Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Family Pictures

Or... I may have just spent the college fund ordering collages and reprints and matts and frames and color touching and series collections and...

This picture? Spoke to me. And said something along the lines of "um, mom? you realize you're going to blink and I'll be in high school and the only thing you'll have to remember is what's still stored in your heart, your head and these very pictures."

"Besides, I'm going to college on a full-ride academic and athletic scholarship because I am a genius."

It did. It really said that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello! We're back from our tv-less, laptop-less, stress-less four day weekend in Hood River.


See the train right there? (yes, that one just to the left.) Yeah.

Now, I've rented my fair share of vacation rentals in the past. We've wound up in houses with holes in the furniture, houses that looked so much better in its advertisement picture you wondered if it was even the same place, and one time we even rented a house with slatted interior doors on all the rooms. Including the bathrooms. But never have I rented a house where the company neglected to mention that there was an extremely busy train track, oh, 30 yards from my bedroom window. Yeah. That might be something you might want to ask about next time you ponder vacation rentals via the internet. I'm just saying.

And actually, the only reason it deserves a mention (except for the lack of sleep part) is that one of the reasons we were supposed to go to Hood River for the Thanksgiving holiday in the first place was so that the kids could ride on Mt. Hood Railroad's Polar Express train. Until, of course, the track washed out. Which is what made it so funny (!) to be bombarded/accosted/surrounded by giant trains every 20 minutes. For three days.

Okay. So maybe I started out on the wrong track. Ha!

In all honesty, we had a great time with a great group of people. Cameron ran around and played with his friends Mia and Joey while the adults caught up and relaxed in one anothers' company. Some of us got some shopping in. Jeromy went to the Civil War game (the Beavers won, of course), we all ate our weight in turkey and mashed potatoes. And so in the end all was as it should be. We even attempted to cut down a Christmas tree on the way home, but had little luck finding the perfect one.

Yard: Game ON

Yeah... so, um... anyone up for a little Golf?

Just teaching him early, is all.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunny and 60+ degrees

On November 19. People!

Me: (bounds downstairs after brilliant idea in the shower) "Jeromy, since it's so nice outside, how about we get the Christmas lights up on the house?

Jeromy: Stares at tv (football game). Maybe rolls eyes once or twice. Pretends he's not there.

Me: "... because, you know, it's always freezing every time we do this, but this time we won't have to wear gloves and we'll need to spend a lot of time outside figuring out the exact configuration of how we're going to power our lights because remember a couple of years ago when we found out the hard way that we can only string two sets of lights together at a time? maybe I should go start pacing off the exact footage and potential placement of the lights so that our lights aren't lopsided and we don't have too many on side of the house and..."

After about an hour or two, I finally convinced him to remove himself from the Seahawk game broadcast and help me with the Christmas lights on the house.

We, being oh-so-smart, decided to install switched power plugs in three locations on the exterior of our home when it was being built. The sole purpose of these plugs is for Christmas lights. The problem(s):

Plug number 1, located on the front of our house, does not currently work. At all.
Plug number 2, located on the dormer above our garage, is too perilously high to reach and so Jeromy won't go near it. At all.
Plug number 3, located under the covered portico deck off the back of the house, works... but it's the back of the house.

So, although my light configuration is not perfect and my power supply issues will need to be fixed another day, we were still able to get our Christmas lights up a week early, in the balmy weather.

To Cameron's delight, I might add.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sunny and 50+ degrees

Not a bad day to go to the park.

The Great Landscape Wait: Day 126


The weather is holding out, mostly. We got a heckofa storm last night that dumped enough rain (for Central Oregon) so that they can't cut our sod out of the fields. The grass will have to hold off until early next week. Until then, we can enjoy our plants.

Crossing our fingers that the weather will continue to hold out!

Why I love working downtown

I get to see crazy things like trees in the air.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lordy Be!

Charlotte turned 40 years young yesterday. Mark threw a surprise party for her Sunday evening out at the Deschutes River Ranch.


Charlotte would like to mention that her purse, right there? That's actually a wine bag. Seriously.

Dang, that's lot of candles! Also, Jeromy? In charge of the fire extinguisher? She's already losing her marbles.

Speaking of losing marbles, I neglected to take a picture of the four of them riding off into the snowstorm in the limo we arranged to take them home. Which is a good thing, because copious amounts of wine were being consumed. And it was snowing.

