Thursday, June 30, 2011

What a day yesterday!  For whatever reason, I was expecting a nice, normal day.  Alli had an appointment with her spine specialist yesterday, which means she needed x-rays first - no big deal, we've done this several times already.  We went to MD Imaging at 8:00 (love the place!  everyone is very nice!) for a quick set of x-rays, dropped her off at daycare and went to work.  Work was very busy - it's almost the end of the month, which is always busier than the rest of the month.  I left again to go get Alli and take her to see the specialist.  We didn't even have to wait very long (which was very unusual!) and .... her scoliosis has progressed.

The x-rays were taken with her out of her brace.  The original curvature was a 47 degree at the top and a 55 degree curvature at the bottom of her spine.  She is now at 49 and 59.  Bummer.  The last set taken in March had shown no change - which was good.  The doctor then wanted to see x-rays of her in her brace, so....back we go to MD Imaging for another set of x-rays, and then back to the doctor's.  Then we get to wait for him to 'fit us in' to see us again.  It really wasn't too long, I've waited almost as long for a regular appointment, but we didn't see him again until almost noon.  With the brace on, her curvature was at 43 degrees and 61 degrees.  The top was good, but the bottom was not.  Now we go to the brace specialist. The doctor mentioned that he thought we needed a whole new brace built for her.  After all this, I took Alli back to daycare.  She missed the entire day of school, and I missed over half the day at work.

In the mean time, Ralph had an MRI on his leg.  He probably won't get results back from the doctor until Friday, if it is anything like AJ's MRI.  We'll see.  I'm thinking this is going to be an expensive summer for medical bills.  The insurance company set us a notice that they covered $0.27 of AJ's MRI because of his deductible.  I told Ralph we should offer to save them money by paying that $0.27 ourselves - it will cost them more than that to mail a check!

And....AJ went out to the college last night for an orientation, and is ready to sign up for his classes (about $500.00 for the classes and $700 - $1,000 for the books!) and he got a parking ticket while he was out there - another $25.00!  I was ready to go to bed early and call the day done, I tell you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We're getting closer!  I laid down the law last weekend to AJ - he has too many unfinished items on his docket - and he has done nothing all summer!  He has now picked a tentative new date for his Court of Honor - July 30th.  Now he has to make sure he can hold it somewhere!  I gave him one option (out of many!) to have it at the church - and last night gave him the contact name and number to call to get a use permit.    He hemmed and hawed around about calling, so I dug out an -mail address for the church.  The e-mail bounced back (they must have changed providers!) so then he e-mailed a person that I know at church that is involved in a lot of the committees.  Maybe he knows the new e-mail address.  Wouldn't it have been simpler to just pick up the phone and call?  I guess that is why this whole project is a learning experience for him.  And this is just the beginning of planning the Court.  I hope a month is enough time!

Poor Ralph - he went in a few weeks to the doctor about a large lump behind his knee.  The doctor ordered a sonogram, which came back clear, so Ralph was told to wait a couple of weeks to see if it went away.  It didn't, so he went back in to the doctor yesterday.  In the meantime, he had seen an article about COPD, and felt that he had a lot of the symptoms, so was going to talk to the doctor about it.  He now has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow on his leg and sees a cardiologist next Tuesday. They ruled out COPD via e-rays and an EKG, so now he goes to a specialist, and they don't know what is going on with his leg yet.  As usual, we will wait and see!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I woke up to rain today - how odd!  We've got over a 1/10 of an inch so far.  It sure cools everything down nicely!  Not that we have gotten hot yet - we haven't broken 100 yet this year.  Oh well, give us time, and I'm sure we will.

We have baby grass growing!  It looks like a lot of the large bare spot in the back yard (just beyond the pool) has grass growing.  We will probably still have some areas that didn't take this time, but I'm hoping the yard will look better soon.  The first area we seeded looks good - just off the fountain area.  If we can keep enough water on it, I think we may have a back lawn!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Well, I didn't clean the garage or the guest house yesterday - I didn't think I would, but....I should have!  I did get a nap in though!  That was unusual.  It was a nice lazy day after all - I fixed waffles for the boys at 10:00, finished laundry, crocheted a bit, let Alli swim for a bit, napped, crocheted for a bit, read for a bit - a nice lazy day!  I'll make up for it today though - it's back to work!

