Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's been two weeks since Cameron was unemployed. I thought I would write a little about it. Cameron has applied for quite a few jobs and each day we try and find more jobs to apply for on-line. We have learned though that it is the worst way to look for jobs. I guess the only good way to find a job in this economy is through networking. So If you know anyone looking for a civil engineer with four years experience please refer Cameron to them.

He has been told he is over-qualified as well as under-qualified. Several people have told him they wished they could hire him. He has applied for government as well as private jobs. He has applied for jobs doing exactly what he was doing as well as other jobs that are very different from what he was doing.

We learned that one job Cameron applied for had 375 applicants. That means there are at least 375 engineers looking for work in the inland empire. That is crazy! We are looking for work anywhere in the west and have even thought about moving to New Zealand where there is a demand for civil engineers after the big earthquake.

We still have not received any word for the unemployment office. We are assuming we will get unemployment but I guess we will see. I guess that is another reason for having savings since it takes quite a few weeks for unemployment to kick in especially in California.

Cameron has managed to keep himself very busy applying for jobs and doing lots of service projects and other projects for friends and family. Hopefully sometime soon someone will want to hire him.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Meadow

We went hiking today. It goes like this... I ask Annika if she wants to go on a walk. She says, "shoes, walk, raera." She wants us to know what she needs for the walk and in what order. Annika is very insistent that we don't forget Sierra if we are going for a walk. She enjoys getting into the backpack carrier and wants to make sure she has her "pa fa." She jabbered non-stop the entire time. I am not sure what she said but she kept saying it over and over again. She was concerned if I ever got more than 15 feet away and then would say, "ma ma". (I am not carrying a backpack so I get to feel cool sometimes and take more of a lead over Cameron. I am also sure that in a few more hikes Cameron will be used to it and then he will out pace me like he usually does.)

We hiked up hill towards the "Little Green Valley." We were completely unsure of what this might be but there was a trail head and so we decided to try it out. We weren't even sure we would make it to the destination. I like to get a workout in the morning but I don't want it to take all day. I usually give it half an hour up or so and then allow the rest for making it back down. I really enjoyed this trail because the path was steep but doable and I could keep up my quick pace I use when I know we will only be going up for a half hour.

After a while we started hiking into the burn area from the 2007 fire. I was disappointed to see the trees disappear and hike through the ugly burned and cut down logs where the trail was mixed with too much ash. I don't like to go through those areas.

We were out of it sooner than I expected though and right when I was sure we had taken the wrong trail. The sign did not seem to offer confidence as to which way we should go. The meadow was amazing. I have never seen something like this in our mountains. I am pretty sure every part of it burned during the fire because there were marks of fire all around it. Even in areas not burned by fire, everything right now is dry and yellow. There hasn't been rain in about 4 months. But this meadow was completely green. The grass was very vibrant and about three feet long. It was so long it was falling all over itself. The meadow was almost at the top of the hills and there wasn't anything else above the meadow. We were mystified as to where the water source was from the meadow. We still are.

I like hiking each morning. It is a little peace from the outside world.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Laid Off

I remember posting last fall in October about the depression and things feeling bad. We managed to get by that hard time with some conservation and getting rid of some things. The past year hasn't been so bad. I didn't buy the kids school clothes for the first year ever but I managed to buy some new shoes for each one. I didn't buy a new bike for Ashling even though she needs one but I managed to talk the guy at the thrift store down to 6 dollars for a used one. We still haven't bought new tubes for it but hopefully we will soon. I learned to turn off the lights as I walked around the house. My electric bill went down a lot just for that. In fact on Wednesday I was looking forward to our paycheck because I knew how to spend the money and with my babysitting job I thought maybe I would go shopping for some winter clothes for the girls.

Cameron came home that night with the news that he is no longer employed at Webb.

