Blue Skies and Open Roads

My life behind the wheel

Getting run over July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 4:52 am

Its been a really busy few weeks/months, and I haven’t had much to post . I’ve been crafting here and there, and have been devouring books left and right. I feel like I’ve been a hermit lately, and I kind of like it.

My 32nd birthday came and went, saw a lot of friends, took down a tweaker, and even got a fabric bacon doll. Not a bad time. I have to say, and I never learn this lesson when in Vegas, when you’re on a roll. Quit.

I kinda got run over this weekend, not literally, but in a “Holy Shit, what the crap just happened” kind of way. So this post, is all about hitting the road of life and figuring out what I want (a trend in these posts).

My parents are a hot mess. No scratch that. Hot implies there’s a cooling period. My folks are a mess with no one to clean up – Like the BP of families. Yeah, yeah. I know…your parents suck too. They all do. I got you beat. Hands down, and yes, I will get into a pissing contest. 🙂

The last day of my week-long birthday celebration ended in me asking my dad to leave my house and to never contact me again. I’ll leave out the details, they aren’t pretty, and its over some shit I pulled almost 20 years ago. Yep.  Happy birthday, your dad is bat shit crazy.

So I am trying to figure out what that looks like, and how it will be to not have someone in my life. After watching him deteriorate over the last 15 years, and taking care of him, I think its just easier to walk away. You can’t keep getting calls from the hospital or family at 2 am that your father has OD’d on pain pills trying to kill himself again, and should they medically induce a coma, or just hope for the best;  or that he lied to the police and put your mom in jail and could I please come and help; or….

In a way, I am really relieved. Its one less thing to worry about. One less mess to clean up, but its still hard to know that someone is so miserable, and is hurting so badly that they lash out for no reason. So I have been driving down the middle of the road, looking behind me at the life I have been living for almost 20 years: Care taker, social worker, advocate and daughter; all while looking ahead at a bright  new shiny life with less drama and more time for myself. I gotta say, its so tempting to keep driving and not look back.
Right now, I think of a sculpture a friend had over his door, and feel like its fitting of where I am at now. Its a crumped up road, laying over a car.

Somedays, your the driver…somedays you get run over.

Here’s to happier posts next time.



Driving Down Memory Lane June 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 5:27 am

