Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What do you get when you ask two teenagers to help you with the yardwork? Sometimes, you actually get some work done, but others....they play! I did get some work out of them before they started playing in the fountain. They cut some chicken wire for me (to keep Koori out of my flower beds!) and swept up and cleaned up for me, but then they got distracted. I just asked them to add water to the fountain - that was all it took! As you can tell, I was working! (Just what I needed, pictures of me trimming the edge of the lawn around the pool!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baseball is here! Yesterday was Alli's first game of the season, and she took right to it this year. I don't think she whined once! She even threw the ball to the pitcher without a lot of prompting from me - unless I was trying to video it! Then she wouldn't throw it in the right direction! She seemed to be having a blast just playing in the field. This how she usually entertains herself!

Here is how she throws!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

For sale, cheap! One sweet little girl. She was much sweeter, but I had to give her a shower. If I have ants in my kitchen, and the hummingbirds starve to death, it is all her fault!

I made a batch of hummingbird food this morning, and it was cooling on the stove (boil 4 parts water, 1 part sugar) when I heard little splashing noises coming from the kitchen. Since I used 12 cups of water, I used a large pan. Large enough that Alli could get her whole face down in the pan. She had sugar water all over her face, in her hair, all over the floor, down the front of her clothes.....if only I had the camera! I didn't dare go and get the camera - I would have had more sugar water everywhere. As it was, I had to give her a bath and mop[ the whole kitchen. Alli is very careful to make sure things are not hot on the stove, and the water was cool (I should have already put it out for the birds, and this would never have happened, right?) so she was just having a grand old time playing in it and drinking it. As I said, for sale, cheap!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Soccer season is here - time for more soccer pictures! One thing about AJ being as tall as he is - it is easier to pick him out on the field now! We had to go shopping for new shoes tonight - size 13's! We had beautiful weather for the practice at least - then - once gain - straight on to scouts! Poor AJ - he left his regular shoes in Dad's truck (who dropped him off at practice) so had to wear his cleats to the scout meeting. One of these days, you think he would remember, right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I think the sicky house is on the mend! Alex and Allison are both back to school, and seem healthy - except for that darn cough, which will probably stick around until summer! Ralph went in to work yesterday, but came home exhausted. It may have been too early for a full day at work for him. It is nice that everyone is getting better though. I don't know how long it will take Ralph to get completely well, though. The doctor warned him it will take a while for him to recover, so to take it slow and easy.

Dad seems to be relapsing a bit though. He was up and moving around, but Mom said he isn't doing as much of that any more. He should have a physical therapist coming in later this week, and an appointment with his doctor, so hopefully, he will get motivated to get moving again. For him, it is definitely a case of use it or loose it, I think!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yesterday was another marathon driving day. Alex had a mandatory scout meeting, including a parent or guardian, outside Sacramento yesterday at 9:00.0 a.m. That meant we needed to leave around 6:00 a.m. to allow time for pit stops and finding the right place! We made it there 20 minutes before the meeting started, and then....the meeting was a complete repeat (for the parents, at least) as the meeting (also mandatory) in January! I learned no new information at all about Jamboree!

The scouts broke out into their patrols (which means they are the same kids that drove from Redding, so we could have met them here for the same purpose) and did some "bonding" exercises. Alex is vying for a leadership position on the trip, so he had to plan one of the exercises. To add insult to injury, the "Redding Contingent" had to meet outside in the wind and the cold! This was the choice of the adult leaders of the Redding group, but they said the original room was too small, and had no chairs, so we would all be standing up anyway. (After driving for 2 1/2 hours, and sitting for 1 1/2 hours, I needed to stand anyway, and the metal table and chairs outside were too cold to sit on!) We managed to survive, so we just whined a lot - mainly to try to make the adults feel guilty. (I don't think it worked, but, as I said, we tried! They tried really hard to get us out of driving to the meeting, but couldn't talk the main leadership out of it!) I did have company for the trip - one of the other parent and scout rode down with us, so all in all, it was a good day - just a lot of sitting! We got home a little after 3:00 p.m.

It wasn't a total waste - I made two washcloths during the meeting! I took along some scrap cotton yarn, so they aren't the best colors, but they will just gt used to wash dishes, so it really doesn't matter! The first one (bright green) was made with a half-double crochet in the back loop, and the second one was a single crochet in the back loop. I think I like it better, but we'll see how they work out when used.

