Sunday, July 30, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Halfway up our tallest hemlock, a moon-faced owl sat perched, staring down into our yard. I called loudly for P-Daddy to come out too. I didn't want him to miss it! He came out with D in arms, and we sat watching the cacophany. Every bird in the vicinity had flocked to this tree. Each branch was laden with angry, small birds intent on driving this predator away. When finally he left, shortly after G joined us, he flew directly diagonal across our backyard, giving us a beautiful view of his wingspan and coloring. It was a magnificent, large specimen of Northern Saw-whet Owl.
OH how I wish for my camera to be repaired. I tried to get pictures, but he was just too far up the tree.
What really trips me out is that Shnaygirl and I heard the flipping thing earlier that day, and couldn't figure out what it was, this after a conversation about totems.
Lunch today: bubble and squeak, using cabbage, onions and purple new potatoes from the farm.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I love cookies. But only homemade cookies. Slightly sweet, lots chocolate-chippedy and somewhat tender, homemade cookies. G describes them as "crunchy outside and fluffy inside." Dat's what I'm talkin' about.
Schnaygirl took the big ones to swim class (she and Schnaybaby are in class at the same time) while I stayed behind with little D to make the cookies. They all get out of the pool ravenous, so I thought it would be nice to end the weeks' class by giving them big fat treats. Schnaygirl was in on it of course, but kept mum so the kids were all lit with glee. Much fun. I especially enjoyed having that baby to myself. It so rarely happens, and we really got to have fun with one another. It helped fill my love cup significantly!
It's back to being perfect NW summer. We almost fell asleep in the balmy, sunny, 70-degree backyardedness.
Neighborgirl lost her turtle in our back woods when she put down his carry-basket to go pick blackberries with G. I feel real sorry for her, but I don't hold out much hope of finding Oscar. With a compost pile right on the edge, he's probably going to burrow in and we'll not see him again until he's as big as Presleydog.
After P-Daddy came home tonight, he met turtle challenge head on. After scouring the immediate surrounds with no success,
"Show me exactly where the turtle escaped!
"What time did he get loose?"
P-daddy spent a half hour building a "turtle trap."
I haven't seen the fruits of his labor, so I am not certain what that entails, but if it works I know two little girls who will be thrilled, and two parents who will feel relief that they've not just released 250.00 to the wild.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
KAREN HUCKS; The News Tribune
Published: July 25th, 2006 01:00 AM
Superior Court Judge John McCarthy approved an agreement Monday that allows Riley Rogers’ mother, Tina Carlsen of Sumner, to see him as often as she wishes, as long as his dad is there.
Riley was born with deformed kidneys, and Child Protective Services took custody of him in June after Carlsen opposed his doctors’ treatment plan. He underwent surgery – an operation his mother feared would kill him – June 30 to prepare him for kidney dialysis to filter toxic by-products from his blood.
Two and a half weeks ago, McCarthy approved an agreement that let Riley go home to Bonney Lake with his father, Todd Rogers, until a trial over whether the state Department of Social and Health Services will take permanent custody of the child.
Under the agreement, Rogers has to take Riley to his medical appointments, comply with treatment and keep in contact with the court. Carlsen was allowed to visit the boy – whom she was still breast-feeding – at least twice a week, but only with supervision from the state.
Also Monday, McCarthy postponed the trial – scheduled for August – until October.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Poor G. Her first and former swim instructor through the Charleston county parks department really sucked. She was also the only one in the class (why they kept it open I don't know!) and as a result got all the attention and no breaks. Making it worse, she got to see her little brother in the tots class one pool over, yukking it up with his full class and P-daddy in the pool with him. If she were a different kid, or wasn't so afraid, that may have been a good thing. As it is, she's still pretty scarred by it.
Fast forward to this morning, where G's vocal anxiety provoked N into saying he wasn't going in the pool, he was scared and he wasn't going to have any fun, etc etc. I maintained an upbeat, positive dialogue with them but it didn't seem to help G overcome her fears. N literally jumped right into things and had "super fun," but G was a screamer again at the very beginning. I actually left the pool area and watched through the windows. Without me there, while the tears were plentiful, G didn't scream. She participated pretty well actually, and only opted out of one activity. For all the buildup I am pretty pleased with how she did.
