Me on a Monday.

The following is my advice to anyone who may be wondering how they could possibly be, as awesome as me, on a Monday:

For most accurate results, it is best to first stay awake all night long…

As many of you already know, I am currently the Care Manager for a sweet elderly lady in Seattle, named Ethel.  We have had an extremely difficult time filling a couple of the night shifts, so I have volunteered to work Sunday nights as a caregiver.  Ethel is very excited that I’m staying the night with her now, and unfortunately for both of us her excitement has translated into insomnia.

Ethel’s insomnia seems to stem from her constant need to have me to sit next to her bed and hold her hand, massage her legs, massage her arms, massage her feet, reposition her in the bed, adjust her pillows, remove her covers because she’s too hot, add more covers because she’s too cold, etc.  There were a few times last night when she felt a little guilty because she knew how tired I was, and to my relief she would say, “Oh Winnie, you really should go get some rest.  You must be so tired.  Please go get some rest Winnie…”

But as luck would have it, I would no sooner have made myself comfortable on the couch again before I would hear her call out from her bedroom, “I miss you, Winnie!  I miss you!  I miss you TOO MUCH!!”

I have experienced this many times over my 12+ years, working as a Caregiver, and I can attest that it is both a blessing and a curse to be loved so dearly and so exuberantly by an elderly person who suffers from dementia.  While on one hand they love you so much that they are concerned for your comfort and safety (“You really need your rest, Winnie…”), they soon forget (dementia) how much time has passed between them telling you to get some rest and you actually resting (approximately 30-45 seconds), and in that short span of time the anxiety that they may never see you again sets in (“I miss you too much”), and at that point nothing becomes more important than coming up with any excuse to see you once more (“legs ache, tummy aches, shoulder aches, too hot/cold”), and therefore your life becomes an exhausting/endearing sort of living hell.

Then at around 3am they look at you with so much love in their eyes that it almost makes you feel uncomfortable, and their sad eyes well up with tears, and they say, “You are so nice, Winnie.  You are the nicest person I have ever met.  You are the nicest person IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!” and then your heart melts a little, and you just smile and continue to hold their hand until they start to nod off, and then you attempt to tiptoe out of the room…

“Winnie, Winnie!  Winnie, WHERE ARE YOU?  Oh thank God!  Thank God, Winnie!  I had a dream that you left me and I never saw you again!  But you’re HERE!  God Bless You.  God Bless You, Winnie…”

After very little sleep and several cups of coffee, proceed to begin walking the first of 6 dogs…

I left Ethel’s apartment at noon so that I could begin the dog walking festivities for the day.  Since I was already on Dixie’s side of town (Dixie is a Golden-Doodle) I picked her up first, and as always she was over-the-moon-happy to see me walk through her front door.  She was briefly disappointed that her boyfriend Nash (my yellow lab) wasn’t with me today, but she still enjoyed herself immensely during our long walk around the neighborhood.  Had our walk ended without any diversions, this particular Monday may have been much like any other.  But since Dixie had been such a good girl on our walk, and since we had the north end of Madison Park to ourselves (other than the fellow mowing the lawn), and since she was missing her boyfriend Nash so much, I decided that Dixie deserved a little off-leash time at the park.

Dixie was ecstatic to be off of her leash, and she rejoiced by sprinting back and forth along the waterfront as fast as her long Golden-Doodle legs would carry her.  When she paused just long enough to hunch awkwardly over a tall patch of grass, I groaned to myself that “of course she has to poop at the very bottom of the hill ugh” and reluctantly got the poop bag ready to clean up her mess for the second time that day.

It works best if you don’t pay any attention to where you are going and just focus on the poop and the poop bag and the task at hand…

On about my second or third step, I felt the earth give way under my feet, and I realized much too late that the bright green grass covering the steep hill toward the lake was merely an optical illusion.  There was no way to know (other than the fact that it had rained all night) that beneath the springtime glow of the glistening blades of grass at Madison Park, there lived a thick basin of slick, slimy, yucky, quick-sand-like-mud.  Before I could even find time to spew out a curse word, my two feet shot out from under me and my rear end was quickly transformed into what can only be described as a butt-sled.  As I tobogganed halfway down the hill, Dixie came bounding toward me and I hollered out to her to “get out of the way!  Save yourself, Dixie!!”

