Tuesday, July 29, 2008

He calls me 'Kris'

My given name is Kristin. It's a pretty name. It's a good Scandinavian name. It's the name of my mother's high school friend.

No wonder I hated it when I was a kid!

I wanted a different name. Something a little less ethnic. A little more American. And standard. And plain. Like Kim. Or Kelly. Or Mimi.

In junior high I decided to assert my independence and right the wrong my parents had perpetrated on me. I started going by 'Kris.' Flavorless, characterless, appellation-equivalent-to-Muzak 'Kris.'

My cosmic retribution for disrespecting my parents' choice? The lifeless nickname stuck.

A few years later when I met the man who would become my husband, I was still known as Kris. And that's how his family knows me. And everyone from that time in my life still calls me that. {{{{{shudder}}}}}

But you are not allowed to call me that. Ever.

Now that that's been established . . .

Hubby and our boys are preparing for the annual trip to Ross Lake. Last year I wasn't able to go because of this. This year I am once again left out of the family fun because my work schedule won't allow it.

Ross Lake. To get to the campsite where we meet up with family and friends and hang out for a week of swimming, playing and beer drinking, we have to drive north into Canada and then south back down into the U.S. For the one hour that they'll be on Canadian soil, my menfolk need to bring passports, ID, birth certificates and a note from me stating that it's okay for my husband to be taking my minor child across the border.

Last year, due to my injury, the boys got a late start. They arrived at the border just after 1 a.m. in a small SUV haphazardly packed to the gills--looking for all the world like they were running from the law.

The border guard eyed them and their getaway vehicle suspiciously. He carefully scrutinized their citizenship documents and looked over my sleeping 12 year old son. Examining Youngest's birth certificate, he questioned hubby, "And where is Kristin?"

"Who?" hubby asked, confused.

"Kristin. The child's mother?"

"Oh! My wife, Kris! She's at home with a dislocated arm."

According to my husband, the border guard gave him a look that suggested he might call the authorities to see if my arm was dislocated after being beaten by my husband who was trying to abduct our child.

"I'm ready for the border crossing this year!" Hubby excitedly told me this morning.

"Oh?" I yawned with rampant interest.

"If they ask me 'Where's Kristin?' I'm going to tell them she's home f*cking Matt Damon!"

What do you think? Sound like permission to you? It does to me : ) Are you reading, Matt? Call me, I'll give you my address. Oh, and Matt? Honey, you can call me anything you want!

Monday, July 28, 2008

country mouse, the library edition

AAAACCCCKKKK! Not only am I suffering a creative drought of epic proportions, but my computer is suffering from a malady involving its motherboard. Isn't that just typical? Everyone is so quick to blame the mother . . .

So. I'm sitting at the library trying to access my e-mail and not even thinking about blogging when suddenly I felt an inspiration creeping up my spine and taking up residence at the base of my skull. Unfortunately for you, the inspiration didn't quite reach my cerebral cortex and can't be fleshed out--plus I only have 31 minutes remaining on my hour of library computer time. This time limit is humiliating. It feels a lot like being in the 6th grade . . .

Also? My real reason for wanting to add a new post is that it's embarrassing to be sitting in the public library and type in countrymouse and have a photo of a pierced booby pop up.

Anyhoo--where were we?

Well, whatever it was I thought I was going to blog about has leaked back down my spine and has been reabsorbed by my internal organs. And will never be heard from again . . . In the meantime, I'm sitting between a guy who smells deliciously of cologne (why doesn't my hubby wear cologne anymore? I love a good smelling man. I LOVE A GOOD SMELLING MAN!!!! Note to self: buy hubby delicious cologne) and a 16 year old kid who should be spending his summer working at Dairy Queen--not hanging out at the library talking LOUDLY to his buddy at another table.

Their conversation went a little something like this:

"Dude--what are you doing here? Don't you have a computer at home?"

"Yeah. I did. But I have to replace the motherboard." [Again with blaming the mother!!!] "Where's your shirt?"

"I had one but I decided not to wear it."

Children are the future? I don't think so.

As you were.

Friday, July 25, 2008

p.s. --not a complaint!

Wanna increase your site traffic without doing any actual work?

Post this photo:

You wouldn't believe how many hits I get because of it : )

The One Where I complain. A lot.

I'm irritable. No surprise there.

I have nothing to write about. Either that or I just don't feel like making the effort.

Some of my favorite bloggers are suffering the same dry spell that I am. One of them has become more acerbic than before. The posts are funny and insightful--I enjoy them--but part of me hopes that this isn't a permanent change.

My e-mail isn't working. If you've sent me an e-mail and I haven't responded, it isn't because I'm discourteous. It's because hotmail is a wicked, selfish bitch.

I only check blogs every few days now. I don't have the time or energy to keep up. One of the blogs that I've really enjoyed reading for well over a year has recently become private. I tried to log in only to find out that I'm not invited to view. What a shame because I really enjoyed her. She's upbeat and fierce about things that are important to her and her life is vastly different from mine. I'll miss seeing the world through her eyes.

I hardly ever see Number One Son. He's visiting tomorrow. But only for a couple of hours. And only because his girlfriend's car is having problems and they want my hubby to take a look at it. They'll be here for their brief and selfish visit while I'm at work. Nice.

Ongoing problems with NonSon. It's always going to be that way. I've made a commitment to him to always be available and I won't break that promise because nearly every other woman over the span of his entire life (including his mother) has broken her promises to him. But being taken for granted 90% of the time gets old. Even for me.

