Friday, May 30, 2008

Kansas City: Bomber

One of my coworkers competes in a local women's roller derby league, and I received an invite to attend an upcoming match. I hadn't thought about roller derby in a while, but when I did, and having just returned from Kansas City, I was reminded of the cinema masterpiece that is "Kansas City Bomber," a 1972 movie starring Raquel Welch, Jodie Foster, mom.

Yep, you heard me, my mom's big movie moment. OK, maybe starring is a bit strong. She has a cameo role as the waitress who delivers Miss Raquel her wine at dinner. Mom does not offer kind words on Ms. Welch and her behavior. But can I say, Raquel had a recent pic in People, and for 67, she looks stunning. Plus, I didn't realize in the family history that the movie is older than my sweet sister.

I haven't seen this particular piece of work, but I do need to add it to my Netflix queue. The movie received a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress, and you know how I loves me them movie awards. The movie addresses Raquel's desire to rise to the top of the Portland (Oregon) Loggers roller derby team.

The trailer for this outstanding celluloid event is basically a 2-minute catfight, though you can't see my mom's work in it. The production quality is awesome. And the woman who did Raquel's stunts? Judy Arnold. You can't write this stuff.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kansas: Good Times, Great Food, Fabulous Company!

Our wee vacation to Kansas and parts of Missouri was simply lovely! It was wonderful to see Chris and Kristin! The Arnold Estate is beyond comfortable, and we were able to achieve the perfect balance between seeing the sights and vegging out on the back deck. We saw some great lightening storms, but were spared any real "tornadic" activity. The Kansas City metropolitan area was larger than my husband imagined, but it didn't seem to have changed much since I was there nearly two years ago...except during my first visit the homes behind the Arnold Estate were not yet built. I was able to do the bulk of my homework ahead of time (thank heavens for a non-team-oriented class!) and just check in online a couple of time. So nice to get away!

Enjoying cocktail hour on the fabulous Arnold deck.

The cool panorama I took of Kansas City from the Liberty Memorial.

Ever since that first trip to the Grand Canyon ("Seven states in seven days!") whenever we are on vacation we take a picture together...OK, my husband takes it with his really long arm.

Kansas: The BBQ Capital of the World!

There was no shortage of food or drink on our trip. We were wined, dined, and generally welcomed with open arms everywhere we went! In addition to a bounty of restaurants (BBQ and otherwise) we were also treated to a backyard BBQ at the neighbors' house, and also invited to attend a margarita party on the deck of other Arnold friends. Such hospitality! Such ingenuity! Such fun!

We started the vacation off with big, gooey rum drinks at Cheeseburger in Paradise!

These are just two of the many plates of food that comprised the "meat platter" the boys shared one meal. In addition to the plate of ham, brisket, and sausage that's hiding beneath half a rack of ribs, they also received a plate o' fries, nearly a loaf of white bread, BBQ beans, and this lovely plate o' pickle spears.

J being carnivorous at a different BBQ joint...

Informative posters about this menace that is BBQ...

Stuck in a land-locked state, yet craving good seafood? Do what Portlanders do! Head off to the McCormick and Schmicks deck for a crab salad, calamari, and margaritas in the shade!

J admiring the lights of Kansas City from a rotating-view restaurant. It took about an hour to make the entire rotation...and for the bathrooms to come back around. ;) Just enough time for bread pudding (us) and mango sorbet (them)...also enough time for me to accidentally fall down in the middle of our exit. (Sorry Stacey and Poo -- Kristin was in the ladies room, so just the boys got to enjoy the next in a long line of my's falls! Chris explained it as..."One minute she was there, the next she fell to the floor as if she had no bones!")

Yes, on to that margarita party on the deck...this friend of the Arnolds built himself a homemade margarita machine, using a garbage disposal (hopefully it was new...?) and assorted other parts, including that awesome industrial faucet handle. We sat on the deck enjoying this creation, even after the light rain started we just huddled under the deck umbrella. But when the lightning came a little close, you've never seen one Jack Russell terrier and eight people with plastic margarita glasses move so fast.