When my joy ride finally came to a stop, Dixie tried to resuscitate me by slobbering all over my face.  “Great, just great” was all I managed to say before I began the process of picking my aching bones off of the ground.

When you think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, think again…

Not to be deterred from the mission at hand, I found the poop bag that I’d thrown in the air during the whole hoopla, made a quick assessment as to the percentage of my body that was saturated in mud, (my butt, calves, arms, hands, shoes, and I could not help but notice that the mud had actually found its way DOWN my pants and made a home in certain crevices) before I began my descent down the hill once again.

I had no sooner taken a step forward with my right foot before, once again, I became a victim of the menacing, slippery-slope, and this time I completed my journey down the hill, entirely on the right side of my body.  I had mud in my armpit, on the side of my face, in my right ear, and all through the right side of my hair.  Dixie, being my noble companion and all, decided to come and lay down beside me (white dog laying in the mud, great, just great) and lick the mud off of the side of my face.

Between these two falls, I had actually managed to dislodge a significant portion of earth. 

Once I was able to look back at my tobogganing pathway, I was horrified to see that there was a stretch of about eight feet of exposed soil, with a large mound of grass and dandelions piled up at the end.  When I went to pull my pants back up (they had practically fallen off of me by then) I actually had to pull a bunch of grass and dandelion stems out of my crack, and that was when I said to Dixie, “Seriously?  I mean…SERIOUSLY?  F*#KINGSH*TBALLS!!!”

The lawn mowing guy (ie; Sole Witness) must have 0bserved my acrobatic skills from afar, because I noticed that I no longer heard the engine running.  I looked over at him and waved (with my clean arm) to reassure him that I was okay.  He hollered out, “Sure you’re OK, ma’am?” and I just waved him off again with my muddy arm.

By then I had practically landed on the poop-pile’s front door, and I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t just slide right through it.  Of course, since Dixie was frightened by my elegant trip down the hill, she was unable to complete the process of pooping.  In other words the whole disastrous slip’n’sliding incident, all of which began because I was trying to be a good citizen and pick up after my dog; it all of it had happened in VAIN!  While continuing my cursing rampage under my breath, I picked up Dixie’s little tiny turd-nugget with the poop bag, tied it up, put Dixie back on her leash, and we set off for home.

Remember, I STILL HAD TO WALK FIVE MORE DOGS after this fiasco!  In PUBLIC no less…

Fortunately, since I had stayed the night with Ethel, I did have a pair of pajama bottoms that I could change into, so I quickly weighed out the pros and cons of which would be worse; to walk all around Seattle in a pair of pajama bottoms, or to walk all around Seattle looking like a swamp person who may have possibly crapped themselves?

I opted to go 90’s grunge-style and tie my raincoat around my waist for the rest of the day. 

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By the time I had finished walking all of the dogs that day, I thought that I might die from exhaustion.  I drove home as fast as I could, parked my car halfway in the yard, and plowed my way downstairs, to the coziest couch on the entire planet.  I kicked off my muddy shoes, but didn’t even bother to change clothes before I collapsed onto my favorite part of the sectional and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

My yellow lab, Nash, is not allowed to sit on the furniture, but when I looked over at him and saw his adorable brown eyes looking at me with more love than I could ever possibly deserve, I couldn’t resist him.  I said, “come on up, little buddy” and in less than a second Nash had positioned himself entirely on top of me so that he could close his eyes while he enthusiastically licked my neck and face.

My phone started ringing.  It was Ethel…

(Keep in mind that Ethel has a caregiver there with her 24/7, so she is never alone.)

Me:  “Hello?”

Ethel:  “Winnie?  Are you there, Winnie?”

Me:  “I’m here, Ethel, how are you?”

Ethel began to cry:  “Not too good.  I’m not too good at all, Winnie…”

Me:  “Uh oh, are you feeling kind of crummy again?”

Ethel:  (sobbing) “I feel so BAD, and I MISS YOU SO MUCH, WINNIE!”

Me:  “I’m sorry that you’re missing me so much.  I’m sure that you caregiver is taking excellent care of you though, right?”

