Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Juror #37*

Jury selection days are hard on Snohomish County Employees who use the parking garage. The sheer number of potential "parkers" in an unfamiliar parking garage seem to make the usual morning comfortable choreography of the "regular" most difficult.
First problem is that a large amount of the first floors parking spaces are reserved for carpools, elected officials and director level staff. Being human (and a bit intimidated) visiting jurors usually jump right into one of those spaces to only realize half way parked that they are reserved.....This begins the first frustrated pull out. As the jurors get into the deeper floors of the garage they start to see that many of the cars are backed into stalls instead of pulled right in nose first. You can almost see the light bulb above their head as they then start to look for a space that will comfortably allow a "back in" maneuver. Unfortunately it is usually level D or E when they find the appropriate space which half way into backing in realize that the space is reserved for county rigs only.....Second frustrated pull out. Finally a juror will find a perfect space for backing in, one that is not reserved and that is relatively close to an elevator. Most certainly the first back in attempt needs to be straightened, pulled out, wheels turned and attempted again. The frustrating thing about this is that by this time there is usually a long line of parking garage regulars who have now been stuck behind several of these parking novices.
This morning I was behind a juror who attempted all of the above moves. Because of his back in choreography I was able to see his face quite clearly. I tried to smile and remember that I'm a government employee and take pride in the fact that just one encounter with me may set the tone of this gentleman's visit. "Make Their Day" is something I try to strive for with every interaction. I believe in it so much that I have a poster one of our cartographers (they are so good to me) made for me that says this in bold print with a picture of the fish market workers/throwers at Pike Place Market.
Finally snugly placed (nose in) in my favorite space at the bottom of the garage I parked and walked towards the elevator. The other joy about the "jury shuffle" is stopping on multiple levels to pick up those going to the plaza level. I stopped at floor F, E, and D. At floor D we only heard a mans voice call out "Never mind I'm taking the stairs!" As the doors began to close a fellow elevator passenger yelled out "That is a lot of stairs." An arm and the head (that coincidentally belonged to the juror I watched do the parking shuffle) quickly reached into the elevator in an attempt to catch a ride. As the door continued to close on both his arm and head he popped back out. As he popped out his juror badge fell to the floor of the elevator.....Juror #37*.
Oh don't fret, I was able to catch up with Juror #37* and reunite him with his badge. He laughed and said "Thank you, you made my day."!
*In an attempt to protect the actual jury member in this story his badge may have (or may not have) been Juror #37 ;-)!
Do I love you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mr. Incredible

Yesterday was a pretty big day in our house. The baby (Jack, 15) received his drivers permit. I knew this day was going to come because like his sister and brother (Sissy & Buddy) before him I cannot control how long he stays young. It was inevitable.
After proudly listening to him answer the gentleman's questions from the DMV With a respectful "Yes Sir" or "No Sir", and signed the papers I needed, I reluctantly let him finish the process on his own. He waited in line to get his picture taken and quietly placed his new treasure in his wallet (which to my joy still has a Velcro close and Disney character on the front...) and walked towards me and his Dad.
It didn't take long for him to chose to ride with me as I am the softie and he knew I would allow him to drive once we hit the safer back roads.  At our agreed upon spot I got out of the drivers seat and let Jack drive us home. He did amazingly well. I think the many years of Nana and Papa letting him drive the golf cart gave him the confidence and good start he needed. We need to work on braking and watching speed but we were off to a good start. My easiest breath surely came when we finally entered the garage (and Dad did the "Dad thing" with a do as I say and not what I do quote on using blinkers at all times they are needed.).  I sat in the van for a moment and thought of what an amazing thing life is. I flipped down the passenger side sun visor and giggled at the pealing sticker of Mr. Incredible that Jack had placed there when he was eight. I remember him begging to put that sticker somewhere in the van because Mr. Incredible looked just like Dad and it would be happy for me to have a little sticker of "daddy" in the van. (Boy I AM the softie!) I can't believe that little sticker placing stinker just drove the van.
Memories are so sweet, and making them is so amazing because the little things that happen along the way often end up being the memories that we cherish the most.
Which brings me where my heart is today. As much as I'd like to tell you it is on the work I'm doing, I have to admit that as my eyes seek one of my fellow cube mates today they happen on an empty chair. Her husband has stage four lung cancer and today is chemo day. This amazing woman is a memory maker, she whips up custom cakes for her sons birthday (seriously a half shark half Halo (or other video game) cake) does an amazing amount of inside and outside work on the lovely home that she and her husband built themselves.  She does all of this with her bright blue eyes shinning and with her stubborn Dutch pride, does much of it alone these days. My prayers for her, her husband, and her son are that God eases their pain and allows amazing memories to be made even through these darker times.  I so pray that one day that she, and her husband, watch their son hit his first home run, go to his first dance, fall in love for the first time and drive after getting his learners permit and all of the other things that I (and of course Mr. Incredible) have gotten to watch our children do.
Do I Love You?