Kansas: Visiting the Whole Family!

While on vacation, we were able to visit with the additional Arnold family members! We hadn't seen Jake since he was a wee puppy, so were surprised at how big 105 pounds really is!

Mugs: Jake, Decker, my husband

My husband and Gromit (I can never remember how that blasted cat spells his name!)

That is one big boy!

We took Jake to the dog park to try to wear him out a little, and hopefully deplete his slobber reserves.

At the park we learned that Jake is a magic dog, radiating sparkles and light and granting the wishes of children everywhere. Really.

Kansas: Memorial Day at Liberty Memorial

After -- get this -- more BBQ, we were off to tour Kansas's Union Station, which was recently redone and quite beautiful. We also went up to the National World War I Monument, Liberty Memorial...on Memorial Day! In addition to the large tower, there is a WWI museum, theater, and reflecting pond. The monument is inscribed with “In honor of those who served in the world war in defense of liberty and our country.” As it was opened in 1926 they could use "the" with world war. Alas, we didn't have time to get over to the VFW, as we had a plane to catch. But not before Kristin did her best to get Chris to smile for the camera...

The Liberty Memorial tower: It's so big....! You can ride an elevator up to the top...if you arrive before 4:15 that is. Alas, we did not, as our tour was a little unplanned.

Back Home!

All good things must come to an end. This is the plane that delivered us to Denver, where we had to run 40 gates in 10 minutes (both of us in cowboy boots!) to catch our flight to Boise, where we arrived around 11:45 p.m.. (My motto: squeeze as much vacation out of a vacation as you can!) BIG thanks to Art and Carolyn who turned around after their housesitting/dogsitting stint for my coworker and returned to Boise to housesit/dogsit for us and our tiny ward, Miss Ginger, who was appreciative she didn't have to be boarded nor flown to the midwest. It's nice to be home!

Layover in Denver: Dinner with Kelly!

Sometime early last week I realized that on the first leg of our long-weekend vacation to Kansas City, we'd be laying-over in Denver for just over two hours! As luck would have it, Kelly was able to meet us briefly! Perhaps a little too briefly, as we were a little tardy in lining up for security and returning to our gate...thankfully United was a little bit late...and then a lot late...but it was such fun to hang for a little while and catch up! Denver seems to agree with her. After a light dinner together, on to Kansas!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Paris of the Plains!

We're off to Kansas City for the long weekend to visit Chris and Kristin, see the sights of Olathe, Kansas City, and surrounding metropolitan areas and points of interest! I'm sure there will be a good ration of BBQ in our future, plus some good old fashioned "kickin' it."

Kansas City is sometimes called "the Paris of the Plains," as it has more boulevards than any city except Paris. It is also called "the City of Fountains," as it has more than 200, more than any other city except Rome. It's also known as the BBQ Capitol of the World.

For the first time in our many years together, we are sharing luggage. Normally I'm against it, but as we aren't going to be traveling around from place to place, I've decided to give it a try. We travel together so rarely, it's fun to have a travel companion! All our worldly belongings for the looong weekend are in this one tiny bag. Hopefully it makes it to Kansas with us, or it's going to be an interesting weekend!

Big thanks to Art and Carolyn for high-tailin' it back to Boise so soon after their first housesitting adventure to watch Miss G for us, we really appreciate the rare opportunity to travel together!

Au revoir, mes amis!

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's Curtains for Us.

My husband left for a long weekend of camping and bear hunting this weekend, and I had the place to myself! What did I do with all this luxurious free time, you ask? Well, as I already had my 45 in by end of day Thursday, I was able to take Friday off! After my trip to the DMV, I bought a new we have not yet been able to locate our old one. Between merging households and Navy time, we always have like 4 irons. So what's another?

Friday night: Miss G and I watched Pretty Woman. Saturday: I did homework all day. Bo-ring. Sunday: more homework.

Then, Sunday afternoon I was finally able to bust out the new iron and the sewing machine and do myself a little hemming! Five curtains and three pairs of pants. We have been living with the curtains hanging down on the floor, so this was a very exciting accomplishment! They even hang reasonably straight!

