Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to Blogging

WARNING! Excruciatingly long post ahead.

Okay, you’ve been warned. But for those brave souls still reading, standby for an overview of the last two months during which I’ve been off the blogosphere because it took Verizon three ½ weeks to connect our DSL, we left for a family reunion, and then so much happened, I really didn’t know how to catch up. So here’s my attempt….

As mentioned in earlier posts, we moved into The Furrow. I didn’t realize how aptly we named it until I started cleaning it. Eeewwwww. It was SO dirty. We’re talking decades of dirt here. We could have planted a garden on the basement shelves there was so much build up. Anyhow, after destroying my new vacuum’s HEPA filter and blasting through a six pack of sponges, two whole bottles of Lysol, and three canisters of disinfecting disposable wipes, we began moving our stuff the day after my last post. Then Jeff and I left for Seattle for a conference he had to attend – without the kids. Yes, thank you Lucinda. My saintly friend offered to watch our six children in addition to her own four so we could enjoy a four day break (I owe her big time). Anyhow, I enjoyed the blessed quiet, uninterrupted time with Jeff after his meetings, my sister’s company wandering around Pike’s Place, and the cute little shops around the university district. And for the record, I think I could’ve handled five or six days of that.

When we returned, real life smacked us in the face as the exhausting business of changing residences engulfed us. Move complete, I cleaned the old apartment and then Jeff re-painted (Jared had expressed his artistic side on the pale walls). The next week, we planted our garden with help from the kids (Jared worked harder than some of the older kids), baseball began for Evan and Tyler and Jeff left for a week-long conference. So while still unpacking, I shuttled Trevor to work, the boys to baseball and really hated being a single mom for a week. I have new empathy for those who have to do it full-time.

Two days after Jeff returned, we closed the sale of our house in Ohio and then packed for a family reunion and left the next day. We enjoyed fishing, playing, and bonding with each other, and even enjoyed the frigid water of the Puget Sound - from the shore. Being the Pacific, I thought the water would be warm. WRONG. The only ones brave enough to get wet were the intrepid polar bears under the age of fifteen. I covered up with a sweatshirt and shorts, but failed to put sunscreen on my forehead and calves. Yeah, it was real pretty – like a candy cane. I wasn’t the only one sun burnt though. I think we all forgot that although the air and water might be cold, the sun still sent out those beams of radiation to fry our pasty skin. I think the next time we go to the beach, we’ll head to California and I’ll be sure to bathe in sunscreen first. Despite the lingering pain from the excursion, the tidal pools were a lot of fun and it was a very good day. Jeff decided to don a seaweed ponytail to try and fit in with the crowd at the beach. I don't think it's quite his look. Before we left, we collected driftwood for a fire. I was excited to see the green flames that I’d read about in Twilight when some of the characters built a driftwood bonfire on the beach. Just so you know, the flames were orange. I guess I shouldn’t believe details from novels. Oh well. We returned from the family reunion tired, happy, and several pounds heavier due to all the delicious food. Kudos to Rachel for planning it all while trying to arrange their move to Japan.

Swimming lessons and baseball games took up every week night for the following two weeks while I tried to catch up on laundry, continue unpacking, and get back into some kind of routine. Emphasis on try. I still have piles of laundry to do. My sister and her son showed up the last week of baseball/swimming lessons and we enjoyed their company until a few days ago. While they were here, we harvested about fifty pounds of cherries from a neighbor’s yard and made lots of cherry jam. In between all this, I’ve been trying to work out the details of a construction loan for the house we are hoping to build and getting bids from sub-contractors. With equal measure anticipation and trepidation, we are planning to general contract the construction ourselves. We’ll let you know how that goes.