Thursday, September 26, 2013

what do I do all day?

I get this question a lot--with good reason. What does a recently married, transplanted, unemployed, childless female do with her hours & hours of leisure time? Hm...well, I blog. And bake pumpkin delight & make my own chicken broth. And spend hours out on the farm scouting (another word for cracking hazelnuts, cruising through mud on the mule, scoping out the sweetcorn patch, plucking concord grapes, and occasionally wielding a shovel to plant berries) with the man. And keep my house (mostly) impeccably clean. And do a little art. And dream a lot. And play with my camera. And craft. Oh, I craft. It's been years since I had this much free time. To everything there is a season. I realize now is probably the freest I'll ever be for...probably ever. And I also realize it is just that, a season. One that won't last long. So while it's here, I am embracing it. 
Here's just one little craft I did the other day at my new friend's (who's an avid crafter, like, one of the best & most sincere) house. Little jars I rescued from the old barn (remember?) revamped to hold some pretty little things. Not much. But it made me happy. 

So there you have it. This is what I do all day. It's a little bitty life & there isn't much to show for it at the end of the day. But still, I am happy. My biggest prayer is that I'm not wasting this season & I'm living to honor & glorify my God. 

hello autumn

I adore autumn. The crispness in the air, the resplendent blue of the sky, the tubers & root vegetables that are finally ready, the ending of a beautiful summer, busting out the leather boots & mustard yellow cable knit sweater (eeh!), feeling the urge to knit again, coffee in the afternoon. In 10 photos, here is my autumn so far.
1.  a pantry full of summer's bounty (with help from Mom S. & Alicen)
2. & 3.  gourds & potatoes at the local farmer's market

4.  apples!
 5. hayrack ride
 6. orange, yellow, & leaves
 7. mums by the front door
 8. piney, hoppy, dried smells
 9. red maples, helicopters 
10. homemade sweet potato chips (this photo was prettier than just a sweet potato, but sweet potato chips don't necessarily epitomize fall for me, capish?)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

new friends

 Moving isn't new for me. This is my third time moving far from home. Each move has brought its own new & exciting adventures, challenges, & discoveries. I find a little more about myself each time I've been uprooted & forced to redefine who I am away from my family & all that's familiar. It's a good thing, even if it's uncomfortable & for a few weeks I can't figure out how to get to the grocery store or where the cheapest gas is or how to open the mailbox. And each time you move, you have to figure those simple everyday things out all over again. But there's one thing that's always been the same: I've made friends. People have been so good at reaching out to me. When I was 18 & away from home for the first time, two girls out of college took me under their wing & fed me, physically & spiritually. When I was at the end of my rope with that awful desk job, I moved to California where I was welcomed with open arms by a vast area of ages. This time, my new family came through to make me feel at home.  
 We may only be family through marriage: Adriana & I married cousins who grew up working on the family farm together, but it feels deeper than that. She is a lovely, talented, crafty type & I knew when I saw her owl print scarf & orange kitchenaid that we would be friends. She's done great about inviting us over & peeling me away from the wall in church. When she asked me to take some photos of their little family, I was honored.

Here's to a friendship that has just begun. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a few of my favorites

The past week was absolutely glorious. I'm not sure how to condense it down into a finish-in-a-sitting post. There were just so many lovely little moments, great lines by the Heasel, sweet "pease & 'kues" from the Sheasel, an anthropologie trip with my sister, golfing with Jerm. And I suppose to anyone outside my family, these moments mean nothing. But to me, to have Jeremy, Shara, the Heasel, & the Sheasel here was euphoric. I could spend a few hours typing everything we did, but honestly, it wasn't really what we did that I loved so much: it was the people I was doing it with.
 (I got quite the collection of family photos, but I'll let Shara share the really good ones. Here's a preview)

Heasel time: He has been talking about this trip to Oregon for months, mostly because the mode of transportation bringing them here was a plane, but I like to think part of it was me. During my stint at that horrible desk job, going to lunch at Shara's & seeing my niece & nephew was what kept me going. In fact, I have a confession: there were times my (unofficial) half hour lunch stretched into two hours. I just couldn't tear myself away from those two cuties! This time, he visited me. For seven blissful days it was normal to have my little nephew run across the breezeway first thing in the morning (that is, if he wasn't at our place sleeping under the coffee table, i.e. his "tent") for some marshmallow cereal or baby bagels.  My supply of sour gummy worms was diminished significantly. Heasel & Sheasel both fell in love with Riley, though She adamantly called him "Ty". They played in the creek together & fought with swords. He discovered the wonder of a slice of marionberry pie. My basket of children's books, (literally the only toys we have in our apartment) were much used--we read "Kermit the Hermit" a half dozen times as a prequel to going crabbing. Heasel learned how to golf, drive a boat, bait & pull a crab trap, eat salmon, & how cold the Pacific is. He told his mom, "You can go home. I'm going to stay here in our new house." He will go home & he will be fine in a day or two. He will still love his mother (as he should, that wonderful women*) & he will probably forget most of his trip to Oregon. But being half-Dotterer, with a fantastic memory, he'll remember parts of it. And he will want to come back, I just know it.
 (look at his feet off the ground, cracks me up)

