Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas with the Hoppers

We spent Christmas with my parents. We flew up to Washington 2 days before Christmas and stayed for 5 days. It was wonderful. The house was decorated so beautifully. It was cold and snowy outside and warm and toasty inside.
Here are a few pictures:

Garland on the bannister.

Look at this pretty tree. (Notice the cat)
Mom decorated it in gold, white and red.

My parent's cat, Eowyn, takes an evening snooze under the Christmas tree.

Joe got Mom this game called Carcassonne for Christmas. We played it a bunch--it's great. You build cities and roads and get points by making your players (known as "meeples") thiefs, knights, farmers and monks. Very cool.

We had a great time. Thanks Mom and Dad!


Have a chocolate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dummy Rescue

On Saturday I attended a CPR/First Aid class through Red Cross. I needed to get certified for work.

Did you know that CPR has changed? I took a class as a teenager but it was very different.

For example, there should be 30 compressions to every 2 breaths. 10 years ago it was only 15 compressions. Do you have any idea how easy it is to get distracted while counting to 30. I kept losing track of what number I was on. How embarrassing!

Also, when you find an unconscious person (because they are just lying around sometimes) you don't check their pulse. Apparently there isn't a need to. If someone is unconscious and not breathing 90% of the time it's a cardiac issue. You just start doing CPR.

We also learned how to use an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). That's right, I got to shock my very own dummy! Now I can't say for sure but I think he made it.

So, I'd like to make a plug for CPR certification. If you are rusty--take a class--it may be a little different than what you remember. You can also get certified online. Check it out:

P.S. Here is a picture of us in our Halloween costumes. A ward member took it at Trunk or Treating. (We got a picture of my Lucille Ball costume after all.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween fun

Look at my pretty pumpkin colored flowers!

The Halloween roses were the best! Jonathan and I went to Safeway a couple weeks ago and he surprised me with flowers. He claimed he needed to use the facilities and left for 5 mins while I continued shopping. When we got out to the car and started putting away groceries Jonathan said he wasn't feeling well and asked me to drive home. I was feeling all concerned about him until I opened the driver's-side door and found a bouquet of orange roses. Don't I have a sweet hubby?

This is our trunk for the ward Trunk or Treat party. We had a lot of fun setting it up. We had dry ice in a cauldron creating a misting/foggy effect and creepy music playing in the car.

And this is Jonathan dressed as a dead groom. That is a black rose he is holding--nice touch huh?

I was dressed as Lucille Ball with a red wig and a polka dot dress. Our costumes were not related but all the ward members thought they were. They kept asking us why Ricky was dead. Hehehe . . .

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cat vs Tree

We have an exciting match today folks. It's champion Tree McTwiggerson against challenger Edmund "Dante" Cristo. Dante is a newcomer to the fighting world but has shown definite promise in the practice ring. Tree is world renown for his phenomenal strength and his signature move known as "The Branch". Let's get started!The customary hand shake . . .And that's the buzzer. Dante takes an early advantage but Tree looks fierce.Things are looking good for the newcomer. Dante has Tree completely covered at the moment.Tree has got himself in a good position but Dante seems to be holding him off.Look at this! It's over folks . . . Dante can't possibly come back after a beating like this. He's barely hanging on.This is an unbelievable match! What an amazing turn of events!
Somehow Dante stays on his feet and continues to climb. (He didn't fall--inconceivable!)Wow, it's in the bag now! Dante, achieves a position of dominance and takes a moment to revel it his almost assured victory.But wait . . . he's stopped climbing. Did the judges just signal him?I'm sorry folks but it appears the judges are delaying a ruling on the official winner. Yes, I definitely heard Tree call out a "Best 2 out of 3" before the final buzzer.

Dante and Tree acknowledge the skills of the other. The opponents embrace in a gesture of goodwill and true sportsmanship.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween or whatever you call it

One of my favorite holidays, which is not really a holiday at all, is Halloween. There are so many perceptions of this holiday that range from satanic to a celebration of those who have passed on. It is unfortunate that Halloween, much like any other commercially marketable holiday has lost it's meaning to capitalism and the retail industry. It has surprised me how popular it has become over the years. This might be due to its non religious affiliation, it is now taboo to celebrate anything that affiliates it's self with Christianity. However, it can be said that this holiday directly affiliates itself directly with Christianity even if it is unsponsored by the different sects of religion.

