Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cha Cha Changes


It's that time of year.

Graduation season.

And any mom who has been through it knows that it does strange things to you.

It doesn't even seem to matter what level of graduation it is.

I get crazy flashbacks every time.

Collin complete the International Trucks ITEP program at UTI and once again was recognized as a top student *yawn*

The thing is....

When you're the mom...

You don't see what everyone else sees.

The rest of world sees this:

I see this:

This is the engine in the newest International Trucks...the Big Bore engine....

Collin's class is among the first to be trained on this new engine.

Just the week before he had it all in pieces.

And everyone else can see this...

But I see this:

It's just crazy I tell ya.

A crazy mix of emotions.

And while he stands in the crossroads...

Making decisions and finding his next adventure...

We get to have him home again for a bit.

But even then...

Since I know that this too will change again...

The flashbacks continue in the strangest times and places.

Since he brought back our camp trailer (a.k.a. his little tin can home) we had the perfect excuse to take the boys and hit the lake.

It's one of our happy places and perfect for unwinding.

The wind was better the first day.

But I was so about the sun and the unwinding that day that I didn't pull out the camera.

One of the things I really love about photography is that it makes you slow down and really look.

So when I did get the camera out on the second day I saw this:

And this:

But I also saw this:

And this:

I love this kid.

He makes us laugh.

He shows us things

He talks with us.

Really talks.

And we love having him around.

Even if only for a while.

We also know that he's ready for what comes next.

And wherever that end up being....

He's totally gonna rock it!

But for now my garage looks like this again:

And it makes me smile.

From the Mommy Clubhouse,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Garden Rain Hats

Rain, rain , rain....

I mean it's  June and here we are with all the rain.

Rich had to make rain hats for all the squash and melons

I took these pictures about a month ago so the squash and melons are now either
a) much much bigger or
b) completely eaten to the ground by slugs and replanted.

We kept thinking we'd just need these for a few days but no...

It went on and on and we had to make more of them.

Those slugs have been partying it up out there.

There's been some carnage.

We're supposed to get some sun for real this weekend.

If it dries out enought to mow I might be able to find my garden rows and take some new pictures.

Staring out a rain streaked window and contemplating singin in the rain,
(Who's with me?? Bring your umbrella and I 'll provide the coreography)


Walking and Eating In Eugene

Memorial weekend found us in Eugene for Day 1 and Day 2 of the Oregon High School State Track Meet.

Rich and I decided to stay in downtown Eugene and get to see a bit of the city.

We like the idea of walking to the track and to local dining and coffee venues.

We arrived late on Thursday and on Friday morning we got up and started patrolling the streets for some good coffee and potential breakfast. 

Apparently the residents of Eugene are not early risers.

Most of the places we found didn't open til 8 or 8:30... and started walking around 7...

So we did a lot of walking and read the menus at promising looking houses of yum in anticipation of a good dinner at days' end.

We eventually did find our way to the Bagel Sphere thanks to a really nice local who pointed the way.

The bagels were excellent.

I had a multi grain  bagel with avo, sprouts, cream cheese  and tomato.

Rich had a veggie sausage and egg bagel.

We both thought we should have gotten what the other ordered... and since they were cut in half  we swapped halves and had both. 

Good stuff.

The coffee was just OK so we set our sights on finding an improved version the next day. 

Our good fortune, though, was that while we were walking and reading menus we happened upon belly.

It billed itself as having "Rustic, European Farm House Soulfood". Using local organic suppliers and changing their menu seasonally to reflect the best of what's available.

The menu looked really interesting:

And then there was the award in the window 2009-10 Restaurant of the Year.

So we put that in the memory bank and returned after Day 1 at the track.

We were told that there was a 45 minute wait.

No problem.

Plenty more things to peruse in that part of town.

They took our cell # and said they'd call when a table was ready.


When the 45 mins was almost up we were getting pretty hungry so we headed back over to hover near the door.

As we waited people came out saying to each other "That was so good".


Just what we wanted to hear.

Finally our table was ready.

We entered the cozy space with about 10 or so tables and a bar.

We checked out the fun and unpretentious drink menu written on a giant flip chart next to the bar and ordered up.

Making a decision about what to order from the dinner menu was no easy task.

For starters I went with the grilled hearts of romaine with buttermilk-bleu dressing ....ahhhhmazing.

Rich chose the bay shrimp, butter leaf, avocado, saffron rice and bacon with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette.

He made happy noises too but I was so absorbed in my buttermilk-bleu I could not be distracted.

For the main course I finally settled on the Duck leg confit, and Rich ordered one of the specials,  linguine alfredo with chicken breast and morel mushrooms.

Oh. My. Goodness.

This was one of those meals.

The ones you can count on one hand.

The ones you smile all the way though cause it's that good.

The ones you wake up thinking about the next morning.

Fab. Fab. Fab.

People listen up!

If you ever find yourself near here you gotta do this.

I don't think you could possibly go wrong no matter what you ordered.

We were actually really stuffed and happy after that but absolutely knew we would regret it forever if we didn't try whatever happened to be on the dessert menu.

So the Shaker Lemon Pie it was and some coffee.

Coffee arrived first.

Best coffee we had the whole time we were in Eugene....wonderful.

More smiling...even the coffee was amazing.

