i’m not fat or pregnant…i have a medical condition

Well, it’s official. My children ruined my body. More specifically, the second child if I’m really pointing fingers. If there was ever any doubt – which, there really wasn’t – but if there ever was, it disappeared last Thursday.

To explain, I must go back for a moment to 2010 after I had Elena, was not working and was as anxious as a lightning bug caught in a jar to rid myself of any sign of two pregnancies. Enter my longtime friend Weight Watchers, and my new(er) best bud, Jillian. As in, Michaels. She and I spent many mornings together…weights, crunches, jumping jacks….more crunches, more jumping jacks… It was somewhere in there that I noticed my stomach looking a little funky. I won’t go into details but figured I clearly still had work to do. Fast forward a few months when I was at the doctor and she pronounces, “You have a hernia!” Me: “A what?” Her: “A hernia. Does it hurt?” Me: “Oh, I’ve been wondering about that…it seemed strange…no, it doesn’t hurt.” Her: “Then don’t worry about it.” So, I didn’t.

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attack of the closet gremlins

I am absolutely positive that Closet Gremlins exist. What is a Closet Gremlin, you ask? Well, as the name implies, they are little gremlins who invade my closet at the beginning of every new season and steal all my clothes from the season that just ended so that, when that season rolls around again, all of the essential pieces of my wardrobe that are appropriate for that season are gone. Just like that.

I know this is true because every time I go digging for clothes at the start of a new season, I have absolutely nothing to wear. And I think, “How can that be?” Because I clearly recall going shopping and making purchases. And, I definitely recall wearing clothes every day. I also recall being in an outfit routine. You know – rotating things in and out – trying to space them out appropriately so I don’t get caught walking down the hall and having someone think, “Um, didn’t she just wear that the day before yesterday??” (Because zoo staff can be tough on fashion, let me tell you.)

As you might guess, I’m writing about this now because the Closet Gremlins have struck again. October in Portland has come in like a lion. Sunshine? Gone. Clear days? Gone. Rain? Check! Fog? Check! Apparently Mother Nature decided that Halloween was just too late for the crappy weather to start, so she’s getting a jump on things this year. Because of this, I suddenly have the need to reacquaint myself with all those lovely items I purchased last year. Except that I go in my closet in the mornings and I haven’t a clue what I wore last winter because it’s all disappeared. Sadly, this is why I am forced to go shopping again. It’s the fault of my Closet Gremlins, really, well dressed as they are.

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reconnecting

I’m writing this post from the beautiful coastal town of Yachats, Oregon. I absolutely love the Oregon coast, and I adore Yachats. It’s a tiny little town that is full of sheer beauty: one of those places that somehow makes you appreciate just being alive.

I’ve been here twice before: the first time when Jeff and I came alone a couple of years ago to celebrate our anniversary and the second time just this past March when we (meaning, all four of us) rented a house here for the weekend to get away for the first weekend that our house was up for sale.

This time, I’m here with my mom. It’s been a very long time since just the two of us have spent any time together and some circumstances told us it was time to reconnect. So, I took a couple of days off work and we met here in Yachats, staying at the Fireside Motel. It’s not the fanciest place I’ve ever stayed by far, but you know what? It’s pretty awesome in its own right. The room is a bit on the retro side, quite large (king bed, thank you very much) and has a fireplace and a balcony with an oceanfront view that is more often found in the kind of place that costs a heck of a lot more than some $100ish a night. No wonder this place gets great reviews on Trip Advisor!

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crazy and stressful, sprinkled with some beautiful

It’s been kind of a crazy week. Actually, crazy and incredibly stressful, if you must know. Not that you even asked, but hey, I told you anyway. But isn’t that kind of what blogging is all about? I digress. Now, where was I? Crazy and stressful. Right.

First of all, lots going on at work. But then again, there usually is. Second, Jeff was out of town so I was playing single mom. So, you know what I did the first night I picked them up? Yep, I hit the McDonald’s drive thru. Probably not going to win the Nutritional Mom of the Year award for that one but I was tired, stressed (did I mention that already?) and essentially in survival mode. And, I’m pretty sure that the Golden Arches were created for parents having days like that. Let the record show that I did not get anything for Elena, though. I did manage to dig up something semi-nutritious for her. I think I have created some unofficial rule that my children can’t have fast food until they turn three or something – and then all bets are off. Don’t ask my logic in this, because I have no idea but it seems like the right thing to do so I just go with it.

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wildflowers

Earlier this spring (which is, of course, really more like late winter in Portland), I noticed when I was coming in and out of work every day that our horticulture team was giving a lot of attention to the large island of dirt that stands beside a side road that runs in front of the admin buildings and in front of an entrance to the main lot for the zoo.

Then, one week I noticed several piles of a very dark substance appeared on the island that was later spread around. Typically, I would have assumed that it was a very rich soil, except that it definitely had a certain “smell” to it. This led me to one conclusion: that it was actually the infamous “Zoo Doo,” which is a compost made up of animal manure, among other things. I have not asked anyone about this to confirm my suspicions, but I’m pretty sure that I am right. (Flash to my husband reading this and saying to himself: Yeah, that’s what you always claim.)

I didn’t give it much more thought until one day, there was suddenly this beautiful field of wildflowers on the island. It’s so pretty and I so enjoy admiring them as I walk up from our parking area into our building each morning. It’s a nice way to start the day. Here are some photos I attempted of the flowers today: