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‘Round the House

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Click pictures to embiggen them 🙂 It’s worth it!

Patrick carries the Torch

Alex's Avatar inspired sparklers

just one of Philip's completed projects

Rock Slide at Alsea for Elizabeth & Philip

Markel's Courage!

Sweet Summer Romance

Elizabeth practices for DaVinci Days

Ford Apollo is getting bigger by the minute

My artwork inspires...

…and back again!

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Tenacious Muffin

Tenacious Muffin

Upon leaving Sioux Falls, I’d gathered up three extra children (Alex and Elizabeth, whom I planned to bring, and Philip, who was a surprise guest on the trip) and we headed due west. We’d made it an hour before a breakfast break became necessary. 130 miles later, when we stopped for gasoline, I was surprised to discover the muffin-to-go was still on the roof of the car. Dubbed “Tenacious Muffin” and adopted as our trip’s mascot, never a more-loved pastry has existed.  Our guy hung on all the way to Bozeman, MT, where circumstance required a power-washing of the tank and we, once again, neglected the muffin on the roof.  Tenacity has it’s limits apparently.

Tenacious Muffin

Tenacious Muffin

I’d overfilled my oil, back in Rapid City the second time, so we were in need of assistance, the free kind.  So we took to the internal roads of Bozeman until we happened upon a sweet little mom & pop (okay more pop than mom) oil changing place.  The guys, as expected, took good care of me, with humor and a graciousness that is alive and well in my universe.  I thought briefly they might poke fun at the silly woman who make such a silly mistake… in reality though, I think they all just prayed for us to have a happy and safe trip.  And they helped us out, for free. Probably helped that the kids were so dang cute!


Why yes I am this smart


I love The Doctor!

Hayden (and his new ‘do):

SD Sushi!

Philip (and his first REAL donut):

I can't wait to stab it's eye out...

It’s amazing how it all worked out, rotating out of the coyote den sleeping space, talking and laughing and enjoying… the trip home felt short and truly sweet ♥

To South Dakota…

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Goodbye Joe! Goodbye Gramma!

Hayden and I began Our Adventure on Wednesday, June 23… the day after two of our dear friends left this plane of existence. We brought them with us in Spirit! What road trip doesn’t need an extra mountain-climbing-unschooling-dad and a mama-to-the-coolest-chick-in-town? Their guidance was well received and enjoyed for of our 3200 miles!

Wide Sky Life

Lots of miles, lots of sunshine, lots of bizarre topics of conversation… We  were pretty dang impressed by Minerva’s MjÇ«llnir Volvo performance ♥ Any day now, the girl will officially have traveled 250,000 miles!

Our travels were made oh-so-much easier by having scheduled breaks (with unschoolers!) all along the route… We left early & had a 2 hour lunch a mere 5 hours later with our King/Shawley friends in Kennewick, WA; then had a soft clean bed to crash upon 6 hours later, followed by hours of coffee and chat with Deb Lewis and her menagerie. Did I mention coffee and chat? Both were exactly what I needed to break the road weary brain function that cumulates with every curve! We had a mere 9 hours to go before the next BIG break: visiting the Buxcels in Rapid City.

Bestie Beasties

We wisely took two nights and a *whole* day to spend with our terrifically missed family. I at once felt like catching up while falling right in…

Han Solo meets Sage

My Friend Stone

The Moon Girls

I don’t know how it is I’ve managed to exist these many days without these people in my everyday world, except I’ve somehow managed to keep them very present in my thoughts and in my heart… This was where I felt most at home on the trip. And it was the company, not the location. Well, okay, it was the food, too!

Hayden had a day of Saylor and airsoft guns, while I danced between Sage, My-Friend-Stone & the newest clan member, Zuri Luna River.  She and I got to be together on the Strawberry Moon of June.  I’m so honored.  Plus, we went to the formerly-Gigglebees and did all the Gigglebees things we know, love and miss so much! I got high score twice on Centipede and the boys had a heyday with the tickets from skee-ball, not to mention laser tag!!

We continued on, wisely hitting the road in the early (read: cooler) morning, with only 5 hours to go to our final destination: Sioux Falls!  Where we instantly gathered some of our favorite things: lunch at Spezia’s with Donna, Bruce, Trisha, Adam, Breann & Brayden ♥ We were then treated to some of Eli’s sacred time, an old-fashioned thunderstorm & an evening with old friends.
For me, this included seeing an amazing (storm damaged venue be damned) Janitor Bob and the Armchair Cowboys show, while Hayden hung out with Alex and Elizabeth.
Sunday was so beautiful, I was compelled to stop by Falls Park and play some Uke for Hannah, on her bench

Puff the Magic Dragon for Hannah

I got to hang out with Mom & Dad – with Rhonda, Louis and their mom Kelly

You got funky ear, too!

Gramma and her Ginger

He looks like his name should be Eddie!

Her last day at 15...

My farts are a sign of happiness!

diana spoons by payton

THEN we got to have parkday with the locals – and Trisha + babies! With Sushi!

Han Solo at McKennan Park with Sushi Masa

H's New Summer 'Do

Bre's a-Ukin'


And just when it can’t get any better, I got dinner with my not-photograph-able friend and her adorable family (she’s adorable, too – it’s a soul-snatching instinct or something, she cannot be photographed!)

The man smart enough to snatch Mel off the market, 16 years ago!

Three monkey babies

Oh my! ’twas an amazing and beautiful trip… and this is only the first half and it doesn’t include the twins… More soon! ♥

2010 LIFE is Good 1

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Prepared for another Memorial Day Weekend of Amazingness, we packed up the Dream Wagon and headed to the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference.

