Monday, August 31, 2015

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, August 31, 2015

Outside my window...
after all my going on and on (and on) about our dry, sunny summer,
we appear to have jumped right over September directly to October.
What a crazy weekend!
Rain!  Wind!  Stormy weather!
Lots of people still don't have power (we do)
and there are leaves, branches, and whole trees down all over the county.

the dryer.
No hanging laundry out today, too rainy.

mentally switching gears from laid-back-summer-mode
to get-in-the-swing-of-things fall.
Don't tell the boys I like it ;D

that work continues to come in for Kerry,
for the fires and firefighters,
for my boys to become responsible and wise.
Nothing is impossible with God.

oh so very thankful we took out the big tree
in our front yard years ago.
Had we not, we surely would've had branches
right though our brand new living room windows.
The only damage we took from the storm was
a gate in the back fence that blew off.
Fixable :D

gray sweats, white shirt, blue crocs.
Try to control your envy ;D

to make a cup of tea :D

just finished A Fall of Marigolds,
and  - MOM! - you should read it.
You'll like it.

Looking forward to...
not going anywhere the rest of the day.
Cozy :D

In the kitchen...
just made crunch wraps for lunch,
so probably something low-key for dinner.
As if crunch wraps were really complicated and impressive.
But still...
Maybe Skadi stew and salad.

In the learning rooms...
Tate is busily working away at his public and homeschool work.
Public school started on Wednesday (last week),
but we've just launched into homeschool.
Gunnar is finishing up his US history reading,
which we'll soon discuss.
Because he loooooves answering all the discussion questions.

Around the house...
just waiting for Kerry to get a piece of ceiling trim up so I can
reclaim my living room and dining room.
Sooooo ready to make fall appear,
candles and all :D

The Mother Load...
* hem dress blues (CAP uniform) pants for Gunnar
* sew around top of beach bag
* divide lilies and mont brecia
* spread top soil in flower beds
* process new books into home library
* help Wyatt research electives to make his AA work toward a Criminal Justice certificate
* get birthday ideas from Tate
* plan first few Sunday School lessons
* menu plan (have often thought this, but never followed through - we'll see)
* deep clean, move furniture, decorate living/dining room (pending Kerry...)
* help boys set up charging stations for their tech stuff not in the kitchen
* email out Thanksgiving invite
* finish a sewing project (!!!)

Noticing that...
is Gunnar actually my height now?

A favorite quote for today...
I know how cheese works.
 - Tate

One of my favorite things...
when the boys all work hard together
(like cleaning up our elderly neighbors' lawn after the windstorm).

A Bible verse...
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in His temple.
Psalm 27:4

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Wyatt and Tate each work several days this week,
and Kerry's dad and his wife will be coming into town for a few days.
Now there's some motivation for Kerry to get that trim up!

A peek into my world...

Our house, about 1902.

Our house, spring 2014.

Pics of new front window still coming...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

In Which It Is A Rather Blustery Day

Windsday, right?

That was yesterday.  Never seen a windstorm like that in summer.  Apparently it was gusting up to 58.  And yes, our power was out.  Fortunately for us (gas stove, water still works, warm weather, and lots of food in the house) the biggest inconvenience was missing the Seahawks game.  Tate and Wyatt both had to work, and at the grocery stores it was CRAZY.  It's a windstorm, not the apocalypse, but panicking is the easiest thing to do.  To be fair, there are trees down all over and some people still don't have power (we were out about 14 hours).  Thankfully we still have relatively long hours of daylight and the weather is warm.

It's been an unusual week all around.

The boys were working at the Lynden Fly-In last weekend.  It's at a little tiny airport in the middle of a residential area, and they were having a great time.  And then a plane coming in for a landing hit a car.  Yes.

A plane.  Hit a car.

Nobody was hurt and the plane was able to land safely, but WOW.  The car didn't come out too well (roof and front windshield damaged.)  That's one for the record.  Sorry, I couldn't find any pictures.

I know part of the reason I've felt so discombobulated is the whole dental trip.  We're going.  Booked the flights, hotels, rental car and everything.  It's the right thing to do; I'm just not used to spending money like that.  It's not easy to do!  Well, maybe it's too easy to do, but hard to live with!  And WHAT IF, you know?  Kerry is self-employed.  What if he finishes the projects he's working on, and no new ones come in?  What if he runs out of work?  What if another tooth breaks?  What if we run out of money?  That's the big one.  What if, what if, what if. There is no grace in what if.  God's grace is given when we need it, not in the things we imagine.  Or, as a character in a book I recently read says, "Stop making reservations for the worst-case scenario."

