Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sheets in the Garden

I went out there yesterday because the sheets drying in the garden evoked something in me. I remembered my own childhood, and my grandmother's line drying the clothes next to my grandfather's garden. Seeing them blowing in the gentle breeze just brought a sense of well-being so full that I wanted to try to capture it.

But I couldn't.

I tried

and I tried

and I tried

but no matter what I did it just looked like a faded sheet hanging over some tomatoes.

Finally, I abandoned the project and sat with the family to enjoy the sun. Then ~N~ gave me what I didn't know I needed. Technically, there are a hundred things wrong with this picture, but it captured the feeling I wanted to remember from that day and I love it:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunflowers and Home

This bee is on a mission

So loaded down with pollen, she couldn't walk correctly and continually lost her balance
I think this picture makes her look like she's on a satin pillow

The strange things you find in sunflower patches

Where's Waldo? Or should I say G-Ro?

The colors of a northwest summer


P-daddy and I feel like we have a newborn, but we did stay up for the Lunar Eclipse last night. We kept open the curtains in our bedroom and could watch the moon move across the sky from our bed. Very nice!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I am Shy. No I am not. Yes, really I am.

I am Shy. No I am not. Yes, really I am. And shy people hate me. Sort of. Or at least they're scared of me. Going to playdates where there will be new people is a stomach-clencher for me. Going to adult parties, especially, is a killer.

I wrote about this phenomenon elsewhere and Niki wrote this back to me. I thought it was pretty insightful, and it explains--at least temperamentally-- why our friendship meshes so well.

~L~, you are...interesting. Complex. Unboxable.

You develop anxiety over starting new relationships/meeting new people/being in unfamiliar places. Yet you're unabashed around people you don't know, once you're actually faced with them. People you don't care about...the server at a restaurant, customer service on the phone,'re not anxious about. It is the impression you seem to get anxious about, and that only matters with people you'll be having contact with later, so you don't have to be anxious about those incidental contacts as you go about your day (the way a shy person would).

I hope you know that I stepped neatly out of my comfort zone when I called you multiple times to try and figure out getting together for the first time. I don't like talking on the phone very much. I don't read people well over the phone, I get distracted easily, the kids are loud, I can't seem to multitask effectively while on the phone, etc, etc, etc. And I didn't know you all that well yet.

It isn't that shy people hate you. It is that people who like things peaceful and quiet and predictable hate you. ~M~and I are both pretty quiet people, but we like you because we like a little turmoil in our lives. Like I've said, if we were all quiet and predictable, we'd sit there drinking coffee and sighing to ourselves, and nobody would have fun. Um, plus you know I suck at the whole "predictable" thing. I plan my life like 5 minutes in advance.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge: Patterns

patterns are inherited

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Do you want some caffeine with that?

P-daddy had surgery last week Thursday. It was both elective and medically necessary, meaning he could have chosen not to seek it out but the condition (which I will decline to broadcast here) would have continued to grow and cause him pain. We'll find out the results of the biopsy tomorrow, but we are not worried.

He did well after surgery, during which he was put under general anesthesia. The multi-care presence at Allenmore was amazingly efficient and friendly--it was a day surgery machine, I tell you. The funniest bit was the anesthesiologist, who offered P-daddy some caffeine in his IV. "You haven't had your coffee, have you? Do you have a withdrawal headache?" Not two minutes prior, P-daddy had said he felt one coming on. He declined the extra jolt, though.

Niki had the children while we were gone all day for this procedure, and then stayed over to watch them again the next morning for the 8 AM (!!!) follow up appointment at the dr's office. While I recognize this is a beneficial trade-off (in our eyes anyway) for an inpatient stay, it still was somewhat overwhelming. Paul and I commented how wonderful it was to not even have to think about the kids.

Anyway, what that means in terms of my online life is that well, I am not here. Not like I usually am anyway! P-daddy is a terrible, terrible convalescent and when I am not enforcing bed rest, I have the children away from the house.

We had a last huzzah at the Renny Faire last weekend with some dear friends (see Niki's blog for some pix) and it sounds as if we have infected both those families with our madness. I am already looking forward to next year. Cruelly, my peasant Renny costume arrived moments before we left to go to the fair. The thing is, I bought it a size down because I knew I wouldn't be receiving it in time to use this year. OOOOOOWWWWWWWCH! Oh the whining my friends heard that day! (Not to mention the flat-out, cackling, laughter from my dd when she saw me try it on anyway.)

