Monday, December 13, 2010

3 for 3

I still can't believe it, but Matt isn't surprised. I got a part in another show! I'm playing Miss Casewell in The Mousetrap at Bellevue Civic Theater and Renton Civic Theater. We open for a weekend at Bellevue the first weekend in February. Then the set moves to Renton and we play at that theater for 3 weeks starting at the end of February. I am so excited to be part of this play! It has been running in London since 1952 and has had over 24,000 performances. I'll post performance dates and times when the time gets closer.

I haven't been blogging lately because there's nothing new to report. I'm tired, busy, seeing friends, and trying to eat well. I have little time or energy to exercise, yada yada yada. Matt and I are doing really well, he's really happy at his job, and we hosted a lovely/successful Thanksgiving dinner this year. Oh, and we got our first live Christmas tree! It looks beautiful.

I am also really looking forward to girls weekend January 7/8/9. It can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter Wonderland

This may not look like much snow, but that's all frozen snow and ice.
Happy to be home with a working heater and a cup of hot tea!

I knew that when we moved from Southern California to Western Washington, it would be hard to acclimate to cooler temperatures. I certainly didn't expect snow and ice! My amazing husband, however, patched up our roof after the second windstorm took off more shingles, and even cleaned out the gutters so they wouldn't freeze over. My poor little flowers that I got at Fred Meyer are dead, and I forgot to bring in my jasmine plant, so that's dead too. But all in all, we are safe and warm, just a bit cold and not wanting to venture outside.

I am really glad that we went grocery shopping yesterday so that we didn't have to worry about food today or tomorrow. But we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and I completely forgot to get the ingredients to make my sister's favorite potatoes. Looks like we'll be heading to the store for a quick trip tomorrow! We totally lucked out with my Dad being in charge of the turkey - he's bringing my grandparent's turkey roaster - and stuffing. I'll be making sides and pies like a mad-woman, and my sister will be in charge of the sweet potatoes. I have no idea what my sister-in-law and her new hubby will bring since they just got back from their nuptials and honeymoon! Let's just hope the weather warms up. I'm remaining hopeful and trying to not listen to the weather report that says it might snow a little more Thursday morning!

My cell phone says it's 13 degrees right now. Sorry, LA peeps, you have no right to complain to this girl right now. I'd take a low of 40 degrees any day!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Amazing News for JourneyQuest!

Matt's latest webseries, JourneyQuest, is now on HULU!

Click here to watch it. For all seven episodes, click here.

I am so proud of my hubby and everyone at Dead Gentlemen and ZOE. Congratulations!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I guess I've done my job

Poor Lavinia...

Three of the best compliments I've received about my skills as an actor:

"Oh, as soon as I saw you, I thought you should play Ophelia!"

"Oh my dear, I'm so glad you can talk. Because if you couldn't we all planned on taking care of you!"

I can't remember the next quote exactly, but it was something about being completely believable, and she was very impressed, because I was so distraught and since my character's tongue was cut out, I wasn't able to talk.

Being on stage again feels good. Really good.

There's just one weekend left! Hope you can come catch the show. And no, it's not in a parking lot. It's inside, all warm and protected from the rain.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Wow. Blog entry #700. When I first started this blog, it was May of 2005 and we were on our way to Los Angeles. I had no idea what crazy adventures awaited us, and I had panic attacks in the middle of the night because I was so excited, and so terrified. Here we are, five years later, and life has taken us on paths we never expected. But I wouldn't be who I am now without those experiences, and I'm grateful for most of them.

I never imagined that when we moved back to the Pacific Northwest that I'd be doing two plays back to back. I hadn't been on stage in five years, and now I've got my first lead role, ever, and it's in a Shakespeare Play. The experience of this role has been intense to say the least. I'm exhausted, emotionally spent, and have time for little else. But now the show is winding down. We have just two weekends left. And I'm finding myself incredibly sad that I won't get to see these wonderful people every day, only on the weekends. I have had a strong feeling of loneliness untill I started rehearsals/shows, and now that things are winding down, it's back in full force. It probably has something to do with the holiday season approaching, and all that Mom stuff is trying to bubble up. I'm really trying to not let it get to me, but there's only so much I can do. Sometimes it's hard to hold the tears back because I just feel so much better after a good cry. And maybe that's what I need to do. To just let go. Maybe I'm just going through an adjustment period that is going to last longer than a few months. Who knows? I am working on taking all of this day by day. I don't like feeling lonely and sad because I know that I have a wonderful supportive network. I just haven't had the chance to really reach out, I've been too reliant on these productions to fill the void, which isn't really a good thing because it's only a temporary fix.

Ok, moving on...

What I do have to look forward to is having my weekends back! I have so many friends that I want to see because I've missed you guys, and Matt and I have a house that really needs some TLC. We have boxes to put away, a garage to clean out, and some rooms that need to be painted. Rooms need to be cleaned, gutters need to be de-leaved, and the fridge could probably use a good scrub-down. Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if we are indeed going to host this year, then we have quite a bit of work to do!

Here are some pictures from Sherlock Holmes: The Doom of Devilsmoor. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

I took my own pictures, but they aren't very good so I'll let the original website do the work for me. We got some leeks in our organic delivery this week, and I thought with the rainy weather we're having today, that a steaming bowl of potato leek soup sounded really good. I was right!

(And I should mention that my kitchen smells AhMayZing.)

Click here for the recipe. It's dairy free, with a gluten free option.

(Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

9 years and counting...

Nine years of being with my hubby.

How did time go by so fast?

We've had our fair share of ups and downs, and thankfully we're on an upswing right now. Communication is fantastic, we have jobs we enjoy for the most part, and are on the same page when it comes to various life paths. We're supportive of the other's artistic and personal goals, while pretty much being on the same path with our relationship and goals.

Whenever I get frustrated or mad at him, or on occasion disappointed, all I have to do is reflect back to when Mom was dying, and how amazing he was with her, with my crazy family. Or how we got through some REALLY tough times prior to Los Angeles; how we came together and stregthened our marriage while in California; how he took care of me last year at this time when I got food poisoning on our 8th wedding anniversary (how romantic...throwing up multiple times in the middle of the night...I tell ya)...he's just been incredible. And I can't imagine my life without him.

Here's to continuing this fantastic year, sweetie. I love you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy Busy Bee

Finishing up Sherlock Holmes and the Doom of Devilsmoor this weekend.

Next weekend, and for the following 2 weekends, I'm in Titus Andronicus.

I'm never home.

Matt got the cat pee smell out of the carpet (yay)!

Work is long and hard, but the online catalog will be online soon, and there will be more to come.

I was sick for two weeks with a cold and pink-eye. This nasty cough just will NOT go away!

I miss my friends and family, but I'll get to see you guys when these shows are done. I'm taking the holidays off from plays.

I can't wait to paint our house and put up pictures, to clean out the garage, and get this place feeling like home. I'm excited to decorate for Christmas and get a real tree!

And perhaps, most importantly, Matt and I are celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last weekend was opening weekend and it was amazing. It felt so good to be on stage again, and the comradary amongst the actors and crew was incredible. Saturday I delivered my best performance yet, thanks to an earlier melt-down in which I had to brace myself to stop crying. I saved the rest of the misery for the show, and whammo. Just nailed it. I felt better. Or so I thought.

Sunday I woke up tired. My voice was groggy. I slept in as much as I could and then headed off to the theater. I still felt sad. And I couldn't place it. So I tried to use it again for the show, but it felt small and, well, like acting.

Today it's muggy. And raining. Gray and cloudy. My mood hasn't shifted. And I've been feeling many things. Saturday I cried because I just randomly missed Mom. Sunday I was sad because opening weekend was done. And today? I thought it might be the shift in weather. That I miss the sun, that I miss the beach, and my favorite restaurants. And then it hit me. I really miss Los Angeles.

