Saturday, March 31, 2012

Out Like a (slightly smaller) Lion

Our March came in like a Lion. It roared and rumbled and growled just about every day as it slowly passed by.
I don't know who in the world first decided that if March came in like a Lion, it would go out like a Lamb.
They certainly don't live in my part of the world.
Portland officially had the wettest March in recorded history. The previous record was set in 1957. Our weather is slightly different up here in the foothills... most of that rain fell as snow, but I'm sure we broke some kind of record too.
Here's hoping the reason March was so wet was due to April showers coming early. I'm ready for my webbed toes to dry out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


We love our family walks in the woods.
So compatible with each other, we always seem to notice the same things.
Even the kids are now pointing out items of interest.
Taking side-trails.
Exploring off-the-beaten path places.
One day they will own every square inch of this place.
They will have their own folklore and history inseparable from these woods.
I like that.
It is so... "us".

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do You See Faces?

Its been awhile since I've seen a hidden smile. At first I thought perhaps I wasn't crazy anymore... then they began to re-appear.

The first was an attempt to swirl ketchup onto a hamburger bun. But the ketchup bottle was nearly empty, and after it blurped out the best it could do, I pulled the bottle back to see this:
Then, a few days later, I reached for my basket full of shipping supplies and got an unpleasant jolt:
This final face might not be quite as obvious, and is a lousy excuse for a photo (a picture taken of a picture on my cell phone screen!) but trust me, when you are driving down the highway and you see someone that large staring right into your eyes, it feels pretty obvious:

How about you? Do you see faces?

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Season

Hal Borland, outdoor editorialist for the New Yorker from 1940-1978, said that "March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice."
I say that March is a fickle temptress, gently woo-ing the pale-faced winter-weary with sweet hints of color and bloom, then laughing as she tossess gusts and gales of snow, sleet and rain at their world.
Or perhaps... March is a young cage fighter, throwing punches at a weakening Winter, fighting to take his place in the turn of seasons.
Either way, whether March is fighting for our right to Spring, or teasing us and dangling the change of season like a carrot, the weather this month has been confusing, depressing, lovely, and infuriating by turns.
We had the pleasure of dining with friends on Saturday evening at their home in the heart of Portland. As we opened our car doors we were immediately greeted with a blast of sweet-smelling Spring air. I wanted to stay forever (the yummy lasagne and cake and conversation and impromptu piano recital sweetened the pot more than a little).
We didn't stay forever, only for the usual amount of time, but it seems we pulled a bit of Spring home with us. We were greeted by Swallows the next morning, and our snow has mostly melted away.
It is Spring Break for us this week, and this Mama has made all kinds of play-date plans for the kiddos. Here's hoping our month goes out like a Lamb...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On My Windowsill

We got another inch of snow after I posted yesterday. After that, it was a non-stop day of snow, wet snow, later turning to rain, but hovering in the 34 degree range, ensuring most of the snow stuck around. I estimate that we got down to about 7 inches before it started to stick again last evening, and now we have a grand total of 12 inches of the white stuff out there.
I'm trying to enjoy it for what it is, beautiful, bright, vista-transforming, magical stuff.
I probably should be a good Mama and go make a snow fort or something equally exciting.
But truly? I ended up closing the curtains yesterday (denial!) and started to plan some Summer vacation trips. I'll probably do the same today.
The branch in my window is one that I rescued from under my Crabapple tree after the last storm. It lay there sweetly on the ground, with tight little leaves and buds that I knew would open if I brought it in.
So there it stands on my kitchen windowsill, opening its leaves and forming buds, laughing at its departed companions, which are still attached to the tree just outside, shivering with cold.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


A few days ago, in between downpours and snowstorms, there were a few quiet weather hours.
Whence I spent a few moments wandering around outside, to see what I could see.
And behold, the tenacious plants of early Spring are beginning to test the air.
Our friends in the valley are surrounded by pink trees and blooming daffodils already.
But up here, in the thinner air, the seasons turn at a different pace.
I might grumble a weensie bit, if a season overstays its welcome, but in all honesty, I am in love with this bit of earth that we call home.
I wouldn't trade our land -with its short growing seasons and long winters- for all of the fresh homegrown tomatoes in the world.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I could write about woodstove shopping and chimney repair estimates. Or the coating of snow outside my windows the day before Spring. I could write about car repairs and a kitchen stove that is acting strange, and what its like to scrub kreosote off of hearth stone. I could write about any or all of the little details that make up my life these days.

But instead, I'll write about the kids who have an amazing ability of honing in on any visiting person who has an iphone in their possession. The kids who ask often when THEY will be able to get an iphone (the usual answer is a snort of laughter and a lecture about cell towers and dead zones and what iphones are really for). For some reason, these children have been gifted with a sense of optimism that enables them to forget aforementioned lectures as soon as a new iphone enters the room.
I think you've already guessed the reason why they're so interested in apple technology, haven't you?
Well, I am so pleased to announce that I now have a better answer for them the next time they ask for an iphone. Yep, I hand them a box of Lincoln Logs and tell them why it is infinitely better to be able to design their own Angry Birds towers.
Now, if only I could figure out a non-lethal way to provide a slingshot to a 4 and 6 year old.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why I Don't Bother with Umbrellas

Or "barellas" as my littlest calls them. The kids were asking me yesterday, as we prepared to go out in a downpour, why we don't have any umbrellas. And this, my dears, is the reason...
Do you think that a silly bit of fabric-on-a-stick would have kept my jeans from being soaked through? And the bottom half of my coat? I don't think so. Not when its raining sideways buckets. And windy besides... Had I an umbrella, it would have turned into a sail in my hands, and I would have been fighting just to keep it in alignment.

Granted, perhaps my sleeves would have stayed dry (had I held them up beside my ears). But truly, whats the point anyway? As they say in Scandinavia (from whence a good portion of my ancestors hail), "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing".
Waterproof boots, waterproof coat with a deep hood, and fortitude are all we need.

I wish I had a picture to show you of my dripping-wet daughter, but she was in an all-fired hurry to get out of her wet things to go hang them by the stove to dry.

Oh, that's right. Still no fire in the stove.

"Well, Mama, I dess (guess) we can hang our wet things in our wooms to dwy!" To which I replied, "Good thinking... but how about we hang them in the mud room, honey? That way the drips won't get the carpet wet." To which she responded with a very dramatic slap of her palm to her forehead, as if to say, what was I thinking?

This is the same girl that a few days ago, on our way to big Brother's classroom for pick-up stated, "Mama, I'm pwetending dat da yewwow sticks and weaves are poisoned, so don't step on dem, otay?"

I honestly didn't mind the soaking, and driving through muddy streams, and standing water in the yard. Wanna know why?
The rain took the snow away. All but the drifts, that is, but who's counting?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Did I tell you that all of the puppies have gone to their new homes now? No? Oops... sorry. Well, the last pup left on Monday afternoon, and I suddenly find that I have time to do a bazillion loads of laundry AND fold them all within the space of 3 days (a personal record, I tell you).

Introducing Lucy...
We get the Spring and Summer off while the Mamas rest up, then once again this Fall, our kennel will be bustling with activity. Can you wait?