All Grown Up

20 07 2017

Omg, adulting is so hard. And dumb. Paying bills and planning meals and vacuuming and keeping up with laundry. Making (and actually going to) doctor appointments. Wearing pants.

Being on summer vacation gives me a chance to float around in a weird in-between place. I still have to do those unfun things, but I can also sleep until 9 and have the occasional day of lounging in my skivvies while the boys are at work. It’s pretty fabulous. But then I decided to do the most adulty thing I’ve done in quite a while:

I BOUGHT A NEW CAR! ALL BY MYSELF! ALL OF MY VERY OWN! YAAAY!

2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE buying a car

TA-DA! Simba demonstrates how to be appropriately excited. 

The last time I went car shopping was 9 years ago and my dad co-signed my loaned because I was barely out of college and my credit sucked. We went to a dealership, looked around, picked out a little Mazda 3, and off we went.

This time, I took time, LOTS of time. I researched different vehicles and crunched numbers to figure out how much I could pay. I poured over consumer reports and built spreadsheets and dug around Craigslist. So much time. Yuck. JBoo made me. (Thanks honey.)

But the effort was worth it. Though I don’t like research, I’m good at it, and I figured out exactly what I wanted and how much I would pay for it. We test drove a couple choices, narrowed it down to the Toyota RAV4, and I built a list of available vehicles for sale. My research gave me specific qualifiers: it had to be all wheel drive, it had to be the XLE model, and it could under no circumstances be white. *shudder*

J was very supportive through the whole process, especially when we got to the dealership and I realized I made a little whoopsy. I hadn’t checked for all wheel drive when making my final list. And naturally the top 3 on my list were NOT all wheel drive. My brain nearly imploded. But we figured it out and I drove home my beautiful new Toyota that day!! The process was brutal, and of course weird things kept happening.  My dad was still on the title of my Mazda.We bought the car in Washington but we’re Oregon residents. Though my car was correctly registered in Washington, the title had never been transferred there from Oregon, and I had not yet registered it back in Oregon so…..it was all sorts of goofy. But everything worked out and it’s now sitting in the driveway.

And I just love it. I guess not all adulting is bad. I do feel awfully grown up…and super fancy.  I happy-danced all the way home.

😀

new car buying experience

YAY! OMG GREATEST DAY EVAAAHHHHHH!

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Housewifing

13 07 2017

I am on summer vacation. Officially. We went all the way through June 23rd, then I had a week of professional development classes, and now I’m done.

Ok, I realize that I’ve actually been free for almost 2 weeks now, but there’s been so much happening! Mostly in my brain, but STILL! It took me at least 2 days to stop waking up at 5:30am. It took a full week to turn my brain off from teacher mode and to stop trying to lesson plan. It was just such a difficult thing for my poor, exhausted, brain fragments to accept.

No, I don’t have to plan anything.
No, I don’t have to prepare anything.
No, I don’t have to pack anything else.
No, I don’t have to decorate anything. Or clean anything. Or call anyone. Or email anyone. Or post anything to parents.

I’m….actually….DONE.

You can imagine the difficulties after being in warp speed for the last 10 months. Especially because I deep-down, truly miss my crazy, hilarious, bright, amazing kiddos……

So we went camping for the 4th of July, to a beautiful spot on the forest where Simba and I roamed free and no fireworks could be heard. (Simba can’t handle the festivities.)

camping Trapper Creek WA

The best mutt in the world

Then we road-tripped to Seattle for a cousin’s gorgeous wedding and a weekend of family.

wedding weekend Seattle WA July 2017

My handsome JBoo

J accompanied me to Portland for a day of car shopping and indecision and test driving. I’ve let my mind start wandering back to things like knitting and painting and blog posts.

And…I’ve been housewiving. According to both Google and Webster, this is not yet a word. But it best describes my new activities. I have been making my best attempts at performing the duties I believe to fall under the job description of a housewife.

I’m quite terrible, but I’m practicing, hoping to get better.

