Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What We Did This Weekend - Birthday Party Edition

Well, after this weekend I have to say that I am feeling that extra year. I'm TIRED! Still.

About 30 people showed up at the backyard birthday extravaganza. I had to postpone it until Sunday night because Saturday was so very rainy and gloomy. It was still threatening, so we put up umbrellas and a tent/tarp thing.....but it didn't rain a drop!

The grill smokes with juicy cheeseburger goodness!

The girls took advantage of the distracted adults and thieved a box of donut holes - devouring all but one of them in the matter of about 6.5 seconds. The sugar rush lasted quite late into the night, culminated in Sophie breakdancing.....but that's another picture.

This is my co-worker Daniel. He's small, but he can eat. He should probably do it professionally.

And this is co-worker Daniel later on in the night after many beers. He should probably NOT drink professionally.

Neighbor Natalie, Ex-Roommate Kristy and her girlfriend Stephanie, and Siera sitting in a super tiny chair.

Crazy PJ dancing. Things are starting to really get going.

Sophie breakdances to "Mamma Mia" by ABBA. Yep, it's possible. Not pretty, but possible.

The night is winding down.......the breakdancing is no longer happening....Siera is sinking lower and lower into the kiddie chair.........

So low, in fact, that she is mistaken for a couch by Roxy the dog.

And, so goes Shari's 34th birthday party. It was a good one.


Friday, May 26, 2006


My Birthday!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Used To Write Better Letters

I love writing letters.

I love getting them even more.

A few years ago my New Year's Resolution was to write 5 letters a week to random people. I have kept it up pretty well, consistently sending out 3 letters, sometimes 5.

My sister sent me this great box of copied letters a few years ago. It has letters that my Grandma wrote, letters that I wrote to my sister, letters that my brother wrote to my get the picture.

This is a letter that I wrote to Shannon and her roommate, dated 1/17/1992:

Karen and Shannon,

I have discovered yet another cruel and unjust black hole in the universe of my life. Yes, yet another burden to carry upon my already exhausted shoulders. As you may have already guessed, it is that my name starts with and "S". (Shannon of course may understand this better than Karen - whom I may say in exceedingly lucky to be in the first half of the alphabet!)

Tonight, as I was twisting my apple stem - A......B.....C....D....snap! I realized that in this apple stem-twisting world, the "S"s are bound to fall short.



When did this happen to me???!!!!

But from behind this thick, smokey veil of grief came a hint, a glimmer, of hope. Thank God I'm not a Wanda, Yvonne or Zorba! There are seven letters below me- ha! ha! ha!

Then the next realization hit me as a mallet hits a gong - loud and shocking , with disturbing vibrations that sound forever into the night - THESE PEOPLE NEED HELP! Therefore, I have decided to devote my life to helping the T's, U's, V's, W's, X's, Y's and Z's. Yes, I have found my nitche.

I hope you are as proud as I am happy.

ANYWAY....not much has happened since my last letter EXCEPT...

Have you ever noticed that if you spell "Wow" with 2 O's and forget the first stick on the last W...(time of for example)


And turned it upside down it would spell "moon" backwards?


Write me a letter or I shall slowly turn into a cashew. (And that's not an empty threat)

Love, Shari

If you want to be included in this personal letter writing campaign of mine, just let me know in the comments. I will decide if you are not creepy or weird and if I trust you enough to write you letters.

I think some of my victims are getting sick of me.....

Guest Blogger

Once again, I am super busy....but never fear! Maya, the guest blogger is here!

I Won 10,000 Bucks

On spring break, while I was listening to Kid's Choice on TV I got a phone call. He said I won 10,000 bucks! At first I thought I was dreaming. But I wasn't. It was for real.

He said I could only spend it for three hours. Right after the phone call I went shopping. At the game store I bought a Game Boy Advance and an X-Box 360. I got a bed frame, new clothes, a hot tub, earrings, shoes, and a trip to the King Oscar Hotel.

Right when I got home the three hours were up. He called me back and said, "Did you spend all your money?"

I said, "Yes, and I've made room for all my stuff."

The End

I love her list of things. A bed frame?

The King Oscar Hotel? There is a back up story there.....on her birthday a few years ago I took the girls, each on their birthday, to a hotel with a swimming pool so they could spend time with me alone and swim and eat food out of vending machines and get ice out of the ice machine.....etc.

It was a grand time.

Maya chose the King Oscar Hotel. It is right off the freeway and not at all fancy, if you know what I mean. But she thinks it was the most luxurious place she had ever seen.

Here's a brochure. It looks much better than it is in reality......(scarily enough - check out the bedspread on page two!)

