via ljapp

What day is it anyway?

Wednesday, day 3

But before i begin, let me just say that hot oil is bad. No really. I was cooking up some fry bread last night to go with the clam chowder and sauteed chanterelles, and managed to splash my left wrist really well. The inside of my wrist is blistered pretty badly now, and i managed to break the blister tonight goofing around with the boys. Oops. Thank goodness their mama, Glesy, my sister-in-law, is a proper mama and had bandages and neosporin handy. 🙂

Last night after Jack, Glesy, the boys and Dori all went home, Dad and I stayed up late (10pm, haha) singing with the karaoke machine. Fun, but we were hoarse by the end of it.

Today, again i woke up first, but i lounged in bed reading until i heard Dad up and about. I wanted to make (good) coffee, so i jumped up then and got busy. We chatted and hung around until about 10, then got ready to head into town. Matt called somewhere in there, and it was so nice to hear him sounding happy and self-satisfied. I guess he’s getting a lot accomplished on the house!

First we headed to the fire station up the road, where dad is the volunteer chief. The district maintenance guy was there, and they chatted (well, me too) for a while, talking about various things, then we went into town to run a few errands.

For lunch we went to Burgerville, which is like any other fast food place, but i think there are only a couple of them. Maybe only the 1, but i thought i remember a couple of other towns nearby have them too. I ate a double cheese burger (with Burgerville special sauce) and sweet potato fries.

We went to Safeway, where Dori works, and i browsed the aisles, exploring American grocery fun, until we decided to go over to Jack and Glesy’s. Jack was home working on the new super-vacuum he’d bought for cleaning out old insulation in people’s attics (if it’s full of bat shit). He was hooking it up and seeing if it works ok, and if he’d need to make any adjustments to it (it needs to have a shorter wand at the end of the hose).

The boys got home from school, then Glesy got home from work, I played outside with the boys and the neighborhood kids, then Kyle and Katy (Kyle is my other brother – Katy is his wife) came over. We all had dinner, then played Settlers of Catan. And that was the whole day! 🙂

It was a pretty good day… busy but with nothing much. Still, i’m exhausted. I haven’t gotten any of my “personal homework” done. Oh well. Still time. i’ve got more than 2 weeks left! Maybe tomorrow i’ll find some time at a cafe with some coffee and wifi, and get some work done.

Jack with his new toy.

Iver and Orin in the leaves

Jack, Kyle and Katy – playing Catan

Dad, frying up razor clams Tuesday

One bag of chanterelles.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Day 2 – chanterelle picking in the woods

i woke up early today. i think it might have been the first time ever i’ve been the first person awake at my dad’s place. arlene was always such an early riser, that even jet-lagged like now, i couldn’t get up before she did. but i woke up early today, and had a chance to make coffee first. nice. Ceese was so kind as to get me some decent coffee from Seattle, so i don’t have to drink the canned stuff my dad buys. Yum.

Pretty soon everybody was up, and Dori and i went to pick apples from the tree down the road while Dad and Ceese got started cleaning the clams. I made fresh juice from the kind of dilapidated winter apples, a mishmash of sad leftover carrots, and 2 lemons. it was ok, but not really the best juice i’ve made. We fried up some of the freshly cleaned clams and munched on gevulde speculaas.

Dad’s new girlfriend, Dori, is really subservient in a lot of ways. I had to very firmly send her out of the kitchen. She was cleaning up AROUND my cleaning up. I was trying to clean up the mess i’d made using the new juicer, and she insisted on washing things i was washing while i was washing them. She’s nice, but that was getting ridiculous.

After we’d all eaten and cleaned up, there was some sitting around, then Dori went home. Dad and Ceese and I started to make some clam chowder, and while that cooked, i took Ceese for a walk around the property. Around then, Ceese was going to leave, but Dad revived and got to thinking about the chanterelles.

We took the quad up the ridge, and it is really mushroom season. There were all kinds of mushrooms all over the place. We picked tons of chanterelles, just kept finding more and more of them. I found the mother lode NOT where Dad specifically took us to look for them. He and Ceese were up this one ridge that was steep. I hadn’t wanted to climb it for fear of getting my good pants as muddy as Ceese got climbing it, so i wandered down the path a way. There was a huckleberry bush there, and i walked up the somewhat lower ridge to check it out. When i got up there, i found a really big stump, so i walked over to check THAT out. The chanterelles around it were the size of my face, huge, with water collected in them like vases. They were gorgeous, but i didn’t have a bag with me. So I lifted up my rain coat and filled it in minutes. I was examining a huge amanita death cap the size of my head when i heard the quad approaching. Dad and Ceese had loaded up their 2 bags and were coming to find me. I shouted out and they came up and helped me get the mushrooms out of there.

It took me nearly an hour to clean all those chanterelles, and i sent half of them home with Ceese uncleaned.

It’s late afternoon now, and Dad’s rummaging around. Jack and Glesy and the boys are coming by for dinner, and I think Dori and her daughter are coming too. Dori’s going to bring her karaoke machine. woo hoo! It should be a fun evening. We’ll drink some of Jack’s jack and watch the munchkins tear around the place.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Clam digging, 1st night back

Gray’s Harbor.

Dad, jack, dori, Ceese, horrible Addison, Teresa, and me.

