My Aunt Jenny's dance moves are in. my. blood. baby. 

I felt vaguely guilty waiting for a parade
while the east coast waited for Irene. 

But the peace train rolled in and I figured, What to do, but be at peace and send protective thoughts eastward?

What to do, but receive a mini copy of the bill of rights by a man who urged me  "not to lose them."

People who live here can be heard sighing, "I love this place." 
Visitors mutter things about it all being "what one should expect of this place."

I hear words like "freaky," "weird," and "hippy" (and I'll give ya the Slug and accompanying Slug Queen) but I like to think of it more as
"Hopeful" -there are untold parade entries devoted to a more peaceful existence,
"Kind"- The "let's be nicer to other people" entries are equaled only in number by the "let's be nicer to animals" entries.
"Fun"- And what's not fun about a 40-person-long Slug Puppet, followed by the recently coronated Slug Queen followed by Congressman Peter DeFazio scooping up the Slug Slime? (As if this guy wasn't cool enough, he does this every year).

So, I wouldn't miss this parade for the world. Or, for the end of it, as the case may be.
We sidewalk-chalked a sunshine while we waited, sending its calm, warmth and peace to the East Coast skies. 


A Vet For Peace really liked it


This weekend is the annual celebration of our sweet li'l city. Some streets are closed down, stages are erected, bands play, vendors sell, a Slug Queen is crowned and a wacky parade marches through town (tomorrow am--stay tuned!).

As we will not be seeing many of the bands this year--2 year olds and concerts are largely incompatible--we'll be having our own celebration of our city. Kicked it off tonight with a post-show date to our favorite patisserie and then on to the library, where we got books and then played in the great outdoor courtyard for over an hour... listening to bands play down the street! 

 "Especially if we want to make it to BROADWAY!!"

Do Re Mi, The First Three Notes Just Happen To Be is her solo,
but, frankly, it's all just Pure Goodness. :)
This is Winnie's performance at the end of her Broadway Bound Camp. 
It was one of four songs in a 30 minute show, in which WLG had two lines--one of which was delivered with perfection (the other of which  was whispered into her ear by one of the older girls after she ran onto stage mid-scene after a missed entrance). She doesn't remember that part. She only remembers how kickin' awesome she was.


The days are getting shorter-- this I know mostly because I've been caught without lights on my bike twice this weekend, at an hour when a few weeks ago I would not have needed them. And I noticed that a long sleeve shirt would have been nice too... It's the best time of summer in Oregon. The time that feels like it's turning the corner, but really, we're good for another 4+ weeks... 
So sure am I, that I planted another round of greens in the garden this weekend. The optimism is fueled by the abundant harvest and beautiful flowers this time of year. We gorge ourselves on berries daily, and our CSA haul has us googling creative ways to eat leeks, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, eggplant and more. 

 If one thinks that running through the sprinkler with an umbrella sort of defeats the purpose, one has not tried it and learned of its joys. 


So, it's true, what they say: that parenting is not always easy--that kids don't come with manuals so how in the world are we supposed to know that poinsettias are poisonous and anything that fits through a toilet paper roll is a choking hazard? How is one supposed to decipher the true effects of vaccines, HFCS and Spongebob? With the choice of any school in the district, am I a bad mom for not attending a single open house and using "on the bike path" as my sole criterion?  I use bribes, forget to brush and we're working on a pretty decent-sized list of words that "you really shouldn't use in school, or anywhere outside of our home. Please." 

But once in a while, the universe tilts to give you just the perspective you need.

Tonight, we shared the park with 8 other kids, between the ages of 6-14. Their parents were there, too: both of them. They were the foster parents of these eight children who had some obvious challenges and, as with all humans, many more issues unseen... And there were the parents, eating ice cream as if they were ENJOYING themselves. As if they could just sit there and EAT ICE CREAM. As if they weren't a cross between the most insane people on the planet and my absolute superstar heroes. 
One of the 8 tried to push Jezebel (she totally had it coming), and they dealt with it immediately and so very well that I wanted to write down the words they used.
Another was a crazy good gymnast who was flipping and tumbling all over the place and they laughed and encouraged him to do crazy stuff.
Another was sad and they just hung out with her, with their arms linked.
Another was....
Another was...
Another was...
My god... how do they keep up? And did they vaccinate? And how often do they shoe shop?  

 As I pushed my wee ones on the swing, so in awe of these people, and so grateful that there are people willing to be parents to kids who so desperately need them, I realized, once again, that we're all doing just fine-- even on our worst days.  We love them, they know it and that's all that ever matters.
Which is a good thing, because this picture was taken just as Winona was yelling at Jezebel, "You just crapped the scare out of me!" 


Camping trip this weekend!
A beauteous lakeside campsite in the Cascades...

I could eat them at this point of the day: when they're all cozy and warm and sleepy-smelling. But then what would I do the rest of the day? 

 Exploring camp-- tent and hammock in background.

On a wee hike, we found ourselves here, which practically feels like summit-ing. 
I think this counts. 

And after any summit, one needs a hammock

 Accessible only by boat, our campsite was in the shadows of South Sister, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. Gorgeous.

 A midnight cruise... full moon! We ended up at another camp site (hi, neighbors!), playing glow-in-the-dark bocce ball. Yeah, not what we were expecting, either, but you just never can tell with full moons. Never can tell.

Mt. Bachelor in the background. Married man with dog in foreground.

I really like camping. 
I'd like to go boating now, if someone could gimme a hand here. 



In no particular order, because summers are like that....

Sometimes one just needs to get into one's favorite red dress and get far, far away from one's younger sister.
In this case, across the bridge in the backyard to the quiet always greener grass on the far side.

Then, after quite a bit of time alone, it's really nice when daddy and said younger sister find their way over the bridge for some creekside play.


 Annual trek down to Lowell for a little Small Town America Summertime. 

 By which we mean: abandoned trains and quaint parades...

 ...and snocones the size of our heads. 
 And, a parting artsy shot. More soon on this past weekend (Teaser below)....

Teeny tiny wee picture... will try to get something better posted, but this is a little glimpse into a BIG event this past weekend: Winona's first gig. We performed as  "Black and White and Red All Over" at a neighborhood street fest this past weekend at the KIDZONE stage. Set list included such favorites as Skidamarinkadinkydink and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt and The Grand Old Duke of York (for which my quads have yet to forgive me). It was, in a word, supersweetfun. Winona was all performer--composed, focused and in key. Will try to get some video footage up in the near future.