Saturday, September 30, 2006

french toast

In an effort to preserve my sense of myself as a nice human being, I made french toast this morning, with big fat heavy bread, vanilla and cinnamon, and a selection of homemade jams and honey and syrup to dredge it in. I made the breakfast in memory of Mira, one of the girl's friends, who always seems to spend the night and wake up on a morning when I feel domestic--or at least nice. She is always grateful, and asked last time, "Do you do this every morning?"

Betty Crocker I am not. I never wanted to be. Still don't.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

silver sands

Just got back from the coast. Started out at Rockaway, then travelled, I think south, to many other places. I get so confused because first of all, I think Tillamook is north of Seaside, and it isn't. I think Seaside is kind of by Newport, and it isn't. You could give me a map and then I'd have two and I'd still think this. So, its always an adventure driving with me and I am happy to drive if you'll just wake up for all the turns. I did none of the driving this time, so no unintended detours.

We had no itinerary, so it was relaxing. K wanted to fish some and crab some, and we did, but got skunked again. We keep just hitting it wrong. Wrong for us, good for the crab, and came home empty handed but for the oysters he bought near Toledo near the back of Yaquina Bay.

First night we stayed at the Silver Sands motel in Rockaway. We decided not to spend a butt load of money, so first tried "the Getaway" which looked like a two story version of Bolder City (see previous posts) and we figured it would be cheeeep, but it was not cheap at all, and we moved on to a nicer and cheaper place up the road. The beach was good and Sid caught his frisbee.

We got up the next morning and after taking a poll of locals, decided on the Pancake house rather than the Cow Bell for breakfast. With Josie the roller-derby queen for a waitress, how could we go wrong? It was fine. Eggs are eggs, afterall.

Next we hit the road, like I said, heading generally south, to crab in Garibaldi, look at places new to me, and some to him: Netarts, Oceanside, Pacific City, buncha other ones; stopping at yard sales on the way. The only thing I bought was a blue and white seersucker blazer to cut up for my yoyo quilt. I did have a very long conversation with M'wa Pig from Garibaldi about her son's suicide. When someone in a shop begins a conversation, with a patron, about a funeral, you know they need to talk. So, now I know that, among other things, she is 71, weatlhy, and dresses up like a pig for Garibaldi days and Halloween in a bodysuit that has six teats and pink tights. I saw the photographs. You'll just have to use your imagination.

We ended up driving all the way to Waldport, one of our favorites for crabbing, but no dice, and stayed last night in the Alsea Motel. which did not have a view, but it also did not have bedbugs or scabies and that is the best I can say.

We waited for low tide to put in the crab rings, and walked out on the pier, baited them with nasty shit and tossed 'em off the dock. They just sat there, corks suspended in maybe two feet of water. It was eerie. Low tide. Most definitely. Now, I don't know how deep it usually is, and I don't know if they usually dredge that bay -- probably -- but geez. It was shallow. The BAY was shallow. Now, I've lived on the coast, I know the habits of water. I understand low and minus-tides. But this was fricking real estate. When the tide came in, it still wasn't in. It was as though the tide went out and kept on going. Like somebody pulled the plug. I'm sure there's and explanation, and I'm sure its scary.

So we got up this morning and came on home. Looking off the Alsea Bay bridge, again at low tide, it was frightening to see the expanse of green mud. We took back roads in from Newport.

Head back in the sand.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I saw the best all time bumper sticker today: Nature Bats Last. Although, I hear we may shoot a bunch of crap up into the atmosphere to delay the inevitable damage of global warming. It reminds me of the fish biologists, who think they know what fish want, who cleaned the rivers so they'd have a straight shot to the sea, only to learn the tree-tangled rivers were fish neighborhoods. Now, the fish have new houses, trees tethered in place with block and tackle, cable and cement. It takes alot more energy to sink a tree than you might think. Anyway, it always makes me nervous to discuss matters of environmental consequence, because I don't know shit.

I am happy to have my truck back. I have been very nervous driving. That moment of inattention rattled me. My fault. Consequence. I don't like it.

Survivor begins tonight. They're playing the race card. I hope I don't care about that. I hope it is just another few weeks of human stew. Un-Live entertainment. Conflict staged for our enjoyment. Utterly Roman.

So, this is the garage sale window from Jacksonville. We got two. It isn't great, but I'll bet someone on craigslist will pay more than I did for it.

My truck. Before AND after. It looked nice before I wrecked it, and it looks nice again. You can picture the inbetween. The nice part is that the passenger side door had been keyed and it is nice and shiny red again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


We were in the valley again last weekend, to celebrate Bob's birthday. It is an odd crowd up there on Elliott Creek. First word was "there's going to be a huge party." So we were back and forth about that idea.... to party or not to party.... and the remnants of the partiers, the last men standing, the ghosts, aren't much good anymore. They have false teeth and bedtimes. But, finally it was a go. Then, word came that the party was off. By that time, we were on the road and not turning back. We don't need no steenking party... We tried to get out of town right after work on Friday, but Haley was late, then we had to find a suitable birthday present. We'd tried a rocking chair a couple Christmasses ago -- that went over like a lead balloon -- and a gift card last year -- another miss. We were beginning to think we'd lost the touch, then Haley said he broke his fish finder. So it was onto GI Joe's for a new one, and then, hell, dinner in eugene, then spend the night at Marky's in Gold Hill. Jacksonville was having the whole town yard sale, so we decided to find them (Bob and wife) because rumor had it they'd be in town. So, long story short, we didn't find them -- they found Haley. There's not many Haley's in the Rogue Valley. So, from there it was a great weekend. Stayed in the cabin, jumped in the freezing water, slept in, didn't hear 80's rock for days.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006


As my fingers begin drumming out my life in this worthless diatribe, this anemic thrust at recording a forgettable life, the internal editor begins the tsk tsk tsking of its job. Don't write that. Stop. Hesitate. And in my world, she who hesitates is lost.

