Driving Miss Crazy

Garage Sales bring out the best in people. Nope...that's not right. Garage Sales bring out the weirdest in people and the weirdest OF people. Our neighborhood had a giant garage sale this week, coordinated all the way around the 'hood. Let me tell you, it brought the crazies out of the wood work. Chuck and I aren't big into Garage Sales (we don't have the gift), but we are big into people watching.

So we were out the door before 9 for four hours of people watching. You may say "over kill", we say "not nearly enough." By 10 a.m. we realized we'd made a terrible mistake. We'd left my camera at home. We went back for it, naturally.

Basic driving skills were the best for people watching. Why we didn't bring popcorn with us is beyond me. See, driving is a quite the concept for these "Garage Sale-rs". Actually, they turn it into an art form, and maybe Chuck and I just aren't cool enough for them. We took notes. Here's what we learned from The Crazies.

DO bring your own moving van. These ladies owned this thing (complete with stuffed animals on the dashboard, obviously) and they weren't afraid to use it. It was rusty and beautiful. I watched them buy an IKEA cabinet and two 18 inch metal acorns in 30 seconds.
DON'T turn your car off -- it wastes precious time. Just put it in park and head for the crap. Your car will be there when you return, because you're that special.
DO find the premium parking spots, even if that means parallel parking and bumping the car in front of you. Walking from three driveways down would be much worse. Look closely -- these two are actually touching. Loved it.
DON'T follow those pesky traffic laws. Dear Crazy in White Car, We're sorry we were in your way by driving down the street, which you were using as a parking lot. No joke, this lady was running back to her car (parked in the middle of 37th Street) when she saw us shockingly pull up behind her. Her purchases are nestled safely in her arms. Don't worry.DO block driveways. No one minds. No one uses those things anyways and you're that important.

God I love Garage Sales.

The Garage Sitting Life

I haven't seen Chuck this happy in a long time. Maybe not since the Ship's Wheel was christened. Garage Sitting Season has officially opened at the Allison House.

To properly Garage Sit, you need a lawn chair, a beverage of choice, and an incredible day.

This is Garage Sitting. Try it sometime.

Memorial Day

It was a big day for Chuck and Me in the christening of the New House (ps: How long is your current residences your "new house"?). We had our first BBQ.

I can tell you're exited for us. Sorry you weren't invited.

It was Sunday-Night Family Dinner, expect for it being Monday and all. Here's the family enjoying dinner -- or at least doing a really good job at pretending they're happy.

And now, a couple of points about this picture:
1. That is our kitchen table outside. We found patio furniture at Lowe's yesterday but our coupes are just not going to get this stuff home. So, we moved the kitchen table to where we wanted to be. A little white trash, but so is our neighborhood...

2. Yes, Chuck is wearing a pink shirt. That's his "sailing outfit", which was actually bought last year before the Ship's Wheel was even a twinkle in his eye. I should have seen the warning signs.

We did a much better job of supervising Lucy than we did in the Nordstrom dressing room, but apparently there is still room for improvement. Just call her "Aspartame Baby."

And then there was the sitting up alone on the table!!! Go Lu Go!

Ax and Lu were pretty inseperable today. Looks like Shelley and I have some competetion. I think we can take her. I mean, she can't even walk yet. Please.

I was trying to get a really nice picture of Lucy and Me (trying to erase the horrible memory of peace sign picture Saturday), but she kept squirming and squiggling until she started motorboating her mouth and blowing bubbles.

I died laughing.

Yum, Yum, Yum

And in case you were wondering...yum. I loves me some good food. Maybe a little too much, but at least it's a healthy obsession and not heroin. No seriously. It could be worse. An addiction to food ain't too bad.

The Family came over for Memorial Day because I drew the short straw this week. I mean, it was my turn to labor over dinner and cook. I mean, it was my turn to play gracious hostess.

I made South of the Border dip as an appetizer. My new favorite dip because it's so easy. My first love will always be Hot Artichoke Dip, but this might just win because of my extreme laziness.

