Friday, July 29, 2005

Lost Lake

For Megan's six month birthday we decided to take her on her first camping trip: a weekend outting to Lost Lake.

We had a wonderful weekend fishing, canoeing, and hanging out with the Gingeriches. As you can see, Megan found the fishing particularly exciting.

The fishermen were quite successful, catching 11 trout plus a crawdad!

Camping with Megan was fairly easy, although we definitely didn't travel light! We had the Pack'n Play, a bouncy chair, a huge baby backpack, and a diaper bag in addition to all the regular camping gear. Fortunately, we had a BIG tent that accommodated the Pack'n'Play easily. Aside from sleeping in four layers of clothes, it was just like home to Megan.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Truck Driver

Since going back to work, Mac and I have been sharing vehicles, or maybe it would be more correct to say, using each other's car. Though both car titles are in both of our names, the truck is Mac's and the Corolla is very difinitely mine. But the carseat only fits in the Corolla, and so I head off every day in the truck.

Getting into a vehicle after Mac has driven it requires a slew of adjustments: The seat is too far back, the backrest is too far reclined, the rearview mirror is out of alignment, the radio is on way too loud, and the air conditioner is on way too high. Additionally, I have to make several mental adjustments. The Corolla has manual transmission and I often find my left foot on the truck brake as it searches for the missing clutch. His radio presets are all wrong, particularly that hard rock station residing at preset number two. And I can't tell you how many times I have tried to unlock the truck with the Corolla key.

Mostly, I hate driving the truck. It is a gas-guzzling behemoth of a vehicle more suitable for a monster car-rally than a daily commute. Entering the truck requires acrobatic agility on the days I wear a skirt and the thing requires almost a bus length of curb space to parallel park. It's no easy manuever to get it into a regular lot either as it doesn't exactly have a turning radius to brag about.

But every now and then a wave of pleasure washes over me while driving the truck: I kick ass! I could mow down any little Honda or Saturn out there. I am king of the road!

My satisfaction lasts just until those Hondas and Saturns swiftly and easily pull into a parking space ahead of me while I fumble around to get my vehicle parked properly; then I want my Corolla back.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Six months!

It's hard to believe but Megan is six months old already!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


We sold our house yesterday! We got $1505 more than we were asking but we lost our washer, dryer and refridgerator in the process. You know what that means: NEW APPLIANCES!! We are excited that things moved so quickly and we hope that all will go smoothly with the inspection (today at 1:00!), especially after seeing my parents and my sister going through so much angst with the sales of their homes. Now if only we can keep being meticulously clean...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Food for thought

Today I deemed Megan "close enough" to meeting the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of no solid food until six months. I figured I've done my part to earn my exclusive-breast-feeding gold star (or maybe two - one for each nipple!) and so today Megan had her first go with rice cereal.

Megan thought the high-chair was keen. She still hasn't mastered the whole sitting-up-without-face-planting thing and so she really liked being upright and up high to watch all the kitchen action. That action consisted of turning dehydrated white flakes into a gloopey colorless paste suitable for toothless consumption.

Megan seemed pretty ambivalent to the cereal. She had a few bites but wasn't really begging for more nor was she fighting it off. However, she was very interested in my bagel later in the morning so I don't think she is going to give up on this eating thing just yet.


Tuesday we had five people come view the house in addition to the Realtor preview. We spent a lot of the day displaced from the house, but Megan didn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Noah's Ark

This weekend we loaded up our ark (ok, it was really a Toyota Tacoma) with all the species we wanted to keep after the 40 days and 40 nights of escrow.

We took about 75 plants down to Salem including several big hydrangeas.

The hydrangeas got planted along the house and the rest of the stuff got planted in a temporary location behind the garage. Unfortunately, the hot weather and transplant stress may have caused a few fatalities; I guess only time will tell for certain.

We also moved the chickens down to Salem this weekend. Tuesday we learned a little about the downside of living in the wilderness: we found Ruby's remains as some local creature had obviously had a big chicken dinner. Ruby had been quite sickly of late and had stopped laying about two weeks ago; however, we still feel bad that her death was so violent. We also fear for Pearl, who is the youngest, healthiest and strongest of the batch, but is nonetheless still just a dumb chicken.

Monday, July 18, 2005


As of midnight our home is for sale.

We spent most of the weekend working hard to get everything ready and things really look good. The chickens and about 75 plants all moved down to Salem this weekend. We hope they will all do well with minimal care on our part, although this heat really doesn't help the plants.

And our junk is all put away (or in Salem!). The house is cleaner than it has ever been (except for August 2003 when we had 70 people from my work here). Now why can't we live this clean??

Friday, July 15, 2005


Megan has been having a great time with Cousin Taylor, who has been staying with us the last two weeks.

Mac and the girls have gone on lots of walks, played mini golf and taken a trip to the zoo. The fun ends this weekend, though, as Taylor has to go back to Southern California and we have to get our Portland house ready to sell.

