I Voted the Crap Outta Today

voted

I made certain I woke up a little earlier than I needed to today.  I hadn’t yet opened my mail-in ballot let alone researched a single thing about today’s election.  I firmly agree with the tired cliche’ that you cannot bitch about politics if you don’t vote.  And being as I enjoy a good bitch fest, I knew I needed to get on it as far as this years election was concerned.

I read the ballot, I looked up a few facts, I voted.  I probably only voted on a third of the things I had the opportunity to, but I did not vote in any of the uncontested elected officials votes, which were half the ballot.  I skipped a couple of the referendums, because I did not feel well enough informed.  But dammit, I voted.

 While I’m not gong to be a cheese-ball and break out in song, I do feel good about voting.  The more I learn about politics, the more I realize how much the more localized elections affect my life and my money and the potholes on my street.   I actually get a say in what the people in my part of the country represent in our nation’s capital.  I got to vote on whether I agreed with a new hospital coming to our little town.  I voted on gun’s rights and school issues and taxes.  By golly, they will count those votes and at some point on the television tonight while the news anchors are announcing voted, one of the votes will be MINE.  I will be ON TV!!!!!!  See that?  I voted=I’m famous!   Nevermind, this is really important.  Let’s sing:

I love you Neil. 
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All Work and No Play

allwork and no play

I have two jobs.  I like them both.   If I work both jobs I end up with around forty hours per week of work.  But I work in jobs that need fill-ins several times a week.  If someone asks me to be a fill-in, and I am not going to be out of town and don’t have any other obligations that cannot be changed, I always accept.  Always.

One week last summer I ended up with seventy hours in one week.  It was murder.  I understand that you or someone you know does this every week and I am nothing special.  I get that.   But I only want to work at best forty hours in a week.  I have three kids who I’d like to see grow up.  I have hobbies that deserve more of my time.  But I have this fear that if I say no to an employer, they will go somewhere else and get a yes from another employee which will make me less valuable and likelier to be disposed of if employee disposal becomes necessary at some point in the future.  I know what it’s like to not have a job and need one, and I never want to experience that again.

Today was the perfect example of my personal issue of being a yes-woman.  Mondays are my Fridays, and Tuesday and Wednesdays are my weekends.  I work a nice brief shift Monday mornings.  Near the end of my shift I was asked to come back after a few hours break and do the later shift.  I said yes.  While I was on my late shift, my other job called and asked if I could work on both my days off.  I said yes to this as well.  So now I have no two day weekend for a dozen days, and this is completely my choice.  I will likely be asked to work on my next weekend and I will likely say yes to that as well.

The point of this whole ramble is that I am going to find a way to say no to people who request things of me and still end up as though I am not letting anyone down. And when I do I am going to crochet a giant blanket.  I have a large amount of yarn I have been neglecting for years.

ugly blanket

 

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I got nothing, watch Rhoda with me.

This whole blog-a-day nonsense is already proving to be difficult.  Mostly because I sat and watched football after work today until my eyes bled.  (Go Hawks).  So let’s just sit and watch old sitcoms until bedtime so we get enough rest to watch the whole rat-race again in the morning.

I work in coffee, so I wake up before most so that in turn I can wake them up.  Upon arriving at my pillow each night I typically turn on a vintage sitcom and fall asleep in about 6 1/2 minutes.  It’s a special thing, to always be able to fall asleep so quickly.  I do remember those few years in my earlier twenties where I suffered from slight insomnia and would function (poorly) on four hours of sleep for weeks on end.  At some point I just started sleeping well and I do understand that it is a beautiful thing to never worry about getting enough sleep.

