Thursday, June 25, 2009

::scenes of summer::

Just a couple of days after I posted about our dear friends Rod and Julie being numbers 1 and 2 on Anna's list of "People you love most", guess who called to say that they'd be over for dinner in a couple of hours? This is remarkable because, well, they live on the far west side of Oregon and we live in eastern Washington. But they were on a road trip to Glacier Nat'l Park and decided to head home via Spokane. We had a great visit, as always.

Also, over the weekend, David installed a rope-swing in one of our gigantic Ponderosa Pine trees. We're still working out some kinks; right now it's more like a zip-line! It only works if someone, preferably over 230 pounds, is holding the end of the rope.

Anna says that this simple addition now officially makes our house "the coolest house EVER" and says that now? She will live in this house until the day she dies.

So it looks like David and I will have to move out. To a home without a rope swing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This just is not right

Do you see that? I'm #2.

I carried that child in my womb for 10 months. I put cool washcloths on her forehead, sing to her and rub her back when she's sick. I nursed her until she was twelve, for gods sake.

Number 2. BELOW Rod and Julie.

They are evil and must be stopped.

On the other hand, David was thrilled to be in the top 3.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Alpine Lakes Wilderness hike

After our fun Saturday night at the Bike & Beer festival, we needed to clear our heads and get some exercise. I love that these girls enjoy hiking as much as I do. Christina didn't join us this time; she opted to take full advantage of her child-free day back by the pool with her book and a nice, long nap.

This is the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area outside Leavenworth (in the North Cascades of Central Washington). The area suffered a horrible forest-fire in the late 90s; now it's starting to recover and it is sooo beautiful. We were there at the perfect time for the wildflowers. The lake that we hiked to is called Eightmile Lake; it was worth every precarious stream crossing and mosquito bite. Gorgeous.

Once at the lake, I was checking out birds (Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Red-naped Sapsucker and lots of other warblers that were impossible to identify.) Suddenly, I saw movement in the bushes and used my binocs to see what it was. "What the....There's a friggin' HOUSE CAT over there!!" Now, we were 4 miles up the side of a mountain, the nearest house probably 10 miles away. The girls came running over and after awhile we saw the "house cat" and several others climb up on the rocks to check us out. Yellow-bellied marmots. But I SWEAR (and even Jen and Cole admitted it) that that one looked exactly like a long-haired siamese slinking through the brush.


This weekend, Christina and the girls are coming over for a sleep-over; we are going to try to recreate the outrageously DELICIOUS Mexican food we ate every chance we got while in Leavenworth. She's in charge of the fresh-basil margaritas! I know tha sounds weird, a basil margarita, but you know what it tastes like? A garden in a glass. So, so yummy.

And, last but certainly not least, today is Friday which means: STORYCORPS! I'm going to try to post these every week; Story Corps is truly one of the best bits on radio and I look forward to it all week. It is always thought-provoking and heart-warming, usually funny and sometimes makes me cry. I'd love to interview our mom someday.

This one made me think of my sister Jodi, who took on (and beat) breast cancer twice. As always, I urge you to listen to it; it really is best heard in their own voices.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

moms gone wild 2009

Each year for the past, oh, I dunno...6 or 7 years, my best girlfriends and I get together somewhere sans children and husbands, and get our freak on. Or, at the very least, we do what WE want to without kids, parters, dogs and lawns requiring anything of us. This past weekend we met up in Leavenworth, Washington, a darling (and adorably kitschy) little town in the Cascade Mountains. We ate, we drank, we shopped, we ate some more, we drank, we went to a Bike & Beer festival with live music at a cool farm nearby.

Lest you think the entire weekend was drunken debauchery (it wasn't! We were good this time...for the most part!), soon I'll post photos from the gorgeous hike we took into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

I love these girls.

Friday, June 5, 2009

happy weekend!

Ok, now that I have confessed my sins against god and nature, let's move on, shall we?

The funny thing is? I could never look someone in the eye and tell them the story I posted below. As David said in the comments, I failed to mention it when I came home from my run. But typing it up and sending it out for the entire world to see? No problem.

Anyway...moving on...I'll leave you with another beautiful Story Corps post:

Again, be sure you listen to it. Sooo sweet. This reminds me of what David and I will be like when we're 90. David even uses that very line "she's not much of a cook, but she's great at making reservations." Yep, that's us.

I'm off to Leavenworth for our Moms Gone Wild weekend! I plan to keep my shoes ON this time and to avoid the emergency room at all costs. Pictures (and stories) next week.

Happy weekend, ya'll!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's a good thing I'm an atheist, because I just earned a one-way ticket straight to HELL

Dear groundskeeper of the very lovely Episcopal church,

I would like to offer a truly heartfelt apology for the highly disturbing..."thing" you are going to find when you show up for duty this morning. Please let me explain.

