Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soccer and Goats

The weather has turned crisp and cool, courtesy of a thunder storm that struck near our house and fried our router, so we have been Internet-less since last Thursday and kind of enjoying it. Work's been more difficult, but we are reading more, cooking more, and the kids have never played outside so much together. Of course, the cooler weather has something to do with that.

Whatever the cause, it's been super fun at home lately. 

Annaliese, my strong-willed, bossy, opinionated little girl, is a strangely passive soccer player. She runs next to people with the ball, tentatively kicking every now and then. In other words, she's not the best, but her smiles are beautiful and she seems to enjoy it.

Caspian was a horrible player last year, content to look at the sky and constantly asking for breaks. This year, with no input from us, he has morphed into the tallest and most aggressive kid on his team. He dances when the game is going well, swings his fists when it's not. He pursues the ball up and down the field and really is pretty darn fast, faster than the other kids I see out there. 

This is his best friend Graham. They played against each other last night. At one point, the two of them were duking it out next to the goal and Graham scored. Caspian gave him and high five and told him, "Good job!"

With the advent of cooler temps, K attempted to get into the woods to do some woodcutting. His chainsaw did not cooperate, but fun was had anyhow.

Goat feeding. I'll admit these animals have won me over. Feeding time is hilarious, with the chickens lurking under the cows, and the cows driving off the goats, and the two little sheepies running to and fro.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday...

It's our anniversary the day after tomorrow. Nine years. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And so it's September.

It's a hectic week here in the Valley. Lots of work, soccer, school, etc. I told the kids on Sunday night that there was a good chance K and I would be a bit stressed, and they needed to pitch in and help so we could check off the things that need checking. 

And guess what? They have. We rocked Monday and Tuesday. Homework, check. Games, check. Family dinners, check. Decent bedtimes, check. 

We were talking about some of their school's rules last night and Annaliese said "Some rules are appropriate. Others are stupid."

Smart kid.

Hopefully we will get caught up from our time away this week. Didn't much enjoy not seeing K on Sunday or after dinner last night. C'est la vie.

After nearly nine years, it's still this guy...

Uncle-Cousin Nick came home with us after BG and stayed for a few precious days, stolen between his two years in Moscow. He's Caspian's godfather and one of our favorites and can come back anytime.

Got to go inside one of the coolest Valley houses that's been bought and will be renovated, thankfully by someone other than us. It was amazing. And infested with fleas. We did not know that while taking this picture.

First time back at the local seafood joint after the staffing shenanigans that went on this summer. It's been an eventful time for me, between the W-M dispute and the two employees, one a friend, who quit mid-shift during the busiest week of the year. I've come to several conclusions... don't hire friends. Trust people's actions, not their words. 

We have had a long, slow month in-store. It was anticipated, is entirely normal for the season shifting, and I was doing a good job about not freaking out about it until suddenly I wasn't. I am officially freaking out. People need to come buy some m-fr$#ing groceries. Lordy.

My typical reaction to business not being what I'd like it to be is to focus on a new area of expansion. I have ideas, folks, but on the other hand, expansions take money, and people, and a lot, a lot, a lot of energy. And I have none of those three things. So let's hope business swings up and we can ride a plateau for a little while and I can come home at decent times and work decent hours and have two days off a week and not think about the store every waking moment of my life.

It'd be nice. I had a bad dream last night, a really bad one, but after the dream ebbed away, my first thought was "hey! It wasn't about work!"

There is a local merchant here who worked six days a week for four decades. He provided for his family, did not become rich, but did his job with integrity and knowledge day after day, year after year. And then he retired. People miss him being in the store but boy, he's having a ball, finally doing what it is he'd like to do with no daily commitments. He's a role model for me. I don't want to franchise, get rich, or stop working. I'd just like to make a modest living and work about 45 hours a week. 

We'll see. I guess I'm nervous because the balloon of the book is dying down and it's hard to predict the settling point.

But! all is well. Kids are amazing. Husband is... at work a lot, but in between amazing. House is beautiful, and I hear there will soon be a screened porch :) Fall is coming, my favorite season, a season I will forever associate now with being heavily pregnant with Annaliese and walking the dogs endlessly, putting acorns in my pockets to take home to windowsills and wooden bowls and thinking always of the future and what it might be like, to have a daughter and someday another child and a husband and a home.

Now I know. It's worth everything.