Monday, June 29, 2009

Good Luck Movin' Up cuz I'm Movin' Out

Mark did some serious Dad time this weekend, replacing the timing belt in Monica's car ("so I don't have to tow her home from Seattle....") then with the help of Hope's man, moved the last huge piece of furniture from Hope's room to her new apartment, her huge three-piece desk beast. It's been awhile since Monica moved out at a quarter-past eighteen so the evacuation of another offspring has caught us a wee bit off kilter. Well, unless you count Mark's mom who moved in, moved out and then returned to live in an apartment house across the street but that was more drama than transition....I digress.

When Hope first starting thinking about the possibility of a place of her own, we tried to talk her out of it for a number of reasons not the least of which was the potential for saving money on her part but she having none of it. We just wanted her to be sure about this big step. Rent means obligations but it also means independence. Not that I don't understand the need to be an adult ..... in just a month or two, even my baby will be the age I was when I got married and left home and that is a very sobering thought. We do not have a revolving door at our house. Barring abuse or some other viable reason, once you're out, you're out. The transition from parent to landlord, let alone roommate is virtually impossible. Once a child has been on their own, expecting them to go back to being a child is like shoving them back in the womb....NOT goin'!

I'm excited for Hope in her new place. She planned. She shopped. It was like a bridal shower but without the hassle of a wedding! While I mulled over Gottschalk's leftovers for a bargain on yet another serving platter, she saw bowls and utensils and small appliances to fill her future cupboards. Her 21st birthday came with perfect gifts for the new housekeeper....margarita pitcher and shot glasses. It was exciting for me when she unpacked an item and asked me where it should go. "It should go where YOU want it to go". Huh? After 21 years of doing things in a kitchen that mom set up, she has the chance to consider these things. The perfect drawer for silverware. Shelf paper. A leopard-print broom! And then there's " do I hard-boil eggs?". She's asking for recipes because she's actually cooking for herself....YEAH!

But I will miss her. Her recent busy schedule of school and work has kept her gone more than she was home anyway but we knew she was coming home.....eventually. But now I have less laundry and fewer dishes. Sounds good but it takes longer to accumulate enough to run the load. Ditto the dishwasher. What I won't miss is the sound of the morning bicker of two teenagers argue over bathroom schedules in the morning.

And her sister will miss the company. But then, Hope's room was the bigger of the two and Glo has plans. She has raspberry-colored paint chips and, now that the desk is out, she has plans for a mural and pink and.....a whole new world. And I get a dedicated craft room. But, I will have to wait for Sunday dinners to get my dwindling family together to be silly and laugh at inappropriate jokes, shocking the occasional guest. And maybe Mark and I will be able to walk naked through the house on occasion....THERE! THAT should keep the girls from stopping by unannounced!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hey There Mr. Blue, We're So Pleased To Be With You

Friday's REALLY low tide was tempting but, alas, there was work so, left to my own devices, I headed out on Saturday to take advantage of a negative tide and check out the rocks that are normally underwater. Low tides also often uncover better shells and such at the waters edge but that was not to be. At Trinidad, I climbed and scoured the rocks below the lighthouse then headed over to poke around below the pier. There was a grand collection of trash that I was unable to pickup due to the fact that it had been there for a lonnnnnggg time. There was this old can that had apparently been there a while. I was crush and stuck fast.

Not sure about this thing. I thought it was a watch and it may have been but it wasn't budging enough to find out.
I thought this was a flounder when I saw it but...just a sole. I walked over to the State Beach side of Trinidad and was able to get far to the north end. Rocks were exposed on the beach that are usually homes to sea stars and enormous mussels (and me without a license to gather). My stomach began to beckon so I grabbed a sandwich at Murphy's Market and headed up to Houda Point to see how the surf looked. Good for lunchtime viewing but apparently not for riding. It does reminded me, lest I forget, why it is I live here.

One wouldn't think the day could get better but I went home to deal with abalone Mark was given by a customer. I've never actually COOKED abalone and was afraid to ruin it so I utilized the Google-machine for directions. I wasn't wanting to go the bread and fry route so tracked down some grilling directions. I unwrapped what Mark expected would be a few small pieces and found one big abalone. I sliced it in half, pounded it (because most all recipes said I HAD to), marinated it a bit and tossed it on the grill with some veggies. Oh! My! Gawd! A little brown rice and we were good to go. Tender? Like buttah! Thank you Mr. Blue Sky for a beautiful Humboldt Day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's Spend The Night Together

