May 30, 2010

Ferry Boats and Cupcakes

Hi everyone!

Yesterday my hubby bought a computer gizmo that makes it easy to retrieve files and photos from old computer hard drives.  A co-worker asked hubby to help him get photos off of a computer that has expired.  And since we have several old computers and hard drives in the house he worked on some of ours too.  The first old drive he dug into had some old photos that I love and missed.  Pictures from our wedding!

Hubby and I are going to celebrate 19 years of togetherness in November, but we have been married for only twelve of those years.  We decided to get married on the anniversary of the day we met since we already remembered that date.  :o)  This was the second marriage for both of us so we did not want the big, elaborate wedding.  Plus, we did not have a lot of money so we needed an inexpensive location.

After mulling over several options for wedding and reception halls we still had not decided on a venue.  We looked at several local halls that were available, some were very nice and some...not.  But they all had one thing in common, too expensive!  We had a date that was approaching, but no location!  I was chatting with my, soon to be, mother in law and we were tossing about ideas and she said "what about the ferry?"

The ferry??  Brilliant idea!  Washington has many lovely ferry boats and hubby and I both loved to ride them.  And best of all...they did not charge for using the boat for a wedding!!  We only had to pay for the ride.  We chose the ferry boat that was closest to our home and one of our favorites.  The ferry Rhododendron went from Tacoma, WA to Vashon Island.  We would just have everyone walk on the boat, ride across to the island and back.  Perfect!  We bought every guest a walk on ticket and this was much cheaper than any of the rental halls we had looked at.  Plus the scenery would be beautiful!

We finally had our venue and the date!  Next up, the usual wedding suspects.  Dress, suit, invitations and flowers.  And a cake!  Oh yes, we needed food for the reception! 

We worked out the details, I printed and cut and pasted the wedding invitations.  I found a pretty dress to wear and we bought hubby a suit.  Dear daughter was my maid of honor.  Dear daughter is actually my step daughter but since we have been together since she was five, well she is my daughter.  More on that story another day.

Next we needed to decide on what to serve at the reception.  Did we want a traditional cake?  Nope, nothing was very traditional up to that point so why start now!  I went to our neighborhood Safeway store and ordered cupcakes for the reception.  We had white cake with white frosting cupcakes.  They were decorated with little wedding rings on top.  The store put the cupcakes in individual plastic cups with lids so we could easily pass them out.  We bought white lunch bags and every bag had a cupcake, a few Hershey's hugs and kisses and a small bottle of Martinelli's bubbly apple cider.

Dear daughter with her cupcake bag.

Now having our wedding on the ferry we had a time schedule to adhere to.  We had to time our plans to the length of the boat trip, over to the island and back.  The Point Defiance / Vashon Island ferry trip is one of their shortest.  The ride is 20 minutes each way with about 10 minutes island side while the cars unloaded and reloaded.  We had less than an hour for our wedding and our reception!  We had the wedding on the way over to the island and our reception on the way back.

Since we were not in international waters the captain of the ship could not marry us.  Yes, I checked.  We had to hire a minister to come with us to perform the ceremony.  I looked into hiring a judge but they wanted too much money.  We finally met with a nice minister in our town.  We met with him to discuss our plans and when we got to the part about the whole thing taking place on the ferry he got a funny look on his face.  We had picked a minister that was horribly afraid of boats and crossing over water!  We explained that it was a very big boat and a very safe ride.  He still looked kind of green about the idea but we left it to his wife to change his mind.  She did and he overcame his fear and performed our ceremony.

Everything was all set, we were going to get married!!  I was so excited and exhausted all at the same time.  But wait....hubby had not proposed yet!  I know, cart before the horse.  Well, after seven years of living together and periodically discussing marriage, when he finally said OK, I jumped!  The morning of our wedding hubby and I went out for breakfast, an egg mcmuffin and orange juice.  We drove home with our breakfast and hubby drove through the park just a few blocks away from home.  He pulled over at one of the prettiest spots and proposed.   Awwww... ;o)

Our family and friends gathered in the waiting room for our ferry to arrive.  Everyone was given a treat bag with their wedding cupcake.  A friend had gone on the round trip just before ours and decorated the boat.  It was lovely.  When the ferry arrived at the dock we all trooped on board and up to the passenger deck for the wedding.  It was so nice!  The boat had plenty of seating for everyone and once we were all settled we started the ceremony.

