Wednesday, December 12, 2012

oh yeah, i have a blog...

So, i am a lax blogger. actually, i just haven't had much to say and adam keeps kidnapping my computer to go work on the weekends. but in way of an's neah playing in our new foot of snow.

we are getting ready for the trip to thailand. i'm so excited to see abe, emma, and sarun (joe--who i went to school with about a decade ago). i think the break to the warm will do my soul some good. this winter has been very cold and not snowy--bad for winter sports.

in other news, adam's bowling is going well. insert big lebowski joke here. and we joined the gym, which has a sauna i like to warm up in.  i have not yet managed to get over the abject nakedness of the women wandering around the locker room yet though.  i am glad that so many women over 50 are comfortable with their bodies, but seriously, i do not need to see it.

so, that's the news! love from snowy cold, not quite north pole :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

whispers of winter

the days are getting shorter. the sun sets well before we come home from work and is just barely up as we head out. soon, it won't rise before midday. i have been trying desperately to generate the motivation to get up early and head to the gym for an early morning, anti-arm flab, workout and sauna before starting work. needless to say, this is proving tricky.

more importantly, it appears winter is upon us because everyone is driving like idiots--snow tires not on, quick stops fail often.  neah and i were almost hit on our way to the holy day tonight. stopped at a corner facing west and getting ready to turn south, one of the cars coming from the south in the northbound lane (this reminding you of a fifth grade word problem yet) slammed on brakes and in an attempt to not rear end the other cars came careening towards us--only to be stopped (and us saved) by the pole that holds the stoplights about four feet to my right. ugh. dear idiot with the big truck....please please do the speed limit and remember its icy...we'd like to live another day...thanks, EVERYONE.

Been trying out some new the roast
is from those adventures. neah was very intrigued---perhaps too intrigued because her tummy doesn't seem to like us tonight. 

It has been nice to have some friends over for dinner and kinect and feel like we are settling into this house. neah has been great about the new people, only barking for a minute or two before warily wandering around until peanut butter pretzels stealthily appear in new hands and the intrusion into her space is forgiven. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a ghostly hiking story

so, adam and matt went hiking the other night. it was dark. when they got home, adam told me the following story:

they drove the spiffy new ride up to far north bicentennial park (about five miles away), unloaded the neah, and headed up under the setting sun. they turned off the main trail after a couple miles and onto a side one (read: game path) and got to a point where the trail crossed an iced over swamp. by this time it was dark/twilight/vampire hunting hour and they decided that crossing the ice swamp in the dark, foggy mist probably wasn't the funnest plan. so they stopped and stood around as one is want to do next to an ice swamp, when the neah monster began barking into the dark.

matt and adam were annoyed at her disruption of the peace for a few minutes.  she continued barking. simultaneously, the boys realized that perhaps she was actually barking at something. they slowly turned in the direction of her furor and stared into the darkness. after close to a minute, they saw what neah did--a dark moving shadow out over the swamp.  adam turned to matt and asked "did you see that?!" to which matt replied "yes".  "is it moving," adam asked. "yes," matt replied.

in the following 20 seconds, adam fumbled, reaching for the bear spray--only to realize he couldn't reach it in gloves (20F) and pulled the gloves off frantically. matt pulled the head lamps out of the back pack. the 20 seconds felt like minutes as they prepared for the shadow.  they turned the head lamps on and peered into the darkness toward the shadow.....

turns out, neah, the still barking protector, isn't an idiot, there was a large shaped object looking at them in the dark. the bear slowly moved away into the shadows, eyes still fixed on the three of them.

just kidding. they still couldn't tell what the hell it was because of the mist...but they could see its eyes shining in the dark---and based on its height there's a 95% change it was in fact a bear.  and as it moved away, all they could see was still the amorphous shadow with gleaming eyes creeping into the dark.

here's to neah, the Protector, who kept them from getting eaten.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

the arrival of count clockula.

so part of the trip to seattle was to bring the last of our stuff up here. it landed in the port a week after we shipped it and a week later it landed in the house. some of it, like count clockula, we had been eagerly awaiting. count clockula is my grandfather clock, so named by one ms. courtney when she and i decided that the clock was not actually going to leave its box at our Queen Anne house---thus, remaining in its travelling coffin like a good little clockula with the front off to show the face. yes, we did take it out, put the chimes in and put it back in the box.

back to this move....I was not pleased, however, when the very nice movers tilted the clock beyond the 45 degree limit and appeared in the house with it flat. i summed up all the calm i could and politely said, you need to put that back upright, it cannot lean. then i spent part of the next day concerned about the potential damage (ended up being slight).

anyways, last night while adam was practising with his bowling league team, i let the clock out of the box, slowly fixed the hammer stings, rehung the chimes (at which point the dog fled), and plugged the count back in. tick tick tick, thank effing god, tick.

