Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

After a bit of a rocky start we managed to get going on the staining of our deck this weekend. Err.. maybe I should say Mark got going.

We cleared off all the patio furniture, relegating it to new homes, either on the cement patio outside the basement door or on the front porch. I've been meaning to move a couple of those chairs to the front for a long time now and I have to say it's a great place for them! Nice area to read in the somewhat cooler afternoons and watch the neighbor kids enjoying the last of their summer days.

Then came the task assigned to Mark, the cleaning and bleaching of all the deck surfaces. It looks so good - I woke up Sunday morning and stood at my window looking down in appreciation and joy. What a beautiful deck we have! Now we just have to give it 48 hours before we (Mark) can go back and apply the stain.

So of course today we have rain. Bleh. I had been wanting rain to help distress my paper bundles swinging gently above the porch. You can see them in the photo - paper bundled up and hanging in the outdoor weather to be seasoned and distressed. In a few months I will take it apart and use the weathered papers for other projects. But today I would have skipped the rain in favor of the porch over my bundles.

That staining will have to be postponed just a little bit longer. Hopefully not too long. I guess I need to be careful of what I wish for!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Go Ahead, Make My Day...

This is another story that occurred in the dark ages. No kids in our lives yet, still a dink couple.

Remember that acronym? Double Income No Kids? D.I.N.K.

Mark was driving for Schucks and usually had a late run on Fridays which sort of cut into our weekends. Not to mention it made me a little nervous that he was on the road on a Friday night when the bars were closing and the drunks were hitting the streets. That was another lifetime ago and fortunately, he survived it.

I'm not sure why it happened but Mark informed me that he was off on an upcoming Friday and what would we like to do? OMG, there are so many options when you are dinks and free to go and do whatever you feel like!! We started tossing ideas into the pot and tentatively making plans.

Then "IT" happened. Mark told me that his friend Al had tickets to the Mariners and he was going to spend Friday night with Al. I was so mad I couldn't even speak. I don't recall if we really had an all out fight or if I just went into Silent Mode. I think it was the latter, because I seem to remember Mark continued to putt around with blinders on, not even noticing that I was mad... which of course just added fuel to the fire. He might as well have sprayed me with lighter fluid and got out the marshmallows to roast over the bonfire that was my anger, I was that hot!

Friday morning I went through my usual routine and off to work. Sometime during the morning he gives me a call and asks if I want to have lunch with him. I grudgingly agree to, but know in my heart I am going to do all I can to make that lunch miserable for him. How dare he blow off our weekend for a Mariner game that he's not even taking me to?

How Dare He!

Mark shows up at my job and pops his head into my boss's office and chit chats with him while I am grabbing my purse. I stood outside the door with a sour face plastered on while he makes nice with my boss. GRrrr... Then he asks if I am ready and walks me out to the car. He's such a gentleman and opens the door for me.


Doesn't he get that I am mad? M. A. D. MAD!! Does he have a brick for a brain that he can't even read this level of emotion??

He pulls out of the parking lot and heads to the freeway telling me he knows a great little place to go to lunch. Nice, Dude, whatever. We are on the freeway about 15 minutes and I'm starting to get a little anxious on top of my mad. Mark knows I only have a 45 minute lunch break, what the heck? He's going to take me to some "great little place" at which I'll have to gobble down my meal in three minutes flat to get back to work on time? My husband is not scoring any points with me. So much so that he is way below zero and far into the negative points. He's going to owe me big time by the time this is all behind us and I deign him worthy of speaking to again.

Finally, 20 or 30 minutes into the drive I have to speak to him and I start with as much sarcasm as I can muster.

"You do know I only have 45 minutes for lunch."

He responds with some off hand, perfectly calm, oblivious to my mood answer. He points to the glove box and tells me to open it. Again, What.Ever!

In the glove box is a card, and in this card are three little words:

Are you ready for this? It's not the usual three little words...


