"Put this on your blog and smoke it"

Shelley is so eloquent. What a gentle spirit. "Put this on your blog and smoke it" is all she wrote in an email to me yesterday along with pics of Lucy taking a bath.The picture above is Shelley's first attempt at altering Lucy's hair color. Like mother, like daughter. Someone get Gabe on the phone.

All bundled up and clearly a little disturbed by Fe's very un-Grandma like attire: A Rouge Brewery Dead Guy Ale sweatshirt. Don't most Grandmas sport skeleton apparel?

He's doing great!

Jack's doing great! He still has to wear the cone for another week while the stitches are in, which it is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen. There's nothing like a cone being lovely rubbed against your leg or hearing your cat scraping against the wall. Hopefully he'll learn: you can't be such a bad cat!

Ode to Divorce

Our house has this great central staircase that is in the middle of the entire downstairs. When you walk in, it's the first thing you see. I didn't love this style so much on other houses we toured, which is why we started refering to it as the "ship's wheel" design. The staircase screams bow-of-ship. Somehow, the staircase works with this house and I absolutely love it. Which is why Chuck had to go and ruin it.

Chuck decided that calling it the "ship's wheel" wasn't enough. We actually needed to own a ship's wheel. Apparently, they are all over eBay. Thank God. Now, he can drive the house to port, dock and more it. And I got the all-assuring, "Don't worry, Suz. It's only for when company comes over." Good, I was worried.

Chuck does stuff like this all the time. He gets an idea, Paul eggs him on, and then I end up with an 8 foot scratching post floor to ceiling. See exhibit 2.

Once he bought a lock picking kit because he wanted to know what was behind a locked door in college. He did an all night trip to Vegas (no hotel needed) just because, stayed awake for 34 hours on a street corner to see the Price is Right, and rented a multi-engine airplane to fly to the San Juans to get ice cream. And then there's the demolition derbies, the guns, and the countless scams.

I married a winner. God love him -- I wouldn't change him for the world.

ps: Anyone want a ship's wheel?

Falling in love with the water faucets

It's amazing the little things that I've forgotten after living in apartments for 7 years. As much as I have loved having a shared wall and fighting over parking spaces, it's been a bit Celine Dion for me lately -- I mean "it's all coming back to me now" remembering all those tiny parts of having a home that you miss out on when you rent out a cube in a building.

Like having a front door that isn't directly attached to someone else's. This is our front door. We get to paint it however we like and we (and by we, I mean Chuck) got to put our own locks on it. No one can give us 24 hours notice and just walk on in. Except for Jamie, of course.

I have a fence around a yard -- a yard? What is that?! The apartment life-force had almost sucked the concept right out of me. I have flowers. On my doorstep. And I haven't worried once that they will be stolen. The best part is, I got them as a housewarming gift from my favorite cousin-in-law, Janelle (sorry Mark). I know it's only been 2 weeks since I got them, but I can't believe they are still alive and blooming. It's a miracle.

A few other things I'm loving on:
~We have outside water faucets! I can wash my car. Not that I actually will, but I have the option...
~A garage. After years of living in Ellensburg and having an honest understanding of what below 20 feels like , no one has ever appreciated a garage more than Chuck and Me. I'll be selling my ice scraper on craigslist.
~My Mom's favorite sport is "Pottery Barn-ing". Fe (my Mom) can Pottery Barn like nobody's business. Working out is to PK (my Dad) as Pottery Barn-ing is to Fe. And now, I can Pottery Barn with her and not worry that I'll have to pack it up in a year and can it really handle a trip in a moving truck? Here's a pic of my latest Pottery Barn adventure. I took Chuck with me. He's an ok Pottery Barn-ing partner if I was competing in mixed doubles, but there's really no substitute for Fe.
ps. Can you tell I love my new SLR camera a little too much?

What a smile!

Here's a great pic of Lucy that Fe took on Tuesday. Check out that mega-watt smile! What a beauty!

Recipe of the Week

I try and make a new meal each week to keep life spicey (yes, new recipes make me hot). My sister-in-law, Nan, gave me a fantastic Martha Stewart cookbook for Christmas and I've been devouring every page.

The recipe was amazing (and only took about 20 minutes):
Beef and Orange Stir Fry
3 oranges
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless sirloin or rib eye, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 to 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
6 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1-inch lengths

Into a small bowl, finely grate zest and squeeze juice from 1 orange. Add garlic and soy sauce.
With a sharp paring knife, peel remaining 2 oranges. Slice oranges crosswise 1/2 inch thick, then halve slices; push out, and discard any seeds. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss meat with cornstarch until coated. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Working in batches (adding more oil if needed), brown beef on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Pour juice mixture into skillet, and boil until syrupy, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet; add orange slices and scallions. Toss until coated and heated through. Serve hot over rice.

The World's Most Expensive Glass Bead

What an awful mid-winter break! Jack swallowed one of his beloved beads -- I have no idea how. He swallowed the bead early morning Monday and then ate a flower, which had Lily parts (a big no-no for cats), to try and settle his stomach. It was pretty clear something was very wrong Monday when I woke up and the vets were sure it was all a side effect from the flowers. But Jack kept slipping and getting worse, so they did an x-ray Tuesday and found a beautiful blue bead in that cat-gut of his.

He came home this afternoon and is doing awesome. He seems so happy to be back. What a trooper! He's been running around the house, jumping on the counters, and pacing at the back door (love those birds). Old 'cone head' is adjusting his new collar, but has lost all depth perception. It's poetic justice. I'm laughing now as hard as I was crying yesterday.

We love you Jack -- no matter how big the bill was!

Baby Lucy

I can't believe how old this picture already is. Lucy is 6 weeks old now and started smiling over the weekend. What a little cutie! She is definately a Patterson and so far wins the title as "Best Baby Ever". Here's my favorite picture from the hospital. I'll post more current pics as soon as I can.

The New House

Here it is! The new place! We've been so busy decorating, tinkering, and playing that a month has flown by. What an incredible change it is from apartment life. Unpacking and storing, I smiled the whole time because I knew this wasn't a place we had leased or a stepping stone to the next. This is it.

The family room -- the next room on the painting "to-do" list

The kitchen is in desperate need of a valance...

The living room got all the new furniture. I love these couches -- they're so different. Definitely need something for the wall... yet another project.

We love how our room turned out. It's so calming and peaceful, plus it has the famous IKEA chair. "Put it somewhere where it can look nice but no one will ever use." I think we found the pefect place Paul!

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