The study is now complete, the clock is released from its coffin and all is right with the world.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

long lost

it seems like ages since i have written something here. i somehow feel like i have let down those of you who follow our adventures through this little blog. in the last couple of weeks people i love have given birth to sons, bought houses, married their lovers, and said goodbye to this world. anchorage had an enormous windstorm (read: cat 1 hurricane) and is now preparing for another tonight.

yet another us picture. i promise, my dress is honestly really cute.

meanwhile, we were in seattle and california soaking up the sun. here's my highlight list, which appropriate photos:

  1. we saw a speedo streaker at the mariners game...he leapt onto the field during a boring losing inning, made two stellar laps of the outfield with hefty security guards sprinting after him in his red speedo and orange crocs before the cops threatened to taze him when he reached left field.  He surrendered, placing hands behind his back and accepting the silver bracelets while the announcer blared the jail time and fine amounts to the wild cheers of thousands. 
  2. Shane and Lisa danced their way out of their own reception to the sound of music. adieu, adieu, with the stalwart partiers following and waving from the bottom of the stairs.
  3. Devin, Neda, and Ara went to watch the bucking bulls with us at the Ellensburg rodeo--my first. Yee Haw y'all. too bad the ellensburg rodeo is a better fair than the Alaska State one. 
  4. The last of the stuff in seattle--including count clockula--shipped for anchorage. My rough guess estimate of the weight turned out to be only 11lbs off. damn. and yes, not moving ourselves and coughing up cash---excellent for our marriage.
  5. celebrating Adam's Aunt Sandee's birthday for the last time. we lost her the second saturday of our trip after a long and stalwart battle with cancer. her best friend regaled us at her party with stories of their forty years of adventures around the globe. 
  6. gondolas are a tansik family vacation must! so, we ride a gondola to the Sterling vineyard in napa valley...a vineyard where you tour its mission style facility and hang out on patios with epic views. (see adam pic for gondola proof).
  7. celebrating Emma and Aric's wedding in the sun at the Beltane Ranch in Sonoma. it was so warm--both of soul and temperature. the boys were bowtied out and she play Warren G at the reception. LOVE my girl.  We stayed at this place called the Kenwood Oaks Guest House--amazing. Highly recommend it, it was peaceful, inviting, soothing and had a super comfy bed.

Thank you, to all the friends, family, and randoms who made our trip so beautiful, relaxing and full of love.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

photos from last weekend

We loved being with friends....and WARM. Well, i did....adam in his penguin suit, less so.

The wedding was here:

In addition to the lovely wedding, we visited some local wineries.....where i found this guy:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

things, they are a changing

this is the view from the hotel.
i whine. alot. mostly about (adam would insert "everything") travelling more often. On Thursday, we are off to Hood River for a wedding and then up to Port Orchard in WA for Adam's grandpa's 90th birthday. this kicks off a frequent flyer month. at the end of the month we are in seattle and then sonoma for two more weddings and the shipping of contents of a storage unit. there may be a garage sale in there too, depending on how i feel about the contents of the storage unit (not the family stuff, mom, don't freak) here's to bringin.on.the.sun!!

My film camera has film, i have outfits, and neah has a babysitter (love you, matt). most importantly there are plans for a spray tan in place for Thursday so that i am not the goddess of pasty. i know you people all think i am a little dramatic, but even adam--whose favorite refrain has to do with me getting skin cancer from loving the sun--suggested that i think about a tanning bed. no need for a flashlight people...the moon can reflect off me and light ANYTHING. maybe the hotel has lounge chairs--i can sit in the sun and read statutes.

speaking of statutes: the other big news is that i am leaving state service tomorrow (yeah, i worked for the state in case you missed that) to go into private practice doing worker's compensation defense (same thing adam does).  I'm not going to name where i am going here, mostly to protect both me and them from my ramblings. suffice to say, i am not going to have time to blog at work anymore--so, i will have to be better about after hours ramblings. the new gig should be very fast paced, allow me to exercise some actual lawyer muscles, and comes with a view of Mt. Susitna.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 about summer....

Dear Summer,

You are like a bad one night stand. You came breezing into town one day, gave me a sunburn, and haven't been seen or heard from since. You suck.On a brighter note---it makes starting my new job  in a week and a half (a scary thing) much less of a chore since i don't want to be outside playing anyways.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Fishing De-Brief

So when you wake up Saturday morning and the rain is pouring down, the first thing you think is: let's totally drive 3 hrs into no where in a packed car to catch some fishies. No? Oh, that's what we think! After a long wet drive we arrived at the mouth of the Kasilof River, on the Kenai Peninsula in South Central Alaska. I'm telling you all this so i sound like a way bigger badass than i am.

As you can see, we weren't the only ones. 

I had a near panic attack about the car getting stuck in the sand---i got one stuck in Israel once, well Mace did, but i helped, and it resulted in 50 people 2 hrs of work and one nearly run over Ryan L@sh to free it. So i was not interested in repeating the disaster on a beach in AK.

Anyways, we sent Adam out in all his pretty gear (click on pictures to make them bigger) and the next thing you know: Yup, he was hauling in his first dipnetting salmon catch!!! GO BABY GO.

