Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We had another trip to see Dr. Short yesterday! It seem AJ was "helping" at Dallas' house. They were being paid to wash Marjean's car, and break down some boxes on Sunday. AJ was jumping on the boxes (barefooted!) to break down the ones that wouldn't break easily by hand, and jumped on one that broke down easily! He ended up with what is probably just a bruised heel. Dr. Short couldn't see a break on the X-rays, but said if it doesn't heal in a couple of weeks, we might want to do a scan on it.

I finished up a quick little doily - about 14 inches across - called "Summer Doily". I used some of my new Clea thread, and it turned out quite nice!

Lucy has a favorite spot under the rose bushes! I think the cool air from the swamp cooler blows out right there, so she stays cool and hidden!
My poor confused flower garden! I planted bulbs for the Calendula (spelling? correct name? the plants with the colored leaves!) and nothing came up, so I planted a geranium there - figuring if anything could live there, it would be a geranium! Not long after it got settled into place - I got a couple of odd plants poking up. I did not plant dahlia bulbs! I got a couple of plants up though! Then - the Calendula started coming up! I now have a mish-mash of plants in my corner spot!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I think it is smokier now than ever! Most of the local fires have been "contained" but they are still burning, and the winds have shifted - blowing the smoke in to the valley, where it will stay until some real winds come in. Right now, it is just kind of drifting in - and won't go away! I've forgotten what blue sky looks like!

I did get some work done in the yard on my vacation - but I still didn't get my rocks moved around that I wanted. Maybe next vacation! (I really don't want to move the rocks - I just don't want them where they are now - in a pile in front of the gate to the back yard, where they have been for over a year - waiting for "someone" to deal with them.) I got all the leaves raked up, and the weeds pulled out of the flower area and the back patio area. I know, it doesn't sound like a lot, but for me it is! The leaves, of course, are continuing to fall, but it looked good for a minute or two! Ralph is supposed to mow this weekend, so the newly fallen leaves will get mulched up.

Allison's daycare provider is back to work next week! Yay! We did pretty good for the last three weeks, but ti will be nice to get her back into a routine again. I got a letter about her next school year, and it looks like her school will be from 9:00 to 3:30 - so she won't be at daycare much next year. I may have to take her to daycare in the morning for the bus to pick her up - I need to leave a little after 7:00 to get AJ to school in time for Jazz Band. I need to talk to Transportation and let them know that she will either have to be picked up before 7:00, or they need to pick her up at daycare. (I thought I would check with daycare first!) Ralph's company may be letting him work from home, so it may not be an issue - she may not have to have daycare at all during the school year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Talk about a flying trip! Alli and I left here yesterday at 6:40 a.m., and AJ, Alli and I got back at 7:00 p.m. Alli did great for being in the car that long. The smoke followed me almost all the way to Ft Bragg. Ft. Bragg itself was gorgeous - sunny and windy and cool - about 65 degrees. I didn't stay long to visit though. I talked with Sarah for a bit at the house, and fed Alli some lunch, and then we went by the clinic to say "Hi" to Ronna - she was just getting ready to start a surgery, so we didn't stay long there either. The kids and I went down to Glass Beach, but the tide was in, and it was still fairly crowded, so we didn't even walk down on the beach. (Alli thinks we are torturing her by making her walk anywhere!)

I did get some pictures of the kids at the beach, but they weren't 'happy' pictures! Alli was not impressed with the whole walk to the beach thing.

On the way over, the smoke was a nice thin layer up above the lakes, but on the way back, it had settled on the lakes. The second picture is taken at Lucerne, and you can just barely see the other side of the lake.

