Saturday, August 30, 2008

I hate to say 'What a week" again, but - What a Week! I'm still trying to get adjusted to getting Alex to school at 6:15, and back home again to get Alli ready, and to daycare, and picking Alex up from the Y after work. I am leaving the house at 5:55 a.m., and don't feel like I get back home again until 6:00 .p.m.! This week, I worked the late shift (only until 5:15 - not really late, just later than everyone else) so I didn't get Alex picked up until 5:30, and I fight the downtown traffic to go home. Tuesday, there was a major fire in Redding - up on north Market Street. They evacuated the school Alli used to go to - Turtle Bay. The fire started up by the shopping center on Lake Blvd., and burned down to within 20 yards of the Sundial Bridge, crossing Market Street. No structures, but the Arboretum at Turtle Bay took some damage to a lot of the garden areas. Alex had a soccer game Tuesday night as well. He told me it was at 4:00, so I took some time off work and went to watch his game, and got to sit in the 105+ heat watching them warm up - the game didn't start until 4:30! We didn't get home from that until 7:30 - another long day! Wednesday - still busy, but 'normal'.

Thursday - busy, and then.....Ralph called at 4:30. He couldn't get home. There was a fire just outside our subdivision, and the subdivision was being evacuated. They wouldn't even let him in to get the dogs out! He brought Alli in to me, and I picked up Alex at the Y, and we went shopping (retail therapy strikes again!) Alex had a Back to School night that night as well, but he didn't want to go until he knew about the fire and the dogs. Since it was about 107+, with hot winds of 20+ MPH, I know why they evacuated us, but we were north of the fire, and the winds were blowing to the south! It was pretty stressful for a while, but it worked out okay. Alex got a pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts, new swim trunks, and two shirts (all for about $90.00!), Alli was a perfect angel for an hour of shopping at Penney's, and they opened the east side of the subdivision at about 6:45 that night. Dinner was a bit late! Joe (brother-in-law) managed to time it well - he showed up just as we sat down to dinner! (His original plan called for getting to our house around 5:00, drop some tools off, and run some errands. The fire changed his plans as well!)

I'm glad it is the weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A chemistry experiment in process! AJ had a 'project' for this weekend - make a pizza and answer some questions about it (is pizza a mixture or solution, etc.) He got Dallas to help[ out, and the two of them made pizza pinwheels from scratch - including the dough. They ate the entire batch, so it must have been tasty (or else they were very hungry!) One problem....AJ was supposed to take his pizza to school! That little direction was left out of the written instructions, and he missed class that day to go to his soccer tournament in Quincy.
I was talking to one of my co-workers, who's son also goes to U-Prep, and she was describing him getting out of the car this morning, carrying his saxophone, his backpack, and his pizza, and trying not to drop anything. I asked her why he was carrying the pizza (as AJ and Dallas had eaten theirs)? We decided that the instruction to bring it in must have been in class and AJ missed that part. He did talk to the teacher, and Mr. Murphy was kind enough to remember that he didn't tell him to bring it in, so he shouldn't loose any points over it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well, we survived the first week of school! AJ survived his first tournament on the high school team, Alli seems to be getting into the routine, and hopefully, things will calm down just a bit!

AJ's team (U-Prep JV) took second at the tournament in Quincy. They lost out to Foothill (high school out in Palo Cedro that pulls kids from the East side of Redding, too.) AJ said that the refs were awful - they allowed the game to get too rough. Their goalie was roughed up quite a bit - which isn't supposed to happen. AJ didn't get too injured, but he is bigger than most, so they may leave him alone (our goalie is a freshman, and pretty small.) The goalie was pretty sore when I picked AJ up at 9:30 last night. He caught a couple of hard kicks to his chest (????). All the boys were tired and sore - riding for 3 hours after playing stiffened them all up. AJ hasn't gotten up yet today, so we will see how he is later. He was pretty tired last night!

