Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here's to a lazy Sunday! (I have tons of things to do, but.....they may not get done!) Alli let me sleep in until 6:00 this morning, so I woke up feeling very lazy. I will get motivated shortly, I know, but I love the nice cool mornings we have now! We were up to about 102 yesterday- way too hot still! We are supposed to be cooling down, and I am ready for fall!

Here is a photo of the last baby ensemble I made. The yarn for the hat and blanket is very bulky and soft. They both worked up really fast. As usual, the booties were what everyone oohed and ahhed over though.

Toilet training is beginning to really work with Alli! Last night, she had a BM after she went to bed, so she got herself up and took herself into the bathroom. There is where the training ended, and impulse took over. If no one hears you get up and comes to help you, it must be okay to take a shower, right??? I heard water, and thought it was AJ or Dallas. Then I heard them both talking in the computer room. Uh oh! Luckily, Alli can't turn the shower on, so she was just standing in the tub with water running. I guess she just wanted to cool down???? (This is why we keep the hot water temperature low!)

AJ's team took second in the Quincy tournament - losing to Redding Christian. Ironically, the varsity coach for RC is the coach AJ had this Spring, and also the coach of the summer camps he went to this summer. AJ said he personally played pretty well, and got a lot of game time....until he got hurt (caught a kick in the knee - his weak spot). With 20 kids on the team, playing time is at a premium, and the coach already warned the guys that he is playing to win. They don't have a JV team this year, so there are a lot of kids that would not be playing at the Varsity level yet.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Husbands...can't live with them, can't shoot them!! Ralph has had a couple of days off - one due to a mandatory day-off without pay, which is a big bummer, but still, a couple of days off. On Thursday, he cleaned the sink - and actually had to gall to tell me he cleaned the sink! Like I don't clean the sink???? I scrub (like with a scrub pad and Comet!) the sink down every weekend! It just refuses to stay clean! It was like he should be awarded a medal because he 'cleaned the sink'! He made up for it today - which he also had off. His main accomplishment today was gassing up the car. Hmmmm.....I was up at 5:30 this morning, out of the house by 7:10 with both kids, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast made, lunches packed, all gear gathered for an over-night trip for AJ, dressed for work, including makeup, put in a full day + at work, and home at 5:45, fixed dimmer, put Allison in the pool, cleaned the kitchen after dinner, and he gassed up his car. Something is wrong with this picture!! I am glad he had a chance to just relax - it doesn't happen very often around here!

AJ was off to a soccer tournament in Quincy this morning. They had their first game at 1:00, which they won, and their second game at 3:00, which they lost (all because they had the worst ref's in the world, according to AJ!) That will cost them the opportunity to win the tournament, which is a big bummer. I think I mentioned before that they have won it every year they have entered, so I am sure the coach is way past bummed! AJ sounded a bit down (via text) this afternoon. Hopefully, he can recover enough to enjoy a BBQ at Lake Almanor this evening. They play two more games tomorrow, and are home tomorrow night.

I think I'll just take the opportunity to relax and relive the walk on the beach at Ft. Bragg - just a bit of a breeze, salt air.....ahhhhhhh. These pictures are from Van Damn (sp?) Beach, south of Mendocino on Highway 1. It is one of my favorite beaches, but it was way too crowded on Sunday. It is usually very secluded, but I could hardly find a parking space!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If I haven't said so before, (I forget!) AJ made the soccer team! That means we continue the 6:15 a.m. practices. Not a problem for me, but he has a hard time getting up! Last night, we had a mandatory 'athletic parents meeting'. Not much new, but it is nice to get the scoop from the coach, not through AJ. The team is heading over to Quincy on Friday for a tournament. U-Prep has won the tournament the last 5 years, so the coach sees no reason to break that record! (This will be the sixth year the school has even been around - not too bad!) This is also the last season they will be playing in their current league - next year we start playing the large schools - Foothill, Shasta, Enterprise, Chico, etc. That means U-Prep may not fair so well - we are still a small school!

More flowers from Ronna's - beautiful!

A sunny day in Ft. Bragg - take a nap!