Maybe I don't miss the city persay. I don't miss the nasty air, and the clogged traffic. I don't miss the feeling that I'm fat and whalish because I'm not tall or a size 4. I don't miss the noise, the crowds, the traffic. But I miss my friends. I really miss my friends. I am lonely. And while I love my husband, and enjoy spending our time together, especially on the way to and from work every weekday, I miss being social on a regular basis. I miss potlucks and guitar hero. I miss movies, and drinks, and crepes, swimming in an outdoor pool, random barbeques, wine country adventures, and all the other things Los Angeles had to offer. I realize that I've not been available to do these things. I know my life has changed. (Not to mention rehearsals 5 or more days per week for the last six weeks.) And I know my friends here in Tacoma/Seattle have their own lives, and plans. I get that, I really do. But I just feel lonely. Am I not reaching out enough? Probably. I guess what I need to do is figure out how my California self is going to fit in to the Washington lifestyle. Into this new life that I am building for myself and with my hubby.

But first, I'm going to be sad about not being in California. Just for a little while. It's strange, it feels like homesickness.

Friday, September 17, 2010


...I wish I didn't care so much. A friend of mine is going through what I went through about 4 years ago. It's not that I'm being flooded with memories and that my grief is overwhelming me once more. It's that someone I care about is in pain, and there is nothing I can do for them.

...I wish I didn't look towards the future with a heavy heart. I miss my positive attitude these days. And while on the outside I'm happy and perky, inside I feel like I'm about to explode. I really need to start exercising again.

...I wish my self-confidence didn't have anything to do with other people's approval of me. That I could just believe in myself on my own.

...I wish I didn't get so easily distracted.

...I wish I could just go out and take what I want, instead of saying "Oh, that's 10 years down the road..."

But in spite of all of this, I am happy, and very joyful to be part of a production again. Opening night is just a week away, and I am so excited to see how everything is coming together. It's going to be a fabulous show.

Friday, September 10, 2010

gut wrenching

I got to a place during last night's rehearsal that was quite unexpected. I was so close to crying, my eyes were watering. I could barely pull myself together at the end. But I didn't cry, and so now I am left with this feeling of just wanting to cry so I can get it out of my system. I worked myself up into such a fervor, but had nowhere to put it. I need to get it out so I can enjoy my weekend!

Thursday, September 09, 2010


It's rare that I'm in bed before 11:30pm on weeknights.

And when you get up at 5:30am, suddenly that alarm clock is deafening, and you wonder what the hell you're doing, getting up so early in the morning. "Just a few more minutes", you think. Caffeine no longer seems to help, and it's all you can do to just get through the day.

Even rehearsals, that I generally look forward to, are now testing me in ways that I had forgotten about and/or ways I didn't think was possible. My old self is creeping out with attachments and anxiety, perfection and defensiveness. Maybe it will be good for my character, who knows.

I really don't like this cranky, testy personality.

But I guess one good thing, in all of this, is that PJ is no longer peeing on the carpet in the hall.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I know, I know, it's been awhile.

And my apologies. Life gets me sidetracked, and frankly it's been easier (and faster) to update the goings on of life via facebook and twitter rather than trying to come up with a witty paragraph or pouring my heart out online.

Rehearsals are going well. We are three weeks in and already off book! I am so impressed and honored to be part of this show.

Work is fine. I've been fighting off a cold and stayed home yesterday. I am feeling better, except that I was a bad girl last night and had a chocolate macaroon after 9pm, therefore last night's sleep wasn't as restful. When will I learn that I shouldn't have sugar at night? Why must I test this theory, especially when I'm fighting off an illness?

I miss my friends in L.A. I miss having weekdays off and being able to get things done. I sometimes loathe spending 2 hours a day in the car, only to be home for an hour or so before leaving for rehearsal. I can tell that I'm going to miss L.A.'s winter weather of sun and warmth. This cold weather changes is already starting to get to me.

Next weekend I'm taking a few days of vacation and heading to Spokane to visit family. Technically, I'll only be in the Spokane area. As my grandpa passed away a few years ago, he was the only blood relative that lived there the last few times I visited. Now I'll be sticking around Nine Mile Falls and St. John. Matt has several cousins that live in Spokane proper, though, and I'm hoping to see them too. I'll be cramming quite a bit into 4 days. I will likely need a vacation from my vacation!

My poor elliptical machine. I bought it just before I got a part in the play. And I really want to use it. After rehearsals are done and the performances are in full swing, I'll be using that sucker more often.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Four Years

I keep wondering if August 14 will ever come and go, like any other day. I wonder if it will get better, if the grief won't be so strong. Was it because she was so sick for so long? Is it because I'm forgetting what her voice sounded like? I don't want to be sad today. It's a good day. It's beautiful outside, we had an amazing rehearsal, and I'm getting my hair trimmed today. I might even go out for a beer. My life is going so well. So I repeat: I don't want to be sad today. But it's tugging at me, wanting a dramatic, teary, sobbing, messy acknowledgment. I don't want to give in.

Perhaps it's because since she died, this is the first time I've been in the Northwest during this time of year. I have a chance to go to her grave, on my own, and leave flowers, to talk to her. In years past, I've sought out some sort of activity to distract myself, to help me move on. OR, like last year, I'm fine and go about life, and then break into a huge sob at work, and friends kidnap me to lunch. Grief and sorrow show up in such unpredictable ways. I am trying to remember what my chiropractor told me, to not ignore my process, to just feel the way I want to feel, even if it's just for five minutes, or otherwise it's going to build up and get worse.

Just not today. Any day but today.

I know she wants me to continue being her happy girl, happy with the way life is going, happy that I'm in a show, happy that I have a loving husband and our marriage is stronger than ever. I need to focus on that. It's a vicious cycle, sometimes...happy sad happy's exhausting. Confusing. Draining. I wish I could just put a stop to it. But I don't want this process to get worse, I don't want to spoil my entire weekend. So I'll let it go, a few minutes at a time, wallow in sadness and grief for a few minutes now and then.

During rehearsal today, I realized that this upcoming show is the first play that she won't see. She won't be in the audience, grinning and cheering me on. I almost "went there" but chose not to. At that moment, it wasn't about her but about me and my choice to take control. I am tired of crying during the summers, I'm tired of meltdowns and having a red, blotchy face. I just want to celebrate her life, not grieve what I don't have anymore.

And yet, for today, I have to just go through my process...grief. Sadness. Melancholy. And a slight trace of pity.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Back On Stage

I got a part in Lakewood Playhouse's production of Sherlock Holmes and The Doom of Devilsmoor! I am playing Miss Ann Prahlly, the young woman who is quite affable and according to the character description "has the slightest traces of giddiness."

I can't tell you how fulfilled I am feeling these days. I am so incredibly (and somewhat annoyingly) happy and energetic. It feels so good to be doing what I love to do, and to be recognized for it in the most amazing way. Matt says that I am the happiest and content when I am acting, and it's true. It's my creative outlet and I love love love being a part of the theater.

The show runs from September 24 to October 24. More details to come, as we open in about 6 weeks! :)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Five years later...

...And I totally ROCKED my first audition!

I had heard through the grapevine that the director didn't laugh easily. Well, I made her laugh.


And I got a callback for Saturday morning! Out of 3 female parts, she is considering me for two of them.

I am SO proud of myself! It felt so natural to be back in the theater. And thanks very much to all for the support, and to the hubby, who was wonderfully supportive and listened to my monologue about twenty bajillion times.

My goal was to get a callback, and I achieved that goal. So, from here on out, I'm ok with the outcome... least for now. Ask me how I'm feeling after callbacks. :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ups and Downs

It's safe to say that it's summer, finally, and with summer comes feelings that I'm now quite familiar with. It's that time of year again, and at the start of every July I think that I'm going to be ok, that this is the summer I'll pull through and not be an emotional mess. Yet by the end of July, here I am, laughing one minute and crying the next.

