Saturday, January 31, 2009

Whew! I got the "Saturday chores" done - the grocery shopping, vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms, mopping floors, scrubbing carpets, cleaning the frig, etc. I quit about 1:00! I took a little time for my mending pile, and a quick sewing project:

Cindy made the cute hat shown previously for Allison, and AJ said he wanted one too, only black with no 'poof'. I found a pattern the other night, and picked up some black fleece, and ta-da! A new hat! The pattern didn't conform easily to 'no poof' so it isn't the best hat, but...he said he wanted it to wear at night when they were snow camping, so no one will care! I tried to get Alli to model it for me, but she was more interested it getting it off than posing for a picture. Too cute! Check out those curls!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Well, I was on the mend! I crocheted 5 bookmarks last night - using a pattern I found here:

The variegated thread worked up really well. Each heart was an almost replicate of the one before it. Unfortunately, I think I used up all my enthusiasm last night. I'm tired again!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Something is up with me - either a cold with just a few symptoms (headache, tired) or hormones run wild! I have been exhausted since last week! I fell asleep on the couch Saturday night at 8:00, and Sunday at 9:00 and last night I made myself stay awake until 9:30. I'm not even getting up to exercise in the morning! I'm not doing anything after work other than fixing dinner - not even crocheting! (That's why I think I'm sick!) Work stress had added to it, I'm sure, but that doesn't usually exhaust me like this! Since I'm updating my blog today, maybe I'm getting over it??? I hope so!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a day! I graciously volunteered to drive the scouts up to Mt. Shasta for a day of skiing yesterday. We took 8 boys up (2 dropped out at the last minute) in three cars, and I think they had a marvelous time! There is almost no snow at the park (14 inches at the top of the run!) Several of the boys are beginners, so they spent the morning in lessons (which meant we didn't have to watch them most of the day - just during the lunch break!) Here's a group shot after we got to the park:

Here's a shot of AJ on the lift, and he also took a ride down the bunny hill so I could get a picture of him snowboarding. I couldn't get a shot of him out on the 'real' slopes, as I was not skiing! I usually missed him coming in to the lift, as well. This was only his second time out on a snowboard, and he was out with the other experienced snowboarder. One of the boys 'graduated' to the lift after his lessons. The rest were still restricted to the bunny hill - maybe one more day of lessons?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I took today off of work today - turning the three day weekend into a four day weekend! Now, if only I had wonderful plans of things to do! Instead, I spent the morning doing something I did not have on my agenda - watching the inauguration! I'm glad I did, it was a piece of history.

I'm working on an afghan, and last night, I had a helper! Usually, Alli is only interested in the afghan to cover up with, but last night, she started playing with the yarn - tugging on it. We played tug-a-war with it for a few minutes - enough time for Ralph to get the camera out.

Alex has a chemistry project due on Wednesday, so last night (almost the last possible time to do it - no need to rush!) he an Matt got together to work on it. They made a hot air balloon out of tissue paper. They used hot glue and tape, and they did a decent job. Supposedly, it doesn't matter if it flies or not. If they turn in a project that looks like they followed the rules, and it looks like it could fly, they get full credit. If it actually flies, they get extra credit, and the balloon that flies the highest gets more extra credit. I don't know about Matt, but AJ could use all the extra credit he can get! They are actually holding it upside down in the picture - the bottom is reinforced with masking tape, and they didn't want to tear the top by picking it up.

Koori still has her toy! She and Jasper played with it just a little bit yesterday, but they didn't shred it. Koori was napping on the couch, and Ralph picked up the toy and out it under her leg, like she was sleeping with it on purpose. The second shot - "You woke me up for this?"

