the hyphens that define my life

T-19 No Bounty May 31, 2013

We have yet to move, but I already miss – my garden.  In order to move, we had to rip out the garden and plant grass to make the area look more (boring, like wasted space, and failing are words that come to mind) …cohesive.

I have cousins reaping 30+ pounds of asparagus in Michigan!  Friends are spending time at the nurseries to pick just the right plants, planting and watering ready to reap what they sow! Oh how I long to dig in the dirt, plot and plan and watch it grow. Flowers, vegetables and fruit, I miss it all.

That’s not entirely true.  I don’t miss pulling weeds or having to get up early to work in the garden before the temperatures rise.  Or figuring out what is wrong with a plant or what bug or rodent is chowing down on whatever is growing. There are definite parts of gardening that I don’t miss.

Spokane has a shorter growing season than Southern California and I’ll have to adapt.  The first year we will be without a true garden, maybe I’ll be able to manage to get something planted if I act soon.  Next spring, though, I have big plans.

Share your gardening adventures with me!  What have you planted?  What do you plan to grow?  Let me live through you.


T-20 Milestones May 30, 2013

Today we reach two of our many milestones in our T-countdown to our move from Placentia California to Spokane Washington.

First, congratulations to our daughter who completes her first year of college today!  We’re incredibly proud of her hard work and focus…well, focused most of the time….well, ok, focused enough.  She has worked 25+ hours a week, has carried 13 units each semester and has plenty of time for a social life and family time. Good job girl baby!

Our second milestone happens tonight, opening night of Wizard of Oz at the Brea Civic Theatre.  Our oldest son is the Wizard and our third grader is part of the Lollipop Guild trio as well as a Monkey.  The boys are excited to perform. We are excited to attend the gala event and see them in action.

T-20.  Where did the last 10 days go? My husband and I sat down last night and made a list of what is left to do, assigned each task and crammed in a few more fun events into our schedule.  Action packed.   Guaranteed there will be no dull moments.

Somehow in the midst, perhaps as therapy or as a stress release or both, I’ve managed to blog for 10 days straight! Thanks for reading and cheering me along. My new favorite thrill is to have someone sign up to follow my blog. Go ahead – thrill me.

Blog editorial – my boss LOVED my post yesterday.  His royal CFOness apparently needed the limelight cast his way or just really needed a laugh.  Didn’t I tell you he is a great guy?


T-21 Stress vs. Pressure May 29, 2013

Filed under: Life,Quotes,Work — multihyphenatedme @ 7:04 am
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My boss is great.  I’m not just saying that because my review is coming up in a few weeks either.  “Really Good Guy” in the dictionary is illustrated with his picture, he’s that kind of guy.

For about a month I’ve been really annoyed with my boss, our CFO .  Not for any reason I could even call him names, quit my job or even throw a good tantrum.  He’s ticked me off for being right in such a way my whole complaining mantra has been shot full of holes (he’s a hunter, I think he’ll like that metaphor). I got nothing to bitch about.

Last month while giving his presention at our operations meeting, he defined stress vs. pressure.  Stress, he said, was the result of the unknown.  You stress because of what you don’t know will happen as the result of an action or inaction.  Pressure, on the other hand, is what you feel when your to-do list is longer than time available to completed.  You know what needs to be accomplished but feel pressure as the result of time restrictions, available budget or personal capability.

No longer can I run around like a chicken with my head cut off (no metaphor to his life here – not that I’m aware of – just saying this is how I act on occassion, sometimes more often than I should) saying “I’m so stressed out”.  What a buzz kill.  There is no fun in saying “I’m under a lot of pressure”.

I’ve been CFO’d.  You know, like you can be pranked, only not as hilarious or fun. Ashton Kutcher is definitely not involved. Being CFO’d is more like a reality check that leaves you saying “duh”.

Ok CFO-man (like superman but not as fancy, definitely no cape and more allergies than kryptonite), I listened. Let’s see how this applies to my life:

Moving in 21 days while increasingly busy at work while the kids are rehearsing and performing in a musical while our daughter is having her wisdom teeth pulled while in all the kids are in their final weeks of school while the house needs to be packed and cleaned creates a serious amount of mounting pressure.

Pressure pressure I got pressure. Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah” ~ Kinks lyrics

The pressure I can deal with and I have no stress because I know my review is going to be awesome.


T-22 Goodbye Beach May 28, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life — multihyphenatedme @ 6:43 am
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goodbye beach

We gathered with longtime friends on Memorial Day.  This wasn’t a goodbye nice knowing you visit because we’ve been friends long enough that they see our moves as their vacation destinations.  In fact, we see them more often living further away than we do living close by.