~D~ got lost at the Renny Faire. ~G~ got lost at the Renny Faire. It was a tough day at the Renny Faire, but as fun as ever in retrospect! I was somewhat sad for P-daddy when we returned and he said wistfully, " I wish I could have gone." This guy never wants to do anything like I do, so I am really happy about his affection for it! There are a lot of these in WA and OR, not to mention the ones that aren't quite Renny, but have to be just as smashing!

The local YMCA opened and omigoodness. It opened yesterday, and we spent several hours there yesterday and today. (G even had their first first-aid call, when she spontaneously burst into a heavy nosebleed in the pool. YUM!) The facility is actually better than I expected and everything I hoped it would be. We even got to meet another homeschooling friend there today. Day two of the facility and we already had a swimdate! I guess I will count that as our lunch-on-Wednesday date, cause I am retentive that way.

After the pool, the boys and I took to the gym and shot hoops while G ran a mile on the track. Not kidding, she counted. 9 times around is a mile. After that, she joined us and we left with promises to return again tomorrow. This is going to be a very good thing.

All my homeschooling homies are gearing up for the non-year to begin. It's fun talking to each other and comparing notes. I have two ladies coming over on Friday to talk homeschooling and pick blackberries. I am crazy. I know that I am.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I got tagged again, this time by Louisa over at MamaMidwifeMadness. I am thrilled when I get a meme tag because I like updating my blog, but find it difficult to do so in the summer. A meme lets me fill the day when I really have too much going on in real time to wrote a concise blog.

- Post rules before giving the facts - Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves - People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules - At the end of the your blog you need to tag eight people and list their names - Leave them a comment on their blog, telling them they have been tagged and not to forget to read your blog.

1. I don't feel like I have completed my shower unless I have brushed my teeth as well. I do this in the shower, and even have two toothbrushes because sometimes I forget to bring it in with me. I blame the Bob Newhart show. On one episode when discussing parenting, they were arguing whether ones instructs children to "brush their teeth and take a bath" or "take a bath and brush your teeth." In disgust, Bob says "You take a bath with dirty teeth?" and it stuck in my tiny head for some reason.

2. I love homeschooling but I resent having my kids at home all day every day. The only reason I feel this way is because our house is messy. I know I could clean it if I didn't have a toddler following me around in elliptical fashion, destroying the rooms I have completed. I feel bad as a mother because I would rather have my children absent than have a messy house.

3. I am actually, physically excited about the YMCA opening tomorrow. It is 6 miles from my house and they offer huge support to home schoolers. Because we have 5 people in the family we are maxed out on the monthly dues, but that equals just two classes a month using private teachers. (For instance, for N and L to take dance classes for one month would be 50.00 each. Instead of paying for that at a studio, I can give the money to the Y. N&L still get dance classes, but Mom and Dad get to work out and D gets to go too! And they get to have soccer, swimming, etc etc etc.....) I feel fat and ugly and I need a break!

4. The perfect time of day is the dawn of civil twilight, especially in the northwest. Waking up and being outside with a cup of coffee steaming into the swirling morning mists, when the sky is lightening but the sun has not yet risen is, in all ways, magical. Moments like that make this entire life we're building here make sense.

5. I love to bead. I love to knit. I love to draw. I love to paint. I love to sculpt. I love to sing. I love to write. I even love to make sewing-things but I can't do it very well. But please don't call me an artist because that makes me feel pretentious and well, my Mommy might hit me for being all full of myself.

6. Sometimes I really feel like I am dreaming and that if someone wakes me up, I will find that my wonderful life was really just in my imagination.

7. I'm a cheapskate who has a fondness for expensive things (like Jane), but I have turned frugality into a competitive sport. Unlike the average American, my family and friends and I compare notes on how little we paid for the things we bring into our homes. I am embarrassed sometimes by the things I badly want, but I also know I won't spend the money for those things.

8. My affection for all things nautical is true and genuine, not just a decorative bent. I feel most whole when I am on the big water, and I would feel ill were I not to live near it. It would be inconceivable to me as a parent to raise my children away from it.

I tag
Xidama, Dalicious, Chikngirl, JubilantTulip, Djinneyeh, Overproducktion, ShadyViolet and Alwaysdreamin

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How can it be over there?

How can it be "over there" when it's in our own living rooms?

