Wednesday, April 30, 2014

And so ends April

Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

This is just to say that we've had some particularly nice weather the last couple of days, and, being generally Vitamin D deprived, I've been trying to spend as much time as possible soaking up as much sun as I can. I mean, you gotta make hay while the sun shines, people. That's just Northwest Oregon 101.

Yesterday I somehow managed to get ready for work a little early so yay, I headed for the deck. All I did was sit in the lawn chair that isn't broken (an important distinction that makes this chair quite popular in our household) and just hang out awhile. It was warm and the sun was in my eyes and it was the best 10 minutes of my day.

And then I got shat upon by a bird.

I mean, it was probably a small bird, because it was a small, mustard yellow kind of blob, but still and all, not awesome. I tried to clean it up, but you could still see this bright yellow spot on my grey pants, and that's when I decided it was time to change course on the clothing front. But first I texted Abby.

Me: Outside enjoying the sun. Got shat upon by a bird. Gross.

Abby: Literally that's the best. Told my friend David and he laughed. Sorry grossie.

Me: Looked like mustard. Had to change outfits. Pissed at nature.

Abby: No need for description, thanks though.

So that was kind of exciting. The dumb thing is this is the SECOND TIME such a fate has befallen me (although that first time, it was bigger poop that landed on my foot). I really hate birds, now that I think about it.

Um, the end, I guess.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Abby Texts: Probability

Abby: Dude, test next. I don't know anything about probability to be honest.

Me: What's the probability Steve won't be cranky today? :)

Abby: Yolo.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

...And that's what I like to call "humility"

This past weekend (was Easter, yes, but also) was our town's annual blossom festival, where tourists come from all over the place to buy crafts and plants and take pictures of the trees in bloom.

Like this:

Mt. Hood was a little hazy, but anyway, this is what was going on
across the street. I know, I can't believe we live here either.

Whenever these festivals hit the valley (and Lord, there are a ton of them, because we are all about the tourists), the newspaper sends staff out to take pictures of whatnots so we can have a photo collage in the next issue. So that's what I did: I went to a nearby craft bazaar and tried to find something worthy of my camera.

(That is kind of a joke because my camera is kind of a joke, but whatever. Ever undaunted, I continue on.)

I can never remember to bring a pen along to write down names when I take pictures for the paper, so I gravitated towards people I already know. That's how you solve THAT dilemma. Also: Unbiased journalism! Also: Since it was Easter Sunday, the masses were not out enjoying the craft bazaar. It was sort of depressing, but also not surprising.

Anyway, I decided to walk though this out-building of sorts, where sometimes the middle school teachers sell plant bulbs, thinking that might be a good photo op. Instead, I was quickly herded into the senior center booth, where I got entered into two free raffles (I can't even remember the prizes, the whole thing was kind of against my will) by a woman who also wanted me to volunteer to drive for Meals on Wheels. Which is an admirable program and one I would support if not for my day job. But she was persistant. She was all, if you're a teacher, you can drive just during the summer! And I was like, um, I am not a teacher, actually, and she was all, well, you look like a teacher, and I was like, no, actually I work for the paper. And silence. And then she looks at my ticket stubs and is like, you're Trisha Walker? 

And honestly, I got a little vain. I thought, here we go, because I write a weekly column featuring someone from the community (this month's theme is teachers, last month was people over 80, which was really awesome) and I get a lot of comments on that, as well as a lot of suggestions on who to cover next. It's a little odd to be recognized by people you don't know, but I'm getting used to it. Mostly it's nice. I mean, having your words appreciated? That's just cool.

But instead of going on about my articles, the lady says, Eric was just here! You're brother, Eric Walker!

And I was like, yeah, no, not my brother.

So this was a lesson in humility is what I'm saying. Or maybe humiliation. Well, either way, the moral of this story is: Stay away from the senior center booth if you want to keep your misplaced self-importance in tact.

The end.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Care Package Project: April

Once upon a time, like in March, Johanna sat down at the kitchen table and proceeded to paint portraits of our family as cats. She is quite the prolific artist, and much of her work actually ends up in recycling (is that bad to admit? There's just so much). Knowing it was only a matter of time before these pictures met a similar fate, but not willing to let them go entirely, I made a collage using the Pic Stitch app on my iPod, then posted the image to Facebook just so the grandmas could see what their favorite artist had been up to:

Figure 1: Eric, Trisha, Abby and Johanna

And the people went nuts. Well, cats DO rule the Internet. But the response made me realize something: This collage would make a really adorable greeting card. And those greeting cards would make a really excellent Care Package Project.

Long story short, David in Composing (newspaper lingo for "that dude who lays the paper out using a myriad of technology") took my image and made my dreams come true. Newspapers are awesome that way. And P.S., you don't have to work at one to have greeting cards made. You could do this, too.

