Friday, September 27, 2013

Fresh Eggs

I'm posting proof that, while I am sure I'm giving my kids plenty of reasons to seek therapy in their future, I'm working very hard on not passing along my bird phobia to them. 

Peeking In

Sticking her hand right into the danger zone!

Glee. That is glee!

They're just running wild and flapping their wings and getting WAY too close!

Perhaps sensing the danger?

Fresh Eggs

I'm sure they didn't notice the cold sweat I was in the entire time we were visiting this backyard!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salmon Running

So you know that yummy pink fish we all love to eat? (By ALL I mean those of us with discerning taste...I'm the only one in my family who will touch it. Which means that when Steve came back with fresh salmon from Alaska I got to eat ALL OF IT. Score.)

Fishermen, one of the many hazards for the salmon.
The Sea Lions are waiting for them a little further up...

Anyway, the salmon are running right now. In record numbers.
 So, we high-tailed it to the Bonneville Dam to see the sights.

 It was totally awesome.

Making its way through the ladders

Then we went out for burgers. When I showed The Princess my pink salmon burger and informed her that I was eating one of the fish we'd just seen she wasn't impressed. Pretty color, still not eating it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Heart Beat

I wanted to be a heart surgeon when I was growing up. I wanted to understand, fix, and heal. I knew the arteries, atriums, ventricles and valves. I knew muscle, fascia, and fat. I don't recall ever thinking much about the beat, that's what a heart is supposed to do.

Then, I lay on an exam table waiting to hear a heartbeat for the very first time. And never did.

I was greeted with silence again many, many months later. Different office, different doctor, same vacuum of nothing.

Hope is a tricky thing; effervescent even when you're trying to tamp it down. Years later, when I finally heard a heartbeat it was miraculous and there was nothing to do but cry over that tiny fragile connection to a dream come true.

Each visit for my two babies included that moment where time stops, breathing ceases, and the tendrils of fear start to curl up around heavy limbs until, like magic, the steady sound of blood whooshing through vessels whispered into the room and blew the threat of panic away.

I remember my sadness at the final appointment, knowing that it was the last time I'd hear that secret sound that echoed promise with each little swish. My babies knew my heartbeat but I knew theirs too.

Last week I had to take Sweetpea to see the pediatric cardiologist (she's fine.) She solemnly climbed up onto the bed, the warm gel and wand were applied and suddenly, miraculously, I was listening to that secret sound again. I was so focused on my little girl that I hadn't even considered what they were actually going to do and, when that steady whooshing filled the room I was stunned with the familiar sense of relief and miracle. A promise I hadn't ever expected to hear again that hadn't lost one iota of its meaning and power.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Sweetpea is not as gung-ho about hiking or nature walks as the rest of us.

If she has to walk.

It's a different story if she's riding in the "pack-pack"

Monday, September 9, 2013


Two girls, two birthdays.

The time, it doesn't correlate to the passage of seconds, minutes and hours.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Decadence and Austerity

This summer has been a strange combination of decadence and austerity. We’ve had many changes in the last couple of months and additional ones looming in the near future. Summer has been filled with the luxury of wide open days and the pressure of hours ticking by.

We’re in the midst of joblessness for Steve. A lesson in frugality and the word “no” and a gift of time that holds more worth than could ever translate into dollars. 

We have spent days and days and days together as a family, a sort of extended vacation that has so disoriented me that I rarely have any idea what day it actually is. They all seem like languorous Saturdays. We’ve gotten on each other’s nerves, laughed over the silly, pleaded for small ones to “just go to sleep already!”, and skipped naptimes in favor of outdoor adventures. And we’ve come to the happy discovery that long swaths of time spent together aren’t a chore or something to dread.

And, of course, there are the inevitable challenges that come from a reduced income. They are expected and real and issues that so many people deal with every single day, I hesitate to say much lest it sound disconnected.  

I do miss Target, though. 

It’s a good reminder that there are the basics, there are the basic luxuries, and there is the gift of abundance that should be used wisely. 

And a reminder is often a good thing.