Sunday, June 20, 2010

24 Hours to Go

The 22-day In-Law-A-Thon is nearing an end. I must admit that it has been easier than in the past. I am sure it has all to do with my occasional attitude adjustments (i.e., going to the gym, meeting a friend for coffee, meeting friends for a beer, beating my head against the wall), as they are just the same as they always are. Loving, kind, too-too generous people who just happen to drive me bonkers in the long term. Mr. J has also been ultra-helpful in aiding me along the path-of-least-resistance. In the short term, it really is the best alternative.

And now I am looking forward to getting a semblance of a routine back. It has been a non-stop eating fest for the past 3 weeks. And the trip out to Portland and Seattle put on serious poundage ... tasty poundage, but poundage nonetheless. We have been home for less than a week, and already we have chowed down on more fruits and veggies than we even considered during our entire 10 days away, when rich, creamy, hearty deliciousness seemed to be the way to go. I think my arteries are bowing own and thanking me. Or maybe that's just a minor stroke. One or the other ... it's got to be a move in the right direction.

So tomorrow I hit the mountain bike trails, and I know they are going to hit back ... hard. But I am ready.

OK, I'm not really ready at all.

But I have to start somewhere.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Deep Breaths

The 10-day in-law road trip is complete. I did not lose my cool (too much). I did not make (too many) snarky sotto voce comments. I did not punch anyone (though I did do a few [very hard] smacks of my own head in private). And I did feel like a terrible, terrible wretch when my mother-in-law came down with gout. But then I totally lost it (in private) when she decided that the doctors obviously didn't know what they were talking about, and it couldn't possibly be gout. It's just a mysterious sprain that comes and goes (depending on how rich the food is)--she said as she ordered a plate of Swedish meatballs buried in white gravy. Aaarrrggghhh (shouted in the confines of my own head).

Now we are home, sweet sweet home. I love traveling. I love seeing the world. But I do so love coming home. Even with all the unfinished projects, the mess of a garden, the pictures still to be hung, etc., etc. It is still our welcoming home that has little places for me to find peace and quiet. Not to mention The Dog, who gives me unconditional love with only minor grievances (such as finding out that not only did he dig in our friend's yard, but he also barked incessantly when she wasn't home ... grrrrr).

I have all these crazy tensions rumbling around in my gut, and each time I try to explain what it is that is bothering me, I come off sounding like a total whiny brat. Mr. J's parents are just different from my family. I did not grow up with them, so I don't fully understand their workings. They have hearts of gold. They only want the best for both of us. But they are hovering, needy, opinionated folks. [There, I said it.] And all I really want is to kick back, share a bottle (or three) of wine, and giggle over ridiculously silly things that are totally inane and completely goofy, as I do with my family. I mean, a girl can only be serious and refined for so long.

Yes, the woes of my life are many and tough. Poor, poor me. So, one more week of in-laws in my home. I can manage to keep my cool ... all I need are deep, deep breaths and the occasional super-stiff cocktail.


Friday, June 4, 2010

A Quick Recap

The Scene: Friday Night Dinner with Mr. J and the In-Laws (the I-Ls)
Discussion: When to go to Sun Valley, ID, to visit the I-Ls' family friend

[Note: dialogue has been modified to fit the writer's lazy mood]

Mr. J: We could go for an overnight trip a couple days after we get back from our NINE-DAY roadtrip.

All of Us: Sounds good.

Mr. J: Dad, what's your friend's address. I'll plot out our route? [Yes, the computer was on the dining room table while we ate. Of course.]

Mr. I-L: It's somewhere like Sun River. I guess that's a suburb of Sun Valley.

All of Us: Sounds logical.

Mr. J: [Click click click on the keyboard] Ummm, I'm not finding a Sun River, Idaho. Show me the address?

[Looks at address.]

Mr. J: Uh, Dad, this is in Oregon! Not Idaho.

Mr. I-L: [Visibly nonplussed. I guess one state is as good as another when you come from Australia.]

Turns out Sun River is sort of on the way to Portland, though not exactly on the direct route we had planned for Sunday. Mr. I-L calls his friend and yes, indeedy, they are home this weekend and would love to see us. However, because all our rooms are booked from Portland to Seattle to Leavenworth to McCall, we can't exactly shift everything out a day. So instead everything shifts forward a day. Which means tomorrow, when we had planned to mow the lawn, plant a few plants, clean out the chicken coop (We don't have our own chickens. We are chicken-sitting for friends.), clean out the beehives (all four of the them ... one "sort-of" ours and the rest the chicken people's bees), go to the Farmers' Market, go to a friends' dinner party tomorrow night, and pack up all our stuff, we get to wake up early, try to cram all the necessary chores in, and get on the road no later than 11 a.m. to make it in time for dinner. [If you knew Mrs. I-L, you would know that getting out the door on time for anything is a near miracle. Wish us luck.]

