errors. Of course the store had moved, LOL.

I find parking (it's now at the mall) and rush in, dang I should have wore flip flops. They have no idea about any signing. They tried the Borders website but couldn't find the info so they started calling around. They were so helpful. They found the signing in the Redmond store. D'oh! Renton/Redmond, they sound so alike, LOL. They give me directions but luckily another worker came over cause the chick had me going in the wrong direction on the freeway, like I needed another wrong turn.

It was 7:30 at this point. They were worried cause the signing started at 6:30 but I told them, this is Sherri, that signing is still going on, LOL. This is when I started playing the soundtrack from Hairspray. You can't listen to that and be in a bad mood. I had to listen to a couple of songs to calm down but it did the trick, thank goodness because the directions were given under the assumption that I knew were the Redmond Town Center was! There was no sign for it on the road I had to turn into it. Yes, a few more wrong turns there but finally, 8:15 I made it to the signing!

Debbie was # 97 and they were on #30 or something so she was still there, LOL. I rushed to buy my 4 books (weight training for the day, or it would have been if I hadn't set them on the floor the whole wait, LOL). Dianna saw me thru a sea of people while I was at the register so she starts calling my name on the mic LOL. I told her to call #110 since that was my # LOL. Which she did later but it wasn't rigged, if it was, I would have won a t-shirt, LOL. I won a button and a bookplate.

Debbie and I sat and chatted while waiting for our turn to get our books signed and Dianna would come over and chat when she could. She was telling me about the adventures of the signing in Nashville. I don't know how Sherri's hand stays attached she signs so many books LOL.

Dianna was telling some stories about me to the crowd but I was talking to Sherri when she was doing it so I'm not sure what she was saying, LOL. Unfortunately, I'm sure I couldn't deny anything she said. Sherri was telling me about the eye candy at her Literacy signing in RWA, I told her I was disappointed there was no candy here and Dianna needed to show some cleavage, LOL.

I did talk to Sherri about RBL and that was before I read the acknowledgments in Acheron. I love the fact she mentions she was at RBL before she had her board.

Dianna was telling people about me being the queen of self portraits so of course, I had to display my talent LOL. And since I had handed the camera to Dianna to take the pic of Sherri and I she took a pic of my shoes, the ones I chose instead of my flip flops, LOL. The evening wouldn't be complete without a pic of Debbie and I. Thank goodness she was there! It's great to have a friend to keep you company. Sure, I could and did talk to those of us around us but it was nice to sit there and just chatter away with Debbie.

Friday, August 08, 2008

the rest of my time with the girls...

Sorry, there aren't many pics, I don't like to take pics when I'm stuffing myself, I'm too busy eating, LOL. Plus, I was cooking this weekend (and by that I mean I did a lot of chopping, LOL) so that took up my time when I wasn't eating or talking, LOL.

Linda and Sandra are the early birds. They were up long before the rest of us. Aimee and I lounged in bed chatting before we finally decided to get up both days. It was our time LOL. Nancy had to work that day. We had thought about going up to visit her at the bookstore and lounge around and harass her but really, we ran out of time, you know how it is. We had Ronwyn, Maggie and Debbie coming over at 3 so by the time we would have been able to go to the store it would have been cutting it too close.

We were doing mexican for dinner so I wanted to set the flavors on the black bean salsa as well as the guac so that meant an early trip to the store (an early for me LOL). Here is the recipe I found online for the salsa but I changed it up some:

1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
(I used fresh corn that I cut off the cob and lightly sauteed)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
(I used fresh serranos, this was during the jalapeno ban)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
(again, fresh)
1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
(used some lime and salt and pepper instead)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
(didn't use)

In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and tomatoes. Season with Italian-style salad dressing and garlic salt; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight to blend flavors.

I also added some cilantro chopped up. As you can see, you can adjust this recipe quite easily to your own taste and Nancy loved it!

We sat around chatting all day, surprise, surprise, LOL. Ronlyn brought her 2 adorable little kiddies. Her youngest totally ran to me when I put my arms out and once I picked him up, he promptly burst into tears, LOL. It may have had something to do with the fact everyone was staring at him. I didn't take it personally, I know I'm fab and kids love me dang it! Jordan took her oldest, who was 4 under his wing which was great, the kiddies played while the adults (hah) talked.