I’ve been going through old things in my house, and sorting through the past 31 years of my life. I have boxes of old memories…the roses from my wedding in 97, the locks of hair from boyfriends past, the birthday cards from when I was 5. I pack it all up in boxes and stash it away for another day. I have a few drawers of things I won’t get rid of, in a dresser my parents bought me when I was 6. The drawers are full of stuff I know I don’t need, but just haven’t had the heart to throw out. These are the things that I can’t let go. The love notes, the bad poetry, the bad drawings, all from me, or for me. I was sorting through those boxes and drawers, trying to decide what needed to go, and what I couldn’t part with when I found my grandfathers ashes. My Grandma is tucked away safely in the drawers too, somewhere, nestled next to notes read a hundred times, old hand-made jewelry from some boy, an earring given in some cheesy Breakfast Club rip off moment. The thought of those two next to each other together still just makes me happy. 
I’ve been trying to figure out where to bring the ashes to spread, and I just haven’t found the right place.  My Grandpa would love somewhere in Asia, where the lizards call sounds like they are hollering “fuck you” (another story for another time), my grandmother would like somewhere warm, where she could sun her lean long legs, if she were alive (she was quite the nice-gammed gal up into her 60’s). I think they may both like Vegas where they met and lived after my Grandma’s last divorce when her then husband lost his casino and hotel in the same fashion he won it: a poker game.
But it just doesn’t seem enough to honor them and keep them together forever in the fashion that made sense.
I knew them mostly through cards, pictures, and stories. Being in the military, we didn’t see my Grandparents much and when you combined that with a strained relationship between my mother and her mother, well-that made those times even more slim. You combine that with some 50’s era cuss words that fly at the drop of a hat, well…you get the picture.
But no one loved me more than they did. They were amazing. I look back on their history-Mary worked at a bar, where she would wear tiny shorts and give the military boys a run for their money, shot for shot; trash talk for trash talk.  Charles (Grandpa Bud) had just retired from the Air Force, lost and not sure what to do with himself.  I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but the story goes that Mary saved him from himself and took care of him, like a good woman will and he spent the rest of his days taking care of her too. I don’t know the exacts of how long they were married, but they were married well before I was born. They spent most every day together-he’d go off to work in the casinos, fixing things.  They’d come home, split money in to play and savings and go out on date night as often as they could. They loved each other and Bud just thought the world of her. My Grandma would flip him shit to no end, and he’d just hush her up, and they’d laugh. Those are the memories.
I have vague memories of Grandpa swinging me, and taking out his false teeth, but they are just flashes in my mind, kind of murky and fuzzy from the years.
I remember being little and staring at the paintings of my Grandma in the 40’s for her first wedding in Illinois in her satin gown with the 6 foot train and tiny silk covered buttons along the back. I wanted that dress.  I got older, and got to looking more and more like she did, and I called her and asked about the dress. At this point, Grandma wasn’t taking too many calls, she hadn’t been feeling well for a while, but she was able to let me know it was ok. I knew things weren’t good, but I didn’t know how bad they were.
The dress came a few weeks before the wedding. It had been sitting in a cedar chest since the wedding, and hadn’t seen light since her first husband died from a boating accident. It had sat, folded up, waiting.  The dress was glorious, it was wrinkled, but shiny, and sleek. I called my Grandparents to tell them I had the dress, and how much I loved them, and wished that they could be there. Grandma couldn’t talk, but Grandpa told me she was so proud of me, and that he was too.
I stayed up until 3 am hand pressing that dress with a damp towel and an iron, since I didn’t trust anyone to touch it. While inspecting it, I found a smudge of her old lipstick, not really noticeable, but enough for me to imagine her throwing that dress on with excitement not caring if she messed up her make up. I proudly wore that dress on my wedding and had friends take as many pictures of me as they could. We sent the pictures out to my Grandparents, for them to see. I wanted Grandma to see me in her dress, with her cross necklace. Fortunately, she was able to. A few days after the pictures got there, Grandma died. She had been battling cancer and didn’t want me to worry, or for any one to fuss. It wasn’t her style. Grandpa said she held on as long as she could, so she could see the pictures, and so they could have one more date night together.
That power to make death wait, and the desire to have one more loving moment is just amazing, and what made those two so perfect. They spent a life time waiting for someone to fill their broken hearts, and they were lucky enough to find each other.
Every time I think of where to spread their ashes, I think “I have to find somewhere that is that big, that strong, yet that gentle and that amazing to match who they were”. So far, I haven’t found it, but its a big world.


Driving myself…crazy June 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 11:23 pm

Lately, I can’t sit still, but I can’t put the energy into anything useful. It’s this odd desire to everything, and nothing all at the same time. It’s definitely time to get on the road. I can always tell when I am this antsy and inconsolable, its time to drive.

A few things have been going on, and I’ll run through those.

The hood: I feel like I have been on the fence between moving and staying here in South Park, and that would be an accurate statement. I love my hood,  but I want more space. I don’t want a bigger mortgage, and I don’t want to be slammed by more house projects than I am to get it on the market. Plus our bridge is coming down in mere days. I don’t want to sell my house for a ton less than its worth! For now: It makes sense to stay.  With that decision I am finding I am going to more n’hood meetings, and doing more with block watch. The house is looking better and better, and the bathroom is pretty much done.