Monday, March 11, 2013

It takes a Village to raise the dough....

Yesterday was my favorite day of the week....Baking day! Sunday morning usually means I'm up, excited and ready to greet the day by 6. The trusty sidekicks are an early morning latte out of my Starbucks Verismo (thank you Bugga), my IPad (filled with Pintrest recipes) and my magic light pink breast cancer awareness Kitchen aid mixer. (Just between you and me the Cinderella mice and Snow White blue birds also join me in my Sunday morning ritual.....That is how incredible this experience really is.)
Yesterday did not really start like this.....For one daylight savings time kicked my usual up early bootie. The 9:30 that I woke up to with a "Holy Hat Rack" ended up really being 10:30. And because of my sleepless nights the two nights before the harmless sleep aid turned out to have a much different affect on my 40 pound less body....Can You say horse tranquilizer? Needless to say I finished baking around 8 last night.
But back to what makes my usual Sunday so wonderful.....While I am the queen of the kitchen on Sundays, I'm blessed with some amazing royal subjects. Sometimes I have big burly men types in my living room watching the race (or the pre-Oscar Red Carpet Show, depending on who is telling the story) who accept broken crumbles and shout out words of encouragement. Sometimes I get my youngest hanging out, doing homework and offering great ideas for the next weeks baking routine. My youngest, Jack, is 15 so I treasure every moment I get like this with him. And when I can steal her I get my oldest, and only daughter Maria. Yesterday was a Maria day and we spent a good amount of time talking and connecting. Maria is 21, more independent with each year and this time with her is truly an amazing gift. No subject is taboo, just good, honest conversations and memories. Maria also picks up much of the "disaster duty". One day I hope Maria will give me a house full of baby granddaughters so I can spend my Sundays in frilly matching aprons with them and the Cinderella mice and Snow White blue birds. All of the time I have my Curtie. My Curtie is my other half in the kitchen. He does a majority of the "disaster duty". Curtie also helps me cut the biscotti, find the lids to containers and he is the Chief Taste Tester (NOT of anything made with fruit or veggies mind you. I have found he will sample avocado for a small price.) (better not ask about that last one)
The biggest thing Curtie does is to keep me on track. Baking all of these goodies and not cheating takes effort. For the most part my biggest challenge is the "Whoopsie" sampling. You know the warm crumbles, the broken bits....The small crunchy to die for part of baking. Yesterday I chased Curtie down several times yelling "emergency" with those hot gooey bits in my hands. Every time he stopped what he was doing and took the sacrifice. What a guy. But even Curtie gets full so he invented a "Whoopsie Bowl". The bits and pieces are stored to pour over his ice cream when he isn't too full later on..... ❤
I can't tell you at the end of the day if it is the therapy of the baking that I love, or if it is the amazing village God has blessed me with the company of on those days?
P.S. Monday morning is my second favorite day of the week because I bring the goodies to work to share.
P.P.S. Does any one know how to get a hold of Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast"? The mice, bluebirds and I could use him kneading the dough......
Do I Love You?


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hmmmmmm it is still brown underneath.....

