Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"Now we will count to twelve
And we will all keep still..."
--Pablo Neruda

Dontcha sometimes feel that there is simply too much noise in the world?  I really loved the excitement of school yesterday and today, but there is something so beautiful about the contrast of quiet when I get home.  Especially on days when the kids are at their dad's, when I control the quiet. 

When I say noise, I mean auditory AND visual noise.  I haven't had telemavision service for almost a year now and the silence is truly golden.  I love having this swell computamer, but don't find it hard at all to ignore it most of the time. The last 2 days at home in the afternoons and evenings have been mostly about reading and sitting quietly in the garden, doing a little living room yoga from a deck of yoga pose cards a friend gave me--breathing,  simple meditations, stretchy good-feeling poses.  Nice and  quiet.

And of course, I've been enjoying Ruby Mae even more.  Yesterday, I rode her into town to run errands.  Duvall is built on a big hill with roads running across the hill that make for reeel nice bike riding.  After my errands, I wasn't ready to ride home just yet, so I traversed the town a few times on those nice roads, wind in my hair, skirt flapping, the ticka-ticka-ticka of the bike when I coasted.  Fun.  Bike riding is FUN.  And exermacise! Here are a few pics of Ruby Mae, since someone asked:

Now, isn't she a real cutie??

Today, CC and I rode bikes up by her house, which is at the top of the hill on a nice plateau.  We zoomed down streets and around cul de sacs--we like to sometimes ride around the circle a few times until we get sort of dizzy.  Our legs were jello-y when we dismounted and her teacup dogamule, Soxie, got to ride along in Carrie's basket, just like Toto!  I'll have to get a picture of that because believe me, it is the cute business.  

And now, I'm done typing and am about to settle in to the sweet silence of home and the delicious peace that accompanies it.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's All I Have To Bring To-day

It's all I have to bring to-day,
   This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart and all the fields,
    And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget,--
    Someone the sum could tell,--
This, and my heart, and all the bees
       Which in the clover dwell.

--Emily Dickinson

It's the first day of school and I'm brimming with excitement; it's all I have to bring today!  It's such a big day for the all the kids. And for some, their first day of middle school--HUGE!  And maybe scary.  And hopefully exciting.  I know I'm excited after kicking around work for the last 2 week sans students. 

Middle schoolers have the best energy.  They are so funny and honest and most of them are very sweet.  I was out between classes today giving locker opening tutorials and walking kids to class and reassuring them that it was no big whoop that they were going to be late.  All the other staff members were sending the same message, too.  Which is one of the reasons I love working at this school.  People are NICE.  And we really are like a family here, which is why I greeted the kids this morning with, 'Welcome Home!"

After work I get to run errands and then I think I'll ride Ruby Mae for a spell.  Last night CC and I went a'riding and I was wearing a skirt and she said I looked very French.  Merci! Best compliment ever!  I'm wearing a skirt today, too, so I'm hoping to emit the French vibe again, if only to myself. 

Ohhh La La!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chicken Days of Summer

It's a girls weekend around here (Jack is camping with his grandpa).  Caroline is good company and we've been having a marvelous time! So far, we've:
* dined al fresco 3 times
* gone swimming in Pine Lake, C in her bikini, me in my clothes (good call, OM)
* done mani/pedis
* tried on all my fancy shoes and dresses
* watched Annie
* held chickens
* dressed up in maxi dresses and are about to go out on the town
* played Barbies

Here's C in her maxi dress:

and here are a couple other girls who just want to have fun:

And so we're off to hit the town (Carnation) to listen to my friend Brian's band, especially his strummin' on the old banjo!

Fee Fi Fiddly-i Oh!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Work Hard and Get More Learn!

Tonight we had our annual Back to School Feast!  This is the 3rd year we've done it and it's always a delight.  Every feast, we think of a theme for the year.  This year's theme is part me (work hard!) and Caroline came up with the 'get more learn.' She said it and then cracked up.  We HAD to leave it the way it came out--too funny and well, it's right.  We could all afford to get more learn.  

Here are the kids in their crowns--I always make crowns.  With glitter.  And other flair.

On the menu:  pasta with tuna, garlic spinach, good bread, milk for some, rose' for others.  Dessert: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Soooo delicious!  

This year we had a very special surprise guest join us.  Jumped right up on the bench.
Here's what we discussed during the feast:  

Jack:  In 3rd grade I want to work hard on: Reading on a harder level and doing harder math.  
Biggest anticipated challenge:  85 X 462.  
In whhhat waaaaay (we recently watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off--remember that teacher?)do you want to 'get more learn': maybe try to start a school newspaper and put a funny cartoon in each issue.  
Most looking forward to: air conditioners in all 3rd grade classrooms (they're portables), especially after PE when you're all sweaty.  And seeing all my friends.

Caroline: in 2nd grade I want to work hard on: reading
Biggest anticipated challenge:  times or division
In whhhat waaaaay do you want to 'get more learn':  times 
Most looking forward to:  seeing all my friends

We'll talk about our theme throughout the year. The feast is a fun yearly tradition, one we'll keep doing.  Plus, now we get to have cake for breakfast tomorrow.  Looks like I'm catching on already.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

At the Seaside

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up, 
Till it could come no more.
     --Robert Louis Stevenson

We just got home from a week on the sunny (really!) Oregon Coast.  Specifically, Waldport, at the cutest lil beach house ever. We've rented the same place for 5 years now and it feels like home!  Joy, Keven and Emily joined us for another week of beach time, agate hunting, serf perch fishing, clamming, kids bickering (Oops, did I really type that?  Yep.), and vacation eating (i.e. ice cream every night!).  The weather was very lovely, surprisingly quite sunny and many days without the expected beach wind.  Niiiice.  When the kids weren't bitching at each other (whoops, again), they had a marvelous time.  Now, to be fair, they were tired monkeys--staying up late talking and getting up at the crack of dawn, followed by a day of hard beach play.  C'est la vie, right? They LOVE the beach, building sand castles, making driftwood forts, and jumping waves.  The ol' Megster here even got in on some wave jumping on the hottest day (must have been pushing 80), and that icy water felt fannntaaaastic.  Here are some pics of kids enjoying themselves:

And here's one of Caroline when she was mad about something:
Thank god for wine!  And we enjoyed many a night with our favorite boyfriends, Charles and Charles (rose'--best summer wine ever--$8 at Costco).

It was wonderful to have a whole week with our friends at the beach.  I am looking forward to next year already.  It's always hard to drive away from the beach.  But...we were very happy to get to stop over for a night in Washougal and see my mom and Bobster, with the added bonus of seeing my sissy and her boys.  It was a great day to play in the Washougal River!  See:  

And a peaceful night's sleep in the quiet little cabin helped me transition back to normal-ish life.  

Today, I did lots of laundry, made myself a dentist appointment, and called up Subaru to schedule a time for them to take a look at the Freedom Wagon, as she seems to be runnin' a little rough, I fear she has a clutch issue--think good thoughts for me, please.  I wandered around outside and marveled at how big my plants got in only one week, dead-headed flowers, pet the chickens, cuddled with the kittens, charged up Sister Bluebell's battery, and enjoyed one of my last few days of puttering about; I go back to work on Thursday!  Oh my!  Until then, I'll enjoy the idleness of summer and bask in the sweetness of our week at the beach.