Has Anyone Seen James?

As many of you know, I travel to Long Beach California frequently for business. My last trip was the last week in October. I returned on a Thursday evening dog tired from a very hectic work week. My son picked me up at the airport and whisked me down to the house in Sumner which had just closed. The plan was to move in 8 days later on November 7th. We showed the kids the house, wandered the rooms and plotted out the cleaning, painting, and re-carpeting schedule that would get the house move-in ready.

James and I made it home around 8:30 that night and both of us were hungry and tired and still had to pack for our trip to Oklahoma City the next day. I slumped down in the dining room chair and just stared into the kitchen. James massaged my shoulders and then asked me if he could make me some dinner.

Now the should massage is a common occurrence, but the suggestion that James cook anything is not (unless it is Thanksgiving or Christmas and it is his famous garlic mashed potatoes). I stared at him for a second and then decided I'd better ask what he had in mind. James has been known to make hot cereal or scramble an egg once in a while.

"I'm thinking I'll cook some vegetables." He says.

I assume he's pulling out a bag of Tyson or Birdseye frozen vegetable concoction, so I ask "What do you mean?"

He answered by opening the refrigerator and pulling out fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and small red potatoes, and then the chopping block and a big sharp knife.

After scooping up my jaw from the floor, I just sat and stared at the phenomenon. First he asks to cook for me, then he starts cooking vegetables? My mind is whirling and I ask, "What's going on here?"

He proceeds to tell me that he's eaten steamed vegetables every night that week and he's been journaling his food intake keeping his calorie count to an average of about 1300 calories! He'd even lost a few pounds.

OK, so at this point I'm thinking that aliens came and are using James as a host body. Kind of like an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" thing. Clearly he doesn't know my ice-cream-eating, fast-food-junkie James. Nor does he realize James doesn't pay attention, much less journal, his food intake. I'm thinking this is alien is vegetarian AND writing a documentary.

So now about two weeks later, we're still into all things vegetables: soups, steamed, stir-fried, and raw. He weighs everyday and is frustrated when he doesn't lose and celebrating every loss.

Has anyone seen MY James lately?


Move Update

Well the move to Sumner is nearly over. There are still some things to move from storage though. My father is moving in with us this weekend as well. So we still have a few weeks of organizing ahead of us. We'll probably be "craigslisting" some stuff that won't fit in with our new space. Anybody want a boom mic stand?

Even though the house is only two years old, it had some pretty heavy wear and tear from the previous owners. They had four dogs and a couple of cats. We've replaced the carpet on the main floor and up the stairs due to stains and smells. Thankfully the rest of the carpet seems to be ok. James also put another coat of varathane on the hardwood floors to bring back the shine that was long gone. Dad hired a housekeeper to come in and wipe down all the wood finishes (and there are a LOT) so everything was clean. Mandy, Daniel, and my sister Linda painted some walls that were awful and Rod mowed the grass. Everyone helped us so much! I want to give a huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who helped us out.

Now comes the task of finding out where the best dry cleaner, nearest drug stores, and best restaurants are in our new little town of Sumner. I tried out a local Mexican restaurant, El Charro, and it was awful. I should've suspected it when I noticed only 3 of about 20 tables were occupied. The food was dry and didn't have much flavor.

I love my new house. I love my new neighborhood.

Moving Day

Today is starting out early and looks to be a miserably rainy day for me to be expected to not get everything soaked with mud the day I get the rest of my house packed up and moved. It's only 9:00 a.m. and I've already been up and at it since 6:00 a.m. because it sounded like I was sleeping next to a chainsaw I awoke in a grumpy mood full of energy. I did ran and grabbed a latte, have loaded a few more boxes, cleared out most of the rooms and am thinking of bailing out here taking a short break before I tackle the last hold out room upstairs. All-in-all, I've done more than a human should do in one morning a good bit of work so far.

We're supposed to get up about a foot of rain today, which has me screaming in frustration is fairly typical for this time of year. Sunday, I'll be joining my family in wishing my sister a big "Happy Birthday" as well as my daughter, Mandy later that evening at dinner. I also have the cable guy coming to hook up the TV's. Sunday sounds like it will be a a brutal a fairly full day of work, fun and parties.

OMG! I just scared myself spitless looked in the mirror and saw what I looked like. Since all my toiletries are packed, my hair is sticking out all over since after getting caught in the rain. I look stupid like a free-spirit! However, I'll wait until I get to the new house and then go abandon James & let him keep working on this mess clean up and then probably take a much-needed rest. I deserve it since he woke me up so early with his nasal chorus!

Happy Fall!


Wallly Update

An update to the Mystery on 94th Street, you know, Wally? I've found myself puzzled because Wally hasn't been as in-n-out as usual. In fact, I hadn't seen Wally do his usual back and forth routine for weeks. I was feeling sad at the possibility of not being able to solve the mystery before we moved. But then...

Well, I was putting some boxes into my SUV yesterday and "Wally", the neighbor across the street heads out of his house, not to his distinctive orange pick-up with the pop-up camper, but to his old maroon mid-60's Buick. I quickly race into the house, grab the keys, and jump into my car to follow him. I'm thinking "this is my lucky day!" (I neglected to pick up my purse with my driver's license so I'm very glad I didn't attract the police during my foray into the detective world.)

I pull out just behind Wally and he guns it through the pink light (yellow turning to red) and Darn! I can't follow or I'd have to run a red light! I wait about a minute as the light cycles, figuring that Wally couldn't have made it much past the Fred Meyer about a 1/2 mile up the road. I speed up James Street hoping to catch a glimpse. Nothing. He had totally disappeared. I circled around a bit looking into parking lots and side streets; to no avail. Wally had escaped.

Wally is sneaky. Clearly we need to setup a true surveillance operation.

Hopefully more on this soon.