Thursday, August 02, 2007


I love camping. Let me repeat that - I LOVE CAMPING!

I love the smell of the woods - the richness of Pacific Northwest soil, created with fir needles, swordfern, moss, salal, and rotting nurse logs is pure ambrosia to me. I love waking up in the wee hours of the morning to hear birds cackling with glee - even the noisy, raucous bluejays make me smile. I love hearing nothing but the occassional pine needle falling on the tent in the middle of the night when all is still, when even a solitary pine needle falling is noticeable because of the stillness. I love getting up in the middle of the night to go to the loo, fumbling for a flashlight and a pair of flip-flops, and discovering that a million stars have come out to play while I was sleeping.

I love watching Tessa roast marshmallows, convinced that heaven is a place where you can roast sticky, messy, sugary treats on sticks over a fire without getting so much as a sideways glance from your parents (that does remind me to pack some wipes, though!). I love padding around in the morning bundled up in long underwear, making coffee (no need to go without just becasue we're in the woods!) on the propane camp stove.

I love sitting around in the middle of the day, with nothing to do but look at a good book, in the shade from the sun. I equally love throwing lunch into a backpack and exploring on foot, away from cars and all things mechanical or computerized. I love glances of wild animals - the cries of "oh look there's a fawn!" and "okay Mr. Raccoon you can come into our camp but stay AWAY from my chocolate" and "can you believe we saw a river otter - I love them!" mixed in with chattering about children's development, house projects, and the other mundane things that make up our lives.

I love that we're going to share this with friends, and that there is certain to be much laughter.

I love being warm and cozy in my sleeping bag at the end of the day, filled with the day's adventures, and fighting sleep because it just feels too good to miss a minute. I also love staying in bed as long as possible in the morning because it's so cozy and the day can wait!

We'll sit around a campfire with our children, watching them learn to love camping. And then we'll tuck them in bed, and we'll have a glass of wine, and we'll remember how relaxing camping can be for us.

Good, good times.

Of course, I still feel lousy but I don't care. I am not going to let this cold take over! Today I managed to get the grocery shopping done and to make the spaghetti sauce and to organize most of the camping stuff, and though I still have more to do I'm convinced, at last, that it will actually GET done. We're optimistic even enough to think that our family can go to C&P for a little hang-out time before Ryan heads to work (he'll join us after work) and Tessa and I meet the other moms & kids in the ferry lineup (we're headed to the peninsula).

Wish us luck!

I have a cold

Bah humbug.

Today we were going to go to the wading pool at Gold Creek with Jessie, and have lunch with Charlotte & Caley, and I am just not feeling up to it. Jessie is still over, but I just don't have the energy to do much because my head is pounding and foggy and I just feel tired and achy and I have a bit of a cough and sore throat.

Poor, poor me. ;-)

Of course, a cold is just a cold. They come, they go. It's a hassle more than anything else, and I'm not needing of any pity - I know what "real" health issues are and this isn't one of them! None-the-less, I feel lousy and I hope that I get better soon. (And I have enough self-pity for this cold that I don't need anyone else's sympathies!)

So, a down day. I'm filling the wading pool for the girls, so they can play in the back yard, and I'm slowly folding laundry and the like. Not a bad day in the sunshine, although not what I had planned. I'd say my energy is 30% of my normal, but I'm functional!

Tomorrow we're going camping. I am not going to let this stupid cold get in my way, although the prospect of grocery shopping, making meals in advance, and packing up the entire car does have me exhausted before I begin. One foot in front of the other....!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I'm starting to think about fall, and it's barely August...!

Tessa's preschool schedule is:
Tuesday, 12:15-3pm
Thursday, 12:15-3pm
Friday, 8:45am-11:30am

I have to figure out how to use my "off" time effectively, and how the new routine will look. I'm hoping that we can walk Shep to preschool with Tessa each day, which will be good for the environment (not driving the car), good quality time with Tessa and I, good exercise, and (of course) very happy for Shep. The preschool is perhaps a mile away, and that's the perfect distance as long as it's not sleeting. (Rain is fun for puddles, snow is fun, but sleet....brrr and yuck!) And once Tessa's in school, I can work out, run errands, write, clean the house, get a job, do volunteer work....oh wait, that's 15 hours a day I've just filled up! Well, I'll come up with something. :-)

Trying to enjoy summer days, but still thinking ahead....