I made sets of five cards and envelopes, wrote little notes including a key to the kitties (because on Facebook, nobody could figure out who was who. Johanna found that hilarious), and sent those packages out into the world.

We sent six in all: To my cousin Mandy because I don't get to see her very often; Ann/John and Debbie/Greg because they get a kick out of Johanna's antics; my grandparents (yes, again) because I could; Dave and Marlene because maybe they need some fun mail; and Maggie because she's awesome and a miracle.

Both my mother and my favorite mother-in-law celebrate birthdays this month, so I made sets of 10 cards for each of them, but that's not so much Care Package Project as it is Happy Birthday to You. I made a few extra sets of five, too, to add to future projects.

Except not next month's. Abby already has plans for that one...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Abby Texts: New club

Abby: Why you no text me?

Me: Because writing. Sorry.

Abby: I cry because you don't love me and because the girl sitting next to me has on so much perfume my eyes are watering.

Me: Over-use of perfume is a trend that needs to stop. We should start a club to raise awareness.

Abby: Yes and pass out buttons in the hallways. But not to the sophomores. They need a little extra perfume.

P.S. In case you missed it, Abby really is not a fan of the sophomores.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy birthday, Mom!

Today is my public's 66th birthday (hi, Mom!) and, in case you missed the memo, that's why I've been posting like a madwoman every day. That was actually kind of an interesting exercise. Apparently I have more words in me than even I thought possible, although I'm okay with going back to a couple of posts a week.

But I digress. It's been a rather busy couple of months for my mother, and I'm not sure how many of these posts she even got to read (irony!), but I guess the bottom line is that if you need someone on your side, my mother is the person to call. She's a drop-everything-and-run kind of person. She gets stuff done. You want to break Grandpa out of a nursing home of questionable repute? She can do that.

So happy birthday, Mom, and once things settle down, we are totally going to party like it's 1948. Thanks for all you do for our family. Thanks for adding awesome to all of our lives. Thanks for teaching us to be brave even when you don't feel brave. You're the best!

I love you so much!

Christmas 2013. I apparently need more pictures of my mother.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

66 reasons why my Mom is the best! in no particular order

  1. She used to take me to the bookstore before our family ventured out for live sports-related events (actually, that applies to Dad too), which we attended all the time.
  2. She makes awesome molasses cookies that can not be duplicated by anyone else. I know. I've tried.
  3. She loves parties and celebrations with her family...
  4. ...But I am not allowed to throw any parties for her or Dad, so really, pressure off.
  5. She listens to Christmas music all year round.
  6. She is patient.
  7. She watches my kids A LOT...
  8. ...And acts like I'm doing HER the favor.
  9. She used to cut my hair for me and I never looked like she cut my hair for me.
  10. She makes me Orange Charlotte...
  11. ...And cheesecake.
  12. She adapts recipes so I can eat them...
  13. ...And acts like it's not the biggest deal in the world.
  14. Summer vacations, after lunch, designated hour reading time every day.
  15. Summer vacations, every week, designated library visit.
  16. When we built our house, she (and Dad) came to help us paint. Four coats. In every room.
  17. Growing up, playing doughnut shop. That was fun.
  18. I call her United Nations Nancy because she can go into ANY situation and make it fun.
  19. She throws Johanna carnivals (well, Dad too, who gets extra props for HIS patience).
  20. She goes to all of my girls' events (...Dad too. Where's his list?)
  21. She and Johanna created a board game together.
  22. She let Abby "arrange" all her holiday decorations "just so" until Abby outgrew that phase.
  23. She appreciates coffee.
  24. She instilled in me the importance of pro-active health care.
  25. She makes great quilts.
  26. A Very Minimalist Christmas!
  27. When I was a teenager, she'd let me frost the Christmas cookies any ol' way I wanted (purple trees, why not?) and let me call them things like "Ode to Commercialism, Which Doth Suck" and act like that was perfectly normal.
  28. She appreciates the little things.
  29. She's always encouraged my writing, from the time I wrote my first story at age four to now.
  30. Actually, she has a scrapbook of all my newspaper articles. 
  31. Inside jokes! (Tempting... but no.)
  32. She tells me the truth.
  33. When I was learning to can, she held my hand. For like five years.
  34. She loves books, too.
  35. She taught me to stand up for myself.
  36. She was my first regular blog reader. :)
  37. She's dependable in a crisis.
  38. She treats Eric like one of her kids.
  39. She deeply loves my girls.
  40. She used to read to us at the dinner table.
  41. When I told her I wanted to start wearing make-up in seventh grade, she bought me liquid foundation, Noxzema face wash and a stick of deodorant.
  42. She always encouraged creativity.
  43. She's my biggest fan.
  44. She assured me I was The Swan.
  45. She understands the importance of chocolate.
  46. When you go to her house, you're 99.5% sure of getting a fresh, homemade cinnamon roll.
  47. She loves orchestrating crazy Christmas, pass the package kind of games... 
  48. ...Where everyone always walks away with a prize.
  49. She loves Harry Potter.
  50. She doesn't do fifth gear.
  51. She made me try various activities (tennis, modeling, volleyball), but was never overly invested in my success--she just wanted me to try in case I was actually good at it. (Spoiler alert: I wasn't.)
  52. She likes lists. (Maybe?)
  53. She can be terribly brave.
  54. She has a great sense of humor.
  55. Actually, she can be so quietly funny that people generally don't understand she's making a joke. This is why she can get away with saying pretty much anything.
  56. She doesn't think minimalism is weird, even if she cannot pronounce the word. (Seriously. Can't.)
  57. When she is on your team, she is ON YOUR TEAM.
  58. She thinks everything I do--even at age 41--is amazing.
  59. She finds my children enchanting.
  60. Spring and summer, iced coffee, sitting on her patio in the sun, chatting.
  61. Getting invited over for dinner and then asked to cook. (Okay, that only happened once, but it was AWESOME.)
  62. Even though she doesn't always understand my decisions (i.e. transferring from Lower Columbia College, with lower tuition and practically free rent, to Western Oregon, with its higher tuition and room and board fees), she always supports them.
  63. She worked her tail off (Dad too) so I wouldn't have crippling student loans. 
  64. She's afraid to use her credit card online, but she's not afraid to use my credit card online.
  65. She's fun.
  66. She just IS.