Work: Everyone at work is pregnant. If you aren’t, you’re somehow connected to someone who is there, and are impacted by the pregnancy. Seriously. Both my co-supe and my manager are leaving on maternity and paternity leave. That leaves me. I am my sub department now and will be running the show. My manager says it’s a good opportunity to show myself and move into the manager role. I don’t know how I feel about statements like that, I know the intent is to say that this is a great opportunity. What I hear is that I haven’t been demonstrating manager qualities in the 8 years I have been with the company, and please for Gods sake, don’t fuck it up.  Since its been this long, I think…do I want to stay with the company, or do I want to leave and try a new hat on. Since I’m staying in my house, do I just want to take time off and travel? (yes).

Again, I can tell its time to get on the road. I need a little vacation fix, before I say “fuck all”, quit my job, sell my house and use my savings to fund a few month-long road trip. 

Family: I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Its been almost a year since my parents split and my mother moved into my house for a few months.  She wants me to call and to spend time with both her and my dad, and I don’t know that I am quite over the trauma of having my mom live with me as an adult. 🙂  I also keep thinking of all the stupid crap they keep pulling, like the above and the hospitalizations and having to care for them since high school. I also think about when I do see or talk to my mother she has nothing positive to say, and I think “Jesus, why wouldn’t I want to call you, you just piss rainbows and butterflies all day long.”.  And then I feel guilty and pick up the phone anyways. Only to be annoyed for the rest of the day. I know every one says it, but I will not be like them when I grow up. I’m sticking to that.

Crafts/domestic life: I just bought a new sewing machine. I need to start it up and play with it. It has a bunch of stitch functions, including embroidery and quilting stitches. It’s just what I wanted. I’ll be making baby blankets (again, everyone I know is breeding right now), and pot holders. I feel like this is the one area I can just fully enjoy. Unlike my house, I can do as little or as much as I want and it will be just fine. Unlike my family or job, I can pay as much attention to it as I want, and nothing will go wrong. They will not call and leave messages saying “You must be dead. Why wouldn’t you call unless you were dead?”. Nope. My pot holder will never ask where the report is that was due 2 minutes ago.  He he. I’ve also been cooking and dreaming up delicious new recipes and thinking of getting back into canning. No matter how tired I am, or how annoyed I am, cooking and crafting appeal to me. I may get bored part way through, but it’s still nice to have a finished project.

I think it’s also why I enjoy road trips, there is a start and an end, unlike work or house projects, which are never-ending.  So speaking of…what are the plans for road trips?!  Well, next weekend and the weekend after that are set aside for camping. Since early July is when I will be working nonstop, I am getting in the camping while I can. We’re not sure where we are going, but we are thinking Leavenworth for the wine festival happening the weekend of the 26th. That should be fun-Camping and wine, what more could you want?!  We also prepaid for a rafting trip, with an open date, so in early August, I’ll be doing that too. We have Vegas for Christmas plans coming together, and that will be fun!

Well, on that note, I’ll sign off and update you all as the trips get solidified. 


Changing Lanes May 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 3:25 am

Every now and again you hit the road, find your slice of heaven and think: this is where I should be, this is what I should do-last week I had that feeling.

I just got back after 10 days on the road. Where did I go? Well, let me tell you and I will get into the ah-ha’s I had…I left Seattle on a Friday, farming out pieces of my job to people, prepping as much as I could. As I hit the freeway south, the first thing that popped into my head was:  “Shit, I didn’t set my Out of Office Assistant thing”. I drove on anyways- Everyone knew I was leaving…

