Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Mushroom Hunt

As mentioned yesterday, I did indeed go mushroom hunting. My father lives very close to the mouth of the gorge and having grown up there (mostly there, anyway) I am very familiar with that area. Deciding on a trail to walk was not difficult at all. We ended up walking on a neighborhood trail called Robin's Way. It was not the ideal one I had in mind because it has more deciduous trees than coniferous and I figured the deadfall from the conifers would yield more mushroom growing conditions. However, I was not disappointed. I found a veritable treasure trove of clustered mushrooms that were a very pretty yellow color. I'm sure we would have found more parasitic mushrooms on the other trail, but the wind was blasting and my dad did not want to walk very far in it. Honestly, I was a little surprised that he came with us, and he actually became very involved in the hunting.

So, I strapped crabby-patty on in the ergo to take a nap and bundled miss Erin up in a sweater and coat before setting off down the steep hill. I made sure to bring a grocery bag to carry the mushrooms, and I was glad I did! I nearly filled it, and could have had the baby not been strapped to me. I was a little cautious where I stepped because I did not want to slide down the hill through the underbrush while holding him.

The first bunch of mushrooms we saw were imprisoned by blackberry brambles. The bright yellow mushroom caps taunted me, as they were less than four feet from the trail. I did not want to risk Connor getting poked, so onward we trekked.

The reusable trader joe's grocery bag ended up being a little over halfway full by the time we were done. I attempted to identify the mushrooms using an online source, and I am pretty certain they are Gypsy mushrooms; an edible and common variety. We also found some beautiful deep red mushrooms growing off the side of the cedar steps leading down the hill. I have no idea what they are, but it will be a cold day in... Hawaii before I eat any mushroom that I pick. So many of them look a lot like other species. No, thank you.

Today I will prep them for drying to use as dye.

Now, it seems that I should be going. There is a little person sitting on the floor throwing longing glances my way and grunting at me. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Am I in shock?

Just a quick post today. I accomplished quite a bit during the past weekend. My father in law helped me move out of our storage unit on Saturday. We got there in the morning and the parking lot was packed. I had hardly ever seen anyone there at all, as the building usually looks almost abandoned. But it seemed like everyone chose this past Saturday to move out. Such is life. It wasn't too hard. I'm not hurting too much from the moving, although I have had a more difficult than usual time carrying Connor. He's getting so big! So big, I can hardly strap him into the carseat, and can't at all when he is wearing a coat. The straps are pulled out all the way. I'm well aware that he is at the cusp of the weight AND height limit for our infant seat. Well aware. I've been trying for the past month to just buy a new seat even though it doesn't fit into our budget at all. We have less than no wiggle room, if you know what I mean. We also found out on Monday that Jesse's company is laying him off, and they chose the day before Thanksgiving to be his last day. How merciful.

I actually laughed when I found out. I saw it coming. By no means is it funny, as we have been stretched very thin these past two months with the beginning of school and Jesse's surgery. And now, Connor needs a baby seat.

Right now, everything is a blur. It's all surreal. I feel too numb to panic. Yesterday, Jesse's sister emailed to say she is getting married and invited me to her bachelorette party. Apparently, they're doing mani-pedis and then going out to lunch. It's in just a couple of weeks.

I think I am running on adrenaline. I'm sure we will be fine. Jesse has three very good prospects lined up. I just hope they manifest in time.

I'm getting the kids ready to go to my dad's house. We have business over there and we didn't take Erin to school today. This morning as they were getting ready, Jesse went to wash his hands and the soap pump squirted soap directed into Erin's eye. Not just any soap. Castile soap. That stuff HURTS way worse than regular soap. So we spent the better part of an hour trying to wash it out. She has thick, fleshy eyelids and can lock them closed if she wants. She was in so much pain, she was nearly convulsing as I was frantically trying to convince her to open her eye and let me rinse out the soap.
In the end, everything turned out fine. We took daddy to his physical therapy. She could see again after another hour and it wasn't hurting so badly an hour after that. Her eye looks normal now. No more green goo. So, we'll go visit my dad (like she's been asking) and then go for a walk to find mushrooms. I read a post on another blog about dyeing with mushrooms. Upon looking up one of the names of the mushrooms she used, I discovered that many of the mushrooms she found there in Norway are also found in Oregon! I think right now is prime time for mushroom hunting, so I will collect some to experiment with.

So much for a quick post.