Sunday, December 28, 2008

Season's Greetings!

Hello all! Even though I’m way up here in The Boondocks for a few more days staying with my parents, I thought I’d tackle the long, patience-filled process of connecting to their dial-up internet, wading through various web pages, waiting for each to load slowwwwwwwly and finally posting some new news from your favorite Bait.

I especially wanted to add a little something to greet any newcomers to my blog. We have had outstanding feedback from all those who received my family’s newsletter and, since my blog address was printed in it, I wanted to make sure people got the right impression that yes, I DO check and post on this blogsite quite often. Just not so often from dial-up locations, as it turns out. :)

I have been very busy since I’ve been home. Just today, however, the last of the visiting family members bade their farewell so I assume the rest of the week should slow down considerably. The Christmas Eve service this year was especially wonderful, including the traditional children’s nativity scene with wonderful historic facts about some of the more famous Christmas carols. As per usual, we opened our presents on Christmas Eve, but my Mean Old Sister made me wait until Christmas DAY to open our sock presents. Draw out the excitement, she said. BaHumbug. No worries, though; ALL the presents have been opened now and I am quite satisfied.

Although I’ve acquired a cold since arriving home, I haven’t seemed to slow down at all. Several get-togethers and a birthday part were in order, since most of my childhood friends were in town and we only see each other about once a year these days, therefore mandating as much catching up as possible. There were also the extended relatives to visit with. My cousin’s four kids were a ton of fun to watch and be around for all the family dinners.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Some of the most fun was being a pyro with my dad, burning the last few slash piles down by the creek (sorry Gordon, no more this year, but I hear we’ve got some more work cut out for us next year!). Although I burned two new spark holes in my nice coat, I did have a heck of a time. Darn near burned my face off the first night, though, since I was new to the bonfire scene. Note: Always come prepared with a billed baseball cap when burned slash piles so you can get close to them without exposing your face…. Of course that does mean, with your head tipped down for protection, you won’t be able to SEE anything you’re doing at all, but hey, it’s only a bonfire, what’s the worst that can happen, right?

Today I am a pygmy owl, because dad and I saw one while burning the last of the piles yesterday. Until then, I didn’t know what one was. It’s called a ‘pygmy’ because it is one of the smallest owls you’ll ever see. In fact, we weren’t sure what on earth it was at first. It has a robust breast, like a robin, and fairly long tail feathers, but had a THICK neck, stubby nose and a neck that turned RIGHT around. I had to run up the hill to grab the binocs and camera so we could get a better look (photo to appear on this blog soon). It had the COOLEST black spots on the back of its head, so whether it was facing you or not, it looked like it had eyes staring right through you. Very cool. And small. And cute.

Today we are going for a ski (the first of the season for me), but I am very tired from staying out late last night (cheers to the Tav’s bartender who was incredibly kind to us even though it was past closing time and we weren’t really moving out the door with any measurable speed at all). (Cheers also to the friends of mine who left our little town today to return to work. It was wonderful seeing you all!) (My condolences to those returning to Spokane… I hear it has snowed continuously since my departure.)

Well, I’ll leave it at that, but I’ll try checking in here every few days and giving you all the update. Thanks for checking out my blog and feel free to leave me a comment or two!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I just got home from watching Australia. I had been wanting to see it for a while and I wasn't disappointed. LONG movie though! My goodness, very long. And I thought it was about to end at several different points that were definitely NOT actual ending, so I suppose that is a strike against it. Nevertheless, it had been a LONG time since I've seen a good western. I grew up watching The Man From Snowy River and wanted desperately to see something of that caliber. And it was. :) It might have just been that I was in a theater, and things are different in theaters, but I cried a tiny bit. Don't tell anyone, though! It was very refreshing to be exposed to a new culture in a familiar genre. Good drama, good action, good acting. Not so hot story development, but hey, you can't have everything.
P.S. To save you all the trouble, the older "King" character in the movie is the older partner in "Cocktail." I had to look it up once I got home. I didn't want anyone else to go through the same distraction I did while watching it. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Below are some pictures of the massive amounts of snow that hit Spokane today/yesterday. As you can see, the snow is up to my knees. Kara, the picture of the backyard is for you; remember when we were sunning there several months ago? A very different sight today!!! The picture of the fence was actually supposed to be a picture of my car, which is sitting just past the fence on the street. All you can see of it now, however, is a slight hint of blue.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Burr! It's cold

Hello hello! I'm taking it slow this chilly Sunday evening after a busy weekend full of friends and appearances. My best friend, Sara, flew in on Friday and I was able to pick her up and spend most of the day with her! Although she stayed at a downtown hotel to accompany her boyfriend to his work-related functions, I saw both of them a great deal and enjoyed the company VERY much! Cheers to the Davenport staff for putting up with so many loud, intoxicated construction workers, and cheers to my friend Tim who tried desperately to give us a tour of the building. It was so awfully busy this weekend at the Dav that most special ballrooms and places to show off were booked.

Scott and I attended the railroad's company party the following night and we were both pleasantly surprised by the experience. Free food and drinks were available, in addition to dancing and a raffle later on in the night. We managed to make some friends with the people at our table and enjoyed the limitless people-watching opportunities. Everyone couldn't stop talking about the cuts and furloughs the railroad will be implementing this week, but most people told Scott he had enough seniority not to need to worry much about it.

