This is how I get distracted:
I have ONE PURPOSE when I get on the laptop. I need to check how many people are attending a meeting tonight so I decide whether to cancel or not.
First mistake, I open my email and get distracted by the Google alert that a suspicious activity occurred and tried to get into my email (on Google that I rarely use but have a business listing).  So I take care of that, then I notice that my business listing is out of date.  Update that.  Then I can add photos.  ooooh!  So I add photos.  Then I update the hours and have to move a couple of things in photo folders so they’re ‘right’.

Then I check my Facebook.  No, I’m supposed to be checking the event page.  Check the event page and then copy and paste the event to the main meeting page as a reminder that there’s a meeting tonight.  

FedEx arrives with the wine shipment for an event in a couple of weeks.  Do I open it?  Do I put it away?  Do I get on the website and answer the survey?  
What about the drapery pole and drapes that need to be hung?  Should I start that now?
Did I look for the hook for the chicken coop?  Do they need food?

Then I check my Facebook page again.  And get into a discussion about a poll response (you know who you are – ha ha).

And I still have only had one cup of coffee.  And I have laundry to finish, dishes to unload, bags to sort through…




So yesterday I received a box from Chefwear, addressed to Your Personal Chef at my address.

As I didn’t order anything from Chefwear recently, I was a bit confused. I opened the box and inside was a packing list for 6 black XL Ultimate Chef pants; addressed to Applebee Services in Kansas City, MO. The Customer Order number was PAUGE NORMAN 399xxx.

I called Chefwear; but because they are located in CST, they were closed. I sent an email to customer support to let them know about the mistake.

I also attempted to call Applebee’s in Missouri but they were closed too (not the restaurant, but the corporate office).

This morning, I attempted again to call Applebee’s and didn’t get a resolution but eventually received an email from Chefwear Customer service. In an effort to make sure I wasn’t the original ordering Paige Norman, she sent me the email where the item(s) were purchased.  Indeed, they were ordered by Paige Norman in May of this year.

The email of this Paige Norman was attached, so I sent her an email:

Hi Paige, I’m Paige too!  This is by far the strangest email/delivery/coincidence I think I’ve ever had.

I am a personal chef in Redmond, Washington and I have ordered from Chefwear in the past, but not recently.  So imagine my surprise when I received a box from them yesterday address to my company (Paige Norman, Your Personal Chef) with 6 Black XL pants inside. 

I tried to call Applebee’s last night and Chefwear, but both were closed because of time zone differences.  I did contact Chefwear by email and am working with Cassandra to get these returned to them; and hopefully eventually to you.

Hope you’re having a great day – I’m attaching a scanned copy of the packing list for your reference.  

She sent me a response:

Hi Paige,

Thank you so much for all of your efforts to return the pants to me. Actually that was an order I tried to cancel. Chefwear sent them by mistake. If you still have the pants you might want to return to Chefware, or keep them. If they make it here I’ll return them again. It is so nice of you to go through all the trouble. 

With appreciation,

Other Paige Norman


This is the strangest email communication I have ever had, I think.  I have conversed with myself many a time, but never by email.

Facebook shows that there are several profiles for “Paige Norman”.  Most of them are young (at least the profile photos are); a few of them list other countries (Germany, UK, New South Wales).  There are 21 profiles on LinkedIn (including one for me as myself).

According to this fun little site http://howmanyofme.com/search/   there are 30,684 people in the U.S. with the First Name of Paige; and 78,147 people with the Last Name of Norman.  There are 7 people in the U.S. named Paige Norman. (Obviously there are more than that if Facebook profiles are any indicator)

I’m sending the chef pants back to Chefwear as soon as I receive the shipping label; it’s just very remarkable that I have actually emailed myself-not-me and received a response back.  From myself-not-me.  I’m feeling like a very small speck in the cosmos right now… Wondering if I should contact the other “me’s” and form a club…









Rabbit Trails


This is not a post about rabbits.  Although they are furry, cute and apparently their feet are good luck, it’s not about bunnies.  It’s a post that begins with college and ends with seat belts.

Youngest son wants to go to college and he is the only one that has actively pursued his desire to attend college other than Jr./Community college. Child #4 wants to be an astronautical OR an aeronautical engineer.  He also wants to play football.  For reasons that would take another blog post to describe, he will probably not be able to attend a school with a D1 football team in a large conference.

