Friday, August 31, 2012

1 month review

We've been here a month! Hard to believe, and yet definitely! We've been exploring the area a lot, finding activities for Julia, and meeting some of our neighbors. The chickens certainly expedited that process. I brought them home, gently openend the box and watched them bust out like their tails were on fire, zip around the pen, find the one weak spot and 3 seconds later, two of them were under the fence and gone. I dithered back and forth trying to decide if I should catch chickens first or fix the fence first. I'll spare you the glorious details, but at times there were 3 chickens in, 1 chicken in, 2 chickens in. I scaled more fences that day than I ever hope to do again. One flew into the neighbor's yard where several dogs reside. I ran over and introduced myself and sheepishly explained about the chicken. He was very kind about it, helping me to catch it, and later to catch another. I crept along back fences of other neighbor's yards, hoping that no big dogs were hanging out waiting to eat me. By the end of day 1, I managed to get 3 chickens in and the coop fairly secure. The one remaining chicken was caught several days later by Dave and they've stayed in since! They are feral little things though, and whenever I approach, they flee to the other end of the coop. One has wised up to the fact that I bring food, but 3 are still pretty skeptical of me. They give us about 2 eggs a day, and Julia delights in carrying them to the fridge. 
There's a secret swimming hole a few blocks and a steep climb from our house.  
waterfall and all.  
Julia has been spending some time back in her mei-tai style wrap, especially when we go on trails too intense for the stroller. I was walking her to the beach in the sling when I stepped off a curb wrong, and fell very dramatically to the ground. Luckily, Julia was fine, but my ankle took a beating. It was intensely sore for several days, but I could still walk about slowly and carefully. Now, two weeks later, it is only slightly sore, and I'm really impatient for it to heal all the way so I can take Julia on some hikes.  
We've found the little path down to the Columbia where Mosier Creek empties out and we like to hang out there on calm days. Windy days have too much sand blowing to be much fun! Those days we head to a little cove and spit a bit farther away where windsurfers launch into the waves. 
Julia got to climb in a fire truck at the Farmer's Market and she has been in love with firefighters ever since. 

She consumes a great many popsicles. 
Here's our feral bunch. I researched the breeds, and learned that the little black one is actually a meat bird, so I think we shall learn to butcher one of these days. I want to raise a few chicks so that we can have friendly chickens, but I think I ought to wait until spring. I'm studying breeds and having fun dreaming about baby chickens. 
the red one is the friendliest, and definitely lays eggs. Not sure which of the grey ones  is laying, or if they both are. 
Julia and her "eggies"
One of the classes we've found for toddlers is at a gymnastics studio. They open the place up for toddler play for an hour and there's a giant foam pit, bars, low balance beams, big trampolines, floor mats, and the like. We've gone once so far and she had a blast!

Her favorite playground item is the swing, and she needs to try out every single one. 
One day we came across this, a sharing garden! There was a mailbox of books for the taking or leaving, and a sign telling you what could be picked that day. Oh, did it make me happy! What a kind thing for someone to do. 

Julia idolizes the neighbor kids, but it's not a perfect match, as the 4 year old girl idolizes her 7 year old brother and he rather scorns the "babies who can't play rough or big kid games." Whenever she sees them out she begs to go play with the "kids." Sometimes we do, but I'm hoping that we'll make friends closer to her age. Though perhaps when big brother goes to school next week, Julia might find a more willing friend. 
We've gone to story hour several times. Julia is pretty good about listening, and really loves the songs. 

