Monday, September 28, 2015

tough week

We had a rough go of it last week - Liesl caught a nasty stomach virus and started throwing up on Monday afternoon, continuing all through that night. She was sick and lethargic Tuesday and Wednesday, but seemed well enough on Thursday to return to school. Clearly a mistake - she threw up again on Thursday afternoon, this time all over the backseat of the car - seats, library books, Seb's backpack, everything.  She was home again on Friday, having eaten nothing but bread, rice, apples, and bananas for multiple days. Steve was also sick all week from an incipient migraine coupled with too much work, the stomach virus, and a persistent run of insomnia. And then he came down with a cold on Friday, just as a final kicker. Poor thing hasn't slept well in over a week and he's just miserable. I felt sick on Tuesday morning - whether from the virus or the all-nighter spent cleaning up after Liesl wasn't clear - but fortunately recovered, and Sebastian never caught anything at all. (As usual.)

To add insult to injury, Lionel Messi (Seb's Barcelona soccer idol) and Ben Roethlisberger (QB of Steve's football team, the Steelers) both suffered serious knee injuries this week, putting them out for weeks. It's been a sad time in the Avery/Raab home.

So far this week has been much better. Liesl did an advanced gymnastics class on Monday and loved it; she devoured 4 meatballs and 3 slices of stromboli for dinner tonight; Steve has recovered from the illnesses. The weather continues to be perfectly cool and crisp and sunny.  It's the first week of classes at PSU, so all my students have returned, with all their energy, enthusiasm, questions, and grand plans. It's my favorite time of the year.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

apple picking

We went to an orchard this morning for our annual apple picking excursion. It was a gorgeous Portland fall day to be out enjoying the crisp air and the fruit trees. We tried a new local orchard this year - Smith's Berry Barn - and had a great time. In an hour or so, the kids and I picked 81 lbs of apples and pears. 81!!  Bring on the applesauce, apple cakes, apple crisps, apple pies, apple muffins, apple salads, apple snacks, roasted meat with apples....  I'm prepared for it to be fall now. :)
 "How excited are you for apple baking?!" 
 Jumping for just-out-of-reach pears. A fantastic idea, except if you missed and shook the fruit loose, pears fell on your noggin. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hood River weekend; Cooper Spur hike

I spent the weekend in Hood River with ten mama friends. We talked, we drank, we laughed, we talked and laughed and drank some more... and on Saturday we hiked the 7.5 mile Cooper Spur trail on Mt. Hood. We reached 8900 ft, with Hood rising above us and the Eliot glacier below, and there was fresh snow all around us. We could see Mt. St. Helens and Rainier and Adams, and then the high desert, and then we rounded a corner and could see Mts. Jefferson, Bachelor, and the Three Sisters. It was one of the most amazing hikes I've ever done. I feel so lucky.

Adrienne, Melissa, Elise, Mary, Crystal, Michela, Paula, Yomari, and Anne.
and me!
I've never hiked on this side of Mt. Hood before and it was definitely a spectacular sight - more wild than the south side, with all its ski resorts.

First sightings of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens - Rainier is behind Helens but hard to see.
The snow begins! We were lucky enough to hike on Saturday morning into fresh powder - it had snowed Tuesday/Wednesday nights and few had visited since. It was gorgeous white snow - so fun.
Elise and the Eliot glacier.
Mt. Jefferson, with Bachelor and the Three Sisters to the left behind it.
We're heading to Cooper Spur, which is the last big rocky outcropping at the end of the knife ridge, before the straight-up snow begins.
Oregon's high desert country stretching behind us.
Only some of us decided to hike along this ridge to the end. It was a bit steep and was causing vertigo in some of my friends.
You can see the single-file tracks of a couple mountain climbers who headed straight up that face.

And then a group of us hustled back down to meet up with the three who had turned back at the top. Sadly, we found Yomari having a migraine episode - triggered by the altitude and exertion - and struggling to get down the mountain. Anne and Adrienne had been taking care of her and taking frequent rests;  Elise sang us a gorgeous song to get us everyone down the last half mile. I've never been serenaded while hiking before; I could get used to it.

The first car-load drove back to Hood River and I sat at the trailhead to await the second group - who had taken a wrong turn and gotten lost, and ended up hiking an additional 2 miles to get back to our starting place. So it was a long wait, but they made it and we drove back to the house we'd rented. Yomari was getting worse and feeling panicked so they took her to the local hospital - and then the rest of us went to dinner at Pfriem Brewery. The hike had taken MUCH longer than expected and Pfriem was booked solid, so it was 8:30 by the time we were eating. We had gelato afterwards, and danced to a one-man band playing music on the waterfront, and then went back to the house to discover that we'd locked ourselves out. Fortunately, one window was open on the porch and we managed to pop the screen and crawl in. But we felt that we'd had just enough small fiascos to make the weekend especially memorable.  :)