Dane's the Man

That about catches everyone up on the hectic week of our wedding. Now all we have to do this next week is get Rach's stuff moved out of my shop so we can move Rick's stuff in. (yeah - that's all!)

But, in the meantime I have an exciting story to share - about Dane.

If you recall back a couple winters ago, when we had a big snowfall and Dale had been having chest pains and ended up having a stent inserted due do a 90% artery blockage, Dane also was having chest pains (check out this link if you didn't read about it). He was in high school - an 18 year old! They're not supposed to have chest pains! So we ended up in the emergency room having quite a battery of tests done. His temperature spiked, he had shooting pains in his neck and arm, headache and nausea and he had just gotten over about a week of diarrhea. Soon after the emergency room episode I figured out that it was probably salmonella and we joined a class action suit. It was settled a couple months ago and Dane got a small 4 figure settlement. He decided how he would spend at least part of the money:

He'd have lasik surgery done to correct his vision!

Good investment I thought. He's doing pretty good for the insecure, helpless kid that he was when he was younger. He signed up at the career center at the Community College he attended in his senior year of high school. That got him a job in the mason's union, he's learning to be a tile mason. He moved out a couple months ago with a friend in my congregation who needed a roommate. He buys all his own food now, pays his bills, gets his car fixed and running well. He's growing up.

Imagine my surprise when he texts me today and tells me that he came by the house to tell me that he could see! He got estimates on his lasik, made the appointment, made arrangements for his roommate to take him and had the scary surgery done without mom there or even in the loop. He only came around to share his excitement after the fact. That to me is just a huge accomplishment.

As much as I love all my kids and sometimes even miss the activity around the house now that they're all almost moved out, I enjoy seeing them grow into the good people I'd hoped to have been raising. It makes all the work, sacrifice, tears, whatever worth the effort.

Now I gotta work on Keith - my unemployed secret Asian man.

The Honeymoon

Rach and her then soon-to-be ex had plans to swap cars for months. When Tony left in September to establish a home in Cincinnati he took Rach’s Tahoe and left her with his Jeep. Then around the beginning of the year plans for Rach to join him changed and the need for a car swap evolved. It was planned for April, then moved to May and finally pushed out to June, the weekend after my wedding. So I kinda spent my honeymoon time with my daughter. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me well.

Day One – the Drive Out

We set out on Thursday morning in the wee hours, about 4:45 AM. We drove hard all day and arrived in Rapid City at midnight our time, exhausted, achey and ready to sleep anywhere. Tony let us stay in his room, we shared the hide-a-bed.

The drive was arduous, the jeep was small and cramped, gutless, noisy and we felt every bump.

About the only event to blog from that day was that, after seeing lots of dead deer on the side of the road and lots of live deer in the woods next to the road, we nearly saw a pretty little orange car hit one. He zoomed past us and was, let’s say, 1/4 mile ahead of us when we saw him brake and stop. When we passed him there was another dead deer on the side of the road, car parts right there next to it and he was standing there looking at the crumpled front end of his car. Rach had just been warned to watch out for them by a local in a gas station.

I guess she knew what she was talking about.

Day Two – Rount Mushmore

Early in the morning Rach and Tony quietly got up and swapped car contents while I slept. They signed the final divorce papers and hugged each other goodbye. I'm pleased they were both so cordial about the whole thing. Rach is OK emotionally.

After sleeping a few more hours we headed off to see Mt. Rushmore but first had to find some sandals Rach needed. At the Rushmore Mall we spotted a sale of metal arbors, lattices, sculptures, planters, etc.

Excitedly I headed for the sale and the sign said nearly everything was 30% off. One thing I spotted even from a distance was a lattice just like one I found near home for $112. This one was marked $59. I spotted some little teapot sculptures and was nearly adding that to my collection when I spotted Martha. Or maybe Ruby. Ruby with the Swirly Boobies. The final bill came to just under $110, everything I bought was 30% off. Cool.

There are tons of little interesting tourist traps on the road to Rushmore. One I had already chosen was one of those topsy-turvy houses. It was a little spendy but - hey! - we're on my honeymoon! She really enjoyed it and so did I, even though I already experienced it in the past maybe twice.

On the way out you have to pass through the town of Keystone. It's all done in wild west style and has a carnival atmosphere almost. We caught Rushmore pretty much on the fly since the best spot to experience it appeared to be a paid parking lot with probably a visitor center and gift shop.

From there we headed to the towns of Lead and Deadwood. Not much sights to see there. We tried to visit the cemetery where Calamity Jane and Wild Bill are buried, once upon a time called Boot Hill but there was admission for that too! So we moved on to our last stop for the day, Sturgis, home of the biggest annual biker rally in the country (I believe). We grabbed dinner there and spent the night a little closer to home - Sundance.

