Snow Day

Today is Seth’s regularly scheduled day to go help out his friend Tom building cargo bikes. Usually I drive him there and enjoy some conversation with the two men, learning what I can about the bikes they build, then drive home for the day and then pick Seth up in the evening. But today has not turned out to be your typical day.

Only a minute out in the snow, but now she wants to play longer out there!
Only a minute out in the snow, but now she wants to play longer out there!

It is snowing here in Portland and by the wonderfully slow moving traffic on the roads, everybody is heading home and it’s just after lunch! Honestly I wish I could have stayed home all day after dropping Seth off, but schools got out early today due to the weather, so after a short break at home I headed back out into the weather to pick up my niece. Truly the roads are not very friendly right now compared to yesterday! The snow had gone from drifting across the pavement, to sticking and getting packed down hard. The van was having trouble starting up from stops, but thankfully braked perfectly every time.

One thing I am exceptionally grateful for, is the caution that other road users were employing. It’s the scariest thing to be driving through less than prime conditions and see other drivers going along as though it were the middle of summer! But today there was none of that. Caution was the name of the game and for that I thank all the drivers here in Portland!

As for Seth over at Tom’s bike building garage, we already agreed that he would take transit. Safest, keeps one more vehicle off the roads.

Christmas on the Beach

Ahhh! So much has been happening, and there has been so little time/discipline to update my blog. Someone smack me over the head?

Looks like the last little update was to show pictures from our two week vacation out to Maine at the end of October. Since then, Marin and I took a trip up to Canada with my dad, visiting family and friends. Then recouped a week or two before Seth’s brother came to visit for two weeks from San Diego, C.A. during which time my older sister Layne also came down for a visit from Sooke, B.C..

December seemed to just be crazy in the way that every December gets for people, but we managed to keep the actual holiday time low key and pleasantly quiet.

Two days before Christmas, our little family (plus Andrew’s dog Lorax) headed out to the beach house in Manzanita. The weather turned sunshiny blue for us, making for wonderful beach walks! The very first afternoon Marin insisted on continually going out to the waves. They would recede out and look like they weren’t coming back in, so she would toddle out there with me in tow, then the waves would build up and come rushing back up the beach, sending a look of concern across Rinny’s face as she ran pell-mell back towards her daddy before I would scoop her up, thus rescuing her from getting wet. Unfortunately, one exceptionally large wave snuck up over the tops of my boots, drenching my feet. That was Monday. Today is Thursday and despite them sitting in front of the heater they are still damp. Grrrr. Lesson learned.

We have a slight fascination with bones right now. At least, I do. I’ve been carving pendants and pieces for earrings out of elk and dear jaw bones. Down on the beach we kept finding (and collecting) seagull bones. Some of them were nicely cleaned from soft tissue, but other times I had to work a little to get the prime vertebrae off the rest of the bird. Lorax of course thought they smelled wonderful and we were a little late in pulling him off one once, so now he smells faintly of dead seagull. Eeeew!

How was everybody’s Christmas? Did you get out and have some forced family fun? We saw a lot of that happening on Christmas Day. Families out kicking a ball around, looking like they all would much rather be sitting in front of a screen somewhere drinking hot chocolate or apple cider.

I was given a wonderful gift this year. Busy people out there who cook for your families every night, you will understand. I was given the day off from cooking and cleaning! And guess what! There was an absolutely delicious meal made that not only looked grand, but was so good that I hardly left any room for dessert, and ate some of the left-overs for breakfast this morning too!

Alright, we had a good time. Tell me about yours!

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International Travel

Not quite one year ago Marin crossed from Canada into the United States. Now, she is back on her way up into Canada, but only for a couple hours. This is the first time that Seth has crossed any borders with her, and he bravely is doing it alone, as my immigration green card has not come in the mail yet. Yet another family adventure! So here I am in Blaine, sipping a spicy mocha, gazing out over the marina to the ocean beyond, letting the gentle ocean breaze play with my hair and bring the salty smell of kelp and sea water to my ocean-starved nose. Oh how I have missed the ocean!

