Cowboy Boots


My youngest daughter and I were dressing for a church activity on a beautiful, spring-like day last week. She found a skirt, but realized she didn’t have any spring shoes to go with her skirt. After endless outfit changes, she became resigned to the fact that she was going to have to make do with what she had. Since her new boots were wet from filling her horse’s water trough that morning, she dug out her outgrown, brown cowboy boots.They were too tight and her toes got a little numb on the drive to church, but I thought she looked darling. It was only when we walked from the parking lot to the church that she pointed out the slapping sound her boot was making. The sole of her right boot under her toes was detached from the boot itself. I assured her that no one would notice.

The next morning as I was getting ready for work, I was surprised to see her rummaging in my craft closet. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Uh….what are you doing?

Her: I’m looking for the glue gun so I can glue my boot back together. (Perfectly logical explanation, right?)

Me: I thought you said they hurt your feet.

Her: Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t wear them.

At this point in the conversation my husband chimed in.

Him: Spoken like a true woman.

And that is when I started laughing!

Doesn’t Every Woman Keep a Cheese in Her Purse?

I was settling in for a church meeting last night. There was the failed attempt to get comfortable on my hard, folding chair then the rummage through my bag to find my phone and turn the ringer off. Typically, I sit in front of the TV on Sunday evenings, dump out the contents of my purse, and proceed to sort the contents into piles – garbage, save (but not in my purse) and regular purse inhabitants (wallet, glasses, phone, etc.). I could tell that I hadn’t done the Sunday Sort in a few weeks.

It’s easier to find things in my purse by pretending I’m blind. I just shove my hand into its depths and grope around till I feel what I’m searching for – pointy keys, soft eyeglass pouch, cumbersome wallet. This time, though, all I felt was light and crumply paper. Weeks of gas receipts, gum wrappers, church programs, and pay stubs rustled softly in my bag. I dug deeper and was rewarded by with the heavy feel of my iPhone. Victorious, I yanked it from my bag! It took me a second to realize I had just pulled a tightly wrapped wedge of Parmesan cheese from the dark confines. I nearly burst out laughing.




I’d forgotten that when I sent my daughter into the store for a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie run late Friday night that she had also come back with the above pictured cheese. Why? She was simply looking for something else, saw the cheese, remembered a dinner conversation when I mentioned we were out of cheese and bought it. I proceeded to stuff it into my purse so I would bring it into the house then promptly forgot about it.

My son and husband have been know to shake their heads in wonder at the things I keep in my purse, but I’m telling you. If they would suddenly have needed a salad topping, I would have been ready! I’m more prepared than a Boy Scout.


I’m Not Forgetful, I’m Excercising

This is what I tell myself after my third trip upstairs. It goes kind of like this:

Sleep in for an hour after the alarm rings. (Why do I keep setting the alarm for 5:45 a.m.? I never get up.)

Shower, dress, makeup.

Carefully make my way down the stairs. (The steps at the top of the stairs are deceptively narrow. I wonder if they are original to the house – before building codes required the crazy rule of each step being identical and deep enough for your foot.)

Eat a quick bowl of Rice Chex then run back up the U-shaped stairway to brush my teeth.

Walk down the stairs, sliding right hand down the handrail.

Realize I need socks to wear with my boots.

Run back up the stairs.

Grab thick, white socks from my son’s room. Head downstairs again.

Look for my scarf.

Run back up the stairs.

Grab flowered scarf and take a moment to reminisce that it’s the same scarf I wore during my interview for my last job. Run down the stairs. Who has time for the handrail at this point.

Congratulate myself for exercising and drive to work instead of taking the lightrail so I won’t be late.




Rather Unobservant

Disclaimer: this post could be considered slightly inappropriate. Anyone who knows me well won’t be surprised, but just want to be clear.