We stayed at this spot for about an hour and a bit and then we followed the guy just to the left of adam's hat (who was HILARIOUS) over to the money spot right at the mouth. Where people were literally running in and out of the water non-stop pulling in fish. I don't know how to explain it other than there were CONSTANT fish. We learned some valuable lessons. 1. You MUST bonk the fish with a bat, otherwise the little monsters don't die.  2. they still twitch minutes later (making gut extraction tricky). 3. A system is needed for efficient hauling/bonking/extricating from net. 
This was our catch! 13. Adam swears there were 14 and that I hid one. right. where an i going to hide a slimy fat fish?? He did technically catch 14, but we thought one might have been a king salmon (currently protected) and threw it back. We are headed back next weekend to fish on Saturday again and try to limit out at our 35 for the year.  I want to point out that they each weighed like 10lbs when we got them out of the water. And they are SLIMY. These 13 yielded 20lbs of edible meat--in part because this was our first time filleting . Essentially $200 + of fish--depending on how much a fillet is selling for. 

The other thing this picture doesn't tell you is that i, martha teresa big girl, am the one who chopped off their heads and extracted all the guts.  

So, we set up stations in the kitchen: and got to work. technique is everything and the truth is we butchered the first fish with our learning curve, but by the 13th fish, we were all money. 

Neah supervised.
And in the end: 

Friday, July 20, 2012


So, it is that time in alaska. the king salmon run here this year was really weak---no one knows why, but the reds are running. So, we are off to try and catch our family limit of 35 of these bad boys and 10 flounders. In anticipation of the plentiful harvest, we bought our first smoker!

Our friend Shannon's family has a cabin on the river that she says we can camp at--which sounds like fun. Mostly, i am just hoping the sun holds out so i can tan myself while the boys stand in the cold water with the dipnets. God only knows what Neah will think of the fishies.

This is the Kasilof: 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The last week: A LIST

  • Adam adventured in Seattle, in the sun, on a boat. Here in Anchorage, it rained and rained and rained.
  • I went to Feast and everyone died of shock that i had appeared. sad.
  • after the shock was over I saw Kathy Meija---who i knew from Israel back in the day and her ADORABLE kiddos--was there. awesome. 
  • I woke up one morning and hated my bathroom. Thus, i spent the rest of the day changing its color.Devin kept us up till 4 am. Just kidding, we wouldn't let him leave because i was so thankful to have a friend to hang out with.Lesson learned however. 3 hrs of sleep only worked in my 20s. 
  • We watched Devin's grandma pack away more food at the Golden Corral than i thought was humanly possible---she ate at Adam's pace but doubled his intake.
We are really looking forward to next month's travel, weddings, and family time!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Single lady weekend?!

my olive oil, herb infused ice cubes for cooking.
adam is running away to Seattle tomorrow for a Bachelor party. I'm not sure what that means for Neah and I other than we are going to have a single ladies weekend---which means, oh honestly, i don't know what it means.

the high here is in the low sixties. this high in seattle is low 80s. adam has already started whining about how hot it is in anticipation.

i'm contemplating painting the upstairs bathroom.

Any other suggestions? Neah doesn't do well on trails, so hiking is kinda out of the question. i already looked at plane ticket prices, which are exorbitant.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

zombie apocalypse food, or why is my cupboard full of top ramen??

in the kitchen, i have a can stash--you know, for snowed in, lack of creativity/fresh veggies days. it is one layer of the lazy susan thing. up for debate in this post is not my can stash (kidney beans, refritos, and condensed things made by campbells only come one way people). what is up for discussion are the invaders in my beautiful can layer: the top ramen.

Why oh why is she dedicating an entire post to top ramen? i can hear you asking from here people. the reason is because i feel a strong need to explain that my husband is convinced a zombie apocalypse is upon us following the cannibal things in miami and china. because the zombies are OBVIOUSLY about to eat everyone on planet earth's brains, we--for some reason i can't quite figure out--MUST keep the the top ramen guarded closely. it cannot live in the garage, nor can it be given away even though no one has touched it since it left the pre-zombie Apocalypse emergency food stash in SEATTLE.

For the record, there are lots of sites that tell you what the best foods are. For example:
1. Yahoo
2. Metafilter:
3. Some site in NY:

You know what they have in common??

Damn right--not a single one has top ramen on them. (hands on hips, mhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm).

So, help a girl out people...what are acceptable ZA foods that are NOT RAMEN NOODLES.

Friday, June 29, 2012

about neah...

i read some article about a guy whose dog just died. baad idea. after i got done crying i realized that as much as i hate her, losing her would break my heart.

She likes to lie directly in front of the door...blocking whoever is leaving last in the morning...a last ditch effort to not be abandoned. Although, truth be told, the other morning she pouted and refused to come downstairs at all when we left.

in the evenings if we are going out she stands directly in front of the door like a statue until we agree she can come, only moving when she gets a leash.

if she thinks someone is going out, she skids like fred flinstone when she tries to race to block the door.

we think we have turned a corner finally. our ferocious puppy has finally realized (with the aid of the shock collar---brought back from a lengthy hiatus) that she can chill out. from the time she found her voice, neah would lose her proverbial mind and become uncontrollably angry, barking snarling, etc. we couldn't calm her or get her attention and had to take her out of the situation where she would stomp around mini-barking for a very long time. Finally at 20 months she is learning that she doesn't have to be angry. if she starts to bark we can get her attention back and she settles. She seems to have learned that other people are allowed to go a different direction, that bikes are not evil, and that motorcycles (while very loud) are not going to harm her. 