Monday, January 19, 2009

For the first time in a long time, I spent a weekend away without taking the kids! I went up to Susanville this weekend, and AJ had scouting things he needed to do, so he couldn't got with me and babysit his sister for me. Since I was going up to help initiate my brother into Eastern Star on Saturday night, he couldn't babysit Alli for me, and since Dad was never a good baby sitter, and he just had back surgery on Monday - not a chance! Ralph had to stay home with both kids and run AJ around town for various scouting functions.
We did get Dave initiated - just a few bumps along the way. Here is a picture from after the meeting. He cleaned up pretty good! I know he won't stay this way too long!
Mom and I did a quick run into to town, and I picked up a toy for Koori at the Dollar Tree. She likes soft toys, but at home, she and Jasper play tug-of-war, and they get shredded quickly. Since I didn't take Jasper with me - just Koori, she got a toy all to herself. She didn't seem all that excited about it at Mom's, but when we got home, she growled at Jasper when she got too close to "her" toy. Jasper walked around her toy after that. So far, it hasn't been destroyed, so I guess it worked!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alli's ankle is doing much better. She is walking around on it quite well now, and hardly hesitates to stand up - which puts weight on it. Poor baby! I think it now looks worse than it feels. I was even able to get her shoe on this morning, so she could go to school with both shoes on! (Not that she really cared, but I do!) This was taken this morning, before the shoes!
I also finished up a new doily - Temptation. This one is almost 21 inches across, and I used the new bamboo thread by Aunt Lydia. I like the thread - but it only comes in white and natural. It would be great for articles of clothing - it is so soft! Since I put a little bit of starch on my doilies so they hold the blocking, it kind of looses the softness! Still, it was nice to work with. I have a couple of afghans to finish up next.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a day! I didn't think yesterday was ever going to end! It started at 4:30 a.m., when Alli woke up. I got up with her, and then walked on the treadmill for 1/2 hour. Actually, I only got in 28-29 minutes, because when I was on the last couple of minutes of my walk, Alli wanted to join me. Since I was on a 'cool down' walk, I thought - why not? I got off and...before I could turn the treadmill off to get Alli on, she stepped on the back of the treadmill - which was running at 2 MPH. Before I could do anything, her foot was whipped off the treadmill and she was on the floor, crying. Poor thing! She had a little bit of swelling on her ankle, but she was limping just a little bit, and was putting all her weight on it, so I thought it might not be too big a deal. I got a call (while I was at lunch and away from my desk) at 1:30. She wouldn't walk on her foot, and she was crying. I got the message about 1:45, and I went and picked her up from school, called the doctor en route, and managed to get an appointment at 2:30, and I got to the office at 2:25. Good timing - about the only thing that was going for me yesterday! The doctor thinks it is just a sprain - nothing broken, but watch her (like I wouldn't!) and bring her back in next week if she isn't walking a lot better. I think I am going to take her to daycare for the day today, just to keep her off of it. I unwrapped it this morning to give her a shower, and it looks a lot better already. Of course, she has had it elevated all night, and it was wrapped, so a lot of the swelling is down. We'll see what it looks like at the end of the day! I have it wrapped up, and some ice on it for a little while this morning.

AJ stayed home sick yesterday. Both he and Ralph caught a cold - both about the same time, so I don't know where they got it. Poor AJ is all congested. I just sent him in to take a shower - maybe that will loosen up his head! He needs to go to school today, if he can. He has missed a lot of school this year - which showed in his grades! I think all of his immunities he built up when he started school have worn out. He is catching every cold that come along this year!

Dad had his surgery on Monday, but is still in the hospital. His oxygen levels keep dropping when they take him off the oxygen. His blood pressure was unstable during surgery, and he had shortness of breath during recovery, and now he isn't getting enough oxygen with normal breathing. Poor thing! Mom kept calling every hour or so (she is back in Susanville - he is in Reno) to see if she could come and get him to take him home, and carried the phone around with her - waiting for the call that never came. Maybe today! I know he doesn't need to come home early, since they are 80+ miles away from the hospital (no one goes to the local hospital if they can help it!), but I also know Dad is a terrible patient, and will be anxious to get home!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My clock is fixed! Ralph got the quartz workings in, and on Sunday replaced the mechanical clock part. (Too busy on Saturday - the house was full of boys!) I took a video last night so you can here the chimes. I hope it turns out okay - I didn't actually test the videos on the new camera, so - here's the test!

