Archive | October, 2011

The new digs (The Greenhouse)

23 Oct

View from the front porch

Between working our altogether 4 jobs, we found time to move into our new place! It’s on the Washington side of the river on Underwood mountain and it has a gorgeous view. The house itself is old, but the view, the kitchen, and the rent make it totally worth it. Oh, and the wood stove and the GIANT bath tub. Brendan has worked pretty tirelessly putting everything away and working on the leaking washing machine. So it’s finally starting to look like a home!

Last week we had a chili-cookoff to celebrate being settled in! It was a small gathering, but we had 3 amazing chili’s.

Chili Cookoff 2011

Next on the agenda is to get chickens and put in a garden. Even though it’s fall, we’re gonna try some hardier things like kale, some carrots for the spring, and we’ll see what else. It’s so nice to have our own space and it’s a really great place to relax at the end of the day.

My favorite room: the kitchen


Can you feel it coming?

16 Oct

It’s not just the cooler weather, or the lack of out-of-state license plates, the surest sign of fall is the change in questions amongst the locals. Whether they are asking each other or a visitor, the questions switch from “Do you kiteboard or windsurf?” to “Do you ski or snowboard?” The sails & surfboards on the roof racks get traded for snowboards, skis, or a hitch for snowmobiles.

The winds have slowed down a bit, the mountain has a fresh coat of snow, or at least it did a week ago when the clouds parted enough to see it, and the uggs & down jackets have come out (not quite in full force). For us it means longer days for Brendan, since the grapes are finally being brought in, slower nights @ Kaze since sushi isn’t top on cold-weather-comfort food, building fires at our new wood-heated house, and wishing there was some heat around to make Chewie & Sokehs think they were tired.

So yes, fall is here. Today of course counters all of that- it’s sunny & warm and yesterday Chewbacca decided my sunglasses would be a nice snack. Harvest festival is in full swing & the traffic is what summers usually look like. Hopefully we get a solid amount of rain, like usual, but hopefully January won’t bring the 12 degrees we had last year. Altogether it’s shaping up to be a great fall & winter, mainly because we are settling into our own place.


8 Oct

As usual the idea in my head was much greater than what I could actually do/perform, especially once I got sick. I had the grand plan that I could work all 3 of my jobs, school, kaze, and the cinemas until December to save up some money and also to pay down some students loans & bills. After doing it for one week and then catching a bug, I’m out. Not only have I not been functioning, or played with my dogs, but I feel like I haven’t seen Brendan in a week. I put in my notice to the Cinemas which has made me exceedingly happy to not hand out movie tickets, and also sad because I really enjoy all the people I work with. I’ll be keeping the sushi job because it is a lot of fun and I only do it a few nights a week. And the school job is exactly what I hoped: more fun than I’ve had in a long time.

I forget just how excited I get teaching. Brendan took me out for dinner the other night (Stonehedge: Highly recommend it), and I spent most of the night telling him about my students and the math concepts we’re covering. Brendan just smiled at me, I’m sure he’ll get sick of me talking about math soon enough.

For instance:
The concept we covered this week in 8th grade Algebra, was exponents. 4^4=256 which is the same thing as 4x4x4x4.
But 4^0=1 Explaining this was difficult, but once they realized that if exponents are repeated multiplication, then you can work backwards using repeated division. So:
4^4 or 4x4x4x4=256
4^3 or 4x4x4=64
4^2 or 4×4=16
4^1 or 4×1=4

Needless to say, I’m having way too much fun.

Winter is Coming!

7 Oct

I haven’t written in a while, so I will try to recap what Tarnna and I have been up to in the past few months. To start, Tarnna got a teaching job! YAAAYYY! Tarnna took a year off in college to teach second graders on Pohnpei island in Micronesia and has been trying to get back into the classroom ever since. She has been looking into and applying for teaching credential programs so that she can get her Masters. She is still looking, but in the meantime this job opportunity was thrown her way (thank you Hatti!) and was accepted as a para-educator working full time as a teachers aide in Stevenson, WA. the town is on the other side of the Columbia River about 20 minutes west of Hood River. As wonderful as this new development is, the downside is that now between the two of us we are working 5 jobs and hardly get to see each other. She works at the school Monday-Friday until about 3 or 4, manages the local cinema in the evening about 4 nights a week, and works as a part time server at Kaze, a very delicious sushi restaurant. I am still working at a downtown wine tasting room, but tomorrow harvest will start at Domaine Pouillon, so I will be back to 7 days a week working anywhere from 12-16hr days processing grapes. It doesn’t matter if you love what you’re doing, 16 hours of hard manual labor is a long day.