Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quick Update (with more later)

I am in Homer, Alaska. I am awaiting the arrival of my love, T. She is on day seven of the Hoka Hey! Last I heard she was in Wyoming and I hear that they are going through Montana, so Rosie, be on the lookout! I had no plan as to accommodations when I got here, so I am essentially homeless, but have found two places to camp. I can shower at the laundry mat for a few dollars and I brought all my own food. I did eat out this morning at Two Sisters Bakery, a gay owned local shop. Was super great! Now I am sitting in a yurt, a knitting shop yurt! The name of the shop is CommunKnitty Stash. Life is so good right now!!!

The shop owner is Sarah. She invited me to knit as long as I want, til the shop closes. I stopped in for some needles and boy did I find some. And for inexpensive! $6! Can you believe that? Bamboo and circular for that price. Phoenix yarn shops, eat your heart out! I bought 4 pairs because they were such a great price! More later. I need to write about my journey anyway!

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Be Safe?"-me "Always"-her

This is our daily send off. Most days she leaves before I do. Today is no exception to that, but it is an extraordinary day. Today T begins the journey she, we, have been preparing for, the Hoka Hey 2010 Endurance Challenge. This unseasonably cool June morning (only 70°F), at 5am, she rode off into the sunrise. My beautiful partner following her heart.

The is a huge race. The race begins on Sunday June 20th in Key West, FL. Contestants are given only a map of one 1000 mile leg of the race at a time. The whole race is 7000 miles and goes until she hits Homer, AK, where I am bound starting Friday, the 18th. T plans to ride 1000 miles a day, which she has been training for for the last several months. She must sleep by her bike at all times, never go more than 5 over the speed limit and cannot carry extra fuel. (There are tons more rules but I don't remember. I have been up since 4:30 this morning.) She will be outfitted with a GPS tracking device, so they can monitor her speed and progress.

When T wins, no later than June 27th, she will be subjected to a lie detector and drug test, to make sure she followed all of the rules. I will be there in a camp chair waiting for her arrival. Some of my mapped out days are 17 hours long driving. I opened the drive up to company, but nobody could go, so this is a solo trip for me. My biggest fear was sleeping in random places n the states, but my mom decided that she would cover all hotel rooms for me until Alaska. I am only taking her up on half of the trip. After Chetwynd, BC, I am sleeping outside in the two person tent I am picking up today.

When I get to Alaska, I will be camping for a few days at an organic farm, called Seaside Farms. I hope to fill me days with helping around the farm, knitting, reading and waiting by the finish line for T to cross. I cannot wait to see her, already. Lame, I know!

The house is silent for the time being. The kids will be here soon. Their dad took them because I wasn't sure if I would be a basket case or not this morning. Not yet, but there's still time. This next week will be a busy one. Oil changes, tire rotations, last minute shopping for pb&j fixin's, my road trip staple, and saying goodbye to the kids. I really wanted them to go, but heir dad said no. God I am going to miss them! But no time to think about that now. Lots of kisses and snuggles this week for my sweet boys!! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Musings of the Sad Sort

Years ago I saw a car two houses down from me when I was pulling out of my driveway. I felt my spidey sense tingle, but I ignored it. My house was broken into, nothing was stolen, thanks to a neighbor calling 911 from the bushes, but some of the beautiful old wavy glass windows were shattered. Funny, that was the only thing I was mad about, since the front door was unlocked anyway and he could have just walked in instead of destroying such beauty.

Yesterday, a man walked by, I said hello and he returned the greeting. My spidey sense tingled again and I remembered the last time that I ignored it. The man just kept on looking back at the kids and I and the house. I did what I didn't do last time. I stuck around for a minute then I made the decision to go get all the valuable stuff in the house. What I came out with fit in my school backpack, with tons of room.

T was at work and the kids were already in the car, so my valuables consisted of SS cards and birth certificates, a little cash, two passports and my computer. That's it. I feel confident to say that if it weren't for comfortable seating, I would be happy to live in a bare house. Which means my attachments to "stuff" and "things" are diminishing.

I am very uncomfortable with the fact that most people couldn't say this. Go ahead and ask, without prior warning, what someone would take from their house in an emergency. Most would say kids and pets, then after a few seconds...and my grandmothers heirlooms and the photographs and my mothers china....and so on. I am not judging. I am feeling sad that there is such an importance put on stuff and things.

I read a medical journal article about how the autistic brain may actually be the evolution of humans brains. The scientist/researcher/author who wrote the article argued that because of modern modes of communication, like telephone, to some extent, email, text and IM, it is becoming unnecessary for people to be able to read and interpret un-communicated emotional expressions. Also that the part of the brain concerned with spacial reasoning is much stronger in someone on the autism spectrum. Due to the fast paced, technology driven path our lives have taken, spacial reasoning is more important for development of new products and smarter fixes for old problems.

Part of this theory makes me happy, makes me think that the kids that I work with will not be relegated to the McDonald's drive-in and the Harkins ticket counter. That "curing" them of their behaviors will not be the sought after goal, but developing their strong and smart brains will be. The other part of me is really sad to have to acknowledge that this scientist is right. There is becoming less and less of a reason to actually be face to face with fellow humankind.

