Friday, October 26, 2012

Oscar is '3'

Our dog Oscar just turned 3 on October 25th.
We don't know his exact birthday as he was actually found by a dumpster around three years ago by a friend of my fiances.
He decided to take in the puppy, who had a broken leg and with the help of a vet he turned into a happy, healthy little rascal.
Birthdays are important to us, so we ensured each one of our pets have a special day each and every year.
This year I made him his favorite meal...chicken cupcakes with mashed potatoes and Mexican corn gravy.
We also had a dutch apple pie and soda [which is a rare treat in our home].
Along with his big sister Sophie, we had a good celebration.

Closet Door Mishap

We were excited!
Okay, I exaggerate a teeny weeny bit.
But, alas we'd saved up a small micro fortune to replace not one set...but three sets of closet doors in our humble abode.
We originally had that boring builder beige brown, and we're replacing them with white paneled doors.
Well we browsed Lowe's and Home Depot, and disliked the white paneled doors that looked like they were constructed out of cardboard.
So we decided on bi-fold doors.
We merrily went home, but noticed the height difference meant they wouldn't be able to be opened.
All this effort for some closet doors.
So, we turned them into sliding doors...and Cory glued the middle part so they look OFFICIALLY near perfect.
How have you dealt with closet door changes?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's getting colder

It's starting to get a little chilly in Washington State. We did our last mow of the season this past week and have been busy with appointments, both dentist and eye's as well as getting our house more organized. It's an ongoing process, and the cold weather unfortunately slows me down.
But alas, I'll somehow pull everything off. Here are a few photos we took of our house, surrounded in Fall splender.
Graylands, our home

The pathway to our front door

The park accross the road

Sophie, playing in the back garden

Oscar, smelling the flowers

Buster, aka Buster P.Kitten enjoying the sunshine
How cute are those three? We also have two other cats, who stay indoors and so they didn't make an appearance at our photo shoot. But I'm sure they'll show up in our holiday photos.
Have a good week, ya'll.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Brady Bunch


Do you often feel like your family isn't perfect? Well neither was the Brady Bunch. Alexa Griffith from Imagine Hope explains:

"At Imagine Hope we help many blended families. I am currently in a blended family and I come from a blended family. Perhaps that is why my sister Natalie (who I never refer to as my step sister) and I loved to watch the reruns of The Brady Bunch. Since our “group had somehow formed a family”, Natalie and I would pretend to be Marcia and Jan when we were little. We probably watched every episode multiple times. I am sure we wondered, “why can’t our older brother be as nice as Greg?” or “why can’t we have a live-in maid as nice as Alice?” The show made us believe that family life was easy, and all family relationships were happy. Many Americans were first exposed to “blended families” via this late sixties sitcom. Later, the Brady Bunch was sometimes even used as an analogy for a “perfect family”. But were they really perfect?

The Brady Bunch

Despite my great temptation to write about the rumors and myths of the behind the scenes antics of the show, I will focus on the dysfunctional family characteristics of the characters. Yes, I am saying that the Brady Bunch was a dysfunctional family! Before you launch into calling me a lying heathen blasphemer, hear me out.

First of all, let us start with the marriage of Carol Martin to Mike Brady. We are to believe that Mike’s wife and Greg, Peter and Bobby’s mother is deceased. However, it is never said directly. Mike hints around about it in a conversation in the “wedding” episode, but the mom is never spoken of. This is a huge mistake in raising children who have lost a parent. We do not see the father allowing conversations about the mother, no rituals celebrating the mother, no pictures of the mother, and no visits from the mother’s family. Mike shows no grief over the loss of his wife. Ignoring that there was a loss is a violation of the children’s right to mourn.

Secondly, we are to believe that Carol is divorced from Marcia, Jan, and Cindy’s father. We never hear much about that. We never see the father. The girls never have parenting time with their father. There are no weekends with Dad, no weeknight dinners, no nightly phone calls (on that silly pay phone Mike installed to teach the kids financial responsibility only to be inconvenienced in the end) and no visits with grandparents from Father’s side. In fact, they change their name to the new step father’s name and call him Dad! This is not a healthy transition into a blended family situation either.

Now I will address the actual blending of the families. There were few actual issues or challenges addressed on the show. In the first season, the boys did have a bit of difficulty adjusting to their new step mother, and continued to go to Alice for their “mothering”. This is a very healthy transition while the kids test waters to see if this new mulleted blond mom is going to love them. Alas, the wise Alice encourages bonding between the boys and Carol, only to be left feeling rejected and irrelevant. So what does Alice do? She becomes passive aggressive to address her codependency and runs away. And what does the family do in response? They enable her codependency and run after her telling her how wonderful and needed she is. Not only in one episode, but in two!

