Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hope For the Future

Paul, speaking to me: What do you want to do, baby?
Nicholas: I know what Heather can do. Clean the house!

Later on...

Me: Chloe, I'm going to teach you about respecting personal space and the importance of social awareness.
Chloe, with a very big smile: You use a lot of words when you talk.

Life is never dull!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Air travel safety is usually the last thing on my mind when I'm settling in for a long flight. There are bags to stow and iPods to adjust--neighbors to ignore and Air Mall magazines to peruse. Does anyone really listen to what the flight attendent is saying? Do we watch her carefully as she pantomimes life-saving procedures with the boredom that accompanies severe repetition? Not really.

But next time, listen for a minute. She says, "In the event of a change in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Secure your own mask before you help your neighbor." Secure your own mask...

You can't take care of other people unless you take care of yourself first.

It sounds selfish to me. I don't always know how to put my own needs in front of the needs of my loved ones, but sometimes I just have to. If I'm falling apart myself, how can I honestly take care of you? And at what cost?

Something to think about...

**Side note: some of us actually need to take care of ourselves a little less and pay more attention to the needs of other people. After all, it's really not all about you...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rainbows and Sunshine

Take Your Prozac Before You Read This One

I know it's Wednesday, the middle of the week, but it feels like Monday. Like the beginning of an infinite phase, a dry-as-saltines textbook that weighs more than your head, a stopped clock.

At the same time, I'm annoyed that it's Wednesday. I'm annoyed that half of another week has passed, and nothing has been accomplished. This week is just the same as last. And the same as next.

It's January. It's grey and foggy. The cleft in the cheeks of winter. Stalled. And I'm annoyed that January is almost over and we're that much farther into another year and nothing has been accomplished.

I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and it makes me so tired--I'm tempted to lie down on the concrete and close my eyes, feel the rocks dig into my face and hands and just give up. Maybe it's just a severe lack of sleep.  Maybe it's Vitamin D deficiency.

Happy Hump Day.

Here's a picture of my lovely sister, Lindsey, attempting to wake up my tempermental nephew, Cyan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Desk Next Door

Today Todd is sitting at the desk next to me. He's mellow and slow-moving and a bit of a tease. He's an oasis in the desert that is Burke. He could sit there every day and I'd be happy.

Two weeks ago, Todd's half-sister looked him up on facebook. She was two months old the last time he saw her. Today she is 32. She has turned down his previous attempts at communication, but it seems she's had a change of heart.

And I can see the excitement in Todd's eyes.

"Does she look like me?" he asks. He's pouring over her photos, and photos of his nephew and niece. He's searching for his face in hers and I kind of know how he feels.

I want to say yes, badly. I want to be shocked at how similar they are, but they're not. I can't say that, of course. Instead I say, "You have the same cheeks. And maybe your nose." Todd is fair, with red hair and blue eyes. Michelle has olive skin with dark hair and brown eyes. It feels strange to regard this man so closely. We've only just met, but he meets my eyes with hope and expectation.

"Yeah," he says. "We have the same nose." And yes, I think they do--in the way that Paul shares his nose with his mom--masculine to feminine.

I'm excited for Todd. I hope, with all my heart, that his sister will allow him to be in her life. He deserves it.

In Which I Discover Where I Stand In This Relationship

This morning I finished packing my backpack in the dark, throwing in deoderant, makeup, my toothbrush and a contact case. I poured my coffee and made sure I had my dress and boots ready to stow away in the car. I collected my laptop and textbooks and grabbed a Lean Cuisine from the freezer. I peeked in on Nicholas and turned off the hall light.

Finally, I made my way back to the bedroom and perched on the bed next to Paul's sleeping form. I was late, but I never skip this good morning ritual. I leaned over and brushed my hand over his short hair and kissed his forehead. He's so cute when he sleeps. This morning it took a few kisses sprinkled over his face to rouse him from sleep, and he did so reluctantly, turning his head towards me and offering his face, but never opening his eyes.

"I love you, Baby," I whispered. "I'm going to miss you this weekend. Tomorrow night seems a long way away."

He finally cracked his eyes and gave me a real kiss. "I love you Baby," he said in his hoarse morning voice. "Don't wreck my car."

If you see this cruising up I-5 this weekend, steer clear. I can't wreck Paul's car.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Yesterday, January 19, 2010, marked Edgar Allen Poe's 201st birthday.

Each year on this night an unknown pilgrim leaves roses and a half-drunk bottle of cognac on Poe's grave, earning him the name 'Poe toaster.'

The tradition has remained unbroken for 60 years.