Three ingredients. That's all people. Three.
1/2 jar of cheap green olives with the red plugs in them (I know they're called pimentos, but that makes me think of breath mints. Gross.)
8 oz shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
16 oz sour cream

Chop the olives.
Mix with cheese.
Add in sour cream.
Done (insert microphone drop.....here)

I love this stuff.

For the main course, I went cliche Memorial Day and did burgers. You have to. Burgers and white pants. That's my Memorial Day.
I made Pioneer Woman's Blue Cheese Burgers. I heart them. I change the recipe only slightly because of my extreme aversion to "meat taste". Blah. I add seasoning salt, garlic powder, pepper, blue cheese crumbles, and enough Worcestershire for the meat to swim.


Big Lucy First!

It was a HUGE day for Lucy!!!!! It was her first Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale! I was so proud of her and her 4 hours of shopping without one fuss. Because, see, the Half-Yearly sale is like the prelims for the Anniversary Sale and we were judging her performance. She passed. What a relief, because we would have made Shelley trade her in if she couldn't handle a Nordy's sale.
We started the day shopping for Lu. We thought this would get us on her good side. Her and I found matching sunglasses. I have no idea why I flashed the peace sign, so get over it. It is what it is. And I publicly apologize for any hurt this has caused.

Then we took her to see The Tiles. The 3rd floor of Nordstrom has all these kid-made floor tiles. Fifteen years ago, Fe saw an ad for this in the paper, took Shelley and Me to Nordstrom, and insisted we make tiles. So we did. They are still there and we love that we can see them. Lucy was definitely impressed by Shelley's purple bear and my caterpillar with peace sign necklace (ew...there's that peace sign again. What's wrong with me?).

I was 11.

Shelley was 8.

We rocked it.

Lu loved the Brass Plum dressing room and clearly she was very well supervised while we were trying on clothes... We were doing our best here, but the tank tops were so cute and needed our full attention.

So, Fe sat with Lu and decorated her with necklaces. She loved them and we loved the accessorizing experience that we were giving her. Some parents read to their kids, some teach basic shopping strategies. To each his own.

But she really was cute today, wasn't she?

Shelley and I bought the same shirt. We haven't done this in years. We have a little bit different taste in clothing. Just a little bit. Think Jessica Simpson pre-fat pants vs Charlotte York.

And yes, we have the same parents. Who knew?

Guess what?

Yeah, that's not only a no, that's a hell no. But you got a little excited didn't you? Sorry, I had to. It was too easy. Remember: no Allison baby until at least 2053.

This is Tyrell's car and I LOVE that she slapped this bad boy on the back of her ride. Although you might think she did this as a dare, it was actually on her own accord and it's one of the funniest pregnant gags she's done lately. Next step: those awful family stickers on a mini-van.

For a reference point: this is Tyrell and Adam (he did this to her).
We got together with Adam and Tyrell to celebrate Kelly's birthday on Friday with her husband Dan. Here's how we know this crew. Try to keep up: Kelly and I work together. Chuck and Adam lived together for 6 weeks during flight training with Horizon. Tyrell works for the high school next to Kelly and my school. Dan also works for Horizon. Dan, Kelly, Adam, and Tyrell live next door to each other. This took us about 4 months to piece together last year. We ain't that smrt and the boys fly planez.

It was Kelly's 28th birthday. May have taken this picture wrong, but it's coo.

Kelly and Dan had a baby in December. He is a joy, I tell you, a joy. Dan and Kelly are on the shorter side of life, so Jacob was loving being held by Gigantor. He'd never seen life lived so high up. He may have gotten oxygen deprivation.

Check out Jacob sitting up all by himself and then join me in a collective hatred toward Kelly for looking like this after having a baby just 5 months ago. We hate you Kelly. And by hate, I mean love.
Happy Birthday, Kelly!

Light of My Life

See, what happened was we needed new light fixtures. It always starts with something simple, don't it? Call me crazy, but I'm just not loving the dingy, tilted, gold and glass chandeliers that came with the place. As much as I loved 1992, I don't need relive it. You only need to be 9 years old once.

The first light to go up is the kitchen one. Not because I hated this one the most, but because it's the only one that won't require a fire truck ladder, harness, and liquid courage to hang.

