Thursday, December 20, 2012

From our half decorated tree to yours, wishing you merry things and peace, wishing you moments of pure joy, plucked from restful days with loved ones.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

the laughing heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Charles Bukowski
read by Tom Waits

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Once upon a time we got a lab.

We'd been talking about it forever, you know, the classic talk that goes on for a year about what kind of dog mostly. Then this fall, I should have known one was coming because my husband said, (the night before he got it) "I don't think we should get a dog."

The next day, he "went hiking" and then "got back really early" and we went about our day with friends only to arrive home late in the day to a darling six week old yellow lab. When he opened the door to reveal him on her arm, he said, "Meet Daisy."

Fast forward to now, we have settled on another name, found a vet, and lived almost two months with a puppy companion in our midst. She has quadrupled in size. She is basically toilet trained. With one swipe of the foot she lets us know via the sliding glass door if she needs to go out. She can sit, lay down, shake, wave, speak, and wait. She sleeps in her crate at night and whines to pee early in the am, about 6am.

She hangs in her "pen" in the garage when we're gone during the day, without too much fuss, though I know she'd rather be with her pack. She LOOOOVES her pack. And the best thing about her? The way she greets me when I come in the room, with such tail wags and tiny love grunts. I feel loved.

She is the best.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Well Well Well

A lot has changed around these parts. Like for one, the SEASON. This picture was taken during a recent jaunt to Eugene. Another picture of trees, must be me behind the camera. Aren't they lovely? I know someone who took one look at this shot and said, "I know where that is!" It's right beside the elementary school she attended.

The girls are growing up fast, as Julia reminds me every day with actual statements like, "Mom, I'm growing up!" I think most recently she said this in response to a no I'd just uttered (as though growing up means nothing but yeses and freedoms). She is in fourth grade and suddenly cares more about being stylish and listening to certain songs and being on the phone. She is WAAAAY more likely than before to make a decision based on what her best friend is doing. She actually asked me if she could dye her hair green for Ducks/Beavers day. Tired of her dismay with each no I throw at her, I haven't given her an immediate answer. I'm learning.

Avery is in second grade. She is doing gymnastics for fun and loving that a lot. She is reading tougher books and loves math. She is WILD about school, especially because she has her first grade teacher for second grade too. She is known to jet up to her room after school to play school. I appreciate Avery for the stage she's in, still a girl being a kid, though her sister influences her a great deal. I'm happy that she's running out the door to school, coming home with lively stories, and constantly finding the humor in life. Tonight we laughed sitting before the photo booth feature on the computer.
Shoot, there's a lot to laugh about.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


This business we have of sending our precious people back into the world each fall deserves documentation. If you're anything like me, the whole process makes us a little raw; we want them to go and we don't want them to go. We are excited to take them on their first day, and when we walk away alone it's with a heavier step. Lending them to the world for molding and affecting makes me revel then choke up.

They, on the other hand, do nothing but cheer. Luckily I have two girls that like school and are glad to be back with friends learning every day.

I, too, am going back. Just today I spent one hour and fifteen minutes of my morning in a third grade class, a black composition notebook to write in, a sea of faces looking my way when, red faced, I introduced myself, (Finally, I get to be Ms. Tia). I have my official badge and the title in the school handbook totes me as a Reading Specialist. I love it because I am unburdened by my own classroom. I have a new perspective: that this is important, but this isn't EVERYTHING. This is one thing I get to enjoy and work at, then there's home and my family. This job is adding great balance to my life. It's also giving me an identity outside home. I really like my co-workers, too.

In the first grade today their teacher was taking roll. Instead of saying, "Here," she taught them to answer her with the phrase, "I can do anything."

The year ahead of me is going to be great.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This summer has been really really something, and it's not even over yet.

Most recently of note, I turned forty. A new decade awaits. It's very exciting. I feel undaunted and am excited to make some goals for my older self.

Where we live, the Air Show hits every summer and loud jets fly fast overhead, in a display that can be both thrilling and kind of scary. The air show loomed large over a weekend that was the best kind of warm and completely free so we took an impromptu trip up to the cabin and had the BEST TIME.

I got to get away with one of my oldest and truest friends for a weekend. We went to a bit of an unlikely destination: quiet small town Silverton.

We went to the Washington county fair. Next year we really want to PUT UP something and enter it.

Avery learned to ride her bike.

We made freezer jam.

I applied for several teaching jobs, and still don't know what the fall holds. There's a part of me that doesn't want to work, but I'm in lazy summer mode and don't even want to unload my dishwasher.