The VCR for Alli's TV broke last week, and Ralph spent an hour on-line yesterday finding one that would work, and we got it home and all set up (another hour + to get all those wires in the right spot!) and it doesn't work. He is going to take it back today, and order one on-line and have it shipped to us. We have a problem with the newer VCR's because we have an older TV, and they aren't built the same any more. Even this one that he bought won't be able to record from the TV after February nest year! The one that he ordered will be able to, but it looks like I need to start using the DVD recorder instead of the VCR! It will save a lot of space when I get all the VCR's copied over to DVD's! (I know, one more thing on my to-do list!) While we have the VCR out, I need to dust and clean the entertainment center too!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I finished up a new project! And, like many others, I like the way it looks, but it isn't for me! It came out pretty nice - but not something I would use. I think it will find a new home somewhere - maybe with someone in the teen set.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I have almost made it through the first week of school! Why is it tougher on Mom than it is on the kids? Here's my almost grown up kid - sporting a new hat.

AJ made it home just fine on Sunday - though at a different time than originally planned (at least it was still Sunday morning!) He called me Saturday night to tell me they would be in at 11:00 instead of 10:00 Sunday. I didn't tell him that I had already made the trip once, but evidently word made it's way over to him. The boys all decided Saturday night (after Trevor's Dad told them about my dry run) that they didn't want to ride home with me on Sunday, because I would be 'really mad' at them. They almost didn't even make the 11:00 flight - two boys got caught up in a video game, and almost missed the flight. The counselor with them kept thinking....leave the boys, or tell Deni that they wouldn't be there on Sunday either. Leave the boys...tell Deni....Leaving the boys was winning! They did manage to catch the flight, so he didn't have to face the angry mom having to make a third trip to Sacramento.

The trip turned out to be a 'real learning experience' for the boys. Among other things, the company they used to provide their provisions shorted them two full meals, and gave them skimpy rations for the meals they did provide. The counselor told me one breakfast had a total of 230 calories - for teen-age boys that were canoeing all day! They survived the trip, but they were hungry through most of it. The first question AJ had was whether we were going to stop for lunch on the way home (he had three huge burritos and an order of nachos at Taco Bell on the way home.) The boys totaled over 50 miles on their trip - 40 canoeing and 10+ portaging their canoes. I think it turned out well - every boy there made at least one error in their assigned job (AJ didn't have maps in and out of the airports, so they got lost getting back to the airport on Sunday) The kid responsible for communications actually started to laugh at me for showing up one day early - until I pointed out that his e-mail said that the trip would end on Saturday - and most people would assume that he meant the whole trip would end on Saturday - not the canoeing part! He got real quiet after that. Since everyone made mistakes, it was hard to point fingers! They are already planning their next two trips - one winter trip for skiing and snowboarding, and next fall they want to go to Florida and scuba dive.

After this weekend, I was hoping that school would slow things down, but noooo! AJ has soccer practise at 6:15 each morning (except for Monday - but the coach forgot to tell us, so we showed up bright and earlier Monday morning, and no one else was there. I was not a happy camper!) Every night after work - so far - I have had running around to do. Either he needs more school supplies or new clothes (the shorts we just bought in July just 'won't do' - they are too short - we had to get new shorts.) Tonight, we had to go get a sports physical. He did make the soccer team (not a lot of choice - they were short on boys that tried out) and they have a tournament this weekend in Quincy. AJ called me at 4:00 tonight and told me he had to have a physical by 7:00 tomorrow, or he couldn't go on the trip. (He had an appointment next week with our regular doctor.) We spent an hour waiting at the walk-in clinic to get a sport physical. He has to be at the school tomorrow by 6:30. He is a little vague about the details - like where he is sleeping in Quincy - but I guess it will work out somehow!

I did get a new doily done - midst all this turmoil!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

While I was typing the previous entry, it seems that Allison got hungry. She seems to have decided that she wanted pancakes for breakfast, as well. Just as I finished up my post, she came to get me at the computer. I thought she wanted a new movie, so I went into the front room. She didn't even hesitate and went straight to the kitchen, where she proceeded to stare at the pancake mix she had gotten out of the cupboard and put on the counter. She stared at it long enough for me to go back and get the camera and take a couple of shots. She even got pancakes for breakfast!
What a day! I hate it when things go wrong, and there really isn't anyone to blame but me! I drove down to the Sacramento Airport yesterday to pick up the scouts. When no one I recognized got off the plane, I checked, and AJ wasn't on the flight. I then called Ralph, who called the other parent who was picking up, and they said that they were flying in on SUNDAY. I then drove back home (285 miles round trip) and I get to go down again today to go get them. To add insult to injury - I woke up with a migraine today. It is going to be a lovely day!

