At Christmas, my daughters got me tickets to go out to visit my EldestDaughter & her family in Washington State.
The trip was this last weekend.
I was gone Friday through Monday, and it was…amazing.
This was my first view from the plane… Yeah, it was a wing seat, so?
Ironically, the last time I flew, I was pregnant with EldestDaughter… And this time, 28 years later, I was going to see her.
(And her husband, and my grandkids, yes. My other daughter & her boyfriend were going too, I met up with them in MSP/St.Paul!)
The trip was a whirlwind of sightseeing & visiting with the kids. I don’t know that I got to do a whole lot of sitting unless it was in the car, or in a chair to game with my grandson, Schnicklefritz. (We play Fallout 3 more or less together… I’m teaching a 7-yr. old the skills he needs to survive the Wasteland, don’t hate)
(Lots of “road” pictures, I miss tree variety…)
Skagit Valley Overlook. In the last picture, to the right, next to the trees, you can see the oyster farms, as the tide was out.
Schnicklefritz & MiniMoose (in the background) We went to a Mexican restaurant Saturday night for dinner. The food was excellent, had a meander through town with Youngerdaughter & her beau afterwards, then MOAR GAMING, saith the Schnicklefritz…
Sunday was a trip up towards the “pointy mountains”, as EldestDaughter called them, but they were pretty well hidden in the clouds. We did see Deception Pass. I was able to walk across the first walking bridge…but not the second one…
Even the first one made me nauseated.
I just can’t do heights anymore.
As a kid, I used to climb like a monkey up & down the cliff behind our house in Iowa, using saplings like a ladder. I was fearless.
I’m not that kid, anymore.
But, being in Washington…was like stepping into a forest primeval.
Everything was so…lush…
The trees were coated in moss from roots to branches, the ground littered with huge ferns that trailed and meandered everywhere.
And everything seemed to be in bloom.
I wish I’d gotten more pictures, but my head was on a constant swivel, and things seemed to rush by so quickly. I just couldn’t take it all in.
The trip was over far too soon.
And now, I have a huge Schnicklefritz-sized hole in my heart again.
Save me some sunflowers, Lil dude.
I fear my mother despairs of ever cultivating a true gardener’s soul within me.
(Yeah, pun intended)
I have this tendency to “grow my own way”.
And, I hate weeding.
Uggghhh…nothing more mind-numbing and irritating to me than pulling weeds. It’s one of the reasons why I got rid of the vegetable garden we used to have in the backyard.
I do however, have my own way of gardening.
Other than my lily garden, which is still a work in progress, and will probably end up more wild than tame by the end of things, anyway, my flower beds are thrown together as a mix of perennials – and then told – “GO! Whoever lasts – wins! May the odds be ever in your favor!”
And I am very much in support of this style of gardening, obviously.
My mother hates it.
She sees it as disorganized, messy, & well…not like her.
But that’s just it.
It’s ok. I’m not her. I’m me.
I love my mom.
But I’m disorganized, messy, & not her.
I am, however, a survivor.
Just like the flowers that make it to the blooming stage in my yard.
And, by that – I mean – my yard…has now gotten into the The Hunger Games act of gardening…
I have wild daisy patches blooming in the middle of my grass.
And I let them.
Because Katniss and Peta made it this far. They deserve their chance to shine before the mower takes them out.
They aren’t specially bred lilies, or carefully cultivated and pruned arrangements.
They popped up, out of nowhere, while I wasn’t looking, because we were getting rain & I couldn’t mow for a few days.
So- bloom – you little fuckers.
This yard is the only place you’ll probably get this chance.
Because I’m still a little wild myself…even if only between my ears.
(No green thumbs here)
Every year for Halloween, my office allows everyone the chance to get into costume & let there freak flag fly.
This year, I spent some time working on mine.
I made the hat, out of bits & pieces I purchased from a local craft store, but I bought the rest if my costume.
It was surprisingly comfortable for most of the day…but by the end, I was ready to burn my high-heeled boots & corset in effigy.
I won’t, but the thought was there…
Happy Halloween & Blessed Samhain to all!
Yesterday I worked on my kitchen.
I’ve been tearing it apart for days, preparing to repaint, ripping off wallpaper, scrubbing walls, repairing busted plaster, cleaning up old grease & fuzz (can we all say GREASE FIRE?? Geezus) off the tops of the double oven & cupboards.