The only downside to adequate slumber is taking FOREVER to make it through TV shows to fall asleep to.  I’ve all but given up reading books at bedtime, my last book too me six months to finish.  I’ve decided to watch television shows airing in the 1970’s instead.

rhoda 2

So although I have seen much of Rhoda other places and in no particular order, I am now on Season 4 of watching them beginning to end.  I do so love the fashion in these old shows.  I’d say it’s 62% of the reason I watch them at all.  The simplicity and lack of disturbing situations are also a factor in making them ideal pillow-watching shows.

I think you should hold off on the next episode of Game of Thrones, or Orange is the New Black, or whatever hit of the moment show you are currently involved with and go watch Rhoda, or What’s Happening, or WKRP in Cincinnati. Learn a fun, valuable lessons in a few minutes and enjoy the elephant pants and leisure suits of the era as well.  You’re welcome.

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NaBloPoMo with NKOTB

Every November when people in this great northern hemisphere begin to feel the chill of the weather, they decide to take up indoor activities.   I suck at crafting so I’m going to go with the ancient tradition of writing a blog every day for the month of November.

nablopomo

NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month.  It’s less severe as writing a novel in a month, easier than growing a mustache (the term Movember makes me cringe anyhow), and if I simply decide to post a YouTube video, it counts as an entry.

I just finished a beautiful road trip, which will be great material for a few posts.  It’s after Halloween so I can certainly hunt Christmas goodies with ease.  It’s a perfect time for me to get back into the habit of banging my fingers against a keyboard.  And finally this is the month of Thanksgiving.  The greatest of all major holidays.  The only reason that Macy’s ever decided to begin The Parade.

Speaking of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  Let’s conclude with a clip of New Kids on the Block lip synching to one of their lesser known tunes.  Although it seems only one of the Kids is singing, and the rest are too cold to bother.

Happy November!  I will see you tomorrow!

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Ten years of this $#*!

Ten years ago I moved from the fantastic city of Seattle to the wonderful Twin Cities in Minnesota.  Big jump, huge life change.  Not only in demographics, but in my personal journey with technology.

Before I moved back to the Midwest, I’d had a limited time with the internet.  I used it.  I loved it.  But I checked my emails a few times a week, messaged once in a while with friends on MSN and AIM, and searched things I enjoyed to kill time.  However, until the fall of 2004, I was not an internet junkie.  Then, I got high speed.

Remember that?  The feeling of your first internet experience with high speed internet.  No more sounds of rats being scalded while you connected, no more waiting forever for one simple picture to download, and an amazing sense of euphoria when your songs could download in less than a half hour?

At that time, I was working ten hour shifts Monday through Friday at a coffee shop.  I did my best to ignore my laptop through my morning rush and then come noon I was a complete web-head until clock-out time.  I had MySpace, a photobucket account, became a regular commenter on more blogs than I can even remember, and read all the IMDB trivia of every movie and TV show I ever saw.

Life was simple.  Just me, my Dell Inspiron (that cost a mere 1700…likely because of the fancy disc drive) and unlimited cups of coffee.  When I would head to pick up my son from daycare, then three years old, I’d simply leave my laptop at work until the next day.  The concept seems so bizarre now.  Who leaves the internet behind?  It’s with us always with smart phones.  We have work computers,full access cell phones,tablets etc.

But I’ve been thinking, I want to be excited to get online again.  I want to not dread lack of originality on the same websites we visit every day, I want to be impressed when I open my web browser. But it’s not going to happen.  You can’t experience a new phenomenon a second time with the same excitement.

So for now, I am going to remember the last ten years of internet madness.  I actually made a handful of great friends in this world of web, and for that I’m truly grateful.  But I’m itchy for something new.

 

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Today I went to the store for the specific goal of buying something, anything, fall like.  It’s been a terribly hot summer here in Washington state.  On top of the heat we’ve suffered a severely  scary wildfire season and smoke has been thick for majority of the past six or so weeks.  I heard a Starbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year, and it got me thinking that I ought to bring fall into my life sooner than usual as well.

