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Calling it good. 

It’s been a good day.  Nothing to warrant a photo or blog post really but as I sit and reflect I am grateful for a mountain of simple pleasures.

My baby is in bed.  I can hear her talking to herself. Little happy noises.  Earlier she dragged out my highest heels and made me practice walking. These are the ones I threatened to get rid of because while they are gorgeous, they are super skinny heels and I tend to trip.  My three year old loves them. She really wants me to wear them. And so tonight I tromped up and down the hall and didn’t fall over once. Maybe all the running and biking and swimming is good for heel training.   Point here is that she makes me grin.

My eldest is at camp.  First overnight camp.  She was nervous.  I didn’t tell her I was nervous too. I told her she’d be great.   I sat tonight and thought about summer camp and growing up and the fact that fourth grade is no little matter.   Love that girl.

My house smells currently smells like a cake baking and bread rising.   My husband is making birthday treats for my dear friend.  He always says yes to my plans.  Currently my plans include a big pre race carb load.  Fresh mozzarella and grated parmasan and sausage and pasta.  Gosh he makes me happy.   

My hands currently  smell like lavender and basil and tomatoes from when I watered my garden.  I hear my cat meowing, ready for dinner and our nightly cuddle. 

Day after tomorrow is my big day. Swim and bike and run.  I’m scarexcited.   My Trisuit fits if you like the look of a black and pink porpoise.  

Ten days out is the 7th annual Scramble for the Kids.  Today I got to talk to several generous local entrepreneurs committed to helping hurting kids. I love that. 

Today I also witnessed a friend climb out of a personal hole today. Miracle. Inspiring. 

Talked to my mama. Planned a belated Father’s Day date with my dad and sister.  Smooched one of my nephews. 

Within striking range of a goal at work.  I love a finish line.

Lots of good stuff.  But Eaier today I got a little overwhelmed and sad.  It’s because I read the news.  Do you do this?  Lions and babies and protests.  Politics and fights and war.   I am a fully engaged citizen. I read and vote and call and write and fundraise.  But Sometimes it feels like the yuck is winning.  I can get stuck there. 

But I decided today to just not. 


Counted my blessings.  Said a prayer.  Called it good. 

It was a good day. 

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Changing my Oil

I have been captive in my car for over an hour. I’m trying to get my oil changed. I was five thousand miles over due.

The first trimester of my pregnancy all I did was sit in front of my fire and eat. In the last three weeks since the miracle of the second trimester started I’ve finished two quilts, walked over two full European countries, cleaned out my purse and read my book club book. Whew what a relief.

I also searched through every file I own trying to locate a car title. Days and one minor spat with my spouse later and I admitted I’d lost it and we mailed in a list title report. We got it back with a note that there was a lien holder… Odd since we’d done that car Dave Ramsey style and paid cash. Turned out the dealer messed up and sent our title to a random bank. Said random bank didn’t have a loan to match so they destroyed the title. Makes sense. I always destroy things of value rather than returning them. Anyway it’s going to take way longer to finish and granted I really should have noticed we never got the title but I actually feel slightly vindicated since I clearly didn’t lose said title.

I hate getting my oil changed. The question about how long ago was my last oil change is worse than when the dentist asks if I floss. They keep bringing me dirty filters and samples of filthy oil. I don’t want to see that. I already know its dirty that’s why I’m here. Just clean it.

I clearly have a long way to go until life is caught up!

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Reading Homework.

My daughter has been in Kindergarten for two months.   We survived our first parent teacher conference.   I was super nervous.  My husband, who used to be a teacher, was not nervous.    He was a calm and supportive parent.  I like reports and charts and numbers.   I tend to obsess.  I behaved myself though and I believe I avoided looking like a crazy parent.

