Slow January

This month is always such a strange one for me. After all the busyness of the holidays and making, I just want to curl up with some hot tea and knit. I get a little cabin fever with the dark, cold, wet days too.

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But I also feel the pull to organize, resolve, and energize my life. These opposite energies are challenging to balance.

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We have sunshine today and I find myself following it around like a cat. I stand in a sunny window and soak it in. My oldest (well, not her age, just how long we’ve been friends) friend and I were inspired by Sarah and are sharing bits and pieces of our lives together via texts. I am treasuring this connection with my cross-country friend and the reminders to take notice and appreciate more in my own life.

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I love walking through this little path in the woods near our house. It’s in a neighborhood, but it is hilly and full of birds. I can get there quickly and lose myself in the mossiness of it all.

IMG_1794There is the constant lure of these needles and the calming simple stitches on them. About a week ago I started this sleeve for John’s sweater and am now about half-way done. This is good progress for me who only finds little bits of time to sneak in some knitting. There are talks with a friend to knit together and I cannot wait to make some real progress.

So far, I think we’re making January pretty cozy.

Happy New Year!

This time between Christmas and back-to-school is such a relaxed week. The to-do list is on the back burner. My parents are here soaking up as much of the girls as they can.

We spend our days amassing wealth,IMG_1721

searching for fairies,

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playing hooky,

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crossing bridges,

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eating our weight in cookies,

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and building tree houses.

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It’s been lovely.

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more snow days!

The calendar may say that its spring, but it doesn’t feel like it! We got the most snow I’ve seen here this week – probably 8 inches! The girls were beyond excited when they saw it. It was a total shock. They couldn’t get through breakfast fast enough to get out in it. I got them dressed four times that morning. Every time I turned around, clothes were off and I had to go track them down and put them back on. I kept thinking, “At least Ginger is still in diapers so I don’t have to worry about her needing to go to the bathroom after I finally get her dressed!” The whole thing was pretty funny.

Ruby catching snow flakes.

Gigi stuck in the snow (it was too deep for her to walk in!) but taking a break from calling, “Mama, help!” to smile for a picture.

Two snow days called for baking. When the girls got cold on the second day, we went inside to bake cookies.

John was out of town, but the second day was so sunny that he was able to make it back because most of the snow melted. There’s still snow on the ground and more in the forecast.

The past two days have been sunny. I actually sat outside this afternoon without a coat. As fun as the snow has been, I am reeeeeeeally ready for spring. I need some warm sunny days. Bad.

mini-vacation

We took a chance on the weather this weekend and headed to the coast. We spent the night in Gleneden Beach, which holds such fond memories for me and John. Part of our honeymoon was spent on the Oregon coast (we never knew we would end up living here!) and we love driving up this dramatic coastline.

There was a break between storms and we hiked out to the coast along the bay.

We got all dressed up and ate at a “fancy restaurant”.

We had a fireplace in our room, which was so lovely to warm up to after our cold hike to the windy beach and our walk back from the pool.

The lobby was full of windows and this reading room where we played chess and watched hailstorms pound against the windows.

It was just one night away but it felt like a week.

sick, sick, sick

Poor little Ruby has pneumonia. Again. It’s the 3rd time and she’s not even five yet. She caught a virus last week that settled into her lungs. Friday afternoon, we decided we didn’t like the sound of her cough and I took her to urgent care on Saturday. We had to wait 2 hours to get a room and were there over another hour after that.

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She is so patient and was feeling well that morning, so we played go fish and she drew and watched tv. The doctor found an ear infection too, Ruby’s first! She hadn’t even complained of an earache, so it must be pretty mild. Then she had to have a couple x-rays. That seemed to make her pretty nervous, but she held it together.

The doctor wanted to see if her lungs sounded better after a breathing treatment, so they hooked her up to a noisy machine and this mask for about 10 minutes.

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She really didn’t like this at all. She kept asking me if it was done and the straps bothered her ears, so I was holding them off her head the whole time. I felt so bad for her. Those big eyes were so pathetic staring at me.

She charmed all the staff there with her patience and fairy wings. I kept hearing people in the hall talking about “little Ruby”. We finally left and got a pile of stuff from the pharmacy to ward off the evil spirits.

She’s feeling much better today, especially after her best friend dropped off a get well gift on her way to preschool.

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Ginger and I are sick today. Gigi has a cough, which I’m really hoping will just stay a cold. To say I’m ready for cold/flu/sick season to be over would be an understatement. It’s been rough so far this fall and winter. 

All photos taken with Instagram

floods!

Well, this week has been full of crazy weather. At the beginning of the week, we had some snow and freezing temperatures. That quickly switched to rain (not unusual). But the rain didn’t stop. I’ve heard conflicting reports, but it seems in 2 days alone we got between 4-6.5″ of rain. It just kept raining. And raining. And raining. We’ve been through some natural disasters before (Florida hurricanes) but at least then we had a little notice they were coming.

photo by Alexi Kostibas

All of a sudden, it became clear on Thursday that this was more than just annoying. There was a tragic terrifying accident on Wednesday night. I read about road closures because of high water, warnings about stocking up on emergency supplies, having an evacuation plan, etc. I called John and asked him to come home early. I did not want him driving home in the dark and running into high water. I did not want him stranded at work. The Willamette River separates the town where we live and the one where he works.

The girls and I ran out to the store to grab some extra food and water. John got home. That night his university closed for the next two days. Parts of that town were underwater and closed off from the rest of the town. Bridges were under water. There was a landslide in town and evacuations. At this point, our neighborhood was holding up well. But we were a little nervous. We had a little stream of water in our basement. Our town’s sewer system was overloaded. We live 2 blocks from a canal that supplies our town’s drinking water. The river was rising faster than expected (I heard some reports that it was rising a foot an hour) and was now about 5 blocks from us instead of the usual 7.

photo by Tim Corban

In the photo above, we are 5 blocks from the bottom of the water. The large white circle is part of our water treatment plant (yikes -so close!). And under the water is a park. You can’t see the playground at all. The shelter has water up to the roof. We can easily walk to this park.

I took much comfort knowing that our house is 100 years old and has survived other floods worse than this one. Friday morning we had a break in rain and the river started to recede a bit. Most of the roads were able to open up again.

By Saturday morning, life started to return to normal. I took Ruby to dance class. John drove over the bridges to care for a friend’s chickens. I drove over the river on Sunday for a little alone time. The river was still very high – over the piers that usually stand maybe 15-20 feet above water.

We have a lot of rain in the forecast and much of winter to go. Hopefully things will become a little more normal. But we made it through this round unscathed. Thanks for all the people who checked in with us!

snow day

The flakes were giant and beautiful floating down.

I grabbed my knitting and sat by the window to watch…

and listened to one of my favorite albums.

And then it was over. We didn’t get much snow, but we got outside in it, threw out our to-do list, made hot chocolate, mugs of tea and baked bread. This Florida girl loves any bit of snow I can get and was just about as excited as the girls. The snow didn’t stick at all, but we pretended.