I'll post again if I end up having to work with a new bearskin rug...

The living room curtains (and Miss G lonely without her boy.)

The bedroom curtains!

The bathroom curtain!

And the fancy leaf-pattered hem I put on my new Nicole Miller jeans!!

It's Curtains for Us.

My husband was off for looong weekend of camping and bear hunting

Sunday, May 18, 2008


No turning back now! I'm officially licensed to drive by the great state of Idaho. I passed with an 85 percent! AND I actually like my photo! The lady asked for my eye color..."Blue." And hair "Uh..sure..."

It was really hopping down at the DMV on Friday. The folks lined up at the concealed weapons desk were nearly pouring out the door!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Congratulations Mom on 10 YEARS smoke-FREE!

Today marks 10 years since my Mom quit smoking! I'm so proud of her for accomplishing this monstrous task! Quitting itself is a big task, but maintaining this state for 10 years is amazing!

Congratulations on 10 years, Mom! And thanks!!

Boise! (Formerly Beaverton!)

Carolyn took this super-cute family photo just before they left, including J's new bike and my new sandals (color: "venom"). She wanted me on the handlebars, but seriously, there's only so much one should do in a skirt, when one is new to the neighborhood.

My New Office!

It seems like we have been working our butts off for the last two weeks, but seem to have very little to show for it...! Last weekend I did successfully set up a new office area for myself! I was originally going to take the "green room" with its own outdoor access, but we have decided instead that that will be our dedicated guest room.

We are 75 percent sure this basement room will eventually (next spring?) morph into the laundry room/master bath/walk-in closet for our downstairs master suite, so I'm not likely going to invest much cash or time into addressing the wall color or exposed concrete flooring. (While it looks like paneling, it's actually outdoor siding painted a nasty olive color. Niiice.) Anyway, it's nice to have a dedicated space to do homework, though because it stays so cool downstairs, it has mostly served as my husband's private nap room. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The Wilsons have returned from their month-long float through the Grand Canyon, tanned, thin, and having sustained no injuries! As such, the elders have returned to their home in Longview!

But not before taking us out for a grand (and slightly belated) dinner in honor birthday! Whoo-hoo! BUT, not only did we have a fabulous meal beside the Boise River, IT WAS PROM NIGHT!! I've gone out for Prom night with chicks, and by myself one time a few years back in the little resort town of McCall, Idaho, when on a business trip, but I've never gone to prom night with boys!! It was fun. There were lots of sparkly dresses, fancy shoes, and over-the-top hairdos. Carolyn liked the turquoise pageant gown. I liked the red 'gone with the wind' number.

Before going, they graciously presented us with a housewarming gift! A bag of cement with which to plant our footprints in Idaho -- and presumably our own names at our house -- and a bottle of Idaho wine to enjoy while engaging in this activity. [For fans of The Office -- I tried to get my husband to do a faceprint in wet cement, but I think that won't happen.]


A Visit From Aisha!

We have been lucky to have seen so many friendly faces since we started on this Idaho adventure! Aisha was here over the weekend and spent Sunday with us! We kicked it in the sun, trekked up to Bogus Basin (the ski resort about 14 miles from our house), and had lunch at one of our favorite pubs. And I had one of the best cheeseburgers I've ever's toppings included roasted red peppers, horseradish, and melted havarti cheese. Spectacular!

In the snow....

It was 68 degrees in town, but down to 50 degrees at the top of the mountain, and still plenty of snow! Flipflops in the snow? That's a new one for me!

Lights, closets, action!

After what feels like many weekends of running around like a couple of crazies, we were able to stay home on Saturday and complete some household tasks. Our tasks included replacing one light fixture and installing two where before there were none. The boys worked on the lights while Carolyn and I put together organization units for our closet!

Installing a new light in the foyer. (The previous owners stated up front that they would be taking the two in the front room.)

The living room light that we removed. It's...uh...cute and all...but didn't feel like us...or scream "living room." We'll install it in another room.

The new dining room light! Same one's in the living room now.

For the first time in months all my clothes are in one place! Hooray!!