Family and friends waiting for the boat.  See the little boy in white tennis shoes?  He's now six foot, three inches tall!

Our nice, brave minister started in, hubby and I were gazing into each others eyes and hubby whispers to me "yada, yada, yada".  Well that is just about all I can remember of our wedding vows.  I do know they were lovely and sweet.  And we both said " I do".

We got married in late November.  See how bundled up my nephew's wife is?  And see me with no coat?  I was freezing!!  But my dress is pretty and I had dyed to match shoes.  They lost their color in the rain.  :o(

My brother and hubby.

Just after the "big kiss" we arrived at the other end of the boat ride.  While the ferry passengers drove off and more drove on we started our reception.  We visited with friends and family and everyone enjoyed their cupcakes.  Everyone but hubby and me!  We forgot to take one of the bags for ourselves!  The boat captain slowed the boat down a little and we had an extended trip back across the sound.  It was just the perfect reception!  Short and sweet.

When we returned to our starting point everyone gathered for goodbyes.  We loaded wedding gifts into the back of our SUV and headed off into the sunset!!  Well, almost.  We actually had dinner with my brother and got ready for our honeymoon trip to Hawaii.

Hubby's side of the family.  :o)

The nice man in glasses is my father in law.  He has the ring from his cupcake in his nose.  :o)

My wonderful mother in law and her late husband.  Right after the minister pronounced us married she came up to hug me.  She also whispered in my ear "he's all yours now, he can't come home anymore."  I am pretty sure she was teasing.  ;o)

My family.  :o)  My sister on the left and her husband behind her.  My niece, L. in the red coat, with her husband and son.

Family leaving the ferry. See that little girl in the red sweater?  That's our niece.   She's about to turn 17 and she's still cute as a button.

We had a truly memorable wedding.  Family and friends have told us that we had the best wedding.  We think so too.

May 27, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Hi everyone!

Today I met hubby at the grocery store for a quick run to stock up his truck for an overnight trip.  We went to our local Grocery Outlet store as they have really good prices on the cranberry juice he drinks non-stop.

I don't know if you have Grocery Outlet stores where you live, but they are kind of low rent stores.  They are like the Ross or TJ Maxx of the grocery world.  Leftovers and odd brands that you don't find in Safeway.  But they are a good place to get canned foods and staples.

So while shopping today we heard a loud commotion going on up near the check out stands.  We could hear a woman yelling and a man screaming "he's going to kill me!" over and over.  Hubby went up to look, I am a chicken and stayed put in the chocolate aisle.  Apparently a man had grabbed a woman's purse from her shopping cart and was trying to run out the store.  She screamed out and the store clerks stopped the bad guy before he ran outside.  Four men from the store were sitting on the guy until the police arrived.

What a dork!

So I am on my own again for the third night this week.  I get pretty lonely and really miss my hubby.  I am glad for the company of Ollie, Honey and Dodger but they really aren't very good conversationalists.  Lately Ollie has been sitting on the back of the couch on the other side of the living room instead of on my lap.  He is getting tired of Dodger biting and chewing on him and wants a break.  I can't blame him, but he is so cuddly!  I am looking forward to having hubby home for the Memorial Day weekend.

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

May 20, 2010

Irony, Gotta Love It

Hi everyone,

Sometimes irony shows it's hand in unexpected ways.

I was laid off over a year ago from a job that I had held for over eight years.  This fact still makes me crabby.

I worked in a small, older office building.  It was in a run down part of town, next to an entrance to an Air Force Base.  The building was sort of like a small strip mall.  There was space for four small companies to have an office.  During the last few years all of the offices were occupied.  The man I worked for owned the building.

The tenants were all nice and friendly.  I worked in a mortgage company and next door was an escrow company.  Since those two businesses go hand in hand in Washington, I became friends with the women in the escrow office.  The owner of the escrow office also ran a small food bank out of one of the other offices.  The last office was occupied by a small church.  The pastor was an elderly black man and as sweet as could be.

It was great.  The food bank would pick up donations from local grocery stores, one of which would send along the flowers and plants that were fading and slightly wilted.  They food bank would put them in big boxes outside their door and give them away for free.  It gave me a warm feeling working with nice people like that.  People that were generous and considerate.