This is why I haven't been blogging. For some reason this year, I am primarily just staying quiet. She's been frequenting my dreams more these last few nights, which has been nice (and why Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up, I'll never know). What has been interesting is talking to friends and Matt about where I have been these last few summers, and how much I've grown, how much I've changed, and where my emotional state has been. I think this year's summer is the one of true acceptance. And I think the difference for this whole year in general is grief versus missing. I miss her every day, I think of her every day. But for only a few weeks in the summer, I grieve that she is no longer physically here. Does that make any sense? Not that it matters. It makes sense to me. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Year of Gratitude #29

1. My amazing friends. You know who you are (all of you). Words of encouragement. Hugs near and afar. My support network. If I didn't have you, I don't know that I'd survive all my ups and downs!

2. Financial planning/goals. It's actually kind of exciting to see what we can do with our money even with paying of debts. (And I feel so grown-up by saying that!) There are so many options, and we are very blessed to have such a good friend who also happens to be our financial adviser. And luckily, it's not awkward either. It's just exciting, a happy time for us.

3. Our kitties. They bring me so much joy and laughter, even when I'm feeling the most sad and depressed and fat and frumpy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Year of Gratitude #28

I am frustrated with my life right now, and rather than complain and whine about my difficulties, I am going to try to just focus on the positive so I can pull through and move on.

1. Our amazing house. I still can't believe we own a freaking HOUSE. Perhaps it's because nothing has broken yet, because it's not a fixer-upper, we just need to put all of our stuff away. It's such a beautiful home. And that's the key word. Home. For so long we have lived in temporary housing, wondering where we will be living next. Now, that's no longer the case. We can do whatever, whenever we want. I find there is an amazing sense of freedom in owning a home.

2. Carpooling. I am so grateful that Matt and I get to carpool every day together. Not only does it save gas and headaches, but we get time together every morning and every evening. It makes the drive so much easier. And there is a certain amount of glee in bypassing all those drivers stuck in the "regular" lane driving by themselves. (Sidenote - sometimes it doesn't matter if you're in the carpool lane or not. Yesterday it took us 45 minutes to simply merge onto 405 from 520!)

3. Having a job. These days, with so many people out of work, I am continually grateful that I am employed. Not only that, but I find myself enjoying working at the family business (It's good to see my dad every day and he's so tickled that I'm here) and that I can include "manager" on my title now. I am also releived that Matt has a job where he feels good about himself. Can we say "hooray" for dual income?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Joys Of Moving

Or rather, joys of the DMV...

Luckily I got someone in WA who was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Very patient, answered all of my questions, and was very methodical in all the paperwork she had to fill out. To make a very long story short, my car's title was transferred to CA when we moved, and I have no documentation. Which means filling out a form to request a duplicate tilte and sending it to the CA DMV. Which means waiting 4 to 6 weeks for ONE piece of paper. Which means pay OVER ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS to Washington DMV for TEMPORARY PAPER PLATES so that I don't get pulled over for expired tabs.

So we wait. I marked on my Google calendar to call the CA DMV on 8/25 in case we haven't received the duplicate title by then. Something tells me we won't, and I'll be calling, only to be placed on hold for another 20 minutes.

It's been a long day. I'm going to go home now.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Helllooo?? Anyone there?

I signed up for a website counter last week to see if anyone has been reading. According to them, no one, for the last two weeks, has been looking at my blog, which I find hard to believe. I look at lots of blogs, and don't comment. I discontinued my subscription, and am happy to live in my own little world, where I have lots of readers.

I have stopped updating my SLO Life blog on wordpress. My passion for the central coast of California is still there, but now it's time to rediscover the Pacific Northwest. I hope that in years to come, we will have new adventures, rediscovering our home state through new eyes.

Dad came over yesterday and helped me put away all of our china. We have four sets of wine glasses and three sets of china. I guess we have some entertaining to do, and some wine glasses to give away. Anyone need some wine glasses? Brie, Steve, and Catherine came over for dinner last night which was great. I've missed having people over. I made a fantastic salad (and will post the recipe later on) And now that the living/dining room is nearly unpacked, it makes for a relaxing atmosphere. I love that our dining room table is actually a place to eat and talk, and is no longer Matt's office.

A big thanks to Brie, Steve, and Catherine for my own set of gardening tools! This will be so helpful since there's a touch of weeding to do.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A...morning person? *gasp*

I know, I really didn't think it was possible!

Let me start of by saying I *despise* getting up at 5:30am. Despise. Really. But I *love* leaving work at 3:30ish, so it does have it's payoffs. And by the time bedtime rolls around, I'm actually tired and sleep all night. Who knew I could do that? And on a regular basis?

It hit me while I was at work this energy level in the morning far exceeds the small mass of energy I have in the evening, which I use to cook dinner and perhaps unpack a box (watching Brothers and Sisters is more like it). I am in bed by 10:30, 9:30 or 10 if I care to read before slumbering off to dream land. It's wonderful, the feeling of actually being tired at night? And sleeping? Glorious! Better get used to this before kiddos come along.

And may I say how wonderful it is that Matt loves his job so much? Wish I could say the same. Undertaking such a massive project, and all on my own, is a bit exhausting. Overwhelming. And somewhat daunting. BUT I do have my own office which is a bonus, and no more picking up the phone when it rings. It's glorious. Simply. Fantastic.

So yes, back to me being a morning person. I think it really has to do with the sun being out in the morning (or rather, here in the Pacific Northwest, it's light, even when raining). I doubt I'll feel this energized when it's winter and 30 degrees outside, raining, and freezing cold. Better prepare myself with some flannel sheets and a down comforter.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I have a routine.

Wake up at 5:30am. Leave for work by 6:30. Drop Matt off at work, arrive at my job around 7:30 or 7:45. Get shit done. Leave around 3:30 or 3:45, pick Matt up, get home around 4:30 or 5. Rest. Fix dinner and eat dinner. Unpack boxes. Have a glass of wine. Go to sleep.


Guess I've entered that thing called "adulthood".

I am hoping in 6 months or so, I can work one or two days from home. But first, there's work to be done on the new website (launch is scheduled for 7/15). We have to get part of the e-commerce store up and running before I can think about sleeping in on a weekday.

Life is pretty routine now, so not much exciting news. Although this weekend was fantastic. We celebrated Matt's cousin's wedding, which was great fun. I love his family and it was wonderful to catch up with them. Yesterday we stayed home ALL DAY. It felt incredible to just get stuff done AND watch TV (our tv is working now, yay).

Tonight is craft night at Sam and Phil's. I am excited to see their place and get a little creative. Hopefully this week we will get to see Ben and Rita during waking hours. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Werking Gyrl

Seriously. I am now working for da family business. I am back in the land of nine to five. Really, it's more like 7:30 to 3:30 thanks to Matt's working hours. Matt's office is 3 miles from mine, so we get to take the carpool lane which is such a saving grace! We take turns driving in the afternoon but he drives in the morning. If I don't sleep well, he graciously drives and let's me take a quick nap on the way to and from work.

I have hit the ground running at work. Literally jumping in with both feet and seeing what happens. As most of you know, I am managing the website for my dad's company, and they are really far behind. As most of you also know, my major in college was theater. And I have zero to little experience with this. I am just asking questions, making phone calls, and figuring out where we are at. They hired someone to build an online store 2 years ago, and nothing has happend in those 2 years, so we are also a little time crunched, and might I say, desperate? In this economy, online sales are hugely helpful. Plus, once this gets off the ground, maybe I'll be just one of the peeps rather than the bosses daughter.

In any case, I am enjoying my job. I do like being in an office. I'm not as distracted and it's kind of cute to see how proud my dad is to have me here. I have missed the sarcastic humor at work, and unlike 5 years ago, I can now fire back with my own observations and remarks. I'm no longer a sensitive 20 something. I am a self-assured woman who can handle her own.