I did have an entire venting session written out here, but it's really not worth your read, and I feel better having gotten it all off my chest, even if it was just to delete it. Then again, perhaps the stiff gin drink I'm guzzling ... I mean sipping ... as I type has had something to do with easing my tension.

In any case, it will be quiet around here for a while. Enjoy your week!

How on Earth Can It Be Friday Already?

I sent off the GMBOA yesterday, all full of goodies. So, Jayme, be ready! I hope you like it. I used some of the cute little heart brads from the Wonderful Wandering Nana to decorate the exterior. It's so happy and red and white and gold. What a fun diversion I found in filling it up! Thanks, Whimsy, for letting me participate!!

There's a little notepad in there, which I believe came from Whimsy (??), on which each recipient is to write a brilliant idea. I am the conceiver of many "brilliant" ideas (though when I tell Mr. J, he usually just looks at me with a "huh" expression, and then he laughs. I guess brilliance is in the eye of the beholder or some such thing). And yet when faced with that innocuous little pad, my mind was a total blank. For the entire 3+ weeks that the package sat here beside my desk, I would stare at it and try to come up with a brilliant idea. Well, yesterday was D-Day, and I had to ship off the GMBOA. So I wrote something not very brilliant at all and just sent it all off.

Of course, today, as I sat down to my computer, I remembered one of my brilliant idea. So without anymore further ado, here it is:

Some kind of waterproof recording device--whether it be a waterproof pad and paper, or a waterproof voice recorder, or even better, a waterproof laptop--to be kept in the shower.

Really, it is brilliant. Or at least for me it is.

When I'm standing in the shower, wasting the precious water that they charge us pennies to use, I come up with so many blog post ideas. I compose them in my head. I laugh. I cry. They are witty and clever and entertaining and smart and just perfect. As I rinse out the conditioner from my hair, I recite it all in my head, convinced that I could never forget my perfect prose.

And then I come here to my Mac.

And my mind goes blank.

I sometimes recall the topic . . . sometimes. But for the life of me I can't recall where I was going with the idea, what I wanted to say, what my final point was. It's all just gone.

So that's my belated brilliant idea. Ta-dah!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The other day I got an email letting me know the latest NaBloPoMo theme. It's all about the Now. Unfortunately, I am so behind in this little blog o' mine that I should probably write about the What Has Been before catching up to the Now.

The last I wrote (before the whole GMBOA excitement, which I am FINALLY mailing off tomorrow), I left you all hanging--wondering and waiting to hear if we ever ended up having to slaughter a colt during our snowbound river trip to the Lochsa.

Well, the short answer is NO!

The longer answer is that we never made it to the Lochsa. Cooler, calmer heads prevailed, and we almost all agreed that rather than camp out in 26 inches of snow, while freezing our tooshies off in a raging river, we'd much rather chill in our friend's family "cabin" just south of beautiful McCall. To call this place a cabin, however, would be like calling Hearst Castle a modest ranch house. It could easily sleep 15, comfortably. The huge gourmet kitchen and living/dining room overlooked the Payette River Valley. The hot tub was the just-right temperature. The food was fantastic. The company was spot-on perfect. All in all, it was a wonderfully relaxing weekend. And we even got in two trips down the river (the Salmon and then the Payette on the way home), plus our first and last ski day of the season on Brundage Mountain's (its closing day, for which it received a foot or more of fresh powder). Hea-Ven! And just the relaxation we needed before our next big project ...

Sprinkler Installation! If you've never installed your own sprinkler, I will spare you the details. If you have, then you know that I've already written more than is necessary. All I know is that it is done (except for some last filling in the soil bits) and that it has rained nearly every other day since we installed it. Just like washing your car, I guess.

After two weeks of the fun that is sprinklers, we loaded up the coolers and camping gear again for our third river trip of the season. This time down Hells Canyon. And, oh my, was it gorgeous. Apparently it's usually dry and barren, though still stunning. But thanks to the wet spring, the canyon walls were bathed in green, the birds were chucking, the fish were jumping, and the weather even cooperated a bit. But lest you think I'm some super-tough outdoorsy type, let me assure you: We were far from roughing it. The main camp tent was a base-camp style expedition tent that could easily sleep 15. And on the second night, the trip leader, the ever ingenious Mr. B, set up a river hot tub that was maintained at a heavenly 98 degrees all night.

We then spent Memorial Day weekend completely and utterly chilled out at Burgdorf Hot Springs (I am noticing a theme with my weekends away). This extremely rustic site north of McCall has a large hot springs pool surrounded by cabins dating back to the early part of the century. Another weekend filled with wonderful friends, divine menus, and re-lax-a-tion. Once again, the perfect thing I needed to prep me for today ...

In-Law Arrival Day. I love them dearly, but three weeks is a loooong time to spend with anyone, let alone slightly pesky, though lovable, in-laws

So my goal for right now and the coming three weeks is to stay positive, laugh off the annoying little things that drive me bonkers (after all, it's my problem, not theirs), and, if all else fails, resort to copious amounts of wine and margaritas. That's healthy, right?