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me vs. the U.S. Post Office

January 23rd, 2012

Post Office for the win. Don’t gloat, USPS — I’ll be back next week for the re-match. Oh, yeah. Next time I’ll have my passport on me so you’d better watch out…

In the words of the nice lady from Goodwill: Mahalo, Aloha, Happy New Year and Have a Nice Day ;)

xo

wm

happy Sunday from Wacky House

January 22nd, 2012

Haystack rock

(photo by Steve Rawley)

Year of the Dragon begins tomorrow — Year of the Water Dragon, at that, I have been told by friends who keep track of these things.

“THE WATER DRAGON 1952 AND 2012

Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. Water allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another.”

xo

wm

from Zoot and Sarah and others…

December 30th, 2011

King Woogie takes a nap
(photo by Steve Rawley)

thanks for the writing prompt, y’all.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Started working out every day.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I always pledge to get more writing done, and this year I did.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My girlfriend C! She had a little girl. Happy mama of four now. And K’s mommy had a little boy. Sweet babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.

5. What countries did you visit? USA and that’s it. Would like to travel to Canada next year and check out Butchart Gardens.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? World peace. Again.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmmm — the kids’ birthdays, probably. And Steve’s and mine, too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my first novel published. Also I quit drinking. Christmas Eve made eight months for me. It feels really good, and we’re saving a load of money, too.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not going there.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, knock wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My kids’. They make me proud every day.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who are in charge who should not be.

14. Where did most of your money go? House and food and utility bills. And gas.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Planting our first garden at the new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Probably “Forget You,” by Cee Lo Green.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, for sure.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? More content, that’s all I care about.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Played.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaned house.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home. It was peaceful and good, and we had good food to eat (in spite of a broken stove). For New Year’s Eve, we told the kids to invite their friends over for a kids-only party. Should be lively.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Man, I fall in love with Steve all over again every day. Thank God, cuz otherwise we’d throttle each other.

22. What were your favorite TV programs? Revenge, New Girl, Raising Hope, Glee

23. What was the best book you read? Whatever one I’m reading right now. Today, it’s Ruth Reichl’s memoir, “Garlic and Sapphires.” Funny and wicked.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Pop music! The kids have established full and complete musical domination over us.

25. What did you want and get? Love and time with Steve and the kids.

26. What did you want and not get? For all of my friends (and for me, too) to get (and keep) jobs. Also for everyone to stay healthy and for no one to die.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? The final Harry Potter.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 47. My family made me homemade ravioli and cake poppers, it was awesome. We celebrated at home, and we celebrated after the fact, but for some reason, this just made it more special. Awww…

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If it had worked out at my last job. But it didn’t. Next!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Work-out attire, 101.

31. What kept you sane? Walking on my treadmill daily, doing yoga, meditating.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Occupy protesters.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Occupy and everything they’re doing to give our country a shove in the right direction.

34. Who did you miss? (Same answer as Zoot’s) As always: My Dad. My friend Frank. And, for our entire community cuz we’re all missing him, Rob. Frank and Rob’s families are in my thoughts daily.

35. Who was the best new person you met? My friend A, who I hope to spend more time with in 2012.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Drinking makes you depressed. Who knew? hahaha.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year you can’t get out of your head.

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

Cheerful, no? Music is a sign of the times, that’s all.

Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone.

– wm

Thursday Thirteen, Ed.#69: A Christmas Celebration, In Thirteen Parts

December 24th, 2011

Our Sorrowful Mother

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

(this originally ran Nov. 30, 2006. happy reading :) wm)

And now, for the Thursday Thirteen you’ve been waiting for: A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, IN THIRTEEN PARTS:

1. Mom and I decide to take the kids to the Grotto, the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, for the 18th annual Festival of Lights. Petting zoo! Puppet show! Strolling carolers and people dressed like olden times, who ask you, “Do you know the way to Bethlehem?” (No, I don’t. But if you figure it out will you take me?)

2. I tell Mom I’ll buy her dinner first, c’mon, it’ll be fun. She is game. She tells me she’s never been to the upper level of the Grotto. I am floored by this. “IT IS SO COOL UP THERE!” I tell her. The kids: “CAN WE SEE IT? NOW, CAN WE? CAN WE TAKE THE ELEVATOR?” Me: “No, it’s dark. And there are cliffs. But next summer!” Also, I forget to bring donations for the food drive. Mom brought some stuff from her cupboard. And she insisted on buying us dinner. Wouldn’t let me pay for tickets to the festival, either. Moms are like this.

3. Both kids, shouting: “LOOK AT ALL THOSE LIGHTS! AND THE ANGELS, LIT UP! THERE ARE PEOPLE SINGING!” Followed by, “What are all those candles for?”

4. We go to the petting zoo, at Wacky Boy’s request. The volunteer gives us warnings: Don’t let the goats grab the whole ice cream cone full of feed out of our hands. Spin around if they try to. And around and around and around. Don’t give any to the alpaca. Or the horse. Or the rabbits. I lose track of all the instructions. We spin and spin. We are mauled by goats, anyway.