Their 7 year old daughter returned my jam jar filled with beach sand and made a card.  In the card she wrote that the sand is “to comfort you” when you move so far from the beach.

I wasn’t expecting an emotional day, let alone an emotional moment yet this little girl grabbed my heart and the tears flowed.  Surprise attack. Kids are good that way.

A little bit of LBC is going to Spokane so I won’t have to say goodbye to the beach after all.


T-23 Memorial Day May 27, 2013

Filed under: Life,Quotes — multihyphenatedme @ 8:08 am
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Freedom Is Not Free

by Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.
Thank you to those that have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, in remembrance of those that have paid the price.

T-24 Day of Rest May 26, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life — multihyphenatedme @ 9:05 am
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The yard sale was a huge success. In six hours, almost everything sold, I managed to get a horrible v-neck t-shirt sunburn tan line, we met a lot of fascinating people who thought my junk was awesome and we managed to bring in a lot of cash.  I love yard sales.

My house is now bare.  Well, almost.  Living room and dining room and patio furniture are gone.  Bunk beds and bookcases are sold.  What’s left is a tiny vintage 4 person table and chairs, my desk (I have to work), our bed and dressers.  The boys are in sleeping bags on the floor and loving it.  TVs mounted, video games hooked up and internet is accessible so all is well in their world.

I’m exhausted.  My body is sore.  I think I’m nursing a bit of a hangover and food coma too.  After the yard sale we went to a Dortmund vs. Bayern soccer party with Trace’s soccer team.  Brats, beer and kraut were an excellent post-sale meal along with some relaxing time by the pool (in the shade thanks to my v-burn). This past week I miraculously managed three girls nights out, more than I typically manage in three months.  A wine tasting fundraiser, movie night to see Gatsby and last night a “Thank God 6th Grade is Over” party with great friends, delicious food and wine.

Today I’m laying low. I need a day of rest. Pedicures with my girl on the agenda and planning our weekly menus for our final meals in California.

Enjoy your Sunday, get some rest.


T-26 Moving: The Ultimate Cleanse May 25, 2013

Filed under: Gardening — multihyphenatedme @ 6:05 am

Yard Sale Saturday!

We have spent weeks sorting through everything we own – everything! – and casting our possessions it into three piles:

Pile #1 – winner winner, the “moving” pile

Pile #2 – broken or missing pieces and parts, trash heap

Pile #3 – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  YARD SALE!

Moving is the ultimate cleanse.  Those of you that partake can keep your coffee enemas and your detox cleanse.  Your system maybe cleaner but moving really purges the junk from your life.

Our yard sale is an everything goes sale.  Once the stuff is outside, it isn’t coming back in.  What doesn’t sell is going to charity.

Let’s see how we do.


T-27 The Journey May 24, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life — multihyphenatedme @ 8:17 am
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A few years ago I started a cooking blog, Funky Chicken and Alligator Tongues.  I enjoyed this first blog attempt, but postings were sporadic.  The problem that I had with my cooking blog was that it only provided an outlet for my cooking.  All of my other talents, thoughts, stories, blunders and commentaries were left bottled on the shelf.  Last year I started Multi-Hyphenated-Me as an outlet for all of me.  One of my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions was to blog more frequently; in fact, to blog every day.

Blogging every day is no easy task.  What was I thinking?  With my life?  With all I juggle?  I, obviously, didn’t start out the year as hoped, though not for the ridiculousness of the idea.  I couldn’t blog what I couldn’t talk about.

Our plans to move were top secret.  At first the secrecy was because we were unsure that Spokane was right for us.  We chose Spokane as a possible home based on internet research and what we heard from friends and familiy. My daughter and I took a “Day in the Life” trip.  We went with to see and experience what a day in our life would be like if we moved to Spokane.  We checked out school districts, neighborhoods, shopping, restaurants and activities to see if we could live there.  We needed to see Spokane at its’ “worst” so we went in January, a steady 24 degrees F, snow on the ground, roads icy.

To a Southern Californian, “worst” and “winter” sounds really cold and miserable. I’ve had my share of earthquakes and fires but I’m not a true SoCal Gal.  I’m weathered.  I lived through the Ohio Blizzard of ’78, one of deadliest winter storms in Ohio history.  I also lived in Teton Valley Idaho during one of their worst winters on record.  I also lived at 7200′ in Parks Arizona where snow and whipping wind were a challenge.  I know cold and 24 degrees F without other conditions for 5 days was manageable and tolerable.

