Monday, May 20, 2013

Orcas Island

Dean and I took a much-needed weekend vacation with just ourselves up to the San Juan Islands.
 Taking the ferry is always kind of fun, and the only way to get there unless you take your own boat.  It was also $60 one way, but fortunately no charge the other way.  There was certainly no "fast food" on the island, and we paid a lot for some fine fare.  If we go back with the kids, we'll spend more time at the local grocery store.
 We hit up the farmer's market on Saturday at lunch time and had some Ecuadorian and other ethnic food, super yum!
The community theater happened to be putting on 7 short plays at once, so for $5 a head, we partook.  The acting was pretty good, the story lines were okay.
 The view from Constitution Peak was amazing, but it's kinda like trying to take a picture of the Grand Canyon.  We also went kayaking for an hour, and apparently did several miles in that hour, and found some starfish.  Dean grabbed one from the water.  They are really hard all the time - not just when they are dead. 
 We hiked to some lovely waterfalls, and even got a bit lost trying to find our way back to the parking lot on all the trails.  We stayed in a pet-friendly B&B, which meant we got to listen to people taking their dogs in and out at all hours of the night and morning.  Otherwise it was lovely, and we even lucked out with some gluten-free waffles because of another gluten-free guest.
 We ended up missing the ferry fairly closely each way and had to wait around 3+ hours each time for the next one.  That would have been beyond awful with the kids, but on our own we were able to nap in the car, frolick along the shore and watch other ferries come and go, read, and enjoy the peace!

 We were happy to be reunited with the little people though, and are very grateful to Dee and David for taking care of them for three days so we could do this!
There's my darling enjoying a breezy nap above the water while waiting for our return ferry.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rooster Eggs

I've been blogging so little that I almost couldn't figure out how to log in and start a new post today.  So I'll give a top five of our lives for the past few months.

Dying rooster eggs with Grandma
1. Tristan has been talking a lot about rooster eggs of late.  And dinosaur eggs.  And dinosaurs.  We're not sure if said eggs are laid by roosters, or if they contain roosters.  I couldn't convince him that dinosaurs are all dead, so we keep an eye out for them together.  He often asks who would win in a battle between a dinosaur and a "NOR-oss" (rhino or horned dinosaur).

Notice the potential homeschool-ee trying to photo bomb Elder Mattle, who was previously bitten by Pancho.

2. Something has possessed my soul and I am actually considering homeschooling.  Probably just Hunter, as he would be starting sixth grade in junior high this year and that concerns me, along with a lot of other things about school.  I can't seem to get it off my mind, and he isn't adverse to the idea.  I poll him occasionally about it, and his only negatives are that he would miss the variety available at lunch, and field trips.  I think they've been on two so far this year.  And he would miss being able to jump over his peers.  He did that once apparently and thought it was a load of fun.  He has plenty of people to jump over at home.
A view from a mountain on Orcas Island.  Dean chatted with some Brazilians we ran across up there.
3.  Dean's folks have moved up here fairly close to us and we are all thrilled.  We enjoy having Sunday dinners together and the kids love going on outings with them and sleeping over - even Miss Cambria.  They commandeered the whole tribe on a recent weekend so that Dean and I could take a delightful jaunt to Orcas Island, part of the San Juan Islands.  This was a vacation, as we all know that "family trips" are anything but.

4.  Dean actually started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor, after being told by an MD that he needed to go on a 2 grams-of-fat/day diet, and start taking statins and other dangerous drugs.  After doing some testing and an elimination diet with the ND, it turns out Dean's lifelong, horrific nasal allergies and inflammation are massively compounded by eating wheat.  She explained that the nasal allergy to certain grasses (he's not allergic to all grasses) combined with eating wheat (a grass) has an additive effect on afflicted people, which led to his sinuses being so inflamed for so many years that he had them carved out several years ago where they used to be around his nose, since they had long since filled in from all the inflammation.  So, he has gone wheat free.  He can feel when he has some wheat, as he realized at Costco recently when he accepted a sample and felt ill almost instantly, or when he has regular oats, or buckwheat that is processed on equipment that also processes wheat.  Without the wheat in his diet he isn't using his allergy meds as much and is feeling vastly better in that way, though still flushes his nose out daily.  Spelt appears to be okay.  So he's not gluten intolerant, but wheat intolerant.  We are going to try Einkorn wheat soon.  

Mama Cambria spends time every day caring for her dolls and bears, wiping and changing diapers, dressing, and wrapping in blankets.  She demands help with some of these tasks.  Daddy loves dressing dolls and bears, ha ha.
5.  We would love to buy or build a house and actually feel settled for the first time in, oh, six years.  We should be here in the area for some time because of the business, but because of the business, and Dean being "self employed", we can't get a loan until he's been at it for two years.  Ugh!  We actually got "pre-approved" for a loan and found a house that we wanted to buy, and were under contract for 7 weeks for it, only to be told that the two year rule still stands.  So here we stay for now.

This is what we get when we try the "get along shirt", along with blubbering and injuries.