It's simple, it'll work, and it never saw Hammer Pants in style.

Chuck's taking the lead on this project. And let the games begin...I'm watching American Idol and I catch a glimps of Chuck unpacking the fixture. I immediately regret my decision to let him work unsupervised.

I see him like this: Holding the base of the light and playing Greek Statue. I've said it before, I'll say it again. What an Adonis. And thus began the game "How many different uses can Chuck find for the glass bowl?"

Mushroom Chuck.

Safari Chuck. "What?! Ya'll never seen a fire fly??"

Breakfast of Champions Chuck (that'd probably be with Wheaties, not Corn Pops, but Chuck could use a few empty calories, so we'll forgive this.)

And Moses in the Reeds with Chuck. Jack didn't understand the urgency of being placed in the "basket". He wasn't loving the life saving gesture. It's clear to me that Jack would never have survived in Israel, being that he's the first born male and not interested in floating down the river to safety.

This is what happened unpacking light fixture number one. We still have to hang it and its 3 siblings. I don't want to know what he's planning. I don't. But I'll keep you posted.

Chuck's Two Mommies

Chuck's Mom, Vicky, has the bestest best friend in the world. We call her Auntie Shelley. They met in Kindergarten and have been together ever since. They're pretty freaking precious together and they have a better "marriage" than most actual marriages. I can only hope my first marriage (you know, the one to Chuck) goes this well.

They stopped by for a quick visit and (you guessed it!) did a little photo shoot with the Ship's Wheel. It's so nice that we can bring family down with us. Just call me the Captain of the Titanic.

Yard Workings

Remember how I'm working on my outside homeowning skillz? I decided to tackle the backyard on Saturday as part of my yard work studies course. Don't be jealous or anything, but our backyard was like a beautiful secret garden. And by beautiful secret garden, I mean disgusting, forgotten weed field. Think weed covered train wreck.

Isn't it pretty?


Oh, I know. I can sense your jealously through the Interweb.

But I went for it. And don't worry, Chuck was supervising my electric hedge trimmer usage.
My Dad said I could only borrow and use it with adult supervision. He was really making a big deal about me using it again. I don't know why and it was kind of annoying. I mean, I only cut through four extension cords using this very hedge trimmer when I was in high school. Only four. Pah-lease. Take a chill pill, Dad.

I also pressure washed the concrete for funsies. The concrete patio was part of the backyard that always looked wrong, but I could never figure out what was up with it. Kind of like Chuck in my nice white pants. It just seemed out of place. And now I know why. It was filthy. Paris Hilton filthy.

Not to toot my own horn (except yeah right, because I made a blog to publicly toot my horn air-raid style), but I think I did a pretty good job. I didn't electrocute myself with the hedge trimmer. I didn't pull up any bulbs. And I didn't strip the siding off the house with the pressure washer.

I knew you'd want to see the before and afters. We're tight like that.

Do you speak Kindergarten?

Did you know I teach Kindergarten? Now you do.

Kindergarten-isms are the best kind of -isms because these kids have no filter and are rarely self-conscious. Not that I pick favorites in my room (yeah right), but I definately have my favorite -isms du jour. I thought I'd share them with you. We teach sharing in kindergarten.

"Teacher, I want to see the Puget Sound. What does it sound like? Because it is called Puget Sound."

"Mrs. Allison doesn't have a baby because you have to be an adult and have a job to have a baby."

"I watched the Seahawks win the football game on my TV."
"Seriously? They won on my TV too!!"

"Girls can marry girls as long as they aren't sisters."
"And boys can marry boys but they can't have girl babies because girl babies come from girls."

"Hey Mrs. Allison, I hope you never get fat. Cuz you look really good skinny."

"Why would they let a prisoner in our school?"
ME: "No, honey, he's the principal."

"I have NEVER seen that letter before in my life."
ME: "Really? because it's an Ee and your name is Eric."

What does disposition mean?
Kid 1:"It means being in the wrong place. Because dis means wrong and position means place."
Kid 2:"OHHH! Like in baseball, when my coach says 'Not that position, DIS position.'"
OK so that one was second graders, but whatev.