I was reading the paper today when I was jarred out of my complacency by this juxtaposition:
(click for clearer image)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St. George and the Dragon

Edited to add link above

~N~ loves theater, with a pretty steady passion. Especially after taking a theater class last summer, he's been bitten by that bug. This year, instead of being shooed aside, he actually won a role in his favorite act at the fair. Robin Hood comes every year and with Maid Marion, directs an impromptu show. ~N~ was St. George, who rescued the fair maiden, fighting dragons, rascals and even death to do it.

In the cast!

On the quest for the bad guys!

Slaying the dragon

Oh no! Felled by a bad guy!

Checked by a concerned audience member

St George Saves the day!

Take a bow!

More pix here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

First Catch

Now son ~N~ can say "I caught my first salmon when I was only five years old!" and he'll have the picture to prove it.

Technically, P-Daddy caught the fish but I think he's sharing bragging rights.

Both fishermen came home saying we need to buy a boat. I am vetoing that plan, but fully willing to funnel any monies we would have spent toward that endeavor into renting a good charter three or four times a year. Most folks with boats will tell you that is all the QT they get out on them anyway.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Too much to sensibly update.

Especially since it hurts to sit at the computer right now. Lots good, some bad. It's life, you know?

My friends and I officially decided to pretend we're a homeschool group since, as Niki points out, we already are. But we're really an exclusive group. Totally selective. You must have three children, live in the Puget sound area and have an ongoing struggle with food allergies. So far there are four of us families, all of whom have tongues firmly planted in cheek.

3/4 of us attempted IKEA earlier this week. We're nuts, I guess.

My back is on the mend after deciding to go on strike. I went speed-hiking in the woods with Birk clogs but no socks. I expected to only venture a little ways in, but Neighborgirl hijacked one of mine and two of Mack's boys on our Wednesday lunchfest and took them to the &^@ beach cliff. SO out of her boundaries, SO out of my boundaries, and completely on the down low from her mother. I was livid when I finally found them-- coming down the path from the cliff and past the turnoff for home. She was leading them on to the gulley in another far off section of the woods. I don't usually yell at other people's children but I did that day. Our boys were in the back picking berries-- Pickles didn't even have on shoes or a shirt-- when she said she'd take them to "see a waterfall." I am growing more than weary of Neighborgirl issues.

Can't go to Renny fair today because while I have range of motion 70% back, I won't risk that kind of event with a toddler and G-girl. P-Daddy has N off fishing with buddies from work, so I am happy to see that happen. We did however, go to the GH Farmer's Market for a trial run of my back. I made it through, but just, and the kids got their faces painted. Very cute. the artist was an artist, so the pictures on the little guys were very good. D-baby didn't move at ALL while he was being painted.

One of G's crabs died, for no explainable reason, and she was heartbroken. She doesn't want a replacement crab because these crabs were from Santa, and the ones from the store are just too mean.

Plucked another zucchini from our bush in the dry garden, and a spaghetti squash from the big garden. The acorn squash are coming along nicely and apparently I forgot to plant cucumbers.

I am excited to try to win Jubilant Tulip over to the world of stove top espresso makers. I am making a latte now as a matter of fact.

And most importantly of course:

Monday, August 06, 2007

She's gone mad....

Now that I have gone to the Renny Faire and not been bowled over by the sheer coolness of it.......

I love it more!

and so does P-daddy! Yipppeeeeeeeee!

So now we have to costume ourselves for next year. The kids can costume themselves now from the dress up box, and I have a few things, but P-daddy has nothing. By next year we should be sufficiently outfitted. I love this stuff.

I am very interested in this as our hobbies are actually going to be skills that serve me well in this endeavor: P-daddy's beer brewing and woodworking, my knitting and beadworking. The kids , well heck they still have a full bore imagination going on!

Check this link out: (beware, only knitters will find this interesting. )

~L~in the grotto behind the food vendors. See our new friends in the background?

Butterfly princess cloaked in mystery in the grotto (costume by Niki!)

P-Daddy found the beer garden

My boys have no sense of relative size when it comes to swordplay!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

According to this test,

I am an ENFJ

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
by Joe Butt

Profile: ENFJ
Revision: 3.0
Date of Revision: 23 Feb 2005

ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

TRADEMARK: "The first shall be last"

This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a 'quick question.' I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!

Thursday, August 02, 2007