Family Reunion in the Driveway

Family Reunion in the Lobby

Everywhere I looked there were happy people & those who were being helped to get back to happy 🙂 An entire weekend of Assumed Positive Intent. Powerful stuff, I tell ya.
Powerful enough for my friend Linda to perform in the Talent Show ♥

The Courageous Moment

Even when he's not there, I'm strumming him

Me, Cris & Han Solo

Powerful enough for me to share my music with my people ♥
Powerful enough for me to have musical inspiration to share! ♥

You Are My Sunshine

My Art

My Edible Art

I shared, too, my arts. My Garden Dudes, Bowls & even my very own Birthday Cheesecake!  (I had amazing carrot cupcakes, that I ate without documenting – YUM!)
And I got to be inspired by young artists all around me!

The Flying Dog

Clothespin Doll

Diana & Juliet

And I got to hop and play and hug and dance with lots of little friends!

The Playroom, aka Birthing Center

My New Redheaded Stepchild!

Me & Edith

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

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The return of me and m’boy! ♥

April 2010

Hayden circa 2006; mom & H, May 2009

So good to have this face in my house again! ♥

What’s a mama to do?

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While Hayden’s busy doing things like this:

It’s HOT in here!

Mama’s busy doing things like this:

Krazy Kake for May Day

and this:

Napalm Caramel

and somma this:

Incubating Pain au Chocolat

and a moment or two of this:

Purple in the Garden

Makes a week fly by!

Adventures of Hayden

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Hayden is off this week, on a Grand Adventure to Kennewick, WA, to stay with his friend Kalel. As an only child, I imagine becoming one of 5 is a whole new world for him!
We’re keeping in touch with a lot of text messaging (yes, an unschooler who can read and write, no coercion, no curriculum, no lessons) and I’ve requested pictures. So far here are the Hayden sent images:

Halfway Up a Mountain

“Mom! I saw some purebred Newfies! They ARE as big as bears!”

Newfie on the Mountain

Today he received his charger & upon charging his phone, he sent these:

Monkey Face

Monkey Dude

He had some excitement today that his amazing hostess documented for me at Facebook


Charlie and the Burn Pile

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Apparently, today is burn day. Landlord Larry has Woody in the backyard, burning all the scrub-wood and scraps in the corner of the property (with a great big story about how it’s allowed 15 days/year). For me, it’s the ridding of an eyesore and an opening of more land to garden! For Charlie, however, it’s an entirely different form of entertainment.

Now to look closely at Charlie, one might see (as we did) his distant Newfoundland ancestor; a casual glimpse, however, will direct you down a path of closer bird-hunting-dog ancestors, given his whispy-golden-retriever-like curls, though black. This winters’ geese and duck population would disagree, however, as they happily waddled and pooped in our backyard, oblivious to their canine predators after the first few fly-aways.

Charlie the Unicorn *snort* Jennerson

Nah. Me thinks he’s part Dachshund or sumsuch, the way he chases all things rodent-like (squirrels *especially,*  mice, coons, cats, etc), with an obsession rivaling coon hounds on their quarry’s tail.

Woody, our handyman-boy, mentioned he saw the remnants of the mice home in the burn pile. When Charlie first paid attention to the pile, we figured rodents were the cause of his interest. The log he dragged away (whining because of it’s heft and subsequent difficulty to maneuver) seemed, to us, a consolation prize for the rodent-lost.

Pay no attention to the ninja dog on your right. do de du

Nope. The he was, indeed, after the wood. Saving it from the torturous future afire.

If you're not gonna use this...

He had quite a little collection going here.  Woody’s sweet enough to let Charlie have his fair share!

Lookee Mama! I'm a hero!

The Traaseths Visit (a peek!)

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When it’s freezing freaking cold at the beach (as it usually is in Oregon), climb the nearest bluff and find magic! ♥

View from Underland

Beautiful Magic!

Kyra & Hayden

It’s hard to tear away and go back into the wind


Though some seem fully impervious

Friendship warms the heart -- good thing, too!

For most of us, walking back through the wind was merely an excuse to get to the SouthBeach Fish Co!

Folks travel for miles & lightyears to eat here!

And eventually, to make our way back to Corvallis, for friends

The Girls!

And music

Patrick performs

and another round or 4 of breakfast at Sunnyside Up!

More Sunnyside Up

girls who heal my heart, still

I had the incredible honor to share my afternoon with these two amazing spirits.
I’ll be sniggering for years, as I recall snatches of our incredibly intense and varied conversations.

Willow's Chicken Dance

W: I have lots of questions about Hannah.
D: Ask them, I’ll tell ya.
W: I’m really glad we buried some of Hannah with my chicken (Porch)
W: I really love graveyards.
D: You do?
W:Yeah, they’re so cool. But I’ve never been to one, Linda thinks they’re creepy.
D: I’d LOVE to go to a graveyard with you! We’ll bring our cameras.
[mind you, we’ve been talking Hannah, but this statement just came flying out, whilst we drove down the road…]
W: I’m afraid to die. I think it hurts to stop breathing.
D: ::blink, blink::
R: Oh Willow, you don’t have to be afraid! It can’t hurt. And remember your chicken? She’ll be there when you stop breathing…
D: Sweetie, it doesn’t hurt when it’s your time to die. I’ve held two people when they stopped and I will gladly tell you whatever you want to know about how it happens. (stopped car) Though, probably not at McDonalds. We’ll save this one for home.

Rowan's Chicken Dance

D: Hey Rowan, I know something you know…
R: You’re cute?
[Rowan’s hand is out her open window in a fast car]
R: The wind is blowing right in my face & in my eyeballs!
D: Try moving your hand.
[pulls hand into car]
R: Wow! it stopped!!

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