As far as the children go, and the children are the focus of the show, they did not have many typical struggles of blended families. They are of the same religion (we presume), same ethnicity, same socio- economic status and blend easily into the same role. However, there is little feuding for “alpha” between Marcia and Greg. Marcia being the oldest girl and Greg being the oldest boy would have been jockeying for position as “leader” of the kids. But in the end, Marcia and Greg were highly parentified. That is, they were left parenting the younger children often with advice, directions, and comfort.

I know that there was a live-in maid, and a stay at home mom, but I believe chores and responsibilities are every child’s God given right. They need family responsibilities so that they can learn value and feel valuable as a member of their family. What chores did the children have? Only one time did we see Carol ask for help, when she asked Peter to clean out the fireplace. How did entitled Peter respond? He felt that his “mom” was treating him like Cinderella and tried to run away (wow- we see the codependency again). How does Carol respond? She offers to run away with Peter! I have never recommended that approach in any of my parenting sessions.

The last that I will discuss (but far from the last example) is sexual discrimination. A good example is how Greg got the attic room because he was “becoming a man”. I do believe Marcia was also becoming a woman ( and since girls mature earlier than boys, the debated one year age difference should have equaled out) yet the boy gets the room. One example that really stuck in my craw was the episode where Marcia and Greg competed for class president. Both siblings begin in a heated race, but once Marcia sees Greg acting chivalrous and defends her honor while quashing an ugly rumor, she swoons and concedes. CONCEDES!!! Never mind the fact that the boys in the house refuse to see a female doctor. Sexual discrimination in this house shows the boys that females are in a “one down” position. What kind of message do you feel it may show the girls?"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trip to New England: Part Three

Day Five:
We started our day with breakfast at The Harvard Inn (where we were staying)

We then walked around Cambridge and Harvard Yard.

We had a nice dinner at Brucci's, the meal was delicious.
Day Six:
We went to downtown Boston to walk the Freedom trail, and to discover the North End. It's like a little Italy.

We also toured the John F. Kennedy presidential museum.

 before heading back to the airport and heading home. We were exhausted when we returned.
I have never eaten so much seafood in my whole life...neither has Cory. I really enjoyed all the historical buildings and there just seemed so much to take in at once.
We shall return.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Trip to New England: Part Two

Day Three continued:
After the Cape Cod Railway, we headed over to The Egg & I for Lunch.

Then we headed to the beach to watch the sunset. It was beautiful.

That night we went to dinner at a restaurant called Island Merchant. We had a really nice waitress whose from Florida, ambient candlelight and a jazz band performing. It was a memorable evening.
Day Four:
Cory celebrated his birthday while we were in New England. We drove up to Boston and walked along the Rose Kennedy green way. We stopped for lunch and also saw a street performer. That night we checked into The Inn at Harvard. We felt it was a little too posh for us, but overall in a nice location, just steps away from Harvard University.


That night for dinner Cory and I ate at an Indian restaurant. It was delicious!
To be continued...


Trip to New England: Part One

We recently embarked on a trip to New England. We hired a car (a silver Ford Fusion) and drove to Seattle airport, and flew via Newark to Boston.
When we arrived we stayed our first night at the Four Points Sheraton. It was a nice stay and we indulged on some comfort food at the pub on the main floor.
Day One:
Bright and early the next morning we got our hire car for the week, a silver Jeep Patriot and drove to Hyannis on the Cape. We had a delicious lunch at the Beach Tree on Main Street.
Cory indulged in a full rack of ribs. He only managed half though.

I had a salmon taco and a seafood cauldron with shrimp, lobster and scallops.
Cory in front of our hire car
Then we went to the coast and took many photos.

While in the Cape we stayed at the Hyannis Harbor Hotel, which I highly recommend. It was across the road from the dock, and close to many restaurants and Main street.
That night we walked up Main Street and we fell in love with the handmade candies at Kandy's Korner.
At night all the cutesy buildings are lit up, and the streets are alive with fellow tourists taking a stroll or going out to eat.
That day we had Spanky's for dinner, and we also sampled a beer at the British Beer Co.
Day Two:
The next day we crossed the road and took a harbor cruise, which sailed past the Kennedy compound. I dressed for a Fall day, but by lunchtime we were roasting and I had just a tank top to wear.
The ticket booth. Right next to Spanky's Clam Shack.

Cory was eager to take lots of photos.

Yes, I blinked.

Later that day we drove out to dinner and both of us indulged in a lobster roll, yes...even Cory! That night we ate at Spanky's again, as we enjoyed it so much the evening before.
Day Three:
The next day, we got up early and went on a scenic train ride on the Cape Cod Railway...we saw lots of TREES and cranberry bogs.

To be continued...
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