Day Three - Devil's Tower

We got up and unsuccessfully tried to get online

and make phone calls so decided to just head out for our main sight for the day, the Devil's Tower, made famous by the 1977 "Close Encounters" movie. Stopping at one viewpoint to take pictures we decided to follow the advise of a sign planted right there:

The drive out was a scenic, leisurely drive with lots of photo opps. We sure enjoyed cruising in her beautiful, comfy Tahoe. After climbing up a way and getting some shots from the base of the tower we made a goal of Butte, Montana.

Day Four - Home!

This last day we decided pretty much just to head straight home. We were done and just wanted to get home. We got to see some sights, make some purchases and take care of Rachyl's business.

Monday she would take her divorce papers to court and be again an unmarried woman. Seems backwards, but, no, the first divorce usually takes place somewhere around the age of 30, so she's actually right on schedule.

But marrying at age 52? I'm not sure about that.

Twilight in Forks

Before I get into this blog it's been brought to my attention that my blogs are not to my usual standard. Sorry, probably not, but at this point I'm just mainly trying to get things down before I forget the details. Once this blogfest is done I should be back to my old blogger self. Please forgive the slip in quality.

Mark’s teenage daughter, Celeste, is a typical teen, interested in the latest heart throb, Edward, from the movie Twilight. That movie is based on a book set in the Washington town of Forks on the Olympic Peninsula. It was filmed in Oregon so none of the buildings are those in the movie. When I heard they wanted to go visit Forks I was surprised because Forks is a nothing town.But Forks having their 15 minutes of fame and most of the town has jumped on the Twilight bandwagon so it’s kind of fun.

The trip included a ferry ride which I always enjoy and Kathy told me was a highlight of her trip 20 years ago. We could actually have driven around and skipped the ferry but it’s another Seattle attraction within their budget. Some of the family has problems with motion sickness but the ferry is large enough that it didn’t affect them.

First thing after we docked we hunted down a McD’s for breakfast. Then we hit the road again, the kids all slept most of the way and we 4 adults yakked and yakked. It was a very bonding trip.

The first thing when we hit the town was the welcome sign and there was even a little reference to the movie right there. Then there was a motel with “Edward Cullen didn’t sleep here” on it’s marquee.

Driving into town we saw more and more Twilight references everywhere so we decided to find the visitor center to get specific information. They had maps to all the fictional whereabouts and hangouts of the main characters, Edward and Bella, so, like a scavenger hunt, we wandered around and got pictures of all the sights; Edward’s home, Bella’s home, school, etc.

There were a couple stores filled with nothing but Twilight merchandise so the kids picked out a few things. Among them was a stuffed wolf for Markie. He carried that wolfie around and played with it constantly, they were inseparable.

One of the final Twilight spots was First Beach in LaPush,

a small Indian community on the coast. I had wanted to take them on a short hike to Second Beach but we made a wrong turn and ended up 10 miles or so the wrong way, in Kalaloch and therefore lost the time it would have taken to make that walk. I think Second Beach is far superior to First in beauty. But we got to enjoy watching the kids play in the water while we did some beachcombing. There were seals in the water and bald eagles to view as well.

Our drive back to the ferry was confusing, we were following the directions the Tom Tom GPS was giving us and it seemed to be leading us to the Bainbridge Island ferry instead. But we finally made it home about 10:30.

That makes 2 long days in a row! I wonder what my new husband thinks about all this!

Tour Guide

My visiting out-of-state family members, that would be my sister Kathy from California and my brother, Mark and his family, wife Rachel and children Celeste, Rebekah and Markie from Utah, wanted to see the sights and told me they preferred that I be their guide rather than use the local attraction “the Duck”.So my daughter, Rachyl, and I put our heads together and figured out some sights they may enjoy that were more than just the usual souvenir shops, such as the Seattle Waterfront is.

We did visit the Waterfront but just for a quick stroll around that included the view across the sound to Bainbridge Island and West Seattle. Dane actually came along for the first part of the day but left to go to an eye doctor appointment.
We stopped for lunch at the take-out side of the Crab Pot restaurant there on the waterfront. From there we climbed to the Pike Place Market where the fish sellers throw the fish that they are internationally known for. It was a great time of year to go to the market as the flower vendors had a huge variety of every color imaginable.

Next we hiked up the hill one block, then the terrain levels off. This wouldn’t even had been necessary to mention except that Rach brought Hunter in his stroller and Shirley came along with both boys and stuck them both in a stroller as well. That was quite a load for that small a girl to push by herself. They got to the top of the hill and Shirl planted herself on the ground, exhausted. A few more easy blocks up the street and we were at the Westlake Center where we went to catch the 45+ year old monorail that travels one mile between that shopping center and the Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle.

We visited the base of the Space Needle and got some interesting perspective shots and headed over to the International Fountain which is also approximately 45 years old.It’s a large, silver dome set in a bowl and people are encouraged to play in it.The fountain along with music and, at night, lights, is computerized and puts on quite a show. We ended up enjoying that for probably an hour, the younger kids running in the water and getting soaked. Hunter danced with his cousin Bekah, he’s so cute.

