Saturday, February 26, 2011

My sister

I have several sisters. One of them is having a round number birthday today, and this post is about her.

My sister's name is Davinie. She is 20 months older than me, and was a year ahead of me in school. Because I am tall, and she was always petite, we were pretty much the same size growing up (until I finally passed her, probably in junior high). I remember a picture of the two of us squeezed into a bathtub, lying side by side in the bottom of the tub, laughing up at the photographer. Two peas in a.....tub?? We were the same size, anyway. I also remember fighting over that darn yellowish sweatshirt with Pepe le Pew and a embroidered on it. We both swore up and down that it was *ours*, and not to be shared with anyone. I think the shirt spent more time hidden in someone's drawer or other secret hidey hole than it did on one of us.

Davinie and I had all sorts of adventures together. She convinced me to climb up onto the counter and get the rock candy out of the cupboard above the refrigerator (where I was caught red-handed); and talked me into letting her drive over me on the three wheeler (we wanted to see if it would hurt--our theory was that the tires were so wide, it wouldn't be *wasn't* painful, but I cried anyway because I was scared). We spent lots of time in the field below our house in the canyon in Alaska flattening down the tall, tall grass to make 'rooms' for our playhouse. I think we were re-enacting Little House on the Prairie??

I was heartbroken when Davinie started Kindergarten when I was 4, so Mom set up 'school' for me at home to keep me busy. I think that trying to keep up with Davinie as a little kid was what motivated me in school, at least when I was small. I wanted to do what *she* was doing!

As we got older, we became big fans of Little House on the Prairie. We had all the actors names memorized, and knew the order they would come up on the screen at the beginning of the show....and would call them out just before they appeared.

I remember searching through the house for spare change, then heading over to Expressway to buy as much candy as we could. I remember walking to downtown Bend so we could ride up and down an elevator in some poorly secured law offices.

Because of our different school grades, and often different schools, Davinie and I had periods of time where we were not as close, and periods of time when we *were* pretty close. In high school, as Davinie approached graduation, we became much closer. In her last year at home, we would drive home for lunch every day, and we spent a lot of time together. I remember when she was banned from driving on the school campus for a week because she was falsely accused of bumping a twit with her car, so *I* got to drive us home for lunch. She would occasionally goose the car as I was trying to get in it....then stop and wait for me to catch up....then goose it again. When I was driving us home, I got my payback and pretty much had her run all the way home while trying to get in the car, with Kandy Easterday laughing hysterically in the front seat.

I remember the three Cooper girls heading off to Volleyball camp together, and Davinie got a speeding ticket. We were so scared when that cop yelled at her for not stopping sooner!!

After high school, Davinie was very supportive of me heading off for college. I visited her a few times in her apartment, and she came to see my dorm room and the campus shortly after I started at Linfield. I remember one of my last visits with Davinie, when we decided to go to a lake for some tanning and lazing in a rubber raft (this was of course before I resigned myself to the fact that I don't tan--I can burn purple, then resume my natural paleness, but that is about it). It was a nice, warm day, but there was still snow in places up in the mountains, so the water in the lake was cooooold! Our oar fell apart, and I was elected to jump in the water to retrieve the fallen portion of it. There is something about older sisters that just makes you go along with what they tell you to do. Or maybe I am just easily swayed. Anyway, I think my feet went numb in my attempted oar retrieval, but I eventually got it back and we had a wonderful lazy afternoon.

Even though we are not always close, and we have had our differences, I know that Davinie is there for me. When I have something I need to vent about, I can always call her and vent away. That is nice to know. When she had her babies, I rushed out from work and headed to Oregon to be there. And if Ethan and I ever decide to have babies of our own, I know Davinie will be up here for me, too.

So, today I am wishing Davinie a very happy round-number birthday. May it be the very best one yet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another teeny update

What to say, what to say....

When I don't update my blog, it is generally because absolutely nothing interesting is happening in my life. Nothing to report. Which is why I wasn't reporting it, see???

Anyway. To report.

I have been unable to wean myself from putting two spaces after a period. I have tried. It was ingrained into me back in high school typing class with Mrs Bennett, and I just can't let it go, even though I know that it is now no longer necessary.

I just spent a weekend at Mom's house. We cut thin pieces of wood into sequentially smaller rectangles. It was fun. I will eventually have two wooden versions of my scrapbooking paper exploding picture box. It is awesome and the wood ones will be even MORE awesome.

**It is currently snowing in Seattle. Big flakes, low quantity. I don't think it will stick, though.......**

Good time at Mom's house. We also went to the Melting Pot, and I know mom loved it. We had an artichoke and spinach cheese dip, delicious salads, and a variety of meats for cooking. Veeeeery full afterwards. Watched a movie, then off to bed.

