Monday, August 24, 2015

Andi's WITL - Wednesday, August 19

My Door and My Motto - About 5:45 am before my walk.

Morning Walk

Morning Walk - Side of the Haines Store

Taking Jake to the Ranch - Smoky. Well, he drove. So he was taking me to the ranch.

Dropping into the Grande Ronde Valley - My Commute

Rosie - One of her favorite spots

Evening Time - My bedside Retreat into Books  & My OTW Collage

Rosie at the foot of my bed, plotting something
Same ol' Same ol'.  Just cruzin' through the week. 

Sami has daily doubles (Soccer practice for the Baker HS).  Pisses me off that they are practicing in the smoke.  Clueless coaches.  She had to be in Baker for 7am practice so I took Jake to the ranch, well he drove. So I took photos.  And she is back to Baker at 5pm for another practice/scrimage.

 Work. I don't recall anything exciting.  Preparing for our big Strategic Planning session in October.  Herding cats once again. With 100 employees it will be interesting.  We are encouraging all employees to attend - full day Friday.  A lot of employees don't work on Friday.  And a few of us return on Saturday for 1/2 day. 
Now that I think about it, I have lots going on in October:
  • Drive Thru Flu Event
  • Trip to Bend - For Statewide Emergency Preparedness Conference - and my BFF is going to come hang with me (yippee!)
  • Scrappy Retreat - at end of Bend trip. So I will be gone Tuesday - Sunday with both trips combined.
  • Strategic Planning Session - 1.5 days.
  • Phil's big move from Wyoming to Oregon (2 miles down the road) on October 24th  (my man). Two of his girls are helping and hopefully they will stay for a week.  I would love for them to see our area, and meet my kids - of course, if my kids are up to it (all on their terms and their comfort zone).
Kids back in the evening.  Yes, I picked Jake up from the Ranch. Sami was only here for a short while after soccer practice and dinner. After dinner she went to visit her BFF who is leaving for Boise State, and then she had an FFA meeting at school.  She was back around 9ish. Maybe later. I was in bed.  Her commute is 10 miles from my house to Baker for the soccer stuff; girlfriend is 1 mile down the road, school is 8 miles from my house. Her cute little jeep is getting a workout.
Dinner was a stir-fry with the left over chicken, market zucchini, and wild rice. And our tomatoes/balsamic vinegar snack. Corn on the cob from the market as well.
Slumber:  As pictured above, I fall into slumber with a book.  It's my private retreat. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tuesday Week in the Life, August 18, 2015

Flowers on my office desk. Black Dahlias.

Bigger view of my office.  A whole lotta balls in the air right now.

Another new dress (pattern at top of photo) meets my Apron in the evening (pattern below)

Loving my yard.  My potted summer flowers are toast.  Ready for Fall Mums.

Yes!  A reprieve from the smoke!  View West the front of the house.

Turn around from the mountain view and shot a photo of my casa

Rosie.  My kittie.  She walks out to the edge of the walk,  sits and looks around.  Kitty Zen time.

I saved this on August 18th in my Facebook Reader

No need to delve into the routine.  The photos capture the day.
The only additions are:

Work Day:
Daily Smoke Call:  State is on fire, new fires keep surfacing.  
Public Health Team. Frustration.  I reminded them we have a drive thru flu clinic on October 3rd and we are needing people to actually staff it. Nurses, lane organizers, greeters. Anyone.  It will be on a Saturday.  This is what 'we are all about' but getting people to actually step up and help outside their 'normal' hours is like pulling teeth.  It frustrates me.  Only one nurse is committing.  I need three.  And yes, people actually drive their cars through and get their vaccine while they stay in their cars.  My big idea is to have the radio station on site, broadcasting it, and make this a community event with giveaways, etc.  Sometimes, I am alone in these grand thoughts.  Folks complain our vaccine rates are lower than what they predict and thus their budgets are suffering.  Offer them a solution and no one wants to put in the effort.   Ask me what I would rather be doing on a Saturday.  I live away, have to drive over, give up time with my kids. My daughter will be a senior and most likely I will be missing one of her soccer games. Go figure.  Yes.  This was a rant.  Not sure I will actually publish it. But there you are. This is 'week in the life' after all.  I will publish it.
Lunch:  Tuesdays are Rotary Days.  Stay longer for a board meeting with the District Governor. I enjoy Rotary.  Like minded people who are all about service to their community.  Great hearts and souls.  Salt of the earth.  They lift my spirits.
End of Day:  Stop at the Farmers Market and the grocery store.  Go home and start dinner.  A nice dinner for the kids.  This is when I actually put effort into cooking.  When they are here. Organic chicken thighs, wild rice, and our nightly routine of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and a baquet with dipping ramekins of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