Our Kind of Mother's Day

We started at Pike Place Market for Mother's Day. Perfect. I love that place. When I was three, a hobo jumped out in front of me and sang "You shake my nerves and you rattle my nuts." Nothing like culturing your children. Good work Fe.

After getting the mini doughnuts, we went to The Crumpet Shop for coffee and harassing. Oh yeah. You "read" me right. This man and woman walked passed us, dropped a Kleenex, looked at it, and continued walking. Mom and Dad kindly alerted them of their mistake. Mr. and Mrs. Litter Bug looked back, said "Oh it's just a Kleenex" and kept walking. Mom and Dad continued their gentle reminders and Mrs. Bug walked back to us, picked up the tissue and threw it at Fe. Let's be serious, you don't throw things at Fe and you certainly don't do it on Mother's Day.

Naturally, Dad kept his cool.

He SPRINTED down 1st Ave to catch up with them.
Father: "HEY! So, are you local?"
The Bugs: "Yes"
Father: "Really? Because you should probably crawl out from under the rock you've been living in and realize we don't do that sh** in this town. Got it?"
Mrs. Bug: "I don't like you."
Father: "Aaah..."
How smug does he look walking back from this lovely interaction? I love my Dad. If you know him, then you know exactly how he said this. It's a certain air of better-ness and sarcasm that Dad sells with an award winning smirk. He's my hero. How's Fe going to top this on Father's Day?

After the excitement, Mom wanted to go to Norm's in Fremont, so naturally we took the baby to a bar. She's cool with it, so are the owners. Here's the "Mom and Daughter Photo Op", you have to have one on Mother's Day.

Yes, Shelley is sitting on Fe's lap.

Lucy's getting so big. I used to be able to fit her whole head in my giant cartoon mouth.

The words delicate and classy come to mind.

Shelley and Lucy on Shell's first Mother's Day!

Let's have us a quick chat about this last picture of Chuck and Me. First of all, I'm wearing heels. Second, I'm standing on a wall and Chuck is slightly down hill. And oh good. I'm still not that much taller than him in the photo. Lord that boy is tall. Sometimes I forget. Patty Hearst syndrome a little bit.

Happy Mom's Day to all my Mommy Friends! You have lucky kids!

Happy Fe Day

About 5 years ago, I got a frantic call from my sister-in-law, Nan. "Go to Hallmark. Find the Mother's Day card with the red head skipping rope. Trust me."

That was 5 years ago, and I have not bought my mother a single card since. Not a birthday card. Not a Mother's Day card. Not even a get well card when she had surgery. Why?? Because nothing will ever compare to this gem. I can never do better. I will never do better. I know my limits.

In case you can't read it...
"One jump, two jump, three jump, four. Susie is a skank and her mother is a..."

Happy Mother's Day to the only person who wasn't offended by the printing of this card!
I love you Fe.


Shelley graduated from college today (yeah!!). Because I'm a bad person, I love telling strangers Shelley's college story and leaving out key details. Here's my version: Shelley went to WSU, came home, had a baby, and now she's graduating. Makes Shelley sound like some sorostitute that got knocked up at a frat party by a generic guy that we'll call Steve. Her and I have a good giggle about this.

Of course, the parts about her deciding to move back to Seattle, getting a full time job at 19, faithfully doing classes online (I could never do this!), meeting Shane, getting married THEN having a baby a year later just don't make as crisp a sentence. Aren't I the worst big sister EVER?

Anyways, Shelley and Shane, Fe and PK flew to Pullman today and left Lucy with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Sister. It was rent-a-baby day. She's an angel, so the day was a dud -- no excitement. She's perfection.

We gave her a bath before bed last night. Because I love her, I didn't think I should post a picture of her Britney online, so I hope you're cool with me censoring the bajingo.

There was some tummy time this morning and she's lifting her head like a champ!

Of course we also took her to McDonald's for lunch because we wanted her to see what our lifestyle was like, but it was too hard to take pictures in the drive thru.

And here's what happens when you leave your child with Me for a day:

This picture comes complete with the audio "HOLLA!"

Just imagine how much trouble we will get in eventually.
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