PS Mom, I posted this here because you'd asked about Tessa's schedule next year. Here it is!


I'm struggling with a headache/cold/minor cough....and I wish they'd all go away. Some minutes I feel absolutely normal (this morning Tessa and I went to the Junction; she rode her bike and I walked/jogged beside her), and other minutes I feel like my head will explode. What's with that?! I'm low energy, and my to-do list seems even longer than usual, which is stressful. Normal, though!

We're getting ready for a little camping trip this weekend, and I'm excited to spend the night in a tent. Camping with a child and a dog is a little different than what we used to do, but it's wonderful and I'm looking forward to it. Some friends are joining us, and it promises to be a good time. Fingers crossed for good weather.

Shep went to the vet yesterday for a check-up, routine shots, and toenail trim. He is doing well, and his foot is healing nicely. It's still a "Frankenfoot" and always will be (scars galore, and scar tissue instead of a pad) but he is a happy pup who loves nothing more than to run around with his people and any passing dog, and we are grateful that despite the injury, and the horrific expenses it incurred, he is well. While he was healing it seemed to take forever (in reality, it was a couple of months before his skin grew back), but it's in the past now. These things happen, and they're horribly stressful of course, but it could have been worse. He still drives me nuts, but I do love him!

(Our thoughts go out to Zuma, Krystal's dog, who has her own injury right now, and to our extended family members who find themselves involved in this fiasco. I hope that forgiveness can be offered on all sides, and that all family members can see that each person involved has a good heart and does not/did not have negative intent. Emotions run high when beloved dogs are involved, and when expense is involved, and this is understandable. Family is forever, though, and I hope that everyone can work it out.)

Tessa is loving her bicycle, and sings the songs from "Sally Jean, The Bicycle Queen" (a favorite book) when she's perched atop her bike seat. She creates quite the picture when she's got her long (she won't let us cut it!) blond hair streaming behind her from under her helmet, wearing a skirt (ever the girly-girl, even when she's sporty), her bike-basket filled with stuffed animals, dandelions picked along the way, pedaling fast. The bike - a wonderful hand-me-down from Ellie & Molly - is a girl's dream, all pink and purple and white with sparkles and lovely streamers on the handlebars. Tessa's getting better on it, and though she still needs her training wheels she's getting much more confident and I often have to jog to keep up with her. She's learned how to slow herself and to stop (important skills!), and she goes over small bumps with ease now. She still shrieks when she's scared on the bike, but we've come a long way, and she's so proud of herself. It makes me feel a mother's joy to watch her attain this new skill, and to see her absolute delight.

More to say, but my head is entirely foggy this afternoon and I have a lot to do, anyway. Off to the races!


Monday, July 30, 2007

Doubt - change of plan?

At first, when we started talking about renting out our basement, I was 100% for it. It seemed so easy, so simple, so perfect!

And now, perhaps because reality is setting in, I'm filled with doubt.

Do I really want to share our house? And if we do, is it worth it? How much money will we make each month after expenses (we need to buy a stove, doors, carpeting, paint, etc) and after utilities, taxes, fees and permits? Our basement is not deluxe, and I'm the first to admit that, so I am wondering if it's really worth $700. Am I really willing to give up so much for such a small amount of money?

Do we want to give up our family room, our guest room, and our second bathroom? In addition to giving up that space, we would be giving up our ability to find a quiet corner for some down time - our bedroom has french doors leading to the living room, and sound and light transmit through them. Noise transmits from upstairs to down and vice versa; do we want that? Do we want to share a hot water tank? Our yard?

But if we don't rent out our basement, exactly how should we go about earning some extra cash?

We could cut back on expenses. I just don't know how well we can do this. We're not exactly spending money willy-nilly right now...

Ideally, Genentech would offer me one speaking engagement per month, and this would allow us to budget better. I find the work for Genentech incredibly satisfying, and I feel that I have a talent for what they need me for, and I like the "now and then" nature of the work because it doesn't require me to set up daycare for Tessa. But if that's not going to happen (I am going to NC for an engagement in October, but that's only 4 engagements for 2007, not 12) then what? I could tutor students in high school English, I could seek part time employment, I could....what? I'm mulling it over at this time.

Tessa goes to kindergarten in a year, and that factors into this, too. I want to be available for her this year.

So, there is a lot on my mind. A lot to work through. I'm filled with doubt on every prospect - I see pros and cons for all, and so I (we) have to work it through. Stay tuned!