Sun and adventures to come

Three awesome lads

Thanks to the later sunset, I was able to fit in a quick, two mile hike after I picked the kid up from school. My second best hope has been realized and Flash is loading now with zero fuss (he’s not yet self loading but maybe someday). I’m hoping he actually likes going hiking (or, as I’m sure he calls it, “sampling the wilderness”.)

Must eat every five strides

If it’s not cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, I’ve signed up for a Mountain Trail Schooling Course at Bolender Horse Park this weekend. I’ll be doing Novice, Level 1 and Level 2 in hand if Flash agrees with that. For all it’ll be our first event like this together, I’m hoping we’ll do okay…at least not embarress each other! The hardest move for Flash is a side pass; I just don’t have my signals down for nice, smooth ones so we’ll try to eek through that.

Kade is a great videographer in training!

Wish us luck and hope we don’t freeze up in the hills Saturday night! At least Flash will have a nice cozy stall on site.

After school fun


I write this with joy in my heart. A tired joy, comfortable and welcome. I set everything aside yesterday and played hooky from work (using up leave time) to spend the day sans phone and any responsibilities with my son.

I can get too caught up in my goals, keeping the house clean, walking the dog, paying bills and all the rest of it and forget to enjoy the whip smart, silly kid I’m raising. I know a good chunk of the rest of the world can’t just turn things off for a day, but I can only live my life.

We spent the day in our swim gear at the Winds N Waves Waterpark, and it was quite simply one of our best days in a long stretch, and badly needed. We swam in the vortex pool, flew yelling down the water slides and relaxed in the crowded hot tub. Never once did I have to raise my voice or an eyebrow; we just hung out and enjoyed each other, only giggles, no cross words or chores.

On the drive home we were both quiet, sipping our Dutch Bros drinks and trying not to fall asleep. I was happy, and so was Kade. I was happy, without reservation or worry or anxiety.

I hadn’t realized how big the weight I’d been carrying as a result of my job in the psychiatric hospital has been. Now that I’m leaving, I can finally take a deep breath. Not only have I turned in my two weeks notice, but the job I’m going to is a complete 180 from the hospital. I’m supporting my old boss and doing the work I’m discovering I’m best at, logistics and organizing and making things smooth and straight forward. It’s a relief to be working for someone who thinks I kick ass, instead of those who hate the change I bring.

Joy is also tasty homemade food with best friends, hitting up the nickel arcade and super tasty ice cream to announce and celebrate our upcoming elopement.

Life is rainy but good!

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!

Wiggle butts

If you hate being spammed by lots of happy dog and kid photos, or wish to ignore my search for the perfect dog, or point out that there are more important things to be focusing on these days….that last may be true, but today all I can focus on is trying to make life a little better for my own corner of the world, and raising my son to be a helper.

A few years ago, I had the joy of being able to foster several boxers until they were adopted, and when Tom and I moved into together we made the agreement to wait to adopt a dog until we a.) Had a house with a yard and B.) Were fairly job solvent (as much as can be in this crazy world).

Help me bring this scene back to my world!

We’ve been renting our current house for a year, just signed a lease for another and gained landlord approval, and I was finally able to work my way up to a permanent job with the State! I’ve been on several careful shopping sprees to father supplies, lectured the kid on the rules and responsibilities of the dog (and planned matching kid and dog Halloween costumes, what else but Pokemon?). The only thing we lack….Is a dog!

So, internet, Facebook friends, and other awesome peoples, please help us keep a look out for our perfect dog! Since we both work full time, have a giant white cat, and this will mostly be a kid companion, we are looking for an adult house trained dog, preferably a boxer as I can’t resist a wiggle butt! We do have applications into several local rescues, but this is spreading the net even wider.

Thank you all, and go snorgle your fuzzies or wiggly kids or teddy bears!