Fact of the matter is, while I’ve been working on my teaching gig this last year, I’ve been an awful wife. I mean the worst. J barely even saw me as I worked 12 and 13 and 14 hour days. House responsibilities fell to him, as did the dog, and dinners, and pretty much everything else. He kept me alive by grocery shopping and cooking and rubbing my back at night. This man made my coffee every single morning and poured it into my to-go mug so I could be human by the time my kids arrived. Even on the weekends I was typically unavailable, mentally if not physically. He even helped grade papers on several occasions! (And the award for best husband of the decade goes toooooooooo…..!)

best husband ever 2017

He so deserves this!

So now I’m trying to give back to my darling husband and use my free time to balance out the relationship. I’m working to deep clean our little house and organize and purge. I meal plan and grocery shop and even baked cupcakes! Simba has been getting an average of 3-4 walks a day and I’ve waged war on the dog hair like my life depends on it.

But yall, this is hard! My mother stayed at home for a few years when I was in high school and I thought she must have had so much fun gardening and playing with the chickens and canning and sewing…. I somehow missed the work behind it all. How we always had a spotless house and clean laundry and delicious food and handmade pjs. For some unbelievable reason, I called her last week to whine about how I didn’t want to vacuum again, and I really wanted someone to come over and play with me. Being the best mother ever, she just laughed and asked if I had swept or dusted the bookcase or washed the curtains. Well, no, actually, I hadn’t even thought of half that list. Ashamed and knowing she taught me better, I hung up and scrubbed my kitchen spotless. And she kept the same standards whether she worked, went back to school, or stayed home – how the hell did she do it??

But it’s so hard not to get distracted! I tried dusting the bookcase and ended up snuggled on the couch reading for 2 hours. I took out the trash and spent a good half hour trimming and arranging my flower boxes outside. I popped onto my laptop to find a recipe for dinner and lost 3 hours to the black hole of the Internet.

The struggle is real.

Then J comes home and a few times, I have had dinner ready. And he exclaims over how spoiled he is and how happy Simba is to have me back home and what an incredible job I did on the house. I kiss his head and clean up the dishes and high-five myself for finding such a gem, even if he is prone to little white lies.

I’m doing my best to swat away the guilt that descends on days like yesterday, where I did nothing more than knit in front of the TV all day long, and made a pathetic excuse for dinner. I have to remember that I am basically in a state of recovery, and a day of nothing is fine – healthy even – and gives me the extra boost to be productive the next day. (And Simba’s sweater is almost done!)

So, I’m back at it today, attacking the tumbleweeds of dog hair and compiling a grocery list. But if anyone does want to come by and distract me, I’d love the company!!

🙂

 





Snow Wonderings

13 01 2017

This has been one hell of a winter. It’s 9am on a Friday, and instead of greeting my students at my classroom door, I’m sipping cup-o-joe number two in my jammies. Again. Simba is snoring loudly in front of the stove and my car hasn’t moved in 3 days.

We’re buried in snow, yall. Like, a LOT of snow. Feet of snow. And the temperatures aren’t warming up, and the forecasted rain never came.

Hello extended break! School has been canceled almost every day this week. We made the attempt on Tuesday, but they had to delay three hours. That’s a lot.  Nine days off this winter so far. My poor kids are going to be in school through July at this rate…winter wonderland Hood River OR 2017

So I’ve been in a weird place. I haven’t had this much down time in so long I forgot what to do with it. Fear not, it didn’t take long – I dug back into my pre-grad school hobbies and have been pulling all sorts of things out of the closet. I’ve been knitting, writing, cooking, talking to my mom, and takingthe longest tromps through the snow with Simba. I dug out a new knitting pattern and hit YouTube to figure out double-pointed needles. I started making a photo book of trip photos and ordered a super cute fleece jacket for Simba. I sat on my bed staring at my DSLR camera, trying to decide if I should try again at non-Instagram shooting. It hasn’t happened just yet….but I did charge the battery….

***

It’s the tromps through the snow with Simba that have been the best. I run around in my base layers all day, so when it’s time to tromp, I can throw on my outer layers and off we go! (Ok, 20 minutes later when I finally get ready, off we go…)

Down the driveway, skidding out in the street, stumbling through the piles left from plows and shovels, slipping on hidden ice. Simba spins out on the ice like a cartoon and I clunk along in my huge boots and 15 layers of clothes like the little kid in A Christmas Story.  We head down the hill and turn west. The main street has been for-real plowed, but the sidewalk is buried. The first couple days, we broke trail, wading through knee-deep fluff, Simba following behind so he didn’t have to swim. By now, the path has been packed down by boots and skis and snowshoes and paws.

