Monthly Archives: August 2011


Where is Emily Post when I need her? Recently Dan and I stayed a few nights at the Orcas Hotel on Orcas Island, Washington. Here’s the link: We stayed in the Starboard View Room. Check it out. It is a fabulous place.

The Orcas Hotel is over 100 years old and for a variety of reasons, we shared a bathroom with the guests in three other rooms. At first I thought that might be major ick factor. But aside from someone continually leaving the toilet lid up with tissue floating in the bowl, it was not a problem. Never did I have to wait to use any of the facilities.

But here is my quandary. What is the correct protocol regarding soap when you are using a shared shower? I have never seen that covered in any etiquette books. Our room was stocked with little motel bar soaps to use in the shower. Usually when I stay multiple days in a motel, I just leave the bar in the shower to use the next day. But at the Orcas hotel, in all likelihood someone who is not my husband will be using the shower before then. There was no provision made for carrying it back to our room. I suppose I could have rewrapped it in the wrapper. But have you ever used a bar of soap that has been handled in that fashion? The wrapper dries to the soap and you end up with little bits of wrapper stuck to your body. Yuck! Packing it back to the room sans wrapper didn’t seem like the way to go. besides what am I going to do with it when I get back to my room? Set it on the antique dresser? I think not. Throwing it away seems to be extremely wasteful and probably very bad for the environment. But how disgusting would it be to hop into the shower and find someone else’s soap in the soap dish! I don’t even want to think about what that soap may have touched. Without surgical gloves, I am not touching that. Eeew. Well, I finally decided to just throw it away, but I compromised. I felt guilty when I did it.


Decisions, decisions

Yesterday morning I woke up in another state. It wasn’t a surprise. It was where I went to sleep the night before. I was staying at my cousin’s house in Winlock, Washington in their fifth wheel. Well, the fifth wheel has shades and my cousin very graciously pulled them all down. I had no idea that the reason I keep waking up at 6 am was because my bedroom had become light. I know that now because I slept solidly until 8:30. I even slept through a man coming and taking away some heavy machinery which I’m told was rather noisy.

No one else there is as fixated on breakfast as I am, so there was only tea. Two hours later, I finally spoke up and was offered pie with ice cream or without. Well, gee. What would you do? I had pie for brunch. It was lovely. Fruit, grain, milk…balanced meal. Then Marlene took us to see a few things including the B&B that we might stay in for the wedding. And I dawdled. I am a dawdler, unless I want something fast. Then I think other dawdlers are SO inconsiderate.

Finally around noon, I took off. The pie turned out to be surprisingly filling and stayed with me for quite awhile. Around three o’clock, I started to get hungry. I wasn’t really sure what I was hungry for, but I faced a quandary. In addition to wanting to eat, I was also anxious to get off the road and be home. Because I’m not multi-tasking while I’m eating, that meant that I would have to sacrifice one for the other. Which to choose? I’ve never had this dilemma before. In the past, I would have found something portable to eat and munched away while on the road. But that was no longer an option. I drove by stores and Subways and thought about stopping. But every time, I found that I just wanted to get home. Home, home, home. Finally I had to stop to use the little driver’s room. I stopped at Ray’s in Veneta to use their facilities. Then I felt guilty for not buying something. Hmmm. I finally settled on a banana which I ate leaning against the back of my car. I enjoyed the banana and it filled me up more than I expected. Back on the road. But the whole stop cost me much more time than the banana. I ended up at the end of a train of 10 cars (I counted, which is rather tricky going around curves.) cars behind a motorhome. Sigh. Maybe I shouldn’t have stopped at all. What are the rules about multi-tasking while peeing?

Is this a good thing?

Strange things have been happening. Today I bought a mug of hot chocolate while Dan was running the Circle the Bay 30K road race. (Yes, you read that correctly. 30K. The man is either a stud or a lunatic.) It came in a pretty clear glass cup with a nice mound of whipped cream on top and chocolate sprinkles. Really it was a thing of beauty. I sat in the lovely shop (Kafe 101 in Coos Bay) in a comfy couch and put my feet up on the ottoman. About 2/3 of the way through the hot chocolate I felt like I’d had enough. OK, here’s the thing. It is my deeply held belief that you cannot ever have “enough” hot chocolate. Never. It is one of the best things to put in your mouth ever invented. But I had had enough. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened since I started not multi-tasking while eating. Yesterday I actually threw out soup because I had eaten all of it I wanted. And this was potato cheese soup which I love. What is going on here? And is it a good thing? I suppose from a health standpoint, not overeating is a good thing. I am assuming that eating any more would have been overeating. But here’s the thing. I like to overeat. I like the feeling of food I love in my mouth. I want to eat more and more of it. I lift weights so I can overeat. And now that pleasure has been taken away. Well, there are only 25 more days left this month. I will either decide that it is a good thing after all and continue. Or I will stop and drink all the hot chocolate I can hold.