As the sub prime mortgage fiasco hit it's stride our company began to have fewer and fewer customers.  And since the escrow office derived a significant portion of it's business from us, they began to falter too.  And since the owner of the escrow company owned the food bank, that business went down too.  The pastor never had much of a congregation and he left as well.  Within six months the office building was empty and four businesses had died.

Sometimes when driving to my mother in law's home we pass by my old office.  While driving past on Mother's Day we noticed the building was undergoing some renovations.  The building had been sold and the new owners were making some changes.  This made me curious so I decided to do a little investigating.  With a little poking around on the internet I started to put the pieces together and figured out who the new owners were and...what the new business would be.

My old office, the place where four small business had succumbed, is going to be a crematorium. 

Now I understand that some may not see the irony in this, but I sure do.  And a small part of me is kind of happy.

Next time will be bright and cheery, I promise.  ;o)

May 12, 2010


Hi everyone!

What a funny word - Humptulips.  There is a small town named Humptulips here in Washington State.  There is also a river of the same name.  Today I will share a story about the river.

I have shared some of the river adventures my husband and I have had with you on Puglette Ponders.  But just a brief catch up for the folks that have not heard those tales of woe.  My husband and I have a small, green plastic boat that we have taken on many adventures.  Some good, some bad.  Usually the bad involved me falling into the water or crashing into something.  We did have a lot of really great adventures in this little boat, I will share some of those at a later date.

Western Washington is blessed by an abundance of water ways.  I know...who would have thought with all the rain we would have lots of streams and rivers!?!  My husband and I would load our little green boat into the back of our old Isuzu Trooper and take off for camping and fishing on most weekends.  If we were going to float down a river we would take two cars and park one at our landing spot and take the trooper to the starting spot.  That way we would have a car to get back to the beginning of our trip to retrieve the vehicle that held the boat.  This was a good system and we had lots of fun using this method.

On one of our more memorable trips we drove the two vehicles to the Humptulips River and floated down a lovely river on a sunny summer day.  Sounds quite bucolic, right?  We had checked out the area on a previous trip and had selected a smaller tributary to launch the boat.  We studied maps and were excited to float through farmland and forests while fishing.

On the day of our trip we loaded up the cars with the boat and our fishing gear.  Since it was only going to be about a half day on the river we packed a small lunch and some snacks.  We were so happy to have another fun day on a river.  We had already scouted out a great landing spot with easy access and space to park our car.  We dropped of the small car we had and drove the SUV up to our pre-selected launch site.  We arrived at the spot that just a few weeks ago had been a full stream only to find that the water level was quite a bit lower.  Oh well, we were sure it would be fine.  The boat floats and water is flowing...let's go!

We had only gone a few hundred yards when we bottomed out.  Not enough water.  Oh well, let's just carry the boat a short way to where the stream resumes.  Easy Peasy.  We were able to float along again and the day looked promising.  I was sitting in the front of the boat guiding my husband while he manned the motor and steered. 

All of a sudden we came around a bend and Wham! Right into a beaver dam face first.  Luckily the water level was low and we did not capsize.  I just got a face full of small twigs and branches.  But we had to get out and carry the boat past the beaver dam.  Ok, back into the water.  So you know what a dam does in a river, right?  It blocks most of the water from flowing freely down the stream.  We ended up dragging the boat more and more as we went towards our goal, the Humptulips River.  We were getting pretty tired of dragging the boat and had resorted to scooting on our butts in the boat just so we didn't have to get out and drag that boat.  It was getting heavier and heavier each time we had to get out and pull it along a rocky stream bed.

By the time we reached the big river we were exhausted!  What a relief to see that the river was flowing freely.  We were really ready to just float along.  Ahhh...this is more like it!  We used our little motor when the current slowed down, but we mostly just went with the flow.  Delightful!  We thought we would float along for a few hours and land where we had parked our car.  We would just laugh about the troubles we had along the way.

But no, we had lost track of time and the day got away from us.  Pretty soon the sun started going down and dusk was arriving.  We had no idea where we were or how far we had to go until we reached our parked car.  Pretty soon the mosquitoes were out in droves.  We went through clouds of mosquitoes getting eaten alive.  Soon the mosquitoes were joined by bats.  The bats were swooping in to eat the nasty bugs.  Well that's just fine, but they have no sense of personal space.  I really want a bat to stay at least two hundred feet away from me at all times.

