Sunday, July 17, 2011

The UPS Man Cometh . . .

I am always eager for the mail to arrive. I've been known to stand at the end of the driveway and attack the mail truck as it approaches. I have even been known to stand in the middle of the street and walk quickly towards the truck even when it is still a half block away. :) And really, that makes more sense that it might to some . . . I get every single one of my writing "paychecks" through the mail. I also get wonderful letters from many people scattered all over the world in the mail. So being eager for it to arrive is understandable.

This week, however, I will be more than eager. I will be anxious and excited and impatient. Why? Because two things are coming that are probably going to change my life . . . the first one is a new computer. Oh man, this is the DREAM computer too. I special ordered it, piece by piece, to be exactly what I've always wanted. Three monitors. A built in TV. Lots of memory for speed. In preparation, we've been cleaning desks and rearranging furniture. I am anticipating that this new computer will make going to "work" a lot more fun.

The other other thing I am waiting for? New bras. Yes, new bras. Not too exciting to most of you, I am sure. However, I am . . . . well . . . let's go with my boobs are definitely one of the first things you notice about me (after my brilliant smile and scintillating personality, of course.) A well fitting bra is truly a BIG DEAL. And one night, I got sucked in by a new infomercial showing the best and the latest in bra technology (did you know there was bra technology? News to me!) and I ordered those bras. Now, after I ordered them I was offered:
1. a second set of bras at a discount
2. a set of bras with built in lace
3. a hair care system
4. discounted magazine subscriptions AND
5. a Walmart gift card to go along with me (drumroll please) . . . .. FREE THREE DAY TWO NIGHT CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS . . . travel agents standing by . . . .

I said no to all of those things . . .just stuck with the original order of bras.
Which are supposed to arrive Monday or Tuesday.

Do you think if I promised to model them for the mailman he would bring them faster?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Parting Really IS a Sweet Sorrow, Mr. Shakespeare.

When old Willy wrote the line in "Romeo and Juliet" that "Parting is such sweet sorrow", he sure was right. He was referring to the pain of lovers saying goodbye until the next day, but this Mom is keenly aware of the feeling this summer. In April, I said goodbye to Nicole for six months. In May, I said goodbye to Caspian for 6 weeks. Today, I said goodbye to Coryn for a one to two weeks. Each parting was full of the joy and excitement and anticipation of a new adventure waiting around the corner. I was thrilled for the opportunities my children were being given, excited at who they might meet, what they might see and how they would interact and evolve from their experiences with the world.

But DAMN, I miss them. And saying goodbye is hard. I want to hug a long, long time. Until they are squirming and trying to get away, in fact.

Coryn held my hand in the train station today. Although I frequently take his hand, it has been a long time since he has reached out for mine and gripped it so tightly. It brought back many memories of holding little hands over the years and marveling that all of these hands today are larger and stronger than mine.

I know they will come back . . . but in the meantime, I miss them dearly and know they will return changed from their interactions and more independent and more apt to want to take another trip very soon. And really, I am glad for that. I know that that means Joseph and I did our jobs well . . . but,

DAMN, I miss them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Perfect Portland Moment

I had a perfect Portland moment today and I wanted to share it with my half dozens of readers (snicker).

Joseph and I spent the morning running around doing typical errands, interspersed with some fun things like checking out a garage sale and buying a camping cook stove. After dropping off a check at one place, we decided to stop at a cartopia--for those who don't live in big cities, that means an open area (usually a former parking lot) that is filled with individual food carts. These are HUGELY popular in Portland and I am so glad. I love seeing small businesses thrive--run by husbands and wives, moms and dads . . . featuring every kind of food under the planet and then some. The one we stopped at today had a dozen different cards including Lebaneser Scrooge (Lebanese food), The Wrapture (salads and wraps) and many more . . Thai food, hot dogs, BBQ, smoothies and shakes . . . something for vegans and vegetarians and carnivores and everything in between. The biggest challenge was CHOOSING. I was in a hot dog kind of mood, so got a beef dog and garlic french fries (I haven't eaten fries in months, but GARLIC fries? Yes, I gave in.)

In the meantime, Joseph (who ALWAYS chooses the most exotic option he can find) chose food from a cart called Viking Soul Food (wife is Norwegian, husband is black. .. hence the name) and OHMIGAWD that food. The food is served in thin wraps a little like crepes . . . one had sweet and sour purple cabbage, with melted chevre cheese and porcini, button and morel mushrooms. The other one was meatballs, arugula, pine nuts and melted cheese. AMAZING!!!! Melt in your mouth, don't talk kind of delicious. So we HAD to get dessert . . . J got "drunken strawberries" . . . strawberries, cream cheese, toasted almonds and some magical sauce and I got lemon tart with spiced pecans. We sat out in the sunshine and ate these and just soaked up the perfect Portland moment of sunshine, summer, Friday afternoon, food carts and this city we love so very much.

I am going to be working hard all weekend to get caught up to deadlines. . . . I just got hired by the 5th new company in 2 months ( go me!) so I have a lot to do but you can bet I will carry that Portland moment with me all weekend. Sigh. I love my life--hope you feel the same way about yours.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nature . . . and the World . . . are Noisy

For the last several weeks, Joseph and I have been sleeping outside on our upper deck. It is completely private, roomy and beautiful there. We have an air mattress and lots of cozy blankets for the chilly nights. We snuggle down and listen to wind chimes, distant train whistles, the wind blowing through the tall pine trees in our yard, and the distant murmur of traffic on the busy street a few blocks away. For this very auditory woman, it is lovely.