A couple of weeks before I was scheduled to visit, I got an email from dad: “too bad you’re arriving on the 8th. There’s a nighttime clam dig scheduled that night, but I’m afraid you’d be too tired from traveling to go.”
“hell no!” I typed back, “let’s do it!”

The night before I flew I stayed up as late as I could. In the morning I didn’t drink any caffeine before the flight. On board, as soon as we took off, I put on my earplugs, wrapped myself up in layers of blankets, and closed my eyes. There was no one in the seat beside me, so I had space to stretch out a little as well. I drowsed, waking briefly for a snack, then again for dinner. After dinner, I slept more deeply for a few hours. I woke up with only 3 hours left of the flight, and read and listened to music for the rest of it.

All of which meant that I was completely fine when Ceese picked me up in Seattle.

We had a nice chat driving down, and made excellent time. When we got out to Dad’s, he and Dori were there and we weren’t there 10 minutes before Dori’s cousin and her husband showed up. They were joining us for clam digging. Jack was expected, too, but he took his time showing up.

We loaded up a bunch of warm clothing, and waders and boots, etc., and headed out, getting to the beach around 7pm. It was dark and there weren’t a lot of people there, but we saw a few lanterns out there along the water line.

I love nighttime clam digs. It’s a real adventure. You look for a show, the little blow hole in the sand, stomp near it to see if the clam reacts and is near the surface. Then you dig straight down really really fast, on the side closer to the water. When you’ve gone down about 8 inches, sometimes more, you fall down on your knees and reach in, fast as you can, to try and pull that clam out before it can dig itself deeper and get away. Razor clams are big and fast.

I’m really good at finding them and getting them out of the hole, but i’m pretty bad at the digging part. You have to be fast and accurate. Everything is about speed. So i make a good partner. Dad could do it alone. Jack thinks he could do it alone, but they get away pretty often. He spends a lot of time with both arms up to the armpits in the hole, and still comes up with nothing. 🙂

Dori’s cousin and her husband kept losing their bucket. Every time a wave would come up, it would catch their bucket, drop out all the clams, and carry it away. They spent a lot of time chasing clams. It would have simplified matters simply to keep a hand on their bucket.

Ceese made a good game of it. She was determined to learn it, and insisted on digging over and over and over, even though mostly she didn’t get anything. SHe’s a good digger, though, and when we teamed up and i stuck my hands into the hole she dug, we did better.

My own favorite part is seeing all the groups huddled around lanterns down in the wet wet sand. I walked 2 buckets up to the truck, and came back. The stars were bright overhead, with patches of stars in between patches of clouds. The Big Dipper was bright and perfectly framed off to my right as i walked back out to our group. I had to scan all the groups to guess which group was mine. And i guessed right. I wished, just then, that i’d charged my new camera already. As i got close to them, it would have made a great picture. 6 people dressed in raingear and waders, huddled around while 2 people dug, 2 people scanned for little holes, one held a bucket and another a lantern. Very nice.

After we’d all caught our limits (15 each), we drove to a nearby restaurant and had a late dinner, then drove back to the house. Jack came in for a little while, but soon enough went home and I went to sleep. Pretty long day!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Another new beginning

I’m feeling pretty positive about things lately, even though i’m sick at home at the moment and feeling pretty useless while Matt works on the house like a demon. Here’s why:

1. Today i mailed off the application to study to be an aesthetician. Class will be once a week (monday) starting in February. It will be 1 1/2 years of study, which isn’t really long at all.
2. My own aesthetician, Marianne, who is awesome, and who was incredibly enthusiastic about my interest in doing this, emailed me the other day in reply to the email i’d sent her. You see, she wants to open her own salon, connected to Dr. Hauschka corporate, and had asked me to help her with her business plan. I’d done some research for her, to get us underway, and she’d finally had a chance to read it and think about it. She is really excited, and wants to know how my application to Instituut de Korte has gone, because she’s thinking maybe we’d even partner up in that. I’m down with that, completely.
3. I gave my notice at work 1 1/2 weeks ago, in order to stop working there at the end of the year, unless possibly as freelance in the parts i’m really interested in: namely, research, presentations, and specialty projects such as transmedia advice and funding. This was well-received, and i’ve been given a bonus which almost completely covers the expense of my studies. woo hoo!
4. I’m on vacation as of Thursday night, and will be leaving for an extended visit to see family on Monday morning.
5. I managed to help arrange that all the work on our house that needs external people is beginning, also on Monday. This required some begging phone calls, but it’s really happening. The scaffolding is up, the carpenter does his work on Monday, and everything else is falling right into place, even the asshole contractor who owes us new 1st floor windows. He wants to avoid having to put up steigers (scaffolding) of his own, and when he found we’ve got it up for these other projects he actually started to move on his part. wow.
6. my cat is getting healthier. the meds are working, and he’s getting spunky and fatter. yay cat.
7. matt has been getting some geek time in, finding interesting projects to get involved with. this makes him feel creative and useful, and makes him happier and healthier. yay matt.

speaking of cat, he’s on my lap, making it hard for me to type more. so i’ll go.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Complete inability to focus.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. Since getting this ipad all i do is play with it. I really don’t have time for this nonsense. I brought tons of work home, and it really needs to get done, but instead i goof around.

Here i am, for example. Playing around with my newly discovered livejournal app. By the way, as much as i’m not too thrilled about it’s design, i really like noticing lj again. I see that app sitting there and think, hmmm, what should i read about now?

I wonder how i can blog with photos on this thing.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.