Monday, June 29, 2009

Good, wholesome Oregonians.

(Church bbq picture--thanks Gina!)

Annnd...she's home. It's funny coming home after so long. It doesn't feel like it's been 11 months since I've been here, EXCEPT...I went for a drive today (all the way to town, in fact, for the express purpose of buying hazelnut coffee creamer and root beer--yay for cars!), and there are several new houses and a new park! I hate finding new things like that popping up all over the countryside. I'm not sure which is worse: driving by it every day for three months and feeling irked each time until it's finally finished, or finding it already done in concrete finality, thereby rendering useless all forms of passive aggressive resistance (muttering as I drive, for example). Anyway. There's a park on Thatcher road. I'm over it. really.

In other neighborhood news, my parents got an invitation this week to attend the wedding of a very lovely neighbor girl. The invitation is handmade. The gift registry is at Walmart, and the driving directions are provided from ACE Hardware. The wedding is in a family-owned park up the road. I think that's all refreshingly unassuming.

Oh, and speaking of married. The customs officer in New York was so busy asking me about my marital status and then about whether I have a boyfriend that he nearly totally forgot to ask about my recent contact with livestock! (which is what he was supposed to be asking me about all along). Thought you'd all be pleased to know your border officers are so diligent about containing the flu pandemeic. Not five minutes later, a guy also making a connecting flight struck up a conversation and found out that I'm from Oregon. "You look like a good wholesome Oregonian girl," he said. I've been wondering ever since exactly what good, wholesome and Oregonian look like, because when I stepped in a ladies' room a few minutes later, all I could see was that I looked like I'd been up 16 hours, on a plane for half of those, and not wearing any makeup. That doesn't say much for Oregon, if that's an identifiable look.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Mr. and Mrs. O and the girls came over today for dinner. Was very nice to see them! They were pleased with my progress in German, but kept correcting my Swiss German pronunciations. "AEsch, Stephanie. Nicht 'AAAshh.' und say 'nichts' not 'nüt'."
I'm thankful to have a place where I can have guests!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

birds, bees, and anatomy according to a three year old.

M2 is quite interested in anatomy and the mechanics of bearing children and nursing and things like that at the moment, and we've had some pretty funny conversations about it all. A few weeks ago at lunch she told me that on her next birthday she's going to wish for a baby, and maybe she'll get one in her tummy. Maybe, I said. It's worth a shot. (I figured it wasn't the time to tell her what my grandma says about wishing in one hand and spitting in the other). Today as I was getting her dressed she shared her (apparently new) insight that when she's a mommy she'll "have a bigger chest, but when M1 is a daddy, she won't."

Rather than straightening her out on that, I took the easier and safer route of changing the topic and teaching her that you can start fires in the sun with a magnifying glass.

(don't worry, she's not coordinated enough, and yes, I gave her the talk about only doing it outside on the pavement with nothing around). Never to early to make a girl a scout, I say.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

15 days...

15 days until I get to go home! Woohoo! Things I'm looking forward to, besides the very obvious one of seeing family and friends: flavored coffee creamers. My great fluffy towels. Drive-through coffee stands and peppermint mochas. Tinkerbelle. BBQ with the neighbors. BURGERS! Gales Creek store and midnight Plaid Pantry runs with Brian. Clapshaw Hill Road. Driving. BIG bookstores and BIG craft stores. Cannon Beach. Camp 18. Fishing! Country music. The Columbia River Gorge, and those fantastic icecream cones at Cascade Locks. Summer reading. Movie nights at Gregg's house.

15 more days.

But that 15 days, I have a TON of stuff to do for school, work, getting ready to leave, etc., so I shall be very busy and probably kinda stressed out. Just fyi.

In other news, steph got a haircut and is now a much happier camper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thun/Bellagio, continued...

It's about time someone updated this blog, and since nobody else has gotten around to it, I guess it'll have to be me. Let me try to catch up a bit:

Italy was lovely, as I said. We drove to Thun the first day and picked up Ben at his Grandma's house. (Turns out I can understand Bärndütsch pretty well--well enough to respond correctly to questions. Many of the stories-on-tape or cds that the little girls listen to are Bärndütsch, and I guess it's been sticking in my brain. So for those of you trying to learn...that's the way to go!). We walked from the farm on the hill down to town, saw the lake and a bunch of fancy restaurants...and found a merry-go-round.

And a castle of sorts. One of my favorites I've seen in Switzerland, I think.

The next day we drove through Lugano and Como on our way to our campsite in Bellagio, and we camped on a hill at the edge of town. We had a couple of cute little camping neighbors who were 2 and 4, and who quickly decided that playing soccer with our guys was the very best part about camping, and they were in our campsite every time their parents turned around after that. Bellagio has old streets, fireflies and olive trees, and little winding staircase alleys that divide gardens and fields, and I enjoyed walking around town with Aubrey and Ben. Saturday and Sunday we went swimming, ate ice cream, and drove along the lake. We got stuck in the world's longest traffic jam on the way home. Fortunately we had ping pong equipment, snacks, and music. Entertainment included playing 20 questions, riddles, and a game of HORSE, throwing the ping-pong ball into a plastic cup on the dash, and sticking to the standard rule that a person has to shoot from the same place from which the previous shot was made.

Mmmm, breakfast! Mom, we enjoyed some of the delicious coffee you sent me in my stocking for christmas. Toffee nut one morning, and candy cane truffle the next...very posh camping. :)