Escape the smoke

After the topsy turvey summer we’ve had, neither of us could face a crazy holiday weekend of travel, even for horse training. So I skipped a farm visit, and today my little family of three (minus His Royal Fuzzy Whiteness Wilson) mosied over them that hills to the beach.

This lazy day of wandering was exactly what we all needed, quiet time together and an escape from the awful heat and wildfire smoke filling the Willamette valley again today.

We hit Lincoln City, which was reliably packed, enjoyed a nice lunch at McMenamin’s, and found perfect high winds and few people (although still enough kids for Kade to play with) at Bob Straub State Park in Pacific City.

Tom had a blast flying his high tech kites in the wind, busting a steady 15-23mph, and being that special kind of puzzled only engineers get when he couldn’t figure out why I kept crashing the kite. (Hint: you work the kite lines the exact opposite way from reins, which I’ve spent the better part of my life learning and teaching!)

The large pack of kids digging energetically in the sand taught Kade how to find shrimp; we took turns burying each other in the sand; hit pause for a snuggle break to warm up my zero body fat kid; wrote a little of the stress into my journal; and relaxed, watching Kade play, Tom fly kites, on a beautiful sunny windy smoke free beach. I managed (barely) not to cry, out of gratefulness that we live where we can safely steal a day like this, peaceful and together and happy, far from the stresses and strains and sadness of the world for awhile.

This is Halloween…

Welp, it’s November people, and that means NaNoWriMo is upon us. If you think I don’t blog much normally, November can be…empty. But it’s a good place to ‘report’ on my goals (my blog! me!) so here goes, as I sit on a really squeeky morning train: 

  • Only ran once last week out of the three I was aiming for, trudging around the little dirt track at Kade’s school while he found every puddle he can. Right now I’m at a slightly hard fought 16 minute mile. Ha!
  • My novel for the month is a slightly different version of what I’ve been working on, about ex-military vets and their lives and animals and relationships, despite not being ex-military myself I want to train dogs someday so it’s a good chance to do some deep research into the topic and stretch out of my mommy-work-mommy zone.

  • New job is still going awesome, in the thick of billing and reporting and being part of the ‘Party Planning Committee.’ Also the boss gave me permission to work from home when Kade has a day off, so whew! Since he has 8 days off in November….
  • Halloween was epic! Kade got to trick or treat twice, once with his cousins while Tom and I drove home and once with us just around our awesome neighborhood. Kid’s loaded with candy so now I get to play candy monster and dole it out in no rational or consistant fashion. Life lessons kid.
  • Tom’s home for good for awhile, so I’ve forgotten how to cook again but I don’t sleep alone so that evens out pretty well.
  • Happy writing all!


When other people say it’s been a crazy month, it’s a highly subjective thing. When I say it’s been a crazy month, I mean Tom’s still in Cali (coming home for goodish tomorrow!), we’ve moved to a new house & a new town (well, new to me & the kid if not Tom, seeing as it’s his hometown), Kade started kindergarten, I haven’t talked to my dad at all though I bumped into my mom once, & I finally, after months of searching, multiple resumes & interviews, started a new job! So if my blogging has been worse than usual lately, & my writing just as bad, at least I have a handy multitude of excuses right?
It’s the middle of my fourth week, & yet I can’t stop grinning. I had lunch with a friend who is also now an ex-coworker, & she could see how stupid with happy I am right now. The learning curve has been like hauling myself up Everest, but at risk of sounding like a cliché, this place is much more my speed.

Even though I work in what feels like a basement & I’m usually cold (although that’s better since a new coworker leant me her little desk heater!) & my commute is always over an hour now, my to do list is miles long & intricate & technically I’m a temp for now….those don’t stack up to what I’m doing, or the level of responsibility I’m finally at, or my awesome new coworkers!

Not even a month & I’ve already attended one happy hour, supported the Research Safety Fair, attended one training with three more at bat, collected access to everyone’s calendars, run all over campus, sampled the various eateries, set up a weekly check in meeting with my manager, seen the sunrise each day from the Tram, & my bribes of introducing the candy bowl & daily quotes have been fully accepted. That list isn’t even complete!

