Manual Labor

At 10:20 pm last night, this creature came through the front door:

After working all day removing burnt fencing in Fruitdale

This is what manual labor looks like after working all day to remove burnt fencing (charred in last year’s fires).

I told EB that he looked like a miner and sent him to wash in the laundry room utility sink.(I’m not mean — I also filled a dinner plate with meat & veggies and poured him a glass of milk and a glass of water.)

He drove 90 minutes home looking like that and he plans to return on Thursday to finish the job. Tonight he hits the shower before he hits the sack; tomorrow he drives an hour in a different direction to chop and split firewood.  All this for $10-15 an hour.  Sometimes I wonder if he regrets dropping out of college.

High Summer

Summer is going strong here in mid-August. On Saturday there were at least two big events going on within 3 miles of my house: a brewfest of craft beer (of which I was sadly unaware until the final 6 hours) and the annual street fair. After brunch that morning, SuperDad and I headed over to the street fair. I told him he could probably find me near tie-dye. 2012 August 11, Garland Street Fair 011
I adore the bright colors! In another life, I could dress like this on a regular basis.

Before long I had wandered over to the classic car display.

Oldsmobile 1951 Super 88, websized

1951 Oldsmobile “Super 88” 

DSCN9851 Old blue Ford, resized

This beauty is owned by a man I know. He was looking forward to driving it to get licorice ice cream after the car show ended. 

 

Ford Model A 1929, websized

1929 Ford

When I walked over to take a picture of that orange car my camera announced, “Battery Exhausted” and shut down. At that, we decided it was getting too hot for us on sunny pavement and headed for a free (air conditioned!) show at The Blue Door improv theatre. It was a great way to cool down before heading home.

Now that we’ve finally settled into a pattern, our temperatures hover in the mid-90s during the day (35°C) and generally cool off to 60°F (15°C) at night. Since we don’t have central air conditioning, SuperDad keeps the house relatively cool with strategic use of fans. This works really well unless the air outside is too warm or full of smoke.

DSCN6655 websized

Mt. Spokane sunset, August 2015

Unlike last year, we are blissfully free of smoke-filled skies. The sunsets were beautiful but the air quality was terrible. I’ll take clear skies over breathing bits of ash.

There are always a few days or even weeks when we wish we had A/C — I can’t sleep when it’s 80°F/27°C at midnight — but by late fall even I have forgotten those nights when I cannot sleep because it’s too hot in the house.  For mid-day use on a hot day, we have this awesomeness:

DSCN2594 This is how we stay cool in August

Note the sheet closing off the doorway, the a/c unit* venting up the fireplace flue and draining into the plastic tub on the floor.  (*It’s a dehumidifier as well as an a/c unit.)  Our windows do not open in such a way to accept a/c window units, so this is our one and only solution for summer cooling.

I suppose the technically we could all sleep in the living room on hot nights, but that would be too much family togetherness for me. I don’t even camp in a tent with that many people anymore — a 6-person tent is cozy enough for just the two of us old married folks. I need breathing space!

I’m still a little bummed that I missed out on the Brewers Festival — with tastings from some of my favorite breweries (Bellwether, Icicle  and Iron Goat to name a few) but I can only manage a certain amount of walking in a day before needing to elevate and ice my ankle, and no amount of jonesing for a Second Breakfast, Goatmeal Stout or Dark Persuasion* can change that.  Saturday was my 9-month breakiversary. I’m going to see a doctor on Thursday to ask about continued pain and swelling.

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*Just writing about those 3 draughts of deliciousness made me thirsty! I’m signing off now to get get a drink of water. Happy Monday! 

 

 

 

 

Auto Refle(x)ctive

The Common Household Mom reminded me that this week’s Thematic Photographic is Reflective. That seems to fit nicely with the classic cars on show at the local street fest today, so I snapped a few pictures before my camera battery conked out on me. (It’s a sad day when I last longer than the camera!)

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Head on over to Carmi‘s place for more Reflective shots.