Neither of us had ever had a shaker style lemon pie before and it was wonderful as well.

A pretty different beast from the lemon meringue we've all grown accustomed to.

It's a double crust pie with layers of Meyer lemon slices.

Loooved it.

As we sat back and looked around  every table was full of smiling laughing patrons.

Happy to be there and to be sharing their meals with friends.

As we walked back to our hotel and got into the elevator I overheard...

Yes I admit I was eavesdropping...

"The farmer's market will be open tomorrow behind the hotel"


Put that in my feeble memory bank before I fell into a blissful sleep.

Of course I had already forgotten by the time morning arrived.

I had already begun trying to decide where to hunt for the morning java when I peeked out the balcony window and saw this:


Happy dance around the room.  Farmer's market setting up right behind our hotel.


So we sort of started to gather our stuff together for Day 2 at the track to give the vendors a little more time to set up.

Lucky for us we didn't need to be at the track til noon.

When we could stand it no longer we headed out and found an early bird vendor set up for espresso and crepes.

We scored a great cup of coffee and a couple of spinach, feta crepes and chatted with the vendor who knew a guy from Brookings that Rich knew from sailing with Sean and port life in general....small and yummy world.

Soon the farmers started to open and we had a field day check out the amazing produce and baked goods.

I mean seriously...check out these carrots and beets
It was crazy.

And made us feel like garden the best possible way

And since you can never have too many peppers plants we had to get one more.

Holy moly do these Hideaway Bakery people know their way around a pastry, and a bread loaf....and coffee....thumbs up.

Rich found this cool mug too for his green tea.

It was a whole festival of everyday gifts.

My kinda weekend.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

State Track Meet - Day 2

Saturday morning the meet had a later start time.

So after goofing around in downtown Eugene at the farmers market (more about that coming up) we headed back to the track around noon.

By the time we found a parking spot...

no easy feat....

not surprisingly we weren't the only ones ready to check out the top high school track athletes in the state...

the guys were already in warm up and psych up mode.

My boy won't talk to us at all when he's getting ready to compete.

He looks right through us focused on the goal.

Remember me??

The one who gave birth to you?

Oh never mind.

When the lane assignments for the final heat were handed out Dylan was a little concerned about being placed in lane 1.

He likes to really hug the line when he rounds the corner.

And this track has a little rail inside of lane 1.

Anyone know why they do that?

We made lots of random guesses.

Probably all of them wrong.

He spent his warm up time getting used to that rail.

They had another good run.

In a really fast final heat....which is as it should be.

And in the end they finished the whole state.

We were all really proud of them.

The officials at this meet were all about staying on schedule.

They were very efficient.

Apparently turning around on the podium for the parents wasn't figured in to the schedule so we got the back.
See the guys at the top of the podium?

Those boys from Cratar High shattered the state record. 

I wasn't kidding about this being a very fast final heat.

Since we have no Seniors on our track team this year we'll be returning the entire team.

And our boys have every intention of moving farther up the podium next year.

Lucky for me the 6A 4x100 heat was hapenning just as the boys got up there so I did get this little peek as they turned around to watch the race.

Nice socks dudes.

At the team banquet Tuesday night the coach told the boys that our school hadn't had a boys' 4x100 relay in the state final in 25 years.

These guys are already setting goals for next year.

I can't wait to see what they do.

We brought home a few souveneirs.

I can't think of any other way I'd rather have spent this weekend.

It was a weekend full of memories and proud moments.

A weekend full of smiles, good friends, and good times.

I am blessed,


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

State Track Meet - Day 1

We're slammed again this week but I wanted to get some of this stuff up for you to see.

Which means I'll keep the narration to a minimum.

....And the crowd goes wild.

It was an amazingly fun couple of days and we are so glad we got to be a part of it.

We walked from downtown Eugene so we could get a feel for the town and get a little exercise before our hinies hit the bleachers. 

The famous Hayward Field was already teaming with athletes warming up for their respective events.

The skies weren't looking much better than last week.

But the rain held off and the weather was not bad at all really.

The boys checked out all the areas of the track and went into psych up mode.

Our girls' team also had a 4x100 relay to prepare for.

The girls were up first and ran an amazing race.

They surpassed their personal record by over a second and just barely missed qualifying for the final heat by .09 seconds

The boys were up next.

Dylan set his tape marks for leg three of the relay.

It's pretty cool to have your name, lane assignments, times and sometimes even your face on the huge screen.

They ran really well.

Their best so far this year.

They beat their personal record by over half a second.

This is the part where you hand off and yell really loud to scare the bajeeezus out of your teammate to try to make him run a little bit faster.

And I think it works.

The boys qualified for the final heat and were really happy with their time.

So check out those spiffy socks they have on.

I had to ask what was up with the crazy socks.

I was told they went to the mall the night before and all bought these matching socks for good luck.

And since they all had good fortunes in their fortune cookies at dinner they stuck those in their spiffy socks for the race.

I guess that works too.

Miss Ally finished 2nd in the 3000 meter final.

This girl runs and lives with such heart.  I just love to watch her.

There was so much to see and be impressed by.

It was a good day indeed. 

All of our athletes earned the right to smile and be proud of their efforts.

The boys had day two to look forward to.

More to come....