The pirate letter and treasure map

Jo is most impressed with the burn marks! Danger on the high seas!


Going on a Treasure Hunt!

My dad did the coolest thing for Jo.  A little context first though:

Jo is in to pirates.  Baylor is not necessarily in to parrots, but he is a natural born sidekick due to his birth order.

When Jo got her Halloween costume, she faithfully stayed in character for 72 hours before I forced her out of it.  I was worried she was training one eye to be lazy and one eye to be super-human by wearing that eyepatch.
And if by chance parrots like to waddle around looking for rolled paper product to unravel, well then Baylor stayed in character too.
 So back to the story.  Jo took up the hobby of digging in the dirt looking for buried treasure.  My dear Dad planned a very elaborate treasure hunt.  It started with a letter from BLACKBEARD the pirate, written to Captain Jo.  The letter appeared to be written in crayon (suspect) but it did have burns and singing around the outside, so Jo was quite convinced of its authenticity.  You can see below that the letter was conveniently forwarded to her at my parents house.  US Postal must know the whereabouts of toddler pirates & buried treasure alike.
 The letter was NOT a treasure map.  This raised some tiny eyebrows at first, until she realized that the letter led her to a secret location, where she was able to dig up a legit treasure map. Then, with a bit of navigation from Poppa (aka Whitebeard the Pirate), Jo found the X on the map.  I took videos of this, but even though the treasure was buried only .75 inches under VERY loose soil, it took Jo a good deal of time to unearth it.  She may have a penchant for archaeology - what with the care, precision and pace she dug.  I think it took about 25 minutes.  She wanted to grid the site with string and sift the soil so as not to disturb any artifacts, but Grammy encouraged her to just be reckless (that's the sort of influence Grammy is).
 FINALLY when the treasure chest was uncovered, Jo sat on her haunches and explored her pirate's booty.
Inside the treasure chest was money, pirate dentures, jewels, a gun, a priceless golden apple, candy (oddly well preserved after centuries of being buried an inch under ground in the exotic and unlikely land of Wilsonville, OR) and lots of dubloons.  This is a memory that Jo will have all her life.
Above is my favorite picture (you can see the map on the ground)- I love how their heads are together and he's holding her tin jewelry case steady for her.  Individually, these are two of my favorite people in the world, and I love that they have such a special relationship.  
Dad, THANK YOU for taking so much delight in my daughter.  
And Jo, THANK YOU for taking so much delight in my Dad.


I have made a total of ONE decisions

The situation with the house is progressing despite my severe case of decision paralysis.  The normal course of events is that I show up at the house, caffeinated and ready to work like mad. I walk around to assess the sitution, prioritize tasks, and develop a plan.  While walking around I get overwhelmed. I start wringing my hands. I fret and experience mild panic. 

Then, inevitably, my dad shows up and tells me what to do.

Thanks goodness. 

Anyhow, there are lots of interesting updates, but the big news is that after countless hours of shopping for paint colors, floor materials, light fixtures, hardware, floor registers and bathtubs, I have FINALLY made one choice.

And here she is:

She'll be hanging in my bathroom.*

Isn't that extravagent?

*If you show up at my house and want to know why I have a chandelier in my bathroom but no sink or tub to bathe in, I will ignore your question.


New house - day one of tens of thousands

Today we got the keys to our dirty grimy smelly ancient lovely wonderful new house! The purple wall paper (first layer) is gone. Dad tore out carpet and jack capped off our gas line. Not bad for day one!


Upstream & Downstream

My family tree isn't a complicated one.  In simple terms, I have a mom and also a daughter.  Metaphorically speaking, I think that I am generationally surrounded by a single personality.

This one:

 Case in point. If you tell my mom there are no more skinny cow chocolate bars (and the truffle variety doesn't count and is not permissible in her freezer), you get the same look my daughter gives me when I tell her we're out of eggo waffles.

 Now try telling them you've already checked the garage freezer for a stray box, and come up empty:

 And NO, you will not "go to the store real quick to pick up some more"

 further looks of silent, unchanging disapproval.


unyielding. PASSIONATE displeasure.


Ok FINE. You WILL go to the store and get her some more. If she will just. stop. making. that. FACE.


Mature and Responsible Spending

We will hopefully close on our new house in the next 2 weeks.  It hasn't been without drama, but that will make the first night we spend snuggled up in our beautiful, new, cozy home 200 gallons of bleach and paint we pour over it, all the more sweet. 

This house has been neglected for some time, it needs a lot of work.  The property is big and overgrown.  Our measley tool box and puny lawn mower will not do the trick, so we have compiled a hearty to-buy list.  We've been saving up for this for years, now it is time to spend. Here's just some of what we need to buy:
1. 25 ft ladder
2. Chain saw
3. Riding lawn mower
4. perhaps a chipper
5. new furnace
6. all appliances

Do you know what I've purchased so far for this house that we don't even own yet?

This couch.
I'm sure it will do a great job mowing the lawn, washing laundry, heating the house and microwaving hot pockets.