Saturday, November 16, 2019

Moving at an alarming rate...

So much has happened in the past months. Everyone is growing at an astounding, alarming, amazing rate. Our 16-year-old Kai moved out to attend the Running Start program at the community college.  It's a two and a half hour drive away from our house, so he's living with good friends in the college town.

Our 15-year-old Luke was crowned Homecoming Royalty and also visited Urgent Care twice this month because of his crazy mountain biking obsession.

Our little baby daughter turned ten years old in November... Say no more.

This here mother is hanging on by her teeth, watching her kids grow up.

Life seems to be speeding up.  Is it because I, myself, am getting older?

I don't know the answer, but all I can tell you is that I want to spend as much quality time with my kids and squeeze out the most amount of connection and fun before they all leave the nest. Very soon.

One of the ways we do this is spending time on adventures, mostly hiking, biking and being active in beautiful places (and then consuming copious amounts of food to replace the lost calories).

This was our last trip over to the Methow Valley before the mountain pass closes:

This November has been unseasonably dry and sunny.  I'm not complaining!

I've been working a lot in my role as Global Ambassador and Senior Coach for Feminine Power, the coaching organization that trains women in coaching, facilitation and leadership.  I love the work, because I connect with women from all over the world, and I feel like I'm impacting so many lives.

This takes my own self care to the next level: it's non-negotiable, because I give out so much energy, I have to replenish it. 

One of the ways I do this is being outside every day.  

Exercise is super important for me, and if I don't get it, I turn grumpy.

Just ask Steve.

My exercise involves taking the dogs for a walk every single day, biking as much as I can, and stacking firewood.  My puppy Hazel likes to be involved, although most of the time she just gets in the way...

Another important self-care routine is knitting.  My family is well stocked with socks.

What is happening in your world?

PS: Keep your eye out for my upcoming blog post on my Patreon site: It's gonna be a tutorial on how to make healthy beef jerky without the bad additives!


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Meet our new baby Hazel

The past six weeks have been very, very hard. Our beloved dog Chowder died unexpectedly... I broke my tail bone... Our car got broken into and our computer and a bunch of cash stolen, including my green card, driver's license, credit cards, social security cards... Our oldest son left to attend Skagit Valley College one and a half hours away...

Life's a bitch, and then you get a puppy.

We’ve had our fur ball for a couple of weeks, and she has already wiggled and sqeezed her tiny little self into all our hearts. It’s very easy to love her, what with that face:

Her name is Hazel, she is currently 10 weeks old, and she’s a Shi Tzu like our sweet Chowder was.

Our dog Raka is warming up to her, which is a miracle because Hazel has very, very sharp little teeth, and she likes to grab Raka’s ears with them.

What has exponentially increased since we’ve had Hazel:

- Pee stains on our carpet

- Laughter in our house

- Hysterical shrieking from people when they pass her and notice me carrying her in a front pack

- The time spent knitting warm little sweaters for her

- Likes and thumbs-ups on Facebook and Instagram

- My anxious looks into the sky and heart rate when I watch for predators when she goes potty outside

- Girls in Eva's class asking for playdates

We picked her up in Wenatchee, a three hour ride over a mountain pass. On the ride home she bonded with various family members on our laps.  The kids got to skip school for the event.  

School, schmool… Picking up a new family member is much better education than anything, don’t you agree?

Hazel has participated in all of our lives like a pro: excursions to the beach,
apple cider pressing, hikes in the mountains… She’s a trooper, and has to be in order to fit into our family. 

I'll leave you with something puppy-unrelated. In the midst of all the hard stuff that happened, I managed to escape to our friends' yurt in Port Townsend, a lovely seaside town.  It was my intention to relax, rejuvenate, and nourish myself.  On the way there, I got a huge ticket because our truck tabs were expired...

Sigh... It can only get better from here, right?

Let me go hug my puppy.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Chowder died. And summer left us, too.

I have hesitated writing about this here on the blog, since I'm in such deep grief and shock.

My sweet dog Chowder died unexpectedly three weeks ago.  There are no words.  I wrote about it here if you want to know more about my beloved little guy.

This post here is to commemorate the last weeks of summer, when he hiked with us and accompanied us to the river.  He was with me all the time, either on my lap or somewhere by my side.

I miss him terribly.

Life has been so busy and filled with grieving my little friend that I haven't showed you any pictures of the end of summer here on the blog.

Here are some photos from various hikes when Chowder was still with us. I wish I had taken more photos of him.

Below is an excursion to Diabolo Lake.

And here a hike to Blue Lake (by Mount Baker) with the dogs and Eva plus best friend.

Then a hike near Bellingham, and watching paragliders jump off the mountain (I did this 25 years ago at the same spot with a hanglider).

A couple of weeks after Chowder died, the whole family hiked up to Squire Pass out of Darrington.  It wasn't the same without him, and I cried the whole time.  Our big dog Raka misses him, too.  She seems a little lost right now.

The day after Chowder died, I had to teach our homesteading and wilderness retreat.  I couldn't cancel it because we had people travelling from out of state, and a part of me knew the distraction would be good for me.

It was a wonderful event, with great participants.  They were so gracious and let me cry whenever I needed to.

The end of summer has been filled with harvesting and preserving food.

We grew more potatoes this year than ever, and the picture below only shows you a tiny fraction of the harvest.

We are also super happy with our onion harvest.  And I won't even mention all the zucchinis and the zucchini muffins I am baking...

I canned figs because this year our tree was so prolific.

I also canned beets and pears - treasures in the dark of winter.

Sorry that I don't have much to say today.  I'm muddling my way through the sadness.

I will leave you with more images from summer.

PS: Remember to reserve your spot at our retreat in Germany next July. We already have FIVE people signed up, and we can only accept a couple more!

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