This year, the Poe toaster failed to come.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mein of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
'Though they crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven.'
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore-
Tell me what they lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

There's Something In the Way You Move

Port Orchard does not have waves. The thought occurs to me every now and then as I drive past the harbor into town, but I did not realize how much I missed the noise and the rhythm of ebb and crash that marks the chaos of the sea.

It hit me as soon as Paul and I stepped out of the car at Pacific Beach. The noise was home. Well, home on a much bigger was a roar. I couldn't see the ocean; I could barely sense in which direction it lay, but I could smell it. I could hear it, and I could feel it in the air.

I was giddy, and I'm sure Paul was laughing at me. I skipped in the dark towards the sound, and I could just barely make out the glint of moonlight reflecting off of white caps. Don't mock--it was my first glimpse of the open ocean!

We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend of just doing nothing. We watched movies and explored Ocean Shores. We indulged in breakfast out each morning. We purchased magnets and toys for the kids and had a very long conversation about cats with one of the bored store proprietors. We talked and didn't talk. We ate pizza and drank beers with the retired people in the hotel bar. We teased and laughed and just spent time loving each other.

On Saturday, we ventured out into the heavy mist for a walk on the beach. I won't say it was warm. I won't say we stayed dry either, but I loved it. Paul proved to be a hero when he found what might have been the only in tact sand dollar on the beach.

I was a little taken aback by the vehicles on the beach. I guess it's legal, but I think there should be some seperation of nature and industry. A dune buggy raced past us, turning sharp circles in the sand and drowning out the sound of the waves with its harsh motor. Mini vans and trucks, cars and SUVs lined up along the beach grass, bulging with families, teenagers, couples and dogs. It was an intrusion on the peace of the scene.

I experienced what must be the opposite of inland clausterphobia. I felt spread out and unprotected. It was hard to take in the unbroken distance between shore and horizon, and my eye reflexively searched for the curve of harbor that never came. It was beautiful and wild and chaotic. Part of me prefers the familiarity of the Puget Sound, but that's only the comfort of what is known.

It was almost painful to head home. I wasn't ready to give up our uninterrupted time of no responsibility. I wanted our time to go on forever. But then, without life and responsibility, we would never appreciate these small moments that are stolen away.

True Love Is...

Letting your hunny hang this over the toilet.

I kid you not.

It watches me in the mirror while I pee.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clouds and Random Fretting on a Dingy Tuesday

Yes, yes, the weekend was amazing! But that's info for another post at another time. The (huge) downside of having a wonderful weekend off is the necessity of returning to real life. I let myself get into these moods where everything annoys me. I start out by harping on something that shouldn't bug me as much as it does, and like fertilized petunias in my mom's front yard, the mood grows. And then my co-workers begin to do things that shouldn't make me crazy, but they do. Like slicing massive amounts of internet-purchased cheese. Yeah. And leaving Group Health brochures about healthy eating for life on my desk. I'm not the diabetic in this office. And talking. Just the act of opening his mouth is enough to send me over the edge.

Or, ya know? Let's chalk this up to PMS. And toothaches. Three week long toothaches. (Mom, I'm looking into a special health care credit card that allows me to finance dental work...I'll survive)

This is a busy month for weekends. This coming Friday I'm heading north for an evening and half a day to see Mr. Delph get married! I haven't met his fiance, but I really hope he finds happiness. He deserves it.

The following Saturday I have to head to Shelton for an all day class. I had NO idea how far away Shelton was until Paul and I headed south this past weekend. My class starts at 8:30 am so I'm going to have to leave the house at like 6:00 am. That sucks. Especially since the class is, get this: Intro to Windows. If my job didn't depend on this, I'd bail. Or teach the class myself. Holy crap.

I have a test tonight. The instructor said the test 'may or may not' be open book. Really? I'm crossing my fingers for open, but I think I'll do ok if it's not. I'm confidant that I know the difference between a pc and a server, Word and Excel.

Paul and I had a conversation about oceanic topography and its effect, in addition to the effects of temperature, season and currents, on the size, distance and frequency of waves, and I must say, I love that he and I are evenly yoked when it comes to intelligence. Even intelligence is hugely important in a successful relationship, especially to me, and we have it! And we each learn from the other constantly. I love that man.

Forty-six minutes until 1602. This day needs to be over.

And now for something cheerful--photos of cute animals. It's hard to be crabby when you're gazing into the face of the adorable. Huh.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fandango Friday

Huh. I googled the word fandango after I used it in my title, and although my newfound knowledge of its definition might lend an entirely different meaning to the title, I'm leaving it as is because I really love alliteration.

-noun, plural -gos
1. a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time, performed by a man and a woman playing castanets.
2. a piece of music for such a dance, or one having its rhythm.
3. (esp. in the southwest U.S.) a ball or dance.

You're welcome.