Well .. . until morning comes. And then nature gets just too friggin noisy. The chirp of morning birds is fine--very nice even. The increase in traffic is also a welcome background sound. Here are the sounds that are not so welcome:

1. The Bickering Duo . . . . apparently we have a squawking bluebird and a chittering squirrel who do NOT get along. I don't know what they find to bicker about every single morning, but they do. Like clockwork, the bird squawks, the squirrel responds and they do this back and forth for over an hour. (I had NO IDEA squirrels could be so loud!) Do they want the same tree real estate? Vying for the same snack (worm? nuts? they have different diets . . . )? Just grumpy until they get their morning coffee? WHAT? I am about ready to hire a mediator to step in and negotiate a truce.

2. The Cat from Hell . . . now we have this neighborhood cat who sits on either our bottom deck or our stairs and YOWLS. I don't mean a gentle meow. I don't mean a little purring. I mean Y O W L I N G. Miserable unhappiness piercing the late night/early morning hours over and over. It moves fine so doesn't seem to be in any pain . . . doesn't act hungry. I am guessing it is in heat, which means it sure picked the wrong house since our cat is also female and fixed. I don't suppose if I tossed down a sex toy and told her to get lost and take care of the problem, it would help? I'm about to try anything to shut her up. I also spend way too much time wondering how awful it would be to have to announce to the world you're horny and just yell until some cat comes along to help you out. Hmmm. Guess it does sound like a few college friends I used to know . . .

3. Earth Swallowing Trucks . . . This morning, added to our mix, we had a truck of some kind. Not sure what it was since it isn't trash day. . . but it was amazingly loud and was doing something at each house . . .it sounded like it was sucking up the foundation and crunching it into compost, to be honest. It was 7:55. Seems a tad early for foundation sucking, but then, who knows, the truck driver might have made a deal with the cat, the squirrel and the bird. Maybe it's a conspiracy to get those Orrs off the deck and into the house?

Hmph. Not until summer is over. Until then, where are my ear plugs?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Knowing the Future? NO Thanks.

Are you one of those people who wishes you knew what was going to happen tomorrow or in the future? Do you wish you could close your eyes, look into a crystal ball, cast rune stones--whatever--and know what was waiting around the corner? Although I think we all have moments like that, where we wish we knew the outcome of a certain situation or a common concern (will she fall in love? will he find the right job? will I eventually get grandchildren?), I have decided that knowing what is going to happen could be detrimental to my initiative.

Case in point (and you knew that there had to be one, right?), I just finished up the second most intense and demanding (and well paying) job of my 20 plus years of writing. It came out of the blue . . . a quick email from an editor I just finished working for saying hey, I have a new project--interested? In all honesty, it should have read, "I have an insane project that will require you to stop sleeping or doing any other work, that will involve miscommunications, confusing editors, missing documents, a huge amount of work and virtually no time to do it--are you interested?" Had I been able to glance into the next four days, I am pretty sure I would have had some serious doubts. But since I couldn't and the money was goooooooooooood, I said "Sure".

Cue . . . .five days of craziness. I mean, such intense craziness that several times, I pushed my chair back from the computer and went storming up the block on a walk trying to keep my cool. Rants. Crying sessions. Texts to editors at midnight. That kind of craziness.

Everything had to be turned in by July 1. I finished at 2 a.m. that morning. When I did, my amazing family--who brought me ice water, heatpacks, nightgowns, chocolate, coffee, made me take breaks and just breathe, gave me massages, endless hugs and multiple rally sessions--put me in the car (yes, at 2 in the morning) and took me for a drive so I could just R E L A X. Then they poured me into bed.

Friday morning I opened my eyes and my first thought was, Ok, what do I still have to get done.? Then that GLORIOUS, just-like-the -last-day-of-school feeling hit me--I was DONE. Not only was I done but,
(1) It was Friday of a holiday weekend.
(2) It was warm and sunny.
(3) I was paid, actually PAID, for another project and had enough money to not only take a deep breath but hit a couple of Goodwills without guilt.

That, my friends, made for a PERFECT weekend.

So, this weekend, what have I done? I sat out in the sun. I took a nap. I read a book. I wrote letters. I watched a movie. I am going to see fireworks. I am going to probably take another nap and finish my book. PERFECTION. And while that is a good weekend, what came before it, those intense days, made it a perfect weekend (ok, not perfect. Nicole isn't home. But close). And within 30 days, when that check arrives in my mailbox, we are going to sit down and just stare at it for awhile. Then it will get dispersed to things like taxes and bills but also a few fun things. (Of course, to me that means road trips, books and paper and to J that means anything VW related. The boys are just counting on new computers.)

If I could have glanced into the future and seen what this job entailed and what a mess it would be, how stressful it would be to me physically and emotionally, would I have taken it? I doubt it. But I"m glad that I wasn't psychic and I did say yes because when that check comes, you can bet I will be smiling.

Now excuse me, I have an almost perfect weekend to get back to. . . Oh, Happy 4th of July. May it be your own version of a perfect weekend as well.