It could be worse…

DSCN2529  Bruised toes, and this is my GOOD foot!Was it just 2 weeks ago I was nursing sore toes on my right foot? Apparently my left foot was jealous because in my sleep I somehow managed to jam or pull or otherwise bruise/sprain the littlest toe on my left foot (my FULF as Barb so succinctly puts it) prior to waking up on Wednesday morning. It’s too ugly to show you a picture, but I can assure you it’s really purple and coordinates nicely with my purple nail polish. (Maybe I do need to take a picture?)  And yes, it hurts.
It’s all adding insult to injury since I’ve also been having additional ankle pain — this time on my outer left ankle. The current suspicion is that the hardware on that side (one long plate, 6 screws) is somehow irritating the more natural parts of me.

I did manage to get out and about last weekend, putting at least 800 miles on the minivan (124,000 and counting) all by myself. My ankle truly hates me for all of that driving. (I’ve been hating my ankle lately, so the feeling is mutual)  On Friday I drove to Seattle for a quick visit with H-J. I got to see the lab where he is working this summer and I took him out to dinner at Ivar’s on Lake Union. It was one of those nights that makes a person love Seattle even if it is crowded: so many boats out on the lake full of happy people, beautiful weather, drawbridges allowing passage for the larger boats, evening glow on the buildings downtown.  After dropping my university student off at his place (college students, please don’t leave your dirty dishes in your room… science experiments belong in the laboratory!) I drove to my friend Annie’s house for 2 nights to celebrate her 50th birthday and recent home purchase.  This was the most relaxing part of the weekend, with little to do but a bit of cleaning, cutting up vegetables, drinking wine, and chatting with old friends while elevating my FULF. 

Is it wrong to high-five friends over mutually crummy injuries? We must be getting old. Next we’ll be talking about fiber supplements! Oh, wait…

Sleeping baby on my chest while mama gets allergy testing

Slightly feverish baby sleeping on my chest. I love him so much!

Sunday morning I slept in a bit, then packed up and drove back across the state, but not home — instead I drove to spend 2 nights with The Author and Little Foot. No new pictures because Mama was getting allergy testing done on Monday morning, baby was feverish and couldn’t go to daycare, and Daddy was out of town at a conference in another state. LF’s other grandma was able to come on Monday afternoon and stay for the week, so she’s still there now. It’s no fun to have a sick baby but the timing is great. The Author works for the university and it would be difficult to take time off right now as they are gearing up for fall courses.

cobalt blue lanyard

My blue lanyard: made it to sell, loved it too much and kept it

Tuesday morning I dropped my DIL off at work (hello, $15 per day parking? No, thank you!) and drove 90 minutes back home straight to work for me, too — only to discover I had left my lanyard with work keys at home. SuperDad to the rescue! He brought my work keys and my lunch to me. I was very grateful. He also went to the store and purchased several gallons of ice cream for the neighborhood block watch party held in our driveway that evening. I had enough time between the end of my work day and the start of the party to ice and elevate for 45 minutes on my bed. My ankle hates me and was badly swollen all day.

I’ve made an appointment (first one I could get, at the earliest time available) for August 18th. I’m hoping for some answers as to why I’m having “new” pain 8 months after surgery. By the time I see my PCM, it will be more than 9 months since injury. Did I mention that my ankle hates me?

Vapor Trails

DSCN9444 cropped for What is it Wednesday Last week, I shared this tiny clipping of a picture, which Hilary guessed correctly in one of her 3 choices.

The full picture is below.

DSCN9444 What is it Wednesday, airplane and vapor trails

Vapor trails can be more than just a Rush album.
And oh! that blue, blue summer sky…

I’ve got a busy week or so ahead of me, so I’m refraining from adding a new What is it? Wednesday picture for now.

 

MTM: Summer

 

DSCN2521 4x6 Scouts WEBSIZED

Photo taken on the teenager’s 17th birthday

 

It’s hot here this week, hitting the low 90s, but at least I don’t have to drive 8 hours in an un-air-conditioned truck to the other side of the state and back, nor am I spending my week with hundreds of teenage boys. Why yes, it is scout camp week.

And off they go...

And off they go…

Of course, without the person who wakes up at 0430 to open windows and switch on the whole-house exhaust fan, our house isn’t very cool in the mornings since we don’t have central air conditioning. It’s all about windows and fans.