I have seen more turkeys this year than all the other times put together! This flock was crossing the road in front of me after getting gas Tuesday night! I also had to stop on between Willits and Ft. Bragg, by Horse Camp, to let a flock cross the road! I also saw several flocks around Redding, and out in the fields on the way over - this must be a good year for turkeys!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I actually got a lot of things done on my to-do list yesterday! I weeded the flower beds, I trimmed my roses, I vacuumed and other household chores, I weeded out in the garden and picked all the beans in the garden - and I have a couple of cucumbers that should be ready for dinner tonight! I fertilized all the flowers and the garden, and I put Alli in the pool twice yesterday, so she got in a good hour & a half of swim time. I balanced the check book, and other non-exciting but necessary things, and still had time to work on this doily! (Of course, with Alli in the pool for so long, I got a lot of crochet time!) I even fielded a couple of calls from work yesterday. (So much for vacation time!) Now, for my list for today!
Let's see - I need to clean up out front some more - and scrub down the pool and dump the dog's pool and refill it, and the garden could use more weeding (it always will!) I need to do a load of laundry, and I am sure there are tons of other things I need to do - but....I probably won't get even that much done. At least I have a list!
We are off to Ft. Bragg tomorrow. I talked to AJ last night, and told him I would there around lunch time, and maybe we could go down to the beach before we left. He said it was really gloomy over there. I told him it was pretty gloomy over here, too, but ours was smoke! It will be nice to see actual fog instead of smog!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I haven't gotten much done around the house this weekend, but I got a doily done! This one is about 20 inches across, and I used my new thread - Clea - that I got off e-bay from Paraguay. I like the thread, but is isn't one you want to have to rip out a lot of rows on. It has a very nice drape to it, but it seems to fuzz up if you rip it out too many times (not that I ever have to rip out a row or anything! I had this one finished and was almost finished pinning it out to block it when I found that I forgot one of the "shells" on the very last row. I was able to add on without ripping the row out and re-doing it.) The color is a slate blue - a bit darker than the picture shows.
All in all - it was a pretty unproductive weekend. I did remember to go to the Church's Trustee meeting (I forgot the last one!) but missed going to church. Ralph went for a motorcycle ride Sunday morning, and I didn't feel up to taking Alli to church with me. She has only been there for "non-church" activities, and I don't know how she will respond to church, and I just didn't feel like yesterday was the best day for me to try it! She will probably surprise me and do fine for a while, but I haven't taken that chance yet.
I still have great plans for things to get done while I am on vacation. Wonderful things like weeding the garden and flower beds, moving some rock around (that is last on my list) adding some more bark to the flower beds off the patio, raking leaves (yes, the sycamore trees loose leaves in the summer when it gets hot) I should be able to get those things done, and find a few more things to do while I am at it. I mainly plan on just lazying around, especially in the afternoons when it gets hot!
Wednesday will find me making a trip to Ft. Bragg to get Alex. I've tried not to call every night to see how he is doing, but it's hard! It is very quiet here in the evening - Alli and Ralph both start napping in their chairs after dinner. That is when I usually want to call him - just to check in for the day. So far, I have been good - just calling a couple of time. I do need to call tonight and confirm that Wednesday is still the plan! Joe was taking him beach fishing on Saturday, and has had him painting and raking leaves, etc. when he wasn't working at the clinic. He may want to stay longer - too much fun - or come home earlier - too much work!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Here goes another stab at being on vacation! Diane is scheduled to come back next week, so I am taking Monday through Thursday off (someone else already had Friday off.) I don't have a whole lot planned - I do plan to go get AJ next week, though! It sure has been quiet around here without him. The heat is supposed to be pretty low (for Redding) next week - low 100's. We are still smoked in - I can see the smoke in the air between the house across the street and here. Ugly!

We did get a visit from President Bush! He flew in for less than 2 hours on Thursday. The big event was just the plane - I guess Air Force 1 is amazingly huge! I watched at work on TV, and Ralph was able to see the helicopters fly overhead (Bush flew out to view the fires) as he was home with Allison last week. We had Bush, Schwarzenegger, Herger and other assorted Officials here. (Of course, we were sandwiched in between a funeral in the morning and a fund raiser in Napa that evening - busy day for Bush!)

We even have our very own Smokey the Bear Jr.! One of the fire teams found a wounded baby bear out on the fires and weren't able to locate the momma bear, and took it in to be treated for burns and an eye injury. Like all babies - it is so cute!

Monday, July 14, 2008

You know you have nothing to talk about on a blog when you are posting a video of the water going into your pool! I just thought it was great that one of Alli's balls was getting a little action out of it!

We are still smoky, and still hot - but not as hot! We are in the high 90's now, but with more humidity than normal. Since we usually have 10% humidity, and we currently have like 60%, it sure feels hotter!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

After fits and starts, AJ is finally over at Ronna's. Even the exchange yesterday took forever! The original plan was for me to meet up with Ronna and Joe in Red Bluff Saturday, early in the morning. After multiple phone calls with delays, they ended up at our house at 6:45 last night and stayed for dinner and left. (Just about that fast, too!) I understand they got the deck finished at Mom's though and it is very nice!