Anyway, I'm telling myself we made the right decision and it will all work out for the best.  And then.  And then!  The phone rang and we sold the Buick :D  The Buick we bought last fall, from Kerry's friend Ralph (he kept his vanity plates - the Sea Fox).  We'd thought about saving it for Tate to drive, but I wasn't crazy about keeping it tarped in the yard through another winter, plus it's a BOAT.  Gas mileage?  Arrgh.

Listed it on craigslist.  Had a few calls, but was wondering if we'd priced it too high.  I was just about to lower the price and put it on auto-trader and bam.  Along came a buyer :D

And that will pay for a good half of our dental adventure!  Hallelujah :D

See?  Grace.

Which I need :D

Starting school tomorrow!  You?

Friday, August 28, 2015

As If The Fires Weren't Bad Enough...

In case you can't read the caption, (too small?) it says:
Rumor has it (and we know how fire service rumors can be), that one of the helicopters working the Kettle Fire Complex might have been airborne on a recon flight when the aircrew noted a snake amid the foot pedals of the airship.  The helicopter pilot successfully landed the aircraft, but by then the snake had retreated back into the helicopter's mechanical areas and could no longer be seen.  At last report, the search for the reptilian stowaway was reportedly still on.

Yes.  Snakes on planes.  For real.  FYI: Eastern Washington has rattlesnakes.

And then there's this:

Photo by Mark Mulligan

That was a big one.

The good news is, we got some rain last night and more is forecast for the next few days.  That helps us in the western half of the state and up on the western slopes of the Cascades (the Goodell and Upper Skagit fires), but who knows how much rain will get over the mountains to the really big fires. Probably not enough.  Praying.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Today is the first day of public school and I feel totally scattered.
We're not starting homeschool until next week, which turns out to be a good thing
as Tate is working five shifts this week.


So many plates to keep spinning right now...

* getting into the school groove
* managing Tate's work schedule
(I think his boss didn't realize school started so early this year
and she'll not schedule him so much starting next week!)
* potluck / block watch meeting tonight (make food!)
* catch up on laundry before (potential) rain later this week
* try to pin down dates/locations for several things
(family birthdays, medical tourism, and the camping trip)
* reclaim the living room (Kerry is putting the last coat of paint on now!)

The camping trip is really tugging on my heart right now.
We're been anticipating going to some very beautiful areas,
but there's a catch:

Right now we can't even get to our first destination because the highway
goes right through that horrible red blob and is closed due to fire.

So much incredible beauty in that area!

Here's what it looked like last fall, when Kerry and I drove through:

I pulled some pics off a news site taken by
South Whatcom Fire Chief Mitch Nolze
to show what's happening now.

Firefighters aren't yet able to contain the fire,
so they're concentrating on saving structures
that feed power to the greater Seattle area.

My photo

His photo

They're trying to save the little company town that serves the employees of the power company.
The playground may survive, but the trees on the hill behind?
Not so much.

My photo
Here's where we pulled off to get treats at the little store on the right,
and duck into the visitors center (and bathroom!) on the left.

My photo

Facing the other direction during the day...

His photo

and overlooking the little store at night.
Those hot embers are the hillside right above the playground.

His photo

The highway is closed, for obvious reasons.

News photo

And this beautiful valley...

... looks like this.

News photo

And though I'm not a fan of profanity,
this (from Idaho?) struck a chord.

Whose photo?

we may have to explore alternate destinations for our camping trip!
Which is small potatoes amidst such destruction,
but still something I need to manage.

But there are other things tickling my brains,
like Shakespeare (for my sister),

... and this, for my brother - the Disney lover.

This, for my Star-Wars-fanatic boys...

And this, for parents everywhere.

And speaking of parents...
doesn't our good-friend-new-dad
just melt your heart in this pic?

Yes.  Definitely.

And then there's this... for me.

Because YES, wouldn't that be fabulous?
You're going along through your day,
something frustrating happens, and


a piñata appears.
You whack away your frustrations,
and CANDY appears.

Let's not consider the psychological lessons here,
let's just think about candy.
And whacking.

(Really, I can deal with frustration...)

But piñatas!  And Mexico!

Turns out Kerry and I are headed to Mexico.
Sort of.

If you're picturing this...

... just stop.
Think again.
More like this...

Because we're all about AWESOME vacations.

Also, because Kerry needs about $6000 worth of dental work
(U.S. prices)
that we can get done for a fraction of the cost in Mexico.
Even with travel expenses.

So I'm researching flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.