With all that said, it does NOT apply to the door bell. We still have problems with the door bell. if you EVER come over--do.not.ring.the.bell.  the doorbell reverts her to her 8 month old tantrums.

On the other hand, she is loving, loyal, funny, and loves to cuddle from about 4am onwards. her favorite game is chase. she loves anti-static dryer balls, her three beds, and cheese. and we can't imagine life without her.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

on mailboxes and HOAs

i think i have written before (or maybe just in my imagination) about how much i love to check the mail. anna and i used to have to rotate days, odds for me, evens for her, running across our little street in NC, feet burning on the summer asphalt in hopes of some delicious envelope to admire. 

adam, luckily, shares no such enthusiasm for the box that bears letters. in fact, if it were up to him, there would be no box at all--or at least he would never check it. Thus, the mailbox with its wondrous surprises (like the amazing dishtowels that somehow perfectly match our kitchen rug from Lisa and Ilissa) is my domain. that also means i am responsible for making sure it remains upright.

as of last night, upright mailbox: FAIL.

But, i want to share with you the correspondence that led to this FAIL.

Jun 12
Hi ******,
I wanted to make sure that my husband and i are listed as the current owners of ********** now. We purchased this property from the *********. We would like to make sure that whatever monthly dues we owe get paid. Also, the mailbox is falling over. Is this something you handle? I think it only has a few more days before it lies down totally.Thank you,Martha 

 Also Jun 12
Hello Martha,

I do show both yourself and Adam as the current owners. All dues statements should be going directly to your residence. I do show a balance of $0.00 being due. As to the mailboxes, I do believe the post is the Association and will address this at the Board meeting tonight.Should you have any questions or concerns please let me know.***********
Association Manager 

Jun 18
Hi there. 
We appreciate the temporary solution of shoving rocks in the base of the mailbox, but it is already beginning to fall over again. Could you please let me know how to get this properly repaired?

Last night (after we saw it and a neighbor checked to make sure we knew it was dead):
***********,The mailbox has fallen over, on the ground. Can someone please fix it asap?
Sent from my Windows Phone

This morning:
Good morning Martha.I have previously sent the work request to Bruce Roberts Co and they were set to come out beginning of next week. Given the current status I have asked that they come out today or tomorrow at the latest. Thank you for keeping me updated on the status of this mailbox post. 

Draft Response:
dear so and so, if you had just had it fixed the first time, the US postal service could have delivered my goodies---now i have to be a nagging bitch and that is fun for no-one.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


a friend just embarked on a new relationship. i guess i could have been all gung ho, supportive, butterflies and fairies. instead i asked this: what are her flaws?  the thing is that we all have flaws. i have at least two (hundred). the thing that i think makes relationships work or not work is whether you can decide that the other person's flaws are worth living with forever and ever amen. in the early fairy/unicorn stage of relationships, there are no flaws, or they are cute.

let me tell all you people out there this right now---no one's flaws are "cute" for longer than 90 days. "cute" turns into "i might have to kill you in your sleep".

so here are the two examples of the things poor adam has to deal with on a daily basis.

1. i have a flair for dramatic presentation (like you all didn't know this already from reading my blathering). i am pretty sure that i suffer more than anyone else in the world. this can be anything from job things to lack of ice cream to the dust collecting on my passport. disagreeing with me on this point will result in meltdown. acceptance of this fact results in me realizing i am being a big woos [read: b*t*h].

2. i have a volatile temper. sometimes it is hard to tell---i can look like i am laughing and be three breaths away from not being jovial. suggestions/things i am not going to like need to come slowly. they have to appear in the peripheral view and remain there, holding VERY still, until i turn in their direction and acknowledge them. then, they have to approach gently, cautiously, humbly, recognizing the volatile entity before them. i'll come around, but i have to have time to process slowly otherwise i dig my heels in and hell and highwater ain't movin' me.

on the other hand: i put up with compulsive "it has a place"-ness, page petting, and lack of planning. i think i got the better end of the deal.

what are your fabulous flaws?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

so about Friday's non-post

I had this plan. [insert fiendish laugh here] for friday's post.

i WAS going to take pictures of adam and neah in their cute matching shoes and write about how ridiculous it is that the dog has more expensive shoes than i do. however, as it turns out, i think the shoes are going back. so, instead here's the singular reason why i think we are never going to find decent dog booties:
MY AUSSIE THINKS SHE"S A SLED DOG and pulls like it is no-one's effing business, causing the booties to spin on her feet--even if i put them on tight enough to cut off all circulation to her feet.

Photo: Nectarine upside downcake!
i now renounce all business to do with neah's shoes. i will stick to trying to figure out what to do with a shitload of nectarines all going ripe at once....oh yeah, make a nectarine cream cheese upside-down cake:

Yeah. it was de-licious and i finally got to use the lovely pie thingy that Justin and Brooke gave me us for our wedding.