This morning Scott and I ATTEMPTED to see his niece sing a song at his mom's church with her Sunday school class. We were told the service started at 11 a.m., but found the parking lot full of cars but deserted of people when we arrived. The service, it turns out, had started at 10:30 s.m. so we missed the performance! :( O-well. I'm not sure his niece every knew the difference, since she saw us after the service was over.

My oldest sister and I worked on our family newsletter via phone today and I can't wait for you all to get a copy (please email me if you've never received one before!). We've got a great theme this year and it's coming together really well. Other than that, I've been steadily working on buying and wrapping Christmas presents and applying to jobs. Although I had two interviews within a week of each other, I didn't get either job. :( Back to square one! OY!

The only other thing left to say is MAN IS IT COLD!!! I want to go to the gym so bad, but that means I have to be cold for 10 minutes on the way there! My body just hasn't quite adjusted yet.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Music, music, music!

Things have been moving slowly around here this week so there hasn't been too much to report on. I've been keeping busy, however, with a few new projects. I've taken up my drawing pencil again (don't tell Grandma, though!) and have been working on a family sketch for a Christmas present. I've also had some luck with the freelance website I signed up for. I'll be helping a Pastor in Philadelphia type up a book starting on Monday via telephone conference. The project is so incredibly random that I can barely believe it's true, but I suppose we'll see how it all goes on Monday.

I also made a massive discovery this week: GASLIGHT ANTHEM! I can't say enough great things about them! They're from Jersey. They're great musicians. They're lyrics are quality. They're sound is fantastic. I've been listening to them 24/7 for the past several days (okay, I exaggerated a little... but you get the idea). Music is freeing. I'm so thankful for it.

I've got a friend in from out of town this weekend. I picked her up from the airport yesterday and spent most of the day catching up with her. It was a great time. She's got lots of family in the area to visit, though, so we'll see if I see her again before she leaves.

Scott and I hung out with some friends of his last night and I was officially introduced to Rock Band. I know some will say 'video games are crap' and others might say 'why don't they just learn how to play real instruments' but there's something to be said for this game! It's not all about competition (you can either just jam with friends, go 'on tour,' or have band battles). I just think it fuels a passion for music and exposes the younger generation to a lot of music they wouldn't hear otherwise; they songs available to play range from Paramore to Sweet Home Alabama, from Matalica to Steve Miller Band. I mostly played the bass guitar because that's the simplest instrument, but the drums were my favorite! And although playing the game guitar is VERY different from the real instrument, the drums have a true similarity. Good stuff. I could spend hours playing this game and NOT feel like I wasted a day. Of course, some may say that's a strike against the game, but honestly, I'd be listening to music anyway. Why not play it?

Below is a picture of Scott's very first Christmas tree. I helped him a ton (or really, as I'm sure you expect, took the project over) and am very proud of how it turned out. The process was rather funny, since we both had very different ideas of what the tree should look like, but I think our compromise turned out looking great. My camera is very very poor quality. I apologize. But hopefully you'll get the idea. Blue lights, a few blue ornaments, candy-canes, and a variety of gold ornaments.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am the champion! I won my pool game last night! I played so well! In all honesty, I wasn't really enjoying our opponents last night. They were boisterous, rambunctious... different. My game was the last one thrown for the night and for some reason I was overly nervous. Although I'm still ranked a 2, I was up against a 4 (doesn't happen very often - usually done for a 'quick win' - not a very gracious move on their part, but maybe they were out of players in my rank). And I just had an excellent night! I made a lot of shots I usually miss. Kudos to Scott, by the way, because I made another along-the-rail, 'hit it in the corner between the ball and the rail' shot. Only two more games in the session! :(

I've got a new band for you all to check out: The Gaslight Anthem. In my own words, they're a mix of The Killers, Bruce Springsteen and some other stuff... I think their old school lyrics mixed with their unique rock sound.

I watched The Polar Express for the first time the other night. I loved it. Even though it's made for kids, I was on the edge of my seat. Pretty pathetic, I know, but I love a good movie. I'm trying to get more into the 'Christmas Spirit,' but it sure is hard when there's no snow outside!

That's all for now. I hope you enjoy the new mix I posted today. I like it a ton. :) Today I am a cartoon caterpillar with a big grin and a white chocolate maple mocha.

Monday, December 1, 2008

ER Visits

Hello hello! I'm back in Spokane after a wonderful weekend with the family. We enjoyed burning some slash piles behind our house, in addition to making swags, playing games and visiting with extended family and friends. It was a lot of fun! And of course there was PLENTY of food to go around.

Since coming back, however, I've been pretty busy. Scott and I started to decorate the house as soon as I returned. We got the tree, a nativity scene and a swag up within a few hours and it all looks wonderful. The evening took a turn for the worse, however, when Scott started spitting up blood. He had visited the ER earlier in the morning (before I returned from my parent's house) and the problem reappeared in the late evening. Although the ER staff didn't do much at all besides give him ice to chew on, we stayed for 2.5 hours until the bleeding was mostly stopped. Today we went back to his surgery clinic and talked with his doctor to make sure he was okay. Modern medicine is quite amazing, by the way. After spraying what looked like breathe spray in the back of his mouth to numb it, the doctor used what looked like a matchstick to cauterize the bleeding. He was a little annoyed, as we were, that the ER staff hadn't taken the extra step to do it, but o-well.

Now it's just back to the job-search grind stone. Today I am a beluga and a chai.