So, ya know those moments? The ones when you realize just that fraction of a second too late that you've screwed up and screwed up royal?! Today I found myself home in the early afternoon, after attending a meeting in town. It was sunny for the first time in days and I thought it was time to get the peeps out doors for a little Vitamin D. Mark nearly has their new digs ready so I carried them outside in a bucket and checked out the surroundings before letting them loose. There will be a nesting box with outside-access which is, at this point, still a big hole in the wall. I nailed a piece of leftover lattice over the opening to keep out the cats. Check! The other walls are covered with wire. Check! The door is covered with wire. Check! The latch is installed to keep the door closed. Check! I scout the dirt floor for chickie-dangers and close the door..... Just as the latch clicks.....shit! No latch for the inside. So there I stand, peeps in the bucket and me in the chicken pen. And no one around to call for help. I check my pocket. Nope, no cell phone. Would I even call the kids? What, so they can stand outside the pen and laugh? Maybe take pictures? Monica would Twitter this for SURE!

It was a brief moment of panic. Just long enough to think I'd be spending more time than intended with my new feathered friends. Take a big breath and begin to investigate. I was grateful Mark had run out of staples when he was installing the fencing and hadn't come back to thoroughly capture every tiny edge of wire with a heavy-duty, industrial staple . I managed to wiggle one staple free and reach my arm towards the latch. It was farther than I thought and the chicken wire was grabbing at my shirt and skin, foiling my escape. Eventually I contorted enough to reach the latch and set myself free. Thank God!

I dug through my craft drawer for some floral wire to attach to the latch until Mark rigs up something more attractive. I sat with the girls for a while longer, amazed at their tiny versions of dirt baths - chicken hygiene accomplished by rolling around in a hollow in the dirt, fluffing their wings in the dust -- really adorable when done by a three-week-old chick. It didn't take them long to start scratching around, looking for bugs. Before long, they'll be spending the night out here but tonight, they're back in the washtub, stinking up the laundry room.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Walkin'....Yes Indeed....Walkin'

I think Glo is FINALLY done graduating. After two weeks out of CR classes as well as finishing up with Academy of the Redwoods, she walked with Fortuna High on Friday and it was with mixed emotions. It's been almost a month since walking at CR but, since AR is officially part of the Fortuna Union High School district, it is FUHS District that would issue their diplomas. The administration there was smart enough to realize that the first ever graduating class from AR was a huge deal, with most of them completing their two-year college degree concurrently with high school requirements. . The superintendent asked our kids to stand and be recognized at Friday's ceremony, at least appreciating the dollars in seat-time these kids brought to Fortuna.

The administration at Fortuna High seem to appreciate AR but, somewhere, the Husky students learned to treat them like outcasts, never really welcoming them at FUHS events. From scowls and outright hostility at the proms to having cash and belongings stolen at dances, the AR kids agreed to walk only because the AR administration thought it would show them to be the bigger people. As a carrot, they were offered the ability to participate in the Safe and Sober event after graduation. If that was an incentive, someone should have told the Fortuna High kids. If Glo had a buck for every time she heard the term "those stupid AR kids" between the early Friday morning Senior breakfast they were expected to attend, through the grad practice and the three a.m end to Safe and Sober, she could have bought her own damn car. I guess someone forget to tell these kids they live in the "Friendly City".

At least that obligation is complete and she's finally done with high school. Now, to find a job and figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. One more time, congratulations Glo.

If You'll Be My Dixie Chicken

New to the household this spring are these little girls - my flock of six little peeps. Although Glo and Hope have each given one a rapper name, I'm fighting them with my own ideas. There are two Buff Orpingtons who will retain their honey-gold coloring. - I'm thinking Ginger and Honey West. There are two New Hampshire Reds that will probably look exactly like Rhode Island Reds because, after all, Rhode Island is small enough that some trampy poultry could have snuck out up to New Hampshire and started a new brood. I'm toying with Scarlet and Ruby for them. Then there is one Delaware that will be white with black wing tips and one Austrolorp which will be a gorgeous black hen with dark eyes (I've had those before). I'm toying with Julia and Mabel respectively. As Mark is building their new dwelling, they are living in their washtub, eatin' and poopin'. What a difference a fortnight makes ... from fluffy little Easter treats, they've turned into gawky little birds and the girls aren't as fond of them. "They're feet are bumpy and weird."Aw, lookit that face. I'm hoping for some sunnier weather so they can be moved out to their new digs without a huge adjustment - they ain't smellin' like roses these days. In the meantime, the old hens are in the old pen, keeping us in green eggs until it's time for them to go "on holiday"... that was a Chicken Run reference, for those who aren't familiar. Unless Mommazilla over at Cheaper Than Therapy wants to let them run at her place.