I stopped in Centralia at McMenamins Olympic Club Hotel. I had picked up their Roy Gardner package, which is a bottle of wine, bfast and dinner for two, movies for two and all the pool you can play, in addition to the room (note to all: there are these G-D trains that blow their horns at all hours of the night…if you stay ask for a room away from the train, or drink enough to ignore the trains). Total spent about 175 with extra drinks, snacks and tips. Not bad..
The next few days were spent at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon, we met some new friends, and drank good wine and overall had a good time-the campsites were cheap, the showers free and the hiking? AMAZING.
From here we headed south to California, stopping along the way at anything that looked good. I found the Pyrenees Winery which was delish. Kim, the Winery Grounds Manager was a hoot and let me tour the green houses and the grounds and we chatted about dogs. The wine was good, and the Wine gal looked a lot like my little sister Camas. A good time was had by me.
We stopped in Klamath Falls Oregon, to find what at first glance was only a creamery…upon further investigation it turned out to be a creamery AND brewery. If they had made bacon out back, or somewhere on site, it would have been my heaven.  We stayed the night there, as we were full of delicious cheese, beers and other-less important foods.
I’ll pause here…it is between Silver Falls and Klamath Falls that I realized what I wanted to do…but again, this comes later…
Finally, we made it to California..I’ll pause here and derail…call it the wine, call it my awesome ability to weave a story, but I have to pause.
I have a GPS whose name is Beatrice. She is a harsh mistress, and like her old lady name may suggest, she is old, outdated and easily confused. I’ll plug an address in and ask for the shortest fastest route and end up going an hour or four out of my way…I trust her though, as she gets me safely to where I want to go and usually offers me exciting side trips as part of her journey.
Beatrice had plans for me as I made my wayto Lava Beds National Monument…my ultimate destination…the plan? The coolest G-D fabric store ever. Now, I can hear you scoffing…HA! Fabric? That sounds nothing like road trips and whiskey…well, you would be right. But its a secret passion of mine. I like sewing and being crafty. Besides, a glass of wine looks good next to a sewing machine. AND its part of the latter piece of my story.
So  kinda get back on track here: I wander into Tater Patch Quilts (Tell me this ain’t freaking cute), only to find two stories of fabric, quilts and old ladies gossiping. If they had booze, I’d be in heaven. Instead they had coffee and cookies. I ended up spending 100$ in the 2 trips I made there. More of my future plan is coming together…
So we end up at Lava Beds where I cave, hike, camp, rock climb and relax for 4 more days. HEAVEN I TELL YOU! I also have a squirrel jump in my lap, a sheep check me out and have to MacGyver a band aide out of a paper towel and a hair rubber band. All in all, it was an awesome trip. We round things out with a stop at Crater Lake, one more McMenamins for Dinner in Eugene and haul ass home. THAT was one good trip.

So…the plan you ask? What does this have to do with Central Oregon, wine, quilts, and me? I think I want land, and to have tiny goats and critters, and live off the land (ish) and do quilting and be a small town counselor. In the early stages of this plan, it was to live off of a sugar daddy and be a stay at home farm girl who made quilts, cheese, and farmed. Then I realized I need a job, I don’t do well sitting still or not making money. So the plan adapted. But it helped me decide: I want land, I want to create and I want to be self-sufficient. I also want to keep travelling, which helped me solidify that kids are not really in the cards for me.  I have so many things I want to do, and so many trips and accomplishments I want to say I did…
So here’s the plan. Buy a house, with land. Get a goat, preferably a dwarf fainting goats. Those things crack me up. Make quilts. Do more gardening. Be more self-sufficient. Climb half dome.

And that is all. Road trip. Ponderance of life. Things are good. 🙂


Driving through a new ‘hood March 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 10:40 pm

Here’s a short, claritin induced blog for you all!

Yesterday I went to look at houses. I am tired of living in the ghetto, and house prices are dropping like mad, yet again. I found a beautiful house in Snohomish, 2500 Sq feet, 4 bedrooms, one acre, victorian. It was amazing, and bank owned so it was in the neigborhood of 310K, assessed at over 450K. It needs a little work (like taking down the rose/flower wall-paper).  So I am thinking about it, and making a possible offer. Not sure, as Snohomish is so far, and a lot of my Tacoma friends are so far away and hesitant to drive this far north already.  

The other two houses were nice in their own ways; one property was 6 acres with a great bar and a creek. One had an amazing bathroom, but over all they were just to small, and not what I wanted.