Having grown up on the west coast of Canada, right by the water on Vancouver Island, living in Portland, Oregon slowly saps the wild freedom from me. Don’t get me wrong, Portland is absolutely amazing and SO bicycle friendly, but it does not have the wide and wild ocean views that stretch for as far as the curve of the earth where you can see a ship’s sails above the curve but the hull is hidden below. The wind and sunshine both invigorating and draining, going through extremes and teaching you to be eternally grateful for the pleasant weather days. Oh the wild coast of Canada and the state of Washington!

So here I am soaking up everything about the view while Seth drives north with our daughter into my country to pick up my dad and brother. Hopefully my uncle and grandmother will be there to see Marin. She has changed so much in one year! When we left, she was barely 2 months old, struggling to hold her own head up. Now she is walking all by herself, cautious yet adventurous, silly and sweet but sometimes demanding. As a mom, I get so much pleasure in watching her personality develop each day.

It has been a long drive up here, but Marin has handled it very well. She plays quietly with her toys, crying only when she needs a fresh diaper or when she is tired, both of which I can completely understand. I would cry too! But the longest length of tears was only 5 minutes. What a wonderful girl to travel with!

Assuming all things go well, we will have a perfectly fine drive back down to Oregon, and nothing interesting will happen.

Well, I’m not going to miss this wonderful opportunity! I’m off to go stick my toes in the sticky water of the sound. Maybe my skin will itch later from the salt. Yay!!!

No Cares On A Sunday

Another day spent outside with my little girl. Nothing too important to do. People watching, slow peddaling.

This morning while taking down the tent in the wind, the fly got a small puncture and a couple good scrapes in it. Wasn’t the best way to start the morning, that is for sure! It is lightweight silnylon made by Nemo. Beautiful tent and well structured! But that silnylon along with being ultra light for camping, is also surprisingly easy to tear and not so easy to fix.

While Seth headed off to work for the day, I did an internet search on how to fix silnylon. You can’t just sew on a patch and throw some goop on to waterproof it and call it good. One of the beauties of the fabric is that almost nothing ever sticks to it……….including adhesives. So my searching was also one to find where I might pick up a patch kit. Easiest place was REI, so off we went. Well, sort of.

There were delays getting to the sports store, as Andrew volunteered to make lunch and I was not about to say no to that! And then there was the issue of it being a highly breezy day and me only having one pair of shorts (whose reach just covers my knees) so Marin and I stopped at Goodwill to find a cooler pair of shorts for me. Okay, so I didn’t really find shorts, but a nice running skirt with built in boyshorts seemed to do the trick for keeping me cool the rest of the day.

Finaly we made it to REI and Marin started telling me she was hungry, so I found a quiet little corner amongst the sleeping bags (like anybody is gonna go shopping for a bag on a sweltering hot day like today!) where I could nurse her without any distractions. It worked so well though, that she fell asleep and refused to wake up! So I carried her all sprawled out in one arm while searching out the repair kit and I had to ask the cashier lady to bear with me as I had to do everything one handed. In fact, Marin was so sleepy that only opened her eyes for one second, not even two, when I put her back in her carseat on the bike. Zonked OUT!

When Marin woke up from her nap we watched all the little kids playing in the water fountain down by the river. I did some drawing while she watched the kids and played with her little maraca, becoming the center of attention for a couple other little tots who thought she was awefully cute (as always!).

One of the fun things about these longer nice days, is that Marin and I can meet Seth downtown when he gets off the train from work, and we can cycle home together, often stopping somewhere for a bite to eat first.

I love seeing Seth at the end of his work days! We have such fun together and it doesn’t take big activities to keep us entertained! Small little things like walk, bike rides or simply watching other people go by, is enough to keep us amused and happy.

All and all, I think it was a fantabulous Sunday! Yay!!!!

 

The Day Is Not Over Yet

With my birthday almost here, Seth and I splurged and bought tickets for some acrobatic airial arts show later tonight. But the timing is just right that Seth had to ask for the day off of work. So, with a Saturday free to do anything, we started the adventure last night by setting up our 3-man tent and each of us sleeping in our own sleeping bags, caressed by a gentle breeze taking the heat off the day.

Yes, Marin at 8 months old has her own sleeping bag. One of those length adjustable ones from Mountain Hardwear. She slept quite well in it, which does not necessaraly mean that Seth or I got as good a sleep. I’m sure you parents can understand! But it was fun anyway and I think we will do it again tonight.