Typically I race to purchase autumn scented candles on and never before September 1st.  It’s not actually the season of happiness yet, but it’s within the month and it feels right.  But I can’t wait this year so into into my local grocery store I went searching.  I checked every aisle and end cap for something-ANYTHING-with a theme of fall.  Nothing, nada, no sign of even back-to-school goods.  My last effort was to see if they had any canned pumpkin in stock, which is often hard to find outside of the November December months round these parts.  But I scored. I payed for my glorious orange can and I headed home.

I had planned on making a pie with my prize can of pumpkin, but I got to thinking I really wanted a pumpkin spice latte.  Being as they aren’t yet available at Starbucks and Starbucks is not my favorite coffee in the first place I wondered if I could create a sauce and make a drink with my home espresso machine.

So I dabbled and did it, I really feel proud of my recipe so much that I am sharing it.  If you like pumpkin spice lattes you should give a shot too.  Here you go:

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Throw all that in a small sauce pan and simmer until it slightly thickens.  Make sure to stir often. Pour into a container to store in the fridge.  I’m guessing it’ll keep a week or so, but don’t hold me to that and give yourself food poisoning and blame me.

pumpkin spice 1

It’s not gorgeous.  And my kitchen table is full of peaches and canning jars so I had to take this pic on the floor.  Meet my kitchen tile!

If you are clueless has to how to use the syrup, here’s a few ideas.

I’d say about an ounce is a good serving size for an 8 ounce cup of coffee. Try it in drip coffee with or without cream.  I put an ounce in a latte and it was like a gourmet version of the Starbucks drink.  I also made my daughter a hot “cocoa” using this instead of chocolate.  I’m anxious to try it with butter on pancakes or waffles.

pumpkin spice 2

There’s my coffee.  My early taste of fall.  My reason to ignore the temperatures, which never seem to drop below 90.  My reminder that September is coming.  Twelve days folks.

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Happy Blog Birthday TO ME!

pilver cake

The actual blogiversary is tomorrow, but we all wanted cake today. Seven years of this beautiful nonsense. This year I have been growing a baby and raising a toddler and a near teenager.  And now I am done creating children, so I am going to change my unofficial title from Baby Maker to Super Sexy Blogger. I miss it, writing that is, and announcing I am hauling my computer to town to sit in a coffee shop and write for a couple hours is one of the few ways I get a kid break.  This past year was so meager on the content here and I need to make up for it.  So look for lots of posts in the near future.

It’s been an awesome year, some day I’ll tell you all about it.  Until then, let’s eat cake and virtually fist bump in celebration of seven years of The Pilver, shall we?

Here are links to the first six birthday parties I have thrown…for a website:

 

 

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And the Honda rolls on…

Oh (baby) boy!  What a crazy couple weeks it has been for the Pilvers.  On the sixth of this month I woke up early and headed to work at the coffee shop.  Contractions started mid-morning and when I got off at noon I drove home and told Mr. Pilver it was hospital time.  He then asked if he could plant another row of potatoes in the garden before we left.  He actually would have had time, but I put my foot down and we headed to the hospital, nearly an hour away.  My labor was slow and not painful for hours.  But the contractions kept coming every 2-5 minutes and I did not want to chance going back home to wait for active labor.  So we slept overnight in the delivery room and bright and early the doctor came and broke my water.  Finally things began to pick up and my beautiful little boy, Henry, came weighing eight pounds and four ounces.  Good size for any baby but this little fella was two weeks early.

henry

Baby Henry just after birth.

The next day we headed home to begin our cozy time off.  My husband was able to use sick time and vacation leave to stay with us for  the week and I don’t plan on returning to work full time until Henry is about a month old.  Nothing to do but relax, recover, and enjoy not just our new baby, but also the two crazy and fun kids that came before him.

