Dec 1, 2007
|FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2007
We have been in Davis for a week now. We had been unable to secure parking at either Sacramento church or the Davis church. Thankfully, we were welcomed by Kate Raymond, the DRE of the Davis church. She offered to let us stay at her house. We camped out on the street next to her house.
In Davis, we've been to the library, biked the bike path, walked the bike path, drove into Sac to go to the Capitol building and also so Aisha could go with Kristen and Vaughn to see "Into the Wild." She had read the book and was really looking forward to seeing the movie. (Thanks Kristen and Vaughn!) We have also been going to learn rock climbing at the gym where Vaughn works. Very, very, very fun.
While here I had my second mini breakdown...it's always about money. My learning curve for work is taking longer than I expected. I'm working for a great new company; the work is the same as at the hospital, but the formatting is different. Got less money for this paycheck than I had expected. Budget will have to be much tighter. We're down to the last $2 before the next paycheck. Spent a little time crying on Kate's shoulder. Thank goodness for DRE sisters!
My first reaction was to run home, but soon realized that it was not the smartest thing to do... being December and all. Kate inspired me to make a list of what I am loving about what we are doing and what is important to me. What really is most important is spending time with the girls. Soooo, heading home, holing up in the winter weather, sending the girls to school so I can work more isn't really the answer. It could work, but we won't be happy.
I asked Kate if I could barter some chores for her in exchange for staying in her driveway rather than on the street. She said okay; we can stay here for two to four weeks... be here for Christmas if we like. That gives me more stability for working and less spending to move. We can play with Kristen twice a week or so and we can homeschool and connect with the homeschoolers group here too. The weather is good; not too warm and not too cold.
Today we cleaned Kate's yard and the way I saw it, we got fresh air, got some exercise, taught Kody to hang with us off leash in the yard, and enjoyed the zen of raking and sweeping. It felt good and it was good payment to Kate.
We met the crossing guard who works at the corner right in front of Kate's house in Davis. Denise, as it happens, is a UU and former DRE from Colorado!!! Made plans to hang out with her on Tuesday in the morning before the girls and I head out to hang out with homeschoolers at 12:30.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 1, 2007
OMG I can't believe we're still hanging in here! Hanging in with the trip. Got over my breakdown. Found a new attitude. Soleil taught it to me. When there's too much to worry about, do what you can. Do one thing. Sort of like that "one day at a time" motto, but one thing at a time. It helps. It feels good to do what can be done and take things slowly.
Today Aisha and Soleil made some amazing skillet cookies using Kristen's very yummy Trader Joe's cocoa that she gave us last week. It's weird, the cupboards are seemingly bare, but we're finding we have what we need. We're being a little more creative and making some fun stuff. We've actually been eating very healthy since all that's left is "the healthy stuff."
We had dinner at Kate's house tonight with Kate and her Japanese exchange student, Naomi. It was delicious and chatty. After dinner we came to the camper for dessert. Naomi called the camper "the big car in the driveway" (Japanese translation I guess). When she came in, she said, "gorgeous." What a nice compliment. Now that we are in the driveway and have all the sliders out, it is gorgeous. Homey and roomy and cozy all rolled into one. We sat at the dining table and broke out the Skillet Cookies that the girls made and everyone was in a little bit of chocolate heaven. Then we got down to a game of Crazy Eights... Naomi is a very quick study. Kate taught us a game called 1, 3, 9 but it has a Japanese name that we couldn't pronounce. It is a game she learned from a former Japanese exchange student. After the first round, Naomi told us that the second round changes to 3, 5, 7; because in Japan the 3rd, 5th, and 7th birthdays are special. We had great fun and even though Soleil did not win (you know, she wins at EVERYTHING), she was a very good sport; a great accomplishment for her.
We have an invitation to head to Livermore CA after here. We can stay at the church there. It is uplifting to know we will be embraced and welcomed into the arms of more loving and caring UUs.
Winter in California is quite interesting. We are enjoying the fruits of Kate's two orange trees, we have seen orchids in bloom, and seen how kids all bike to school. There are very few buses here; city buses, but not school buses. There are bike paths and bike lanes and the weather is so nice so there's lots of biking going on here. We've even seen a mom with a half bike attached to her bike for her first grader followed by a covered bike wagon for her toddler. Really cool.