Alli "helped" me make Alex's birthday cake. Good thing he wanted a yellow cake - she would have been a bigger mess if it was chocolate batter. I've been having her stir the eggs up when I cook her breakfast, and she is fascinated by the flame on the gas stove. Too fascinated! Any time I have a burner on, she is in the kitchen staring at it. Usually, she is content to just watch it from behind the island, but she has been know to try to get a bit closer to it. She is very respectful of heat, so she doesn't try to touch it, but I worry she might get that curly hair a bit too close! She even gets a bit frustrated when someone (like me, when I'm cooking!) gets between her and the flame.

I know that the rest of the country is having awful weather, but we have had Spring weather this week! It was in the 70's yesterday, and is supposed to stay in the 60's & 70's for the week. On Sunday, I took the dogs for a walk, and snapped a picture of Mt. Lassen - gorgeous! Hard to believe this is the mountain we climbed in September!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I think we survived the boys overnight, but I'm not sure they have! They didn't go to bed until 4:00 this morning. Alli got up at 6:00. So far, they are still sleeping, but I don't know how much longer that will last. One of them almost had a rude awakening - AJ had him sleeping in Alli's recliner chair! That would have been ugly this morning - Alli doesn't share well! For some reason, AJ did not break out the sleeping bags and mattresses we have. Two boys are draped on the couches, one on the floor, and one in Ralph's recliner. They are using every afghan/blanket we have (of which there really are a lot of!) to cover up. I know we have enough sleeping bags for everyone, but...apparently they didn't want to get them out!

I got three extra large pizzas last night for the kids, and I doubt any is left this morning. They ate two of them last night for dinner, and were looking forward to the one that was left as a snack. They also devoured 3/4 of a cake. AJ wanted a 'yellow cake with no frosting' for his birthday cake. I did talk him into letting me put some coffee cake struesel in it, and most of it is gone! (There are plenty of crumbs left through out the house though!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's official - AJ is 16! This afternoon, we are expecting 3 more teen-age boys arriving for a sleep over. We celebrated his birthday - just us - yesterday. He was up early (!?!?!) and so was Ralph - he gave AJ his new long board at 6:30 in the morning yesterday. AJ was out trying it out in the dark and cold! He also got his favorite dinner - steak and scampi, with shrimp as an appetizer. I think it was a good birthday. Now to survive the on slot of teenage boys! Pizza is on the menu for tonight!

My girlfriend sent Christmas presents to the kids - she made the cutest hat for Alli! I don't think Alli was impressed - but it could be because of the way AJ put it on her. He pulled it down pretty low, and I think her curls were distracting her. She kept rolling her eyes up!

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's Monday! Back to work (again!) All in all, it was a good weekend, but I didn't get much done around the house - which may be why it was a good weekend! I took yesterday afternoon off and made a few phone calls - caught up with some friends I hadn't talked to in a while. Thank goodness for free weekend minutes!

I did take the dogs for a walk - or a run in their case - this weekend. The back fields have a running creek in the right now, and the dogs love to run around out there.

I also cleaned up all the Christmas stuff, and found....I forgot to water my newest plant! The poor thing did recover, but it looked dreadful when I found it hiding with the Christmas 'stuff' on the table! The Christmas Tree is still up - but I am leaving that to Ralph and AJ to put away. They both still have today off.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

For my New Year's resolution - I resolve to find more energy! I don't know how yet, but I need to. Has anyone see any anywhere? Last night, I was falling asleep on the couch at 8:30! I didn't get a lot done around the house yesterday either. I don't know why!