Monday, May 22, 2006

What We Did This Weekend

This was a weekend that followed a 85 degree yard sale weekend.

A weekend that followed "the horrendous sunburn of '06" weekend.

It rained. We had no plans. I took no pictures.

The only thing I did do was rearrange my closet. There is now a sewing basket....and hanging things that house my folded clothes and shoes. Everything is straight on the hangers. The hated clothes that accumulate for no apparent reason are gone - weeded out - with a finality that would terrify most people, frankly.

So, I present to you my artistic representation, in still-life form....

"Organized Closet - A Study"

It's abstract. That's another word for artsy.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Seventeenth of May

Norwegian Independence Day today.


Sure is.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Only 10 Shopping Days Til My Birthday!

You are all invited to my birthday party....

When: Saturday May 27th (but my birthday is the 26th). Afternoonish - Eveningish.

Where: My house. Specifically my back deck.

Purpose: To celebrate the birth of a rock star. Oh....and Shari, too. Did I mention it's Lenny Kravitz's birthday, too?

If you come, you have to bring food. I will supply all hamburgers/cheeseburgers. They will be (of course) 100% Montana Heritage Beef - the family Ranch's own product. AND THAT'S NOT ALL.....

- IT DICES! get the picture.

BYOB OR W OR Whatever the heck you would like to partake in that is wet and could possibly contain alcohol 'cause I have water. And that's it.

There might even be dancing. Who knows? My parties are all unpredictable like that.

Oh, and if you drink a lot - you can sleep on my floor or in the tent in the front yard.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day/Shout Outs/Blog-versary

Do you realize that it is my blog-versary of sorts? I started my blog with two angry entries regarding Mother's day and John.

As much as I dislike him, we all have him to thank for this fantastic little blog. (hee, hee)

Without him, I never would have met Anika and Janie.

I never would have had the pleasure of perusing Squishi's recipe cards (check out Weight Watcher cards 1974 under Sites I Like).

I would not be looking forward to meeting my soulmate Ant in June.

Jerk would never have told me that I "write skinny".

Underachiever blubbered along with me during some of the tougher posts. has given me the sweetest encouragement in the comments.

And Christine just LOVES my kids (good taste by the way).

Rennratt......well, she's just the cheese.

This Mother's Day was better. It started with breakfast in bed. Well, it was actually breakfast on the floor. I slept on the floor with Maya and her friend in the living room because earlier that day Maya had one of her episodes of sleep walking. When I told her about it she was scared to be in another room in case she tried to get out the door.

And since during the earlier episode she walked out the door and to the neighbors door two houses down, I thought it was a good idea too.

So, breakfast-on-the-floor consisted of a HUGE bowl of Cheerios - with banana - and two blueberry Eggo waffles. And because she didn't know how to make coffee, Maya poured me a orange juice, in my coffee cup.

It was wonderful.

John, on the other hand, pretended I didn't exist. But that's not really any skin off my nose. But I do find myself curious at times at what more he could possibly want in a mother for his children. But, you can't make everyone happy.

I did get an unexpected present from the new neighbor across the street. Her and her husband are retired and just moved in about 6 weeks ago. I introduced myself to her husband a few weeks ago but had yet to meet her. She came over and stopped me outside on Saturday to tell me, "I have three daughters and three daughters-in-law, and I have been known to be a tough judge on Mothers.....but I watch you with your girls and had to tell you what a great Mom you are."

I think I need the Head Shrinker.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I have never really liked dogs.

I don't know. Too needy, maybe? The licking themselves thing?

Back in the early 90's, when I had come back from college to work on the ranch and stay with my ailing Grandma, I was also dating Phil. Phil was a horrid person and I think the only reason I was with him was the convenience (lived just a ranch over) and loneliness. This is a really bad idea.

Phil was an avid collector of guns (red flag), owned a wolf dog (red flag) and was sorta small (sorry, but another red flag. Napoleon and all that?). He was very jealous of my bartending job and would give me the third degree whenever I would come home at 3 am........which is something bartenders do because of their work hours, and all.

Near the end of our relationship I really wanted out, but was a bit scared on exactly how to go about it. I was young. The dog in one of the ranch houses where he lived had just had puppies and would occasionally sneak over to eat the food in Buck's (the wolf dog's bowl). She was nursing and hungry.....and Buck kinda liked her.

Phil shot her.

He just shot this mamma dog with 6 baby puppies and I saw it happen. He was going to shoot the puppies too, but I ran in front of the gun (cause as you all know, I am bulletproof), scooped up the puppies, threw them in the front of my truck and drove home.

