About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christ is Born!

One thing I've always loved about the icon of the Nativity of Christ is the midwives down in the right corner. :-) They are bathing the infant Jesus. Of course Jesus was born in the presence of midwives--that's how most babies in the history of the world have been born.

And yes, there are two Jesuses in this icon. Orthodox iconography has never felt the need to portray life as a photograph. There are many moments in time all wrapped into one icon here. The central figures, of course, are Mary and Jesus, lying in a manger (with cattle looking on). And then there is Joseph in the left corner, doubting the virginity of his bride, those doubts being fostered by the devil, who is portrayed as an old man. In the center left the wise men travel to find the baby, and to the right and top the shepherds are amazed by angels telling of the newborn king. So, you can see the whole story, here in this one icon. Pretty brilliant, huh?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Not-So-Fond Ode to Shoveling Snow

I am cursing the Oregonian article this morning that said that we should be "pushing" the snow, not "lifting", because snow shovels are made to push, not lift, and it's so much easier on our backs if we simply push the snow to the side. Because there is way too much *&#!@ snow out there to push! Now, granted, we haven't shoveled since Saturday and Sunday when Zac was out there shoveling to his heart's content. While it was still coming down fast and furious. And why was he so contented? Because he was getting *paid* to do it. And I think that all you parents (and big sisters) out there will understand what I mean when I say it was worth every penny to pay him by the hour. (Carissa, maybe next time you'd like to contribute?)

Anyway. Also granted that we don't have an actual snow shovel. Because why bother buying one, putting out good money, when we only need to shovel snow no more than once a year? I think the last time we shoveled snow was two years ago. And I think we did it once. And it was only about 2 or 3 inches. This? All told we got over a foot of accumulation. Oh, and it snowed some more this afternoon and it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

I did not grow up in a place where I had to shovel snow (see my previous post on this) and I always thought it'd be worth it to get some snow. And I still think it'd be worth it, to get *some* snow. This is over and above what I always tell people--that I think it snows the perfect amount here. Just enough to enjoy it for a few hours, especially if I don't have to drive in it, but not enough to be a nuisance. This? This is getting to be a nuisance. What we usually get in Portland melts within a few hours. We've had this stuff since Saturday and it's not melting yet!

Okay, before I get too grinchy-sounding I'll admit: this has been fun. To be really snowed-in and not be able to go anywhere and make hot chocolate and have so many excuses to make all kinds of goodies (and in that way, a good thing for snow-shoveling, as I didn't have any other way to work it all off....) is really kind of fun. A different kind of space. I've had lots of reading time. And lots of computer time, as well. (Should get off now and do some more reading!) And so, I will remember this time fondly, not grinchily. And when things get busy I'll probably even miss it.

I hope you all are warm and snug.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Poet Zac

Zac doesn't write a whole lot (though with starting school, he will be writing more...) but when he does write, I am constantly amazed. Where does this come from? I ask every time I read something he wrote. Anyway, here's what he just wrote:

by the fire getting warm, there seems to be a feeble form, a babe in a box of down? with a face not yet brown from the sun? does this child have a name? huddled by the feeble flame? with his feeble head of hair, the babe jesus sitting there? with the fire burning bright, in the darkness of the night.
A good Christmas week to all who celebrate it!

Snowy Sunday

And here is the view from our porch this morning:

I really need to learn how this new camera works though--too washed out to really see the damage!


I have to say, all this snow is good for blogging. Good for home-improvement projects, too! As long as you have the materials you need. Which we did--we went to the Rebuilding Center on Friday and got the old molding and found one hook, and to Rejuvenation for the rest of the hooks. Then all that was needed was some screws (and a new drill, as our old cordless has officially bitten the dust) which could be obtained at the Fred Meyer that's only two blocks from our house--easy walking distance. (Well, I say easy, because it wasn't *me* walking it!)

We bought a coat rack when we got to Portland three years ago. We bought it from a place that specializes in making their own wood products, which is what we thought the coat rack was. It was only when it literally fell apart last year that we saw the label on the bottom: made in China. What gives? Anyway, I think this will definitely be more sturdy. And we'll sure appreciate it after being without a coat rack for a year now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Weather Outside....