Most of you who read know me quite well and know that my current weight loss efforts are central in my life right now.  As sad as that is to admit, I mean sure shouldn't it be my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my job?  But it is never the less the truth. 
Being honest with you, and most importantly myself, I've realized that at this time I need to give myself the ability to make my transformation the most important and central part of my life.  Going through this transformation allows me to be a better ____ (fill in the blank).
The most exciting thing about the (Holy heck I'm going to say this out loud) 40 pounds I have lost.  Please excuse the interruption....I'm going to stop typing and dance around the table in my best 80's Wham 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' way......Whew....Okay where did we leave off???  OH YES I'VE LOST 40 POUNDS :-)...Where was I again...????
Oh yes the most exciting thing.  It hasn't been that I can now take the stairs at work without being winded (over 12 floors when I go from my floor to the bottom of the parking garage where I park), or that I can now say that I used to be a Type II Diabetic....It's the clothing and the shoes.  Okay, Okay, the health thing is pretty cool but really?  Fitting in clothing that is not sold in the plus size department is AMAZING!  I haven't actually purchased anything yet but the petite department at Macy's and I did have a little sobbing session a couple of weeks ago when I realized I could go pick up an outfit off of the rack and try it on (and it zipped)!  I sobbed so hard that two ladies came to see if I was okay and when I told them my story they promptly told me the skirt was too big and got me a smaller size.  We all just about brought security in the dressing room when it zipped up on it's own.  This is all pretty funny when I realize I still have LOTS of weight to lose and the size that I tried on still had a double digit rather than a single one but IT FIT (Que Wham song for another round around the table baby!)
Back to the clothing & shoes.....
Pretty much everyone in my life, even some of the men in the office who are often clueless about this sort of thing (sorry guys) are offering advice on how what I need to buy when I'm ready for new clothing.  (I can't buy anything yet because I have this "fat woman" phenomenon known as "multiple closet syndrome".  This is when women have fluctuated several sizes in several years and hang on to all of the clothing.....I'm almost at the smallest size but not quite there yet.  The rules of the "multiple closet syndrome" and dieting are that you jinx yourself if you purchase clothing below the smallest size in your closet....) I find the advice funny because if you really know me you know I only like to wear one color, black.  I don't wear black because I'm hiding, Gothic, depressed or anything else.  I just really, really like black.  It's a thing with me.  The funny thing is that everyone (by the way I love their support) who gives me advice tells me I should buy a closet full of color.  (Que record scratching sound here......) Huh?
Yes, I'm losing weight, yes I feel like a new person, and yes I'd love to rock a bright heel or scarf at times but I am still me, and well.....I LOVE BLACK!
This morning when I went outside I realized the tree in the neighbors yard is starting to make it's spring transition.  It is shedding the old bark and starting to bud out.  I've been obsessed with this tree most of the day.  I finally walked over to the tree this afternoon and snapped a picture.  It wasn't until after I edited the picture that I realized why I loved it so much.....Hmmmmm it is still brown underneath......
So underneath the ability to purchase clothing in the petite section, the ability to take stairs multiple times a day, and the ability to kick Diabetes in the BOOTIE.....I'm still shoe lovin', black clothing wearing Rox.
Do I love you?

Friday, March 8, 2013

White Leather Sketchers......

Sitting here thinking of what to write I realized what a diverse population this Starbucks has. All but two of the tables are at capacity and only two of the chairs are empty. We have everything from the typical Starbucks "hipster" on their iPhones, to two brightly clad silver foxes with their white leather Sketchers sipping their coffee while talking about their grandchildren. Over the 10 minutes I've been here I've observed a three generation family talk excitedly about the Home Show here in Everett and a handful of busy toddler moms drag their children through the line screaming for "not the FAKE coffee a REAL one like yours Mom!"
Through it all I realize I love that I can achieve being anonymous at my table, trusty cappuccino at my side. To them I'm just a lady (with obvious gray grow out) typing away at her iPad.  I LOVE this! (Insert crying toddler here who is pissed and being hauled out because his $3 apple juice is still not good enough......Who just snuck back in and got his behind swatted (go Mom)!)  For all these people know I don't speak one word of English or I could be writing the next 50 Shades novella ;).
So in wrapping up my observations and thinking I really didn't write much of anything I realize I did meet my goal, I wrote. I let myself once again open the connection between my heart, mind and fingers and without fear recorded it.
 I do realize that the most important confirmation that I made today is that older ladies love them some white leather Sketchers. My daughter Maria has heard my white leather Sketcher rant many times....It concerns me.  Ladies, they may be comfy, and Lord knows they sell them cheap at the outlets but GOOD GAWD they are ugly. ANY lady who knows to sip her white chocolate, cinnamon topped latte in a Starbucks with her bestie while diss'ing her daughter in-law (Who apparently is not good enough for your baby boy who works so hard), deserves a fierce pair of sparkly Toms (at least)!
Do I Love You?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Dark Years

I have not written in a very long time. Writing to me has a very special and unique place in my heart. It can only be done when I'm willing to open my brain to the process of dealing with whatever seems to rear it's head when I open myself up.
So I know with starting this process I will be opening myself up to the thoughts that I've kept to myself.  I will be opening myself up to the ugliness, the joy and the process of healing I've recently begun.  I promise that the words will be MY truth, which coincidentally may not align itself with yours. (Please accept my apology in advance but this is in fact my blog).
I realize I've only written a few lines but the possibilities, and the thoughts about future topics have already exhausted me and taken my precious lunch hour. So I'm going to stop now, sip the remainder of my yummy cappuccino, and tell you that the thought of writing tomorrow has me beyond excited.  See you then?
Do I love you?