All Hollow's Eve, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain... By whatever name it has been called, this special night preceding All Hallows day (November 1st) has been considered for centuries as one of the most magical nights of the year. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the "Otherworld" is at its thinnest.As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world and in the U.S. as well, few know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. A time when the veils between Heaven and Earth are thinner, and so it is believed that many could "see" the other side of life. The night is one very special night and time in the year when the spiritual and material worlds touch for a moment, and a greater potential exists for magical creation. In the Celtic calendar, it was one of the most important days of the year, representing a mid point in the year, Samhain, or "summer's end". And while celebrated by the Celts, the origin of this day has connections to other cultures as well, such as Egypt, and in Mexico as Dia de la Muerta, or the day of the dead. This should come as no surprise considering how advanced the Mayan cultures were when it came to the calendar, season changes, times of harvest, astronomy and mathematics. Anna and I really enjoyed Chichen-itza can you tell?The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held in abeyance during this time, allowing a special window where the spirit world could intermingle with the living. It was a night when the dead could cross the veils and return to the land of the living to celebrate with their families.

Though the beliefs are different the end result is the same, belief in an afterlife, the existence of some form of Heaven, and the importance of families. That seems pretty parallel to a certain religion that I am sure most of you are aware of. :-) As Christianity began to take hold in Europe the ancient Pagan rituals were co-opted into festivals of the Church. While the Church could not support a general feast for all the dead, it created a festival for the blessed dead, all those hallowed so, All Hallow's, was transformed into All Saints and All Souls day.That is not to say that all religions believe in this, there are sects of Christianity that believe this day to be satanic and do not celebrate it. I say phooey, I love the magic of this night. Sinse my childhood; I have always felt a sense of magic and wonder during this time. The smell of fall in the air, pumpkins, leaves blowing on the ground. I don't necessary feel the veil is thinner, but like Christmas, there is defiantly an indiscernible magic that can be felt during this time.

Today, as mentioned above, we have lost the significance of this time of year which has turned into a candy fest with kids dressing up. Don't get me wrong, I love this practice as well, I feel that a balance can be reached, especially sense it is so much fun for the kids. Anna and I got to participate in a truck or treat at the church and had a wonderful time decorating our truck and getting dressed up. Anna has also been busy making themed cakes for friends and co-workers... I have yet to see one for husbands. :-)The house has been overly decorated and from our understanding, our neighborhood gets a ton of trick or treaters. Much to my dismay, I just learned it is going to rain. This is another popular occurrence in the Bay Area. I know it happens more than often, and it bugs me. We are in a drought up here, and have not seen rain forever, until now... and probably wont again after the night is over. Grrrrrr


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Family togetherness

Families support one another. The same can be said for ours... witness the Anderson Family Reunion. A lot of bonding took place. Witness good ol' fashioned sportsmanship and camaraderie. Today I give you "The Arm Wrestling Championship".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
Along with sports, comes games. This particular card game I believe I have played before... it goes by many names. Judging by the look on Eric's face, you know how it ends. He calls it Nazi, but Cindy calls it, "Have a nice day". The players are ruthless I might add.

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson

Can you feel the love and support from one another, supporting good communication, helping each other?

Lastly, there is nothing more conducive for family togetherness than a good hike to create an atmosphere of bonding. Being one with nature, testing faith in directions... keeping calm when you get lost. Meeting "International Hikers" who happen to love Jerry Lewis and para sailing, can have a humbling effect. It makes one appreciate their own family because hey; at least their family is not as not as weird as that guy. To find out more, click here "Hiking, an international experience". Here is, "This is going to end poorly". You can tell Momma had a lot of faith as well, based on the name of the video. :-)

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
It kind of reminded me of the Blaire Witch Project... if you saw it...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Many Happy Returns

We've spent a lot of energy this week worrying about and praying for our practice kid, Dante (our cat). After keeping him in the garage for a week we finally let him outside on Thursday night. He was as happy as a clam--chowder eater on a cold day with a little french bread on the side. He just had to smell everything and climb the trees and test out every hidey-hole. We followed him around for 30 mins but he eventually he gave us the slip. We meant him to be an outside kitty (Jonathan is allergic to animals) so we knew we had to let him go. At first we were happy for him but then we started to worry. Would he come back to us? Would he get lost? What if he comes back while we are at work and thinks we aren't coming back? What if he is hungry or scared?