Sorry. Now you're going to have that song stuck in your head EVEN MORE than you did before. I truly apologize! I'm getting a little punchy after being largely snow-bound this week. I still am incredulous that it is *still snowing* here in Portland! We were forecasted to get a good snow last Sunday....and I drove to church in it, thinking when I got there that gee, I might just have to take the bus home. I did drive home but not without thinking at some points that I would surely not make it up that hill, or that I was about to hit another car by sliding. But I got home safely. And surely, if I just holed myself up until Wednesday then we'd be fine? But no. The warming-up that was supposed to occur on Thursday did not happen. Well, okay, it was warmer. The snow that fell that day didn't stick.....very much. And yesterday it snowed a little in the morning and more in the evening, though it was over 32 degrees and didn't stick at all, even late into the evening. I went out with friends last night and we had no worries about getting anywhere because it just wasn't cold enough.

But this morning it started snowing before I woke up, and hasn't stopped. Literally. It's now 1 pm and it hasn't let up. We might even have some 3 inches of accumulation out there, which is quite amazing for Portland! Snow is to continue through tomorrow...meaning another lean day at church. I think I am going to take the bus this time, though, since we'll have the accumulated snow and ice to contend with. It's 25 degrees out there now, making me think that it's not really going to get up to 34, which is what my weather widget says.

Zac has had the unique opportunity to be disappointed for snow! Usually he's jonesing for it. But this week it made him miss *a whole week of school!* He only went to school for one week and then missed every day this week. Poor kid. One day he'll appreciate snow days....

Back in my day, we didn't have snow days, as I lived in central California where the only snow we ever got was just a few flakes and everyone talked about it, but it never stuck. But we had our equivalent: foggy day schedule. The fog in central California is deadly. Seems like just about every year there's a huge accident where there's 50, 60, 70, even 100 cars all piled up because you just can't fricken' see 5 feet ahead of you. Why people drive at speed in those conditions is beyond me! I can remember a Christmas Banquet that I attended (banquets are what my Mennonite high school had in place of dances....because God forbid we actually dance, an activity that was good enough for Biblical characters but not good enough for us) and my date was actually driving *with the door open* so that he could see the stripes on the road to know where on the road he was. It was way out in a rural location, so there wasn't a whole lot of danger, as long as we drove slowly....still, there were ditches to drive into and....well, I just can't even imagine letting my teen out in those driving conditions!

So, that's it, my little ramble about snow and fog and bad driving conditions and....oh, I didn't say anything about hot chocolate and a good book. But there you've got it: if you're in a place where it's cold and the weather is treacherous do as I'm doing. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

School Endings and School Beginnings

Two places I didn't think I'd be a year ago!

First, my last day of my Anatomy and Physiology class was today. It was incredibly challenging and rewarding and I learned a lot, PLUS formed community with an amazing group of women. I am so hoping that all of us who applied for the midwifery course get in! The difficulty is that the school can only accept 16 new students each year, and there are 31 applicants. Gaa! We're all nervous and hopeful.

The second, which I did not expect in a million years: Zac started school today! We have always homeschooled, both of our kids, for their whole lives up until now. Zac is 11, and in sixth grade, and it just felt like one of those choices that was best for everyone involved, and especially for Zac. I was feeling uncomfortable with the idea of me starting school and him staying at home, and feeling he needed more structure in his life and a better social network. And he is so excited to be in school! He's in a great little K-12 alternative school and I love the environment there. And Zac is just loving it. Eating it up. I am so proud of him for having the courage to change up his life when it was advantageous to do so, and not just cling to the familiar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

negative space

it's the sky
between the limbs
of barren trees
that I look for in the Oregon autumn.
Bright blue
dark gray
mottled or
a mix of sun and cloud.
always changing
as a backdrop
to those branches
which change, also, more slowly
but do change, season by season
and even day by day.
Each bringing it's own beauty,
each moment a new stunning
Rain, sun, wind
all adding their own
master's touch.