Speaking of which, I really should go back to work. Spreadsheets are calling my name. Joy of joys!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

As if we didn't have enough stuff...

...we unloaded our storage unit today. Rather, the boys did, while Tina and I jetted off to three different stores to find curtains for the other bedrooms and downstairs, and another few stores were thrown into the mix to find her some new shoes. No shoes were found, but curtains were bought and have been hung (thanks to Tina's manly skills --as she says "grrr" and flexes her muscles while drinking tequila). Then as I was unpacking boxes, I found more curtains...sigh...figures.

It's been a long week. Tomorrow we go get my grandmother's china, her china, and my parent's dining room table and chairs. I'm actually just "borrowing" the table and chairs from my sister, who wants to have them as her own, but as she's in college, she doesn't have space for them in her tiny apartment. So until she has a place of her own, Matt and I will gladly use them for our own family dinners.

And with that, my friends, good night. Pictures will NOT be posted until there are no moving boxes in sight. Or at least until I get them all into the garage.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Year of Gratitude #27

1. I am so very thankful for friends who are willing to tote me around while Matt is at work this week and I am sans car. Whether it's to go shopping or just get out of the house (or a little of both), I am very appreciative of my dear friends!

2. Money in the bank. Yeah, I know, it won't last long, but for setting up home and the lack of food (meaning we've gone out to dinner every night this week), it's been a relief knowing I won't look at our checking account balance and burst into tears.

3. My hard-workin' hubby. I am so proud of him, and so grateful that he found work, and that he loves where he's at and what he's doing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A new look, a new life

I figured the raindrops were appropriate considering the weather these days.

I'd just like to write a quick note:

Dear Mother Nature,
I realize that it's not officially summer yet, but do you think you could warm things up just a little? Fifty-five degrees isn't really warm enough for me right now, and I know my long-term PNW friends and family would appreciate some temparatures in the 60's. Please do what you can. Thank you!

Moving-in is overwhelming and we've had lots of visitors, friends and the cable guy, someone from the geek squad, and the bird-removal's been pretty hectic. But I'm glad we're home. It's an amazing feeling!

More to come...brain full...and there's more boxes to unpack...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goodbye, Los Angeles

Goodbye, Los Angeles...

We've had a strange relationship, the two of us. Wouldn't you agree? When I first got here, you were overwhelming and busy, made no sense, and decided that temperatures in the 100's were the best way to welcome Matt and I to Hollywood. Then winter came, and you warmed us up with sixty degrees. At night. I remember the first time I walked outside in December in a shorts and t-shirt, thinking that life couldn't be better, and neither could the weather. Over time I came to love the winter and hate the summers, like most of my friends here. I learned the value of drivers who know how to drive in traffic as opposed to coming to a dead stop. I learned how to navigate your ridiculously unusable public transit system (seriously, get a subway stop at LAX and at the beach already). You then warmed the hearts of several of our friends, persuading them to live here, and we welcomed them with open arms, extending our community, our family of dear friends. You were aggravating at times, but kept that carrot dangling in front of me, hopeful that good things would continue to come along. Even with those crappy jobs, I continued to hope that you would help us stick around for the long haul.

Then the writer's strike happened, then the housing bubble burst, sending the economy into disarray. We tried to stay, we tried our best to figure out our bleeding finances so we could afford to stay. And we couldn't. We could afford a house in our home state that also offered a slightly cheaper cost of living. We tried, we did our best to stay, even moved to a cheaper apartment that offered critters in the kitchen with no dishwasher, but I'm sorry to say it's just not going to work out this time. We have to break up.

I was a different person then, and you helped shape me into the person I am today. I will be forever grateful. You will always have a place in my heart.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Five Days and Counting

Our apartment is a mess. Matt and I are exhausted. My brain isn't functioning properly and I forget things quite a bit nowadays. Total chaos in this California Vancil home. He is amazing at packing boxes. And I am doing well at the admin stuff (setting utilities, making multiple phone calls, running errands...I am an assistant in my home). We are making great progress but I know the day of the move, we'll be running around thinking "Shit! How could we forget that? And why didn't we take care of *insert project here* sooner?!"

Plans this week you ask? Hm. Well tomorrow is church and then our farewell party. Monday our car goes to the mechanic for an oil change and overall inspection to make sure it won't fall apart while we're driving up. Tuesday is dinner with a friend. Wednesday is more meals with more friends. Thursday we hopefully get our TV fixed and final chiro appointments, not to mention our last night in town.

The movers arrive Friday morning. Hopefully late Friday morning or early afternoon we'll be on the road. We'll spend the night in Etna with our dear friend Erik (sadly Gayvin will not be home) and son Jack. They don't care that we have three nutty cats, they'll be welcome too and put in a separate room. Saturday we make it to Tacoma and set up camp for the cats in either the rec room or a bathroom. We will probably spend that night at my aunt and uncle's in Puyallup and enjoy their hot tub. Sunday, we hope the movers will arrive. June 14 is when Matt starts his new job. Our new washer and dryer will be delivered and installed that day. June 15 our internet and phone will be hooked up, and I hope to make a trip to the DMV that day. June 16 we have a consultation with 3-day blinds to see about some, y'know, blinds for our naked windows. Then June 17th I am officially back at the office. Even though the commute will completely suck, Matt's office is three miles from mine, so we will be able to carpool. Brilliant I say! I will be commuting every weekday during the summer, and hope by fall to be working from home once or twice a week.

I wrote this all out so I could remember. Sometimes the calendar just doesn't make sense to me. It sounds crazy, and hectic, but seriously, would I have it any other way? Never! Can't wait to go home! :)

To Emilie - Same here m'dear!

To Jenny - Oh joy of joys. I think I will want to hear about it at your party. After a glass of wine. Or five.

To Brie - Birds nests = multiple birds who have lived in our attic, probably for months since it was an investment home and no one has lived there for quite some time. Should be lots of bird poo and germs up there. Blech. Yes, I know it could be worse, and the reason we bought this house is because most everything is up to date. I'm just really mad at our inspector (and ticked at our Realtor) for not catching it in the first place so we could have had the seller clean it up instead, thus saving us money. Blech, I say!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Seven Days and Counting

In one week we'll leave California. I don't want to say "forever" because that is a long time. But I would like to say we'll leave indefinitely. I don't think we'd mind coming back so long as we could make enough money to be comfortable rather than bleeding money every single month.

Found out yesterday that we have birds' nests in our attic. GROSS. Found a bird removal company in Seattle that can help us. I am waiting to hear back from them as to a free inspection and how much this might cost us.

We are in packing/cleaning-stuff-out high gear. Every day, Matt is asking me what I can pack in the kitchen. We are really trying to watch our spending because the first few months in a new place is always expensive with ending services at the old place and starting new ones at the new home. We have never owned a house before, haven't had to pay a water bill in years, and have no idea how much blinds will cost. It's all overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Though right now I have to say I'm closer to overwhelmed.

Right now, though, I'm off to get a massage. My tired, aching muscles and harried brain are in deep need of relaxation!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vegas Baby!

We're not going to the strip, not if I can help it. We're off to visit an old friend and meet his wife and new daughter. I'm excited to see Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, maybe I'll actually set foot in Arizona before we leave the Southwest permanently.

It will be good for Matt and I to leave town for a few days. It's been tense around here, a small place with the two of us and three cats, limited more by the chaos of boxes and packing. We are all looking forward to the time (2 weeks from today) where we won't be living on top of each other.

But for now, Vegas, and more sunshine!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celebrity List

This is so I can answer the question "What celebrities have you seen while in L.A.?"

Katy Segal
Casey Affleck (This one is a good story)
Joaquin Phoenix
Bobby Lee
Minnie Driver
Owen Wilson
Rose McGowan
Famke Jensen
Sandra Oh
Demi Moore
Ashton Kutcher
Rumer Willis
Joe Pantoliano
Lauren Hutton
Donald Glover
David Duchovny
Eva Longoria

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where to begin?