Like my first two children, I chose to breastfeed Henry.  He took to it well, or so I thought. There’s a period of pain that comes with nursing a newborn. It seemed worse this time around, but I knew from experience it went away, so I charged forward.  We’d been home two days and Henry had almost been in the world three days when he started spitting up blood.  First a tiny bit and then a creepy horror movie amount.  Of course, we ran to the ER as fast as we could to figure out what was causing this.  Turns out he was latching on terribly and I was bleeding (which was causing the abnormally large amount of pain) and he would then spit up my blood.  Ew.  Poor thing.  The doctors advised me to pump for a few days until I healed and continue feeding as normal.  Relieved and exhausted, we headed back home.

Our house is a good fifty or sixty minutes from the hospital and just about halfway home the car’s engine died and we slowly rolled to the side of the road where no matter what was attempted, the engine would simply not start again.  Feeling defeated we called a tow truck to come and rescue us and our sick car.  Unfortunately tow trucks seat two, maybe three people at best.  They do not accommodate entire families in addition to the driver.   Fair enough.  We phoned every cab company in the book and none of them wanted to travel out to the boonies to take us further into the boonies at 11:30pm.  Finally one dispatcher phone us back and said if we were willing to wait forty-five minutes to an hour, they would save us from sleeping in our car.

Having a car break down is always a bummer, but our other dependable vehicle’s engine blew the week prior.  We also have the Honda; a 1994  Accord, with extensive hail damage, almost 400,000 miles on it, none of the features work properly but the engine won’t die.  It boasts a broken radio, the heater is stuck on high, the speedometer crapped out long ago, the muffler was hanging by a metal thread which has allowed us the privilege of being pulled over for noise pollution. We sometimes argue over who has to drive it,   But the car just.won’t.die.)

94honda

Sweet Ride.

Sometime around midnight, a dear sweet lady in her sixties rolled up to drive us home.   She had brought a friend and a yellow lab with her.  So after securing the car seats in two of the remaining three seats, the rest of us smashed together in what space remained.  This was especially delightful as I was recovering from childbirth.  We were off.  Somehow the driver missed seeing the highway’s sixty mile per hour speed limit sign and kept the vehicle under forty-five at all times.  She also must have missed the lesson where one avoids the center line dividing the lanes of traffic.  My sweet lady cab diver was either the worst driver ever or high as a kite.

I don’t do well if I am not the driver of any vehicle I am riding in.  I have control issues, I get that.   But put me in the back seat of a cab with a terrible driver and my babies and the anxiety attack that is sure to ensue is off the charts.  Mr. Pilver knows this about me and was doing his best to make me laugh and distract me from whatever doom can come from traveling really, really slowly.  Softly he whispered  into my ear, “And the Honda rolls on…”

We made it home in the most expensive cab ride I will likely ever take.  We put the kids to bed and depressed ourselves talking about the state of our vehicles until we too fell asleep.  The next day we had the car towed to a shop for an estimate.  Ouch.  Two hundred dollars less than blue book value was what it would take to revive the thing.  We talked and weighed our options, but buying a car seemed to be the only one.

Buying a new car has been on our agenda for some time, but we had wanted to take our time and find  a steal and be happy with our decision.  Being as I am out of work for maternity leave we are surviving currently on one income, a decent down payment had not yet been set aside.  We talked and thought about it and the only thing that made sense was to buy another Honda.  At least then we would feel secure that we were getting a car that would likely last longer than we had ever hoped it would.  So we began searching online for older models similar to the one in the driveway.  We found one.  Same model, same year, same everything except…next to new?!  Of course it was a four hour drive away and I still had yet to sleep more than a couple hours a night because I had a five day old baby. And I’d developed a nasty case of laryngitis.   But we called on the car and it was still available and we packed up the old noisy car and headed to the Big City to buy a new old car the same model as the one we always fought over who had to drive.

