Monday, May 28, 2007

Food + Fire + Friends = Fun

Last night was the Memorial Day Weekend church campout (on the church property!). Ricky and I didn't camp out, but we did go for dinner. It was a great time - burgers (turkey for me), baked corn (you guessed it - my contribution), green salads, potato salads, hummus, several varieties of baked beans, cookies, cake, brownies and of course, s'mores.

We roasted marshmallows, made s'mores and sang songs around the campfire. While it was a struggle to go in the beginning (the corn took longer to bake than anticipated, my burger patties wouldn't form properly, and Ricky was tired from work) we were very glad that we made the effort to be there. We rode our bikes with the picnic basket and a couple of chairs and enjoyed chatting with old friends and meeting new ones. It was good to get reacquainted with people I've known for a long time but haven't spoken with recently, and to see my best friend, with whom I hadn't spoken in months.

I only wish I'd remembered my camera. I have to be better about taking pictures!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Over the river and through the woods...

To see dead relatives we go!

Mom and Dad picked me up today to go to the cemetary. We went first to see Grandpa - always our first stop - and then visited the graves of Uncle Raymond, Aunt Evy, Linda, Larry, Jimmy, Canute, Great Grandma Steenson, and Great Grandpa Steenson. Auntie Polly had already been there, I'm sure, as there were large bouquets of flowers that looked to have come out of her yard. We also left the ones I'd brought.

Then we went to another cemetary to visit the graves of Grandpa Ehr, Grandma Ehr and Grandpa Barlow. Grandpa Barlow died even before Dad was born, but Grandma Ehr died on my birthday. Literally, on my birthday day. My grandma lost her grandmother and gained a granddaughter all in one fell swoop. We've always said that she had to die to make room for me. While I never had the opportunity to meet her, I've always felt a strong connection to her. I even wore her engagement ring as my something old at our wedding, and Grandma then gave the ring to me.

Grandpa Ehr was Grandma Ehr's second husband, my grandma's step-dad. I remember him, though vaguely. I was about 4 when he died. I remember him as a thin, bony man wearing his plaid flannel shirts, sitting in a wheel chair with an afghan over his lap. I remember, even more vaguely, visiting him in the nursing home. It smelled funny and we took him See's Candy.

While we were there, we saw some very old graves that were not well maintained. Perhaps there are no descendants left; perhaps those who are left are not in the know about their ancestors' graves, aren't around to care for them, or simply don't care. I don't know. But it got me thinking...Who will care for our things when we're gone? Who will arrange our memorial services and see to it that we're cremated and scattered or stored where we want to be? Who will visit my parents' remains, and the rest of my family?

But even those questions are not enough to make me rethink our decision to not have children. Wanting someone to care for my remains after I'm dead is not a reason to bring a child into this world. Because really, at that point, what will it matter to me?


Welcome to my new blog! While this will technically be "my" blog, I'm sure there will be plenty of updates on Ricky and the pup as well. Ricky doesn't have the time or inclination to keep a blog, and while pup may have the inclination and certainly the time, he lacks the opposable thumbs.

Look for old posts that I'm moving here very shortly - they're currently on MySpace but I'm hoping to get them all here so everything is in one spot.

No promises on how often I'll update the blog, but I'll try to post something at least once a week - even if it's just my grocery list!

I really think I could be Amish

I've always been fascinated with the Amish lifestyle, and many times have wished I could live that way. And then it struck me - I can. Maybe not 100% that way - I'd never make it without the internet, and Lord knows I can't sew my own clothes, but I can certainly simplify and take pleasure in the small things in life.

So I instituted a self imposed ban on driving. I began Wed about 8:30 pm when I got home from a much needed $100 grocery shopping trip (all that time on the play meant I didn't do anything at home. We were down to eating rice and water), and haven't driven about 84 hours car free. In fact, I've only been in a vehicle once in that time.

It's been very nice. A slower paced life, for sure. I've been riding my bike everywhere. Since Thursday I've gone downtown, Clackamas Town Center, Mom and Dad's, Rick and Cheryl's, Safeway, the Farmer's Market, and I'm getting ready to head to church in just a few minutes. I've gotten in a lot of exercise (as has Jacko since he goes nearly everywhere with me) and had time to really reflect on what makes life worth living. I've come to a lot of conclusions, about which I will share later.

This morning I had the joy of shopping at the farmer's market, another way that we've been simplifying. Buying local, buying sustainable and organic. It's a good thing. I enjoy interacting with my neighbors, supporting local farms and businesses, and again - it's a slower pace. The atmosphere at the market is one of wandering around, browsing, no rush. Not that I always feel rushed at the grocery store, but frequently. Or maybe it's just that my outlook is different, I don't know.

I got some carrots, sugar snap peas, baby red potatoes and a cucumber. We'll have them for dinner this week. I also got some wonderful local organic pesto that we'll have on some Gnocchi. I'm looking forward to that. And I got a large bouquet of fresh cut flowers for my kitchen - calla lillies, day lillies, peonies (I think...I'm not too good with flowers) and some other stuff that's pretty but I have no idea what it's called - and a smaller one to take to the cemetary today.

I have loved this experiment of not driving. I don't plan on driving again until Tuesday when I head back to work, and I hope I can take this slower paced, peaceful feeling into my work week, rather than getting caught up in the rat race.

I really think I could enjoy being a stay at home wife, basking in the simple things of life. Fresh cut flowers on the table, home cooked meals, fresh produce, and biking everywhere I go. Perhaps I can find a job like that?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I have an interview

Wednesday at noon. For the job that I really really really want.

Pray. Hard.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

There's trouble, right here in River City

Trouble with a capital T and that stands for Tactless.

So my job at my current school is temporary. That means that they have the ability to post it, interview people, and not hire me.

And they did exacttly that. I interviewed about a week and a half ago, and then waited for a phone call.

Well, I may as well keep waiting because they aren't going to call. They freakin' emailed me! And to add insult to injury, they sent the regrets email to my district email address.

How classless can a district be? Seriously. An email? And no even a personalized email. Just "Thanks for interviewing, we picked someone else."

Now, I can't be mad at the school or anyone at the school level, and I'm not, because the email came from HR, which is at the district level. So I'm mad at the district. They should know better, seriously.

Can I say seriously any more?

So I've started applying everywhere and anywhere, though I really hope that I get called for an interview for the drama position at our local high school. It's my dream job. Close to home, teaching in my community, being with the demographic I love teaching a subject I am passionate can't get any better than that. Well, maybe if they let me come to work at 10 am dressed in my pajamas!

So we're back to square 1, for now. It'll be ok though...even if I end up being a housewife, it'll be ok. I have a husband who loves me (and I him), a puppy who is a great cuddler and gives sloppy messy kisses, a roof over my head, food in my belly and cute clothes on my back. We'll be fine.