Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh My!

After a failed attempt to make an appointment with my hairdresser in Snohomish, and wasting a whole day, I decided to do my hair myself. Not the cut, I have a hairdresser here, but the coloring. The gal here charges more than twice as much than what Caroline charged, and I just can't see that. So I ventured in fearlessly... well, nearly fearless. I had some visions of the last time I tried to color my hair only to find out that the light brown had been switched at KMart to jet black, and trying to fix it before going to work one day. It was at that point that I swore I would never color my own hair... but here I am again. It didn't turn out too bad. It was one of these tone-on-tone ones and I liked the first color and almost left it like that, but decided to go for the gusto! The lightening made it turn a little red, but I was thinking about going red anyway. I just have to get used to it being darker. It kind of makes me look washed out, I might have to start wearing make up again. But anyway, here it is... what do you think?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our 2008 Christmas TreeSkip and Alexis made it down. It was pretty questionable with all the snow. He had to clear the snow off of his roof before they could come. The roof was creaking and the deck supports were bowed. Sure glad he got that done before they came.

For the last time this year, I wish all of our friends and family a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traditions Old and New

It occured to me when looking at Marjie and Steve's Christmas tree, that I have very few "traditional" decorations for our tree. Probably because went have gone through different "theme" trees. When Dave and I got married, he wanted a blue and silver tree. So it was that for several years until the kids all said... "we want some other colors!." So we had multi colored trees for a while. Then when we lived in Lake Stevens and my house was entirely burgandy and white, I had to have a burgandy, white and gold tree. It was really beautiful. But now I am back to the traditional multi-colored tree. So why I am talking about trees, when I don't have a picture of our tree here? Well, that will come later.

Our boss and owner of our communities sends flowers every year to his managers. I was so surprised the first year, and still think that it is such a wonderful and thoughtful tradition. It is so much fun to answer the door and have flowers waiting for you! Aside from Carla's snowman and snowwoman and Mr. & Mrs. Santa, this is the only other item that I have been able to hang on to over the years. Christy made this I think in the third grade at Machias Christian School. It has a few stains from storage on it, but I really cherish it.

Grandpa Peterson Makes Headlines

Dave's Dad has been involved with the Old-Time Fiddlers for a long time and has some very good friends. They play at nursing homes and convelescent centers around Skagit Valley. They made the cover of the this magazine a couple weeks ago and he sent it to us. I think it's pretty cool. There is even a picture in the article of Mom Peterson sitting at a table at one of the gatherings, so I know it was taken a while ago. Not a very big picture so I didn't try to scan it. The guy in the back of this picture, Morey and his wife Rita were at the hospital every day to visit Mom in her last days. They have been great friends to Dad and Mom. For those of you who don't know him, he's the one in the middle with the ever-present toothpick in his mouth.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Pics update

This was after I unincumbered him from the snow, but he has a little residue left on his nose. What happened to my flowerbed? Before the snow we actually had daffodils popping through.
Think anyone will want to play in the playground? Strangely enough, the kids around here are just not getting "into" the snow. Haven't seen even one snowman! Maybe I'll just have to go and make my own.

Snow, snow, snow

No pictures because it's 12:20 am and people would be sure that I was a little wacko if they saw me outside right now with my camera. As it was, there was one guy walking by that was headed out of the community that thought so, but then again, he was up and walking at midnight too, but he wasn't carrying a broom. We've had about 6 inches of snowfall in the last few hours for a total of about a foot today. I went to bed and I was thinking about our inflatables and the ones with motors, and was worried that the weight of the snow would stop them and ruin them. So I got up and went out and rescued Mr. Snowman, the Teddy Bear, the Teeter Totter and snowglobes. Mr. Snowman was all bent over, and the globes were listing heavily to the side. Santa and the Reindeer were still teeter tottering. The carousel globe was smashed flat and the carousel couldn't move. It's not snowing right now so they should be good for the night now. I guess I can sleep peacefully now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I get the mayor's updates and this morning he said that the Lea Hill area was the hardest hit in the city. Granted, there is only a couple inches at best, but for Auburn, so I've heard, this is notable.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


One of the most fun things about having my Mom living next to me for 16 years was making chocolates for Christmas gifts. We would go through countless pounds of candy melts and home-made fondant, and tons of laughter and talking while doing it. It is just one of the precious memories I have of her. We even did them one year was she was legally blind, and that was quite an adventure! Last year was first time I made any since loosing her in 2003. I did a few pounds with my friends Foy and Debbie in Lake Stevens, and it was fun, but it didn't come any where near what Mom and I did.

