Friday, April 18, 2008

Missing Sonoma

Now that I am reconnecting with old friends from "home" via myspace and facebook, I go through periods of time where I really miss Sonoma. Some of my friends still live in Sonoma and are raising their kids there. Their kids go to Prestwood Elementary, where I went, they eat at the same old restaurants and are enjoying California weather. Some days, I feel like I never lived there. Other days, it feels like I just left. When I go back, I can't imagine leaving. I never understood when my parents told me how lucky I was to grow up in Sonoma because as a kid, I thought it was the most boring place on Earth. What did I care about wine country and vineyards?? I wasn't old enough to drink. I remember standing in line for a movie at the Sebastiani theater and a couple from Miami, Florida telling my friends and I how lucky we were to live in such a great place. We thought the couple was crazy. But the crazy couple was right...and so were my parents.
Just missing Sonoma at the moment. It will pass.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Close Call

Read caption on first photo then look at second photo.

Look at the picture above and you can see where this guy broke through the guardrail, right side where the people are standing on the road (pointing). The pick-up was traveling from right to left when it crashed through the guardrail. It flipped end-over-end, across the culvert outlet, and landed right side up on the left side of the culvert, facing the opposite direction from which he was travelilng. Now look at the 2nd picture below...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tree Love

We call the house that Court and I live in "Home Place." It is called Home Place because this is where the farm started in...oh...a long time ago. One of the best things about Home Place are these huge maple trees that are probably 100 years old. The good news is that they are beautiful and provide shade. The bad news is that they are dying.

Apparently, topping trees is a death sentence for maple trees. It causes rot to form in and the rot never goes away. Our trees were inappropriately topped about 20 years ago so our trees our in the process of dying.

To make matters worse, the wind whips through here every evening. This obviously isn't a good combination with rotting, dying trees. So I've got the tree guys out here today doing there best to save our trees. It doesn't look good though. Christian, our tree guy, said he was going to be making some BIG cuts and clearing out a lot of the dead branches. So sad! Not a lot of good news happening this week. Lindey more than likely needs surgery. Our trees are coming down. I guess on the bright side, we will have lots of firewood come this winter.

Monday, April 14, 2008

They FINALLY know!

Well the cameras arrived on time as promised by my parent's webcam was not set up immediately as I instructed.

I tried to help my mom set it up via the phone but the camera wouldn't work. My dad got home from work and he tried for a while to get it up and running but with no luck. The next day they got everything working but I was in Seattle - telling Molly the big news!! - so I wasn't able to "meet them" online. So I had my fingers crossed for Saturday evening when we returned from Seattle.

The moment we walked in the door, I called my parents to start their cameras. They were in the middle of watching a movie so they said they would call me back in an hour or so. They called me back and we did a few test calls but we couldn't get the volume to work. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I could tell my parents were both wearing thin with this whole camera thing. They had been trying for about 3 days to get this up and running and didn't understand why I was pushing them so hard to set the damn thing up.

In the end, the camera worked but the volume didn't so we used the cameras to see eachother and our speakerphones to hear eachother. It worked wonderfully! Now we will have the cameras to watch my stomach quadruple in size over the next nine months. ugh.

