Friday, August 27, 2010

A'Campin' We Will Go!

This afternoon I am going to do something with my husband I've never done with him before.
Man, that sounds kinky, doesn't it?
Sorry to disappoint you. . . but it is going camping WITHOUT children. The first time I ever went camping with him. . . well, camping EVER, was in 1987 with our first child. Every time since then it has been with two, three or four children at a time.
However, this weekend, one is at camp, one is with her boyfriend and one is happy, no, thrilled, to be home alone. So we're escaping. We're going to the coast and camping in the VW camper bus. Just the two of us. Lots of books. Letter writing materials. Planning for naps. Can NOT wait. Someone asked me if it was going to be like a second honeymoon and I wanted to point out the differences between 23 and 30 and 51 and 58 but I didn't.
So we're off and I will blog when we return. Wish us good weather, deep sleep and a nice time just being US instead of Mom and Dad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Please Reset My Circadian Clock

Apparently, while I was busy paying attention to one of the thousand million trillion other details in my life, someone snuck in and reset my inner clock. How do I know this? Simple. Every afternoon, about 4 or so, I get so sleepy I think I will pass out sitting up. I type with my eyes closed. I get up and put water on my face. I take a walk out on the back deck to wake up. I am absolutely, cannot walk around the house, I'll tell you any world secrets if you let me take a nap, tired.

But I don't nap. I struggle through. I work and I make it to bedtime. Midnight arrives. Joseph has already been in bed for an hour. I go upstairs to the world's best bedroom. Fans are going in the window. It's cool and airy. My sound machine is already on making waves on the beach sounds. I crawl into the world's best bed. Snuggle up to the world's best husand and a not too awful dog. Get my pillow just right. Close my eyes.

And wake up. My mind starts going a million mile an hour. I think about what work I got done that day. What I have to do tomorrow. How much money I earned. How much is in the bank. How much is due in the mail. What I have on my calendar for tomorrow. Where to get shirts for Nicole's work. What we need to get ready for Coryn going to camp next week. The answer to a question someone asked me earlier and I couldn't remember. The weather forecast. ARGGHHH. I just want my head to shut up. I start counting. Counting often works wonders for me. I start at 100 and slowly count backwards.

I get to 1. I'm still awake. Not even sleepy. I cannot get comfortable. In this position, my hip hurts. In this one, my arm. In this one, I will snore if I finally do fall asleep and then I will wake myself back up. Wait . . wait . . this is pretty good. I can sleep like this. . . except the dog, who is sleeping pressed up against my right side, is now snoring. Sigh. Awake again.

So, after 45 minutes of lying there and tossing and turning, I am back up. I am going thru a pile of pictures I had developed today and labeling them for sending out to family and friends in letters this coming week. I have "new age" music playing on iTunes in the hope it makes me sleepy. I brought my pillow down and put it on the couch.

Maybe if I can trick my body into thinking it's 4 p.m. I will get sleepy. Or maybe I just need someone to readjust my clock.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life at the Orr House

So what's new here, you ask? (Didn't know I could hear you, did ya? Wicked laughter.)

The potluck that wasn't has come and gone. We cleaned for a week. I don't mean a little dusting here. I mean, renting a sander and redoing the deck and then putting a water seal on it. I mean rearranging furniture. I mean hanging up clothes that have been in a laundry basket for six months. CLEANING. And then, the weekend for our potluck arrived--and brought 100 degree weather with it. It was HOT. And no, we don't have A/C. I worried that people would be too miserable to enjoy themselves. So, with regret, we contacted everyone and cancelled the party.

Of course, there is always SOMEONE you can't reach, right? And yes, this was the case with us. We had one lovely couple we couldn't reach. We've known them for seven years and they'd never been to our house. We only had a work number for them, so couldn't call and let them know about the change in plans. So, yup, they came over. And you know, it was nice. They remind me a great deal of my parents and so their visit was lovely. Getting hugged by them is always a poignant moment for me because they remind me so much of my mom and dad, who I miss every single day. I loved having them over for a while and heck, my house looked pretty good!
Do you know what one of the worst ways to wake up in the morning is? A charlie horse. I get them about 2 or 3 times a week. Some are minor. Some are major. The major ones make me whimper like a little kid. I wake up crying and all day, I limp. I've gotten so many, I don't want anyone to touch my calves because they're too touchy. I think charlie horses have great potential as torture methods . . . . .
We're hoping, hoping, hoping to go on vacation in September. We can't do the big travel several states, stay in hotels and eat out kind because finances just won't allow for it. So, instead, we are thinking about a two week trip down two lane highway 20. It crosses from one side of Oregon to the next for abou 450 miles. It is full of little towns and beautiful scenery and truly, it is the TRIP that we love, not the destination. We plan to camp all the way and eat out of our cooler to keep costs down. We will see if it all works out. Between camp schedules, my work, Nicole's part time job, it isn't easy to pin down dates.
The other day Nicole made me almost fall over laughing when we were talking about classics . . . . Coryn wanted to read The Lord of the Flies so we were discussing what it was about . . . and I said, "How about Catcher in the Rye?" and she said, "Isn't that a sandwich?" Snicker.
Caspian was recently in a place where he was very uncomfortable. The family rules were quite different than at home and what he has been raised with. This wasn't the first time it had happened at this house and when he called me and said, I'd really like to come home . . . I said, of course. I want my kids to always know that if they need help. we are there to provide it. If our oldest called tomorrow and said she needed us, we would be there. When I was a little girl (5 or 6ish), I was sent to my grandmother's house for the night when my parents had a big party or some other plans. I loved my grandmother--she was a sweet lady. However, I got homesick. I wanted to go home. I called--and was told no. I still remember how it felt. When my kids call, I say YES, we are on our way. They have never called without a good reason and they are more able to branch out and try things knowing they have an out if they need it. Caspian told us we were awesome parents--and I told him that no, we were just the parents of awesome kids.
A couple we have known for some time is separating, at least for a while. It makes me sad every time. It also makes me turn and hold onto Joseph even more tightly with love and gratitude. This morning I left him a card by his keys and wallet. It was one of those cards that plays a song when you open it. I found it the other day and was so thrilled because it played OUR song! How could I NOT get it? He loved it too. Said he would keep it forever. I am unbelievably grateful that I found the right guy 28 years ago and was smart enough to nab him.
I have a frickin toothache. Now, what did I do to deserve this one? Someone thought I needed something ELSE to handle? I've been brushing and flossing and yes Joseph, waterpic-ing, and hoping it will get better. Next to charlie horses, a dentist drill is my top torture device. Between the feel of it, the SOUND of it (shudder) and the vibration next to touchy ears, it is not my idea of a good time.
Coryn leaves for camp in one week. ACK. Hard for me to believe. He is our fourth child to go to this camp. He dealt with a lot of homesickness issues for years so this is a huge step for him. I am positive he will deal with leaving far better than his sappy mother who will smile until he can't see me anymore and then cry because this is, after all, her BABY we are talking about.