Paul claims he's Spanish...maybe I can get him to do this dance for me this weekend. (ha! that thought conjured up an especially memorable mental image. I'll spare you)

This weekend! For my Christmas gift, Paul made reservations for us to stay two nights at the Navy Resort in Pacific Beach, WA. I've only ever seen the actual ocean once-- in San Diego when I was ten. Okay, twice, if you count the view below the plane on the way to Japan--so I'm beyond excited to visit the coast! Sure, it's winter, but I think that'll make the experience different and special and even more memorable. There's something very romantic about walking on the beach in the rain. Especially when there's a hot tub to warm your bones after!

But the best part of this weekend is time. When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I wanted time. And this weekend, Paul and I will have time, alone, together. Time with no stress. Time with no responsibilities. Time with no agenda. We need it.

I'm so excited; I don't know if I'll make it through the day! Well, I mean of course I will, but from this point, 1031, the day seems interminable. I am so thankful for Paul, for the love he shows me every day, and for his thoughtfulness. I only hope I can consistently do the same for him. Mushy, huh? That's what people who are in love do.

Please stand by for beautiful pictures and a gushing account of our fabulous (and very first!) weekend getaway.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for this beautiful scarf that Mom Abundis gave me for Christmas. Not only is it a fabulous combination of fawn and chocolate browns, dusty roses and smokey mauves, it is also creatively looped to cover the spot where I spilled gravy on my shirt at lunch.

I apologize for the crappy, emo self portrait. I had only moments to take it while my co-workers were out of the office...

Also, I am thankful for splitting Dairy Queen chicken strip baskets (complete with country gravy) with Tiffany on cold rainy days!

And also, for Tiburon, who created this awesome Thankful Thursday header that I so guilelessly ripped off.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just to Clear Things Up

Nicholas: Heather, The Joker and Luke Skywalker are bad guys, right?

Me: No, the Joker is a bad guy and Luke Skywalker is a good guy.

Nicholas: Is C3PO a bad guy?

Me: No, C3PO is a good guy too.

Nicholas: Oh. And Boba Fet is a bad guy.

Me: Yes. Kind of.

I'm glad we've got that straightened out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Slight Obsession

Quick note.

Having that Feedjit tracker is making me crazy...

Santa Ana, CA, who are you????

Lopez Island, WA, who are you???? I only know people on Orcas!

So really... talk to me; let's be friends. Let's hang out in the blogosphere!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Naughties In a Nut Shell

The last decade, broken down:

