Sunday, August 30, 2015

So Long, Summer. Sunday Thoughts. August 30, 2015.

First Game of the Season - Sami, #14 Rocked it! She is a Defender. She got the ball back for her team several times!

I missed this view.  So lucky, when it's not smokey

She is officially a Senior, tomorrow.

Sami and her Jeep.  I love this photo of my daughter.

Sami and the rest of the FFA Officers at a retreat two weekends ago. Wait, it was last weekend.

This morning. Packed up and heading to the ranch.

Jake and his new backpack - well, gym bag that he is using as a backpack.  Bets on when the straps break?

Like a boss.  First Game. She is playing Varsity. 

Jake Drove yesterday -I got to shoot photos. Can see one of the fires way across the Valley in the Eagle Caps.

 Summer is over.  I am sitting here with a sweatshirt on and a kitty warming my lap.
Brrrrrrr.  It was 40 degrees when I got up at the crack of' before daylight'. The moon was out and I was loving the chance to see it.  Our first frost is typically September 1st.  The weather channel is showing a low of 33 on Thursday.  I am going to bet we get a frost that day.  So long favorite season...

Tomorrow is the first day of school. It's a bummer the kids go back before Labor Day.  I feel shorted.  To add salt to our wounds Sami had a soccer game yesterday (Which she rocked!!! I embarrassed her - the game was right in front of where I was sitting, and Sami was in the thick of it, and after she took the ball back for her team I yelled out 'Great job Sami!  And a whole bunch of other parents that have known her since she was 5 started cheering for her as well -and calling out her name. She really was kicking ass - it was fun) and she has another game next Saturday.  It makes 'getting one last summer trip in' very limited.

So,since the kids will be starting their first day of school from the ranch  I took some 6:30 am morning shots of them this fine Sunday as they were heading out the door.

My plan for today? Along with mowing the yard, and picking up all the branches from another wind storm,  I am going to make a big batch of my 'first day of school cookies'.  Oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip.  This has been my tradition for every first day of school. When they were little I was lucky to be a 'stay on the ranch slave mom' and the cookies were waiting when they got home.  Warm.

Life evolves, eh?
So, tomorrow, since it is her Senior year, Sami will get her own little batch, tied up, and with a note.  I am going to deliver them to the school tomorrow. And yes, Jake will get a batch as well.  Don't worry aunties, he is not forgotten.

Speaking of Jake: When I got back from my 4 hour round trip drive to Emmett Idaho, Jake and I took off to Baker so he could practice his city driving. 

He is taking his driver's test this coming Thursday.

Happy Sunday my friends and family. 

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.