Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cash Flow

State taxes are due today and the mortgage is due tomorrow. I just noticed a few bills I "overlooked" from earlier in the month. January is always a slow billing month for me and when the cash flow slows I get philosophical. I walk around saying things like "you can't get blood from a stone" and "I will not be defined by my current financial reality". It sort of helps. The taxes got paid, the mortgage will wait a few days and the other bills will trickle out as the cash trickles in. Once when I was really broke during my post divorce period I decided I had to make friends with being broke instead of being paralyzed by it. There are so many things to do and enjoy that don't cost a nickel, gardening, walking, reading, maintaining the place, snuggling. Today I have chosen to come up to Mark's and sponge off him for a few days. I am sure Eddy will share his wine with me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Fresh Egg Phenomena

So this morning, while I was making the pancakes that I always make on Wednesday, I noticed how yellow the batter turned when I added one of my jumbo fresh eggs. I have made a visual for those of you not familiar with this phenomena.

Click image to enlarge

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Perfect Snow Day

Hold this image in your memory, tomorrow the forecast is for rain and we will be back in the land of mud. The good news is that once the ground thaws I can start transplanting things in the garden. And we all know how happy that makes me.

Semi Snow Day

So just when I think I can get a semi normal day of work in it snows. Snow is a real distraction. When it snows you tend to want to watch it as it falls. There is also the tendency to want to keep it all organized, as in sweeping or shoveling it depending on the depth, to keep pathways clear. School starts 2 hours late today which means there will be the donning of snow clothes and the making of snow beings. And because I chose to have only one child I will feel compelled to get out in the snow myself to be a target for snowballs. It's what a semi snow day requires.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Night

The weekend is almost over. It was eventful in it's way. My daughters birthmother and her boyfriend to came to visit. They stayed with my ex-husband on Friday night and with us on Saturday night. On Saturday afternoon, we drove to the Sno Park at Mt Baker and did some sledding on some small lumps adjacent to the parking lot. It was snowing like hell, I didn't have chains and I had promised Pearl we would go sledding since before Christmas. There was no way out. Sunday we made a big breakfast and they went on back to Eugene around 1pm.

It was in the end, quite delightful. Even though we did not go all the way to Heather Meadows the mountain did it's thing for everyone. I am not sure if it is the elevation, or the air, or the persistent falling snow but I get positively giddy up there and so did everyone else. Even the dog leapt around like a maniac.

Friday, January 25, 2008

When the moons knocks on your window

I am a sound sleeper, the night to me is like a dark envelope I slip into. The last few nights have been different as the moon has been full. There is snow on the ground and the sky has been perfectly clear and by the time I go to bed the moon is overhead, dipping south. That bright faced moon toys with my dear deep sleep as she pulls to the west. I wake over and over to the same eerie blue glow out my window. Sometimes she pulls me out of my bed to come and look at this version of night, bright night. I am frustrated with the moon because I love to sleep, need to sleep, but I am grateful too, to be included in her grand show. When the moon knocks on your window, you must go outside and take a look.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chop Wood Carry Water

Did I mention it's been cold? I heat my house with wood. I have a propane heater as well but it's costly to run and I prefer the wood heat. I also like chopping the wood and keeping the fire going. I know the character of each piece of wood in the pile. I can judge it by weight and grain, if it will start easily or burn longer for overnight. Fir makes great kindling if you avoid the knotted pieces, Birch and Maple are dense woods that burn hot and produce more ash. Alder smells great and is a fast growing hard wood that is plentiful on my property.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cold Weather

It's been pretty cold here for several days. It was 22° this morning when we drove to school but it was beautiful and frosty. The sun is up fully now and my back is warm where the sun is hitting me as I sit at my desk. I feel energized by it. I just went and grabbed an egg from the hen house, in this weather you can't leave the eggs out too long or they will freeze. I will go and check again as one of the Buff Orpingtons was in the box when I stuck my head in. There are swans flying around all over the place too. A little v of them flew over as I came out of the house. It's just too beautiful, their big white bodies, neat black feet held in point. I can hear their flapping and trumpeting as they go past.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mood Swing

6am to 6:20am-Dread
6:20am to 6:30am-Resignation
6:30am to 7:45-Neutral work mode
7:45am to 8:45-Cheerful nurturing persona
8:46am-email from client
8:47am to 9:04-school drop off, dread and self loathing
9:05-call client
9:07am-Elation, new work on the way, sun is shining
9:10am-9:15am-consider playing hookey and going skiing, return home instead.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Higher Ground

How's this for an archetypal dream image. The ground beneath my feet is cracked, deep fissures are appearing and I am trying to step over them to get to higher ground. Sometimes your subconscious makes it so easy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why we live this way

This is Eddy, he is my 80yr old father in law. 30 yrs ago he left Canada for the South Seas. My husband (then boyfriend) rescued him from paradise about 4 years ago and brought him back home where we could take care of him as a family. He is a lucky man all things considered. So when we got married it just made sense that my husband and his father would set up shop in Canada (health care) as they are both Canadian citizens and I would stay put in the states because of my commitments here. School age child, custody agreement, etc... Our houses are 13 miles apart, across an international border.