Four generations of handsome guys

Four generations of handsome guys

I should probably back up a little and show a few pictures from a little over a week ago, when we all gathered together at the home of my husband’s parents. My father-in-law was having his 80th birthday party.

Family 4x6 resizedThis family picture is from that evening (baby was sleepy and didn’t want to smile for a camera). It was the first time all 8 of us had been together since January 2nd.

This little piggy...

This little piggy…

In the past, there have been many times when I have disliked (or even hated) pictures of me. But now that I’m a grandma? Any picture of Oma with her sweet boy is a good picture in my eyes.

I tried to not be a baby hog, although I don’t know if I succeeded in that endeavor.

I did, however, succeed in jamming my toes into a chair at work last Thursday. Luckily, this is my “good” foot so it isn’t as painful as it could have been.

DSCN2529 Bruised toes, and this is my GOOD foot!

Those little piggies are sore.

 

 

 

 

 

Look at those thighs and that amazing core strength! Babies are awesome.

Look at those chubby thighs and that amazing core strength! Babies are awesome.

Just when I thought it would be too quiet around here, The Engineer, The Author, and Little Foot stopped in for a quick visit overnight between a holiday at the lake with friends and heading back to their own home. I could never get too much time with this boy.
Confession: I enjoy time with his parents, too!

His daddy had just finished playing so we gave Little Foot a turn at tickling the ivories.

His daddy had just finished playing so we gave Little Foot a turn at tickling the ivories.

For the curious, Little Foot is now 7.5 months old. No teeth have popped through those gums, but he loves to eat whatever we are eating. He continues to be a happy, snuggly baby — much like his father was 25 years ago. I am so lucky and blessed to have them only 80 miles away.

DSCN9666 Mama and Baby, websized

In which The Scout turns 17 without a cake

Age three, SM wanted a dinosaur cake. His parents made one with Cheetos... His first (but not last!) Cheesy-Puffasaurus birthday cake

Age three, The Scout wanted a dinosaur cake. His parents made one decorated with Cheetos…
His first (but not last!) Cheesy-Puffasaurus birthday cake. And although he doesn’t show it in this photo, he was actually very pleased with his cake. 

At 17, The Scout does not want a birthday cake or even a birthday pie! This is because he decided back in January to kick excess sugar out of his diet.** He is leaving in a few hours for a week of Boy Scout camp, so this morning I made him an omelet with sauteed fresh vegetables for his birthday breakfast.

An older picture of The Scout and his grandparents. He's at least 3 inches taller now.

An older picture of The Scout and his grandparents. He’s at least 3 inches taller now.

Last weekend at his grandparents’ house, where we were celebrating his grandfather’s 80th birthday, The Scout and his brothers H-J and The Barefooter each made their own veggie omelets for breakfast. They are no strangers to presentation value, garnishing with an artistic squiggle of ketchup and sides of sliced melon. Extended family was impressed.

My four boys, summer 2000. Note the very dark tan hand around the baby's middle.

My four boys, summer 2000. Last Saturday was the first time the four of them had been together since the week of Christmas. Today that sweet one-year-old baby turns 17 years old.

A week of scout camp may be a challenge for him as he continues to have headaches, but he tells me that it has improved and no longer feels like someone is pressing a hot iron into his scalp! My resident teenager doesn’t complain — just quietly goes about doing what must be done. I’d worry about him going but SuperDad is his Scoutmaster and, as you may recall, is a retired nurse.
Our house is generally pretty quiet; this week it will be too quiet.

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** That’s right, my teenager does not eat candy or cookies or other sweet treats. He eats fresh fruit when he wants something sweet. This is totally his choice, and it fits with his generally healthy lifestyle. If given a choice between whole grain crackers and potato chips of any flavor, he’d choose the crackers. We haven’t had ice cream in the house for more than a month (and even then he wasn’t eating it). I’m proud of him for choosing healthy fuel for his body; at the same time, I’m pretty sure he’s not a normal teenager.

 

high school flashback

I saw this meme on Facebook and thought I’d share it here.

It’s your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.

The year was: 1984
1. Did you know your spouse? No
2. Did you car pool to school? I lived 2 blocks away, so I walked/ran (depending how late I was getting out the door) — usually with a cup of coffee in hand.
3. What kind of car did you have? Mom let the kids drive the old 1973 Chevy Impala wagon.