Sometimes we turn uphill a couple blocks over, up to the trail that winds past the pastures and orchards. Other times we turn downhill, plummeting down the trails through the blackberry thickets towards the big fancy neighborhoods at the bottom. Simba runs back and forth, sticking his whole head in the snow, floundering every time he falls off the path. It’s exhausting and exciting and tons of fun.snowday Hood River OR

The snow is so so quiet. Even in the daytime, we rarely run into anyone else. The frozen world is still and muffled, blurred around the edges and shiny. Night is my favorite. The snow is magical in the glow of streetlights; the sky doesn’t quite get dark and the houses all look warm and inviting.

I wonder as we wander. My mind weaves stories about the people in the glowing windows. My imagination plays with tales of the winter birds twittering around the bare trees. My heart wonders about the folks that don’t have glowing windows or 15 layers. Simba ponders if he can get his leg high enough to pee on that tree.

For some reason, the snow wonderings also make me nostalgic. And make me miss my momma. I talked to Hope for a long time on the phone a few days ago, and yesterday Ijumped online and bought a ticket to go visit. My Texas family balks at the negative temps and piles of frozen precipitation, but I can tolerate 95 degrees in April for 6 days with my folks. I daydream about me and my momma in the houses I pass, wishing she lived closer and could come hang out.

Then we end up back at our own house, with it’s own glowing windows and J waiting inside with steaming mugs of hot cocoa. I emailed the plane ticket to mom so she can block out the week on the calendar, and I curl up on the couch with my JBoo. I might ache for the family I left in Texas, but this snowy wonderland is my home now.

And I love it.

 

 

winter layers Hood River OR

 

 





I Know There’s a Light Around Here Somewhere….

11 11 2015

Grad school is trying to kill me. Like, literally. Or maybe that’s my stressed-out, sleep-deprived, 14-chapters-in-and-5-left-to-read brain just hallucinating. Either way, I’m not totally convinced I’ll survive until July. I might fear for my life, but I just don’t have the time.

In case you’re wondering, I’m supposed to be writing papers right now. One short paper due tomorrow, one beast due on Monday, and Godzilla due next Wednesday. So of course, I’m procrastinating by rambling on in a blog post.

This is what my life has become. But it’s been EONS since I wrote anything that I didn’t have to justify with research, or reflect on, or submit to anyone for a grade (please don’t grade this).

In happier news, I do get to break up the slog of university classes with two days of 5th graders. Every Tuesday and Thursday I get to hang out with 26 ten-year-olds and they rock my world. They make me laugh and they make me learn and they make me try harder. I’ve started teaching them, too – a history lesson here, a reading lesson there – and I have discovered things about myself I never even thought to think about.

And those kids – they’ll give you an ego boost and an ego deflation several times a day. I started jotting down quotes from my crazy class.

  • “If you can’t trust the CIRCUS, then WHO CAN YOU TRUST?!” (after watching a video of the Chinese circus)
  • “Ms. Glasgow, I really like your hair today. Its just so wild and frizzy and EVERYWHERE!”
  • “Ms. Glasgow, Ms. Glasgow! All of my pencils have escaped from my pencil box! Can I borrow one of yours?”
  • “Ms. Glasgow, your dress is really nice, I like this outfit. It looks so comfy! Actually, it looks like a nightgown, but I bet you’re comfy!”
  • “Wait, you’ve been in college longer than I’ve been ALIVE!!” (I had to explain that there was a break between the first time and this time. But it sure feels that way…)
  • “Ms. Glasgow, Ms. Glasgow! I need to go to the library! I don’t want this book anymore, ’cause it smells like feet, and I don’t want to read smelly feet!”

One of my favorites came after a math lesson. I had spent many, many hours writing out a math lesson plan and accompanying rationale for class. This project is 50% of my total grade, and the final product was a whopping 18 pages long. Then I had to actually teach it. So after hours and hours of prep, I stood before my 26 little faces and proceeded to teach my heart out. We were learning exponents that day, and I was determined they were going to be experts at the end of that 50 minutes. I was so caught up in hitting all the parts of my mega-huge lesson, that I didn’t realize that I didn’t check the answer of the kid that showed us the correct strategy, and I essentially taught the rest of the lesson wrong.