Today i got to speak with my father who is way farther away than i appreciate. i realize what a blessing the last decade or so has been. he and i had a tumultuous start, too much love, too much passion and too many opinions and stubbornness. my older sister and i were masters of button pushing.

luckily, about a decade ago God provided my with a life experience that i hope i and no woman on this planet ever have to endure again, and an opportunity to clean the slate and start over with my folks. We learned to see each other as adults, grown ups, friends. I have immense respect for the person my father is as a man--protective, caring, strong, patient, funny. My dearest hope is that we still have a long time left to enjoy each other :) LOVE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fern Gully

For as far back as i can remember, meaning last year, whenever we talked about a garden all Adam said he wanted was ferns. I like ornamental plants, don't get me wrong, but i couldn't figure out the obsession with ferns. I tried going to the source of all knowledge--wiki--which just told me that it's a plant. thanks. that was no help. so i dropped it. clearly, personal tastes in plants are personal tastes in plants--until they invade your backyard.

you see...wait, here's a cute picture for while i tell this story...adam was charged with weed whacking the back yard (read weed patch) ahead of our house warming this past weekend. it was going smoothly until he realized that three little ferns had sprouted in the middle of the weeds. next thing i knew, he had whacked most of the yard and was meticulously pulling the weeds by hand from around the ferns to save them from any potential damage by the weed whacker. After half an hour of delicate precision, i threatened to put up a sign renaming said weed patch "Adam's Fern Gully"

He kinda-sorta-not-really-but-bear-with-me, looks like the character from fern gully, minus the tan:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Neah's House

Just in case anyone had ANY doubt who thinks she owns this house....

Friday, June 8, 2012

in another life...

i loved to paint. i am hoping one day i will be able to carve out a space in the new house for an easel and come water colors or the meantime, a blog i read had some of the work of this artist (Michael Cina) on it, which i love. I hope you love it too.

Please please, tell me about fabulous local artists near you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

not before and after...

i know you are waiting for photos---and i am waiting for a room to be complete, so hold your horses.

this post is a product discussion. yes, brace yourself, there's a new gadget in the house and i think it warrants discussion. for weeks, every time we walked into a store with vacuum cleaners a noise erupted out of adam that reminded me distinctly of moo-ing. it would start low and the longer i ignored it, the greater the intensity with which it's name would be repeated.

Yes. Roomba: 
See, the problem here is that a roomba was not in the budget. that and i was pretty sure that Neah, herder extraordinaire might in fact try to eat it the way she tries to devour the other vacuum cleaners in the house---leaving us with iRobot-pieces.

Adam was determined, however, that the house would clean itself. His folks kindly gifted him the toy of his dreams as our housewarming. Now, by way of some background, let me tell you that if you believe that your animal might be a prolific shedder (read: can't figure out how it's not hairless already) just get all non-carpeted floors. Then you will be sure that a small animal or large winter coat could be made out of the leave-behinds.

Roomba had its work cut out. We finally got rid of all the boxes on Saturday so there was space for it to do its thing. We took our battle stations: adam next to his prize contraption and me as far away as i could get to avoid another injured thumb. He pressed clean and Roomba lept to life.

Neah watched it, and then true to her Aussieness tried to herd it. Thing is, Roomba reinforces herding behavior because if she nips at it, little-Bot changes direction! Finally she decided that she wasn't sure if she liked this thing that moved on its own all the time and started following it around, but hiding behind Adam to watch it. By day two, she just ignored it entirely. Phew.

Roomba's not bad. You definitely have to be in for the long haul---it doesn't clean efficiently, but in the end it gets it done. It has trouble with thick rugs and transition areas--tends to leave behind dirt/hair in the crevasse. Also, it is confused by the base of our bar stools and tends to run up the side of one and get stuck. It does a great job of not falling down the stairs. It does not like dark rugs--thinks they are some kind of void or something, nor does it like air vent grates. Adam loves it. I love anything that doesn't mean i have to vacuum 6 times a week to keep up with the shedding.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

paint and moose and paint

My hands are covered in three different colors of paint. Actually, four. Well, actually, i lie---because i did manage to shower before work this morning and scrub off most of it. There is still some unknown white color on my finger nails. Clearly, the trauma of spending three days straight painting has not washed off.

We spent the weekend painting:
  1. bamboo forest bedroom
  2. teal dining room
  3. dark blue accent living room wall
  4. light grey-blue bathroom
  5. enough touch-ups to walls to kill anyone

Here's the's the problem. Wait, first, here's the moose mama and her brand new twins from our backyard for you to look at while i bitch. They were super cute--she musta just dropped um.