N, on the entirely other hand, was like a little fish. I am excited for him, and I hope maybe a little of that enthusiasm will wear off on G-girl. He was all smiles and can't stop talking about it.
The teacher is awesome, and they have a lot of protocols in place for the terrified swim student. They don't force the kids to do anything and they are all smiles. No judgments, no pressure. Perfect for G in this environment, and extreme fun for the kids like N and EV who aren't scared.
After swim, we went to Kelly's Diner and had ice cream and pancakes, then went on to the Beach Basket to get tomato cages for our droopy darlings. The lady behind the counter gave each of the kids a stuffed, decorative flower. So nice. It truly was a pleasant morning overall. Lots of positives to balance the scary swim class for G.
I hate feeling like I am forcing any sort of lesson on her. She has to learn this, though. We live on the beach, we're surrounded by water wherever we go and she loves it so much. I don't feel that swimming is an optional lesson. It's a life skill, like wearing helmets when you ride, holding hands when you cross the street, taking water when you hike or driving properly. I am emotionally invested in this beyond where I want to be, because I want her to be stronger than I was. I want her fear gone. I want it eradicated by her own empowered skill set. If she weren't so terrified, I wouldn't feel so strong about it.
I don't want her to go through childhood with the secret shame of not being able to swim. Already, all of her friends swim, and do it well. I didn't learn how to swim properly and overcome my terror of water until I was in college, when I was a camp counselor and knew I had to be responsible for other children. As a result I took a lifeguard training course. I didn't get my certification. but the instructor pegged me for what I was really there for and I finally did learn how to swim every which way, and do it well.
You see, my family of origin literally thought "sink or swim" was a valid way to go about things. G is very much like me, and the terror I had for water just incited my parents to anger. They thought it was all drama and would toss me into the Atlantic ocean whenever they could to "get me used to it." When the tossing didn't work, they thought gently carrying me out into the calm, deep water past the breakers and releasing me would work. They did try in their own misguided ways ways to teach me to swim, but they mercifully gave it up. On a vacation with my grandparents (without my parents) when I was 9, my uncle impulsively decided to give it another shot. He picked me up and thew me into the deep end of a hotel pool. I still remember the terror, the sensation of spinning end over end in the water, the sting as the water entered my sinuses and I inhaled in shock. I remember hearing muffled screaming as my grandparents demanded he go in after me. They knew I wasn't coming back up, but he waited, as he was just so sure I would. He got me right as I was blacking out.
Needless to say, G is in no danger of anyone doing that to her. However, my life experiences clearly inform how I am reacting to her own challenges.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I am running around in the early AM getting the chores done while it's not so hot inside, so that we can just "be" in the afternoons. Unfortunately the heat isn't fading at sundown like we've grown accustomed to, so our I-don't-want-to-move stupor continues well into the evening. I grew up in this (we didn't get a/c until I was at least nine years old in semi-tropical SC) and I am remembering how to handle it, but the rest of my poor family is just wilting. G can't sleep in her room because she has a loft bed and is about nine inches from the ceiling. That's GREAT during the winter here, but imossible to withstand now.
I know if we had a/c we would most certainly abuse it and use it far more often than necessary. However, this house in particular is not built for withstandng a heat wave. It's built, successfully and awesomely, to capture as much sun as possible in a moderate climate. It's difficult to get a true draft going and that is frustrating me to no end. Today it was 89.6 inside the house until 9 PM.
I know this entry is rambling but hey. I'm uncomfortable.
Friday, July 21, 2006
I don't mind the heat when there is a/c to provide respite. But even in the shade today, it is HAWT, and yup we don't have a/c.
The upper readout it the temperature outside, in a shade grove. The lower temp is is registering our INSIDE temperature.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
My Aunt Barbara just sent me
of Starbucks coffee for my birthday.