Ronna's alarm system - and it works pretty good, too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I may have bypassed the dreaded Monday at work, but I guess I have to face the now dreaded Tuesday! It was very nice having the three days off. Yesterday was a beautiful day - with a high of 92. Kimberly came over for lunch, and we had taco salads on the patio, and didn't even melt! I got a ton of things picked up and cleaned up around the house (probably because Kimberly was coming for lunch) and still had time to wash the RAV. I still don't think I got all the dust off of it!

The flowers are at Ronna's house - she has beautiful flowers!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The weekend was fun - all the driving was worth it! We went the 'back way' in to Covelo - up over the mountains outside of Willows. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to go from Redding to Covelo that way - part of it on dirt logging roads. My poor RAV needs a serious bath! We stayed for several hours, and left about 1:30 and headed in to Willits. We had a late lunch, and then headed over to Ft. Bragg. It was ever so much cooler over there!

This is on the East side of the mountains, looking back into the Sacramento Valley.

There is a memorial close to the top of the mountains, honoring fire fighters killed in the Rattlesnake fire in 1953.

These are on the West side of the mountains - heading in to Covelo. The rock on the left has a matching rock across the canyon from it - I remember watching for it when we traveled that way when I was a kid!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's the weekend! and a three day one at that! Added to that, it is a road trip weekend! I took Monday off, and Mom and I are headed out for the weekend. First, we are stopping off in Covelo - just to catch up with some friends. The class I went to grammar school with (we lived there for 5 years, moving just before I started high school) is having a high school reunion. Since there were only 20 kids in our grammar school class, I knew at least half of the graduation class. They planned the reunion to coincide with the annual Blackberry Festival, so even if I don't know a soul, I can at least get some good blackberry jam!

After that, it is off to my sister's in Ft. Bragg, where the high today is supposed to be 71 degrees. It is sitting at 73 degrees right now in Redding, and it is 5:45 a.m.! I can hardly wait - the Redding summer has baked me this year! I hope to get some beach time in - just walking along the beach, looking for shells, and watching the water. Heaven! (And the best part of the weekend???? Ralph is keeping the kids! Just Mom and I are going! What a treat!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer still reigns in Redding - we were 106 at the house yesterday, and it is expected to be hotter today - 110! At least this time of year, it cools down at night - which helps a lot. In July, when it was this hot, it stayed hot even at night. The poor AC ran almost constantly - as I can tell from my electric bill! We usually use the swamp cooler, but when it gets that hot, the swamp just doesn't help. It is doing better for this heat wave - probably because it was 65 this morning when I went out, not 85!

Today was the first day of tryouts for soccer - which means AJ has to be at the school by 6:15 a.m. I am glad they are running in the morning instead of the afternoon heat, but 6:15??? That means we have to leave the house at 5:55 at the latest! (Which means I am getting up way too early!) Alli was up this morning before I left, so I got her up and dressed and ready to go as well, and took her in with me, so she didn't destroy the house while I was gone.

Here are a few of Ralph's pictures from Yosemite. He didn't take a lot of pictures, at least compared to me! I took almost as many pictures of the baby ensemble I made!

Speaking of baby ensembles - here is one of those pictures!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I got my upper body workout yesterday! (too bad I spoiled it by eating chips for lunch - now, eating chips with lunch would have been okay, but only chips for lunch? Bad idea!) I scrubbed carpets yesterday, and pushing that machine around definitely worked my arms. Then, I helped AJ scrub down the pool - more arm work! That's okay, I did one big chore that I had been meaning to do for a while, so I am happy! I know they won't stay clean, but....for the moment, I can dream, can't I?