So, I am back at it again. Not on the scale of what Mom and I did, and not nearly the fun, but I have enjoyed it. I bought 13 pounds of melts and have made 4 batches of fondant wth the two bags of jelly filling I bought at the candy store. I just finished the five pound bag of milk chocolate tonight and will start the dark chocolate tomorrow. Tonight it was just the "painted" ones, which obviously goes a lot slower, but are very rewarding. I think my favorites tonight are the little snowmen and Christmas trees. I painted the details on them after they were done.
When Clyle comes in and asks if I have any "mistakes" it reminds me of how Christy would come in and always look for our mistakes. We never let the kids eat any of them unless there was some flaw in them. Even after five years, I still miss Mom. But tonight seeing these little candies it makes me feel like she's not that far away.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


A few of the cards that I did tonight using that beautiful paper I bought in Florida, some rub-ons an die cuts. Very simple yet I like them. No stamping on any of them.

Christmas Decorating

Not really great pictures, but I think we are finally done with our Christmas decorations. Can anyone say "carried away?" Our new additions this year are the santa-reindeer teeter totter and the carousel. Both purchased at discounts. We also added the candy canes, which was kind of a bummer. We bought the first four sets (thinking that would be enough) at Liquidation World at a terrific discount, but found out it wasn't enough, and went back the next night, only to find out that they were all gone. When we came out to the car, the battery was totally dead. We walked a mile to Schucks and bought another battery. The candy canes were originally from Kmart, so last night we headed to Kent for the nearest store. Unfortunately they were not on sale, but now we have enough to go all the way around. Our first inflatable was the giant snowman, then we came across the first snow globe at Prospectors liquidators a couple years ago. Then came the Let It Snow snow globe. Last year after Christmas sale yielded the Santa and Snowman snowglobe. We thought we were all done until one of the residents was driving passed today while I was putting up the icycle lights and told us that Lowe's had a 50% off sale so Dave got his teeter totter.
It took me two day to do the indoor tree. I thought I had a pretty well done last night, but today as I was starting to sort out what was left to go back in to storage (or St. Vincent's), I found all kinds of other stuff to go on it, and now it is loaded and looks very pretty. I will do a picture of it later. I think at any rate, we made up for all those years that we didn't decorate.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


We went to Snohomish today and started moving the stuff from the storage there to one here. The only problem is that the new one it is half the size. We brought our Christmas decorations home and it took the entire back of the Jimmy plus the top to get them all here. I'm sure that this is going to take up half the new storage unit. Oh well.... I am going to pare them down a bit too. I say that as I bought a darling 4 foot snowman for the house and four sets of candy cane lights for the yard.... uh hmmm. I'm excited to start decorating though. I got a little done this afternoon, and tomorrow will do the tree and Dave will put up the inflatables and the lights outside.

This evening I worked on Christmas cards. I'm doing mass production tonight. I had some pieces cut out from a workshop I had last year and I'm updating them a little with new stamps and such. I got a dozen done tonight.

Here are some that I made while we were in Florida. This is a really gorgeous paper pack that Christy and I bought on sale and split. You can't see it real well from the scans, but the paper is glittered.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and thankful, Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful for our recent trip, for only having to work three days this week and mostly for my family and dear friends. I am thankful that we still have freedoms to this point... don't know what the future holds with our last election, so I will savor it while we have it.
We had a nice day with Skip and Clyle and my dinner turned out perfect. The turkey was done just right, and all the trimmings were yummy. The nice thing is that it's all cleaned up, even the turkey bones are boiled, stripped and in the freezer. So we've been just relaxing tonight. The guys did a little more relaxing than I did.... haha.