Four Times in Four Years

Lindey turned 3 in October and we made our fourth visit to the ER Vet on Sunday. The first time she went to the ER Vet was when I clerked in Yakima during summer between my second and third year of law school. I lived in the basement of an acquaintance and to escape the uncomfortableness of living with strangers, Lindey and I would go to the park every night after work. The summer temperatures in Yakima tend to soar into the triple digits - even at 6 or 7 at night. Not knowing dogs can suffer heat stroke, I would run Lindey around in the heat. Disaster. She began vomiting all over and shaking. ER visit number 1 - heatstroke. Who knew?
ER visit number two was when I was living with Molly during my third year of law school. Molly and I came home one afternoon to an apartment filled with Tylenol PM tablets all over. Somehow the dogs had gotten a hold of a medicine bottle and chewed through the plastic container. Not knowing how many the dogs had eatten (by this time, Lucky had been addded to the family) or if the dogs had eatten any of the tablets, we rushed them to the ER vet. Lindey had her stomach pumped and was ordered to spend the night. ER vist number 2 - overdose on Tylenol PM.
The next ER visit came after Court and I were married and moved to Yakima. Court was out of town for work and I was at home one evening after work, and notice a big mat on Lindey's face. As I tried to comb out the mat, I noticed a huge open sore on her face. After several visits to the vet and different treatments, we finally figured out that it was a broken tooth root traveling through her cheek to get out of her body. So weird. ER visit number 3 - broken tooth root.
So now we come to the fourth visit. The weather here on Sunday was amazing. Eighty degrees. The first warm day of the year. Court and I were outside prepping the lawn furniture and hosing off the deck when I noticed Lindey was dragging her back left leg. It looked as if it were just hanging from the socket. It looked bad. I jumped in the car and headed for the ER vet - located an hour away in the Tri Cities.

Xrays were taken and the conclusion of the leg trauma was a knee cap that was sliding in and out of place. When the knee cap was in place, Lindey could walk normally. When it was out of place, she couldn't walk. So we are supposed to keep her still for the next two weeks (yeah right) and report back to the vet if there is no improvement. Apparently, a knee cap that slips in and out of place can fix itself?!?! If it doesn't improve, surgery for Lindey is in our future. Awesome.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Battle Plan

So I struggled all day on how to share the news with my parents. Ideally, I would like to tell them in person. I am planning to visit them at the end of the month but Court isn't able to go with me. This is something I feel we should share together. Plus, I don't think I can wait until the end of the month to tell them!!

We did a lot of brainstorming and decided to a buy webcam for my parents, as well as one for our computer at home. That way, we can tell them over the webcam "in person" and they can be a part of the pregnancy - even from afar! A win-win! In the note I sent with the camera, I told them to open the camera, set it up immediately and to call us via The camera should arrive sometime on April 11. We'll see if they will be able to pull it off!


I made an appointment with my doctor today to have a pregnancy test. They did both a blood and urine test. It came back positive. It is official ladies and gentleman, I am a mommy in the making. Crazy!

Life Forever Changed

I woke up this morning feeling...different. Hard to explain. Full. Bloated. Tingly. I felt different enough to prompt taking a pregnancy test.

From television and magazine articles, I had heard that pregnancy tests could be hard to read, but never thought this could be true. How hard could it be? You pee on a stick and one line means you are not pregnant and two lines means you are pregnant. Well, when I peed on the stick this morning, one line was BRIGHT pink and the other line, wait, was there another line? Was I just seeing another line? I decided that the test must be a cheap, faulty version and that just to be safe, I would buy another expensive, non-faulty test and take it later.

I headed up to Yakima for a board meeting stopping at Target on the way home to buy the fool proof test. I got home at around 2 pm and took the test, thoroughly reading the test directions beforehand. There, in the fine print, it said "the lines maybe different shades. They do not have to match." So it was official. There were two unmatching pink lines. I was pregnant.

Now what??

Do I tell Court? I mean how official is this stick that I just peed on?? How scientific can this be? I mean yesterday I wasn't pregnant. Now I am? Shouldn't I get some doctor confirmation before I go spreading the word? Yes, that is what I would do. I would wait to tell Court until I had seen a doctor and it was official.

BUT WAIT! In just a few hours, we were having dinner at Dave and Priscilla's with Tygh and Sarah where LOTS of wine was sure to be served. If I was pregnant, I couldn't drink anything. If I didn't drink anything, everyone would think I was crazy and start asking me a million questions why I wasn't drinking. Everyone would get suspicious and was looking like I was going to have to tell Court. At least we could decide together what the next step would be.