You see, I am a runner. I don't know if you have ever been a runner, but, well, how do I put this delicately? Runners have....bowel issues. It is crucial to attempt to empty ones bowels BEFORE a run. But sometimes? You just can't go.

Unfortunately, once one starts running, more often than not, the urge strikes. Every single runner I know has suffered some sort of embarrassing incident involving the urge to go. Runners' blogs, books and magazines are filled with horror stories of accidents during marathons or daily runs. (daily RUNS!) The very ACT of running seems to be an excellent colon cleanser; if you suffer from constipation, I highly recommend going out for a 4 mile run. Trust me, things will be running smoothly before you know it.

But, church-groundskeeper, sir, I digress. This morning I got up at the un-godly (sorry) hour of 5:00 to get in a 6 mile run before the heat of the day. I TRIED to go at home, I swear. My body is not used to being up at that hour, and therefore things were not happening as they should have. Eventually, I decided (against my better judgement) to take a calculated risk and head out for my run, assuming that once I completed my hour-long run, my body would be awake and things would happen once I got home.

I know, I know, this is too much information, but I feel I owe you an explanation. So anyway, all is well until I am approximately 2.5 miles into the run. Then I start to notice the barely perceptible "urge". Oh well, I think, I don't have much choice but to keep running because even if I did turn around, I'm over 2 miles from home. So I concentrate on the lovely temperature, the rising sun, waving friendly "hello"s and "good morning!"s to other runners and bikers.

As I round the backside of the golf course, the urge becomes a bit more persistent. I start to pay an unusual amount of attention to the giant lilac bushes and pines along the course, wondering if I could duck behind one unnoticed. Unfortunately, all the lovely homes facing the course (and, therefore, me), have their curtains thrown wide-open to enjoy the early morning light. Could you please ask God why so many old men are up at the crack of dawn, suspiciously watching innocent runners while watering their lawns with hoses?

I pass the golf course (and with it any prayer of a stealthy pit stop) and am on the home-stretch. The urge becomes more...urgent. (Here I would like to add a visual to help you understand my predicament: with every single pounding step, imagine a hammer coming down on the contents of my lower intestine, moving things along inch. by. excruciating. inch) I realize that there is no way I am going to make it home. I know that there is a bakery approximately 4 blocks ahead. Otherwise, it is just manicured lawn after manicured lawn. At this point, I stop running, hoping that by stopping the relentless pounding, I can prolong the inevitable. Wait! There is a nursery between me and the bakery...just two blocks! Surely there is an outhouse there, right?! Woohooo!! IS NO OUTHOUSE. Crowning...I am CROWNING oh my god, I seriously may have an accident in broad daylight. Wait! A church! I know, I know...a rational person would not see a church and think "Oh good, now I can release my bowels"...but man, I was DESPERATE. Thank god (again, sorry) I carry toilet paper with me for just such an unfortunate occasion. In the past, luckily, I was on an isolated trail through a dense forest. Hey, I was feeding the little animals.

So. Again. I can not stress strongly enough how sorry I am if you should happen to stumble upon, well, you know. I had no choice. Now, I'm not a believer, but I assume you are, and I'm pretty sure that your God? He is holding a special place in heaven just for you, if that helps.


A. Runner

Monday, June 1, 2009

the big five oh

As most of you know, this weekend marked David's 50th birthday. He did not want a big deal made of it, so, you know, that circus I had hired for the backyard had to be canceled. But I wanted to do something, something that let him know how grateful I am that he is in my life.

So I came up with 50 things that I love about him, and typed them up. I wracked my brain trying to figure out a creative way to present them to him. He LOVES lilacs, so I thought about getting him a lilac bush and hanging the little tags from the branches. But that didn't seem right. I thought about making (from scratch) 50 fortune cookies and putting one little strip of paper in each one. But that seemed like a lot of work on both ends. Finally, I had a brilliant idea.

But first I have to tell you this story: a couple that we know is in the midst of a divorce. This couple is has done dozens and dozens of self-help and marital workshops, and they speak the language. So when announcing their divorce, they said that they wanted their family to be "a loving container." Now, David and I had a good laugh about this because that phrase is so comically new-agey sounding. What the hell does that mean, anyway?? We wondered aloud: "Where would one GET a loving container? Do they sell them on ebay? Is there a Are there different sizes and shapes of loving containers??" We've had a lot of fun with it over the past few weeks, using it whenever we could: "Honey, I'm putting the leftovers away. Can you please hand me a loving container from that cupboard?" or "Sweetie, have you seen that loving container of blueberries I put in the fridge yesterday?"

So the day before David's birthday, I went down to an art-fest that happened to be going on, and I found a cool little ceramic pot. David loves pottery and this one is totally his style. Then I cut up all the little strips of paper listing all the things I love about him and gave it to him on Saturday morning. That's right: a real loving container.

(you can click on the photo to see it larger)

The thing is? It was EASY to come up with 50 things I love about this man. I'm already looking forward to his 90th birthday.