Friday, April 11, 2014

That awkward moment when you and your kid talk via Facebook even though you're sitting together on the couch

Trisha Walker
Apparently it is NOT Col. Mustard with the wrench. Dammit.
Like ·  · Promote · Share
  • KathleenAnnetaMatt and 4 others like this.
  • Abby Walker I never thought it was possible to suck at family game night, but then you somehow eliminated ALL the weapons and I realized that it was.
    March 21 at 9:01pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker You know what? Details are boring.
    March 21 at 9:02pm · Like · 1
  • Trisha Walker Wait. Plum knife hall?
    March 21 at 9:02pm · Like
  • Abby Walker No, I have the hall. Duh.
    March 21 at 9:06pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker Dad is a genius for guessing wrong and being done.
    March 21 at 9:07pm · Like · 1
  • Trisha Walker Abby wins.
    March 21 at 9:07pm · Like
  • Abby Walker I crushed family game night. I am game night champion. I win forever.
    March 21 at 9:08pm · Like · 1
  • Trisha Walker Totes 'cause I'm burning that game as soon as Jo goes to bed. Torture.
    March 21 at 9:10pm · Like · 1
  • Abby Walker Well as long as it's known that I am the reigning Clue Champion for all time, I have no problem.
    March 21 at 9:11pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker It's way more fun to chat with you like this than actually speak to in person, especially when you're so far away.
    March 21 at 9:12pm · Like · 1
  • Abby Walker This is the communication of the future. Someday I won't ever need to use my actual voice, just post my thoughts to social media.
    March 21 at 9:12pm · Unlike · 1
  • Trisha Walker Millennials are so weird.
    March 21 at 9:14pm · Like · 1
  • Abby Walker But at least we never had to witness Milli Vanelli.
    March 21 at 9:15pm · Like · 2
  • Trisha Walker Um... That cut me deep.
    March 21 at 9:16pm · Like · 1
  • Trisha Walker I'm gonna find Milli Vanilli on YouTube for you. Give me a minute.
    March 21 at 9:18pm · Like · 1
  • Abby Walker Please don't, you will lose me what few friends I have.
    March 21 at 9:18pm · Like · 1
  • Abby Walker Please stop
    March 21 at 9:21pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker This is actually way worse than I remember.
    March 21 at 9:22pm · Like
  • Abby Walker Why are they on a boat
    March 21 at 9:23pm · Like
  • TrishanWalker Lots of product going on.
    March 21 at 9:23pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker They're sailing!
    March 21 at 9:24pm · Like
  • Abby Walker I feel like this music is molesting my ears
    March 21 at 9:24pm · Like
  • Trisha Walker It's cool, they're lip syncing.
    March 21 at 9:25pm · Like · 1
  • Trisha Walker These songs really aren't getting any better, are they?
    March 21 at 9:30pm · Like · 1
  • Patricia Hey Milli Vanilli had no voice either....just sayin!
    March 21 at 9:47pm · Like
  • Jessica You ladies=too funny. I  CLUE !!!!
    March 22 at 2:00pm · Like · 1