By the end of it, every student was lost and confused. So was I. As we walked out to their next class, one of the highest-performing kids walked up to me and said:

“Ms. Glasgow, I’m really smart, and I have no idea what you were doing up there. Are you going to teach us the rest later?”

I just about died. As soon as he went in the building, I laughed and laughed. Then I asked my mentor teacher if I should just quit now, and she said not yet, that happens all the time and I could give it another shot the next day.

And I did. Teaching is all about flexibility. And guess what? By the end of Exponents: Part II on Thursday, every one of those kids could work with exponents. Maybe I’ll be an alright teacher after all.

******

Today was a day off from university classes in observance of Veterans Day. In a week and a half, I board a plane bound for Texas to see my family for Thanksgiving. When I return, I’ll have two more weeks of class, then one week of finals, and then the semester is over. Three weeks of winter vacation.

There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel!!

 





Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

28 12 2014

Another year is almost completely gone! Where did it go? Why do I ask the same question every year? (Insanity is sounding more and more familiar….)

Through the years, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. Even when I worked in retail and saw the worst side of humanity. (Grown women throwing blows for a cheap laptop? C’mon people.) The festivity of December just excites me, and fills me with wonder and joy and all the other emotions Hallmark writes about. The lights! and the carols! and the cheer!

cutting our own christmas tree

We chopped our own little bitty tree to fit in our little bitty living room!

This year, we kept it quiet. We learned our lesson trying to travel at the holidays (or in the winter in general…) and just stay home. My heart aches at being so far from my family this time of year, but I’m blaming my extra sadness on the lack of vitamin D. We’ve seriously had maybe two full days of sunshine for MONTHS – I’m so sick of the rain!

We also didn’t get a white Christmas, which was just one more thing for me to be sad about. But as I snuggled with my boys during my full 5 days off work, all I could feel was a heart overflowing with gratitude for the abundance I have to be happy about.

Looking around our tiny little house, the colorful lights reflected off the windows and silver garland, our two-foot Charlie Brown tree shone in the corner, three bulging stockings hung from the shelf, and I was snuggled up between my sweet J and my snoring pup. Our bellies were all full, we were all warm and safe, and the three of us were together. Our own little family.

Christmas on the Columbia, Hood River OR

My boss sent a company-wide email Tuesday afternoon announcing that he was giving all of us Friday off as a paid holiday, giving the whole company 5 days of uninterrupted holiday. J and I went for long walks, took the dog hiking up in the mountains, cooked a Christmas feast together, unwrapped our gifts, and spent hours playing our new board game and helping Simba break in his new toy. It was a wonderful time for us to catch up on “us”, spending quality time with no obligation to rush off somewhere, or get something done.

Christmas tree decorations of love

And that’s all I really wanted for Christmas. To spend time with those I love, re-energize after the “holiday scramble”, and take the time to acknowledge this wonderful life we live.

I sincerely hope yall had a wonderful holiday, whichever one you celebrate. I’d give every one of you a hug if I could, so hug yourself for me. And may 2015 bring all sorts of wonderful things your way!

😀

we wish you a Merry Christmas





I am not a tree

8 05 2014

Some might call me a “gypsy”, others prefer “nomad” – most stick with “crazy fool”. I don’t care, the fact remains: I LOVE MOVING.

If you’ve been around a while, you already know this. In the 3 1/2 years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve moved 3 times! Well, I have now…

That’s right, I squeezed in another move. We found a house right before our awesome trip to the coast, signed the first set of papers as we headed out of town that weekend, and started packing like maniacs as soon as walked back in the door Sunday evening. Ahhh, the delightful scent of cardboard mixing with the aromas of packing tape and sharpie….

We didn’t go far this time. In fact, we’re still on the same road, sort of. Just 20 miles south. But we’re closer to “town”, as we country folk like to say – about 5 minutes into White Salmon, WA, 10 minutes to Hood River, OR. So awesome!!

The reasons behind this move were vastly different than the last 3 – no falling in love and closing the gap of a long distance relationship, no new jobs or promotions. Nope, I’m just a pansy and have hit my limit with being a hermit. My isolation has driven me close enough to the point of insanity that J agreed we should move closer to civilization. Yay!