I noticed I didn't finish the story about or freaky weather! All those dark clouds, and the flooding in town, we got a few sprinkles at our house.

Downtown was a huge disaster - one man drowned, and lots of property damage. The underground parking lot at the old downtown mall had cars floating around in it! There were several evacuations of pre-schools and nursing homes, as well. I think downtown got over 4 inches of rain in a few hours - too much at once!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I still have a sicky house today. Ralph is not getting better quickly, but he does seem to be getting better. He is working at least most of the day from home. I am still running the kids and such so he doesn't have to go out and drive. Alex, on the other hand, seems to be relapsing. I picked him up at school yesterday, and he took a nap at the conference table behind my office area while I was working. He was sleeping soundly enough that he was hard to wake up, and I almost scared him to death when I did get him up! Since he was lying across three chairs to sleep, I have no idea how he could be that comfortable! He took his temp when we got home, and it was elevated, so....he is back on the sick list!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good news! Dad came home from the hospital today! Unfortunately, no one from the hospital had contacted Mom about Dad coming home. She was already on her way in to Reno when my girlfriend stopped by to see Dad. Cindy called me to see if I knew Dad was coming home, or if I knew if Mom knew that he was. I don't suppose it was a big deal, since Mom was already on her way in to Reno, but it would have been nice if she had known, and had brought some clothes for Dad. He was sent to Reno without his clothes via ambulance, so I had this vision of the hospital giving him a couple of those gowns and sending him out of the street to walk home - mostly naked! The Nevada (almost constant) winds would have had him arrested for indecent exposure in no time! Cindy said he was doing a lot better this visit than when she saw him last Friday, of which I am glad. I don't think the guy I saw on Saturday was ready to come home at all! He was still pretty weak. He must have started eating his veggies!

On the bad news side, Ralph is down with pneumonia. He went to the walk-in clinic on Saturday, and they gave him antibiotics for bronchitis. He was still feeling bad on Monday, so went back in. The good news, the drugs worked on the bronchitis, but the bad news, now he has pneumonia. He went to his regular doctor this morning, and he is doing better, but was told he needed to take it easy still. He doesn't have much choice. Anytime he does more than just sit, he starts coughing, and feels bad. He went in to town to pick up the kids this afternoon (I had a nail appointment after work) and he said it about killed him. I think I am running the kids the rest of the week.

We are definitely 'running the kids' now. AJ has started soccer practice, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Alli has baseball practice on Thursdays, but missed last week because she was sick. I don't think she will make this Thursday either - I can only do one kid at a time! Since she really has no interest in practice, I am opting to take AJ in for his practice. Alli has her first game this Saturday. Unfortunately, I will be in Sacramento with Alex for a Boy Scout meeting, so she probably won't do that either. Alex's games start the following week. Between scouts, school and sports, we will be busy running for awhile!

I stayed home with Alli on Monday, and (with a little more work last night) finished up a doily. It didn't turn out like the picture, and I had problems following the directions, so I am pretty sure it was me! The directions weren't hard - they were just different! I tended repeat myself in a pattern, and this doily wasn't supposed to be square - the pattern didn't 'repeat' the same for each side. By the time I figured out I was doing it wrong, I decided I liked the look of it anyway, so just kept going!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The RAV got a bath this afternoon. I left to go pick up Alex - it is windy and cloudy, but the streets are dry. About the time I hit I5, the radio announces 'flooding in downtown Redding, including Eureka Way". Guess where Alex's school is! When I pull off of I5 to go downtown, the windshield wipers could not keep up. The off ramp to go to the Sundial Bridge has what looks like a foot of water across it. Traffic was backed up on Eureka Way, so I decided to by pass it. I turned and went up West Street to Magnolia. Where West Street crosses the railroad tracks was underwater. Thank goodness I had the RAV- not the Camry! I took pictures while I sat at the light at Court Street and West Street - too much water! I didn't have a problem, the RAV has plenty of clearance, but we went swimming! The tracks had a lot more water than Court Street, but I didn't take the time to get my camera out there!

There is a black mass of clouds coming our way now. so we may get part of this cell too. This was the cloud when we came home, and it has moved a bit closer now.