After all that cleaning, I sat down and finished up the baby ensemble I was working on. I made an afghan, a hat, and two pairs of baby booties (one for a girl and one for a boy) for a silent auction being organized by a co-worker. I was all ready to pack it up and take it in to her tomorrow, but....Ralph has the camera, and I want to take a picture of them before I send them off! I guess it will be Tuesday before I can post a picture! The afghan and hat are done in white, with a little applique chick on the hat. Since it is for a silent auction, I didn't want to do it in pick or blue to discourage someone from bidding on it. The girl booties are the little sandals that I make all the time, also done in white, and the boy booties are cowboy boot done in blue and white. I put a pink sock stuffed with tissue paper in one of the sandals, so you can see what it is, and stuffed one of the boots as well - better visuals! I also finished up a hat for a co-worker's new grandson, due next month. Now, to make a pair of booties for him, and I will be done with baby stuff for a while. I am planning on making little sneakers for him. Hopefully I will get them done today as well, so I can take pictures of everything on Monday!

Ralph called last night - Yosemite is beautiful, but he is taking a break today. After the ride down on Friday, and then all day yesterday on the bike, he was going to stay home and help out on some yard projects, rather than ride back into the park and around. The park is full of people. He said he took some pictures for me too! (He also said I was right, he should have put in more bike time before the trip, so he wasn't so sore from the highway travel!) Maybe he'll get some more bike time after the trip now - just to keep in practice!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The last weekend before school starts - the last weekend of freedom (for the kids at least!) I still need a couple of odds and ends for Alli for school - some new shoes and a new lunch box. She may have stopped growing - her shoes still fit, they are just worn out. (She drags her feet when she walks!)

Last weekend, I had AJ change the water in the dog's water bowl (a 5 gallon bucket) - a chore he does daily in the summer, and I went out later and saw the weirdest thing! It stayed that way until the dogs got a drink a couple of hours later! The dog's toy was dropped in the water, and all the 'slobbers' stayed on top - weird! I had never seen anything like it - a perfect image on top of the water!

Since Ralph is gone this weekend, I cheated with dinner last night, and did something I rarely do - got Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner! I had to make more potatoes for us, but otherwise, that was all I had to do for dinner - and then clean up - heaven! I got the new 'grilled' chicken, and AJ and I weren't that excited about it. I am sure it is healthier for us, but we missed the flavors in the coating (that is deep fried - yum!) It was a nice change - to just pick up dinner and serve! Usually, I will do take and bake pizza, which requires actual work from me, and a waiting period. With AJ's help, we had almost no wait time last night - he got Alli set up for me while I got instant potatoes going, and they were done just in time for us to sit down. (Okay, you can tell I never do take-out when I am this excited about not having to cook!)

I got one call from Ralph yesterday saying he had made it to Modesto with no problems. I was away from my desk, so he left me a message, so he must be having a good time - no other news from him! They are off to Yosemite this morning. I am hoping he takes some pictures for me, since I haven't made it there yet. Maybe next summer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ralph is off today on his weekend bike trip to Yosemite! He is really looking forward to the trip, so I hope he has fun (and takes lots of pictures! He has my camera, and I've run through the features a couple of times, but.....we'll see!)

"Robert the Plumber" came for a visit yesterday....I had a leak in the kitchen. One of the vents in the dishwasher was clogged, and the water ended up running down the back of the sink, rather than down the drain. (Yes, I pointed this out to Ralph several weeks ago, and he was going to take a look at it, but......) The vent is fixed, and the cupboard under the sink has to be replaced now. What fun! While he was here, the plumber also fixed a few little drips, etc. we had. Everything but the leaky faucet in the kitchen. His suggestion for that was to just replace it. It is almost 10 years old, and even if we can get the parts for it, it would still probably still leak (because of the brand). One more plumbing problem!

I am looking forward to getting kids in school next week. Alli has done great this summer at daycare! The day care providers have been working with her a lot. Sandy said she put her own diaper and shorts on the other day! Of course, it took Sandy 30 minutes to get her to do it! But, if she did it once, she can do it again - it will just take time (and patience, and I seem to be short on both around here!) Sandy even got her to put her shoes on the other day. I don't know how long she worked on that, but probably longer than I would! Ralph talked to Alli's teacher for next year, and she was very interested in her improvements over the summer, and wants to continue working with her on them. Between dressing and her toilet training, she has definitely improved lately. One little step at a time, and on we go!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yesterday was catch-up at work - busy day! It was still worth taking the extra days off, but I was busy! It should be a bit easier today - I sure hope so! I have a couple of projects that I have to work on this week.

