Monthly Archives: August 2012

Showing Some Restraint

A few years back, I had a couple of tattoos put on my triceps that I love and they have special meaning to me (as all tattoos should have, IMO).  They’re Kanji symbols, Japanese calligraphy, and the one on my left translates to ‘peace’ and the one on the right to ‘love’.

I know, I know: I grew up in Seattle, what a granola girl!  I don’t really think of myself as a granola girl, though.  I can be quite conservative in a weird liberal, leave me alone way.  Anyhoo, I picked those symbols because that’s the type of person I wanted to become.

Every time I walk away from someone, I want that person to think, “Wow, what a loving and peaceful person that Jenn is…an absolute pleasure to be around!”  Since I have never actually heard anyone say those things, I figure I have a lot of work to do, still, before I can attain inner peace and love.  I’m trying, though, I’m trying very hard.

I really want to change the way I act towards other people.  I try to think about each person as an individual, with their own issues, problems, and emotions.  I find it easier to have inner peace and be a loving person when I’m exercising and eating properly, but since that isn’t happening at the moment, I have to rely on good ol’ restraint.

Janet and I went to Seattle, last weekend, looking for a place to live and I thought I showed a great deal of restraint with the people who crossed my path.  When I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, the young man asked me how I was doing.  He asked with a smile on his face and he looked like he was truly interested in my well being.

I wanted to say, “I’m buying a jumbo box of super absorbent tampons and a case of beer.  How the f$&k do you think I’m doing?!?”  But I didn’t.  I held it in and said, “Why, I’m doing just fine.  And you?”  I thought I showed a lot of restraint…considering I wasn’t feeling peaceful and loving.  At all.  The beer did help, though.

When it was time to check out of the hotel, I looked high and low for a luggage cart to help with all our bags and stuff.  When traveling by car, Janet and I pack everything we can think of to take with us, and then a few other items, just in case.  I walked around, looking for a cart, and had to go back upstairs empty handed.

After making three trips down to the car, loaded down with just about everything we own, I unlocked the car to try and cram the last items into the back.  Just then, an older gentleman came up to me, pushing a luggage cart, and asked, “Young lady, would you like this cart here?”  I had to stop and take a deep breath.

I wanted to say, “Really?  Really with the cart?  You ask me NOW after I’ve dragged all this s#*t down to the car.  You ask when I’m putting the last of my stuff into my car?  Really?”  But I didn’t.  What I said was, “No, thank you, sir.”  I did look away quickly, in case he saw that twitchy look in my eye.  I did appreciate the ‘young lady’ comment.

When Janet and I got home and managed to unload the car, we sat around watching preseason football.  Janet asked me, “What happened to the Seahawks quarterback from last season?  What was his name?  Why isn’t he playing?”  To which I replied, “Tavaris Jackson.  I haven’t seen or heard much about him either.  I think they’re trying to trade him.”

So, you might ask, what was Janet’s very unkind and thoughtless response to a lifelong Seahawks fan?  “Wow, he must really suck for Seattle to trade him.”  I wanted to say, “Hey!  That’s mean!  Just because your team is New England doesn’t give you the right to be mean to us small market people!  You didn’t always have Tom Brady, you know!  You could have your own Peyton season, little lady!  I think you owe me an apology.  And some candy.”

But I didn’…oh wait!  I did say those things!  Because, seriously, if you can’t be yourself around your partner, when can you be?  Isn’t that always the way?  Your significant other spends all their energy, outside in the real world, pretending to be a peaceful and loving person and when they get home, they’re so tired from the exertion, they stop acting nice.   Hmmm…is that why relationships are so hard?

UPDATE:  Our lease is up at the end of August, here in Bend, and we’re really not sure what to do.  Should we buy something, a little condo/townhouse relatively inexpensively, or should we rent an apartment for a while and keep looking for the perfect house for us?  It’s a tough decision and I really don’t know what to do.

The thought of renting in a densely packed apartment building doesn’t sound appealing.  Our last experience at an apartment wasn’t the best, but it’s quick and easy.  I don’t like the thought of throwing money away by renting, but sometimes renting is the easiest and most flexible option.

