Friday, August 9, 2013

packing, moving, unpacking, traveling, waiting, canning....

Its been another crazy month at the Sather home. We changed our original plan, which was to move all the stuff labor day weekend, to moving all the stuff the last week in July. This was good because this way Dave could help me with it all, but in August, he'd be pretty tied up with work. This was bad because it gave us 7 days to pack the remaining 75% of the house. So we did, and moved on schedule, but it was crazy crazy crazy. We moved all the stuff up to Dave's Dad's house, the same place we moved it all from last August. He was and is really great about letting us stash various quantities of stuff for various lengths of time at his place, which I've been doing for pretty much exactly as long as I've known him. This is necessary, as we've lined up a furnished condo to rent until May. I'm not one to lust for condos, but this had a lot of perks: low (winter) rent, close proximity to everything, and enough time for us to figure out where we really want to be long-term before we haul everything out to the island. It's not available until the end of August though, so Dave is hopping from campsite to campsite this month and Julia and I are hanging out in a 98% empty house until the end of August. Here's the pictures from about mid July on:
Hanging out with Chris and Mia, easily in Julia's top 10 favorite people category. 
Julia making "soup" with beans, flowers, rocks, crayons, salt, butter and I can't remember what all else. She's been big into making concoctions in her play kitchen. We had some big arguments over possession of the unripe blueberries for awhile. 
the first box. and the only picture I took of the moving process. 
Occasionally rocking out as a princess. 
definitely rocking out as a princess-farmer
I started my summer canning extravaganza with cherries! cherry jam, experimenting with stevia as a sweetener to make low sugar versions, some no-sugar versions and some regular chock full o sugar versions.
though she doesn't seem too excited here, Julia's become good buddies with Jacob, the son of our friend Susan. 
Lots of hanging out with her friend Aurora. Here we were picking blueberries, but had to pause to admire the chickens. 
and admire the horse swing. 
my friend Michelle had her second baby and we've been enjoying the maternity leave, playing in the pool, walking and whatever it is that moms do. 
Julia and Louie are good buddies too. Louie is excellent at sharing, due to his upbringing sharing a nanny with another little guy, so he and Julia get along famously. 
we had to send off a photo reply to someone welcoming dave "aboard the good ship lopez". A pirate hat and makeshift boat and Julia brought her baby along for the attack.  

Our last week before the move was chock full of empty-the-freezer parties. We cooked and bbqed like crazy and invited one and all to feast. It was a pretty grand time. 
Here's the house emptied, the truck loaded behind me and Dave closing the chapter of life known as Mosier. 
We rocked loading and unloading the truck, thanks to friends and my brother joe, my sister caroline and her boyfriend Matt. We were a day ahead of schedule on both the loading and unloading end. That gave us a little extra time to have fun with Grandma Gini. 
then we had to say a big goodbye to Daddy and hop on the Amtrak back to Mosier. 
Julia was all about the train. and the bag of treats I had stashed away. 
she did fall asleep with open eyes and totally creeped me out for an hour!
sleeping in the station. no wandering the streets of portland for us.  
I was in a hurry to get back because the fruit was ripe! A friend gave us a huge pile of apricots and figs, and the upick peach place up the road was open for business. 
fig jam! 
Rosemary-peach jam!!!
canned peaches and peach salsa!
lots of canned peaches!
apricot salsa, apricot bbq sauce and apricot butter!!!! I canned frantically for days, and tried to keep ahead of the fruit flies and ants with moderate success. Julia watched a lot of cartoons. It was good to be exhausted at the end of the day though, and I keep humbled by the thought that any farmwife back in the day was doing this daily all summer long plus plus plus.  
I've had a few days off from canning while I wait for the tomatoes to ripen in enough quantity to make salsa and tomato sauce and for the cucumbers to grow for pickles. Julia and I have been swimming, playing with friends, cleaning the house,  and taking care of all the endless little projects to really tie up all the loose ends here. I got to try stand up paddleboarding one beautiful morning and I think it's totally a sport for me! No adrenaline needed! I'm sorting the remaining piles of junk in the house and trying to eyeball the remaining objects for how well they will all fit in my car come the end of august. We have no furniture, save a borrowed card table and folding chairs and a borrowed kids table. Julia has her mattress and I have an air mattress. We have enough kitchen stuff to can food, a pantry shelf full of random store canned goods and still have a freezer full of food to consume. I've been baking some bread to trade and sell at a farmstand. Julia has been handling the changes, but not without effects on her behavior. She was pretty unglued to come back to a house with very few toys left, and though she seemed to understand where they all were and why, it's hard to try to make her understand a move that is spread out over a month's time. She asks where Daddy is a lot and we talk about how he is working and getting our new house ready and soon we will go there and be all together. that's usually followed with the suggestion that she's ready and we should go right now. So getting her to understand the whole picture has been a struggle, and she definitely tantrums much easier these days. I'm pretty short tempered too, but working on embracing the time here and not letting the stress of moving be too hard on us. easier said than done somedays.