After re-reading the last post, I need to start taking some risks and making a future for myself and where I want to be. I need to do what I want, and move forward with my goals. Its good for me overall, and its good for me to feel like I am taking action in my own life. Its no kid, but dammit, with an acre, I can get a goat or chickens, which is about as good 🙂

The rest of the next few weeks will be camping (next weekend) and knocking out house projects so I can get this house on the market and out of my life, when the time is right…any of you know how to lay tile? I’m willing to pay in beer or wine!  🙂

‘Til the next  adventure.


Driving Around in Circles March 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 1:50 am

I’m in a pissy mood today. Chalk it up to the change in weather (boo to rain) or the germs that are still invading, or other things, but I am pissy. Plain, unconsolably pissy.

Lately, I have been talking stock of my life and trying to figure out who and what I want to be. I have a job, its challenging, but not so much that I hate every minute of it. I have room for growth and the days pass by fairly quickly. Is it what I want to do long term? Nah. But there’s one of the things weighing on me…Do I stay or do I venture out and do something else? Right now, its the safe decision.

I have a house, I can afford the payments on my own, its relatively structurally sound, and its near my friends and places I like to do. Is it where I want to stay forever? No, but right now, its the safe decision.

I’d like to get married. Its been a while that I’ve been engaged. Its been 14 years that I’ve known my boyfriend. Its not a huge change, but again I am not tied down to anything. Where I am at is the safe decision.

Also, kids. Most people that know me, know that I want a family. I want children and a family. I want to mold a life into a well-adjusted, happy adult. There’s that side of me that thinks, oh dear god. What if I turn into my mother. What if I am a horrible parent. What If… So staying childless is the safe decision. (See a trend yet?)

I also want to go to gradschool. I want to get my masters in Psych, eventually do more than I am doing with my degree now.

So that’s the life list:

1. Either move up or move on at work
2. Get a bigger house, preferably one with more than 3 bedrooms. If its not asking for much, I’d also like it to be a craftsman or victorian on land. I’d also like a goat.
3.  I want to get married again.
4. I want to start a family.
5. I want to go to grad school

I know what you’re thinking…well, possibly…Either, wow-shut up! or why don’t you just got jump on those goals. Which leads me to where I am at. Its a waiting game lately. Will I get a promotion at work? I am working as hard as I can so we’ll see. I also need to wait for a position to open. Marriage, well, the BF isn’t sure about babies now and why get married if you cant have a family? So that knocks out 3 and 4, until decisions are made on his end. And house-wise…well, the money I have is either going to a bigger house or grad school, and again is dependent on 3 and 4.

So….circles. For now, its sticking with the safe decisions and not thinking too hard about the reproductive system which is slowly drying up.

On a positive note, status quo is easy to maintain and leaves plenty of time for other distractions: Art shows, crafting and beers with friends. There’s always a silver lining!


Driving to the Doctor March 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 10:14 pm

I hate being sick. Seriously.

I have been a germ factory for 5 days now, and this sucks. My nose goes from being plugged up to running like a faucet.  I understand the biological principals that are at work in my body, it just doesn’t mean I like them (no sir, not one bit).

I had to leave work yesterday, and took a sick day today. I have done nothing. Absolutely nothing. As we all know, this doesn’t jive well with me. I hate being confined to my house, sick, and bored. And to make matters worse: Yesterday was St Patty’s day. 😦 I still managed to get my corned beef, cabbage and guiness in, just couldn’t taste much of it.

So I am sitting here, sniffly, dry skin all around my bright red nose in pajamas with big hair. I am not a sexy beast, but rather have been demoted to a hot mess. I’m excited for the weekend, so I can relax with out work looming over me. I can’t wait to sit in the sun and blow my nose in the sunshine. Dammit, if I have to be sick, I am going to be sick outside in the warm sunshine!

