Adventure Mom

Writing Retreat: a girl in a book on a bike at the beach

I took the Trees to Sea highway over to the coast for a writing retreat recently, criss-crossing streams until I arrived in Oceanside, Oregon, my mountain bike on the back of my car, my trusty tent inside. Rooms on the coast are expensive, but camping is a boon. I pitched my REI tent in the trees just beyond the sand dunes of Cape Lookout and listened to the ocean purr all night long, cozy and content like a kid on an adventure, sunny and glorious for three whole days. In between writing spurts, I rode my mountain bike down the Netarts Spit, the only bike in the sand. My tires are wide but not super fat, so sometimes they bog down, and I turn to where the sand is wetter or drier and pedal harder. Riding and writing have a lot in common. Or nothing. Sometimes I fight for words,…

Can Nanowrimo help with Memoir? Or your revision?

Last year I started a YA novel on November 1, but 4 days in I had to go see my 85 year-old mother, suddenly hospitalized in Las Vegas. Determined to keep my commitment, I wrote in a journal and caught up my word count when I returned. Three days later I flew back to Las Vegas again, journal in hand, still determined. By the time I returned, I’d written a dying grandmother into the novel. Before the month was over I made three trips to Las Vegas from my home near Portland, OR. The novel morphed into some other genre, meta-memoir? I’ve been working on it ever since; now it’s a memoir that starts out about writing a novel, but turns into an exploration of the mother-daughter relationship and the euthanizing affects of morphine at the end of life. This year, I’ll be working on a second draft, maybe ignoring…

My Second Swarm

My friend, Stephanie, just texted me- another swarm! This time it’s in the bait hive I put near her house, up in a tree. Stephanie is the same friend who called me last time, where we got our first swarm : https://lorilyngreenstone.com/first-bee-swarm/. This time, there is no one around to help… Can I go collect this swarm alone? activity in the bee bait hive! I decide I can. I put on my bee suit, leftover from our days in Bend, OR, when Lily, our then teen was into beekeeeping (busy “adulting” now in nearby Portland, but still a bee enthusiast). The swarm, if it is one, is in my “bait hive.” I made the bait hive at Bee Club in April, then hung it in my backyard/forest, but never got any action until I took it over to Stephanie’s. She owns http://oneearthbotanical.com/, a nursery with some bee hives. We met…

First Bee Swarm

Today we collected a swarm of bees, our little family of three. Yes, we wore our bee suits… A friend said bees swarmed up into a tree on her property, maybe 25′ up. Did we want to come get them? We have never collected a swarm of bees, but Arielle and I have been going to Preservation Beekeeping Council meetings here in Camas, learning natural ways we can help the bees. https://preservationbeekeeping.com/ When we lived in Bend, Lily got bees from Glory Bee in Eugene, so we have a bit of bee-ing experience, but mostly a lot of studying or doing the wrong things (our Bend bees froze in winter- see Mothering Bees post on how to convert those hives to insulated, happy ones). https://lorilyngreenstone.com/mothering-bees-quilt-boxes-convert-langstroth-hives/ How to keep your bees from freezing in winter, or boiling in summer… We got our hives ready back in April- one double Langstroth conversion…

The Baby I had at 47 1/2

My youngest daughter is 12 today. I am 59 1/2 exactly. I know this because today is May 1, exactly 6 months until my next birthday, November 1, when I will turn 60. It still does not fail to amaze me that I have a 12 year-old, but especially this 12 year-old, this child I was sure I didn’t want. At the time I found out I was pregnant I was applying to grad school, literally filling out applications in the physician’s office, just getting a yearly check-up, but feeling a bit tired. We already had five kids. The oldest daughter was 25, trying to get pregnant. The oldest son was in college. One son was high school age, and another junior high. Our youngest daughter, a surprise when I was almost 40, was a third grader. It was finally my time to go back and get the graduate degree…

Mothering Bees- quilt boxes convert traditional hives

Our bees housed in Langstroth hives died in winter when we lived in Central Oregon where it gets cold and snowy. But now we live in the Columbia Gorge near Portland and I’m making quilt boxes for bees- me who does not quilt–luckily, no quilting involved. Converting Langstroth boxes to bee-cozy habitats We live in Camas, Washington- soon to be designated a “Bee City, USA”, the 3rd in the state, after Seattle and Puyallup. What a great place we’ve dropped into- https://www.beecityusa.org/current-bee-cities.html But bee survival is still challenged here by wet weather and other factors. Our interest in bees was piqued by our middle daughter a few years ago when she asked for bees for her 16th birthday. We attended Glory Bee’s beekeeping weekend event in Eugene. $1000 later we returned with bee boxes, bee suits, 16,000 bees, and a myriad of beekeeping paraphernalia. It turns out most of this…

Good-bye REI

It just so happens I gave my notice at REI this week, just ahead of Jerry Stritzke handing in his letter of resignation over a “consensual relationship” with the head of some other outdoor company. I didn’t play a big role in REI- I was an Action Sports Specialist in the Bend, OR store for 5 years, and then again in Portland for the last two years, mostly part-time. Before the ride with CEO Jerry Stritzke and other REI high-ups- no helmet head yet. Even so, I got to know Jerry just a bit. He came down to Bend to mountain bike, and my manager asked if I could help lead the ride, the token female. Almost everyone went down on that ride, and when Jerry hit the dirt I was off my bike fast, grabbing my phone, just for the fun of getting a pic of our CEO eating…

Whose Pants Are Those?  

My friend thinks I wear the ‘pants’ in my family, but she says it’s okay since the man of the family is not angry about it. The bigger question, or the underlying issue: Who’s in Charge? So many issues come down to that, the underpants. So I’m thinking about these pants and how they fit– what kind of ‘pants’ are they anyway?  Are they Spanx, an undergarment so elastic they suck you neatly in, but then slap you silly when you peel them off, gasping for breath?  Or are they more like sweats– loose and accommodating, good for a Saturday stroll or Sunday lounging?  Or are they work pants– chino style, somewhat serious, yet unassuming, in traditional khaki-tan so they don’t show spills? Personally, my style is more of a pedal pusher– you can dress them up or down, great in the garden or the classroom, very versatile.  I like…

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