Thursday, December 4, 2008


I'm so sorry its been so long you're suffering withdrawals from your Morning Cup! Things here in Seattle have been a bit crazy this past week or so! And a Happy (late)Thanksgiving to you all as well!

As I write this (at least the beginning of this) I’m sitting in the living room of my in-laws happily tired from a day of hiking in Yosemite Valley and stuffed with steak and warm memories. I’ll rewind back to the middle of last week, when I finished stuffing my 2,000 newsletters and we were still hunting for a dog.

On Friday the 21st we got the green light from our landlady to go ahead and repaint our apartment. She agreed we could go “warmer” than the hospital white it was painted. It also was eggshell meaning every smudge, nick, scrape and scuff was visible on it. You could hardly find a square foot that was clean. I found my paint chips, sent her pics and got the approval.

The next day I headed out to Homeward Pets Adoption Shelter, but the dog I had gone to see had been adopted an hour before I got there. Disappointed I decided to look at the dogs who were still there anyways. I came across Cooper, a lab/german shepherd mix with a lot of personality in a 50lb bundle of 9 month old puppy. I (of course) got a bit attached to him and immediately called Matt and set up a time to meet the dog with him the next day. 

After I left Cooper I headed to Home Depot and found a ecologically friendly paint from the brand Fresh Aire (would definitely recommend!) that matched the swatch we wanted to paint our house. And wanting a cleaning-friendly paint I got semi-gloss so I could clean off any smudges or scuffs we accrued during our rental time. As I headed out the door with my four gallons of what I thought was “warm white” or “light tan,” I think my first clue should have been that the swatch was called “Ray of Hope…”

Back at home, I began painting our small bedroom feeling a great satisfaction covering all that nastiness on our walls. Our walls looked nearly gray compared to the new paint, and the lighting in that small bedroom is so bad it was beginning to look rather…yellow. No…I thought, its just the lighting and the small proximity of this room. Finishing that room I moved to the hallway and finished that. I left the doorframes and doors unpainted, and compared to the new paint they appeared a dingy gray. With the garish hall lights we have, the paint was beginning to look more canary yellow than warm white.

When Matt got home, we agreed it was the lighting and small space that made the paint appear more yellow than previously expected. At least we hoped it was the lighting and the space. The next evening after I had finished the halls and the dining area and realized it was looking way more yellow, we drove out to see how Matt liked Cooper. 

I got there before him, and so was outside playing with the little guy when the gate at the end of a dark alley rattled. Cooper was off in an instant barking with the hair raised up on his back. Well that turned out to be Matt…and that didn’t make such a great introduction for Cooper. Outside he just barked and barked at Matt, never getting close and eyeing him from a safe distance. We got the dog trainer outside with us and he suggested bringing Cooper inside and in his kennel to make him feel more secure. Once inside he took treats from Matt, did tricks and was fine…but as soon as we headed outside in the dark play area he began barking again. So it didn’t work out with Cooper, poor guy, but we’ll keep you posted in our search for a dog.

I got a “ray of hope” when I began painting the doorframe and baseboards with bright white, and that night as Matt and I finished painting the rest of the living room area and baseboards we realized it was the gray walls in contrast that made it look so yellow. Now, looking at our clean home with freshly painted baseboards and walls, it looks a wonderful clean butter cream and we’re very happy with it!

This brings us up to our “Sleepless in Seattle” night. Wednesday night we packed our stuff and got our house back in order (all that’s left to paint is the master bedroom and the doors), and ended up in bed by 12:30. Three hours later we were up and stumbling into our clothes in the pre-dawn darkness and out the door by four in the morning. We were headed to the SeaTac airport to fly to Oakland then drive to Groveland for Thanksgiving.

Matt had called a parking place the night before to make sure they had space, and tell them we were coming. On our way to the airport we had to call three times to get directions to this place…but since it was only $9/day for parking as opposed to $26/day at the airport and we were going to be gone 5 days we figured it was worth it. Finally we found the location…a bit late but at least we were there. Pulling into the dimly lit lot with one sign labeled “E-Z Parking” and cars haphazardly in every nook and cranny of spare space, a woman who looked like she’d seen the ugly side of too many mornings swaggered up to our car and in a surprisingly low voice demanded, “You got a reservation?”

We explained that we had called last night (i.e. 5 hours ago) and they said there was room for us and no need to make a reservation, and we’d been conversing with them all morning trying to get there (read: um…if we needed a reservation shouldn’t you have told us to make one during one of our 6 conversations with you?).

“Sorry, no reservation—no room. We’re full.”

We stared at her with gaping mouths…our plane was leaving in an hour and every sign we had passed on the way had said “LOT FULL” making us grateful they knew we were coming and had space…or so we had thought. Word to the wise…always make a reservation.

With no time to argue we pulled out of the shady parking lot and did manage to find a Park-n-Fly for not too much more, and as tossed our keys to the valet, grabbed our bags and jumped on the shuttle we heaved a sigh of relief. That will wake you up!

Eight o’clock we landed in Oakland and were greeted by both of our dads at the airport. A two and a half hour car ride later we were walking into Matt’s parent’s house in Groveland and giving hugs and kisses to his Mom, Katie, my mom, Ammah…and of course their black lab Max.

have to say not too much of that Thanksgiving is ultra clear other than the general feeling of being happy and full. Two very good emotions to have connected with Thanksgiving!

The next day Matt and I were woken up at noon (hey, three hours of sleep the night before!) by our moms and Ammah noisily (and purposefully so) talking outside our door…then two heads popping in with big smiles. I keep telling them they’re really going to regret that one day…

We headed into Sonora that afternoon, and Dave and Beth found prime real estate on the main street where the parade was going to be that evening. After wandering in the cute boutiques and quaint antique shops we cinched up our scarves and sidled up to a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers as the parade began. 

It began with the high school marching band, followed by fire trucks, an astonishing amount of nativity scenes (most of them missing baby Jesus though…but they were well stocked on angels of all shapes and sizes!), the cowboy vets, Chinese dragons, a slew of Harley Davidsons, old fashioned cars, more nativities, girl scouts, tap dancing reindeer, a “all snowflakes are unique and equal” float (i.e. gay pride), and it all finished with Mr & Mrs Claus. It was truly a small town parade with Katie waving to her neighbors who were riding their horses in the Sheriff’s posse, people from the café behind us running cups of coffee to their friends riding on the floats, and the drivers of the classic cars chatting with us as they rolled by.

I’m having to leave out a lot of great warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving times like hiking in Yosemite (yes we saw that bear!), watching old family videos, singing along with my dad and Uncle Chris on the guitar, snuggling with Max (the dog) and reading my book, going to church with my whole family Sunday morning, and Dave’s birthday dinner. All these wrapped up for a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you had a great one as well.

And now we’re on to Christmas! Don’t laugh but I already have a garland and stockings hung and we still haven’t hung pictures on our walls! I’m just a Christmas nut…I start drinking eggnog as soon as it hits the stores and try to think of ways to maximize our Christmas décor.

Oh, and I officially started at Delta Marine today! Looks like I’ll be busy! I already have a blurb I have to write by Friday as we’re submitting one of our yachts for refit of the year! ‘Till next time, keep cozy and bring on the jingle bells!

1 comment:

  1. Happy belated Thanksgiving. Good luck on the dog search and have an AWESOME first day!! Woohoo