There's quite a bit going on in this here household. First off, we've officially set our moving date for June 11th, which is 18 days from today. Oy! Lots to pack, lots of closets, nooks, and crannies to clean out. I try not to think about it too much, just take it day by day. And thank gawd hubby was a professional mover. He knows exactly what kind of boxes we need, how many, and that packing paper will save our dishes (it's true). I've booked the movers (which relieves much stress), booked the truck to empty out our storage locker in Puyallup for the 19th, and I guess the next step is to cancel our utilities here in L.A. Oh and I did submit our change of address too. That one is kind of a biggie.

My last day at Roadside is on June 2nd. I'm really going to miss working there. The people are wonderful, and I so appreciate them taking the time to train me in something (accounts payable) that I had no previous experience in. Plus one of my co-workers and I have a very serious Facebook scrabble battle going on.

This weekend, you know, because we have so much time on our hands, we are going to visit our friends in Northern Las Vegas. We will not be visiting the strip as I've been there enough times. Instead we'll be going to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, visiting places that we've never seen before. I'm really excited to get out of L.A. for a little while and see what else Vegas has to offer. (A shout-out to Rian - Thanks for taking care of the meows while we're gone!)

I'm still dumbfounded by the fact that we have bought a house. That we can do anything we want, and are responsible for ALL the utilities. We need to buy blinds and screen doors. Shower rods and curtains. We'll be staying with my aunt and uncle the first few nights so we can get a few necessities done (in addition to painting) and the kitties can adjust to their new surroundings. I am hoping they will be slightly less neurotic since we won't be living on top of each other. And to get Quinn to lose a little weight, we'll be putting the litter boxes downstairs and the food upstairs so she'll have to use the stairs to get to these places.

This is how my brain works these days. Full of tangents and random thoughts that are related and yet aren't. It's crazy busy up there, with no time to exercise (it's really just laziness) and just a massive desire to sleep.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Only in L.A.

I am sure that this list will keep building and building as we get ready to leave permanently next month...

1. Only in L.A. would I be sitting in for the front desk admin at work and a named celeb comes out of the conference room asking me to get something out of his car.

2. Only in L.A. would we say "Oh, it's so cold, it's only 65 degrees!"

3. Only in L.A. would it be ok to experience a traffic jam at 2am. It's really not ok, but seems permissible.

4. Only in L.A. would I see the red-carpet event being set up downstairs in the lobby and think "Oh great, now Matt's not going to have anywhere to park when he comes to pick me up."

5. Only in L.A. would I blame premieres on Hollywood Boulevard for increasing my commute time.

Suggestions? Additions?

Sunday, May 09, 2010


In times of reflection, where I think about where I've been and how much I've changed, I tend to get pretty wistful. Especially on days like today, where we celebreate mothers world-wide and while I am continually amazed and grateful that I had such a wonderful mother, and that I am surrounded by amazing mothers, friends and family alike, I can't help but feel, sometimes, that I got cheated, that our family was robbed. I don't stay there very long, but every once in awhile, it just hurts. Instead of pushing it away like I used to do, I deal with it for 5 minutes and move on, figuring that one meltdown is better than five (mother's day last year, anyone?). I also take this opportunity to celebrate my mom, who was an incredible woman and I was very lucky (and still am) to have her as my parent, as my guiding force in life.

I'm reflecting too, on the big changes ahead. We are gearing up to move back to Washington State, where we'll be first time home-owners, and with that comes more (albeit new and kind of scary) responsibilities. Something goes wrong? Breaks? We must fix it! Yardwork? We've it cut out for us. But I'm SO EXCITED to explore a new city, to strengthen new relationships, to start a new chapter in my life. To start auditioning again, to explore my home-state as a grown up, to live my life in a new way. I feel like I've taken California for granted, in a way, and become stagnant. I don't intend for that to happen as often up in Tacoma, except on bad days. And they'll happen, hopefully just not as frequently. Because I'll have a new house to slowly decorate and keep me busy (cleaning it will take longer, I imagine). And a commute. To Redmond. Blech. Anyone for carpooling?

I'd like to imagine, too, that moving to Washington will get me off my lazy bum and inspire me to exercise with friends by going for beautiful walks and exploring Dash Point State Park which is fairly close to my new home. I'll have a living room and a rec room, both with their own TV's (and fireplaces) to stretch out in should I want to do yoga at home. There's a few bikram studios nearby, and a lovely suburban neighborhood to explore. And if all else fails, there's the gym. But I'm hoping I will be able to avoid a monthly fee and figure out a routine that's adventurous and satisfying.

And let me just tell you that I'm THRILLED with our new kitchen! I plan on many more culinary adventures, and hope to have a grill fairly quickly after moving in so that we will have another avenue for cooking. And I'm thinking that in August we'll have a house-warming party tied in with my birthday. An end-of-summer bash. With a bbq. And maybe I'll have that firepit going in the backyard? You know me. I like hosting. So come on over for dinner, just let me know when you're on your way so I can set an extra place for you!

I'd like to end this with one of my favorite pictures of me and mom from when I was a kid:

Love you mom. I miss you every day. Thanks for everything, and continuing to help guide me from afar. xoxo

Friday, May 07, 2010

Pictures of our house!

The west side of the house.

One of TWO fireplaces!

Our gigantic backyard. I have ideas, but right now it's just WAY overwhelming.

My kitchen! Look, it's not a shoebox! AND there's a dishwasher!!

The lovely entryway. I LOVE this house!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A quick overview

Finalized the loan for the house;

Settled on a property insurance provider;

Finding more gray hairs on my head;

Pricing out movers;

Realizing that I'm making decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. Literally.

It's a lot of stress, and for about 6 weeks there, I really don't know how anyone put up with me, but thank you a million times over. :) I'm much better now. Insomnia is now only due to the heat of L.A. rather than stress.

Oh, and pictures of the house are uploaded onto Facebook. I'll post some here when Blogger decides to not be such a pill.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How do I love thee?

Oh let me count the ways...If only I could afford you...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back to "normal"

I have another acupuncture appointment tomorrow. I can't deal with myself like this. I need to sleep, and I need this whole house buying/financing business to just be done. Why can't my life be like that movie "Click" for the next two weeks?

I'm doing my best to stay positive. Today I'm home from work as tears don't really help with accounting and data entry.

Fingers crossed for a better and happier blog entry tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ahhh, relief

So for those of you who have been following my FB status updates, it's safe to say that the last week I've been stressed out beyond belief, my anxiety reaching a peak level that has been keeping me up all night, my heart racing fervently and my brain unable to shut off for at least 6 hours. I was exercising, only drinking one or two cups of tea a day, no more soda, really watching what I ate (when I felt like eating). I have a few more gray hairs on the sides of my temples, the wrinkles under my eyes were more pronounced, and I was negative and going crazy. Chiropractic wasn't helping either, and I wasn't sure that a massage would do the trick.

So I made an acupuncture appointment.

I have only had acupuncture once, nearly 4 years ago when Mom was dying, and the acupuncturist lovingly came to my parent's house to treat Dad, Katie, and I. I was a little hesitant...I mean, how are needles placed on certain areas of my body supposed to help me relax? Well, a few in my toes, and a couple in my ears, and BAM. Out like a light for 20 minutes. It's still the best cat nap I've ever had.

I had put a call into the acupuncturist about a month ago to see if my insurance would cover it, and while I swear I never got the message, she said she called me back and said it did...ok, fine. So I called last week to set up an initial appointment, and she had an opening for an hour on Tuesday, could I make it? Yes, I said, and I was hopeful that relief was in my future. I wasn't sure how much longer I could be in this over-heightened state of anxiety (I'm not sure I can even describe to you, dear followers how bad this felt and how crazy I've been).