Yay me! Yay her! Yay Yay Yay!
Now here's how my mind works:
She just saved us coffee purchasing for about 6 weeks. Just ONE week of coffee for us is about 10-12 dollars. My espresso maker that died (ok, that was brutally murdered) has a replacement value of about 25.00. One of the bags of coffee is true espresso roast.
Oh the temptation. You lurky-loo people need to vote. Tell me to do it!!!!! Or to continue to allow natural attrition to take it's course in our home. I don't NEED an espresso maker after all, right?
Monday, July 17, 2006
Cambriolina came by today for a bit with her four, amazing, friendly children. We enjoyed their company immensely. We had black bean soup for lunch (immersion blender!) and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Cam brought the strawberries and whipped cream, but we decided to have dessert first, prepared by the little girls.
After meeting, H and G only surfaced from time to time to eat strawberries or to show us a shell. Moms serve no purpose when 6 year old girls are together. I could not believe the resemblance between GirlPants and the newest Camlet. Yes, I took pix of that too.
We hiked down to the beach and watched the kids explore. The landslide is back in good form, so the kids got ultra grubby. We got sucked into the time warp and didn't come back up the hill until 5 pm. YIKES.
Today's title is brought to you by Cambriolina, commenting on the spacing of my kids. Happy to be done, I mentioned that feeling, and she said "If he's not fixed, you're not done!" Incidentally kind friends, Cambriolina is the woman who brought me, and therfore all of you RT friends, the zesty word Fucktard.
I did take pix. I suppose I COULD share babyness with the world. What do you think, Cam?
Poor Bill the crab bit it today as well, a fact that came to our attention shortly before the strawberry fest. G said "Mommy I am worried about Bill, he stinks." NOT GOOD WORDS when you're describing shellfish. Indeed, despite happily crawling about yesterday, Bill slid unhappily from his shell. I told her he may be sick, but we would let him rest in the window while we went about our day. On the phone, P voted down a swaparoo, so I let her know the bad news after everyone had left.
That evening, we let her know and she buried him in the corner she had already set aside as a Shadow-the-poodle memorial site. She said it made her feel better to know that Bill was playing in heaven. Now she wants to replace him with a new crab, already named "marble." Given that she did everything she was supposed to on a daily basis and took excellent care of Bill, we are going to do it. I think the sun is what did him in (P-daddy thought having him outside with us in the sunshine would make him happy) so no more heat of the day for hermit crabs.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Ability is a poor man's wealth.
I've been on a two day push to get things beyond acceptable. We all know acceptable. And with three children under 6, one of whom is 18 mos old, and a homeschool room? Fuhggeddaboutit.
Still, I have pushed. The laundry is done. I saw the bottom of several hampers before the end of the day. Not just the clothes; the bedding is clean and fresh on all bed. The napkins and dish towels all clean and put away.
The newly repaired vacuum is back to it's formerly raging self. I had forgotten how good this vacuum was until we got it back. It has been less than par for some time now. Now, it propels itself along quite nicely. Insta-clean! WooT! Every room.
I scrubbed the bathrooms. I cleaned the pets and their bedding.
The schoolroom office is somewhat disheveled, but I can forgive myself because every other room is not just picked up, it's clean.
I suspect this will last about two days, but if I continue on my rave I will get it back to motivated-moms-maneagable. I have enlisted the children, given them new family chores and they're not resisting too much. I was not a raving lunatic when I assigned them so I am sure that had something to do with it. Food! I still fed them, and actually washed the dishes immediately after!
I feel wealthy because I am not tripping over things. I don't have mystery odors. The carpet (albeit stained) feels lush beneath our toes. In my single and professional lives, I was no stranger to resorts, and one thing I got to know real quick was that beauty was the facade. Gorgeous acreage, spectacular views and beautiful architecture, all yes! Bathrooms? Still grouted. Carpets? Still just... carpet. The difference for me between being home or being in a resort is that I don't have to clean.