And, after 10 hours of painting, cleaning blinds from the windows, moving fridge & stove repeatedly, I ended up with this.
It might not look like much difference, but it really is. It’s now all a soft, dove gray, except right behind the sink, where I’m working today to put the back splash.
Far from finished, but I’m getting to it. There’s a lot more painting to be done. The cabinets will be getting painted as well, but the doors have to be removed, the pulls taken off & replaced. And I’m doing it alone, so it takes time.
And….. I had a phone call yesterday that – fucked me up for a while.
My mom called.
I have such trouble typing this, because I haven’t really let myself deal emotionally with it, yet. And I can’t allow it to take me over right now, either. So I have to push it down, bury it in a box deep in the back of my brain, for now… Until I can think about it without losing my shit.
My mom’s baby brother’s cancer is back.
My Uncle J’s esophageal cancer, which we all thought was in remission. has come back – with a vengeance. It has spread. To lungs, back, bone.
There’s a period at the end of that sentence.
I’m leaving that for now.
My head is so full of pain and rage about this… And I can’t.
I won’t let the pain and rage win.
I’m going back to the kitchen.
I hate pictures of myself.
I really, truly, do.
Much more comfortable behind the camera, I’m the one that takes the kids’ school pictures every year, carries my camera to all the “functions” and “festivities”, and makes sure I have plenty of memories of everyone there.
Although, there is an exception to that rule.
Most of the older pictures of me growing up, I have no problem with, because I see it as “someone else that looks a lot like my kids”. And so, today, I’m going to show you some of my pictures from the time before the moon. (i.e. 2 million B.C.)
This is the picture that my friend, Mark, thinks looks like Tabitha from Bewitched.
Maybe this next picture would work better…
First grade, and wouldn’t open my mouth to smile, because I was missing too many teeth in front.
Yep. I was blonde for a few years. I blame it on my mother. She was a platinum blonde most of her young life. But I grew out of it eventually.
But not in time for 4th grade.
This was the first year I got to wear glasses. I was so happy.
I was so young and stupid.
I grew out of that, too.
Skipping right over the awkward pre-teen and horrible-hair years….
And going straight to graduation!
By the time I’d graduated, my hair was brown, and half-way down my back. That was pretty much the last time I enjoyed having my picture taken. And see? Finally got all my teeth.
Now? Whenever someone snaps a picture of me, and gods above and below forbid, post it to facebook? I quickly “untag” myself. blech. But I suppose, there’s one I can post here, to just show you that I am not blonde, nor even brunette anymore…
This year has been full of ups and downs for me and my family. But one of the major ups for me has been my weddings. I just had another wedding that I officiated at yesterday, and it was lovely. I wanted to share some pictures with you.
This is the altar area of the church. Everything in this church is made of wood, and you will not find one nail showing. The broom laid at the threshold was moved down during the ceremony so that the happy couple could “jump the broom” at the end, signifying the beginning of their new life, and their new household.
After the ceremony, the happy couple stepped outside for pictures, and I was able to capture a candid moment, just the two of them, smiling into one another’s faces.
I wish I’d been able to get more pictures, but alas, as the minister performing the ceremony, that precludes picture-taking.
(Whipping out your Blackberry during the service is considered a little tactless, I guess)
The day was perfect, with sunshine and 80 degree temps, which for North Dakota in October is almost unheard of. It must have been fate.
After the couple and the guests departed from the church, and I was standing alone in the altar area, finishing up the paperwork, I had to catch this on film.
The light that shone in from the front door was stunning, and turned the whole inside of the church into honey-colored light. Motes of dust filtered like gold dust down from the ceiling, and the smell of the sun-warmed wood was heavenly.
I am honored that they chose me to perform their ceremony. It always makes me feel blessed to be able to give something back to my community. And this is a special honor, being able to help a couple start a new life together.
And yes, the couple are pagan, but they chose a mixture of non-denominational ceremony, with just a couple of pagan traditions (handfasting and jumping the broom) thrown in.
P.S. Later the same evening, I received a message that a friend of a friend needed someone to perform a wedding ceremony on Halloween. They ran into difficulties finding anyone willing to do the ceremony on that day (?) and my friend told them to ask me. I’m talking to them on Wednesday evening, and we’ll see!
If I end up doing this one, that’ll be 3 – in the first year that I’ve told people I’m willing to do them! Word has really travelled fast!