AJ did call in last night and told me they were expected to be in at 11:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m., so I have more time to do thing around the house before I leave. On the way home yesterday, I could almost set my clock by the temperature rising. About every 15 minutes, it went up one or two degrees, after about 11:00. It was 102 by the time I got in at 1:00, and even hotter by the afternoon. I didn't get a lot done yesterday!

AJ didn't have a lot of good things to say about their trip, so we will see if it was any fun at all. The leader got sick after sitting by a passenger that coughed on him the whole way out, and then one of the scouts caught it from him, so they were miserable (and if the leader is sick - how does the trip go?). It sounds like there was a problem with one of the campsites AJ reserved, as well. He said they were scammed on the site, and he hates the people of Minnesota - they are all jerks.

This is the way that our new treadmill is being used in the summer heat!

Koori on one of our walks - 'Did you call me Mom?'

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer is here! We put it off for a long time, but it is finally here with a vengeance! When I got in my car yesterday after work, the temp read 117. It did drop down to 111 by the time I got home, but I know it was hotter than 117 in my car (dark grey interior!) I know I was hot and tired and cranky! I didn't even take the dogs for a walk last night, since it was so hot - but they didn't get the message. Every time I walked by my shoes, they got all excited. It was even worse when I stopped by the shoe rack, and put on my sandals - they just knew we were going for a walk! Poor things - it was just too warm!

Unfortunately, I have been watching the Olympics. Also, Alli has decided to get up earlier. So - I am going to bed later (12:30 one night!) and Alli is getting up between 5:00 and 5:30 - not much sleep for me! It is also slow at work, so I am doing some projects that I didn't have time for before - and they involve a lot of staring at the computer. I definitely needed a nap yesterday.

I did get my baby blanket done and a pair of booties! I'm not that happy with the booties - they are too large. I could not find any coordinating baby yarn at Wal-Mart or Michaels. I will have to check at Joann's but I don't have a lot of hope. I wanted thinner yarn, but most of the thin baby yarn is the 'soft' style, and I think it is too slick to hold up to the booties. I have pink, green, yellow and white yarn here, but no blue! Oh well - they look cute, even if they won't fit little Barron right now (he was only 6 pounds at birth - just a couple of weeks ago!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We survived our day of camping - which was probably less than 4 hours! Alli did very well! She was laughing most of the time, and managed to stay out of trouble (most of the time!) The day was gorgeous up at Crater Lake (in Lassen County). The temp was in the low 70's, with a it of a breeze. If you got too warm in the sun, you just moved to the shade, and back and forth. Poor Dad is still pretty immobilized, and he kept running out of shade! He can't get out of the camping chair by himself, so Dave spent a bit of time repositioning him.

Alli joined us for a while in our chairs even - check out those feet! Not long after we got there, I walked down with Ralph to the lake, and I left Mom in charge of Alli. As we left, Allison was playing in the dirt - just picking handfuls up and letting it sift out of her fingers. I knew it was going to be a dirty day! (And it was - the first thing I did when we got home was throw her in the shower!)

Mom finished a tissue box holder (plastic canvas) and gave it to Ronna. She was way too excited about this - check out the hat! It is a very pretty tissue holder - but as a hat? It needs some more design work! Ronna said she was going to take it on Project Runway. I don't know that she will do well with this, but - the fashion world is a strange one!
There was a major hatch of butterflies at the lake too! Here are a couple of shots of the beach. They were everywhere! When you walked, it was like a snowstorm - watching the snow blow across the road - butterflies fluttering every where in front of you - a bit of vertigo!
(You can see some of the butterflies in the air contrasting against Ralph's jeans)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