In equal measure, I love my husband's daughters and I am sick to death of living with teenagers. I was sick of them long before my son left home, and that was years ago. I long for a vacant saturday morning, no bodies to step over, nobody beating me to the computer so I can outrun conscious thought and get my thoughts down before the fucking editor wakes up. Light sleeper, that. When I try to explain how I feel, it sounds perfectly awful. I sound like some Oprah-fied I-need-my-own-space woman, and that isn't who I am. What I need does not exist, except in my own creation. What I suppose I need is to remodel the upstairs into a master suite where we can get up naked and I can sit in an easy chair and write on my brand new laptop.

Of course, I don't have a brand new laptop.


Writing, as we all whine, is such an isolating avocation. It requires privacy and extended periods of silence. I don't get that around here, and there are so many reasons I could make it different. Take a pen and use it. But I don't. This is my tablet. This is my desk. This is the record. For the record.

And nobody has to care about this but me.

Changing the subject now...

I am self-centered. And beyond that, I am self-contained. I know I've said this before, but I've taken it to new heights. When I wrecked my truck, I saw it through, start to finish, and made sure the old lady I hit was taken care of. I rented my own rental car, and drove it. Shiny. When my husband asked me if it was covered by my insurance, I said no. He said why don't you drive my truck? I said, well, I hadn't really considered it. He said, You never ask for help. But its worse than that. It literally does not occur to me to ask. I have been the only reliable person in my life for so long that help is just not something that I understand. It isn't that I feel weak or helpless or anything like that. I just don't get it.

So, I took the car back. 330.00 later. and I am driving the big white truck. Our truck. Our trucks. Our. Our. Our. I wonder if that will ever sink in.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

saturday morning XXVIII

The giant pile of dirt has been spread across the backyard and I think seed is to follow. It just kind of disappeared -- well, not without great effort on my husband's part -- and the pool is down, and it is looking more and more like a yard again than an okie playground. Its nice to have the space back.

Doc is dying. The girls tell me, this holiday weekend, that he is resting comfortably, but I know what that means. His wife is sitting bedside, waiting.

In an heroic effort of proactivity, I forced my husband to drive me to Waldo Lake yesterday. It wasn't all kicking and screaming and OH, by the way, I drove in my rented Pontiac Grande Prix. Yep, I wrecked my truck. Again. Again. In the briefest moment of inattention, I pulled out in front of an 80 year old woman. She's okay, and I am fine, but the vehicles are not. "Crash" does it onomonopoetic justice. My bad. I know you're not supposed to admit fault, but Stevie Wonder could have seen it was all me. So, off to the body shop, again.

So we drove the silver bullet to the top of the cascades. Pretty up there. I am bound and determined to see all of the available campsites in my corner of the northwest so I can pick THE one, reserve it, and not make the same mistake again (refer to previous post). That camping fiasco was traumatic... but I learned alot about myself. However, I would much rather have enjoyed myself and learned not one damned thing, but such is life.

Waldo lake was anticlimactic. It is nice, but fill it with people on a Labor Day weekend, and the mystery dissipates like so many fumes. Anyway, up the road a-piece is Odell Lake. Bigger and I think better. The search for a perfect campsite was, while not ridiculed -- smirked at by my husband. He said, smiling that unavoidable smile, I can't believe you have to look at campsites for next year already. I explained, or tried to, that I just needed hope. I just needed to see that there are still quiet places in the world where death metal for breakfast isn't the norm. And there are.

I liked Odell. Trapper's Creek campsite. Forest service run. There is a shitty resort not far from there, but Trapper's Creek looks good. Big sites, lots of huge trees. For me, the first consideration is beauty and quiet. (I think I've made my point about that...) And K said he wanted to be able to run the boat full throttle and pull the kids on an innertube if he wanted to and of course if they agreed to it. This was new information for me. Good to know... So, now we need to find a place where both are possible. Odell Lake met both requirements. Big trees, huge lake with boats, fishing and pulling people around; and quiet. But, like all USFS campgrounds, it is first come first served, which makes me nervous. I want what I want. Toddler property rules.

So, I am still looking.

It is Labor Day now (this post has taken some time to finish) we took the boat out today. but first, we did the requisite fall cleanup. We have kicked Sid out of the backyard. With the pool put away for another year, the beautiful paver 10x10 exposed, the remaining yard was pure dogshit. And smelled like it. Sitting on the deck was no longer enjoyable. And Sid, being the social animal he is, would crap for you any time you wanted to sit outside in his yard. I am happy to report that he has the side yard to defile while we re-seed the yard. I'm hoping to bar him from the backyard for good.

In front, I had planted a eucalyptus tree in the flower bed, thinking it would be a nice little shrubbish thing, but that sucker is huge. They weren't kidding when they said "tree". But then, why would they be? But anyway, I moved it to the end of the front retaining bed, and hope it will not blow out the cement wall. It grew 4 feet in a year. I had no idea-- I just liked the leaves.

Well, the walkways are edged, swept and de-mossed, leaving them about 8" wider. Perennials are cut back, dry patches watered and seeded, and the hanging baskets are still awaiting demolition. They are still in bloom, but I'm watching them closely. My husband thinks I'm brutal. I murdered three unsuspecting Hostas and an azalea this morning and I have my eye on a fern that isn't doing well. Its botannical euthanasia, in my view. They wouldn't want to live like that --all brown and crumbly. I'm helping.

So, back to work tomorrow.

My yoyo quilt is coming right along.