Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wishing you a boogie woogie new year...

Let's see, that would be a new year full of energy, enthusiasm, creativity and good health...similar to what these amazing dancers exude.

Winter rains...

After a few days of heavy rain, the North Umpqua River is a muddy grey color and overflowing its banks. But the hills across the river are beginning to change from summer brown to spring green, a beautiful and hopeful sight.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snail Bird

The drive took twice as long as it should have, but we arrived safely in Portland last Tuesday and enjoyed a very pleasant holiday with our family. Christmas with a three year old is just FUN!

Although Georgia received a number of gender neutral presents, her new doll seemed to be her favorite gift. In addition to the doll, she received a small wicker laundry basket with clothesline and clothes pins and a child-size iron and ironing board, also big hits. Almost immediately Georgia B.'s Laundry was open for business. She took the doll clothes off the hangers and stuffed them under a pillow on the sofa (her pretend washing machine). After a while the clothes were hung up to dry, then ironed and returned to their hangers in the doll trunk. Then the cycle was repeated.

Oh, and the doll's new name?..."Snail-Bird" (shortened to Birdie). Don't ask. Because who can fathom the mind of a three year old.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

North to Alaska, er I mean Portland…

We’re loading gifts and food and heading north today to spend Christmas with our family in Portland. But not without some trepidation, at least on my part, as Portland has been hit with ten days of significant snow (for Oregon), freezing rain and generally treacherous road conditions. My ever confident husband isn’t worried (4-wheel drive, plus chains) but I am less sanguine about the plan. I guess we’ll find out. We really must show, because WE have the doll…

I wish you all a warm, cozy holiday, with good cheer, good friends, and delicious, decadent food. Who knows where we will all be this time next year, after the Masters of the Universe are finished with things...

(Photo credit: www.copyright-free-photos.org.uk)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ready for delivery...

My husband finished the doll trunk last night and if the weather gods cooperate, it will be under the tree for my granddaughter on Christmas eve...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh, baby, it's cold outside

We hardly ever use our wood stove any more, but I woke up to this cozy fire, built by my husband before he left for work on this snowy Oregon morning...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I live in Oregon, the number one Christmas tree producing state in the nation. Last year Oregon harvested 7.3 million Christmas trees. They are bountiful and fairly inexpensive here, but this year we are without one. Since we will be spending Christmas at our son’s home this year, and because life is particularly hectic right now, we decided to skip the tree. My husband was THRILLED, since he is the one who ends up doing most of the work. I was okay with our decision until a few days ago when I suddenly began craving the scent of evergreens in my home…and greatly missed being able to enjoy my first cup of coffee in the dark living room, illuminated only by the lights on the tree.

So last weekend my husband cut down some evergreen boughs for me to use in this arrangement. And last night he spray painted some branches white for me.

And now there’s a hint of evergreens wafting through my home and life is feeling a little bit more festive.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A very big baby...

Thirty-two years ago today I was hugely pregnant with twins. Within 48 hours, on December 10, my babies would arrive in the world and I would be recovering from a C-section and a broken shoulder joint.

The first months of my pregnancy were normal. The doctor and mid-wife at the birthing center kept telling me I was going to have a BIG baby. But at seven months, an ultrasound revealed that BIG baby was really twins. Exciting and scary news for my husband and I. My normal pregnancy soon began to change and by the time I entered the end of my eighth month, I had developed preeclampsia, a potentially fatal condition for mother and child. I was hospitalized for a week, then released. A day later I was back in the hospital where, within the next 12 hours, my son and daughter were delivered by C-section. During this time I also fractured my shoulder joint. (Twins are often born premature and underweight but mine were born on their due date and had normal birth weights – 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 6 lbs. 13 oz. I was huge. Teenagers laughed at me...)

Three days after their birth the twins went home with my husband, but I remained in the hospital for another two weeks. Two operations and two months later my shoulder joint had finally healed and I was able to hold them without assistance for the first time. Our little family had a bumpy beginning. The help we received from my husband's parents saved us.

Although the birth experience was not what I anticipated, my babies were everything I imagined and hoped for. They were mellow infants and happy children - smart, funny, creative and kind. Their teenage years were bumpy, but we all got through it. After high school they both went on to obtain advance degrees and have successful careers. My son is a wonderful father and I know my daughter will be a great mom if she has children. We're very proud of them.

Like all siblings, Zach and Camas have their prickly moments, but I’m pleased that they are friends and still close. They are probably rolling their eyes by now at my depiction of our family (not as perfect as I have perhaps made it sound). But we do love each other and enjoy spending time together, a sweet blessing.

On Wednesday they will be 32 years old. We won’t be able to celebrate their mid-week birthdays with them in Portland, but we’ll talk by phone. Happy birthday, my sweet babes. You'll always be my super kids!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Red trunk, rediscovered...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our son, daughter-in-law and three year old granddaughter Georgia. She pronounced the dinner, “very good” (although I think she was really just referring to the jellied cranberry sauce and the pumpkin brulĂ©e.)

While she was here my husband pulled more of our children’s toys out of the attic for her to play with. Georgia was quite taken with my daughter’s old doll and the red doll trunk filled with doll clothes hanging on brass hangers. My daughter’s grandfather made the little brass hangers and I spent many hours sewing and embroidering the “Vogue” doll clothes during my twins’ naps and after they were in bed at night.

After seeing her delight in the doll and her accessories, a plan was hatched. Although my daughter-in-law is not a big fan of dolls, on Monday she ordered a beautiful German doll for Georgia for Christmas. My husband began the search for brass fittings for a wooden doll trunk which he will make and I went shopping for fabric and patterns for doll clothing.

I’m sure this month will fly as I make dresses and pants and shirts and pajamas for the newest addition to Georgia's little family. And I suspect there won't be much painting...

Thanks, June!

A big thank you to June for sending this award my way. I'm supposed to pass it on and will do so eventually, but life is just too busy right now. Stop by and visit June's blog Poetry and Photography: The Memory Thread. It's an interesting mix of photographs and musings about her life.