Thanks for tuning in for the latest. Life in the Orr House (say it carefully!) is always interesting, if nothing else. Except for charlie horses. Those just . . . . hurt.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Menopause, Where Fore Art Thou, Menopause? Part TWO

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . . . (snicker)

Yes, just to keep me from becoming complacent, my period arrived two weeks early this time around. And yes, once again, it has been, as they say in the oil biz, a "gusher". (Except it means money to them and it's just torture for me!). All I can say, is it's a darn good thing that I'm not squeamish or I would have spent as much time fainting or throwing up as I did bleeding this week.

So, I think last night was the worst of it. Let's hope so. Many more of these and I will start to consider taking up vampirism. It wouldn't work well for me either because I am pretty terrified of bats. Bad combination.

But I am hoping this is a sign of menopause. That's my silver lining right now. C'mon, hope with me. Cross your fingers. Say a prayer. Throw rune sticks. Whatever makes ya happy. I'll take it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reason #490,806,434,881,905,438,783.6

You know how there are a number of decisions in your life that you've made and then later thought, Shoot. Can I have a do-over on that one? It was the wrong decision. Or the wrong timing. Or the wrong attitude. We've all had those moments.

And then there are the other decisions. The ones you made and even though you knew they were right, time has only proven to you a billion times over HOW RIGHT they were. For example, marrying Joseph. There's a decision I made (some accused me of making it hastily!) 28 plus years ago that I am reminded daily of how wise I was to do so. Having children? Another extremely good decision. It has made me gray, caused me sleepless nights, brought heartache and worry and heaven knows expenses, and still so worth it, I wouldn't think a nanosecond before doing it again. Moving to Oregon? Yup, another one that continues to make me smile as I get up every morning living in the prettiest place I've ever seen, surrounded by people who like me and I like in return. Becoming a writer? Absolutely. Except for some days. When I have to do revisions. Or editors change their minds. Other than that . . . great job.

Anyone who knows us well also knows that homeschooling was one of the best decisions we made. The affirmations of our decision often come at us so fast and so frequently that we lose track of them. This week two of my kids are taking a swimming class at the public school. When I signed them up I expressly said, Please, they know how to swim. I need a class to teach them to not hold their noses so they can dive, swim underwater, etc. No problem, I was reassured.

Well, day 2 comes and when they return, my son walks through the front door with that body language that all mothers recognize as things are not well in his world. Seems like the instruction for holding their noses is 2 minutes worth of class--you know--here is how you do it--go! Now let's move on. We have a class to teach. Everyone must learn at the same speed. No, there's no time to practice. We've covered it. Zooooooooom. If you don't have it, too bad. Deal with it.

He dealt with it by sitting in the bathroom with a stomach full of chlorinated water and a bruised ego. GRRRRR.

A reminder of why I don't follow this entire philosophy of education. So, last night, despite looming deadlines and some other issues that made climbing into a pool one of the last things in the world I wanted to do, I went to the pool with my teens (along with handsome hubby) and we spent 90 minutes in the pool practicing. No rush. No pressure. Give this a try. Try that. Did that work? Great. That didn't? Ok, let's try this. Need me to stand right next to you when you try that? Sure thing. Need me to move away and give you space while you do that? You got it. You know--the homeschooling method. Learning at their own pace? That stuff.

When we left, they had both made tremendous progress. Egos had been bandaged and we all celebrated with dinner out at Burgerville, still dripping in our suits as we pulled through.

The class is not really a setback. No . . . it is just reason #490,806,434,881,905,438,783.6 why we homeschool. Thanks, I needed that affirmation.

Now, what decisions will I face today?