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

You might be a redneck...

If your idea of a great Friday night involves ear plugs and monster trucks....

You might be a redneck.

If you shed a tear when the American flag is brought out in the back of a '72 Ford Pickup...

You might be a redneck.**

If you go to a Monster Truck Rally and, in a crowd of nearly six thousand people, you still see more than a dozen people that you know...

You might be a redneck.

Crushin' Out Breast Cancer. Shout out, Jen!

**Okay. So the flag belonged to PFC Tommy Tucker, who was from Madras, and whose violent death this summer (hopefully) captured the nation's attention. Although he is one of thousands to have died in this growingly useless war, Central Oregonians continue to (on almost a daily basis) honor him and his family, and all of our local families who have lost soldiers. We hope that God is with them as they struggle to make it through each and every day.

Backyard Progress

Hey! Check this out...

Boulders for our retaining wall, which has actually been built (it's beautiful) but I never remember to snap a picture in the morning and we get home after dark lately, so I guess you'll just have to imagine the beautiful retaining wall.

I'm supposed to be on the schedule for tomorrow morning, Monday, the 13th, to begin my landscaping project: 6-zone sprinkler system, topsoil, sod, barkdust and plants.

Which, OF COURSE, is why it started to do this this evening:

Cameron (excitedly shouting): "Mommy, it's Christmas time!!!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Long Day, Late Night

The Tower Theatre presented this fine artist, Bruce Cockburn, in little 'ol Bend this evening. It was a sold out show, and for good reason. What an amazing artist and an incredible career.

I stayed late because I am a bit of a Control Freak and because I wanted an autograph for my dad. The tour manager was nice enough to give me a copy of Mr. Cockburn's latest acoustic release and I was brave enough to have Bruce Cockburn sign it for dad.

So there you go, dad. You heard it here first. But I hope you don't mind if I listen to it once or twice before popping it in the mail to you. ;)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

an open letter to our neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

The excavator is supposed to

--no, make that HAD BETTER--

come over to our lot Monday or Tuesday to prepare our yard for landscaping.

Yay! And see! We even tackled and rid ourselves of the snake-infested tree. Plus all the other construction debris laying about in our yard because we acknowledge that we are perhaps the laziest people in the neighborhood.

It being November, and it being slightly on the cool side, we decided to start a fire. Okay, so we sort of apologize for the fire because it was pretty windy today and we really had no business starting one fire

.... let alone two fires...

...but at least our yard no longer looks like it did four months ago when the house was still being built.

We also respectfully request that you don't sic the homeowners association on us and politely ask you to hold your breath until next week, when we've been told the landscaping will be installed.

So, are you holding your breath yet?

This is perhaps the saddest picture EVER

What's a three year old to do the weekend after your team pulls off an amazing victory over USC? Get all Beavered up and go outside to toss the pigskin around a bit? Roll around on the grass tackling and tossing and generally having a great football-ly time?

Um, no. Instead, you get to go out in the dirt and flick it around with a giant, half broken fishing pole while dreaming of grass stains and dandelions.

Maybe next week, Cam. Maybe next week.

From my Better Late than Never File...

Cameron was Mufasa, the "daddy" lion from The Lion King for Halloween. We made sure he carried around a Baby Simba to add to the costume, for the full effect.

This picture was taken before we went trick-or-treating (in our old neighborhood on Robin Court), during Cameron's "I don't want to wear the Lion's Face" phase.

Cameron: (in his after-school whiny voice) "But I don't want to wear the lion's face"

Me: It will keep you warm, sweetie. It's about 27 degrees out right now.

Cameron: But I want to be a Power Ranger

Me: But you wanted to be Mufasa a few weeks ago, and I bought this costume off of Craig's List AND met the seller at Wal-Mart to get it for the Love of All That is Holy and so you're going to wear it.

Cameron: But I don't want to wear the Lion's face.

Me: But it's about 17 degrees out here right now...

Cameron: But I don't wa--

Me: Talk to your father.

Also, in the dark? and depending on which angle you looked at this costume? Cameron also looked a little like Tina Turner.

See that? See that RIGHT THERE? Captain Hook on the left and Tina Turner on the right?

... heh heh heh... hangin' out with a Jets Cheerleader. Sa-weet!