 So, the problem is this, aside from the fact that i have NO expertise in painting and all our walls are strange heights and shapes, the old owners left the color they painted the walls, but not the ceiling. Should be an easy fix right--get some samples, paint little corners, blah blah. Well, here's what i have to say to all you DIY junkies---pffffffffft. I mean that in the nicest possible way. We went and got a million paper samples of the whites, held each up to the ceiling, eliminating all of the creams, grays, etc. We finally found a potential match and headed off to home depot for what must have been the 5th time in two days. They mixed up one of them three dollar containers and we headed back to the house, where i climbed my little ladder and painted in three different places. There's something about the lighting in the house that makes it so that the same color looks completely different in three places in the same room. Strangely, the pure white color i thought we had picked had a strange pinkish/brownish hue to it. Just enough that it looked like a cross between the old wall color and the ceiling. Mostly out of frustration we decided it was close enough. I hopped back in the car for HD round 6--where i insisted that they give me not only a quart of the offending pink/brown/white, but also pure honest to god white. Low and behold when the offensive color came out, it looked NOTHING like the sample. Seriously. So, that left me with THREE (yes i am using screamy capitals on purpose) different whites and i headed off home. Needless to say, i don't think we did find the "perfect" match, but it is close enough that unless i tell you we are playing spot the cover-up, you probably aren't going to notice.

Here's what i learned about painting this weekend:
  1. Buy an edger at the start and don't load it heavily with paint.
  2. Don't even try to free hand. Seriously.
  3. Don't ever color match to a different store--it will result in the loss of half a day's work and you will have to redo the whole thing because the colors will NOT be the same. 
  4. Invariably, you are going to get paint EVERYWHERE, including but not limited to floors, hair, face, and dog. 
Before and after photos as soon as we get all the art/pictures/SEA paraphernalia mounted on the walls. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Parental Anniversary Service--HELP WANTED

Nearly 4 decades ago, these two got hitched. They had a tiny wedding, in a living room and fed everyone food they cooked themselves.

This year, for their anniversary, they are participating in Relay for Life in the USVI. It is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

As my dad says, "You may be aware that both of Lissa's parents were cancer victims, and I have had an uncle and an an aunt also succumb. Plus, I had my small bout with skin cancer a few years back. During my time with GlaxoSmithKline and its predecessors, I spent years in cancer research. I realize the need for continued research into the causes and cures for the multitude of diseases that we call cancer. 

I hope that you can support the battle by contributing to the relay and our team. Since we are both walking, I encourage you to split a donation so that we each share."

So, my friends and loved ones---so many of whom are adopted kiddos of these two fabulous folks...let's do a little service for them too. Any size contribution is welcome---it is the loving thought that counts. Their pages are: 

oh...and here's to many more of these:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

if i won the lottery

Here are photos of things i would buy lots of:
One Cereal Bowl - Brown and Teal Pottery
Custom Order - Floating Entry Table - Modified IKEA shelf with two drawers - Ambrosia Maple, porcelain insulator pulls

Monday, May 21, 2012

Things i learned while moving...a list.

  1. if a zombie apocalypse does in fact come, as adam claims it will, i have enough black beans to feed us for weeks.
  2. the heavier the box the more likely Neah will need to escort it to its final destination.
  3. break out the power tools to assemble the back of target book cases
  4. i continue to have no idea why one bedside light being on causes the other to flicker. don't suggest anything. we are going with "party lights" rather than effed up electrical to keep my sanity.
  5. NEVER again will Adam and I move ourselves. I don't know how i didn't blog about this before, but basically...we are both such control freaks that every attempt to place our belongings in a vehicle results in near end of engagement/marriage. 
  6. it is truly possible to have your possessions magically expand to three times their previous space filling capacity LITERALLY overnight. 
  7. Even in a new place, a dog will be herself

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adam's eating Adventures...part II

Anyone who knows Adam (feel free to be witnesses and testify to the truth of this post, oh Adam friends) knows that there is just about NOTHING that he does with any sense of urgency. This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to eating. The quote from last night being "Why does everyone have bills and to go boxes?? I'm still eating!!"

Part of this stems from the fact that he likes to compose each bite of food perfectly. It's been a couple years since i explained the Pho creations, but last night's efforts let me raise the specter again. Generally speaking, each bite of food--regardless of what it is--must contain the perfect proportion of ingredients, must be chewed the requisite 25 times, and must, must, must be pretty.

Hopefully you will forgive that i was ignoring this until close to the end, when i turned to notice that each piece of chicken had a little mushroom laid delicately upon it---waiting to be graced by his chopsticks. It's kinda artistic, no?

Please feel free to share your Adam eating stories as a comment!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Paper Tiger ShanghaiI've been so fixated on the dog and the house that i haven't managed to talk about artsy things in a long i found this glorious paper store....

which makes me so jealous of cities where there are fancy papers....and letterpress stationary stores. (i got a fabulous handwritten card from my niece on some). Or beautiful fabrics. Or Crate and Barrel.

Monday, May 14, 2012

crazy go i if care don't i 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

did you ever sing that song when you were little? I don't care if i go crazy 1-2-3-4-5-6-switch....
anyways, i feel a little as though that is where we are at. Adam and i are taking this massive leap of faith that the house will be done with repairs this week and we can get in by Friday---seeing as we have less than 2 weeks to get out of the apartment, clean it and reclaim the deposit we already spent on rugs and:

What is that, you ask? Oh!, that's adam on the other side of the tree he decided we needed to have behind the new bed so that we can live in a forest. Seriously. We spent most of Saturday driving around Anchorage theoretically in search of a living room rug, but apparently in search of a "rug that looks like the forest floor" because "we are going to sleep in a forest." Oh boy. You'll understand when the pictures of before and after get posted--assuming there is a before and after. It ended in success after we realized Fred Meyer (my happy place) was having a 50% off area rug sale for Mother's Day---enabling us to get rugs for the whole house for the price we were planning to spend on just two. AH-MAY-ZING.