Here’s to hoping you all are healthy, happy and germ-free.


The Road Less Travelled March 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 4:50 pm

I love winter camping…I think I have said this before, but its worth noting again! Winter camping is awesome. The fees for camping are lowered, if not free. The sites are empty except for a few troopers who had the same idea as I did. It’s lovely.

We went to Elwha last weekend with Jen and Sol-its in the Northeast corner of the Olympic National Park, and was just lovely. We got there Saturday afternoon and set up camp, spending the rest of the night drinking microbrews and eating delicious steak cooked over a fire. It was a good time.

Sadly, the park isn’t very dog friendly. Apparently, dogs are to cougars in the same vein that girl scout cookies are to me: Delicious. So we did short exploratory walks in the upper roads only to find that we couldn’t proceed further for the warning signs (Boo).

We headed back into town Sunday afternoon, got Chinese and hit the ferry home. It was a nice escape after a hard week, and I was able to relax a bit. After getting rid of my car and having to deliver hard news all week, it was worth the short excursion cost!


Carless March 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 11:53 pm

So I took the step to being a better Seattleite and got rid of my car. Yep. As of 3/5, I am carless.
Ok, so that’s not ALL true. I don’t care about being a better Seattleite, I like having more money. My Subaru was a lot of issues in a shiny blue body, and I LOVE the idea of having over $600 extra a month in my little hands.
So now, and until I crack under the having to bike and bus it pressure, I share Conors vehicle-a giant ass Dodge Ram full-sized, you can fit a prius in the back seat, truck.
And it is GLORIOUS.

For now, I am planning to go the summer sans car. Will I make it?! Will I cave under the pressure? Who knows. I have a bike, I have 3 busses in my ghetto, I should be fine.

But just in case, I have been kicking around the idea of what to buy.
Pink Glitter Scooter
Slug Bug (the old school one)
Karmann Ghia
or some other old car

Some days I really miss tinkering on my cars. I envision myself in overalls or something maybe cuter, working under the hood of my old car, bitching at it, but secretly enjoying every moment shared with it and my Chilton guide.

So hmm…Will I last through the summer carless, or will I break down and buy an old car? Will I give up and go buy a sport-ute? We’ll see. For now, I am content to not have that G-D car payment.

New road trip blog to follow later today, so come back soon!


Test Drive March 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — blueskiesandopenroads @ 7:08 pm

Its about this time of year when I decide I need to get active. The sedentary winter times have played havock with my mood, and I usually notice I am not as fast as I would like to be walking up the hill ot my house. Conor and I decided it was time for a test hike-where you see how well you can hike, and how quickly you recover.

We hit the road again this past weekend, and got in a good hike. We had initially planned a snow camping trip in addition to this hike, but at the last minute decided that sleeping in was more important. So was shopping and grabbing a burger at Dicks in Wallingford.

Sunday however, we decided to go to Twin Falls Natural Area to hike. This hike was listed in the “60 hikes within 60 miles of Seattle” book online. It seemed to be a good hike, and would be less crowded than Tiger on a nice day.

Initially, when we started, it was an easy stroll, with youngsters and tiny dogs galore. I kept thinking: “Wow. This is so not tough. Poor Conor is going to be bored!”. We then opted to make it more challenging. We walked down to the river, climbed over rocks, walked up game trails to get to the top of areas.

I learned that I am not as in shape as I was last year.

Towards the middle of the hike, you run into the elevation gain, and we realized we were hiking up, while everyone was hiking down. It was a nice hike and by the end of it I was done. It was a good hike to see how in shape we were for our trip to Yosemite, and it was nice to get out and about (as well as hike loops around couples our own age).

We rounded off the trip to Snoqualmie Brewing for a couple of pints and sammiches. Overall, a good hike, pretty easy too. It was a good marker to see that I need more physical activity, but I am happy to note that today I do not hurt at all.

There’s hope for me yet!!