I did get my doily finished - finally! It is about 14 X 16, and took forever to do. I really like the finished doily, but.....the dark blue ran into the white latticework when I blocked it! It isn't really bad, but noticeable! Not only was it tedious to do, there were tons of ends to weave in! Every flower (there are 24) had four ends, and the latticework had about 16 ends, and each of the 16 pineapples had two ends to weave in. I also had a couple of new techniques, so it was a good learning experience!

When I put the doily down to take a photo, I had some help!

Here is another smoke picture I took on Friday, on my way to pick up Alli from her last day of summer school. The fires flared up again Thursday night with the wind, and we had more evacuations on Friday. Luckily, yesterday was a cooler day, with very little wind, so they were able to open a lot of the evacuated areas again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You know it is going to be hot when it is almost 90 degrees on your way in to work at 7:30 in the morning! It was 117 degrees Wednesday (according to my car, parked in the middle of the parking lot) after work! It cooled down to 112 when I started driving - if you can call 112 cool! It is cooling down in the evenings, but only because the smoke is so thick. Today was supposed to be the worst of the heat, and I really hope so!

These pictures were taken Tuesday on Highway 44 headed in to town - the Victor Off-ramp.

This was taken Wednesday up off of Lake Blvd, at the corner of Market St (I stopped at the light - really!) when I went to pick Alli up from summer school.

This was taken over the neighbor's roof after I got in from work.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Some much for my vacation plans! It looks like I am working next week. Diane called, and her husband will be released from the hospital in San Francisco on Monday or Tuesday, and she would like to stay home with him the first week - and I don't blame her - she needs to stay with him. It just means I need to go in to work next week, instead of weeding the garden, etc. Bummer! I was looking forward to having a few hours in the morning sans Allison to work outside. (Alone - not worrying about what Alli was getting into, etc.)

It also changes my plans to get AJ over to Ronna's any time soon. I need him to babysit Alli for me, as her daycare is closed until the 27th. Poor guy - we have been trying to get him over to Ronna's but something keeps cropping up. Alli is in school this week until noon, and then I need him to watch her for me. Ralph is taking the next week off, and then the following week, AJ has her all day. I am hoping I can move some of my vacation into that week, but I have to look at the schedule at work to tell. Also, in the back of my mind, is the knowledge that someone else in the department may need some time off to go to Oregon for her dad, whenever they have heart surgery scheduled for him. (and July was supposed to be a quiet month!)

Yesterday we went over to Larry and Pat's for a BBQ - it turned out very nice! Alli was mostly good, and the food and company were wonderful! Aunt Inez was there, along with Larry's daughter and Pat's daughter (who lives in Chico, but works out of Wisconsin - or somewhere else, depending on the week. She is a "corporate trainer" and spends most of her life on the road) and granddaughter. A fun day!

It was a much smokier day yesterday than Friday - and it looks like today will be smoky as well. Ralph and AJ are going to meet up with Larry this morning and go up to Shasta Dam to see if they can spot the huge plane that is dropping water on our fires. I guess it is something to see. It can put out 2-3 acres of fire with one water drop (like our lake levels weren't low enough already!)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yesterday was a relaxing day - I got a few things done, but I mainly just sat around and read. I did get AJ to help me out with a couple of projects, including setting up a pool for the dogs. While we were there, setting up the water, he played with the fountain as well. The new pump gives the water a lot more action/flow. AJ had fun playing in the water of the fountain. (This may have been to keep out of work helping me clean up the patio, too!) Sorry the video is sideways - I didn't think about how it would load up when I shot it!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July! Not only is it a Holiday, I am (supposed to be) on vacation next week. (I say supposed to be, because I may end up going in to work, at least part days.) Diane's husband fell and broke his leg Thursday morning, so I don't know when she will be back to work. I'll hopefully know more closer to Monday. I have a ton of things planned to do while I am on vacation - not that I expect to get them all done, but I still have a list!

We still have smoke, but it is a lot less than it has been. There is also a lot less smoke at the house than there is in town, since the majority of the fires are north us us. All of the fireworks for the 4th have either been cancelled or postponed.