So when things are so clean at the start of the day that I don't feel pressure, I feel wealthy.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Upon leaving the parking lot, we decided to go awaaaaaaaaay from home. It was one of theose beautiful fog-on-the-mountains days, so we decided to go towards them instead of away. The children and I were of one accord and wound up in Poulsbo for lunch, eating pizza at Central Market. So close to Bainbridge Island, we (ok this was *I*) decided I must have a latte on Bainbridge Island. I'd never been, and that's just a necessary part of the northwest experience, n'est ce pas? Of all the days NOT to remember the camera.
On the way there, however, we passed through the Res, and that always gets the babies in a lather. We stopped at the Suquamish Indian Tribe Center and Museum, which is excellent. What impressed me immediately was that unlike all the other reservation centers I have seen out here, this tribe actually USES their space.... they still behave as a tribe. This place was THRIVING. In the one complex, they had the geoduck seafood company, the tribal elders lodge, the rec center, the day care and the museum. They had some kind of something going on because we had to circle several times before finally inventing a parking space. The kids' heads kept bobbing as we passed the gigantic totem pole again and again.
N & G loved the museum but the baby of course, just enjoyed being able to flap around on his little bare feet. As he ran back and forth slapslapslapslap on the hardwood floors, G learned about Old Man House and Chief Seattle. She LOVED the exhibits and recognized many of her own beach treasures in the dioramas. She learned how they lived, what they ate, the whole nine. She especially loved seeing the basket of little dolls the children played with. When we left, she wanted to go see the Old Man House, so we went to the site (where D again ran about, this time stripping to the t shirt as he went giggle-shrieking in circles) and watched someone flying a kite on the Agate passage. This site was occupied as the heart of their community for over two thousand years. From there we went to Chief Sealth's grave.
That was an amazing moment for me, personally. G marveled over being in "an indian graveyard" while I freaked inside about finally seeing Chief Sealth's grave. In college, my minor concentration was Native American studies, but never did I think I'd actually be able to be there and it was powerful for me. I loved especially how well the tribe today has kept the grave as native as possible. In a Christian burial ground, Chief Sealth's headstone is a white headstone with a cross on it. The tribe has built a large structure over it, resembling the frame of a long house painted with black and red designs reminiscent of their canoes. It's freshly painted, which I think is wonderful. They're keeping hold of their heritage, which is hard to do in a culture like ours.
On the way home G drew a picture of the Old Man Long House, taken from her memory of studying the line drawings in the museum. I need to scan it so it looks better but here is a snapshot:
PS.... We never crossed the bridge. So we still haven't been to Bainbridge Island!
Monday, July 10, 2006
We purchased a Plaster Caster at Grocery Outlet for 4.95. Our box is identical in photography and content, but was packaged as a Discovery Kids product instead of Alex. So we got 40.00 off. (Corporate America is just wasteful!) I think this is going to be one of the best purchases EVER. The kids LOVE LOVE to paint pottery, but just the studio fee for the two of them is more than that! N made a car, G made a star and pottery painting at home is a GO GO GO. Nikirj gave us a vatload of cast-off sculptor's clay so I am hoping we will be able to use that in this machine. This is gonna be cool.
I did it! I made supper, kissed my family and went for a powerwalk. I will see how I feel tomorrow, but right now I am feeling pretty enervated. I think I overdid it, but it was cool. The loop I was on took me through this neighborhood and the two next to ours, down to the beach where I slowed it down and collected some fireworks litter, and then back up the hill to home. All the ridges have wonderful views of Henderson Bay and Mt. Rainier.
I was surprised to see how active everything was too. I think that's a real highlight of life here; after dinner people still go back outside and do things. They walk or chat with neighbors, or like some families I saw, head back down to the beach. This was so cool, too: at the mouth of the richest neighborhood's trail down to the beach, a Mom was letting out a vat load of teenagers. They followed me down to the water with strict instructions from Mom to meet them at the gate by 10PM. They lit a bonfire and spent the evening on the beach.