This kind of move dredges up a whole different team of emotions than other kinds. We’re not off to brand new places full of brand new things – we’re generally in the same area. And most other aspects of our lives are staying the same…same work lives, same people we hang out with. I know some of this will change – but you get my drift.

I discovered that this new team of emotions was an interesting bunch. Nostalgia has shown itself to be the definitive team captain. I noticed Regret hanging out on the sidelines, trying to sneak in. Excitement and Stress are varsity starters…but Nostalgia is running the show.

It’s so easy to fall into his trap. “Aww, our old house was so big and roomy…man I miss our wood stove…I’m so sad to leave my towering Ponderosas…” And then the other side of the coin: “This new place is so small…we’re literally living in someone’s basement…why are there so many spiders? Where are we going to put our stuff?”

Yes, it’s true, our last house was pretty awesome and in a ridiculously gorgeous spot. But I was living the life of a hermit because we lived so far out. Thirty miles to the grocery store gets old fast. It would be different if I had a job I went to every day, where I could soak up human interaction like a little sponge. But I work from home, waving at neighbors from afar and slowly becoming more and more socially awkward. So we moved. And I have started countering all Nostalgia’s big moves. That house was too big, bigger than we needed, and intimidating to try to keep clean. The fire in the stove was great to watch, but the smoke made my eyes burn and left a delightful gray film on everything – the walls and windows and furniture. It also consumed about 4 cords of wood, all of which had to be cut, split and stacked. No wood stove might be nice….

And moving to a smaller place forced us to purge our crap. Neither of us are real pack rats, but when there’s space, there’s no motivation to get rid of anything. Our Goodwill pile is damn impressive!! We decided we might stash it all and have a big yard sale when we’re settled in.

Our new little basement is charming and cute and just big enough for us. The house is built on a slope so one side of our new digs is mostly windows, though the deck above us provides shade to keep us cool all summer. And the location – man oh man! We’re right in the valley of the White Salmon River, which you can hear below from our porch, and only about 2 miles up from the Columbia. The land around us is half orchard, half untamed, overgrown brush and forest. It’s insanely gorgeous and the orchard fruit stand is just at the end of our driveway – fresh produce all summer! And without those towering ponderosa trees shading the entire yard, I can garden again!!

20140508-163504.jpg

Not a bad view…

Possibly the best part of all is that we live in someone’s basement. That someone happens to rent out rooms upstairs, too. We moved into a house where other people also live – built in friends! So far, all our new housemates are ridiculously nice. One awesome woman is soon to be my new BFF – I just know it!

The pros definitely outweigh the “aw dang it”‘s that Nostalgia keeps trying to through my way. Our last place was great, sure – but so is this one. I have a sneaking suspicion that once we get the boxes unpacked and the cellphone boosters installed and my garden planted, this new house is going to surpass the old one.

A favorite quote of mine says, “If you don’t like where you are, change it. You are not a tree.” I think this applies to much more than geography, and our new house is just the first step for me not being a tree. But it’s a big step, and one that I think will help me greatly.

It might take a bit for us to get unpacked and organized, but who wants to visit first?!?

😀





Holiday Time Travel

23 12 2013

Geeeeez the end of the year gets so CRAY-ZEE!! I’ve been dying to get a post up, but finding the time is a different matter all together.

Why? Because I’m pretty sure there was a big bend in the time-space continuum right after Thanksgiving. We were just minding our own business, driving home from our fabulous Denver trip, and *WHAM*! Suddenly it’s the night before Christmas Eve. What the what?

Let me just veer off track for a moment to tell you how much I adore the Christmas season. The twinkly lights, the decorations, the carols, the shiny wrapping paper, the stockings hung with care, the perfect union of peppermint and chocolate, the Santa hat I repeatedly fail to get the dog to wear – all of it. I.love.all.of.it.

So the build up to the next few days actually excites me – to the point of jittery agitation where J won’t even let me have my morning coffee. But I look back and still wonder: where has the time gone?! How did we get here ALREADY?!

So much bold font to my thoughts! To clear things up and make me feel better, we’re going to go over a quick run-down of the latest adventures of KSnapped and Company, since Thanksgiving.