The dogs and I went for a walk last night - the creek is down to one puddle, and the big puddle the dogs loved to jump in is now green and icky!  They don't get to play there now.

We have lots of blackberries coming along too!

 And here is a finished project - I don't know quite what to do with it, but it's done!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The best part of cleaning all day on Saturday is that the house is still (relatively) clean on Sunday!  We had a spur of the moment dinner party last night, which meant cleaning more than I originally had planned, but it was worth it last night - a fun evening!  We had the neighbors (Dallas's parents) over for BBQ steak, and it was a very fun evening.  For the first time, I think, the boys joined us for adult conversation after dinner.  Usually, they eat and go back in front of the TV for games, but they stuck around last night and joined the conversations.  They are growing up on me!  I still have my normal Sunday chores to do, but then I will have the rest of the day off.  What will I do?  (Let's see - clean out the garage, clean out the guest house, organize my photos - all projects that have been on my list of to-do items for a while!  Then again, maybe some crocheting instead?  ;D)  I have most of the laundry done already - and a big bowl of waffle batter ready to go -as soon as the boys wake up and want breakfast.  (I will wake them up by 10:00 if they aren't up already!)

The weather has been so nice lately - I think it was only 93 yesterday - beautiful for Redding!  We are supposed to be even cooler later this week - that's odd for Redding too.  I have some more replacement plants to put out today, and hopefully the lawn seed is starting to grow.  We are watering the newly planted areas three times a day just to keep them moist until the new grass comes in..The area we planted a month ago look really good - hopefully the new areas do too.  It will be so nice to have a back yard of grass instead of dirt!  We still have a ton of weeks mixed with the old established grass, but we can't kill them until the new grass is established.  I'm thinking we have a two or three year wait in front of us before we have a nice lawn in the back.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thank goodness for the weekend!  I think all I have done this week is rush!  With Allison in summer school, it meant a change to my morning routine,  She needs to be at daycare earlier, because the bus picks her up before 7:30.  That means we have to leave the house earlier, and I need to fix her breakfast because she may not be at daycare long enough to have breakfast there.  All of that means I have to get up earlier, and get her up earlier.  I think we have the routine down now, but it took a few days!  She only has one more week of summer school anyway, and we will be back to ''summer normal'.  Her school starts August 15th, so she will have a long break.

Work got busy again, too - the week I took off for vacation caught up with my desk.  We are also near the end of the month, and that is our busiest time, too - combining the two makes it really busy! I'm very glad I have the two extra people in my department - I would be way stressed by now if not!  Even with them, it is still busy, and it seems like someone is on vacation all the time now (and one of them was me :D )  Oh well, tis the season for vacations!  I'm looking forward to the three-day weekend next weekend too!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Today's the last day of my vacation, and - of course - I didn't get nearly everything done I wanted to.  But!  I have a good excuse this time, really!  I got sick - Bummer!  I hate wasting vacation time being sick.  I went down Friday, and am clawing my way back up today - forcing myself to 'get busy'.  I felt so bad on Friday I did nothing but sleep (okay, I did force myself to go out in the afternoon for a quick shopping trip to the outlets and Walmart to grab something for dinner).  I spent most of yesterday just puttering around.  I napped on the couch when I came in from grocery shopping!  I don't think I have ever done that before.  It wasn't even a long shopping trip, but it wore me out.   I did, just for kicks, turn on my pedometer while we were in the store, and Alli and I walked a little over a mile in the stores.  I've often wondered how much I do walk when shopping - especially since our Walmart became a superstore.  One of these days I want to put a pedometer on Alli to see how many 'step' she takes during a day, what with all her spinning.