In the meantime, we had to get the tree back to the apartment--which basically looks like it threw up everything we ever owned into the living room. Neah is not impressed. We have cut down her 500 sq feet of lounge space to about 200 with all the clutter. And, she's afraid of the boxes when they are flattened on the floor and won't walk on either she jumps or she whines because she got stuck somewhere in the box maze.

Dear Housing Goddess, PLEASE.

Thursday, May 10, 2012 not requiring cesar milan?

Yesterday at dog class Neah was riled up. She acted aggressively towards a Samoyed who was staring at her. Recognizing that clearly Adam and I are the problem--not because we are fearful or anxious but simply because she doesn't trust us as leaders--her new teacher took half an hour to show us various exercises we can do with her. Some will be easy to implement, some more challenging. A lot of them we have been trying to do for a long time without obvious success. It is hard to redouble your efforts when you feel thwarted.

The thing with Neah was that she was always anxious. She was skittish from the get go. We coddled her and weren't there for her when she got chased by a skier, didn't get her out enough with other dogs her first winter because of the car-sickness, etc. So, now, we are paying the price. Less affection, more discipline. Which of course is hard because she is really really lovable. We hear it will take three times as long to undo the damage we have managed to do in the last year. There are lots of hindsight things here---from not getting the excitable independent dog all the way through to not letting her off leash as a tiny puppy in the park. hindsight, sadly, is always 20-20.

For starters, we have to teach her that her name means good things...not the "Neah" which is accompanied by some yelling about why she's barking at passing bi-peds. We have to get her exercise where there is NO ONE around. She's not allowed on trails with others, etc. Ok. so where in Alaska in a 50 mile radius are we possibly going to locate a trail without people on it. Shoot me now. And how on earth are we meant to take her biking without seeing anyone---EVERYONE in this state plays outside in the summer.

Personally, I am hoping that the new house will be a fresh start. We can lay down clear ground rules from the start and that the change of venue, accompanied by a change of authority, can promote positive things. But laying out new rules starts say a lil prayer for us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Warning: semi-graphic pictures.

warning: Semi graphic photos below.

We've talked about it a few times. See here and here, But admittedly, i have been hiding from the interwebs the full extent of the issue. our cute, loving aussie is deathly afraid new situations and new people. she's been like this since we got her--but now that fear is complicated by protectiveness. i know i exaggerate a lot...but this isn't one of those times when embellishment is required for dramatic effect.

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunnyish day. Adam's softball team had a double header after work and he's been shouldering the neah exercise burden i decided to take her to the park to play frisbee. we pulled up and i saw this little 3 year old running around with a mostly inattentive mother. I tried driving to another park, but there were people playing baseball, so i decided that if i could just get far enough onto the frisbee area it would probably be okay.

Neah was so happy and excited. She loves frisbee. She loves to run. We were still on leash walking towards an open part of the field when she started growling. i turned around and saw the little three year old running towards us with it's mother and sister at distance watching. I started yelling, "no, go away, she's not friendly" frantically shaking my head, but the kid kept coming. The kid kept charging toward her with open arms and Neah became more frantic barking, growling and rearing up.

When the kid was finally about 2 feet from Neah, the supervisory units finally realized what was happening and sauntered our direction. Neah was fit to be tied--red zone kinda crazy--and what happened to be between her and this small idiot happened to be me. I felt her teeth sink in and knew it was going to be bad. She recoiled instantly--realizing she had gotten me by accident. I wrangled her between my legs and pulled her muzzle on--dripping blood onto my flipflopped feet and the ground. I yelled at the supervisory unit of the small idiot to get it away from her already. To which the sibling shrugged and the kid started screaming because he couldn't pet Neah.

I managed to get back to the car and find one of the 3 first aid kits i keep in it. i hadn't realized how challenging it is to open stuff with out thumbs. Once the bleeding was contained we went home and i went to the doctor. I finally had a full blown attack of the crying martha when i got in the car to go to the doctor's office and of course couldn't get a hold of adam.

There's something to be said about facebook knowing you are hurt before  your spouse does. I am not sure what it is though.

The poor little monster got three of her sharp teeths in my thumb. The most painful of which is the top one that went into the knuckle and the most infected of which appear this morning to be the bottom ones. My right thumb has swollen to three times the size of the left one and am praying the augmentin does it's magic.
I'm mad at that kid's mom for letting it run toward a barking snarling animal. i'm mad there isn't a single dog park in anchorage that is fenced---so there's no where i can take her that bikes don't ride through. and i am especially pissed off that my thumb got hurt before the big move. ----doing anything useful with it is VERY difficult.

