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09-05-2002 @ 1:24 p.m.
School's In

School is back in session. I have a love-hate relationship with the school year. I *love* having my days to myself again for projects (of which I have many at the moment) and scrapbooking and having lunch with friends and taking pictures and things like that but I hate the getting-up-at-6:30 part and the do-your-homework-and-piano-practice part. Tuesday and Wednesday I was busy with friends and sisters so I had to stay up once I got up but I promised myself that today I could catch up on some much-needed sleep so after Joey left for the bus, I crawled back in bed for a guilt-free sleep-in. I turned off the phone and went to sleep. When my alarm went off at 9:30, I turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep until 11:30. I decided this would be my treat today and get it out of my system. It was delicious. I'm still in comfortable lounging clothes (which aren't actually pajamas, but are comfortable enough to sleep in) with my hair pulled up in a big clip. It feels wonderful.

So, to catch up on the last few weeks, our Moms-n-Tots retreat at the beach was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous, which might be assumed by some in warmer climes but is not a guarantee when summering at the Oregon Coast. It can be a sweltering 95+ degrees in Portland and 90 minutes to the west, it's overcast and chilly at 65 degrees. We had warm mid-to-upper 70s with perfectly clear skies which made for lovely days playing in the sand. The children got along very well except for Alex who is a big pain in the ass but who belongs to one of my very dearest friends so I shan't go into detail about his problems with authority and disrespectful behavior at times. We brought Delyn's 9-year-old son with us and he was an absolute angel, though, which made up for Alex. I did some shopping and bought some clothes at Old Navy and the Gap. Do you know how long it's been since I fit into anything from either of those two stores? Let's just say it's been a long time. And I scrapbooked 12 pages. I loved that part the most. I was in a scrapbooking mood. I'm almost done with 2000--woohoo! I need to get rolling--I'm only 1.75 years behind now. And despite being premenstrual and craving salt and chocolate like it was going out of style, I only came back a pound heavier than when I left so that part made me very happy.

After we got back, I had a day to frantically get the car through the DEQ emissions test. We've had trouble with the check engine light being on and even with getting it fixed, there was a new thing that started and it was a hassle to get it through but finally it passed. The emissions test was fine. It was just the light which was indicating something lame that had nothing to do with operations of the car but they won't let the car pass if the light is on. Anyway, got that taken care of in the nick of time.

Friday, we drove up to visit my dad in the Seattle area. Joey hadn't been up to my dad's house since she was 2 so it was all new to her. I told her about all the naughty things I used to do and about stuff Amy and I did when we were kids. She loved hearing all the stories. Then we all went to the horse races and I got Joey started on her gambling career. She came home $6 richer. She did have the experience of losing some of her bets, though, which I felt was a good thing because I didn't want her to walk away thinking that wagering is a sure thing. She loved the horses and the excitement and hanging out with Grandpa so it was a great day.

Dad has a roommate who used to be one of my mom's best friends. I want them to stay together on a more permanent basis and so far it looks good. Dad is talking in plural again which I just love. Sandy is wonderful and of all my mom's friends, she's the one I liked best and felt the most comfortable with. Her kids are awful but my sisters and I could make up for that. And Joey would dearly love to have a Grandma-person nearby. She liked Sandy very much. We've invited her to come and bake at Christmastime, like she used to do with mom, and invited her to our Christmas mountain retreat so I hope she'll come to that. She's a sweet and wonderful person and I'd really like her to hang around. And she's stopped smoking which was the only thing that kept Dad from dating her a few years ago before she moved in with him as a roommate. They're not officially dating or romantically involved but I know they like each other very much. I hope so much for this thing to happen.

We spent last Saturday in downtown Seattle going to the Pike Place Market and walking along the waterfront. The highlight for me was having fish and chips at Ivar's on the pier and feeding our french fries to the seagulls that hang out there. They'll swoop down and take the fries right out of your hand if you hold the fry out over the water. It's great fun. Our trip was a great way to end the summer and I know Dad was happy to have us come up and visit.

On Labor Day, we all helped Delyn move into her new music studio. She asked me to be her window dresser in exchange for free choir tuition for Joey which I happily accepted. She has 3 windows for me to do and I'll be able to change them seasonally and have lots of fun. I found some fabric yesterday for two of the windows as background material and window treatment. I'm going over there tomorrow to get at least one of the windows done before the new semester of Kindermusic and piano starts. I've got all kinds of ideas percolating in my brain right now for things I can do over the year. It will be so much fun!

Speaking of fabric, I bought lots of fabric yesterday for making pillows and window treatments for my newly painted family room. I'm totally excited. I'm not an expert seamstress--ok, I can barely thread my machine--but I can sew straight lines and make pillows and simple window treatments so I'm pretty excited to get going with that project. I'm not sure if I'll do it before or after I paint the living room but at least I have the fabric and some bead fringe for some of the pillows. You know, finding orange fabrics isn't as easy as you might think. Especially in the home decor arena. I don't get that at all. ;-)

There's lots to do now--projects coming out my ears. Among them, the top ones are painting the living room and hall, making pillows, doing Delyn's windows, mucking out the office, get back to work on my two stories which have been percolating for some time, get working on my scrapbooks, get going with some photography stuff, take Amy's photo, finish my plant ledges, make pesto with all my extra basil before it freezes here, go to the architectural salvage stores and get some goodies. There are longer term projects like painting the office and Joey's bathroom and our bedroom but they aren't immediate. And we have stuff to do with our festival of the trees tree, too. So I have lots to do to keep me busy in the coming weeks and months. Oh, and I need to get back to a regular schedule of writing here. I've missed my regular reads and my own writing. I'd gotten used to having a place to dump out my brain every day so I didn't have to carry stuff around. It's high time I get back to it.

Amy and her hub finally went to interview a midwife, as I suggested, and of course they loved her. She was totally receptive to the idea of having daddy deliver their baby with her coaching and her birth philosophy is totally in line with what Amy says she wants. I, of course, knew this and that's why I kept urging them to see a midwife instead of an OB but they had to interview an OB and find out how restrictive he was and hear him say that he routinely gives Pit after delivery before they went to talk to a midwife. Silly kids. Anyway, they're ecstatic now that they've found a care provider who is on board with their wishes and they got to have an ultrasound to see how many babies were in there (one). Amy just couldn't believe it when she saw her baby. She'd never seen an ultrasound before and it was really incredible for her. She brought me a picture of the baby and the midwife typed "Hi Auntie Lisa" on it for me. It's on my fridge.

Life is good.

--L

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