Friday, December 29, 2006

Winter Joy

Mushroom is very happy with his new hat and scarf
that Wendy crocheted for him.

Happy Holly Daze

Denise Gives long eye lashed Kimchi Dog a Christmas hug
Denise Gets a beautifully wrapped gift from the Celestial Being
Happy Holly Daze

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidaze from NorthWet Montoya Family

32 Years of Wedded Fun!

Denise and Mushroom are included in this year’s NKC calendar. This photo didn’t make the cut, but we like it the best!

Wei Halmoni Denise and Wei Halobaji, with first grandchild, Edan Isu Yoon on 20 February 2006!

Proud sibs, Bonnie and Orlando, join in congratulating Celeste on her graduation from Kentwood High School. Celeste had an extraordinary senior year:

Diving, swimming, gymnastics, and judo competitions; her senior project; her first full time job working on the primary and general elections (how much overtime?!!!), and bought her first car!

Mushroom officiated at nephew Brett and Jessica’s wedding in Sacramento in June!

“Santa, I can explain…” Denise had a run of bad luck with our three cars. In short: 8/8 – a flat tire in the van, 8/16 – another flat in the van. 8/22 – was rear-ended in the Acura, 8/23 – rear-ended another vehicle in Celeste’s Saturn. 9/15 - Acura returned from the shop, 9/20 – Acura stolen and found stripped 3 days later. GEICO determined it a total loss. Court date for the 8/23 accident is 12/29. The photo above is the front seat of the Acura, with its missing $15k seats (the car was only worth $7k.)

We’ve had record rain (flooding), snow, ice, and windstorms (1 million Puget Sound customers without power) this fall. We can hardly wait for winter to arrive!
Mushroom mentors student shamans occasionally here at our house, and with one of his students in the Midwest, via the Internet. He is quite the high tech shaman! Mushroom recently provided a didgeridoo lesson for a senior high school student for the boy’s senior project. What a teacher!

Denise continues to provide project management expertise to the local nonprofit adoption agency. The annual auction, raised more money and had more reservations than in its previous 30 years. (No, she isn’t taking all the credit!)

Mushroom and Denise continue to volunteer for the NW Kidney Centers (NKC) as their mascot. They attend health fairs as a 7 foot tall blue kidney. Mushroom always wants to be tall!

Denise replaced the grass in the front yard with hardy perennial and annual flowers. The rocks in the foreground were found under the sod, and provide a landing space for errant basketballs. The paver path provides access to all of the plants and allows for safe movement of the hose

Mushroom and Grandma Eda Bea at Thanksgiving 2006 in Kent, WA

We Wish you Joyful Holidays

and a Happy New Year!!!

Denise & Mushroom, Celeste and Ginger

Denise: and

Celeste: and

Mushroom: and

Saturday, December 02, 2006

November Bleezard

The morning spirits woke me Wednesday morning. I crept quietly down the new stairs and looked out the kitchen window to see the frozen white snow gleaming in the predawn neighborhood lights. I looked at the outdoor thermometer. Brrrrr. It was MINUS 7 degrees Celsius (19.4 degrees). It is much, much colder than normal. I realized that I would not be going to work this morning because the little hill that ascends out of our neighborhood is too icy to safely drive up.
Two nights ago, we were having dinner at a friend's house. When we were driving to her house, Denise pointed out the snow flurries that were barely visibly in the light from the street lamps. We noticed lightening now and then during dinner. When we were getting ready to leave, I looked out the front room window and in amazed disbelief, I saw a boy slid down the middle of the street in a sled. I quickly went and opened the door. WOW, 4+ inches of snow. There was no snow when we drove into the driveway. I was wearing my Birkenstocks. My socks collected white flakes as if they were cool treasures worth keeping.

We scraped the windows and slowly backed out of the driveway being ever so careful not to slide into the truck that was parked directly across from the driveway.

We noticed that the street that we had just driven up two hours earlier was blocked off because it was far to steep to do anything but slide. Then we headed off towards the West only to be confronted with bright red rear break lights from cars fearing to go down the hill. Denise guided me to turn the car around and try a different route.

We drove east a few blocks then turned south. We got about a 1/2 mile before we started to climb a relatively small hill. But we could see that cars had already slid off to the sides. Denise was begging the cars in front of us not to stop. I started to move toward the center of the road in hopes of going around the cars. Then I saw white headlights coming my way, forcing me to give up my plan and move back behind the cars that were almost stopped. I started to slow to a snail's pace, making sure that my wheels kept moving. Try as I did, the van could no longer hold its forward course. It began to slide backwards. I turned my head to assess the situation, lest I make an ass out of myself and crash into one of the abandoned cars. I looked to my left and noticed a ditch beckoning me to slide into its white toothed mouth. I looked to my right and observed a safe curb adjacent to a teasing easily squishable car.

To my surprise, Russian angels showed up, out of the mist. They began to shake the van as it started its downhill slide, forcing it to turn as if it were a stubborn donkey. The van turned perpendicular to the street. Denise was at the point of tears, maybe beyond, as we slid sideways down the road. The angels kept pushing the left front and right rear of the van, in opposite directions as it continued to slide. I turned my wheel downward and when the van was almost parallel with the road, I gingerly compressed the gas pedal. I rolled down the window and said, "Spaceeba." (thank you in Russian) as we drove away, back down the road we came up. Denise was shaken. I was relieved. I told her that I was going to drive back to Debi's
Debi was
delighted that we had returned. I mentioned that when we were kids, we did overnighters with our friends, even if they only live next door. Why did we stop doing such a fun thing when we grow up?
The following day, we left Debi's and drove home, only nine miles away. It took us an hour to drive over the icy roads and through the heavy snail paced traffic.
Celeste was waiting for us. She had been at work, counting ballots until after midnight. Her boss's husband drove his 4 wheel drive
Jeep to bring Celeste and his wife home. It took him almost 3 -1/2 hours to drive 18 miles home. Celeste didn't get to lay her tired bones in her bed until 3:30 AM. Celeste was so tired, pobrecita (poor little thing). Then to add insult to injury, my brother, John's, phone call roused her out of bed at 8:00 AM. He was trying to find me to conference in for a happy belated birthday wish to my brother, Rick. The morning trickster would not let her sleep soundly because she kept getting phone calls from people looking for Denise and I.
I am working from home. Denise and I drove 4 hours to get my lap top. A new
storm was supposed to blow in. So we decided to at least make the attempt to retrieve my lap top so I could work from home in case I became ice bound and unable to get out of the neighborhood.