So, he’s been making a list for a while and as he’s a Jr. this year, we thought we’d visit several and combine family vacation and college wish list.  MLK weekend in January we drove to Portland and visited Portland State and Oregon State.  OSU is his DREAM school and he’d love to go there.  But they are a D1 athletic team in a huge conference and he’d suit up but never play.  A guy’s gotta dream.  During a rainy, grey weekend in Portland and Corvallis we ate some terrific food, watched the ‘Hawks lose to the Panthers and visited both campuses.

Next up was Arizona, so we stayed with my nephew, niece and their 2 boys and flew down over President’s weekend/mid-winter break.  80 degree temps, sunshine, fantastic food and great company.  The guys went shooting, we drove to Peoria and viewed the fields (too early for any games), toured ASU, then made a lightning trip to Tucson to see UA.

Then for spring break, we flew to Texas.  Well, we flew INTO Dallas/Ft. Worth, drove to Denton, then to Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Nacogdoches, then Houston and flew out of Houston.  7 days, 6 colleges.  Plus we saw the Alamo, the Riverwalk (and cruise), took a glass-bottom boat cruise, visited LBJ Space Center and looked out over Houston from the 60th floor of the Chase Tower.  We also spent a day in Austin with a friend and her family, had a terrific dinner with a gorgeous sunset and did the touristy stuff like the capitol building.  More sunshine, beautiful weather and great food.

So husband wants to know how much all the travel cost.  I spend the day making a couple of reports.  Not as bad as I thought, but not what my credit card balance would like to be burdened with either.  In between contemplating which bank I’m going to rob to pay off the card and returning the supplies from the “Chicken Palace”, my mind wanders from lack of money to lack of seat belts.

Still with me?  No?  Hang on.  We spent $$$$ on the College Tour and $$$$ on the Chicken Palace.  I lost a client in March because she no longer needed me to watch her teenage son.  I also have a part-time client who is taking a long vacation this summer, so I’m short $$$ every month.  This means I need to get another client.  This means I need to have the car seats — ergo — seat belts for the little darlings to sit in while I’m driving around dropping children off and picking children up from schools.

I have two new kids starting this week for 3 days a week, which works out until August when the part-time returns.  In October I’m supposed to start watching an infant full-time.  So I’m losing the income of $$, but gaining the income of $$$.  This means I break even through the summer with the changes in kids I watch, but I’ll need to have more available seats eventually.  So the new seat/booty/belt count if you’re lost is:

Monday – Thursday 5, Friday 3.  Most weeks.  Until mid-August and then it’s M/W/Th 5, Tuesday 6 and Friday 4.  And then it all changes in October again.

This means I start thinking about changing the vehicle I’m leasing.  My 2 year ‘leasaversary’ (not a word) is August; so maybe I’ll upgrade to a bigger car to take care of the additional needs.  This means I will probably pay more $$ for the lease, but I’ll be making more $$ because of the 2 more kids, then the infant in October.  So then I spend 2 hours researching cars.

And now you understand the rabbit trail.  Budget to college to travel to chickens to car seats to seat belts to new cars.



These are my choices:


  1. Vote for the guy with an “R” by his name.
  2. Vote for the lady.
  3. Vote for the guy that wants to give everyone free stuff.
  4. Not vote at all.


So, I’ll discuss these in reverse order.


4) I have a lot of friends, acquaintances and family that have told me they’re not voting.  At all.  For any candidate.  Because the choices are horrible, neither/none of them are what our country needs, neither/none of them are (insert religious belief here).  Those are the top 3 reasons, but there are many more.  Let me state right now that I completely understand their reasoning.

I still think that not voting is like voting for the other person, just like staying silent is a form of approval.


3) I cannot vote for Bernie Sanders because (if he makes it through the Primary) the “free” stuff that he’s giving to everyone is paid for on the backs of the taxpayers.  That’s me.  So I’m not really getting free stuff; I’m working like a freedom-disabled person (*) to pay for my stuff so I can pay taxes to the government so they can give free stuff for other people who think they deserve the stuff that others don’t get unless they work for it.  Besides, it’s not possible for me to say “President Sanders” for the next 4 years without thinking of chicken.



2) I cannot vote for Hillary because she represents everything that is wrong with our society.  She is untrustworthy, unethical and incompetent.  Sure, she’s a former attorney, former first lady and former secretary of state.  The Whitewater scandal, Lewinsky, Benghazi and email; are just the short list of reasons the American public should never trust her (or anyone associated with, married to or birthed by her).



She’s not intelligent enough to know about using a ‘private’ email server to discuss sensitive, top-secret issues and not honorable enough to defend our military and contractors in a foreign country.  Currently she’s unemployed while campaigning for the highest ranking job in our country.  As the Secretary of State her job was to manage foreign policy through the State Department.  The State Department is responsible for international relations, including

“The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development[citation needed]. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.


  • Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad;
  • Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace;
  • Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts.
  • Keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials.


<Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_State>


Because she did such a terrific job protecting and assisting US Citizens, including a US Ambassador, we should of course trust her to take care of our country in a like fashion.



1) Trump.  The Hair, the marriages, the money, the bravado.  He may be a fantastic businessman, but that hardly qualifies him to be President of the United States.  He’s in many ways just as corrupt as Hillary and just as delusional as Bernie.  He’s been involved in racial discrimination, bankruptcy, sexual harassment and a slew of other financially biased deals and disputes; this of course makes him perfect as a politician, but lousy as the president. And, I don’t believe he’s the best guy for the job because he in no way represents what I believe a president should be.




So now, let’s discuss voting in Washington State…I have to declare my party affiliation to vote in the primary.  So, I’m forced to vote for a party and not a candidate.   Then my state further betrays my freedom to vote by casting all electoral votes for the “D” party, regardless of how many votes any other nominee received (since 1988).  Tell me again how my vote counts?  Explain to me how voting for the best candidate is possible?  Educate me on how the Electoral College is still a better method than popular vote after 229 years?




So, what’s a God-fearing, red-blooded, conservative, capitalist, life-long voting woman to do?




(*) formerly known as the word ‘slave’

Things I’m working on


I’ve got quite a few things I’m working on, but none of them are complete enough to post; so here’s a “tease” of what’s coming up:

1) Process of Issues from Planning Commission to Council to Council Meeting — I’ve got most of the information down, but I’m just checking some facts and getting a few details cleaned up.  Basically, this is what happens to an “issue” after the Planning Commission gets it.

2)  City Council Voting Record — there is no actual report on the voting record of the Redmond City Council, so yours truly is going through the minutes of every meeting.  I finished 2010, so I have to figure out how to put it in a readable format and possibly links to the Ordinances, etc. that are discussed.  I’ve requested years 2000 – 2009 from the City Clerk’s office which she’ll send me based on a Public Records Request.  Years 2010-current are available online.

3)  Quarterly Book Review — the books I’ve read so far this year.  Doesn’t include the books I’ve read on my e-reader, but my goal is to read classics this year.  I was going to wait until the end of the year, but I think I’ll make it a quarterly review.

4) GOP Caucus – Legislative District 2016     I made some notes during the 4 hour (plus) caucus.  And, of course, I have an opinion and some suggestions.

I’ve got other things going too, but that’s just what’s pushed up to the top.

Thanks for reading!

“How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” (REI)


On a whim, I signed up for a free class at REI.  I figured I had nothing to do that evening (other than everything); it sounded fun and would get me out of the house.  The class was booked up, so I put my name on the wait list and decided I’d go hang out even if I didn’t get a call because the worst that could happen was I would show up to a full class and I’d spend the evening at (nameless coffee-house) with a coffee and a good book-boyfriend.

The morning of the class I received a phone call that they had openings available, so I excitedly prepared for my evening of learning.  I even asked if my husband wanted to go with me; he decided that Thursday Night Football was more exciting.  His loss.

Readied with my trusty smart-phone and my coat, I braved the parking lot and found my way to the classroom.  A 4-page, photocopied handout and some lollipops were waiting next to the sign-in sheet.  My name wasn’t on the sheet, so I wrote it in and checked the waiver box.   Guess they were serious about the legal stuff!

I sat in the front row, because the voice of my parents echoes in my head to this day.  “Only bad kids sit in the back of the church; so you’d better be up front.”  <Yes, I need therapy and my counselor is aware my parents are in my head.>  I scanned the information on the handout; disappointed that some of the text was nearly impossible to read.  I hoped the instructor was prepared and equipped to handle a training of this nature; more than the handout provides.

A young pony-tailed man enters the room and greets me; flippantly discusses my position in the front row then smiles and greets the remainder of my classmates who are, characteristically-for-Redmond, late.   Apparently their urgency to learn about this subject is not as great as mine.  The man continues to chat amiably with the class and then looks up and shouts in surprise as a man stumbles down the aisle of the classroom.  His skin is blue-gray and he is wearing what appears to be a  “Chinaman’s Hat”.  Our instructor screams and runs out of the room, leaving us alone with the intruder.

Our stumbling blue-skinned intruder is hardly scary, but then I’m probably expecting the “Living Dead” (*) instead of “Vampire Lestat” <I am well aware that vampires are in a different classification than Zombies, but it’s my blog.>  Our “zombie impersonator” is even younger than the original man and I’m ready to get that coffee because, really?  Blue-grey skin?  White t-shirt and jeans?  Not even some bloodshot eyes or fake wounds?  How unrealistic!