I so hope we get to stay, and raise our kids here.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
The birthday girl was FUNNY. She's hearing impaired, about 50 percent deaf. With the waterworks and ringing voices of so many children she was, as her Mom put it, "deaf as a doorknob." She had a blast, just swimming and leaping and smiling at everyone. She was the perfect birthday girl.
G had some issues. I was lucky enough to leave the boys home with P-Daddy, but we left L'il Bit's noodle by the front door. When we first got there, all the kiddies were willing to share nicely, but towards the end there was kicking and pushing for the available pool floaties. It felt like G was the only one who couldn't swim, even to me, so for her it had to be terrible. She hasn't been in a real pool since the one time early last year in Federal Way, and her swimlessons were the year before that.
She played, "swam," splashed and even came down the giant slide, but she has a very specific stark terror of submerging her face. She feels like she will inhale, even though everyone else knows to hold their breathe. She is sure that she will not be able to do that. Hopefully we will be able to get her into swim classes next month as planned. I want her to get past this, and not carry this fear into teenage years as I did.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I probably wouldn't choose to buy a fava bean, but given that we get them through our CSA, FarmerT has to date provided my family with 4 POUNDS of fava beans. ~L~ is not about to waste some veggies.
We had friends come over on Saturday and that seemed like a good opportunity to offload some fava bean action. Fava beans are also difficult in another way: you don't shell them once, you shell them TWICE. There is the huge, ugly outer layer, which you snap off. Within spongy, perfect for mailing packages foam stuff you discover perfectly smooth, bright, huge green beans. Think Jack and the beanstalk beans. These are the beans that you blanche and then shell again to get to the smaller lima-bean shaped bean that smells much like wet dog.
Anyway, the original scary veggie is huge and pretty fun to shell. If you're say, four years old, it's like cracking open a green banana and digging for treasure. What started as Mommies shelling beans turned into a full out bean-snapping party. It was fun for all of us!
Many hands do make light work, and it was nice for the children to receive instant gratification for their work...not that they ate any of the four POUNDS.
I have to admit, it was enormously complicated to produce a dish that despite garlic, bacon, onions and chicken stock, still smelled like wet dog and tasted like lima beans.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I got this cowardly, well-timed response from the Governor's Office minutes after the verdict was publicized. I wanted "investigation" to be a word in this letter. Jibberish.
Thank you for writing to Governor Gregoire about Riley Rogers, the 9-month old who has now had the surgical procedure necessary for him to be treated for his kidney condition.
As a mother, herself, the Governor can appreciate how difficult these past weeks must have been, not only for Riley's family but also for the physicians who felt there was no alternative but to seek court intervention in this case.
There are no easy answers in sensitive medical cases, like this one, that involve conflicting views about treatment. The hospital and the mother are both considering the child's best interests. This case ended up in the court system because current law prevents a physician from overriding a parent's decision. It is unfortunate that this private, personal matter could not have been resolved in some other way - the Governor can imagine that the decisions made by both sides were very difficult.
Governor Gregoire thanks you for contacting her.
Angela M. Gregg
Christine O. Gregoire
Coming from the family of origin that I do, controversy and conflict don't scare me much. My worst fear regarding my interactions with my friends is that I will defend myself too well or too early against slights imaginary or intended, and as a consequence that I will hurt their feelings. I can see almost every side to any conflict, and I assume the best intent in my friend. While I may heartedly disagree with their perspective, I still see it and allow that perception to sway me away from confrontation even when I should probably call them out on something inappropriate.
I know I can protect myself, I just don't want to hurt anyone else in the process.
Ironically, as a result I tend to let things go too long or too far. I take too much. When I finally decide I have had enough, I just let it fade ... and the person is left behind. No muss, no fuss, just a gentle grief.
I hate that.I don't want to experience that with my friends. The whole concept of "outgrowing friends" disgusts me, even while I see how it can be true in some situations.
I have two women right now with whom I am facing that dilemma. One loves me far less than I love her, and the other wants more of me than I can share. One relationship transitioned badly from online friend to real time friend, while the other is in a weird sort of stall while my friend transitions wildly from one station in her life to the next. In the first circumstance, my friend could not give me any latitude for processing the enormous changes on my own life. She wanted what she wanted and didn't care to hear from me what I needed, or the pain in my body that would keep me from the experiences I would love to have shared with her. In the second, I find myself on the other side of the fence. I want to be sensitive to this person, but I find myself being the impatient one.
