Friday, July 27, 2012


Tonight, at midnight, we were sitting at the table eating watermelon. It was a crazy day, with all of us going in a dozen different directions. Finally, we were all at home and at the table.
You might think the discussion was on the field trip two went on. The job interview one went on. The new friend one person met, or the overnight another one had. You might even think the discussion was on the work I had gotten done, or other mundane topics.
Ninety percent of the meal was spent with Coryn pronouncing the word "boobs" as "b-ewbs" and then all of us getting the giggles. He then combined the word with wiggling and other sordid gyrations, making some of us who shall remain nameless spit watermelon juice on the tabletop.
Laughter rolled out the sliding glass door and into the backyard. Anyone listening would have been . .  perhaps appalled at the topic of choice, but I like to think, they would have instead have been amused and even inspired by seeing a family enjoying each other's company and happiness that much. I know I was.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ideal Morning

One of the questions that I send back and forth with a number of the people I write letters to is, What would a perfect day be like for you?
This morning I was reminded that mine hasn't changed.
After dropping Nicole at yet another class, Joseph and I headed to Gresham to track down a cup of coffee. Instead, we found the Street Art Fair. Ooooh, fun. Parked and wandered for an hour among stalls and carts full of food, jewelry, art, knicknacks--paradise for this woman. My first purchase? 6 handmade cards to send to penpals. My second? A beautiful necklace for a mere $7. Then a fun bookmark drawn by a young woman in full regalia selling anime sketches. Then another bookmark for me with a zentangle design. Finally, polish dogs on a stick to snack on.
On the way out, Joseph and I bought an AMAZING creme puff and shared bites until it was gone.
I was thinking about how much fun I had had (including trying on rings at a jewelry store and listening to some GREAT live music) when Joseph saw the topic of my post. He said, "It was really fun, wasn't it? But you know what the best part was?"
I smiled and said, "When I stopped and stood up on the curb and kissed you?"
He just smiled back at me.
See? An ideal morning.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And for a Different Kind of Movie . . .

Yeah, the Orr clan watches hokey children's movies like "Grandpa's Magical Toys" and "Hook". But lest you think we are always that wholesome . . . . this past week Nicole and I (and six other women) went to see "Magic Mike".
The estrogen in the theatre was running down the walls. There were about 200 women and four men, all of whom I am sure were there in the hopes of getting lucky later that night for attending.
The movie was better than I had originally expected--good story, excellent acting. But I admit (risking tarnishing my innocent reputation) that the strip numbers were my favorite. Men who can dance AND have muscles AND are good-looking are just  . . . . hmmm . . . attractive, shall we say?
It was fun to do this with a group of females and then going out after for drinks and dinner was fun too. It is something I haven't done in AGES. Of course, having Nicole there with me made it truly enjoyable. It was our first time in a bar together and we had fun ordering exotic drinks and trying each other's (and gasping at the fact that the drinks cost more than OUR DINNER did!).
A fun time. I wanna do it again sometime soon . . . .

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Stroll down Memory Lane

Thanks to the ever expanding world of Netflix, in recent weeks, our family has been able to rent some old favorite movies that the kids haven't seen in years and years. It is such fun to gather in the living room and put on one of these movies. The kids compare what they remember and giggle like they used to. They reminisce about when they last saw the film, and I sit there just soaking it all up.

Recently we have been getting the Wee Sing movies. The first time I saw one of these was wayyyyy back in 1989 or so. I had my own parenting newsletter and I was sent "The Big Rock Candy Mountains" to review. It sat on a shelf for months and then one night when Jasmine was up late (due to a late nap probably), I pulled it out and put it on. To say she loved it would be a vast understatement. It became one of her favorites and she watched it again and again and again. We discovered more and more of the Wee Sing movies and by the time Coryn was born in 1996, we had almost all of them and they had become family favorites.

Watching "Grandpa's Magical Toys" this week brought back those memories. One of the many songs in the movie is "Come Over Playmates" and Joseph and I immediately sang the lyrics as, "Climb down my cellar DUR . . . . we'll be jolly friends foreverMUR" because that was how Jasmine pronounced the words when my mom taught her the song long ago.  Sweet memories indeed. (Heck, when we see a little girl wearing sparkly sunglasses, we STILL go "It's little Miss Hollywooooooood" because that's what Jasmine called herself when wearing sunglasses. Isn't it funny which memories stick with you?!)

