Family

So Long, Avalon

December 29, 2017

On the way through the Gorge on I-84, I hit a patch of ice and spun out, hitting both the front and back of the car on the guard rail and wrecking the Avalon. Aaron was in the truck a few miles behind me, and was able to come help, so that was good. I have a bruise on my knee, but that’s it! The airbags didn’t deploy, and no one was behind me – I was afraid that as I was spinning, someone behind me would hit me. The car was drivable to get down to my parent’s house, but we are now in the market for a new car!

This is the second accident I’ve been in in six months (my mom and I were rear ended in Yachats a few months ago). I sometimes tease Aaron about how cautious of a driver he is – he often rolls along I-5 behind semi trucks at 55 MPH. 🙂 Now he says I have no leg to stand on. I reminded him that I hadn’t ever been in an accident before he came along, and he said it’s like The Force from Star Wars – I’m balancing out his cautiousness. 🙂

Family

Merry Christmas!

December 29, 2017

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season! We spent a week with Aaron’s family at the B&B in White Salmon. It was so fun that it started to snow on Christmas Eve and turned everything into a winter wonderland by morning. Some of the highlights of that week included:

  • We carried on a special tradition with our nephews and niece that my Auntie Joanne began with Casey and me when we were born. Each year, she gives us an ornament: a rocking horse for “precious Lindsey,” and a lion for “courageous Casey.” We now have Christmas trees full of rocking horse and lion ornaments! We thought about what we wanted Little Aaron, Maz, and Ava, and picked the Wise Owl (Little Aaron), the Tenderhearted Turtle (Maz), and the Mischievous Mouse (Ava). It was so fun to tell them the story of how that tradition began, and to give them their first ornaments.
  • Aaron spent weeks making beautiful cutting boards for Christmas presents. He thought carefully about what he wanted to include for each person. For my parents, he used purple heart (my mom’s favorite color) and myrtlewood, which only grows on the PNW coast. He made a “wave” pattern for the ocean through middle! For Casey and Jenn, he made a more modern looking board with walnut and maple, and for mine he used a dark African wood called “wenge” and maple and purple heart. I don’t have a picture yet of mine (I was busy unwrapping it!) but am including photos of the other two.
  • Reading with Ava – she loves story time by the fire!
  • Aaron’s Christmas tradition breakfast of coffee cake and strawberries.
  • Connie and Oma completed several puzzles together.
  • Connie and Aaron made a yule cake and hope to keep that tradition going each year.

Other not-so-fun updates:

  • Papa (Aaron’s grandpa) went to the hospital as he was short of breath and sick with bronchitis.
  • Aaron passed his cold on to me! So I was sick for most of Christmas.

Last but not least – a family member told us they’d tried to contact us using the “contact me” button at the top of the blog. We realized that that’s not working correctly! Sorry, Janine! 🙂 We will try to get that fixed. Until then, feel free to email us at:

workhardandbenice@protonmail.com

Are you setting any resolutions for 2018? My resolution is to continue to be more kind to people. It’s so easy to be short when I’m feeling stressed – I’m working on trying to be more patient and thoughtful about how I respond. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Uncategorized

Spanaway Lake Lights

December 17, 2017

Aaron is sick with a cold this weekend, so we’ve had a lazy time with lots of naps and hot drinks. I drove up to Seattle this afternoon for a friend’s holiday party and stopped at Nordstrom Rack on the way – I found several great deals, including a pair of pants for $4.99 down from $65 and a white tunic for $4.99 down from $108! It’s so fun to find things on sale.

We are spending Christmas with Aaron’s family in White Salmon, and I’ve been wanting to visit the Spanaway Lake Lights before we go, so I bundled Aaron up and we drove over this evening after dark. There was about 2 miles of beautiful light fixtures – my favorites were the lanterns hanging from the trees and the little clouds with rain coming down on the tulips.

