jacket on, jacket off; prepping for the annual Butte burn; Rosecrans


I just watched The {new} Karate Kid with the kids. Earlier, we walked Pilot Butte. Well, part of it. I really slacked off in June on any type of exercise other than gardening, but I’m determined to add Pilot Butte and yoga back in on a regular basis. Leave it to me to pick this week to get us motivated—they had the top ¼ of the Butte roped off to start setting up the fireworks. So we had a shorter walk than normal, but at least is wasn’t closed altogether. We probably can’t go again until Thursday.

It looks like the weather will be nice during the day for the 4th, but chilly at night (typical for Central Oregon). It feels weird to have holidays that I used to have as “vacation” days. Now I almost feel guilty having a day off… from nothing. I know it’s a little ridiculous, but I still feel that way.

Now I’m off to check out the Rosecrans Baldwin novel (You Lost Me There) that I picked up from the library earlier. I hope I like it as much or more as his Paris memoir.

First butte hike of the spring, radio interviews, & ramping up for super week


Today was gorgeous—the snow had mostly melted, the sun was out, and it was quite warm. Instead of doing yoga, we decided to hike Pilot Butte for the first time since last fall. The north side had quite a bit of snow on the trail, which made it a bit slippery in tennis shoes, but we made it.

This evening I spent a few hours editing an interview and then a few more hours at the studio with Judy. We’re excited to bump the show up to twice monthly pretty soon (right now, we’re once a month).

I’m mentally preparing for a super busy week, including getting an outline and quote ready for a client, putting together various important applications and paperwork, attending a meeting and doing some interviews with a group trying to ban trapping in Central Oregon, hosting a vegan lunch get-together, running the SharePoint User Group, attending the WordPress User Group, and attending a school event of the twins. Plus I’m going to fit some yoga in, and hopefully some software training for myself. Phew! I’m tired already.

That’s right, I walked the butte in my turquoise clogs today

Dirty turquoise clogs from walking Pilot Butte

So, I accidentally walked the butte in my turquoise clogs today. It was another beautiful fall day that I spent stuck inside in front of the laptop for work. So I decided around 6p to do my Pilot Butte hike. I invited everyone, but only my step-son was up for it. We were half-way there before I realized that I’d forgotten to change into my tennis or hiking shoes. {It was also one of those days where I forgot my phone, and I spent a stupid amount of time locating a bill I needed to pay and the checkbook to pay the bill with.)

I have a thing for turquoise-ish or sky blue shoes, it seems. Which is weird, because I don’t really like most blues all that much. I once had a pair of turquoise suede hiking boots (pre-vegan days) and at least one other pair of turquoise casual shoes that I wore to death. The turquoise shoes always get good comments, for some reason. {In high school, by the way, I also had a pair of those neon orange converse super high-tops with neon yellow insides.}

Fortunately, my linen Sanita clogs that I got at a Seattle area discount store are well-worn and fairly comfy—they may never be the same after the dusty trail today—but frankly, they weren’t that clean to begin with. And they actually have great tread. They slowed me down a little and my legs will be sore in weird places, but it was another beautiful evening up there.

On the way down, a couple pointed an owl out to me that was perched near the top of a juniper. It was too dim by then to tell what type of owl (and I don’t know my owls that well), but she was quite large—looked like a fat cat from the back. I watched the owl for a few minutes,  until she decided to flap away. I probably made her nervous. (Or him).

Finally getting in to Among Others. Sometimes I have to start a book and then come back to it weeks later, which is what I did with this one. Until one day I pick it up and it just clicks. I hope to read a big chunk of it this weekend.



I don’t know where the time goes, but the weekend is already gone. By this afternoon, I was already thinking about everything I have to do this week. And then I went ahead and spent several hours getting ahead: some bookkeeping and some interview editing, both of which involved sitting in front of the laptop and external monitor. I would rather have just read all afternoon, even if it was a book for school or the radio show, but then again it’s nice to have a bit of a head start to the week. Things are only going to get busier with the kids starting school again in a few weeks and with my online grad program starting up (crossing my fingers that it will be all sorted by the end of the week).

Somewhere in this day I patched up a kid from a bike crash as well. At least this evening, once it had finally cooled down, my step-daughter and I walked Pilot Butte in the near darkness. It was beautiful and satisfying, as usual.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about describing myself as “busy.” I’m sure it’s because I’ve seen some articles along these lines recently—“busy-ness” really being self-imposed. So I’m actively trying not to describe my life that way. I’m just trying to fill it with the things I need to do to both keep the family afloat, and try to make the world a better place. If only I can keep doing so without feeling amped up and anxious all of the time.

Helping out, Looking for shooting stars


Another long day. And a very very busy week ahead.

I helped a former work colleague out early this afternoon by letting him come over and demo some knives, which is his new gig. Even though I would never do this for a stranger and find in-home demos extremely cheesy, and I really didn’t have time today,  I decided to sit through the demo anyway, because I would hope somebody would be willing to do awkward things for me if I needed them to. Even people I don’t really know very well. It was kind of fun, even though both of us knew that there was no way I could afford to buy anything. I only wish it hadn’t taken over 1.5 hours. A lot of that was my fault though, for asking so many knife technique questions, and questions in general.

So I kind of got a late start on my other stuff. I didn’t get nearly enough done, but did get a few important pieces rolling for my grad program app – references requested, information gathered, essay outlined. And some other maintenance things out of the way that I now don’t need to do tomorrow.

This evening the kids came back. I went to grab vacuum bags at Sears, and then to walk Pilot Butte in the mostly-darkness, because nobody else felt like coming with me. It was beautiful up there, as always.

Unfortunately, a block from home, I saw a body lying in the road and a cluster of people standing around. My heart skipped a beat—it looked a lot like my greyhound Ruby. Same approximate color and shape, a little smaller. As I pulled closer, I could tell it was a fawn, still with spots. It had been hit by a car and the couple had stopped (so many people don’t) and the police had been called. Neighbors were milling about. The fawn had massive injuries, but was still alive and struggling—yet nobody was touching her—they were all paralyzed with inaction. I hurriedly parked, took everything out of my loose shorts pockets, and sat down with the baby, saying  at least we could comfort her in her last moments. I stroked her and talked to her as her life ebbed away. So sad. I also tried to comfort the young couple who had hit the deer—they obviously felt very badly and very helpless. I actually felt pretty helpless myself. It’s at these times that I wish I had medical training—I was a vet assistant for a short time a few years back—but it didn’t really help me learn to deal with massive trauma. Not that much could have been done in this case. We all looked around a bit for another baby or the mom, but if they were there, they stayed well hidden. I hope they know we’re sorry, and we tried.

After I got home and cleaned up, and composed myself a little, the kids and I took a ton of stuff into the backyard to set up for sleeping under the stars and watching the meteor shower. We get quite a bit of suburban light bleed here, but I’m hoping we see a few later tonight. This is something I’ve been wanting to do with the kids for years. I have great memories of frequent sleep-outs in the back yard with my family every summer. And yes, I don’t have time to do this either, but I’m doing it anyway.