Tag Archives: pilot



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.

A couple of pics from my Tuesday Pilot Butte hike


A couple of pics from my Tuesday Pilot Butte hike:

Pale pink desert wildflower, with white wildflowers

Desert wildflowers, Pilot Butte

Bush with red berries, growing in cinders

This bush with red berries on Pilot Butte looks like it’s growing right out of the cinders

Another day, another hike, uncomfortable things we do, tomorrow’s weirdness, inter-species cuteness


Today went by quickly, and not exactly as I’d hoped, but what’s new?

In the morning, I had just enough time for another hike up Pilot Butte. Then I spent some very overdue time with two different extended family members. {Too bad the second visit was prompted by a text message guilt trip, which, incidentally made me want to do the exact opposite of what they were suggesting. Trying to make people feel guilty does not really do much to improve a relationship. But I swallowed my annoyance and made a visit anyway; The visit was overdue, and I tried to make it light and positive.}

A consulting meeting in the morning, and then the kids will be back {already!} And, a relative of the kids {long story} is coming to try to fix our defunct Rodeo that’s been sitting in the driveway for a couple of years. Part of me hopes it’s fixable, since it’s paid off and it would be nice to have two cars again {even though we’d actually be giving it to our just turned 16-year-old}, but part of me hopes that it’s not, because it’s old, it’s a stick, it gets terrible gas mileage, and insuring it again plus adding the 16-year-old is going to kill us. Slight hyperbole, but still: Not pretty.

Oh, I almost forgot. My greyhound Ruby has made a bird friend! She was playing with a little sparrow this morning. The sparrow would land in the yard, looking for dry grass for her nest. Ruby would see her, run over, pounce near the bird {obviously not actually trying to catch her}, the bird would then fly to the fence. Repeat. This happened several times at 6:30 a.m. and a few hours later on Ruby’s second time out. I don’t know if it’s the same bird, or if Ruby was just feeling rambunctious today, but it was very cute.

Soaked on Pilot Butte

Pilot Butte Thunderstorm Sunset #1

Pilot Butte Thunderstorm Sunset #1

We’ve had some magnificent thunderheads and thunderstorms recently. This afternoon, I sat on the back porch reading {Any Day Now, Terry Bisson}, with 4 out of 5 kitties sprawled around. My left ear began to throb, which it’s been doing a lot lately. A few minutes later, I heard the first thunder. We watched and listened as the day grew darker and the angry sky louder. All in all it wasn’t a terribly dramatic thunderstorm—just long. Finally, it rained a bit, and we came in off the porch.

Pilot Butte Thunderstorm Sunset #2

Pilot Butte Thunderstorm Sunset #2

Later, it cleared up and I thought we were done for the day, so about 8:30p I started climbing the butte. On the way up, I took these photos with my phone. By the time I got to the top, the clouds had moved in. On my way back down, it started to pour. Good thing it was still very warm out, because I got soaked; It was kind of fun. It wouldn’t have been so fun if there had been much thunder and lightning, though. I thought of that as I hurried down the trail with my metal water bottle and iPod.

Nothing compares to the damp permeating odor of wet juniper and sage. Part urine, part perfume: I can never decide if it’s a smell that I actually enjoy. Colors intensify and juniper berries do sparkle in the rain—that I know I like.

A day of volunteering for the family; Alive on Pilot Butte


The 3rd busy day in a row, but so worth it.

Today, my older step-daughter did her 2nd volunteer stint at the community theater and officially made “crew” for the kids production coming up next week. Which will mean she needs to be at the theater for several hours Monday through Thursday evenings this week. She’s meeting some interesting people and is excited about it, which is great to see in a newly minted 16-year-old.

The rest of us went to Equine Outreach. It was my hubby and younger step-daughter’s first time. This time we made it through a very long orientation in 90 degree weather (what a difference a month makes in Central Oregon), much of it in the direct sun, and then stayed to do our first volunteer stint: “picking” pens, i.e., shoveling shit. It was fun. Really! Since none of us have much horse experience, we started off with the friendliest of the bunch, cleaning the miniature donkey pen and then the pen of their horse neighbors. We can’t wait to go back and get to know the horses (and the donkeys) better. I got to see my buddy, River, from last time. He came over to sniff me and seemed slightly peeved that I hadn’t brought snacks this time.

Pilot Butte Sunset July 7, 2012

Pilot Butte Sunset, July 7, 2012

Afterwards, we had a long, lazy afternoon of picking up a few groceries, waffle making (somebody was trying out their new birthday waffle maker), reading, playing (water balloons! —well, the twins anyway), and napping. I then left about 8:45 to go walk Pilot Butte. Evenings after a hot day are magnificent up there. The air feels alive, almost as if it has arms that are enveloping you in a soft, liquid embrace. A vibrant silence surrounds you as you float above the city with the jackrabbits and the lizards, the rabbit brush and the wildflowers.

And now I’m blessed with a quiet house—everyone else but the animals long gone to bed. It’s 80 degrees in here. In spite of this, I’m trying to make bread because we’re out and have been for days. The dough turned out strangely because of the heat, or maybe because it’s been awhile since I last made dough, but that’s OK.

Once it’s done, I’ll retire upstairs to read and enjoy these last few precious moments of a good day.