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2005-01-04 - 9:56 a.m.

Happy Day! Lots of nice things going on. Yesterday we were excited to have our friend Jim the Grey Haired Hunter show up with a butchered deer for us along with a great story of its capture to go along with it. Jim used to hunt on our property which is across the street from our house- that is until we sold it. The new neighbors there allowed him and his other old friend Parker to continue to hunt there. Last year is the first year we didn't enjoy a freezer full of venison- and I absolutely missed it! First of all, the grocery budget DEFINATLY was impacted when we had to buy the occassinal meat. Secondly, our diet DEFINATELY had a little less protein! (No matter how many beans legumes etc I make, the little girls and my husband never really seem to take to them quite like a steak! )Thirdly, even though I think we've really been OK on the protein ..... I feel like its at least EASIER to cook meat. SO MUCH less prep work- its the ultimate instant meal for a large hungry family when there is a busy day. Just throw a roast in a crock pot with some broth, onions and spices first thing in the morning and dinner is a snap later that night. I do tend to cook nice marinades for venison, so its not truly prep chef free... but its much simpler cooking than a vegetarian entree couterpart. (Although I love preparing those when time and inclination and FINANCES permit.... it is in the end CHEAPER to eat our home captured deer than buy other provisions!)
SO yesterday, after having been on the tight budget and therefore eating ALOT of the same food which we bought in bulk at COSCO, we were THRILLED to have a feast of burgers at lunch, with our homemmade pickles, and steak at dinner with sauteed peppers and onions carmelized in the meat juices served over rice. MMMMMM......
The only thing that didn't make it an absolutely PERFECT day was that we only could imagine Katerinas happy dance rather than see it. I have to write her a letter today telling her of our good fortune as she would have apprechiated it and been excited. She'd the funniest one of all when it comes to extoling the virtue of fresh meat!
The same girl who in first grade came home from school one day and announced she was a vegetarian like her Dad. It didn't last long! And I guarantee.... even the staunchest vegetarian would be convinced if they REALLY experienced country living! I think if a study were done we'd find that most vegetarians live in urban or suburban environments! At least in America. And Elsewhere I think its less a lifestyle CHOICE than a practical one made out of necessity of eating what is available.
And here- WE have MANY, FAR TOO MANY, DEER! The #1 cause of car accidents in Loudoun County is deer.

This topic always reminds me of the drive up to college with my roommate at the time, Katerina (who my firstborn is truly named after). Kaerina happened to have grown up way out on Eastern LI, and now I understand a bit more about her lifestyle. She was one of only 5 members of my Alam Mater's small but powerful rifle team! They actually won a match between some military college... I think West Point if I recall correctly. It was a real source of pride for us at the time. I recall her COP Dad extoling the virtues of hunting, and I - the liberal college idealist vehemently arguing with him! Well Don F... not that you'll ever read this... but you'd be happy to know in the end my Westley reminds me more of you than anyone else I can think of, and we happily enjoy deer.

Other good news we were celebrating is that Westley has landed an incredible full time job. We are so very excited about that.... and its here on the East Coast as opposed to being in CA! Google was courting him.... that's the best description... as were a few other places... but he's made his choice based in part on region. His new employer has offices here in VA, and NY. So he'll be traveling between both locations. We have already started house hunting. The job will hopefully support two houses (as cost of living there is pretty low compared to here) ... although to do that we won't be able to afford more of the expansion for a few years. But, in what I believe is a remarkable gesture which is yet another example of his love and commitment to me and my two children who are now in NY- we are putting this dream house of Westley's on hold, and he's turned down a few opportunities which would likely be BETTER for his carreer and would have made this full expansion more feasible... like one which entailed building THE FIRST Internet in Space... yes literally! And that was with a publicly held company so had great stock potential... and Google (the sexy job as he called it)... and instead he has taken a job with a stable company few are aware of, that is Privatley, Family owned. It therefore has no stock, no "sex appeal" as in the visual high profile position in his industry, however it will hopefully enable us to travel to NY often.

That really is love- putting the other first, and the goals of the couple become paramount rather than the personal interest and goals of the individual.

And my mother STILL complains that I don't call enough... because we mutually agreed to limit our long distance calls and other extras in life for a few lean years to do the re-design which we've accomplished so far. My family still doesn't fully get it: UPDATE: I"M MARRIED THE "ME" BECAME A "WE"
So yes- at times that entails putting my PERSONAL desires on hold... but that's really what marriage and family is all about in the end. Its mature committed love when one can see the LONG TERM and do that TEMPORARILY for the best interest of the couple/family.

I also have a job opportunity, although it would likely entail driving to D.C. I met a man at chruch who was THRILLED to hear my background and is trying to negotiate with his boss to hire me to work at an Immigration Clinic in D.C. It truly sounds like the job of my dreams ! The only problem is that a. He Assumed I have only two children and the salary will likely not make it feasible to commute to D.C. EVEN only two days a week if I have to pay for childcare for FOUR small children! AND b. Then new job of Westley is less of a drive for me to visit Katerina and Soren while they are at their Dad's so I now prefer not to commit to a job which will tie me to being here! I'd rather be able to travel back and forth and not have to worry about having to get to an office!

So I think its just not the time for me! I will however persue this and see what comes of it. Apparently they are posting the position THIS WEEK-- that's the first time this happened to me- where someone met me informally and was so impressed they are POSTING a job WITH ME in mind! I have heard of it happening many times before... but had never envisioned I was NEAR the point in my fledgling carreer where that would happen to me! I read this organization's web site and a newsletter they mail out, and the feature story was about getting naturalization for an older dying man who's family's securtiy and ability to stay in the U.S. depended on that. INS made a special exception to expediate his processing after this CLINIC became involved. It was a great story. It also made me proud of my accomplishments- though not all that many: I am exceptionally proud that I assisted a farm worker here for over twenty years become naturalized last year!

Oh- and his wife wants to meet with me the second week of Jan (That's next week!) They were saving for her to be able to afford the INS fees and my fees to now persue her naturalization application! (I felt almost guilty charging them for work-- but got over that with Westley's encouragement!)

So I have another fulfilling job! I love my work! Will keep posted about the other job potential. Maybe they will be willing to let me consult for them. I'll persue it and see. (OR maybe I can find some fantastic cheap child care in D.C.! The girls love being in the car! A two hour commute a few days a week might actually be managable for them. Soren didn't mind the commute when he was four years old and went into Georgetown Law with me twice a week! Maybe Georgetown child care would be available.... hmmmm.... I should look into that. It was a nice place for kids that I trusted.)

IN any case, I am never one to easily give up on an opportunity. I will evaluate it and try to get it to work if at all possible! That's what brings about ALL success... perseverence, and lets not forget that double edged sword of stubborn determintation!

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