Sunday, April 27, 2008


We picked up a new litter of kittens this afternoon at the humane society. There are five kittens, all male, all tabby, two long-haired, three short, all very cute!

This litter came in with their mom, but she stayed at the shelter. The shelter vet thought she had done enough and would be ready to be rid of the kittens. We wanted to take her home with them, but since they are eating on their own, she stays to try to get adopted. They are already a pound and a half, so we should only be fostering them for two or three weeks.

If you live in the area and want to come play with them, let us know!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Beautiful Day in the Willamette Valley

Today my GS co-leader and I loaded up the gas guzzler and took the girls to the Jackson Frazer Wetlands and walked around the board walk. It was just such a beautiful day and we all thoroughly enjoyed being out and exploring the critters.

The Gang of Gregarious Girls at the Jackson Frazer Wetlands


All the girls caught caterpillers

And Cierra stuck one on her nose

Bekka caught a baby snake


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bekka has a Job!

Bekka stayed after at Irish dance tonight to show the instructor her novice reel and ended up with a JOB! She'll be helping teach the New Beginner class. She'll get a lovely green "Staff" shirt to wear and will be paid a real pay-check.

So, for all those people out there who question us unschoolers for "letting our kids just do what they want all the time" and don't think they'll ever be able to get a job because of it, I say "Ha! Encourage them to do what they love to do all the time, and they'll figure out a way to turn it into a living" (or it may just end up falling in their lap!).

It's possible that I'm more excited than she is - but she's pretty excited.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Dose of Compassion in the Morning

This is my desktop picture. I took my favorite Vista Desktop Image and wrote out a morning affirmation to read each morning before I start my day. The morning affirmation is adapted from A Guide to Cultivating Compassion in Your Life, With 7 Practices. My desktop is practice #1: Morning Ritual.

It reads:

Today I woke up!
I have a precious human life and I am not going to waste it.
I am going to use all of my energies to develop myself.
I will open my heart to others.
I will be light and love for the benefit of all beings.
I am going to have kind thoughts toward all others.
I am not going to get angry or think badly about others.
I am going to benefit others as much as I can.


I like to think it is helping me to be my best. I still get impatient, judgemental, and frustrated with people, but I am getting better at identifying these things and changing my thoughts surrounding people.

I am a work in process, getting better every day.

Sometimes Doing the Right Thing Sucks

Steve and I finished our taxes tonight, which is really late for us. Steve is always working on it the first week of January - he's not a procrastinator like I am. But this year we were waiting for a form that never arrived.

I did some work in trade this year and to accurately report the income, I need a W-2. Since I didn't get one, we had about six pages of extra forms to fill out (how's that for "Paperwork Reduction"?). You'd think it would be easier to pay the taxes you owe than that. And, since I didn't get a W-2, I'm assuming that the employment taxes haven't been paid, so part of the forms were to report and pay it (a whole $31).

Now, most people would just blow it off, but Steve and I both have our CPA licenses. And, while I don't ever plan to use mine ever again, Steve probably will, which means that we are really careful with our tax return, making sure that everything is accurate and complete (not that we wouldn't anyway, but it just feels more important somehow knowing that future income could ride on it). It's a pain, but ya' know, we both have four years of college, two years of slave labor, and potential future earnings on the line (not to mention the worst professional exam of all the professional exams).

Sometimes ya' gotta do the right thing, and sometimes it sucks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

If you don't make them clean their room...

It may just look like this almost all the time!

This is Steffi's room. In July we had a great time planning out how she wanted it painted. We finally finished putting it together (putting up the bed netting and hanging light) last week. She is very proud of her room, and should be!

(Oh, and just so you know, she does all this herself - she gets up in the morning and makes her bed beautiful.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


The Belief-o-Matic at is just so fascinating to me. I've always had an inexplicable interest in religion, considering I'm just not religious.

Years ago (before I had kids) I took a four-hour interest assessment exam the tries to match your interest with possible occupations. All of my top matches were religious, minister, rabbi, etc. The next top matches were all in the social services field (psychologist, psychiatrist, etc. I'm really not sure why all of this is such a good match for me, or why I've always been so interested in religious beliefs.

Well, anyway... I just took the Belief-o-Matic quiz again just now and was surprised and please by the results. I learned of this quiz about four years ago and every time I've taken it since (which I do every once in a while) it has resulted in 100% Unitarian Universalist, until today. Today the result was a 100% match with Secular Humanist.

About three months ago I was thinking of my beliefs and realized that the thing that feels true to me is secular humanism. Before that time, I considered myself a UU, felt very much like a UU and, after moving to Corvallis, struggled with the fact the the UU church here didn't feel like a very good fit.

Over the years I've recommended the Belief-o-Matic to many people and have found that those who are actively searching for a faith community often don't like the results, but when I look at their results think, "well that makes total sense". They often have an inaccurate preconceived idea of what the resulting religious match is, and can't see themselves in that religion. Often, if they just opened their mind a bit, they could see the accuracy of the recommendation. The people who are really secure in their faith community usually find that the results match what they already know.

So, go take the quiz and see what happens - I've just found it to be so accurate!