Ethel:  “Well…I suppose.”

Me:  “Maybe she needs to give you some medicine to help you feel better?”

Ethel:  (sobbing again) “I don’t need medicine, I need YOU!  The only thing that will make me feel better is YOU, WINNIE!”

Me:  “Well I’m not able to come and visit you tonight Ethel, because I am really tired, but I can talk to you on the phone for a little while.  Do you think that might help?”

Ethel:  “I guess so…but it’s NOT THE SAME!”

Me:  “Hey, guess what, Ethel?  Guess who is sitting on my lap right now?”

Ethel:  (sobbing sounds)

Me:  “Nash was so happy to see me when I came home, that he just had to lay on top of me and lick my whole neck and face!”

Ethel:  “Oh…WINNIE!  (whimpering sounds) I WISH I COULD DO THAT!”

Oh boy…

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The Year of the Mullet.

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When an old classmate posted this photo on Facebook recently, I just felt the need to officially rename the year of 1986-1987 as “The Year of the Mullet”.

Should we go a little further and take a vote on Best Mullet?

I just want to point out that I was actually able to pull off, both the Farrah Fawcett look with the feathered bangs, AND the actual mullet itself.

PLUS:

I also managed to femme up my own version of Don Johnson/Miami Vice attire.

So there you have it.

I’m throwing my hat into the ring as a Contender in “The Mullet Championship Round”.

Are there any other nominations?

 

Bunny Owners.

IMG_1468I have recently added Dog Walking to my professional resume. It has been a wonderful tool for getting me up earlier in the morning, you know, since I actually get paid to play with dogs and get exercise! I currently walk 4 different dogs for a total of 2 hours of walking each day, 5 days a week. That’s some great exercise!You would think that it would be pretty difficult to embarrass myself in this line of work, but rest assured; I have found a way…

Today I was walking Copper (the sweetest Labradoodle in the entire world) around her neighborhood. I always take her to this house that’s about 6 blocks away, because her favorite thing in the world is to go and visit the bunnies.

There are 4 bunnies who live in a really large, fenced, outdoor kennel, and Copper just loves to sit there and watch them for a few minutes. She doesn’t bark, or growl at all; she is just saying hello to her little Bunny Friends.

Well today, as we were walking up the hill, after visiting Copper’s Bunny Friends, we ran into 2 elderly men who were standing on the sidewalk chatting. One of the men tipped his hat to me (because he was such a gentleman) and said, “Well Hello, Copper! Is that Copper?!”

Copper got all excited, so I smiled and said, “Yes, this is Copper. And you must be one of the Boners…!”

Both men appeared stunned, and a good 3 seconds before I registered what I had just said…

Me: “I’m so sorry! I meant to say Bunny Owners! You must be one of the Bunny Owners!”

The other man completely avoided eye contact with me, and the Bunny Owner gave me a stiff smile and said, “Yes, they are my bunnies…”

Me: “Copper just LOVES to visit your bunnies! But I guess you already knew that…umm, yeah….
…nice weather we’re having today, huh?”

Both men appeared relieved and smiled as Copper and I hurriedly walked away. They both agreed, “Yeah it’s a beautiful day!”

Oh.

My.

Gargoyle.

Boners.

I called an old man a “Boner” today.

Bunny. Owner. BUNNY OWNER.

Bunny Owner!!!

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Seattle’s Latest Fashion Trends?

1392074_10151881445905862_1080678265_nApparently Macy’s is ready to make Seattle winter fashion a bit on the racy side…?  

One good thing about this new look:

If all women have to wear is a scarf to match their handbags, then perhaps Macy’s could accurately advertise this trend as “One size fits All”…

Unless of course someone had an extraordinarily large neck, which would make the scarf look more like a choker necklace.

…Or if they had extraordinarily large arms, which would make the handbag look more like an armpit with a wallet sticking out of it.

A bit of advice Macy’s:  It is always safer to go with the motto of “One size fits MOST” so as to offend the LEAST amount of people.

Rea:  Ok! That is really funny:)

Rosemary:  Maybe… They are advertising to people without arms and that also don’t like to wear clothes in one size fits most.

Whitney:  True. Even people with no arms need to keep their necks warm…

Rae:  Can’t stop laughing love it!

