Life Update June 2013

So, long time no write, eh. I haven’t had much to write. No contrast, I suppose. Things haven’t been all wine and roses, but they haven’t been unmanageable. Life has been exceptionally good this year. Busy and active, but very good. I have enjoyed the early spring here in Mount Shasta, putting my veggies in early and getting new veggies going that I haven’t planted before. Digging in the dirt has a meditative state to me that puts me in a state of bliss. I do wish I had a bit of a warmer climate in the garden so that tomatoes and cucumbers were happier, but I have ways of modifying things. This year, I’ve planted: Onions Garlic Potatoes Zucchini Pumpkins Tomatoes Radishes Spinach Broccoli …

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Escape from the screens

It’s been cold here in California for the last few weeks. The kids, used to spending a lot of time outside playing in paradise, have taken to sitting in front of screens. And then, when they aren’t in front of iPads and computers, they are bouncing off the walls. I have had to make more efforts to get them out doing things. Neither of them are interested in snow-related outside activities, which is a real travesty living here in the land of world-class skiing and snowboarding. But I follow what they want… Yesterday, I took them to Ashland, Oregon for some play time. We’re members of the Science Works Museum and it’s one of our go-to places for indoor activities. For a small town, it’s …

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Happiness versus Meaning

There was an interesting article recently in the Atlantic entitled There’s More to Life That Being Happy. The article is on Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, which was one of the most influential books I’ve read in my life. I suppose I owe a thank you to whichever college professor assigned it to me at this point, but I cannot remember which one did! According to the article, most Americans say they’re happy. But they don’t have much meaning in their life. We are blessed to live in an amazing place, where most of us have abundant resources at our immediate disposal. We have everything that we could ever want or need. We have a general state of happiness. But we seek to …

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2013

We survived the holidays. Barely. Max came home from school one day with a sore throat. Of course, that was the day before the snowstorm hit. Within 48 hours, we were all sick. We also had about 6 feet of snow in the driveway by the end of it. I was grateful I hit the stores before the storm and sickness, grateful for not having anywhere to go, and grateful that the kids seems to process through the virus quickly. I was even more immensely grateful seeing my awesome neighbor with heavy equipment in my driveway during one break in the snowfall. He cleared the driveway just enough for me to get out to the store and get some more kid’s Advil. Apparently grape flavored …

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Healing after Tragedy

I’m devastated by what happened in Connecticut last week. Horrified. I’ve cried and hugged my kids tighter, and I’ve prayed. I’ve wondered why. I’ve engaged in precisely one conversation about gun control. That was enough. I understand that people are upset and they want a solution RIGHT NOW. They want someone to pass a law to make things better. They want better mental health treatment. They might even want to ban video games. It is horrific what we’ve all had to watch. And it’s more horrific that parents are waking up days before Christmas without their beautiful babies. I don’t like guns either. I don’t like violent video games. I wish that I could make them ALL go away and live on a peaceful planet …

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121212 Concert Blew Me Away

I rarely watch TV anymore. In fact, we don’t have traditional television, only a Roku. Well, Claire is a huge Chris Martin/Coldplay fan, so I loaded up the 121212 concert for her last night so she could see him. I have always enjoyed music. While I look back on some of my high school music choices with wonderment (just why did I like Adam Ant so much?), I think I have some fairly decent and eclectic musical tastes. But in the last 10 years, I haven’t listened to much music. Well, unless you consider the myriad renditions of Itsy Bitsy Spider that I’ve heard true music appreciation… then I suppose I’ve listened to music. So when I fire up some tunes, I’m usually jet setting …

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Rewriting Greek Mythology

Every night, the kids gather around and I read to them. Being kind of a nut about classics, history, and meaningful learning, I was scouring our overfilled bookcases for something meaningful that they would actually enjoy. In Mark’s bookcases (which are usually off limits to us; he’s kind of obsessive about his books!) we found a book about Greek heroes. It took about a week to read every story, and they loved them. I then supplemented with another book about Greek mythology directed for younger audience. Max now has been asking me to read Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. The dialogue between Moyers and Campbell is a little over Claire’s head, but Max is REALLY into it. So far, he’s really interested in how …

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Miracles come in all packages

We’ve been getting an immense amount of rain here in Mount Shasta, and they’ve predicted that the snow up on the mountain will break previous storm snowfall records… of course the previous record is on Mount Shasta, too. The winds the other day were immense. So much so that an 80 foot tree on our property fell and nearly hit the house. I had loud music on in the other room (it was probably Coldplay, due to Claire’s recent Chris Martin obsession), so I didn’t hear it. I felt it, though, and figured Mark had dropped something upstairs. I went to investigate. It was a tree that had fallen. It narrowly missed the house. The very top of the tree was resting on the back …

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Visiting Santa Barbara

After the fun of 2012, I lobbied pretty hard for a vacation as soon as Max’s school schedule allowed. Hello, Thanksgiving! We drove down to Santa Barbara for a week to get a change of scenery. While I enjoy Monterey/Carmel quite a bit, we needed some sunshine. Santa Barbara was as far as we had to go to get out of the rains. Claire loves Santa Barbara. How could she not. There is a carousel near the wharf. Each horse has a name, or so Claire tells me. This one was named “Longo.” We ate at some spectacular restaurants. Brophy Brothers was divine. We waited a full hour to get seated at the bar, and it was worth it. We visited Los Agaves twice. And …

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Changing Seasons

I’ve not found time to write much this fall, as I’ve been focused on taking care of so many things around here. I’m happy to report that the great IRS Audit of 2012 is now over, and I did not find it as painful as I had initially thought. I felt pretty awful about the state of my books at the start of things, but after hiring an enrolled agent to guide me through the process, I’m seeing it wasn’t all that bad after all. It turns out that the auditors were primarily looking for some things related to business in Texas. They didn’t find what they were looking for (at least not in my books!), so they’ve moved on to greener pastures. The funniest …

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