Monday, November 24, 2008

More Arabian Nights

A few shots from Arabian Nights. No, we didn't take them, we didn't know that they would allow cameras. The one with the guy jumping through the hoop of fire... after three tries he didn't make it the night we were there, but it was good anyway.

The center is Shaharizad and the Prince. Okay, so I was one of the suckers that actually buys the pictures that they con you in to taking when you walk in the front door. But it was well worth it, as getting a picture of all of us together almost never happens since somebody has to take the picture.

Busch Gardens Tampa - Pappa and Mamma style

The Edge of Africa has many different species of animals indigenous to Africa. The gorilla, lion and hyena's can be viewed at the beginning on a walk (with windows in between). For the rest of the tour you had to be on one of their tours or on the train.

The gorilla's were fantastic. This is a momma gorilla looking on after her baby (below) had just gone off to play.
The Majestic Lion sunbathing.

The hyena is a much larger animal that I had expected. Larger than a dog and closer to the size of the female lion.

We just missed a picture of the hippo with his mouth wide open, but this was a pretty good shot.

You can walk right in to the Bird Garden where there are over 500 species of African Birds. Dave got a picture of two of them that lighted on my hand, but unfortunately the camera focused on the person behind me.

There is a sign over these birds warning that they ARE NOT TAME birds, so we didnt' try to get up close and personal with these guys.

Busch Gardens Tampa - Excitement

The highlight of the day for the Speers was all of the great rides. Al, Christy, Kaitlyn and Keeley did all of them, and I mean all of them! Kaitlyn and Keeley are natural born daredevils. There were some the Kee wasn't quite tall enough to get on, but she was game for them all. I think these were going about 60 miles per hour.
This is Gwazi and would you believe that we all did this one? This prt looks pretty tame, but it did have some pretty hairy moments and you felt like your head had been scrambled by the time you get off. In fact, Christy and the girls took one last spin on it before we left and they all came off with headaches.

This is the infamous Sheirka! and let me tell you, it is every bit as frightening as it looks. This is just one of the dives... 200 feet in the air, and they bring you up this far and hold you there for a few seconds and then it drops at a 90 degree angle, 70 mph! I think the Speer family did it 3 times.

Al, Kaitlyn in the middle and Christy are on the back row right side.

There is another big fall like this one that goes down in to a tunnel and when you come out, it hits the water and makes a great rooster tail.

Conflicting Emotions

Our last view of Florida, and the sunshine I'm sorry to say!
It was difficult to leave yesterday knowing that I wouldn't see them all for another year or longer. I don't think I'll ever get used to the fact that two of my kids live so very far away. We had a wonderful time visiting with Christy and Al and playing with and lovin on the girls. But the inevitable always happens, you have to come home! I was dreading it so bad yesterday and it made the flight even more miserable than it was. I usually enjoy flying but I got a slight... well, maybe not so slight... attack of caustrophobia which I've never experienced. We were in the later boarding group and got a seat with no window. Well there was a small portion of one window that Dave could crink his neck and peek out of, but that was it. I sat on the outside and was hoping that nobody needed the seat but lo and behold someone did, so I took the middle seat. The last leg of the trip was 5 hours too long and I thought I was going to go nuts before I could get up and move. My legs twitched and everytime I tried to sleep I would feel like there wasn't enough oxygen in the place and I'd be gasping for breath. But eventually we made it home and even though the weather is crappy and I have to go back to work in less than an hour, I'm glad to be home. I'll be posting pics later of our trip to Busch Gardens and the Speer's daredevil activities! Oh yes, the Millers did the Gwazi! Shocking, but Dave did a roller coaster, can you believe it?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Round with Kait and Kee

Kaitlyn and Keeley love to try and get the best of Papa.

After about 15 minutes of this I think they finally got the bet of him.

Arabian Nights

As a animal care professional, Christy got a special deal to this great performance at Arabian Nights Dinner Theater in Orlando. The horses were outstanding, and even though our seats were not stage front, we had a nice view of the show. It was a wonderful way to kick off the Holiday Season with all the music and colors of Christmas.

Super Seven!

The most important event of the week was Keeley's birthday. She loves Tinkerbell, so that was her theme. Papa surprised her with a big balloon of Tink.

We also went to Arabian Nights for a dinner theater and I will post about that later.