5. Wacky Girl: “HEY! I do remember this place!” (Good, since it’s the seventh time she’s been.) She and mom head off for the puppet show. She is the only one to call out the answer when the puppeteer asks the audience: “What does Feliz Navidad mean?” She is proud of this. She and Mom like the puppet show. Mom is wearing a cute hat, and her warm jacket. It’s not raining. Or snowing.

(more…)

singin’ and dancin’ their way into Christmas

December 23rd, 2011

happy xmas from Terry Gilliam

December 22nd, 2011

Our Favorite Christmas Books

December 20th, 2011

I’m on vacation this week and next. Here is a column that originally ran Dec. 3, 2007.

enjoy! and happy 2012.

wm

I published the BEST round-up last year, or the year before, who knows. All of these holidays run together. It was our favorite Christmas books, and it was a thing of beauty.

Then I hit delete on what I thought was a DRAFT and no, it was not a DRAFT, it was the published version. And poof! No more round-up.

I’ll try again…

Hershey Kisses,

WM

The Best Christmas Books Ever:

Year of the Dragon, my year

December 12th, 2011

Camillia

(Photo by Steve Rawley.)

2012, coming up!

some days are a little much, plus hey did i mention that My Book is in print?

December 7th, 2011

A stream runs through it

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“That’s Not It” has been available on Kindle since October, and now you can purchase a genuine printed copy. Alternately, you can buy it on Amazon.

Please buy a copy, or multiple ones if you’re in a gift-giving mood, if it is in the budget. Send me an e-mail if you’d like a free bookmark to go with it. Include your address and I’ll mail it to you. Thanks for your support of this crazy-ass endeavor of mine. (PS I will be updating my author site soon, so bookmark it if you are so inclined.)

So. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I know I am. Aren’t some days just a little too frickin’ much? I was getting ready to start the holiday baking (casseroles, cookies, breads, and assorted everything). Thought I would start by cleaning the oven. Bad call. I broke the oven. (Let this be a lesson to you.) Now we’re in the middle of picking out a new one, and will be converting from electric to gas, only the ovens (ovens!!! finally getting the convection oven I’ve wanted my entire life) will be electric, and ps they don’t make the right kind of gas stove to fit into the drop-in slot the current stove is in and hello, carpenter, bye-bye, countertop and cabinet, we need more wiggle room.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how Steve and I are: Why clean the bathroom when you can grow mushrooms in there instead? We do it nice cuz we do it frickin’ complicated. (That particular remodel took the contractors four fun-filled months.)

Today I need to:

* make cooky dough and freeze it, in anticipation of someday having a stove again
* work on my new book (ideas/dialogue that need to be written down before they go away)
* finish Granny’s memoir… still inputting recipes and kinda not into it
* clean the house
* work out
* update calendar
* help the kids with homework
* fix dinner (waffles? soup in the microwave? again? bake bread in breadmaker?)
* work on publicity for “That’s Not It” — reading? book signing? order copies to sell, finish press release, update author site, and the list goes on…
* avoid Facebook/Twitter/politics/the mayor of Portland
* figure out what to get Steve, the kids, and the rest of our family for Christmas
* finish mailing out holiday cards
* oh, right. buy more holiday cards

Honestly, all I want to do is climb into a hot bath and stay there ’til January. Please advise, dear readers: What do you do to rein in the schedule?

xo,

WM

edited on Thursday to say: I baked cinnamon swirl bread in the breadmaker — delicious with butter, and not as sweet as a cinnamon roll. (I can’t find the recipe online — it was from the cookbook that came with the machine. But it baked in the breadmaker — no turn out, extra rising, etc.)

I’m baking whole wheat bread right now. I mixed up and froze dough for Mexican Wedding Cakes and chocolate chip cookies (semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips — my secret ingredients) and Spritz are next. Tonight? Burritos in the microwave (not to be confused with microwave burritos, although we have some of those in the freezer ;) and… salad. Last night was waffles. Good thing I mainly survive on protein shakes (blender! also not broken!) and soup. The kids seem to be fine with pre-made mac and cheese, cereal, toast, peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars and… more waffles? Damn. Missing the oven. We can always send out for pizza. It’s not like we don’t do that once a week, anyway.

gratitude, days 26 & 27

November 27th, 2011

yesterday, i was grateful cuz we all went to see the Muppets movie (soooo funny) and my sis and her husband, Red-Headed Guy from Texas, went, too. I was going to fix dinner for us, but she said, No, we have to go out for Indian food. So we did! giving me not 1 but 3 things to be grateful for: the Muppets, time w/ family, and Indian food. oh gosh it was good, i’m just saying…

Today? Today i am extra-grateful cuz Steve did the grocery shopping, and now he’s hanging up the Christmas lights. wow. what a dude, huh?

oh yeah also he sent the final (final?) (final!) (cuss plz let this be the final) draft of my book + the bio + the cover to the publishers for the hard copy y’all have been so impatiently waiting for.

so check the website and we will have links up within the next couple weeks.

i promise.

thank you for your support. ps my bookmarks for “That’s Not It” arrived this week, too. If you would like a personalized bookmark, plz leave a note in comments or send me an e and i will mail one to you!! They’re very pretty and shiny.

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