So yesterday I went in, only to find out that the woman I had set up an appointment with wasn't there and I was meeting with the new one. Wha? Huh? Oooohhhhkaaaayyy, sure. I had made an appointment with the other woman because she came so highly recommended, but sure, I'll play along. I'm here for relief, and she's going to help me. Let's do this. Oh, and we have a cancellation, and you're a new patient. Might I take some extra time, and poke/prod you for awhile longer today? Sure thing, Missy, it's my day off.

Two hours later, I was on my way home. Tired. Exhausted. Chi reset. Nervous system back in balance, and Chinese herbal pills on the way next week to help curb my anxiety/insomnia/stress. For the first time in WEEKS, I could think of the problems and not feel the anxious frenzy come about. My heart wasn't anxiously palpitating away, ready to burst out of my chest. I could finally think clearly, but first...a nap...I could hardly keep my eyes open after lunch and had the most wonderful long nap. Acupuncture is exactly what my body needed. I swear, it was better than tears involved...just a little needle phobia.

Toady, I'm tired. I didn't get to sleep until after 3am, but it was because my nap was so rejuvenating. I wasn't stressing over things, I was just pleasantly rested. And I happen to know that without my lovely appointment today, I'd be a frenzy of stress and anxiety, in addition to loading myself up with caffeine and chocolate.

How else do I know I'm doing so well? When Alex, our front desk admin, asked me how I was doing this morning when I walked in, I said "great" without even thinking about a response. That's a very good sign, maybe even a great sign, that this issue (which still isn't solved, but will be by Friday/Saturday) isn't going to get the best of me anymore.

P.S. I have another appointment next Thursday. Why let insurance go to waste?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


It's official!

We're in escrow for a house in Tacoma, WA.

More details to come after the inspection next Sunday, 4/25.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Late nights

You know what I can't stand? When I exhaust myself by working out, staying up throughout the day, getting stuff done, being fairly productive. It's night time, I'm tired, and I lay my head down to go to sleep, and BAM! I'm wide awake. My brain is suddenly not distracted by pretty things like Gmail and Facebook. Now we have time to WORRY and STRESS over things that are either in motion or more than likely, over things that have not happened yet. Yes, yours truly loves to fret over future events that may or may not occur. Lovely, eh? Bet you thought I was crazy you don't even know. Bless my husband, for he is a saint.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Susan G Komen 3-day walk

I'm just putting this out there. I really want to go this year, finally feel like I'm ready to not be sad but be empowered instead. Does anyone have a team going or is anyone interested in putting one together? It's September 24-26, 2010 in Seattle.

Would really love to go. For Mom and for me.

As an added bonus, it will give me a fitness goal!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I am normally an anxious person. Especially when it comes to situation/places/things in general that I'm not familiar with. My heart races and my brain really can't focus on anything else. It's safe to say that I feel as though my heart is about to run right out of my chest and away from my crazy self. Deep breathing doesn't seem to help, and neither does caffeine.

On the other hand, I know I get anxious because I care. Because I want things to work out, not perfectly, but well enough so that I can move forward. Today, and perhaps the next few days, I'll feel this way. I see some serious exercising in my future. That seems to be about the only thing that can really calm me down when my anxiety is this bad.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Greens

With Matt back in town, we go through our organic delivery box a little more quickly now, so a trip to the farmers market on the weekend is a great way to supplement fresh fruits and veggies that we have already gone through or didn't get.

Baby Bok Choy is now in season and abundant at the Sierra Madre market. When I saw it, I immediately thought of this recipe from Real Simple. I had tried it quite awhile ago, but thought I should give it another try. I'm sure glad I did! We served organic d'anjou pears on the side. A wonderful compliment.

Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Serves 4

Hands-on Time: 15m

Total Time: 25m


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup store-bought barbecue sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced


1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the bok choy and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Cover and cook until the bok choy is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, barbecue sauce, and scallions. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook, tossing, just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with the rice.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Hollywood Scene


Went to a screening tonight. Didn't expect to get that close to Lauren Hutton, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher. Didn't meet them, which is fine. That club was SO not my scene, and yet it was fascinating to watch everyone! I networked a little, and here's hoping that I didn't make a complete fool out of myself! :)

I had a great time. Some advil and water should help me sleep off that headache I might wake up with in the morning.

I think I'm going to regret blogging in this state. We'll see.

Matt is home

And right now, that's all that matters. :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Just haven't felt like blogging

I come up with my best blog posts in the car, but unfortunately I don't get home in time to remember them. And when I am inspired, the blinking cursor and blank white screen are intimidating enough to make me want to run away screaming. You know me, my life is an open book and I don't want to give just little tidbits. But to go into detail about all the emotional draining shtuff, to put it into writing and have it permanently published on the Internets for all too see...isn't Facebook public enough?

March was just a weird month and I'm glad it's over.

Matt is coming home on Wednesday Morning! YEAH!! :) When he does come home, it will have been 7 weeks and 1 day since he left back in February.

I am working on a future blog post about all the things I will miss about L.A. when we finally move (and we have no idea when that will be, no house as of yet).

It's raining right now, thank goodness. We really need it!

Addicted to the show DEXTER. It's so creepy, and yet I can't bring myself to stop watching. That's good TV.

It was an interesting Easter this year, especially with the earthquake. It really messed with my equilibrium, I felt nauseated and dizzy. Still do when I read the news reports. But there's no damage here. We're fine, thank goodness. Hopefully that isn't an indication of what's to come. Hopefully that was it.

Did I mention I know over 10 women who are pregnant or gave birth already? And it's only April! Crazyness!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What I've done since Tuesday:

Went out for dinner every night;

Toured Santa Barbara for a day;

Finally got to see the Santa Barbara Mission;

Went to see a taping of The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno;

Spent an afternoon and evening at Venice Beach;

Rode a bike (6 miles round-trip) at sunset along the boardwalk;

Got my haircut;

Went to bed every night after 11pm;

Had a free lunch at The Counter;

Got to eat dinner at my favorite restaurant in Venice Beach.

I'm tired today. I'm staying home.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tourist Guide

My Aunt Muriel and Uncle John are visiting. They flew in last night and it is so nice to not have to be alone in my apartment for awhile! They certainly are entertaining and I don't get to spend much time with them, so to have some time just for the three of us is wonderful. Today I'm off to work early and dropping them off at Hollywood & Highland for 4 hours while I work. Then we're off to NBC in Burbank to see The Tonight Show! Should be fun. After that, I think we're all going to need a nap before dinner, and we haven't planned that far ahead yet.

Other trips we might do are Laguna Beach, Santa Barbara, and all kinds of stuff in between. Who knows? The next few days are ours and we can do what we want. It's a great feeling.

Matt and the JourneyQuest team are jump starting principal photography today. Let's hope everything goes smoothly. I'll be anxious to talk to him tonight to find out how everything went. Once he starts shooting and directing, I know his anxiety will melt away and everything will come into focus.

As for me, I am still pissed about loosing the house, but I am working on letting it go, day by day. Our house is out there, and we will be living in it soon enough. I can't wait to be back in the Northwest this summer. I can't wait to be home.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I should just avoid the news...good or bad...

Please make the news stop. Just for a day. I can't take it anymore. Good or bad, my cup is full and I would like a few days to simply process what life has passed my way since Saturday. I'm moody, hubby is emotionally drained, and I am struggling to keep a positive attitude. It doesn't help that the majority of my support system is all up North right now, and it's all I can do to keep from crying at the drop of a hat.

Really, I just need to avoid Facebook for a few days, stop checking the papers, and maybe go see AVATAR or ALICE IN WONDERLAND to get out of my head. I've seen AVATAR before, don't worry, I just want to see it again to see all the stuff I missed. Maybe I'll go see it tomorrow. I have enough points at the Arclight for a free ticket.