After my last post about the crazy zucchs, I hit next blog, which randomly pulls up a Blogger blog. I do this once a week, at least, just to see what is out there. Today I read again and again "I am a mother/wife/single dad/what-have-you that is trying to find time to relax in my harried life." Does it really have to be this way? Is anyone willing to exchange the big house, the huge toys, the video games, the a/c, the stupid SUV's, the bonus checks and the crappy dine-out food for their life back? Why not? Has it been so ingrained that these things constitute living? Where did living not include family and friends, easy evenings on a porch swing, lemonade? When did driving faster take over pick-up front yard soccer games and homemade ice cream?

My life beyond my loves fits in a backpack. I am moving in the direction I want to. Beyond that, I want my movement to create a wake that begins to envelope all. We can only change ourselves, but hopefully we can inspire change in the world in the process. Leading by example.

Monster Zucchini From Outer Space

The zucchs in the front yard garden have been our best growers. The plants themselves are healthy and thriving, to say the least, but when I was snooping to see if any fruit was emerging from the week-old flowers, I was stunned! There were already store sized zucchinis grown. Scout made a lovely dish, previously mentioned, of zucchini pancakes on Tuesday evening. When I went to grab a zucch for dinner last night, my jaw dropped. The thing, because it is a mutant, was huge and it was not alone.

Per a suggestion on Facebook from Kris K, I made stuffed zucchini for dinner last night. All of the stuffing came from our garden, except the cheese, which the making of our own may not be too far away. I stuffed the zucchini with zucchini that I shaved out of the middle of the fruit, carrots, tomatoes, onions and garlic, picked fresh from the back yard from the remnants of the winter garden, and mild cheddar. I baked it for 30 minutes at 350°F, wrapped in foil. It could have used more time; was a little crunchy, but totally delicious. 

There are several more like this. And when I am gone, I don't think Julia, who is house sitting, will be able to eat them all, so some of you should visit the garden and grab some dinner!! Just text Julia first so she doesn't call the cops on yo' ass!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Number 3 and I spent a good deal of time picking all the tomatoes that were ready. (And over ready! The hens were really excited about their gourmet pickins.)

The zucchini are ripe and amazing! We ate one last night. Scout made us zucchini pancakes! Delish!!! They are huge, the squash, I mean, not the pancakes. Pics to come.

Drum Roll Please........

Welcome to our family, please, four new delightful hens! They are each a different breed. Happy young ladies in their prime! This is it for us for right now, but we are so grateful to be in the presence of such beauty. Without further ado....





Welcome ladies and thank you Kate, the chicken lady for thinking of us when you needed to slim down your flock. We are thankful for the trust you instill in us to keep your babies safe and happy!!

When Life Gives You Lemons (And Raspberries)

Make raspberry lemonade, duh! 

12 lemons juiced
1 square plastic thing of raspberries juiced
and raw sugar and water to taste

When your wash machine breaks and there is no money to fix it right now, make the bath tub and the children into a machine.

The agitators:

It really works! After they agitated, then they rinsed twice. 

I wonder if this is airing my dirty laundry?

Then the four of us, in pairs, wrung the clothes out and dried them outside in the sun. 

Two loads=one hour of hard work. I estimated we saved about ten gallons of water...a bonus I guess! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Treats

Number 2 and a friend enjoy a spoonful of raw honey still on the comb. They ate the whole thing, comb and all.

Sweet Summer

It's been a while since I have written anything, again. Sorry guys. I worked most of last week with my client with autism. He makes me smile as much as my own children. He has begun to be very verbal, which is a huge change for him. Last week was also the last days of school for the boys and Number 3 graduated from Kindergarten in a ceremony called the Rainbow Bridge. The children walk over a bridge under a rainbow silk into the realm of first grade. The morning of graduation, Number 3 woke at 3:30 am, very apologetic that he had to wake us up because he couldn't breathe. Poor thing. He had croup. I had pack him up and get him to the ER at 4 in the morning. I'm not one of those moms, but he was just not breathing. So after 3 hours and rounds of steroids, chemical hormones and heart monitors, we came home and slept for an hour before we had to awaken for graduation. At the hospital, he cried, not because he was scared about not breathing, but because he thought if he didn't graduate, he would not get to move up to first grade. My poor love. Here is my beautiful, tired Rainbow Bridge graduate.

Tis also the season for little critters to visit. Last week, my friend Eli cam e over for dinner. While we sat and talked about love lost, feelings pending and amusements to be had, she very calmly let me know that there was a roach politely listening on the chair next to mine. I am not a person who is afraid of much, but roaches scare the shit out of me. I don't know if it is their mere seeming immortality or that they crunch, but I hate them. Elise, being a Buddhist, would not kill the roaches. Instead she wadded up toilet paper, caught the roaches, whom she named, chased me with them and threw them out the window. Courage, pure courage. T killed them the next night with some neuro-toxin I am not fond of using and will not replace once she uses it all. This is a picture of a visitor.

I have been able to read!! Real books, not texts, not readers, not journals, real non-fiction stories. Right now I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams. So far so good. Reading is a luxury that I do not get to partake of very often. It's one of the reasons a simpler life is for me. I know if I don't continue to simplify, reading will continue to be an enjoyment like vacation, great to be doing it, but part of me feels guilty for not doing other things.

So summer is in full swing from temperature to sprinkler wet children. I am really hoping to have more time to write, but my solo road trip to Alaska is coming up in 10 days. I have to get ready, but I fully intend to write from the road on all the amazing things I see.