2...going once..going twice...gone.

This boy knows how to celebrate...

Maybe he takes after his mama, but this boy knows how to celebrate his birthday. Two years old and we managed to stretch it out over at least two days. Mimi, Memaw, Pepaw, uncle doug and uncle todd (we missed the other Pepaw and the F'uncle dearly). A little party at the cabin, some pumpkin patch complete with fire hat, presents galore, and cake.

Spencer's parting words...."more birthday?"


Our first flood...

Staci's version...take one.

5:30 am - wake up to what I think is a wind storm. step outside to the loo and the air is still. oh....the river is just REALLY loud. go back to a sweet slumber knowing that no trees are going to fall on my house.

6:10am - "honey, i think you need to get up. i don't want you to panic but i got to get to work." sure. sure. but, spencer isn't even awake. why do i need to get up? i open the front door to see water flowing underneath my house (because there is no foundation you know) and it is already up to the front steps of the porch. my knees start knocking. paul says he is going out the back door. water is up to the porch. did i mention it is pitch black outside.

6:15am - my knees are still knocking. paul tries moving the van. can't get it out, so he parks it on the highest ground....next to st. francis, by the way. i am thinking bye-bye van, hello new car.

6:30am - my knees are still knocking and i start packing. video camera, computer, pictures, movies that need to go back to the library, ipod, two changes of clothes, our cameras, external hard drive, and the latest bills. hearing the commotion, spencer wakes up, "hi, mama....hi, papa". sweet. i grab spencer's dog and the wave machine because i honestly think that everything else is going to be underwater within the next hour. in the meantime, paul is thigh deep in water trying to save the bbq, stroller, and everything else from the front yard from going downstream. oh yeah, could you grab the truck too?

6:45am - spencer is standing at the front door in his pj's looking at the river...."huge, mama...huge, mama". yeah baby, i know.

7:00am - paul has now made many trips across the flowing lake in our front yard to shuttle stuff to the truck and tells me he can't feel his feet anymore. he grabs the canoe, we load aly and tashi in it, i strap spencer on my back and we wade across in thigh high water, which is cold as all get out, to the road.

8:30am - paul goes back to take some pics and already the water levels have dropped considerably.

10:00am - we walk back to our house, build a fire, notice some things missing and thank our lucky stars and in awe of Tumalo Creek.

it was crazy. i still feel a little crazy and can't believe how fast it all happened. the creek, usually so clear, raged throughout the day with a dirty brown tint. mike schindler came on bike to check on us as well as some other neighbors. the latest i heard is that the creek was flowing at 80 cubic feet per second at midnight and by 6 am it was at 600 cubic feet per second and our neighbors have said they have never seen anything like it. i am glad paul woke me up.

24 hours later...

are you kidding me?


Just standing around...

My co-worker Jimmy and I have been making fresh hop beers for Deschutes for the last 4 years. The hops come out of the field, we pick them up and transport them to the brewhouse where we dump them into the brew kettle ASAP. Usually, we are brewing and driving and loading, etc. This was the first year that we were on hand strictly to 'supervise' (our demand was so great, we had to organize a semi to pick up the hops this year).


I believe...

I have had this post in my draft section for over two weeks trying to make sense of it all.

There are many people I want to thank for your curiousity and concerns regarding my thoughts and feelings about the current situation in Burma. It was headline news for awhile only to drop out of mind and sight to so many as the junta has cut off most, if not all, communication from a country and its people who are trying so desperately to find some sense of peace in this mess of a place since the regime.

Paul and I were there only a month in 2003 and I don't know that I could write down what this country and its people helped me to see, but it was beautiful. It was the last month of our time in SE Asia. Aung Sun Su Kyi was captured (again) just days before we got there, my grandmother passed away while we couldn't communicate with the rest of the world (there was no internet at the time), we bribed airport officials and spent our money on the black market, we rode 24 hour overnight buses to holy temples that were well worth the feelings of broken bones and horrible B grade movies ringing in our ears, visited tea houses with armed guards standing out front, and came across the most delightful, warmest people who would take you in and give you everything when they had nothing.

The picture is of Sule Pagoda from the window of our guest house when we were in Yangon. From sun up to sun down, you could watch men, women, monks, and children circling this holy sight. (It was easier to watch from the window as you wouldn't have to worry about the rats in the street scampering over your feet). This is where many of the marches that last couple of weeks have started, ended, and continued amidst tear gas and shots fired.

Please listen, look and don't forget what is happening there because my heart believes that peace is possible with your help.



Zoey drove us up to the trailhead for another hike with the girls and I couldn't help but take the picture of them at Tumalo Falls looking like they were sponsored by Camelback. Are we geeks or what?


The last free flight....

Well, we crammed in one last trip while Spencer was still free.

It is truly my favorite season to be in Alaska. The tourons are gone, when the sun shines the skies are the deepest blue I have ever seen, termination dust sprinkles the mountain tops (the true sign that summer is over), bright yellow leaves of the trees dance in the fall breeze, the tundra is a deep red, and the last of the fireweed's cottony seed float in the air ready to settle down for the winter.

We had a great time playing and hanging out with the family...lots of time at the park, a trip to Hatcher Pass, and a little berry picking.