Archive for September, 2011

At home

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

I realized we’ve got a tradition going; every time we come to Oregon, we each buy a pair of boots. Last summer when we visited in June (the trip where we came out fully expecting to buy another house but found this much better one instead) we each bought a pair of cowboy boots, light brown. Ted, who finds his feet get very cold when walking between office buildings wearing dress shoes in a Dutch winter, had actually planned to buy a pair; I just sort of got sucked in. Those worked out very well; he likes the warmth and comfort while I liked that they are comfortable, go with both skirts and pants, and are a bit unique (in the Netherlans, anyway) and distinctly American. So when we came back at Christmas, we each bought a black pair. We skipped the boot-buying in April when my parents visited (maybe I should have talked Mom into getting a pair!) but succumbed again to the lure of the boot this trip. He got a new pair of work boots (the old pair died after fifteen years or so, which is why he replaced them with the same brand, Danners) and I got a pair of tall boots I fell in love with at DSW. (You mat notice that I am very carefully not mentioning how many other pair of shoes I bought. I’m not impressed with the selection available in Eindhoven – tons of shoe stores, but they tend to be both expensive and uncomfortable.)

I don’t think this is a sustainable tradition, but it’s fun while it lasts. We are certainly doing our bit to resuscitate the US economy.

Aside from the shopping, though, we’re really glad we took this holiday. We hadn’t originally planned a trip home now, but we realized we had both the time and the money available and that we both really wanted to go. Since buying the house, I’d never been here when it was warm enough to really enjoy the deck – in fact, I’m out on it now. The star-watching hasn’t baan as good as I hoped due to the full moon, but one night before it rose I did get to see both a satellite and a shooting star. Later that night Ted brought out the spotting scope and we had an amazing view of the moon itself. Tycho crater was bright and even the smallest craters on the horizon were crystal-sharp.

We still don’t have our rowing shells here, though everything is set up and ready for them, but Ted’s parents have brought their inflatable kayaks up and I took one of those out a couple of times. It’s a bit clumsy, being made more for floating downstream, but it was good to have water under my butt – it’s not enough for me to just look at the lake!

I have confirmed that gardening is still not my favorite thing in the world, but I suppose there’s a satisfaction in tending to your own land. Also, Ted’s parents do like gardening, but they have a tendency to work too hard when they come up here if we don’t get to it first. So the gardens are now pristine, until the next batch of weeds spring up and the willow next door decides it’s autumn and drop all its leaves.

All we need to do now is to figure out how to live here full-time. Anyone want to hire a couple of telecommuters?

and I realize …. I’m going home…

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

2.5 more days of work until vacation! I have no idea why I get so excited about a chance to spend time at our own house in Oregon, but I do, every time. (Of course, part of that is also just about having a week-and-a-day off work.) I wish we could stay longer but Ted has an important meeting the first day back. Sigh.

We are hoping to be able to bring our boats up from where they’re stored in my in-laws’ garage, but that’s proving difficult. It would have been easy to do back when we had a big SUV we could put the boat rack on, but while we still have the rack, we’ve been having trouble finding something to attach it to. We could improvise with an imperfect rack and foam, but we haven’t been able to find a truck or van with a rack for rent. It’s not like a kayak where you can just plop it on some foam and tie it down; we have to move a single and a double and the double is 35′ long.

I’m tempted to buy kayaks anyway (they are in the longer term plans) but rationally I know that’s a stupid thing to do before I try a few different kinds. I hope we can go ‘yak-shopping at the new Cabela’s in the area, though, just to see what they have. The boy needs work boots anyway. (His term: he means hiking boots. Only guy I’ve ever met who wears Danners to mow the lawn.)

Also, American steaks! And drinking local Oregon wines with them!

Also, DSW! (Shoes are both more expensive here and, in my experience, lower quality.)

Also, good corn on the cob! (Don’t even tell me about picking it out back and shucking it on the way to the pot; I’ll just be happy with normal US supermarket quality.)

Also, cooking on a stove with actual flames! And a real oven!

How appallingly domestic of me.