He tells me my boss is not expecting me back at work this afternoon. He tells me my clothes are all packed in the back of the car. He tells me we are off to the cabin (yes, that cabin!). And he tells me he loves me and wants to spend this rare weekend with me, not Al.

He even packed my cross stitch project and the book I was reading. What a guy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cabin Fever

I'm going to share a little story that happened back in the Olden Days, long before kids or even marriage, for that matter. It was not long after my husband and I had started dating. I think I may have met his parents already but not anyone else in his family. We were just kids having a good time dating.

Hubby's parents own a cabin in the north Cascades. He thought it would be nice for us to join them at this cabin for a weekend. It's on a river where we can fish and of course, being in the mountains, there are lots of hikes to do. And it was going to be a sweet little get away for my birthday. The first time we ever celebrated my birthday together.

At that time we both owned mini-pickup trucks. Mine was a Dodge D-50, my steady eddy never-let-me-down pick up. I loved her! His was a Chevy Luv. I didn't know much about his truck, but my little black & gold girl was much prettier. We discussed who's truck we should drive to the cabin and I really thought it should be mine. But he insisted we should take his. We were leaving later in the day and would be arriving at the cabin after dark. The roads up there don't have much traffic and if something should happen to us, or the truck, we'd have a CB radio to call for help.

Remember those? CB radios? I think truckers still use them. There was a time in the 70's & 80's that even normal people thought they were fun to have in your car or truck. Along with lifters, radar detectors and the biggest woofers you can fit in. But I digress...

So, the weekend comes and after work we head out of town and up to the cabin. It takes a couple hours to get there, about half of it freeway driving and the second half on Hwy 2. Hwy 2 is one lane of travel in each direction and the further east you go, the smaller the infrequent towns get. The climb into the mountains is very rural.

Once we have left the freeway behind us and travel about 45 minutes or so east into the mountains, the truck begins to lose power. The little Chevy Luv truck. The little blue truck with the CB radio. Whew, who knew? We're rolling onto the shoulder of the road, coming to a stop, but at least we have a CB radio, right?? Thank goodness!!


I ask the boy, who I don't realize will become my husband some time in the future, to use the CB radio and call for help. And do you know what he said?

"It won't help. We are too far away for anyone to hear us."


So here we are sitting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere at 10:00pm or later in pitch darkness. Did I mention dark? The kind of dark you have when there are no towns around shining their street lights collectively up into the sky to reflect down from the clouds. The kind of dark that won't even let you see your hand in front of your face. That kind of dark.

One or two cars came by over a period of time, but they didn't stop. I am not sure they even slowed down. I thought we would certainly be sitting there still when morning came. Eventually, a car came zipping by us, slowed, turned around and came back. Finally, an Angel! We were still a good 10 miles from the gate to the park where the cabin is and our good Samaritan was very close to being out of gas. It probably doesn't take much to figure out that in that remote place there are no all night gas stations. We gave the driver some money for gas praying that alone would coax his car along. He told us why no one would stop to help us. It seems it was just a week or so earlier that one of the country people living in that area had picked up a hitchhiker and got mugged. The odds of being helped were against us, save for this kind stranger. I am grateful to him to this day!

So ten miles later we were dropped at the gate to the park. From that gate it's about a mile to the cabin. A long, middle of the night, cold, can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face, walk. When we arrive at the cabin his parents seem a little surprised to see us. Hm, that's odd, I thought they were expecting us! Even odder, there are other people there I don't recognize: my boyfriend's sister, her husband and baby, and my boyfriend's brother. What a lot of people!! And what are all those things that look like **birthday presents**??!!??!!

Future hubby has planned a surprise party for me. And the party guests have been waiting for much much longer than they had anticipated!

And they were still waiting for him to call on the CB and let them know we were about to arrive. Yes, that CB! If it wasn't for that one little detail in their plan, we would have been in my truck and arrived on time!

We had a great weekend. When his entire family showed up to showered me with birthday presents before they'd even met me.... well I guess I should have known how serious he was feeling about me.