Surprisingly, one of the things I like about working is the commute. After the slight monotony of the highway, I enjoy looking at the businesses and people on the surface street that takes me to the office. Although I’m driving 35 mph (ok 40), I’ve taken passing notice of a store window that displays lingerie. The display changes periodically so it has managed to keep my attention.  Numerous times, I’ve thought to myself, “Oh, that’s cute” or “Maybe I should stop in sometime”.

After I don’t know how many months of driving to work, I finally looked higher than street level. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I’ve been window shopping at ‘Fantasy For Adults Only’. I immediately began to laugh hysterically as I imagined the scene of a middle aged, suburban woman parking her minivan in front of the store hoping to beat the morning rush. Then I laughed even more as I pictured my shocked face after entering the store and finally realizing where I was.

Ah…it’s the little things like this that keep me smiling.



He’s Contagious!!

My husband just read my last post and told me a story about my brother that I don’t remember hearing. The details are a little sketchy, but I think I can tell enough of it correctly. (As long as my brother never reads my blog, there’s no one to dispute me, anyway.)

Apparently, my brother and his girlfriend were traveling in Hong Kong (or some other Asian city). They were waiting in a big crowd and couldn’t get through. (I’ll make something up now. Let’s say they were going to a concert.) He got tired of the wait/crowd and yelled out, “I’ve got SARS!!” The crowd parted like the Red Sea, and they were on their way.



Yeah, he’s not very inhibited.



Doesn’t Everyone Speak With An English Accent?

By popular demand (ok, one person), I’m going to share one of my delightful personality quirks – speaking with an affected accent.

The English accent is my most common. I’ve read  A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett to my youngest daughter with my English accent. I attempted Harry Potter the other day, but there were too many different characters, and I felt confined by the movie. The English pronunciation of words just sounds more refined. Which sounds better – schedule or shedule?  Tomato or tomawto? I’ve been known to greet my children when I get home from work with a hearty “Hello, Dawling!” instead of the more mundane “Hi kids!” My kids made fun of me for awhile, but eventually they succumbed. I love hearing them speak with their own delightful accents.

My former coworker mentioned once that he had attended an English boarding school. He said he picked up an accent when he was there. Since he didn’t speak with one, I wanted to hear his. He begged off saying that he couldn’t remember how. I immediately disagreed and responded, “How hard is it? All you have to say is Oh, dear. I’ve burned my crumpets!” My coworker doubled over in shock and laughter at my accent.

I’ve also attempted a French accent. I was talking with my coworkers how I wished I’d learned French in high school. Then I could say things like,”Oh, Da-ling! I want to hug and kees you all ov-air!

I tried an Eastern Europe type accent, but I’m not so good at it. My youngest has started speaking with a Southern accent. She especially enjoys speaking like a Southern preacher.

My brother and his girlfriend were able to get into an exclusive dance club when he pretended to be visiting from England. He spoke in an English accent and convinced the bouncer to let them in. (He also pretended to be deaf once and wiggled his fingers to his friend. People thought he was the real deal.) We took a trip to the beach with him once and he read the Davinci Code to us on the drive home. He was reading Agent Sophie Neveu’s lines in a male, French accent until we informed him that Sophie was a woman. He suddenly switched to a higher voice and continued on. It was quite the sex change.

Obviously, Icome from a family of quirky people.



All I asked him to do was take care of a little recycling. Just one milk jug to be exact. Remove the lid, crush the container. Simple, right?

Except the him in this story is my 15-year-old son. Boys don’t take the simple route.

This is how it went down. I was minding my own business baking some banana bread. The afternoon was peaceful. Last I looked my son was playing computer games.

All I remember is being scared out of my wits. I gave a startled shout and instinctively whirled around to confront the source of the loud noise and something else I couldn’t quite place. I was looking straight into the wide, frightened eyes of my son. One glance down and everything registered.

Not one to be boring, my son decided it would be more fun to place the milk jug on the floor and jump on it. Yeah! That sounds like a good idea! No need to notice the direction the jug is pointed. No need to analyze the potential trajectory of the lid.  It only took a second for me to place the thing I couldn’t quite place before. Pain. In the butt. Not to be confused with my son, mind you.

