Tuesday, September 21, 2004
In Memoriam.

I wanted to let you know that our cat Gus (the black one) got out of the house last Sunday about a week and a half ago now. I'm starting to accept the fact that he's not coming back. I was in denial for a week, but now I keep thinking about how sad I am! I've had him for 4 1/2 years so I (we) are grieving. Brian sad he was the best cat he's ever had...he spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to find him and I just thought "silly cat" hoping he'd just come meowing at our door, but no...he's in cat heaven.

Here are some fun things I'll miss about Gus: his loud purr, how he liked to hide under blankets and the edges of our couch slip covers, how he'd noisily wipe his paws on the litter box after he'd finished doing his business waking us up at night (preparing us for life with a baby), his head butts, the time he fell fifteen feet from a ledge to the floor by our front door, how he loved the birds, how Joy (our other cat) and he would play and groom each other, how social he was always showing himself to our company before Joy would, the way he'd come running when we opened cans of tuna (and any canned food for that matter), how you could only rub his head or his tail if you didn't want to get bit, his cute meow and etc.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, September 18, 2004
It's curious how much traffic I received from Brian's last post (Cheating and Spiritual Renewal) because he used my name as a link. No, Brian has not cheated on me! He sure did make you think, though, didn't he? Brian is very faithful to me, Claire, and etc. Shame on you for thinking otherwise! Thanks for coming to my blog, however!

Today we went to breakfast at The Peppermill in Beaverton/Aloha area. One of the owners speaks French and she's very friendly. We love their breakfasts...my favorite is their "Peppermill Hashbrowns" that have cheese, bacon, onions, and green peppers in addition to the normal hashbrowns. Yummy!

After our delicious meal, we bought a double-decker, fly-through bird feeder, more sunflower seeds and thistle. The birds are already going to town! I love watching them. Claire did a face plant on the hard floor in the store but quickly stopped crying when I played some of the numerous varieties of wind chimes in the store. Great store by the way, The Backyard Bird Shop in Beaverton.

Next we bought Claire some socks at Old Navy. We couldn't resist buying some Halloween attire. We bought an adorable fleece pumpkin hat...the biggest size they had cuz she's got a nice round head on her shoulders..., an outfit with an orange shirt and black pants that says "I love my mummy" below a picture of a mummy on the shirt, and some jack-o-lantern socks. Very cute! She'll wear the pants much more than at Halloween and the hat'll work until Thanksgiving! Very fun!!!

Okay, I could ramble on more, but I'm tired and should really try to nap.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Today we had a busy day! My friend Dinah, her almost one year old son Logan, Claire & I went to the Portland Zoo, then we visited with friends of ours from Eugene, OR who have spent the past two years in Moldova with the Peace Corps. Wow! It's amazing two years have gone by already. Dinah wasn't even pregnant when we saw them last for their send-off party.

We are all friends from the McKenzie Study Center that I've written about before. What a day. Our babies (and Dinah) are now fast asleep. It was refreshing to see them again and to remember my college days (well a year and a half) living at MSC. Jack Crabtree is a teacher at MSC, has four kids, his only son was one of the two halves who went to Moldova. He was there this evening and I've always appreciated his teachings. I think I might go to Eugene soon, I'm craving some alternative theology...not so much in the church format that Brian's seeking.

Does anyone else out there have any connection to MSC?
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Brian wrote an interesting post today called Doing Church. Since this post is very personal to me, I have to agree he put my feelings into words... I like the idea of having home churches. In a way, I've been having home church through Bible studies since I was in college. In a sense I have been a minister as long as I've been involved with these study groups. All the members minister to me, to each other. Maybe if one of us went through some formal training then we might see that person as more of an authority on the Bible, but I like how it's set up now; discussions are the authority.

Gus hasn't come back yet...
Monday, September 13, 2004
The birds were getting ready for the big storm that is now here. By big storm I mean a typical September day with rain and cool temperatures to help the leaves come down. By birds, I'm talkin' nuthatches, chickadees, finches, American goldfinches, ground sparrows (I think), and for the first time ever, a squirrel. It was quite a morning!

We had something sad happen yesterday...Gus, our 4 1/2 year old black cat escaped from the garage. He's normally not allowed in the garage but got in somehow, hid and when we opened the outside garage door he got spooked and bolted. I think he's hiding. We have the garage cracked so he can hang out there. When we moved he got scared and hid under our bed for two days so that's probably what he's doing. I'm trying to be positive! If he's gone for good it won't be the end of the world. Poor, silly cat.

Someone at church said that Claire has magical eyes yesterday. I think it's true!
She did it! Claire crawled this morning! My friend Dinah and I saw her do it! I didn't believe it yesterday when Brian saw it cuz I didn't see it, but today I believe it!!! Hooray! She did four or five consecutive, coordinated forward movements. She's just over seven months. Our child is going to be so smart, of course!
Friday, September 10, 2004
Brian wrote an interesting post today responding to someone who disagrees with him about why Kerry's an okay Christian and it's okay to disagree with some positions of your church. This is a long standing argument that won't ever be resolved probably, but you can find some of the drama here at Brian's Sept. 10th entry.