I’m not sure which way we’ll go, buy or rent, but I do know we’ll be without a place to call our own, once again, next week.  That’s okay.  As long as I have Janet and Jessie, I’m perfectly happy.  Was that peaceful and happy?  Too much?


ps.  I don’t want to jinx the Mariners, but, yippee!

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A Great Time To Be A Sports Fan

As a sports fan, I’m closing in on heaven.  The Olympics are wonderful; as far as baseball is concerned, I haven’t thought, ‘there’s always next year’, quite yet; and football is mere weeks away.  It’s nice to see both Mannings in a uniform, even if Peyton’s is a Broncos uniform.

I have watched a lot of coverage for the Olympics this year.  I’m not sure if NBC normally shows so much during the day (I used to have to go out to work), but it’s a wonderful variety of sports I usually don’t watch on a regular basis.

Even Jessie got into watching gymnastics.  It’s not my favorite sport, I feel sorry for those poor girls, but this year’s was pretty fun to watch.  The USA girls did great and I’m so proud of those little people.  I think Jessie’s now interested in taking another gymnastic class, she was so caught up in the competition.  She’ll be shocked when she figures out how much time and effort is required.  I seemed to have passed on my lazy gene to Jessie.

I love to watch diving, swimming, and track and field.  I’ve spent some time watching the women’s beach volleyball and that was a lot of fun.  I’d never really watched too much volleyball before these Olympics and I realized how much I enjoyed the sport.  I like the fact you can score on anyone’s serve.  That really speeds up the game.

I’ve also managed to catch some water polo, a game I’d never watched before.  Those people are vicious.  I had no idea how much action they see under the water.  I’m still not sure I understand the rules, but I like to watch a sport where it’s beneficial for the women to have a little bit of padding on their bodies.

I will admit I’m feeling a bit like a slug watching the super fit athletes at the top of their game.  I’m nowhere near the top.  As I’ve told Craig, Janet and I have fallen off the wagon…and landed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this lazy hole we’ve created for ourselves.  Oh yeah, I guess we could just work out tomorrow!

I’ve been watching so much of the Olympics I’ve forgotten about the Mariners.  Now if they were at the top, instead of in the basement, I might not have totally forgotten about them.  I know it’s a long season, and we have a way to go to the end, but it doesn’t look good.  I’m still behind them, though, 100%.  It just gets a little dark here in the basement.

I’m really looking forward to football.  I’m not going to say anything about the Seahawks, I don’t want to jinx them, but things are looking good so far.  I just saw a commercial with the Manning brothers and it looked so weird seeing Peyton in that orange uniform.  I guess I can root for Manning in orange; I rooted for Tebow in the same color.

When I was growing up, there were two team I really didn’t like, two teams I wouldn’t root for if I moved to their cities.  Later on I added the Cowboys because I really, really don’t like their owner.  The two teams I didn’t like were those damn Yankees and the Broncos.

I will never like the Yankees.  I know: never say never, but I can’t for the life of me think of any reason I would root for the Yankees.  I’ve never liked them and I never will.  I love the city of New York and I don’t mind the Mets or the football teams, but those damn Yankees, they just leave a bad taste in my mouth.  I’m just thankful Janet is from Connecticut and not New York.  I don’t know what I’d do if she were a Yankees fan and not a BoSox fan.

I didn’t like the Broncos because of John Elway.  Just when you think you’d won the game, Elway would bring them back from the brink and win.  I really didn’t like that.  But when Tebow was playing I found myself rooting for the Broncos.  I just grimace whenever they show Elway in his little box.

Now Peyton Manning is playing for the Denver Broncos.  I can see myself rooting for the Broncos now.  Not 100% rooting, I reserve that for the Seahawks, but I can see myself rooting for them when I see them.  I’m assuming we’ll see a lot of the Broncos this season on national TV.

I’m always sad when the Olympics are over.  I don’t like the winter Olympics nearly as much as the summer, so I have to wait four years for another fortnight of wall to wall sports.  I just wish there was this much choice for sports on all the time.  Lazy people like me and Jessie love to sit and watch sports.  Just imagine the damage we would do if we participated in sports!


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Discovery Bay, Washington

Yes, we are on vacation yet again.  Our trip to Discovery Bay was, originally, going to be our only true vacation this summer.  We booked it about a year ago.  I don’t include moving to Bend for the summer a vacation, although Budge seems to disagree.  Going to South Dakota was a late addition to our calendar and was time specific or else we probably would have separated the two a little more.

