Friday, February 29, 2008

Over the Pass and Through the Snowbanks

These pictures are from our trans-state trek earlier this month. I added captions, but every one reads some version of, "Snow Piled Higher Than the Car + Haulin' Semi Truck Drivers On Your Tail + Hey, Look It Started Snowing Again = Fantastic Road Driving Adventure". That is, if your idea of fantastic includes white knuckles and stomach bile.

Lookit! All the pretty snow!

So the snow is higher than the car, it's not like there's ever been an avalanche which fell onto passing cars or anything. Wait a minute, didn't that happened in Washington? Must think happy thoughts.

Drifting, ghostly wispies never hurt anybody.

Oh, look, it's starting to snow. I should mention that it was really easy to take pictures and drive at the same time. The camera was sitting on the seat next to me, I just turned it on and held it in one hand while I steered with the other. We were traveling about 15 mph so there was plenty of time to pay attention to the road. Besides, it's not like I was taking pictures of what was behind us. Plus, I am a woman, we can multitask like that.

Why am I reminded of the Donner party at this moment? Weird.

The Donner party never had multiple snowplows go through and plow a mile-deep path for them. Hmm, maybe we will survive this after all. I always tell OC that I'm going to eat her up with a spoon, but now with the whole Donner party thoughts that crowd my min, that idea taking on a totally new connotation.

Snowplow #8 in the 1 1/2 hours from Detroit to Sisters. Hooray!

Who am I kidding, I get to travel with her, all smiles and optimism. Cannibalism is not an option. Life is good. Oh, and we were stopped when I took this one.

We made it through - much gratitude - but I do NOT want to do that again anytime soon thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two Fer

Yesterday started off with a bang. Literally. I'm not talking gunshot, I'm talking a brand new jar of organic tamari soy sauce crashed down from the overhead cabinet onto my coffee mug, shattering the whole mess. This was BEFORE I had a chance to take a sip of coffee, as what caused the crashing was my reaching for the turbinado sugar which was on the shelf next to the soy sauce.

Good morning!

And then today. I'm putting dishes away and a grab-it bowl decided to be rebellious and defy its name when it crashed to the floor and shattered into a million pieces.

No one was hurt, not like last time. I am definitely beginning to feel like I should not touch the good china. Which will be easy seeing as though I don't have any good china.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I am a Central Oregon Blogger

This week, I had the chance to smile and nod at some other local bloggers. I would say I got to talk to them, but what happened is more like my wimpy voice that blends in to background noise and renders me unhearable meant I did a LOT more listening than talking.

Photographic evidence exists of my not-entirely-mute, but-kinda presence.

I met some bloggers who I read but didn't have a clue what they looked like until now. Boy, did some of them surprise me. Examples include BOR who as a matter of fact, has a real face and not one made of food. It seems Shannon's camera adds a hamburger and fries where they would not be normally.

Chubby Mommy, who is in fact, not so much with the chubby and is sweet to talk with. Beware if you tell her to come to jury duty despite nursing a newborn! Asses will be kicked. Of course, it was great to see Jen, who had her picture printed on the cover of the Source! She knows more about the happs with coffee shops in my town than I do. Something is wrong with that but so far it's not bugging me because when she knows = less work for me. She mentioned some other blogger as being her heroine, a blogger who is not me, which I'm pretty sure is some kind of wild oversight.

I met this woman almost one year ago, and she is still lovely. I wonder if she is planning to do that walk again this year?

And I met the most gorgeous pregnant woman, Shannon, who organized this little shindig. I hope she had fun. I had fun meeting everyone.

It makes being in a new place that much better when you have the chance to make friends. Like, duh.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Family That Skis Together

In an attempt to get out and go skiing more than once this year, the family and I headed up to Hoodoo last Saturday. I have not heard people rave about skiing at Hoodoo - probably because Mt. Bachelor is nearby and a perennial favorite. I wasn't expecting much, so when it turned out to be probably the best day I've had skiing ever, I was surprised.

Hoodoo has an area called Easy Rider, which has the gentlest slope I've ever seen with a chair lift. Easy Rider could be called Chubby Baby Cheeks, as gentle and soft and edible as it was. I've been to four ski resorts in my entire life, so I've seen at least four chair lifts, if not five. I know of that which I speak. OC and I spent a good hour on Easy Rider, experiencing a state of relaxation like never before while attached to waxed projectiles of possible death or at least very real danger.

Normally, my ski day starts when my body produces a good healthy sheen of anxiety-produced sweat, about at the moment we arrive at the mountain and my mind makes sense of the information that I am about to be attached to extremely slick rented objects that will hurtle myself down a slippery hill at high rates of speed of which I am barely able to control. Also, that of my innocent child. A nagging worry soon follows which makes me imagine that my leg is about to be broken, or god forbid, OC's, and these are our last moments as fully-functioning human beings. This is when I cram everything down into my stomach and instead, bravely put on my gear and hope for the best.

It must've been good to start the day off slowly, for after a few runs down Over Easy and Hesitation, the skiier in pink also known as OC adopted a new battle cry. "See you at the bottom!" She called out to us as we ate her dust down the mountain.