This week the five-year old brought home her backpack.   Since all things paper fall into my responsibility list at home I am the one that sorts through the mountain of school work.    I talked to my kiddo about her math test and her art work and paused when we got to the weekly reading assignment.    It was marked as a “strong pass”.    It was also marked 11/15.  If she missed 4 out of 15 that works out to a 73%.  This is a C minus.   This is not good.  It occurred to me that all of her reading homework had been coming home marked “pass” or “strong pass”.     I panicked a little.  Just a little.

I showed it to my husband.  He shrugged.   I asked my daughter about it.  She shrugged and said “sometimes I get the answers wrong”.    I told them both I was going to email her reading teacher about it.   I want to make sure we’re not reinforcing bad reading habits at home.   At this point I’m wondering why they haven’t mentioned anything.

I emailed the reading teacher.   I cc’d her home room teacher.   I blind copied my husband.   Her teacher emailed back this note.

Your child is doing great in reading group.  Where does it show she’s missing answers?

Hmm.   Odd.   I looked over the paper again.   I paused for a very long time.   Then I emailed this note.

Oh Good.  This is hilarious, but I think I was looking at the date 11/15 and thought it was 11 out of 15.  Clearly I’m the one that needs help with reading.

Her home room teacher, the reading teacher  thought this was fabulous.  I’m sure I’m going to hit some teacher newsletter somewhere about idiot crazy parents.    My husband thought I should be embarrassed.

We learned in small group last night that people like it when you are real and open up and let them see your flaws.  It makes people comfortable and willing to be themselves.     I’m going to keep repeating this.   I’m also going to try not to jump to conclusions.   I’m going to trust that my child is going to be fine.   I think I need to practice shrugging.   Sheesh.







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Fun features of the Droid Eris

For the last two years I’ve owned a Droid Eris.   It’s supposedly a smart phone.  Almost daily it makes me feel stupid.   I recognize that in the grand scheme of life and eternity my phone has a negligible effect.    It really truly doesn’t matter.   However, it makes for a good list and you know how much I like lists.    So here are the top ten features of the Droid Eris.

1.   Zero Trade In Value.   I checked.

2.  The battery only lasts until 4:00 in the afternoon.

3.   The car charger (which I have to use on breaks and at lunch so the batter will last until 4:00 in the afternoon) has a loose connection.  This means that I have to drive one-handed while I hold the charger in place with my other hand.   Now I know that Washington State law has a cell phone law.   What I want to know is if this applies to holding the charger in place?

4.  When you dial a phone number its takes about a minute for it to ring.   This is a great lesson in patience.

5.  When you are waiting patiently if you accidentally push call again then it puts both calls through.   This is fun because when you are talking to someone you can also leave them a message on their voice mail at the same exact time.  Great party trick.

6.  The phone receives texts just fine.  It only sometimes sends texts.   This adds a fun dimension to personal communication with friends and relatives.

7.   The camara has an extra wobble feature.  Notice I didn’t say anti-wobble.   All my photos look impressionistic.

8.   The screen blacks out just for fun.   This adds suspense to games.

9.    Word with Friends routinely locks up and has to be uninstalled and reinstalled. Fun times.

10.   My husband makes fun of it almost daily.

Did I miss any features?  Does anyone else have this phone?  With what product  in your life do you practice your sarcasm skills?


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Painting over Maroon

Whomever owned our house before us really liked the color maroon.   She also ascribed to the idea that painting one wall in a room is really hip.   She also liked glossy paint.  She also didn’t know how to trim without splotching over.    When we moved into our house none of this bothered me.    Eleven months later and the glossy maroon paint is on my hit list.   

If you read this blog regularly you are aware that I can not cook.  I can not do laundry.  I am not to be trusted with chemicals or cleaners.   However I have to brag for a minute.   I can paint.   I can trim like a pro.   The key is found in standing very still and not breathing.    That’s my tip.  Don’t breathe.     This has the added benefit of limiting the paint toxins that hit your brain.    Of course, the down side is not much oxygen gets to your brain either but at least the lines are straight.

So it took us a couple of weeks and several attemps to find the right color; for awhile the wall looked polka dotted with shades of tan and burnt umber and brown.   We settled on something that looks a lot like a Wendy’s Frosty. 