Ralph finally got to use his Anniversary/Christmas present. He ordered a knife sharpener, and it got delayed in shipping, so he didn't get it until Monday after Christmas. By that time, I was back at work, and he was watching Allison. He said he got it out of the box once, and was just looking at it, and Alli came to help. He didn't think the idea of sharp knives and Alli went together, so he boxed it all back up and put it away. On New Year's Day, when I was home to watch Alli, he got it out and got to play with it. All the knives in my kitchen are sharp again! (This was a win/win present!)
After Christmas, I did sit down and work on a new doily, and it went together very quickly! I think I finished it up mostly on New Year's Day. Probably because it was so closed to Christmas, it "called to me" in Christmas colors. The name of it is "Bell Edged Mat" - not too inspiring! It turned out a bit brighter than I envisioned it, but not too bad. The original pattern was done in all one color - white. I thought about doing it in blues with silver bells, but...I didn't have any silver thread here, and didn't want to go to town and face the ofter Christmas crowd! I think I could have used gold thread for the bells, too, and it wouldn't have been as bright, but...I didn't have gold thread here either!
I did try a new (to me!) technique. I added beads to the edge for the bell clapper instead of picots, but...I didn't thread all the beads on before I started. That is the only way I knew how to crochet with beads, but recently, someone on one of my Yahoo Groups mentioned that she just picked up the bead with a smaller hook - size 10 or 11, and pulled the thread through when she wanted to add a bead. That worked great! I might try some more beads in my doilies, since I won't have to count them and thread them all before I start! Since doing picots are not my favorite technique, this may be a nice replacement, depending on the doily.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Here is the promised picture of the new clock!
Happy New Year! Best wished to all for the coming year!

Ralph has had a busy vacation this week, yesterday especially! One of my co-workers had a little electrical problem (nightlight short-circuited and almost caught on fire and the circuit break flipped) and I asked Ralph if he could take a look and see if it was a "big" problem (meaning calling an electrician - expensive!) or just a simple fix. The house is a new (2 years old) manufactured house, so we were all hoping it was a simple fix. It was! Ralph is now a hero! My co-worker had to spend less than $3.00 on a new receptacle, and Ralph replaced it, and everything is as good as new!

If only all of his ventures worked out so well! I bought a clock for the wall in the computer room last year - $20 or so from Target. The battery corroded and ruined the clock, so it hasn't worked for a couple of months, and I put off buying a new one - just because, I guess! Ralph made it his mission to get a clock for the computer room this week! He searched and found a very nice new clock for $45 here in Redding - a new store opening up that didn't have their storefront open yet. He called, and went and picked it up on Tuesday. He got it home, and...the clock didn't work. He took it back, no problem, but now he was on a mission! (Did I mention that he is borderline obsessive?? He will get a clock!) He stopped off at McMahan's, which is going out of business in Redding, and saw a grandfather type floor clock that would be 'perfect'. Originally, it was $400, and was now on sale for $100. He checked with me, showed me pictures, etc. and went and picked it up on Wednesday. Once he got it home, he discovered had no pendulum. Since McMahan's is going out of business, all sales are final, so, I still have a clock that is only right twice a day! Ralph called all the clock repair places in Redding, no luck. McMahon's called the other stores that are connected (a total of 6 stores are going out of business) and no luck. He has an e-mail in to the clock company, and (I think) he finally gave up and ordered a quartz movement for the clock, and will just replace the mechanical system and make it battery operated. Poor Ralph - he tried so hard! It is a pretty clock. I'll post pictures of it when I have more light in the computer room!

Ralph has also been chasing the furniture store we ought our chairs and couch from. The recliner/rocker chair that Allison uses broke - the frame and springs - probably from over use! We have a 5 year warranty, but...that style of chair has been discontinued, so the store came yesterday and picked up the chair to fix it. I have no idea when we will get that back! It wasn't a huge problem with the company honoring the warranty, just a hassle getting hold of the right person, sending pictures of the damage, etc. Ralph has been busy the last couple of weeks!