(Isn't she just the epitome of sweetness? A little sand on her lip, a charming grin, & melt-your-heart eyes)
Sheasel time:
It's only been three months since I've been married, but I was in San Diego six months before that. The Sheasel is only twice that old. I was a little worried she wouldn't remember me. To have my nieces & nephews not know me is by far the hardest thing about moving 2,000 miles from home. But I needn't have worried. From the moment I met them at the zoo, she was the little Sheasel I loved so dearly, if a little more grown up. It was a job to keep track of her! Always on the move, walking around "as if she owned the place," just like her mama did years & years ago. She found my shoes & scarves & draped herself in them. I accepted that my neat arrangement of glass bottles & owls was going to be in disarray for a week. She played in the fountain, ran through the grass barefoot, smelled the flowers, waded in the ocean, chased seagulls, loved on Riley & Buck the Dog, endeared herself to Darwin. I already miss her chirpy, "Hi!", little hipswingin', pigeon-toed walk, her blond bob, little grin, & even her aggressive arm patting when she's tired. Sigh. Come see us again soon, my niecy, before you get too grown up.
feeding Buck the Dog straw--he loved it!
The parents:
And of course it was great to have my sister (& her husband) here: My sisters are the people that get me most. We are four of a kind after all. So for seven days, I pretended it was normal to have them living across the breezeway & we ate nearly every meal together, cooked together, wedged ourselves into one small economy car, talked creative & mundane, shopped, & were sisters again without all those bothersome miles between us.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

when your brother marries your close friend isn't so bad
 Carm & I have been friends for years. I'll be the first to admit when Alex told me he was going to marry her I was less than happy. She was my close friend; he was my brother. It was selfish, I know, but I didn't want to lose or have my relationship change with either of them. But I knew it had to. A less selfish person would've been overjoyed to have their friend for a sister-in-law. Sigh. Of course, looking back to a year ago now (what?! crazy), I had no idea of knowing I would marry her cousin & move halfway across the country, making her as a sister-in-law a sure way of cementing our friendship. God's so good. And so, here we were, sisters-in-law, cousins-in-law, having a high old time in good ol' Oregon. We had so much fun. Here's where not having a job has major perks: we gallivanted around, golfed in our backyard, threw barbecues, antiqued, & caught up on the past months apart.

 a barbecue in our sideyard, followed by a rousing game of golf. *smirkle*. Alex hit 9 balls in the pond. It was a situation where watching was much more entertaining than taking part. 

 trying to find 5 of the 6 golfballs that somehow made their way off the course:)
 So yes, if anyone comes to visit, we do have a 3-hole course in our backyard. Doesn't everyone? 
The rest of the photos are from our Mckenzie Pass tour. It was a really cool driving tour up into the mountains, past the lava beds, into Eastern Oregon & back. Our first stop was a mountain lake with clear water 40 feet down. We rented a little row boat & cruised around the lake in the crisp morning air, watching the fog rise off the water as the warm air & glacial waters met. There were hardly any others on the water & it was so still you could hear a paddle across the lake. 

 Our next stop was a waterfall where we ate our lunch by the thundering head of the falls. 

 (Thank goodness for self-timer!)
 We drove further up into the mountains & pulled over for a pit stop at some of the lava beds. If you've ever read a Louis L'Amour, this is the type of terrain that would shred the rugged man's cowboy boots as he was being hunted by the outlaw he'd embarrassed in the previous cow town. 

 Sisters, OR. We stopped and had some coffee to ward off the chill of the mountain air & perk us up. Unfortunately, we were back down in the plains & hot coffee wasn't very tasty in the now-90 degree weather. We walked the old western style streets, browsed the shops, & ate some frozen yogurt.

 We'd been told not to miss this attraction: the head of the Metolius River, which appears to start from a rock. Quite frankly, the river head wasn't that impressive, but the smell of the ponderosas as we walked to it was heavenly. I would go back simply to take a few deep breaths of that fresh, piney scent.

 Lastly, we stopped at a dam & walked out onto it. Then headed into Mt. Angel for some Glockenspiel German. It was a charming day. And one we probably won't ever be able to repeat.
It was just, mmm...I can't quite find the right word, perfect, perhaps? to have Al & Carm here. It was so natural, Carmen having spent some summers here, & finding her place in the Sinn's out here. 
(a sneaky shot taken with my iphone, heh heh)
Al & Dar were able to talk farm & I felt no qualms about saddling my stranger-shy husband with Alex. In fact, Carm & I were banished to the back seat of the Subaru during our McKenzie Pass tour while our men talked shop. Which was fine with us:). It warms my heart to know my family has accepted my husband & is willing to pay for a plane ticket to come & see us. Although, having a golf course probably doesn't hurt...
We sent off Alex & Carmen somewhat hesitantly; if it were up to all of us, they would've stayed a few more days. But life cannot always be golfing & waterfalls & fun western towns & heavenly piney smells, so off they went. And here I sit typing this, thanking God Alex had the audacity to marry my friend:). Come see us again, you two!