Friday, July 17, 2009


I will update about pony camp. I will update about our visitors, Juliann & Brett.

But right now all I can say is, we're HOT! In Woodinville my car said 102 degrees today when I picked up Tessa from pony camp. It was "only" in the 90s in West Seattle, but we're all roasting.

And happy birthday to my cousin Barbara, who hits the big 40 today. I love you, Barb!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trash to treasures

A few weeks ago, I was at a friend's house, and when I came outside there was a desk on the curb. We checked with the neighbor and yes, she was giving it away.

Her trash is my treasure! It's a solid maple piece, and I knew it would be perfect for Tessa. While Tessa has been gone at horse camp this week, I sanded and painted it, and it's almost ready. (Almost because it doesn't have drawer pulls yet; I'm replacing the 1960s/1970s hardware that it came with. I found horse drawer pulls and they're on order!) We had an old pine chair that cleaned up nicely with a coat of white paint, and voila, Tessa has a place to do homework and art projects in her own space.

I hope that Tessa is excited when she sees it in her room, all set up and ready to go. She's coming home tomorrow and I'll be glad to see her - of course we miss her.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Warming up

Tessa is at pony camp. I've done chores - including getting a tire fixed (slow leak), investigating cell phones, dishes, laundry, bills, mail, painting Tessa's new desk. The dog has been walked. I've drunk my gallon of coffee.

So now I sit at the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library, up on the 9th floor where I am surrounded by diamond shaped panels of glass ceiling, and the light is natural. I have my laptop (obviously), my commuter mug, my pencil case, my post-its, my open documents for updating.

Now, there is nothing to do but to do it. How many complete resident biographies can I finish today? Time will tell!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Surgery thoughts

I opened the door to considering surgical options a couple of weeks ago.

For a while, I was peering in at the door marked "New Orleans." The NOLA doctors are the best in the country, and they do special cases. I could do a DIEP (move belly tissue to create a breast, replacing what I've got) and get rid of the implant. I've been mulling this over for a while.

I think I'm closing that door. (I'm not certain, but it's where I'm at right now.) I just don't want to subject my body to that much again. I could deal with the short term (2 months) problems of travel and surgery and recovery, but it's the longer term issues that concern me. It's a long surgery, meaning a lot of anesthesia. It's a huge incision and some smaller ones (always a risk of infection). And my body has not behaved they way I'd hoped in other surgeries, so I have no expectation that it would do so this time. It's too much risk.

So I think I will call my PS, the one who did corrections previously, and I will go with the minimum. I will accept my flaws and problems as long as I do not have an implant leak, and do nothing.

I'm still peering into the door marked "minor corrections". I don't know quite what I think of that. I'm going back and forth between "do nothing" and "minor corrections" right now. I am grateful to have time to decide, on my own schedule.

Mama Instinct

Yesterday I brought Tessa to horse camp.

It was dirty, disorganized.

I had a bad feeling in my stomach.

I drove away thinking, "How could I leave my daughter with these people?"

I drove straight to another horse camp, checked it out, and found it vastly different: clean, organized, with safety talks and lots of helpers. I signed her up, turned around, and withdrew her from the first camp.

The first camp is not very happy with me, and is refusing my refund. (I got them to agree to a 50% refund, which does not satisfy me.) I will work with them and my bank at getting the bulk of my money back, but I know this: I did the right thing. Tessa's safety is paramount. I don't often get warning signals from my instincts, but this time I knew I couldn't relax until she was picked up. The second camp gave me a totally different feeling, and I am glad she's there.

Parenting is tough stuff. Definitely not for sissies.

Little decisions

I am attempting to live my life mindfully, and part of that is being green. Sometimes I find it quite simple - being mindful about bringing my own bag to the store, or refilling my own water bottle, has become second nature.

Ryan's new company requires him to have a Blackberry phone, and pays his phone expenses, so he is no longer on our family plan. Our two year contract is up, so I went to Costco to figure out what new kind of phone to get. In short, I have two choices: a fancy phone with internet options, or a simpler phone that just, um, makes phone calls. I looked at all kinds of pretty phones in a range of colors, with slide out keyboards and touch screens and MP3 players and nice cameras; I discussed the number of minutes available to me, and "data" add ons.

New, cool features are fun. Undeniably. Very seductive, as a matter of fact. My dad had come with me, and he said, "How much of your life do you want to spend looking at that screen?" It was a mindful comment. I know that if I had a fancy phone, I'd spend a lot more time looking at it. It would be easy to scroll Facebook on the playground; it would be easy to read the NYT at the park. I could be on email all the time.

And so I have decided to stay in an early-century model of the phone. As a stay-at-home-mom, I don't need those features for my job (and when I write, I have my computer), and I have enough time to check email at home without bringing it with me. I don't need to spend the extra money on data connections. And I don't want to spend more time on my phone, I wish to spend LESS time. I've actually considered not upgrading my phone at all - my current phone works just fine -but it looks like someone pilfered the car charger out of our car and it's a free accessory with a new phone upgrade whereas I'd have to buy one for the old phone. Too bad, because keeping it would be very green.

After all that looking and admiring, I think I'll be cutting the number of minutes that I'm using, too.

A million decisions to be mindful. I'm working on it, anyway.

Edited to add: I went back, asked more questions, and found out that I could upgrade my phone at a different time, and don't have to do it concurrently to renewing my contract. I decided to keep my old phone, charge it at home and not in the car, and REDUCE my minutes (and my bill). Then I came home and saw the note in my comments making a suggestion to keep the phone. :-) I thought I had to do it all at once or miss the opportunity for the free phone, but that is not the case. If this one dies, I can go in to have them upgrade it for free...but until then, I'll keep using mine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Working Girl

Today I will take Tessa to pony camp (11-3), and I will become a working writer once again. Tonight she is spending the night with my parents, and Ryan is on a business trip, so I will be solo at home with the dog and cat.

Alone in my house overnight? Wow!

I will work on the book and drink gallons of coffee, switching to tea at noon.

Ahhhhh. This actually sounds very peaceful to me.