Our “zombie impersonator” instructor is a 22-year-old who was born and raised in Redmond but spends his time now in Colorado on a “luxury dude ranch” (he says with a sneer) guiding tourists on hikes and trails.  He’s pretty personable and starts in right away with our class, leaving me no time to exit without making a scene.


His opening line makes me shiver a bit; “You’ve all heard the news that the CEO of REI is closing all stores on Black Friday because he wants everyone to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery instead of standing in line for a bigger, better flat screen or phone.”  (pause for effect) “The REAL reason he’s closing the store that day is because the Zombie Apocalypse has been planned for that day and he wants to give us all time to prepare.”  <Deadpan.  This guy is gooooood!>

Types of disasters

There are 3 types of disasters:

Natural — floods, earthquakes, etc.
Man-made — nuclear or atomic bombs, terrorism, etc.
Pandemic — H1N1 (Swine Flu), SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), H5N1 (Bird or Avian Flu), Ebola and Z0mb1

The method of infection for Z0mb1 is via bodily fluid or being bitten by an infected source

The best way to survive any disaster is to be prepared and have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).  Those with a will to survive, motivation and the abilities to stay calm, be determined and use good judgement have the best chances of survival.

th (2)

Stressors include injuries, watching people become infected or die, finances, food, water and first aid/supplies depletion.

First Aid course beneficial and may save your life or the lives of others.

Shelter important, make it lightweight for traveling or secure if staying in one place.  Obscure windows and keep lights to a minimum to avoid detection.  Flat areas, hilltops or in a clearing; also lake shores are ideal for camps or shelters.  Long-range visibility is a must!

You will need to be able to build and maintain a fire for cooking, drying clothing, cooking and purifying water.  Flint & steel, lighter, other methods of starting fires are imperative and should be in your emergency/disaster case.

You will need to have 1 gallon or purified water available for each person in your party per day.  Purification systems from sporting goods stores are ideal; boiling water is possible as well.

Food should be non-perishable, freeze-dried, MRE or ready-to-eat meals are preferable.  Canned foods are acceptable but may be heavy to carry and you will need to have a way to open the cans.

Communication with other survivors is essential; you may also need to keep informed of events, quarantined areas, etc.  Alerting other survivors of infestations is important as well.   Making noise is not advised as it will alert the infected to your location and will increase your detection.  Preferred forms of communication or signals include ground to air fire or flares, lights, signals or flags or cell phones.  Air horns or whistles are less favored due to the noise factor.  You will also need to have a weather radio with a hand crank.  You will also need to consider methods of charging cell phones or other electronics; solar chargers are relatively inexpensive and lightweight.  Extra batteries are helpful but only have a 6 month shelf life.

Identify your attacker

Two types of Zombies:
Fast movers and slow movers

Identification is key!

th (3)

Recognizing the Zombie:
Zombie creatures will moan, have a death stench, blue-grey or grey skin color and stumble or have jerky and unsteady movement and mobility.  Face will have grey tone and eyes may be bloodshot or glazed and unfocused.

Physiology of z0mb1

Infection always kills host over the course of contamination.

Initially the infected human will appear dead and be mobile (see “Recognizing the Zombie”), however over the course of the infection, the host will go through 5 stages:

Fresh new


Active decay

Advanced decay


There may be three stages of decomposition of the host; but limited samples exist for confirmation.

Lifespan of z0mb1 host is approximately 48 hours.


Host body is no stronger than they were when human.  So if you were a wimpy noodle as a human, you’re not going to be John Cena as a Zombie.

Zombies cannot be trained as pets (I really don’t understand this comment at all.  WHO WOULD WANT A PET ZOMBIE????)

Zombies do NOT EAT BRAINS.  They eat humans.  All types of living humans.

Defeating the Zombie

th (1)

Limber up before attacking zombies, don’t pull a muscle!  You want to make sure you’ve done all your stretching as you may need to defend yourself for long periods of time.

Best defense is avoidance.  This takes planning and knowing the enemy.

No firearms.  Although guns may look cool and work in the movies/TV, firearms are not the best form of defense against zombies.  They are very noisy and will alert other zombies in the area to the presence of humans.

You should be adequately protected from the zombie and wear a helmet and gloves in addition to your other clothing.

Hand-to-hand combat is the most effective way to defeat zombies.  Hand weapons like pick axe, hatchet, katana (because who doesn’t carry one of these around?) and machetes are very practical weapons against zombie attach.