My Dad was not the kind of guy that really enjoyed having 6 puppies added to the menagerie, and I definitely was not going to tell him how I got them, so I hid them in an old barn. I became their secret Mom. Sneaking down between all my other work to make sure they were getting enough milk and to start to wean them onto food. And sadly to say, I did not take the advantage of this opportune time to leave Phil. I just didn't talk to him for awhile.

The puppies and I were eventually found out.

My Dad asked no questions. He just sighed and said, "Well.....which one do you want to keep? We need a good cow dog around here."

I chose Alex.

The other pups, when they were ready, went to neighboring ranches that needed a dog. They were great cow dogs. Total mutts of course, but you could see possibly some Border Collie and Blue Heeler somewhere in there.

Alex and I went everywhere together. I irrigated the fields, which meant checking my dams every few hours throughout the day by motorcycle. When he was small, he would ride in between my legs. And when he got bigger, my dad built a little platform on the back rack of the motorcycle for him to ride on. He would either stand or sit on this - and with amazing balance, fly down the back roads of the ranch with the wind in his ears.

There were a few accidents. Totally my fault, but trust me.....He just jumped and landed on his feet. I was the one left dusting myself off and picking up the bike. After one of these, dad found an old scrap of Shag carpeting and nailed it to the platform for traction. It was hysterical, but no one really thought anything of it. It's just what he did.

He inspired a whole ranch full of motorcycle riding dogs......Putzy and Irish were fans of the road, too.

When I left for Seattle he stayed behind. You can't bring a motorcycle riding ranch dog to the city. And as the dogs and my Dad got older it became such a routine - that motorcycle ride once a day - that if Dad was too busy during the day he would be sure to take them for a ride after dinner.

How cute is that?

Anyway....back to the Phil thing. After a particularly bad night of "after bartending interrogation" I swore to him that I would leave him. I came to get my stuff and he had this little kitten and an apology for me. A few days later, I came home from the bar to find that Phil had thrown the kitten up against the wall and killed it because he was mad at me and my late nights again.

And FINALLY I left him. Sadly, I see now that I valued that little kitten's life over my own. I was willing to let him treat me horribly, but a kitten? No way. I am thankful for that kitten to this day. Otherwise, who knows what would have happened to me and my insanely degraded sense of self?

The day I left, I was soooo scared. Alex followed me everywhere. He knew something was really wrong. Anytime I stopped, he would sit on my feet. All day long. Everytime he did it, I cried.

Even after I left for Seattle, on my visits back he would be so excited to see me and the moment I sat down or stopped moving, there he would be - sitting on my feet.

Alex died Tuesday.

He was 14 years old. He had rapidly declined and my Mom took him to the vet. His kidneys weren't working and he was in a lot of pain. Instead of have him put down there, my Mom asked the vets to come out to the ranch so he wouldn't be scared. That night, she let him sleep in the house - even so much as at the foot of her bed. He must have been thrilled.

She made a little table covered in blankets out in the garage. When the vet came, she had him on the table, patting, scratching and talking in his ear. She said he didn't feel the needle and he went to sleep so rapidly and peacefully that she was amazed.

This picture has hung somewhere in my house - wherever that happened to be - since I left Montana. Him, on our motorcyle.

He was a good dog.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

I have real issues with those inspirational posters (and mouse pads, etc...) that grace the offices of many businesses. For example.....


Let nothing stand in your way- old ladies, your conscience, your morals. Stomp them all into the ground like the maggots they are. Then you will, at last, be successful.

I like to make fun of these framed products of mass-produced inspiration. I mean, does anyone really take this stuff seriously?

I work in Human Resources at my company, and more specifically in what is called the Employee Service Center - or the ESC for short. We baby our employees here, and everyone is truly the better for it. We get calls and emails regarding benefits, problems at work, issues with management, etc. It's a great job. It's like being a detective for your co-workers problems/issues. Not everyone's cup o' tea, I'm sure - but I like it.

Anyway, being the sarcastic one of the group, I printed up signs for the three of us that staff the ESC. They had a picture of office workers gathered around a table and the caption read, "There Is No 'I' in ESC".

We all well understood the tongue-in-cheek quality of this sign. But everyone else? email was sent for us to vote on which of the following we would prefer -

I am published. We will be wearing little "Sarcastic Shari" pins. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Weekend of Hippie Dancing, Nigerians, Huge Diamonds and Rock Stars

Cinco de Mayo was my friend Siera's birthday. I met her at my chiropractor's office and I adore her with my entire heart. She is only 25 and is wise beyond her years.

You know when you hit that stage in life where you realize how disappointing your friends really are? That they really suck and are only around when things are good, but tend to scurry off like little roaches the moment something real happens?

separating the wheat from the chaff can be a painful and long-term project. But it is so very worth it.