We didn't see him for more than 24 hrs. We took turns calling and walking around shaking his toys. We had prayed and I had cried (Suck it up woman!). I'm pleased to report than Jonathan found Dante. Jonathan sat on our porch and called for him. Dante had been hanging out on our neighbors porch and came over. There was much rejoicing at the Clare's. We showered Dante with affection and he ate and ate and ate. I had him sitting on the couch eating out of a Nine Lives can. Jonathan kept walking by saying "Don't get used to this cat! This is a one time thing!"

PS. My last 3 picture posts were posts that I meant to write and never got around to. Alas--no words for you but peace of mind for me. I can now move forward in the blogosphere without lingering guilt. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catch up -- 4 months ago exactly . . .

We got married!

I found my BFF at last.

Catch up -- 4 months ago . . .

We visited Mayan Ruins (Chichen-Itza) on our honeymoon!

Catch up --- 2 months ago . . .

We bought a house!

Bonus Picture:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Catching up

Counting Clare now counts 3 Clares. We just got a Kitty Kat. We would like to introduce Dante.He is 6 months old and according to the internet he is a seal mitted ragdoll. Isn't he pretty? We got him from an ad on Craigslist. His family was moving and couldn't keep him and his brothers and sisters. Dante is a real sweety--very loving and has the loudest purr you've every heard. He is still adjusting to his new environment but he makes progress everyday.

He is named after Edmund Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo. When we were driving him home he staged an amazing prison break. He ripped a perfect hole in the side of the box, jumped out and sat in the back of the car.Check it out.

Everyone is a comedian!

It definitely can be said that the family is full of comedians, I can not remember a time when I laughed so much. So I am sure you have already figured out what today's theme is going to be on. We have some stage acts, and then we also have some unintended comedic acts. First, I give you "Daniel is a Comic".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson

Next we have one called "Out to Sea", this one requires a little more introduction. There are several things going on and it is a rather large video. Between vicious tree branches, or "Logs", and the fear of jumping off a kayak due to persistent sirens, I would there is a lot of comedy going on here. Not to mention to watch some of the rowing can also be amusing by its self.

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
Then there is the spontaneous comedy, laced subtle humor and undertones. As I recall, I ended the second to the last post with Brickman teaching us a lesson. So, not to be outdone, Daniel gives you a history lesson called "Ancient Whidbey Art".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
And then there is comedy in which you wonder in the back of your mind... are they serious? Enter the "Moose Man", who ironically is "Going on a bear hunt". And so it is called.

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
No comedy would be complete without a little stage performance, The Hoppers demonstrate dark comedy along with a play on words... which can be very distressing if your name happens to be Peanut. Here is "P-nut and the Lion".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson

I am embarrassed to disclose that I was suppose to be in that one and the next one. But unfortunately, as fate... or luck would have it, I was using the facilities. Their next performance involves a man that has the same problem I have, the ability to spell. I give you "Help Help".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
Well lets tie this one off with a very soft spoken Amara. Don't let her gentle voice fool you into believing that her story might not be funny, that is how she reals you in. Turn up the speakers for this last one of the post... I fear that I might be approaching the Andy "too long of a post" danger zone. Here is The very graceful Amara telling us about "A hot dog for a pet".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson


Friday, October 3, 2008

I need a Grandpa!

Today's installments will consist of more Anderson reunion mayhem. I really have enjoyed watching these, having never seen them myself, I feel anticipation every time I read a title that has some clever tie in with the movie and it's contents... again thank you Cindy. So why the title of the blog? The first movie is short, but I feel there is a great theme to it, and Momma obviously sensed it as well, hence it's title. When I first saw the title "Good throw" I wondered what it would elude to, and what is neat is that the explanation comes at the end of the movie. Watch and then I will explain my reasons for the today's blog title.

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
If you watch Ethan through out the entire clip you can see the build up process, in preparation to throw the rock into the water. What is sad is that right at the climax, he drops it. Tugging at the heart strings a booming voice comes from behind the camera yelling, "Good Throw Ethan"!, in support of his efforts. Reassuring him that he had done a good job, even if it didn't turn out the way he had hoped. Maybe I am making too much out of this; but there has to be some great similitude to this and another father figure, but I will let you connect the dots. :-)

On a similar note, of father or Grandfatherly love and assistance, I present to you "Lia calls a cab".