 I’m happy to report that we have a newly painted dining room.    I even got a huge mirror at a garage sale for twenty bucks that looks fabulous.     Only problem is that now  I want to paint the other three shiny maroon walls.

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August Love

Last week  I was surprised by the joy of August.  I was standing by the sink eating a peach.   The peach had been picked the day before ripe from the tree.    The juice was running down my chin and arm.    It tasted fabulous.    All of a sudden it felt like August was embodied in that peach; summer so packed full of simple pleasures that it was running over.

This August I’ve loved going for a run and grabbing blackberries off the bushes outside our house while I stretch.    The kettle corn at the fair tasted sweeter this year.   I thoroughly enjoyed that darkness doesn’t come until its time for bed.    I loved Portland to Coast; bonding with girlfriends in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.    I loved swimming with my family.   My husband made an incredible saffron shrimp and rice dinner.    We had lettuce wraps again.    A friend made fried green tomatoes.     My daughter went to the dentist and didn’t have any cavities.    Little pleasures.  Running over.

My daughter and I read Black Beauty together.   It took us most of the month to finish.   We both cried at the end.   She said “poor little guy.   I’m so glad he ended up happy”.    I feel a little bit like the horse.  I think partly it’s been such a great month because all the depressant effects of INH medicine have worn off.    I feel like I shook off some lead weights and ended up happy.    Woo Hoo.   Yea for August.


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More misadventures of the domestically challenged.

Like most kids, I had chores growing up.   For awhile one of my jobs was taking out the garbage.   I hated taking out the garbage.    It took about five minutes.  One summer  I negotiated with my mother and traded my taking out the garbage chore for being in charge of the family laundry.    It was a fierce negotiation.

I was very excited about my new job.   I made myself a sign that I attached to a hat that said something about laundry queen.    I learned how to sort.   I learned how to use the machines.    I folded.   I even put away.    This whole process took hours.   I told people all about my coup at home with the laundry and garbage tradeoff.    Somehow I thought I’d come out ahead.    Clearly I had a lot to learn.    Let me give you a piece of advice.   Do not go up against my mother.   You will lose.   She’s charming enough though that you may think you won.

Yesterday I let my daughter wear a brand new white back to school shirt to church.    This was not a problem.    I then let her wear the shirt to a birthday party.   Still not a problem.    Then in a delusional moment I let her wear the shirt to help me pick blackberries.     This was a problem.   One of the ripe blackberries fell off the bush and hit her shirt.    It was beautiful.  Looked like a perfect stamp of a blackberry.

I grimaced, took off the shirt and headed to the laundry room.    I rinsed out the blackberry and was about to rub the shirt with a stain stick when the resident chef peered over my shoulder.   He said “you don’t put stain stick on a wet shirt.  Just use detergent”.     He handed me a bottle of detergent left over from when he actually purchased the stuff.   He makes his own usually.   Naturally.    He then quite unwisely left me alone to my own devices.

 Anyway, I stuck my finger in the detergent bottle and promptly pushed the pour spout into the bottle.   Oops.   I squished my hand up and stuck it down inside the detergent.    I reached as far as I could and hooked the pour spout.    I realized that I had become the monkey in that parable about how to trap a monkey with a coconut.    There was no way to get my hand out and the spout out at the same time.    So I shrugged, put the lid back on and put it in the cabinet.   I didn’t tell.    This is where a blog is a little dangerous.  We get to find out if my spouse reads my blog. 

I scritched and scratched and scrubbed.   The blackberry stain would not move.   I finally wadded the shirt up, left it in the sink and walked away.    About an hour later I walked back in and was amazed that the shirt was clean!  The stain was gone!    I must be a miracle worker in the laundry room.     My husband walked in and looked over my shoulder.   “I got it out, the bleach worked”.   He walked out.   I was deflated.

I have taken a new vow to stay out of the laundry room.    Maybe I learned something about negotiation from my mother after all.


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