Here are some pictures from that crazy night.

Siera in all her glory.

Siera opening MY present. (The most important one, of course).

Okay, the girl in the middle is named Amber. The girls in the green shirt was really funny, but got lost in the transition from Siera's house to the bar. By the end of the night it was only Siera, Bob the 7'6" Nigerian, Amber and I. Bob the Nigerian is a WHOLE other story! It was the strangest thing to be walking next to this humongously tall person. I don't recall ever having to crane my neck to see someone. Now I can say otherwise.

Amber was, quite possibly, the funniest person I have ever met. She is what you may want to call......theatrical. She can dance. It would seem to me that she had some sort of training. I recognized ballet positions and moves. I recognized tap stuff. And when I suggested she do the hippie dance by yelling, "OOO! Do the hippie dance!". She immediately complied.

And nailed it.

Needless to say, I claimed her as my new friend. MINE!

A good (if not great time) was had by all. Thanks Siera!

This is my personal depiction of the diamond in my new engagement ring. I tried to draw it to scale so that when you click on the picture it will show you how big the diamond really is.

Actually, I got the ring for my friend and co-worker who actually WANTS to be engaged. (Yeah, I don't get it either.) But I love her anyway.

I never realized you could get such cut, color and clarity at the Party Store. Who knew?


And now on to the belated birthday party for Sophie!

This picture is trying to capture the action of blowing water out of the noodle hole behind her head. It didn't work, but it's a cute picture anyway.

Maya's first jump off the diving board in her whole entire life. She got all shakey and everything.

The future hooligans

Okay, YOU MUST click on this picture to enlarge it. It's so great!

In Sophie's goody bags, instead of putting plastic toys and gobs of candy, I tried to find something more fun. They had these little blackboards with chalk and an eraser. How cool is that?

So, I had them all write a message to Sophie in honor of her birthday. Please note a few things.

  1. Sophie is crossing her eyes and it creeps me out.
  2. The girl to the left of Sophie has the best message, I think.
  3. Maya has made it all about her, once again.
  4. The girl to the right of Sophie is the worlds next rock star.

What would you write on your blackboard?

Monday, May 08, 2006

I Only Have Time For A Commercial

Stay tuned for:

*The Cinco De Mayo going out with a younger (25 year old) crowd story:

Not only will you be entertained by stories of the Interpretive Dance Queen, but also be titillated with descriptions of what it is like to NOT- FOR ONCE IN MY ENTIRE DAMN LIFE being the tallest one of the group.

*The Sophie finally had her birthday party an entire month late story:

Swimming! Pizza! Presents! Sleepover! Children! Diving Boards! More Children! Joy! Big Fake Diamond Rings! More Children!

Friday, May 05, 2006

In Honor of Cinco De Mayo and Mrs. Muellar

I took Spanish in high school and college - and at one point before my 300 level conversational Spanish final - I even dreamt in Spanish.

That has all gone by the wayside now. I can barely conjugate the present tense of the most common verbs.

But I remember songs. My high school teacher Mrs. Muellar used to make us sing Spanish songs for each unit of the workbook.

I am going to sing you some Spanish songs in honor of the holiday. Please excuse any misspellings and loose translations - It's been quite some time. I love these songs in particular because so much is lost in translation. I think.

So, without further ado......and no back up band.......

"Uno de Enero
Dos de Febrero,
Tres de Marzo,
Quatro de Abril,
Cinco de Mayo,
Seis de Junio,
Siete de Julio...
San Fermin!

la, la, la, la, la, la, la......

Quien he roto la pagareta?

la, la, la, la, la, la, la.......

El que he roto la pagara!

(First of January,
Second of February,
Third of March,
Fourth of April,
Fifth of May
Sixth of June
Seventh of July.
San Ferimin! (this is some sort of Festival, obviously on the seventh of July)

all la's are the same - you can sing these with an English or Spanish accent. It doesn't matter

Who broke the little container-pot thingy?

la, etc.

Whoever broke it will have to pay for it.)

Yo soy tu paloma blanca,
Tu eres mi pichon azul.
Aremame tu boquita,
Paracer curu-curu!

A la jota, jota que baila Susita,
A la jota, jota que baila Susita.
A la jota, jota que baila Susita.....


(I am your white dove,
you are my blue pigeon.
Bring your little mouth over here,
Make it look like you are saying "curu-curu".

To the dance, dance goes Susan
To the dance, dance gtoes Susan
To the dance, dance goes Susan.

