Thursday, March 29, 2012


Squeaky avoiding the camera.

Another driver in training day.
A good one too.
No drama, no fails.
Squeaky has the gist of driving a clutch down.
His starts are mostly smooth.
His stops are less... ah... like exclamation points.
We drove all over the neighborhood...
for most of the day.
I'm glad that he is finding a comfortable place with the clutch.
He no longer gets anxious over someone being behind him at a stop.
Good things.
The clown car is grateful that the hopping has ceased.
Me too.

I find myself getting a bit sad that tomorrow is Friday.
This time with Squeaky has been great fun for me.
Its great to have someone to share my evening with and
he is excellent company.
 I do miss my kids.
He decided to stay and go home on Monday.
That way we can watch the season 2 hour opener
for "The Killing".
Its a great show if you have never seen it.
I'm excited that it is finally coming on,
but sad because Squeaky will leave the next day.
Oh well.
You can't have it all.
This weekend I have another baby shower to attend.
The one for Zoe is on Saturday.
We bought a very expensive swing for the baby.
This swing does more than any we ever had for our babies!
It has a light show, tunes, rocks front to back or side to side.
You don't have to wind it up.
The only thing it doesn't do for mom is feed
baby or change diapers.
Moms will never get out of doing that.
Other than that... drive on... as much as we can.
It will continue to rain.
Its been raining for days, with some shine in between  sprinkles.
Today we had some down pour sort of events.
But that is good experience for my new driver.
He will know what to do...
what knob to turn on or off and where it is located.
Three wishes for you:
That the sun is shining where you are.
That you have something fun to do.
And that you have people who love you to do it with.
Happy Friday my friends!

Hey!  Are you buying a Megamillions ticket?
What would you do with that much money?
So many millions... 


After his victory over the clutch... we began another day of driving practice... with a flawless take off.  Unfortunately, it was followed by some flawed bunny hops.  But he stuck with it and bent the clown car to his will again.  After many more repetitions, we decided to break for lunch.

Lunch is not important.  Though I did have one of those burgers made with  ice berg lettuce in lieu of a bun.  It was tasty and it did keep my carbs good and low.
But that was not the subject of interest.

Following lunch, we moved into the ominous world of quiet neighborhood streets.   He had some anxiety over the fact that cars were parked on the side of the streets, but got over it fairly quickly.  Up and down, over and around.  In and out of cull-d-sacs and stops at stop signs.  All very easy with almost no other traffic. 

Stop signs did not trouble him unless a car came up behind him.  That caused him to kill the engine, panic a little, then nearly peal out once or twice.  But to be expected.  Squeaky is an anxious person by nature. Fearing that he was holding people up made him nervous.

It wasn't until we decided to take one more turn around the block before heading home that things got exciting.  Squeaky made his last turn onto a street that you could not see down until you rounded a big bush...

and found the fire truck and ambulance blocking the small street where I live.
Before the boy could panic, I directed him to turn left onto a wider street that teed into mine.  Down toward the end is a big field where no cars were parked on either side.  I gave him a choice.

1) Make a simple U turn and go back the direction we had come.

2) Continue to the end and make a right  turn, but know that he would have to drive  fairly fast for a block before he could turn right again and get off the busier street. 

He opted for the U turn.  Fine and dandy... here we go!  Only he did not make a nice neat U in the road.  He made more of a half turn and came upon a curb...
that he climbed... and then parked there when the engine died... one wheel up and the other three down in the street where they belonged.

He looked horrified, so I laughed.  I wanted him to relax and not freak out.  Then a big white pick-up truck stopped down the street a bit and the driver stared at us.  We were both laughing at this point.   I'm fairly sure that his laughter was near hysteria.  The truck did not move.  I could feel Squeaky  changing from relief, that I was not upset, to embarrassed and upset himself.  I asked if he wanted me to back it off the curb.  

He did.  We did a "Chinese Fire Drill" from my youth and quickly changed places.  I backed the car down and parked at the curb.  The pick-up truck then decided that we had not damaged anything and that at least one of us could drive and went on about its way.  

"You want to drive again?"
"No.  I want to go home."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes.  I think I made your tire go flat."