The reality of the situation is that neah avoided me for the rest of the night....keeping her head down in shame when she saw me. I'm not mad at her. I'm mad at myself for putting her in a position where she didn't feel safe. She was still worried this morning that i didn't love her anymore. It breaks my heart. She's not a mean dog--she's scared and i don't know what to do to help that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

just when you think all's clear.

since the blog is now a chronicle of a first time home buyer's nightmares, why stop now. After making about a dozen calls this week to make sure that all repairs would be done by noon today so that we could do final wlk through with our home inspector ahead of tuesday's closing...i should have known we were in for trouble when adam and i drove up and found not one (the home inspector's) but five contractor trucks outside.

Luckily, Kevn (our guy) was already looking around--checking and double checking. There were a number of things that needed fixed.

Here's the comedy of error's list:
  1. The windows all needed to have the glass fixed/replaced. One window was done but there were three more to go. 
  2. The gutter guys had accidentaly put the new gutter on the wrong section of the roof. Kevin caught it and they were fixing it. 
  3. The sliding door opens again...but it is still sticky and i spent a while glaring at it. 
  4. Which leads us to the not so comic error. Kevin goes back into the crawl space to make sure all the stuff we found last time had been fixed only to discover the reason the door is all effed up is because there's a rotting joist under there. Believe me, i was feeling like we were in an episode of Holmes on holmes. UCK.
so, here we are with 4 days till "closing" 'rotting joists and me looking sad.
wishful thinking please.

Friday, April 27, 2012

House fotos and a rant....

More home pictures. we love the open layout. behind the photographer is a wall of northern facing windows.  Believe you me, i will be redoing the fireplace someday soon.

Now. on to the Friday rant....

i know that there are things i can and cannot control in this world. i can't convince my amazing girlfriends that they are incredible mothers, despite the fact that they are. I can't convince my dog that she doesn't have to guard us all the time. and i can't convince the universe that patchouli is not a scent that should be worn in public ever. e.v.e.r.

There are a few things i should be able to convince people of though. So here's a list:

  1. all of the above; and
  2. that no one, ever, should come into a public bathroom with toenails that look like that haven't been cut since 1983. it is a rude shock to whoever tries to check out your shoes from the next stall, and it puts them in a difficult position to gag and be sick in. Seriously though, toenails should not look like teeth. rotten teeth. teeth that lived through perestroika. teeth that along with cockroaches are the only thing to have survived a nuclear blast.or maybe that's what happened...maybe the toes went through a nuclear blast---i don't actually care. they don't belong free and running wild in a bathroom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Wednesdays are among other things: staff meeting days, veggie box from full circle days, middle of the week depression days, realization that i will be a big girl soon days.

This Wed is really no different. I have busted out the blue handmedown shoes i stole off Heidi years ago, am breaking my feet back into them now that there is not snow to thwart me, and got homeowner's insurance for the new casa. In case there was any doubt, the most important part of that last sentence was finding the blue shoes in their neah-proof hiding spot under the bed.

Yesterday, while sitting around a gorgeous table eating Fish tacos with a bunch of women i barely know, that in a month or two book club could, actually, really, truly, be at our HOUSE. Yes, book club.

If you know me you know i love to have house guests, company, people wandering about at all times. It is a hold over from the Motel-Tansik days in north carolina when one never knew who would appear overnight on the sofa or knock on the door asking for a shower, claiming some tenuous connection to one of us. Poor Courtney and Katie acquired me and then a house guest in a week span when i moved to Seattle and it was like a revolving door non-stop after that---including the infamous 3 month couch stay of one slightly faded version of Quddus.  It truly has been the bane of my stay up here that i am in this beautiful vacation destination with no where to house our friends and family.

Well, by God, that is about to change. There is a guest bedroom and a study and a shit load of floor space---all of which means i cannot wait to suddenly have a house full of people to make tea for and cook for and force to eat attempts at pastries.I have worked out a Neah solution involving cheese and a squueky toy. So bring it on!!!

Yes, i know this is a bad translation. Para mi mami Maria Alicia y Jenny: Hay muchas cosas que hacen en nuestro vida cada miercoles---reuniones para trabajo, comida desde washington, el medio de semana tristeza, y pensando sobre nuestro futuro.  Este miercoles esta lo mismo. Descubri mis zapaztos azules abajo de la cama, mis pies estan dolando por los, y compre seguridad (?) para la casa. Ayer pense que algun dia puedo tener gente en mi casa. Eso es super importante porque mis padres siempre tuvieron gente en la casa---no importe si supieron antes que la gente llegaron o no. En seattle, habia tenido gente en nuestro casa por siempre---y algien para 3 meses. Pero aqui no hemos tendio espacio para eso. En la casa nueva tendremos una cuarto para amigos y tambien un bibioteca que se cambiara a un otro cuarto de dormido tambien. Y tengo planes para la perrita con queso y regalitos. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

oh George Takei....

i love your facebook post:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

house to home

So, all of our new sinks have built in soap/lotion containers. i cannot wait to fill them up....and put yummy soaps out.  Since i don't use pinterest, here's my excited to useness:

Yes....i know, you are thinking---oh the deliciousness! And, dear whoever reads this, you are soooooo right. Bring on the hippy dippy hand made ish. Someone, not me, will only use handmade soaps in the there will forever be yummy smelling things in BOTH (omg, more than one!!) bathrooms.
however, i am always down to hear what products you are using, recommend, smell the best, etc.