These two vacations, Discovery Bay and South Dakota, couldn’t be more different if I’d tried to write the stories.  Discovery Bay’s temperatures linger around 70 as a high (instead of 100), the views are amazing here (I could sit at the visitor’s center at Hurricane Ridge and breathe in the Cascades for days) and the condo here is large and private.

It’s cold, I’m not going to lie.  I would never leave this place if it was 85 or 90 degrees and sunny, not with the impressive views of the bay and surrounding mountains.  The fact that it’s 65 at noon and the sun has yet to show itself leaves me with a desire to take the ferry over to Seattle to see if it’s any warmer.  I shudder to think what it’s like here in January and February.

The views here are breathtaking.  When we are sitting at the table, eating a meal, and you look out onto the bay, it looks like we’re in the water and not just near it.  The views from the two balconies are unobstructed bay views and I couldn’t be happier with them.  Janet even saw two otters frolicking in the water the other morning.  We keep looking for whales but I don’t think they like coming into the bay much; too much like taking a bath for them.

Jessie’s best friend from Texas, we’ll call her Destiny, came along for this trip and we took them to the Olympic National Forest to check it out.  What a stunning chunk of land.  I think Destiny was impressed with her surroundings since she was born and raised in Texas, a much flatter and sometimes browner place to live.

Janet told me, before we made it to Hurricane Ridge, about the similarities to The Sound of Music I’d notice in the hillsides and I really had the urge to break into song when we stopped at the top.  I actually did break into song at one point until my clearly embarrassed daughter told me to stop.  She said the twirling was too over the top.

Staying in the condo is a much better setup than the hotel room on our first trip.  Not that I didn’t enjoy sharing a room with my mother-in-law and bed with my kicking, hitting, teeth grinder of a daughter, but separate rooms are really nice.  This condo is three floors and the setup is adult friendly.

When you come in through the front door, it’s a split level entrance.  If you go up to the left you come into the main living area: kitchen, dining area and living room with a nice gas fireplace (we use it every day – it’s cold here).  Off the dining area is a patio with a gas grill – Janet’s preferred form of cooking.  We’ve already grilled pork chops, sausage, and chicken; all delicious.

If you keep going up, on the landing between the main floor and the upstairs, the girls’ full bathroom is off to the left.  The girls’ room is up at the top with a beautiful view of the bay and two of the narrowest beds I have ever seen.  Yesterday morning, while Janet and I were up and watching the Olympics, we heard a loud thud followed closely by an ‘owwww’.  Destiny had fallen out of bed and I was surprised that was the only time it had happened.  I would just have to sleep on the floor.

If, after entering the unit, you were to go to the right and down you would find yourself in the master bedroom.  A wonderful, soft, king sized bed (a joy after sleeping on a double futon in Bend), a sitting area with a TV and a VCR (I didn’t know they still had those), a Jacuzzi bathtub, a shower in the bathroom, and our own personal deck.  The condo turned into quite the pleasant surprise, especially after sharing a hotel room for a week.  Not that I didn’t enjoy the perfectly lovely tiny hotel room with my mother-in-law and daughter.

I can’t begin to describe what our budget looks like after two vacation weeks in July.  Well, I could, but I will spare you the gore.  Budge does not look good; she is cowering in the corner, looking weak and anemic.  It helps having a kitchen in this unit, but we still went over (doubled) our budgets for dining out and groceries.  I’m so glad it’s August now and we can try and stop the blood loss.

We flew to the South Dakota trip (expensive) and drove to this one (not quite as expensive with the Prius), but having two weeks of vacation almost back to back:  this will be hard to recover from.  We’d been doing relatively well with Budge up to this point.  We’d been close to our goal amount, and when we did go over it was only by a couple hundred dollars.  But in July we went several hundred dollars over.

It’s a hard thing to justify, spending so much money on travel.  Should we stay at home and deny ourselves one of our true passions: travel?  Or should we ditch our goals (the main one being saving enough money to get Janet off the road) and travel and spend with abandon.  I’m a Libra, so I’m thinking we should try and find a balance somewhere.  That and I should stop getting all those travel deal emails.  Those are killing me.


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