I drove a bit and took my hands off the wheel...

"It's fine.  If it was flat, it would hump along, make noise or pull to the side."

That didn't ease his suffering.  When we pulled into the driveway a block down, he got out of the car and checked for damage.  The tire was fine.  The underside of the car was fine.  The rim looked fine... no flat spot, no dent.  Despite that, he semi-sulked all evening.  But he is willing to go again tomorrow.  

The man checked out the car when he got up too.  He thinks its fine.  I attribute that to the very low curb.  One of those streets that has been paved over so many times that the street nearly meets the level of the sidewalk.  It could have been worse.  No harm done.  I hope he shakes it off and doesn't psych himself out over it.  I know he can do this.  Its just a matter of practice, practice, practice.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012



Last Saturday evening I got a text from the Bear.
She informed me that Squeaky would not be coming to visit me on the bus.
She would be bringing Squeaky herself.
Yay!  Yay!  Yay!

The man got such a kick out of surprising my kids
at Christmas...
that I decided not to tell him that they were coming.
Along comes Sunday morning...
I get a text that they are 30 minutes away.

Can I have some lunch ready?
Mikey P. is starving to death and any food will do.
I had nothing to toss together...
off I set to the take and bake pizza joint.
Unfortunately they were not yet open.
So I sat.

The man and T were in the shop working on cabinets
when the kids arrived.
Bear texted to ask where I was.
I said they were just now making the pie and to go on in without me.
They did indeed!
That's how it happened that when the man
went from the shop to the kitchen...
he found our unexpected guests.
It made him very happy.

Bear and Mikey P. could not stay long.
They had to go hunt for owl pellets.
But they had a nice lunch and we had a good, if short visit with them.
Squeaky remained behind with us.

This made for a wonderful Sunday!
Since then, Squeaky and I have been having a nice, nice visit.
But he's here on a mission.
When I moved, I was teaching him to drive...
and his older siblings were supposed to take on that task.
That did not happen.
Siblings were busy with college,
new babies, etc.

So, yesterday we dusted off the old clown car
and took her for a spin.

Um, actually...
more like hopping.

There really isn't a whole lot you can do to help someone
learn how to make the clutch work.
It takes patience and trial and error.
The first day we giggled ourselves silly over the hopping.
By this afternoon, he was no longer laughing.
Frustration had set in.

X cannot drive legally.
But X knows how to drive very well.
I put X on the phone and handed it to the boy.
Squeaky asked questions.
He hung up.
Then carefully... slowly... slowly...
drove ahead.
Not a single hop.

What did X say that I had not gotten across?
Something about the ratio of this or that to match the force required...
blah, blah, blah.
Secret guy math/car sort of stuff that eludes me.

No matter.
It made sense to the boy.
It worked.
And the joy and pride on his face when he gleefully exclaimed
"Ha ha!  Now you are my bitch!"
to the clown car...
made it a pretty cool moment.

I told him that tomorrow we will venture out 
of the safety of the old parking lot and into the neighborhood lanes...
after he has practiced some more smooth take offs.
He has 4 more driving days here with me.
I think he will be doing fine by the time he goes back home.

He drives well enough in an automatic.
But X came into a bit of money and bought Squeaky a
used car... with a stick.
His permit is only good for one more month.
But I'm betting
with a car for a carrot...
Squeaky gets his license in a month.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Welcome to this week's edition of
Saturday Scavenger Shots!
Our word this week is provided
by Mrs. Harry Woman.

I admit that I was tempted to put in 
a bunch of shots of the man,
but opted instead to focus on
less often seen ANIMAL.

 Our ANIMAL friends who live in the deep.
I'm not even sure what this one is called.
Some kind of starfish?

How about this crabby guy?
I bet he's a real ANIMAL when he wakes up.

Here are a multitude of ANIMALs 
at the aquarium that they let you pet.
I like the green guys best...
they have lots of thingies that stick to your

These were taken on a trip to the
Oregon Coastal Aquarium
in Newport, Oregon
where they have many, many
wonderful ocean ANIMALs 
native to my state.

Oh and there is this other ANIMAL
that is reputed to be native to my state...

