Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquakes, thunderstorms and hurricanes...oh my!

We're all set...nothing left to do but ride it out and party on...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaken...not stirred.

I know it's practically meaningless to inhabitants of the west coast, but this side of the country got a little shaken up this afternoon!

We're about 30 some miles from where the epicenter of the quake was and it took me a few seconds to register that, no, a big truck did not just drive by.  5.8 on the richter scale...the largest earthquake ever recorded in the state.  And the strongest I've ever felt (spending years on a volcano and on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, tremors were normal).  Local news casters are in heaven!

Kiddos were upstairs playing and when I went to call them down two gray streaks flashed by me as the cats made a dash for the safety of their basement sanctuary.  I thought they were supposed to be able to sense these things before hand? The four of us--me, two munchkins and a big black dog who was "protecting" us--huddled together at the bottom of the stairs and I kept them laughing until the earth settled back down.  My eldest declared the earthquake The Coolest Thing Ever.  His younger sister, on the other hand, added it to her list of Things She Doesn't Like.

Lots of noise, lots of glass rattling but nothing broken and everything remained on shelves and on walls.  I supposed toddler proofing ones home works for earthquakes as well.  Not surprising really.  Toddlers should be classified as Forces of Nature, after all.

Apparently there was an aftershock this evening.  But it occurred right around our nightly clean up/teeth brushing/bath time drama routine.  Not sure we would have felt it even if it had been as strong as before.

Oh, and hey...there's a hurricane coming in for a visit this weekend as well.  And, yes, I went to the grocery store and purchased two gallons of milk and two loaves of bread. Good thing whole wheat bread isn't considered a Staple here in the south--I'd have hated to throw down in the bread isle on this now historic day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loving what I do...

And love that I have a nephew who requested a zombie cake for his 13th birthday!

Busting out of his chocolate coffin...



Oh yeah...he loved his cake!  It was delicious too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New things...

We decided it was way past time to introduce our kiddos to the joys of tent camping.  We also decided to ease them in to it at one of our favorite local state parks.  

The family enjoyed some time swimming in the lake before thunder and lightening had the park ranger evacuating the beach area.  But there was plenty of time before the thunderstorm hit for us to cook supper on the campfire...but not enough time for s'mores.

One wee girlie does not like thunderstorms, thankyouverymuch.  And riding one out in a tiny little tent? She was not pleased.  The little man, on the other hand, distracted himself just fine.

As always, the thunderstorms moved on and the sky cleared.  There was still time and daylight left for exploring.  Don't worry...the tent is bigger on the inside. 

Everyone managed to sleep...some more than others.  Apparently my son inherited my super power (I can sleep anywhere, any time).  Even Bella T. Doggie had a quiet night...not a growl, not a whimper nor a whine--even with all of the other animal noises around us.  Bears were off in the distance as well as other animals I couldn't identify.  

Morning came early.  Water was heated for coffee.  Fluffy buttermilk pancakes on the ancient whisperlite stove.  Camp was packed up, campfire doused and we all went exploring.  A half mile hike was just about all little legs had in them that morning.  But there was still plenty to see and inspect!

While Daddy and the doggie watched from shore the kiddos and I explored the lake in a canoe.  Everyone was doing great until we came back around the bend and Kyleigh spotted her dad.  Then she insisted she had to be out of the boat right then and there!  Once she was safely deposited back on dry land her brother and I paddled to the other end of the lake.  It was nice to do something with just him.  It brought back memories of his first two and a half years when it was just he and I alone on all of our adventures.  

The trip ended with a little more swimming, a picnic lunch and everyone snoozing for the trip back home.  While it was fun and definitely repeatable, we're a long ways away from backwoods camping!  We also decided that investing in a slightly larger tent might be a good idea.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The leap...

One of the quirky little ways life has worked out?  The births of my nephews and niece each mark a monumental moment in my lifeline.

The eldest was born while I was in boot camp.  He just turned 17.

I was actually there when his sister was born, then promptly left to catch a plane back to Spain and my first date with the man I'd end up spending the rest of my life with.  She'll be 16 in December.

The youngest's 13th birthday is tomorrow.  And, by request, I'm making a zombie cake.  It's shaping up to be delightfully gruesome and gory.

The summer he was born was the summer I lived with my sister and her family.  I had signed my military separation papers with a vague idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Packed my house up.  Watched them crate the motorcycle and packed my bags.  With one last lingering kiss goodbye to the one I'd love forever, I boarded a plane and didn't look back.  We both had our own paths to walk.  Our own plans.  Our own dreams.  All he had to do was ask me to stay and I would have.  But he didn't.  So I left.  And that Thing, that Thing that had been with me my entire nomadic life enabling me to survive countless moves and goodbyes, kicked in and with dry eyes I walked.

I called him on his birthday.  He said he missed me.

We started communicating via daily emails.  Then regular phone calls.  Very expensive phone calls.

I was still laying out my own plans for my future.  I'd enrolled in a local university.  My GI Bill paperwork was already approved and funds on their way.  He'd made his own plans to come visit for a couple of weeks.  Then some international crisis arouse and those plans were cancelled.

My nephew was born.  The house was getting a little crowded.  I was looking at apartments and about to sign a lease and make a deposit when he called.  I miss you.  I love you.  I was an idiot to let you go.  

13 years ago I cleared out my savings account and purchased a one way ticket back to Madrid.  I dropped out of classes the day before school began, repacked my bags and leaped into the great unknown.  I didn't sleep on the plane.  My super power is that I can sleep anywhere, any place, any time.  And I was wide awake for the entire seven hour flight.  My brain wouldn't shut up.  Had I made the worst mistake of my life? If this didn't work out, I had nothing.  What the hell did I just do?

As I made my way through the crowd at the Madrid airport and came around the corner after customs he was standing right there in the middle of everyone.  My heart leapt.  And I Knew.  I fell in love with him the first night I met him.  That morning, four years later, I fell in love with him all over again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

They're listening...

Our little family has been finding reprieve from the heat in the pool.  Heading home from the Y the other evening we were praising the munchkins on their ever improving swimming skills...

And you, wee're turning into a fish!

Not a fish...I'm a Mermaid!

Very well!  You're turning into a mermaid!

Because I'm going to be a Mermaid when I grow up.

Um...well...we're Human and, as far as I know, changing species isn't really an option.

I'm going to be a Mermaid!  I can be anything I want to be when I grow up and I want to be a mermaid!

Slight amendment to the "You can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do" speech to now include "within current species and dimension".   And here I said I'd never put limitations on my children.  That didn't last very long.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."~ Christopher Robin

I'm running a half marathon in exactly a month.  Now, more than ever, this Pooh needs to be reminded of what the original Pooh Bear was told.

And have I mentioned that I'm also five months out from my 40th birthday?  How did that happen?!