  • Graduated from high school with honors...I was the valedictorian! But there were only two people in the class...
  • Spent a month in Pensacola with my best friend, Sarah, pretty much doing nothing. While there I got my first (highly regrettable) tattoo.
  • Decided to quit my high school job and enter the wonderful world of retail holidays. That lasted all of six weeks and left me unemployed on the day after Christmas...stupid K-Mart.
  • Discovered Weezer, Radiohead and the Beatles (super late, I know) through Andy and Alan, who insisted on playing the accoustic version of 'Creep' repeatedly every time we were in the car (I didn't mind...great song).
  • Dated Andy for two months, only to remember that I was 'in love' with another and didn't really like spending time with Andy. **Note--not the same Andy as named in the previous bullet point.
  • Tattoo number two--slightly less regrettable. Completed hours before a formal event resulting in my sporting a red satin gown and plastic wrap around my ankle, which barely prevented blood and ink from running into my shoes.
  • September 12, 2001 road trip with Mrs. Delph to Mountain Home, ID because all the air traffic was grounded. Missed Kendra's birth but made it there the day after.
  • Hurriedly decided to escape Oak Harbor by moving to Eau Claire, WI to live with my aunt...not the worst decision.
  •  Pierced my tongue as I left to drive to WI. Lied to my mom about the contents of my mouth while driving through Wyoming.
  • Failed to call out to 'the one' at CWU, resulting in years of what-ifs.
  • Dressed up like a hoochie for my first 'club' experience in St. Paul, was 18+ night.
  • Had my first taste of alcohol on the way to said club...Apple Pucker right out of the bottle.
  • Discovered a world of jewelry repair, winter coats and early morning inventory at JC Penney.
  • Spent months breaking up and making up with Chris, the crying boyfriend.
  • Can't remember 20th birthday. At all.
  • Returned to WA for a week or so for Adam and Holli's wedding, saw 'love of life' and remembered that he was so. Resulted in much mental anguish as crying boyfriend was present at that moment.
  • Lost hours of my life in a tiny bar in Arena, WI, population 416. Learned to wear turtlenecks to bar in order to deflect ice cubes thrown down my shirt from the other side of the room. **Note--Nobody checks IDs in WI.
  • Fell out with aunt, was asked to leave the house and decided with relief to move back to Oak Harbor.
  • Most awesome cross-country road trip with mom, left wallet in ice cream shop in Montana.
  • Road tripped to Mountain Home, ID with Christine, only to be stranded in the Tri-Cities in the middle of the night with a dead alternator. Best. Road Trip. Ever.
  • Desperation led to Wal-Mart employment. What. The. Heck.
  • Turned 21 and alchy, bar hopping six days a week. Became exhausted after five months of this.
  • Enrolled in Skagit Valley College approximately three years too late.
  • Moved into ghetto duplex with my sister, resulting in a few school nights spent sleeping in my car while she threw parties.
  • Very boring year...zzzzz
  • After five or six false alarms and several trips to the Donut House, Kelliauna was born, giving me my first close-up view of child birth.
  • Scholarships!!!
  • Returned to school after forgetting to attend for several quarters
  • Discovered Hedwig!
  • Made highly-influenced but very poor decision, garnering threat of legal action, but escaped by hurting someone pretty badly. Sorry Fer.
  • Realized that I was so far in debt that my entire income went towards credit card payments.
  • Moved back in with Mom and Dad. How embarrassing.
  • After six months of applying for jobs, Chamber ED took a chance on my inexperienced tush and I got out of Wal-Mart. Woohoo!!!
  • Scholarships!!!
  • Tracy happened, for lack of other entertainment.
  • Crossed Pacific Ocean for first time with Mom and Pleu the Psychotic Kitty, nearly missing flight to Japan because the clock on my mp3 player was set an hour back. Also because of Lindsey's flight delays.
  • Experienced first non-retail holiday in six years.
  • Survived first Holland Happening as event planner. Barely.
  • Got lost in Kamakura with my sister, only to discover that I knew my way around the Japanese tourist town better than she, the resident, did...thanks to getting lost in Kamakura with my mom the year before.
  • Discovered 'love of life' had married the love of his life.
  • Returned to school after forgetting to attend for several quarters.
  • Realized that I had no emotional attachment to Tracy and left without looking back.
  • Helped usher Josiah into the world...kinda.
  • A very specific alignment of fate and destiny allowed me to meet Paul
  • Fell in love with Paul in the Snohomish armory
  • Graduated from a two-year school...four years later.
  • Lost Paul because I didn't tell him.
  • Spent the summer travelling around Washington and Idaho, having much fun with the rebound. But my heart was elsewhere, resulting in many many lies and fights.
  • Hurt, hurt, hurt. This was a year of hurt.
  • Set off the first 4th of July firework while wearing the battallion chief's fire helmet.
  • Became morbidly obsessed with
  • Discovered a love of phallic monuments in Washington DC.
  • Designed my first brochure for Soroptimist Int'l with huge success.
  • Gave in to what I knew was right.
  • Got Paul back and discovered the lightness of heart that tells you you're doing the right thing.
  • Learned to trust
  • Spent a huge portion of my days in front of a web cam.
  • House sat
  • Waited, waited, waited.
  • Passed inumerable hours on Erica's couch, sharing a love for ER and bad horror movies (that better Erica? =D)
  • Spent two amazing weeks with Paul, who was on leave from Iraq. Discovered maybe for the first time that I was positively, absolutely 100% sure, beyond any doubt.
  • Met Paul's family one at a time, resulting in a sense of shock once I experienced them all together.
  • Learned that you really do just know.
  • Job search, job search, job search.
  • Paul came home! This event initiated a month and a half of commuting between Oak Harbor and Port Orchard twice a week and half-living in Maxine's guest room.
  • House hunt, house hunt, house hunt.
  • Experienced the overwhelming splendor of a very large family and the sense of belonging.
  • Learned that I am the only one I should be.
  • Discovered that girls make truly hot pirates while men make truly nasty wenches, and that I can't hold my Mike's Hard Lemonade anymore, especially when mixed with Pirate Punch and Grog.
  • Consequently learned that Malaluca parties are made 100 times more miserable by a fierce hangover.
  • Was strategically laid off and put my trust in Washington State Unemployment Insurance.
  • After months of uncertainty, we decided to live in Port Orchard and I left Oak Harbor behind me for good!
  • With much stress and tears, I learned (am learning) how to be a stepmom.
  • Signed at least the next year of my life over to the government.
  • Learned again, after 10 years of bitterness, to love the holidays.
  • Closed the decade by jamming out with my... never mind. Closed the decade next to the man of my dreams, the love of my life, and began the rest of my life.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I've had a really hard time writing lately. There's a million half-formed thoughts floating around in my head, but I can't seem to string them together, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to let them out in such a public setting. However, school started today, and if I know myself I will be blogging quite often in the near future just to avoid doing assignments. Sigh.

So what do you think? What should I write about? Inspire me. Give me fuel for my banked fire.