Other than the small trip to Mom's.....not much going on up here. The Boo Kitty is doing well. He weighs more than he ever has before, and now is picking on Shadow, rather than the other way around. But he is nice about it, and only picks a little. Doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He is very active, chasing around my hair ties and the milk top rings that he loves. He actually seems healthier now than he ever has been. He still overgrooms and rips out the hair on his back so he looks a bit mangy, but he is very happy and healthy and we love him dearly.

Boo is going on an adventure in a couple weeks. We are taking a cruise, and are going to board him at the vet's office. I checked out the space, and I know it will be OK. They will give him his SQ fluids every other day, and make sure that he is happy. The staff there bring their own pets to work, and they wander around the offices in the back. On breaks, people hang out with the boarders and give them love, and I think Boo will tough it out. Jobie has agreed to pick him up Friday, the day before we get home, so he can hang out with the Shadow-man until we get home Saturday evening.

The Shadow-man will be staying home alone. I feel really bad about this, since the last time we left him home alone (when we went to the coast with Boo for Christmas), he apparantly spent all of his time eating and gained a bunch of weight. I am going to pick up one of those timed feeders that doles out food over time. He will be bored and lonely at home, but he does NOT tolerate change well, and would be totally freaked out at the vet's office if we boarded him, so he stays home.

On to the cruise. We are *so* in need of a vacation. Almost a year since our last vacation!! What is this world coming to. The Amersons vacation more than that! We bought some spendy leaf guard gutters this summer, which sorta took over our vacation budget. Better now! We refinanced our mortgage in December, and with the $$ we are saving each month, we have upped our 'home' and 'vacation' funds to better/more accurate levels. Let the vacations commence!

We are headed to San Diego, then onto Mexico on a Holland America cruise. We stop at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo san Lucas. Ethan and I have been to each of these cities before, but we are really looking forward to the warmth and sunshine and cruise ship experience. We are going with our good friends, Justin and Kim. Kim actually works for the cruiseline, so we got a nice deal on our room, and are in a suite with a balcony. Ooh la lah!!

So far, we have booked two of our excursions. Our first stop is in Puerto Vallarta, where we are doing a snorkelling tour, then visiting a tiny town only accessible by boat. Ethan and I actually visited this little town (Yelapa) last time we went to PV, but were told by the misinformed tour desk that we should not bring I didn't get any pictures of the beautiful scenery or the gorgeous waterfall nestled in this teeny ~100 person town. Not so happy. But, I get a do-over now.

In Mazatlan, we are doing a sea kayaking tour--heading out to a teeny island, and kayaking around it. Should be fun. I know Mom will be proud.

In Cabo, Ethan and I are undecided. Justin and Kim have booked a relaxing resort getaway, but Ethan and I are thinking of maybe a whale watching tour or maybe SNUBA diving or snorkelling again or even ziplining. Not really sure. I would totally zipline, but the beauty of Cabo is in the rock formations on the water, and we wouldn't really see that up in the mountains at the zipline. Plus, there are some scary rope bridges to traverse that I really don't think Ethan would enjoy. He doesn't trust safety equipment as much as I do.

Anyway. Ethan checked and his suit from Justin and Kim's wedding still fits, and I found some dresses for the 2 formal nights on the ship. Just gotta sort out Cabo and we are set.

We head down to San Diego a day before the cruise, and are going to stay at the W hotel through another friend of a friend deal. More ooh la lah!!

We have a busy time planned. We are hoping to make it to the space shuttle launch in mid-April. Won't know about the timing until after this (already very)delayed February one goes up, but I have my fingers crossed. It is the chance of a lifetime, and Ethan and I are big enough science/space geeks that we *must* go, or at least TRY to go.

After the lauch, our next plan. Well, MY next plan is to go to Australia. Maybe leave the week after the Superbowl in 2012?? Summer time there, and not missing anything here but bad weather. Ethan mustmustmust see the Great Barrier Reef with me, and I think he will totally love Sydney, too. And, they speak English there. Easy. We almost have enough airline miles to fund two tickets, so my plan is to wait a month or so until we have enough miles, then bombard Ethan with my cunning plan until he wearies and agrees with me. I am definitely the planner and the spender in the family, and Ethan remains the voice of reason. However....I am not an idiot, and we don't spend money we don't have. Hence the post about 2/12 written in 2/11. Planning makes things possible. And our account accruing several hundred dollars a month, earmarked solely for vacation spending. Planning is the key. It is still my lofty goal to someday travel to Hawai'i with my entire family and rent a massive house (that I will scour the internet to find) for a week in lieu of our annual coast gathering. Planning is the only way that will happen. And saving. Lots of saving. But wouldn't it be fun!!!