Even though I spent three years of my life at another company (I know, hear the millennial talk as if that’s a long time!), other than seeing my friend every day, I haven’t missed it one iota. Nope, no more listening to vicious gossips, no more fighting with the stupid jamming printer, no more clueless (if sweet) boss, no more “We don’t need you for that {basically anything more than paper-pushing}”, no more vastly unpredictable traffic.

The biggest thing I miss is my commute buddy. Kade’s preschool was five minutes from work, half an hour or more from the old apartment, so I had him with me for the majority of my commute, chatting, watching the iPad, cursing at traffic, the whole bit. Now he’s either sleeping on his aunt’s couch (mornings) or tearing around the neighborhood with the other kids (afternoon) as I drive up to Milwaukee, catch the MAX train, walk to the Aerial Tram, catch the sunrise, & finally start making coffee in my office & hunting up a nice daily quote to write on the community white board.

It’s hard in some ways, as much as I love my new job, but we’re both hugely looking forward to having Tom home for good!

A Good Evening


Last night was…good, in a simple, reassuring kind of way. I managed to get home in a mostly timely fashion (minus an inconveniently placed car fire), picked up a child who was, literally, covered in something blue (still couldn’t get an intelligible answer on what it was), made & ate dinner while Facetiming with Tom. He’s still working in California, now with the added bonus of kidney stones & the drugs to manage them, or more like the pain along with them.

 We spoke of nothing huge or earthshaking, a few details of our lives, getting the new fiber optic internet hooked up, leaving my current job, wanting him home, kite flying, plus he convinced me that while my heart was in the right place, but maybe offering my friend the Emerald Queen for a road trip to Wisconsin wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. We didn’t fight, or snap, but there was some friendly eye rolling & a lot of worry on my end at least, knowing your partner is dealing with a health issue while stuck in an extended stay hotel far from home is not exactly ideal. I still haven’t unpacked anything in the great room beyond my laptop & clearing off the couch, although Kade’s room, the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen & our bedroom are pretty dialed in.

I drank wine, lingered over the sun set from our new porch, watched the neighbors stroll by with babies & dogs & packs of middle schoolers roaming while Kade ate & climbed over the railing fighting bad guys & through the minor miracle of technology Tom was almost there with us. I relaxed fully for the first time since I first called our new landlord weeks ago, & not just due to the nice Oregon Pinot Noir.

We’ve eaten exclusively on that porch since we got the keys, due to lack of room in the house (see boxes) & it being early fall in Oregon is the best time for porch sitting, so why rush inside? The porch has a fairly sturdy roof over it thanks to the landlord, so I have thoughts about getting a nice heater & maybe some mosquito mesh to extend our eating outside time until the full, bitter chill & wet of our glorious Dark Months descend upon us. Something about eating outside connects me to those boisterous meals in college, exhausted ones on trail crews, exciting ones scattered all over the backcountry camping out.

I went to sleep comfortable and happy…although with only the cat for company!


The Big K

Today was Kade’s first day of kindergarten. So naturally we woke up late, in an apartment stuffed to the brim with 90% of our stuff in boxes, no ‘perfect’ outfit picked out or picture worthy lunch packed, nor had Tom or I adequately communicated to each other what the morning would look like. My emotions were scattered all over the place, between the stress of Kade’s first day, moving, my job, having Tom home for the first time in a month…Tom was merely tired & in need of a good cup of coffee, but I’d packed the sugar away already, girlfriend mistake #1 for the day.


Our two block walk from our new house to Kade’s school, Eccles Elementary (where one of the teachers remembers teaching the various Morse children back in the day) was accomplished right on time by some miracle of pre-packaged food & excitement (Costco is my BFF). Kade’s backpack is almost as big as he is, even though it’s the smallest I could find. Our conversation on the drive down informed me he misses his best friend Max, but that he’s a friendly little dude who will be fine with a bit of support through this huge upheaval in his normally mostly predictable life.