After having this thorough conversation with myself, it was already 3 pm. Dinner was at 6. Court had asked me to meet him at Dave and Priscilla's so he wouldn't have to backtrack from the office, to our house, and back to his parents' house. What to do....what to do?! This is BIG news. You can't just call your husband up at work and say I am pregant! It has to be memorable. Eventful. Right?

But I only had a few hours to pull something off. Compounding the problem was the fact that we live in the boondocks. I couldn't race down to a cute little baby store and pick up a onesie that says "I Love Dad" or something like that. I was going to have to be creative and I was going to have to be fast.

I decided to race up to Sunnyside because I remembered that there was a little store that carried some baby stuff. I just wanted a trinket of sorts that Court would see when he walked in the house...that he could put away and when he saw it again, 10, 20, 30 years later, he'd remember the day I told him we were pregnant with our first child. So what to buy? It had to be memorable!! Oh the pressure!! I wish I could've called Molly and ask her what to do...she is good at this stuff. But I couldn't call her because she didn't know that I was pregnant yet and I was adamant about telling her in person.

Upon arriving at the store, I realized that everything they offered was either a stuffed animal or some item in either pink or blue. Since I didn't know if I was really pregnant, let alone the sex, I couldn't but anything pink or blue. Plus, if I did buy something blue or pink, I was sure to jinx the pregnancy and whatever color I bought, would be wrong. So I decided to steer away from pink and blue.

Ok my parameters were laid out. So what to choose? Like I said, there was some stuffed animals. (didn't know what the theme of the nursery would be like so didn't want to jump the gun). There were silver boxes that held a child's first tooth or curl. (not what I was looking for) There was a silver birth certificate holder. (ugly) There were some containers that you press the kid's hand into when the are one, two, three, four and five...but again...that is jumping the gun a bit. I mean I wasn't for sure pregnant and this was day one - literally. Plenty of time later on for hand presses, right?

Finally, I saw it. A small, silver rattle. Simple. Elegant. Not pink or blue. It met all the criteria. Done. But I wasn't completely satisfied. I kept looking. I found a little burping blanket that said Daddy & Me. It had firetrucks and stuff on it - but I figured it was masculine for Daddy and didn't necessarily imply the sex of the baby. I also found a figurine of a child holding a balloon that said "Congrats" on the balloon. That was coming home with me as well. Finally, I found some ribbon. It was blue BUT it had the words "Delight in the is a gift!" Because the message was so perfect, I decided to waive the non-blue requirement.

With the trinkets in hand, I got back in the car and started to race home. Now I had to manage to get Court home before the dinner. I called him at work and asked him to come home before the dinner so we could go together. He was instantly annoyed and asked me to justify why he needed to come home. "Please just come home. Let's go together." He agreed.

So I had him coming home before dinner. I had some stuff to give him. But now I had to decide how to give him all this stuff so it would be memorable. I had bought 30 yards of ribbon so I decided to thread the ribbon throughout the house with little "stops" along the way. The ribbon started at the back door. I tied it to a chair and put the chair right next to the door. I taped a card to the chair that said on the outside, "Court follow the ribbon. No cheating. Take card with you but open at the end of the ribbon." I strung the ribbon through the kitchen. The first stop was near our kitchen knives where I put a positive pregnancy test. The ribbon continued to the bathroom where I placed the second pregnancy test just so he would know that I wasn't messing around. The ribbon then lead to the dining room table where I placed the rattle and the figurine. The last and final stop was in our tv room next to our wedding picture. There I placed the Daddy and Me burper.

Done, right? Wrong. I couldn't follow along with him when he traveled the ribbon route but I wanted to see his expression along the way...what to do?? VIDEO CAMERA! I placed the video camera on the kitchen counter so that it would record his reaction when he walked in. I wasn't savvy enough to figure out how to capture each of the stations but I figured at least there would be sound. All was set and I had an hour to spare! Now, I just had to wait for him to come home.