And so it goes, a few days in Canada, a few days in the States. As we agreed when we got married, neither persons sovereignty would be affected by the union, we are like independent, extremely congenial neighbor nations.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I love my vacuum. Take away my rider mower, I will let the lawn become an itchy meadow. Take away my chainsaw, I can use the landscape saw and revel in it's toil. Repossess my washer and dryer, I will scrub the laundry by hand and let it dry on the line, blissfully waving in the breeze. But take away my sweet yellow Miele and I would surely die. The way it sucks up all the tracked in grit, wood waste, and bird feathers effortlessly, as it restores my wood floor to it's soft smooth self. Cobwebs get in line to face their destiny, spiders shrink into deep corners, house flies fly fruitlessly backwards as this brave little soldier seeks and consumes everything in it's path. In moments, order is restored in my small domain.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Foul Weather

No chance of gardening today due to miserable wet, cold, dark weather. I went out and fed the hens, they looked a bit wet but not completely distressed. I share their feelings.

Friday, January 11, 2008


It's Friday night. Friday night smells like accomplishment. Work well done and stopped, to acknowledge the end of the glorious work week. It doesn't even matter that I will be getting up at 6am on both weekend mornings to get 2 or 3 hrs of work done on various projects, all due on Monday morning. My reward; on Monday I will garden. Right now I am worshipping Friday night.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It's Wednesday. I have migrated north for a few days. The land of hi-speed and buck pizza. I learned today that my cholesterol is high. Fuck. Will have to ease up on the spray cheese and cured meats.

Pancake Wednesdays

The nicest thing about keeping chickens is that you are rarely without eggs. On wednesdays I make pancakes for Pearl and this morning there are no eggs in the house. Not to worry, I will throw on my boots and trundle out to the chicken house. It's still dark but I can hear Gloria and Oscar Sanchez crowing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Topic of the Day

It's hard to pick your blog topic for the day. There are so many things that run through ones head during the day. ESP for example, I bet I spent 20 minutes today wondering if I have actual ESP. I think I do. I had my pupils dilated and it was snowey which made the effect of having my eyes unable to adjust to the glare a real pain in the ass. I wore one of those pieces of dark film shaped like glasses behind my own glasses. I bought 3 bags of layer mash for the hens. It occurs to me that it's weird that I feed my two roosters layer mash along with the hens. I wonder what it does to them. Perhaps it explains why one of the roosters has been attacking people (except me). A friend got a stuffed dog for christmas and now I am considering having the rooster killed and stuffed. I will call my neighbor who is a taxidermist and discuss this with him. I wonder if he would off the bird as well. He seems like he might. I couldn't work most of the day due to the pupil dilation so I watched some daytime TV. I spoke to a really nice guy at immigration. I got 3 books out from the library and bought Pearl some new toothpaste. We are trying to wean her off those candy flavored pastes. It probably doesn't matter a wit. I am now watching my third Christopher Guest movie. All in all it was a good day so I guess that is my topic.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Winter in Washington state can be described as gray. But it's more complex than that. I think of it in terms of percentages of black(K). A normal day is about 40K. A bad day when the clouds are practically touching the trees is 80k. Today it was actually sunny, I call it 10k. Residual gray still clinging to bare tree branches. I worked out in the garden for awhile and it's miraculous what I found. Brave Sedum emerging from the icy ground, hydrangea buds deeply red holding their own until gray gives way for green.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


We drove into Vancouver today. Eddy stayed home in his chair watching the Discovery channel. The homecare we ordered never showed up so he was on his own until 6 when we got back. He was cheerful when we got home. Before we left around noon Mark put Eddy's Montreal Canadians touque on which is too small for his large melon. I bet Mark that the hat would have inched it's way up Eddy's head as the day worn on and would be off by the time we got back. I was right.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Adoption

Sooner or later the conversation comes around to the adoption. You meet people, you talk, you connect and pretty soon you are knee deep in birth mothers and birth grandmothers, and birth great aunts. All the details of this curious arrangement that is complex and basic as holding her small hand as we trudge up the driveway. We are not a regular family but somehow the irregularity of it is what makes it all work for us. My daughters birth-mother visits us a few times a year and we spent time meeting her whole family last summer. It's a strange thing to raise another persons child. To watch her from a slight distance turn into herself, to see her as an individual and to also have such strong protective feelings for her. I feel so lucky to be a part of her life, of her emergence.
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