Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Woodpile

Pretty, isn't it?

Shirking My Responsibilities

I had many things planned Tuesday after the mail route. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done in Longview and around the house. Then Drew called.
I tried to say no but it was 100 degrees and what is the point of living in a place like this if I don't take advantage of it once in a while? Too bad Matt was stuck at work. I am a lousy wife!

My boatmates, Chris (the owner of the boat), his son, Dakota and Drew.

Drew and Dakota.

I do not regret abandoning my chores and spending the day on Mayfield lake. Not one bit.

Dinner Party

On Sunday we had Tom and Kathy over for the first meal in the Sister House. When Kathy asked what to bring, my only request was dinner plates! We are not really set up for guests yet! We had salad, pot pie and cherry trifle for dessert. It was really nice to cook a meal for them for once. They have fed us regularly for years now. There will never be any way to properly thank Tom for the beautiful creation that is the Sister House but it was nice to start with an inaugural dinner.

Bad Weather Mojo

The thermometer here is through the roof. Yesterday our temp climbed above 105 degrees! This is not normal Washington weather. I think the heat is breading bad mojo.

At the post office I learned that one of my customers was in an accident on the same road where one of the carriers crashed. It doesn't look good for her and I am sad. She is always really friendly and I like taking packages to her house. There have been other deaths on that road and I am starting to feel kind of spooked there.

Then out on the route, a heat addled bird flew in front of my car and I am pretty sure I hit it. Usually the birds get out of the way but not this one.

Later I saw a peacock in a shady patch on the side of the road. I looked closer and saw there were two. I drove by slowly so as not to spook them from their cool spot and realized that the male peacock was not resting but actually dead and the female was keeping a frenzied vigil. I understand that peacocks mate for life and I felt sick in my heart for her. I asked at the nearest house if the peacocks lived there but the owner's didn't know whose birds they were.

But the bad bird day wasn't over. Towards the end of the route I came upon a Canadian goose wandering down the middle of the road. Something was wrong with his wing and was breathing heavily through his open mouth. Like a fool I tried to chase him down. To what end? To squirt water on him? To grab him and stuff him in the mail wagon with all the mail? I don't know what I was thinking. The best I came up with was to chase him off the road into a shady glen and hope for the best.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Matt Buys Shotgun. Does Not Join NRA

Last weekend Matt went to a gunshow with Tom and Mick and came home with a 70 year old shotgun. He is in love. He took it over to Tom and Kathy's house to try it out. I am proud to report that he hit his targets on the first try. He even hit a stick that Tom threw in the air. Matt modestly claims beginner's luck but I think he is naturally a crack shot. BTW, I also shot the gun and didn't like it. I think it is too noisy. Shhh.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Our friends Jill and Casey just broke ground on their house building project. Good luck kids! They have a blog. Go give them some love here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Walk With Me

Slap A Star On It!! The Sister House is Done

For those of you who don't know, this star is Tom's brand. You will find it on his projects large and small. The Sister House brand is located on the top, right corner of the pantry screen door.

Never has a signature looked so beautiful!

Russell wonders why all the fuss about approval from the County when he has already given his stamp of approval.

I am sure you realize that when I say DONE, it is just according to the County and the bank. We still have a long list of things to do (backsplashes, shower rod, exterior trim paint, varnish baseboards, fence, landscaping, carport, etc.) But words fail me as I try to think how best to describe my relief. My entire world has been shrinking down to the goal of getting that signature. Now that we have it, I can see the rest of the world in full color again. Feels real good.

I have made a video walk through of the house that I wanted to post tonight but it is taking forever to load onto YouTube so I will post that tomorrow.

I predict a night free of anxiety dreams for the first time in months.

Also, guess where Matt is tonight? That's right. Frogging. It is that time of year again. The Toledo Cheese Days frog jump is Friday night.

And do you realize that this blog began nearly 2 years ago? My first post regarding this adventure was on July 20, 2007. We moved to Winlock at the end of July '07.

As long as I am reminiscing, this is what we were up to a year ago.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wanna Eat Something Tasty?

Dice up some onion and soak in fresh lime juice. Cube up some watermelon and cut up some jicama. Use your hands to gently toss the watermelon and jicama into the onion and lime juice. Sprinkle chili pepper and cumin to taste and toss. Crumble up some cotija cheese and chop up some cilantro. Sprinkle liberally over the top and serve ASAP. This dish does not like to wait to be consumed.

I find when I am missing Los Angeles I am usually missing food. Matt and I liked to buy bags of fruit from the street vendors. The bags usually had some sort of melon, mango, papaya, pineapple, maybe jicama and always spices, chili powder for sure and I don't know what else. So refreshing. The above dish is the result of a Los Angeles craving on a hot day. I knew kind of what I wanted but Googled the ingredients anyway just for reassurance that I was on the right track. I found a recipe with everthing I was jonesing for except the recipe called for cumin, something I hadn't thought to add. Yummy!

His Mother's Child

Just like his Mom, Dar, Matt likes to photograph bugs. She is very professional about it her husband even had a book of her work printed (we have a copy if anyone wants to have a look). Matt is still at the point and shoot stage of bug photography. These are my favorite recent pictures.

We don't know what sort of bug is shown in the last 5 of the 6 shots but w like to call it the "pug bug".

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It Has Been 10 Days or So

Funny how I had forgotten how fantastic Michael Jackson was. I was in junior High when Thriller came out. My girlfriends and I were obsessed. We got a friend this nearly life-size poster of MJ for her birthday that year.
Her dad didn't like it. He didn't like a poster of a black man on his daughter's wall. We didn't understand. I think that was my first encounter with racism.

For me, until Michael Jackson, popular music was just something playing on the airwaves and Friday Night Videos. I didn't know it could be an all encompassing sensory experience until he started dancing. It was like a new language. I remember watching Thriller in music class. Even our teacher was under his spell.

Then, in high school, I moved on and dived into New Wave. It was all about listening to a prescribed set of semi-obscure bands and Michael Jackson was waaay too popular for my new mindset. After that he ended up in the margins as he got weirder and wackier. It was easy to point and laugh at the pictures and stories. But now, as I re-listen to all the music and really give a thought to his tragic trajectory I just feel so sad. Between his abusive upbringing and his isolation in a level of stardom that left everyone else far behind, did he really ever have a chance?

Matt is wondering how long this re-awakened obsession with Michael Jackson will last. The music makes me happy. I hope is lasts a long time. I hope I never forget about his brand of magic again.

One more video (I am using grainy live clips because I LOVE to hear the crowd FREAKING out!)

First Night

I was kind of grumpy on the 4th of July. Not because of the holiday but because the stupid final inspection keeps getting pushed back and I am tired of having that hanging over my head. Well, I guess it is sort of the fault of the holiday. The shower door that was supposed to be installed on Wednesday so we could be inspected on Thursday didn't get installed until Thursday but a Friday inspection was out because the county was closed for the holiday, and so the inspection is now scheduled on Monday. Yesterday I kind of cracked at the seams and so Matt and I unpacked the TV and all its attendant paraphernalia and carted it upstairs. We went to the grocery store for some fruits, veggies and ice cream. Loaded up our new refrigerator. Made lime sodas with ice from our new ice maker and watched movies in OUR HOUSE - final inspection be damned. And guess what, Lewis County? We even spent the night sleeping upstairs on our soft, soft carpet, camping style with pillows and blankets, even though we don't have our certificate of occupancy and even though the window upstairs is not up to code for a sleeping room. So there! I feel much, much better now!