Bring on the piñatas.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Outside my window...  thankful for clear blue above me, after several smoky days.  Our forecast actually promises us some much-needed rain in the next few days, but sadly eastern Washington - where they need it more - may not get any.

Kerry was up hiking on Saturday - the day the smoke rolled in.

This first one he took from near Tomyhoi Lake, looking south to Mt. Baker.

Midday, the smoke rolls in...

Same spot as first photo, minus the lovely view.

Hearing...  a quiet house.  Tate is at work, Kerry is leaving to go kayaking with a friend, and Wyatt and Gunnar are downstairs - should be doing some chores as soon as Wyatt finishes a (CAP) test.
Right, boys?

Pondering...  making the most of the sunny weather we have left!  The rest of these pics (and this is a very photo-heavy post!) are from Sunday, a week ago.  My folks opened their beach to us, friends from our church, and friends from their church - fun times! 

My dad... a little heavy on the sunscreen ;D

Praying...  our state needs rain.  The wildfires are just horrible.
A lot of the little flame symbols now represent several fires that have grown together.
One fire alone is over 400 square miles.

* all of my family is healthy and doing well
* Wyatt is just back from an overnight backpack and had a good time
* Tate and I have met all three of his (public school) teachers and
he'll start school on a very positive footing
* my parents' generous Christmas gift is not only helping us fix the living room window
(fresh pics soon!) but will also fix Kerry's broken teeth (a story for another day)

Gunnar and Faye - you prayed for her!

Wearing...  blue shorts, turquoise t-shirt, teal Keens.
It takes a lot of effort to look this good.  *eyes roll*

Creating...  organization?

Here's a giggle - Mac, trying to get comfy in the inner tube.

Climb aboard... 
No, this isn't quite right.
Nope.  Still not there yet.
Ah.  Yah, so that's how they do it.

Going...  to work on a project tonight,
and make sure Tate is ready for school tomorrow.
Too soon.

We had just a few kids at the beach...

Reading...  just finished re-reading
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
because I love it so much.
How can you not love a book that says things like,
The two of them together benasties the mind.
(Of a local woman cozying up to a Nazi/occupation soldier for stockings.)

And I have five books waiting at the library.  Five!

Learning...  looking for ideas for a load of random fabric given to me by a friend from church.
Lots of "vintage" flannel pieces.

This canoe comes to the beach a lot.

The boys spend more time tipping it over than paddling it.
Because, of course.

Looking forward to...
while I DON'T want summer to end,
I do enjoy routine ;D
(Don't tell the boys I said that.)

Kerry would be very put out if I didn't show him windsurfing.
Because he still can.

In the kitchen...  we had a clean-out-the-fridge lunch (yum!),
and I'm thinking cheap pizza for the boys for dinner.

His hair.

Welcome to the Testosterzone

In the learning rooms... getting all my ducks in a row.

The cousin-twins - Christian helping little Faye get up.

... so she can climb right back down.

Around the house...  Kerry got a coat of paint on the living room wall.
One more coat and I can have my living room back!
Well, after I clean...

Kerry, entertaining the kids with a cannon-ball.

The Mother Load...
* working up the motivation to finish a sewing project,
(and start MORE because NEW FABRIC!)
* pick up library book
* get Gunnar into a pair of dress blues that fit
* invite a friend to lunch
* start prepping Sunday school lessons
* get two sticky spots off the mudroom floor
* pull grass under the lilac
* snip off some lithodora stems to try to grow new starts
* divide iris and montbrecia
* pull together some ideas for a friend considering homeschooling
and more... much, much more ;D

Let me show you.
This is how the waves work.

Are you sure?

Yes, you're doing well.

 Noticing that...  days are getting shorter. 

Because an inner tube just isn't enough.

Yes, that would be MY boys.

Something to remember for later...
to pick up Tate from work ;D

Something fun to share...
just THIS.
Summer days at the beach.

A favorite quote for today...
Tate, of his brother who was distracted,
His mind is on shuffle.

Kerry, at Potluck Church.
Really, it's just lemonade.
I promise.

One of my favorite things...
summer Potluck Church.

Oh yah, they're SINGING.
(The boys on the left.)

A Bible verse...
Genesis 2:2
By the seventh day,
God had finished the work He had been doing;
so on the seventh day
He rested from all His work.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
* boys to CAP tonight
* Tate starts school tomorrow
* Tate works five days in a row (five!)
* neighborhood Block Watch potluck
* get ready for homeschool launch on Monday 

Yes, I will STAY AWAY!

Goldfish under the walnut trees.

A peek into my world...

Mt. Baker, which is NOT on fire.