Amy:  I’m laughing so hard right now! Whitney, your perceptiveness continues to amuse and amaze me.

Melissa:  I feel my sales will go up w/the current fashion. I am on it doggon it!

Whitney:  You go girl!

Joshua:  I hope they come out with the necktie/sticky wallet combo for men soon!!!!

Margaret:  My boobs would get cold.

Meet Our Modern Family.

963831_10151761807844788_1515427921_oMEET OUR MODERN FAMILY…

THE BOYS –

Wyatt:  “Hi, I’m Wyatt.  I enjoy eating, and laying around, and eating, and licking myself in the middle of the room where everyone has to watch, and eating, and I have a girlfriend who lives across the street who is a real fox.  I DO NOT ENJOY HAVING MY PICTURE TAKEN.  I carry around a few extra pounds, but that just means that there is more of me to love.  My fur is silky and luxurious, but it’s not fun to cough out after I’ve been licking myself in the middle of the room in front of everyone.  My mom is slightly allergic to me and so I try to get as much fur and dander on her bed as possible, you know, just for the fun of it.  Sometimes I get locked out of the house at night, but it’s no big deal because I can just jump through Whitney and Rea’s downstairs bedroom window and meow my head off until one or both of them wake up and scream their heads off because they think I’m a giant raccoon sitting in their windowsill; that’s pretty hilarious!  I particularly enjoy pooping in the bathtub.  But most of all…I enjoy eating.”

Caleb:  “Hi, I’m Caleb!  I’m the youngest person in the house, and I’m also the only male human.  For example; I have to share a bathroom with Rea and Whitney, and they put framed mermaid pictures on the walls, but I’m cool with it.  I love to play the Wii, and Wii Fit, and jump on the trampoline, and play badminton, and hang out with my millions of adoring friends, and drive my sister crazy.  I have awesome hair that spikes up every which direction with hardly any effort.  My swimming shirt and swim trunks are my absolute favorite outfit.  I hate cheese.  Well, actually I only hate melted cheese.  I love pizza as long as it doesn’t have any melted cheese on it, but it works out really well since my Mom and Rea and Whitney ONLY eat the toppings (Low Carb Diet for R and W + Mom is Gluten-Free) so that leaves me with the sauce and crust and a few stray pepperonis, which is AWESOME!  If I could live at the Great Wolf Lodge, I totally would.  I’m going to play soccer this year at school and I’m pretty excited about that.  I’m handsome and smart and extremely loveable, but that really goes without saying…”

Nash:  My name is Nash and I have two Mums.  I speak with a British accent.  I eat twice a day, and I poop 5 times a day; me Mums can never figure out the Mathematics on that one.  I’m a lover, not a fighter, but for some reason all of the other members of my species hate me and they want to kill me whenever I’m just being friendly and trying to sniff their butts.  They tell me it’s because I’m too happy all of the time and I annoy them, but I can’t help it that I’m a ‘food-bowl-is-always-half-full’ kind of a bloke.  They also tell me that I sniff their butts too aggressively, but I don’t understand that because is there really another way to sniff a butt?  I love chasing things, and I can pretty much chase things from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, but my family gets tired of throwing things for me to chase after.  I have many toys, but I love sticks most of all.  My family thinks that I’m illiterate so they spell things around me all the time like, B-A-L-L or P-A-R-K or T-R-E-A-T, and I just pretend like I don’t know what they’re saying because I think that it’s good for them to practice their spelling.  As long as they feed me when they’re supposed to and pick up my poop, I’ll play along with their games.  Cheerio!”