Once we made the decision and moved forward with the house, we still couldn’t talk about Spokane because we wanted to wait to tell the kids first.  This wasn’t  a devious plot, we just wanted to enjoy our family ski trip in February and we wanted our sixth grader to have fun at Outdoor Science Education in March.  We told the kids on Easter, after the egg hunt and breakfast. In case you’re wondering, nothing pulls your kid out of a sugar high quicker than kissing your life-as-you-know-it goodbye with a newsflash like “We’re moving!”  Go ahead, try this at home.

Did you pick up on the point that goes unsaid?  We researched Spokane.  My daughter and I went to Spokane in January.  My oldest son and I went to Spokane in May (see post T-29 Soccer Success).  There are three other people in my family that have not yet been to Spokane prior to our move:  our two younger sons and…my husband!

[The plot thickens]  Yes.  My husband is packing up, moving 1,237 miles all because I gave Spokane, a place he’s only read about yet never been, two thumbs up.

My husband has clearly lost his mind.  He has placed total trust and completely blind (hello!) faith in me with this move.  My husband is smart.  He’s strategic, extremely focused and incredibly particular. All of this makes me uneasy.  I make kneejerk decisions based on my gut instinct, say what I think and clean up the mess later.  It’s not always pretty. In spite of my eye twitch, I really think I got this one right.

Wives – would your husband trust you with this big of a decision?  Husbands – would you trust your wife with making this decision?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

As moving day nears, I’m getting more and more nervous.  He won’t hate Spokane.  How could he?  Spokane is beautiful.  Our house is beautiful.  There is a yoga studio within walking distance and he has already talked to several people about boating and waterskiing on the many lakes.  He may freeze his skinny little Southern California born and bred butt off even though he did survive the Parks AZ years just fine.  My response to complaints of the cold are already prepared – dress appropriately.

Now that, true to my resolution, I’m blogging everyday, good luck shutting me up. Or is it shutting me down in blogspeak?  Though our current focus is our move, I love our journey and our story thus far.


T-28 Circus Act May 23, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life,Quotes — multihyphenatedme @ 8:55 am
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I only got 24 hours to live, and I ain’t going to waste it here.  – Fly, Bug’s Life

I love this line from Bug’s Life.  In case you missed out on watching this Disney/Pixar creation at least 100 times in recent years as the result of having children, this line is delivered in response to the sorry state of P.T. Flea’s circus act.  The flies leave in the middle of the show. Exit, stage right.

I like this quote because it challenges you to ask yourself, in general terms, are you living the life you want to live?  More specifically, if you only had 24 hours to live, would you be doing what you are doing right now in this moment?  I think most of us would say no.  You don’t have to be dying to start living.

Based on everything I know (which could very well be not much), my life expectancy is greater than 24 hours.  Pressure off. If I were on my deathbed, reflecting back on the life I’ve lived, would I be happy with the choices I’ve made thus far? In making future decisions, I question whether the decision going to be something I’ll be happy with in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?

The wise fly also reminds us that nothing lasts forever and to seize the moments that we have.  Are we going to sit around and wait for this circus act to end or are you going to pack up and move out and see where the road takes you? Or move on to the next gig in town? Or just try something new and different from your current habits.

We’re sad to leave our family, friends, favorite places, schools, neighbors, teammates and life as we know it. Our time here has not been a waste or in vain.  Though it has often times resembled a three ring circus and we each have played our share of roles – the ring leader, the lion tamer, the dog jumping through the hoops and the clown (note:  I didn’t say fool).

We are ready to pack up and move, seeking out a new path and a new adventure in Spokane.  Is it the right decision? We don’t know.  It’s right for right now.  The beauty of decision making is that you can always course correct, make a new decision and try something new.


T-29 Soccer Success!! May 22, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life,soccer — multihyphenatedme @ 8:20 am
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Our oldest son plays competitive soccer.  We have all been fortunate to be part of an awesome signature team, JUSA Crew, now club Chelsea 00 Blue, in Placentia.  Leaving this team in order to move to Spokane was a really difficult decision. The coaches are great, the players are talented and good kids too for a bunch of scrappy 12 year olds.

We knew we had to get our son on a new soccer team in Spokane as soon as possible to help him through the transition.    Internet research, phone calls and emails to various teams, organizations, clubs and random people were made in attempts to find the best team options for our #33.

My son and I took a 4-day trip to Spokane in April to meet and try out with three different soccer teams.  One was lame, we said no thanks.  The second was great and the third had potential.  Tryouts with the second and third teams went well and we were told we’d know the outcome the week of May 20.

The week is here and we are happy – thrilled – to report that our son was selected for the Premier Club team with FC Spokane.

Soccer team – check.  [sigh with relief].