Author Archives: mrs & mrs thrift

exit night enter light

OH GLORIOUS DAY! We’ve killed all the cardboard boxes in the living room & kitchen, so now there’s a little space/time to “cute up” the place. Getting through the cardboard has been a challenge – we’ve divided it into “good reusable boxes” that we plan to give to someone in need of cardboard boxes, and “end of the line boxes” that are then further divided into boxes for the compost pile and boxes for the recycling bin. Good thing we’re staying in this house for a while, because the cardboard guilt is a little overwhelming! Yes, it’s the year 2009 and you have to think about the carbon footprint of your cardboard moving boxes. We reused some friends’ boxes, so many of them were already on their 2nd or 3rd or 4th life. I discovered something interesting, too. Using sheets of cardboard on top of the worm bins and the compost bin has resulted in total annihilation of all flies and pests around our compost areas. The cardboard breaks down and you can just work it into the pile. (but, from experience, don’t forget to remove all the tape and staples first!)

Anyway, enough compost nerdery. We’ve been working on our home. Here’s a photo of our entryway during our home inspection (Featuring our beloved Home Inspector)

And Krista has had a nice weekend of free time to work on the house, so here’s the entryway I come home to after work these days. This tableau includes my latest obsession: a vintage paint by number portrait of two standard black poodles. I can’t explain why I’m so obsessed with this painting, but it shows up in my dreams! Seriously! I spent a year debating whether or not to buy it from a local antique mall, and finally Krista said “JUST DO IT!”

We also have a fantastic print (“Space Garden”) from Apak!’s etsy shop and two vintage needlepoint gnomes from an antique mall in south Tacoma with a mysteriously large gnome population. Oh, you want to see the gnomes more closely? Fantastic! Because I want to show them to you.

Perhaps someday soon we will take some photos of our living space, and the beautiful giant empty space in the middle of the room that used to be filled with unpacked boxes. We have so much to be thankful for this year!

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my favorite dinner

Goodness, I’ve been spending so much time lounging around enjoying our new rights (Thanks again, Voters of Washington!), I forgot to write about our latest obsession.

Do you know who has the best restaurant recommendations in our household? It’s Levi. He has a great memory, a good sense of direction, friends/family who take him to interesting and diverse places, and a discerning palate. So if you need to find some place good or something specific, just ask him.

I’ve been complaining for months, maybe years, about a lack of vegetarian pho in Olympia. Everyone I have consulted has agreed with me – no veggie pho, or at least none worth mentioning. So, we would drive to Tacoma to eat at Nhu Thuy when the pho cravings were too powerful to resist. And then, one night when Krista was at work, Levi was like, “Can we get pho for dinner?” I reminded him there was no good veggie pho and I didn’t feel like driving to Tacoma, and he told me he found a place in Olympia. They have tofu pho with vegetarian broth, which is actually not even on the menu. The first time we went, the lady there was so sweet to us, asking how long we’d been vegetarians and complimenting us on our lifestyle choice. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often get that kind of response when I order vegetarian food. Since then, Pho Hoa has become a hotly anticipated biweekly treat. With thin slivers of onion, lots of basil, crunchy cold bean sprouts, lime juice and a some chili sauce, it’s the world’s most wonderful winter dinner.

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Weekend Update

Let me begin with the Levi update. There was a school-wide assembly where they acknowledged the kids with 4.0 GPAs, including ours! He came home and said, “I have good news for me, and bad news for your wallet.” Yes, we pay for A’s. I’d pay him to clean his room, too, if he would…

He also recently wrote the funniest book project for school. They had to create a whole newspaper based on a book, which is a pretty difficult project. His stories and advertisements were so clever and the illustrations were fantastic. He is definitely one of my favorite authors. Maybe someday he’ll bring the newspaper home & I can post part of it here. He got 130 out of 100 points available, and special recognition from his teacher in class for the quality of his newspaper.

The next school project he’s working on has something to do with black holes eating giant stars. No, seriously. We’ve been hunting down all the monster black hole resources that the library system has to offer. I think we’ve been to the library 3 times this week. I know about 1/20th as much as Levi already knows about black holes, so hopefully some of those resources are good.

Krista and I have been working on the house. Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time shopping for light fixtures. It’s hard to imagine what a light fixture would really look like in your house. We’ve made a solid effort at finding antique light fixtures, but have mostly been striking out. We found a spectacular light at an antique show in Puyallup a few weeks back, but it was way outside the budget. I have spent hours this week on Schoolhouse Electric, Rejuvenation, and Ebay. I have had some bad Ebay luck this week, but Krista has been successful, scoring a lot of antique black porcelain door knobs. She won more than we have doors in the house, so we can resell the extras to offset the (already very low) price. We are saving at least $100 on doorknobs thanks to her lucky win. Have I mentioned that every single door in our house is a different size? I don’t know enough about the house to even begin to guess how that happened, but with the new doorknobs, something is going to be consistent about our doors.

We finally found the best furniture arrangement for our living room, after spending several hours moving the furniture around and hanging out in all the different seats. All that time was well-spent. Every time I walk into the living room, I am overwhelmed by how much I love that room. Exciting stuff, I know. I estimate our house will be ready to show off around 2015.

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A Big Reveal

We’re working on the house again, since Krista has finished training at work (yay!). She’s nearly finished painting the bay window. I had an afternoon at home finally, so I took all the painter’s tape off the tiny windows, which was a phenomenal pain, but it was worth it.

before:

during:

after:

i was so inspired by the transformation, i even made a sculpture from the painter’s tape (right before i threw it into the garbage).

Yes, I need to get those leaves raked, shredded & into the compost bin, but there’s a phenomenal shortage of time around here lately.

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2009 halloween

Oh, look, it’s our belated Halloween post! Finally!