After the shock wore off and the yelling ended, I just had to laugh.



“How Was Your Day?”

When my husband asks me that question at the dinner table, I get to regale riveting stories of bank reconciliations gone wild or Excel spreadsheets from hell. Yep, it’s kind of like drinking a warm glass of milk to help you fall asleep. Such is the life of an accountant.

My husband is a police officer. When I ask him the same thing, I never know what he’s going to say. Sometimes he just texts me in advance. I received this message the other day.

Got a real stinky, bloated dead guy here. Brand newly washed shirt on today. Hope the smell doesn’t sink in but I don’t think there is any hope for that 😦

All in a day’s work, I guess.

So…….I don’t think I’ll complain about my job for awhile.

Keep Portland Weird

One of the unexpected perks of commuting to Portland for work has been getting out of my own neighborhood and town and having new experiences. I love downtown Portland, its older neighborhoods, and diverse people. Portland definitely has personality. This bumper sticker sums up many people’s idea of Portland.

Weird can be fine, but sometimes it’s a little much. For instance, I left work in the middle of the day for a doctor appointment. Up ahead I noticed two people chatting. Nothing memorable until I drove past them. There’s nothing quite like glancing to your right and looking right at someone’s bare butt as they bend over. REALLY?!!  I was so shocked that all I could do was laugh out loud in disbelief then immediately break the law by calling my husband on my cell phone while driving to tell him.

The only problem with sharing this experience with my husband is that he is a police officer. I didn’t get the reaction I was looking for. He sees that and more all of the time.

I think I should call one of my girlfriends instead.

Farm Mud

Being an Oregonian, I consider myself well versed in rain, in all its forms, which then creates mud.  Having four children and living in a split entry home until last year, got me very familiar with mud in the house. It always surprised me how other people don’t make this connection. Rain falls. A LOT!!! Rain on dirt makes mud. Walking gets mud on shoes. Running into the house and avoiding all strategically placed door mats enabled me to enjoy mud indoors as well as outdoors. Sigh.


Then we got two dogs. Dogs have the advantage of not being able to open the door by themselves, but they also can’t take off their shoes. To keep mud off the carpet, you have to wipe their feet. It’s best to dip each paw in water otherwise the mud still gets on the carpet. Now enter the four children onto the scene. Since children rarely notice the mud on their own shoes, they certainly don’t think about dog paws. Dogs run fast and leave a trail of footprints through the kitchen and into the living room faster than you can blink. Double sigh.

Now I’m getting to farm mud. I’m used to having so much rain that the lawn turns into a sponge. I’m used to low spots that collect water and tear up the ground if walked on too much. I knew that getting a 1,000 pound horse would change the landscape of our property, but still I wasn’t prepared for the mud. (All you farmers out there are probably saying, “Duh!” right now.)

Stepping out the back of the barn, I’m met with an expanse of straight mud. No grass at all anymore. The chickens started it when we kept them in a fenced area. They denuded the grass pretty quick. Within a short time, our horse Montana turned much of our property into a quagmire. I was at my son’s gymnastics meet a month ago and looked down at my jeans. What the heck? I had mud specks from the knee up. I thought knee high rubber boots would protect me. I’m now learning about splashing mud.

And my favorite? Recently my husband and I took a walk around around our property. On the way back to the house my boot sunk so deep I couldn’t get it out. Trying to pull my foot out required me to lean harder on the other foot. Now both my boots were stuck fast. I call to my husband to pull me out because he had the good sense to keep to the grassy spots. He glanced back over his shoulder with a look of disbelief and said, “Seriously?”

About this time, Montana, decided to gallop at full speed in circles around the property. Apparently, my husband realized I was serious because I made no move to get out of the way as our horse headed straight for me at top speed. I imagined throwing myself sideways to get out of the way and landing face down in the mud/manure mixture. My knight in shining armor stepped in and waved Montana away then pulled me out – each boot resisting but eventually giving up with a serious sucking noise.