The light (after the storm cell went through) was very pretty on the trees by the river!
I debated sending Alli to school today, and ended up not sending her. I took her with me yesterday (after she finally woke up from a 2-hour nap) to the grocery store, and I cut my shopping short. About half way through the store, she made a funny sound, and I looked at her, and she did not look good! Evidently walking around had spiked a fever. She was drenched in sweat, and looked exhausted! (She looked fine and had lots of energy when we started this trip - she even 'hurried' across the street in the rain!) I finished up that aisle very slowly, letting her rest, and we checked out and came home. She seemed fine after that, but....I kept her home today. She is still very happy to curl up on the couch and 'rest' so I don't think she is 100% yet, probably not even 75%. Poor baby! Ralph is still out for the count, too. His bronchitis is kicking his butt! Hopefully a couple of days of rest will set him right, too!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Another fast trip to Susanville/Reno. Dad is recovering, but is still very weak. He is more than a little cranky about the whole thing. It looks like he will probably go to rehab from the hospital, unless he shows a lot of improvement today! Monday sounded like the 'decision day'. His doctor we saw on Saturday mentioned that things don't move quickly on weekends, but he wanted the rehab doctor to evaluate him - probably on Monday. I think the hospital has done all they can medically, now he just needs to build his strength back up and get so he can move about on his own.
The weather was beautiful on Saturday, but...there was a storm coming in on Sunday. I hit quite a bit of blowing snow on the way back home Sunday morning. The wind was howling, so it could just have been a little bit of snow being blown all about, too! Once I crossed the mountain, it was calmer. No rain in the valley, but still lots of wind.
I did get the house put back together after being gone. I called Alex home from his friend's to clean his room and vacuum for me. Poor Ralph told me that Allison had kept him busy the whole time I was gone, so I sent him to take a nap when I got in. As soon as Ralph lay down, Allison took a nap! I was able to get lots of things done while she napped. Once she is up, we will make our weekly run to the grocery store. It feels like a good night for soup or a good casserole for dinner, too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One thing about staying home with Alli on Wednesday when she was sick, I had time to finish up a doily. This one measures about 19 inches across, and is a 'spring green' color. There's something about cameras not picking up the right color. Of course, if I waited until I had natural light to take a picture, it would help, but....I usually don't. This was taken at around 6:00 a.m. on the kitchen table - not the best light, so the flash washes some of the color out.
Off to Susanville/Reno again today. Dad is still improving, but is still very weak. Sitting up, much less walking around, makes him tired. He is still having a few 'illusions', especially about going home. I think he is hearing/seeing something (and doesn't have either his glasses on or his hearing aides on) so he 'makes up' something to fit what he thinks he is seeing/hearing. He is pretty creative about what he thinks is happening.
My house is still a sick zone. I think Ralph's cold is turning into bronchitis/pneumonia/sinus infection or something. When I got in from work last night, he said he was having breathing issues - not major issues, just that the cold was changing. He slept in the chair last night so he could keep his head elevated. He probably needs a round of antibiotics now. His cold has lasted much longer than anyone else's. Alex was out with it for about 5 days, Alli was out about 2 days (it turned out she was probably well enough to go to school yesterday, but we didn't chance it.) Alex is still coughing, and still tired. His Spring soccer team had their first practise on Thursday, and he did not practice. We went by to meet the coach, etc., but it was his first day back to school, and he was not ready to tun for 1 1/2 hours!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well, Dad is improving! They moved him out of ICU yesterday, and he is on solid foods (after two weeks of not eating, ice cream is solid food, right? I know it is one of the basic food groups around here at least!)

The baby ensemble was a hit at the baby shower, I hear. As usual, the baby booties captured everyone's admiration, and they are the easiest and fastest of the group to make!

Monday, March 09, 2009

No new update on Dad - he was moved from one ICU to another on Saturday, but he is still in ICU. The latest is that they are waiting for him to be able to cough and swallow easily/strongly before he gets out of ICU.

Allison has discovered dolls! This may not mean a lot to you, but she has never 'played' with dolls before, and this is a big step for her. For her to 'play' with anything is good. That is a developmental step that she is missing. She still isn't playing appropriately for her age, but she is closer to the 18-24 month range (her 'development age) of 'play' activities. Mom sent home a doll she had at her house.