Our paid parking was nearly expired so we ran back to the monorail and back to our cars to head for our next destination which I knew Mark would particularly enjoy – the Fremont Troll. It’s a large statue of the upper half of a troll built under a bridge and in his left hand he’s holding a real VW. We got a few shots of that (Shirley had to stick her hand up his nose) and moved on to our final stop which was very close by, Gasworks Park. You can probably guess, based on the name, what that park used to be.They have some of the old gasworks fenced and rusting and some are in a covered area and painted bright colors. The park is located on Lake Union where there is lots of activity including houseboats and seaplanes.There is also a kite hill with an interesting mosaic built into the top.

After that long day we were all pretty exhausted so we split up and did our own dinners, then Mark’s family went down to Denny’s to visit some more with Rachyl since the plan was to leave Wednesday and she wouldn’t see them any more.

But those plans changed – mwahahaha!

The Big Event

Well, the big day has come and gone now. But what a day it was!

It was a cool and drizzly morning that put a hold on getting things prepared in the order planned. It also changed a lot of how things were to flow. So some things got done not according to plan and some things got completely forgot. But neither of those scenarios was apparent to anyone but me so - to everyone else it was great. The food ended up coming out a little late, due to decorations going out late, due to drizzle stopping us from decorating early. The decorating didn't start until about 2 - 2:30, the officiate showed up about 3, as well as Rick and his parents.

While Rach was finishing up the bouquet, sitting at the computer, using the instructions found online, and I was finishing up the cake, Shirl, Heather, Kevin, Denny and Kathy (and maybe my brother's family, I'm not sure, I was preoccupied) were throwing around tulle, laying table runners and setting up candelabras. Rick's mother asked to help so she came in and ripped up the fresh-out-of-the-oven turkey.

We were finally ready to get dressed. Shirley had previously come over twice, first to do my makeup, then to do my hair. At first my makeup kinda scared me but once I took the mirror outside, where I was spending the day, I found that it looked great! False eyelashes and all. I think she was pleasantly surprised when I told her that I wanted tall hair, including the use of "bumpits" since my hair doesn't tease well. She did a fabulous job making this 52-year-old look like a beautiful bride.

A side note: a lot of the women at the wedding complimented my cleavage (men wouldn't dare). I always commented the same way - "it took a lot of work." (a bra, corset and "enhancements")

The ceremony went well, the officiate was perfect, the crowd was just the right size, the weather dried out. Everyone had a great time, the place looked great, the music worked well. There was really nothing to complain about. The only thing Rick came up with was the absentees - they missed out on a fun wedding.

One disappointing thing that happened - Heather's zipper in her dress broke while she was getting dressed so she, Shirley, Kevin and Denny all missed the actual ceremony. Oops!

We had a chocolate wedding cake and a small groom's cake sporting a whimsical groom dragging the bride. The guests signed "parchment" guest sheets using a real quill pen and green ink. Our mannequin, Mona, greeted everyone at the street in her own medieval costume. 21 out of approx 33 guests came in costume and the others dressed nicely casual. We danced a short jig. The girls in the family spun in pretty dresses. The 9-year-old niece took the prize winning picture. The groom's family all wore "Hello - my name is" labels with Joe Clark written on them. My granddoggy also wore a name badge on his rump - "Gage (crowd control)". The grandsons kept their costumes and even hats on. All good things.

After most left, leaving only close family, Denny started a fire in the campfire ring out back and we sat around it talking, laughing and drinking until midnight. We were bonding with our out-of-town relatives.

When the family finally left Rick had to help me undo some of my wedding gear. Specifically, my hair was pinned and glued into a single unit and I had a lacing in the back of my dress that had to be removed to be able to unzip it. We sat there reveling in the success of our wedding day while he helped me with those things.

In the morning we put on our robes and slippers and went out with our coffee and cameras to take some shots of the aftermath.

That was one great party (oh, yeah, the wedding too!)

Rapid Fire Blogging

OK, I'm gonna start and you better be able to keep up. Because all you gotta do is read it - I had to live it!

This last week and a half have been extremely hectic having a wedding, out-of-towners to show the sights to and a short road trip to South Dakota with my daughter. So I'm gonna start doing a blog a day until I'm caught up.

But first, a few things that don't deserve their own blogs:

The toilet fiasco.

My old jet-powered toilet was having handle issues, you needed to push it two or three times to make it flush. And we were going to have about 40 people at our wedding. So a touchy flusher was not conducive to happy attendees. I asked Rick to take a look at it. Something was wearing out and the odd nature of the toilet didn't lend to the "repair" idea. So he decided to install new guts and make it a regular toilet. It took about 2 - 3 minutes to flush, apparently the bowl was built with more horizontal flow. When we put the jet powered guts back it wouldn't work even as good as it had. A new toilet was in order. We did some studying and found a great flusher. My original plan.

Jalapeno hot dogs with cream cheese and brown mustard - yummy!

Water pressure

Not something you think about but when you live with lousy water pressure for years then in minutes have normal water pressure it's life changing. Yep

Ther ya go. Just a few things I had to get offa my chest. Now on with the blog explosion.

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.