OH!  But while I was cooking, Sami texts me to say she is in Baker and I need to go get Jake from the ranch.  Ha. there I was all Betty Crocker and all.  Happy in my little world.  She drives and usually brings her brother with her.  She now has 'daily doubles' of soccer practice, and did not have her brother with her.  It's about 6:30 pm when I send him a message seeing if he wants a ride. Poor kid.  So, I drive another 14 miles to go get him and bring him back.

Sami was here when we arrived.  Should have made her go and get him.

And that wraps up Tuesday.

Week in the Life - Monday August 17th, 2015

New Dress
My yard, after I mowed it and cleaned up the mess from Friday's Windstorm

And the smoke in the background

Smoke is interfering with my view

(This will be the most detailed post because it explains the daily stuff)

Explanation:  Ali Edwards, the same gal who sponsors 'One Little Word' is doing  'Week in the Life' event this week. I am playing along. I captured photos and am posting everything after the fact.
The idea is to capture your own life, for one week, and create an album.
And, share your story.  Your own story.

The Daily Routine
Up at 4 or 5. Typical for me.  I am wired for mornings. Everyone knows it.  Kids. Coworkers. Friends.  I am the one who irritates everyone with my morning sunshine.  I love mornings.  Nights?  Bed for me.  9pm. Otherwise I am mean, irritable and cranky.  Like most people are in the mornings.

Coffee. With cream. Real cream as in 1/2 and 1/2.  I have a Kureg.  A Valentine's Gift.  I miss my old French Press routine. I dig it out every now and then.  Sometimes I do laundry, dishes, stretches.  Make my breakfast/lunch bag to go. Kids are usually at their dad's Monday mornings, but they were with me from our weekend back to school shopping/'nails on chalkboard because I hate shopping' trip to Boise.  So, I made them their breakfast (fruit/yogurt, eggs/bacon), woke them and told them I was leaving for my walk.  They have to leave at 6:15 to get to the ranch.  Sami drives. 

Walk. Leave at 6:00 am for 30 minutes in the hood.  A new neighbor phoned me last week - her husband told her he sees me walking in the mornings - she asked if she could join me.  Not sure if I am digging having her invade my space.  I work with people all day long - sometimes people that are mean and nasty and high maintenance.  I find myself just wanting peace and quiet.  No conversation or problem solving life issues.  I just want to fall into the landscape, talk to God. We will see how long this lasts.

Leave at 7 am - Did you do the math?  I get ready in 30 minutes.  Shower, dress, and any primping. Commute from Haines, Oregon to La Grande, Oregon.  Thirty three miles over a mountain pass - in the summer.  Good this time of year, not good during the winter, takes an hour or longer. 

Wearing?  One of my new dresses. I shopped for myself as well.  Jake did not like the dress - he called it my old lady dress.  I got lots of compliments.  So there. Humph. 

Smoke Call:  8:30 am - 9:30 am.   Oregon is on fire.  One of my job duties is Emergency Preparedness for the Public Health Department.  I 'got' the smoke duties dumped on me last week.     Keep in mind I am not a nurse, or anything of that sort.  But I am taking this new duty seriously.  Every day.  Including weekends. I am on the call. Then make press releases, radio ads, etc.  It is consuming.  Oh.  And our air sucks right now.  The photos above are from one of our better days (it got a whole lot worse over the upcoming weekend).

Facilitate a Meeting: 10:30 am - 1:00 pm. Including setup time. A preconception health grant project. I coordinate the meetings, communicate with the work-group, actually facilitate the meeting, take notes, etc.  Create outreach materials, collect and disseminate the project data. Bla bla bla.  It's exhausting.

LUNCH!  Best part of the day.   1:00 - 2:00 pm. Met two friends from Boise down at Mamacita's for lunch.  Outdoors in the smoke.  They were on their way back from a trip in Washington.  Great people. 

Team Meeting:  2-4.  Work stuff.

4-5:  Get stuff done!  Seriously.  After a day of meetings I find myself wondering what I have to show for it.

Fiveish: Hit the road back home.  6pm Mow the lawn. Takes an hour.  Admire my work.

