Thursday, August 22, 2013

Walk our loop together

 Sled dog in training

 Catching salmon in the style of the bear.

 Salmon Run

Eli and beluga spit pranks

 BBQ cricket

Summer's officially done.
Eli started San Rafael High School, and the girls, Davidson Middle today.
They all seem ready.  I miss them a little.  It's felt okay being busier, getting everyone prepared this week.  But I've been reminiscing about the past months--
We had adventures these last few months.
Our Swedish family came to town for Felicia's Redwood graduation.
Eli went to camp, and me too, for a couple weeks, as a camp nurse.
We spent a month in Auburn.  Our goat girl Una was born.  We went often to the river to cool off.
We revamped our garden there and hauled lots of manure.
I started a beginning rancher course, and organic farming course, a permaculture design course.
We took a gorgeous cruise down the coast of Alaska with family and friends.
Thank you Mama and Papa for that.
We had some health scares in our family.  I think everything will be okay though.
I haven't worked much at Kaiser.  That will have to change.
The girls and I made a deal that if things get to feeling stressful, we will walk our loop together.
It's a good start.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Still keep doing it anyway


I've missed you.  And the process of documenting our lives in words and photos.

Something sad happened.  My last remaining beehive died out.  

 Here it is in it's heyday.  You can see the comb and bees inside through the little plexiglass window Joey installed.  One can sit that close in the little chair and look in.  They were pretty gentle bees.

I'm enthusiastic keeper of honey bees, but it might be many more years before I do it well.  Interesting how you can be bad at something you love to do, but still keep doing it anyway.

When I was younger, and had more pride,  this was harder for me.  I gave up on swimming when my sister got faster.  I wouldn't sew, because most things I made were unwearable.  It's been freeing to give that up.  I have more fun.

To honor the memory of the bees, the girls repainted the old hive and we collected what we could of wax and remaining honey.  I've rejoined the Marin Beekeepers, and swarm season is coming.  We'll try again.

Here's a little of what's been happening in our lives since I last wrote.  In photos.

We moved house.

The girls returned to Auburn perform in The Hobbit.  We said goodbye, for now to the baby goats, who all found excellent homes with loving children.  And we said goodbye, for now, to some sweet friends.

The garden harvest was pretty good.  The hot of Auburn grows tomatoes, peppers, eggplants (yellow), tomatillos, pumpkins, and cucumbers well.
We took a long road trip to Hornby Island, British Columbia to stay with Bill and Susy in their lovely cabin there.

Halloween was sweet.  Joe was Miami Vice guy and Sophia was Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter.

Eli has loved being back at Davidson with old friends.  

He decided he really wanted one more year at Camp Newman next summer, and so got a job walking dogs to finance his portion of tuition.  Thanks to his grandparents who will also contribute.  I've pledged 2 weeks as camp nurse to offset the rest.  

He's also now decided to attend San Rafael High School in the Fall.

Gretchen had a birthday and had knee surgery.  We decide to join the YMCA together and have been swimming together.  She's still fast.

Omie was hospitalized around Thanksgiving.   
I flew home to Alabama to be with her.  
She told me she thought she might die, but wasn't quite ready.
My parents arrived from South Africa while I was there.  I'd been missing them a lot.  

We had some great country cooking while home.  
Sadly, the Tiny Diny had closed!  I drove through the night from New Orleans to get there for breakfast, and nearly wept to find it boarded up.
What I'm missing the most lately is Southern Gulf of Mexico seafood-- specifically
West Indies salad, fried crab claws, gumbo, and Oysters Bienville.  
I've been afraid to eat it all since the oil spill.

Omie is back on her feet, and as spicy as she ever was. 
 Fried Green Tomatoes and iced tea, y'all.

Don't be jealous.
This was MY Thanksgiving.

Most folks know I'm working less these days, having switched to 'per diem' status at Kaiser.
Health benefits are gone in favor of a higher hourly rate.  I don't HAVE to work every other weekend anymore.  As a result, I'm sweeter and happier, I think.
I bake and sew and garden more, but still dislike cleaning and other forms of housework.

I continue to have crazy ideas and dreams.
These have included  moving to a goat dairy in Petaluma to make artisan cheeses.
Joey said "not now."

I contacted the owner of a local empty lot in hopes of convincing him to let me transform it into a community garden.  
He didn't go for it either.

Our year away helped me appreciate a spouse who'll say yes to my dreams as often as he dares.
In smaller ways he continues to say yes.
We'll live in Auburn this Summer, and have baby goats again then.
We're expanding our garden here and there to satisfy my need to grow food.
He tolerates my yarn and fabric purchases.

And I go skiing and to LA beach ultimate.