Aim for the head with plans to crush the skull.  Most deadly locations are head, heart and neck.  Hitting a zombie anywhere else will only slow them down, but not kill them.  Blunt objects are effective too.

After terminating the zombie, you want to leave the body where it falls.  Tape and tag the body, then evacuate your camp and relocate to another spot.  DO NOT INCINERATE THE BODY.  This will release airborne toxins and spread the disease.

Planning ahead

Avoidance of zombies is preferred, but it’s wise to know where the infestations are located.  You should always be prepared for an unexpected zombie encounter.



Heed warnings

Travel in groups

Avoid wildlife

Know environment

Know abilities

Avoid rooftops, sporting goods stores, grocery stores, hospitals, shopping malls (large concentrations of people)

What to pack in your Emergency Zombie Apocalypse container:

Extra clothing.  Plan to layer including a base layer of smart wool, insulating layer of down or ‘prima-loft’ and an outer layer of rain gear.  Don’t forget to cover your head and hands as well.

To cover and protect your feet you’ll need liner socks, smart wool socks and either hiking boots and/or trail runners.  Gaiters are recommended to further protect your feet and legs.

Navigation (Compass, maps, GPS)

Sun protection (wind and sunburn, chapped lips)

Insulation (clothing, extra set if you can)

Illumination (headlamp, candles, flashlight)

First aid supplies

Fire (lighter, flint/steel)

Repair kit (pool kit or similar to repair tire, tents or ???)

Nutrition (food)

Hydration / filter  / Camelback

Emergency shelter  (space blanket)

Communication (walkie-talkies or radios)

Zombie defenses

Batteries / solar

Cooking pans

Emergency kit

Extra clothes

Multi use tools – Leatherman

Toilet paper



Garbage bags

Baby wipes/moist towelettes

Plastic ties

Manual can opener

Meds (aspirin, glasses, Benadryl, prescriptions)

Cash (just in case?)

Blanket/sleeping bag/hammock

Cook stove

“How to survive a zombie apocalypse” may have been a ploy to have people buy emergency gear.  Or it may have been a fun way to increase sales during a traditionally low retail period.  Whatever the reason, it was a fun class with an interesting take on preparedness, camping and emergency readiness.

I’m thankful that my husband and sons are or have been scouts; and the only items we don’t have in the above list are a solar charging panel for the electronics and a water filter.  My only purchase was a weather radio as we’ve talked about the need for one several times.

A friend and I have jokingly (or not) formed an allegiance to fight demons; she is my liege and I am her faithful sidekick.  We have chosen our uniforms and weapons; but have little in the way of actual training.  No word if REI plans on hosting a “How to Kick Demon-butt” class, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

(1)  A little background about my fear of zombies:  Back in the dark ages of the 1960’s, a movie was made called “Night of the Living Dead”.  An impressionable and shy child, I was attending my first year of public school at the middle school level.  One of the amenities this school provided was movie day; if I remember it was quarterly. 

Educational facilities didn’t have to worry about scarring children for life,  offending students or parents or silly things like trauma; so if your parent wasn’t able to pick you up from school when you called at the office (with of all things a ROTARY phone), you weren’t even allowed to sit in the library during the movie.  You were required to sit in the classroom/theater where there was teacher supervision.

My mother, was a work at home mother, but unfortunately was not home during my phone call.  So, there I sat, in the back row with some of the incorrigible youth.  Evidently they didn’t want to see the movie either. 

Unfortunately for me, one of those incorrigibles was a teenage boy I had a crush on; the same boy who initiated me into the harshness of public school hierarchy by asking me if I would f**k him on a dare.  First week of school.  Yeah.  There was no political correctness or “wear orange against bullying” day and certainly no “Kelso” and his stupid guidelines.  Just WJ (I’m not sure why I’m protecting him by using initials, but…) and about 5 of the “cool” guys from school in the back row.  With me.

Back to the trauma of the movie…If you haven’t seen “Night of the Living Dead”, IMDB bills it as a “low-budget, black and white film”.  The zombies are outside and the people who don’t want to be eaten by them are barricaded inside a house.  To this day the only thing I remember from the movie is this little girl eating her mother.  Enough said.

Although I love vampire, ghost and werewolf movies, I have no plans to watch a zombie movie at any time in the present or future.  I mistakenly watched “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn” because I thought it would be just a slasher movie <don’t judge>, but when it turned into a zombie movie, I was done.  I do love “Thriller”, but it’s Michael Jackson and is a music video.

I understand that some of my friends may need to disown me because I have never watched even a portion of “The Walking Dead”.  You will likely be more prepared for said Zombie Apocalypse than I because of your education through TV.