Youngest is a good kid. I have no complaints with him. Except that he's built like my brother. His feet stick out at the same odd angle as my brother's. My brother was awkward for a looooong time. Isn't it weird, the things that you never thought were going to be important but turn out to be? Why should the way my son's feet look when he's standing bother me?

Daughter's pregnancy is going fairly well. The normal pregnancy complaints. She has heartburn that bothers her. She's going in for an ultrasound next week to take measurements because baby is a little on the petite side. Beautiful is petite. I'm sure it's all fine.

I have diagnosed myself with hypothyroidism. I am also self medicating with natural woo-woo stuff. If I die, ummm . . . .

I have to leave you with something positive. Hmmmmm . . .

My parents celebrated their 45th anniversary a few days ago. They're still very, very much in love. And the best part about their relationship is that they are best friends. In the truest sense. They have what the rest of us can only hope for. Only, as Dad puts it, it is because they work hard at it every single day. A relationship like theirs doesn't just "happen." Dad is right. Dad's always right : )

Not a fabulous photo. Please ignore the candlestick in front of Mom's face . . .

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Meanwhile, back at sea level . . . .

This week's adventure was the ocean and the rain forest. I have so little time off this summer that we're trying to make the best of it when it does crop up. Turns out? Two days isn't enough time to squeeze in a full sized vacation.

We drug Youngest's friend Su with us out to Kalaloch. My family has been to Ocean Shores in the past, but we hadn't experienced Kalaloch. I'm all up for visiting places we've never seen before.

But . . .

my planning skills leave a little to be desired.

There are approximately 4 lodges/motels/campgrounds within a 100 mile radius of our destination. And waiting until 2 days before departure to make reservations? You won't be surprised to learn that the only vacancy I could find was at The Bates Motel.

During check in, Mister started mysteriously--and profusely--bleeding all over the desk. Seriously.

After that little episode, the trip was great. Except for my inexcusable moodiness. Unless you count the hormone peak 2 days prior to my period as excusable . . .

Beach 4 at Kalaoch, Olympic National Forest

Where the continent comes to a lovely halt and the endless, beautiful Pacific Ocean takes over. I am awed by this.

the kids running in the surf

awwww, I just love this guy

tide pool

Quinault Rain Forest



Youngest splashing his friend mercilessly

Payback is a wet, cold bitch. Good on ya, Su!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

y'all have Captain Whitenoise to thank for this : )

On with the boringosity! Captain Whitenoise suggested I prove up on my claim that I live in a beautiful area of the world. So the following tedium is his responsibility. E-mail him with your complaints ; )

First of all, here is a close-up look at the wonderful little city of Victoria (I did not take this photo)

And this is another view of the same city. From my side of the border. High atop Hurricane Ridge. (Victoria is the hazy little city across the water. You see it, right?)

We did a little hike on my day off this week. Well, we were led to believe it was a "little" hike. Only 3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 750 feet. Hubby is quite sure that it was more like 4.5 to 5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 3,000,000 feet. Approximately.

But it was so worth it.

To wit:

Olympic Mountain Peaks

Across the straits, Mt. Baker of the Cascade range

I know it's only water--but it's unceasingly beautiful, isn't it?

Butterflies? Do not like to hold still to have their pictures taken. Bastards.

Neither do chipmunks. In fact, the way they scurry and dart and continually search and get easily distracted? It's like they're smoking crack. I'm just sayin'.

Bambi patiently waited for me to take my little picture and leave him alone.

So did he.

And so did she : )

Everything was in bloom and the smell was refreshing and heavenly!

Avalanche Lily. I think . . .


A red flower of some sort. Accompanied beautifully by lupine.

It was a day to give thanks just for being alive.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New camera! OR, Country Mouse hits untold heights of boring!

Sweet Mister got me the new camera I'd been longing for! Well actually he got more than the new camera I wanted. He ended up buying a used one from a friend. A used Nikon D70s. It's far more camera than I really need--with 4 really cool lenses to boot!

I'm excited.

I'm intimidated!

I'm trying to learn.

Ten weeks until baby Lily is due--I'd better learn quickly : )

Youngest is already an excellent uncle to Beautiful's boyfriend's Little Guy

and sweet Mister was totally cut out for the grandpa role!

test shot at the beach. cool : )

This kind of conversation is typical for a married couple, right?

Hubby was doing some research on something car related. I was trying to ask him some questions about my new camera. He was too involved to hear me. I had no choice but to speak the sentence that I knew would reach his ears:

"If you're not going to pay attention to me then I'm going to be forced to get a boyfriend."

"You already have one--his name is Guy."

"Yeah, but he doesn't take me out. And he doesn't buy me jewelry. And he doesn't whisper sweet nothings in my ear. He's not doing me a lot of good."

"He's not doing me much good either."

"In fact, since I'm the one always going to see him and bringing medicine and taking him grocery shopping and doing nice little things to cheer him up, it's almost like he's a kept man."

"He'd better not be."

Hubby's tolerance level is outstanding, but even he has his limit : )

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

an important movie review

Is this movie even still playing in theaters? I'm too lazy to check.

A quick synopsis of Iron Man:

Robert Downey, Jr. looks hot and is arrogant. Something bad happens. There are some people and some stuff.

RDJ continues to look hot; spontaneously grows a soul. Looks hot some more. Stuff happens. I think there's a bad guy. And some sort of marvelous invention. Whatever.

In the end, RDJ looks hot, continues to have a soul but also regains a little of his former cockiness.