Close to home adventures

I’ve finally reached 20 weeks pregnant, wooot!!! Halfway there! We had the mid way ultrasound yesterday to check all the measurements and growth and baby is moving along normally, always good to hear that from doctors!

I love my new spare tire cover!

This also means that I’ve reached the point in which I’m voluntarily grounding myself from riding; the risk of a fall from Flash is fairly low but not zero, and as this isn’t my baby my comfort level is lower. So, we’re back to hiking and today the sun shone so out we went!

Happy dog, starving horse

An awesome local group is gathering and bringing some old trails back to life that just so happen to be a 10 minute haul from my barn! I was able to load Flash, unload, shove his boots on, make him carry my stuff (some adjustments still needed there), go for a two mile hike and make it home as the kid got off the bus.

Trail building: downhill edition

Flash was super well behaved except for the occasional reminder to not trip over me (personal spaaaaace!) and even when we saw other horses he didn’t scream for them. He did get a bit fast heading back to the trailer, so we took an out and back detour on a single track trail and he settled back down.

Awesome viewpoint

A beautiful hike and some exploring in a new place on a sunny day with a good dog and a starving blonde pony…it helps a great deal! Now to pack the truck for our camping shakedown trip to Battle Ground Lake tomorrow!

Pony chooses food over views naturally
Nom nom

How many words for cold?

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Actual mother fucking icicles hanging off my college library roof.

I hate the cold. I spent part of my childhood in the blissful, baking, dry heat of Arizona, just north of Phoenix. I survived five whole stinking cold, snow bound winters in Vermont, and ran back home to more temperate Oregon at the first chance (that hard long winters seemed to have followed me back is a moot point). I remember learning new curse words for the temperatures that froze my nose hairs, made breathing a chore, and turned my eyes Ice King Blue in the middle of February. My muscles still recall hefting a stupid sledgehammer, breaking ice in the cow troughs and carrying buckets of boiling water down to the barn, or freezing to the metal chains used to hook up the draft horses to the forecart. The first time my kid went outside after he was born, we were wrapped in roughly eight layers of wool and silk, and still I was convinced my brand new baby would get frostbite and I’d fail at the whole mothering thing five days in.

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I hate cold, ya’ll. I also hate running. I’m about as graceful and flat footed as a rhino, only without the boner creating horn. I sweat as if I’m sitting in a sauna and I run with my head tilted a little to the side, doing to having a huge glasses lens prescription for my right eye as a little kid. Give me a horse or a bike to ride, hands down.

However, when you add cold and running together, my hate for both cancels each other out. I don’t sweat, there is no-fuckin’-body out to see me juggling my fat butt down the street, and I push myself to keep running (slow as a herd of fucking turtles ya’ll) so I don’t freeze to death. Oh, and the even more secret ingredient to my new goal to run six insane times a week? Cyrus the World’s Best Jogging Partner!

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Thanks to pesky things like work, house chores, commuting, eating food, being a parent kinda sorta, and stupidly being farther away from the sun during these months, Cyrus and I are getting our run in during the coldest, darkest part of the winter night…roughly between 7pm and 9pm. He not only keeps my sad ass pace super easily, he makes me feel better about the whole endeavor because running=more of a dog workout=dog sleeping peacefully on the couch all day while we’re gone and not chewing up the house. I’m such a good dog mom, ya’ll!

As a last thought, endorphins do make it easier to write…since I haven’t even cracked 6000 words of NaNoWriMo 13 days in, time to get cracking! Request: If anyone has some really good names for alien species, toss them my way? I can only rearrange letters into vaguely Swedish sounding names so often….

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This adorableness will never get old!

Easy like Sunday morning

Say what you will about Facebook and their questionable business practices, today I’m thankful for the ability to connect with a wide range of people.

This weekend has been full of spending money and giggling like a little girl, but it’s not Jokker’s fault this time. In response to my last post, a friend suggested I contact a boxer breeder she knew of who had an older dog looking for a new home (a million thanks Ann!)

Based on the cat’s still roundly pissy yowling whenever Cyrus gets too close (he isn’t scared, just mad he’s not an only furry animal in the house now) it may be too early to declare total victory on the dog acquisition front, but in only a day we’ve made adorable headway.

Cyrus is the same age as Kade, coming six years old, already a distinguished gentleman with impeccable manners and a tendency for carrying stuffies around in his mouth. He’s a super cuddler with a soft mouth and needing a soft place to land (he prefers the couch to the super highly rated dog bed I found on Amazon). Kade is already smitten, Tom is being won over by Cyrus doing his best to ignore said pissy cat, and strangers stop and they comment on his handsomeness on our walks.

I know there are a lot of heavy, terrible things racketing around the world these past few weeks, and I’ve given what blood and help I can. In our little corner of the world, our hearts are quietly full, and I’ve made at least one little boy tremendously happy. Coupled with a heavy headed snoring dog, tasty coffee, Tom home from South Korea and a new job to start at tomorrow, life is pretty excellent!

Stressed Out

Today’s post is brought to you by the six year old’s current favorite song, “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots. He informed me of this as we drove home from our favorite burger place, Mike’s in Oregon City, all the windows and sun roof open to the mostly smoke free, blessedly cool night air, singing at the top of our lungs to the dusky sky.

Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out

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It’s been a stressful first week; trying to find a routine to settle back into, our backyard of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge is on fire, ash is falling from the sky,  Tom’s work is going through changes, and I started with a new department to discover a bombshell; the manager who hired me is out for a month long FMLA leave, with three days of training! I had a few more interviews and still no bites outside of OHSU, so looks like I’m settling in for a few more months at least, at which point something’s gotta give.

But it would remind us of when nothing really mattered
Out of student loans and tree-house homes we all would take the latter

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So many others have written about the very real grief about the fire in the Gorge; all I could do is echo them. I’ve had the privilege to have worked, travelled through, camped, hiked, and photographed that beautiful, carefully protected area for half my life. Kade’s been visiting there most of his young life, including several hikes, even the haul up to the top of Multnomah Falls! He’ll never quite remember it’s full glory, but we’ll help with the efforts to restore it to health.

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What more needs to be said at this point, while the fire still burns and we wait to see if some teenager’s lives will be upended by their stupid choices and the actual witch hunt out for (unreasonable) blood? We can mourn the loss of such of treasures, the tragedy of such choices and their impact without ruining lives. We can take time, a pause to reflect on what the actual best course is from here, not howl our anger at the universe.

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A good caramel milkshake and a dance party at full volume with the kid helped set things to rights, and there is at least one thing to look forward to: A dog! The landlord approved us to adopt a boxer, so now we’ve just got to scrub and rearrange every corner of the house, tell an uncomprehending Wilson a thousand times he’s not an only pet anymore, purchase a bunch of stuff and wait for the right dog for us to be found. So if anyone has some dog gear I could snag for cheap, let us know, it’d be a huge help!

We used to play pretend, give each other different names
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away

 

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