At ten til 6, he called. He was on his way home and wanted me to come and jump into his truck when he got there. Ugh! Now I would have to lure him into the house without giving it away.

Enter Lindey and Lucky - the cutest dogs in the world. I found some gift wrap bows in the closet and tied one to each dog. When Court pulled up, I sent the dogs out, turned the camera on and hid in the den. Showtime!

It worked! The dogs lured Court into the house. Upon entry into the house, he saw the ribbon madness all over the house and said "Oh shit." He follwed the ribbon to the first station and instantly started sobbing. I thought he would never move on to the remaining stations...but he finally did. He cried the whole way! Finally, when he went to the tv room, I jumped out, grabbed the camera and taped his final moments on the ribbon route.

Needless to say he was thrilled, exstatic and happy! yay! A total success!

Now, what to do about the dinner? We went back and forth - tell his parents, not tell his parents. We made a pro and con list as follows:

Pro Con

-honest -false test

-excited to share -it was early

-Tygh and Sarah are home so could tell -we hadn't had time to wrap

them in person our heads around it

-easy way out of the wine situation

We decided to share.

It is funny but we were both really nervous and scared to tell his parents. I don't know exactly why. I guess no matter how old you get, you always feel like a child when around your parents.

So, we walked into the house. Dave started to talk to me about Kodi's vet visit (he's ok - thank god!) and Court walked over to Priscilla and handed her the silver rattle that I had given Court only a few minutes before. She didn't get it at first and said something like, why are you giving me this? I don't have a baby. And Court said...not yet! But in about 9 months you will! I think everyone figured it out then and all were excited and happy.

It was a total whirlwind for me. I hadn't had time to really wrap my head around this pregnancy. I had been so focused on how to share it with everyone else and to make it memorable for them, that I hadn't even let myself feel excited or scared. It didn't feel real. If anything, I just felt overwhelmed because all of a sudden I was supposed to have this plan for the baby...Nursery colors and whether the kid would ski or snowboard first. I was completely overwhelmed.

Looking back, I am glad we told Court's side of the family when we did because Tygh and Sarah were home and we were all together. But I can see why people do wait a bit to tell their families. It is life changing and the couple needs time to just let it sink in and explore all of their emotions.

Now to tell my parents!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mouse in the House

Well, not exactly in the house...but we do seem to have a mouse problem outside. Last year we found several dead mice in the pool which to anyone who has a pool is not a strange thing. But in just the last few weeks, we've found several dead mice in our yard. Now anyone on a farm knows that this is not a strange thing either. Strange or not, enough is enough and I don't want any mice coming into this house.

Thanks to Oprah's recent show about puppy mills, I have decided to rid my home of mice by adopting two cats. Not only will this help save some animals from being euthanized, it will save my home from being infested with varmants. I just have to figure out where I can adopt outdoor cats and how to set them all up so they don't die in the cold, get hit by a car or eaten by a coyote. And people wonder what I do all day!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Puppy Mills

If you didn't catch Oprah's show on Puppy Mills it is a MUST SEE. I think I cried the whole hour. Although I got our two dogs at a legitimate breeder, it makes me sick to think that dogs are being treated so poorly. Lindey and Lucky are members of my family and it is hard to believe that a human being could cage a dog for it's whole life for the sole purpose of mass breeding. The majority of the dogs at puppy mills never go outside, never walk on grass, and have never been bathed.

Bill Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue, (seen here) is a true hero. Here is the link to his website. I haven't figured out exactly how I am going to help the dogs yet, but Bill and Oprah have inspired me to do something.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Farm

So the house we live in has been in my husband's family for several generations. In fact, my husband's father grew up in this house. We moved in Memorial Day weekend of 2007. One of the first things I did...I mean we did... upon moving to the farm was painting the barn red! I don't think the extended family was too thrilled with our decision since it had been a white barn for over 40 years...but I think it works! Hard to believe we have lived here for almost a year - it has gone by so fast.