7:30ish. Eat something I find in the refrigerator.  Monday nights are usually my TV nights.  I don't even remember what I ate.  Left over spaghetti?  Chips and salsa? When I am alone I tend to graze on anything.

In bed no doubt around 8:30 or 9:00.  Read and call it a night.
Tired.  It was a long day.  Lots of adrenaline tied to the facilitation and I hit the wall later in the day.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Help! My Daughter Wants to go to college in Hawaii

Sami with her new Jeep Wrangler

With her Gang.  She is third from the left

2nd from Right - Prom girls - they went w/o dates.

Sami's bedroom at my house

FFA Banquet Night - at the podium

Getting Ready to take the stage - as the MC for Graduation


With two of her besties - yes.  Guys.  The one on the left is going in the Army, the one on the right is going to Utah to study engineering. She has a gang of friends.  Lucky girl.

With her bestie of besties.  Who will be going to school in Boise, Idaho.

My oldest will be a senior this coming year. It will be a crazy, busy, beautiful and painful year.  Most of her friends were a year ahead of her.  This could be a challenge for her.

We have lots on our minds:  College for one.  How to pull this off.  I say we - because she is wanting to go to Hawaii and be a Marine Biologist.  I want her to follow her dreams.  Go for it.  Take that plunge.  No regrets.  YOLO.  I would love for her to be within driving distance.  Hawaii is $1,000 flight round trip.   Secretly?  I hope she goes to OSU, Corvallis.  It's only a six hour drive - or so.

And, I can't afford it.  But she is at the top of her game right now:  4.0 GPA, Natonal Honor Society, ASB President, officer in FFA, plays basketball and soccer.  This is the time for her to take advantage of all her hard work and use it as a springboard for scholarships and opening doors.

On the table: For her graduation gift we are a going to Spain over Spring Break - a school trip (she went to Greece in 2013)  so her trip will cost less than mine.  But I am not sure I can afford 'my' travel.  I came up with the idea to cancel Spain for both of us, and instead to go to Hawaii to check out the University, the program, and for her to get a flavor for life in Hawaii. 

She said she really want's to go to Spain.

Oh boy. 

Not sure what our next step will be.
This is one of the 'big things' on my mind.
There is another, but I am trying to keep that second to this.
Thanks for listening.
And if you have any advice, please, share.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Teens. Testing Boundaries.

It's been an interesting week around Casa Walsh.

My darling adorable beautiful daughter came home one SUNDAY MONDAY morning at 2:30 am. Uh huh. She was out with her guy friend at the drive-ins.  And no, I wasn't worried about any misbehaving, I was pissed she was out so late.  I expected her home at midnight. Yet, for some reason, we don't have a curfew.  It has never been an issue. So I couldn't ground her ass.   And, being the Type A mom that I am,  I was awake, waiting for her, sending messages back and forth to track her where-a bouts, and that I would NOT be a happy camper come Monday workday.

The long story is, she drove her truck to Union (25 miles away) to meet the boy-child, and they drove his truck to La Grande (another 10 or so miles) to go to the drive-in which did not start until 9pm, and there were two movies.  So, technically, that's 4-5 hours of movie viewing.  Right?  And she had to reverse that trip to get home.  The bummer about all of that is the drive to Union is in a canyon with no cell service.  So, naturally, I assume breakdowns, and ax murderers and kidnappings.

Keep in mind this is the girl who just pulled a 4.0 on her report card, is the incoming ASP School President, and does amazing things.  I am not worried about her being irresponsible and making very foolish choices (like her teenage mother did) (Correction:  My teenage self, I was not a teen mother.  I was 35 when #1 was born, and 36 with #2).  I was not happy that in her mind - everything was perfectly fine.  During our texting conversation she kept telling me she was OK and everything was alright, that she was at the movies and the 2nd movie just started (midnight when I asked why she wasn't home and where the heck was she) - and I was trying to communicate with her that everything was NOT OK because her charming little self was not home tucked in bed.

Oy veh.

So.  I imposed a curfew. Ten pm. during the week, midnight on the weekends.  With her father's support.  Which meant this week she could NOT spend the night at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show (in Union) with a girlfriend,  as she had planned, because she was also leaving for 5 days for basketball camp starting Monday (tomorrow).  Besides, with the guy friend in Union I did not want to push our luck.