Anyway, I've thankfully forced myself to exercise twice this week, and tomorrow is my final day at bootcamp (We just can't afford the expense right now). I can't imagine how I'd be doing if I hadn't worked out.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Slight Crisis Mode

I'm fine. Really, in the grand scheme of things, I'm fine. There's still money in the bank account, I have food in the kitchen, and I have a roof over my head. I'm healthy, have a great husband and friends, everything is ok.

Seems to be everyone else that's having troubles, and I can't help. I can only be there for them on the phone, listen and support from afar. Which is hard, because I just want to wrap my arms around them and give them a huge hug. I have to have faith that everything will work out, one way or the other.

I'm proud of myself, though, in a way, for not taking on other people's problems. I can only do what I can do, it is their life to live, and if all I can do is listen, well hey, that's good enough sometimes. Sometimes that's all that's needed. I used to try to fix everything, but now, I just let it slide and work on the mantra "what will be, will be, and that's ok." It's not easy, but it is calming and reassuring.

In other news, GOOD NEWS, the company I work for in West Hollywood had a movie that won best documentary last night! Yay!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Gratitude #26

1. Sleep. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Sleep is heavenly. I am still beating this cold into submission (it's been almost two weeks) and love that my laugh sounds like I've been a smoker since I was 5. But I digress, it's just knocked the wind out of me. The weather is changing too, so my body is just naturally tired. I haven't worked out in two weeks, surprisingly I'm not going insane, but I know that once I become more active, I'll be a little less sleepy.

2. Friends who listen. I'm surrounded with an awesome group of friends (and family) who have listened to me gripe/groan/cry/laugh over many things these last few weeks, especially since I got back from Seattle. And I'm glad to be there for them too, in all kinds of ways, whether over the phone or over IM. I love my friends. You guys really are the best.

3. Kleenex. Without it, last week I would have been a disgusting mess. It's really for the best that Matt is away, filming and having fun. He doesn't have to see me all gross and nas-tastic.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A little update

I think we found our house, matter of fact I'm pretty sure of it, but there's still some things to think about;

I'm still slightly sick, but so much better. Hubby let me sleep 10 hours last night, bless his heart;

Jessica did an awesome job looking after our place and the precious meows - thank you!!

I hate money;

I miss Matt something fierce and can't wait to see him in 24 days;

I had a great time in Washington, and can't wait to go back. Permanently.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sneezy, Sniffly, and then some

The last week or so I've been slightly sneezy and sniffly, but usually spring starts in February here in LA LA Land, so I attributed it to allergies. Unfortunately, I caught a chill on Saturday night as Kari M. and I waited for the subway in downtown, and by Sunday the chill turned into a sore throat complete with sniffles and sneezing. I guess my body was trying to tell me that I was sick, but obviously I wasn't paying attention.

This morning the sore throat is gone, thankfully, but it's unfortunately been replaced by that classic nasal tone, and the sneezes and sniffles are still visiting. I don't think I'll make it into work today, which sucks because I could use the hours and the cash. But hopefully tomorrow and Wednesday I will make it in, and I'll just tack on a few extra hours to make up for the time I'm missing today.

I'm also hoping this cold will be completely gone by Thursday as I'm flying back up to Seattle to continue the house hunt. I'm excited, but not exactly hopeful. Our house is out there, but who knows when it will appear. Right now, I just have to stay open minded to all possibilities.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I'm not one for making my own spaghetti sauce. As one reviwer on this recipe said, "I always gravitate to buying the jarred sauce." It's just easier. But after making this meal last night with my good friend Rian, I think it's going to be much more exciting and fun to make my own spaghetti sauce.
And the meatballs. Homemade meatballs. Heaven. Just. Heaven. Bye bye frozen meatballs, HELLO homemade. Everything just tastes better when made from scratch. I have to remember this!
Click here for the recipe.

This meal goes well with a hearty Pinot Noir.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's a better day...a little better...

It's the nights that are the hardest. And it hit me yesterday why I'm really struggling with all of this.

He's a writer, yes? He works best from home which means he's home all the time. And while it would be nice to have a dining room table now and then, for the most part, it's a huge comfort just being around him. But now? All his stuff his gone. His "desk" is cleared off, so many of his clothes are missing from the closet, and little things are missing from the medicine cabinet. It's weird and I really don't like it. It's quiet all the time, and I actually miss having cable so I can have some background noise to keep me from feeling so alone.

Yes, Dahli, I must keep my chin up. Nine (now eight) days are close by, and I'll push through. Thanks Emilie and KT for your comments, to Paige for checking in on me, and to Pastor Sue for offering to keep me company. I have an awesome support network. The best of friends.

You guys are awesome.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Keeping it together

I don't know where that strong woman went, but now I seem to be this emotional little girl this morning, struggling to keep myself in check. I dropped Matt off at the airport this morning, and even though I am going to get to see him in just 9 days, it feels like I won't see him for six whole weeks. I feel alone, and overly emotional. Thank god for a part-time job, the church book-club, and activities to do later in the week. Otherwise I'd probably spend my time curled up in bed with tissues all over and hungry cats meowing incessantly.

Focus...breathe...I'm going to be FINE.

Where is this coming from??!!

*Deep Breath*

Really, I'm going to be fine, just fine. I know it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our last full day before I'm a film widow for 6 to 8 weeks.

The Chumash Valley, one of two vista points, outside Solvang.

Solvang at dusk.

What do you need wine for when you can go to the beergarden?

11 years together and still going strong. Love you, sweetie!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Planning Ahead

My mother-in-law has a fantastic quote (albeit annoying at times when I just want life to work out my way): "Life is what happens when you're making plans."


It's enough to say that searching for a house is stressful. Add to it that we're 1000 miles away and the only way I can really see houses is through the internets. I am stressed out, emotionally drained, and just want it to be over with already. And what's worse is that I can really plan anything more than a few weeks ahead because I don't know if we'll find that perfect place or not. I can't plan to see my family who's visiting Seattle at the end of March, because I could be packing up our place by then. I don't know when Matt will be back from shooting, so we can't plan the Grand Canyon trip, and even if we could, we don't know if we'll be moving by then.

The point is, I just don't know and it's driving me nuts.

In the meantime, I'm just trying to enjoy L.A. and not think about moving. Right now all I can do is search for a house, because without a house, moving isn't involved. Today, hubby and I are going to the Huntington Gardens, and then out for a cheap dinner. Or I might make something. Who knows? Tomorrow is full of chores and laundry, but today, I get my hubby all to myself.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Barley Pilaf Stuffed Squash

The last few deliveries we've received from Farm Fresh To You have included Butternut Squash. I'm not familiar with squash - the varieties available and when, how to cook it, and the impossible task of peeling off the tough exterior. One reason why I love this particular recipe so much is not only is the stuffing absolutely delicious (and healthy to boot), I don't have to peel the squash!

This recipe is from a fantastic cookbook called Almost Meatless. I heard about it from my friend Katy, and was so intrigued I used my birthday money to buy a copy. It's written by two women, one a meat loving carnivore, and the other is a former vegan. While meat is still used in the recipes, far less is used than in most cookbooks. The focus is on healthy eating for you and for the planet.

Barley Pilaf Stuffed Squash
from Almost Meatless
Serves 4

  • 2 small butternut squash, or 1 large squash, halved, seeds scooped out
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (about 1/2 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 cup barley
  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage (or your favorite flavor)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 4 large leaves)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375F.

To prepare the squash, rub the insides with the 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper, and transfer toa large roasting pan that will fit all the pieces without crowding. Roast in the oven, cut side down, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash is fork tender.

Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, let the mushrooms steep in the hot water in a medium saucepan for about 15 minutes. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms, chop, and set aside. Bring the soaking water to a boil, add the barley, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the barley is cooked through.

