Sunday, December 30, 2012

The year is winding down, and it's tempting to say "Oh thank goodness this year is over, I hope 2013 will be better," while in reality the "New Year" is just a point on a continuum.  If I want the next arbitrary bundle of 365 days to be better, I have to make them better... I'll get out of the new year what I put into it.

Winter sunset

What is undeniable is that I have much to be thankful for.  This weekend, for example.  To finish off our Christmas vacation-at-home, Emma and I went away for a Girl's Weekend to our nearest metropolitan center with a plethora of retail opportunities that are not found in La Grande.  We hit all our favorite thrift stores and craft stores in Kennewick, Washington, and stayed overnight in a hotel.  It was a cheap hotel, but it had a POOL, and it had a HOT TUB!

So we replenished Emma's wardrobe at the thrift stores.  Chortle, chortle...for $40 we got her 2 pants, 2 dresses, a skirt, 6 shirts, a pajama set, and a pair of shoes!  I love thrift stores!  We got beads and feathers and a mask to decorate at the craft store.  We went to the mall and had lunch and got her some sparkly earrings.  We swam and hot tubbed. We went out to dinner at Red Robin, then swam some more.  We snuggled in bed and read books.  We slept.

Today, we had the continental breakfast provided by the hotel- cereal and oatmeal seem so much more glamorous when eaten in a hotel, especially when there are also cinnamon rolls wrapped in cellophane and a juice machine where you can serve yourself half orange juice and half cranberry juice.  We geocached in town in the morning and went to a park, then we went to REI for a bike pump, to the craft store again just on general principles, to Best Buy to see if they had a power cord we need for Emma's computer (they didn't), and to the pet store (new fish!  yay!).  Then a quick late lunch and we headed home.  But wait, there's more!

On the way home we stopped off  at Plymouth Park, which is an island in the Columbia River, just downstream of McNary Dam, on the border between Washington and Oregon.  There are seven caches on this one island, and we found them all, which allowed us to go for a two-mile hike through the sagebrush.  It was lovely.  The temperature was right at freezing, but there was no wind and we were moving enough to keep warm.  We got there mid-afternoon, so the sun was starting to go down and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Smiley girl

It was a great two-day trip, with a great walk to cap it off, and a fun time with my girl.  What a wonderful Christmas break this has been.

Winter sunset

Sunday, December 23, 2012

'Tis Christmas Eve Eve, and we are having a lovely snowstorm.  How perfect is it that inside looks like this:

Christmas tree 2012

and outside looks like this...

Snowy creek
Snowy creek...

Snowy barn...

Inside the plum thicket.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today.  As with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was magnificent.  What a great way to spend three hours (!) on a gray and windy Saturday afternoon. 

Well done Peter Jackson, cast, and crew!  I can't wait for the next two.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wait, WHAT? Christmas is in six days?!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The scene:
Emma and a friend are watching a show on TV, which has Mom-approved content.  Then an ad for a slightly more mature teenager-y show comes on, featuring a scantily clad 16ish year old girl singing with her trendy band.

The conversation I overheard:

Emma: "Wow, look at what she's wearing!"

Friend:  "I know!"

(Here, I mentally groan and roll my eyes.  Trashy flashy wins again...)

Emma:  "I like the color of her scarf, but her other clothes are completely inappropriate."

Friend:  "Yeah it's so tight, how can she even dance? And she's probably cold."

(Hey, maybe there's hope after all!  And I love that Emma actually said "completely inappropriate".)

Friday, December 14, 2012

After hearing the news on NPR this morning about the shooting at the Connecticut school, I've felt like I can't breathe.

All I can think about is Emma, my girl who is the same age as the kids at that school.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I think it's ironic that we spend the entirety of our childhood being told not to talk to strangers, then when we're grown up our jobs require us to interact easily with a wide variety of people we don't know and have never met.

Googly moogly,  I hate talking on the phone.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sometimes taking a step forward feels like the most horrible backward step I can ever imagine taking.

I try to hold onto the thought that things will be better in the long run, and that I won't always feel like I have ripped out my own heart to crush it into a bloody pulp and am a total and complete failure at life.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

I had a very odd moment this morning, after watching episodes of MI-5 and Doctor Who on Netflix and then going to the grocery store.  I wondered why everyone was speaking with an accent.  Then I realized that no, I am in fact in the United States, and people here are supposed to sound like that.

People in La Grande, Oregon, USA do not speak like people in London, UK. Or aliens in the far reaches of the galaxy heard through the TARDIS translator that is linked to someone with what sounds like a northern British accent but isn't because lots of planets have a "north".  (It's complicated.)

It's entirely possible that I've been watching too many BBC shows on Netflix.