THE GIRLS –

Hanna:  “Hello Everyone, I’m Hanna.  I am extremely beautiful and brilliant and everyone tells me all the time that I look EXACTLY like my Mom.  I’m currently working on a novel, and I try to write all the time, even while my brother, Caleb, is being loud and driving me crazy!  I am the only one who eats normal food in this house, although I do enjoy my cold cereal the most when I eat it from a giant wine glass.  I love to read and do art projects, and I have been told that I am quite an artist.  I recently drew a portrait of a mermaid, and when I showed it to my brother he said, ‘that’s really good Hanna, but why did you give her such a giant butt-crack…’  I explained to him that it wasn’t a butt-crack, but actually the line of her back, and he just shook his head and walked away because he can’t understand why girls like mermaids so much.  I love animals, and if I had my way I would have pretty much every animal in the world for a pet; at least the cute and furry ones.  The summer is almost over and I will be starting my final year of middle school.  I’ve been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and I think right now it’s a toss-up between famous novelist/famous artist or becoming the first female President of the United States.  Time will tell I guess…”

Rea:  “Hi y’all, I’m Rea (pronounced Ray).  My given name is Ramona, but I hate that name somethin’ fierce on account of all of the teasin’ that I got in school when them ‘Ramona Quimby‘ books came out.  I’m from Jackson, Mississippi, but y’all would never know it since ah don’t speak with any kind of accent at all.  I’m doing my Chaplain Residency this year at Harborview Medical Center, and so far it’s goin’ well.  I’m just finishin’ up my first week now, and I’m already gettin’ compliments from my supervisors who’ve told me that I’m doin’ a great job, so that’s encouragin’.  I’ve worked in ministry for most of my adult life, and ah have a big heart that just loves servin’ the Lord.  I’m pretty hilarious, and I have a good story about darn near any topic you could think of.   My fiance, Whitney, enjoys writin’ about me in her blogs, and I’m fine with that because she actually makes me seem even funnier than I actually am, and I didn’t think that was even possible!  It was actually my idea for all of us to rent a house together, and I didn’t even know Rose and the kids.  I just said to Whitney, ‘Rose is looking for a new place and we’re looking for a new place so…shouldn’t we just all look for a place together?’  We all agreed that it seemed like a good idea, and now here we are:  a real Modern Family.”

Rosemary:  “Hello everyone, I’m Rose.  I’m ridiculously beautiful and talented, and most people really want to hate me because of it, but they can’t even help but love me.  I have two kids who are just as ridiculously beautiful and talented as I am and I love them more than anything.  I’m a professional photographer, and I have my own studio in downtown Seattle.  My website is:  www.rosemaryphotography.com – I’ve photographed the President, and when I met him afterward I was all, ‘It’s an honor to meet you Mr. President, Sir…’ and he was all, ‘Just call me Barack.’  In my free time I’m working on saving the world through charities and such.  I’ve been friends with Whitney since about the 6th grade, and now we’ve decided that we’re really more like sisters.  In all of these years we’ve never run out of things to talk about, and if there is ever a lull in the conversation then I know that Whitney will just bring up something hilarious and embarrassing from the past, and that just always sparks a whole new discussion about human videos and championship leg wrestling, etc.  I’m working on being a strong, successful, independent woman and fabulous Mother, and I must say…it looks good on me.”

Whitney:  “You all know me already, so there isn’t much to say, other than I’m the one who ties our whole family together.  I mean…I don’t want to brag or anything but I’ve known Rose forever, and I’ve known Hanna and Caleb since they were born, and I’m Nash’s Mom, and Wyatt tolerates me because I feed him when he yells at me, and Rea is my fiance so…  There you have it.  Also, I’m a professional caregiver who takes care of an old couple that you may have heard a bit about…  Joe and Dot.  I’m still commuting to Portland via Amtrak so I’m sure that there will be many stories to share of my travels, and I’m still extremely clumsy and embarrassing so you know you’ll hear more about my daily life on this blog.  As it’s been quoted recently, ‘boy, embarrassing things sure do happen to Whitney all the time, and when it happens it’s so hilarious for the rest of us!’  Also, I really love our Modern Family.  I think we’re all pretty awesome.”

Honey Boo-Boo’s Mom.

images I’m riding the train from Portland back to Seattle (my work commute) and the Conductor likens himself to be quite the comedian.  The Amtrak safety guidelines went as follows:

“There is no smoking anywhere on the train.  Doesn’t matter whether its a cigarette, cigar, weed, crack, whatever; no smoking means NO SMOKING!  Got it?  If anyone is caught smoking on this train, the CIA will be notified and they will remove you via helicopter and carry you off to some undisclosed location in the Middle East.