I guess the Depression is not over. He had about 10 applications out already after the few slow weeks of work. He filled out about 10 more applications on Thursday and Friday. Only 2 are in our area... the rest are throughout the west. The worst part of the Depression is this... even with all those applications out we don't know if we will get a job. Even with all the applications he may find we don't know if he will find a job.

We have a lot of decisions to make... should we move away from our house... even without a job. Should we stay in our house and raid our 401K? It is hard to know what to do when you don't know how long to be prepared for.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


School is in its 3rd week.
I am missing Ashling.
I am not sure why I can't seem to find my balance with her in kindergarten.
I think it has something to do with her built in friend that I babysit.
They play after school and I hardly see her.
I am not even sure what I miss.
I can't remember a time without her around.
I know I was a mom before she was born but somehow I hardly remember.
I remember taking her hiking alone.
I miss her sitting on my lap for some Mommy time.
I miss her asking me to read her a story for the 15th time.
There is no one to help me put the clothes in the washer or help fold them in the dryer.
There is no one to tell me some funny story, (Annika does not really talk much yet.)
I miss her asking to make a treat and then helping me make it.

I miss her deciding we need to go to the store and remembering to buy the strawberry jam.
I miss her playing with her sister. She was in preschool before but I find I am missing her more than I should. I am glad she is in school because she loves it but I am still lost without her.

Home school looks better all the time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Ashling and Annika did...

While Ali was at Grandma Sue's and we were backpacking, Ashling and Annika went to see Aunt Stacey, Tony and Grandma Bonnie. We met them in a Kmart parking lot right about closing time in Blythe California. I think it was above 90 degrees still in the dark. I was very worried about what Annika might do and what she might feel when I left her with nearly strangers and buckled her in the other car.

In preparation I let her help pack her suitcase and explained the whole thing to her. She would be going to Stacey's and Grandma's. We then clapped our hands and she clapped her hands and acted like she was going to a party. (This is not far off from the truth because they are so much more fun than me anyways.) I kept talking about it and she seemed at least mildly alarmed which let me know that she was understanding it. As we drove the car across the barren desert I kept reminding her that she would be going and that then she would come back and that it would be really fun.

In the parking lot that night she was a little hesitant and watched Ashling bursting with excitement for her own adventure. Then she decided that it would be fun too. She started saying, "Stacey, Stacey" over and over and let Stacey pick her up. I took the girls inside to use the restroom and she stayed with Stacey. Later I buckled her in the other car and she said, "Bye, Bye" and gave me a kiss. She was sure that she was going off on a grand adventure. I cried for a little while as we drove back towards our house.

The girls had a great week. They played with Stacey and Grandma, watched tv, swam a little, went shopping and just enjoyed being spoiled. Stacey invented great games for them like having them mop the tile, wipe up things and probably other slave chores that I am unaware of... (it was fun.) They never cried or cared that we were gone. On Saturday afternoon they came home excited to see us and ready to tell about their grand adventure in Arizona. Stacey said they were pretty easy the whole time except for one messy diaper....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Ali did while we were gone

Ali stayed with Grandma Sue and Pa Pa while we went backpacking. She got to do many things. Before we were even to Bishop Grandpa had taken her to ride her bike around Children's Forest. She got to stay at her cousins while they had a meeting on Sunday. On Monday they took Ali and her friend, Louise, to the beach. They totally spoiled them letting them ride the boogie boards, getting them hot dogs and slurpies for lunch and then Mc Donalds for dinner. The girls played together well and really enjoyed themselves.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Grandma Sue and Pa Pa go to the Bishop's Storehouse where they are Service Missionaries. Ali got to go with them and help serve. She loved it! In fact she would rather go there than to school. She helped get orders ready for people who live far away and have to have their food orders shipped to them. She enjoyed herself the entire time and kept busy.

Ali also found time to go to Louise's, go to a friend's birthday party and make chocolate chip cookies. On Friday she had Louise over again and they enjoyed playing together in the backyard with water bottles as squirt guns.

We picked Ali up early Saturday morning and took her out to breakfast with us as a great way to end the vacation.