Christmas in Seattle 2007

kitten update & Scrabble milestone

23 December 2007

Finally time to post from I-5 driving through Oregon in my parents’ new RV, ~100 miles south of Portland, still on our way to Seattle for family Christmas. My parents have a Verizon aircard USB modem that works okay but not super-fancy. I did try to set up a local Airport network from my MacBookPro so we could all share the connection, but I must not be doing something right since they could all join the network I made but not get online through it, so instead we just pass around the USB modem and take turns being online. My dad has become addicted to the Internet since he reitred in October…he gets the dirtiest jokes I’ve ever seen from his friends! haha…

Onyx & Ebony in their Christmas collars – they kept them on my whole party last Saturday night as guests came in shifts to meet the kitties…who were friendly! Maybe they’ll be my party kitties?

A typical morning for me now – kitties everywhere! Challenging to use the sink & get my makeup on!

Ebony LOVES jingle bells! She kept stealing those ornaments off the tree & playing with them around the whole house for the entire evening!

Giant thanks to Cyd who is checking on the kittens every day for me while I’m away. I hope they don’t forget me! I even set up the wifi webcam in my bedroom to be able to check on my kitties, which worked the first night, so my parents & I got to see them cuddling together comfy on the down comforter, but by Friday afternoon it had stopped working. I suspect the kitties stepped on the power switch on the power strip or were wild enough to unplug the webcam power…oh well! The ride is too bumpy for any detailed Photoshop work, so I still have yet to do my Christmas e-card with my kitties. That will be done when we’ve stopped so I can still send it out by Christmas Eve. :)

Last night as we were in the RV campground outside Roseburg, OR, my mom & I played Scrabble. I stayed about 20 points ahead the entire game, getting lucky with being able to put down 2 letters for 15 points several times, but she was able to use up all her letters before me so she caught up a little. Final score has been forgotten but was something like 261 to 250? This is the first game I’ve ever played where only a single letter was left! Check out the board!

Final Scrabble board – a Peterson family milestone to have only one letter left!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

UPDATE 10:30pm: the KittenCam is now working again! Thanks Cyd! 😀

White Christmas!

27 December 2007

Lo & behold, a white Christmas! My grandma’s house is very close to Puget Sound, so the warmer coastal air very rarely lends itself to snow even though the inland Seattle area might get it more often. We have seen some flurries the 23rd or 26th before, but actual snow on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day has only happened once ever before in my mom’s entire life in the Seattle area, and that was in 1990 when we were all there! We couldn’t believe in the early afternoon on Christmas Day when fluffier blobs started coming down along with the rain, not sticking to the ground until about an hour later. My parents’ new black Lab mix Elsie, only a year-and-a half-old, was wondering what this weird white stuff was coming from the sky & on the ground! I was hearing Jack Skellington’s “What’s This?” song in my head as Elsie sniffed & ran around in the snow. 😉

White Christmas in Woodway, Washington!

We obviously did get here safely, but the RV got stuck in the mud in my grandma’s backyard when we arrived after dark, so the morning of Christmas Eve was spent waiting for the Good Sam winch truck that never arrived, with me helping my dad work with long scrap wood, concrete stepping stones and lots of digging, and we eventually got it out & parked on more stable ground. My grandma kept announcing incredulously that I was the youngest person here for Christmas! 😛 She would much rather have some young kids around for Christmas, and so would I, but that wasn’t to be this year. We still had a fun family Christmas, especially when the snow arrived. Since she lives in Seattle, my cousin Kristina on my dad’s side came to visit this afternoon with her son Anders who I hadn’t seen since he was a baby and her 7-month old daughter Solveig I hadn’t met yet. What a cutie! No snow here today, not even any rain, but several inches of snow is forecast for tomorrow for Seattle and all along I-5 south through Oregon, let alone the more easterly route over Snoqualmie Pass we are planning on going to stop by Bend, OR to see my mom’s brother & his family on the way back down to California, so we’re staying at my grandma’s house an extra day. The forecast is back to rain by Friday so hopefully that will be safer driving in the giant RV. No, my dad has not allowed me to drive the RV yet, even though I have earned my keep researching in all the documentation for possibilities why the hot water heater wouldn’t work and figuring out the little-did-we-know-how-highly-useful walkie-talkie system that came with the RV, and in ice & snow he is not going to let me drive his new toy anytime soon. That’s fine with me as long as he stays awake driving the whole way! My parents have no schedule except New Years parties, lucky them, but I have to get back to work on Jan 2nd, let alone get back to my kittens!

I hope everyone has been having a nice Christmas!

on the road again

28 December 2007

By the Thursday afternoon my uncle’s family had all caught a cold so we were uninvited to Bend anyway. We picked a good day to drive today though, since rain all day but no snow, and Seattle is scheduled for snow again Saturday & Sunday. My dad is still not letting anyone else drive the RV even though he’s complaining about being the only one driving, and I keep offering to drive! 😉 We’re south of Medford for the night, with wifi included at the RV campsite. My dad still insisted on using his Verizon aircard instead as I easily connected to the wifi & was showing them all Nora the Piano Cat I had just stumbled upon last night. Am I the last person to see Nora? I wonder if my kitties will play piano like that…haha! My mom & I played Scrabble again tonight after a yummy pizza dinner, but she caught up past my early 20 pt lead playing QUAD on a triple word score for 42 pts, and I was stuck with only one vowel each turn thereafter! I caught up so I wasn’t so far behind & was able to play all my letters on my last turn – first time for me ever! – but she only had a G left which was only 2 pts, so she still beat me by less than 10 pts. This is two games in a row we’ve played until 1 letter left, which is shocking for us, but maybe it’s a normal occurrence for more frequent Scrabble players? Since we play one game in a blue moon maybe we just don’t know it happens more often. 😉

Tomorrow is hopefully all the way back to Roseville, but we still have to cross the Siskiyous and get past Mt Shasta…wish us no snow please!

home again

31 December 2007

We had an uneventful drive back to California…well my dad drove the entire time of course since it was HIS new toy. 😉 We saw the beautiful fresh snowfall over the Siskiyou Mountains as we drove on the clear & safe road, Mt Shasta stayed hidden behind clouds, and the worst driving weather was between Weed and Dunsmuir through Shasta National Forest, but thankfully the snowfall was light along with the traffic so no problems for us. The weather stayed misty the entire way back down into the Central Valley, much gloomier than bright snow, but Christmas was over anyway. 😉 We got back at dusk with enough time to unpack the essentials, pack my car, and go to my brother’s house for his presents and dinner out together. I left his house after 10:30pm but missed traffic that way, so I was back home with my kitties even unpacked before 1am. They so far have not gotten mad at me and are plenty cuddly & fun, but I also haven’t left the house for any extended length of time since I’ve been back, since I was getting all my Christmas decorations packed away. We’ll see what happens when I have to leave them to go to work again in 2 days!

Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon – taken out the RV window while moving on the I-5 freeway!

I now have all the photos in a Gallery album if you’d like to see how the giant front windows of the RV let me take a lot of pretty landscape photos while we were in motion. :)

Never fear, I will start the new year with cute kitty photos again. Happy New Year everyone!