Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Northwest’


Thankfully I have had lots of energy this summer to keep up with the kids.  
I  have answered many questions, some of which took me by surprise. 

I have learned that when my brother’s children ask a question they want an answer……whether or not I am the person who should answer their question.  Somehow I was able to put off my own children’s questions…not these two. 
We have had many interesting conversations this month. 

We have talked about the word homo.
I’ve explained it means the same as gay & that some old grandmas born in the late 1800’s may have actually had Gay as a first or middle name; back then it only meant happy.  I explained that homo can also be in reference to dairy products, homogenized…with the full fat content. 
When I accidentally mentioned “heterosexual”…that added a whole new set of questions. 

I have explained that you cannot get AIDS from licking a tree…”Who on earth told you that?” I asked.   
We need to include them in our little back yard evening discussions.  Besides, why would you want to lick a tree anyway?   Isn’t this carrying “tree hugging” a bit far?  I mean I know that my brother is raising you in the Pacific Northwest, but seriously. 

I have explained multiple times, that sex has different meanings.  Whether you are filing out an application or if you are married and you would like to have a baby. 
(Although, I think it is illegal to ask a person’s sex on job applications these days.) 
We have talked about what sex means…to a degree. 
Don’t be shocked, but I have not told them that sex is for fun….for extracurricular activities. 
We’ve just gone with the basic procreating option…because that’s All. They. Wanted. To. Know.  Right now.

I have not had to explain about why a 4 hour erection is a bad thing.  I am very fast with the remote. 
My husband thinks a man deserves a medal for such an accomplishment.  Hubby may just get the priviledge of explaining those commercials; and he recently learned the “fancy term” for that 4 hour badge of honor from watching an episode of True Blood Season One.  Who says you can’t learn stuff from watching cable? 

I just hope we’re set on definitions for now.

At our second viewing of Harry Potter 6 (as we are calling it) I explained again, why Hermione was crying while sitting on the staircase with Harry after seeing Ron snogging with Lavender Brown. 
I’ve explained “Snogging” …I hope there’s not more to it than I think. 
Sure hope it only means kissing….someone in Britain get back to me on that if you would please.

Anyway, my niece needed more clarification.  (I felt like I was explaining the latest episode of a soap opera.)
I said,  “Hermione is crying, because she has realized that she loves Ron but here he is with another girl.  Hermione is the girl that Ron should be kissing.  Ron, is totally clueless about Hermione’s feelings.  Meanwhile, Harry has realized that he has very strong feelings for Ginny, but is afraid to do anything about it.  Harry doesn’t know what Ron would do to him (Harry) if he saw Ginny and Harry kissing. 

My niece looked at me and said, “I think Ron needs to join us for our evening conversations.”


Read Full Post »


Early this morning, I thought that I would go out and pick berries for breakfast for me and the kids.  My SIL has blackberry bushes around two sides of the property.  A few summers back the berries were abundant.  Last year, the harvest was very late; we were already back in CA by the time they were ripe. 


An hour and a few thorn scratches later, ( I had gloves) I had no berries. 
It’s still too early I guess, but you can’t blame not enough sunny days, it hasn’t rained here in like a month. 
The blue berry bush was decimated last year by one of the dogs.  He literally – Ate. The. Bush. 
So, it’s off to the front of the house where the strawberries are planted. 


No go.  Seems that Mr. & Mrs. Mallard have made a temporary residence in the middle of the strawberry patch.  Judging by the muddy footprints across the flagstones, the raccoons beat me to all the juicy red diamonds anyway.   

Back in the house the children were still asleep.  Lucky for me my SIL had a bag of mixed berries in the deep freeze. 
Try this recipe with berries from the freezer, fresh from the market/ produce stand…or if you’re lucky enough…from your own yard. 

 Berry Clafouti

3 eggs
1 and a  1/4 cups milk or half and half
2/3 cup flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 and a 1/2 cup berries

Beat eggs until foamy.  Add everything else except the berries.  Beat until smooth.  Pour into a buttered 9 inch quiche dish. 
Top batter with the berries.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until knife comes out clean. 
Let stand 15 minutes.  It has a custard consistency, and what’s more the kids eat it.

Read Full Post »



What is it they say? 
Art imitates Life? 
Or Sunday comics imitate laundry day? 

While my brother and his wife are on their cruise, I am doing laundry for 3 rambunctious “tweens- semi-tween.” 
(My nephew acts close enough to a tween, to be included.)

This should really be no big deal. 
I did the laundry of 4 boys for many years; but I don’t remember missing this many socks at my house. 
I remember taking little terry cloth sleepers and warm receiving blankets out of the dryer; pairs of jeans that were smaller than my arm. 
Everything had a Carter’s, Osh Kosh, or Health-Tex label.  Maybe I’ve been sniffing the bottle of Downy too much today, I am feeling a bit weepy for the old days. 

Now I am washing things with sparkles and so much pink that I feel like there has been an estrogen explosion.  This must be what it’s like to have a daughter.  I have been informed that “this is only to be washed in cold water and that never goes in the dryer!”  I have been able to redeem my faux pas by painting her toe nails a VERY hot pink…what else.

At the moment there are 5 socks on the dryer…missing their mates. 
If these wayward socks have found their way into your dryer, let me know…we’ll arrange a swap. 


Read Full Post »


Ohana –

Ohana means family….family means that sometime in the middle of the night my 12 year old son along with my 8 year old nephew and his 12 year old sister, my niece will have crawled into bed with me.  At least that means there is no room for the dogs and the cat. 
Tomorrow when Hubby arrives, these 3 will have to find other accommodations in the middle of the night. 
(Of course, I didn’t know that they had been watching an episode of “It Could Happen Tomorrow”  about a futuristic earthquake off the coast of Seattle and the subsequent tsunami, while I was blogging….My fault…my bad.)

Ohana means family….family that is spending part of her summer vacation watching her niece and nephew while her baby brother and his wife, go on a Hawaiian cruise…by themselves.
It’s okay. 
When my brother returns, Hubby and I are taking our own trip…by ourselves. 
One of the stops on our tour of the Olympic Peninsula is going to be the sleepy little town of Forks, Washington…home of Twilight. 


Read Full Post »


Having spent a full week with two ‘tweens’ and a eight year old, I now fully understand why some animals eat their young.

I love her expression – I looked the same way this morning.  “Oh dear God give me patience and I need it now!” 
Can’t you just hear the conversation they might be having…or rather the whining she is listening to? 
“We’re bored!  He won’t let me play the PS2 with him!  Can’t we go do something?  Aren’t we going to the movies?  Do I have to sit by him in the van? 

More likely its stuff like, “She took my salmon!”


This was me this morning. 
All I wanted to do was sit on the deck, drink my coffee while it was still warm and watch the squirrels play peek-a-boo around the pine trees. 
To whomever designed the squirrel repellent bird feeders…you haven’t met the determined little fur balls in the Pacific Northwest.


Read Full Post »