She found out about the new curfews Tuesday night.  And she was heartbroken. Giving me her sad little 5 year old self brown eyes (no she's not 5, that is just what she reminded me of).  Especially when it was 9pm and her friends were just now going out to the movies. Poor sweet thing. Sniff.

Then Friday night?  Back in Union.  For the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show (FFA animals, rodeo, carnival, etc.).  Instructions were she had to text me when she arrived and each time she went somewhere else.  Seeing how she is so darn mobile now.  Curse you independent driving children! Our texts were something like this: She said she was with her friends.  I wanted names.  She said the usual.  I said tell me who.  She said why?  I said in case you go missing and I have to track down parents of your friends.  I''m sure she thinks I am a total crazy lady. So, I got names. And, she got home at a nice, decent hour.  Almost 11 pm.

But last night? We almost had a repeat of the over midnight saga.  She was in Union again..  I texted around 8.  Told her I wanted to know where she was and it was time to check in with me.  She was at the Carnival.  Fine.  Then she sent a message at 9:00 that her group was headed to La Grande to see the movies (to her credit she gave me names - which was two girls, including her, and two boys - all of which I know.  Apparently the Union guy is just a friend now).  Holy Crud.  I said fine, but she had to be home by midnight (Did she forget? Testing my last nerve, I tell you).  She sent a message about 'but the movie doesn't start until bla bla bla'.  I said if she wasn't home by midnight, she would be grounded. She said they were almost to La Grande.  I did not respond.

She got home at 11:50 pm.  Ta Da!  Good choice!
So this morning, I told her I was proud of her for getting home on time.
I was greeted with the silent treatment.  (Except to borrow my tent and a chair for the camping week).

 Oh.  And the sugary snacks above?  They were part of a snack run they did to Wal-Mart.  I guess they played in Wal-Mart instead of going to the movies.   This. From the girl who insists on no gluten in the food I cook for her.  But I get it. 

We shall survive.  I am certain of it.

Hello, Beautiful Summer - 2015

Sunday coffee, and view from my yard (south side of house). June 7th.

Coffee cup, green Adirondack chair and west side of yard. June 7th

One of those beautiful June nights. Monday, June 8th

Saturday Walk - June 13

Saturday Walk - June 13. There is a blue Heron way out there!

What a beautiful, sunny month this June has been (so far). I am a sunshine girl.  I love when the sun comes up early, and stays out late. I love the daily crawl toward the solstice with the days getting longer.
I like the light. And I love the heat (although it was a cold 35 degrees this morning).
June just takes my breath away. 
And summer nights?  Splendid.  Nothing beats sitting outside on a hot day.  Staring at the mountains as the sun goes down. Cooking dinner on the BBQ and eating out in the yard (kids and I earlier this week: potato salad, watermelon, chicken legs).
One day I stepped outside the office building during the lunch hour and I was slammed with the scent of a Missouri Summer.
It made me homesick for my Missouri life, and fireflies, and cicadas and my little sister. And the river bottom country with all the fields of corn and the big lush green trees.

I love summer. So glad it is here.  At last.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Deep in This Head of Mine - Sunday, April 26

Saturday Night - Taking in a few moments of silence

I prayed a lot yesterday.  I cried.  I worried.  I felt like throwing up.

First, the earthquake in Nepal.  A coworker/friend has been studying in the area since January.  I was worried and frightened that she might have been one of the thousands to have died.  She was just in Kathmandu on Thursday, where the earthquake hit and 'we' had no idea where she was after that.  This morning one of her friends posted that she is fine and will reach out when she can.  Thank you, God.

Then.  The horrid news that a young girl from our small school community committed suicide Friday night.  Ug......  Thirteen years old.  A brother found her and tried to administer CPR.  The responders were all locals.  Volunteers.  Fellow parents and neighbors.  This is small town America. Something like this hits hard when everyone one, knows everyone. And news travels fast.  Jake said she was the smartest girl in her class and he had no idea why she would do this.  She was one year younger than him.  Poor sweet soul.  Poor sweet brothers, sisters, mother, father, friends, teachers. 

My kids, Thank God, seem to be processing this 'well'.  Unfortunately, they were introduced to death at an early age.  Sami is friends with one of the older brothers, so she is closer to the family than Jake or I.   So, in my head I crawled yesterday.  Wondering what on earth could have been going on in her life that she felt the need to end it?

Praying for all.  Taking moments of silence.  And listening to God's whisper.