More sunsets! This was taken as I was taking AJ in to town (for the last time!) to pick up something for his trip. They are now winging their way to Minnesota as we speak - if they got on the plane any way! I checked and the plane left a few minutes ahead of schedule, but the boys left a bit early themselves, so it should be fine! I had to take AJ in to the scout leader's house at 2:00 a.m. to meet up with them. They took off from Redding about 2:15 - not too bad! I am hoping they have fun and stay safe!
I am glad they are finally off. This trip was harder than any other to get AJ on - mainly because the whole thing was planned by the boys, and they didn't get things done they way they should have. Case in point - AJ's merit badges. They were due no later that 8/1 at noon, and he finished them at 9:15 p.m. on 7/31. No need to hurry! The whole trip was like that. They met all the deadlines, but just barely. They also didn't get any fund raising done (that takes quite a bit or prior planning), so it was a bit more expensive than I thought it was going to be!
On Wednesday, I took the day off and took AJ and Dallas to the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Turtle Bay. I think they enjoyed it. It is kind of hard to tell sometimes! I enjoyed it, and I made the boys pose for some pictures afterwards.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The dogs and I went for another walk last night - the sky was beautiful! It was a little later last night than the night before - AJ and I went it to watch the bank's baseball team play. If they won their game at 6:00, they would have played in the championship game at 7:00, but alas, just like the S.F. Giants, they needed more than a 7 run lead to win! They were, at one point, ahead by 7 runs, but lost by 5. It was a fun game, and there were a lot of fellow employees there to watch (of course, having the CEO, Pat, send out an e-mail saying he was buying the beer and sodas helped to get everyone to come out, too! He ended up buying pizza and tacos as well, since they didn't play a second game.) The dogs and I almost had to come home in the dark - I was so busy watching the sky, I didn't really think about the fact that the clouds were getting darker - meaning so was everything else! Luckily, we didn't really go very far from the house, so we made it back before it was too dark. Next time, I will plan a bit better!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The dogs and went for a walk last night - out in the field behind the subdivision. Between the old fires in the west and the new fires to the east of us - we have a beautiful sunset!

To the West

Mt. Shasta

Mt. Lassen

Monday, August 04, 2008

Another Monday! Back to work after a very relaxing weekend. I know I didn't get half the things on my lists done this weekend, and they were short lists! I just didn't have a lot of extra energy this weekend. I did get a baby afghan started for Dan and Sarah (of course, Baron Issac was born Thursday - no need to rush!) While I worked on this, Alli got some pool time - she had such a great time swimming!

AJ finally made it off of restriction, and we haven't seen hide nor hair of him since. He and Dallas are bonding again! I am planning on taking Wednesday off to spend some time with him - this is his last week of summer vacation (at home, at least) so we are planning to go to Turtle Bay Museum and to a movie. All the other time I have had off this summer has had to include Allison, since her day care was closed. This will give us one day just us to go play! Turtle Bay has an exhibit of "Bodies Revealed" that should be interesting. Since AJ has expressed an interest in medicine, I thought this could be kind of cool - seeing the insides of human bodies!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

We are finally clearing up from the smoke a little bit. We still have a lot of smoke in the mountains, but it is blue sky above! It is also hotter than it has been - now that the sun can shine through! In many ways, it hasn't felt like we have had a real summer - cloudy (smoky) skies, and not a lot of heat. School starts in two weeks, and I'm still waiting for summer to start!

AJ is finally ready for his canoe trip. I found out Tuesday night that he still had to complete three merit badges before he could go on the trip (why? good question - it was just one of the rules the leader made up for them. He had known about it for the last 7 months, but evidently didn't think he needed to hurry.) and he only had until Friday at noon to get them done. We were at the last merit badge counselor's house at 9:15 Thursday night, but he got them done! Now, I just have to finish paying for the trip, and send him off. They are leaving Saturday morning at 2:00 a.m. from Redding and driving to Sacramento to catch a flight to Minnesota, and will come back the following Saturday - just before school starts.

AJ is still limping from his heel injury, and will also be missing the first week of soccer practise for the school team. I somehow don't think it was meant to be for him to make the team this year! He couldn't play at the soccer camp because of his heel, and now will miss the first week of try-outs. I don't know if his heel would be ready by then or not. As long as he stays off of it, he is doing good, but he went in to town shopping with me today, and was limping by the time we finished grocery shopping. We did finally get our hair cut! AJ looks normal now, instead of an overgrown hippy! Because of my schedule changes, we were over three months between hair cuts - and we were all shaggy!