The car was for sale at a towing company run by Niccoli and Vladimir.  A Russian duo.   Uh oh.  I immediately became worried it had a salvaged title and would fall apart when driving it. Thankfully, I was wrong.  It had rear ended another car and had the hood replaced as well as a snazzy new paint job.  The low miles were a result of the crash and the fact that it had been sitting a long time.  After a quick test drive we made the easy choice of buying the car.  Niccoli was happy.  Vladimir never cracked a smile.  The both of them spoke terrible English, and the transaction took far longer because of the language barrier.  However, by the end of the sale I think Niccoli had successfully invited himself to our home for a fishing trip on the nearby lake this summer.  Looking forward to that.

So now, we have two running cars.  The worn down Honda is nicknamed Golf Ball because of it’s white color and the visible hail damage covering the body.  The New Honda which is the same age as Golf Ball has no name other than New Honda.

My first week “recovering” from child birth was insane.  It was filled with an ER visit, broken down cars, a cab ride from hell, losing my voice, and Russian tow truck drivers.  But now I am feeling good and rested and in love with my little teeny boy who is healthy and doing wonderful.  I now have THREE kids!  I also have a few weeks left of maternity leave to kiss my kids all day and not worry about getting up early and lie on the couch.  And when I do leave the house, I have a car to drive that runs well.  And in five short years I can order classic car plates for it.  😉

 

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hi.

Every part of me has been meaning to get on here every day and write.  Obviously this has not happened.  I sort of feel like I have been skipping class or family dinners and I am trying to quietly sneak back into the group without anyone noticing that I have been all but absent from my circle of bloggerific friends for over a year.  Computers breaking, having a rambunctious two-year-old and a busy twelve-year-old, attempting to complete a set of chores around the property, as well as gearing up to have a baby have all prevented long lazy nights of blog writing, reading, and commenting.

So yes.  The Max is twelve.  He was only five when I started this site.  He is absolutely twelve with his music and his video games and his not-so-secret crushes at school.    I don’t love having my child enter adolescence, but he still give me hugs when I ask so for now we’re good.

Lucy is two and a half.  Her favorite activities include taking off all her clothes because she hates all clothes, spreading goopy food on smooth surfaces that have recently been cleaned by myself, and learning all her letters via PBS cartoons.  I can take zero credit for teaching her the alphabet, I basically found out as she was naming all the letters on the outside of a book lying on the coffee table.

Speaking of spreading foods on clean surfaces my computer is up and at ’em again!   Recently it donned a layer of ketchup right over the entire keyboard.  I allowed the ketchup to dry and amazingly it peeled up much like Elmer’s glue does from the back of your hands.  Even took a bunch of the specks between the keys with it.  Bonus!

And then there’s Henry, the four and a half pound wonder, still wiggling around in my belly waiting for just the right time to make his hospital debut.  I’m due in June, fairly close to the center of June.  I’m anticipating that any one of June’s 30 days may be the winner of the birthday of whom I plan to have be my last child.  (That last sentence is a wreck, but I’m too lazy to rearrange the words to easily make sense.)

I supposed, this being my last pregnancy and always having fairly easy pregnancies, that I would adore and cherish this last round of maternity bliss. My previous gigs growing kids inside me were not perfect and problem free, but there was always so much more good things that uncomfortable or painful.  This time it’s different.

I’m carrying Henry completely in front, or as I’m often told, “You’re ALL baby!”  I didn’t realize before, but when a woman does carry the baby completely in the front, often times all circulation is cut off to the legs and the result looks like something out of the Stephen King thriller, Misery.

Image

I’m not at all joking.  There are places on my legs that appear as though I have been beat with a bat.  It’s not just unattractive, it’s painful.  Apparently much of this will go away and what does not can be fixed by a doctor.  Clearly my legs are not as severe looking as his, but if you ever see me in shorts or a bathing suit again I will likely have had surgery to have veins stripped.  I know vanity is a sin, but then again so is wearing a skirt above your ankles in some cultures.  Maybe I’ll just move.