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
That grin and enthusiasm is priceless.

Since were on the them of fatherly bonding, I found this clip to be especially cute. "The Great Pacifier Trick"

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
I don't know who enjoys this trick more, Andy or Jennah. But it does reminds me of BanAnna. When it comes to food, she always wants what I am having because it tastes better.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thank you "Momma" Cindy!

I believe it was a couple of blogs ago in which I expressed my sadness for not recording more events from the reunion, that and my amateur ability with my new cam corder... are they even called that anymore? Well, I am pleased to announce that someone took pity on me, and that someone is Cindy. She happened to have a stock pile of already edited video's ready for the posting. After a little battle with figuring out how to get them, I am ready to post more. Keeping in line with a technique that the Brickman has shown me, I will be crediting the work to the creator... though I am not always sure who was recording. I know Eric had the camera a lot, so I guess I will give credit to the singing Andersons. And what better way to start out than with a clip titled "Everything is Great". I want to add that Cindy did the editing and has also cleverly named each movie. A superb job I might add. So without further delay, I give you, "Everything is Great"!

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
And what post would be complete without The Brickman explaining something. This one is cleverly named, "Uncle Dick, teaches a lesson"! (It's in his blood ya know)

Movie filmed by the Singing Andersons
Edited By Cindy "Momma" Anderson
Again, I want to give thanks to Momma for putting in a lot of work to not only getting the files to me, but also for the time that went into the editing... and being gracious to share these treasures. Keep checking back for more, I feel like The Brickman when the pictures were posted.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, I think you're late for your Mensa meeting!

While we are on the topic of Macs I thought I'd share my unfortunate experience at Apple's Genius Bar.

I've been having some problems with my iphone charging and so tonight I went to the Apple store for guidance. I don't think I uttered a complete sentence the whole time. The Mensa Member behind the counter kept interupting me to ask questions he apparently already knew the answer to. My side of the conversation went something like this:

It doesn't seem to be charging because when I . . .
Yes, but it doesn't . . .
Kind of--but when it . . .
Well, what happened is . . .
No, I don't think . . .

But it's OK. Clearly we where past mere words. --One heart and one mind-- He restored my phone to it's original state and reinstalled all the software. He told me to come back if I continued to have problems.


I was pretty disappointed. I like Macs (and their commercials). I hope this evening wasn't reflective of Apple tech support in general. Maybe the guy was just tired and anxious to finish his shift. Maybe he was late for a meeting or something.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Open mouth, insert disk...

I want to clarify a couple of points that were brought to my attention last night by BanAnna in regards to my last post about Apple. First, I knew that discussing the topic of Apple would be a sensitive one, mis-stepping or over stepping boundaries could have consequences in regards to my position with family. Knowing this, I tried early in the article to mention that I was not classifying a “normal”, proficient, Apple user, or even Apple users that like or even love their product. After the article was reviewed it was decided that some feeling might be hurt. Instead of trying to go in and edit the piece, mostly due to the fact it was unknown who had read it, I decided to add this note. Again, I want to make sure that it is understood that the people I am classifying in the first couple of paragraphs fall into a sub-culture that probably comprises a small percentage of all Apple users. I have no issue nor do I feel the need to make fun of those that just enjoy and like Apple… that is why there are 31 flavors. I myself learned to use a computer on a Macintosh, and I understand that some prefer one and some the other. My issue is in relation to the sub-culture or “click” that occasionally has rubbed me the wrong way. Having had experience with both systems, I can honestly say that I prefer using a PC over a Mac. That does not mean that I feel Mac is inferior, nor do I feel that one is better than the other. I guess what I am trying to say is, they both have their strengths and weaknesses, and honestly I find them to be comparable to one another…with the exception of Vista... Time for Crow! That said; I hope that I have not offended anyone, nor do I wish to hurt the feelings of the passionate Apple user. My dealings with close friends and family members who use Apple have never left me feeling the way I described in the post below. In no way are my statements below to be misconstrued or interpreted that I am, in anyway, relating to a particular person or persons; it is more along the lines of an indirect group of people. Can’t we all just get along? This might be more drama than what it is worth, but having the coin flipped by BanAnna I would hate to ever find out I offended someone that was unintentional… :-)