AJ and Dallas went out to Whiskeytown yesterday to go sailing.  One of AJ's leaders does the Sailing Merit Badge for scouts, and he took a troop up yesterday to go sailing.  AJ loves it!  He's quite happy he doesn't have to do the paperwork side of the merit badge anymore - he just gets to go up and go sailing and make sure none of the kids drown.  Next weekend, he is going up again with our troop.  This was the first time Dallas had been sailing and I think he enjoyed it too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vacation time is just flying by. I spent most of yesterday just relaxing - reading, crocheting, watching TV - nice! I did get a couple of small projects done, and took the dogs for a walk in the afternoon. When Allison got in from school, she spent a while in the pool, too - summer is here!

The dogs and I already went for a walk today. I downloaded a new ap on my iphone - a pedometer combined with a GPS. If it is correct (it is the free version, so I don't know how much I trust it!) my daily walk is 1.5 miles! Not too bad! The dogs really enjoy it - there is still water in Clover Creek, so they get a quick swim in. The water is drying up pretty fast though, I don't know how much longer they will be able to play in the water. It is windy today (10 - 15 MPH - the Weather Station on the house made the notation that it was good kite flying weather today) so it may dry up faster.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I took the boys and the dogs for a hike yesterday - up to Whiskeytown Falls. I think the small amount of working out I'm doing is working - it was a much easier hike this year! Woohoo! It isn't that long a hike - 1.7 miles one way I think. Of course, coming back down is much easier (and faster) than going up! I need to get serious about adding hills to my 'routine' if I'm going to make it up Lassen this year. Then again, the way it's going, there will still be snow on Lassen at the end of summer, and we won't be able to hike it.

The boys took a break waiting for me to catch up.

Up at the falls

From the top of the falls

I got a bit more accomplished on my to-do list. I know I won't get everything done on it (impossible!) but it is nice getting a few things off of it. I also ate a nice salad on the back patio after our hike yesterday, and read my book - that's the way to spend a vacation day! I did skip out of the gym yesterday - I think the hike was enough for one day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Here are directions for the bookmark. I'm not sure of the formatting, since I pasted it from Word, it looks a bit odd on my page!
Elephant bookmark
Beginning ch 3 counts as one dc throughout.
Sl st = slip stitch
Ch = chain
Sc = single crochet
Hdc = half double crochet
Dc = double crochet
Tc = triple crochet
Ch 8.
Row 1
Dc in 4th ch from hook. Dc in next 3 chs. 2 dc in next ch, turn. (7 dc)
Row 2
Ch 5, dc in 4th ch from hook. Dc in next ch and in next 7 dc, turn (10 dc)
Row 3
Ch 3, dc in next dc, tc in same dc, 2 tc in next 2 dc, 1 tc, 1dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc, 1 tc in next dc, 2 tc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in last dc. (16 stitches)
Sl st down front of head to base of Row 2.
Ch 10. Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 chs. 1 hdc in last ch. Sl st in base of Row 2 (one stitch over from starting chain)
Sl st down body to base of Row 1.
Ch 3. Sl st in one sc on ball and in next sc on ball, turn and work sc in first 2 chs of leg. 1 hdc in last sc. Sl st in next st on body. Sl st across body to next to last stitch of Row 1. Ch 3, sl st in ball (skipping one or two stitches between legs) and in next st on ball. Sc in first 2 ch of leg, 1 hdc in last ch and sl st in last st of Row 1.
Slip stitch up back of elephant until the top of Row 3. Pull thread out long enough for a tail and clip.
Ch 5, Sl st in first ch to form loop.
Row 1
Ch 1, 6 sc in circle. (6 sc)
Row 2
2 sc in each sc around (12 sc)
Row 3
(2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next) around (18 sc)
Row 4
(2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next 2 sc) around (24 sc) Join in next sc. Chain long enough for a bookmark (I used around 70). Fasten off and put a fringe on bookmark.
I got very creative last week - and I'm proud of myself! We have a book club going through work, and we are reading "Water for Elephants" for next month. For each book so far, I have crocheted a bookmark - a clover for March (St. Patrick's Day), a flower and flower pot for May (May flowers), and for July, I wanted to make an elephant bookmark to go with the book. Should be easy, right? Just surf the internet for a pattern, whip them out, and.....What do you mean the internet is down? I surfed the internet on my phone, but couldn't find anything I wanted to make. Surely someone out there had a pattern for an elephant! I looked and looked, but I couldn't find anything. So....I made my own pattern.