I got some shots of Koori - she and Rufus have agreed to share - sort of. Rufus still gets the best spot (up against the pillows) but at least Koo can sit on the couch again. Who would have though a 6 pound cat would rule the 40 pound dog??

This is up at Mom's house. Since Koori is such a chicken dog, she followed me everywhere, even if there wasn't a comfortable place to lay down anywhere near! The other dogs were over in the grass in the shade, all stretched out nice and comfy, and she was curled up beside my chair. Poor thing!

This is the fountain at Mom's - there were a pair of finches getting a drink - too cute! I couldn't get too close to them, so this was shot between her shade trellises.

I'm down to one finch at home - Mo died while I was gone this weekend. Poor Meenie is the only one left. I'm not planning on replacing the other birds, so it just Meenie for a while. He is still singing his little heart out for me though! They are such happy birds to listen to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I made it up and back to Susanville - and saw why 44 was closed. These pictures are taken from the car at the top of the grade outside of Old Station. There were still hot spots on both sides of the road when I came back through on Sunday even. Only one outbuilding was lost, so the towns of Old Station and Hat Creek were lucky! I don't think the fire got my favorite campgrounds along Hat Creek, but it burned down to the creek on the other side of the campgrounds.

The reunion was fun - but not a lot of people (considering the size of the class) showed up. I think there were 90 people expected, so 40-50 were classmates. Not too good for a graduating class of 180. I know of several that live in Susanville that didn't come, and quite a few that couldn't travel there. (I understand why those that had to travel couldn't make it, but those that live there???)

I'm in front - on the left - hiding! There was a professional photographer, and I'll post a picture of that when I get a copy. This was 'stolen' from a friend facebook page - her husband took it while the professional was taking pictures. I took a few, but the lighting was bad inside, and no one was outside until the lighting was bad out there, too!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Flashbacks to last summer - fires all around. A dry lightning storm went through yesterday afternoon to the west of Redding. I haven't heard yet this morning if there were any new fires, but the news last night said (unofficially) that fires had been reported around Weaverville and Willow Creek. Highway 44 to Susanville is closed at Old Station, and Highway 89 to 299 is closed there as well, with Highway 70 with one lane controlled traffic. Since I am going to Susanville tomorrow, I may have to go through Red Bluff to get there!

The family campout was canceled (I think - I haven't heard from anyone yet!) Since you have to use 44 to get there, I can't make it, but 44 was open when Ronna was planning on going up, and it was open for a short time when Mom and Dad were planning on going up. The last I heard, they weren't going, but....then the road opened, so maybe they did! The fires are not in that area, so they aren't in danger, it is just the closure of the road that keeps me from getting there. Oh well - summer in California!

One more day (today!) and I am off for four whole days! Yippee! Off to Susanville for the weekend, and then Monday off for me (mostly). I have to go to 'arena day' for Alex and pick up his schedule and turn in his forms, etc. Then the day is mine! I think I am as excited about that as I am the whole weekend in Susanville (which is my reunion). I'll probably waste the day away by cleaning house or something though. I usually do! (and it usually needs more than one day!)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sunday was actually a relaxing day for me - surprise! We had company over for a BBQ on Saturday, so I cleaned most of Saturday, and I took Sunday off! I did take Rufus to the vet for his shots (and didn't see him the rest of the day - I think he is mad at me now!) Sunday was spent reading, watching the baseball game, swimming with Alli, and some crocheting. What a nice day! Those don't come along very often.

Our guests on Saturday brought me a bouquet of flowers - beautiful!

Alli actually played with the ball while swimming on Saturday, too! She usually doesn't 'play' with a toy in the water, but she chased this ball around for a while!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bummer day - my brand new phone died yesterday! And, of course, we did not have it backed up on the computer. Who would have thought a two month old phone would just die? I wasn't even using it at the time. All of my contacts were lost, so I get to re-enter them again. Big Bummer! This time, I will back it up! (I didn't know that you could back it up!) Live and learn!