It's hard to believe that tomorrow marks the third anniversary of 9-11. Brian and I weren't married yet. In fact he'd just moved to Portland and started his current job exactly three years ago today. I remember feeling such grief that day. Who could do such a thing? Did I immediately think we'd have to go to war against some other country? No. I felt sad for the families of the lost ones and disbelief that anyone could care enough about anything to purposefully crash huge planes into the World Trade Towers. Just shows you how little I choose to believe about our humanity.

On a different note...I heard Claire speak something that resembled how you ask questions in French with her voice going up in pitch at the end of the "word." Who cares if the word didn't mean anything. She's learning a speech pattern that isn't very English-like. During our visit to Hunters, my aunt heard her babbling and said it reminded her of French. Could be. Today's a French day. I have a Celine Dion CD on in the background singing her mainly French, but some "franglais" songs.

Claire still hasn't crawled yet, but it's coming!!!
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
We returned from a long weekend at my grandparents' Ranch in Hunters, Washington. (They don't seem to have an official website YET.) It's a very small town with a lot to offer, a campground on Lake Roosevelt, beautiful hills, a small public school with a great football team this year can all be found in this small town in Stevens County. My grandpa, a successful retired businessman with Rena Ware, bought the Ranch with around 2500 acres when my dad was in high school. Each summer and some weekends they'd go out there to work the hayfields and help out with the livestock. They lived in Spokane the rest of the year. It was always my grandpa's dream to own a cattle Ranch so he realized his dream. Now there isn't much cattle there and my grandpa leases out the land so others can grow and harvest their own hay--altho he did it himself until he was 70 years old.

This was the first time Claire got to see the Ranch. Brian & I have gone there for the past three summers and we love it! Besides the occasional trip on the lake, we can play darts, ping-pong and pool in their basement. My grammie loves to feed us well too. I feel a little guilty as she spends most of her time before and after meals in the kitchen, but when I told her how I felt she said, "I'm just happy I still can cook and clean. A lot of people at my age (82, I think) can't." I hope Brian & I are as optimistic, kind, faithful and determined to live life as they are when we are their age!

So Claire is about to crawl. I know I keep saying that, but really, last night after a long 8 hours in the car, she scooted in what looked like a coordinated fashion, then fell to her tummy. Cute!
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
My friend from Eugene, Nancy Scott, who wrote the article I mentioned in my last post told me about chicory. She went to college in Lousiana where she became addicted to it even though it doesn't contain any caffeine. I'm going to order some. I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately, it'd be good to supplement with something healthier.

Brian's out buying a little life jacket for Claire, then junk food to satisfy our sweet teeth. What a great guy! Claire cried for a couple seconds then went back to sleep. Better go check on her just in case...

I noticed I'm getting a lot of hits from Brian's blog. He's the profound writer... I don't have enough patience to write long entries. I hope I offer some interesting reading for the few visitors who found my blog :-)
The lunch at my former work was great. There were three other babies who came, all were two months or younger. Claire at 6 1/2 months seemed so old in comparison. The mothers talked about how it's hard right now for them and I do remember that! Now, Claire can occupy herself which makes a big difference in my mental sanity. I'm going to see a couple of them again soon. They will become working mothers in October and November...just part-time, but still, I feel sorry for them. However, that is the way of the world right now. Life is expensive, careers take priority over family, unfortunately.

I was touched by the principal holding Claire. She held Claire to her face and I could see Claire relax exactly the way she does when my mom holds her and rocks her to sleep. It was very touching.

In a dream last night, a former boss who gave me some trouble the last semester I taught apologized for bringing his concerns to my attention. It was wishful thinking on my part that he had seen the error of his ways, that he had overreacted... Unfortunately, he probably will never apologize, and I'm not sure that I need him to, but I still don't think he had a very good case against me.

Every month I get a newsletter from a Christian group based out of Eugene, Oregon called News & Views. The McKenzie Study Center is a group of five or so think tanks who study, talk on and write about the Bible. This month the article was called "Waiting" written by Nancy Scott. She talked about how she has to wait for God to see him working, much like one has to stop and wait by tidepools to see the life that lies within. I appreciated the metaphor and love tidepools!

As a student at the University of Oregon, I lived at "the study center" for a little over a year, attended the Tuesday night talks, and made great friends. Even though I haven't been to Eugene in probably three years, I think about the people I met there often and am determined to get there again someday.

On a different subject again...Claire babbled a bunch today. I listened to her through the baby monitor as she played in a different room and thought about how it would be fun to record her speech for her and us to relisten to someday.
Good thoughts, bad thoughts, personal thoughts...

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Location: Beaverton, Oregon, United States

I was a French teacher for four years, a life-long dream achieved. Now, I'm taking a serious break to raise a family. I go to a United Methodist Church regularly with my husband, daughter and son. For my future ideal job, I'd love to travel the world eating in great restaurants and write food reviews!!! Someday I'd like to live on the Oregon Coast and be a translator for French tourists! However, in the meantime I'm earning a substantial income with Jewels by Park Lane, subbing & Shaklee!

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