I found this picture on the internet through my phone(which made it a very small picture!)

I drew up a quick sketch and marked it in with a diagram of stitches and took a stab at my first elephant.

Too thick...but if I adjusted it just a little bit (imagine the part where my finder is as not there) - it almost looked like an elephant!

My second attempt looked better, but...the ball was too small, and the stitches for the body a little thin.

My final project - not too shabby!

I made 8 of them for the book club, and one for Ralph - the top left one is a pink elephant, just for him! Mom helped while I was up visiting - she made the balls and I made the elephants.

I even charted out my pattern and wrote it out, just to show that I could. This is my first pattern made from scratch - anything else has always been a modification of an existing pattern.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I feel just like a kid - summer vacation! I have a whole week off! (Of course, I still get up early so I can get Alli up and dressed, but still - I have a week off!) I have a loose plan to finish a bunch of projects every day, and still find time to do some fun things for me. Yesterday, I got a couple of things checked off my list - scrubbing the pool and washing the windows. AJ helped with the windows, and last night we had a discussion about streaks. He didn't realize how badly they would show! He was sitting there last night (when the afternoon sun was coming in the window) and decided 'we' might have to re-do a couple of windows. Really? We? Oh well - at least he noticed!

Here is a better picture of my newest doily - the thread is a variegated blue - very pretty! I also finished up a crinoline lady - I'm thinking about appliqueing her to a pillow. I don't know what else to do with her!

Here's another shot of AJ at the dog-a-thon. Hard to believe that was just a week ago - cold and rainy!

Here's a picture of a rainbow from my office window last week too - How the weather has changed!

It's nice to have the internet back - I can post pictures again, and type a bit faster!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally! Internet! And....I'm on vacation! What a combination - I have a list of things I need to do around the house as long as my arm, and I finally can spend some time surfing the web (and catching up on the tons of e-mails I got in the last 2 weeks!) I'm off tomorrow morning to Susanville - almost for the day. Mom has plans for Sunday, so I'll be leaving there early-ish on Sunday. Just a quick trip, but it will be nice to visit.

We got a call from the doctor's office - AJ's MRI was clear, which was wonderful news. We still don't know what the problem is, but whatever it is, it doesn't show up on an MRI. The doctor is actually out of the office until Thursday, so I really can't follow up with him until then. At least we found out the scan was negative!

A couple of pictures of Koori - isn't she pretty!

The dogs are in the creek and AJ and David are throwing rocks for them to chase on a beautiful summer evening (finally!)

One of my newest doilies - pinned up to dry. I need to take a better picture of it - the thread is a variegated blue - it turned out very nice!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

We are supposed to be getting Internet back today, so I may actually post more going forward. It's hard to type on my phone! It's also hard to put pictures up. The only ones I can put up are ones from my phone, and they aren't as good as the ones from my real camera.

We had a new first yesterday. AJ went in for an MRI on his head. He has been complaining of headaches when be bends over for a couple of weeks, so I took him in to see if he had a sinus infection. The doctor wanted to run more tests. We should get the results back in a few days. I hate waiting!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

At the dog-a-thon
The sun stayed for the morning yesterday and then was gone again. I woke to cloudy skies today and a sprinkle of rain. Today is the local 5K walk for the Humane Society. AJ is supposed to be walking with me but I haven't seem him yet today. Last night they were "decorating" Connor's girlfriend's room with sticky notes. Where do they come up with this? For a prank, it's pretty mild, but funny. I hope he took pictures!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Still no Internet at the house. The cable company has been here twice so far - and nothing to show for it I'm liking my new phone though. I think I forgot to mention that it was an I-phone. I'm getting used to it but I still miss the ease of using the blackberry. I knew where everything was on it. Now I have to look for everything.

Winter came back, again. Wind, rain, hail, and another tornado - this one down by Yuba City. Is it ever going to be summer? I hereby note that I will not complain about the heat this summer. Ever. We saw the sun today for a few minutes here and there. Not enough I'm ready for the heat!