I also found it highly amusing that as we sat here and watched the movie, all three of the kids were sitting here with laptops . . Nicole was writing, Coryn was surfing Facebook, and Caspian was playing a kill multitudes of zombies game. The contrast between the movie and these ADULTS in my living room was poignant and bittersweet.

Of course, strolling down memory lane is always poignant and bittersweet, isn't it? The memories tug at your mind and heart and bring tears of sorrow and joy at the same time. I just feel blessed to have these memories in my life and try to remember that each day we live, we are creating more of them for the future.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Motherboard Dies, Panic Ensues

Well, it was quite the weekend! On Thursday night, the computer that I don't use that often but contains 80 percent of all of my documents and current projects crashed. Much cleaning of floor and blowing out of dust followed, but the machine could not be revived. (Since it did not have DNR file on record, we just kept trying . . . )
I realized when geekster Coryn couldn't even get it to respond that the computer was beyond all hope. This meant NO access to most of my files.
This meant PANIC.
I put a call out to the mighty world of Oregon homeschoolers and lo and behold, a wonderful man responded that he knew computers and sure, he would be willing to come to my house over the weekend and take a look in return for "gas money". (Which could be interpreted in Oregon as millions since we were just at $4.29 a gallon a couple of weeks ago.)
He came. He could not revive, but he could still download my files. Bless his soul.
So I am almost back up and running, scrambling to make up for the lost time over the weekend and groveling to editors for a little extra breathing room on deadlines.
I also have told this talented computer man, who also knows Volkswagens, that we plan to adopt him. And yes, I gave him more than just gas money.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oh and yes, Here are our Balls

Exercise balls have many uses, including sitting on for pictures. Who knew we all had such big balls? (Shuddup Ami!)

The Orr's. . . . Version 2012

Yesterday was not only the Fourth of July but also family portrait time. We are blessed to have a best friend who is a photographer in her "spare" time and we always love the pictures she takes. She sees the real us and our smiles are genuine instead of pasted on. We had lots of "serious" pics taken . . you know the here's the family and we're sending this to relatives and friends so look fairly presentable photos. And then, of course, we had to break out and be the real REAL us. We all pretended a spider was crawling on us and made faces. We had no idea what each other looked like until we got the pictures on the computer. HA. Best Orr Photo ever, wouldn't you say?

(And yes to all of those people who have commented on how much hair our family has. We are indeed a hairy bunch.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stopping to Catch my Breath

Sorry for the disappearing act . . . . man, have I been BUSY. Still trying to take a moment to catch my breath.

So, here are the vital updates.
Caspian is HOME. We are delighted to have him. The people at the camp charged him $128 to drive him to the bus station (70 cents per mile from the site) . . . and they proceeded to let him know that by "being a quitter" he was risking not getting hired by any employers . . . damaging his resume and his reputation . . . setting a bad example .  . grrrrrrr. Just made me that much happier to have him home.

I taught a workshop at the state homeschooling conference and it went really well. I had almost 30 people there. Nicole was on a panel in another session and also did a wonderful job. We had fun seeing people we only seem to connect with every year or so.

Work is keeping me more than hopping . . . I really am longing for some time off, but it's not in the cards as of yet.

We started back on the paleo diet a few weeks ago. This time it was actually at my urging because, just before heading to Maupin, my BP was running 220/110 WITH full medication and I was getting nervous. The ONLY think that drops it is this stupid diet that drives me nuts. So now I am running under 130/90 consistently and that is with NO medication (I was taking five pills a day for it). I'm sleeping better, losing weight and feeling more energetic. Doesn't mean I like the diet or enjoy it, but . . . hard to argue with results like those. Instead, I shall just grumble a lot.

Nicole leaves in about 80 days. Sigh. So excited for her, but miss her already. Currently she has finished taking doula training, and is now in bartending classes, which will be followed in a couple of weeks with scuba diving lessons. I asked her if she planned to be the first person to help a couple with an undersea birth and then toast with a drink so she could merge all three interests. :)

Coryn is well and fine . . . gearing up for his third year at Not Back to School Camp. Talking about getting a driver's license. Snicker. Not yet, buddy. One child at a time and we just got Nicole taken care of. Insurance may force us into bankruptcy otherwise.

That's my update for now. Joseph is fine, I'm fine. Life goes on. I try to appreciate every day and most of the time, it's easy to do. Hope you can say the same.