I miss the little losses of shared time, humor, experiences. I still look at both of them and see the shining examples of goodness and intelligence and humor within the flawed human beings that we all are. I mourn the absence of the sense of intimacy that lets you speak your mind or share a difficult truth without fear of over-reaction or petty reprisals. And if I can't have that now, well yes it is indeed "my loss," but I suppose I am not alone in that arena, because I have a lot to offer too.
I feel frustrated: aren't adults supposed to be beyond this?????? I have incredible friends in my life who have been steadfast for years. It doesn't have to be this way.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
"I need my head light!" came a small voice, accompanied by a scratchy little series of clicks. A stream of incandescent blue light shot ahead of us, lighting the gravel incline. N had turned on his flashlight headgear, followed shortly by his mom and dad's. G, taking point, lit her yellow flashlight. Always first, always yellow. We climbed up from the beach and then loaded G&N in the red wagon and D in the stroller and made our way back home.
We'd been part of our community, truly our local community. Down at the beach, many people from our neighborhood shot off huge amounts of beautiful fireworks, lit bonfires, sat around drinking coffee (that cracked me up on the 4th of July!) or wine and enjoyed the show. We sat our blanket next to our next door neighbors and the moms bantered about who was going swimming while the girls, long hair flowing, danced around with sparklers. The little boys stayed close to blanket while the Dads [erg grunt me-man] built our bonfire and shot off enormous, brilliant fireworks. This tableau was repeated beach after beach all around the Bay. From Purdy to Kopachuk to Home to Anderson and Fox Islands, we could see the sparkle of fireworks. At 9.30 someone on the GH side put on a BIG show, one apparently this family does every year. Over the ridge you could see Tacoma's big guns in the background. It was very exciting, and definitely very convenient. We've hiked longer every 4th of July at Folly Beach just to get to our car, then faced the 35 minute drive home in traffic all the way.
Earlier that morning, I made an oatmeal-pancake breakfast with Bacon. G was stunned to see cream whipped into "homemade whipped cream!!!!!!!!!!!!" which we served with raspberries. We used the cobalt glass dishes, so it was a nice festive 4th breakfast.
We went out to the farm to pick up our share, then picked up some sparklers of our own on the way home. At the farm, the kids planted a couple of rows of corn in the children's garden and picked three pints of strawberries. They ate their strawberries while we sat out near (not next to, by any means) the beehives, watching them zoom to and fro. It was nice to have P-daddy with us, seeing the what exactly "picking up our share" entails. Farmer T really opens it all up.
In retrospect, as fatigued as we were, it was a glorious, idyllic summer's day.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Today I was uncharacteristically not-game-for-anything. Nothing. It's 2.41 and I am in public-appropriate PJs, but PJs nonetheless. I just wanted to hang around with the family. No plans, no schedule, no planned activities, nuffin.
N got a hairtrim this morning and is now next door playing with their boy. Their girl is over here, coloring with G. The girls and I have already spent some time together playing alphabet bingo and CHESS! Neighborgirl, at age 7 plays a proud game of chess. Talkabout nerdy Lory happiness. My girl? Playing chess with her friend? On purpose? Liking it?! AHHHHHHHH.
This is my response to him:
Thank you very much for writing about Tina Carlsen and Riley Rogers. Regardless of what led Carlsen to disagree with the physicians treating her son and whatever other treatments she had in mind, the fact that they lied to DSHS, law enforcement agencies and the media makes this a scary story. When a medical body pledged to "first, do no harm" promotes false information to use other public service agencies to bludgeon a family into compliance, that medical body needs to be held to close scrutiny.Many families in this region are waiting with bated breath to see what comes to light in this case. Are they capable of stealing our children, too? I appreciate you bringing this into a wider public forum, as these questions must be addressed.