Meg had fun with Mamaw too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Jumpin' Fiend

Megan has really begun to love jumping in her Jolly Jumper. (4.6 MB video)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Week 2 in Salem

After another weekend in Salem we now have two rooms completely free of wallpaper. The golf wall paper (so classy it deserved not just one, but two rooms) no longer adorns our walls. We also got a huge prtion of the kitchen done, thanks mostly to Mac's mom who was a tireless worker. The wallpaper in the kitchen is sort of a thin spongy plastic rather than actual paper. In many areas we could strip huge sheets off without even getting the stuff wet, but in the rest of the areas the paper shredded into small bits that were adamently stuck to the wall; adding water only made it worse. It was this room that made me realize that if God were really omnipotent, He would have made wallpapering the eighth deadly sin.

Deck repair begins this week. Very soon we will no longer have the set-up for a great America's Funniest Video clip.

We saw deer every night. I guess they heard I was a gardener and are just waiting for me to open up the new salad bar.

Kris and J.D. came by for a tour on Saturday. J.D., ever drawn to boxes, discovered a left behind box in the basement closet. Lucky us, it turned out to be rolls and rolls of all the wallpaper we are so anxious to get rid of! Seriously, there is enough there to re-paper the entire house!

We did a slightly better job of hosting dinner this time, although I had to keep collecting and washing the plastic forks because we didn't have enough for dinner and dessert.

Despite all our hard work, the only thing that HAD to get done (get my medical license out of the file cabinet) was forgetten. I may be making an extra trip to Salem this week!

Thursday, July 7, 2005


One of the best things about living in the middle of nowhere is the abundance of wildlife around. Just over the weekend we had quite a treat.

We saw:
-Two snakes. There is one snake in our Portland garden that has spooked me twice, but even still, for some reason I love seeing snakes. There is just something fascinating about their slithery legless nature.
- A whole family of quails including too many babies to count (>10?). One night we saw them in the pasture, but they came to drink at the pond the next day.
-Lots of other birds. Swallows swooped to drink at the pond, turkey vultures hovered over the pasture, yellow goldfinches perched on the deck rail (i never saw these in Portland), a big owl took in an aerial view of our fireworks show, and Mac and Jeremy got excited about something else - a western tanager sighting, I think.
-A deer in our pasture Sunday night. The first of many to come, according to the neighbors, many of whom largely regard the deer as pests. But we are still excited by them and are looking forward to seeing lots of other animals as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Our New House

Last Thursday we took possession of our new house. All the 70's decorating is now all ours!!

Yep, we now have not one, but two ugly orange flower patterns in our kitchen!

We took 2 U-haul loads full of stuff down there over the weekend. This has really improved the look of our Portland house, but we still have tons of stuff we need to move down.

We stayed in the house for the first time on Sunday night. We spent much of the day discussing our plans and priorities for renovation. We decided to start on the game room, mostly because we think it'll be one of the easiest to complete or at least that is what we thought before we started stripping wallpaper. The room started with wood-toned wainscot beneath a boring flecked wallpaper and then the whole thing was ringed by a cheesy golf scenery border. This is the one room where we don't want to paint any of the wood plus this is one of two big rooms without acoustic ceiling. So all that needs to be done is strip the wallpaper and paint the top half a nice golden yellow ('Harvest Rye'). By the end of the weekend we only had half the wallpaper off - and this is the easy room!

Here is the Before. Note how the previous owners thoughtfully left the coordinating furniture.

We did make sure we took time off to celebrate and relax on the fourth as well. We stopped in at a barbeque down the street to meet some of the neighbors and then we hosted our own very comical event.

We didn't plan on anything fancy but I hoped to have burgers, corn, a salad, potatoes, pineapple, and brownies, but even simple cooking becomes impossible without the right tools.

I forgot to pack a good knife so we had to cut tomatoes and avacados with a plastic one. I gave up on the potatoes after slicing (and half breaking) only three. We didn't even try to slice the red onion.

We didn't have enough foil so the corn got a liitle burnt on the grill.

The small bar fridge froze all of the salad spinach.

The pineapple remained intact, again because we lacked a knife.
And being unfamiliar with the cooking habits of the new oven, the brownies were completely raw (not just underdone as was the aim) in the center.

Fortunately, Jeremy and Jennifer brought the burgers so they were great (so I hear). And I couldn't find a way to screw up chips or cherries so we had plenty to eat. And afterwards we did have a great fireworks show in our driveway.

Friday, July 1, 2005


"JLo may have the butt, but I've got the thighs!"

The Maiden Voyage of the <i>Sea Cloud</i>

Making a reappearance from my childhood, the Sea Cloud completed our vacation fleet. Though not as fast as the powerboat and not as mighty as the "intrepid" M26, the Sea Cloud still contributed verily to our lake enjoyment. How lovely she looks here on her maiden voyage as Roger takes my mom for a spin, having wisely chosen to walk the boat upwind and then paddle with the breeze.