4. What kind of car do you have now? 2006 Kia Sedona minivan
5. It’s Friday night…where were you? If I wasn’t babysitting for someone, I might be hanging out with people from the church youth group.
6. What kind of job did you have in high school? I had some regular babysitting jobs.
7. What kind of job do you have now?  Church Administrator (after 22 years as a SAHM)
8. Were you a party animal?  No
9. Were you a cheerleader? No
10. Were you considered a jock? No
11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? I was in band and choir earlier in high school, but at not at this point.
12. Were you a nerd? No.  I was, however, dressing in grunge style before it was cool.
13. Did you get suspended or expelled?  Nope. Miss Goody-two-shoes here.
14. Can you sing the fight song? I know it from my first high school (older siblings went there and I spent 9th and 10th grades there, too) but I never learned it for my second high school.
15. Who was/were your favorite high school teacher/s? Doc Hansen (English, Creative Writing) and VanKempen (Drama and stage crew)
16. Where did you sit for lunch? Usually in the cafeteria with a few friends. I could go home for lunch but it seemed like a waste of time.
17. What was your school’s full name? Roosevelt High School
18. What was your school mascot? Roughrider (ala Teddy Roosevelt before he became President)
19. If you could go back and do it again, would you? NO.
20. Did you have fun at Prom? Hmmmm… fun? I suppose so. I’m still not really into the events where you dress up and talk to people while loud music is playing. (I have no problem with going to hear a band — I enjoy that — but trying to talk in a crowd? Not so much.)
21. Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with? We’re friends on Facebook but haven’t seen each other in person in many years  It’s nice to see pictures of his family.
22. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? The 30-year reunion was the first one I attended for this school. I’d go to another one if it worked out with my schedule.
23.Did you attend your 25th reunion? No. At the time I was only attending the reunions for my first high school, because I have known some of those people since we were 5 years old.
24. Are you still in contact with people from school? Thanks to Facebook, I am now.
25. What are/were your school’s colors? Green and Gold

Feel free to borrow the questions. Let’s hear your story.

Bark at the Moon (Wii?W)

Here is the picture I shared last week.

Confession: I was hoping someone would guess caramel-marbled brownies!

DSCN9441 What is it Wednesday, 7.13.16

Janet  (from whose now-comatose blog I stole the “What is it? Wednesday” meme) guessed it was toast, and Carolyn guessed it was a “cross-section of a malted milk ball.”

Unfortunately for all of us, this isn’t food unless we are termites.

Melissa made three guesses in a single comment:

Rye bread!
Tree bark?
Snake skin!

As you can see here, it’s a small cross-section of bark from a felled tree.

DSCN9441 What is it Wednesday, bark

Now if I can just get that old Ozzy Osbourne song out of my head!

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DSCN9444 cropped for What is it WednesdayNow here is this week’s picture for your guessing pleasure. Please be very specific in your guesses! As always, bonus points are given for creativity.

 

 

 

Family Five

  1. Pokemon GO has invaded my world — or rather, my husband’s world. He took a walk before turning in for the night to drop off one of his Pokemon at the nearest “gym.” He’s having such a fun time. I’m trying to listen and smile.
  2. Back on July 3rd, The Scout fell out of a tree. He’d been climbing and a branch broke, plummeting him 23 feet to the ground below. He landed on his back.  It hurt — a lot. He managed to walk home (collapsing from pain at least once) that evening and miraculously exhibited no damage on the CT scan.
  3. The obvious signs of a concussion began showing up 24-36 hours later, despite not actually hitting his head.  He spent the remainder of that week lying in a dark room and doing a lot of sleeping. The urgent care/ER doctor told him “activities as tolerated” so he began trying to do a few things. One step forward, half-step back…
  4. It’s been  12 days since he fell and he’s still dealing with headaches, backache (obviously) and inability to do most activities. He has an appointment with a doctor this morning. I’m a bit worried about the upcoming week (end of the month) at Boy Scout camp with its faster-paced activity level and noise level.
  5. After 5 Fridays in a row at the farmers’ market, I’m taking a “family day” break.

 

What’s happening these days in your household?