While the barley cooks, add the 2 teaspoons oil to a saute pan over medium-high heat. cut and remove the sausage casings and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook the sausage until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, shallot, sage, and cranberries, and reserved mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain the barley through a mesh strainer and add to the sausage pan. Add the vinegar and stir to combine thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until the squash is ready.
When the squash is done, remove from the oven and stuff the craters with the hot barley mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gratitude #25

1. A good night's sleep.
Oh my goodness, how much this helps. I haven't slept well since we got back from the holidays in Seattle. You see, I sleep with earplugs in here in good ol' Glendale because our bedroom faces a very busy street. Couple that with crazy, nutty cats running around in the middle of the night...well, white noise from a fan just doesn't cut it. So after a month of trying to sleep, trying to adjust to the noises...I couldn't take it anymore. And my friends, the last 3 nights have been blissful. I am waking up ready to go and refreshed, it's so awesome.

2. My cookbooks.
We had to wipe my computer a few weeks ago, and with that all of my recipes that I had saved in my MasterCook program disappeared! So, it's back to the basics, of searching through my recipe books for easy yet healthy and tasty recipes. I am so glad I have such a variety. I'll never get bored, that's for sure. Remember how I used to collect stationary? Well, now it's cookbooks. Matt is fine with it, as long as I make a recipe from each one at some point, whether it's today or 20 years from now. I think I can hold up my end of that deal.

3. Capacity to step-up and be an adult.
Remember when we were little and being grown-up seemed so incredible? We could do anything we wanted at any time, carefree and able to drive to boot! Well, now I know it's not that simple, most of the time I still feel like that 15 year old girl who's unsure about everything. But yesterday, I set her aside. You see, I heard through the grapevine that an old college roommate's spouse had a rare stroke (and they have three little girls). She and I didn't get along so well, for reasons now that I've forgotten and must be unimportant. I messaged her through facebook, saying how sorry I was to hear about her husband's health, that I wished him well soon, and that I hoped she was alright. She quickly responded updating me on his condition and how sweet I was to contact her. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that stepping up and getting over myself was the right thing to do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meatloaf and Broccoli Cheese Bake

Need I say more? Let's get to it already...

From my Comfort Food Cookbook
Serves 4

1 thick slice crustless white bread
3 cups freshly ground beef, pork, or lamb
1 small egg
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
1 tsp dried herbs
salt and pepper

*I have used ground beef and ground lamb on separate occasions. I vastly prefer the ground lamb version.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Put the bread into a small bowl and add enough water to soak. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze well to get rid of all the water.

Combine the bread and all the other ingredients in a bowl. Shape into a loaf, then place on a cookie sheet or in an ovenproof dish. Put the meatloaf in the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the juices run clear when it is pierced with a toothpick.

Serve in slices with your favorite sauce or gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Mushroom and Cauliflower (or Broccoli) Cheese Bake
From my Comfort Food Cookbook
Serves 4

1 medium head of cauliflower or broccoli
2 oz butter, plus 2 tbsp for the topping
4 oz white mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Break the cauliflower into small florets. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and cook the florets in the boiling water for 3 minutes (if you're using broccoli, you can just steam them until they are fork tender). Remove from the heat, drain well, and transfer to a large shallow ovenproof dish.

Melt the 2 oz of butter into a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, stir to coat, and cook gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the cauliflower. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, and herbs in a small mixing bowl, then sprinkle the crumbs over the vegetables.

Dice the butter for the topped and dot over the crumbs.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown and crisp. Serve straight from the dish.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Upcoming Recipe Posts

Tuesday night we had meatloaf and a broccoli cheese bake.

Tonight we had stuffed butternut squash with this wine.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

All by myself...(almost)

As most of you know, Matt is gearing up for JourneyQuest. He leaves on Tuesday for six to eight weeks, leaving me at the helm (aside from my own trip at the end of the month to look at more houses). So with the impending desertion of L.A. for colder and wetter pastures, I've decided to make a list of things I'd like to do before I leave while he's gone. It's been pretty fun, actually, and there's quite a few things I'll miss (like 70 degree days in January).

Something else that he's left me in charge of that I'm looking forward to - a trip in late March/early April when he gets back! I can't wait to have time with hubby, especially when he gets home after being gone for so long. We were trying to figure out how to make wine country work, but it was just too expensive. Then, on Sunday, it hit me.

"Have you ever been to Arizona?"

*he thinks* "No."

*gleam in my eye* "We're about a six to seven hour drive from the Grand Canyon..."

And we knew, right then, that was our destination. And I'm so excited!! Just at the possibility. And I'm determined to have it be more than a possibility. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, and I know I'd be wistful if we moved before I'd had a chance to see it (kinda like when I lived in Philadelphia and never went to New York City). Leave it to me to find rooms for under sixty dollars a night! The room must have a fridge of course, for all the food we'll bring in our cooler, and if breakfast is included, all the better. Of course, we don't know when he'll be back exactly, but having something to look forward to, aside from returning to the Pacific Northwest, is keeping me distracted from being all by myself.

And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Jenny and Kevin (and Patrick too) on the arrival of little Fiona!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Squash: To like or not to like...

...that is the question.

When I was a kid, mom had a plentiful garden and grew all kinds of yummy veggies and fruits. One particular "thing" that I was never fond of but never disliked completely was squash. She'd steam and serve it with butter and brown sugar, which was fine, but the texture just always threw me off a little. I mean, I was a kid. I'd eat pretty much anything with sugar and butter. :)

Fast forward 20-odd years later and here I am faced with what to do with these butternut squashes we get from our organic food delivery service. I've never cooked squash, and was stumped as to what to do with it besides chili or just put it in my fruit bowl and let it look pretty. Thankfully, a list of recipes is included, and this one caught my eye. (Yes, Cindy, I took pictures for you!)

Butternut Squash Tart
Serves 12

Courtesy of Farm Fresh to You - contributed by April Paye

1 butternut squash (cut into 8 parts, seeded and peeled - note - I was able to make two tarts)
1 9 inch pie crust
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 medium egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T light brown sugar
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground nutmeg
1/8 ground cloves
1/4 cup chopped cranberries or blueberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large pot, steam squash pieces until fork tender (I steamed mine for about 20 minutes). Drain and mash with a fork or blender.

Press pie crust into 9 inch pie pan. Set aside. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mashed squash to a food processor or blender (reserve any remaining squash for another use).

Add milk, egg whites, sugars, spices, and puree until blended.

Spoon mixture into prepared tart shell.

Bake 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. When cool, garnish with fresh, halved berries before serving, if desired.

The finished product!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Results. NOW.

**Disclaimer: I'm grousing, no need for advice. I just need to get this out. **

We've made many cuts in our finances these last few weeks. The savings will show up. But I want to see them NOW. I'm not a patient person when it comes to money. I'm just not patient in general.

And we've really changed our lifestyle over the years. We have both made large sacrifices. I'm cranky, grumpy, and not wanting nor able to make any more changes. I want to see results for the efforts we've made. Is that too much to ask for?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Gratitude #24

1. Savvy Computer Techs. I'll be talking to one soon about getting my computer hooked up to NWAG's server and inventory system. Fingers crossed that all will work out smoothly. At least he responds to my emails in a timely manner, and I'm grateful for that.

2. Reconnecting with old friends.

3. Deodorant.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cuban Grilled Chicken Salad

With Matt and I getting this weekly produce delivery, again, it's just making and encouraging us to eat better. And I have to say I'm surprisingly satisfied!

Unfortunately, our avocados weren't quite ready for eating yet, so we had to make do without. This salad pairs very well with a hearty Viognier.

Also, I put the pineapple on the side rather than on the salad. It was a delicious dessert!

Cuban Grilled Chicken Salad

  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 (6 ounce) avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh or canned pineapple
  • 2 cups cooked chicken meat, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  1. Toss the romaine with the onion, avocado, and peppers in a large bowl. Divide among four salad plates. Top each salad with a mound of black beans, some pineapple chunks, and the chopped chicken meat.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle this dressing over each salad along with a little lime juice.