For dinner we did a taco bar with all kinds of dips and meat. Aimee chopped up a rotisserie and I browned ground beef and Nancy's parents had donated pulled pork. It was a feast. I used all 3 meats in my burrito, LOL. I couldn't choose, it would have been like Sophie's choice! I should have put the guac and bean salsa out sooner for dip, we had a ton left over, LOL.

Kimberly stopped by to eat and then promptly took a nap on my bed, what can I say, she's related to me. Ronlyn took the kiddies home once they got fussy. They were fab as was she. Linda was great about making sure we got a group pic. It's hard to get a group pic with everyone looking good so I'm posting the one I look best in, are you surprised?L-R is Sandra, Debbie, Maggie, Ronlyn, Nancy, Aimee, Linda and moi!

Nancy had a game she's been dying to try. I think it was a playstation game but I don't know. They all blend to me. It was a jeopardy like game with buzzers so 4 people could play at a time. Christopher came over during this time since Jordan was here. The first round was Jordan, me, Nancy and Linda. The rounds are different. Some things have speed elements, some don't. They have a round where you can steal money and another round where you can throw pie at someone. They were ganging up stealing my money, the punks. Of course, they wanted my money because I was in the lead, LOL. The pie throwing round was fun because people would sometimes end up pieing themselves. The final round is incredibly stressful but I won, as it should be.

I sat out the second game so Kim could play. Instead I helped Jordan. He did much better that game *G*. The final round is all speed and by the time I told Jordan the answer it would be too late. It ended up being between Kim and Nancy. Christopher was playing that round also and he didn't make it far on the final round either. Nancy beat Kim but the funny part is Nancy remembers it as Kim beating her since Kim was in the lead most of it, LOL.

Final round was Nancy, Kim, me and Christopher. I called it battle of the titans. They ALL took my money so I was going into the final round not in the lead. That's ok, I'm good, LOL. It ended up being Kim and I and it was going back and forth the whole time with big sis coming out victorious. Did you doubt it?

I suggested dvd trivia pursuit so more people could play but Sandra and Aimee were off reading or sleeping. Jordan and Christian both called my team. Who can blame them? I said sure, so it was us against Kim, Nancy and Linda. We had a slow start while the other gals were off to a quick one. They got 2 pie right away. They were high fiving each other, blah blah blah. I told the boys not to worry, it's a long game. We kept our cool. I loved how into it Jordan and Christopher were. They had a blast playing and were helpful on several questions. It was really a team effort and with our team, we kicked their asses!

This is the point where Kim and Nancy usually reminisce about the one time they beat me in spades, LOL. Nope, we're not competitive at all.

Sunday was Nancy's day off we put her to work cooking. Since we had so many fresh blueberries she wanted to do a brunch. Her parents came over and since it was raining they brought a canopy to put up on the porch. Jordan helped Larry put it together. And here is Nancy and her mom making pancakes and french toast.
The pancakes were divine. She also made sausage topped donuts (I threw some bacon on some also) so everyone could feel the voodoo donut love. Her parents also brought a fresh fruit salad. Arturo, Christopher and Sara came by for brunch and Maggie and Debbie came. My dad and Kathy came by later. With the canopy out on the porch it never got too cramped. People were rotating around. It was a fabulous brunch with Nancy doing a wonderful job.

Linda and Sandra headed out in the early afternoon for Portland and Nancy and I being the fabulous hostesses we are took a nap before taking Aimee to the airport. I felt bad, I planned on napping for an hour but it was more like two hours. Thank goodness there were books around Aimee wanted to read.

All in all, while a quick visit it was fabulous. It's great re-connecting with my west coast peeps!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The girls are back in town...

So Linda W drives her parents up every year to see family and while her parents are visiting so is Linda. Originally we were going to do Portland but Nancy couldn't get Sat off of work so we decided to meet in WA. I left Portland Fri morning and timed it so that I could get to Sea-Tac in time to pick up Aimee who was flying in from Eastern WA and if I hadn't left 10 minutes late it would have been perfect, LOL.

Once I picked Aimee up we drove to Nancy's work to pick her and her co-worker up for lunch. Aimee has been a faithful reader for years and knows of my love of Korean food so she wanted to go eat Korean and since Nancy also loves Korean that's where we went for lunch. We found a different Korean restaurant then the one Nancy mapquested. They had a $7 lunch special, we were sold LOL. Korean food is not cheap like Vietnamese food is.