Levi’s costume was Black Spy, from the comic strip Spy Versus Spy. Krista made the mask, which turned out fantastic, and assembled the costume. When Levi got home from trick or treating, I asked him the mandatory questions, “Did you get a lot of candy? Did you have fun? Did people like your costume?” Yes, yes, yes, of course, yes. Then I asked, “Did you see any cool costumes?” He thought about it for a minute, then answered, “No… I think my costume was the best.” You may be wondering how he could see through this mask. The answer is, well, mostly he couldn’t except through the space at the end of the nose. He wouldn’t let me cut eye holes in it! He liked the mask so much, he didn’t want to mess it up at all. He came home without any broken bones, so all’s well that ends well.

The animals, of course, enjoyed their holiday as well.


Elsa stole all the candy.


Cash dressed up as a diva. Okay, maybe that’s not much of a costume for him, since he acts that way all the time.

Then we ate some pumpkin food (pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin spice cake with honey cream cheese icing). Happy Halloween!

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referendum 71

they are still counting ballots, and we lived through through the “presidential” “election” of 2008, so we’re not celebrating yet, but things in our state look very good for same-sex couples today.

i keep hearing “Washington voters were on the verge of making history Tuesday night, as the state was poised to become the first to affirm same-sex partnership rights at the ballot box. No state had upheld rights for gay or lesbian couples in a popular vote.” it feels like a very momentous time to be alive and here.

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Ballot Day

I have always loved the ritual of voting, filling in the bubbles on your ballot or flipping the levers of the voting machine, even though until 2008 it seemed like no one I voted for ever won. There’s something very democratically romantic about the whole idea of it.

Please don’t forget to vote or postmark your ballot by November 3 (THAT’S TODAY!!). Especially if you live in the state of Washington! There’s a very important issue on the ballot.

Referendum 71. From the Approve 71 website, “Ref. 71 is a vote to keep the domestic partnership law that provides legal protections for lesbian and gay couples and seniors who are in committed relationships. To be able to take unpaid leave to care for a critically ill loved one, without being fired. To be able to cover a partner in family health insurance. To make sure hard-earned pension and death benefits protect children when a parent dies. Approving Ref. 71 ensures that important protections are not taken away from committed couples, so that they are able to take care of each other, especially in times of crisis.

When the most unthinkably horrific stuff happens, people who love each other, take care of each other and do each other’s dishes (which is the ultimate act of love, if you ask me) should be able to take care of each other.
In Times of Crisis.

I read a story about Janice Langbehn & Lisa Pond. They live in the same town we live in, but we don’t know them. They went to Florida to go on a cruise this summer with three of their teenage kids. They were going to celebrate their anniversary. They were together for 18 years. Every time I read their story, my heart breaks. Lisa suffered an an aneurysm before they boarded the cruise ship. She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The hospital would not allow Janice or the kids to be with Lisa, see her, talk to her or even get updates on her status, even though Lisa & Janice had Durable Power of Attorney & a Living Will faxed to the hospital, even though they spent nearly two decades by each others sides, even though they raised children together, even though they did all the paperwork, Lisa reached brain death without Janice by her side. Can you imagine losing someone like that? No. I can’t. And no one deserves it.

Referendum 71 couldn’t have prevented the terrible situation Janice Langbehn & Lisa Pond endured. Referendum 71 is a statewide referendum, legal only in WA and unenforceable in other states. Only federal mandate could protect same-sex couples who dare to travel across state lines (REPEAL DOMA ALREADY, PRESIDENT OBAMA), but Referendum 71 could mean a lot for families here.

Sunday, we were driving on the westside of Olympia & we had the misfortune of running into some “Reject Referendum 71” sign wavers. I tried to take some video of the hideous, bigoted things they were shouting at our car, but they didn’t want to repeat any of it when my camera came out. It’s very strange. They are so proud and strong in their convictions until you want them to go on record.

It’s worth noting that Larry Stickney is the campaign manager for ‘The Rejects’ (They call themselves Protect Marriage Washington, but we have other names for them). Larry has his own problems with marriage! He’s on his third (hetero) marriage, and his ex-wife made allegations of domestic abuse against him. Someone must have agreed with her, since a judge issued a restraining order against Larry & his ex ended up with custody of the kids. What an excellent, honorable standard for marriage. We should all hold ourselves, gay or straight, to such high standards for our lifelong partnerships.

So, here’s my ballot, bubbles filled in, licked, sealed, and fingers crossed for all the families across Washington who deserve a better life and equal protection under the law.

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Our German Professor

Levi has been trying to teach us to count to ten in German. He is a good teacher, but I am not sure if we are very good students. He has been studying German from books all summer & now some computer program at school. He can count to about 999,999. I have a feeling we’re going to be planning a trip to Germany in the next five years.

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s’mores party

Earlier this week, Levi was sweet enough to accompany me to a “work function,” which happened to be a s’mores party, complete with campfire and sing-a-longs.

It could have be boring for a kid to hang out with a bunch of adults, but not Levi. He roasted marshmallows all evening and made s’mores for a bunch of people, which is one of the best ways to make new friends. We made it home before it got truly cold in the woods, and neither of us got a single mosquito bite!

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Cats Versus Dogs

For the past year, our household has been waiting and waiting for the dogs and cats to reach their own dysfunctional equilibrium. Their relations have been pretty chill for a while now, but my heart’s desire has always been to see Cash & Elsa cuddling. They are both heat-seeking cuddlebunnies who are a little slow on the pick-up, and they would just be the sweetest pair if they curled up together on the couch.

I might be waiting for a while…

But, in the meantime, I will settle for the on-going entertainment of Elsa on the dining room table swatting Cash every time he gets within paw’s reach.

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