Marin in her own sleeping bag
Marin in her own sleeping bag

So that all was last night’s adventure, but what about today? Seeing as it was the first Saturday that Seth has had off since working for Columbia Sportswear, he wanted to head across the river to the Saturday Market to check out what’s new there. Today’s means of transportation was walking with a stroller. It’s not as fast as cycling, but we get to talk and catch up on inventive ideas that we just don’t get the chance to share with each other during the week or out weaving through traffic on our own sets of wheels.

The market was busy as always on such a bright beautiful day. We locked up the stroller and carried Marin through the crowds, gazing at all the interesting creations that are on display. Brunch was had at Horn of Africa. Same thing as we always get there, six samosas, two of each kind. Yum.

Marin having her first drink out of a water fountain. She did well!
Marin having her first drink out of a water fountain. She did well!

After wandering around the tents, it didn’t take us long to find a spot where Marin could watch all the other little people running through the water fountain. She still is unsure about getting involved in the activity of getting wet by splashing water, but she loves watching everyone else.

Standing in water while watching kids play
Standing in water while watching kids play

After Marin started to tire of watching the kids, we sat down where there was less chaos and more flow to the crowd of people. Sitting and watching people must be one of our favorite things to do. So much variety! There was the older couple walking their bicycles through the crowd together with matching handlebar baskets and matching floofy dogs in the baskets. A fellow who looks like he spends all his time working out and watching too many survival videos on youtube, with a buck-knife on his belt walking a male dog that looked ready  to sire a mean looking litter of pups. A lady who looked uncomfortable in her much too short dress, having to discreetly pull it down an inch or two every ten steps. A fellow getting busted for smoking pot? Two dogs that looked like balls of fluff walking on the ends of leashes. A guy with metal spikes and leather arm cuffs, white boots with spurs and tatoos covering his arms while slowly peddaling around looking for customers to take for a ride on his tour trike. The best one by far was the guy in a Utili-Kilt, riding a unicycle, wearing a Darth Vadar helmet and playing a bag-pipe.

That was our day so far! Now we get to gear up and go to our show. Yippy!

Garden Baby

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here for the last couple days. While everyone else is stuck inside doing work or school, Marin and I have been spending the larger part of our days outside in the sunshine. She is getting a nice little farmer’s tan and a healthy dose of fresh greens and dirt suplemented into her diet.

My eddible peas out front are getting a daily pruning from my little girl as her Johnny-Jump-Up is set on the path right in front of the peas. She loves it out there! She can spin and watch wherever I go as I work in the garden, then go back to picking leaves off my peas. I’ve had to tie them back for fear there wouldn’t be anything left if I didn’t.

ImageYesterday she was perfectly clean, but I thought having a nice little bath outside would be nice for her. Baths are supposed to make you clean, right? It did the opposite for her! By the time I was finnished in the garden and she was finnished splashing around, she was pretty much covered from head to toe in mud! But she was a happy baby. ImageDirty Grin

A Visitor From Mexico

Marin and Grandpa JA long sunny day is always a nice thing. A sunny day spent with your dad and your daughter is even nicer.

My Dad had to fly up to Canada from Mexico, so he made a trip out of it and caught the train down here to Portland for a visit with Seth, Marin and I.

We had a wonderful morning walk out for breakfast and to get lunch stuff which we then drove out to consume along with Seth when he got his lunch break at work. It worked with dual purpose as it showed my dad where his one and only son-in-law now works.

Getting back into our local neighbourhood, we found a little farmer’s market at a co-op that I had been wanting to check out, so of course we had to stop and explore what they had, as that’s the kind of thing my dad and I like doing. Exploring healthy options. There was a nice variety of items being sold, including wild mushrooms, veggies, herbs, soaps and a little tent that was selling tamales, which I have kept reading about on my mother’s blog, as tamales seem to be their weekly treat down in Mexico. Dad was pretty excited about finding the tamales and treated me to one. Gosh it was good! And since it is wheat free, I am now wanting to try making my own.

This afternoon’s temperature topped out somewhere in the 80’s, which explains the slight headache I’ve gotten, but the warmth made for nice walking and Dad finally switched his jeans in for a pair of shorts. I guess our beautiful weather isn’t quite as nice and warm as he has been used to for the last couple months!

A breeze has started to pick up this evening and cooled off the day a bit. Perfect for evening strolls and lounging on the porch which we are all doing, as you can see from the photo at the top.