I ordered what I always order, the kalbi. Nancy was wondering if we should also order bulgogi and I told her she can order bulgogi but I'm ordering kalbi, LOL. Everyone ordered the kalbi and I do believe Aimee is now as much of a fan of korean food as I am. Looking at Nancy's plate do you think she enjoyed her meal? To be fair, they brought out our plates first and there was a huge wait for the next two plates. It was weird. Luckily there was all of the side dishes to keep the gals happy.

After lunch we dropped off Nancy and headed home. I was tired so I crawled into bed to take care of some things on the puter and Aimee crawled into bed next to me to read while we waited for Linda and Sandra to show up. They got caught in rush hour traffic so we lounged a bit more then planned but you know I have no problem lounging. Once the gals showed up we chatted for a few and then Aimee and I went to the grocery store to stock up. Sure we could have done this while lounging but we were too busy lounging, LOL. Linda came up with the salad idea so we got tons of fixings for salad and had a salad bar. My sis had dropped my nephew off for the weekend. He's used to being around people of all ages and there was food everywhere so he was happy, LOL.

Nancy came home while we were eating and then her friends Arturo and Sarah stopped in with ice cream (gotta love that!) for dessert. We were all having a nice normal conversation until Nancy said she preferred Richard over Jean Claude in the Anita Blake series and we all went off. That's when Arturo and Sarah realized how passionately we love our books, LOL. Did I mention they also brought cones that had a chocolate layer on the inside? Delish!

I can't even remember how late we all stayed up talking or what all we talked about. It was just wonderful to be around each other.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Blueberry picking with the 'rents

Yes, I'm woefully behind, nothing new there. I've decided to stay in WA for awhile and have been spending a lot of time with the family. I've been enjoying my time with them.

Before I left OR I went blueberry picking with Linda's parents. They are a hoot! I am proud to say I made it to their house with only one wrong turn. We drove a little south to go pick the blueberries and they gave me a tour of where they used to live. Back in the day they used to farm. Actually, the place where we were going to pick wasn't one of those u-pick places, it's actually a commercial blueberry farm and they're friends of the family. We were getting to pick a few days before the machines were going thru.

While talking to the owners of the farm a falcon went thru. Apparently, they had such a problem with starlings that they hired a falconer to come in during berry season to patrol the fields and keep the birds away. I thought that was pretty cool. I guess wineries do that a lot.

They took us out to the fields that had the most berries ready to pick. Since they knew I was a novice (as dad T would say, a berry picker in training) their words of advice was to handle the berries like I was milking a cow (he qualified that with, not that you have ever milked a cow, does it show?). You grab the berries by a bunch and just sort of twist them around in your hand. They literally just fall into the buckets that we carried around. Look at the beautiful berries. There were just rows and rows of them. I was proud at how fast I was going until dad T had a full bucket way before me. Then when I went to dump my bucket I saw why he was so fast, there were green berries in there as well as leaves whereas mine and mom T's were beautifully picked buckets. We chitchatted the whole time we were picking. It was a lot of fun. Since I was a woman on a mission I only stopped to eat the berries when I was walking back to the car to dump my blueberries. I'd munch on a handful then (not ones from the bucket, saved those for later). We all picked about 3 buckets worth. I think we were probably out there an hour and a half. I actually got my hands dirty! I had to take a pic of that momentous occasion, LOL. I used my water bottle to rinse off one hand. I needed to apply lip balm *G*.

Afterwards we went to a mongolian grill. Mom loves it, I wasn't blown away. The highlight was the soft serve ice cream at the end. Both mom and I are fans.

You'd think the work would be done by now but that's when it really began. Because the majority of the berries would be used for syrup we had to go thru and clean out all the berries. Remember the leaves and green berries? Yep! We went thru sinkfuls cleaning them out. And by we, I mean not dad. He was "working" in the other room. I was still planning on trying to leave for WA that night so I left around 5pm. There were still more blueberries to sort but I had to hit the road, plus I was pooped! I felt bad because mom was still full of energy. She's in her 80s and has a bad hip! She could probably out run me, LOL.

Once I hit the road I realized by the time I got home and had my nap it would be too late to head out and since I was too tired to nap, it was a good call. Of course I took home with me several large ziplock bags full of blueberries of which I took some to WA with me. Talk about yummie goodness. Of course I let everyone know I worked the fields for those blueberries, LOL.

I hear grape picking is much easier. I'll try and keep up!