We had a bad scare with Dave's Dad who had a brain aneurysm last week. He was found and brought to the hospital just in time, and since having surgery has made a dramatic recovery. It was very awful facing the unknown questions about if and how he would recover, but we are so thankful that everything seems back to normal. Dave's had a good week of inservice and on Tuesday, school begins! So in all, we're definitely feeling blessed and more settled, but have not yet met too many potential friends and playmates. That is by far the hardest part of moving, and the part that I am least skilled at. Coming soon, more pictures of what we've been up to in the house!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home life 1

Our first week was dedicated to my frantic need to unpack, organize, and get to a state of feeling "home". My feet were so sore every night from an entire day of running around in circles. My first goal was the kitchen and Julia's room. After that I unpacked all the random boxes. Several trips were made to buy long lists of random things like hangers and plugs and ant repellent and spray bottles and furniture felt pads. I hung art. LOTS of art. I shopped for food, and cooked my first meal in the new kitchen. it was a simple pasta, but there was lots of opening drawers looking for this or that that I just saw somewhere. I made bread. I put away clothes and sorted all the bathroom odds and ends. I bought a saw to remove a branch or two overhanging the porch and then went nuts trimming dead and excessive growth from the lilacs circling the yard. Two giant car-sized piles of branches later and I'm done with that for the moment. Our yard looks considerably bigger. We went to farmer's markets. There's pretty much one each day of the week around here. We got a chest freezer so we could fit more than berries in the house freezer. Dave started going to work. Julia alternates between being happy and content and whiny and clingy. I bought a drying rack and started hanging clothes to dry in the 90 plus degree days. I did dishes and changed toilet paper rolls and blissed out on the joy I felt doing it. It felt like playing house. Nobody should feel that excited about changing toilet paper rolls. May the feeling last a long time! I found a chicken coop on freecycle and we hauled it home. We debated where it would go and I found someone giving away chickens. We made a snap decision, placed it and whipped up a fence, as tomorrow, Julia and I go to pick up four chickens.

we eat lots of meals out on the porch
Julia plays in her pool. I soak my feet in it. 
We walked down to see the shore of the Columbia, and followed a path to a little beach.  
I thank the inventor of the BOB stroller. You are a genius! I get another flat from thorns and try out the magic tire repairing green goo. Whoever invented that is a genius too. 
We can't believe how beautiful it is

I looove my drying rack. 

Julia loves her little chairs, and her "buggy" blanket.
There's a quilt made by my Grandma Helen hanging in the stairwell
Julia's got an orderly closet!
She's got her books and table and chairs all set up. 
and her bed and a rocking chair for me to nurse her in. 
she likes her room 
She asks me about her friends, Celia and Cruze. I have to tell her that they are far away and she gets angry with me.
 We go to story hour at the library and hope that friendships will happen soon. 
Dave is starting to shape some landscaping and gardening plans. He plants more lavender. 
We go a mile up the road and pick beautiful peaches at a u-pick orchard. Cherries are over now, but we'll get them next year. 
We have wonderful guests, the Vegdahl-Crowell's. Julia latches on to the girls and cries to go with them when they leave. 
The table that my dad made when I was a kid is now in my dining room. 
despite my attempts to clean the house up for photos, Julia leaves a constant trail of litter. I can't catch up. 
Dave assembled the ikea couch that turns into a double bed, and it has been tested and approved. A rocking chair from my past and a rocking chair that Grandpa Dave made for me are in the living room. 
the kitchen is home already. 
the porch door stays open all day so Julia and I can come and go. There is lots of sun. 
I can peaches in 99 degree heat. It feels both insane and very necessary. I need more canning jars!  Pickles, tomatoes, salsa, relish, ketchup. I need to can it all!!!! (I may be a tad possessed.)  Dave calles me "Momma Dawn version 2.0"
Upstairs, we still need to get a bed frame.  
and a desk. The last remaining pile of boxes needs a desk to get organized on. We bought a  door at a resale shop to use for the desk top, but need something to stand it on. One end will be a file cabinet. The other is waiting to be discovered. 
My cedar chest is stuffed with quilts made by loved ones. More are still in totes! We can keep a lot of people warm at night, so feel free to come visit in groups. 
Julia fed her fish tortilla scraps sometime today. Lucky fish. 
Soon I'll introduce you to our new chickens!