This pregnancy has not been all pain and suffering.  I do love the feeling of Henry poking around inside, though I cannot tell the difference between an elbow and a foot.  This child, above all the others responds to me pushing him back as though we are playing some sort of tag game.  I really am trying to enjoy all these last days of pregnancy.  Cause when they’re over, they’re over forever.  And I will never again be denied the privilege of vodka.  Gotta look at the glass as half full, of vodka.

Now that I’ve told embarrassing tales of my children, over shared details of my pregnancy, and made you wonder if I have a drinking problem (I don’t by the way, vodka actually sounds terrible.  I will take a mojito though.) I feel as though we’re getting reacquainted.  I’ll try not to be gone so long this time.

 

 

 

 

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Top 7 Things About This Season’s Seahawks

7.  This

shermancrabtreeThis is why the Seahawks are in the Superbowl this Sunday.  Including a phenomenol season, this moment where Richard Sherman stopped a touchdown from being scored effectively ended the game and bought his team a chance at a ring.  After the play, he flipped out and screamed and a media circus followed.  When I was watching the live interview I thought, “What did he say?  What just happened?”  And after a week of hearing and learning more about Sherman, my opinion of him has softened.  He’s pretty cool.  I’m glad he’s a Hawk.

6. Stretching Our Balls

During the Monday night game against the Saints, a ref came on to announce what I thought would be a penalty.  I was wrong, he was only stretching his balls.  I realize how juvenile it is to find great humor in this clip.  But I do.

5. Marshawn Lynch Does a Commercial for Beacon Plumbing.

Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, the media shy man who was fined 50,000 dollars for not giving interviews   (which he now may not have to pay) did a commercial where he rips a toilet out for a grateful family who needs plumbing assistance.  So we don’t get to hear him talk about the plays and the games, but we do get to see him in the commercial breaks.

4. Seattle Edition Skittles

lynch skittlesSpeaking of Lynch, he likes to eat Skittles.  Fans shower him with skittles as though it’s confetti.  Skittles have come out with a special edition Seattle Mix Skittles.  This is one of the greatest sports endorsements I have ever seen. The bummer is that you cannot go to the store and buy them, they will be handed out at promotional events.  Somehow I am going to get my hands on a bag, hopefully not at a ridiculously inflated ebay price.

3. Russell Wilson

russelwilson

He’s young.  He’s short, for a quarterback.  He’s great.  And if his offensive line can protect him properly this Sunday I really think the Seahawks will dominate the Broncos.  He’s so awesome that he’s too big for football and will appear on a MLB card this year.  I’m thinking and hoping he will be around for many more seasons.

2. Pete Carroll

Pete_CarrollPete Carroll is kinda goofy.  He’s pretty calm for an NFL coach.  But the man built a Superbowl bound team.  I think Carroll would make a good uncle, Uncle Pete.  The only job he ever held outside of football was selling roofing supplies, and he was terrible at it.  I like the concept of a guy who makes a terrible salesman.  Go Uncle Pete!

1. The 12th Man

12thmanflag

Ive lived about half my life in Washington State.  About half of my residence in the state was in Seattle.  If you have spent more time there than I please correct me, but Seattle fans have never come across as loud and rowdy to me, quite the opposite.  That is, until the past few years. The rise of the 12th Man in Seattle football seems to have rapidly grown to the point where other teams fans consider us awful and obnoxious.  That’s OK.  The 12th Man seems to have a fantastic impact in games. 

I’m clearly excited about this Superbowl.  Last time the Seahawks were in it I was living in Minneapolis, and they lost.  While I absolutely believe they have a great chance of winning this weekend, and don’t hate me for saying this, of all the teams they could play against in the Superbowl this year I am glad it’s the Broncos.  I like them, and they have had a record book season.  I won’t be rooting for them and I plan to say awful things in heated moments about Peyton.  But IF they lost, there’s not another team I would rather beat them.

GO HAWKS!

 

 

 

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