When you are lost, floating down a river in a cloud of mosquitoes and bats darkness falls really fast.  Soon we were floating in the dark without a flashlight in empty farmland and forests.  I will say that the sunset was just lovely.

We floated along looking for our landing spot.  I was starting to get really nervous about finding the beach where we had parked our car.  It was really dark and difficult to see.  The beach we had chosen for a landing area was just really a small, sandy spot surrounded by trees.  Were we ever going to go home??  I really wanted a nice, bright indoor space free from bats, bugs and water.

Finally we spotted a group of local teens partying.  I was thrilled to see other humans!!  We waved as we went past, the good feeling of a shared humanity fading with their light.  As we floated past, my husband recognized the beach as our landing spot.  Hallelujah!  The ordeal was over.  We could get out of the boat and go home!  I was overjoyed.

My joy dimmed a bit when I remembered that we had to go get the other vehicle, load the boat and drive two plus hours home.  When we got into the small car to head out to the SUV we looked at the clock and realized we had been on the river for over twelve hours.  We had only planned on a four hour trip.  I wanted to be home before dark.  I did not want to be scratched up and mosquito bitten.  Yes, I was a crabby pants girl.  >:o(

We did stop on the way home to get dinner at a Denny's.  I went to the restroom and when I saw myself in the mirror I wanted to cry.  My hair was going in a million different directions, I had a really bad sunburn and so many mosquito bites that I was just a lumpy mess.  Thank goodness I was finally able to wash my hands!

Looking back we realized that we had pulled our boat over most of ten miles of river and stream beds.  Not exactly what we had planned.  We have had many good laughs over this ordeal.  We shared the good and the bad.  It is one of our favorite stories to share.  I am glad to have shared it with all of you.
talk to you soon!

May 6, 2010

History Lesson

Hi everyone!

Thank you all so much for the love and support!  I even have followers!!  I am so excited.  :o)

I think that I should share a bit of my history with you.  Many of my best memories involved my niece, L.  She was my lovely model in my first post.  We have been together since the day I was born.  I was born an aunt.

I am the youngest of four children.  I am 52 years old.  Yikes!  I have two brothers and one sister.  One of my brothers passed away when I was in my late teens.  He was L's father.  My parents were older by the time I arrived.  My mom was 42 and my dad was 45.  There is an eleven year gap between me and my brother D.  Before that there are two siblings born at least a decade earlier, Brother B and Sister S.  My sister is 20 years older than I am.  (Sorry sister)  Brother B was two years older than my sister.

So you see, after all of this convoluted family tree explanation, I have siblings that were already adults when I was born.  And brother B had a daughter who is one year, two months older than me.  Okay, you may put your pencils down.  No more math!

L and I were brought up like sisters.  We were always together.  I have very few early childhood memories that don't include L.  We played together and fought together.  She taught me how to read.  She was a grade ahead of me in school so when she went to kindergarten she would teach me what she had learned.  We played dress up together, we were Gladys and Gertrude.  Those were the funniest names we could think of.  We would raid our mothers closets and jewelry boxes and be adults.  I would raid my mothers closet again as a teen...she had cashmere sweaters from the forties and fifties!  They were heavenly!

L and I had tons of adventures together.  Lots of girlish giggling and whispering.  So when I graduated from high school, it wasn't too long before I followed her once again into cosmetology.  She loved it and was very good at it.  She is still a hairstylist today.  Me?  Not so much.  I gave it up after about ten years.

One of my favorite memories of L is of a trip to a deli for lunch.  There was a deli that had the best sandwiches.  I am still searching for something comparable.  I may never find it.  The Pot Belly Deli was just a small sandwich shop but they really knew how to build a great sandwich.  This deli was down the hill from our high school and we would drive down for lunch many days.  This one trip was especially memorable.

My first car was a 1967 VW Bug.  I loved that car.  It was so much fun!  I did not get my driver's license until I was 18 so this trip to the deli was after high school.  L and I were just out running around town, laughing and having fun as always.  We stopped and had our lunch at Pot Belly Deli.  The deli was on a city street that had diagonal parking spaces all along the sidewalks.  We parked across the street from the sandwich shop.