One of our family traditions is to watch a movie together on Saturday night while eating a dessert that I made that day. Last week it was peanut butter chocolate chip pizzookies. You don’t know what a pizzookie is? Oh you poor thing. There is a chain of restaurants called BJ’s (not to be confused with the wonderful BJ’s Ice Cream here in Florence) that serves, among other things, pizza. On their dessert menu is a concoction called a pizzookie. They take a personal pizza pan, fill it with cookie dough, bake it and then top it with a mound of ice cream. So now you know. It is tricky to find the pans and I finally had to settle on small spring-form pans. We suffer, but manage. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the tradition.

This tradition is totally against the rules of this month’s change. Obviously, we are eating AND watching a movie, definitely multi-tasking….or at least dual-tasking. Do I have to give up either the movie or the dessert and watch my family have all the fun? I do not. It is my challenge, therefore I make the rules. I declare that Saturday night movie night is a worthy exception to the rule! It’s good to be queen.


The first thing you need to know about me is that I love to eat. I think hobbits have the right idea. First there’s breakfast, then second breakfast (what else!), elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Since I am not a hobbit, but a middle-aged woman who doesn’t want to be featured on a reality show, I have cut it back to five: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.

The second thing to know about me is that I’m very tactile. How things feel is very, very important. I have continued to read boring books because the pages felt so nice. I pet people who are wearing velour. Always with their permission, of course. Otherwise it would just be weird.

This morning, for morning snack I decided to have a nectarine and two graham crackers.  since it was too chilly to sit on the front porch, I sat in my kitchen and looked at….my kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kitchen.  It’s black and white and red and all farm-housey (Yes, I made that word up.  That’s what we get to do in English.)  But, it’s not so fun to watch it do nothing.  Wait!  There’s Dan in the garage.  Gee, he looks cute.  So I got up to give him a kiss.  (I left my food at the table.  No eating and kissing occurred concurrently.)  Sat back down.  I’m cold.  Hmm.  Hot chocolate!  That’s what I need.  Then I’d have something to wrap my hand around between bites.  Got up.  Made hot chocolate.  Yum.  Dipped graham cracker in hot chocolate.  Dipped again to catch graham cracker bit that fell off in the hot chocolate.  Yum.  Nectarine….eeew, pithy.  Hot chocolate, yum.  Graham cracker, yum.  Nectarine, eeew.  OK, if I’m going to have to actually pay attention to what I’m eating, I am absolutely not going to eat a pithy nectarine.  I gave it to the chickens who seemed to enjoy it.  They don’t have such discerning palates.  Don’t tell my mother.

Starting out

So, the other day I watched this TED talk by Matt Cutts:  (Someday I’ll figure out how to link these things, but I’m just starting out.)  The idea is to change your life one month at a time.  Mr. Cutts points out that if we change nothing, the month will go by anyway, so we might as well try something.  So, I’m taking the challenge.  For the month of August, I am giving up multi-tasking while I’m eating.  The only exceptions are to converse with whomever I’m eating with and to watch what is happening around me.  Today was Day ONE.  It was weird eating my breakfast without reading the paper.  At lunch I used my lovely tray that the boys got me for Mother’s Day, that at the time I thought was a useless gift, to take lunch out on the front porch.  I sat at my little table that I bought at T.J. Maxx in March that was just what I had been looking for for years.  I watched a tiger swallowtail butterfly feed at the Jupiter’s Beard.  A silly bird kept coming to the feeder above my head, but flitting away as soon as I moved.  It was lovely.  And here’s the thing.  Normally I want to eat all afternoon, but today I didn’t.  Maybe it was that I was really full from my husband’s jambalaya left-overs or maybe it was that I had tasted more of my food.  Only time will tell.  Dinner was a bit tricky.  In the middle of dinner, Dan asked me if I had enough credit hours to move over a column on the salary schedule.  Well, that was just too interesting to put off.  I will have 32 in two weeks, so I might have enough for a nice little raise.  So, I popped up and found the correct file to check.  I’m not sure, but I think I had a bite or two while I was checking.   Old habits and all.  Just in case you’re wondering, I’m not anywhere near moving across.  But next year I will get to move across two columns!  Something to look forward.  With the pay raise, it will take me 11 1/2 years to pay back my student loans (not counting interest).  Now isn’t that a depressing thought!  What was I thinking?

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