I did grab a few pictures, in which he refused to smile cause dude, this is all weird & strange & not normal. Not five minutes later, he marched right into his classroom, put his things away, & announced to his teacher Mrs. Merris, “I know how to write my name by myself!” which is what he spent his time doing until Tom could tear me away.


We walked back to the new house alone, mental gears switching from parent to adult, to sign the rental lease & give Tom a chance to meet the landlord & actually see the place his sister had luckily noticed for us a few weeks ago. It’s not perfect-it’s old, barely bigger than our apartment, the stove is also weird & old, & the landlord is naturally leery of my hope for a dog, but it’s workable, & Tom’s finally home, back in the town he grew up in. We’re two blocks from his sister & Kade’s cousins (whose classrooms are on either side of Kade’s), across town from his parents & grandparents, two blocks from school, with a huge yard to play in, plant raised beds, hang a hammock in the trees.

Tom sees the practical; we need yard maintenance equipment, to fit all our things in the house, when can we pick up the U-Haul, where’s Wilson’s cat perch going to live, & getting all the utilities switched over before he leaves again, returning to California as that’s where his employer has work for him right now.

I can see, as near as possible for us, what I’ve always hoped for Kade, surrounded by family in a small town, a certain kind of stability I didn’t have until much later, a chance to grow roots & know our neighbors names-what Tom himself grew up with. I hate that choices & circumstances make this Kade’s sixth move in five years, but hopefully the last for quite a while!

Now I’m in professional adult mode, considering my first of many commutes without my chatty little dude along to balance out the frustrations over getting cut off in traffic once again, & impatient to hear how the day went for the kid I managed to raise up healthy & safe this far.


Just take a breath

I have so many things to write about, from my trip to see Odysseo, camping with friends, and *gasp* firearms, but this is what made it out through a crazy week that ain’t over yet….
So I’ve been sharing a bunch of happy pictures on Instagram lately, full of good food (baked eggs, steak, grilled chicken, campfire sausages) & enjoyable events (camping, Crater Lake, road trips, friends, Tom home).
Yesterday was a bit trickier. And by trickier I mean flat out exhausting.
Tom’s alarm went off at 3 freakin’ am, for his flight back to San Jose leaving at 6am. I always try to go back to sleep but this one is hard, as he’ll be gone for three weeks this time.
I eventually got me & the kid up & going, to drop him off with a friend to be taken to school so I could high tail it to Salem for an appointment. I made it into work just after 11am & worked my six hours, clocking off after 5 when traffic is at it’s most vicious. I picked up my kid who looked as tired as I did, fighting traffic all the way to the grocery store only to find they were out of the one thing I actually needed-Bailey’s coffee creamer. By now it’s pushing 630 & I’ve been loaded up on coffee & Goldfish all day, so instead of the ‘cooking’ I was planning to do (chicken salad sandwiches) we swung by those big Golden Arches & loaded up on processed meat & salt for dinner.
This, of course, mildly overjoyed my offspring, but my fogged up brain considered how unsnobbed I’ve become. Just over five years ago, my son was born at my ex-MIL’s organic farm in Vermont, where we tried to eat as local & low impact as possible. Before that I’d spent four years at the hippiest college around, again eating as local as possible, including what the school farm grew. We still ate fast food, but it was few & far between, considering the effort necessary to drive nearly half an hour over backcountry roads to the nearest one, which I didn’t even like.
Now I’m shoving McDonalds in my face at 8pm on a Tuesday night, a meal so quickly cleaned up & yet will live in my thighs for weeks. I’m sure there’s more of a lesson there, but the one I take from it is I have to plan my meals better, both to avoid the McD in the future, & save the money as well. But sometimes, you just don’t have the extra umph to deal with it all, & that’s okay too.