Me, eating said dust.

As a parent, there are things that are inevitable and best to accept rather than dwell upon them. One of those things - among the many and various - is that at some point, your child will smoke you at something. Whether it's skiing, basketball, height, or Civil War trivia, you cannot fight it. Instead, let the defeat wash over like a soothing, chamomile-scented bath. Think back on how chubby and cute their little baby bottom was. It doesn't seem so bad after that, because after all, you were the one to raise and encourage that little behind to grow up and do so well at whatever it is.

This is much preferred over a bumper sticker announcing the achievement. Trust me on this.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Don't Mess With the Schedule

I'm really, really tired of complaining about the snow, of talking about how much of a pain in the arse it has made getting around. There are so many real problems in the world. My adverse weather conditions issues are so minor and silly compared to real problems in the world.

Now that we have some perspective, I give you this:

The first math test of this class was scheduled for Thursday, January 31st. I would take the test, then spend the rest of the day packing for our family's sojourn to Depoe Bay, where we have sojourned as a family since the mid-1980's. Friday, we would leave and it would be stress-free and fun, because it's vacation! That WAS the plan. What actually happened was, well, a picture would tell you all you need to know:

S!N!O!W! Thursday morning I woke up to snow, and the test was cancelled because the college was closed. I emailed the professor. I had no choice but to wait until Friday morning when I could check the status of the college. Luckily, I had the option of going to the testing center to take the test out of regular class times. That is what I did on Friday.

Except, when I got to the testing center at 8:55 am, there was no test there. I had to call the professor at home - luckily, she had given out her home number, otherwise, screwed! - and she trekked up to school right away and brought the test to me.

One hour later, the test was done. Eleven hours later, OC and I were hanging with these people:

You might recognize some of the women from previous posts. These are my girlfriends from way back. I went through school with them and we've known each other for something like.....holy crap, 28 years, is that right? I'm asking you like you know.

The guy in blue on the left walked with me at our 8th grade graduation. The guy in white on the right was also a classmate. That's such a formal word, classmate. This situation calls for a synonym.

A synonym search revealed the alternative options are:

day pupil
school boy
school girl
school kid
school lad.

Classmate it is!

Speaking of school girl, here is another one.

There are a lot of stories surrounding the people in these pictures. Such as, I used to smoke cigarettes at the halftime of football games with the school girl, above. We were cheerleaders, which explains why we only had halftime to get the smoking done. A friend from the first picture used to borrow her mom's car - unbeknownst to her mom - when she was 14. We grew up in a small town, most of us lived several miles out of town. One day, she accidentally ran over one of their guinea hens because they usually got out of the way. That was a tough one to explain away to her mom and step-father.

Good times!

It must be said that I took pains to pack lightly for this vacation. I managed to accomplish this when it came to clothes (the black duffel bag contains outfits for EIGHT DAYS, people) but, being gone for such a long time necessitates many shiny objects to pacify my attention-deficit self. The other bags are full of knitting projects, books, math homework, laptop, thank-you notes to write from Christmas, extra shoes, games, art projects, and OC's toys.

My mom came to visit, so this was the view in my rearview mirror:

What did we find to do on the Oregon Coast? Grandma took OC to the aquarium so I could do my math homework. We visited a tea shop which has a hedgehog in residence. I have never seen a hedgehog before, and now that I've seen one I'm thinking it's not a bad idea. Just look at this adorable thing:

It's Mrs. Tiggywinkle!

Not really. It's a boy, and his name is Horace.

OC loved Horace the hedgehog. Of course, she also loved their two dogs and their cat.

It's funny how much our routines matter to us, and how flummoxed we (some of us) get when they are disrupted. That was the underlying issue to all this kvetching.

I was glad to have time with OC outside of our normal routine, where I worry about getting to school on time, having enough clean jeans for her during the week, homework, and all the other hundreds of things to do with daily life. Distance from that plus spending time in such a peaceful place which overlooks the Pacific Ocean felt fantastic. I think OC enjoys the escape as well. Talk about creating memories, who's going to forget that hedgehog???

This week's weather: not a snowflake in sight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Central Oregon Blogger Meet-Up

If you have a blog and you live in Central Oregon, you might be interested to know there is a gathering scheduled:

February 21st
5:30 pm
Blacksmith, 211 NW Greenwood Ave, Bend

I will be there, what else do you need to know?!?

RSVP shanlee at

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It Seems I Cannot Stay Away From Library Internet-Linked Computers

What is my deal? This time, it's because I'm on vacation and while I did bring my laptop, I don't have wireless internet card installed, blah blah blah. I am a sucky techie.

I'm here to print out my next week's homework for math class, except it's not been posted.

How's the vacation, you ask? Oh, great. Getting here, now that is a long story. A long, long story which includes mountain passes closed due to avalanche, two long-ass drives, and math homework. It barely qualifies for vacation at all except for the fact that I am not at home and I don't have to clean a darn thing. Good enough.

More later. I need to wash my hands after this.