1. Cold Coastal Magic

I could have written multiple posts on the incredible weekend we spent with 22 other amazing folks in a gigantic vacation house on the Oregon coast. This is a truly magical place – and even more so in the blustery cold of winter, in my opinion. J and I took an incredible sunrise walk along the sand, crusty with ice and snow (!), picking up starfish. We spent the days exploring the coastal towns and the natural wonders of the beach, and the nights in rowdy games and family movie nights. Meals were shared, friendships strengthened, memories made in abundance. I wish we could do a trip like that much more often!

winter on the Oregon Coast, Manzanita OR

Winter at the coast – pretty perfect, if you ask me! (Don’t ask the starfish, he’s dead.)

2. Company Christmas Party

This may not seem exciting to you, but then you probably don’t work for the same company I do. It’s the event of the year for us – this year, it was an unforgettable gala to rival all past years! After being home two measly days, Simba and I hit the road once more, bound for Bend. J came up a few days later, just in time for the party. This year’s theme was “Mad Men” – and my coworkers proved once more why they’re the coolest cats I know. The ladies really out did themselves; the hair! the dresses! the hair again! And so many dapper gentleman appeared out of the woodwork! The ’60’s was alive again that evening, and I absolutely can’t wait to see the shots from the professional photographer roaming the Great Hall all night.

Mad Men themed Christmas party, Bend OR

Ignore the blur and blinding flash – doesn’t J clean up well?!

60's Mad Men themed Christmas Party

The fabulous Nikki and I, chatting about doing dishes in our pearls. And heels.

3. Christmas Prep Time

Finally home, we relished the time to unpack and unwind and settle in for a while. Also, time to get the house looking like Christmas!

First things first: a TREE! We took off into the forest and didn’t have to go far – the cutting done around here leaves some lovely open spots, perfect for a full, well-rounded fir to grow. And be chopped down.

Christmas tree hunting, Mt Adams Gifford Pinchot NF

I thought this one looked pretty good! (J said no.)

Christmas tree hunting, Mt Adams WA

And J thought this was enough. (I said no.)

Then we had craft night in the living room making ornaments. I’m still trying to get the glitter and glue and teensy bits of construction paper out of the rug. But our beautiful hand-made creations are now hanging from the most perfect tree that ever came from the Wild Forest. The strand of lights isn’t quite long enough, the Santa hat on top looks like it had too much spiked egg nog, and there’s a whole section with no ornaments at all, but it’s the best tree in the world.

Christmas tree with diy decorations and stockions hung on the windowsill

I could sit and stare at this all night!

4. All the Other Stuff

And then there’s all the other stuff that’s been happening. We’ve hit the mountain several times to shred the pow. Except there wasn’t any. Mt Hood hasn’t had any new snow in weeks. But they’ve had freezing rain! Don’t ski on that mess, trust me – it’s terrible.

The Christmas shopping was pretty much finished up before Christmas this year – a rarity around these parts. We’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s too difficult to travel this time of year to the far reaches of our parents’ houses, so we just ship the presents. And they’re never there to open on Christmas morning. But this year, they make an impressive pile at the base of my beautiful tree!

There was a Christmas party at the Trout Lake Inn that we just had to attend. My sister and I donned our fancy party frocks and J was so impressed, he danced with me. But all the fun of Saturday night couldn’t stand up to the massive disappointment of the Seahawk loss on Sunday. To the Cardinals!! Just ridiculous. Still, bonding with the other Hawk fans at the sports bar was entertaining, to say the least.

Last and littlest, but far from least, my just-about-to-be newest sister turned two. The adoption is not quite all the way official, but she’s been ours for a long time. I had to settle for a Skype date to sing to her, but she showed me how much better her new legwarmers look when worn on her arms instead of legs. She’s such a little ball of fire, and I can’t wait until the courts catch up and say, Yes, ok fine, she’s now your legal sister. Stayed tuned for a post or two all about that!!

And now the day before the day before Christmas is over, but I feel much better acknowledging that I didn’t actually miss all the time between holidays. So much happened! So much fun was had! So much good stuff to take pictures of!

The next two days are guaranteed to be just splendid. I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday, whichever one you may (or may not) be celebrating. Any new traditions made? Any old ones broken? Anyone have a ridiculously funny story to share?!

Best wishes, happy holidays, Merry Christmas!!

😀








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