 

Uncategorized

Still, Still, Still

December 11, 2017

My favorite Christmas song is an old Austrian carol: Still, Still, Still. The lyrics go:

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star it’s vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Isn’t that beautiful? One of the things I love about being at the farm is how quiet and still it is. Last time we were there, there was snow on the ground, and I took this little video of the leaves blowing from one of the big trees on the property:

Leaves

This is one of my favorite versions of the carol, sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

Family

Things Aaron Said

December 11, 2017

I dragged my introverted husband to a bunch of socializing events this weekend – PLU’s graduation, the Washington Association of Family Therapy’s holiday party, and a Christmas concert. He’s the best! It’s really hard to go to events like that as a single person – at least it was for me. It seems like everything is geared towards couples/families – it shouldn’t be that way. Aaron and I both say we have Single Survival Syndrome… I feel guilty sometimes for being happy that it’s easier to go to events now. I guess it should just make me continue to love, appreciate, and include all of the wonderful single people blessing my life.

I’m going to start a recurring post on the things Aaron says that make me smile – I want to keep a record of them so that I don’t forget. The other day we were flopping down to take a nap, and before drifting off, he said “How am I doing meeting your emotional needs today?” How did I get this man?!

Friends

Wreath Making

December 11, 2017

A few weeks ago, I had a fun get-together with a bunch of girlfriends from my class at Milo. We met in Portland at Greta’s house and put together some pretty Christmas wreaths. It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 15 years since we graduated! Now a good chunk of the group is married, has babies (all boys – 7 of them!), and is living all over OR and WA. I’m so grateful to have a job in the PNW where I can be relatively close to family and friends.

Farm

Bear Break-In #2

December 11, 2017

Well, the bear on our property is persistent! We were out of town for several days and it broke in again; this time ripping off the lock to the area where the chickens were and tearing out a chunk of the wooden door. Miraculously, the chickens survived! They may have PTSD, but they are apocalypse-ready! The three of them were just hanging out by the coop – clucking away and looking for food.

It’s a bummer that the bear came back – we feel like we need to call Fish & Wildlife now and see if they can re-locate it. Hopefully they can do that without hurting the bear. We want it to live a long life – just without our chickens.

Aaron reinforced the door with a new lock – unfortunately the bear can probably get past most anything we put up at this point. All of Aaron’s hard work constructing the feeding and watering system needs to be re-done – I guess this is farm life!

Farm

Bandit Bear

November 27, 2017

We had a great Thanksgiving visiting my parents on the coast! Casey and Jenn were there, and we had lots of good family time – eating tacos, seeing a play at the Newport community theater, watching the new “Murder On the Orient Express,” and taking many naps. We drove home on Sunday and went out to the farm to check on the chickens, and found a big surprise! A bear had gotten past the sliding barn door and into the big plastic bin holding the chicken feed. The empty bin was in the yard with some big bite marks on it! The door had some scratches as well. Aaron even used a “peppery” feed that’s supposed to repel animals. But all the chickens were safe in their coop next door, so we were thankful for that!

Family, Farm

Lady, Gardener, and Tweet Tweet

November 27, 2017

We adopted three chickens from the B&B – Lady, Gardener, and Tweet Tweet – names courtesy of our nephew Little Aaron. They are very sweet! Aaron and I have a history with one of them – about a year ago, a possum broke into their pen in the middle of the night at the B&B and was munching on the tail of Lady! She was in shock – it was the strangest sight, seeing her (by flashlight) standing in total stillness while this possum, face covered in blood, was attacking her! While Aaron ran to get a shovel, the possum jetted off. Lady recovered, and she’s now happily living her best life at the farm, shortened tail and all!

Aaron’s going to do a blog post at some point about this (he’s working so hard right now – got up at 3:30 this morning to do Cyber Monday sales for The Fruit Company) but I wanted to post a few pictures of his handiwork. He constructed an amazing feed and watering system for the chickens. For the water, they peck in the little orange bowls, and water comes out. He rigged it up with a weight that comes through the mesh windows of their coop and goes up/down based on how much water is in the PVC pipes, so we can see how empty or full it is without going in, unscrewing the cap, etc. Handy!

Farm

Mailbox

November 27, 2017

Another hiccup on our way – after setting up our mailbox at the top of the driveway where there was already an existing mailbox post and newspaper box, we were told the mail lady doesn’t drive down one-lane roads (which ours is) and we would need to put one up at the top of the hill in front of our neighbor’s house. So after meeting our neighbors and asking their permission, we put together a new mailbox post. Aaron did most of the work on this, and it turned out great! My do-it-right-and-by-the-rules hubby looked up all the USPS specifications for our specific location and built an apocalypse-ready mailbox post. Here’s a photo of him and his handiwork!