L and I were talking and giggling over something as usual and walked out of the deli and crossed the street to my car.  We were both laughing and walking, not really paying attention to much except each other.  You know how you walk with a good friend to get into a car...together until you reach the car and then you separate to go to opposite sides of the vehicle.  That's the picture of us two girls.  Walking together and then separating.

I was still giggling about whatever and went to the driver's side of my car and got in.  When I looked to my right for L...well, let's just say she was not in my car.  I could see her...sitting in another VW Bug about three cars down!!  I can remember seeing her in that other car and just howling in laughter until I could not breathe.  She came running back to my car and hopped in, terribly embarrassed about getting into a stranger's car.

After a few minutes I was able to catch my breath to ask her about what the heck happened??!!  Apparently the other VW was the same color as mine and was unlocked.  She was not paying attention and walked up and got in the wrong car.  We were in hysterics all the way home!

Now I understand that this may not be as funny to you as it was to us.  But that is one of the best days in my life.  Good food, great friends and a memory to last a lifetime.  There were so many more days of breathless laughter we shared.  I hope you have all shared that kind of laughter with someone you know, the kind that has you rolling around gasping for air, unable to take a breath because you are laughing so hard.

I love you L!

Until next time my friends.

May 4, 2010

I Have Something to Say!

Hi everyone,

Well, here we are on a brand new blog.  Many of you may know me as Puglette from Puglette Ponders.  I will continue that blog as a showcase for my dogs and my life as a crazy pug lady.  I am starting this new blog to try to get more of my life out in writing.  I have a lot of funny anecdotes, thoughts and ideas to share about my past, present and future.  I hope you won't mind and I hope you will come back to read more and get to know me.

This morning I had as I was reading my favorite blogs I had a thought...I know, shocking.  I was reading my pal JD's post about Drag Queens.  As I was formulating my comment in my head I realized that my comment would be rather long as I had a story to share.  Here's the thought:  I have stuff to share and I think other people may want to read it.  I understand that this is a bit vain, but I really do have some fun and interesting stuff to write about.  I also realized that I want to write about more than my dogs.

Now don't get me wrong, I love writing about those crazy dogs.  They are a huge part of my life.  I have two of them snoring on my lap as i type this.  But I also love words.  I love them so much!!  I love to read them and write them.  I like to learn about them and share them.  I have to have a book to read, even if I am not reading it at the moment.  You just don't know when the mood will strike to read and I must be prepared. is the story I wanted to share on JD's blog I Do Things.  Please go read her post about drag queen's if you haven't already.  It's very funny and will give you two new motto's to live by.

When I graduated from high school I was adrift like many people my age.  I had no idea what to do with myself.  After some thought I decided to go to cosmetology school with my niece.  Yes, beauty school.  School was loads of fun, there were quite a few crazy characters in the class.

One of the fun events we participated in was a hairstyle competition.  We practiced and practiced on our rubber doll heads.  We also got to practice on the victim friend we selected to be our model.  I chose my niece as she is a lovely woman and has fabulous hair.  Thick and long with tons of body.  The absolute opposite of mine.  Anyway, I thought I had a winning hairstyle and was really pleased with myself.

But the winner of the competition was a young gay man.  His model was stunning.  She had long, flowing black hair and beautiful features.  She was a very petite Asian woman and had a beautiful kimono and the traditional sandals to go with it.  She was absolutely lovely.  She looked like a winner.  She made my sweet hairstyle with its braids and curls and baby pink rosebuds look like Pippi Longstocking's braids!

The following school day the class was abuzz with rumour and speculation.  Was the beautiful Asian girl really a boy???  Was she a drag queen friend of the stylist?  Could she really tuck everything away?  How can she walk like that? YES!!  She was really a He.  All of the competitors were in a huff.  The competition rules stated that the model was to be a female.  But...but...that person had a penis!  The judges did not know what to do.   I didn't care, the hair was perfect and so was the costume.  A winner is a winner, with or without panties.

So there we go, post Number One.  I hope you will come back to visit again.  I have more wacky adventures to share and also just plain thoughts and musings.  This blog, like me, is a work in progress.
Thanks for stopping by!
Crabby Pants Judy