Also, everyone must set their cell phones on silent.  None of that vibrate nonsense either.  SILENT.  If I hear anyone’s cell phone during this trip, whether it be a Ringy-Dingy or a Mosquito Buzzing sound, at any point during the duration of this trip, I will personally release Honey Boo-Boo‘s Mom from our vault, and she will EAT YOU.”

Everyone around me was laughing awkwardly during his presentation, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one who is secretly terrified of this man.

I mean, it’s all fun and games, smoking your crack pipe and talking on your cell phone in the Amtrak bathroom, until you end up in a dark underground tunnel, somewhere in the Middle East, tied to a chair by some kind of indestructible pasta, and listening to what can only be the sound of Honey Boo-Boo’s Mom’s growling belly in the distance, smacking her lips at the thought of some spaghetti noodles with butter and ketchup all over it!

Capital Hill Block Party 2013 – Seattle, WA

Scenes from Seattle’s Capital Hill Block Party – Part One:

540731_10151736487085862_1859951303_nMe:  “I can definitely tell that we’re not in Portland anymore…”

Rea:  “Yeah?   How’s that?”

Me:  “Well, first of all I haven’t smelled patchouli once, and the only hippie I’ve seen so far was wearing a gold chain!”

Rea:   “Not to mention all of the folks walking around eating hot dogs and sausages like they don’t even care that they’re eating something that once had a face.”

Me:  “I knew that Seattle style would be different than Portland, but I didn’t realize that there’d be so many yuppies.  Most of these kids look like they’ve stepped out of a Vampire Weekend video.”

Rea:   “What’s Vampire Weekend?  Like Twilight?”

Me:  “No, they’re a band who dress like rich kids who play tennis.”

Rea:   “Oh okay, all I know is that I’m trying to look cool at a 20-something block party.”

Me:  “Are you kidding? You’re cool just for being here.  Plus you’re wearing your Tom Cruise/Risky Business sunglasses, and also…you’re gay, and on Capital Hill that makes you one of the cool kids.”

Rea:  “Good to know.”

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Scenes from Seattle’s Capital Hill Block Party – Part 2

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Me:  “Ooh we have to go see this band called ‘Gaytheist‘ at 7:30!”

Rea:   “Why?”

Me:  “Because they’re called ‘GAYTHEIST’.”

Rea:  “Oh, of course that’s why.”

Later, as we were crammed behind the bar at the extremely loud Gaytheist show…

Gaytheist Lead Singer (GLS):  “This next song is about shitting off of a mountaintop.”

Rea:  “I bet this one’s gonna be a ballad.”

Me:   “Doesn’t the drummer look like Paul Bunyan had a love child with Axl Rose and then it turns out that they’re first cousins with Hulk Hogan?”

Rea:   “Actually, he does! He looks exactly like that!”

GLS:  “This next song is about an old guy…”

Me:   “…this will be a ballad for sure, Rea!”

GLS:  “…who kills people.”

Me:  “Okay, maybe not.”

Rea:  “At least they all look like they’re middle aged.  They’re like a middle aged, Portland heavy metal band.”

Me: “Of course that’s your favorite thing about them.”

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970611_10151736523215862_524737299_n(1)Only in Seattle can you witness at least 3 babies being conceived within a sea of acid wash jeans, triple belly-button piercings, Abercrombie cargo shorts, high-waisted Levi cutoffs (cutoff just short of the vajay-jay) and horizontal striped tshirts; all while grinding to a band called “Purity Ring“.

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Capital Hill Block Party – Part 3:

Me:  “There is one beach ball being tossed around this whole crowd and it’s already hit me in the back of the head twice.”

Rea:  “It’s called crowd beach-ball surfing.  Apparently you’re not into it.  I’ve gotta say that if I ever decided to crowd surf, I’d hope that you weren’t in the crowd.   I’d be like, ‘Whitney! Catch me!!’ and you’d be all ‘Wha…?’ and I’d splatter on the cement in front of you, and you’d take a picture and put it on Facebook.”

Me:  “Pickwick’s on the stage!  Look! I see Kory!!”

Rea:   “The beach-ball just about hit you in the head again. I blocked it…”

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3638_10151736679265862_1199496920_nApparently it’s cool in Seattle to fashion a hat with your Grandma’s old furniture upholstery?