Here's my big problem: I haven't blogged in 22 days.
Here's the problematic reason: I've been having too much fun!
Here's a problem with that: I want to write about it, but I'm worried you're going to be jealous.
Here's another problem: I haven't been thinking. I have no insights, no wisdom, no complaints, no frustrations, nothing to work through.
But on the upside, I've got lots of pictures! And thank goodness for that because fun for me is a lot like too much to drink and I tend to black out huge chunks of drunk-on-life-ity.
Conversations with my mom can go something like this, "Oh, that's when we watched the kids!"
When was that?
"Over Memorial Day weekend and you and Huck went some place fabulous and fun (like Nelson, BC or Victoria, or Dayton, WA or blah blah blah)."
I don't remember that.
"You don't?! You bought those fabulous red boots and had a blast!!"
How many years ago was this?
"Six months or so."
Where was I?
My cousin Lana had the camera for our trip to Leavenworth, hence no pics. We (Rachel, Lana, and I) meant to go backpacking. Then we meant to go camping. And the Wenatchee area was 1/2 way between us all. And then we were all so tired and overwhelmed with regular old life, that we didn't feeling like packing tons of gear and buying lots of prepackaged food so we could get back to nature. So... we got a room at the Der Ritterhoff in Leavenworth.
My GOD!! PEOPLE!! I just vacation in LEAVENWORTH! As if I was a retiree in support stockings with an ache to go a doily-Lederhosen shopping, or a yearning pick up a china tea pot Nutcracker at "Eternal Christmas Damnation"!
This frightening image was softened by the biker/police rally held at Der Ritterhoff, our cheap Bavarian hotel with a knight mascot 45 feet tall.
We did go hiking, 10 miles to a lake (and back!) where we couldn't skinny dip because people (ie MEN) were fishing nearby. Stupid men.
We also gorged at Munchenhouse on Veggieworst (or the gory, swine alternative) and Shock Top Belgian whites.
THEN another hike followed by: TA DA! a innertube float down the river! We enjoyed frozen butts, more beer, mini-rapids, baby raccoon, the mountain view and a thunderstorm. It's my new favorite sport.
Coyote's 5th birthday party was thrown on the date, July 13. If I'd blogged sooner, I'd regale us all with the largely uneventful tale of his 3 hour home birth. But lucky for you, I've been too busy. The beauty of this party was that we are now SO close to Pullman that we opted to have it there, with old friends, instead of here, with our yet to be discovered and/or invisible new Spokane friends. The pool party got rained out so we went bowling.
I marveled more than a few times that I was in the company of familiar faces that I knew, loved, and trusted. A fabulous feeling indeed. If you have that, DON'T take it for granted. We bowled and then I cashed in a lot of moolah (squealing at the changer, "I WON! I WON!") and we had a video game rager. This birthday was like the estranged, imprisoned, bastard cousin to Blue's first birthday over 7 years ago which involved a sugar free apricot cake and lots of wooden toys. I wasn't wrong before. I'm just more perma-exhausted now. I didn't even do the 3D rubber ducky cake! I did manage to make a cake from scratch a place my vintage merry-go-round decor on it, saved and only slightly singed from my own childhood.
The big news in gifts was the guitar from Opa (via myself). It's red. It came with a slide. And Coyote hasn't put it down since. He and Blue even made $12 in 30 minutes busking the corner of Taylor and Williams!
Rachel was with me for the week. And she was both helpful and jealousy inducing. We are having opposite summer vacations and I took pains to remind her that her three months off from teaching 1st grade was being paid for with the blood of overwhelmed mothers. I would have been really, murderously jealous of her fancy free loose little feet, if she hadn't been so helpful! She made us dinner! She cleaned the kitchen! And she even marveled at the non-maintainability of a clean kitchen with children! I was hoping she would notice the insane volumes of laundry too, but that did not spark her imagination, probably because I didn't do much of it while she was here. I'm still working through the 8 loads created during her visit.
Thursday we tossed our first house party... When relatives come and stay until 1:30 AM, is that a party? It was much louder that it usually is here at 1:30. There were chips and salsa and cider and wine. Party or not, I appreciated their stop over at our new place, especially since some of them are moving across the country. It's strange, having 50 cousins. I don't know many of them, which seems to laugh in the face of the whole point of big family. But suddenly, I do know some! I've having good times with actual cousins. My cousin-less kids are jealous.
Friday, Huck was coming home early from work (yes! I said: EARLY!) and he heard about a Bluegrass festival in Troy, Montana. Bluegrass!! Tweedle tweedle banjo! Rachel, who's taken up the mandolin was packed in 3 minutes. It took the rest of us two hours. I did not consider myself to be a fan of the Tylenol's biggest promoter. I was also not enthusiastic because the Bluegrass crowd can go either way: stinky, grody, smoky, drunken jerks, or really hip cutie-pies with a dimple and a pick. Who knew what it would be?! But what was I going to do? Stay home while Huck and my sister took a weekend vacation together?
Turns out I LOVE bluegrass, especially when it's my kind of crowd. Apparently Lucinda Williams, Jillian Welch and now Michelle Shocked are ALL bluegrass classified! They weren't there, but their ilk was. I also really love Bluegrass when it's played next to a big, slow, lazy Montana River and when I've had the foresight to bring an inner tube and when it's really really hot and there are 1.5 grown-ups for every child in our pack and so I get to float away down river an hour at a time, three whole times!!
That was a good time, my friends. I would advise you to use your jealousy as a tool to understanding your desires. Sometimes that's what it does. It can show you what you really want. Sometimes. Other times, it's just dumb.