Curu...curu...curu - this is basically done by puckering up and saying the curu like a bird call of some sort. Yeah. Don't ask me.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Am Having Issues Forming One Coherent Thought

So I will, in list form, give you the flitting thoughts that I just can't seem to nail down into a post today...

  1. I'm busier than I have ever been at work, but I like it.
  2. I have a cold OR I have bad allergies. The jury is still out.
  3. I had dreams all night long (brought to you by Claritin-D, thankyouverymuch). After every one of them (I am assuming after EVERY one, but really, who knows? It might have been after every third, or fifth, for all I know) I woke up. In each of these dreams I had the distinct feeling that "He Who Must Not Be Named" was standing right behind me, a little to the right. Just close enough that if I leaned back, he would be right there to lean on. It was nice.
  4. I still feel that same "leaning back on someone" feeling in my right shoulder and it is 7 hours since I have been awake.
  5. All of a sudden, I have this weird anxiety that my freckles are changing into cancer. I stare at them and look for changes. It is weird. I mean, how many changes can you really register when you have only been staring at these aforementioned freckles for only two days?


What does all this tell us?

It tells us that I need to find a natural remedy for my allergy/cold/god knows what symptoms. That's what.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Easter Bunny Story - Belated

Remember the "Week of Horrible Sickness and Sink Clogs"? Well, Easter fell right in the middle of it. Easter, I must say, is not a holiday that my family or I celebrate wholeheartedly. It's just that I never have been the church going sort, not that there is anything wrong with being a church going sort..... *sigh* I never understood why everyone needed to hide their eggs because Jesus was resurrected. Did he have a serious egg salad craving? What?

I have convinced the girls that on any holiday that involves a mysterious person/creature appearing in the middle of the night with gifts/money/eggs they MUST sleep all night in their own beds. If they are in my bed,Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny will not know that they are in the house and the magical person/creature will go on about their business as if no kids lived there.

It is the only way to ensure that the surprises stay surprises until the morning.

If they felt comfortable sneaking into my bed at 3 am, like every other day of the year, they would have the surprise thing ruined. There is just no way -except through the living room where the surprises always are -to get from their room to mine.

This has worked like a charm for their entire lives.

Until this Easter.

Sophie had a fever of 104.0 F and I did not want her sleeping on the other side of the house from me. I pictured seizures......meningitis......vomiting.........untimely death. The mind of a single Mom after 5 full days of sickness and sink clogs tends to run away with itself.

I told Maya that she would have to sleep in her room and Sophie could sleep in my bed because she was sick. This did not go over well. Of the two girls, and even though Maya is the oldest, she is definitely not the one who is okay with sleeping on the other side of the house without someone in the room right next to her. She is scared. Of the bogey man.....strange sounds......the crack between the blinds and the window.....possums......

Then she reminded me that if Sophie was not in her bed the Easter Bunny might forget her.

I countered with, "We'll leave him a note. He'll understand."

Then she said, "If Sophie is sleeping with you, I'm sleeping with you. I don't care if I get sick."

"Okay. We'll just leave the Easter Bunny a note for both of you," I said.

Maya set her chin, trying to be brave. "Okay." Then tears welled up in her eyes. Sighing, she resigned herself, "I guess if he is going to forget then it's only fair he forget both of us."


Trying to save her psyche AND the holiday, I said, "Well, I don't know what else to do, honey. I'm sure he will understand. If you think of a better idea, let me know. I'm sorry."

"You can sleep on Sophie's floor?" Maya queried.

And guess what?

I did.

So the damn Easter Bunny (me) could come as planned.

I slept on the floor of Sophie's room in top of a few blankets for padding, and in the smallest amount of floor space you can imagine a tall grown-up type person could sleep on.

And the Easter Bunny came......and hid eggs.....and left chocolate.....and jelly beans.....and bubble gum.

And missed no children at our house this year.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another First

It's hard to follow up a post that long and emotionally draining. I'm sorry.

Maya has guest blogged for me a few time (here and here). And I am thrilled to share with you all that Sophie has begun her very first journal. She is in first grade and cute and smart and wonderful.

So, without futher ado, I present Sophie's first blog entry....

Dear Journal,

When I was doing my computer work my mom said to do the note learning game so I did and I did it as quick as a wink. It was at my piano teachers.

Dear Journal,

I have alot of friend. I ownly can name a few. My best friend in school is Triona nd Kylie. My best friend in my naberhood is Grace.

Dear Journal,

My piano teacher is nice. When you get stickers all the way down then you get something out of the tresher box, but when it's your birthday you get something for no reesin.

Dear Journal,

We are watching Kim Possible the movie. So far it is cool.

Dear Journal,

My sister is playing Pet Shop. Me and my Mom got it along time ago so I should be playing it.

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