We've been reading some good stuff. Thornbirds.(Me) The Penderwicks, (Me to girls), The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, (Me to girls and even better than the first), Thimble Summer, (Me to girls) Ivy and Bean,(Avery) Harry Potter Five.(Julia)

I got a copy of season one of Downton Abbey. The funny thing is, when I was watching it, I kept getting interrupted by my talkative seven year old and everything in that show happens in little snippets of conversation so if you miss a conversation, you miss something crucial to the plot. I

went back and read the episode synopsis just to make sure I got it all and I did. I enjoy the way Elizabeth McGovern simpers.

The weather has been AMAZING!

Julia did a fencing camp and then a ceramics camp. I bet you can guess which camp she loved and which camp she hated. She has all sorts of treasures to show for the one she loved.

I got a new computer, which allows me to blog out in the front yard.

We still haven't bought a dog, but we still haven't settled on a breed yet either. I want a springer spaniel I can name Sylvie, and I just don't think it's going to happen.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Regarding Gaps

"Thomas Merton wrote, "there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues." There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.

I won't have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock - more than a maple - a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.

–Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

The Montana Leg

After trekking to the cabin we pressed on to a new state: Montana!
To break up the journey, we spent the night in Spokane. What a sweet city! There, we explored Riverfront Park. We had shave ice, took a ride in a Ferris Wheel, swam in the motel pool and ordered room service. It was really warm and a lovely evening. There was even a wedding going on as we walked along the river path.
And then, the next day, many hours later, we arrived in Montana. Montana is just plain beautiful and it smells really good. We thought of this part of it, (we stayed on Flathead Lake near Kalispell), as an extension of the northwest.
Check out our adorable home away from home....
The view from the screened porch was quite lovely, especially at twilight.
The girls scooped mini fish right out of the lake. We finally took the plunge and swam in the lake at the end of the week. It was VERY COLD but refreshing in such warm wonderful weather.
We had some precious down time....

We enjoyed some tasty ice cream treats at Norm's News. Their butterscotch shake was TASTY!

The hammock got a bit of action, the hot tub, a lot. Books were finished. I read The Penderwicks to the girls.

And Glacier National Park! Oh, the beauty. It was truly worth visiting, and we took several great hikes there the two days that we visited the park.We hiked into Avalanche Lake. What a reward met us at the top.
Hidden Creek atop Logan Pass rewarded us with this stunning vista.....
and a view of these tame mountain goats....

We checked out MacDonald Lodge.

I love the oldie time busses they shuttle tourists around in, but we saw Going to the Sun Road in our own vehicle, thank you very much.
We kayaked on Flathead Lake, too, which was super fun.
Our two week summer trip did not disappoint this year. Sitting down to document it leaves me feeling lucky. Very.

The Annual 4th of July Cabin Trip

The sight of this trail is good for my soul. We spent a week at the cabin over 4th of July and had the best time.

The weather got GORGEOUS about halfway in. One could do worse than to wake up to sunshine and water every day. This is one of my happy places, and it was made all the happier by the people who got to share it with us: our friends The Rimbeys from Eugene, and then my mom and brother.

The critter-catching alone kept the kids happy and occupied, and ironically, began when we adults saw some super cool diverse fluttery moths the night before and caught them for the kids. They were literally fighting over who got to put this moth, ("Momoth" because of his mohawk) on their face.

The next night we caught Momoth's twin, Jomoth. About the only thing you find yourself missing at the cabin is GOOGLE, and hence a few nature encyclopedias were purchased at the local Goodwill to supply us with important information such as, the difference between moths and butterlies. One difference is that when moths land, they keep their wings spread, and when butterflies land, they fold their wings up. Thank you very much, nature encyclopedias.
There were also frogs.........Oh how glad I am that frogs still take center stage, even when attitudes and smirks take center stage for my now nine year old!
Lots of poliwogs this summer, too.
and Swallowtail butterflies.

This year we made friendship bracelets.

We took many a trip into Yelm for trips to the meat market, Waly-mart, and we checked out Yelm's awesome library.

There were also trips into Rainier for cookies....(they frost snickerdoodles here, people!)

We hit the pool, something I truly hadn't done since the late 80's. It looked exactly the same.
We met our first homemade Dutch Baby.
There were canoe rides, hikes, and hammock time. BB guns made an appearance. Nobody worked. Everybody danced. We hula-hooped.
We made more t-shirts,this one for my husband a tribute to a favorite childhood treat.

I had some quality time with my brother Ryan.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, for the cabin, we are all very very lucky. To another great summer adventure there!