Also new at Mom's were two huge owls in the tree across the street. Steph went and chased the cats that were playing outside back in the house - they were beginning to look like dinner!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It's the weekend! And Allison was up at 5:00 a.m. If only I had gone to bed at 10:00 like I usually do, but no, I had to stay up and finish my book! I got to bed around midnight last night. Today is going to be a lot of driving, too. The kids and I are off to Susanville, where I will leave Allison and pick up Mom. Then the three of us are off to Reno to go see Dad. Everyone think good thoughts about Dave and Stephanie watching Alli for me! Steph hasn't met Alli before, so has no idea what she was taking on when she said "no problem" to watching Alli. Mom and I were talking last night about how best to "Alli proof" the house while we were gone! (No good solutions came to mind, either!)

Dad is still in ICU - they still don't like they way he is breathing. They say he is getting better, but still not good enough to get out of ICU. Since his surgery was last Thursday, he needs to hurry up and get "better"!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Just a quick note - Dad is still in ICU because of his breathing, and I am going over to Reno this weekend. In the mean time, I whipped up this hat in wool yarn for Julie, a 16 year old girl visiting at Mom & Dad's. I combined two different patterns to make it work, but I think it came out cute! (I don't know that Alli was as impressed!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

No big news on Dad - they removed the ventilator on Tuesday, and he was doing well after that. I had plans to call him last night, but....the best laid plans. Maybe this morning, on the way to work?

I finished up a pair of booties to go with the blanket and hat - now to get a bag and a card, and wrap it all up! The shower is Saturday, but I am planning on going to Susanville/Reno this weekend, so I will have to take it in to work for someone else to take to the shower. The pictures aren't the best, but it is hard to take a picture of baby booties with no babies around. Ralph mentioned that he forgot how little baby feet were!
We had a weird storm blow through yesterday - hail on I-5 caused numerous accidents south of us. I took some pictures from my office at work - pretty clouds - before the storm came in!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The latest on Dad is that he is doing better. They removed the ventilator yesterday, and he is doing good on a mask.

I have a house full of sickies! AJ came home (after a long trip home) with a touch of a stomach bug, and Ralph stayed home from work yesterday with what he said is the flu. He still worked, he just didn't go in to the office. Alli and I are stay far, far away from them, so we don't get it too!

AJ ended up having to go through Reno to get home on Sunday. The road was closed right in front of them. He got in a little after 7:00. What a long day for the driver! At one point they had to put on chains, so poor Bill must have been exhausted by the time he got home - 3 days skiing and chaperoning teenage boys, and then a long dive (7+ hours?) in bad weather. He is a saint!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

While I was sitting around the hospital and Mom's house this weekend, I did finish the baby afghan I need for next weekend. I also made a little hat, with a flower that matches the blankie! Since I couldn't find a cute doll to model the hat, I found a cute little kitten instead.
Dad is doing better! He's not out of ICU yet, but...he is better. He is still on a ventilator, and once that is removed, and he is breathing well on his own, he will probably be moved out of ICU. Unfortunately, once the ventilator is removed, he will be able to talk, and once he can talk, he is going to start asking when he can go home! He is a terrible patient! He is still ornery as well! On Friday, he motioned to Ronna that he wanted a drink, and she told him he couldn't drink anything, but she could swab his mouth with a sponge. He pushed his button for the nurse, and then asked her for some water. He got the same answer, but he wasn't happy. He definitely knows what is going on around him. Ronna was knitting socks while she was sitting with him, and one of the nurses asked what she was knitting, and then who they were for. When Ronna said they were for Dad, he picked up his foot and wiggled his toes. Ronna told him had a while to wait until she got the sock done - sorry!

I left Susanville this morning around 10:00, and hit snow about 15 miles out. I was a little worried, since I still had a lot of driving in the mountains, and that isn't the highest part of the trip, but after about 10 miles of snow, it turned to rain. Good thing for me! Poor Alex though - we got a call from him about 2:30 this afternoon. He went with a group from scouts to Tahoe skiing, and they left today to come home. The car he was in was stopped - they closed the road right in front of them. The other car in the group made it through, but AJ's car is going to have to try to get home the long way - back to Reno and through Susanville. That will be at least a 5 hour trip - if the weather is good, and is isn't a traffic jam of people trying to get home. I don't know when we will see him now - if the weather gets worse, they may be stuck!

The light this morning on the trees - the grey clouds of the incoming storm!