Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fantasy Shopping

Not shopping for fantasies, you lowbrows! No, it’s almost as sad. I’ve been a good girl in the face of my economic downturn and have given up shopping completely. For the most part I don’t miss it because, really, when you sit around the house or volunteer in a library your wardrobe needs are pretty minimal. Jeans, sweat pants, knit tops, socks, practical flat shoes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly Adventure: Cascade Streamwatch Trail

Before we get started I need to come clean with my kind readers. Need to, because if I don’t my husband (who has suddenly gotten all ethical) has stated that he will hack into my blog and denounce me as a fraud. This is interesting coming from a guy who a) doesn’t even know the name of my blog and b) lies to our neighbors. Anyway, here it is: this adventure took place on Saturday. And others may take place on days that are not technically Monday hence the title change.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Shoes That Were Her

This week’s writing prompt from the Red Dress Club was:

One of my favorite parts of summer is THE SHOES. So for your prompt this week I’d like you to write about your character (or yourself) and a pair of his or her shoes.

Those shoes can be real or symbolic, they can hurt or be super comfy but I want to see what they say about the life of the person wearing them. It’s a chance to use all those descriptive words I love reading.

I chose fiction because reality is all I ever write about here.

What I Love This Week: Mixed Bag Designs

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Adventure: Food Carts NW

I’m wildly overdue on this post because if there is one thing that Portland is known for it’s our food carts. We may be small but we love food and not just in restaurants or cooked at home. We’ll gladly huddle in pouring icy rain, driving wind, and chilly weather for this food. Oh, and pay cash, which sometimes feels like a bigger inconvenience than the weather in this credit happy world. Yes, it’s that good.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Secret Language of Couples

J and I have been in our home for two years and as I’ve noted in other posts we’ve not had an easy time of it when it comes to meeting new people. Early on after we moved in a neighbor invited us over to his house for Sunday evening-after-dinner-wine-and-chat. We accepted gladly despite our initial concerns (he has aggressive B.O., to the point that even J- another guy- is offended) mainly because he has a girlfriend who, on paper, seems as if we should be best friends (please don’t comment on how desperate I am to have a best friend any female friends). That evening went well enough and with enough really good wine that as we (OK, me) drunkenly stumbled home I announced to my husband, “I want to marry her!”

This opens a whole can of worms. The bane of couples- you like the woman he can’t stand the guy and vice versa. It happens.  I have a dear friend who married a guy J wouldn’t be around if he held the last bottle of vodka on the planet. What to do now? In this case J agreed that we would get together with them again because he could feel the need and desperation oozing out of my pores like garlic. So he took one for the team and we agreed to a Saturday afternoon in Oregon’s wine country.

The day fell into the usual gender divisions- the men in the front of the SUV and us gals in the back. We went to 3 wineries and, for the most part, I thought things went well. B (as she shall be known) was so passionate about many of the things I believed in and yet was in a position to actually do something to affect change- I was almost in awe. Even though I was employed at the time she had a job in one of the coolest companies on earth working with young girls in third world countries and if I could work there it would be the ultimate harmonic convergence of commerce and vocation. He offered us a week in their timeshare in Cancun, expounded on his skills and experience in both designing and building homes right down to choosing paint color better than any decorator ever could, talked of many other exciting opportunities we could experience as his friends, and finally suggested that we stop for dinner at this “great Asian restaurant” they always frequented when they made their wine jaunts. It was at this point that my outer and inner ears were pricked for J’s reaction. It came quickly. “Oh, you know, I’ve got some chicken in the fridge that’s going to go bad if I don’t cook it tonight.” I’d been about to say “sounds great” but I knew with his words J’s forbearance in helping me find friends was at an end.

For this is the secret language of couples. While it was a bit odd, to most people it sounded like we had not expected the afternoon to run so long and already had dinner plans. To me, as interpreter of my silent husband’s non-verbal cues, this was the equivalent of him threatening to open the car door on the highway and dash himself on the pavement. J is notorious for throwing out food. He is of the mindset that a full fridge is a full life and he routinely throws out produce etc. that has not made it onto our plates in time. To say that he would forego a social opportunity for a $3.75 slab of chicken breast meant that he was mired in a misery so dire even his love for me could not compensate. I played along and after we had returned to our house, and locked the front door, I was not surprised when he turned to me and hissed, “I will never DO anything with them again. Don’t even ask.” 

I understood. Sometimes it’s impossible to make these things work and while B was interesting there was no way to separate the good from the bad. Plus, one has to consider what hidden depths of freak she’s hiding to be with such an unpleasant-to-be-around poseur. The potential loss of friendship (while great) is ameliorated by J and I having communicated in that way only people who truly know each other can. ‘Chicken in the fridge’ is our new go-to phrase when one of us needs to get out of a situation fast.

How about you? Any words/phrases you use with family, dear friends, or loved ones that only you understand?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Take Me Away

Take me away, a secret place A sweet escape, take me away Take me away to better days Take me away, a hiding place

Natasha Bedingford “Pocket full of Sunshine

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