But she's a different sort of
all together.


Now I best go make diner for my
Have a wonderful weekend!
I hope you run into a nice ANIMAL
or two.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



 Yet this was the scene that greeted me when I woke this morning.
Wrong in so many ways.

"If you know all 4 seasons: 
almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, 
you live in Oregon ."
 ~ Jeff Foxworthy

This poor little plum tree used to be erect...
and those pink-ish things were blossoms.

I am having a lot of trouble with this being "spring".
I know its from growing up in Cali.

Roxy is a Cali girl too...
and this is as close as she would get to the snow in her yard.
(Good thing she has this little strip under the over-hang 
for her business needs.)

I get a text from Bear...
"75 degrees!  Going to hit the beach!"
She's in San Diego.
I am envious.

The man and I are sitting and watching the news.
He gets a phone call telling him that 
he shouldn't come in to work tonight...
his job is having a snow day.
I suppose I should look at the silver lining...
the man and I got an unexpected day together.
We ran around town looking for
Babylon 5.
The series and the movie collection...
all together or one by one.
We found zip.
Then we made a bet.
I lost!
Now I have to make him a fancy diner from scratch.
He says
"How about clam chowder."
Since when has calm chowder been fancy?
Come to think of it...
if we could run around town all day in this...
why can't they go to work in it?
Unless the unthinkable is coming...
more snow or a freeze to turn things to ice.
I probably just jinxed it didn't I?
Oh crap.



Sunday, March 18, 2012


A mysterious package showed up on my doorstep.

It was there when we opened the door as the man was leaving for work.

Well, you can guess what I thought it might be.
Especially since it was sort of steamy looking in the brisk night air.
it wasn't on fire...
and no one was giggling in the bushes.

The man figured it out very quickly.
Our neighbor to the north has a wood smoke BBQ business...
and a fondness for the pig bull herself.

Roxy got a bag of bones!
I gave her one as soon as I came back in and she was delighted.
They still smelled savory and smokey...
a few tid bits where stuck here and there.
What a great guy our neighbor is!

Naturally she wanted to dine at our best table.
Too cold to send her outside or into the chilly shop.
But we reached a compromise.
Her bed is washable.
I can hear the crunching from here.
What a glorious Saturday we had!
The sun was shining and it was warmish.
The man and I worked together in the front yard.
There were old sections of Japanese maples
that I needed cut out.
The man fought with his chain saw until they were gone.
I attacked some bushes that I've been dying to get rid of...
and got rid of them.
There was debris to remove from a recent wind storm.
March has come in like a lion and I'm hoping
will now go out like a lamb.
It was so nice to be in the sunshine!
Warm enough that I removed my hoodie.
I have needed nice weather.
Then this morning the gloom returned.
It matched my mood.
I don't like Sundays now the way I used to not like Mondays.
The man goes back to work and for
another week.
Double sigh.
Along with my gloomy mood
came rain, hail and for a bit... snow flakes.
But by late afternoon, the sun was back.

I am sooooo ready for spring!



Saturday, March 17, 2012


Welcome to another episode of
Saturday Scavenger Shots!
If you wanna know the rules...
check out laura b. at What Fresh Hell Is This?
Tara at Eclectic Spaghetti.
Both can be found on my sidebar there...>

Our word this week...
picked by the silly rabbit herself...
is "CRAZY".
Picked right on the spot with no thought
of how to show CRAZY in a photo.

But as luck would have it...
It's ST. Patrick's Day!
I cannot think of a CRAZY-er holiday.

Where people dress up in CRAZY outfits!

Where people dress their pets in CRAZY outfits...


A CRAZY sort of holiday devoted to drinking...

And who's CRAZY idea was it to dye our 
beer green anyway?

And I suspect that some CRAZY people
who over do it will be feeling a bit
green tomorrow.

Oh and let's not forget the grammar school child's
favorite portion of St. P's CRAZY-ness...
getting to pinch anyone not 
wearing green.

Whatever you do this weekend,
be safe, be smart and enjoy!

I'll leave you with this thought...

Saint Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland
Here's a drinkee to his health!

But not too many drinkees
Lest we lose ourselves and then...
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see them snakes again!