Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life as a Journey

It has been awhile since I posted. I felt this need to put into words the fact that my grandma is dying, because it is important in our lives. Yet, as a new person to "blogging" it feels weird to try to put something that personal into words. Here's my attempt.

Anyway, last week my mom told me I needed to come home if I wanted to say goodbye. I am so glad I had the opportunity to say goodbye. Lily came, and laid down with Hazel for several long stretches. Children are great at bridging so many difficult situations, and it was wonderful to see Hazel's eyes light up and a smile on her face while she got to be the great grandma. It reminded me of seeing little baby Abi in Les's arms in the midst of his illness.

Anyway, without going into great detail, I got to be home with Hazel for four days. Leaving was the hardest thing I've ever done. I had to say goodbye, knowing it would be the last time I could wrap my hands around her neck. There is no way to tell someone how important they have been in your life, at the end of their life. I tried writing a letter about it, but it became a novel in my mind, a mountainous task at 3am. Instead, I just covered her in kisses and tears and hugs and smiles, and finally, said goodbye, which tumbled out of my mouth and onto my feet like a pound of bricks. I have never been less excited to get on an airplane -- it was like being ripped in half.

It had never occured to me that my kids would grow up without her...I can add and all, I just kind of thought that maybe she would be with us forever. (And, I know in that spiritual-metaphorical-memory way she will be...but that kind of "be with us forever" can't load up cattle and take the kids to a sale you know?)

So, I am happy that she is on her way home, I am sad that it hurts so much to leave this place, I want to scoop my mother up and take her away on a long vacation, and be gentler and more present with my own family. I want to be a better person before I die. I am tired.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palouse Empire Fair

Yesterday marked the second trip we've taken to the Palouse Empire Fair. Each year, I learn a few more parenting tips, which I would like to share:

1a) Our 3 year old daughter was in no way ready to ride the tilt-a-whirl, no matter how many times I told her it was just like the merry-go-round.

1b) Don't leave decisions about which rides your children are ready for to their own enthusiasm, a carnival worker, or a sign that says "must be this tall to ride".

2a) If you hand a 3 year old a funnel cake...she will be happy...but someone will innevitably get powdered sugar dumped on their head.

2b) If the 5 month old gets powdered sugar on her head...no one will cry.

3) Don't eat corn dogs. Just, don't.

Energy Savings

For the past month or so, we have been doing a few things to save energy. The first was to turn off our water heater during the day. Through this process we discovered that we could leave our water heater off for about a day and a half before running out of hot water. The second was to plug our TV/VCR/Speaker System into a power strip and keep that power strip off if we weren't using any of that stuff. Finally, we have been trying to get our landlord to replace our '90 model refrigerator. It's old enough to fight a war and smoke now - quite frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't chosen to do either...we haven't succeeded on that front yet, but I still have hope.

Anyway, we got an electric bill the other day, and it was $50 lower than our "comfort level" of $70 -- pretty amazing! So, this might actually be a legit way to save some cash for our journey.

For the winter, we are going to put film over our windows to hopefully lower the cost of heating, which is pretty ri-diculous in our little apartment. Have you found "green" ways to save money this year?